Tuesday, April 2, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 121


 
 









 
Black racism is real, and it can hinder interracial progress

Michael Ahlf

One of the worst phenomena in modern society has got to be "political correctness," the concept whereby certain words cannot be
used and certain ideas should not be spoken. Hang on to your butts, folks: I'm going to break that today.

The drive for much of the political correctness movement stems from the modern evolution and bastardization of the 1960s civil
rights movement, which has in many cases evolved into a status quo of what can commonly be termed "black racism."

Black writer Larry Elder penned a book on the subject titled The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, which explored the
phenomenon.

More recently, the Fox show Boston Public aired a hard-hitting episode in which a white teacher was nearly fired for teaching classes
about the N-word.

The episode was full of irony: The teacher had originally started the line of classes to defuse racial tensions in his classroom, which
came to a head when a poor white student, who had grown up among blacks in his neighborhood, used the word affectionately to
address a black friend. Others in the class took offense.

And then there was the argument from black teachers and the school's black principal: The teacher did not have the right to teach
classes about the word, simply because he was white. Throughout the episode, one reality bled through the simple assertion
that a white teacher cannot teach black issues is racist.

Of course, the view is pushed and promoted by racist black leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and
Quanell X. 

These particular broken records have done enormous harm to racial relations in the country by roaming the land, seeking out
racism wherever they can find it, and more to the point, inventing it when they cannot.

The antics of Farrakhan and Quanell X need no repeating. Jackson managed to lose all my respect with the incident in which he
marched from Texas Southern University, one of the most racially segregated colleges around, to UH, a model of diversity, all the
while claiming that he was marching against racism. 

Sorry, but to claim UH isn't diversified is ridiculous, and Jackson proved his own ignorance. These leaders occasionally find racism,
but more often than not they're just crying wolf, betraying their own racist ideologies by insisting on quotas and based hiring
practices.

Of course, by this point, I have broken one of the most sacred tenets of political correctness: Black racism is quite real. The view of
black leaders is that blacks cannot be termed racist because they have no power, but this is patently false. Racism is a personal
view, a deliberate decision to slight anyone of a certain race, no matter what personal power one possesses.

Farrakhan and Quanell X's racism is no less repugnant, but just as real, as the racism practiced by the Ku Klux Klan. 

It is more pervasive, too. When Jackson appears with Sharpton or Farrakhan, they emerge politically unscathed, but should
President Bush appear with the likes of David Duke, the media would be vilifying him seconds later for standing with a racist.

So where do we stand? If I, a white male, am not allowed to denounce stars like Martin Lawrence or Snoop Dogg as poor role
models, under the assumption that because I am white, I am not qualified to judge someone who is not, that's a racist argument. 

It hurts racial relations more than it helps to have no defense should someone call a white male a racist, but merely to judge that
person guilty because the accusation has been made.

I write this article after seeing that episode of Boston Public not once but twice, and thinking on the issue many times in the past
weeks. 

At the episode's end, a black teacher took over teaching the classes examining the social phenomenon of the N-word, but the
discourse went on and it actually helped the situation. I'm hoping everyone managed to get far enough into this article to write a fair
response, rather than a knee-jerk accusation of racism, and I look forward to reading those responses. The dialogue needs to go
on.

Ahlf, a senior electrical 
engineering major, can be reached at mahlf@mail.uh.edu.


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