Archive for the ‘racism’ Category

The following is based mainly on Robert Jensen’s article “What White People Fear” (2010). Jensen, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, is one of the most notable white anti-racists alive  in America.

Despite the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which overturned racist laws in America and brought an end to its apartheid, whites and blacks are still clearly unequal on things as simple as home ownership, education and even infant mortality. Change has been slow over the past 40 years, so slow that at present rates it will take tens if not hundreds of years for whites and blacks to become equal.

Why is change so slow? After writing and speaking about racism for more than ten years Jensen concludes that it is fear: whites on both the right and the left are afraid of living in a world without racism.

On the right whites are afraid of losing white privilege, what some call “our way of life”. It would mean giving up wealth and power. Even poor whites, who see very little of said wealth and power, agree. Yes, they are that brainwashed by the rich, who have long used race to divide the poor against each other.

On the left it is a bit different. They talk the talk – equality blah blah diversity blah blah multiculturalism blah blah – but do not walk the walk. They say the right things but have done precious little to change anything.

In the end whites on both the left and the right believe the same thing: “I’m white and I’m special.”

At the heart of their fears is a “fragile sense of white self-importance”. Their history runs with blood: they did not get to where they are through fair play but through naked violence. Whites do not want to face up to it but at some level they all know it is true.

Whites have opened up some of their institutions to people of colour in the name of diversity, but only to the degree that whites feel comfortable and only on their terms. So it is no accident that power and control still lies largely in white hands. Diversity becomes window dressing, not a change in the power relationship between whites and others.

Jensen himself knows first-hand that it is hard for whites to give up control to those who are not white, to those who do not share a white-centric worldview.

Hard but worth it:

I have a choice: I can be white — that is, I can refuse to challenge white supremacy or centrality — or I can be a human being. I can rest comfortably in the privileges that come with being white, or I can struggle to be fully human. But I can’t do both. Though the work is difficult, the choice for those of us who are white should be easy.

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The following is based on Chapter 6 of Frantz Fanon’s “Black Skin, White Masks” (1952): “The Black Man and Psychopathology”:

Why white people are so afraid of black men:

  1. Black men are seen as being way less moral.
  2. White men fear they will take white women from them.

Take the last one first:

White men think that black men have bigger penises. They think that once a white woman sleeps with a black man she will never want a white man again: if it is not for their size then it is because black men are so much better in bed.

None of this is based on fact. According to science the African penis and the European penis are the same size on average. There is no proof whatsoever that “Once you go black you never come back”. And prostitutes will tell you that black men and white men are pretty much the same in bed.

Fanon finds it a bit odd that any man should be thinking that much about other men’s penises and sex appeal, that they should be saying stuff like black men have an “aura of sensuality”, etc. He says it comes from repressed homosexuality.

But white women too are afraid of black men. Fanon saw it for himself when he fought in Europe in the Second World War: he was in three or four countries and every time white women would shrink back in fear if he asked them for a dance – even though he was hardly in a position to do them harm.

Black men are seen as little better than animals. Therefore they are feared for what their bodies can do, which means they are feared for their penises, which accordingly become large in the white imagination. Thus: “whoever says rape says black man”.

In Europe Jews were feared too but no one feared Jewish rapists. When violence was turned on them no one thought to castrate them. Because they were feared for their minds, not their bodies.

But the sex thing is not all of it. Blacks are also seen as morally dark, as sinful and evil – as if blacks were born with original sin but whites were born pure.

Even in Martinique where Fanon grew up and where nearly everyone was black, his mother would tell him to “stop acting like a nigger” if he did something wrong. And if his conscience was clear he would say he was “white as snow”.

This comes from the colour black being seen as evil, bad, dark and dirty and the colour white as pure, innocent and clean. Whites thought that way long before they ever took blacks as slaves, but it did help to support the idea of black people as morally bad and whites as morally pure.

Whites  also use blacks as scapegoats: it is easier for them to imagine blacks as the screwed-up ones instead of facing up to their own morally broken nature.

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Some white people tell me I see racism in everything. I used to think it was just a way to dismiss what I was saying. But even whites who are otherwise serious about the subject of racism say it, so it is not merely just a way to get me to shut up.

