I remember it vividly, even though it was several lifetimes ago; the new-to-me used car I bought the day before, with every dime I’d earned working 60 hours a week for months on end, slid across the slick pavement on the sharp back road curve.
I was 19 years old, and that car was my first real achievement – my first taste of independence. I’d done everything right, staying within the speed limit and keeping an eye on my surroundings. But when I felt the threadbare tire treads lose contact with the pavement, I panicked.
“Oh no!” I screamed in my head – this could not be happening. It mustn’t happen. I hadn’t expected the danger before me. I recognized it as potentially destructive, and something that could only bring harm. So, in a desperate attempt to right the wrong, I yanked the wheel hard, in the opposite direction of the oncoming vehicle whose lane I had just invaded. If I did nothing, I would have crashed into a car full of innocent people who didn’t deserve to suffer for my behavior, however unintentional it was.
The overcorrection worked. The innocent people were spared the cost of my actions and traveled on down the road. I, on the other hand, now felt my sigh of relief stop in my throat as I realized the consequence of my overzealous correction.
The telephone pole seemed to be moving toward me, instead of me to it. My beloved Subaru, with its sunroof and CD player, dipped low in a ditch and then roared up out of it as my panicked foot hit the gas instead of the brake.
The tow truck driver, police, and mechanic told me it was a miracle I was uninjured, based on the way my car had crumpled right on up to my knees.
It was a very difficult lesson for me to learn, but one that left a profound impact on me.
When in crisis, when acknowledging a threat or a wrong or an injustice, even a well-intentioned overcorrection can cause catastrophic harm. The whole body response to stop something horrifying from happening, or continuing to happen, can blind a person to everything but what is immediately before them, rather than a full view.
This is what is happening today, in response to the new level of awareness about instances of racial injustice.
The country’s collective gasp of horror at the murder of George Floyd was heard in every town, in every home, and in every family.
Some people thought- There it is again. It will never end unless we speak up now.
Some people thought – Oh no! This is terrible. It can never happen again. We must speak up now.
And for a moment, the synergy between the two reactions was felt. Americans of all walks of life spoke up to insist on justice and change. Some people spoke up to ask questions and learn about injustices unseen to them. Others spoke up to share their stories.
Then the media stepped in. The opportunists appeared. Righteous pain and indignations were diabolically manipulated for personal and political agendas. Buildings burned. Innocent lives were lost. Politicians and talking TV heads celebrated the violence done to some innocent people in the name of defending other innocent people.
The opportunity to work together in a peaceful fashion- to correct a wrong we all agreed on – was gone.
The correction turned into an overcorrection, both intentional and unintentional.
An organization stepped forward purporting to be representing black lives, but really only defending the lives that served it. No outcry was heard for black police officers ambushed and murdered in the line of duty. No national grief was shown for the hundreds of black lives lost to one another. No, those lives did not matter at all – not to those who pulled the steering wheel so hard to the other side, we all crashed into a pole together.
Well-intentioned people stepping forward to learn and discuss and connect in their own ways, how their minds and hearts call them to, are branded as white supremacists, racists, selfish, and so on – not because they condone racism or are not newly awakened to the lingering grips of antiquated cruelty – but because they disagree with transferring shame from one community to another. They disagree with villainizing all people of one color or community for the actions of a few. They recognize that morality cannot be legislated, but must come from within. That requires faith and kindness to be encouraged, rather than self-righteousness and violence.
The opportunists scurry about stoking fires and spreading them, convincing well-intentioned people to burn down anyone who refuses to pick up a torch and burn their own homes and hearts down as a show of solidarity. Anyone who does not apologize for their role in oppression, even if they have done nothing wrong or never harbored ill will for a fellow human being, even if they have led charitable causes in their communities, served their country, quietly dropped off hot meals for neighbors in need – no good deeds are considered good enough to prove the purity of their hearts unless they quote lines from a Marxist-based organization, and agree to elevate one community over all others in the name of equality.
It is the greatest overcorrection possible.
Rather than acknowledging that there is and always will be good and evil in this world, and working together to elevate the good to evil is mitigated, evil is ushered in under the guise of good.
Rather than capitalize on the momentum of good will that arose from the George Floyd incident, that momentum has been harnessed to divide us – and it is working.
Social media has become a battleground for self-righteous keyboard warriors insisting anyone who does not apologize for or acknowledge their privilege as part of the reason others suffer, is considered scum. There is no room for conversation about this- either you bend a knee, or you are racist garbage.
At first, those who questioned the overcorrection were meek – no one wanted to be accused of being something they despise. Slowly, though, the pushback is increasing. When the overcorrection reached people’s kids, parents had enough.
The Marxist ideologies of the BLM organization, which hijacked the very real issue of police brutality, have spread into government, and into schools.
A Minnesota fourth grade class viewed a video about racist cops, teaching that all cops are evil.
College athletes who refuse to kneel for our anthem are kicked off the team.
One expensive NYC prep school, the Dalton School, released a manifesto from its teachers packed with demands including:
- Abolishing high-level academic courses by 2023 if the performance of black students is not on par with non-blacks.
- Requiring courses that focus on “black liberation” and “challenges to white supremacy.” [Marxism]
- Requiring “anti-racism” statements from all staffers.
Beyond the manifesto, students are made to watch a video in which “white kids are shamed for the sin of their skin color and told they are complicit in perpetuating racism.” A fourth grade play included the role for a “racist cop.”
Outraged parents insist that rather than work against racism, the school is actually teaching students to be racist. It is teaching students to be victims, and to inject hatred or shame into young hearts. One parent released this statement : “My ancestors experienced white supremacy by being slaughtered,” a Jewish parent told The Post. “The idea that being white automatically means you are privileged or a white supremacist is ridiculous. My child comes from people who had to fight for everything they got.”
Imagine if that school had not overcorrected, but accurately corrected? Imagine if students were encouraged to celebrate each other instead of judging one another? Imagine if racism was not taught as a cure for racism!
Parents have said they will be withdrawing their children from the school that boasts people like far-Left TV host Anderson Cooper as alumni.
The list of examples in which racism is being deployed as a tool to combat racism is staggering.
People will not continue to smash their cars into telephone poles when they can instead yank the wheel a little less, and proceed smoothly down the road.
Racism is only one weapon being used against anyone who disagrees with the Left. The Capitol breach is another, and the Left is running away with it. Where it will end, no one knows yet. But you can bet that Americans are done with being told to smash our cars, while others drive smoothly by.