What is Race Anyway?
The recent kerfuffle with Whoopi Goldberg and jaw-dropping comments on the Georgia Senate floor by Senator Nikki Merrit recently have me wondering a bit. What exactly is race, as we ride the “what do words mean anymore” rollercoaster into 2022.
If you ask me, I prefer we live up to the MLK ideal of a colorblind society, or as recently alluded to by Morgan Freeman, endless talking about race is not helpful. But our academics, elites, media, and Leftists want us to constantly talk about it. So let’s talk.
It appears that Whoopi with her Holocaust ignorance thinks race is Black or Other, and that it doesn’t apply within white skin colors. Jewish race? Not so much. But as a Georgian, I am more disappointed that the Senate Democratic caucus excommunicated Clarence Thomas by voting against a bill to honor him with a statue in the state capitol.
The low point in that debate was Senator Merrit, who is Black, saying “Its not that we have a problem that he’s a conservative or that he’s a Republican. We think he’s a hypocrite and a traitor.” Before we deconstruct that, let’s ask a generic question to Senator Merrit and her colleagues – do you want a country where a black man can start in abject poverty and rise to go to Yale and sit on the Supreme Court? You would hope the answer is a resounding yes. Thomas did just that, but is a “traitor” as per the Senator.
Why? The traitor word is revealing. You cannot betray a skin color, or a biologically similar group of people. You betray a “side” that you have chosen. Merrit believes he has betrayed Black people, because race today for the modern Left is a political construct that implicitly includes Leftist belief check boxes. And it is laughable to think that the conservative Republican angle was not a reason.
The Virginia Legislature has a Black Caucus which this year refused admission to a black man, Representative A. C. Cordoza. Why? Because he is a Republican – though the caucus made up other excuses. What exactly is “race” and “Black” again? I imagine that caucus sees Cordoza a traitor as well. Thus I give Senator Merrit some credit for saying out loud that what we thought of as race for centuries no longer applies. Instead, please fill out our 10 part questionnaire and we’ll get back to you.
So the new capitalization style of “Black” is appropriate. It is a new word in practice so let’s change it. Look back at this column. I used the old and new meanings with the different capitalization.
As a white person, I freely admit that I and others have blind spots and big room for improvement on racial issues, and let’s work on them. I support continuing criminal justice reform to ensure we don’t over incarcerate nonviolent poor while sending white collar criminals to probation. I support giving more education options and resources to those who have a failing local school. I support entitlement reform to make sure it is simple and there when needed, but pushes to long term independence. But making what we are trying to address in race a political construct is a big step in the wrong direction.