Piety Through Neurosis
June 22, 2020
A concerned parent, a white Slate reader, seeks counsel from the woke hive mind:
My sons have graduated, and their closest friends are still a mix of black, Hispanic, and white kids. I have never been concerned about the kids having any issues around race.
That’s nice. However, inevitably, the sky soon begins to cloud:
But one of our sons mentioned recently how irritated he is by the form he has to fill out regarding a college roommate. He has to specify his race, and all of the profiles of potential roommates he views also include race. He says all he cares about is if they are male or female and what their interests are — he doesn’t care about race.
At which point, sharp-eyed readers may sense where this is heading.
I’m doing more reading on racism, and if I’m understanding correctly, not caring about race is almost as bad as focusing only on race. Should he care what race his friends are? Is there something we should be doing or talking to our kids about before they go to college, or is it too late? Are they just as racist as someone who only has white friends, or am I worrying about nothing?
Slate’s purveyor of progressive wisdom, Michelle Herman, knows a rube when she sees one:
Not caring about or noticing race is a privilege reserved for people who are white.
A bold, indeed sweeping, claim, evidence for which is not forthcoming, presumably on grounds that time is better spent inculcating neurosis - and habitual, exploitable insecurity - all in the name of piety:
As the sociologist Megan R. Underhill, who studies race and family, has said, “White people aren’t ‘outside’ of race—they’re at the top of the racial hierarchy.” Dismissing or downplaying this reality only perpetuates inequity and violence.
Again, the precise mechanism by which these things occur, if indeed they do, is not shared with the unenlightened. We must, it seems, take such things on trust. A kind of woke gospel. However, the expectation of fretting and psychological prostration is harder to miss. You see, by not fixating tediously on every person’s melanin levels and minor variations of physiognomy – by not endlessly categorising people by their brownness, and therefore presumed suffering, and therefore innate nobility and entitlement to favours - you are, it turns out, perpetuating violence.
Please update your files and lifestyles accordingly.
Update, via the comments:
And for those morbidly curious, the end product of all this racial bean-counting and pretentious agonising – the ideal end product – can be witnessed in all its glory here. It’s quite a thing.