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Aaron Briley: We Can’t Fight Racism by Engaging in Racism

Philosopher Aaron Briley at TOS remarks on America’s race fixation in “We Can’t Fight Racism by Engaging in Racism“:

The desire not to be viewed as racist is prompting people to fixate on race—even though doing so harms all involved.

In the current climate, the mere appearance of being racist can cost a person dearly. People who are presumed to be racist can be and often are fired from their jobs, banned from social media, even subjected to death threats. The upshot: Instead of being rationally color-blind, people and institutions are putting undue focus on race. That is, instead of judging people not by “the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” they are doing just the opposite. They are judging people by the color of their skin—and acting accordingly—in order to not appear racist.

Of course, judging people differently because of the color of their skin is the very essence of racism. And such patent racism is sweeping through our institutions.

[…]

Consider an increasingly popular policy regarding minority criminal suspects: More and more, police departments are omitting race when describing suspects, especially black suspects, even when divulging it clearly would help to ensure public safety.

***

An illustration of this “color-washing” is CNN’s report of black children slaughtered over the July 4th, 2020 holiday weekend, titled “At least 6 children were killed by gun violence across the nation this holiday weekend.” Apparently, according to CNN, a bunch of guns decided all on there own to go celebrate independence day by causing some violence. (Obviously, guns are inanimate objects, that had nothing to do in causing the violence, as only human beings possess free-will.)

From the CNN article:

At least six children were killed in shootings across the country over the holiday weekend, sparking calls from officials to end the gun violence plaguing their communities. The children, ages 6 to 14, were all shot and killed while doing everyday things — riding in mom’s car, walking in a mall, and playing in a yard with their cousins. [ “At least 6 children were killed by gun violence across the nation this holiday weekend“]

In every case, where a description is available the perpetrator is black, though you would not know this from the CNN article. The most we get is that they were “persons”:

“A suspect has been arrested on charges, and police have released additional surveillance images of several persons of interest they are seeking in connection to the child’s death.”

Going to the police press release of the shooter — and the suspects — we see they are all black. (It is also chilling that the police report does not describe them as black either). Or, from the same article reporting on another shooting:

A group of children were playing in the yard in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood when three suspects exited a light colored vehicle and fired shots at a group gathered outside a home on the 100 block of North Latrobe Ave, police said.

[…]

“As a city we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there’s a future for them that isn’t wrapped up in gun violence.”

At least we know the shade of the suspect’s vehicle.

Now compare this to another shooting report and take a look at CNN’s description when the perpetrator is white and the victim is black:

“…a White officer firing seven times into Jacob Blake’s back in front of the 29-year-old Black man’s three young sons.”

And later in the same article where the perpetrator is white:

“…Confusion also spread about the shooting during the protests, with critics asking how the White teenager armed with a military-style rifle, …”

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