by Edward Ring
About a year ago, Vice published an article by Kesiena Boom called “100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color.” Offered as a way for the “anxious [White] allies of the world” to “be the change,” the article serves as a pretty good example of leftist attitudes on race. But what if these leftist, liberal attitudes are themselves racist?
By now we’re all familiar with the broad outlines of this narrative. Racism is real whether you can see it or not (No. 1). Don’t engage in “cultural appropriation” (No. 11). Don’t claim to know what is or isn’t racist (No. 17). Realize that “some days are mentally exhausting for people of color” (No. 20). Make a fuss if a collection of art, music, literature, or whatever, doesn’t include proportional representation by people of color (No. 27). Understand the “intersections of race and gender” (No. 43). Shut up and “just listen” (No. 68).
Perhaps the biggest common thread in Boom’s article is its air of moral superiority. People of color will dictate the terms of any discussion on race, and white people will keep quiet and listen. The problem with accepting this premise, however, is that the stakes are too high. According to Pew Research, by 2020 one-third of America’s eligible voters will be “nonwhites.”
Colorful Symmetries, Troubling Trends
If America’s “people of color” were as diverse in their voting preferences as non-Hispanic whites, the fact that they’re about to constitute one in every three voters wouldn’t mean much. But the opposite is the case. In the 2018 election, white voters leaned Republican, 54 to 44 percent, but Republican competitiveness ended there. Only 29 percent of Hispanics voted Republican, only 23 percent of Asians voted Republican, and only 9 percent of blacks voted Republican.
The conclusions you can draw from this unambiguous data have profound implications. The voting patterns of nonwhites are nearly monolithic in favor of Democrats, and the impact of this is transforming America’s political landscape. If nonwhites were the only voters, then today—based on the proportions of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in the electorate—Democrats would get 78 percent of the vote. When you bring that monolithic preference into the total electorate, the symmetry is rather neat: without nonwhite voters, Republicans get 54 percent of the national vote; with everyone participating, Democrats get 54 percent of the vote.
This fact—that America’s politics are fundamentally altered by nonwhite voters preferring Democrats by a margin of nearly four to one—makes it necessary for white Republicans not only to stop being silent on issues of race and racism, but it obligates them to speak up. It is absurd, manipulative nonsense for anyone to tell white conservatives that they have to “shut up” and just be an “ally” on issues of race, when their destinies and their futures are being decided by nonwhite voters.
Not only are nonwhite voters already delivering the decisive swing vote in elections across the nation, and always in only one direction, but this reality is just beginning.
In just 16 years, between 2000 and 2016, the proportion of non-Hispanic white children in the U.S. declined from 61 percent of all children to 51 percent. Today, three years later, it’s less than 50 percent. Based on decades of consistent voting patterns and already established demographics, America is sliding, irrevocably, toward permanent rule by Democrats.
Shutting up is not an option. Whites have as much right to comment on issues of race as nonwhites, and just as much to lose if they are silent. And after all, what if the most toxic, devastating forms of racism aren’t coming from conservative Republicans, but from liberal Democrats? Wouldn’t everyone, especially nonwhites, want to hear the news?
Liberal Racism Rightly Understood
One of the reasons Republicans lose the vote of nonwhites is because Democrats have successfully tainted Republicans as racists. Who wants to vote for a party filled with racists? But if you examine the various types of racism infecting American society, there’s a strong argument to be made that the actual racism is coming from the Democrats.
First of all, you can rule out the obvious racism that everyone deplores. If you object to two people who love each other marrying because they’re from different races, you’re a racist. If you prejudge someone before you get to know them and dislike them because of their race, you’re a racist. If you deliberately deny someone an opportunity solely because of their race, you’re a racist. These are examples of toxic, indefensible racism that no serious person in American society defends.
But the third example provides a segue into what we might call liberal racism, because liberal racism isn’t whites denying nonwhites opportunities, it’s institutionalized discrimination against whites in favor of less qualified nonwhites.
If that raises the hackles of social justice warriors and their professional enablers in the diversity bureaucracy, that’s just too bad. Because affirmative action of all kinds is racism, plain and simple. And it doesn’t do anyone any good. It places less qualified nonwhites into college classrooms and corporate offices where they are not able to compete with their peers. This tempts the underachievers to believe the diversity bureaucracy’s B.S. about needing safe spaces and special treatment, and it embitters every better-qualified college or job applicant who didn’t get the opportunity they’d earned through merit.
These laws breed corruption and resentment wherever they appear. Small business owners are told they can’t compete for contracts or loans unless they have nonwhite partners. A cottage industry is formed where nonwhite partners, with no assets to put at risk and minimal qualifications, make themselves available to business owners who have invested decades of their lives and every penny they’ve ever made into a business. Who carries more risk? Who worked harder? How is this helpful?
