Statistics show the United States has become markedly less racist, and recent race violence doesn’t change that.
It’s called “proof by example,” and it happens all the time. We take one event and point to it as evidence of a trend or, even worse, a universal fact—a dog attacked my child, therefore all dogs are vicious and should be put down. Despite its popularity, particularly in political debate, proof by example is a logical fallacy. But logic is officially an endangered species in today’s hyperpartisan political environment.
Recent events nationwide, particularly the cold-blooded murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, at the hands of a revoltingly racist white supremacist, have propelled this faulty reasoning to new heights. Dangerous ones, in fact: the conversation surrounding race in America has rapidly evolved into a hyperbolic echo chamber into which today’s pundits, politicians, and professors repeatedly shout their false narrative.
OMGs, Guys, We’re So Racist!
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson declared, “America will only end racism when it stops being racist.” If anyone is guilty of proof by example, it’s Robinson: “The gunman who so coldly killed those innocent worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church did not exist in a vacuum. He inhaled deeply of the race hatred that constantly bubbles up like foul gas from a sewer.”