Tom, I appreciate the feedback. I respectfully disagree but you have a point. I’ve wondered the same things before. Why do some people make everything about race? Aren’t we better off without all the identity politics?
I don’t really have much to counter with — my beliefs are pretty clearly stated. What I will say is that I do have a lot of conservative friends as well as Marxist ones. What we are discussing is theory, theory that has evolved a lot in my mind during my lifetime. Once you’re actually looking people in the eye and face to face, it’s easy to see why one of my friends who voted for Trump could feel frustrated by PC impositions that make everything about race, and how another friend could see something else the complete opposite way, who feels that life would be much easier to navigate as a white person.
Here’s an anecdote: my brother once got into a situation where he was surrounded by law enforcement and had to go to the hospital. The cops took care of him and transported him to the hospital. I’ll keep the details ambiguous for his privacy, but my brother, who thinks the left has gone way too far and often says a lot of not very politically correct things, was asked what would have happened in that situation if he were black. He thought about it for a second, and then responded “I would have gotten arrested in a second.”
The most change most of us are going to do is in ordinary life, whether it’s with the people we spend most of our time with or our jobs. The most change I can affect is in my own classroom on most days. In a non-election year, I definitely don’t discuss politics as much, but with respect to race, I’ve been called a lot worse than an anti-white racist. It surprised me, but it didn’t bother me. I find that the blind spots are as much prevalent on the left as the right. A lot of liberals believe themselves to be absolved of racism because they are liberals, which I find outrageous. That belief has manifested itself in an attempt to “other”, shame, and castigate the right for prejudices that most liberals, including myself, hold within.
I don’t like the lack of maturity of a lot of liberals in this discourse as much as I don’t like Trump. At some level it’s this moral high ground everyone is trying to occupy, that no one can really hold. The backlash from people who claim anti-white racism, then, is probably a symptom of the excesses of left and feeling like their expression is under threat. Even if I don’t agree with them, I can certainly understand it.
Anyways, I think you would be interested in watching “Show Me A Hero,” on HBO. There’s one character named Mary Dorman who stands against desegregation efforts and an effort to build low-income housing units in a middle class white neighborhood in Yonkers, New York. She is selected to join a group that tries to integrate them into this neighborhood and starts to befriend a lot of the new residents, and seeing firsthand a lot of the hardships they had to live through in terms of prejudice: dogs peeing on their lawns, neighbors staring at them excessively, and police not responding to their complaints as much. Mary starts to use her connections in the neighborhood to make these new residents treated more fairly.
Anyways, if we really want to live in a post-racial America, it will require back and forth and a lot of effort from people living together to truly be successful. That happens in local communities and not as much in a conversation on Medium. I just think awareness is the first step for all of us.