It’s also reflective of a hang-up. Oh, this isn’t to say I believe we’ve achieved perfection in racial attitudes, perish the thought. It is to say, however, that seeing a failure to achieve perfection in an area as a characteristic problem is far more of a problem than what ostensibly needs invasive and aggressive remedy. It usually yields a cure worse than the disease.
If this statement raises eyebrows, perspective is needed. If we were otherwise perfect and called the ether home, any extant bigotry would rightly stick out like white sheets at a Black Panther meeting. Yet we are far from perfect. We exhibit not just one element of wrath but also its other manifestations and the rest of the deadly sins — greed, lust, sloth, pride, envy and gluttony — to varying degrees. So the question is not whether bigotry exists and is a problem, as this is true of every sin. It concerns whether it is a characteristic problem.
In other words, if we were to constantly lament our lacking math ability, it would imply one of two things. It either stands out in reality, making us pay it some mind, or it stands out only in our minds, in which case we are detached from reality. If the former, it would have to pale in comparison to the mathematical achievement of other nations or to our ability in other areas, such as English and history. So the question is, does our obsession with bigotry meet one of the last criterion’s two elements?
The reality is that we kill ourselves talking about bigotry, but much of the world kills others because of it. We’ve all heard about this, from the Balkan ethnic cleansing in the 1990s to the Ruandan genocide in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were murdered by Hutu tribesman, who happened to refer to them as “cockroaches.” Oh, I should mention that no hate-speech charges are in the offing.
But, okay, we’re better than the monster in another country, but maybe bigotry is the worst monster roaming our countryside. Except that, well, believing this requires the most incomplete of moral compasses. Let’s now contrast this manifestation of wrath with the rest of our national sins.
It’s obvious where we should start. Given that we have sexual imagery and innuendo everywhere, classes in pornography and “sexology” in colleges, and stories of children re-enacting Caligula’s court in schools, can we really make the case that bigotry is a greater problem than lust? What about greed? Well, given the Bernie Madoffs of the world, the recent Wall Street woes, rapacious government officials and the long-accepted maxim about the lust for money being the root of all evil, it just may rank a bit higher as well. Sloth? Our welfare state and handout-and-entitlement mentality. Envy? Class warfare. Gluttony? We have more obese people than the rest of the world combined. Pride? Given how people are loath to admit error — think Obama and his refusal to apologize to the Cambridge police — and the super-size egos that abound, this trumps bigotry also.
Leftists don’t realize it, but with their obsession, they are reminiscent of a group from the past which they view with utter contempt and mockery. And while it’s generally not true that authentic Christians were hung-up on sex, the people in question could be thus described. These were individuals who would, and I’ll be delicate, affix mechanical devices to boys to prevent a certain normal physiological reaction. (No, this was not medieval times but those of the “Enlightenment,” and the instigators were at least as likely to be physicians and scientists as churchmen.) I guess they figured that they “still had a long way to go.”
Now, people weren’t wrong to preach chastity just as we aren’t wrong to preach charity. But among the legitimate moralists of the day were those who caricatured the virtue, thereby perverting it, just as we do today with racial brotherhood. The question is, will you and I be voices of reason or, in obeisance to the age, insist that all racial talk is “dirty”? If the latter, then we will be deserving of the mockery when people two centuries hence laugh at how “repressed” we were.