How The ‘RHOD’ Racism Controversy Reflects Our National Divisions

How The ‘RHOD’ Racism Controversy Reflects Our National Divisions

The controversy roiling Bravo's 'Real Housewives of Dallas' reflects two of our country's broader conflicts.
Emily Jashinsky
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The controversy roiling Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” reflects two of our country’s broader conflicts. The first is a lack of consensus on the definition of “racism,” a problem triggered by the left’s intentional effort to expand the term. The second, which is downstream of the first, is our inability to debate contentious issues.

RHOD cast member Kameron Westcott and her family have been engaged in a heated back-and-forth with Dr. Tiffany Moon, Kameron’s co-star. Moon is the franchise’s first Asian housewife. Here’s a useful excerpt from Vulture’s breakdown of the squabble, which flared up last week:

Prompted by Moon and Westcott’s sparring during the reunion, Westcott’s husband Court and brother-in-law Chart began attacking Moon on Twitter. Court called Moon’s anti-racist views ‘open vile racism,’ while Chart claimed Moon was ‘blackout drunk’ one of the only times he met her. (Court later deactivated his Twitter account.)

Here’s the full text of Court’s tweet:

@tiffanymoonmd ‘Anti-racism’ is racism. It discriminates by the color of ones skin. They tried that once in Germany, it did not work out well. I don’t understand how many of your patients would be comfortable with you treating them with your open vile racism.

Drawing Nazi parallels is almost always a bad idea, which may explain why Westcott deactivated his account. But his contention that “‘anti-racism’ is racism” is an entirely reasonable opinion. I’d argue it’s the correct opinion, as would many black intellectuals ignored by the corporate establishment.

Indeed, Bravo, a subsidiary of Comcast, cast its opposition to Westcott as a matter of “fact” in a statement supporting Moon. “Anti-racism is, in fact, not a form of racism and the network stands by Dr. Tiffany Moon and her advocacy against racism and violence,” the network said last week.

Proponents of “antiracism,” such as Ibram X. Kendi, explicitly argue all people who fall short of the definition of “antiracist” are necessarily racist. To be antiracist, according to Kendi and his fellow travelers, is to be fully anticapitalist. To many on the cultural left, it also necessitates being pro-feminism, anti-nuclear family, pro-Palestine, pro-welfare, pro-abortion, anti-police, and more. Anti-capitalism alone, by Kendi’s definition, renders most of the country racist.

Anti-racists also routinely stereotype white people as white supremacists based on the color of their skin, even using agreement with that judgment as a litmus test for antiracism. The ideology peddled by Kendi and the far left counterproductively engenders bigotry.

Westcott’s assertion about “anti-racism” is hardly racist or unreasonable. This is why the backlash speaks to two broader conflicts. The corporate media has worked hard to mainstream Kendi’s radical ideology, donating millions to his organization and giving him friendly platforms on major networks like CBS. An expanded definition of racism is at the crux of his ideology, and it’s sowing deep divisions in the country as moderate, conservative, liberal, and neutral Americans realize they’re being implicated in a heinous and rightfully stigmatized belief.

Downstream of this conflict over the definition of racism is our inability to talk through disagreements. As the left settled on its radical progressive-or-bigot binary—which categorizes every dissenter from cultural leftism as a bigot—conversation has become enormously difficult and risky across the ideological spectrum.

In this example, Court Westcott’s clumsy and aggressive disagreement with Moon’s anti-racism drew cries of bigotry. Make no mistake, the tweet would have erupted into controversy whether or not it included the ill-advised Nazi parallel.

Westcott is not a victim. Moon is not a victim. They’re both celebrities with the resources to wade into these storms. Indeed, Moon intentionally used her platform on the show to fight perceived racism, as Bravo seems to have instructed a handful of new cast members.

Therein lies the problem. Bravo is trying to brush off criticism of its politically incorrect reality stars by balancing them out with contrived lessons from enlightened new cast members. It’s not constructive.

I have zero problems with the housewives wading into politics. It can actually be pretty great. But when forced, it’s divisive and canned. Further, when the network calls political balls and strikes to placate its employees and social media critics, it reinforces radical leftist standards that hurt working people most, setting norms that chill their speech and put their jobs on the line while enhancing the power of corporate giants.

Emily Jashinsky is culture editor at The Federalist. You can follow her on Twitter @emilyjashinsky .

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