Speaking to a colleague this morning who asked if I was tired of writing about racial ‘strife.’ The answer was—no—I am tired of living it. In less than two weeks a white Ohio police chief thought it was a joke to leave a KKK reference on the desk of one of his black officers. A white city council member in Alabama used the N-word when apparently addressing a black female meeting participant, and recently the American Dental Association pulled its financial support from a member of Congress [Paul Gosar, R-AZ] for among other things, his racial views. In a press release on July 20, the ADA listed amongst its’ issues with Gosar his lack of adherence to the core values of “integrity, diversity, and inclusion.”
The officials listed above are not insignificant ne’er-do-wells or Archie Bunker(s) in their recliners railing at the coloreds. These people are the living breathing aftermaths of years of ignoring a problem that has been deemed too inconvenient to teach or talk about. Like most cultural and religious behaviors, racism is not hereditary it is taught. One of the most disturbing aspects of the rise of QAnon, and the Proud Boys is that a large number of them are boys. America likes to think that racism is a relic of the past, clung to by grizzled old men sporting gun racks and flying Confederate flags from the tailgate of their pickups.
A lot of the leaders of these anti-American movements are young men like former Trump adviser Steven Miller and 37-year-old Henry “Enrique” Tarrio leader of the Proud Boys. Then we have Richard Spencer who disguises his hate-filled message in a business suit and pseudo-educated drivel promoting racial superiority and separation. Spencer penned a piece in September of 2013 writing, “What blocks our progress is the meme that has been carefully implanted in White people’s minds over the course of decades of programming, from Mississippi Burning to Lee Daniel’s The Butler—that any kind of positive racial feeling among Whites is inherently evil and stupid and derives solely from bigotry and resentment. And that the political and social advancement of non-Whites is inherently moral and wonderful.”
Ironically, Spencer picked two movies, one about an evil racist multiple murder and the other about the stupidity of perceived racial superiority. He punctuated his pique of unaware self-absorption by telling Salon.com reporter Lauren Fox, “We have to look good because no one is going to want to join a movement that is “crazed or ugly or vicious or just stupid.” Men like Tarrio, Miller, and Spencer have learned that they cannot win votes in the arena of moral ideas so they traffic in the political world of taking umbrage. In the eyes of a lot of white Americans, the family members of the relatives of the horrific slaughter at Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina are heroes, not because they persevered through a horrific ordeal but because they did not complain. When the brother of Botham Jean hugged and forgave the former police officer who murdered his brother conservative columnists ran to their keyboards to write about his strength of character. If black men and women do not display superhuman qualities under ghastly circumstances, it is often described as a fault in their character.
A recent example of this superhero syndrome is black Capitol police officer Harry Dunn. Officer Dunn, who has given over a decade of his life to protecting members of Congress, complained that part of his shock during the insurrection was being called the N-word while defending the cradle of American democracy. For his heroic efforts Fox News host Tucker Carlson went to one of the oldest euphemisms for black men he could muster labeling Officer Dunn an “angry, left-wing political activist.” Apparently, what angered Mr. Carlson was a previous tweet written by Dunn where he stated, Racism is so American, that when you protest it, people think that you are protesting America! Self-reflecting much, Tucker?
Continue to Vote for Change