Who Defines Racism?

The word is sweeping the country. Politicians and the media are agog with accusations of racism aimed squarely and solely at Euro-Americans.  The chant comes not only from African Americans, the media, and at times Asian Americans, but from a growing number of Euro-American elites.

Is White America so racist that we must double down on multi-culturalism, immigration from developing nations, and weed out three thousand years of White propaganda just to calm the rhetoric?

But what exactly is racism and how come we cannot shake the charge? Clearly, racism as defined by the accusers today is seemingly all about economics.  It’s about Christopher Columbus destroying paradise and Euro-Americans becoming rich from Black slavery and dispossessing indigenous peoples.  It’s about centuries of Euro wealth accumulation leading to better opportunities and White privilege.

I believe none of the accusers would limit themselves to merely defining racism as ‘the denial of equal opportunity.’ Racism goes deeper than that.  It’s an attitude of superiority that disdains the culture and heritage of “people of color.”  It’s an aesthetic intolerance that abhors mixing of the races.

How far can you push the label of racist? As I contemplate downsizing my home I could move to an all-Black neighborhood where homes are cheaper.  Or, I could move to an Indian neighborhood where the taxes are half what I now pay.  Would I be welcome in either place?  Do I want to live among people of color?  Would I move into a Hasidic neighborhood that is all White?  Just expressing these feelings might get me tagged a racist or anti-Semite.

If I prefer that my extended family intermarry with only Italic people or Euro-Americans, am I a racist? Certainly, if I shunned a family member who intermarried I would be considered a racist by many.  It seems no such dilemmas affect the accusing class – they pontificate and judge but never have to explain themselves.  Limousine liberals can join a protest march against segregation and poverty and return home to a lily White neighborhood and send their kids to private academies.

I have made observations in past blogs about African American achievements as well as the paucity of self-examination on their part. Actor Bill Cosby stung his community when he blamed much of its poverty and violence on irresponsible Black men.  Comedian Chris Rock did a documentary on his people’s obsession with straight hair.  Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates reveals in television show he hosts on ancestry that his fellow African Americans have lots of Euro DNA.  In fact, Gates is half-Irish.

If intermarriage is the ultimate cure for White racism, African Americans are in the forefront of the solution. Professor Gates married a Euro woman.  You can find extensive lists of Black celebrities, mostly men, who have an aesthetic preference for White partners: civil rights leaders Frederick Douglass, James Farmer, and Julian Bond all took White women; Harry Belafonte, James Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnny Cochran, Michael Jordan, Richard Pryor, Tiger Woods, James Earl Jones, Bryant Gumbel, Lester Holt, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Sammy Davis Jr, Cuba Gooding, Kanye West, even Famous Amos the cookie king had White at night.  On the female side, Pearl Bailey, Mariah Carey, and Black poet Maya Angelou took Euro men.

Love may be the clincher but attraction is the motivator. There is a racism among African Americans that elevates lighter skin and straighter hair.  Asian women value lighter skin and many use bleaching creams and parasols to block the sun.  We see it ourselves among Italian Americans who are often attracted to fair Irish lasses.  In my family we often hope babies have blue eyes (occhi celesti).  It is no secret that Euro-Caucasians are the only group with a wider range of physical traits.  Not many of us would trade off that “diversity,” so to speak.  Is that racism?

Finally, systemic racism in economic opportunity cannot be explained without understanding how the various immigrant groups made their own opportunities. It is easy enough to see that ‘oriental’ family values and compelling children to study have brought Asian communities wide-ranging success, so much so that they outshine Euro-American students and are challenging Black and Hispanic “privilege” for university admissions.  Is clannish behavior racist?

Racism is not as simple as people make it out to be. -JLM

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