I shouldn’t be surprised given its affiliation with Fox News, but I am. The state of the media has become inverted. The NYT doesn’t like the president because he’s not liberal enough. But my more pressing concern is this: the WSJ is taking up a battle against woke culture. I’m also against woke culture, but I’m not against what it stands for, which is the dignity of Black people and other marginalized communities. Non-woke culture is just another word for white supremacy culture. But woke culture, also, is developing into its own supremacy. I’m not writing about that though, but will be zooming in on the Wall Street Journal’s recent attacks on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Given the broad and business based readership of the Journal, it is alarming to see how much they’ve clamped down on this in the past weeks.
In a recent opinion piece, Bion Bartning writes about how people are dividing by race, starting in elementary school. The article is about how DEI (diversity equity and inclusion) efforts are penetrating private and public schools alike and how the curricula are making some parents uncomfortable. Particularly uncomfortable, I imagine, are conservative white people and conservative people of color who don’t buy into the progressive discussions on race. Some of those people of color, according to research, have genuinely not yet encountered offenses that they filed as racism and therefore really don’t see America as a racist society. I know some of these folks. Others, however, will have encountered racism, and will have experienced dissonance with white society, and then will have doubled down on assimilation as a way of coping. They shouldn’t be ridiculed for this, although liberal BIPOC and white people often do just that.
My biggest fear, though, is white fear, because white fear can be dangerous for people of color. And now conservative white folks are being trained to be afraid of diversity equity and inclusion work. DEI work is essential for justice and equality. Racism has changed.
Yes, I have been on DEI committees and sized up by people of color on the board who assumed that because I was white I was racist. But I have also probably acted in racist fashion accidentally. I still remember one time committing a microaggression against a fellow student when I was first learning about how racism still existed. I repent of this to this day.
Yes, I have learned woke “in” speak so I can use it around people of color I care about, but this is because not to do so is exhausting for them and shows a lack of care for their genuine daily experience of racism.
And yes, finally, I have been called racist and kicked out of an antiracist meeting for defending conservatives (what happened was I said not all conservatives were white supremacists, which seemed apologist for white supremacy).
All of these predictable things have happened to me in liberal settings. It is bound to continue to happen so long as I separate myself from groupthink of both liberal and conservative sides (a recent commenter called my blog liberal propaganda).
But, in spite of my irritation with liberals who don’t respect conservatives or with those who call conservative Black people “Oreos” and who “make everything about race;” in spite of this irritation, I stand in solidarity with the liberals, especially liberals of color. Because conservative and ignorant white people are being coddled by people of color who aren’t taking a stand in the face of racism, but who simultaneously know exactly what white supremacy is, because they have to get through the racist day and survive. Some workplaces are that inhospitable to people of color that they can’t even feel comfortable saying, “please don’t touch my hair without asking,” “please don’t say the same thing I just said in the meeting and take credit for it as if it was your idea,” or, “please don’t assume all Muslims are terrorists.” This kind of behavior happens to all people of color, only some will see it as a microaggression, but as a white person, I see it happening to people of color all the time. Just because we don’t agree with the liberal agenda doesn’t mean all of the sudden there is no structural racism.
I stand in solidarity with Black people who I see looked through on the street, talked down to in the classroom, bristled against by their teachers for sharpening a pencil, babied and infantilized by liberals, and who, when they are killed in the streets, are 1) blamed as the murderers of their own people, 2) blamed as the reason why other races are killed, and – and it’s and and not or – 3) blamed when they are brutalized by the authorities. And crimes against Black people are not treated as seriously as crimes against white people. By a long shot. Especially when committed by the police.
Honestly, not everything is about race. But a lot more is about race than many conservatives, conservatives of all colors, would like to acknowledge.
Another recent article in the Journal, this time by Tanku Varadarajan talked about equity as a problem. LinkedIn got rid of the DiAngelo course. I think the problem really is that people writing conservative views about race don’t see how racism has adapted. They think that by writing their columns they are getting rid of racism itself.
An odd tangent, however, would be to look at how even in the Bible, in the Old Testament, there were race wars and slavery. We could get scientific and say the concept of race hadn’t been invented yet. But there is all this talk of Canaanites, Samaritans, Jews, etc.. People were mistreated based on their language, religion, modes of worship, disability, etc. etc..
Another odd tangent: slavery itself is related to “slavs” who were the first slaves to be called such, and they were white.
In conclusion, I’m alarmed. No one is entering into the liberal world before attacking it from the conservative side. And no conservatives are listening to people of color who are exhausted and need real change, now, before they write their articles talking about how critical race theory is Maoist and communist and therefore how CRT is the problem and not systemic racism. You can be conservative and still acknowledge systemic racism. Look at all the Black men in prison. It’s not a surprise that this started way back when they banned slavery – the only way to have Black people still work for free was to arrest them. Nothing has changed, and it’s still a system. Take your head out of the sand and find a third way. Not antiracism, but also not anti-antiracism. You all are smart people at the Wall Street Journal.