The left proclaims that race — that stubbornly immutable physical characteristic — is the pinnacle of identity. Skin color alone determines entire life experiences and belief systems. Whites? All racist. Blacks? All oppressed. Hispanics and Asians? Right now, who knows?
The right — abetted by Martin Luther King Jr. — makes the claim that the values an individual presents to the world, such as goodness, kindness, fairness, and morality, are determinative factors in judging a person. King famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Democrats and the partisan media yammer on about how identity-based solely on race and gender is what really matters. That’s how we get to such proclamations as too many dead white males populate history books, Shakespeare needs to be replaced with contemporary black lesbian authors, and Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to the founding are secondary to his relationship with his slave Sally Hemings.
Despite the reductionist push, it seems most Americans, deep down, don’t subscribe to all of these radical revisions of the historical and literary canon. They just don’t know how to rebut them, in the face of the media’s attrition of common sense or their desire to persuade themselves that they are required to support the political party that loudly declares it cares about others. So to help people clarify their thinking, I have devised a test.
Simply start at the beginning and work your way to the end. It’s important not to look ahead, as teachers sometimes advise about tests in general. An analysis of your responses comes at the end.
Prompt: Imagine a gubernatorial election in your state. Answer which of two candidates most closely matches your preference.
Part A: Racial Preferences
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a white male or a black female?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a straight white male or a lesbian black female?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a wealthy straight white cismale or a trans lesbian descended from American slaves?
(I know what you’re thinking. Just keep going.)
Part B: Values Preferences
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a person who is a former educator of inner-city elementary students or a person who vocally protests in favor of gun rights and in opposition to abortion?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor an individual who promises to create a cabinet of diverse racial and gender representation or one who selects cabinet members that exhibit what the Smithsonian denigrates as white attributes such as hard work and responsibility?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor someone who believes the American system is rigged or someone who believes anyone can become successful through a lot of hard work and a little luck?
(That was easier, right? One more section.)
Part C: Values + Race Preferences
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a white male who is a former educator of inner-city elementary students or a black female who vocally supports gun rights and opposes abortion?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a straight white male who promises to create a cabinet of diverse racial and gender representation or a lesbian black female who selects cabinet members that exhibit what the Smithsonian denigrates as white attributes such as hard work and responsibility?
- Would you rather elect as your state governor a wealthy straight white cismale who believes the American system is rigged or a trans lesbian descendant of former American slaves who believes anyone can become successful through a lot of hard work and a little luck?
How did you do? Take some time to reflect on how you voted.
For an honest thinker, Part A was the most challenging. Why? Because race alone cannot be a determining factor. You probably wanted to know more, like what do the white or black candidates stand for; you needed more information.
History has shown that corrupt, incompetent, and great leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Did Winston Churchill save Britain because he was white? Did Joseph Stalin murder 20 million fellow Slavs because he was white? The answers are obvious. Churchill saved Her Majesty’s realm because he communicated a powerful conviction of moral purpose. Stalin was power-hungry. Both white men.
But some test-takers may have struggled a bit in choosing answers to Part A. Their thinking might have been: We have had a lot of white men in power, and look where that has gotten us. We need different perspectives and should give historically oppressed black women a chance.
Part B was likely the easiest for everyone because the questions were not dependent on race, which tells us nothing about the candidate. But identifying positions on such issues as gun rights, abortion, immigration policies, and more indicate value judgments. In the booth, you can vote for the candidate who reflects your values.
So to make a point, let’s set up a theoretical and wildly unlikely example: A presidential candidate has only two choices for his vice presidential running mate, a black woman or a white guy. The black female is a convicted child molester and the straight white guy builds homes for newly arrived immigrants. Would you select her over him? Of course not. You place weight, rightly so, on the values and actions of a candidate, not his or her race.
Part C might have been easier for conservatives than liberals and leftists. For conservatives, the candidate’s race, gender, and sexual preferences are about as important as their shirt color on election night. You likely voted the same way as in Part B because of the candidate’s values.
However, for those who have been persuaded that race is the overriding consideration in all matters, Part C is a challenge. Is a candidate’s skin color more important than what he or she stands for or has done?
Reflecting on the stark contrasts posed in the quiz, most people can understand the essential role values play in selecting their candidates for leadership and how shallow and superficial is the attribute of skin color.
The entire conversation about white privilege and systemic racism is not helpful. Not all whites have the same values; not all blacks share the same values. When we turn the focus to “content of character,” as King advised, we will find the agreement is enormous.
Parker Beauregard loves America and wants you to save it with him. He has been published on American Thinker, Right Wire Report, and various online outlets.