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An Honest Conversation

This post is a follow up to Jason’s posts regarding the Baltimore riots.  In the near future one can expect the media or someone to call for a discussion of race in America.

I welcome an honest discussion of race in America, but the truth is that we as a country are not prepared to have such an honest discussion. Our politically correct culture is to blame for this problem. What is defined as  a discussion or conversation in today’s culture is nothing more than “You will listen to what I am going to say and you are not allowed to speak.” That “discussion” is either a lecture or venting.  A true discussion requires all sides to listen, ask questions, and think about what the other person says.

Consider the example of Christina Hoff Sommers. Ms. Sommers is a conservative and speaks at university campuses discussing the state of feminism.  Recently, Ms. Sommers visited Oberlin College and Georgetown University to discuss the state of modern feminism. The reaction from some of the students was downright embarrassing. For two proud academic institutions that pride themselves in their academic rigor, the  protesting students acted like four year old children throwing tantrums in the middle of a store. Their tantrum came in the form of “place[ing] a ‘trigger warning’ sign outside of the speech, advising that it would ‘contain discussions of sexual assault and may deny the experiences of survivors.’ Another student holding another sign reading, ‘TRIGGER WARNING: anti-feminism’ and advertising the location of a ‘safe space’ for anyone who might feel traumatized by Sommers’s opposing views.” To read more about this, read here.  (H/T: College Fix and National Review’s Quinn Hilyer).

Our politically correct culture not only poisoned our ability to think but it is poisioning our relationships as well. Dr. King spoke of his hope that society will judge people by the content of their character instead of the pigment of their skin. Unfortunately, that position is considered racist. Consider this quote from former Vice President Al Gore, when running for President in 2000,

“I’ve heard the critics of affirmative action. They talk about a colorblind society. Give me a break! Hel-lo? They use their ‘colorblind’ the way duck hunters use their duck blind: They hide behind it and hope the ducks won’t figure out what they’re up to.”

According to the former Vice President, it is far better to define a person on the basis of the pigment of their skin color rather than their character. It is sort of a benevolent version of Jim Crow’s law-instead of discriminating you on the basis of your skin color, we will coddle you on the basis of your skin color. The sad irony to such thinking is that the result is still the same. Such an action reflects a “You are not my equal.” attitude. Those who oppose Mr. Gore and his allies are called “oreos” and “coconuts.” For those who are not familiar with those slangs-it is another way of saying “Uncle Toms” or “you are acting white because you are ashamed of your heritage.”

As an example of such thinking, consider the examples of three US Senators: Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. All three men are conservative Republicans. Sen. Scott is the first African-American Republican elected to the US Senate from South Carolina since Reconstruction. Senators Cruz and Rubio are first-generation Americans, whose parents (or in Cruz’s case, his father) came from Cuba.   Rather than celebrate the diversity, these men are vilified.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP calls Mr. Scott, “a dummy” for his conservatism. See here.   Now being called a dummy is not bad considering the treatment that US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or former US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has received by other African-Americans.

As for the cases of Senators Rubio and Cruz, the issue of being a true Hispanic has been raised. In the case of Senator Cruz, the issue was raised by former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson. See here.  As for Senator Rubio, this question of whether or not he is a true Hispanic, is only the beginning. Consider this quote from Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org. He describe Senator Rubio this way,

“ Marco Rubio merits serious attention because there’s all this talk about his delivering the ‘Latino vote,’ and most Latinos don’t know him. We saw a threat posed by a very articulate, and smart, and good-looking Marco Rubio, who’s being touted as possibly running in the presidential election. It would be an earth-shaking event in Latino politics.” Italics added for emphasis. (The rest of the article can be read here).

A threat to what? A threat to the narrative that minorities need to think and act a certain way?  Where your failure to comply with the narrative will result in vicious name calling and race baiting.  With this kind of mindset why should we have a discussion about race? Better yet, why even bother?

To have a serious discussion on race relations requires some serious contemplation, some humility, and honesty. It requires all sides to assess their viewpoints, listen and understand. It also requires us to go back to the original vision that Dr. King once spoke of-“Judge me on the content of my character, not my skin color.” Until we get to that point, we can then begin to have an honest discussion.

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