I wish someone would explain to me what an “authentic” black person is. Or an “authentic” Hispanic person, gay person or anything else.
The context for the term is usually political. “If you vote Democratic, then you’re an authentic black person. If you don’t vote Democratic, then you’re not authentic.”
But “black” refers to a person’s race. Isn’t a black person BLACK regardless of whom he or she votes for? Clearly, something illogical is going on here. The lack of logic is less disturbing than the fact that nobody seems to question it.
Define racism. I define racism as elevating a person’s skin color and/or ethnic heritage over and above his or her character, choices and personality.
When you make friends with someone, is it primarily or exclusively because of his or her race? Or is it because of other attributes? Ditto for when you fall in love with someone, or marry someone. Is race the primary consideration? And what about hiring a car mechanic, a doctor, an accountant or an employee for your business? Do you hire exclusively based on the person’s race? And if so, isn’t THAT racist?
Clearly, it’s racist to make someone’s race the most important thing about them. The moment you start talking about “authentic” or “inauthentic” black people, you are making race the primary attribute of a person. It seems to me that you ought to focus on a person’s ideas and choices, not their race. When I meet someone, I am interested first and foremost in their ideas, choices and character — not their race, any more than their hair color or eye color. If you don’t like the person’s choice of political candidate, then question their ideas or choices. Race has nothing to do with it.
Freedom versus slavery, socialism versus capitalism, individualism versus collectivism … these are not racial issues. These are HUMAN issues.
Telling someone, “You’re not a real black person if you don’t vote Democrat” relies on two faulty assumptions. One, that race is the most important thing to focus on. But the person’s voting is presumably based on other factors. The person who prefers Republicans will likely choose either a black OR a white Republican, male OR female. And there are plenty of both white AND black Democrats. So if voting is your concern, look at the ideas involved — not the race.
The other faulty assumption is that you can intimidate someone into doing what you want — and that it means something, if you succeed. If you haven’t convinced a black individual that voting for Joe Biden over Donald Trump makes sense, then you’ve revealed the weakness of your own argument by saying, “Well, you’re not really black if you don’t vote for Biden.” Biden himself did this a few weeks ago. He blurted out (without regret) that if you don’t for him, you “ain’t a real black person.” They’re smug and confident-seeming when they do this. But it’s actually a WEAKNESS. When I hear leftists and Democrats do this, what I actually hear is: “I don’t have a convincing argument. So I’m going to shame you into taking my position.” I laugh at them. But they think they’re strong and “convincing” by shaming people in this way.
Yet that’s what leftists — Communists, national socialists, totalitarians — have always done, isn’t it? They rely on SHAME and FORCE. Whether it’s tyrannical COVID mandates, Black Lives Matter looters, raging mobs, nationalized medicine, 90 percent tax rates or concentration camps (yes, those CAN happen here, and WILL, on our current course) … It’s all they’ve got. Reason, facts and logic have nothing to do with any of it.
We listen to them — and vote for them — at our peril.
Michael J. Hurd