The Religion of Anti-Racism

John McWhorter (Professor of English, Columbia University) on how the modern anti-racism movement is a religion:

Anti-racism, as it is currently configured, has gone a long way from what used to be considered intelligent and sincere civil rights activism. Today it’s a religion. And I don’t mean that as a rhetorical feint. I mean that it actually is what any naive anthropologist would recognize as a faith. And people, many of whom don’t think of themselves as religious, but Galileo would recognize them quite easily. So, for example, the idea that the responsible white person is supposed to attest to their white privilege and realize that it can never go away and feel eternally guilty about it: that’s original sin, right there. The idea that there is going to be a day when America comes to terms with race—or that there could be—what does that even mean? What is the meaning of the coming to terms? What would that consist of? Who would come to them? What would the terms be? At what date would this be? The only reason that anyone says that is because it corresponds to our conception of Judgment Day, and it’s equally abstract. When we use the word problematic, especially since about 2008 or -09, what we’re really saying is blasphemous. It’s really the exact same term. Or, the suspension of disbelief that is a characteristic of religious faith—there’s an extent to which logic is considered no longer to apply—that’s how we talk about racism.

How Anti-Racism Hurts Black People, John McWhorter

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