Klavan On The Culture

Starbucks -- and Why the Race Conversation Is Over

You may be a left-wing knucklehead if…

…you think the problem with the U.S. is that we need to have a “conversation about race.”

Here’s my contribution to Starbucks’ obnoxious and condescending “Race Together” effort to pour their ideas about race down our throats along with their coffee. If you think America hasn’t talked about race, you’re lying to yourself. The U.S. has talked about almost nothing but race for the last fifty years. Your real complaint is that we’re not saying what you want us to say and haven’t reached the conclusions you, in your self-righteousness, decree we should reach.

The leftists of the Democratic Party — the party of slavery; the party of the Ku Klux Klan; the party of Jim Crow; the party of segregation; the party of a welfare state that destroyed the black family in ways the most evil slaver could only dream of; the party of abortion, which snuffs out more black lives than heart attacks and cancer combined — call us racist when we oppose them. I weep sad tears. I so wanted their good opinion.

The Democrats and the rest of the left bewail the harsh treatment of black criminals — and then hamper or gut police programs that lower crime in crime-ravaged black communities. The left calls for government program after program but fails to acknowledge that the black rise from poverty to the middle class was faster before the leftist program explosion of the sixties and seventies began. The left calls for hiring and school admission favoritism for blacks but never explains how it’s fair that a white or Asian-American baby born today should be penalized for things that happened before he or she existed.

There has been egregious injustice against blacks in the past — and you can’t fix the past by poisoning the present. There are people who don’t like blacks today — and there will be racists tomorrow and forever and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. There are horrible problems besetting some black neighborhoods — and most of them have been exacerbated by leftist government programs when they haven’t been caused by them.

But let’s for a moment pretend that every misguided or dishonest assertion the left promulgates about race in America is actually true. What then?

Well, let’s say you had a friend — a real friend, someone you wished well. Let’s say your friend came to you and said, “Friend, I am a victim of circumstance. Things that happened before I was born have left me disadvantaged. Some people dislike me on sight. The police suspect me because I look like other criminals they’ve seen. I’ll never get ahead in life.”

What would you say to him?

Would you say, “Poor helpless fellow. You’re right: you’ll never get ahead until those injustices are made right. But don’t worry, I’ll keep lending you just enough money to make it unnecessary for you to work. I’ll pretend you’re qualified for positions when you’re not so people lose faith in you. Whenever you do anything wrong — commit a crime, mistreat a woman, anything — I’ll let you off the hook; I’ll use your circumstances as an excuse to make sure you keep making the same mistakes. Don’t worry. Everyone around you is evil, but I will always protect you.  For I am kind.”

Or would you say: “Hey, life’s tough, broheim. Be tougher. You can’t change the past. Only the future is in your hands. Work hard. Get an education. Stay off drugs. Don’t have kids you can’t support with people you won’t marry. You want something? Earn it. Don’t expect me or anyone else to give you any advantages. I can’t — that would be unfairly taking away from others. And every time you do wrong, expect me, your pal, to kick your ass so you don’t do it again. If things are harder for you than for other people, then you just have to be better than other people, that’s all. I wish I had an easier answer. But I don’t — and no one else does either. Good luck.”

If you said the latter, you would be a true friend and you would give your friend a fighting chance to succeed, his only chance. If you said the former, you would be a fake, making yourself feel compassionate while infantilizing someone who desperately needed your good advice.

The left are fake friends to black people; conservatives true.

And thus, my Starbucaneers, endeth the conversation.