One of the challenges that we face these days, one which almost boggles in the mind, is that people are coming up with all sorts of ‘definitions’ of racism. They are modifying it to fit their personal political agenda.
Racism is treating someone differently on the basis of their race. Period, end of conversation. Race should not be an issue in employment, housing or similar things, right? It’s pretty straightforward. Everyone should have the same opportunity, no matter who they are.
But that’s not what some people are saying. Treating people with race as the only consideration is ok in certain circumstances, some now suggest. In this increasing relativistic world, there isn’t right or wrong, only right or wrong under certain circumstances.
Two recent examples show us how crazy things are getting. One comes from the New York Times (which we realize is a very questionable source these days anyway) and its “Critics Notebook’ column. Years ago, symphonies and orchestras went to blind auditions. The driver was to ensure that musicians were chosen solely on their ability and not on some other criteria, so that everyone would be treated equally. But the New York Times said this week that they should do away with blind auditions to ‘create diversity’. In other words, the goal is not equal treatment. The goal is not to have the best musicians. The goal is to have a certain number of people of each race. According to the desire of the Times, the ability of the musician doesn’t matter as much as the race of the musician. There was a time that would have been scandalous but now it’s openly discussed.
The other example comes from ESPN, which is known for its politically correct stances over the years. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, ESPN removed one of its anchors, Sage Steele, from a special series because Steele, who is bi-racial, wasn’t ‘black enough’. The series, entitled “The Undefeated Presents Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated”, was a reflection on race and sports in light of recent events and the killing of George Floyd.
ESPN should be doing a little self-reflection. According to the report, “Ms. Steele said colleagues told her she was considered for the special by the executive in charge, Michael Fountain, until two of the other on-air personalities involved, Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves, complained, saying Ms. Steele wouldn’t be accepted by what they considered the Black community.” Imagine, two black media personalities saying that someone’s job should be solely determined literally by their race, or should we say not even by their race but by the degree of their race.
In a statement, Steele said “I found it sad for all of us that any human being should be allowed to define someone’s ‘Blackness.’” She went on, “Most importantly, trying to define who is and isn’t Black enough goes against everything we are fighting for in this country, and only creates more of a divide.”
In his famous “I have a dream” speech, Martin Luther King said that he had a dream that his children would be judged based on the content of their character and not on the color of their skin. He was eloquently and succinctly articulating what it would mean to live in a society that was blind to color and race. Some now say that being color blind and treating people the same is wrong. According to these people, we simply need to change who we are judging based on their race.