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What’s Trending for Conservatives? ‘Racism Talk Breeds Disunity’
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education ^ | September 5, 2013 | Ibram X. Kendi

Posted on 09/06/2013 6:00:29 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Since the exoneration of George Zimmerman on July 13, we have witnessed a heightened awareness of racism, a heightened openness to discuss the truth of racism, a heightened enthusiasm to drive racism out of the core of American institutions and thought. Racism talk is flying around our nation, buzzing in the ears of sweating conservatives, annoying them to no end.

It is a fascinating rhetorical strategy conservatives are using to shoo away the circulating conversation on racism. They are not merely saying racism is now inconsequential. They are not merely blaming the victim.

Conservatives say racism talk is breeding disunity, disunity between the races. It is driving the races apart. Racism is not causing disunity. It is talk of racism causing disunity, they say.

This is their common comeback to Americans protesting against Zimmerman, the verdict, and mass incarceration. Time and time again over the last two months, the anti-Zimmerman protesters have been labeled racist, are told they are polarizing America.

Oprah Winfrey shared her thoughts on the case recently while promoting her new film, The Butler. “Trayvon Martin paralleled Emmett Till,” she said. “In my mind. Same thing.”

The next day, fill-in anchor Jesse Watters responded to Oprah’s comments toward the end of Fox News’ The Five. “It was a big missed opportunity for Oprah Winfrey,” he said. “I was expecting her to kind of take the high road and elevate the conversation and bring the country forward and add a little unity here. But instead she made this atrocious analogy, and I am a little disappointed in Oprah.”

Michael Meyers of the NY Civil Rights Coalition, as a guest on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, said Oprah’s “comments are so outrageous, so racially offensive, such racial rhetoric, that I say she is now engaging in idiocy and racial poison.” The racism is not the poison, according to Meyers. By talking about racism, Oprah Winfrey is poisoning America.

Glenn Beck called Oprah’s statement “offensive” and “evil.” Beck never called the ideas, the racial profiling that led to an unarmed teenager being killed evil. He never called the Zimmerman verdict, which demoralizes the value of Black teenage male life, offensive to the mothers, fathers, siblings and friends of these teens.

Oh, and for charges of racism in Washington, conservatives are using this comeback, too. In early August, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told KNPR radio that it is obvious Republicans are “doing everything they can to make” President Barack Obama fail. “And I hope, I hope — and I say this seriously — I hope that’s based on substance and not the fact that he’s African-American.”

National Republic Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring immediately took to twitter to call Reid’s comments “offensive” and “insane.”

Tea Party Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., one of two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate, also issued a rejoinder to Reid. “I am sincerely disappointed by continued attempts to divide the American people by playing to the lowest common denominator. Instead of engaging in serious debate about the failed policies of this administration … Democrats are once again trying to hide behind a smokescreen.”

Racism talk is a smokescreen, the great divider of the American people, so say conservatives. It is a compelling talking point because it is undeniably true. Talk of racism does polarize America, pitting racists against anti-racists, victim blamers against the victims’ supporters, the ignorers against the acknowledgers of racism.

Racism talk also angers and alienates a large segment of Americans — liberals and conservatives, Whites and many non-Whites — who believe in the mythology of colorblindness, reverse racism and race neutrality. It is easy to persuade people that racism talk is divisive if they believe racism to be history or insignificant. It is not difficult to convince people that racism talk is offensive, is setting America back, if they believe a post-racism society would be colorblind.

Talk of racism also rushes feelings of guilt and anger to the fore. We all know how difficult it is for Americans to talk about race. When conservatives proclaim racism talk breeds disunity, racism talk is the problem, as guarded emotional creatures, we want to agree and end the conversation, and some of us do. Like when our abusers say talking about their abuse hinders our relationships, drives wedges between us — that we need to be more positive; the abuse talk (not the abuse) is our problem — we want to agree and be quiet, and some of us do.

The abuse, the racism, must be voiced and discussed, no matter how hard, no matter who is alienated. When conservatives say those voices are causing disunity, there is no reason to deny the truth. In fact, it has always been true. During slavery, slaveholders told abolitionists their voices were breeding disunity. And they were. During the Jim Crow era, segregationists told Martin Luther King Jr. his voice was breeding disunity. And it was. Racism talk still breeds disunity.

Our response today has to be the same it has always been: We prefer a “positive peace which is the presence of justice” to a “negative peace which is the absence of tension,” as King wrote in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, a few months before the March on Washington.

“Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal,” he continued, “so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (formerly Ibram H. Rogers) is an assistant professor of Africana studies at University at Albany — SUNY. He is the author of The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. Follow on Twitter


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blackrage; blacks; college; conservatism; conservatives; racism; trayvon; zimmerman
No, you read that right, he's actually a professor at a major university.
1 posted on 09/06/2013 6:00:29 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Of course, he talks right past the real point conservatives are making: that black racism against whites is the issue today, not white racism against blacks. They refuse to see the mote in their own eye.


2 posted on 09/06/2013 6:07:36 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

ANYONE named ibram x. kendi is a racist.


3 posted on 09/06/2013 6:10:45 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sheesh!

Hey Ibram, why don’t you visit some social ministry, any social ministry, and observe who does the volunteering to serve Obama’s people.

It ain’t Trayvon nor Trayvona.

In fact, without honkies there would not be any social ministries in this country.


