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Michael Matteo: Systemic racism, the not-so-silent enabler

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

As I watched the meltdown over many liberal “journalists” who were upset that a black conservative woman defeated a white liberal man, I thought to myself, “There is no way for anyone to claim racism on this one.” However, I was wrong. 

Within minutes, the claims of “systemic racism” were broadcast from the mountain tops by the so-called pundits and keepers of blame because it wasn’t the identity of the candidates that they attacked, it was the voters who embodied systemic racism through their voting choices.  

As I thought about it, I did an internet search of all the things that have been blamed on racism, by individuals whose battle cry for anything and everything is “racism.” I’ve found stories that the following things have been targeted as racist by people who really need to find better hobbies: grammar, math, classical music, peanut butter and jelly, voter ID laws, the national anthem, the American flag, zoning laws, fast food, the food pyramid, dress codes, and the most recent one that I found was the claim of a UCLA student that soap dispensers also favor white people. 

The list of items that are blamed on racism is long and ever-expanding because it’s so convenient and requires no critical thinking skills to shout “racism” when you disagree with something. 

In today’s world, if you don’t vote for woke progressive Democrats, you are labeled as a “racist.” It’s not about the fact that blue states have rampant crime, homelessness, high taxes, and bad leadership.  It’s not about your RIGHT to disagree or express your own views, and it’s certainly not about your right to not be judged by the color of your skin or your melanin content. Labeling everything racist desensitizes people from claims where true racism exists, and it does exist, but it also works both ways. It is the boy (is this a racist term?) who cried wolf revisited over and over again by myopic people who scream racism because it has become a reflex.  

When someone labels white women who vote for Republicans as “Karens,” isn’t this a word that denigrates a group of individuals based upon race? If we are canceling words like “mother,” “father,” and so many others because they are “offensive,” what about the word “Karen,” which is defined as:  “A ‘Karen’ is a woman who acts entitled, expects certain privileges or special treatment, and gets angered easily. The term is often used to criticize the behavior of self-absorbed white, affluent, and middle-aged women, but may also be applied to anybody being “extra“, or acting demanding and overly dramatic.” Karen – What is a Karen? (slangit.com)  Despite the fact that the definition qualifies that it could refer to anyone, I have never heard it used to refer to a woman who isn’t Caucasian. For the record, as someone who abhors censorship, I don’t advocate banning this word, however, I abhor hypocrisy even more than censorship and the treatment of this word illustrates hypocrisy.  

The combination of race hustlers, poverty pimps, and white apologists love throwing around the words, “white guilt,” “white privilege,” “white supremacist,” “white fragility” and many others to demean an entire race of people because skin color, to them, has become the most important factor in determining the value of an individual and they ignore all other relevant criteria for judging a person’s contributions to society.  

Has systemic racism existed, most definitely?  American history is filled with injustices that have been based on race, but when someone like Colin Kaepernick makes the absurd claim that NFL players who are paid millions of dollars to play a game are “slaves,” the boat has sailed on common sense. No one competed to work in the fields as the property of slave owners, yet show me an athlete who wouldn’t want the opportunity to make millions of dollars to play professional sports.

Just as we teach the Holocaust, so it never happens again, we must teach the atrocities of slavery, but to vilify one race is an incomplete picture of the slave trade. Students must be taught that there were many unjust practices that included terrible treatment of slaves to Jim Crow laws to the struggles of the civil rights movement when so many good people of all races fought to create civil rights laws and provide for a better society. To selectively blame one race for slavery is also a distortion of the truth. To teach any child that they are to blame for someone who shares their racial makeup, which is how CRT is being taught by many uninformed, agenda-driven racial apologists is a bastardization of the facts. 

Those who say that this isn’t happening only need to see how white students at a Melbourne school were shamed and called “white Christian oppressors” by virtue of their “inherited privilege” by a social worker. Those who turn a blind eye to this kind of indoctrination would dismiss it when the head of an elite private school in New York admits to demonizing white people from being born. These and many other instances are real and they don’t do anything other than teach the future generation to resent one another based upon race, which is the antithesis of what education is intended to be.

When I began teaching in 1985, I showed the movie, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” to my students, and the general reaction to the movie, at that time, was that the majority of students didn’t understand why an interracial marriage would create so many issues. I explained to my students that in the past, interracial marriages were viewed as abominations and we agreed that their view that it wasn’t a “big deal” was definitely progress. However, as we move backward in time where many on the left propose segregation, labeling everything as racist or judging people based upon group characteristics instead of individual differences are stepping back in time to the very evil ideas that led to slavery. No one can argue that slaves were the victims of a terrible system, but for those individuals to equate their plight today as victims with the plight of those who truly suffered at the hands of oppressors spits in the face of those long-dead victims of real racism.

I have a very simple rule in my life: I apologize for the things I have done that merit an apology. I will never apologize for the random characteristics such as my race, nor do I take false pride in the accomplishments of others who share a similar melanin content, nationality, or sex as me. I do take pride in the actions I take that are successful, and in the things that are solely based on what I do in my life. 

If we could only impart this simple message, perhaps we would stop making excuses and enabling those who seem to receive a great deal of gratification by labeling themselves, “victims.”

Michael Matteo
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