Towards a Colorblind America

According to the latest woke wisdom, to be “colorblind” is actually a way to “uphold racism.” Writing for Psychology Today, Monnica Williams, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, explains:

Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. However, colorblindness alone is not sufficient to heal racial wounds on a national or personal level. It is only a half-measure that in the end operates as a form of racism.

From expert psychologists to pop culture, the verdict is in. If you’re “colorblind,” you’re a racist. As Samantha Vincenty, a “white Latinx,” puts it in Oprah Magazine, “Being ‘Color Blind’ Doesn’t Make You Not Racist—In Fact, It Can Mean the Opposite.” Elaborating, she writes, “Color blindness relies on the concept that race-based differences don’t matter, and ignores the realities of systemic racism.”

Judging from recent and not-so-recent events, however, America is in no imminent danger of becoming “colorblind.” In pursuit of racial justice, America’s institutions now boast a 50-year legacy of preferential treatment for “people of color” in every significant facet of society. 

Affirmative action policies, either explicit or de facto, govern university admissions and faculty hiring. Similar policies are in place across corporate America, enforcing racial quotas in hiring and promotions. In applications for government loans and government contracts, minority-owned businesses always get preferential treatment.

And then of course there is the legacy of the “War on Poverty,” an entire ecosystem of government entitlements designed to elevate the less fortunate, including—even emphasizing—America’s “people of color.” Programs such as Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), subsidized housing, public housing, housing vouchers, Supplemental Security Income, welfare, the earned income tax credit, Head Start, Pell Grants, and much, much more.

Trillions have been spent on these programs. But according to the woke, from Black Lives Matter to the Biden campaign, trillions more need to be spent. Free college. A “right to shelter” (free housing). Guaranteed basic income. And, fundamental to achieving true racial justice, reparations for slavery.

Due to the immense public outlay already invested, and the demand that ever more is needed to achieve racial justice, it is necessary to declare openly and unequivocally that white Americans not only have a right to opinions on issues impacting black Americans but that it is a civic obligation to have them.

Challenge the Premises

The woke Left denies this. For them, a conscientious anti-racist white American “ally” must “stop talking, start listening.” They must “listen and learn.” They must “shut up and listen.” If you want to be a “good white ally,” then you must “listen more than you speak.”

There’s nothing wrong with listening, of course. But it’s time for white people—especially those who already recognize where the “woke” agenda is heading—to speak out as well. It is time for white people to speak out directly to the black community, and challenge some of the fundamental premises of the leftist narrative that dominates the black community.

The reason for this should be obvious: Black voters have been nearly monolithic in their support of Democratic candidates and causes. This November, the black voting bloc is going to determine the outcome of one of the most consequential elections in American history. And it isn’t just this election, it’s every election .

For decades, the Democratic Party has owned the black vote. The entire time, they’ve successfully tagged Republicans as racist and cast themselves as the only hope for black Americans. Their tactics are exploitative and infantile. It’s astonishing they work, but apparently they do. Joe Biden said to podcast host Charlamagne tha God: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Joe, are you kidding? This ploy works? Evidently, yes.

Nobody disputes the fact that black Americans, on average, have less income, less household wealth, and less education than whites. Nor does anyone dispute that black Americans are convicted of crimes and incarcerated at higher rates than whites. But it’s time to stop blaming all of this on racism.

Ordinary black voters, not the careerists in academia and politics who get rich saying it, but ordinary folks, ought to question why leveling the “racism” accusation in America today requires more and more creativity. Whites aren’t overt racists anymore. Everybody knows that. So now they have to be “unconscious racists.” They have to be found complicit in “systemic racism,” since otherwise, apparently, there would be no disparity whatsoever between white achievements and black achievements.

Hard Truths

Does anybody really believe this? And if so, is it merely because not enough whites, or blacks, are stepping up and speaking an alternative narrative? It would go something like this:

If you want to close the academic achievement gap, then get rid of the teachers’ unions and implement school choice. If you want to reduce incidents of police brutality, then get rid of the police unions, or at the least, make it impossible for them to continue protecting bad cops. If you want your children to stop ending up in prison, then stay married so they can grow up with a male and female role model in the home.

You can start right there. Because if you don’t, all the trillions in the world will not uplift your communities. That is the hard truth.

There are plenty of leaders in the black community who are trying to spread this message. With apologies to the thousands of black leaders not included, here’s a very short list of these heroes:

Justin Wilson, Antonia Okafor, Candace Owens, Dr. Carol Swain, Chandler Crump, CJ Pearson, Anthony Brian Logan, David J Harris Jr., Lynnett Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson (Diamond and Silk), Jesse Lee Peterson, KingFace, Larry Elder, Mike Nificent, Allen West, Pastor Mark Burns, Patricia Dickson, Horace Cooper (Project 21), Shekinah Geist, Stacy Dash, Star Parker, Terrence K. Williams, Taleed Brown, Keith Hodge and Kevin Hodge, Brandon Tatum, Will Johnson, Wayne Dupree, Jon Miller, Jamarcus Dove-Simmons, Derrick Blackman, Mind of Jamal, Jermain Botsio, Jay McCaney, Joel Patrick, Bryson Gray, Peggy Hubbard, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Glenn C. Loury, and Ward Connerly.

Black voters need to realize the organizations that have emerged in the past few years to protest on their behalf, such as Black Lives Matter, are run by Marxists and are funded by white, left-wing billionaires. Black voters need to imagine what life is going to be like in the world these movements envision.

Is it going to help the black community in America if small businesses are crushed? If the price of basic essentials is higher than ever? If the only way to survive is through government subsidies? If private property and business ownership become something only available to the politically connected and the super-rich?

Is it going to help the black community if instead of learning the tough basics of math and English, students instead are indoctrinated to become politically correct, to become resentful and race-conscious in everything they see and do?

Do black voters understand that the only way to enforce equal outcomes and equal achievements by race is through a socialist tyranny that would permeate every facet of our economy and society? Do black voters recognize that socialism has never delivered freedom or prosperity, anywhere, anytime, throughout human history?

Conscientious white Americans, in their laudable desire to be allied with black Americans, cannot hope to do long-term good merely by “sharing the wealth.” They must also assert the values that created that wealth. 

The leftists who are manipulating the Black Lives Movement stigmatize core elements of Western civilization and the American experience such as capitalism, meritocracy, Christianity, cultural assimilation, and the nuclear family as inherently racist and oppressive.

This leftist slander of America’s character is inaccurate and unhealthy. It is a sick, nihilistic lie. If black voters are not convinced to reject this lie, they will elect increasingly extreme leftist politicians who will destroy America, and with it, opportunities for everyone, white and black. 

The lie must be challenged without reservation, equivocation, or apology. It must be challenged ceaselessly and persuasively, without rancor but with passion, with white and black conservatives speaking as one.

The American way, to reward personal initiative, to respect private property, to strive for limited government, cannot guarantee that all identifiable ethnic groups will achieve equality in average individual achievements. But in pursuit of greater equality in outcomes, it is idiocy to abandon the ideal of a colorblind society.

Being colorblind does not “uphold racism.” It is the only way to eliminate racism.

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About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also the director of water and energy policy for the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

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