In today's print edition of the Rhino Times, editor John Hammer takes my councilwoman, Dr. Goldie Wells, to task because she (ed: allegedly) called him a racist. Hammer reports that Wells, " ... said that I was a racist because I'm white and my parents are white, and my parents taught me to judge people by the color of their skin because my parents are racists."
So that means I must be a racist, too. Right? My parents are white ... just like John's. So logic tells me that Dr. Wells is calling my parents racists... just like John's. But the problem is, my parents are not racists. Just as John says of his parents in his column, mine did not teach me "...to judge people by the color of their skin..." as my councilwoman accuses without having ever having met them. To the contrary, I believe it was my dad who coined the phrase "... but by the content of their character" several years before Dr. King uttered those famous words. Calling my parents racists is offensive. Moreover, it is just an outright baldfaced lie.
How can it be that it is acceptable for a black person to stereotype me and my parents, and all white people with white parents, by labeling us all as racists when no evidence exists to support such a claim? I'll tell you why. Because many otherwise intelligent black people, and many white ones as well, are buying in to a bunch of revisionist horse manure.
In 'Undoing Racism Workshops' around the nation, people are charging good money, and getting it, to tell white people they are all a bunch of closeted racists - and that is, by-God, that. During these workshops, the central theme of their re-education effort goes something like this: "Only people with power can be racists, black people have no power so they can't possibly be racists." Bullcrap. When, exactly, did we allow a word's definition to be redefined by people who charge $250 a head?
I reject Dr. Wells' (and others') fabricated-for-profit premise of what constitutes a racist mainly because it is unjustifiably hurtful to me personally, but also because black people adhering to such a belief cast themselves as the very thing they purport to 'undo'. They become the very definition of a racist because they adopt "...a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others".
Simply put, such people are convinced they are superior to all white people because they don't believe they are even capable of harboring the deep-seated racist tendancies they accuse every white person possessing. That is just so much poppycock (I'm trying to be nice here).
By suggesting they couldn't possibly be racists, black adopters of the 'no power, no racist' philosophy suggest that all black people do not, and cannot, think of themselves as superior to white people. The black race would truly be a superior race if none among them considered themselves 'above' white people. I'm convinced many black folks are just like many white folks in that regard. They are all, undeniably, racists.
So, Dr. Wells, it is fair to say, "Most white folks are racists." That would be at least a defensible statement in my estimation. You can also say, "Few black folks are racists.", because that could also be somewhat true. But you can never say, "All white folks are racists.", any more than you can truthfully say "No black folks are racists." Both statements are patently false.
Just because you heard some "Undoing Racism" facilitator espouse such rabble and pass it off as fact does not, in any way, make it so.
Think with your heart on this one Goldie, not with someone else's mind.
Update 2/5: Cobb aka Michael Bowen weighs in on his own blog... "
"...People without a logical bone in their body have been trying to wordsmith themselves into a fairy-ring of colorblind nirvana for generations in this country. Dollars to donuts Harriett Beecher Stowe didn't get it right herself... "
"So, here's the quick answer for people who get confused over the matter of power and racism. Racism is a moral error. So long as a person is in moral error it doesn't matter what they do. It matters what they think. Most Americans are powerless anyway. What matters is their intent. Free your mind and your ass will follow."