I was driving in the downtown area of my town, when I saw a sign affixed to a church fence. It read, “Stand Against Racism.” Pretty big sign, hooked up so anyone driving past could not miss it.
Now that’s interesting, because I don’t know anyone around here that’s standing for racism. Even actual racists probably know enough to keep their yaps shut, as only the most ignorant of them don’t realize that racism has been socially passe in this country for fifty years. It seems at times that the anti-racism signs outnumber the racists. Which is a good thing. But, didn’t the church know that?
With all the real moral problems in the world like clergy scandals, brutal international aggression, and government created poverty, you’d think the message priority list would be a bit better triaged. But no, there was that sign hanging out for many to see and wonder about.
Of course, for the church, it’s a mainline leftist place of worship, there is no wonder at all. I’ve been there. It’s old and lovely and the bells and whistles at their Sunday mass are truly beautiful. The homilies? Meh. The show is traditional and inspiringly so. The message is tired cant of a left wing variety. Hence the sign. They know the sign exhibits a generally obsolete moral and social message. However, the sign is not about morality or society. It’s about virtue signaling. It’s about protesting the obvious.
I am consistently surprised over the profusion of causes out there that promote tolerance and acceptance of those who are not only tolerated and accepted, but who get lifestyle points from the entire pop culture and most of the political establishment. The causes are defunct, but not the sanctimony.
Women’s rights? Yup, TV and film is just crammed full of smart noble men and dumb traditional women, right? Uh, no. The story line of Hollywood and New York has been men bad-women good for decades. Gays? Sure, there are cretins out there who hold their sexual orientation against them. But not the culture at large. You can’t swing a boa on Broadway or sport a butch haircut in Hollywood without hitting a gay themed show or other presentation. As I once said to a young associate who was lecturing me about homophobic America, “You don’t get victim points when you get multiple standing ovations at the Tonys.”
Back to the sign. It’s there to do one thing. As a cleric friend once termed it, “to put asses in pews.” In other words, to sell tickets to the virtue signaling show. It’s not like a racist is going to see the sign and immediately embrace black Americans. And it’s not like most people aren’t fighting racism by merely being decent individuals. So the sign is silly. Though granted, it symbolizes a lot. Just absolutely nothing about fighting racism.