The New Racism of the Elect
A new movement is emerging on the left. This movement sells guilt and self-flagellation and calls it antiracism. Its leaders present themselves as the absolute authority on race relations and claim that being a good white person means following their instructions. But when it comes to racism, “the elect” (to borrow Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter’s term for members of this movement) misdiagnose the problem and posit solutions that will make bigotry in the United States worse.
The commentators of the elect are myriad, but three books represent the face of the movement. The first is White Women: Everything You Already Know about Your Own Racism and How to Do Better, a New York Times bestseller by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao. The second is White Fragility, the bestseller by Robin DiAngelo that launched a movement. The third is lesser known but equally impactful. Is Everyone Really Equal? is a textbook for education graduate students in which DiAngelo and coauthor Özlem Sensoy lay out the intellectual underpinnings of this new movement.
The elect attempt to tackle bigotry, but their leaders assume we’re still stuck in the 1920s. Jackson is a black woman and Rao is a South Asian woman. They make a big deal of the fact that they’re willing to work together in spite of having different ethnicities. They call it an “incredibly radical act” that “can’t be overlooked.” The authors seem to think they live in a world where people of different skin colors all hate each other and that their personal willingness to bridge the gap is somehow transformative.
That’s a grim worldview, and luckily, it doesn’t match reality. In 2015, the Pew Research Center noted that 46 percent of newlywed US-born Asian Americans were in an interracial marriage and that 18 percent of African American newlyweds were married to someone of a different race. The plain fact is that lots of Americans are comfortable spending their lives with someone of a different racial background. What Jackson and Rao describe as “radical” is, for most of us, an ordinary fact of life.
It’s not just Jackson and Rao. DiAngelo sees racists everywhere. In White Fragility, she claims that all white
Article from Mises Wire