“True freedom requires the rule of law and justice, and a judicial system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others.” Jonathan Sacks
A few months ago I listened to a news program, I believe on BBC, about Jonathan Sacks who died last year. The program spoke about his influence on British political thought, and about his career as a former member of the House of Lords, a British Orthodox Rabbi, philosopher, theologian, and a well know public figure in the UK. At first it had no resonance with me as I knew little about him, but when they discussed his statement above that was particularly relevant to the current discursive discussion of race in the West, that resonated.
When compared to the mind numbing and perverse theories of White Supremacy, Critical Race Theory, and other collectivist and tribal theses, the Sacks’ quote makes the connection of concepts with systems and rights with such clarity, and yet so succinctly. I would have loved to have seen him as a guest speaker in American Universities and our Congress; likely he would have been shouted down and canceled in our current culture of misguided lock-step beliefs that are saturated with both obvious and subtle racism and classism. This is so regarding advocates of racial theories from all political groups, as if equality is a zero sum game, with rights that need to be rationed on the basis of race, and who is the perceived oppressor or oppressed.
I always found the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden being expelled because they ate the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge providing two metaphorical messages; one that knowledge is a sin, and two that this sin can be transmitted genealogically. While original sin is religious dogma, there are equivalent ones held by the perpetrators of White Supremacy and Critical Race Theory; in both cases belief in defective racial characteristics informs their theses and inspires their political activism.
While many people today do not subscribe to the belief in original sin as they see it as a moronic and vile concept, unfortunately many also fail to see the absurdity of ascribing to a human being an inherent inferiority based on their race. I am not making this criticism as a justification for some of the perverse concepts of equality; empirically no one can be equal to anyone else, and in fact the same person is not even equal to themselves at different times. While all should be equal under the law as Saks notes, it is absurd to think that any two human beings can be equal to each other; that would destroy the very concept of an individual, of actually being human.
Therefore it follows that each and every human being should be respected as an individual, each with their own characteristics and abilities, but all with the same rights under the rule of law and justice, and at no time can any human being be deprived of those rights in order to provide advantage to another. While this fundamental concept of liberty is imbedded in the founding principles of our nation, and in our very constitution, it has been violated through much of our history. It is this disease of racism that is the cause of the internal strife in American society, yet unfortunately we actually perpetuate it and often with ideas that we profess are meant to cure it.
As an example we have the case of the Parents Involved in Community Schools v Seattle School District No. 1. The District provided students’ parents the option to apply to any high school of their choice but also used racial quotas to maintain the diversity of the district. The Parents sued the District and the case went through the process of circuit courts, finding its way to SCOTUS in 2007. While there were the usual precedential arguments as this was not the first time for such a case, SCOTUS found that the District’s use of racial quotas violated the Equal Protect Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As Chief Justice Roberts stated, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” While SCOTUS’s ruling seems common sensible for such an obvious case of racism, it has not always ruled consistently on the issue. There were cases before and after this where SCOTUS ruled in confused and equivocating fashion regarding Affirmative Action, such as in the 2003 case of Grutter v. Bollinger, and other instances where racial quotas were employed; but the Parents v. District case did provide a precedential basis on which the law and justice are served.
For those who think that the cause for White Supremacy is fading, don’t be misled as the Klan is still very much alive, and in fact is reinvented with the rise of other such groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. For those that think that racism is limited to those groups, again don’t be misled as we have Antifa and DSA that embrace CRT. What is common to all these groups is the primitively collectivist thesis of race as a determinant of rights.
Inherent in all racism is this primitive tribalism corrosive to any civil society, whether that’s between whites and blacks, Han and Uyghur, Arab and Jew, the list goes on and unfortunately is plagued by seemingly intractable misconceptions of humanity manifested in both advocacy for and against racism. The concept of Aryan superiority is so obviously moronic that it does not require a high level of intelligence to reject its premise. However, while the same should be true of CRT, it’s apparent that it is making progress in infesting not only political activism in America, but in our educational institutions. There are actually k-12 school districts mandating its inclusion in curricula. Like all forms of racism it basically rejects the natural laws of humanity, particularly those of the Enlightenment and the rise of Classical Liberalism as institutions based on Western Civilization inherently structured to oppress those who are not white, and that this whiteness is an unavoidable characteristic of all white people. Yes, the theme of original sin lives on, and in this obvious form of racism now being taught to children.
Contrary to what most Americans think, CRT is not new. It has its roots in early post WWII America, and has informed many political activists since that time. The movement for Reparations is based on CRT concepts. The definition of reparation is making amends for a wrong one has done, most often by paying money or some form of help to those one has wronged. Since nearly none if any slave owners or slaves are alive today, the only logical basis for such reparations has to be racial. When I consider that this is proposed by many politicians today, I wonder how stupid they think Americans are when they tell us to end such racial divisions which they themselves have promoted for years.
Unfortunately what we have in America today is a widening gap on racial issues providing an opportunity for unethical politicians to manipulate to their advantage, and that is clearly the case in both main political parties, making tribalism that which informs much of the race discussion; as Thomas Sowell so eloquently put it, “Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing today?”
Unfortunately as absurd as Sowell may find our current condition, it is difficult to maintain an optimistic view regarding racism in America’s future. That said, and being an optimist by nature, I am heartened to read articles about parents groups taking action against the educational institutions that seek to include doctrinaire curricula such as CRT and racial quotas in our schools. The hope is that we love our children enough not to burden them with the psychological damage inherent in all racism.