Why I Joined the Cult of Anti-Racism, and You Should Too

By John Zmirak Published on February 11, 2022

Dear Frenemy/Acquaintance/Subordinate [First Name],

I’m writing you to extend my special invitation to join the Anti-Racist movement. I know that of course you sympathize with its goals, like all decent people. But now is a moment of crisis for our country. Our America, yours and mine, is endangered by domestic extremists, gun-crazy Q-Anon bigots speaking in tongues, and Klan-linked insurrectionists in our sacred halls of Congress. This is the moment when decent people must rise and take a formal, public stand. That is, if they don’t wish to be mistaken for one of the haters. And I know you don’t want that.

Look, I’m no kind of zealot. I don’t expect to get a pat on the back from some Omniscient Accountant in the sky for “saving” people. Nor is our movement starving for recruits. Quite the contrary. In fact, it has something of a policy of exclusivity. We don’t want just anyone joining, if you know I mean.

Our focus is quality first, and quantity second. You frankly ought to be a teensy bit flattered that I thought of you, and sent you this personalized note. You know how much I treasure you, [FIRST NAME], ever since we first met in [MONTH/YEAR]. It would mean the world to me if you should decide to accept my invitation. It would prove that my gut sense of the kind of person you are was correct. I like to think that I’m an excellent judge of character! Please don’t disappoint me. I’d feel so … foolish. Perhaps even bitter.

Let me explain first some of the benefits of Anti-Racism. Then I’ll anticipate your potential concerns and explain them clean away. Okay?

The Right Thing Thing to Do, and To Be Seen Doing

First of all, and obviously most importantly: It’s the Right Thing To Do. It’s what other decent people, influential people, folks with extensive connections and credentials expect of us. (Even the good people at the FBI pay attention to who signs up and who doesn’t, I am informed!)

They see that racist violence aimed at people of color is rising all across our country. That immigrants are herded like animals and refused a fair hearing at our borders. That police forces treat non-white neighborhoods like subjugated European colonies. (They might as well wear pith helmets and carry little riding crops, like in the movies!)

That talented people of color don’t have opportunities at elite schools, government agencies, public schools, or major corporations. You never see their faces in TV commercials, or reading the news.

That Muslim-Americans face harassment and threats of violence, as well as totally unjustified prejudices against the tenets of their lovely, exotic religion.

These facts are all as plain as the nose on your face. I won’t burden you with links, statistics, or anecdotes. Besides, corporate interests with a stake in maintaining the status quo largely censor such information from the mainstream media. We really do need progressive media alternatives! But that’s another discussion.

A Fresh, Forward-Looking Perspective

Last summer, when ethnically diverse, politically unified demonstrators gathered in mostly peaceful assemblies, to protest the murder of George Floyd, we all felt a surge of hope. We saw the voiceless finally getting heard. The urban poor finally getting a few of the finer things in life — even if they did have to take them from broken windows! And the greedy and privileged getting a good scare, which they frankly deserved.

I was particularly pleased to see all those dreary, tarnished statues pulled down from public squares. Yes, the Confederates of course. But more than that. I was happy to see the People unite to remove any fusty old monument to the ghosts and debts of the past. Why should we, the living, have to dwell in their shadows, and pretend that we owe them something? Instead, let’s have a clean sweep, a fresh slate, a Year Zero every year. We can live in the moment and hope for a better future, which will turn out all the happier the less we burden it with plans.

A New Breed Apart

We’re better than people used to be, and in years to come we will keep on improving, discovering new injustices and rectifying them, too. In the latest Anti-Racist works we’re reading in my book club, we learned that the “color-neutral” platform of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was actually kind of racist! It’s the best he could do at the time, poor dear. But now we’ve gone way beyond him. Isn’t that exciting?

Yes, of course we owe reparations to the descendants of slavery, segregation, immigration restriction, transphobia and homophobia. As an ally I fully support their efforts at justice, and affirm my inherited part in collective responsibility. But I don’t feel that as a burden so much as a privilege. A kind of noblesse oblige.

Just think of it. We born with privilege and power freely decide to share some of that with those who were born with less. Doesn’t that feel nice? It makes me think of the Queen of England, giving coins to poor folks at her palace. It’s a royal prerogative!

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Now I know that some bitter, frightened people out there oppose our movement. They cling to outdated claims inscribed in documents drawn up by slaveowners hundreds of years ago. They use these obsolete statutes and Amendments to justify selfish, bigoted policies. They want to protect their grubby jobs on the loading docks or in some dismal warehouse from eager Latinos who seek better lives in our country. They’re afraid that urban youth will come help themselves to merchandise and cut into the profits of their sad little stores. They want to pile up weapons of war, to murder helpless deer, or menace young men of color.

These people aren’t the future. They are the past, the worn-out, the pot-bellied, rusty and broken-down parts of our country. The People of Walmart, at prayer, in strip-mall megachurches, yelling “Amen” to sermons of hate. We don’t need them, and I’d rather not even think about them. If only they weren’t so angry all the time!

I Trust You

I trust that you will see the good sense in everything I’ve been saying. At some point in the next week or so, someone from our Ally Acquisition Team will be contacting you. He/she/ze will inform you of the whereabouts and time of the meeting where we expect you, and the financial contribution required. I may even be present at that meeting, and if it turns out that I am, I so look forward to seeing you again, [NAME]! Please don’t disappoint me.

Your Friend,

Karen (she/her/hers)

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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