Posted on April 23, 2022

Working at a Black Run Community Organization Made Me Love White People

Michael Brown, American Renaissance, April 23, 2022

This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.

I grew up in a largely white suburb. As I went through college, and then moved into the professional class, I believed what I had been told about pervasive systemic racism. At work, I implemented programs to increase hiring and professional development for “disadvantaged persons” (i.e. non-whites). I was even active in a black run community organizations which was focused on building up the black neighborhood next to mine. At that organization, I was always welcome, but always treated with some degree of suspicion. I was explicitly told it was because of my race. Most of my friends at the time were black, and most were politically active and focused on solving problems in their community. A man I respected a lot, who I considered a friend, was in the Nation of Islam and once told me “You are pretty good for being a white devil.” or something to that effect.

During that time of my life, I saw many very good black men do outstanding things, and met several men who I believe to be among the best men I have ever met: men who built businesses from nothing; men who worked hard for their families; men who wanted to teach the young people in their community what it took to be successful, both professionally and personally. They marshaled community and government resources, got assistance from largely white philanthropists, and support from media and cultural influencers. I watched these valiant attempts fail with clockwork regularity. We would celebrate even the tiniest victories because they were so few.

Perhaps five years into my work with that organization, I read Coming Apart by Charles Murray. I thought that if I understood what was making some white communities poor, and other white communities rich, I might be able to make gentle suggestions to my black friends who could then propose actions in their own names, to keep the credit “in house” if it worked well. What I discovered instead was assortative mating and its consequences. Maybe the community failures were partially a maladaptation of the social systems we put in place because not all groups of people have identical potentials. Maybe putting together free SAT preparation resources in black ghettos couldn’t work, and instead we should be putting in trade schools and bringing back traditional discipline for young people in this community. The idea horrified me, but I couldn’t stop seeing instances where that basic observation would have been very helpful.

The old men I approached with these ideas were not horrified, they remembered segregation and the changes in their community since its dissolution. However, they would not champion it — doing so would cause too many problems. Younger people couldn’t comprehend what I was getting at, and direct language would have caused me too many problems. I remember one old man said, “When segregation ended, the shops shut down and everyone worth a damn left.”

A few years before I left that black community organization, I began having a series of intrusive thoughts . . . What could an organization accomplish whose focus was to help disadvantaged white people in disadvantaged white communities? How many underutilized white minds exist in the mountains of Appalachia? What would they do with SAT prep, community centers, addiction recovery centers, etc.? Who would stand up for people who looked like me, and why am I trying to help people who get so much help, when my own people get so little? I learned to love white people because I was exposed to good and decent black men that loved theirs without apology.

If you have a story about how you became racially aware, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Use a pen name, stay under 1,200 words, and send it to us here.