The Problem Of Anti-Racism
Some people are proud of being anti-racist. This is not always something to be proud about. Often, as in anti communism and homophobia, the struggle against the unseen enemy is worse than the problem you are fighting. When you denounce someone as racist, you might be talking about yourself.
The discussion that follows should not be seen as pro racist. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. This kindness should be extended to those who do not share your opinions about racism.
Maybe you should lead by example. Instead of worrying about how your neighbor thinks, worry about how you think. If you don’t like the nasty word don’t use it.
To some, racism is the ultimate taboo. It is the worst charge you can make about a person, and the quickest to be made. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. It does not help that the definition of racism is expanding all the time. What one person considers racism is normal thinking to another. It used to be that racism was when you treated someone poorly because of their ethnicity. Now is is a multi faceted boogieman about power and prejudice. Keeping up can be a full time job.
Anti-communism has been compared to anti-racism. To our younger readers, there used to be a system of government called communism. It was alleged to be involved in a cold war with the United States. This cold war was the justification for a bloated military industrial complex. Many crooked politicians were elected on the basis of being anti communist. Often, the fight against communism was worse than the actual system of government.
Anti-racism is the new McCarthyism. Guilt by association is the rule. Difficult to refute charges are made against people. The charge of racism is used as a red herring.
Homophobia is compared to anti-racism. In both cases, the accuser has a set of standards. If the accused does not meet those standards, then the accused is considered fair game for abuse. The accused and the accuser may not agree on these standards. That does not matter. If someone wants to make the accusation, then they will, and will feel righteous about doing so.
It is frequently speculated that the homophobe is secretly gay. The need to be heard badmouthing gays stems from a perceived need to prove heterosexuality. Could this be the case with the anti racist? Maybe the anti-racist is secretly afraid that he/she might be a racist. The “calling out” of others, for perceived racism, is an effort to overcompensate for his/her own shortcomings.
Some things need to be said one more time. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. Shaming and guilt mongering, because someone does not share your attitudes about race, is not appropriate. To use an anti-communist expression, there are better ways to win hearts and minds. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.