Recently, during two school assemblies at Glen Allen high school in Henrico, VA, administrators played a four-minute, “racially-charged” video created by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) portraying any non-Caucasoid American as a victim of discrimination and white privilege. The title of the video? “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race”
There is too much to dismantle about this blatant “error in judgement” on the part of school administrators, but let us try to at least discuss the major problems.
Reportedly, the purpose for showing the video was to educate about American history and racial discourse for Black History Month.
Now, because I am a firm believer that words still have meaning I want to take just a moment to define the word “race” in order to clarify how it ought to be used, and to illustrate how it is being completely hijacked for the purposes of the racial grievance industry.
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines race as “The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock.” Now, consider that the current forensic anthropological classification of the 3 races are: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid.
The “stock” (or progenitors) of the 3 races are Shem, Ham, and Japheth who were the sons of Noah. Negroids are descended from the line of Ham, Mongoloids are descended from the line of Shem, and Caucasoids are descended from the line of Japheth. Obviously, today the races have greatly intermingled which is why forensic anthropologists must use the size and shape of various bones structures such as the upper jaw and cheekbones in order to determine from which race a person descends.
Yes, you read that correctly– even though the grievance industry uses the word “race” to describe the color of a person’s skin, the pigmentation alone does not determine race.
By way of comparison, the word “racism” does not even exist in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. As you may have guessed, this word has only been used recently (since the 1930s) in its current inappropriate context. One of the problems with creating new words that are vague in nature or lack a precise definition is that it allows anyone during the period of its earliest usage to hijack it for their own purposes. While the reasonable person would expect that the word “racism” deals with the 3 different races, the actual application of the word by the racial grievance industry changes depending on which classification of people are attempting to extort benefits from their counterparts in the other classifications. On one day the classification could be by ethnicity, yet on another it could be by nationality, skin color, or a geographic region their ancestors came from.
“Racism” is just a convenient word to incite fear in those who concern themselves with political correctness.
So let’s allow a gracious definition of the word “racism” so we might continue this discussion and further dismantle the motives of the school administrators and the premises behind the video itself.
Other than trying to align an individual’s identity with the pigmentation of their skin rather than their citizenship and allegiance to the Unites States, what purpose is served by acknowledging “Black History Month” in the school system? Should we then have “White History Month,” “Yellow History Month,” “Brown History Month,” and “Red History Month” as well? Perhaps we should reorganize our calendar to allow enough months for each self-identified victim class to have their own month to air perceived grievances? After all, wouldn’t that be fair? (More on fairness later)
Why should it matter if a person is descended from sub-Saharan Africans, Europeans, or indigenous peoples from Latin America? Isn’t it more important that the American history we learn is about America and how Americans have arrived at our current set of circumstances?
Of course, like every other nation, our history involves strife between nations, races, and ideologies (e.g. War of 1812, slavery, politics), as well as strife within a nation (e.g. the Civil War). Every rational American literate in our nation acknowledges the political, martial, social, and moral obstacles we have overcome to get where we are today. Yet, it is the current choices we make as individuals (guided by our principles and values) that define us–not one or more snapshots in the history of our nation, or the pigmentation in our skin.
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” –Dr. Martin Luther King
So, if we accept that each of us should be defined by the “content of [our] character” as evidenced by our current choices, and not by mistakes we made in the past, how can our entire nation be judged differently? Only through hypocrisy can both be accepted. Is not the United States (as our name implies) made up of the several states, which in turn are comprised of us as individuals? President Thomas Jefferson said it best in his letter to George Logan in 1816.
“It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings collected together are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately” –President Thomas Jefferson in The Works of Thomas Jefferson, pg. 43
If we are truly interested in teaching history for the sake of learning from its teachings, shouldn’t we spend some time on the former Yugoslavia and how its ethnic divides gave rise to the term “balkanization?” Perhaps it is not a great idea to promulgate the perceived injustices of various races, ethnicities, or any other arbitrary classification of peoples living together. As we have learned from even recent history, there are severe consequences.
So, back to the video…
The major premise of the video is clearly evident in the title “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race”
I don’t think this warrants much time, but the implication is that some form of discrimination is built into the structure of America, and that somehow there is a race afoot where different classes of individuals have unequal opportunities to “win.”
Based on the content of the video, the “race” seems to be about acquiring wealth. While I do not personally believe that this is the race we are running in life, for the sake of our discussion, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the African American Policy Forum and assume that the wealth of which they speak is that which is necessary to support a person through his lifetime.
After watching this video, somehow we are expected to arrive at the conclusion that the pigmentation of a person’s skin may somehow cause an individual to have an unequal opportunity to acquire the wealth necessary to support himself.
Since the video is about racial discourse, let’s put our “race” glasses on and see what we can learn.
