Mr. President: I Am Not A Racist, and Neither Is Anyone I Know

21 Jul

multicolorsDear President Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Candy Crowley, Chris Mathews, Senator McCain, and all the rest who feel that America is full of racists: You’re wrong.

For decades I have worked beside folks of all colors, religions, ethnicities, genders, left-right handedness, and other irrelevant characteristics, and have not yet met a racist. The folks I know are concerned only with whether or not a person has good character; whether or not they are trustworthy. Secondly, as an employer or co-worker, the only other consideration is whether or not they are competent at what they do.

That’s it. That’s all. Yes, there are some racists out there, around the fringes; we’ve all read about them. But they are largely irrelevant today. Eliminating racism is yesterday’s battle, fought and almost completely won.

So — and I suspect I am speaking for millions of my fellow citizens — I am absolutely outraged that you think that the color of my skin is enough to label me a racist. I am not, and neither is anyone I know.

If you know a racist, then point them out — name names — and let the law take care of them. If you’re not willing to be specific, then keep quiet. Enough with generic group guilt accusations, based on nothing. You are practicing Bad Science; drawing conclusions from emotional predilections rather than objective review and analysis.

All of you who engage in this racial victimization nonsense, from the President on down, owe me — and millions like me — an apology.

-Ed Walker


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8 responses to “Mr. President: I Am Not A Racist, and Neither Is Anyone I Know

  1. Keith Fong

    July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Is this post really an example of engineering thinking?

    You argue that you, personally, have never met a racist. Really? How have you been searching for them? What is the analytical approach that you’ve taken? Perhaps you don’t see racism and haven’t seen racism simply because you’re not looking for it. “The Invisible Gorilla” is a fine book on the science of not seeing what you’re not looking for.

    Perhaps there is an issue of definition here. What is racism to you? Do you have to burn a cross in the yard of someone of another race to be a racist? If a waiter in a restaurant doesn’t offer the same level of service to a person of a particular race as to people of other races because the waiter “knows” people of that race aren’t good tippers, is that racism?

    If you are going to make a sincere evaluation of whether racism still exists, you would have to use more than your limited experience. You would also have to establish and challenge your assumptions (the first of which is that your personal experience is meaningful and significant to whether or not racism exists).

    Where would you search for evidence of racism? I think the criminal justice system is a fine place to start. There is plenty of data available that is broken out by race: The rates of drug use, the rates of incarceration for drug crimes, the rates of murder and the rates of death sentences.

    Another place to look would be voting rights. Why are the laws to access to voting becoming more restrictive? Who are the people most affected? The justifications I’ve seen are to prevent fraud, but where is the evidence of fraud?

    Do you know that you are not racist? Have you evaluated yourself? Have you ever taken an “Implicit Association Test?” I have and, I have to say, I learned some things that contradicted my self image that I’m an exemplar of unbiased thought and action.

    To roll this up, yours is an opinion post. You make an assertion without evidence and proceed to take personal offense. That is *not* engineering thinking. Where’s the data? Where’s the dispassionate analysis? Where’s the assumption that you’re wrong and you’ve shown that the data indicates you’re right?

    • engineeringthinking

      July 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Dear Mr. Fong,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
      My response will be published in the next post.

  2. Katie Abercrombie

    July 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    People who are looking for racism will usually find it, whether it is there or not.

  3. Bryan W. White

    December 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Ed, you might be interested in an analysis I’ve done of the “scientific” argument in favor of deeply entrenched unconscious white racism. Stuff based the mind’s subconscious “fast” thinking processes.

    You might be interested in eventually writing your own piece on that subject, for it’s a hot topic with the liberal academics.

    Here’s a related story, showing how a column published by CNN distorted and exaggerated the results of an experiment.

    • engineeringthinking

      December 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm


      Your web site is quite impressive. Your analyses are very thorough, and good examples of the amount of diligence that is required to produce proper science-based evaluations. Your logical fallacy icons are also a great touch, and very educational.

      Regarding the Tea Party and racism, I recommend that those who think Tea Partiers are racist read your article. (I’ve also been following the Tea Party closely (research for an article) and so far I have found zero evidence to support such a claim.)

      Zebrafactcheck should serve as a great antidote to those sites such as PolitiFact that act as though they have a crystal ball for determining the truth, whereas in reality they only exhibit gross deficiencies in their critical thinking skills.

      Congratulation on your site.

      p.s. PolitiFact is very annoying because they are so pompous, with nothing objective to back up their high opinion of themselves. I have mentioned the foibles of PolitiFact before, e.g. “PolitiFact Earns “Pants On Fire” Rating“).

      While I’m at it, I challenge PolitiFact to send me three of what they consider to be exemplary examples of their evaluations, and I will show them what would happen if such work was presented to a room full of engineers who are properly trained in critical thinking.

      • Bryan W. White

        December 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        Ed, thanks for the high praise. I should have made more clear my past familiarity with your work. I was one of the folks who started the “PolitiFact Bias” site and have enjoyed your past dissections of their work. PolitiFact could easily provide full-time employment for someone interested in pointing out errors. And I’ve love to see them rise to your challenge, but they have little stomach for engaging criticisms that don’t come from liberals they respect.

        Since PolitiFact’s kind of of errors occur commonly in both journalism and in academia, I decided to expand on the PolitiFact Bias mission and see if I couldn’t produce a better model for fact checking. I’m honored that you approve of it.

      • engineeringthinking

        December 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm

        Thank you very much for the kind words. However I think it is you who should be honored for putting so much effort into your excellent site.


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