The Sick Racism of The New York Times

By Mason Mohon | USA

These last few days, social media has been abuzz with a New York Times article that is seen by many as shocking, putting in generously. The article’s title was Can My Children Be Friends With White People?, which in itself would be disturbing enough for a title, but reading through I discover that it goes from bad to worse. The article’s entire intent seems to be to make a bad problem worse. Ironically, on the same day, The New York Times published an article titled We’re Sick of Racism, Literally. Clearly, they are not sick of it. They’re sick with it.

The author of the first controversial article is a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. This expertise did give him grounds to diagnose a problem, and mostly correctly too. He pointed out the prison population and the targeting of black individuals through the war on drugs, which are very real and very serious problems within America and ones that we should be having an open conversation about, but that is not the author’s intent. The author makes it clear that he views it as nearly impossible for his black children to make friendships with white people, and he does not see the possibility of friendship between whites and blacks anywhere.  

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.

Well, you’ve diagnosed a problem. That problem is the racial division within America. Thinking the way to cure this problem is to cut ties and give up hope of friendship is an absolutely senseless proposition that will not help anyone. Teaching your sons that they cannot be friends with white people is only going to sow the seeds of division deeper, and we will end up with more ignorant senseless ideological catfights like the one in Charlottesville.

The author teaches his children to discriminate. The other article The New York Times published on race that day sited a 2015 study that showed being discriminated against decreases cortisol, “a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stressful situations.” Low amounts of this hormone can be dangerous, resulting in depression, obesity, cancer, and death.

Putting two and two together, one sees that The New York Times advocates for discrimination in the same day that it publishes about the negative health effects of discrimination. This is not an accusation of “reverse racism.” Discrimination is discrimination, no matter who you are and who you are doing it to. Black people can discriminate against white people, and the effects will be the same. The law professor says to “spare [him] platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside,” yet science is science, and we will all be getting the same negative health effects and illnesses from these disgusting acts of division.

The alternative is clear. Many know about Daryl Davis, the kind-hearted black keyboardist who got many KKK members to disavow their racist ways through friendship. Clearly, even the most hateful lines of division can be bridged. Giving up hope is not going to help things, and advocating for what you news outlet calls detrimental to health is counterproductive. Don’t discriminate, and tell your kids that they can be friends with whoever is kind to them. Befriend your enemy. Hug a Nazi.

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