Book Review: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emannuel Acho

Nobody who knows U.S. history doesn’t understand the problems we have faces with racial relations in this country. But for all of the sensible discussions we might have on the issue there are those who work in this area there are always extremists who tend to destroy progress.

When you read the extremists they all sound the same. Everything they write comes from a boilerplate script works. Read on and you’ve read them all. Too many conservatives act as thou there are no real race issues and that everything will work out if open capitalism would allow people to have jobs and get along. They might also say that the only problem is the extremists and that there are no real issues with working-class people. Certainly, there are no problems in academia or major media outlets.

Acho’s work reads like it came off the press from a Macedonian content farm. It is a work filled with false information, cliches, and half-truths, enough to satisfy activists everywhere.

What falsehoods? He gets Chief Wahoo wrong.  America was not founded in 1619. Trayvon Martin was beating the guy’s head into the pavement. He was no martyr. He references as support the discredited work White Fragility. Taking a monolithic view of “white” and mindlessly dismissing criticisms with a straw man. He has no idea why the Electoral College exists or what happened in 2000, with Gore’s effort to discount military votes in order to win. He completely misses the point of the three-fifths rule – to contain slavery. (Yes, containment was as inadequate to stop slavery as it was to stop the spread of communism.) We personally know (legal alien) non-citizens who vote (It’s not uncommon) and the question is not about race. Reframing it as such requires a course in obfuscation. Perhaps “it wasn’t my intent” should apply equally to all leftists who have the political clout to be excused by the FBI. Apparently he didn’t see the “blue” fundraising text of BLM, that it’s a partisan fund-raising organization. And trained Marxists.

What half-truths? This classing of all white people as the same is sort of silly, really. It’s downright racist. Jim Crow was not simply about “white” but about the work of the then Southern Democrats. It wasn’t Northern conservative Burkean conservatives who burned down Tulsa and Black Wall St. Does anyone really think that prisons were created to re-enslave blacks? Apparently, some do. But no evidence was presented. An assertion is not evidence.

Racial disparities exist everywhere. There is nobody asking for reparations from those nations who sold the slaves for two hundred years. There is nobody saying that, while the U.S. supposedly has too much white power, that perhaps Africa holds too much black power and that whites ought have more power. Perhaps the U.N. might assist.

When I read material such as this, I wonder how it might be resolved. Would he be happy living in Liberia, a reparation created to resolve the past problems? Can we give him enough money? Or is this just another bit of revolutionary language that has no resolution, only revolution. When “tear it all down” is your method, that’s revolutionary.

All that remains is a persistent sense of guilt. Guilt about being white. Guilt about the color of band-aid you use on a cut. Shame about how you fix your hair. Guilt and shaming are the hallmarks of today’s revolutionary language. Shame removes hope. Shame creates a permanent sense of guilt. It’s too bad he didn’t mention Northam. Or the left’s current policy-based anti-Semitism. He’s not concerned about racism in general. He has one target and that’s all.

All of his reference to the old slave south, even though I strongly disagree with his framing and conclusions, bring out a lot of truth. I grew up in the North. While there was a lot of prejudice that I learned, from what I could observe, a man wouldn’t be deprived of a job and a home. It was far from what it should be but not what it is generally painted to be. The South (I lived in Oklahoma for about two decades) is a different matter. I would see people deprived of jobs and other types of abuses. There was a clear difference between the Northern and Southern attitudes. Mr. Acho’s monolithic view of whites says a lot.

Just to be clear: My problem isn’t with race. My problem is with any movement driven by the falsehoods derived from critical theory. I spent too much time working in several mixed-race environments to give the problem any credence. During some, well, growing year, I worked with an evangelical inner-city ministry and got to see first-hand several matters that are rarely a part of the conversation. I was that the black community is far from monolithic. I could feel for the working-class people who only wanted a fair shake but felt that pressure. And I felt deeply for the women in the housing projects who were completely without hope.

Years later, at another job, I was having a frank discussion with a black associate. He was pleased that I had developed a clear understanding of the black community. The tragic irony was that the white liberals around us thought I was being racist, mostly because I didn’t adopt their monolithic perspective.

We live in a broken world but there are no revolutionary solutions. Only the cockroaches survive revolutions.