Warner Todd Huston over at Right Wing News apparently thinks he has discovered racism in the existence of an all-black swimming meet that drew almost 750 teens from several states to compete in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Huston doesn’t mind that the group is all-black — freedom of association for private organizations and all that. What gets his goat is the legitimate point that if your goal is to compete and create champions, then the members of the group should be selected by merit, not color:
I do have a major problem with this story, though, and it was the above quote from young Kenny Cross of Raleigh. He said, “This is where champions are born.”
That they have fooled this young man into imagining that “champions” can come from a segregated event that is not filled with the best and brightest from every walk of life is a shame. Does this young man really think that only his black friends amount to “champions”? Does he think no other races could become champions?
The thing is, these kids are not competing against the best of all swimmers, they are merely competing with the best from their own small racial block. This is NOT how champions are made. Champions are made through wide spread competition and limiting yourselves to only specific blocks of people is not the way to create champions.
Let me tell you a story to explain why I think teen-aged and young adult blacks may really need all-black swim teams, colleges, whatever — although on their own dime, because, see banner above, “conservative lesbian.” Years ago I read a news story about a black young adult who explained to a reporter that he resented the racism he encountered from all his professors at the predominantly white university he attended so much that he transferred to a predominantly black university. However, much to his surprise, his black professors told him he was exactly the kind of jerk that his white professors had. To his credit, he then realized that his white professors were not being racist when they found fault with him — he was a jerk and it was their job to tell him so and set his feet on a better path. However, thanks to the Alinksky rule for radicals that identity group grievances must constantly be “rubbed raw,” this young man had no way of being able to distinguish between racial insults and accurate, if unflattering, feedback.
That’s why there is a legitimate place for all-black groups, especially when their mission is to develop excellence in children, teens and young adults. The process goes better when the participants don’t have to spend a single second pondering whether prejudice is animating how they are being treated. Removing that variable clears a host of mental and emotional obstacles to achieving excellence. Think of them as a bridge between childhood and adulthood that strengthens these individuals to be able to participate later in groups of diverse races, religions, sexual orientation and so on, with a strong self-confidence that CAN tell the difference between criticism that is justified and racist remarks intended to hurt and to be able to deal positively with both.