It's not easy having to admit that one has been wrong, especially on momentous topics. The unpleasant thing about entertaining various points of view is that occasionally a fact or conclusion that seems clear undercuts a cherished belief. So it has been for me, a one-time disbeliever in systemic or structural racism.
There really is systemic racism (SR) in America, unfortunately. It's just that its direction and origin are not what we've been told. In the political world Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has refused to be interviewed one on one by white interviewers. Racist? You bet. Thinking-challenged leftists say that only the powerful (read: whites) can be bigots—as if racism doesn't come in all colors and incomes--but Lightfoot is a powerful politician as well as Black. There goes that excuse.
We know that the prosecution against Derek Chauvin, convicted of murdering George Floyd by suffocation, frankly stated that Floyd's blood oxygen level measured at the hospital was perfectly normal. By what then was Chauvin convicted? Unless some sort of justification pops up disqualifying the oxygen test, we can only assume that the jury, prosecution, and judge in Chauvin's trial exhibited systemic racism. Or maybe fear.
- Hennen: Enough of the shameless, dangerous politics exploiting George Floyd's death
- Nelson: Many factors affected Derek Chauvin's conviction
- Letter: Let's talk about Ross Nelson's column on Derek Chauvin's conviction
The entertainment industry of course is bursting with a witch's (can we still use that word?) brew of systemic racism and political correctness. Disney, for example, has been ignoring “well-written TV scripts” because the authors weren't diverse enough, i.e, they were too white. In another Mickey Mouse move, Disney is training its white employees to feel guilt for values such as timeliness and individualism; to reject equality in favor of equal (sic) outcomes; and to fight against white fragility and racist sayings like “I don't see color.” (Poor Martin Luther King, Jr.: how antiquated he would be now.)
Science and math are also shot through with structural racism, which is to be fought by setting racist math teachers straight. California's “Equitable Math” program states that “the concept of mathematics being objective is unequivocally false...right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity.” Who knew that the math needed to send a probe to Mars or judge the strength of a bridge was hopelessly biased and subjective? We must strive for a woke math whose different answers to the same problem will all be correct. Down with Euler and Newton! Truly my eyes have been opened to SR.
It turns out that the medical field is fighting SR as well. The American Medical Association now rejects meritocracy in favor of “equity” and the like, thus ensuring you won't get the best doctors possible but you will get experts in critical race theory. Its Journal has already canned or forced out its editor in chief and a deputy editor for questioning SR, however mildly. This is SR with a vengeance.
White systemic racism means that if you dislike Black Lives Matter, you're racist. If you support BLM, you're probably faking it according to England's University of Birmingham's Kalwant Bhopal. So you're a bigot, like it or not, and it's time to own up to it. There's nothing you can do to change what you are—subjectively speaking, of course.
Nelson lives in Casselton, N.D., and is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion page. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.