An interesting discussion on where all this racial strife we’re seeing of late comes from, and some good points made.
Klavan believes all the talk you hear about race comes down to a more fundamental war – namely, leftism vs. liberty. It is by dividing people into interest groups and playing them off against one another that the Left can make anybody interested in what they have to say.
Both make the case that the kind of institutionalized racism we constantly hear about doesn’t exist. And they’re correct, to a point. There are some things people of color can point to and make the case that we’re not a completely colorblind society, and that your race can impact how you’re treated by others – including folks like cops, bankers and so on.
Except while some of those things may have to do with race, it isn’t sufficient to say they’re caused by racism. For example, black men tend to be shot by the police in disproportionate numbers – but then again black men commit an absolutely staggering amount of crime compared to other demographic groups. So if black men are treated unjustly as criminals by the cops, is it because the cops are racist or because black men tend to be the ones who are criminal? And while cops shoot black men more than any of us would be satisfied with, it also seems to be true that when cops get shot – which is happening at an alarmingly increasing rate, by the way – it’s disproportionately black men doing the shooting.
If we’ve got a criticism of this discussion, it’s that not enough attention is paid – though Whittle does bring it up at the end – to culture. It’s culture which drives these outcomes, not skin color. If you buy into a culture of failure – whether you’re a Mexican gang member, a white stoner or a black Thug Culture adherent – you’re unlikely to be successful in life. And too many of us, regardless of race, are choosing cultures of failure.
We don’t really need this constantly-ballyhooed National Conversation On Race. What we need is a National Conversation On Culture. At least Klavan and Whittle are willing to go there, if they’re not quite explicit enough about it.