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Race and State

The emerging racial state promises no real progress for most minorities while deepening ethnic divides and undermining the basis for democratic self-rule.

· 13 min read
Race and State
Waiting for a bus at the Memphis station in 1943. Alamy

The upcoming ruling by the US Supreme Court on racial preferences is certain to ignite yet another divisive debate about whether or not a person’s ethnic heritage should determine their treatment by the state and major institutions. After steady progress towards “race-blind” governance, the notion of equal treatment is disappearing in a frenzy of ethnic self-assertion and white guilt.

The new racialized politics sunders the basis for liberal societies, essentially diminishing the value of merit and hard work. Some advocates even support separate living places on college campuses, a chilling reprise of segregation. Elsewhere, grade schoolers are instructed that America is based on lies and its current systems and structures are irredeemable. There are cases of schools separating third-graders by race and asking them to rank their “privilege.”

The wellspring for this movement lies on college campuses, where whiteness is sometimes treated like a social disease. Evergreen University’s “Day of Absence” instructed white students to leave campus, and the University of Florida’s “BIPOC Anthropology town hall” excluded whites. Canadian universities, like their American counterparts, have become enamored with guilt-tripping whites, accusing them collectively for the damage done to First Peoples, irrespective of when their families arrived or any traceable culpability.

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