I understand very well how one can sometimes slap whole crimes on oneself solely out of vanity, and I even perceive quite well what sort of vanity it might be.Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
If you’re a liberal in today’s America, you might find it fashionable to keep track of how not-racist you (or somebody else) is, or how you (or somebody else) could have accidentally said or did something racist in the past. I find this fashion incredibly vain.
Vanity is described as an abundance of pride over one’s appearance. The more we reward adults and children with job security and social clout for being the least racist person past present and future, the more we fail to realize how we’re encouraging people to create lies out of thin air. Anti-racism training gives people a sin they can show off, a trophy sin, a vanity sin. Thus, there will be those who complete anti-racism training equipped with a new metric by which they can measure their position in the social hierarchy. Ah, the social hierarchy! — Didn’t we get rid of that, along with biology? You mean to say that a binary (racist, or not-racist; 1 or 0) is a hierarchy? But I digress.
If you were a racist jackass in the past, why should we expect you to atone for your sins for any other reason than the moral weight impressed upon your conscience? You’d grovel at the feet of Christ in shame, with a desire to be forgiven. And you’d do it privately, because you’re ashamed. A truly redeemable person would atone out of their own free will, not because Coca-Cola and Robin DiAngelo told you to. So why the hell do we need public extortions of our supposed unconscious, pent-up, unseen, invisible, ignored and tolerated racist behavior? Whether or not we’ve done something racist in the past, why the hell is it any employers business? (Employers do ask if you’ve ever been in jail before. But they’re not asking about unconscious, psychological, moral shortcomings – things much harder to define than a robbery). The moment we make it anybody’s business but our own, that’s when the real virtue of repentance vanishes into thin air.
To conclude, the anti-racism rhetoric so beloved by today’s liberals encourages innocent people to confess to a sin they never committed. And even if they did commit the sin in the past, they confess not out of guilt, but out of a desire to fit in. So we end up farther and farther away from the original goal of ending racism, and much closer to the goal that nobody wants to admit to: being liked.
“But this sort of talk harms marginalized…”
“What’s a few more narcissists if it means less racism in America…”
If you cared deeply about the displaced, would you be here reading this? Would you not be too busy helping the displaced with actions instead of slogans? Has a slogan saved anybody’s life? …Did D.A.R.E prevent you from experimenting with shrooms in college?
One final point. Suicide has nothing to do with suicide itself. What leads up to a suicide is a complicated mixture of psychological and social problems. Racism has nothing to do with racism itself. What leads up to racism is a complicated mixture of psychological and social problems. So, my problem with the anti-racism rhetoric is also this: who defines the amount of variables to determine what’s racist? Who has any right to crown themselves the New Queen of Morality, all should be subject to my rule?