In the past week, there have been several viral videos where Black Lives Matter activists have approached Caucasians, telling them to bow down and get on one knee and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness for what? For being white. On June 8th, Nancy Pelosi and several Democrats also kneeled on one knee, while cameras were rolling, with bowed heads for nearly nine minutes in the Capitol Visitor Center – wearing African kente cloth scarves. The submissive position was eerily similar to the ones BLM activists were bullying people into. There’s a fundamental problem here: guilt-by-ethnic-association.
As a minority and person-of-color myself, I was the target of racism growing up, and predominantly from African-Americans. Does that mean that now I am to hold all African-Americans responsible for the actions of a few bad apples? Should I demand apologies from every black person I see for something a different black person did to me? Are Jews currently calling Germans racist and demanding that they kneel before them and apologize for Hitler and the concentration camps? Why are they not asking for reparations from every Germanic-blooded American because Jews were specifically targeted for genocide?
Guilt-by-ethnic-association is problematic because you are putting blame on the ethnicity, not on the actions of individuals. Once you do that, once all you see his race, and are negatively aggressive towards anyone who is of that race, you have become a racist yourself, and therein lies the exponential problem of Black Lives Matters.
As a minority, I’m just going to say it: It’s okay to be white. It’s okay to be Asian. It’s okay to be African-American. It’s okay to be Latino. Who is more racist – the person who sees color, or the person who doesn’t?
If making every black person I see get down on one knee and apologize for the racism I experienced is ridiculous, then so is BLM making white people get down on one knee and apologize for racism that they themselves weren’t a part of.
Pelosi and the Democrats don’t care about me as a minority; they only care about opportunities to virtue signal in order to clutch at power. Would Pelosi kneel and wear a kimono during the racist imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WW2? Where was her hijab when Iraqis were tortured at Abu Ghraib? If there’s no political angle, the Democrats don’t care. Their compassion is selective. Their civics are selective. If saving the environment would give the Democrats power, Pelosi would wrap herself in tree bark.
Do black lives matter? Absolutely. Is there still racism yet to be fought? Yes. But guilt-by-ethnic-association makes you the very thing that you say you are against.
Paul Leach is a professional writer and WGA member in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed in such publications as the New York Council on Cultural Affairs and the Huffington Post.