Popular Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson Rips Theory That America is Riddled With Racists

neil degrasse tyson black history month
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What a world we live in where color blindness in regards to race is now considered racist, and the words of Martin Luther King Jr. are used as a weapon by left-wing special interest groups to force us to judge one another based on the color of our skin versus the content of our character.

It would seem as though Dr. King’s dream has morphed into more of a nightmare, but there is still hope.

I recently stumbled upon an old MSNBC interview with America’s favorite celebrity astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He had some interesting points that deserve a revisit. Mr. Tyson opined on various subjects, from black holes to science and journalism.

But I’d like to focus on his viewpoint on race in America and his decision to turn down speaking events during Black History Month, which is just around the corner. So allow me to take you back to 2007 when chunky hair highlights and low-rise jeans were all the rage. 

Not As Bad As It May Seem

Black History Month will be upon us in no time. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is curious when we won’t need to focus on notable individuals and Americans based on the color of their skin for 30 days at a time.

When I was in the service, I felt the same way about Women’s History Month; in fact, I would do everything I could to not participate in any Women’s History Month events because I had worked very hard not to be viewed as valuable because of my gender, but because of my mind and character.

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It would seem Mr. Tyson has a similar view of Black History Month; in fact, he turns down speaking events during that month, telling MSNBC:

“If the only time you think of me is during Black History Month, then I must not be doing my job as a scientist.”

What a refreshing take and respectable expression of self-esteem. He went on to discuss his view, stating:

“I’m happy to say that in this, the 21st century, we have highly visible black leaders in many different branches of our culture, beyond entertainers and athletes.”

Whoa, what an exciting tune to whistle back in 2007; indeed not the same song we’ve heard the last few years from the left. He went on to say:

“There’s enough of that that I’m happy to report that whatever people may be thinking when they see me, my skin color no longer draws comment.”

Now I’ll celebrate that fact every day of the year regardless of the month!

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Who Am I?

My entire adult life, I’ve had society and groups try to force me into a box, which drives me insane. I must either fit into the white box or the woman box. If I attempted to claim that I am a multidimensional person defined by more than just two aspects of my life, I was often rebuked as either a troublemaker or a racist. 

Mr. Tyson touches on this in the interview:

“When I think about who and what I am…I’m an American; I eat hot dogs, I’m a male in society. I did male things growing up, I was on the wrestling team. These are things that shape who and what you are in society.”

He continues:

“I’m also a scientist. That’s a fundamental part of how I think about the world, and how I make decisions within the world.”

And I imagine he is defined by even more aspects of his life experience and identity. I, too, describe myself as an American who indeed enjoys a good hot dog from time to time.

I also happen to be a woman who did female things growing up. I’m a mother, a wife, a writer, and a combat veteran; I grew up in a two-parent household with minimal means; I’m a sexual assault survivor and a conservative, and I also have an unhealthy love of chocolate ice cream. 

We could all better define ourselves by more than just one or two attributes and by getting to know one another past our skin color and chromosomes.

Evidence To The Contrary

Keep in mind this was back in 2007 when Mr. Tyson explained his view of racism in America:

“…while many will complain about the status of race relations, I have direct, empirical evidence that it is vastly better today than it was 10 years ago – and my worst stories don’t compare to those which my parents could tell when they were growing up.”

What a powerful statement; strange that now you’d think racism was at its worst in years. How is it that after 15 years since Mr. Tyson’s statement, it appears that we are more racially divided than we’ve seen in decades?

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I would argue that the misguided cult of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has taken us backward. The push to force equity and equal outcomes for everyone has yet to reach the mark of what makes America great and what helps elevate those who have been marginalized. 

Mr. Tyson explains:

“It’s not that everybody is equal. That’s why we take exams. Some people do better than others, and some people get lax, and others surpass them. Not everyone is equal in everything.”

Oh my goodness, what a revolutionary thought! 

I Have A Dream

Now, don’t get it twisted; during the interview, Mr. Tyson did speak to moments in his life and career, both past and present, where he was unfortunately subjected to racism. And anyone with any sense who lives in the real world would agree that racism does continue to plague our society and many of our institutions; I witnessed quite a bit of it while I was in uniform.

But how we have tried to go about combatting racism is all wrong. Another Dr. King speech deserves noting, the ‘Where do we go from here’ speech.

In this speech, Dr. King pointed out that black children “lag one to three years behind whites” and that communities of color tend to receive significantly less federal funding than other communities. So the answer to Dr. King’s question on where we go from here is we need to, as a country and a society, get back to teaching basics to our children, both white and black.

It’s important to note that while blacks are twice as likely as whites to be below the poverty line, the number of whites below the poverty line is 15.8 million compared to blacks, who sit at around 8.6 million. So our focus as a nation shouldn’t be on skin color but on improving socioeconomic factors to provide greater access to opportunities for everyone, regardless of skin color.

I, too, have a dream. I dream that my two children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

As it stands now, I fear they are more likely to be judged as racist privileged children who don’t deserve what they’ve worked for. And that is not progress; it’s a nightmare. 

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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