First of all, I do not see racism in everything. While I do think that racism in America, both white racism and internalized racism, is far from dead, I doubt it accounts for everything. For example, I think fatherlessness and having children out of wedlock have little to do with racism – both were far lower among blacks in the 1950s when racism was worse. And both have knock-on effects on the rates of crime and poverty on top of the effects of racism.

But I do not talk much here about supposed black pathologies because they get more than enough attention elsewhere. And because I know full well whites use them to get themselves off the hook: See, blacks create their own mess – it has nothing to do with us!

Yet compared to most white people I do seem to see racism in everything. Because they see racism in almost nothing. Because they have narrowed the meaning of the word to just a kind of personal hatred. Because it does not affect them in a bad way. Because they do not want to face up to the racism their lives have been built on.

In reading about this on other blogs, it seems that what persuades them that they are right and I am wrong is that most people agree with them, not me. But “most people”, in this case, are white people!

Why in the world would white people be a better judge of racism in American society than black people? That would be like saying men are a better judge of sexism or straight people are a better judge of homophobia. It would be like asking monks about sex or the rich about poverty.

Does that mean that blacks are right about everything they say about racism? Hardly. But it does mean they have a far better understanding of racism than most whites do. They have to – they are affected by it way more.

I am certainly not right about everything I say. I accept that maybe I see racism in too many things – or too few things (some say I am too soft on whites). I have gone back and forth on this issue myself.

But if you do not believe me the worst thing you could do would be to turn to white people or television. What on earth do they they know? But there are tons and tons of books and blogs written by living, breathing black people and other people of colour. Read those, the more the better, putting yourself into their shoes, and see for yourself how much of this stuff I am making up.

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The use of black rape statistics is a common white racist argument. It seeks to prove that black men have a dark and savage nature by showing that they rape women at vastly higher rates than white men. The beauty of the argument is that few whites question it because it plays on two stereotypes they have about black men: they are violent and they have stronger sex drives that they cannot control.

First, as black crime goes rape is rare. Here are the top ten crimes committed by blacks in America according to FBI numbers on arrests made in 2007:

  1. 485,054 Drug abuse violations
  2. 261,730 Larceny, theft
  3. 316,217 Assault (non-aggravated)
  4. 183,810 Disorderly conduct
  5. 109,985 Aggravated assault
  6. 97,472 Driving under the influence
  7. 68,052 Burglary
  8. 62,278 Drunkenness
  9. 57,745 Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.
  10. 54,774 Robbery

Forcible rape was not even close to making this list: there were only 5,708 arrests.

Second, white men are a far bigger threat. Despite the racism of the police and the stereotypes about black rapists, the police still arrest twice as many white men for rape.

Going by the stereotypes, you would expect whiter countries to be safer. Wrong. Despite the millions of black men in America, women are way safer there than in Canada and Australia, where rape is more than twice as common.

So where are the statistics that show black men are such dangerous rapists? It comes from comparing not all rapes but just interracial rapes. Comments like this often appear on this blog:

Fact – blacks rape white women 2000 (yes 2000) times more than whites rape black women. In New York City, about 300 white women are raped by blacks every year BUT there has not been a black woman raped by a white male in anybody’s memory (going back over 20 yrs.) Consider: Al Sharpton had to go upstate New York to find a hoax and that was almost 20 years ago. (Source NYT 4/22/05)

That looks solid: the New York Times said so! Except that it did not: there is no such article.

I looked up the numbers for myself:

The FBI does not break out numbers for interracial rape but the Justice Department does for “rape and sexual assault” – based on a crime victim survey it does every year. But interracial rape is so rare that there are fewer than ten cases in its sample. So you cannot draw any firm statistical conclusions.

On television rape is a dark-alley crime, but in fact strangers commit only 2% of rapes. Half are done by current or former boyfriends, dates and husbands. Interracial rape is rare for the same reasons that interracial marriage is rare. So rare that there are not even solid government figures on it.

But better numbers would not help: after all, if you applied the same reasoning to numbers on marriage it would “prove” that black men are by nature also more likely to marry.

The argument is built not on sound reasoning and solid facts but on white fears that go back at least to Jim Crow times.

