In the comments following a recent blog entry entitled "Rejecting Racial Representation", I encountered an anonymous blogger who laments the "many organizations right here in racine that subscribe to racial representation for white people." Yet despite my numerous pleas, anonymous was unable or unwilling to identify even one of the organizations, much less offer any evidence to support his/her claim.
The mindset of the anonymous blogger is hardly unique. But why complain about racism without identifying the racists?
As it happens, I have a theory that addresses this question. It serves the purposes of many people to have a problem with racism. I will get to who those people are a little later. It is best if the problem is vaguely and broadly defined, such that specific allegations must be avoided at all costs. Specific allegations of racism must deal with the vexing problems of facts, evidence, proof etc... Vague allegations can conveniently disregard evidence. Racism, of course, exists, and is harmful to both the racist and the subject of the racism. But for some, it is not all bad, insofar as it provides a useful excuse for personal failure. And lets face it, most of us would prefer to find external causes for our shortcomings. So the beneficiaries of the vague racism problem are blacks who would prefer to blame others for their failures. But it is not only blacks who benefit from the vague racism allegations. Whole careers are available for those who perpetuate the vague racism problem, and they must keep the story going or lose their livelihood. In addition to a livelihood, these folks also get to enjoy a feeling of moral superiority over the masses of supposed racists in our midst. Racism, vaguely defined, is an industry. An industry that must be confronted.