There are four actors in the video:
- one pale-skinned male and one pale-skinned female runner
- We will presume both are Caucasoids although we are unable to be sure without our forensic anthropology measurements
- one slightly darker male runner who could be Latino or from the south of Asia
- Perhaps we are to presume he is Mongoloid, but again, who can know what race he is without measurements;
- one even darker-skinned female runner who might be of African descent
- We are to presume she is of the Negroid race;
This is the part of the problem with the racial grievance industry…they throw around vague and nondescript terms like “race” and “racism” without informing the public of how they are using the term. Then when you point out a flaw in the premise of their argument by saying something like, “how do you know what race these runners are?”, they will inform you that their definition of race has changed to the color of skin. The problem with this tactic is, where do you draw the line in shades of color? Can a light-skinned Irishman call a tan Italian a racist? Can a dark-skinned Latino call a native Central American a racist? This is why the grievance industry must constantly change the definitions of the “injured” party or allow them to self-identify in order to keep the industry alive and profitable.
Back to the race…
So, when the race starts, the time on the clock is 1492, which is supposed to be symbolic of the discovery of America by Europeans (Caucasoids). The implication? That the “structural discrimination” began as soon as Columbus arrived to America. However, no mention is made of the discrimination that took place between indigenous tribes on the continent before or since that date. In that era, discrimination took the form of violent inter-tribal warfare, and it is only the lack of modern technology (gunpowder) initially that prevented the “discrimination” from claiming even more lives.
Certainly the AAPF is not suggesting that discrimination from within a race is acceptable are they? That only discrimination from a separate race is frowned upon? Because they do not mention this discrimination at all! But then again, consider the lack of outcry from the “Black Lives Matter” proponents about the significant amount of deaths caused by individuals with the same (or similar) pigmentation in their skin.
The next sequence on the video attempts to persuade the viewers that the non-Caucasoid runners are held back by “slavery,” “broken treaties,” “genocide,” “manifest destiny,” “the Trail of Tears,” “Dred Scott,” “segregation,” “Chinese Exclusion Act,” and “Japanese Internment.”
If all of these events in American history only affected non-Caucasoids, how is it possible that all Caucasoids are not wealthy? After all, this is supposedly the benefit they gain from discrimination. Correct? Or better yet, how is it that there are non-Caucasoids in America who are filthy rich? Could it be that despite these events in our history, there might be another, more accurate predictor of wealth in this nation? Wouldn’t it be better to turn one’s effort and energy towards studying and emulating the success stories rather than lamenting about every excuse that could cause a person to give up in frustration and blame an entire race of people? Talk about stereotyping!
Then again, that would require discipline, work, and a positive attitude without any guarantee of success. When you compare that to the feel-good option of complaining, finger-pointing, and collecting a government hand-out, I guess for some the choice is easy. I guess it really does come down to the “content of their character!” Dr. King’s dream has come true and the entire racial grievance industry and their customers have completely missed it.
Now, back to the video…
Until the year 1964 (presumably because it is seen as the height of the civil rights movement), the video has shown what can only be surmised as one generation of Caucasoids passing down the nation’s wealth only to the next generation of Caucasoids creating what the video calls “wealth disparities.” Yet despite all of the “obstacles” the AAPF claim stand in the way of non-Caucasoids, how is it that men like James Forten, Samuel T. Wilcox, Paul Cuffee, Stephen Smith (and the list goes on) were able to accumulate wealth before 1964. Just about every new group that came to America faced some sort of hurdle in order to make their way in this country. In short, the opportunities have existed for those willing to risk time, money, and effort to build wealth. Once again it comes down to personal choices, not “structural discrimination.”
Now, let’s get back to the concept of “fairness.” After all, that is really what the AAPF is insinuating: that “it’s not fair!” (insert whiny kid’s voice here). First of all, Thomas Jefferson and his co-authors of the Declaration of Independence laid it out clearly in the preamble that our “unalienable Rights… are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (emphasis added). The pursuit of happiness has long been considered synonymous with the pursuit of property (real, personal, tangible, monetary, etc) that can comprise part of an individual’s happiness. There are no guarantees in life, nor is there a guarantee (even in America) that everyone will be happy. However, the U.S. Constitution through its protection of our God-given liberties does guarantee that no one can deprive you of the freedom to pursue what you consider happiness as long as it does not take away from someone else.
But no one is going to hand it to you. You must pursue it for yourself. No one else is ever going to know what truly makes you happy; nor are they ever going to care more than you about your own happiness.
Continuing on with the video…
So you have “poor schooling?” Move to a better school, or get involved in your local school board. Be a part of the solution rather than whining about the problem.
