LA Council’s race-obsessed remarks were a feature, not a bug, of woke ideology

Many Americans were shocked to hear the racist remarks made by members of the Los Angeles City Council. But should they have been?

The controversy stems from a leaked recording of Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, and Ron Herrera, the now-former head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. During the conversation, the four officials discussed how they could protect the voting power of Hispanic Angelinos throughout the city’s redistricting. They wanted to ensure that Hispanic voters remained more powerful than black voters.

On its face, that should be controversial, too. But that was far from the worst thing said by the council members. Martinez took it the furthest by claiming her white colleague carried around his adopted black son like a handbag. She also said the kid needed a “beatdown” and compared him to a monkey.

These remarks are horrifically bigoted and ignorant.

But they’re not at all surprising given the worldviews of those involved.

The left — of which all four officials involved in this disgusting conversation are members — has been working to make race a part of every policy decision and discussion. From climate and infrastructure to education and labor policy, there isn’t a single issue that isn’t analyzed through the lens of race.

That is the stated goal of critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion policies.

But when every issue is looked at through the lens of race, the divine spirit of the individual is lost. Instead of seeing a colleague who loves his son; you see a white man carrying around his “changuito” handbag.

It’s disgusting and dehumanizing. But it is perfectly in line with the divisive nature of critical race theory and contemporary obsessions over diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The overtly racist remarks have rightfully overshadowed the rest of the conversation, but that conversation itself shouldn’t be ignored. These four leaders were fighting for one race of people, Hispanics, to have more voting power than another race.

They didn’t care if the  people in redrawn districts were from similar economic classes. They didn’t care if one district had a younger or older population. They cared exclusively about racial and ethnic categories.

And they aren’t alone. In Washington D.C., the city council passed a policy to specifically increase black homeownership. In Minnesota, a teachers’ union stipulated in contract negotiations that non-white teachers should be given protection over white teachers. In Vermont, non-white residents were given priority access to vaccines.

They could have chosen to try to increase low-income home ownership. Or to protect the best teachers. Or to vaccinate those with the most comorbidities first. But they chose to see race over the individual.

And this has been normalized. Americans don’t even think twice about the racist rationale behind these policies; that some racial groups are worth protecting more than others.

It’s difficult to ignore a council member calling a young black boy a monkey. But we’ve been ignoring racist policies for years. The racism spewed by these council members was a feature, not a bug, of the American left’s obsession with race.

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Groups that advocate for a color-blind America, including my group Color Us United, are smeared as ignorant or racist for suggesting that we should see an individual’s character instead of their race. They ignore the boundless evidence that America is not a racist country and instead try to find racial disparities wherever they can. And then the country is shocked when years of dividing Americans on racial lines result in more division and hate, not less.

The casual racial division of the left has been ignored for too long.

It’s time to wake up to the reality that DEI policies and obsessions with race do not eliminate racism; they give it a second life.

Christian Watson is a spokesman for Color Us United and the host of Pensive Politics with Christian Watson. Follow him on Twitter at @officialcwatson.