Thursday, April 19, 2012

Least Racist Country in the World

Recent events have stirred the racial pot in the U.S. once again, and it's good to remind ourselves when the race-baiters and race-haters appear on our news outlets that America is one of the least racist countries, if not the least racist country, in the world. This is the message of a Dennis Prager column from a couple of weeks ago. Prager writes that everyone knows this except the ideological left and black Americans who are constantly reminded by those stirring the pot that they're still oppressed by a racist nation that wants only to exploit them. Prager opens with this:
In light of the tragic killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin -- and the manufactured hysteria surrounding it -- one thing needs to be stated as clearly and as often as possible: The United States is the least racist and least xenophobic country in the world. Foreigners of every race, ethnicity, and religion know this. Most Americans suspect this. Most black Americans and the entire left deny this.

Black Africans know this. That is why so many seek to live in the United States. Decades ago, the number of black Africans who had immigrated to the United States had already surpassed the number of black Africans who were forcibly shipped to America as slaves.

And members of other races and nationalities know this. Even Muslim and Arab writers have noted that nowhere in the Arab or larger Muslim world does an Arab or any other Muslim have the individual rights, liberty, and dignity that a Muslim living in America has. As for Latinos and Asians, vast numbers of them from El Salvador to Korea regard America as the land of opportunity.

And when any of these people come here - from anywhere, speaking any language, looking like a member of any race -- they are accepted as Americans the moment they identify as such. He or she will be regarded as fully American. This is not true elsewhere. A third-generation Turkish-German, whose German is indistinguishable from the German spoken by an indigenous German, will still be regarded by most Germans as a Turk. The same holds true elsewhere in Europe. On the other hand, a first-generation Turkish American, who speaks English with a heavy Turkish accent, but who identifies as American, will be regarded every bit as American as anyone else.

As is often the case, a foreigner pointed this out most clearly. On a visit to America in February, The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, said: "The other day, I was in a small company -- and there were Asians, Koreans, Middle Easterners, some other people. And they had been in America for, like, two, three, four years. And they talk American. They look American. Body language is American. I'm sure they already think American. Go to Korea and become Korean in one or two years' time. Good luck with that. That's what's so special about this country."
Prager argues that the left in general and the Democratic Party in particular are deeply invested in the narrative of white oppression:
The political aspect is this: The Democrats and the left recognize that if blacks cease viewing themselves as victims of racism, the Democratic Party can no longer offer itself as black America's savior. And if only one out of three black Americans ceases to regard to himself as a victim of racism, and votes accordingly, it will be very difficult for Democrats to win any national election.

The other issue is black memory. Apparently, most blacks either cannot or refuse to believe that the vast majority of whites are no longer racist.
I think Prager is right about this. Many if not most white Americans don't want to be, or be thought to be, racist, and they bend over backwards to not give offense and to not even entertain thoughts that might be construed as bigoted. On the other hand, it's black organizations like the New Black Panthers and black individuals like Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, et al. who seem determined to keep blacks and whites from ever getting to the point where they live harmoniously with each other.

Racial rapport will remain out of reach as long as blacks and whites are held to different standards of behavior. When the New Black Panthers put bounties on "whites" like George Zimmerman for shooting a black kid under ambiguous circumstances, when black on white violence that occurs every day in our cities is met with silence by the black community, when whites are outraged when blacks are treated with possible injustice but blacks express no discernible outrage at unjust treatment of whites by blacks, all that's going to happen is that white resentments will be stoked and the gulf between the races is going to widen.

This would be a tragedy for our nation after all these years of progress, but it'll be inevitable unless we start holding everyone to the same standards of justice and civility. Right now we don't.