Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Is Racism Moral Now?

Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expediencies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people . . .

—Damon Young, New York Times contributor

Over the past year, I have, of course, still had to interact with white people on Zoom or watch them on television or worry about whether they would succeed in reelecting a white-supremacist president. But white people aren’t in my face all of the time. I can, more or less, only deal with whiteness when I want to . . . White people haven’t improved; I’ve just been able to limit my exposure to them.

—Elie Mystal, The Nation

Racism is the deductive bias against, and often hatred of, an entire racial group. It is often birthed by dislike of particular individuals of a given group that supposedly justifies, by extension, disliking or indeed hating all of them. The popular reaction against this widespread toxic pathology shown African Americans birthed the anti-slavery movement, the Civil War, the resistance to Jim Crow, and the modern Civil Rights movement.

But now there grows a strange new ahistorical “antiracism” racism.

One variety encourages holistic hatred, blaming all of one’s own unhappiness, indeed all of the cosmic injustice in the manmade and natural world—the very air, water, and earth—on a white racial collective.

Another constructs a purported racial pathology to encourage segregation and separation from all members of the white race, thereby limiting all “exposure” to a toxic people.

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