There are nonwhite conservatives who understand there are no shortcuts to success. The list of influential black conservative Republican intellectuals and influencers, is huge, including Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Larry Elder, Ward Connerly, Condoleezza Rice, Alan Keyes, Star Parker, Walter Williams, Mia Love, Candace Owens, and countless others. Unfortunately, their work is marginalized by the liberal press and by their ideological opponents within their communities. But it isn’t just to nonwhites that white conservatives have to be more outspoken, it’s to other whites who have not questioned the liberal catechism on race.
Enforced racial quotas that do more harm than good to both whites and nonwhites are not the only liberal policy with racist consequences. Another example of liberal racism is K-12 public education policies, where the iron grip of leftist teachers unions have denied quality education to generations of nonwhites in America. Conservative Republicans didn’t destroy our public schools, the liberal Democrats did, by supporting teachers unions that care more about pay, benefits, and job security than about the children they’re supposed to educate.
Along with eliminating the ability to fire incompetent teachers, and drowning effective instruction in a torrent of “process” rules and bureaucracy, liberal Democrats have supported so-called “restorative justice,” which in practice makes it almost impossible to expel nonwhite students for discipline problems unless a proportional number of whites have also been expelled. Lack of discipline ranks as high as bad teachers and politicized curricula among the reasons why our public schools are failing, and expulsion quotas make matters worse, not better. Liberal Democrats are to blame for all of it.
Republicans, by contrast, support increasing the proportion of classroom teachers in K-12 schools and cutting back the expensive bureaucracy. Conservative Republicans support charter schools, homeschooling, private schools, and school vouchers—all designed to make schools compete to provide quality education. Conservative Republicans support bringing discipline back into the classroom, firing incompetent teachers, restoring math and language fundamentals to the curriculum, and reforming out-of-control teacher pensions that are bankrupting public education. What’s racist about any of that?
Another example of liberal racism is the indirect but devastating effect of “green” politics. The real world result of renewable portfolio standards is huge increases to the cost of energy. This means members of low-income communities, often nonwhite, are less able to afford to pay their utility bills. Affluent white liberals can congratulate themselves for supporting expensive renewables because paying those bills doesn’t take up such a high percentage of their disposable income.
Environmentalist policies in general disproportionately harm nonwhites, along with all low-income communities. Restricting housing development under environmentalist pretexts creates a real estate bubble, forcing rents and home prices up. Low-income people have to pay higher rents to live in places further from their jobs, and then they have to sit in congested roads because liberals wanted to allocate public funds to high-speed rail and other impractical, but “environmentally correct” transportation boondoggles.
None of these green policies—certainly not renewable energy or restrictions on housing development—does much for the environment. But they do make life much harder for low-income households, many of which are nonwhite.
When it comes to liberal racism, the biggest culprit is socialism itself. Mainstream Joe Biden type Democrats are just corrupt liberals, mouthing anti-racist platitudes to attract votes while their liberal racist policies do more harm than good to nonwhites. But the rising tide of die-hard socialists within the Democratic party—fueled, in part, by rising percentages of nonwhite voters—threatens to bring new levels of misery to everyone, nonwhites most of all.
Whether this new breed of Democrats are just pandering cynics like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), or fanatical ignoramuses like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), their ideas, including reparations, redistribution of wealth, open borders, free healthcare, free college tuition, 100 percent renewable energy, guaranteed income, guaranteed jobs, and so forth, are utterly infeasible. If even half of these schemes ever became law, the United States would lose the prosperity that is the surest and, possibly, only way that nonwhites can be assured the opportunity for upward mobility.
Ultimately, that’s what liberal racism is all about. It isn’t about raising nonwhites up through equal opportunity, it’s about enforcing equal outcome, no matter what the cost. In the real world, that cost would be crushing. History is filled with examples of failed socialist utopias, and current events provide additional examples unfolding before our eyes.
America’s “people of color” need to make some tough choices. Do they want to adhere to the liberal racist temptation to blame any shortcomings in their lives on white oppression, or do they want to grab the American dream the only way it can endure, which is through hard work and merit against an immutable and equally applied standard?
It is ludicrous that conservative whites cannot join that conversation. The future of America is at stake, and everyone’s voice must be heard.
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Edward Ring is a Senior Fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is a co-founder of the California Policy Center, a free-market think tank based in Southern California, where he served as their first president. He is a prolific writer on the topics of political reform and sustainable economic development. Ring, a fifth-generation Californian, has an undergraduate degree in political science from UC Davis, and an MBA in finance from the University of Southern California.