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Black and White Americans read this blog very differently

How to read this blog like many White Americans seem to:

  1. “Whites”: Imagine the word “all” before each use of the word “whites”. This is a special rule of White American English that does not appear in any grammar book.
  2. “Evil”: If “whites” and “evil” appear in the same sentence, imagine the word “uniquely” before the word “evil”. Or even “pure”. Or both.
  3. “Racist”: If the words “whites” and “racist” are in the same sentence, then do not even trouble yourself with reading the rest of the post – just jump down to the comments and start acting offended. Try it! Remember, only white  nationalists and those who use the n-word can possibly be racist. All other whites are Well Meaning, Basically Good and Would Know If They Were Racist. Blacks would have no idea because they cannot read minds.
  4. General statements about whites: these are racist and therefore false. Because whites are individuals, because to see colour in the first place is racist, because to make general statements about a race is stereotyping, a part of racism.
  5. White is right: so Abagond must be wrong. Even if you cannot say why.
  6. Abagond hates whites: This follows from #5 because what other reason could there be for him to say bad stuff about whites?
  7. This is a Bash Whitey blog: which follows from #6. Abagond hates whites so much that he wants to make them to look bad or feel bad. Clearly that is his whole reason for blogging.
  8. Stereotype his position.Here are some of the choices:
    • Playing the race card
    • Whining
    • Advanced Whining
    • Whites are pure evil (white devils)
    • Living in the past

    If he sounds kind of like he saying one of these then he is.  After all, Black America is capable of maybe six different opinions at once. If that.

  9. He is an Ungrateful Darkie: He does not seem to know that Progress Has Been Made and that blacks in America have it so much better than in Africa. Point this out to him!
  10. When he tells about a personal experience:
    1. If you or any white person you know has had the same experience then say, “It happens to whites too!” Even if you have to stretch it.
    2. Otherwise he must be making it up just to make whites look bad. What else could it be?
  11. If he says something bad about whites, get upset. Take it personally. Clearly he does not know how to talk to white people, so there is no reason to take him seriously.
  12. Your feelings are more important than anything in the post, even the stuff he talks about that affects 40 million Americans – if not the whole country. Or much of the English-speaking world. But what is that compared to your feelings?
  13. The most important rule of all: Never ever try to understand what he is saying from his point of view. Why would you? What is the point? White is right, remember?

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The following is taken from a wonderful post by Ankhesen Mie about the tea baggers, edited down to 500 words by me:

Protesters go spitting and hurling racial slurs and surprise, surprise, we’re told not to pay attention. It’s an “isolated incident”. It doesn’t “mean” anything.

Yeah… and we’ve never heard that one before. As blogger Field Negro writes:

Poor James Clayburn, I saw my man on CNN this evening and he still looked scared. He told Wolf Blitzer that he was having flashbacks to those civil rights days. He said that he looked in the eyes of the tea baggers and saw the same hatred he saw back then. Yeah, that kind of hate just doesn’t happen overnight with the passing of a bill, Jim. No sir, that hate has been there all along. It’s just been hiding under the surface and waiting to come out.

In the meantime, I’m having flashbacks of my own.  Flashbacks to teary, screamy temper tantrums in 2008 – you all remember 2008, don’t you? Remember all the “isolated incidents and comments” back then? All that racist bullshit that wasn’t “really racist” and so we weren’t supposed to really talk about it or even show it on TV in-depth? You recall that “tiny, insignificant minority” of white folks we were supposed to simply laugh at and pretend didn’t really exist? Did you really think those people just vanished off the face of the earth?

And white people, I’m just… you know… I’m… *shakes head*… I’m actually quite proud of some of you.

If I go to Google right now and type in “tea party racist”, I will see a lot of white folks calling the Tea Party out. And they’re not talking that “politically incorrect” or “highly inappropriate” shit – they’re calling it racist and not trying to excuse or defend it in any way. And kids, that’s how you deal with racism. You call it out; you name it accurately and you expose it. You denounce it unequivocally and then you fight back.

These are not children, folks; ignoring their bad behavior won’t make it go away.

So from hereon out, white folks, I don’t want to hear any more, “Well, yeah… but you have to understand…” nonsense. Those are not fighting words. Those are roll-over-and-surrender words. So are “isolated incidents”. And “we’re not all like that” – we’re not talking about all of you. We’re talking about your racists, and we’re talking about all of them. So if you’re thinking strictly KKK, Stormfront, and neo-Nazis, you need to quit bullshittin’ and start accepting the unpleasant reality of things.

The Tea Party has revealed one of the ugliest faces of Average White America for all the world to see.

