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In my readings today, I stumbled across an article that was written an updated in 2017. The title immediately caught my eye, “Racism against white people doesn’t exist in America, and here’s why it never will.” My gut instincts told me that I would likely not agree with this article because I knew of several occasions of blatant discrimination against whites that is excused because of political correctness (aka WOKE culture). Rather than dismiss the piece on a whim, I decided to read it because I wanted to understand the writer’s point of view and why they felt that way. I also wanted to counter-argue points I disagreed with.
My aim in posting my counterarguments is not to trigger anyone. My intent is to respectfully, offer an opposing view for the benefit of those who will listen. I am not so proud to believe that everyone reading this will agree with me. For those who do, consider my points when conversing with your ideological opposites.
Before proceeding, please do read the article I am referring to in its entirety. Context is important. I proceed now with the assumption that you have read Karen Fratti’s article. I believe it to be heavily influenced by critical race theory which has among its tenets: 1) whites are oppressors and beyond redemption, 2) minorities are eternally victimized by said oppressors and 3) racism is omnipresent and integral to every interaction. From my perspective, I see those CRT themes echo throughout the piece.
To quote the article:
Which is a little terrifying, since racism against white people doesn’t exist. It’s not a far leap for a privileged group of people to jump from believing that they face discrimination to calling out “reverse racism,” making a real, productive conversation about race in America even more difficult.
I do not presume to know the mind of the author. I can only give my impression. I believe she is saying that unless you accept the notion that whites are always oppressors and minorities are always victims, any notion contrary to that is not a reality she or anyone should accept. I disagree. I have seen increasing evidence of bias against whites in an effort to make things more “equitable.” Take this article for instance…
This clash between diversity efforts and “reverse” discrimination was recently stoked by the U.S. Labor Department’s scrutiny of Microsoft Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. The agency asked the companies to explain how their programs to increase Black leadership don’t violate a federal civil rights law that prohibits race bias. Litigation alleging discrimination against White workers and men under Title VII and similar state laws aren’t new, and several high-profile suits were filed in recent years against YouTube, Google, and Starbucks Corp. These cases show that companies face pressure from several fronts, from shareholders and advocates pushing for equality and those who feel they are left out of such efforts.
Further down in the article it reads…
Another lawsuit claims former Google and YouTube recruiter Arne Wilberg was unlawfully fired because he didn’t reject white and Asian male job candidates, which he said the company pressured him and other recruits to do for diversity purposes. The company denied it has such a policy. The dispute was sent to arbitration.
And another piece to consider, “‘Reverse Discrimination’ Lawsuits Becoming an Increasing Concern“
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission keeps no official tally of reverse discrimination claims, though Title VII claims for employment discrimination in general have continued to rise, from 36.2 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2018. And bringing reverse discrimination lawsuits on behalf of white men is hardly a novel concept, as such suits have been happening for decades. But some things do seem to be changing. In some of the more recent lawsuits, the crux of the complaint is that female and non-white employees are being given more leeway or second chances before termination, compared to white counterparts being abruptly terminated at the first sign of a performance issue.
Another quote from Fratti’s article:
Racism against white people cannot exist in America (unless we go back in time and flip the switch on the European colonization of natives and trans-continental slave trade and make it so that those things and the subsequent years of systemic oppression of people of color never happened).
If I understand this logic correctly, the slave trade should not have existed in the Americas. If it never happened, there would be no need for the social justice that the slave trade demands. If this is so, white people are not solely to blame. In the interest of fairness, one has to point the finger to the Africans who sold their slaves to Europeans. Consider the history and long term effects of the Atlantic Slave Trade. (An intriguing 5 minute video.) Africans sold their slaves to Europeans which sparked an arms race which is still affecting the continent to this day.
And the blame does not rest solely on Africans either. It extends to African Americans and indigenous people as well. But, I digress, to return to Karen Fratti’s article. She further states…
it’s just not possible for white people to be victims of racism, since white people have all of the power and privilege in systems that they’ve set up over centuries to benefit them.
