Racism, Diversity, and the Irritating Insufferableness of Liberals
I just discovered The American Thinker (What a find!), its article archives, and Albin Sadar's March 31, 2012 article, "Racism is for Losers," which resonated intellectually, made me laugh, and brought back these memories:
Something that used to raise my infant blood pressure with impotent fury was many adults' penchant for admonishing me not to do idiotic things that I would have never thought to do, as when an uncle once ordered severely, "Don't go up that ladder that the roofers left!" I can still feel my silent, seething anger at his assuming that I, a non-dare-devil girl-child with a fear of heights, would scurry up the ladder left leaning against my grandmother's three-story house by the lunching roofers. That feeling returns when I see brochures in church vestibules or on university bulletin boards with titles like "Seminar on Fear of 'the Other,'" "Dialogue on Race," "Youth against Hate," etc., ad nauseam.
I grew up in the fifties and sixties, with "colored" water fountains, adult angst over desegregation, the N-word bandied about, and even "nice" grown-ups talking nervously about whether there might be "nigras" at the Girl Scout camp some of us were getting ready to go to. My parents, whose innate decency and kindness overrode any integration-angst they might have felt -- products of their time that they were -- must be given much credit for my growing up with the self-evident notion that people were important, that their race was not, and that those who thought otherwise were silly at best, small-hearted at worst.
Another memory is of a lesson in my fifth grade Sunday school class, circa 1961, of which the text was precisely the one cited by the minister of the church in Pittsburgh mentioned in Mr. Sadler's article: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:28."
I still remember my thoughts at the moment: "This makes it all clear! Color makes no difference, either! Why don't so many of the grown-ups get it?"
Well, fifty years have passed since that Sunday, and most people do get it, except for a few retrograde fools -- losers, in the words of the Pittsburgh pastor. What the liberals do not get is that they, the "progressives" are not special. They are not a tiny minority of enlightened islands in a sea of retrograde, foolish, evil darkness. They are merely irritating people like my uncle, using up precious air by exhorting other people not to do stupid things they would never have thought of doing, such as climbing up on Grandmother's roof, or hating people for such a boring non-reason as their color.
Unlike me, my daughters have grown up in a world where, except in scolding liberal bubbles or in miniscule enclaves of knuckle-dragging white supremacists, race is no more of an issue than eye color. I used to smile to see my youngest's middle school gang: two Anglo girls, a couple of black girls, a Chicana, a Vietnamese American child, a son of Pilipino immigrants, a Mexican Korean, and my daughter herself: a half Salvadoran, half Mexican, totally American adopted daughter of an Anglo American mother and a Mexico-born father. I smiled because her gang almost seemed chosen by a government diversity committee--but it wasn't! And its members scarcely noticed their own diversity.
Thus, it is a mystery why, when people are falsely accused of racism, (think the "niggardly" scandal, the supposed epidemic of "dog whistle racist language" among conservatives, the "black hole scandal," and many others), they do not simply turn the tables and wax even more indignant than the supposedly offended person, saying, for example: "Wait, are you calling me a racist? Don't you know that racism is not only evil but ignorant and idiotic? So you're calling me an ignorant, racist idiot? How dare you!!!? And if you don't know what a black hole is (or niggardly, or -- fill in the blank), it isn't because you're black, it's because you, personally, are an ignorant idiot! And no, I will not apologize, or attend a racial sensitivity class, because, just as I know the earth is not flat, I also know that people should be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin, whether they are admirable human beings like Dr. King, or fools like you!
Now, would I say that if I were on the receiving end of one of those accusations? I cannot say for sure, but I sincerely hope that I would. Because, though Islamophobia and homophobia are essentially made-up terms, being-called-a-racist-phobia is alive and well, and it daily injects adrenaline into the race baiters and their sanctimonious, white-liberal acolytes.