Why Do We Need to Call Ourselves Racist?

Ok, let’s do a quick check. This guy is president of the United States, right?

That guy, right there? I’m pretty sure he is. And, as I’m given to understand, he’s black, right? Let’s check again.

Yep, given the visual evidence and the corroborating reports (Morgan Freeman’s opinion notwithstanding), I feel pretty safe in saying that, yes, he is black. And president. He is the black president.

And yet, we have this:

When it Comes to Politics, Are We More Racist Than We Think? 


Though many people believe that our first African-American president won the election thanks in part to increased turnout by African-American voters, Stephens-Davidowitz’s research shows that those votes only added about 1 percentage point to Obama’s totals. “In the general election, this effect was comparatively minor,” he concludes. But in areas with high racial search rates, the fact that Obama is African American worked against him, sometimes significantly.  

“The results imply that, relative to the most racially tolerant areas in the United States, prejudice cost Obama between 3.1 percentage points and 5.0 percentage points of the national popular vote,” Stephens-Davidowitz points out in his study. “This implies racial animus gave Obama’s opponent roughly the equivalent of a home-state advantage country-wide.”  

“Any votes Obama gained due to his race in the general election were not nearly enough to outweigh the cost of racial animus, meaning race was a large net negative for Obama,” he adds. 

Lady, he won! He won the election! He is the president! The black president! And yet still we’re doing studies–and gleefully publicizing said studies–to prove how racist we are.

Even after a black man ascends to the highest office in the land, we’re determined to believe that we’re irredeemably racist.

There is no end to this. And it’s too easy to say that there’s no end to it because the people who make money off the racial grievance industry won’t let it die. Lots of people want to make money off of lots of crazy ideas, but they have to find a willing customer base that buys into the idea enough to fork over money for it.

The fact is, there’s a substantial number of people who want to believe, indeed are eager to believe, that we are all racists, no matter what. Why? What’s the benefit of thinking this about yourself and your fellow Americans?

Some Christian denominations embrace the Calvinist doctrine of “total depravity,” which contends that man is utterly corrupt and incapable of doing anything good of his own will. Even the things that he does that seem to be good are really evil because they’re done for the his own glory and not for God’s.

I think that in the secular religion that is progressive politics, racism serves as a stand-in for total depravity. It’s the unsolvable problem that can only be solved by the intervention of God.

Not only does this provide a ready explanation for the ills of society, it also serves as an excuse for the liberal god, the almighty government, to intervene and deliver salvation in the form of wealth redistribution, multicultural initiatives, and all kinds of other feel-good shibboleths.

So, it doesn’t matter how many black presidents we elect or if we amend the Constitution to replace the Supreme Court with the Wu-Tang Clan. The doctrine of Total Racism isn’t going anywhere. Religious beliefs like that are stubborn things.

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    Well, Jason, to some extent, we call ourselves racist because we all are to some extent. If racism means holding certain ideas and stereotypes about a race, then even the most open-minded person holds some beliefs regarding races. And heck, logically speaking, categorization is a natural way of organizing information in our brains.

    Or to put it in a more frivolous way, ‘Everyone’s a little bit racist’ as Avenue Q sings.

    The rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever prejudices all of us have does not impair someone else.

    As to the topic at hand, as a minority, I’ve found that some of those who harp most incessantly about racism tend to be self-hating. They’re convinced that anything Western, white and mainstream is awful and keeping the rest of the world down. Since they’re so worried about racism, they go around patrolling, making sure that no one else acts racist in any way. They’re like politically correct modern Puritans.

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