Are We Slowly Tiring of Trying to be Antiracist?
Shôn Ellerton, May 18, 2021
The year of 2020 proved to be the testing ground of a re-insurgence of critical race theory. Is the fight still as strong in 2021 or have we become tired of it all.
Picture above of Tim Scott’s eloquent and beautiful speech during April 2021.
Before we start, let me define antiracism in the logical and traditional sense. Wikipedia cites it as
‘the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance’.
Personally, I do not find much in the way of fault of this definition and, moreover, I agree with it. I do not like racism. I have seen it in practice, and I have seen people be hurt by it. However, one must be careful with the term ‘antiracist’, especially through the teachings of critical race theory.
At time of writing, trending in the realm of critical race theory is Ibram X Kendi, the author of How To Be An Antiracist. His definition of ‘antiracism’ is somewhat different and many of those who are not converse with critical race theory are caught out with this one. Taken from his book, he quotes
“To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right — inferior or superior — with any of the racial groups. Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races. To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body. Behavior is something humans do, not races do.”
Confused? You are not the only one.
Roll back a year from now, say, around May 2020 or so. Black squares were posted in solidarity with Black Lives Matters. A variety of pastimes, pursuits and other activities were deemed racist by those who made every little effort to find any trace of racism however ridiculous it may be, for example, the playing of chess—because white goes first—and, for the life of me, I have no idea, camping. One of the most egregious examples of ‘finding racism’ are from those purporting the idea that good grammar, timeliness and logic—I kid you not—are traits of ‘whiteness’; which, in itself, is quite possibly one of the most insulting [to people of colour] notions I came across. Such a notion would not look out of place if presented by the dangerously racist Ku Klux Klan! Then there were the films and television shows which were pulled off air like Gone With The Wind, the many books which major publishers refused to, well, publish, including renowned children’s books like, more recently, If I Ran a Zoo and McElligot’s Pool by Dr Seuss, both of which make up some of the finest Dr Seuss every created. And let us not forget the local establishments like restaurants and shops having to promote BLM and other likeminded political establishments for fear from reprisal. All this, for want of a better phrase, is totally and utterly bonkers and extremely racist.
There is certainly a lot of money to be made out racism, that is most assuredly true. Critical race theory specialists following the likes of Robin Di Angelo and Ibram X Kendi delivering their strange and convoluted ‘diversity’ training courses fetching in the region of five figures per lecture. Antiracist books selling by the millions many of which are targeted to young children. Do not get confused with not being racist with being antiracist; there is a significance difference. Major companies doing expensive rebrands to be one-hundred percent certain that not one iota of racism exists in their product lines. Major sporting leagues changing their names like the former Washington Redskins who took out the Redskins part of the name to become an exceptionally boring Washingtons Football Team with a very plain and dismally boring logo. The bizarre thing is this. The Indian chieftain represents power and bravery, symbols I would expect that would promote the indigenous community. However, the twisted wokiness narrative only resulted in making the indigenous community less visible to society. Now strangely enough, the Minnesota Vikings football team still have their very white Nordic Viking logo which, arguably, could be said to be racist from the viewpoint that the strong charismatic figure portrayed is of white origin.
As for Dr Seuss, the two books I cited above, If I Ran a Zoo and McElligot’s Pool are perhaps the best of his works in terms of language and illustration, and both very funny in parts. These two books are also, in my opinion, Seuss’s most fantasy-oriented; a new menagerie of very strange and queer (in his own words) creatures and an underground river filled with weird sea-life connecting an innocuous little pool in a farm. The Dr Seuss family pulled out their own books and, in doing so, made news of their self-imposed ban and, subsequently, their sales of Dr Seuss has never been better. What a brilliant strategy! Create a series of children’s books. Deem some of them racist and then pull them out of the market. And this is the crazy thing. One would have to struggle quite hard to see much in the way of racism in these two books, unless it is considered racist to call an Eskimo an Eskimo. Or is it?
Come mid 2021 and there is an increasing backlash against this hypersensitivity to racism through the lens of critical race theory. Relatively few of us really understand what antiracism is and its connection to critical legal studies, and more specifically, its offshoot, critical race theory. For example, I have had friends and colleagues posting material on social media last year espousing the virtues of BLM and victimisation of minorities but only if they are disadvantaged in the system. East Asians, despite being a minority, are often excluded by virtue of many of them doing better than the white population in general in terms of academia and financial success. This year? Hardly a post from any of them except for the occasional one mainly concerning ultra-feminism. There is a growing populace who are becoming wise to the fact that those who are promoting critical race theory and antiracism are doing rather well for themselves raking in large amounts of cash and snapping up property like Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of BLM who got slammed for purchasing a $1.5m home in a predominantly white neighbourhood.
