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Cashing in on the Racism Racket

The racism racket is just a variation on the tired and inimical practice of inventing programs to pour money on alleged victim groups, distracting us from paying attention to the Ten Commandments and proclaiming the Gospel.

(Image: Markus Spiske/

The USCCB opposes racism. “The Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism seeks to teach about and to witness to the intrinsic dignity of the human person as an antidote to the grave sin of racism.” We can only applaud the promotion of the “intrinsic dignity of the human person.”

But what is “racism,” and how does racism degrade a person’s intrinsic dignity?

The usual remedies to the “sin of racism” that arise from religious and secular advocacy groups are all-too-familiar and wearisome: workshops, training, consciousness-raising events, and most importantly of all, devising programs and lavishing money on the alleged victim groups. Are these activities honest and worthwhile?

Discover Financial Services (Discover Card) recently announced a plan to give $5 million to black-owned restaurants that are rebounding from the impact of COVID-19 and, presumably, in response to the BLM protests. (In corporate marketing, there are no coincidences.)

Companies like Discover are not alone when they suggest that an entire class of entrepreneurs are victims of racism with the color of skin as the only evidence of the oppression.

What is the genetic makeup of a “black-owned” business? Must every owner be black? Does a person with a white mother and a black father qualify? When does white genetic makeup outweigh the black? These questions are uncomfortable and, honestly, ugly.

Yet the answers are crucial to secular and church institutions that “oppose racism.” Whether or not they write a check or administer a program depends upon the socially-acceptable constructs. But who defines “racism”? Black Lives Matter? The Democrat Party? The USCCB?

Discover’s announcement is reminiscent of similar projects in the 1980s. Back then, Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH effectively muscled several corporations to submit to their agenda. Jackson was astute. The cost of settling lawsuits out of court with Operation PUSH was a lot cheaper than the cost of extended litigation and negative publicity. The settlements were lucrative not only to black businessmen but to innovative white entrepreneurs as well.

Corporations required that a black person (or a group of black people) had to own at least fifty percent of a company for purposes of the “black-owned” designation. But in many cases, it became difficult to identify a sufficient number of vendors with the proper genetic makeup. Many businesses owned by white people enlisted black people as co-owners. Sometimes, there was no need for any expertise other than the color of one’s skin. The silent-partner status in itself was sufficient to spark a substantial increase in sales and profits.

The owners soon learned they could charge exorbitant prices to corporations eager to meet their black-owned purchase quota. When the affiliates attained ten percent of the black-owned purchasing target, they exhausted the racial quota distraction and could get back to business as usual.

The purchases were also exempt from competitive bids and were not subject to financial audits. Hence, fake racism became a lucrative business for a lot of whites who had the wits to partner with blacks. They were “Oreo corporations,” to coin a term: black on the outside, white on the inside. The racism racket became an innovative capitalist cash cow.

Large corporations also cynically tried to demonstrate their racial sensitivity by hiring black executives whether or not they needed them. They would lavish them with corporate offices and assign exalted executive titles, but give them little or no responsibilities. It was a small price to pay to deflect the attention of the race hustlers.

Who would seriously deny that these practices are degrading to the human spirit and enable racism from another perspective? The USCCB seems to agree in general, stating that “…racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and it corrupts the souls of those who harbor racist or prejudicial thoughts. The persistence of the evil of racism is why we are writing this letter now.”

By this definition, Discover Card is racist. So is Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH. And so are those corporations who use black-owned companies to prove their liberal credentials. Race hustlers at the highest levels of our institutions utilize the term “racism” as an instrument for blackmail, caring not a twit about ending the immoral practice of hating another on racial grounds. On the contrary, the fake racism industrial complex must continue to keep the money flowing.

We use the word “Catholic” to describe the universality of the Church, a Church that transcends tribes and races and includes all nations. Unlike “diversity” and “multi-culturalism,” “Catholic” is a word that unifies, not divides. The racism racket is just a variation on the tired and inimical practice of inventing programs to pour money on alleged victim groups, distracting us from paying attention to the Ten Commandments and proclaiming the Gospel. But will the USCCB letter on racism identify these degrading and racist practices?

Not a safe bet.

Famed Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell is a longtime observer of the fake racism racket. He is more realistic than USCCB bureaucrats: “Racism does not have a good track record. It’s been tried out for a long time and you’d think by now we’d want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.”

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About Father Jerry J. Pokorsky 27 Articles
Father Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington. He is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia.. He holds a Master of Divinity degree as well as a master’s degree in moral theology.


  1. I could be wrong but I think that the Catholic Church opposes racism as well:

    1935    The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.

    From the Glossary of the CCC:

    RACISM: Unjust discrimination on the basis of a person’s race; a violation of human dignity, and a sin against justice (1935).

