Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail and fined $25,000 for lying to police about his hate hoax. Smollett, who is black and gay, claimed two men attacked him on the street in the middle of the night, poured a chemical on him, tied a rope around his neck, and shouted “MAGA country” at him. The yarn was never believable from the beginning, and justice has been served.
Hate hoaxes are just one of the absurdities that have arisen from the Left’s phony and poisonous diversity narrative. Another is the new 21st century sin of cultural appropriation. In the latest transgression of new cultural norms, Crazy Rich Asians Star Awkwafina was trounced on Twitter for speaking like black people and stealing their culture. Cultural appropriation is a dangerous game, though. Computers and cell phones were invented by white people, so does that mean only whites can use Twitter and everyone else should get off? That would be absurd, right? But if we’re going to hold everyone to the new rules, the publisher of Dr. Seuss should not be allowed to issue a new series written by nonwhites, because the original author was white. How dare nonwhites appropriate the achievements of white people? White people should not stop at red lights because the traffic light was invented by a black man. See how absurd this is getting?
You can twist yourself into a pretzel with this stuff, as the AMA recently did. The AMA istelling doctors to stop referring to patients as ‘minorities’ – they are now “historically marginalized”. How does that apply to their Asian patients who, on average, have the highest incomes in the country? This is not just an amusing story. Racial centralism in medicine can have life-and-death consequences. A Phoenix man was denied monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID because he marked his race as white on the paperwork. He’s really Hispanic, but saying he’s white caused the hospital to stop the treatment just as the IV entered his arm because, they told him, he wasn’t ‘high-risk’ enough. He got quite ill over the next four days, coughing up blood. But that doesn’t matter to the new modern medicine which labors under the absurdities that risk of illness is determined by skin color and sick people don’t deserve treatment today because we have to compensate for what happened to “historically marginalized” people in the past.
This kind of thinking first came up in affirmative action which, at the beginning, was called “compensatory equal protection”, an absurd oxymoron. Something can be ‘compensatory’ or ‘equal’, but it can’t be both at the same time. To believe such a fantastical proposition is to twist yourself into a pretzel and invite confusion. Besides, it’s really quite a dangerous game when you start treating people differently based on the color of their skin. Didn’t we go through a whole civil rights movement to get rid of that kind of thing? Are you sure that’s the road you want to go down?
Which brings us to the great civil rights struggle of our time. Is it preventing blacks from getting lynched? No. Is it getting the governor out of the schoolhouse door? No. Is it making sure blacks can sit at the lunch counter? No, it’s making sure your students don’t bring Valentine’s Day cards that depict white people to class. The racial centralists among us are getting more vicious and more absurd by the day. The hills they choose to die on are nothing more than molehills, at this point.
There is another way, the road not taken. The road we’re on is a dead end – we’ve gotten everything constructive out of civil rights thinking we possibly can. Civil rights thinking has moved away from simple justice in individual cases of discrimination to special rights for certain groups at the expense of others. The departures started with affirmative action and are now culminating with the haranguing of everyone with 24/7 in-your-face antiracism today. These departures are increasingly poisonous and counterproductive.
It’s time now to take the road not taken, the road to self-reliance and economic self-sufficiency Booker T. Washington mapped out for blacks. As he wrote, it is the road to financial independence and, eventually, political independence for blacks. It is also the road to what I wish most for minorities currently trapped in the Left’s phony diversity narrative and identity politics grievance groups – emotional independence. Obsessing about race is a dead end; it’s a prison of your own making. May you be free and emotionally independent from the race hustlers who have set themselves up as your overseers. And may you also be free of the childish need to look to white people for approval. I’ve seen this many times. Stop ‘Waiting for Whitey.’ You don’t need anybody’s approval to get on with your life. You are free. What I wish most for you is that you feel it to the marrow of your bones.