Kids are smart. They understand fairness and consistency at an instinctive level, which can be frustrating for parents of siblings. They can tell if one child is getting a better deal than the other. Often that better deal is merited, either because of age differences, better behavior or whatever. The other kid doesn’t care about that, they just know they didn’t get the same deal.
Effective teachers know this about kids. Their classroom rules are consistent. Kids know they’ll get treated the same as the others, no matter who their parents are. It’s when those rules are applied differently to different kids that problems arise.
So it is with society. If one group of people wind up being treated differently by the legal, economic, or political systems, problems occur. No one should be surprised by the current protest movement; there have been different rules for different people for centuries.
But here’s the thing: the protesters are guilty of the very same thing they are protesting: inconsistency. Efforts are being made to tear down statues and discredit historical figures because things they did in their lifetimes that were socially or morally acceptable aren’t now.
But those efforts are inconsistent. They’re going to topple statues of Washington, yet have no problem
spending dollar bills with his face on them?General Lee is persona non grata, a war criminal, yet Sherman gets a clean pass? I’m not here to rehash the Civil War, but raping and plundering civilians and their property surely qualifies as war crimes.
The biggest inconsistency is the continued support of the largest and longest-lived purveyor of institutional racism this country has ever seen. For over a century this group has overseen the systematic discrimination, torture, rape, and murder of African Americans, and yet they claim the willing support of Black America.
I’m referring of course to the Democratic Party. Woodrow Wilson. Storm Thurmond. George Wallace. Lester Maddox. Many many more. The party that voted en masse against the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution.
BLM and others have something to say, but the only people listening now are clueless about how we got to where we are. John Lewis was consistent his entire life in his pursuit of civil rights, taking on Republicans and Democrats alike. Those who take up his mantel need to look carefully at who is truly supporting them…and it isn’t the party of Biden.
If we’re going to have a genuine discussion of race relations and civil rights, then history absolutely must be examined carefully. Critically. Consistently.