Many of today's liberals are convinced that our country is pervaded by "systemic racism". They view the statistical economic and health disparities among certain specific minority groups as due to "white privilege". They see the connection as so obvious and incontrovertible that they consider any disagreement as proof of their contentions. They say that those who disagree, although they may be of good will, are unconsciously blind to their attitudes and must be educated to understand them.
But a great many of us do disagree and do not feel the need for our reeducation. Our country has been through times of real conscious legally authorized racial discrimination, as those of us who were alive during that time can attest. The civil rights movement of the 1960's changed all that, and it did so, not just because of the brave efforts of Martin Luther King and his followers, but because the majority of our citizenry was ready for it. Racial discrimination made no sense in a country founded on the principles of individualism and equal rights. Strangely enough the major resistance to the change at that time resided in the very political group that is today focusing so much on racial consciousness.
Three generations later, not just the legal, but the social change in our country has been dramatic. Today, indeed, the MLK admonition to judge individuals by their character and not skin color or some other external quality is overwhelmingly accepted. As one observes our public in every aspect of our lives there is racial and ethnic integration. And it is not so because it is legally mandated. If you're a black family and you wish to live in my neighborhood, which is mostly white, just buy a house and move in. You'll find many friends. If you're a member of a minority group and you want to be a member in my golf club, just join up and pay the dues as others have. We welcome you. And if you called for an appointment to see me in my office when I was still in practice, we definitely didn't ask what color you were.
The idea that the big city ghettos in our country, where crime and social disorganization is rampant, exist because of racism is belied by the fact that so many millions of minorities are out in our communities living happy and productive lives, and many have achieved high status, great wealth and public admiration. In light of these facts the cause of the bad situation in these areas must be other than racial animus but that's a discussion for another time. It's enough to say that, in the minds of those of us who do not accept the "white privelege" concept, promoting the idea that those of various minority groups in our country cannot succeed without special consideration and political militarism is counterproductive. It is felt that these ideas are not only inaccurate but paradoxically are themselves a major contributor to racial discord in our society and are a discouragement to the individuals that they are meant to help.
For those of you who believe differently I would say this. Instead of insisting that everyone in our society be brought to accept your point of view, which is unlikely to succeed, assess whatever portion of your wealth and position you calculate are due to white privelege and donate that amount in time and money to enhancing the education, social structure and economic opportunities in our problematic inner-city areas. That would clearly have a positive effect. For my part I will continue to try to live up to the Christian principle of treating others as I would have them treat me, and hope that they will do the same.
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