Is There Enough Racism to Meet Demand?

There is a demand for racism in America. The reason for this demand is not because America is a racist country, or because American institutions or the American people, broadly, are racist. It exists because of those particular politicians and members of the media who seem to desire instances of racism which they can utilize to support their political agenda. They’re not racist themselves, but the existence of racism would positively serve their agenda.

Their tactics are dangerously simple: read racism into naked disparities or questionable circumstances without clear evidence, impute racism to the country at large, and then use this monumental accusation to justify tearing down the system and remolding it into some unspecified ideal. The problem for them is that America is a good country and Americans are good people, by and large. The amount of racism required to justify such a revolution doesn’t exist here like it used to.

Nevertheless, we’ve seen this in action over the past week following the indefensible killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

First, the rioting. In major cities across the country, rioters have burned private property and public infrastructure, pillaged merchandise, defaced national landmarks, and assaulted reporters, business owners, police officers, and secret service agents. They’ve forced the White House into lockdown, set a Minneapolis police station ablaze, and assaulted police officers with rocks and explosives, shot them to death and run them over with vehicles.

The vast majority of Americans – including the Floyd family – want peace. They do not condone the rioting, nor do they believe that burning businesses and infrastructure in majority-black cities is going to help the black community ascend economically any more than it will immortalize victims of police brutality. But the rioting isn’t about honoring the memory of George Floyd or calling attention to brutality. That’s what the widespread peaceful protests are about, the ones being obscured almost entirely by disgraceful behavior. Rioting is about looting and burning and assaulting.

Second, the support. Unlike the majority of Americans, some public figures have come out in support of the anarchy. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick suggested that violent revolt was the only way to make silenced voices heard; a host of Hollywood celebrities have donated bail money to crooks responsible for destroying cities. The media, as well, have shared in the winking and nodding at rioters. Cornel West told CNN that America is “a failed social experiment.” Don Lemon imputed racism to the country at large, suggesting that this was the proportional response to the legacy of slavery.

Not only is this sort of filth unfair to peaceful protesters; it’s unfair to those living in the cities being ravaged by riots. And it’s unfair to the country. The vast majority of Americans are in agreement that the officer responsible for killing Floyd should be prosecuted, and that we should be peacefully protesting to raise awareness about police brutality and precipitating action to prevent it from reoccurring. The vast majority of Americans are good and decent people willing to condemn injustice when they see it.

But these truths don’t serve the agenda. The refusal to condemn – or the outright support for – the riots by those few who profit from this narrative is about furthering the belief that the United States is a brutally racist country which continues to be as racist today as it was during slavery and Jim Crow; that all inequality is the result of innate American racism; and that everyone is responsible even if they haven’t done anything racist because they’re beneficiaries of a corrupt system.

But this is a foolish and deeply immoral suggestion.

To claim that America is inherently racist is to conveniently disregard centuries of social progress, much of which was paid for with blood. To suggest that police officers are hunting down and executing unarmed black suspects is to disregard the actual data on police shootings. And to condemn the racism of the American people – who overwhelmingly support punishing this officer, empathize with Floyd and victims of police brutality nationwide, and are attempting to peacefully protest in spite of vicious riots – is to elevate virtue-signaling and political point-scoring above the truth.

This demand for racism is rooted in lies – a cynical and dishonest attack against the country, ignorant of history and intended to sow division and hatred within a population united against evil more so than at any point in its history. We should be demanding more of our media and politicians. We should be demanding more from ourselves.

It is incumbent upon the American people to defend their home. We must send the message more loudly that rioting is not representative of the country, that injustice will not go unpunished, and that the evil in our midst does not negate the exceptionalism for which we’ve sacrificed historically to achieve.

(Photo: Flickr/Dan Gaken/CC BY-ND 2.0

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Heroes Media Group

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