BLM is not well-known for its financial transparency either. According to a February 2021 article in the Los Angeles Times, BLM are trying to be more open about its finances; however, they are still unwilling to divulge who their primary donors are; whereas anyone can easily get a detailed financial breakdown from well-known charities like the Rotary Club, Lions Club and the Freemasons. It all seems rather murky indeed when detailed financial reports are obfuscated from the general public. It is a perfect breeding area for corruption, underhandedness and bribery.
Many of the ‘old guard’ of the BLM movement have abandoned it on grounds of having veered away from the path of the original cause it was meant to represent. Such a person is Brittany King, an ex-BLM leader, who has started her own YouTube channel, AmericanShade. Her content is refreshing insofar that she interviews those on both sides of the divide, for example those who are pro and anti CRT (critical race theory). Such an interesting video took place between seven interviewees who have a chance to state why they are pro or anti CRT. The video link is here.
A growing number in the black community are becoming increasingly outspoken how BLM has done nothing to improve their lives and, in response, proponents of BLM have made every possible move to belittle these very same people claiming that they are ‘whites in disguise’. Back in April 2021, Tim Scott, an African American Republican Senator (pictured in header), delivered a beautiful fifteen-minute speech which, no doubt, angered the progressives and far-left-leaning Democrats much like prodding a pointed stick into a nest of ants. Politics aside, the section of his speech pertaining to racism was beauty incarnate. However, Tim Scott’s speech went down like a bombshell to the antiracist brigade. Ibram X Kendi’s Twitter feed, recently a continuous marketing promotion campaign to push his ethically-challenged Stamped (for Kids), contained a tweet in response to Tim Scott’s tweet that ‘America is not a racist country’, responding ‘The heartbeat of racism is denial. We can hear the heartbeat clearly.’ Clearly, Kendi and others who uphold the tenets of critical race theory and antiracism don’t really know how to handle such an eloquent and common-sense message, particularly that done by a black, conservative man and this is all too apparent when judging by the comments following his tweet. Once-avid supporters of Kendi, many of which have genuine interests at heart with respect to real racism have seen Kendi for who he is, abandoning him on grounds of his own self-interest and moral divisiveness.
I believe one of the most dangerous aspects of antiracism as embodied in the ethos of critical race theory is that it promotes racism and supremacy. The definition of antiracism in terms of CRT basically states that one must see racism and to acknowledge that it exists. Moreover, one cannot be void of racism, particularly that of white folk. It is almost a religion in its own right, the embodiment of an original sin, the sin of being born and raised up as a racist. The parallels with the religious doctrine of the Catholic Church and its inquisitors of days gone by are frighteningly close. In the mainstream news, we are constantly reminded of a rising in white supremacy extremist groups, which, arguably could be true. If one of the doctrines of critical race theory as taught by Di Angelo and Kendi state that ‘whiteness’ is bad—or at least inferred—it is no small wonder that supremacy groups are on the rise. If you are told that you are born ‘bad’, what would you do? Just accept it? In short, we are creating ever more divisions between mankind based not only on race, but on sex and gender, much like how we have already become divided over religion. Proponents of critical race theory, paradoxically, requires these supremacy groups to survive. Why? Take Mark Bray’s quite interesting book, Antifa: The Anti-fascist’s Handbook. Bray explores the contradiction that, in order for the anti-fascists to survive, they require the opposing fascists to maintain the momentum of keeping a stronghold of anti-fascists to fight fascism if it raises its ugly head.
I have expectations that the antiracism craze as couched in its roots of critical race theory will wither away during the next few years. There are already signs of its doing so, with proponents of the movement such as Robin di Angelo and Ibram Kendi being exposed for the shams that they are in place of re-igniting the grand and noble causes perpetuated by great leaders such as Martin Luther King who believe in equality and that no one should be judged on their race, colour or creed. There is also substantial evidence of backlash—as portrayed from countless videos on YouTube—of angry parents, students and workers who are pushing back against the divisive nature of antiracism. And in response, authors of antiracism are fighting tooth-and-nail to push their highly profitable publications, many of whom are targeting young children in the hope to keep the tenets of critical race theory alive.
I often wonder to myself. What would happen if we all suddenly woke up one morning and we all turned to the same colour?
(Note: This is already happening to some extent through the positive effects of miscegenation in multicultural societies over many generations. Those who are against miscegenation are often deemed as being supremacists.)
We would simply focus on another ism other than that based on colour.