Hard-hitting thoughts on Race in America

Western societies could have learned that the lesson to be learned from racist crimes is that every human life is endowed with holiness. Instead, the West chose to believe in the sameness of all races.

Rafael Castro

OpEds Jewish supporters of Black Lives Matter movement in New York
Jewish supporters of Black Lives Matter movement in New York
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The recent surfacing of pictures where Justin Trudeau wears blackface was a missed opportunity to confront racism. It could have convinced us that even decent people occasionally make racial pranks. Instead, social justice warriors rushed to remind public opinion that even the most progressive whites are guilty of racism.

Slavery, the Holocaust and the abuses of colonialism show that racism is indeed very dangerous. However, our understanding of this phenomenon could have taken a different turn. Western societies could have learned that the lesson of these crimes is that every human life is endowed with holiness. Instead, the West chose to believe in the sameness of all races.

This happened for a few reasons. One reason was that embracing the sanctity of every human life jars with the left’s promotion of abortion and euthanasia rights. The second reason is that in multiracial societies it is easier to deny differences among ethnic groups than to confront them. The third reason is that for many social justice warriors the struggle against racism is not an end in itself.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, leftists were deprived of recourse to a socialist utopia. However, their hatred of free-markets remained unscathed. Their challenge was to find a new approach to discredit capitalism. Racism provided these post-Marxists with the dynamite they needed. If all races are equal and if despite decades of affirmative action some groups underperform socioeconomically, the reason for this, they claim, is that American capitalism is structurally racist.

It is remarkable to see how many educated people accept the premise of this argument – namely that the American economic model is responsible for the socioeconomic underperformance of some communities. Political correctness has stifled a healthy debate that would demolish this argument. In a reasonable world, it
America needs to reopen an honest and constructive discussion about race and culture, just like the one tabled here.
would suffice to point out that people of all races move in droves to America and that there is no race whose standard of living in America is not the highest in the world.

Liberal pundits retort that relative deprivation matters just as much as absolute poverty. If whites and Asians are on average wealthier than other races, this must be due to structural discrimination. The fact that dark-skinned Hindus and Armenians are among the wealthiest communities in the country does not faze them. It is African-Americans and Latinos they claim, who are perennial victims of racism.

These pundits are dangerous demagogues. By claiming that the American way of life is rigged against blacks and Hispanics they rob youths within these communities of two assets that are precious to succeed in a free society: ambition and self-confidence.

This does not mean that positive thinking alone can overcome the disadvantages members of these communities face. However ambition and self-confidence are essential for external assistance to succeed: Reparations will not fix inner-cities unless their residents acquire marketable job-skills; college scholarships will deliver frustrating results unless its recipients take full advantage of the educational opportunities high-schools provide; better funding for public-schools will not suffice to improve scholastic achievement if students lack suitable role-models and come from broken homes.

In other words, even if Americans agreed that the socioeconomic problems minorities face are entirely due to the trauma of slavery, segregation and racism, monetary assistance would not solve problems without a change of heart and mind within these communities. That is the reason America needs to reopen an honest and constructive discussion about race and culture, just like the one tabled here.

America is a great country. It will be even greater when all minorities in the country recognize the merits of the American way of life, just like America has learned to recognize the merits of all minorities. This is one of the greatest challenges facing America in the New Year.

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