In the political and social climate that we find ourselves in today, everything seems to be racist. In a recent tweet by Stephen A Smith, a sports commentary, but increasingly social justice warrior commentary on the former sports channel known as ESPN tweeted.
Here is the problem, does everything that has black in the title inherently connotate racism. Does, the term black-tie event, which refers to men wearing a traditional black tuxedo and women wearing elegant black evening gowns signify an inherent racist connotation towards people of color? How about a white party? That seems to be full of white pride and racist rhetoric. Or does it means a party in which all the guests wear white? Or is Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” secret code for white dominance and white supremacy.
Now, has the word black been associated with terrible things? Yes, but it has nothing to do with black people. The Black Death which killed an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia during the middle ages had nothing to do with racism or black people. Neither did Black Monday or Black Tuesday.
Stephen Smith is right to believe that racism is evil and disgusting. Racism in this country is a stain on our history, but that does not mean that systemic racism still exists. Does racism still exist? Yes, but we no longer have a systemic government orchestrated policy like Jim Crow Laws which were used to oppress black people and other minorities.
In my opinion, the major problem with comments like Smith’s and others is that we seek to find racism where racism doesn’t exist. When you do this, you turn people away because if everything is racism, then nothing is racist. If actual racism exists in a policy or practice, then please let us now Stephen. I will be there right beside you fighting these injustices. But when you try turning something that has no racist overtures into something more that than it is; it just divides and distracts from confronting real racism that still exists.
If you want to see actual racism confronted and defeated, I recommend you do what Daryl Davis has done. A black man that has befriended Ku Klux Klan members for the past 30 years, and has convinced 200 Klansmen to give up their robes, hate, and racist beliefs. Or how former neo-Nazi Michael Kent removed his swastika tattoo after his black parole officer Tiffany Whittier cared for and became a positive influence in his life and helped transform a neo-Nazi into a man that has loving friendships and relationships with people of all colors.
Stephen, your intentions might be noble, but noble intentions improperly directed can sometimes lead to counterproductive results.