This is simply not true. Let me point out a few reasons why I think this.
The Racism of Anti-Racism Victimizes Whites
There is a dynamic that is shifting in our culture. It says two wrongs will make things right; meaning more racism from minorities towards whites is needed to balance the scales of the omnipresent racism inflicted upon minorities from their white oppressors. To illustrate this, consider recent events at Harvard University. The Washington Examiner reported on Harvard’s anti-racism document and offered this rebuttal.
The broader result of the misnamed “anti-racism” crusade, which Weiss’s reporting is not designed to address, is that people of goodwill, who are deeply committed to equality and nondiscrimination, find themselves treated not as allies but as enemies. No matter how someone interacts with people from other ethnicities, no matter how much heat someone takes for fighting old-fashioned racism, no matter how much or what sorts of charitable work someone does, no matter how much time and effort someone spends “building bridges,” that person finds himself unwelcome, even branded if he doesn’t adopt the new, vengeful, race-obsessive ideology.
Racism Victimizes Whites via Healthcare
It is quite possible for whites to be victimized by racism in schools championing anti-racism. Moreover, it is possible, for whites to be victimized by racism via their healthcare. In a Boston Review op-ed piece, Drs. Michelle Morse and Bram Wispelwey – both of whom have worked at a teaching hospital for Harvard University – called for “an antiracist approach to medicine.” While they didn’t explicitly call for “discrimination,” they criticized colorblind policies and sought racial preferences in patient admissions. It makes me wonder. What if a patient dies in a hospital solely because their skin color meant they would be cared for only after other groups were seen? I think the seriousness of injury should dictate a patient’s place in line and not their skin color. And while this train of thought is not yet pervasive in healthcare, there are studies suggesting the trend is in that direction.
Here are a few examples of articles reporting on the trend of anti-racism (CRT) pervading the healthcare industry.
- Fighting Racism Instead of Disease | City Journal
- Keep Critical Race Theory out of Health Care
- NYC chief medical officer calls for racial preferences in medical care, criticizes ‘colorblind’ practices
And here are some studies supporting anti-racism (CRT) in healthcare:
- Time to take critical race theory seriously: moving beyond a colour-blind gender lens in global health
- Implementing Anti-Racism Interventions in Healthcare Settings: A Scoping Review – PubMed
- Making Anti-Racism A Core Value In Academic Medicine | Health Affairs Blog
FYI, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020 which has yet to become law. (Oboy.)
Racism Victimizes Whites via National Security Risk
If our military is divided because of anti-racism (CRT) training, that will be a weakness that America’s enemies can exploit. As such, whites citizens (and all other Americans) will be negatively effected. Consider this quote from One News Now.
Now, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), says Defense Department schools at all levels — from the service academies to elementary schools for dependent children — will likely introduce critical race theory programs that accuse non-minorities of “white supremacy” and “systematic racism.”
“To say that critical race theory now will be taught and ascribed to in all institutions in American life — this will affect the military in a way that’s even worse,” Donnelly asserts. “The idea of critical race theory is to accuse people who are not minorities, white people in other words, of white supremacy.”
She wonders how anyone in the military is supposed to participate in classes like this.
“Your commanding officer is saying to the minority person Well, you should know that that white guy over there is against you; that’s a white supremacist over there, and yet those two people are supposed to go off and fight wars together? It is so destructive to cohesion and mutual trust,” Donnelly submits. “Mutual trust is essential for readiness for battle. It is just a very perverse thing to do.”
Racism Victimizes Whites via Hate Crimes
There is overwhelming evidence that blacks victimize whites far more than the reverse. These hate crimes are not reported and are often censored. To get a realistic view, one must consider FBI Data, or alternative media or, watch for the few sensational stories that break into the mainstream.
