Racism has become a political tool. Race-baiting is in fact the major method leftists use to get “the black vote,” but it is also one of the major means by which so-called conservatives motivate their mostly white base. It’s us versus them.
But one rarely mentioned consequence of the politicization of racism is that it has inoculated the anti-political from racism. If you look at the statistics on racism, you’ll note that millennials are much less prone to racism than previous generations:
. . . Most millennials aspire to “colorblindness.” Sixty-eight percent say “focusing on race prevents society from becoming colorblind.” As such, millennials are hostile to race-based affirmative action: 88 percent believe racial preferences are unfair as a matter of course, and 70 percent believe they are unfair regardless of “historical inequalities.” Interestingly, the difference between whites and people of color is nonexistent on the first question and small (74 percent versus 65 percent) on the second.
That is quite a telling statistic. But I think it is important to note that the millennial distrust of government (and “the establishment”) might actually have very much to do with the dwindling racism of coming generations:
A new poll surveying young Americans’ political attitudes released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics . . . found millennials have less trust in government than ever before. . . . Overall, the pollsters said the level of trust millennials have in “most American institutions tested in our survey” had dropped below even “last year’s historically low numbers.”
So when race becomes a political weapon wielded by the right and the left, wary millennials start to distrust the racial discourse altogether. And racism suffers. Though the racism argument is still alive and well in the Gen X crowd, millennials are largely immune to it. They think it’s just a divide and conquer scheme perpetuated by a tyrannical political and social establishment.
And get this: millennials are having kids. I have five. My family lives in a very diverse part of Marietta. The park my kids play at usually has about 50% black people, 20% Latinos, 19% white people, and 1% Asians. I see that. But my kids don’t. Two days ago, they played tag with Samuel and his brother T. Mike. A while before that, they fed old bread to the ducks with Maria. They do notice skin color. But to them, it’s interesting—like dimples, freckles, and hair color. It’s not divisive.
Maybe, I’m being naïve. Simple-minded. Overly optimistic. But it is precisely those qualities that will kill racism. And the sooner it is dead, the better off we will all be.