Ended slavery, repealed Jim Crow laws, desegregated public schools and drinking fountains—this country has done so much for black people! Yes, You’re Racist brought us this tweet, which in addition to embarrassing some poor woman who can’t think, neatly captures what 21st-century racism looks like. Okay, the two high-profile cases of cops who killed unarmed black men and suffered absolutely no consequences captured what contemporary racism looks like. But this tweet reflects the silent majority that sustains such behavior.
In The Revolt of the Masses, José Ortega y Gasset remarked that for most people, modernity is the condition of using a bunch of technology that you cannot make yourself and consider a natural feature of the world. A liberal reading of his work suggests that social developments—like, say, reduced expression of institutionalized racism against black people—might be considered technology, too. That certainly seems to be the case for Chelsea A. Carlen, who takes as given the prevailing modern attitude that we shouldn’t discriminate against black people and ignores the historical abuses that made that attitude necessary.
She sees scholarships for black kids to go to Harvard, in other words, and ignores the history that starts with slavery and moves through racist admissions policies to get us there. Black people should be grateful that we’re killing them in the streets less than we used to. It’s an understandable perspective, albeit extraordinarily ignorant.
I bet Chelsea Carlen doesn’t even hate black people. She just regards them as a monolithic, protected class that hates America. We’ve done so much to treat you slightly less badly, and this is how you repay us? By freaking out just because cops can still murder you? How long do we have to let you vote and not sell you as chattel before you get over it?