Karen Fratti also said this in her article…
Access to jobs, education, healthcare, and even beauty standards all privilege the white experience, so there’s no real way for white people to face oppression for their race from people of color.
I think African Americans have the same access to jobs that whites do but, may be less qualified due to education. Is that the fault of racism? I do not think so. I blame African American culture for the disparity. Education is not revered in our community as it is in others. Consider a quote from the article, “The Most Successful Ethnic Group in the U.S. May Surprise You.“
At an Onyejekwe family get-together, you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone with a master’s degree. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors — every family member is highly educated and professionally successful, and many have a lucrative side gig to boot. Parents and grandparents share stories of whose kid just won an academic honor, achieved an athletic title or performed in the school play. Aunts, uncles and cousins celebrate one another’s job promotions or the new nonprofit one of them just started. To the Ohio-based Onyejekwes, this level of achievement is normal. They’re Nigerian-American — it’s just what they do.
Today, 61 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 32 percent for the U.S.-born population, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services, the 2016 American Community Survey found, and many are professors at top universities. Nigerians are entering the medical field in the U.S. at an increased rate, leaving their home country to work in American hospitals, where they can earn more and work in better facilities. A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building tech companies in the U.S. to help people back home.
Further down it reads…
Anyone from the Nigerian diaspora will tell you their parents gave them three career choices: doctor, lawyer or engineer. For a younger generation of Nigerian-Americans, that’s still true, but many are adding a second career, or even a third, to that trajectory.
Anie Akpe works full time as vice president of mortgages at Municipal Credit Union in New York City, but she’s also the founder of Innov8tiv magazine, African Women in Technology (an education and mentorship program) and an app called NetWorq that connects professionals. Raised in the southern port city of Calabar, she had the Nigerian hustle baked into her upbringing. “There was no such thing as ‘can’t’ in our household,” she says.
So much of what is wrong in Black America are the self-inflicted wounds we ignore.
To address Fratti’s comments on healthcare…
There is a disparity in healthcare due to lack of insurance. I would argue that such would disappear over time if there was a culture shift that placed education at a premium along with traditional family values. Data proves that such reduces poverty rates exponentially. And if you have money, you have healthcare. Such does not resolve matters immediately however, steps towards that ideal would benefit future generations.
To address Fratti’s comments on beauty standards…
Another quote from Fratti’s article:
To be racist, you have to have both prejudice and power. The difference between racism and prejudice is not all that nuanced, either, once you accept that white privilege has nothing to do with how much money you have in the bank and everything to do with how you’ve benefitted from racist systems all your life simply because the European (and subsequently post-colonial American) tradition has long made it so that being white, or white passing, is “normal” and being anything else is “other.”
I disagree with Fratti’s definition of “racist.” The classic definition as described by Merriam-Webster (an authority since 1828) is this…
“someone who holds the belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”
All due respect to Karen Fratti, I think the definition she proposed is based on critical race theory and therefore determined on accepting the white oppressor narrative; which I never will. If we cannot agree on the definition of what we are arguing, how can a debate proceed?
For a white man living in poverty, the struggle is real for sure. Economic inequality is as pandemic in the U.S. as racial inequality. But a poor white man is more likely to be (to pick one random, small example of the privilege that comes with his skin color) given the benefit of the doubt that he’s unarmed, or at least legally armed, if he is pulled over for speeding and has a weapon. That’s an extreme effect of white privilege.
To address Fratti’s comments on white privilege…
Umm… I’ll just leave this here.
Returning to Fratti’s article…
But since people of color don’t historically have power as a whole in America on anywhere near the same level as white people, those assumptions aren’t able to be weaponized the way that white prejudice against people of color can be, even if they hurt some white people’s feelings.
I disagree with that point.
Historically, black people in America have had the power on the same level as white people. Sadly, we either lost it (yesterday) or decided not to leverage it (today). A few data points on that…
- Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires (Yes, you read that correctly. Only in America can direct descendants of slaves become millionaires.)
