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Calling a Spade a Racist: How the Bigotry of Low Expectations Damages Minority Groups

By: Ben Jackson - Nov 20, 2017, 2:28 pm
Young Turks figurehead Cenk Uygur to blame Christianity for the holocaust after winning the "Emperor has No Clothes Award" from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
Young Turks figurehead Cenk Uygur  blamed Christianity for the holocaust after winning the “Emperor has No Clothes Award” from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (Flickr)

The derisive landscape of identity politics seeks to follow academia in their dangerous fixation with instilling in people the sense that out systems of law-enforcement, education, and religious history are built on unspoken racism.

The often repeated sentiment  that “the purpose of categorization is exclusion”, promulgated by post-modern icon Jacques Derrida perfectly encapsulates the modern climate of dividing people according to their skin color, sexual orientation, etc…

What’s ironic is that the Derrida-inspired social justice philosophy and attitude is entirely antithetical to the original spirit of civil rights as championed by Martin Luther King and his desire for people to be “judged not by the color of their skin”, which means exactly what it sounds like, and not that historically oppressed groups should change roles and become the oppressors. It is not healthy, nor is it beneficial for any ethnic group to maintain animosity and distrust between races.

A recent New York Times Column called into question whether or not black and while children should make friends with each other without the slightest tinge of irony. The answer is “yes”. They can, they should, and as a nation it behooves us all for them to be friends and let the wounds of history finally heal.

Law enforcement is not inherently racist

Too often the latent racism for past injustices causes over-compensation at the expense of reason and harmony. The latest is a desire to infect minority groups with an unfounded apprehension, and prejudiced antagonism towards every and all institution in the country. The so-called The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are so irrationally averse to the police, for example, that they have found a way to convince themselves that police officer’s shouldn’t wear bodycams because they can “he officers can view the footage before they write incident reports” wilfully ignorant of the fact that no officer can change the content of the footage, and that having video evidence could avoid contentious situations like the ones that have caused so much controversy, and spread so much misinformation.

Standardized tests are not inherently racist

My background is in education. I have taught in expensive private schools, inner city public schools, community colleges targeted at people with low-incomes and high ambitions, and everything in between. My own experience in the field, such as it is, makes me very weary about claims of intentional racism being built into any form of standardized tests. I have personally found the same results and abilities in my students throughout all racial or economic lines. Indeed, the only barriers for academic achievement that I have felt empirically are those of student indifference or self-doubt. If a student is motivated and believes in themselves, they will flourish.

Criticizing a religion is not the same as demeaning a race or ethnicity

My biggest pet peeve is the misconception that it is somehow racially insensitive to speak critically of a person’s religion. I am walking, breathing example of the constitutional, first amendment right to “freely exercise” “religious belief” . I am Russian Orthodox, despite my ethnic background (German and Scandinavian) having nothing at all to do with this belief system historically. Therefore, if a person were to make a racist comment about Russians I would not be personally affected, although I deplore racism in any form. It follows that an intellectual criticism of Orthodox Christian dogma would demand a response, and a justification of my beliefs despite my not being ethnically Russian, or Greek, or indeed of any racial background where Orthodoxy is prevalent.

Nothing frustates me more than deliberate attempts to conflate race with religion. Arabic people living in the United States are of course free to practice Islam, as they are free to choose a different religion, or no religion at all. In the same way, people from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life often elect to convert to Islam as well, which is why the very term “Islamophobia”  irritates me to the core of my being.

It is precisely this misguided, and racist clumping of ethnic groups into assigned religious categories that led Young Turks figurehead Cenk Uygur to  blame Christianity for the holocaust after winning the “Emperor has No Clothes Award” from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This despite the fact that Hitler was not even a Christian,.

Uygur’s own platform, The Young Turks have on many occasions condemned Christianity as being necessarily a “white” thing, despite having it’s origins in the Middle East, and its age-old history in many parts of Africa, as well as being very popular historically in the African American community as well. Buy The Young Turks are never censored for their inflammatory and racist comments, suggesting that Christianity exists necessarily in tandem with white supremacy.

The outspoken journalists and columnists that targeted for censorship are almost universally on the right. There is a pattern of these people being devout believers and practitioners of judeo-Christian religious traditions as Peterson, McInnes and Shapiro all are. I don’t know of any cases of Muslims on twitter or youtube being censored in this way. If you do let me know in the comments section. This is because it is very easy and very safe to target Christiand and religious Jews for their behavior, while any controversy spoken by a Muslim is ignored for fear of the “Islamophobia” label, which is little more than a clever way of calling someone who is not a racist, a racist.

In the case of “reverse racism” I can appreciate that it results primarily as a responsive backlash from historic, systemic mechanisms of oppression against African Americans, i.e. slavery and Jim Crow laws, but the double standard that Islam enjoys can not be justified in this way, nor is it prudent to undermine the effectiveness of our law enforcement and academic institutions out of fear of perceived racism.

 

Ben Jackson Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson is a dual Colombian-American He graduated from Buffalo State College in 2011 with a degree in Foreign Language Education. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. In his free time he enjoys writing poetry and practicing brazilian jiu jitsu.