Is racism a uniquely heinous offense against humanity, such that it needs to be treated as beyond the pale and outside the acceptable bounds of civilized society? Or is it so common that basically everyone is guilty of it? Because it can’t be both.
If racism is an attitude of extremist cranks on the fringes of society, then the vast majority of us who don’t embrace racism can isolate the cranks and deny them the ability to impact society in accordance with their misguided, evil racist notions. But if racism is more or less in everyone’s hearts, and in fact that includes a great many people who don’t really overtly hate minorities and don’t mean anyone any harm, then how can it be treated as a fringe, evil belief? It’s one or the other.
What the left wants to do is treat it like the existential threat the former scenario suggests, but nevertheless presume just about everyone in the country to be in on it. That doesn’t work.
You do have to hand it to Starbucks on this score, however: Have you ever seen a bigger overreaction to an isolated incident? One employee loses who doesn’t know how to manage a fairly innocuous situation ends up calling in the police, and the next thing you know 8,000 stores are closing for the day. Granted, this situation is tailor-made for activists who want to turn this one employee’s poor judgment into a global “Starbucks is racist” narrative, but is anyone surprised that Starbucks is essentially conceding the point with the way it’s reacting?
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