Is America Racist?

America seems to me to be racist.  One dictionary definition:
The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and thatparticular race is superior to others.

I ran across this NY Times article which discusses how Trump is faring in the polls especially among white voters with and without a college degree.

That media even talks about the election relative to people of different races is strong evidence that we’re racist. Even stronger is that different races have different mix of political stands.

Does race account for differences?

The definition has two parts. First, the belief that race accounts for differences in human character. When you look at polls and the differences between what different racial groups want, it seems to actually be true, that race does give these groups a different mix of characteristic.

The problem is, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you recognize race and think it means something, it’ll change how you identify yourself and what choices you make. So racism accounts for the differences existing as well as that we look for them.

Do we think one race is superior?

The other part of the definition is that one race is superior to another. But humans compare everything. So if you think races are different, your brain is probably making better/worse judgements about all the ways they’re different.

And we humans tend to justify what we think. So we figure if whites or men are, on average, more wealthy, or more prone to be Executives, our minds tend to justify those differences and attribute it to race.

Is it bad to be racist?

In a sense, no. We are like we are.

But I say it’s bad to accept our level of racism. We’re America. We want to be moral and great. The only way to do that is to accept ourselves for how we are and make goals for how we want to be, and strive for them.

So I accept that I have my current level of racism. And I accept that it’s a character flaw. It’s fine to have a character flaw. But to be a good person, I should work to notice when it’s making me behave poorly, and fix that.

It’s bad to be great.

I think it’s a sin to think we’re great. It makes us think we’re good enough. It makes us complacent and entitled. Clearly we’re not good enough to have a thriving economy- many or our people are impoverished, poor, unemployed, even hungry. Clearly we’re not good enough in international relations- we destabilized the Middle East and have enemies that base their hatred of us on our past actions. Clearly we’re not good enough about racism because we are still so race-conscious. Sure, America may be great in some ways. But to think we’re great is a sin of pride.

If we really do want to be great, we should sent some benchmarks, some measures of what great is. We shouldn’t argue about whether we’re great. We should measure ourselves and improve until we achieve them.

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