21 Comments
founding

Ben Kawaller is one of the reasons I read TFP. And now that Nellie is on hiatus from TGIF, he has moved to the top of the list.

Expand full comment

Grandma always said "if you look hard enough you will find it" She meant by focusing on the negative, you will eventually find negativity. Same with racism. Our hyper focus on race leads to framing every negative outcome as racist. And that leads us down a rabbit hole which feels cathartic but actually is just wallowing in misery and accomplishes nothing.

Expand full comment

I don't see overt racism, but there is definitely still racism. For example, I had dinner with a friend of mine after work. She's a well-dressed black professional. After dinner, she tried to hail a cab. None would stop for her, but did stop for others nearby. I put my hand out and a cab stopped immediately.

Until recently, NextDoor, the platform for keeping people informed of what's going on in their neighborhoods, would be flooded with posts of a "suspicious" person walking down the street ("suspicious" meaning "black"). A professor I know, a black man, was biking in Miami after a conference to unwind and was stopped by the police THREE separate times and asked what he was doing. I walk and bike all hours of the day and night, often alone, and the police have NEVER stopped me.

Things are certainly better than they were but racism is still there to some extent.

Expand full comment

These are common examples of "racism," but I wouldn't call it that. It's stereotyping, and there are stereotypes "for a reason." One huge issue is tipping. When I worked in a restaurant, if the host didn't like you, it was all black tables tipping $1.00 or nothing where the tip should have been $7.00. Cabs might pass because of the bad tipping reputation, and because (as my sister's father-in-law, a former cab driver and prison warden) would say, it's also high risk. One time, when the passengers who were in the process of robbing him recognized him as the 'nice' warden, they ceased denuding him of all he'd earned that night. Sorry to say, if you belong to a demographic responsible for a high percentage of crime, you are going to be profiled. On a smaller scale, as a young traveler wearing a keffiyeh (I can't believe this, but yes, I wore a keffiyeh -- on El Al no less) I would get searched entering every country in Europe. They'd empty everything from my backpack, making snide remarks the entire time.

Expand full comment

Ben has to leave his liberal bubble to find out about Americans. We who actually live here already know there is nothing exotic or special going on in the places he visits. Ben is just seeing people as they live rather than as liberal clichés.

Expand full comment

America isn't racist. No amount of leftist race pimping will make it so. Now I'm of the opinion that we have a problem race and the illegitimate regime likes the polemics it fosters.

Expand full comment

OK, can we please stop doing these asinine vox-pops premised on inane questions? They only elicit inane answers.

This Kawaller guy might as well be wandering around America asking everyone what their favourite colour is. None of this is going to solve the nation's "racial divide", but it's sure diminishing the stature of the Free Press. Kawaller's painful show-ponying is the least grown-up corner of an otherwise level-headed publication.

Expand full comment

You forgot to add they elicit inane comments like yours as well. To which I will add, you should always feel free to make them. You do you.

Expand full comment

Sometimes we don't have to solve anything. Sometimes it just nice to view something that indicates there is a little less antipathy in the world than all the clickbait out there would have you believe. Most of the time I just wish we could be nicer to each other.

Expand full comment

I love Ben's takes. I always chuckle and it is reassuring that most of America is not as crazy as the mainstream press and politicians would have us believe. Keep it coming. Thanks

Expand full comment

Ben Kawaller dances like Donald Trump.

Expand full comment

These people are awesome. I would love to hang out with them

Expand full comment
May 15·edited May 15

Even if some individuals are racist, the solution is not for every single individual to examine their own behavior. The solution to alleged systemic inequality is to change the system. That can only be done collectively. Even if every single person woke up tomorrow and was not racist, the alleged flaws in the system would remain. That’s my issue with this whole ideology, it’s an individual solution to a collective problem.

Expand full comment

Shouldn't the "solution to alleged systemic inequality" be to figure out if it's more than alleged rather than just change the system?

One frequently cited "proofs" of bias against black people is incarceration rates. The theory goes that, since more black people per capita are incarcerated, that is proof there is systemic inequality. The easiest and very effective counter to it is to point out that men are incarcerated far more than women, so is that proof of systemic inequality against men? Of course not, it's simply proof that men commit more crimes than women. The same applies to incarceration rates for black people.

Thomas Sowell has done some fantastic work on this. I wish he was required reading.

Expand full comment

Of course. I was just assuming, for the sake of argument, that the problem was systemic inequality, as alleged. If that is the problem you are trying to fix, an individual solution is not the answer.

Expand full comment

The guy that said the problem is the racial divide and that we should all just be people hit the nail on the fucking head. Just be people, people. It's not hard.

Expand full comment

There is no money in that.

Expand full comment

" I am becoming increasingly supportive of whatever "trans" ideology that essentially pushes that group of Americans out of existence."

Dude. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

Expand full comment

It’s what the Men’s Rights Activist Democrats want.

Expand full comment

The OP i was replying to does send off MRA vibes

Expand full comment

I think racism would have largely died as a significant factor in American life had it not been for white, suburban, Democrat voting women who just needed something else to yell about... (like Robin DiAngelo). I am becoming increasingly supportive of whatever "trans" ideology that essentially pushes that group of Americans out of existence... or just ignores them altogether and turns them into men...

Expand full comment