4 posted on 09/06/2013 6:10:52 PM PDT by 353FMG ( I do not say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal,” he continued, “so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”

Yes, sir, those nonviolent gadflies are called conservatives, and we are working to overcome the dark prejudices of people like you. Got it?
5 posted on 09/06/2013 6:16:08 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Was Never racist til this Marxist punk came along.
Now I look suspiciously at ALL blacks as most likely quota boys or girls.


6 posted on 09/06/2013 6:19:45 PM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) ( Hey Rubio, eat pooh pal))
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To: 353FMG

Without crazy assed crakers, the naalcp wouldn’t even exist.


7 posted on 09/06/2013 6:23:45 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When people like this willfully engage in such acts of misinformation they only serve to gnaw at the branch they themselves are perched upon. I only know of a couple of people on my side of the divide who ever say anything even remotely similar to what he attributes to us.

I know of and hear from many many many on his side who live and breathe the poison he accuses us of embracing. In the end it is how we live that makes the difference. I don’t live his lie - but he does. I don’t crap in the pool like he does so there is nothing he can say that makes one whit of difference to me. It blinds him to the truth however and just makes his life more crass, more mean, and more angry.

Perhaps if they were to spend a little time and effort looking within instead of projecting their ugliness onto others...


8 posted on 09/06/2013 6:35:55 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Africana Studies”, pffft!


9 posted on 09/06/2013 6:36:23 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

If he teaches “African Studies”, maybe he can tell us why killing the white Africans makes the black Africans hungry, and why they keep doing it.


10 posted on 09/06/2013 6:40:16 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yo, Ibram! Do something about the 30-something grandmothers, the serial absentee fathers, the inner cities you destroyed, the education system you dumbed down, the government jobs you fill with unqualified incompetents, the criminal culture you sustain, and all the rest.....and THEN we can talk about “racism.”


11 posted on 09/06/2013 6:54:56 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Don't twerk me, Bro!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s becoming like that old game show, ‘Name That Tune.’
Something made me look for the author’s name, then a quick search and ...
“George—I can name the author’s race in the opening paragraph!”

Name that race, tumblindice!

He’s an Amishman, isn’t he.


12 posted on 09/06/2013 7:05:05 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They now hand out doctorates for being brown skinned. Whatta country!


13 posted on 09/06/2013 7:07:07 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
. He never called the Zimmerman verdict, which demoralizes the value of Black teenage male life, offensive to the mothers, fathers, siblings and friends of these teens

demoralizes the value of Black teenage male life??

14 posted on 09/06/2013 7:56:18 PM PDT by gitmo ( If your theology doesn't become your biography it's useless.)
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To: rockrr

If OJ hadn’t gotten away with killing Nichole he too would be added to the list of black matyrs of racist America’s injustice.


15 posted on 09/06/2013 8:25:36 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: rockrr

If OJ hadn’t gotten away with killing Nichole he too would be added to the list of black matyrs of racist America’s injustice.


16 posted on 09/06/2013 8:25:37 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Bingo. Pot, kettle... oh wait that would be racist!


17 posted on 09/06/2013 8:51:20 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

Come to think of it... everything is!


18 posted on 09/06/2013 9:13:55 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So many mistakes, so little point in correcting them, because the author is a complete idiot.

Oh well, let's just take one part this very popular little fantasy:

...the racial profiling that led to an unarmed teenager being killed...

Martin was on top of Zimmerman, beating him to a pulp. He had broken Zimmerman's nose and had repeatedly slammed Zimmerman's head into the concrete. Zimmerman tried to shift his position under Martin to move his (Zimmernan's) head away from the concrete and onto the grass. When he did that, Zimmerman's jacket fell open, exposing his holstered pistol. At that point, the famously "unarmed" Martin noticed the pistol and did his level best to arm himself with that pistol. Zimmerman was able to get to the gun first, and used it immediately.

This was a fight to the death for Zimmerman's pistol. The good guy won, the bad guy lost. It's very simple.

Zimmerman passed a lie detector test, and his account was partly confirmed by an eyewitness. Zimmerman's injuries and Martin's injuries were fully consistent with Zimmerman's account. When told (incorrectly) by the police that the whole fight had been recorded on video, Zimmerman responded, "Thank God!" In short, there are excellent reasons to believe Zimmerman, and no reason to doubt him unless you are intellectually dishonest and you desperately need to believe a racial victimization fantasy.

According to a Washington Post poll, eighty-six percent of blacks disagreed with the Zimmerman verdict. There are different ways to explain that, all of them sad or ugly or both.

19 posted on 09/06/2013 11:23:02 PM PDT by TChad
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To: TChad

part this > part of this


20 posted on 09/06/2013 11:24:14 PM PDT by TChad
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Conservatives say racism talk is breeding disunity, disunity between the races. It is driving the races apart. Racism is not causing disunity. It is talk of racism causing disunity, they say.

Talk about racism isn't the issue - spouting racism and claiming racism and other such demagoguery is the issue. Too bad so many Blacks and those on the Left are not capable of grasping such a simple point.

I was talking with a Black gentleman the other day and he lamented that society is going down the tubes. He suggested that bringing back the draft or just requiring all men to spend 2 years in the military between the ages of 18-25 would greatly improve the structure. There are some good ones out there but they are being overshadowed by the scum.

21 posted on 09/07/2013 4:10:09 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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