A quick example is what anti-racism means in education, where the idea is that school boards and teachers propose that to be anti-racist, you can’t submit black people to real challenges, because the sorts of things that involve real challenges are white things such as precision, punctuality and having to raise your hand; that those are wrong, that you need to turn your whole field upside down in order to adjust to the presence of people of color, such that, for example, a classics department makes Latin and Greek optional.
That’s all harmful to black people, because it’s treating black Americans as if they aren’t as bright. In arguing that it’s racist to submit black people to standardized tests because black kids often aren’t as good at them, you’re effectively saying black kids shouldn’t be subjected to a test of abstract cognitive skill. I can imagine Strom Thurmond saying that, and yet we’re not supposed to discuss it. This is doubletalk. Or assuming that if a disproportionate number of black boys are suspended from schools for violence, it must be because of bias. What happens in schools where people take that anti-racist counsel into account is that more black kids, not to mention teachers, get beat up. I consider that to be an unintentionally racist act itself. This isn’t the way social history is supposed to work. This stuff hurts black people.
The unspoken notion is that the most interesting thing about being black is thinking about how white people see us, or don’t, or whether they see us fully. I have to stand athwart this and ask, “How much does it matter?” What you’re telling me is, “This white person doesn’t see me in my full essence the way my black friends do, and therefore that affects my success.” Does it really? Somebody who interviews you might not see you quite fully, but these days, they’re often operating under DEI imperatives, and even if they’re not, how does it affect your success in life? Among human beings, there are going to be some racist biases. Civil rights leaders two generations ago had no idea that we were waiting for white people to be psychologically pristine.