Apr 28, 2015
DON'T JUDGE BLACKS DIFFERENTLY PRAGER
When whites riot, the public rightly labels them as criminals. When
blacks riot, the public considers them to be protestors with
legitimate grievances. Is this different standard fair? Or is it an
example of a new form of racism cloaked in low expectations? Chloe
Valdary, a black student at the University of New Orleans,
prager university Don't Judge Blacks Differently
Many people believed that the election of a black President would
advance America to a new era of racial harmony.
That belief proved to be mistaken. In retrospect it was naive to
think that a single event -- even the election of a black president
-- would wash away a stain so deeply ingrained in our culture. The
debate about how much racism there is in America -- and
specifically the disparity between the races -- is just as fierce
as ever. That's okay with me. Discrimination still exists. Let's
deal with it openly and honestly. Unfortunately, that's very hard
One reason, I've discovered, is that many people feel that they
have to treat blacks with kid gloves. They think this is noble...
enlightened... progressive. It's not. It's demeaning and
condescending. In fact, it's racist.
A recent experience brought this home to me. In an anthropology
class, my professor decided to discuss the shooting of Michael
Brown, a black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson,
Missouri. Before I tell you what transpired, I need to tell you
something about this professor. First of all, I like her very much.
She's interesting and engaging. But more importantly, she took a
non-PC approach to the class, which I found refreshing. She
encouraged us to study the data dispassionately and draw our
conclusions from that.
But when the subject of Ferguson came up, all this objectivity went
out the window. When a classmate said, following a debate over the
details of the case, that the facts "ultimately don't matter," my
professor agreed. All that matters, this classmate added, is that a
"black boy was killed by a white cop." Another example of racism in
a racist society. Pure and simple.
So, therefore, riots that followed the grand jury decision not to
indict the officer were the legitimate reactions of people who
"just couldn't take it anymore." And that's when I knew that what I
was really hearing was not an expression of compassion and
understanding, but something else.
Rioting and looting are acceptable forms of behavior? Why? Because
the rioters and looters have no other options? Really? In free,
democratic America, you have no other options? Does this apply to
all ethnic groups? Hispanics? Southeast Asians? Pacific Islanders?
Of course not.
But we -- the enlightened ones -- are ready with a pre-packaged
list of excuses when blacks riot and loot. Worse, when it comes to
judging black behavior, even facts don't matter. All that matters
is the skin color of the teenager and the skin color of the
Well, not in my world. If a white cop kills a white kid, the facts
matter. If a black cop kills a black kid, the facts matter. If a
black cop kills a white kid, the facts matter. And if a white cop
kills a black kid, the facts matters. To suggest anything else is
to perpetuate discrimination, the very thing that those who espouse
social justice claim to want to end.
Anyone, whether white or any other color, who excuses blacks for
bad behavior just because they are black obviously doesn't consider
blacks their equal. Rather, they view blacks, in effect, as
children who are unable to adhere to the standards to which every
other group is held. Think carefully about that. The only
difference between this view and that of white supremacists is that
white supremacists are honest and open: in their view blacks are
inferior to whites. Period.
But those who condescend to blacks cloak themselves in
self-righteousness. So, somehow that makes it okay. The bad
behavior happens -- a riot in Ferguson -- and they nod knowingly:
"They couldn't take it anymore. Who can blame them?" I'll take the
white supremacist any day. First, there are very few of them and
they have no power. Second I can easily prove them wrong. But how
do I shake off the Condescenders, the Patronizers? There are a lot
of them, they have a lot of power and they think they mean well.
How do I convince them that, as a black human being, I want to be
-- I must be --judged by the same standards as everybody else?
So, how about this for a change? Treat blacks equally. Always. In
every way. Not differently. Not better. Not worse. Not like we're
demons. Not like we're angels. Is that so hard to do?
Because if we really want racial harmony -- not to mention an end
to racism -- that's the only way to get there.
I'm Chloe Valdary for Prager University.