Look, one of the colossal reasons that many Democrats and uber-left-wing, hipster, social liberals throw the word “racist” at Republicans is because of this whole “colorblind,” “meritocracy” thing some people like to espouse.
I’m a history major—an amateur by academic standards, but hear me out. This doesn’t seem to be too difficult:
If you drive people from their land; if you bond, kidnap, and enslave them; if you force them into second-class citizenry and incarcerate them at unprecedentedly inequitable rates; if you ignore, chastise, and exclude them all because of some long, deep-seeded racial hatred; if you do this for, let’s say, 400 years, then you suddenly decide to yourself, “hrm, that seems wrong,” it shouldn’t really be a surprise—I don’t think—when “equality” or whatever doesn’t just happen because you want it to now. (see image)
So one of the reasons that social liberals throw the word “racist” at certain Republicans is because of the belief of some that race and racism no longer make any difference to American society simply because, one day, a few more folks than the day before said, “hrm, that seems wrong.” And while colorblindness and meritocracy are indeed wonderful ideas, if they were actually reality then we wouldn’t still see wildly disproportionate rates of incarceration between whites and people of color; wildly disproportionate rates of wealth and leadership positions in our institutions; wildly disproportionate rates of access to basic things like education, health, and housing…
But we do see those things. We know all about them (or should).
And if you believe that we’re past the race-thing and that race no longer matters and all of those disproportionate rates of access to basic human things is completely colorblind and merit-based, then you have to admit that the reason those rates exist as inappropriately disproportionate as they do is because of some kind of inherent superiority of the white race. You have to believe that if the system is fair, right now, then the only possible reason that we see these awful disparities is because people of color must have something inherently wrong about them.
And that, I’m pretty sure, by definition, is racist.
I guess it just seems very simple. If you think America operates without regard to race, then you must believe that America is still (and in many cases increasingly) as segregated as it is because of the collective superior merits of white people.
And if you believe in the collective superior merits of white people—and if you especially act in ways that demonstrate that belief and perpetuate that notion (i.e. supporting colorblindness and meritocracy)—then, I do believe, that you are supporting a pretty racist idea.
The alternative, however, could be and I think should be recognizing that access to so many of the fundamental things that we all agree are awesome does not exist for all people; that more often than we might want to believe, access does not exist for people of color where it does for whites. We can’t even think about that significant stat if we don’t recognize race and color and history.
So when people on the left say “racist” about people on the right, oftentimes it is in regard to this seeming inconsistency in the thought-process behind colorblindness and meritocracy. And I guess I don’t see that this should be too difficult to understand, either.
Also, even if you’ve seen this before (see what I did there?), check this out again, please: