The appearance of Robin DiAngelo's book White Fragility: Why it's so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism rankles a lot of Whites who feel they have created the greatest country on the planet. It has become a victim of its own popularity. A quarter of the World's population would like to settle here. They arrive no matter how hard we try to keep them out.
I include accusations of racism from several prominent Blacks:
- Michelle Obama: "It just goes on and on. Race and racism is just a reality that many of us growing up (are) just learning to deal with."
- Hosea Williams: "If we gotta fight and die for America, why should we be treated like slaves in America?"
- Cornel West: "White supremicist ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of Black bodies in order to control them."
- Malcolm X: "I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight."
I have studied the racial situation for a long time and find it weird and immune to conventional interpretation. First of all, why is this happening, this unending stream of accusations about White racism and violence toward Blacks? The stastitics do not support the intensity of the accusations. Violence by Blacks against their own people leads White violence in most big cities by a factor of ten to one.
Why are these angry, defiant Black people still here? They are not leaving to go anywhere else, and they do not indicate anywhere that they want to govern themselves in their own country. They never mention a separate country, or a separate anything. How do you explain collective inertia by such an angry minority? They would not have to fight for a country, march for it, protest for it. The Whites would gladly give it to them—anything to get these angry people out of our hair.
I think I know why Blacks feel so much anger toward the Whites. It is the anger of helplessness. It is the paranoia of dependence. They are fighting the power that wants them to leave because they are afraid to leave. They identify more as ex-slaves than as free citizens—more as a second-class people than as full citizens. Let someone else take care of them.
The Blacks rely on the Whites for their livelihood. If the Whites let them down, they have nothing to fall back on, since they have never cultivated reliance and faith in themselves—enough to step away from White paternalism, enough to give them trust in their own abilities. Their own nation? The Blacks don't even have a political party. They channel their needs through White institutions. Support themselves? The Blacks lack a business community. No one wants to risk stepping out of the collective consciousness that defines modern Black society, and start a business that demands leaving and relying on one's own wits and resources.
Rather than foster the idea that the Blacks need comfort, caring, and support, we need to recognize that they need structure and limits a lot more. I remember this idea first coming up during Clarence Thomas's appearance before the US Senate, after his nomination for a seat on the Supreme Court. Newsweek magazine wrote a long article about his life and career that mentioned his attendance at Catholic parochial schools. "The nuns taught discipline and duty," the article said.
Senior Judge Orion Lorenzo Douglass of the State Court, Glynn County, attended the same school as Thomas and added, "The nuns said you could do it. Mosly they said you will do it."
The late State Senator Roy Allen who had known Thomas since childhood and testified for him at his hearing added, "We'd get called coon and nigger every day at school, but you always had it in the back of your mind that you couldn't let your parents or the nuns down."
And where is old Bill Cosby, or someone else to give Blacks a new perspective about themselves, that contrasts with the same-old same old by Michelle Obama and Cornel West?