Who is a
March 26, 2016
It is election time in
the US again and I can't resist hearing some
politician calling others racist. You are
against illegal immigration, you are racist. You
speak against Muslims, you are racist!
Who is a racist
It used to be that we
knew the answer. The meaning of racism was clear
and conclusive. But not any more. There is so
much confusion these days about the term; so
much so that hearing the term used in its modern
day sense makes my ears hurt.
You oppose Obamacare
or school choice and you are roundly condemned
You oppose some Islamic elements (from the
Middle East) in our midst and you are called a
You oppose Hispanics illegals (mostly white)
crossing the southern border and you are labeled
Here, you are simply
being asked rudely to shut up, without the merit of the
issues you raised being fully and honestly
Being called a racist,
as a device for issue disruption, is a trend
that has worked well. But as a tool to advance
productive reasoning, it has also proven to be
regressive. Essentially, it retards our ability
to focus clearly on the real destructive racial
Back in the days when
things were less sophisticated, there was some
upfront honesty in racial politics. A racist was
a racist in plain sight. The issues were clear
and stark. And no matter how gruesome, the focus
was on how to fight real racism, not contrived
If the local bus
rolled to a stop and you got in, you knew where
to sit. It was back of the bus for you.
And when you went to a
lunch counter and you saw the sign "No Colored
Allowed" you knew instantly that it was not
meant for a Hispanic white!
As unpleasant as the
situation was then, you knew what you were up
against. But how do you confront this new
reality - the liberal expansion of the
definition of racism and
the categorical blending of the issues that
come with it now?
Guess what, we have
made it more difficult to identify the real racist
under the new term. We have enlarged the
definition of the “racial victim” to include
almost everybody who has an issue to grind.
Herein lies our
weakness as blacks – a serious political
weakness because we have unhinged ourselves from
the driving force that propelled the civil
The cry agiainst
“racism,” essentially a black skin color based
definition, was once our cause celebre.
We suffered because we
were black. But whereas others kept in firm
sight the basis of their political grievances,
we seem to have forgotten ours. We have been
helped to make less firm the grounds we stood on
for our civil rights struggle and as such diluted our
issues to a point where they are almost
Thus, the racial
injury of 400 years that created the term
“racist,’ that focused and drove our intent and
purposes, has lost its political
We have made blunt or
meaningless our own historical cause celebre.
At this point, we are
happy to form common cause with the unknown,
including formerly known racists who had
oppressed us. Or join forces with those with
racist ancestry like the KKK to call those who
disagree with them racist!
Consider those who we
easily connect to the segregationists of the
past and note how our history has been reframed.
Democrats or Republicans?
Our fight against the
racist was because of slavery and all that
emanated from it . Slavery, by definition, was
what others did to black people. No other race
came close to the suffering experienced here.
Whites, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and many were
guilty of slavery.
So the use of the term
“racist” must be rooted to and associated with
the black cause. This was what the Civil Rights
marches were about. It was a drive to end the
disadvantages in black lives. But now we have
“diversity” as the rallying call!
Imagine, we march for integration only to end up
at the wall of diversity!
Diversity is what
social scientist call “otherness.” Deliberate or
not, it came at the tail end of the civil rights
movement. The term covers all grivances,
regardless of skin color. By
shifting the focus from genuine black issues,
diversity has created a voter gold mine and enlarged voting
rosters for liberal Democrats.
But for us, there is a damage in the
shift . "Diversity” has now subsumed the
discription of victims of traditional
“racism.” And, its universal appeal is killing
black civil rights issues in preference for
those of others.
Worse, the sting of
censure intended with the “racist” label has now
been rendered less potent in the minds of many,
including many Democrat liberals who have racist
inclinations. Yet, with a knee jerk response, we
accept the blending of the
So now, to call into question
the behavior of some white Hispanics or Muslims
means being racist for some blacks. But
must it be without considering first the issues
Note that in spite of
the diversity penchant, the real racist intents and the
practice of skin color based discriminations
still do very much exist. Check the power stuctures
of the Hispanic world, from media to government
and political interest groups,
and you will note that black faces are heavily
absent in the arrangement.
Yet, the confusion
about who is a racist has already fooled some of
us because the new term "diversity,"
if nothing, is so politically fanciful. But this opacity does not
benefit us. It only enhances the chances
of the unscrupulous politician's ascent to
But the simple fact is the definition for racism
need not be mixed, academic, reframed or redefined. It
is endemic to the very fabric of black life and the condition of where
it is today and/or has been historically.
publisher, www.ghanadot.com, Washington, DC,
March 26, 2016
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