In the aftermath of Charlottesville, many Republican officials have forcefully denounced racism and Trump’s seemingly ambivalent reactions to the tragedy. But make no mistake, these are not people that truly espouse the principles of racial equality and justice. These are egoists and political zealots. Their top priorities are ones of personal gain and/or realizing their brand of utopia, even if it means circumventing democracy.
While most of the attention of the media has justifiably been focused on one particular false moral equivalence, Donald Trump blurted out another commonly used piece of faulty assessment in yesterday’s press conference. I refer to the notion that the reasons for commemorating Washington and Jefferson are on par with the reasons for commemorating the likes of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
I believe that if there were a grand accounting of positive and negative experiences occasioned by race, complete with a +/- scoring system, the average for whites would be far and away the top score – perhaps even the only positive score in the bunch. Obviously, that is an impossibility. I could quote stats to justify this sense, but the truth is that I, like many minorities, have probably been convinced of this by experiences prior to having any knowledge of hard stats. So instead, what I will do is share my history with racism and suspected instants of racism. I do not know how typical my situation is, but I have met people whose racist experiences would need to be cataloged in a book, not a relatively short piece like this. Then again, of my 2 siblings and I, I have had the worst luck with racism – and this in an area that I regard as not having a large problem with racism. All in all, I feel fortunate that it wasn’t much worse and sad to presume that my experiences are not abnormal.