April 21, 2012

As many readers of Taki’s Mag know, America has recently experienced a nasty outbreak of white racism. While the hate-mongering culprits have been duly punished, it is clear that this stamp-out-the-brushfire approach is hardly a long-term solution. At best, white racism merely crawls underground and gestates; at worst it migrates elsewhere. Especially exasperating is that for nearly a half-century, America has tried to eliminate this pox, and even draconian measures such as compulsory sensitivity training have failed. Clearly, some fresh approaches are required.

I suggest two modest (and, I daresay, innovative) proposals.

It is well-known that conservatives are especially racism-prone, though few will publicly confess their sin. As Charles Murray observes in Coming Apart, these types live in all-white, often gated communities, send their children to schools that are at least 90% white, and otherwise avoid any contact with African Americans”€”especially of the Trayvon Martin variety. 

It is equally obvious, as any social-science professor will explain, that racial separatism encourages dangerous stereotypes. So how can we get these closet racists to better understand socially disadvantaged youths? I don”€™t mean some superficial encounter as one might have at a charity banquet where shaking hands with carefully selected youngsters is the only contact”€”I mean full interaction in a confined space for an extended period.

“€œSurely some foundation, or even the federal government itself, can sponsor 100 inner-city youths for these cruises.”€

Here’s my solution. Conservative magazines such as National Review should be forced to regularly sponsor cruises in which a thousand or more socially disadvantaged and numerically underrepresented fellow travelers are rewarded the opportunity to rub elbows with in-house political pundits. These cruises usually last a week to ten days, and since everybody is in close quarters, socializing is almost 24/7.

Surely some foundation, or even the federal government itself, can sponsor 100 inner-city youths for these cruises. By social-engineering standards, the cost would be cheap”€”$250,000 would cover everything, including a few hundred in spending money. This is a 100% win-win arrangement: National Review raises extra money and the cruise line adds “€œpaying”€ customers. Most importantly, a week is ample time to demolish dangerous stereotypes. Imagine the attitude transformation when, say, a small-town Iowa lawyer encounters an inner-city youth from Newark at the swimming pool or bar. The initial interaction might be a bit awkward, but surely after a week of drinking together and sharing chitchat about this and that, our lawyer will think twice about prejudging these youngsters. Meanwhile, this youth will gain a new appreciation for white Middle America. Both may bond when they discover that each feels “€œthe system”€ exploits them, though this exploitation takes radically different forms.

My second modest proposal attempts to broaden the anti-racism war by pushing it beyond the usual blog-based condemnations and into the population more generally. The solution: a new reality show modeled after the highly rated American Idol called Who Wants to Be America’s Foremost Conservative Anti-Racist?


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