For the last fifty years or so, do-gooder groups have been proposing some “conversation” or another on race, and rarely, if ever, has any of them been anything like honest.
The latest conversation sponsored by the Kansas City Public Schools, the Kauffman Foundation and Mayor Sly James promises more of the same. Called the “The Truth Project: A Racial Equity Workshop,” this series of community conferences has its outcome already preprogrammed.
The invitation to this invite-only spells out what participants will be expected to believe: “This workshop helps participants become clear on how race and racism have been constructed in the US and how ideas about racism live in our unconscious minds and social structures even 50 years after the successes of the Civil Rights movement.”
Lest anyone be deceived in advance into thinking that there will be open conversation and honest dialogue, the invitation comes with a quote from the Star’s race-obsessed former columnist Lewis Diuguid.
“Throughout the Kansas City area and the state,” said Diuguid unhelpfully, “many seem unwilling to forget or forgive the district’s racially tinged history.”
Running the session will be the Racial Equity Institute (REI), an operation out of North Carolina. “Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force,” argues the REI website, “one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history.”
Given the fierceness of racism, REI insists that a one-day workshop is not enough. REI recommends instead an 18-month to two-year process, provided, of course, by REI whose services, one suspects, do not come cheap.
It is hard to imagine what possible good can come out of these sessions. It is also hard to imagine that the environment will be remotely conducive to anyone willing to challenge the notion that racism is “a fierce, ever-present, challenging force.”
One might expect instead a paranoid cluster hug among the victimized and the virtuous, all, of course, floated on someone else’s dime.
As blue-collar philosopher Eric Hoffer said for the ages, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”