  2. This racial hucksterism has gone on so long that one can only guess as to why it is deeper rooted and growing exponentially. Could it be that this type of exploitation has in its roots, a feeling of entitlement and covetousness?

  3. This is a very cynical piece, and it hits the nail right on the head – again and again.
    It’s a good opportunity to repeat this – we white folks don’t have the monopoly on racism, and we never did.

  4. For decades the Federal government has been letting out billions in contracts to so-called “minority and women owned” businesses. The Discover non-government example well described by Father P is a tiny drop in a huge bucket. As someone who has been involved in the Federal contracts system, I can say it is repulsive and embarrassing to all – the black people who are demeaned and the white people who have to pretend the whole system is not repulsive.

  5. JMJ
    Thank you, Fr Pokorsky/CWR, for an excellent description and analysis of the so-called racism situation in the US today. And the reference to Thomas Sowell, as an expert on this subject, is very appropriate.
    But also, we would be curious to know what kind of criticism you receive, not only about this article, but about your ideas and your courage to express the.

  6. The contracts Fed. Goverments are required to give out to minorities businesses I think are generally called 8A businesses. These are theorectically are owned or run by minorities and or women. Sometimes, not sure of details, a certain percentage of funding is required to be awarded to businesses identified as 8A. It has resulted in many cases as front 8A business for which normal businesses use to get Fed Government Contracts. The basis of the contract award is based on the 8A designation, the expected quality of performance is of secondary performance. As Walter Cronkite would say “that’s the way it is”

  7. Although this is a website devoted to Catholic Issues, once getting into the racism subject, I think its important to consider a variety of factors. First and I think foremost is the destruction of the Black Family. Until the 1960’s and certainly going back from 1940 to 1880 approximately 75% of Black Families were headed by two parents. Now less than a third of Black Families are headed by two parents. (Data based on Black economist Walter William column date July 29, 2020.)

    How did this happen? Well the Goverment in its wisdom decided to support or subsidize single parent familes, against two parent families. What else happened the teacher union support teachers and not teaching Black Children. This is evidenced by the teachers unions head long effort to ensure Black Families can’t pursue educational options for their children. So the current leftest idea is to focus attention away real problems, such as bringing families together and supporting school choice, and instead call anyine a racist who are for pro two parent Black family and school choice for Black children. In fact using the term Racist is a way to keep the Black situation unchanged. If anyone tries to promote a traditional alternative the race baters will be in hot pursuit to stop this.

    This is real clear if you if you see what President Trump has done, 1) he has tried to promote school options, 2) he established opportunity zones to promote investment in Black Communities and 3) his agenda of cutting the endless government regulations has promoted economic growth, allowing prior to Covid, a drastic reduction in Black Unemployment. What has President Trump gotten for these innovative and aggresive pro Black Family approaches? Well you know, it’s an endless, never ending shout by the left media, left pundits and left everthing saying that President Trump and anyone who supports these effective policies as Racist! In the end, the problem is not Racism as currently used, the problem is the broad sprectrum of leftest that need a race issue to stay in power.

  8. In 1937 Selma, Alabama was not a friendly place for Catholics, nor was it a nice place for African-Americans to live. Nevertheless, The Edmundite Fathers settled there and set up a mission to help the impoverished African-Americans in the area.

    They’re still there, they’re still doing what they set out to do.

  9. When I was a kid and was growing up Southern Baptist circa 1969 there was a guest preacher raising money for the purpose of helping defray the cost of church improvements for Baptist churches with predominantly African-American congregations. His sermon was based on Exodus 20:4 and went along the Southern Baptist theme of discouraging images of anyone in the bible. I think I was 8 but I remember him asking the congregation, “How many of us think Jesus had blond hair and blue eyes as opposed to a having an afro and dark complexion? Why do you think this? Is it because you have seen him personally or is it because this is how he is depicted in the Western world?” Then he showed us pictures of Early Byzantine Jesus, Ethiopian Coptic Jesus and a Confucian-looking Chinese Jesus. This was important for our little mission church because it was a congregation of primarily 1st generation christian converts from Hawaii, most of whom were descendants from Chinese, Japanese or Korean Buddhists/Confucian Ancestor Worship. I never forgot that message from the Holy Spirit as it made me think about the world in a different way. The problem with humans are judging people by the way they look and not for who they are, a survival mechanism – no doubt, but also a trick of Satan to have us believe we are superior based on human morphology, (An ugly man is evil, a fat kid is lazy, a brown person is naturally primitive). So I am not discounting the essence of the message of the BLM movement but like all human-created institutions am also conscious of another trick of the devil: false-altruism for the purpose of political power.

  10. Airline companies get billions of dollars of bailouts while firing loads of longtime staff but this priest goes mental when $5 million pity dollars are thrown at some black restaurants for cheap PR. Good Lord Fr., rethink your priorities. L M A O

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