It has confirmed the often derailed testaments of POC about racism in America. It has confirmed every acrimonious observation from other nations about the so-called “Ugly American”. It has aired Average White America’s dirty laundry, flung wide its closet doors and unleashed all its skeletons.

Read the whole post here.

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Patroclus and Achilles from a Greek drinking cup, circa 500 BC

How white was Ancient Greece? There are at least three answers, two short and one long:

Answer #1: They were white, just look at them: There is plenty of artwork from at least 600 BC onwards that clearly shows that the Greeks looked white – just like the people in Greece now.

Answer #2: They were part black. Some say that Egypt sent settlers or that the Pelasgians, the people who were in Greece before the Indo-European Greeks arrived, were from Africa. According to one DNA testing company Greeks are 5% black.

Now the longer answer:

Answer #3: Calling them white is anachronistic: “white” is a Western invention used to excuse slavery and colonialism during the last several hundred years. The ancient Greeks certainly did not think of themselves as white: they divided the world not by race but by language: those who spoke Greek were Greeks, those who did not were barbarians.

More: “White” is based not just on looks – it is based on culture too. You see that with Arabs: in the Middle East they are  not seen as white by Americans, but if they come to America and take on White American ways, they are – like Steve Jobs and Ralph Nader.

In that sense, then, the Ancient Greeks were no more white or Western than the British are “Nigerian” or “Australian”. It is backwards thinking.

Thinking that leads to some strange and curious things:

  1. The West “begins with the Greeks”. Not because it does – despite the way some White Americans talk, civilization is not a white invention. Their civilization comes from Egypt and the Middle East by way of Greece and Rome. But they see it as starting with Greece because it was the first “white” country to be civilized. And it was first only because it was closest to Egypt.
  2. The Greeks seem to have amazing intelligence. Because Westerners are taught to turn a blind eye to the Egyptian roots of Greek civilization: the columns, the paper, the science and mathematics, etc, all came straight out of Egypt. Even before Alexandria became the centre of Greek learning, people like Plato, Pythagoras, Solon and Thales all studied in Egypt. “The glory that was Greece” was built not on some kind of amazing Greek grey matter but sailing times to Egypt.
  3. Ancient Greeks are seen as “universal”, not “ethnic” by Anglos, who play up what they have in common with the Ancient Greeks. They do not apply that kind of thinking to the Greeks of the past 1500 years, who they look down on as unimportant, even the Byzantine Empire.
  4. The Ancient Greeks were seen as white before Greek Americans were. Just as Jesus was seen as white before the Jews were. In the 1920s laws were passed to keep Greeks and other such undesirables from coming to America in large numbers – in part to keep them from destroying the country culturally and genetically.

Yes, this is another example of the white lens, of reading history while white.

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White Americans seem to apply special rules when reading about history or the news. Since I was not invited to the Secret Course on Whiteness, I have to piece together the rules and ideas based on observation of White Americans. This is very much a work in progress.

Rules & Important Concepts:

  1. Black people do bad things because they are black. When white people do bad things it is because they made a mistake, got passed over at work, had a bad childhood, need help or whatever. Apart from a few bad apples, it never has to do with race. Because whites are not affected by their race. But blacks are: they have dark, savage hearts that drives some of them to rape and murder and other cruel and senseless things for no particular reason. Because that is how black people are.
  2. Savage Black Rule: Africa is screwed up because blacks are incapable of self-rule. Look at Zimbabwe!
  3. Black pathologies: black ghettos are screwed up because black people are screwed up.
  4. The Teflon Theory of White History: Anything that took place over 30 years ago is Ancient History. It has Absolutely No Effect on the present. Unless it was something good like the light bulb or the Declaration of Independence. Otherwise white people are only affected by history through their families, nothing else, and for not more than a generation. So even Jim Crow is now Ancient History, just like the Battle of Thermopylae.
  5. Living in the Past: anyone who disagrees with Teflon Theory.
  6. Dead Indian Land: a place that it is bad manners to talk about and dangerous to think about.
  7. Basically Good – what white people are despite their ugly past. Because of Teflon Theory they are not only protected from the ugly side effects of genocide, Jim Crow and slavery (what black people call “racism”), but even from the Fall of Adam (what Christians call “original sin”). So when whites do something bad it is not evil – just a well-meaning mistake.
  8. “It was the times” – yes, white people did do some terrible things in the past, but since whites are Basically Good it must have been the times. Unless:
  9. “Arab traders did it too!” – It is a rule with White Americans that if Arab traders did something, then it is morally all right – or at least Not All That Bad.
  10. Just World Doctrine: America is basically just because it is run by white people who are Basically Good. That means they exercise power, both home and abroad, fairly and for the good of all.
  11. Love to Complain – what black people do despite the Basic Goodness of society (see Just World Doctrine) and despite the fact that it is Not As Bad As It Used To Be (over 30 years ago).
  12. White people understand racism better than blacks – because blacks Love to Complain.
  13. Read mainly White American writers. They are more fair-minded than black or foreign writers.

