Joseph Kay, American Renaissance, December 17, 2020
US race relations are a mess, overflowing with anger, and at the root of this muddle is America’s increasingly segregated society. Few whites have any real understanding of what blacks are like, and blacks likewise grievously misperceive whites. Clearly, more must be done to reduce burgeoning animosity, but nearly all conventional strategies to achieve better understanding — forced integration, mandatory anti-bias training, and even relentless TV commercials depicting interracial harmony — have proven futile. If anything, these measures exacerbate hostility. We must do better before matters deteriorate further into violence.
Consider two solutions that will promote greater interracial appreciation. They are certainly worth a try, and would not be especially expensive. The first attempts to cool the anti-white animus among black professional athletes; the second helps white college students better grasp the tribulations faced by underclass, previously incarcerated black men.
The anti-white anger among black professional athletes
Despite million-dollar salaries and near worship by millions of white sports fans, many black basketball and football players express hostility towards whites, if not the United States itself. Many dread just walking the streets in a society that threatens “black bodies.” That their protests alienate the fans that make their outsized salaries possible testifies to the depth of this rage. What can be done to cool it?
We’ll limit the solution to just the NBA, though it could be applied to any sports league. Here’s the plan. The league should play the next season in sub-Sahara Africa. Teams would be temporarily based in major cities such as Dar es Salaam, Dakar, and Nairobi. To promote fan enthusiasm, players and team personnel would avoid accommodations favored by rich, pampered foreigners such as the luxurious Johannesburg Four Seasons, in favor of small guest houses in slums such as Hillbrow and Berea. There they could eat and socialize with the locals. Excursions would be organized to “the bush” to see, firsthand, where their ancestors were abducted and sold into bondage. These hunt-and-camp trips would include evening meals of bushmeat (typically primates, even-toed ungulates, bats, and rodents) washed down with potentially toxic homebrew.
There would, of course, be some inconveniences for these millionaire black Americans returning to their ancestral lands, but all are surmountable. Guides might have to show these visitors how to enjoy the native food. LeBron James can chow down on some Egusi soup or Dodo — far superior to a Big Mac and fries, for sure. It will be especially important for these vibrant young men to dodge venereal diseases since sub-Saharan Africa leads the world in them (for example, 3.5 million cases per year of syphilis, 15 million cases of chlamydia, 16 million cases of gonorrhea, and 30 million cases of trichomoniasis). And if by chance sickness does strike, practitioners of African “traditional medicine” can cure the athletes.
Yes, there will be some crime — sky-high in many areas — but armed soldiers can accompany these wealthy Americans 24/7 and also guard their belongings when they are out shooting hoops. The guides can help them navigate encounters with local police and petty functionaries demanding payoffs for, apparently, no reason whatsoever. However, unlike what occurs in the US, African law-enforcement will not randomly shoot the athletes just for being people of color. Black lives really do matter in Africa!
These champions of blackness can experience other joys of post-colonial Africa. Traveling around Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for example, will open their eyes to the remarkable progress Africa has made since kicking out French and British overlords. Ditto for when the team journeys from Kano, Nigeria to Lumanda, Angola for an away game. The trip may take extra time by American standards, especially if the athletes are attacked by bandits or kidnapped by Muslim extremists, but it will surely offer insights into the wonders of modern African transport.
This sojourn into the Heart of Darkness may help the returning millionaires better appreciate the “white way” of running society. Yes, many will return infected by Chagas disease, cysticercosis, dracunculiasis, fascioliasis, and other tropical ailments, plus a few novel STDs, but a quick trip to a US medical center will get them ready for the next NBA season.
Yes, America’s toxic whiteness and structural racism will remain as before, and the police will still be feared for their anti-black predations, but, conceivably, black athletes may discover an appreciation for American plumbing, a functioning electrical grid, and an orderly transportation system. And let’s not forget the joys of McDonald’s or Burger King here in America, not exactly the delicious Kenyan Nyama na iro, but still edible. All in all, these months spent in total blackness might well help cool racial antagonisms.
Helping white college students better understand blacks
Racial conflict is now endemic on many college campuses, but much of it betrays a lack of understanding of what blacks are really like. White students are quick to protest “racial injustice” since all they hear are tales oppressed, marginalized people trapped in failing schools, deprived of well paying careers, and singled out by the justice system. This cartoonish account is too abstract and is thus likely to vanish after classes end. Anti-racist instruction is comparable to teaching privileged whites about exotic tribes such as the Guarani and the Kaingangn from the Brazilian rain forest. Knowledge should rest on more personal experience.
How, then, are white students to learn about blacks, especially black men, who are victimized by systemic racism? Fortunately, there are two trends that offer firsthand experience of the world of George Floyd while simultaneously helping the black community.
The first is the depopulation of many college campuses due to the Covid-19 virus. With virtual instruction, students are staying home, abandoning dorms and otherwise depriving colleges of revenue at a time when many schools are on edge of bankruptcy. Until academic life returns to normal, hundreds of schools need additional revenue, and the federal government seems unwilling to provide a bailout.
The second trend is the ending of mass incarceration, as thousands of black men convicted of non-violent, drug-related crimes are released from prison. But what is to be done with these newly freed victims of racism? How can they avoid recidivism and contribute to the community?
Both problems can be solved together. The solution is to pay the released felons to live on college campuses and to pay schools to receive them. The money could be diverted from the many ineffectual anti-recidivism programs. White students could then live and learn with George Floyd-like people.
The number of felons per college will naturally reflect enrollment and college setting. At Smith College, for example — a trendy, expensive all-women’s undergraduate school in bucolic Northampton, Massachusetts with an enrollment of 2400 — having 200 black felons on campus would probably suffice. But, given the lily-white locality, these men would require support services such as a nightclub featuring black dance music to make the Smith campus more black friendly.
These young men would attend classes, join discussions, and offer guest lectures on their personal battles against toxic whiteness. They would live in dorms and eat with fellow residents. Friendships would flourish, and wealthy white students would invite these formerly incarcerated men home with them during Christmas vacations to meet families. Many affluent white parents who never encountered people like Freddie Grey will have them as guests at family dinners. Diversity would no longer be some textbook abstraction.
White students could visit their black friends’ homes as well. Young whites who grew up in upscale Scarsdale, NY might spend a week in Baltimore socializing with people of color who, due to structural racism, must earn livelihoods as drug dealers, pimps, carjackers, aspiring rappers, hustlers, and muggers. They might even mingle with the former “crews” of their new friends.
Just like encouraging black athletes to spend time in Africa, this college experience might promote a more realistic view of race and thus help cool America’s current racial animus. Worth a shot, no?