It is common nowadays to hear some activist or idiot talking head on TV declare that “we need to have an honest discussion about race.” What that usually means is, “you need to shut up and agree with everything I say or you’re a racist.”
I find the best guide to judge whether what someone says about race is to be taken seriously or not is to ask, “if you reversed the races in question, would it be an acceptable thing to say?”
‘Everything is Gonna Be All White’, the new three-part docu-series by Sacha Jenkins on Showtime, is remarkable because it both wants you to shut up and agree with everything it says or you’re a racist, and also spectacularly fails the simple ‘reverse the races’ question.
For instance, in the series, black talking heads say things like “the defining characteristic of whiteness is ignorance” and declare “you know what I hate about white people? When they pretend to be the victim … and when they kill us.” There’s also the charming assertion “honkey see, honkey do.”
If someone said the defining characteristic of black people is “ignorance” or asked “you know what I hate about black people?” or stated “‘racial epithet’ see, ‘racial epithet’ do,” they would be rightfully scorned and run out of polite society, not aired on Showtime.
I wasn’t angered by the aggressive anti-white racism in ‘Everything’s Gonna Be All White’, instead I found it and its animating principle of fighting racism with more racism, to be disheartening, dispiriting, and depressing.
In our hyper-polarized world, the last thing we need is another vapid polemic fueled by emotionalist racial rhetoric to fan the flames of hatred and aid the ruling class in keeping working class people thoroughly divided and conquered.
Fortunately, anyone with half a brain in their head who watches the three hour-long episodes, as well as an extra, bonus discussion episode, can see that this thin, toxic gruel of a documentary that pathologizes white people celebrates victimhood and spouts vacuous racialized talking points, is an unserious exercise that is nothing but the neo-liberal equivalent of a Dinesh D’Souza documentary. In case you’re wondering… that’s not a compliment.
Director Sacha Jenkins’ arrogant claim that his series embodies “the collected feelings of folks of color in America …This is how America has treated us. This is how we feel” is just another example of his ego-driven, racially-addled myopia.
Of course, Jenkins’ claim of his documentary capturing all of black thought is both self-serving and absurd, as black opinions are expansive, one need only look at the bevy of black intellectuals throughout history, like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, and Booker T. Washington, to realize that, and today’s black thought is no less vibrant, just consider the gloriously diverse brilliance of both Cornel West and John McWhorter.
To further give an indication of how delusional Jenkins is, in the extra discussion episode he has seven or so guests, all minorities, gathered together and he proudly boasts, “This is what America really looks like!” The only problem is that none of the guests were white, and I hate to break it to Jenkins but roughly 60% of Americans are non-Hispanic whites, so this sewing circle is not what America looks like, not even close.
‘Everything’s Gonna Be All White’ is one of those documentaries that isn’t interested in revealing a hidden truth or, God forbid, persuading people with its arguments. For example, the notion of reparations for slavery is brought up multiple times throughout the series, but the only actual argument made for them is literally, “it’s not a debate, it just needs to happen!” How convincing.
The other topics discussed in ‘Everything’s Gonna Be All White’ are done so with equal petulance and vacuousness.
Incredible insights like the Capitol riot of January 6 was because “white folks throw a hissy fit whenever they’re feeling fragile,” which, considering the “mostly peaceful” riots across the country in 2020, sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, no pun intended, and historical inanities like “white people never got over losing the civil war” (white people won the civil war… for the Union) are bandied about with reckless abandon.
Words and phrases like ‘black and brown bodies’, ‘centering whiteness’, ‘Karens’, ‘white fragility’ and ‘white privilege’ are peppered throughout as though they actually convey anything but the pretentiousness of the speaker and the tortured state of their simple mind.
To further give an indication of how detached from reality this docu-series is, utterly bizarre questions like “why are white people so obsessed with blackface?” And declarative statements like “black face is a rite of passage for white folks” are uttered and actually taken seriously.
What is so disheartening about this docu-series is that it’s so obviously self-defeating as it makes enemies out of potential allies.
Fighting racism with more racism is a catastrophic idea, and judging a person solely on the basis of their race or ethnicity is just as bad.
Contrary to what ‘Everything’s Gonna Be All White’ tells us, not all white people are ‘Karens’ or Capitol-storming, Confederate-flag-waving racists. Just like not all black people loathe whites and think they’re ‘ignorant’ and violent.
People are not their race, ethnicity or their religion. Everyone is an individual with inherent value and worth, and the potential for redemption, who should be judged solely by the content of their character.
It’s a testament to the sorry state of our culture that that obvious truth is now ridiculed and deemed racist, and that an insidious and insipid docu-series like ‘Everything’s Gonna Be All White’ is a part of the discourse.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.