Since the very start of the Republican war on Critical Race Theory, I’ve been saying this whole non-troversy is about one thing and one thing only—white people’s comfort. Well, on Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee in Florida advanced a bill pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that, at the very least, tells it like it is.
“An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex,” the bill reads, according to the Associated Press. “An individual should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race.”
So basically, it’s a white fragility bill. Ron DeSantis has proposed a bill to protect white people from feeling discomfort, guilt, and anguish, and the rest of us are just supposed to pretend there aren’t white people who are offended by the very mention of racism.
What doesn’t make white people uncomfortable?
White conservatives haven’t even remotely demonstrated that they even understand what CRT is, all they know is the very idea of students being educated on systemic racism makes them uncomfortable and now every red state legislature in America is scrambling to pass laws to eliminate truthful Black history. (What Black parents and students want or are uncomfortable with doesn’t matter though.)
Colin Kaepernick started the trend of athletes kneeling silently during the national anthem to protest systemic racism and that made white people uncomfortable so the NFL implemented a short-lived policy requiring all athletes to be present and stand during the anthem. (The NFL also banned players from celebrating touchdowns in the end zone largely because white people were uncomfortable with the rhythm and flair of Black players.)
Civil rights leaders who are considered to be radical make white people uncomfortable, so the vast majority of them aren’t taught at all in school curricula and the ones that are get reduced to a single bus ride like Rosa Parks or their teachings are watered down for white comfort like Martin Luther King Jr. (Nikole Hannah-Jones demonstrated that exquisitely on MLK Day.)
Hell, for the vast majority of America’s existence as an independent nation, white people have been so uncomfortable with being in proximity to free Black people that slavery continued for more than a century after the Declaration of Independence was signed and government-sanctioned segregation continued for nearly a century after slavery ended. (Not that America is inherently racist or anything.)
Last month, DeSantis proposed the Stop W.O.KE. Act, a bill that uses Black vernacular to essentially eliminate thorough teachings of Black history. In campaigning for the bill, DeSantis, once again, invoked a white butthurt-free version of MLK, and he, once again, characterized CRT as a study that teaches white people are inherently racist, which it doesn’t.
But here’s the thing—maybe white people are inherently racist.
As demonstrated above, when a majority of white people come together to express their collective discomfort with a thing, bills are proposed and signed into law that are meant to placate their feelings, meaning everyone is ultimately forced to bend to the will of the whites.
White conservatives purport themselves as the party of “facts over feelings,” yet when ex-President Donald Trump claimed, without evidence, that the 2020 election was stolen from him, dozens of state and federal courts were forced to waste time entertaining lawsuits with zero merit, and even when Trump’s people lost virtually all of their cases, white legislators were refusing to certify the votes—and if they had their way it would have been legally cast votes from predominately Black precincts that would have been disposed of.
Now, based on a demonstrable lie, Republican states across America are trying to block voting rights legislation and passing legislation that makes it harder to vote and disproportionately affects non-white voters—and pretending to do it in order to secure elections they haven’t proven need securing.
White feelings rule over everything, and their collective discomfort always ends in the disenfranchisement of other races. That’s inherent racism.
“This bill’s not for Blacks, this bill was not for any other race,” state Sen. Shevrin Jones (D) said in response to DeSantis’ bill against white discomfort. “This was directed to make whites not feel bad about what happened years ago. At no point did anyone say white people should be held responsible for what happened, but what I would ask my white counterparts is, are you an enabler of what happened or are you going to say we must talk about history?”