NEW YORK — The unanimous national disgust at the killing of George Floyd beneath the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has devolved into something completely different.
In an apparent collective nervous breakdown, self-flagellating white Americans have concluded that Floyd’s death somehow confirms their own racism, which they are busy exorcising.
Quasi-religious rituals have found whites on bended knees apologizing to blacks for being white. Nervous Nancy and leading white congressional Democrats did as much inside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday while wearing “culturally appropriated” Ghanaian Kente cloth.
In Cary, North Carolina, white cops and community members knelt before and washed the feet of two black pastors.
Several young white friends tell me that they must embrace Black Lives Matter daily on social media, lest they endure accusations of racism.
HBO stashed Gone with the Wind in a vault. MGM’s 1939 classic is the highest-grossing motion picture ever, adjusted for inflation. It scored 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniels, the first black Oscar winner. Her triumphant performance is now gone with the wind.
Even graver cultural vandalism has involved the Red Guard-style defacement and destruction of monuments and sculptures including those of Christopher Columbus, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and idiotically, Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Matthias Baldwin (thugs graffitied “colonizer” across his Philadelphia statue).
These dramatic displays disparage a country that no longer exists.
If America is so insufferably racist, how does Lester Holt anchor The NBC Nightly News? How does Don Lemon host a CNN program every evening? Why are so many black musicians, actors, and athletes worshipped, rather than reviled, by white fans? How do millions of other non-famous blacks succeed in so many walks of life — quietly but concretely?
If America really is so deeply, systematically, irretrievably racist, why did 43 million white voters help elect Obama president in 2008? Four ruinous years in office tarnished Obama’s halo. Regardless, 36 million whites forgot their inherent racism long enough to help re-elect Obama, comfortably, in 2012.
If America is merely apartheid-era South Africa with four time zones, why did President Donald J. Trump bother to establish 8,760 Opportunity Zones to revitalize economically distressed communities, many of them black?
How did America’s institutionalized racism let Trump provide school-choice options for black kids in K-12 schools, and long-term federal funding and other benefits for Historically Black Colleges and Universities?
Why didn’t America’s genetic prejudice stop blacks and Hispanics from achieving the lowest unemployment ever recorded, before a Chinese virus rolled in and junked the U.S. economy?
Shouldn’t America’s racist ways have sandbagged the First Step Act, a criminal-justice reform measure, before Trump signed it into law, which Obama and Biden utterly failed to do in eight years?
The president of a systematically racist nation never would have made black lives better. And if he did, he would shut up about it, rather than trumpet these policies at rallies full of his allegedly bigoted supporters.
Will this nation ever entirely expunge racism? Probably not.
If 99 percent of 330 million Americans suddenly became totally non-racist, 3.3 million bigots would remain — nearly enough to fill Connecticut. So, as beautiful as it would be, racism is as unlikely to vanish from America as anywhere else.
But, for all the grief, pain, and even death that it still causes, is American racism widespread, systemic, and institutionalized?
America’s streets have been clogged with peaceful protesters since George Floyd’s killing. Corporations from Amazon to NASCAR have backed Black Lives Matter. Whites have scrubbed black feet, and not just during pedicures. These facts, and more, indicate that the vast majority of Americans are not racist and are eager to exhibit themselves as such.
America desperately needs more hands of friendship extended across ethnicities and far fewer screams that people are racist merely because they sprang from their mothers’ wombs with white skin. Remember: No white person ever asked to be born that way.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.