Stupid is as stupid does – as Ta-Nehisi Coates lays bare in this withering response to a recycled apologia for racism appearing in the National Review.
His main point: Advising the assumption of criminality for all young black men one encounters fails not only because it is morally bankrupt, but because it is factually false. If the purpose of the advice is “safety,” it is not and cannot be effective. “That is not surprising,” explains Coates with great restraint, “given that this is the kind of advice which betrays a greater interest in maintaining one’s worldview than in maintaining one’s safety.”
The problem is the same with this world view as it is with the one that encourages parents to rely on filtering software to control what their children see on the internet. The problem is the same with the world view that insists “abstinence-only” sexuality education is the solution to teen pregnancy and STIs, and the one that believes LGBT people will disappear if only we can be denied equality, dignity and safety. Setting aside the obvious moral problems, they are wrong because they don’t work. None of these approaches can do the things they purport to do, because none of them have a basis in reality.