Racialist ideology may be failing minorities, but it continues to gain adherents in the press and academia. The notion of white privilege has become so embedded on college campuses that schools now hold workshops on the topic, and students subject themselves to programs that accuse them of supporting “racism and white supremacy.” Some schools, worried about unequal minority success rates, even urge professors to consider racial factors over merit-based ones.
The racialist cultural agenda is seeping into public schools, too. Black Lives Matter is rolling out a curriculum in secondary schools across the country. Administrators let high schoolers stage walkouts when their competitive schools don’t have enough minorities enrolled. Much of the American cultural establishment, including the Smithsonian, has fallen under the spell of this ideology. Corporations, desperate to seem relevant, sign up for the agenda, too, as seen, for example, in Nike’s support for Colin Kaepernick, who wore socks depicting police as cartoon pigs, among other similar gestures.
It will be tragic if Americans permit our multiracial society to devolve into ruinous tribalism. Rather than turn inward, great societies thrive by including former outsiders into their system. Rome’s greatness, suggested Edward Gibbon, came about in part because it allowed for religious heterodoxy and gave outsiders, including former slaves, a chance to become citizens and rise above their station. This project has worked marvelously well in America—but its continued success depends on our valuing citizenship itself, which many on the left no longer do.