Race Isn’t Going Away

If there is a next life, I want a job in which there are no consequences for making horrible decisions that harm other people. Which, of course, means a life in politics and elected office. In what other line of work is mentioning the bad outcomes of even worse ideas not only dismissed, but treated as impertinence? A sizable section of the elected class has come to see the citizen as more of a subject, the prole of dystopian fiction who is becoming more real by the moment. Imagine asking about one of  government’s fundamental roles and being told to check your privilege.

In Realville, political meanderings have consequences and that a company’s pending relocation will almost certainly be echoed by others. Why wouldn’t it be? When government fails to do the heavy of lifting of governing, and even worse, turns a blind eye to elementary responsibility, people tend to notice. And they react. Some remember Baltimore and the fallout after cops pulled back in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody. Especially sharp minds will recall how the president during that period pronounced the rioters and looters to be ‘thugs.’ Good times.

The rule of law is the foundation of a civil society, not a bumper sticker. When prosecutors undermine their own authority by rationalizing free passes to arsonists and thieves, good luck trying to convince the law-abiding that you have their back. Chicago is seeing firsthand what happens when the mob is allowed to run wild. Suddenly, all that anti-cop rhetoric doesn’t sound so good, but what are officials there and elsewhere to do? They can’t even get their stories straight.

The initial talk of ‘defunding’ is crumbling under the weight of its own incoherence; it appears too many people know that the term does not mean shifting resources or trying new methods. Alternative terms include ‘demilitarizing’ which is nowhere near synonymous with defunding. I suspect we can all agree that cops are not Marines or Rangers, and that police forces rolling up in armored personnel carriers and gunned up for combat is quite a leap from ‘protect and serve.’ But a social worker is not the right call when a restraining order is violated or gunfire erupts. 

The left’s script engages in further self-torture when we hear silence is violence in one breath and shut up in the next. Make up your minds, kids. This is part and parcel of a larger disconnect. There is no coherent strategy because there are no concrete goals. And it’s not like Black Lives Matters itself brings clarity.  How many people have been to the group’s website, specifically the What We Believe section? It can’t be many because if more people had read it, the glaring omissions would have been called out. There are zero mentions of ‘fathers’ and the only reference to ‘men’ is  in regard to the dangers they present to women. There are repeated statements about trans people and queer (their word) folks, and that’s fine so far as it goes, but it seems strange that a movement founded over bad outcomes involving black men and law enforcement does not contain a single affirmation of males. How do their lives matter when the group’s own manifesto ignores them?

Corporate America, meanwhile, can’t stop talking about diversity and inclusion, as if those are new topics. There are calls for conversations about race, maybe even uncomfortable ones, but none that are honest. A dialogue is, by definition, a two-way event. Dialogue and discussion require all participants to confront unpleasant truths. Discussion requires introspection. Discussion requires more than blaming someone you’ve never met for everything that is wrong in your house. Discussion can also lay the groundwork for unity which has a castrating effect on our betters and that cannot be tolerated.  

Instead, we get division as both political strategy and business model. Under this formula, one can make a living by hectoring the bulk of the population, books are sold on the pretense that this road only runs one way, and organizations seek pre-emptive absolution through big dollar donations to anti-racism causes. By the way, is anyone aware of a mainstream organization that can be credibly accused of peddling a pro-racist platform? Moreover, the merchants of division are never under any pressure to show results, to demonstrate so much as having persuaded a single person guilty of wrongthink into changing his/her evil ways. It’s a different version of the shakedown racket that Jesse Jackson used to deploy, which also did not require empirical evidence of beneficial outcomes.

What now? Other than Gone With the Wind no longer fit for adult viewing, or the disarming of gun-totin’ Looney Toons character under the rebranded Looney Tunes title, or the forcing out of newspaper editors so that major dailies can more closely resemble campus publications. These are a few features of the American Cultural Revolution that bears a stark resemblance to its Chinese predecessor, albeit it less violent. So far.

Whatever people may claim, race isn’t going away. It’s too big a cash cow, too big a platform, too big a power source to be ignored, too large a cudgel to be put down. And that puts it right in line with most of activism. The cause, whatever it is, has no end game beyond its own self-perpetuation. If the problem was solved, the gravy train would stop. For the people who run outlets like the Onion or the Babylon Bee, this must be existential threat. Satire and reality are almost indistinguishable with society bent on ripping itself apart while ignoring its own progress.

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