What are the real sources of division (Part II)

Last Sunday I began writing about the gravity of the issues that divide our nation right now. I wrote about abortion and the LGBT alphabet soup, pointing out that these deal with fundamental differences in how we view human life and indeed all of reality, differences that were never really meant to be resolved by the political process. The American political process, which involves the politics of compromise, presumes an overall consensus about fundamental principles, while compromises regarding means are worked out through the political process. The differences about abortion and LGBT, however, turn the political process into a battlefield where no compromise is possible.

There is, however, another divisive issue that it would seem shouldn’t be a matter for division at all, at least not now in the 21st century: race. Haven’t we succeeded in banishing racism to the margins of society? Haven’t we come to a common understanding that is wrong to discriminate against a person merely because of their race or ethnic origin? Don’t we agree that someone should not be denied a job, a promotion, or an educational opportunity, just because of their race? Don’t we agree that everyone, regardless of race, must be equal before the law and must have the same right to a fair trial? Don’t we agree that everyone must be treated with respect, as a human being, regardless of their race?

Alas, the past year has revealed, at least to those who have been awake and paying attention, that this is not the case. “Critical race theory”, which has been quietly growing in power and influence has now made a forceful public debut. Critical race theory tells us that the standard of ‘equal opportunity under the law’ belongs to our racist past. What is needed is the destruction of ‘systemic racism’ rooted in ‘white privilege’, so as to bring about equality of outcomes. Now we are being told that whites have been systematically oppressing everyone else for the past centuries, that all whites, whether they know it or not, are guilty of ‘systemic racism’, that they must confess the sin of their racism, check their ‘white privilege’, and place themselves at the service of ‘Black Lives Matter’. It seems that the refusal to do so puts one on the moral level of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

If someone objects that this is a new form of racism, directed against whites, he will be told that racism is only possible by a race that holds the higher position in an unequal and oppressive power structure. Since that position is held by whites, racism against whites is by definition impossible.

The ideal of ‘equal opportunity under the law’ allowed for political disagreement, debate, negotiation and compromise regarding the best ways to overcome the failures resulting from actual racism, so as to make that equal opportunity a reality, not just an ideal.

Critical race theory, however, allows no room for compromise, but demands unconditional surrender. Again, fundamental principles of human nature are involved because critical race theory finally sets racial identity above our common humanity.

Now abortion, LGBT, and critical race theory might seem to have nothing in common. One might think it possible to be against abortion and pro-LGBT; or against critical race theory and pro-abortion. Indeed, actual people to line up differently on these issues.

Nevertheless, there is historically and politically a deep interconnection between these issues. The civil rights movement, which dealt with racism (though it did not originally promote ‘critical race theory’) came first and opened the door. Then, piggy-backing off the civil rights movement came the feminist movement that identified the right to abortion as a necessary component of ‘women’s rights’. Then came the ‘Gay rights’ movement, which piggy-backed on its predecessors and eventually expanded to include transgender rights and more.

There was a rhetorical sleight of hand involved in this progression. Each successive movement, feminism, gay rights, and then transgender, employed the same rhetoric of equal opportunity, while glossing over the evident fact that while skin-color is truly an accidental difference among human beings, sex is not and glossing over that while race and sex are objective categories, independent of personal choice, sexual orientation and gender identity are not.

Further, during the course of time, the language of equal opportunity has quietly been replaced by the language of equal outcomes. Indeed, the progressives will switch back and forth between the two mutually exclusive principles, according as it suits their propaganda needs.

Finally, all of the above issues are now tied together by what is called ‘intersectionality’, which would unite the causes of so-called ‘oppressed groups’, women, sexual minorities, and racial minorities. Intersectionality brings Marxist ideology into the mix in a way that hardens and exacerbates the divisions.

We are actually divided by what is called a Marxist ‘dialectic’, an irreconcilable division between oppressor and oppressed that leads to unrelenting class warfare in which the righteous oppressed rise up against their wicked oppressors. When the Marxist calls for compromise, he seeks to gradually break down the opposition. He says, “Let us compromise between white and black; we will have a neutral gray.” Then he says, “Let us compromise between gray and black; we will have a darker gray.” When the Marxist calls for unity, he is demanding submission. “We must no longer have this warfare between black and gray; all the extremist white must be purged away.” (To be continued)

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Fr. Joseph Levine graduated from Thomas Aquinas College and after a long journey was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles on the Columbia River.