How to Fight Racism Without Being Racist


I abhor racism.

First of all, racism is predicated on race, which is an arbitrary social construct with little genetic or practical legitimacy.

Second, even if there was a legitimate way to classify humanity into a handful of races, it’s a logical fallacy to apply a characteristic to an individual based solely on that broader classification.

Racism is arbitrary and illogical and that’s why I denounce it at every chance and celebrate the crusaders who fight it.

When I wanted to honor one of those crusaders, Martin Luther King Jr., a few years ago, I wrote, “in order to get to a truly post-racial society, we should reject the arbitrary classification of humans based physical attributes (race).” I asserted that if we want to fight racism, we shouldn’t talk about race.

But little did I know that I was violating one of the unspoken principles of the modern war on racism: talking about racism while not being the right race.

“How dare a white male even talk about racism” was the typical hyperbolic response from the professionally offended. To paraphrase a friend, if you’re white and you don’t admit to being a racist, then you need to shut the hell up.

One acquaintance commented, “Spoken like a white man who has no idea of what it feels like to be judged based on your ethnic background.”

I asked her if she would have felt differently if my article had been written by a black transgender person. She said yes, which prompted me to ask the question, “So you are judging me by the color of my skin and not the content of my character?”

At least she laughed and understood the allusion. Many wouldn’t.

This is doctrine of “white privilege” in practice: white males are oppressors so their perspectives are inherently flawed to the extent that they shouldn’t be heard.

As the Internet sensation known as “AIDS Skrillex” so astutely said, “You have never faced oppression in your entire f***ing life [because] you’re a f***ing white man!”

Or as Bernie Sanders notoriously asserted, “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”

“AIDS Skrillex” and Bernie Sanders seem to think that because someone is a white male, that he can’t have an opinion on race, paradoxically negating their white male opinions on race.

Another form of accepted racism is affirmative action, which aims at overcoming institutional racism with programs that support people in the victimized groups. But as the indefatigable Jordan B. Peterson summarizes, this pernicious mentality doesn’t fix racism, it just legitimizes a different form of it.

Affirmative action institutionalizes the mentality that “the way someone thinks is inextricably linked with their group identity. Well that’s what the bloody racists used to think!”

Affirmative action is saying that our racism is okay in order to make up for past racism. It’s just the tu quoque fallacy justifying racism because “they started it”!

Those who shout white privilege and affirmative action assume that all whites have this mystical power and all blacks have been victims of racism. They are focusing on the color of someone’s skin rather than the content of his character. They are, in essence, fighting racism by being racist themselves. It’s illogical; it’s self-defeating; and, quite frankly, it’s what is causing the rising trend of white nationalism that we’re seeing today.

So how do you solve the problem?

In a 60 Minutes Interview, Mike Wallace was astounded that actor Morgan Freeman would think that Black History Month is ridiculous.

He asked Freeman, “Well, how are we going to get rid of racism?”

Freeman’s responded by saying, “You stop talking about [race]. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”

In other words, you stop racism by not being racist. Stop using the construct of race as if it conveys anything meaningful because it does not. Stop talking about race.

It’s important to note that I’m not implying that we should stop talking about racism when we stop talking about race.

They are two different things and while race is fake, racism is not — it’s a real problem. It’s partly because race is fake that racism is such an illogical evil but you don’t stop that evil by perpetuating the fallacies of race through the concepts of white privilege and affirmative action.

How do you fight racism without being racist? You focus on the individual, not on group identity. You talk about persons, not members of races, and you strive to fulfill King’s dream by judging people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.

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JSB Morse is a husband, father, author, entrepreneur, and philosopher. He has recently written "Paleo Family" with his wife and previously written the political thriller "Gods of Ruin" and the spiritual fiction "Now and at the Hour of Our Death". He is editor of "The Libertarian Catholic" and can be found at


  1. Great piece. I agree with most of it. When you say “…quite frankly, it’s what is causing the rising trend of white nationalism that we’re seeing today.” It sounds like you’re absolving those individuals who participate in white nationalism of their responsibility and wrongheadedness. Probably not your intention, but it smacks of it—especially when compared to the statements about the wrongheadedness of affirmative action(I agree with those points as well) which lack the same qualifying “justification.” If I can catch that, the professionally offended certainly will.

    • That’s a good point—I definitely don’t mean to justify that despicable movement. The only distinction is that the white nationalists advertise their racism. The affirmative action folks don’t know they’re being racist. There’s a lot more in common between the two groups than one would guess.

  2. Racism is a moral issue in that discrimination by one group of individuals against another group (in the usual sense) based on the color of the latter group’s skin. It is a moral issue because we believe it to be immoral to practice discrimination by way of skin color or at least against certain skin colors. Mr TrustMeIKnowBetter is practicing a form of racism against those individuals (mostly white) who believe in the cause of White Nationalism. No freedom of thought for them, they hold the wrong ideas to be true. Racism has devolved to this level of emotion (it is an emotional response). Racism is based on irrational fears of one group by another group. The problem is the word itself, a word that has come to denote some moral issue, some moral action (or immoral, as the case may be). This happens when we place morality on a pedestal and start to worship it instead of quietly following our moral precepts. When interacting with out individuals I may notice the color of their skin or their difference in speech or anything else that sets them apart from my usual experiences. This is not racism or discrimination, it is the simple recognition of the differences between me and them. The question becomes, do I judge these individuals based on these initial differences or do I ignore such differences and judge them by their interactions with me? If i choose the latter, which is actually a natural reaction, then I have moved beyond any beginnings of racism. Unconsciously I have made a moral choice without having to think about morality or racism.

    To be fair, I have know a few racists and white nationalists. I do not care to associate with them not only because of their personal beliefs but because I have little in common with them. My experience is that those individuals who hold such beliefs tend to have other prejudices that are irrational and tend to occupy their thoughts. They are not pleasant people to be with. So I avoid them. If these individuals wanted a job in my factory (I do not have a factory in the real world), then to discriminate against them because of their beliefs would be that same immoral act as racism. Of course there is a practical matter to consider. Should they not be able to hold their tongues or actions when working with others, regardless of race, creed, or color, then I would have no alternative but to discharge them for cause, the inability to work with others. We don’t fire a man because he is racist, we fire a man because his racism interferes with doing his job. If you don’t understand that moral distinction then you need to rethink your sense of morality. To simply state that racism is morally bad is not enough, we must understand why and how we should act towards others. We all discriminate against others, it cannot be helped. It is the reason for a particular act of discrimination that matters. This is how we fight racism, individually, one person at a time.

  3. Why would a libertarian want to fight racism? Why do you want to police what people think and say? Racism isn’t a libertarian issue. I believe in free association and freedom of speech. Libertarians used to believe the same.

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