Critical Race Theory

As I have said, I am determined to educate myself about critical race theory (CRT). I do not want to make a knee jerk acceptance or a knee jerk rejection. As I expected, my reading and thinking has led me to accept some aspects and to question others. The topic for today is the concept of white supremacy.

White Supremacy. Some people believe they are better than other people based on color. When those people are white, they are engaging in white supremacy. I believe there is ample evidence of the existence of these people in America. Sometimes the evidence is overt, blatant and in my opinion, despicable. Other times the evidence is covert, even unconscious.

When laws or institutions engage in actions that favor whites over people of color then these more subtle actions are also white supremacy. There is ample evidence of institutions and laws favoring whites.

Combating instances of white supremacy is a worthwhile battle. When CRT is fighting that fight, I support it.

In my opinion that battle can take two forms: 1. The problem is whiteness; 2. The problem is supremacy.

I do not agree the problem is whiteness. As evidence I offer an ex-post-facto study that I have alluded to in previous blogs.

Research. The simplest form of the Experimental Method has experimental control over two groups so that they vary in only one level of an independent variable. Then, if the two groups vary in an outcome behavior, then the cause of the different outcome is the independent variable. Ideally the researcher controls all the variables. Seldom in psychological research is such control possible.

One corollary is — if the two groups vary in outcome behaviors, any variable that was constant in both groups could not have caused the differing behavior. Whether the research is an experimental or an ex-post-facto study, a constant does not cause the difference.

My study compares two situations. It is not an experiment, but it does have different behaviors occur in two different groups with one very important variable being constant.

First, in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, white servers at Docum Drugs, denied counter service to people of color. This was the scene of one of the first successful sit-ins.

In 1958 (maybe 1957) in Wichita, Kansas, I was a white server at a snack shack in Sims Park Golf Course. I eagerly gave counter service to people of color. I was delighted each week to see Linwood Sexton, a pioneer in the integration of football.

In this little anecdotal study – the difference between serving and not serving cannot be caused by a constant. The color of the servers was constant. Whiteness could not be the cause of the prejudice behavior.

Clearly to me, if anyone uses CRT to focus on whiteness as a cause of prejudice, they are wrong. Something other than skin color is the problem. Furthermore, I believe a focus on skin color as a cause of prejudice actually hinders progress because it does not address any of the actual reasons for prejudice. A focus on whiteness sidetracks our interest in the fight against prejudice.

To fight prejudice, I believe we must look deeper into the human condition than the superficial color of skin. I would suggest supremacy is much more important than whiteness. Studying why humans have the desire to feel superior would tell us much more than studying color.

Cautions. Before addressing supremacy, some cautions are in order.

1. Just because whiteness is not a cause of prejudice does not mean whites are not prejudice. In the US, the problem of prejudice in white communities is greater than other communities not because of whiteness but because of numbers. Prejudice is a human trait. Wherever we have humans we have the probability of prejudice. Since there are more whites in America there is a greater likelihood of prejudice by some members of a white community.

2.  Just because whiteness is not a cause of prejudice does not mean institutions and laws dominated by whites are not prejudice. In the US, the problem of prejudice in laws and white institutions is greater than other communities, not because of whiteness but because of numbers and history. Since whites have dominated the laws and institutions in America for years, there is a greater likelihood of prejudice in favor of whites in those laws and institutions.

3. Since people of color are human and prejudice is a human trait, people of color are capable of prejudice just like every other human being. In countries with a black majority, I believe it would be natural to find a higher incidence of black prejudice. Often times, the prejudice is not based on color but other factors. In his book, “Born a Criminal,” Trevor Noah clearly demonstrates that even under the oppression of apartheid, tribal supremacy or tribal prejudice was an important and dangerous factor of life in South Africa.

I have given you enough to think about for one day. I will write about supremacy next week.

Ukraine. The situation in Ukraine has all of us concerned. A good friend asked me — what is my opinion of the proper response for people of faith to the invasion by Russia?

I have thoughts about which I am certain and other thoughts of uncertainty.

First, I am certain we should condemn the invasion.

Second, I am certain we should do what we can to support the Ukrainian government and people.

Third, I am certain we should do every non-military action within our power to fight against Russia. (By the way – not selling vodka made in Illinois because it has a Russian sounding name is shooting ourselves in the foot.)

Fourth, I support our assurance of military support for NATO and our allies.

I am uncertain how to love my enemy and Putin is an enemy. I will pray he fails in Ukraine and the Russian people find a way to remove him from power.  My miracle prayer is for him to have a change of heart.

A great reminder of the good some police perform in our world.

‘I Gotta Save This Child At All Costs’: Police Officer Rescues Toddler From Fire (sunnyskyz.com)

A great reminder of the good some athletes perform in our world.

NFL QB Prospect Caught On Video Performing Random Act Of Kindness (sunnyskyz.com)

Wonderful story of strength and love.

Community Surprises 13-Year-Old With A Send-Off He’ll Never Forget (sunnyskyz.com)

Good insight into the humanity of a person with Down Syndrome.

How I Keep Birthday Traditions Alive for My Brother With Down Syndrome During the COVID-19 Pandemic (msn.com)

Peace

Jerry

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