Keeping Vaclav Benda’s Door Open

At Mere Orthodoxy, I laid out my problems with some of Rod Dreher’s recent writing on race and soft totalitarianism, drawing on his own Live Not By Lies for an alternate model of witness.

The most serious danger Woke Capital poses isn’t to the people forced to adopt nonsensical cant or take implicit bias tests that have no proven relationship to real racial bias. The real danger is that these corporations and spokespeople redirect activist energy to stupid causes while letting real injustices persist.

Think of the realtors who pledge to eliminate “master bedroom” from their listings when the real problem is that realtors are still refusing to show houses to Black, Asian, and Hispanic customers. (Kudos to Newsday for carrying out a three-year investigation to substantiate what many Long Island homebuyers had suspected).

The faddish and foolish solutions proffered in lieu of real reform mirror the way that minority communities are simultaneously both over- and under-policed. Minority communities don’t get the help they deserve and are instead offered something worse than neglect. There is a double injustice, as when the wrong person is sent to jail for a crime. There is an injustice to the person falsely condemned, as well as an injustice to the whole community, who have been denied justice for the original offence.

Where should Christians be in this struggle? As the prophet Amos tells us, we must “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream,” (Amos 5:24). We aren’t called to carp on the sidelines about tactics, but to involve ourselves directly. If we have fraternal corrections to offer, they can only come after we’ve lived as a brother to our neighbor.

Read the whole thing at Mere Orthodoxy. And for more on this topic, you can also read my essay “Fear and the Benedict Option” at First Things.