I always thought that I treated everyone fairly in my daily life with no preference or deference to anyone based solely on skin color. I always loved the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said so eloquently, that he dreamed of a day when people “would be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. But now…I find out that that philosophy is racist and cowardly. And it is proclaimed by the top law enforcement officer in the land, our new Attorney General, Eric Holder.
Apparently, I’m a racist coward because I want to be color blind. This great national offense of racism doesn’t want to die - even though we just elected our first black president. Just when you thought it was okay to climb out of the past, to put racial injustice and animosity behind us…the Attorney General in the national media yesterday drags it back out.
I don’t believe in Black History Month any more than I believe in White History Month. To me, Black History Month is a complete insult to Blacks. We must prop up an entire race of people, give them special awards, honors, and recognitions, underscoring their accomplishments and achievements and contributions to society, based on their color… as if it’s so truly remarkable that they did it in the first place…and are African American to boot? Stop the presses! A black person accomplished something great! As if they couldn’t have done it on their own, without help. As if they are somehow inferior to whites. That they somehow overcame their blackness…and did all these wonderful things despite the obvious disadvantage, encumbrance, disability…of being a person of color.
Am I the only one in America…who finds this the least bit patronizing and insulting…and downright, well, racist?
I also recommend this article in the New York Times by Charles M. Blow, he shares a bit different of a view:
First, white people don’t want to be labeled as prejudiced, so they work hard around blacks not to appear so. A study conducted by researchers at Tufts University and Harvard Business School and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that many whites — including those as young as 10 years old — are so worried about appearing prejudiced that they act colorblind around blacks, avoiding “talking about race, or even acknowledging racial difference,” even when race is germane. Interestingly, blacks thought that whites who did this were more prejudiced than those who didn’t.
Second, that work is exhausting. A 2007 study by researchers at Northwestern and Princeton that was published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science found that interracial interactions leave whites both “cognitively and emotionally” drained because they are trying not to be perceived as prejudiced.
The fear of offending isn’t necessarily cowardice, nor is a failure to acknowledge a bias that you don’t know that you have, but they are impediments. We have to forget about who’s a coward and who’s brave, about who feels offended and who gets blamed. Let’s focus on the facts, and let’s just talk.
If you did not hear Eric Holder's words? Watch here.
This is especially an important topic given that the NAACP is now demanding that the New York Post fire Sean Delonas. It's situations like this cartoon, that clearly was not referencing Obama that create the fear of offending that Blow describes in his article. It's those of us who believe if it was Obama (which it wasn't) there should be no double standard of expectation such as Graham expresses...