While the events on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, represent a new height in the increasing racial tensions in America, the racism exhibited by people in this country is nothing new.
While I could easily point to our history of slavery, and the blatant racism seen during the civil rights era as perfect examples of America's history with racism, it's the recent past that fascinates me. It, unlike the racism this country has previously conquered, has a different flavor to it.
While I never expect it to fully go away, the racism we've experienced in the past was supposed to stay in the past with the activism and death of Martin Luther King Jr. From then on, America was to live by the creed of not judging each other by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.
To be sure, many jumped on board with this idea of a non-racist America across the racial spectrum, and still live with those principles today. But in America's acceptance of being a country that rejects racism, people began to appoint themselves as social judges, juries, and executioners.
Figures such as Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson found out that they could use the concept of racism as a cudgel with which to beat society for slights both real and imagined. Being a victim, they found, was lucrative. Furthermore, the media was only all too ready to platform people like Sharpton and Jackson, and shine sensationalistic spotlights on anything that remotely resembled racism.
Racism became a successful business for both activists and the news organizations, and at its center was the concept of "identity politics."
Fast forward to the new millennium, and identity politics is central to the ideological beliefs of the progressive left. Social justice warriors and elected Democrats alike utilize concepts like racial privilege to create even more concepts that paint other groups as villains.
Identity politics welcomed in the concepts like "cultural appropriation," "white privilege," and "microaggressions." These buzzwords made unsuspecting innocents into mustache-twisting bad guys. Any failure, or crime by a minority was tied somehow to the fact that they themselves were victims of something else.
That "something" was usually white men according to many on mainstream media platforms, or university professors.
Bashing white men became so normalized that mainstream media outlets like Huffington Post, MSNBC, and Buzzfeed did it with impunity. Videos such as Questions Black People Want to Ask White People are posted on YouTube with millions of views. Netflix hosts a show called "Dear White People," that paints white people as ignorant, and racist even if unintentionally.
Overt racism had become trendy again, this time with whites as the target.
This pop-racism inevitably resulted in violence, and radicalism. During the riot in Milwaukee, whites were actively targeted for assault and theft.
Colleges began to teach these racist concepts to students. As a result, students representing minority groups radicalized. In Santa Cruz, California, students representing minority groups took over campus buildings with claims of "reclamation." At Evergreen State College in Washington state, students and faculty testified to the racism against whites on campus, with one student claiming she was not allowed to speak at meetings because she was white.
That hate begets hate is a tale as old as time, and this was on full display at Saturday's atrocious display of racism at Charlottesville, not to mention the racist reactions to it.
The sudden surge of white supremacists in America probably didn't surprise anyone with even a layman's education in history. That the "alt-right," neo-Nazis, or white supremacists suddenly found a surge to their numbers was the result of one domino falling onto another.
Charlottesville wasn't a shocking turn of events. It was an inevitability.
Rest assured, the intent of this article isn't to point fingers. Many on both sides truly believe they are under attack, and that someone else is their attacker. Some fears are perfectly legitimate, while others are lies fed to them through one mouth or another. We've been taught for decades that racism is alive and well, waiting in our closets, and hiding under our beds.
But this racism is seems to be an effect, not a cause. Look at children of all colors playing with one another without a thought in their minds in regard to race, and you'll realize that racism is a hateful concept that is taught. It is not, in any way, instinctual.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a post-racial America was never truly given the chance to survive. The wheel of racial victim, and racial oppressor will continue to spin so long as it results in filling someone's pockets, or getting them on camera. No matter how much we lament its turning, and wish it to stop, these figures will continue to spin it.
However, at the center of the wheel is identity politics. The idea that every person is born in privilege, or in hardship begins with skin color has to go. The idea that every misfortune met by an individual, and his or her success in getting out of it is a result of melanin has to be left in the past as King intended.
This means politicians who utilize the anger of identity groups to form voting blocs have to go. Activist groups and individuals that promote identity politics to achieve fortune and fame must be roundly denounced by both sides. Media sites that promote racist messages, no matter whom they are against, must be lambasted by its own readers. Colleges and universities that teach identity politics must be defunded.
Each of these is a spoke in the wheel that hubs at identity politics. If people truly want to stop the cycle, their aim must first be to make the promotion of identity politics damaging both in reputation, and in the bank account.
See Brandon Morse's program, "That's Not Racist" on TheBlaze YouTube channel.