- The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era (On par nationally with whites, just prior to the segregation era)
- Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities (Prior to the “War on Poverty” black communities and businesses were thriving.)
- Black Impact: Consumer Categories Where African Americans Move Markets (African Americans do not invest in their community as other races do, despite spending $1.2 TRILLION dollars annually.)
So what about all of these people who say that they’ve been turned away from jobs and higher education because of discrimination against white people? Well, actually, white women are the people who benefit the most from affirmative action, both in higher education and in the workplace. Which is kind of ironic, since Trump, for example, campaigned on a promise to fight affirmative action in universities. So the 53 percent of white women who voted for him because they hate that system are actually benefitting from that same system, just like every other system.
I think I see a point of agreement here, although for different reasons. At one point in time, Affirmative Action may have been prudent and necessary. Nowadays, I think it is detrimental and that Trump was right to campaign against it. Why?
- It promotes discrimination in reverse, as I have pointed out earlier, workplace discrimination against whites is on the rise. Although there is no hard government data to validate my assertion, the increase in certain lawsuits seems to collaborate this.
- It reinforces stereotypes. If someone does not get a job or a position on their merit alone, it suggests that their skills are inferior. While bias exists, the best way to combat it is to create equal opportunities for success, not mandatory quotas. Plus, I think it cheapens any achievements minority groups attain.
Returning to Fratti again…
Calling out these systems for what they are is not is not “reverse racism against white people” — it’s the first step in reforming those systems. And being angry at America’s racist past or the fact that there are monuments to that oppression does not mean that people of color are racist “against” white people.
I find this somewhat bewildering. And to be fair, I have heard this argument from many people on the left. They say they want to tear down racist systems because they oppress minorities. Yet, they either forget or are ignorant, of the governmental entities established to protect the civil rights of citizens, most notably minorities. For example…
- The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. | Click here for a list of laws they enforce
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity administers and enforces federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.
- The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section enforces federal civil rights statutes related to conditions of institutional confinement, conduct of law enforcement agencies, access to reproductive health facilities and places of religious worship, and religious exercise of institutionalized persons.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights enforces federal civil rights laws in programs funded by the USDA, such as the Food Stamp Program, that address discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and expression), religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, political beliefs, parental status, protected genetic information, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces various federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Discrimination by employers with 15 or more employees is prohibited in all aspects of the hiring and employment process: job application, hiring, firing, promoting, training, wage earning, or any other terms, privileges, or conditions of employment. | Click here for a list of laws they enforce
And should someone argue that the system prevents minorities from winning cases of real injustice (and not the imagined injustice of say… milk being racist), I would point out cases like these…
- The Average Employee Lawsuit costs $250,000…How Safe is your Company?
- Wisconsin Pays Largest Civil Rights Settlement in State’s History –$18.9 Million – for Juvenile Offender’s Suicide Attempt
- Top 40 Civil Rights Settlements in California in 2018
- $1.2 Billion Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement
- When police officers have committed misconduct, used excessive force or falsely arrested people, People’s Law Office has been there. Our Chicago-based civil rights lawyers have a proven track record of results, and have obtained over $100 million for our clients……
- Corporations Have Paid Out at Least $2.7 Billion in Civil-Rights and Labor Lawsuits Since 2000
And if one ever needed a Civil Rights Attorney, the options are endless.
Concluding my points on Fratti’s article after one more quote…
So why trust them when they claim, erroneously, that people of color are racist and want to take them down? In both practice and in theory, racism against white people doesn’t exist in America. Which means that the white people who claim to be oppressed or discriminated against are either willfully ignorant or just plain racist themselves, and scared to extend power and privilege to those who need it.
I think her concluding statement is evidence of the type of thinking critical race theory produces: victimhood, oppression and fear of an omnipresent racism that’s not really there. I understand where she is coming from. I see what she believes. I respect how she laid out her case. I disagree with it entirely.