Racism is a very complex and elaborate thing having developed over hundreds of years. I’d like to thank the people replying to my letters to the editor about Critical Race Theory, or CRT, because they give me an opportunity to comment on different aspects of it without repeating myself.
So far, Jimmy Sloan and Michael Bradley made the argument that white people should fear CRT because it says they’re inherently bad, which is false because it says people aren’t inherently anything. Race is a social construction.
In his July 9 letter to the editor, Bill Merrill introduces two new arguments: Black people should feel insulted by CRT, and he has Black friends.
“CRT is an insult to minorities. It implies that they are not capable of being successful or of reaching their full potential due to so-called oppression and ‘white rage,’ whatever that is,” Merrill wrote.
I’ve been reasonably successful in life. I got a PhD and I’ve worked in computer security since. My own circumstances aren’t representative of Black people at all. Why? Partly because of affirmative action “diversity” funding. I grew up here. I understand that white people don’t like to feel racist. It’s very clear that white people like to have token minorities around, specifically to deny how unrepresentative they are. You get upward social mobility in exchange for being used as a symbol of inclusion. Your existence is used to gaslight others — look at me. I did it. Why are the other Black people so lazy?
CRT explains this exact phenomenon of “racism without racists.” Racism exists to serve white people’s needs, including emotional needs. It was also important for slaves on the auction block to look happy, for slaves to dance and perform for their masters.
Racism is ugly to look at directly, so racists like the help of Black people in pretending it’s not there.
We know that Merrill isn’t serious because he describes my politics as “fascist” when I’m clearly on the ultra-left. Fascism is a right-wing belief system, if words mean anything. He thinks I’m wrong to see racism in “ordinary everyday events.”
Well, what about the nerve of his comment asking if I’d heard of the supposed legions of Black people against CRT? It illustrates, on a casual everyday level the entitlement he feels to define the meaning of blackness. He really has his finger on the pulse of the community and wants to fight for their dignity, more than me? He wants me to be impressed with his kindness to Black subordinates, basically pleading that he’s a kind master.
It’s tedious to think about whether Bill Merrill is a “good person,” but obviously I’d be stupid to run to his house for help if the “real racists” come for me. I don’t care if he finds basic survival instincts personally insulting, but that’s the kind of thing a racist would want to discourage in Black people, isn’t it?