‘Can My Children Be Friends With White People?’

‘Can My Children Be Friends With White People?’ by Ekow Yankah in the New York Times. [Bumped and updated]

My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. …

This summer’s images of violence in Charlottesville, Va., prompted an array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I offer, lamely. A childish but distinct panic enters his voice. “But I’m not different.”

It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people. …

As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal. …

What’s surprising is that I am heartbroken at all. It is only for African-Americans who grew up in such a place that watching Mr. Trump is so disorienting. For many weary minorities, the ridiculous thing was thinking friendship was possible in the first place. It hurts only if you believed friendship could bridge the racial gorge. …

I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends. …

Don’t misunderstand: White Trump supporters and people of color can like one another. But real friendship? …

For African-Americans, race has become a proxy not just for politics but also for decency. White faces are swept together, ominous anxiety behind every chance encounter at the airport or smiling white cashier. If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me. …

We can still all pretend we are friends. If meaningful civic friendship is impossible, we can make do with mere civility — sharing drinks and watching the game.

Wow. This is a new tone, sort of a step back into a segregationist past. Stereotyping and group identity are overriding seeing people as individuals.

Like Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore famously pointed out (and he should know): “In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.”

Michael Walsh:

Before the liberal revolution is over, we’ll be back to segregating the sexes — in the name of “safety” — and the races — in the name of “empowerment.”

UPDATE: Rod Dreher:

So, let me get this straight: The New York Times published an op-ed by a black man who says that all white people look alike, and seem like they are a threat, even if they treat him kindly. If a white man wrote a column saying that all black people look alike, and seem like a threat to him, even if they treat him kindly, do you think The New York Times would publish it? The question is absurd.

One more bit from the racist pomposity of Prof. Yankow, who earlier in the piece denies that he writes with “liberal condescension”:

We can still all pretend we are friends. If meaningful civic friendship is impossible, we can make do with mere civility — sharing drinks and watching the game. Indeed, even in Donald Trump’s America, I have not given up on being friends with all white people.

What a jerk. Why would any white person want to spend time with a guy who thinks he’s doing them a favor by granting them the absolution of his friendship? “If [particular whites] are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me,” he writes. How does a white person signal clear allyship? Why should any white person take the risk of being friends with this guy, knowing that if she says something that offends him politically, he will immediately consider her a racist threat, and withdraw friendship?

That column was a manifestation of hysterical anti-white racism. But because it was written by a black person who is also one of Manhattan’s elites, it found its way into the pages of The New York Times, a publication that can be profitably read as a field guide to the social psychoses of America’s liberal elites. Maybe some crotchety old white lady will push Yankah in line at the Angelika,, which will put him one Times op-ed away from a MacArthur Genius Grant.

You know what? Many white people who might have been Prof. Yankah’s friend will now choose to keep away from him, because they feel judged by him, or they will be afraid to speak around him. He will take that as a further sign of racism. And if white children shun the Yankah children because their father has taught them that whites are not to be trusted or befriended, the Yankah kids will understandably take that as a sign that their father was right. Well done, Dad, well done. …

If he’d been white the author would have been fired. Here’s the proof — it happened:

Back in 2012, John Derbyshire was fired by National Review for this column in Taki’s Magazine in which he listed the things he told his children so that they could protect themselves from black violence. …

I didn’t see that Derb left NR editor Rich Lowry much choice but to fire him. Some things you simply cannot publish without serious consequence, even if they express honestly your fears, well-grounded or not. If you’re white, that is. But if you’re black, you can submit a column to The New York Times saying that all white people are violent racists unless proven otherwise, and that blacks should not be friends with whites, and it will be published, because that is what it means to be a right proper American liberal in 2017. …

This leftist discrimination against whites will not end well:

Law professor Ekow N. Yankah, graduate of the Ivy League and Oxbridge, resident of one of the most privileged neighborhoods in America, gets to shout his actual racism from the rooftops, so to speak, and you watch: if anything, he’ll be lionized for his “bravery.” …

I keep saying that the Left’s obsession with identity politics is legitimizing white nationalists and other unsavories of the alt-right. This is a perfect example of it. …

Their race and class hatred is calling up more of the same from the fever swamps of the Right. They will never, ever see it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil