… via my junk mail folder, to take a test to see if I am racist.
I didn’t see why. Since I’m white, it’s a given that I’m racist. Should have been the first question.
Still, I was curious about the questions. There were only 5.
1. Name three Black journalists you read or three Black websites you follow.
Journalists: John McWhorter, Larry Elder, Glenn Loury, Candace Owens, Charles Payne, Thomas Sowell, Jason L. Riley, Walter Williams, Star Parker, and more. Do I get extra credit?
Websites: Black Man with a Gun, Loury, McWhorter, Ayan Hirsi Ali have their name (or skin tone) on sites. These are integrated websites, though, so white people also appear and many are referenced. Does that still count? I’ve got more, if needed.
2. Name three Black authors whose books have influenced your life – and while you’re at it, three people you’ve shared those books with.
Authors: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Shelby Steele, Octavia Butler, Frederick Douglass, Jason L. Riley, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, Herman Cain, Allen West, Ben Carson, Alan Keyes, Booker T. Washington, Samuel R. Delany.
Shared: Way too many to count. I didn’t just talk about or lend the books (for one definition of ’shared’), quite a few were given away.
3. Name three tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement.
1-‘All lives matter’ is a racist statement.
2-‘White lives matter’ is a racist, Nazi, colonialist, patriarchal, homophobic, climate change denier statement.
3-All funding for police should be stopped.
4-Individualism is racist.
5-As is over acheivement in answering these questions.
4. Name three aspects of Black culture that you have had to learn and adapt to in order to succeed at your job.
For the (missing) definition of black culture, I’m excluding music, cuisine, arts, and sports since those are not directly related to any job I’ve, or most people, ever held.
In a water cooler gathering I could express an opinion on the cultural value of Billie Holiday’s rendition of Summertime vs Cardi B’s Wet Ass Pussy. I could declare collard greens are less objectionable than kale because greens are less bitter. I know Clementine Hunter’s first name is pronounced ‘Clementeen.’ I could say whether I’d prefer to have a beer with Herschel Walker or LeBron James.
I could decribe my favorite Harriet Tubman $20 bill design:
None of this has much to do with career success. Oh, maybe a bit of team building, but these days such conversations are least as likely to trigger some charge of microagression as to promote camaraderie. What if someone said Colin Kaepernick should become head coach at your Alma Mater?
Perhaps a job relevant definition of black culture could be found at some ‘acceptable’ authority. Say the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Alas, I skimmed 124 blog posts containing ‘black culture,’ and couldn’t find a chart comparable to their critique of white culture. Here’s their summary of white cultural characteristics.
Among many other ‘white’ characteristics, the SNMAAHC thinks these behaviors typify “white privilege, and anti-blackness” “woven into the very fabric of American society”:
1-Objective, rational, linear thinking
4-Time imposing its own objective rigidity (For example, show up on time. And see 2.)
Rejecting those those ideas never helped anyone succeed in a job outside of university _________ Studies programs, BLM organizing, Soros funded arson and looting claques, or Presidential Press Secretary.
My general adaptation to those who didn’t display those ‘white’ characteristics was to explain the benefits of logical thinking, being on time, saving money, and personal responsibility no matter the melanin content of the person who seemed unaware.
Let me anticipate the objection that I have abused the Smithsonian definition. One of the intellectuals I listed earlier, Thomas Sowell, is in apparent agreement with me:
In his collection of essays, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Sowell applied these ideas for understanding various groups. He showed, for instance, that what often passes for “black culture” in the United States, with its particular language, customs, behavioral characteristics, and attitudes toward work and leisure, is in fact a collection of traits adopted from earlier white southern culture.
Sowell traces this culture to several generations of mostly Scotsmen and northern Englishmen who migrated to many of the southern American colonies in the 18th century. The outstanding features of this redneck culture, or “cracker” culture as it was called in Great Britain at that time, included “an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and abeyant imagery.” It also included “touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization.”
Any commercial industriousness and innovation introduced in the southern states in the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, Sowell demonstrated, primarily came from businessmen, merchants, and educators who moved there from the northern and especially the New England states. The north generally had a different culture of work, savings, personal responsibility, and forethought – that resulted in the southern United States lagging far behind much of the rest of the country – a contrast often highlighted by 19th century European visitors.
The great tragedy for much of the black population, concentrated as it was in the southern states, was that it absorbed a good deal of this white southern redneck culture, and retained it longer than the descendants of those Scottish and English immigrants. Sowell explains that in the decades following the Civil War, black schools and colleges in the south were mostly manned by white administrators and teachers from New England who, with noticeable success, worked to instill “Yankee” virtues of hard work, discipline, education, and self-reliance.
In spite of racial prejudice and legal discrimination, especially in the southern states, by the middle decades of the 20th century a growing number of black Americans were slowly but surely catching up with white Americans in terms of education, skills, and income. One of the great perversities of the second part of the 20th century, Sowell showed, is that this advancement decelerated following the enactment of the civil-rights laws of the 1960s, with the accompanying affirmative action and emphasis on respecting the “diversity” of black culture. This has delayed the movement of more black Americans into the mainstream under the false belief that “black culture” is somehow distinct and unique, when in reality it is the residue of an earlier failed white culture that retarded the south for almost 200 years.
That’s an unfortunate cultural appropriation. It can be blamed partly on whites, though. So there’s that.
And, seriously, were I to have actually adapted to that ‘black culture,’ would that not have been cultural appropriation? Would I not have had to show up late for the meeting I called with my subordinates to set an example for all the
white people racists? Yeah, I know ’subordinate’ is badspeak. That programmer trainee should have had an equal vote – three votes if xir identified as black. I can see my 40 years of experience was ‘privilege.’
5. Name three racist remarks that you remember hearing, challenging, and you corrected.
1-‘All white people are racists.’
Robin D’Angelo can’t write more than one paragraph without mentioning it.
2-‘New York is Hymietown’.
-Jesse Jackson. Who may have been an inspiration for:
3-Ilhan Omar – “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
I have thoroughly castigated them all.
I’m looking forward to my score.