There is “underemployment?” Really? That suggests that your skills are too good for your present employment situation. Perhaps attend a personal marketing seminar or improve your resume or education. Could their be a “professionalism gap?” Do you speak like a professional? Are you articulate? Do you avoid slang and use correct grammar? Are you respectful of others?
Oh no! There are “standardized tests?” The thing about standardized tests….they are STANDARDIZED for all races! Where is the discrimination?
“School to Prison Pipeline” Wow! This just begs to be described in more detail. But that would be inconvenient for the racial grievance industry. Let’s take a stab at the causes nonetheless. The pipeline goes directly from school to prison? If a person drops out of school, they have immediately put themselves at a disadvantage in the job market (you know, where you begin building your wealth). If they cannot secure a job, how will they build their wealth? My guess: they commit crimes. What happens to individuals (regardless of the race) who commit crimes? They go to prison. Cause and effect. Actions and consequences. Mystery solved! Apply yourself in school–even if it is difficult.
“Housing Segregation?” No one is forced to live anywhere in this country, unless it is in prison (in which case: see above). You don’t like where you live? Work hard, improve your earning potential, earn enough money and then move!
“Racial Profiling” is thrown in with drug testing for some reason as if drug tests are only administered to non-Caucasoids. But as a suspected Caucasoid, I have been drug-tested on several occasions and as far as I’m concerned, it is an employer’s prerogative to do so in order to ensure their employees are not introducing risk into their organization. If you do not like drug-tests, find an employer who will not test you. Good luck though! Try asking this in your interview: “do you give randomized drug tests?” Yeah…we’ll be in touch.
How in the world is a “shortened lifespan” another race’s fault or “structural discrimination?” This is too ridiculous to comment on.
Furthermore, “connections,” “privilege,” and “old boy networks” are available to those of any race willing to create them. This is more of the whiny child yelling “it’s not fair!” It reminds me of the metaphor with the crabs in a bucket. If you have never witnessed this phenomenon, let me briefly describe it. If several crabs are placed in a bucket, the individual crabs will try to get out by climbing to the top of the bucket. Unfortunately, the other crabs in the bucket will grab onto the industrious and innovative crab and pull them right back in an attempt to make their own escape. This happens over and over while no crab is able to escape.
If it enables someone to pursue their own happiness, I am happy for them to have connections, privilege and make use of an old-boy network. I fail to see the downside.
Finally, after stomaching the full video, we are not left with one solution on how to solve the alleged plight of the non-Caucasoids. That is because the AAPF (and the rest of the grievance industry) does not want to be cornered into one specific solution. Building this vague and emotional case allows the whole industry in true guerrilla, decentralized fashion to subsequently make undeserved claims on the wealth of other classes of individuals they can caste in the Caucasoid mold. They merely have to point to this video (or one of thousands of propaganda pieces like it) and say “Don’t you see? There is structural racism. There must be reparations!”
You are not completely pale-skinned? It doesn’t matter. At some point, you were the crab that managed to pull yourself out of the bucket despite the herculean efforts of those around you to keep you in the same situation. You have become part of the privileged, old boy network with connections and must pay also.
Again, the brilliance of President Thomas Jefferson serves to succinctly frame this concept in its proper light. In a comment to the co-editor of Tracy’s Political Economy he says, “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.’”
So I apologize if you haven’t seen this video before and it caused you to be disgusted with the attitudes of your fellow Americans like it did for me. But it is important for the rest of us rational Americans to understand and dismantle the ridiculous efforts of those who seek (through ignorance or otherwise) to divide our nation into warring factions.
Remember the wise words of our Savior Jesus Christ: “if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (NKJV Mark 3:24).
We must decide if we wish to be a nation of Americans, or a nation of hyphenated-Americans. But each choice has its consequences.
If we choose to be Americans, then we must stop describing ourselves based on these meaningless distinctions. It is one thing to be aware of your heritage and understand how your family’s history shaped your current circumstances. However, when using your heritage, race, skin pigmentation, ethnicity, etc, as a weapon against others in order to “level the playing field,” you not only hold yourself back from your true potential, but it puts on display for all to see the deficiencies in the “content of [your] character,” and causes our entire nation to stumble.
Basically, the only time we should refer to someone’s color is when we are pointing them out across the room and want to distinguish them from the person standing next to them. If we want to break this disgusting cycle of stereotyping, we must “lead from the front” by choosing to refer to a person’s character, choices, actions, and words rather than the color of their skin. To do otherwise would be a “race” to the bottom for America.
I recognize that I am probably preaching to the choir, but my hope is that many of you will know someone who comes from a different background than you. Helping to spread a healthy way to dialogue with our fellow countrymen (during all months of the year) is promulgating a solution rather than exacerbating the problem like the AAPF has done with this disgusting video.