Campaigners chose to make Trayvon Martin the focus for a national discussion of race in America. But it was never going to lead to an enlightened and rational debate. In seeking to personalise the issue and create an emotional tie through Martin’s case, campaigners dodged the significant structural and institutional barriers that give rise to racial inequality. And by portraying racism as something that comes from deep within the hearts of white people (so deep that whites often don’t even realise they’re racist), today’s elitist ‘anti-racist’ outlook makes racial divisions appear hopelessly insurmountable.
This comes from Spiked, an online British publication (h/t Mark Brady). Read the whole thing.
I am a little disappointed in myself for not paying closer attention to this trial. Its importance for understanding American society has just become evident to me over the past few days. For what it’s worth, I think the US is still a deeply racist society. I think there are structural and institutional barriers in place today that prohibit most blacks from having the same support networks as other ethnic groups.
I think that the government is responsible for these structural and institutional imbalances, but also that black leaders are responsible for failing to consider (consider) anything other than statist solutions to the problems that afflict American society. I also think that religion is partly to blame. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams may go to church on Sundays, but you’d never know it based solely on their arguments.
I’ve got a post on peace coming up shortly. Hopefully it’ll be much clearer than this.