By now you have seen the ‘Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness and Culture’ chart, since retracted, by the National Museum of African American History and Culture via the Smithsonian Institute. At a cursory glance as the graph scrolled down my Twitter feed, I initially thought “Well, yes that looks like an accurate representation of the values I was raised with.” But the display went from benign to noxious once I realized it was implying that non-whites in fact do not practice these cultural norms.
How degrading to presume that non-whites, and more specifically black people, do not value hard work, Christianity, or a general betterment for their lives? Moreover, the chart is an absolutely foolish display of ignorance. The ‘scientific method’ is a form of white culture? I was unaware that the laws of gravity do not apply to black people.
First and foremost, the graph is an outright lie. I have lived in seven nations, many being non-white. The customs outlined in the whiteness exhibition can be found in all corners of the globe. The cultures of the Far East actually share many of these values like hard work, delayed gratification, and being in control of your own destiny. In fact, the family structure in places like China and Korea are more doctrinaire to the tenets of “white culture” in that most families will have two children and the wife will stay home, as opposed to the West where more mothers work outside the home.
The more progressive areas of the Middle East, like the Gulf states, also exemplify these values. Just last week the United Arab Emirates sent a space shuttle to Mars. They didn’t achieve this using witch craft, they used the scientific method. Even my Bangladeshi mother in law would be surprised to learn that she had raised a first-generation British born white supremacist by teaching him to work hard and be polite.
The standards outlined by the Smithsonian are not exclusively white and it’s downright insulting to insinuate otherwise. White people don’t have a patent on protecting private property and being on time. This chart outlines behavior which is not dictated by skin color. If you believe skin color ordains action, that makes you a racist.
But what makes the chart so appalling and shameful is that the museum curators thought this was a brilliant idea because the notion that certain behavior is exclusively white is considered to be true by a substantial portion of the black demographic. This stereotyping is reinforced upon successful members of the black community through insults like coon, house negro, and allegations of ‘talking white.’ Accomplished black conservatives like Dr. Ben Carson and Charles Payne have discussed how they were ridiculed in their youth by their black peers for their intelligence and work ethic. Larry Elder’s new film ‘Uncle Tom’ provides insight into this insidious ideology that plagues the black community.
It is a painful reality that the vital importance of education and fathers is severely undervalued by a portion of the black community. The activist group Black Lives Matter is audaciously forthright in their stated goal to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family.” (At 70+% black single motherhood rate, mission accomplished BLM.) The Smithsonian chart only reiterates the absence of these values within black culture by attributing them to whites only. It also validates the argument that has been made by conservatives for decades that culture is what determines your success, not race.
If your culture does not recognize the importance of a two-parent household, planning for the future, sacrificing to better yourself, or speaking properly, then you will not have a successful culture. It’s just that simple. Even the left-leaning Brookings Institute verified this in a study that showed that Americans have a near zero chance of living in poverty if they graduate high school, get a job, and have children after they are married.
Progressives insist that every grievance, every disparity, and every injustice (real or imaginary), can be automatically and uniformly attributed to racism. While some people are racist, overwhelmingly, disparate outcomes among different demographics are almost always accredited to behavior.
Ben Shapiro brilliantly articulated this several years ago at a ‘Race in America’ debate. After summarizing the wealth disparities between blacks and whites, the moderator asked ‘How can you argue that racism is not a driving factor in income inequality?’ To which Shapiro replied, “Because it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture.”
After the other panelists expressed shock to this answer, Shapiro pressed them to explain why black students aren’t graduating from high school, why blacks shoot each other at rates wildly disproportionate to whites, why 13% of the population accounts for 50% of US homicides, and why crime rates and single motherhood rates have increased to ungodly levels since the Civil Rights Act.
Embarrassingly, they could not provide an answer to his question. Perhaps it is time to start reforming our culture and stop the unproductive blame game.