Chris Rock Thinks White Americans Are Less Racist Now

That’s comforting. Chris Rock, the famous comedian, has given white America a small pat on the back. We’re apparently not as racist as we used to be, and this is not due to black progress he says, but white progress:

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

It’s about white people adjusting to a new reality?

Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.

There is some truth to what he’s saying here. White people have made progress. But I don’t think that lets black communities off the hook, like Chris Rock seems to believe. If white people aren’t as racist, and yet race relations are worse now than ever, what exactly does that mean? Perhaps in the days of slavery, the Ike and Tina Turner analogy works. And black people should not be blamed, of course, for any injustices they continue to suffer merely because of their skin color. But these days, the worst dangers to the black community come from within the black community and have little to do with racism. In other words, even if there were no racism at all, that wouldn’t change much for most black communities.

Black-on-black violence has a far greater impact than any violence motivated even nominally by racism. And the out-of-wedlock birth rate and the epidemic of absentee fatherhood … The list could go on. White people aren’t perpetuating any of these situations. So the race problem in this country is a two-way street. White people are making progress. That’s great. (Though I think it is overly optimistic.) Now, I hope Chris Rock can do something in black communities to encourage responsibility and change. Oh, wait—he doesn’t live in the black community anymore. He just lives off the black community now. Hmmmmm.