“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
— Martin Luther King Jr., 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial
Now, fifty-eight years later, Black Lives Matter and the politically correct wokerati scorn and condemn the land King dreamed of. We’re told that if we judge people by their character, we’re racist.
Character, we’re told, is a dog whistle for white supremacy. Hard work, rule-following, merit, law-abiding, test scores, marriage, family, honesty, generosity, loyalty, decency and objective measurements of productivity are simply white tools to subordinate minorities.
The left argues that people who value these traits do better in the game of life – and they do – and that those people tend not to be the left’s favored flavors of skin colors. Therefore, these traits are bad and must be de-legitimized.
The de-legitimizing process begins with branding. Traits for success are branded “white privilege.” Forget that it is not just whites who value these traits. The phrase “white privilege” has a nice ring to it.
Then they attack the traits themselves. A key trait under attack is the notion of merit. In colleges, the left bans objective measures of academic achievement. In college admissions, for example, the SAT gets canceled because too few of the right kind of minorities do well on it.
Colleges that continue to use the SAT have different cutoffs for different races. At Harvard, the average SAT scores of accepted blacks is 300 points lower than average scores of accepted whites and 450 points lower than accepted Asians. Even high schools are phasing out testing, or specifically discriminating against whites and Asians.
Most thought this foolishness would be limited to academia, because it doesn’t work in the real world. A business that refuses to reward employees for merit tends to see less merit. A business that sees less merit in its employees sees less profits.
But now the madness has metastasized. Everywhere, “merit” is increasingly seen as a codeword for “white.”
But if merit is canceled, what replaces it in deciding how to allocate society’s rewards? Race, that’s what.
Along with students, workers are now judged explicitly on the color of their skin. Blacks are greatly favored, Native Americans and Hispanics are favored some, whites are disfavored a little and Asians are disfavored a lot.
The proponents of this racial discrimination insist, ironically and hypocritically, that everyone engage in it and tout it – and all from colleges to corporations do – while simultaneously denying that it actually happens and canceling anyone who objects to it or even points it out. This canceling is done by labeling them “racist.”
Take Elizabeth Warren and Harvard. She bragged that she was Native American. At the time Harvard hired her, their written policy was to discriminate in favor of Native Americans. After hiring her, they boasted of her Native American status.
But when she was accused of trading on her racial status (a fake one, as it turned out) she and Harvard indignantly denied that Harvard had discriminated in her favor. In short, they claim now that Harvard violated their own pro-discrimination policy, and that anyone who contends otherwise is racist.
Institutions and corporations routinely play this game. They boast of their pro-discrimination policy. But they deny that any individual is ever the beneficiary of it – and how dare you suggest otherwise!
They don’t use the word “pro-discrimination” of course. They instead play word games. They used to call it “affirmative action” and then “diversity.” Each new term gets abandoned when it inevitably becomes associated with pro-discrimination.
Now they call it “equity” while carefully distinguishing between equity, which is good, and equality, which is bad because it doesn’t produce equity.
The moral justification for this ongoing exercise in quotas-by-euphemisms involves yet another word game. It’s something called “systemic racism.” That’s the kind of racism for which there’s no evidence other than disparate success rates among the races. You can’t see systemic racism in action; you can only see its results.
And so racial discrimination is necessary, say the proponents. Failing to engage in racial discrimination would allow disparate racial outcomes which would be evidence of racial discrimination.
Of course, racial discrimination in the name of equity is a one-way street. The fact that 74% of NBA players are black, while blacks comprise only 13% of the general population, is not seen as evidence of racial discrimination against whites. The fact that 50% of our presidents and vice presidents over the last half-generation were black is not seen as racial discrimination against whites.
Reverend King had a different word for these traits associated with success in life that the left calls “white privilege.” King called those traits “character.” He dreamed of a place where we judge people not by the color of their skin but by the “content of their character.”
But Martin Luther King Jr. is now just a popular street name and a three-day weekend. The great man’s dream of a colorblind society is now considered racist, and those who espouse it are being canceled. He, too, will soon be canceled.
The end result of the left’s racial discrimination, dishonest word games and war on merit will be less equity, not more. Along with less equality, less truth, less character, less merit, less progress and less civilization. Maybe that’s their goal.
Well captured, Glenn — but how halt this descent into the darkness?
How, indeed? We re-elected Trump — the man with his finger in the dike — and then we watched the powers and potentates of this world (“the children of darkness,” Archbishop Vigano calls them) cancel that election. And now we’re watching the waters pour in like migrants over the southern border —untested for disease, for literacy, for merit, for character, for good intent — and already the lowlands of our civilization are flooded. Only compliance or martyrdom awaits us.
Loved the metaphorical imagery.
Very well put, Glenn!!! Thanks for this thoughtful, analytical discussion of one of the most important problems in the US today, the decadence, the contrivances, the distortion, the hypocrisy, of the so-called “intelligentisia,” of the academics regarding the phony racial problem.
We will, WILL, win!!! Do not doubt.
Glenn. Indeed, that is their goal. A racially polarized society, with demographic groups vying for relative advantage via competing victimhood, is their goal. The 21st century Democratic party is sick, malevolent & destructive of our country, culture & society.
Perfectly right on. Try this one on Twitter. I was permanently suspended from Twitter for far less on the fateful weekend that 70,000 of my closest friends were likewise abruptly cancelled…..a badge of honor I would say.
Spot-on again, GB. My church (yes, church) just shared a list of black-owned businesses in our community. My response was to quote Dr. King as you have above. The left can’t see, won’t see, or just doesn’t care that the insanity they’re trading in will drive further wedges between Americans.
I remember as a young girl when the first black woman won the Miss America contest. She was beautiful, certainly, but by any standard she wasn’t the most beautiful, most talented, best woman to represent America. Even at my tender age, my friends and I were of the belief that she won because she was black. At the same time came the new Miss Black America contest, white women not allowed. There always seems to be a first step in the cancel culture that is used to shut people up, as GB describes. Then humans take it from there and become the next little dictator, telling everyone else what to think and act. Thanks, as always, for the insight and for articulating what many others are thinking.
Allegedly, the Russian’s and Chinese are, also, pushing this racial divide as part of their internet efforts.
I am thinking the American people will defeat this internal and external divide and will triumph.
Reason will triumph.
But then, I am a pragmatic optimist.
Reason? Not much of that around, is there? Only sophistry, which is cunning, devious, self-serving, serpentine — the stock-in-trade of The Lord of the Flies, The Father of Lies.
If, of course, you are referring to the abstraction variously understood by Aristotle, Aquinas, and Locke, then, yes, Reason will prevail, and in saying so you are not “pragmatic” so much as “idealistic” — much to your credit.
Right on Glenn. As I have said before, Scientists say the universe is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. They forgot to mention morons. -unknown
Comparing leftists to morons is a libel against morons.
MLK peacefully marched so blacks would be treated equally under our laws.
BLM violently riots demanding that blacks be exempt from our laws.
Black Lives Matter is a racist movement that is. led by self- avowed communists. It uses black lives as a means to its dastardly end. Even if its intentions were genuine it would have lost the moral high ground by leaving the rest of humanity out of the equation. This is the danger of associating yourself with a tribe. I’m an individual who judges other individuals on their actions. No one will convince me to do otherwise.
Eventually they will get around to it, I think faith in Malcolm X is deteriorating.
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