It’s time to step back and consider what racism means. The term is getting flung around so much that it has become so generic that its meaning has become lost. The most recent example is the passionate–if not the out-of-control–criticism that has been dumped on Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss.
Here is how the ADL defines racism:
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.
An honest reading of Weiss’ June 13 review of “Pass Over” at Steppenwolf Theatre reveals that the charge of racist being hurled at her is bogus, irrational and mean spirited (if I might use the accusation favored by progressives). Nothing in her review even hints that one race is superior to another, that social and moral traits are predetermined, or that people should be segregated by race.
Her mostly complimentary review of the play included a disagreement with a stereotypical position embraced by the play–that all white cops are racist. Also drawing overheated criticism is her comment that most of Chicago’s violent gang warfare is black on black. The latter, of course, is a matter of fact. It is not racist or “simplistic” to note this fact. It’s a starting point for a further discussion about the deeper and more complicated causes of the violence. Some people are too ready to jump to malevolent motives for making the statement for partisan reasons, a reaction that ends rational discussion.
To even suggest that some sort of racial animus prompted her to disagree with the assertion that all white policemen are racist is on its face a pile of crap, and needs to be treated as such. To suggest that because she is an “old white lady” explains her criticism is, in itself, ageist, misogynist and racist, equally deserving of condemnation.
So, progressives, get down from you high horse and engage in useful and honest discussion. For a change.