“This is the poisonous heart of CRT: that white people, by virtue of merely existing, are all morally problematic and always will be. Even if all the systems have been repealed. Even if you’d never racially discriminate yourself. Even if you spent your life fighting racism. That is why Bond called the Abolitionist movement indistinguishable in terms of its racism from the KKK! Why? Because whites are only ever whites…Absorb that for a moment. This foul race essentialism, this view of white Americans as a single, undifferentiated blob of hate existing through the centuries as a force for the oppression of non-whites is simply the inverse of the old racism. It’s replacing hatred of blacks with hatred of whites; it’s replacing discrimination against blacks with discrimination against whites and Asians and others. It’s being used to make even more money for rich white people, to provide some elite whites with a weapon to destroy their career rivals, and to help build a new racial spoils system that leaves any notion of colorblindness or individual rights behind.”
—Blogger Andrew Sullivan, after being metaphorically mugged on comic Jon Stewart’s new TV show on an episode titled “The Problem With White People,” where Stewart and another guest called him a white supremacist.
If Sullivan’s substack newsletter were Ethics Alarms, his intense post called “The Trouble With Jon Stewart” would be tagged as a “Popeye,” as in “That’s all I can stands, ‘cuz I can’t stands no more!”
Andrew is at heart a moderate conservative and an intellectual. He started playing a progressive on TV when he decided to elevate being gay above all of his other priorities and values, but he wore the mask uncomfortably. A wonderful writer, Sullivan had never aimed both barrels of his solid knowledge and logic at the George Floyd Freakout and the resulting rush to embrace anti-white racism in the schools, private sector and government, but apparently his mugging at the hands of Stewart, and especially Stewart’s woke guest Lisa Bond, a white woman who runs an organization called Race2Dinner that charges other white women $2,500 per dinner to be harangued for their racism, was a tipping point. (You gotta admire her entrepreneurial brilliance for that one! P.T. Barnum would be proud of her.)
As Bruce Willis would have said to Sullivan in the actor’s better days, “Welcome to the party, pal!”
Lisa Bond is unequivocably a racist — and a sexist. She said the following on the air in front of Stewart: “I did not come on this show to argue with another white man. That’s one of the reasons we don’t even engage with white men at Race2Dinner, because quite honestly if white men were going to do something about racism, you had 400 years. You could have done it.”
When I tried to explain that I immigrated in 1984, and that a white man in 2022 cannot possibly be held responsible for something that happened four centuries ago, she replied: “I’m going to shut you down.” Stewart was enthralled. Then she spelled out exactly what she meant: “All white people do this. I don’t care if we say we’re Abolitionists, I don’t care if we say we’re Progressive, I don’t care if we are literally members of the KKK. Every single white person upholds these systems and structures of white supremacy, and we have got to talk about it.”
Sullivan, like a lot of writers, is much better on the page than on his feet. His essay is one of those “what I should have said if I hadn’t been so upset” pieces, but I forgive him for that: if his mistreatment by woke race-baiters sparked this superb dismantling of the “systemic racism” narrative, it was worth the experience. I’ve don’t think I’ve seen better.
Read it all, but here are a few of the essay’s many highlights:
The entire dynamic of the show mirrored, it seems to me, the dynamic of the imposition of critical race theory across our society. You can see the technique everywhere. You start with the obscenity of slavery; you talk constantly of history; you lay out Reconstruction, lynching, Jim Crow, segregation and the other brutalities of the past. So far, so good. That’s vital work — and we should pay tribute and close attention to it. But the point of CRT is not to educate people about how appallingly African-Americans were once treated in this country, to construct an account of the progress since then, to note the Americans of all races who helped make a difference, and then to propose specific policies that might help move us further forward, into a more perfect union.
No, the whole point is to insist that this history is still the reality, that the structure of American society is no different in kind than in 1619, and that its democracy was designed from the beginning to brutalize non-whites forever.
In a section in which Sullivan admits that he fumbled the moment, he writes what he should have said, but didn’t…
So when I asked Stewart to delineate “structural racism,” he reflexively listed a bunch of “systems” that no longer exist: post-war redlining, the GI bill, and so on…my core point is that in America in 2022, the only formal legal systems that openly advocate race discrimination are discriminating in favor of African-Americans, not against them. Affirmative action was only supposed to be a temporary diversion from liberal principles. It’s now a permanent system of race discrimination to favor blacks over every other demographic, disproportionately harming Asian-Americans. The federal government now enforces it across every department.
Then Sullivan brings out the big guns, also known as “reality,” but sadly in a debate in which Facts Don’t Matter:
Or take the impact of family structure. A very solid finding in social science is that the key ingredient for success in America is being raised by two parents in the home, and getting married. It logically follows that when 84 percent of Asian kids grow up in a two-parent household, and only 33 percent of black kids do, you don’t need some abstract notion of “white supremacy” to explain why Asian-Americans, even the poorest, have sailed past African-Americans in educational success.
Is the poor family structure itself caused by the impact of white supremacy? The data show that the black family was actually more intactbefore the Civil Rights Movement than after it. And marriage in general was more valued:
From 1890 through 1940, black women tended to marry earlier than white women did…. In 1950, black women aged 40–44 were actually more likely to have ever married than were white women of the same age. Racial differences in marriage remained modest as recently as 1970, when 94.8 percent of white women and 92.2 percent of black women had ever been married.
And again, the importance of family structure isn’t limited to black Americans, of course:
Being raised in a married-couple household led the poverty rate for black children to go down 73 percent compared to mother-only households and 67 percent compared to father-only households. And as evidence of the power of family structure to transcend race, 31 percent of white children raised in mother-only households live in poverty, versus just 12 percent of black children living with their married parents. That is a stunning realization.
Except that most of the American public doesn’t realize it, because the mainstream media and the education establishment is allied with the BLM race-hustlers. When conservatives mention the statistics, it’s because they are racists, trying to blame the victims of America’s racism. On this, Sullivan writes,
I raise these points not to argue against the reality of racism today; it’s still among us, of course. It’s just far, far less common than in the past. In 1958, for example, four percent of Americans approved of marriage between blacks and whites; today, it’s 94 percent. If you think that’s evidence of the permanence of “white supremacy,” I don’t know what to tell you. I’m also not denying persistent wealth and educational gaps. But let’s not go overboard in our gloom. In 2019, the black unemployment rate and black poverty rate reached all-time lows. (For more optimism, read these comprehensive pieces by Coleman Hughes and Wilfred Reilly.)
Nor do I want to ignore the historical legacy of public and private discrimination. I’m just saying any explanation for racial disparities today is much more complex than simply intoning “white supremacy,” and implicitly dismissing any notion of other factors, or any black agency at all.
Andrew, a virulent anti-Trump zealot, can’t bring himself to mention that the all-time lows for black unemployment and black poverty miraculously occurred after 75% of Trump’s term, as he was being called a racist by Sullivan’s progressive pals at the time.
Well, nobody’s perfect. Sullivan has written a terrific take-down of the whole CRT lie. I bet you have friends who need to read it too.