The "right" amount of concern about racism
For the last few years, the United States and much of the Anglosphere has been in the throes of a moral panic around racism.
Explicit measures of racist attitudes are at all-time lows. Back in the 60s, for example, most white Americans said they disapproved of mixed education and interracial marriage; now only a small percentage do. Yet we constantly hear about how this or that is “racist” – whether it’s gardening, the countryside, Fawlty Towers, Dr Seuss, or Aunt Jemima’s Syrup.
Properly defined, of course, racism is wrong. And nobody’s suggesting we should ignore the phenomenon. But what’s the “right” amount of concern about racism?