I often ponder the issue of race and what I shall try to teach my little girl about it as she grows older. Via Twitchy comes this from the actor Nick Searcy, himself the father of a black son.
My friend Tony Katz sent me this article today, and I found it tremendously disturbing. For one thing, this is not really about this man’s son. It is about this man’s politics. It is a defense of every leftist lie from #WhitePrivilege to #HandsUpDontShoot to #IcantBreathe, all of which are simply poison.
I do not teach my son that he is a perpetual victim, and that he is hated. He is not. He is loved and admired by all who come in contact with him, because he is a wonderful person.
I teach him that there is evil in the world, and it comes in all colors, creeds, religions and genders, but that it is never an excuse for him not to do the right thing. I teach him to take responsibility for what he does, and to make sure his side of the street is clean.
I teach him that police officers have a difficult and dangerous job, and they face potential death every time they enter even the most routine traffic stop or random encounter. I tell him 1) do not break the law, and 2) if you accidentally do, by speeding or even a careless mistake, if an officer approaches you, you treat them with the utmost respect, and do not give them ANY reason, even if you feel you have been stopped unfairly, to think that you are a threat to them, or that you are not willing to cooperate them in every way. That is what they deserve, and that behavior will protect you as well.
We have talked extensively of the Civil Rights movement in the 60s, and of slavery. There is no question in his or my mind that it was a horrible chapter in our country’s history, and and a terrible wrong that had to be righted — and it was, through a bloody Civil War, and a terrifying period of civil unrest, which required incredible bravery and resolve. But I also make sure that he knows that America did not invent slavery and racism. Both have been around for thousands of years, and have been practiced by individuals of all races. The history of humanity is filled with evil, oppression, tyranny, and racism. It is a crime that is not inherent in one race or another, or one country or another. I teach him not to blame America, the bravest, freest country for individuals in all of history, for sins and wrongs that were pervasive throughout the world at its founding.
And I try to teach him that he can become whatever he wants to be, and the world is not conspiring to destroy him because of his skin color. I tell him that the most serious problems he will face will be those within himself, and frankly, that personal failings and limitations, not the evil of others, prevent most people from achieving their dreams. I teach him to not blame others for a bad grade or a failed enterprise, and that while unfairness often exists and must be addressed, most of the time the problem is within his control.
I hesitate to criticize another parent. There are problems that arise when you are a transracial parent, and all parents deal with them in their own ways. And God knows, I am not perfect.
But what kind of man teaches his son that the world is out to get him, the police want to kill him simply because he is black or white or whatever, and he will always be despised because of something he has no control over whatsoever? That the deck is unfairly stacked against him, and he should always be suspicious of white people because they are racist even when they don’t act like they are, because #WhitePrivilege means they can’t even know that they are racist because they’re too dumb to see it?
I pray for this man’s family, and I wish them well, but I think he is doing his son a grave disservice. His son lives in a country where he can become whatever he wants be, within the limitations of his abilities and his willingness to work to achieve his dreams.
That’s what I tried to teach my “white” daughter, and that’s what I try to teach my “black” son.