The Calculus of Racism
posted at 1:48 am on July 25, 2010 by Doctor Zero
Shirley Sherrod, formerly of the USDA, said some rather provocative things during the rambling March 2010 speech that would later prompt the Obama Administration to summarily dismiss her. When I say “summarily,” I mean they called her on her cell phone while she was driving, made her pull over to the side of the road, and submit her resignation from her BlackBerry.
The anecdote that prompted the Administration to extract that resignation letter from her trembling thumbs was less interesting than this passage, from a bit later in the speech:
I want to just share something with you and…I think it helps to — it — you know, when I learned this, I’m like, “Oh, my goodness.” You know, back in the late 17th and 18th century, black — there were black indentured servants and white indentured servants, and they all would work for the seven years and — and get their freedom. And they didn’t see any difference in each other. Nobody worried about skin color. They married each other, you know. These were poor whites and poor blacks in the same boat, except they were slaves. But they were both slaves and both had their opportunity to work out on the slavery.
But then they started looking at the injustices that they faced and started then trying — you know, the people with money — you know, they started — the…poor whites and poor blacks who were — they — you know, they married each other. They lived together. They were just like we would be. And they started looking at what was happening to them and decided we need to do something about it — you know, about this. Well, the people with money, the elite, decided, “Hey, we need to do something here to divide them.”
So that’s when they made black people servants for life. That’s when they put laws in place forbidding them to marry each other. That’s when they created the racism that we know of today. They did it to keep us divided. And they — it started working so well, they said, “Gosh, looks like we’ve come up on something here that can last generations.” And here we are over 400 years later, and it’s still working. What we have to do is get that out of our heads. There is no difference between us. The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power and, whether it’s health care or whatever it is, they’ll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know. It’s always about money, y’all.
Sherrod immediately provided an example of “folks with money” doing “what they need to do to keep that power”:
You know, I haven’t seen such a mean-spirited people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn’t it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bush’s and we didn’t do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.
She probably didn’t appreciate the irony of reflexively using a false accusation of racism to suppress dissent against the enormous power grab perpetrated by the Democrats in their health-care bill. False accusations of racism in the service of tyranny are themselves a profoundly racist act: There is no legitimate dissent from the President’s usurpation of our liberties. All such dissent is a result of the ugly prejudice baked into white cracker genes.
It takes moral courage to contemplate the full implications of true racial equality. Saying “racism is bad” is easy. Saying “all racism is bad” is far more challenging.
I doubt many slaveholders of four centuries past viewed racial hatred as an Alinsky-style tactic, designed to keep the little people angry at each other so the aristocracy could remain comfortable. Sherrod’s fractured history is a common projection of contemporary values onto the past by a political activist – in this case, Marxist class theory. Her diagnosis is a fair description of the modern elite’s use for racial unease as a tool for keeping voting blocs organized, and controlling the national dialogue through rhetorical shock treatments.
Among free men and women, racism is an illogical behavior which runs contrary to their self-interest. There’s a price to pay for arbitrarily excluding potential customers from one’s business, refusing social contacts which could blossom into beautiful friendships, or refusing to hire talented employees. Of course, not every individual acts with intelligent regard for his own self-interest. There will always be some blockheads willing to pay the cost of racial discrimination. Across a vast population, and over years of time, those people will perform below those who conduct their business with an honorable disregard for skin color. They will also suffer from the moral censure of a nation evolving beyond such primitive hatreds, and in a free Republic, such censure has tremendous power. To put it simply, not many people want to do business with bigots.
This doesn’t mean racist thought disappears completely from a free society. Sadly, such thoughts are an enduring feature of human nature. I admire the growing maturity of our culture in combating it. Free people do not concern themselves with each other’s thoughts. Our actions and expressions are matters of public concern, and they shape the minds of our children. A nation following its rational interests, religious traditions, and common culture to their color-blind conclusions will breed fewer bigots with each generation.
Who suffers most from the costs of racial discrimination? The poor, of course. They’re the ones who can’t get hired, or find customers for their businesses. Actions based on discrimination become less common as income levels rise. Wealthier citizens are, by definition, more keenly attuned to the economic consequences of acting foolishly. Reverend Jeremiah Wright became extremely wealthy running his church of racial hatred, but poured a good deal of his fortune into a splendid mansion in a mostly white neighborhood. Like a successful drug dealer, he’s not stupid enough to overdose on the poison he sold his followers. He doesn’t seem worried that his rich white neighbors will scurry off to their garages to brew a fresh batch of AIDS to infect him with.
The power elite of our statist government are the most completely insulated from the costs of racism… and they have the greatest interest in propagating racist ideals to improve their positions. A vast and wealthy political apparatus, including organizations like the NAACP, depend on the assumption that white people are inherently inferior from a moral perspective. This is the logical conclusion to be drawn from the insistence that white racism is eternal.
If all opposition to unlimited taxation and regulation is racist, as the NAACP maintains, it follows that whites (whom the Left consistently, and falsely, maintain comprise the total population of the Tea Party movement) owe one hundred percent of their time and property to the government. Any portion the State sees fit to leave untouched is a generous gift. If all criticism of Barack Obama by whites is considered racism, it follows that whites have diminished rights to free speech and assembly. If the insistence on border security is due to blind racism, it follows that white Americans have reduced property rights, and cannot complain about the passage of illegal aliens across their land, or the provision of benefits to illegals with funding seized from taxpayers. How are these ideas any different from the way Shirley Sherrod describes the treatment of blacks by colonial slaveholders? (Non-white citizens who share these positions are stripped of their racial identity through the sorcery of Leftist ideology.)
Who gains from frivolous lawsuits, filed at taxpayer expense, which serve no purpose but to inflame the racial fears of a targeted minority population? Who profits from the creation of hopeless inner-city neighborhoods, transformed by animosity and paranoia into prisons with open gates, filled with young people who aren’t looking for the exits? Who harvests power from the dependents of the welfare state? Who views rising unemployment as an opportunity to spend more money? Who dismisses uncomfortable questions by insisting people of a certain color have no right to ask them?
Answer these questions, and you have solved the calculus of racism, which endures beyond the natural end of its miserable existence because the architects of the total State have need of it. As Shirley Sherrod put it, they want to stay in power and, whether it’s health care or whatever it is, they’ll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know.
Cross-posted at www.doczero.org
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