My racism is better than your racism
8 December 2021
This is not what I wanted my first newsletter to be. I have been looking for a good topic. I found it, but before I could finish my copy of Micah Mattix’ newsletter “Prufrock” hit my inbox. It made me laugh. It made me shake my head. It made me say, “what in the bloody hell is going on?”
This is a bit’o work, and you may not get a lot out of it except, I hope, an improved understanding of the battle that is underway in our country. Our good and gracious Heavenly Father, does not guarantee that the United States will last. It will fall. I am hoping and praying for revival. There is no doubt we are rotting from the inside.
Below, I have lifted an article, in its entirety, from Micah Mattix. He has a newsletter about books and art, and often the culture. That may not be your cup of tea, it can be obscure. However, I highly recommend it. Unless you are a good Professor of English Literature or Art, it will stretch you. It is good. It is free. Go sign up for it: https://spectatorworld.com/newsletters/prufrock/
The article below is from the newsletter. There is no link, that I know of, to the content online so that is why I am copying it here in the hopes you will read it and sign up for Mattix’ letter.
Mattix takes you through an astonishingly horrible opinion column in the New York Times. I have removed the link to the New York Times’ column. I am not against anyone going and reading the column directly. I am committed to freedom of speech, but I will not give racist, critical theory garbage a link. I did go and read it myself to make sure Mattix was accurate. He is. The parts he quotes are correct and he gives adequate context. He does not cover everything. The author’s horrible worldview is a rich environment of nuttiness. In what has become obligatory leftist speech she drops this jewel, “…to the current battle against the political boogeyman of critical race theory.” The irony is rich here. The author’s entire rant reeks of Critical Race Theory.
Mattix Article Begins>
There goes the neighborhood
This piece in the New York Times is really something, and I mean that in the worst possible sense. (I removed the hyperlink. Reason above. – Gilbert)
Erin Aubry Kaplan lives in Inglewood, “a mostly Black and Latino city in southwestern Los Angeles County,” and she decides to build a Little Free Library, as they are called, in her front yard so neighbors walking by can borrow a book. She builds one because she loves books, but because in our puritanical times nothing can be as simple as that, she writes that she also put one up “to signal to my longtime neighbors that we had our own ideas about improvement, and could carry them out in our own way. There are organizations that help people build these little libraries, but I did mine independently. I envisioned it as a place for my neighbors to stay connected during the pandemic.”
Fine. But then things get a little crazy. A white couple stops and looks at her library and Aubry Kaplan freaks out: “Instantly, I was flooded with emotions — astonishment, and then resentment, and then astonishment at my resentment. It all converged into a silent scream in my head of, Get off my lawn!”
She doesn’t yell “Get off my lawn,” thankfully, and she doesn’t take down the library because a white couple stopped and looked at it without even borrowing a book. But, while embarrassed by her initial reaction, she comes to see it as natural: “What I resented was not this specific couple,” she writes, “It was their whiteness.” Technically, she put the little library out for “everyone,” but it was really for everyone but white people, and when the white couple stopped and looked at the books, they were transgressing on black space, once again pushing black people to the margins, appropriating black expression, gentrifying the black neighborhood. Aren’t whites the worst? Here’s Aubry Kaplan:
“I was seeing up close how fragile that space can be, how its meaning can be changed in my mind, even by people who have no conscious intention to change it. That library was on my lawn, but for that moment it became theirs. I built it and drove it into the ground because I love books and always have. But I suddenly felt that I could not own even this, something that was clearly and intimately mine.
“As the couple wandered on, no books in hand, I thought about how fragile my feeling of being settled is. It didn’t matter that I own my house, as many of my neighbors do. Generations of racism, Jim Crow, disinvestment and redlining have meant that we don’t really control our own spaces. In that moment, I had been overwhelmed by a kind of fear, one that’s connected to the historical reality of Black people being run off the land they lived on, expelled by force, high prices or some whim of white people.”
You see, the white couple, by merely stopping, enacted a kind of historical racism. Aubry Kaplan is the victim here. Her anger at the white couple—sorry, her anger at the whiteness of the couple—is not the same as white anger at blacks occupying white spaces because she doesn’t have the power to do anything about it:
“Ultimately, the moment with the couple I saw through my window raised for me a serious moral question about how I should act. Screaming at them to get off my lawn would be adopting the values of the oppressor, as my racial-justice activist father used to say. Yet my resentment was not analogous to the white resentment of generations past (and of now, I’d argue). White resentment has always been legitimized, and reinforced, by legal and cultural dominance.”
A feeling is only wrong if you have the power to “legitimize” it? That doesn’t sound right. And what is this article but an attempt to legitimize segregation and a feeling of racial disgust in one of the country’s most read papers?
Mattix is right. None of this sounds right, because none of it is right. The author’s ‘my racism is good racism’ worldview IS racist, IS wrong, IS evil.
None of this is really new. New wrappings perhaps, but the evil afoot here is an ancient one. All racism diminishes us. We are one people, fallen from grace, one race, one blood, and there is only one hope, one Savior.
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:14-16 NIV)