Is The Devil You Know Better Than The One You Don’t?
Last week’s column centered around the latest Gallup poll that said, “Positive ratings of relations between black and white Americans are at their lowest point in more than two decades.” I asked if pessimism was warranted about the future of race relations in America because a writer from the USA Today implied pessimism was a foregone conclusion, but I gave a reason for optimism. Unfortunately, optimism about the future of race relations in America is considered naïve.
So, what does a pessimistic future look like? Two men named Charles tackled this question. One issued a warning, the other a manifesto.
Charles Murray, the controversial social scientist who co-authored the notorious Bell Curve in the 1990s, was recently interviewed about his new book Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America. Murray stated, the centrality of the American creed, which is all men are created equal and individuals should be judged by the content of their character, is under assault by ill-liberal extremes. Those extremes have repudiated the American creed by demanding that the state prioritize groups over individuals because certain groups have been systemically discriminated against and others have been systemically advantaged. Therefore, the state must use its power to create equal outcomes.
Murray wrote, “Blacks, constituting 13 percent of the population, are telling whites, 60 percent of the population, that they are racist, bad people, the cause of black problems, and they had better change their ways or else. Right or wrong, that rhetoric has been guaranteed to produce backlash by some portion of the 60 percent against the 13 percent.”
Murray told the interviewer to imagine if there was an aggressive push to end systemic racism once and for all in employment. And federal policy forced employers to hire blacks and Latinos commensurate to their percentages of the population. Employers that felt the federal policy threatened their ability to control their own affairs would simply solve their problem by relocating to red states with so few blacks and Latinos that the federal policy would no longer be applicable. Then there will be a massive “white flight” from urban centers to red states.