Stacy Washington, a patriotic American, a veteran of the Air Force, radio show host, and columnist, wrote an article that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about perceptions of racism, what she has to deal with when she brings up the need for personal responsibility, and how blaming “racism” doesn’t improve lives.
First, Washington had to deal with her own faulty perceptions of racism:
I learned a valuable lesson in my 20s: Not every personal slight is motivated by race. On numerous occasions, I was treated quite poorly in the checkout line of a grocery store. Each time I was in a certain checkout clerk’s line to buy groceries, she was rude to me, no matter what greeting I offered. Clearly, I thought, she was a racist.
Then on the next two consecutive trips to the store, I observed from another checkout line this same woman being nasty to a white man, and then a white woman. The manager shared that she had a reputation for being rude. So her awful behavior wasn’t about race after all. She still needed an attitude adjustment, but not for being a racist.
People play the race card to avoid “discussing policy solutions that involve personal responsibility,” Washington wrote. Liberals send her nasty e-mail, accusing her of “tap dancing for my massa,” “bed wenching” or “serving as a token,” when she, as a black woman, speaks about how blacks should take more personal responsibility. Many black conservatives can relate to this. A couple more to add to the list: race traitor and self-hater.
Using race as a way to shut down debate and immobilize political opponents only debases our interactions and series as protection for real racists. Completely exhausted from discussing race at every turn, we have no one left to listen when actual racism rears its ugly head, giving cover to racists that they don’t deserve. Instead of wasting our time arguing about everyone being a racist, let’s focus on increasing personal responsibility. It’s the more difficult path, but the results are far better and longer lasting.