Stephen Paul Foster, American Renaissance, March 6, 2021
This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.
I didn’t take the red pill in one gulp. It came in the form of a slow-drip IV over decades. It was an antibiotic that eventually finished off a nasty infection of racial guilt I had contracted as a young teen.
I grew up in rural Michigan. I had no contact with blacks. Everyone around me was white. Most of them had a low opinion of blacks, and some of their mean-spirited comments about non-whites struck me as terribly inhumane and cruel. That impression was strengthened by what I saw on TV — George Wallace blocking the doors of the University of Alabama, Bull Connor’s police dogs and firehoses, etc. When I attended college, I acquired the vocabulary to express my moral outrage and I tried to expiate my white guilt. “Racism,” I was convinced, was America’s original sin.
But the more experiences I had with blacks, the less guilt I felt. Listing them all could fill a book, but one of the biggest was the racial unrest of the 1960s. In July of 1967, I was in downtown Detroit when the riot broke out, the worst one in America since the draft riots in New York City during the Civil War.
I sat in a car on Livernois Avenue watching blacks looting stores while helpless white cops looked on. I’ll never forget the happy, almost joyful looks on the faces of the looters — not the looks of beaten down, desperate people striking a blow at their oppressors. These were folks on a Sunday romp: Smash some windows, load up on free stuff, and give the finger to the cops. Rinse and repeat. And the “free stuff” they were taking weren’t the sorts of goods poor, desperate, hungry people would be after — fruits, vegetables, milk, etc. The looters were after big ticket items: television sets, stereos, fashionable clothing, and lots of liquor. For us white people, it was a riot. For them, it was party time on whitey’s tab.
The Kerner Commission Report came out a year later blaming the riots plaguing American cities such as Detroit on poverty and institutional racism. Blacks had literally run riot on the white man and now the white man was being blamed for it. I remember reading that report shortly after it appeared. I wondered if any of the authors had had direct experience with any of the rioters, looters, and thugs. Did the people behind the report know that during the riots, black criminals had shot at the white firemen trying to keep blacks from burning down their own neighborhoods? In the 50 years since, America has turned itself inside out trying to “eliminate racism,” yet blacks still riot and loot.
After seeing that riot first-hand, I started noticing how often whites were on the losing side of race relations in America: the Rodney King riots, the OJ Simpson trial, forced bussing, affirmative action, diversity training, etc. Everywhere I looked, raging black incivility and incompetence was only ever met with more white guilt and feckless palliatives. I spent decades in academia watching the phenomenal growth of the “diversity industry,” a confidence game built on guilt-leveraging of “racism.” Generic “racism” eventually turned ragged and worn from overuse. Hence the multiplier device: “institutional racism,” “structural racism,” “covert racism,” “environmental racism,” “economic racism,” “hipster racism” (for those inclined toward the exotic), and more to follow.
“Systemic racism,” now tops the hierarchy of “racisms.” It’s a worldview that sees bigotry absolutely everywhere in American society — which means that there are endless opportunities for people to carve out niches in the “anti-racism business.” The practice of “anti-racism” in America resembles a never-ending game of “whack-a-mole.” One of these pesky little critters pops up and you whack him down. Another immediately pops up somewhere else. A “diversity professional,” you might say, has a full-time job of playing whack-a-mole. It’s good work, if you can get it.
My white guilt and belief in racial equality are long gone. I’ve seen enough to know for sure that the races are different, and that the attempts to make them equal are largely scams. And the few honest egalitarians out there are doomed to failure, no matter how noble their intentions may be. I’m old. I have grandchildren, and I fear for their future. I hope young white adults take the red pill before it’s too late, before America starts to become another Zimbabwe.