The idea that once anti-racism has acquired real purchase in our consciousness that it must be the measure of everything in how we evaluate those among us, in the fashion that Galileo’s detractors assumed Christianity must determine scientific inquiry, is not truth incarnate. It is a modern fashion, one that perplexes as many as it attracts. The notion that we are not whole until we are seen as perfect equals by all citizens is creative at best, but utopian at worst. Life as an individual is too rich for that vision to compel more than a subset of the population.

The lesson here is that the identitarian left must not labor under the impression that all Black and brown people share their sense of racism as an ultimate deal breaker. Coalition building of the kind that will win future elections will require them to hold their noses and understand that to many perfectly sane people of color, policy matters more than rhetorical virtue on race and racism. They must also understand that few of such people will be amenable to schooling on the matter. Talk to them as prodigals who need to be taken out back and instructed in the gospel and you will only drive them to the next charismatic, incurious megalomaniac that rises from the Republican swamp.