Yes, there is black racism

Toledo Blade

Some progressives say black Americans can’t be racist against whites. They should tell that to Kori Ali Muhammad.

Or better yet, they should tell it to the survivors of the people he’s accused of murdering — because they were white.

Police say Mr. Muhmmad killed a white security guard at a motel. A few days later, they say, he killed three random white men in Fresno, Calif.

Mr. Muhammad’s father said his son was trying to do his bit for a race war. The Los Angeles Times reports that someone calling himself Kori Ali Muhammad of Fresno had a Facebook page marked by black nationalism and the claim to be a “warrior.”

If he committed such crimes from such a motive, he is a racist. No other word could apply.

But progressives in America argue that racism in the United States can only run in one direction — against minorities — because racism is a matter of power and the power structure of society.

Webster’s defines racism as “a belief that some races are by nature superior to others.” Also, “as discrimination based on such belief.”

And it is largely because of those definitions that the word is so emotionally loaded — more so than “segregationist,” which refers unambiguously to policies and their supporters. To judge individuals, and especially to condemn them, merely on the basis of physical features is dehumanizing. It disregards the individual’s mind, character, actions — all the attributes that make someone a person.

By reducing people to attributes they never chose, racism denies the significance of their free will and everything they achieve with it.

Often, and murderously, the people guilty of racism have been white. But not always.

If Mr. Muhammad indeed murdered people in the name of racial warfare, he was treating them as if the only thing that mattered about them was the color of their skin — as if that were enough to make them his enemies and unworthy of life. That is surely racism.