(Todd A. Smith)
People can say whatever they want about not being racist, having Black friends or listening to rap music.
But if a person thinks that the only reason a Black woman, or Black person in general, gets a coveted job is because of affirmative action or reverse racism, then that person is the quintessential racist.
Yesterday, when President Joe Biden vowed to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer with a Black woman, some conservative media pundits lost their minds as if no Black person could achieve a job on their own merit unless it’s some stereotypical job like entertainer or athlete.
Conservative media personality Tomi Lahren said, “We know that Joe Biden does his best to placate to the radical element and radical aggressive base of his party that he believes is the majority. I believe he’s incorrect and I believe that they are in the minority.
“But I’m wondering the kind of justice he would nominate. Now again I’m sure it would be as Guy [Benson] said, a Black woman, he’s got a dedication to that. We saw how well that worked out with Kamala Harris. But here’s to hoping he had a better choice in mind for this position.”
Lahren’s comments epitomize ignorance and hatred.
First, no matter what Vice President Kamala Harris achieves in her role, some on the right will have a problem with her regardless because she is a woman of color.
Secondly, she is doing a great job so salute to her.
Third, let’s say that Vice President Harris was the worst Veep in the history of this country and that belief was universal across the political spectrum.
To say that a woman of color did a bad job as vice president and as a result no woman of color should ever get such a high-profile job again is one of the most racist insinuations ever made.
As Americans, we see White men and women fail at their jobs miserably all the time.
But I have yet to see a White person say that no other White person should have a similar job because that one White person failed at their job.
But that has been the reality for Black people in this country going back to when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
If Robinson had failed, racists would have used that as proof that Black athletes were inferior to their White counterparts and did not deserve a second chance.
The fact that people like Lahren judge all Black people by the failures and successes of one Black person is what stereotyping and generalizing is all about.
When it benefits people like Lahren, they want to judge people as individuals.
But when it’s to the benefit of Black people, they want to judge an entire race based on the perceived failure of one person.
And when people do not stoop to their level of ignorance, people like Lahren want to falsely label it reverse racism.
Unfortunately, the false allegation of reverse racism extends beyond the political arena and comes up, seemingly, whenever a Black woman climbs the corporate ladder of success.
The same type of response occurred as sports journalist Maria Taylor began standing out at ESPN.
Former co-worker Rachel Nichols basically credited Taylor’s ascension in Bristol, Conn. to diversity efforts, complaining about her supposed lack of assignments that instead went to her Black colleague.
Nichols could not comprehend that Taylor could just be better at sports journalism than her.
And for the record, Taylor is better than Nichols.
When Taylor began speaking out against racism in sports, her parents started receiving hateful messages from angry White folks who felt offended that a Black person would speak out against anti-Black hate.
Some of those hateful people felt like Taylor only got her job because of affirmative action.
White people must realize when they assume that Black people got where they are because of reverse racism, affirmative action or diversity efforts, they are simply saying that White people are superior and Black people are inferior.
If a White person cannot wrap their heads around being not as good as one of their Black counterparts, unless its basketball, dancing or rapping, then they are just as racist as the people that have found a permanent place on the wrong side of the history books from generations past.
Racism and White supremacy might present itself differently in the 21st century.
However, nothing has changed but the date when it comes to the White supremacist ideology.
What racist White people must realize is that there is no such thing as reverse racism.
To reverse racism means to eliminate racism and that is what America, and the world, needs.
That is the only reason for affirmative action in the first place, which some White people often forgets benefits all minorities (including White women), not just Black people.
After all, racism is the reason why some White people got their jobs in the first place over more qualified minorities.
Racism is the reason why homes owned by White people are worth much more on the open market than the same exact house, in the exact condition, when a Black person owns the house.
Racism is the reason why White people often get paid more for doing the same job, with the same qualifications, as their Black counterparts.
Furthermore, sexism is why women of all colors cannot get equal pay to their male counterparts, even when all other factors are equal such as experience and qualifications.
So, when someone like President Biden attempts to correct centuries of wrong, do not get mad at the person making the positive difference.
Get mad at your forefathers who discriminated against Black people for centuries, which allowed some less qualified White people to get jobs that they did not deserve at the time.
Think about all the qualified Black women judges who never got a true shot at the United States Supreme Court.
Think about all the Asian-American, Native American and Pacific Islander judges who have never had a true shot at the highest court in the land for whatever reason.
If one uses their brain to think, they will see that people like Biden are only trying to reverse the racism that led to America not having a Black woman as a Supreme Court justice until 246 years after is formation.