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Democrats start the racial fire — then call Republicans arsonists

  My father, raised during the Great Depression, once told an interesting story about his childhood. He one day noticed that a couple of men were following him around. It turned out that there had been a kidnapping threat against him — his father was a physician, making him a target in those desperate times — and the two fellows were government agents assigned to watch him.


Question: Were those agents “obsessed,” in some negative way, with my dad’s boyhood walks about town?

They certainly might have been — if we were to apply a certain kind of leftist thinking.

A recent piece in the Atlantic reflects such thinking, with writer Adam Harris complaining that Republicans have a “Critical Race Theory [CRT] Obsession.” Citing New Hampshire legislation designed to protect children from CRT indoctrination, Harris laments that the bill “is one of a dozen that Republicans have recently introduced in state legislatures and the United States Congress that contain similar prohibitions.”

Harris warns that the bills ban practices such as promoting “‘division between, resentment of, or social justice for’ groups based on race, gender, or political affiliation” and “compelling ‘students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere’ to specific beliefs about race, sex, or religion.” The GOP, he further states, has become “fixated on an academic approach.”

If you’re thinking “Nice try,” you’re not alone. The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson addressed Harris’s claim yesterday, writing that

critical race theory isn’t just an academic approach, and Republicans aren’t the ones who initiated this battle. They’re responding — rather mildly, given the stakes — to an aggressive, long-term campaign on the left to ratchet up racial tension, divide Americans by race, and insert frankly racist ideas into every facet of public life as part of a larger strategy to gain and wield political power.

Even if you agree, as Harris seems to, with critical race theory gurus like Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, who teach that people should be treated differently based on their race, the sudden ubiquity of critical race theory and its accompanying jargon — “white privilege,” “racial equity,” “systemic racism” — isn’t because GOP state lawmakers suddenly decided to make a fuss out of it. It’s because left-wing ideologues decided to push it in the places most familiar to them: elite private schools and executive boardrooms.

But this is a common leftist ploy: flipping the script. The Left originates some new type of social engineering designed to further upend tradition and the social fabric — and immediately portrays it as if it’s the status quo. Any defense of the actual status quo then is treated as if it’s an offensive (and “offensive”) action against some established norm; it’s as if the tradition being assailed is actually the innovation whose worth must be proven for its existence to be justified.

Thus will leftists advance some sexual devolutionary social-fabric bomb — such as “transgenderism” — and then, when conservatives simply defend longstanding mores, rhetorically exclaim “Why are you so obsessed with sex?!”

It’s a bit like arsonists setting a huge blaze and then, when firefighters frantically try to extinguish it, their saying “Why are you so obsessed with fire?!” Or it’s like a man viciously reining blows down upon you and then, when you merely raise your arms to block, his shouting “Why are you so violent?!” And you’re supposed to be cowed.

The CRT blaze is burning far and wide, too. Davidson points out that the racist theory is pushed by “Corporate America, Big Tech, and Hollywood”; it has also permeated government inclusive of the military.

Yet is CRT — which advances the idea, as Kendi puts it, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination” — really popular beyond pseudo-elite circles? An interesting Yale University study examined this matter.

The researchers tried pitching left-wing policies such as the Green New Deal to several groups, using different approaches with each. “For one group, they emphasized how the issues would benefit a certain racial group or promote racial equity,” relates Davidson. “For another, they emphasized benefits for the working class. For a third group, they combined the race and class frames, and for the final group they didn’t emphasize any benefits but just described the policies in neutral terms.”

Unsurprisingly, the “class frame was more effective than either the race or the race plus class frames,” Davidson informs. With blacks, the race and class frames were about equally effective. Yet there was one group, and only one, for which the race appeal held the most sway: white Democrats. Explanation?

These leftists are not only perhaps value-signaling, but also are likely buttressing their self-image: Bearing the new “white man’s burden” is how they convince themselves they’re “good people.”

Don’t think this means it’s all phony, though. While it is in many cases, even more troubling is that the leftist race obsession is often all too real.

Consider that Harris quotes a left-wing activist as saying that the anti-CRT bills’ language could “be used more to censor conversations about race and equity.”

Good!

Of course, “censor” is the wrong word. The world’s Kendis and DiAngelos could still peddle their low-IQ books.  The legislation would merely do things such as ban divisive racial curricula and prohibit the government from doing business with race-baiting companies.

But Harris’s warning vindicates what I wrote long ago: America does suffer from the condition of racism — racism-on-the-brain, that is.

“Racism” isn’t the end-all and be-all but just sub-category of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, Wrath, and the United States is actually one of the world’s least racist nations. And visiting “racism” teaching — social engineering, in other words — upon schoolchildren is child abuse.

It creates problems, too. It’s a bit as if everyone were to repeatedly tell a good-looking kid, “Hey, you know, you’re nose really is a bit too big.” Eventually, he’ll start to believe the lie. A better strategy for dealing with “racism” is, as liberal actor Morgan Freeman said in 2005, to “stop talking about it.” Imaginary problems disappear when you stop imagining them.

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