Is a thing a thing? The false narrative of post-racism
Daron Davis and G. Milton Richardson
Let’s all assume the truth is good and the lies are bad. We think everyone can support this idea. Assuming we have a consensus, spreading the truth is good.
We all need good information to enable us to make good decisions. Again assuming consensus, the spread of lies has negative consequences and is therefore inherently bad.
Here is an example of “the truth is good”: Masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of viruses. This truth, “good information”, has helped many people make good decisions and saved lives.
Here’s an example of “lies are bad”: masks don’t work. Here is the resulting evil: we no longer know whom to trust. We have become divided with science versus conspiracy, personal freedom versus public safety, and your fault versus mine.
This division gave weight to the resistance to public security measures. More people suffered. More people died. Even small lies can have devastating effects.
If the lies are bad, then the false stories are atrocious and insidious. A well-crafted fake story will have an intention, a process, and a strategic goal. With enough time and support, especially the right support, a false story will replace the truth.
Why are false stories so appealing? Is it because they are generally so simplistic that they lead to believe that it must be true? Is it about ego, we believe in it because we want to? Whatever the motive, these are lies.
Racism is not a relic
We would like to tackle a false narrative; in particular, the false narrative which is currently in use and which is indistinguishable from a military psychological operation (PsyOp). This false narrative is post-racial America. This idea that America was racist at one time but it is no longer the case.
We would like racism to be just a relic. Most, but unfortunately not all want this to be true. We think we all know better. The reality: It’s not like electing the first non-Caucasian man is a finish line we’ve crossed, and now we’ve won the race. They may have a desire or an agenda for it to be so, but anyone who believes or marries it has no basis in the truth.
This false story is a lie that hurts. Not only does it cover those who continue to practice different forms of racism, but it excludes victims who experienced it yesterday, who experience it today and who will experience more racism tomorrow.
Not only is there a lot of work to be done in this country to undo some of the effects of past racism, but this false narrative is a hindrance to that work.
Now let’s ask some questions. Who benefits from the dissemination of this lie? What would they have at stake?
Maybe they get privileges by keeping the cancer of racism. Some would like to hide racism like white supremacist groups for example.
Enter Opinion piece by Troy Williams, published by The Fayetteville Observer (May 10, 2021), questioning the existence of racism today. What makes him deny the existence or the effects of racism?
We have some working to eradicate white supremacy. Unfortunately, we have others who are trying to figure out how to fit into this hideous system. Williams seems to have the latter’s state of mind.
Good book but bad character
In an opinion piece in The Fayetteville Observer (September 28, 2015), Williams states “… I’m often called a … dodger and Uncle Tom …” and even more recently he said (February 28, 2021), “Being black and called a Republican in the African American community is one way of saying that the black person is an Uncle Tom…”
Williams says his name is “Uncle Tom”. Its detractors have twisted it. Many of us would never consider someone with that mindset – like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; US Senator Tim Scott; or Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson – an “uncle Tom”. We even have clergy, rather than fighting racism, they work to integrate into white supremacy, like Pastor Patrick Wooten.
Calling Williams an “Uncle Tom” would give him too much credit. In the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852, the character of Uncle Tom was an honest man of high character, ethical and pious.
Uncle Tom was a generous and sharing man to the point of harming himself at times. He cared about his people, the horrors and burdens slavery placed on him.
William’s critics have the right book, just the wrong character. They may want to read the book or reread it if they have already done so. In the last part of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, there are two characters more worthy of this state of mind and behavior. Try Sambo and Quimbo. Uncle Tom died loving the men who killed him, Sambo and Quimbo.
We must do better … including the media
We must strive to do better as individuals and we must do better in our roles within our institutions i.e. schools, legislatures, media etc. Let’s be more responsible with the stories we promote, spread and amplify.
Whether it is an author writing this nonsense or an editor printing this false story, it is a harmful and hurtful lie. In the public interest, this message should have been accompanied by a disclaimer or should never have been printed.
We prefer an ugly truth to a white lie. Please always give us the truth and share the truth with others. This false account of post-racialism is like urinating on someone and telling them it’s raining. It is insulting, contemptuous and completely counterproductive. No thanks.
Now is the time to call for action. We are all invested in our communities. As a community, we make decisions every day. It is not always a policy that changes the life of legislatures. Sometimes it’s just the way we decide to treat each other.
This call to action aims to counter false narratives, in particular this lie that we have moved from racism. We are ready to be there too, but there is work to be done. We’re ready to do it, are you?
Daron Davis and G. Milton Richardson live in Fayetteville.
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