Why have today's most celebrated intellectuals ignored the historical record to recast it as a reactionary idea? Coleman Hughes explains.
I will point you to the judgement in KIYOSHI HIRABAYASHI v. UNITED STATES (1943)
'Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality. For that reason, legislative classification or discrimination based on race alone has often been held to be a denial of equal protection. ' It has been cited in a number of civil rights cases.
Also I happen to like the formulation from Natalie Wales Latham Payne's Common Cause (1947) basic principles -- While people possess differing gifts and talents, they should be equal under the law and in the moral order.
Common Cause was a short lived moderate anti-Communism movement endorsed by Dorothy Thompson, and Albert Schlesinger Jr among others. Its principles still resonate today imho.
“Once considered a progressive attitude, color-blindness is now seen as backwards—a cheap surrender in the face of racism, at best; or a cover for deeply held racist beliefs, at worst.”
By far the most obnoxious part of the “color-blindness” discussion is when leftists, quite dishonestly, pretend the concept is illegitimate because you aren’t aCkShUalLy color blind.
Obviously, unless you are a leftist trying to manipulate and confuse people in order to gain a position of dominance, it just means you do, in fact, see color but your job is to not care about it.
I’m sure there’s some evolutionary mechanism, which is probably greatly dissipated at this point, where everyone is naturally drawn to people who somewhat look like them because there were tribes competing for resources or whatever and you could more safely approach people from your particular tribal region.
But we never get to that part of the discussion because we get bogged down by leftists lobbing grenades at you about how you aren’t *literally* color blind so now you’re being a liar and trying to hide your racism.
The point is that it’s really easy to not care about skin color so everyone should just focus on that and get back to work and stop trying to parlay this insignificant factor into another chance to try communism.
Democrats continue to be the worst.
If race scammers didn’t keep moving the goalposts they lose their income stream. Have to get a real job.
The first page of White Fragility said "whiteness doesn't exist, but denying its existence makes it more powerful" and that's when I put the book down and said "I can't."
As I explained it to a far-left man in my dance community, "unequal outcomes" do not prove racism. To believe such is a complete redefinition of the word, creating moral equivalence between genuine racist hatred and the inevitable "disproportionate outcomes" of every human society in history.
I explained it to him by preempting every argument I knew he would make, with such accuracy that he was stunned into silence. That's important because I'm tired of leftists telling me I just don't understand.
Leftists redefined racism, labelled everyone outside their ideology as a racist, and then glorified and instituted real systemic racism in the form of unequal laws and hiring practices. My company has explicitly said in all-staff meetings that they want to hire darker skin over lighter skin.
Societal and economic design built around "equitable" and "proportionate" outcomes are a racist human rights abuse.
They think I'm racist for not joining their cause, and I believe their cause is explicitly and willfully racist. It is an impasse and will remain such until people understand that Marxist "racial equity" is both stupid and unethical.
Around here, we instituted a blind musician audition policy, with the goal of reducing sexism, and to our delight several women made the cut! But before we could settle down to a celebration and back-patting fest, we interviewed the successful women and asked them what they thought of the process. They were delighted. But one said (paraphrased) 'You know, playing behind a curtain really helps me with my nerves. Playing in front of an audience in a large auditorium is very intimidating to me, and I do not perform at my best. But behind a curtain like that -- it's just like playing in my audition room.'
And then you sigh, and think 'what do we do now?' because, of course, we want to hire the musicians who will play best in front of an audience. These things are hard.
As famed segregationist Joe Biden once said, colorblind kids are just as smart as white kids.
Hiring/admitting someone because of a certain skin color means you’re not hiring/admitting someone because they don’t have that particular skin color. That is racism.
Good essay, thanks.
I read a LinkedIn post yesterday about a woman starting a program to encourage young black girls to train as pilots. It got lots of Likes, predictably - but just imagine her saying she'd started a program to encourage young white girls to do (insert any occupation). How long would her career last ? You can be racist, but only in one direction.
Excellent article with some fresh, new points on a weary topic. One observation: Follow the money. Kendi and his ilk, the extreme example and worst of which is the BLM movement, has made a profitable industry of twisting the sincere desire of “color blindness”. The more they can fan the flames of division the more money they can make. The Racism Industry is is loud and has DC and woke media cowering.
Articles like this call out the confusion.......and the hypocrites.
Thank you, Coleman Hughes, for your articulate defense of common sense! I'm particularly fond of this paragraph, which in so many ways goes to the heart of the matter:
“Color-blind” is an expression like “warm-hearted”: it uses a physical metaphor to encapsulate an abstract idea. To describe a person as warm-hearted is not to say something about the temperature of that person’s heart, but about the kindness of his or her spirit. Similarly, to advocate for color-blindness is not to pretend you don’t notice color. It is to endorse a principle: we should strive to treat people without regard to race, in our public policy and our private lives.
“Nothing is more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.”—Thomas Jefferson
This almost could be taken as comedy. Parody. Something from the old National Lampoon. If you treat everyone equally, you're a "racist." So colossally idiotic, it takes one's breath away.
But isn't that the way of the modern progressive? Up is down, right is left....
Even funnier is that UC Santa Barbara wastes time and money on an entire department devoted to "Black Studies."
What an idiocracy we have become.
There is a problem: African Americans, in particular, score significantly lower on standardized tests than Asian, Jewish and White Americans. This puts African Americans at a disadvantage getting into the best colleges that in turn will allow them opportunities to serve real leadership roles in American society. The problem has nothing to do with race blindness but actively repairing American Education to rectify the shoddy education Black Americans now receive. Poor kids in poor school districts receive sub-par education. Local funding of public schools dooms the poor, particularly Black Americans, to generation after generation of lousy education. The attempt to give Black Americans an advantage by ignoring ability is the ultimate Potemkin repair job, a false facade to cover America's real failure at equal education. We need to invest much much more in Public Education and that investment should be based on fair distribution, meaning the most of it goes to the most disadvantaged. No prizes for taking the test, the prize goes for acing it. Do you want a surgeon who knows surgery or one who was simply given the surgeon's credentials?
John Marshall Harlan ?
I recently read that the origin of the term politically correct originates in Russia where someone objected to an argument with the comment it was not factually correct. The arguer responded that the argument may not be factually correct, but it was politically correct. The same so clearly applies to these 'color blind are racism in disguise' arguments. Thank you for putting the argument so cogently, and of course- factually correct !
When it’s politically important to build sympathy for gay civil unions, the right to visit your partner in the hospital becomes the most important right in the world and countless stories and Hollywood movies are made about it… but a bit later, when it’s politically important to support lockdowns, of course nobody is allowed to visit their dying spouse in the hospital no matter what and to object is to be virulently anti-science….
When it’s politically important to believe all women, all women are believed, but a little bit later when it’s not, women are suddenly pathological liars…
When it’s politically important to be a hardcore pacifist, nothing on earth is worse than the horrors of war, but a little later when hitler betrays Stalin and new communist party talking points go out, it’s time to kill as many Nazis in the name of justice as possible…
I could go on, and on….
The above essay, like all good faith engagement with countless shameless left wing ideological reversals, is pointless. They’re not arguing in good faith, they are saying whatever they need to say to achieve todays goal and will argue the opposite just as vehemently tomorrow if needed. but thank you anyway for writing : )