At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Thinking About Blacks and “White Racism”

The rate of black on white violence is astronomically higher than that of white on black violence.  This has been the case for quite a long while.  In the days leading up to the 2008 presidential election, however, Barack Obama and his colleagues in politics and the media—including some on “the right,” let us never forget—assured us that the election of a black man to the highest office in the land would change of all of this.

Blacks, the optimists reasoned, upon seeing one of their own occupy the White House, would be all but compelled to abandon the belief that America—meaning white America—was a “racist” nation.  This in turn would both constitute and further the inauguration of a new, “post-racial” United States. 


For as appealing as many of us found the idea of an America within which blacks, whites, and others could co-exist peacefully, those of us who are pessimists never bought it.  For several reasons, we judged it hopelessly utopian at best, disingenuous at worst.

First of all, the narrative assumed that blacks are hostile toward whites because of their belief in white “racism.”  Interestingly, this assumption isn’t peculiar to the optimists, for many on the right have endorsed it as well. We should note, however, that it is anything but axiomatic. 

It is undeniable that within black American culture—the so-called “black community”—it is a given that the disadvantages of blacks as a group vis-à-vis whites are treated as the function of “white racism.”  Doubtless, although those individual blacks who could credibly claim to have experienced first hand white hostility are few and far between, generally, blacks would no more think to question the existence and prevalence of “white racism” than they would think to question their own existence. 


Still, this by itself doesn’t settle the issue concerning the motivation that informs much black animus toward whites.  There is another possible account that has no small measure of plausibility: the activity of targeting whites, if it comes at a cost at all, comes at very little cost to blacks.  To put it bluntly, blacks perceive whites as easy marks. 

Generally speaking (and it should go without saying that this is all general speak), white crime victims will have a significantly more difficult time identifying black perpetrators than they will have identifying white perpetrators.  Black criminals know this. 

But it isn’t just formal penalties that black criminals stand a greater chance of escaping in the event that they target whites rather than fellow blacks.  There are informal penalties, like retaliatory violence and the like, with which they are more likely to be met upon targeting other blacks.  To paraphrase none other than Jesse Jackson himself, it is hard even for blacks to resist the sense of relief by which they are overcome whenever they discover that the person walking behind them is white. 


There is another consideration that at once undercuts the “white racism” model of black-on-white hostility while strengthening my own account.  If it is “white racism” that fuels black aggression, then why is black-on-white violence dramatically greater today than it has ever been before?  After all, supposing for the moment that “white racism” is any kind of obstacle to black advancement today, no one denies that is has none of the ubiquity and robustness that it once possessed.   Yet in spite of this, yesteryear’s rate of black-on-white crime is a negligible fraction of contemporary rates. To repeat, as “white racism” diminishes, black-on-white hostilities increase.  Hmmm…..

The rise of black-on-white animosity is indeed difficult to explain if we insist on attributing it to a belief in “white racism.” However, if we consider it in light of the fact that blacks can in many instances attack whites with virtual impunity, then it begins to assume some sensibleness.


From this perspective, the idea that Obama’s election to the presidency would abate the belief of blacks in “white racism,” besides being false, is irrelevant, for the animus that blacks assert toward whites has little if nothing to do with this belief. 

A second reason for rejecting the optimists’ narrative is its naïveté.  If blacks, black youths in particular, refuse to be placated by legions of successful blacks in practically every aspect of American life, from the arts to the military, politics to the media, the legal profession to the medical profession to business, the idea that the presence of a black president is suddenly going to compel in them a revolution in attitude and conduct imposes an enormous tax on our credulity.


There is a third reason for the pessimism that attended the utopian fantasy of the “post-racial” society of which Obama would be the author.  Ironically, those people who labored incessantly to convince us pessimists and others to endorse this fantasy are exactly the same people who would simultaneously work just as diligently to insure that the perception of “white racism” remains alive and well!  Actually, this irony is only apparent, for those who sought Obama’s victory were, for the most part, his fellow travelers on the left and it has always been the left that has benefitted most from the belief in “white racism.”  In fact, it is the perception of “white racism” that Obama exploited in the first place in order to become president.


“Racism” is an industry, and has been for decades.  The election of a black man, a black man with the name of Barack Hussein Obama just seven years after Islamic terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on a day that will live in infamy, is indeed a potent sign that omnipresent and omnipotent “white racism” is a fiction of the first order.  Leftists recognize this, and in recognizing this they realize that their livelihoods and, in some instances, I’m sure, their very identities, are imperiled. So, like cornered animals scratching and clawing and biting to survive, leftists have, predictably, intensified their charges of “racism” since Obama’s election.  And there is no better way to do this than to transform every criticism aimed at the president himself, the very person, mind you, who holds the office that he does because of the support of whites, into a specimen of “the racism” of those very whites. 


Since Obama has become president over a couple of years ago, not only haven’t allegations of “white racism” not abated; black-on-white violence hasn’t either.  Moreover, a peculiar phenomenon has arisen in cities across the country, what has been referred to as “flash mobs.”  Mobs of blacks, mostly youths, will coordinate random assaults against whites by way of the cell phones. 

While these realities are ugly, to show that I am not devoid of all sympathy for our optimist, in the spirit of his disposition I will end this assessment on a somewhat cheery note: thankfully, neither Obama nor his minions will try to push this line of a “post-racial” paradise on anyone come next election season.

Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.

  • Jack Kerwick

    You haven’t made any points for me to refute.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Insults aren’t arguments. You haven’t refuted my points.

  • Jack Kerwick

    I realize now why you don’t want your family and friends knowing who you are. While I appreciate that you have taken the time to respond to my article, you don’t know how to argue; that is to say, you don’t know how to reason. Like many people who I’ve known, including some people in my family, you assume that proof of your own intellectual superiority consists in circumventing the opposing argument and hurling insults.

    Newsflash: condescension, arrogance, and hostility are not ingredients for a good argument. In fact, they reflect weakness and ignorance.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    “Doubtless, although those individual blacks who could credibly claim to have experienced first hand white hostility are few and far between…”

    This illustrates that you don’t live in a real world. Or you have an incredibly high threshold for “white hostility”. Probably both.

    As far as Obama’s election demonstrating an end of white on black racism, it just gave a lot of racist whites an excuse to bare down. Look at the Tea Party’s claims Obama is destroying the government by spending! Bush destroyed our surplus by cutting taxes and spent immense sums on two wars, the bigger one totally unnecessary. But that was fine with those tea partiers; not a peep out of any of them!

    And as for your claims of all that black on white racism, where’s your proof? It sounds like you’d like to start a race war, or at least you’re not worrying about doing it. You should at least have facts behind you.

    I suppose what you’re really doing is just in preparation for the next election; get as many whites stirred up about blacks as you can so they’ll vote against Obama.

    You are as immoral as Karl Rove, just a lot less capable.

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