“Can my children be friends with white people?”
This bizarre question is the basis of a New York Times op-ed published Sunday, and the author answers it with a “no,” albeit with some exceptions.
“History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way [of genuine friendship], and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities,” writes Ekow N. Yankah, a law professor at Yeshiva University.
WATCH CNN COMMENTATOR CALL TRUMP A WHITE SUPREMACIST:
According to Yankah, examples of white “contempt” for racial minorities in recent months include concerns over the opioid epidemic, worries over rising unemployment among working-class whites, and criticism of NFL players kneeling for the anthem. Apparently those issues receive far more attention than the woes of African-Americans, thus revealing the secret disdain whites have for non-whites.
With that conclusion assumed, Yankah declares the lesson he will teach his kids.
“As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible,” the law professor argues.
“When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.”
Throughout the article, Yankah bases this pessimistic attitude not on personal experience — he says his childhood hometown was remarkably free of racial tension — but on Donald Trump being president and the violence in Charlottesville.
A large number of white people voting for Trump is the final push in giving up on Caucasians.
“Of course, the rise of this president has broken bonds on all sides. But for people of color the stakes are different. Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth,” the professor asserts.
“Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trump’s political meaning, ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: ‘You can’t trust these people.”
He also attacks liberals who don’t protest enough or dare to criticize the excesses of racial activism as marked off from friendship.
While Yankah sounds exceptionally grim in his article on interracial friendship, he admits near the end that he has still lots of white friends and his biracial wife passes as Caucasian. Those facts undermine the seriousness of Yankah’s argument, but his intention is clearly not advocating for the total forsaking of interracial friendship.
It’s just another article attempting to shame whites for being, well, white. Yankah counts on The New York Times’ liberal audience to sympathize with his argument and ask themselves what more can they do for radicals like this law professor.
Voting for Democrats isn’t enough. Being a good neighbor to non-whites isn’t enough. Showing no sign of racism isn’t enough.
You must use all your time and energy protesting Trump and advocating for the Black Lives Matter agenda in order to earn trust from non-whites. Otherwise, you’re in the same league as those irredeemable Trump voters.
The deeper meaning of Yankah’s article is that whiteness is itself the 21st century’s Mark of Cain. Bearing that skin color means one is born with the taint of sin from historical injustices and present election outcomes.
One can only atone for this inherent evil by trying to be the wokest white dude possible, and never criticize the actions of those who don’t bear this awful color.
It’s a crazy concept that undermines the last 60 some years of teaching on race. Race is taught to be a social construct that we’re supposed to be getting over with time. You’re not supposed to judge someone by the color of their skin but by their individual character, according to the old consensus.
Columns like Yankah’s shows the reverse of that, pedestaling race as the chief factor in judging another person. And whites come out the worst in this process.
It’s worth remembering that Yankah is professor, and students are indoctrinated with similar messages on a regular basis as my book, “No Campus for White Men,” documents.
When views similar to the Yeshiva law professor’s are the norm, it’s no surprise that such a simple statement as “it’s okay to be white” causes such an uproar on campus.
Spurred on by 4chan, anonymous students have been posting signs declaring it’s okay to be white on campuses across the country. Not that’s it’s better to be white or that it’s great to be white. Simply that it’s okay to be Caucasian.
Those messages, instead of being ignored, have triggered university administrators and campus leftists into seeing the postings as outbursts of dangerous racism.
Marcia L. Sells, Harvard Law School dean, warned in a typical reaction to the messages that they were attempting to divide the university.
“HLS [Harvard Law School] will not let that happen here. We live, work, teach, and learn together in a community that is stronger, better, and deeper because of our diversity and because we encourage open, respectful, and constructive discourse,” Sells wrote in an email to students.
The overreaction to these rather benign posters sends the message that it is not okay to be white. Ignoring them as pranks would mean that schools accept “it’s okay to be white” as so basic that it would be like proudly boasting it’s okay to be left-handed.
But the meltdowns from campus activists and all-too serious concern from school deans means that there is something inherently wrong in stating it’s alright to be white.
With opinions like Yankah’s receiving a platform from America’s paper of record, more people should wake up to how a large percentage of higher education is teaching there’s something inherently wrong with one particular skin color.
Does that sound like an idea that will lead to more harmony in the country?