This piece by Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse began in life originally as a submission to Newsweek, was published there briefly in heavily edited form, and was quickly taken down after its author rejected that it be counterbalanced by an opposing view. Is it objectionable? You be the judge. Here’s its conclusion:
Are there white supremacists in America? Yes, to be sure. But the fact that they are a tiny fraction of the population, and politically powerless, is waved off. A “system” of white supremacy in which all are complicit is supposedly the real problem.
Are there racist cops? we might ask. Surely with the large numbers of law enforcement officers in the United States, the answer is that there are some; who and how many are important questions if we want to know about where to assign responsibility. The system-racism proponent is uninterested; the system is to blame, all cops are presumed racist, and they must have their consciousness raised by the right training in the truth about systemic racism.
Are there racist policies at work elsewhere in American criminal justice, or in education, or housing, or professions and trades? Maybe, but the systemic-racism theorist is relieved of any burden of showing concretely what they are, or who needs to do what about them. Struggle sessions for everyone are a much neater solution. In a “hearts and minds” approach that pointedly leaves out the minds, everyone is invited to feel good about feeling guilty of vague sins they needn’t actually confess.
There’s also a concluding paragraph for which, if you’re interested, you’ll need to go to the link above.
Let’s consider a few statistics. Roughly one out of every seven people living in the U. S. is black while about one out of every six people living in the U. S. is Hispanic (a term I find questionable on its own). Lumped together as “persons of color” they account for about three of every ten people living in the country. Six of every ten are of primarily European descent, lumped unceremoniously together as “white”. Increasingly, I see blacks reacting to the PoC terminology.
About a dozen years ago, after the decision in the Trayvon Martin case was handed down, I saw a resurgence of calls for “an honest conversation about race”. Is what’s going on right now that longed-for conversation? Is it a conversation at all? What I see is that any viewpoint about race other than the viewpoint of race activists is quickly shouted down in favor of consciousness-raising sessions of which a major component seems to be whites confessing their guilt. I don’t think that’s the conversation we want or need.
In the past I’ve said that I believe in “systemic racism” in the sense that it’s harder to be black than white but I also do not believe that is actionable by which I mean that the underlying issue, as noted above, is that blacks are a minority in the U. S. and will always remain a minority. That the majority do not experience or see things as you do will inevitably place you at a disadvantage.
Let’s be very clear. Blacks should be treated justly. They should not constantly fear for their lives. There are many things that we can and should do about that. That still won’t change the experience of blacks. That’s what I mean by not actionable.