If America Is Irredeemably Racist, Why Is Immigration Only in One Direction?

October 12, 2021 Updated: October 12, 2021

Commentary

Haitians have been massing at the southern border of the United States, and their situation is precarious. There is great suffering, with not much hope of alleviation in the immediate future. The hearts and minds of all men and women of goodwill go out to these people, in hope and prayer for their safety and well-being.

But this situation raises several questions. We have it on good authority that the United States is systematically, systemically, irredeemably, and irretrievably racist. The 50 states are dominated by white supremacists, racists, bigots, Nazis. We know this on good authority. The Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated this over and over again, and then once more again. Proof of this contention emanates from major traditional media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. The broadcast media such as CNN and MSNBC have supplied thousands of heart-rending hours of indications of this evil scourge. Hundreds, thousands, of world-class professors at the most prestigious universities in the land have supplied incontrovertible evidence in support of this claim.

Why, then, are thousands of people from the island nation seeking to immigrate to the United States? The obvious answer has to do with the poverty suffered there. Like many immigrants before them, the Haitians are seeking a better life in America.

Wait-a-sec. Virtually all Haitians are black. If there’s any white supremacy, anti-black racism in that country, it must be very insignificant, since there are so few Caucasians there. Don’t these Haitian emigrants realize that in coming to the United States they are only worsening their condition?

Then there’s the very opposite situation. Or, rather, lack of such. In 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a Sherlock Holmes mystery, “Silver Blaze,” which featured a dog that didn’t bark. Something of the sort seems to be happening, or, rather, not happening, in the present context. If racism is so rife in the United States, why is there one-way traffic from places such as Haiti to the United States? Why isn’t the movement of people in the very opposite direction? That is, why are African-Americans not fleeing from this country in droves, and travelling to places like Haiti, where there is zero white supremacy and anti-black racism?

One of the most powerful indications of what is really going on in reality is “voting with the feet.” This sounds as if people go into the ballot box and instead of registering their vote with their hands, they do so, karate-like, with their toes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, this means that we as social scientists can discern where human welfare is better, and where it’s worse. Black people continually fled the south to the north in the 1930s; from this we can deduce that at least in their own minds they were improving their condition. Jews left Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and Egypt in ancient times; they did not attempt to enter there. Similarly, masses of people tried to move from East to West Germany and North to South Korea, not the other way around.

Why does the United States have a better economy than Haiti? It is, obviously, because we rely to a greater degree here than there on the sanctity of private property rights, of economic freedom, of capitalism, and of other such institutions of Western civilization that are all too often dismissed as “white supremacy.” According to the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Index (pdf), the United States ranks as the sixth-freest country in the world; Haiti registers at number 118 out of 165 countries.

The people who claim that the United States is an unregenerate racist country reject all of these institutions. In addition, they aver that mathematics is racist, as is capitalism. The wokesters are trying to rid orchestras of the music of Bach and Mozart on the grounds that all white males such as these are racist.

Maybe there’s something not all that bad about the prevalent “racism” that supposedly occurs in this country, with a former black president and now a vice president. Black people from elsewhere want to partake of it, and African Americans here do not seem to be fleeing from it.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Walter Block
Walter E. Block is the chair in economics at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Mises Institute and the Hoover Institute.