By Larry Huss
President Joe Biden’s newly appointed director for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) moved quickly to add the CDC to other newly “woke” federal agencies according to National Public Radio by declaring “racism” a public health threat.
An April 9, 2021 article in Willamette Week noted:
“The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners declared racism a public health crisis Thursday, amid a pandemic that has devastated communities of color and a year of street protests that have forced many Oregonians to reckon with the state’s racist history.”
Well, what else did you expect? The knee-jerk reaction of the Portland liberal/progressive political elites was absolutely predictable – in fact, I put a stop-watch on how fast either or both the Multnomah County Commission or the Portland City Commission would race to the microphones to wring their collective hands and agree solemnly that racism is to blame for everything under the sun. (Actually I was worried that someone might be injured in the stampede to the cameras.)
Look, racism is a very ugly term. In its base form “racism” is the belief that all members of a race are either superior or inferior to others. A “racist” then is someone who harbors those beliefs. Now stop and think about that for a minute. Clearly you can see the fatal law in that belief system. Are there not exceptions in every instance? In fact, are not the exceptions so overwhelming in sheer numbers that the underlying belief (characterization) is void ab initio? That belief system clearly puts the adherent so far out of the mainstream of society that to name someone a racist is basically to banish him from civilized society. It is a lethal, incendiary accusation and it should be.
But it is not that incendiary today because that accusations of “racism” and “racist” have become so common, so coarse, and so frequently bandied about by the press and politicians that they are virtually meaningless. If you don’t like former President Barack Obama you’re a racist. If you don’t like Rev. Al Sharpton, you’re a racist. If you support voter identification requirements you’re a racist. If you support border security, you’re a racist. And on and on and on. If those are the current standards for determining racists, I guess I’m one now. It’s baloney and except for the savagery of the press and politicians it is as empty as the Social Security Trust Fund.
And now, racism is a public health crisis. No, it’s not. If you insist on seeing everything through a racism lens, you will conclude that everything is racist. And if you do, you’re an idiot.
And if you insist on seeing everything through a racism lens, you will miss the opportunities to cure the problem. It’s like trying to drive ice through a copper tube with a hammer – you shatter the ice, bend the tube and lose more than you deliver. All along you could have simply melted the ice, poured it down the tube and harvested the water on the other end – no mess, no damage, and no loss of material. But you will never come to a rational solution so long as you are blinded by the latest liberal/progressive sound bite. Unless you are willing to address the real causes of a problem you will obviously miss the legitimate means of addressing that problem and any successes that have occurred already.
Look there is a public health threat. It’s just not caused by racism. It’s caused by generational poverty and educational stenosis. When the China virus (COVID-19) pandemic roared through the country, the places hardest hit were the impoverished areas of major cities where multigenerational families were crammed together into substandard housing and the lack of real educational opportunity had deprived residents of any real understanding of the pandemic they faced, the treatments available and now the vaccines to dampen the spread. It was replicated in those portions of rural America where, similarly, multiple generations lived together in substandard housing and educational opportunities were haphazard.
It’s not just that educational opportunities are lacking, it is that education is not a community value. In its worst form, the community derides education as a waste of time because they believe that they will never escape the generational poverty and thus they must accept the fate of generational poverty and the health hazards that attend it (obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases).
The lack of educational opportunity is a primary factor in a continuation of the generational poverty. And not surprisingly, the socialist end of the liberal/progressive community – the teachers unions – are in full control of what is laughingly called the educational system. And it is the opposition of the teachers unions that continues to deny our most impoverished a path out of poverty through a good education. Charters schools have been successful and yet the teachers unions resist them. School choice has been successful and yet the teachers unions resist them. Teaching standards and merit-based pay have been successful and yet the teachers unions resist them. Measures of quality and competency have worked and yet the teachers unions resist them. More money for schools has always been championed by the teachers unions but it never results in new or better teachers – in fact, it is spent on pay raises based on longevity rather than merit and increased benefits. Despite the teachers unions constant whine about caring for the ch-I-I-I-l-l-l-d-d-d-r-r-r-e-e-n-n (it helps if you moan while saying it) the teachers unions don’t give a fig about the students – they are focused solely on pay raises, increased benefits and job security (read no disciplinary action or terminations). The teachers unions are the principle barriers to educational opportunity in those areas where it is needed most.
Racism as originally defined is an objective standard – it is measurable and identifiable. Racism as proliferated by the liberal/progressives is a subjective standard and means whatever they want it to mean. It is the same as the liberal/progressives’ insistence on using “equitable” instead of “equal” – equal is objective while “equitable” is subjective. The left’s preference for these types of perversions is their way of ensuring that there is no accountability – rather just a steady stream of accusations.
If you are a racist, you need to rethink your whole reason for being. If you are called a racist by the liberal/progressive mob you probably ought to just smile knowingly and keep doing what you know to be right.