– Abagond, 2010.

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IQ and income map of the world (click to somewhat enlarge!)

Equality means that all people are born equal and should have equal rights.

Jefferson said it best:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Understanding “men” in the sense of “human”, not “male”.

Not everyone believes in equality. For example, some think that whites are better than blacks. Those who blog about it, like Steve Sailer or Guy White, try to prove this by showing that whites have more intelligence or wealth than blacks.

First, their arguments have huge holes in them. For example:

  • The intelligence argument is based on whites having higher IQs or a longer list of inventions:
    • But IQ tests cannot be trusted – unless you believe that Muhammad Ali (IQ 78) and Andy Warhol (IQ 86) lacked intelligence to a noticeable degree.
    • The inventor argument, if applied fairly to all history and not just choice bits of it, like the one we live in, favours the Chinese (Asian) and Egyptians (40% black), not whites.
  • The wealth argument assumes that achievement is based on merit, that luck and power and naked violence have nothing to do with it, that wealth and poverty do not each have a snowball effect. If there were no North America, one of the biggest pieces of luck in history, most white Americans would be living in the slums of Europe. Everyone knows that. Thus their “merit”.

In short, if whites were truly that much better than everyone else, they would have been on top all throughout history, not just parts of it.

Second, even if you grant these arguments about wealth and intelligence they fail at a much more profound level: equal rights are based on human worth and human worth cannot be measured. No human being can be baked down to a number – their IQ, their bank account, their whatever. To do so is profoundly dehumanizing, turning humans into little more than talking animals or bank machines. Anyone who has ever lost a child – or dated a gold digger – knows that. In fact, most people know it.

That is why racists do not drive their arguments to their logical conclusions:

  1. If IQ is so important and so trustworthy, then why not aristocracy? Why not give all the top positions to those with the highest IQ? Why have elections? Why have job interviews or resumes? Why not have birth licences or sterilization based on IQ?
  2. Likewise, if wealth is such a wonderful measure of who is better or worse, then why not plutocracy? Why not give public offices to the highest bidder? Why bother to hold elections? Why not have a huge maternity tax so that the poor do not have “too many” children?


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“You are the one keeping racism alive” means that talking about race helps to keep racism alive. That it would die a natural death if people just stopped talking about it. That I should stop talking about race and go back to writing about half-naked women or the Middle East or whatever it was I was writing about before race became a big subject on my blog. That I am causing more harm than good.

It is something white commenters often say on this blog. Yes, white. I cannot remember a black commenter or any person of colour ever saying that, not even the right-wing ones. That alone should make you wonder about where this thought is coming from.

And it goes beyond this blog:

  • Rush Limbaugh seems to think racism is kept alive by the “race industry”, by people like Al Sharpton.
  • Three-fourths of white parents do not talk to their children about race.

Some white beliefs that support this:

  1. Race is unimportant: race does not affect whites directly in a bad way. Unlike people of colour, they do not have to think about race unless they want to.
  2. Racism is dead: because it does not affect them, many whites think it has died away. It is just something in the history books: slavery, Jim Crow and all that.
  3. Noticing race is racist: many whites do not see the difference between being race conscious (knowing how race affects your life) and racism (looking down on people because of their race).
  4. If we do not talk about racism it will go away: an odd idea that no one thinks to apply to things like sexism, cancer, crime, dishonest government or any of the other ills of human life. What makes racism so different?

Blacks are one-eighth of America. They could not keep racism alive all by themselves even if they wanted to. They do not control the courts, the police, the newspapers, the schools and all the rest. But whites do.

Whites in America have five times more votes and 50 times more wealth. Like it or not, racism rises or falls with them. Racism goes on because they continue to be racist. It is that simple. There is no huge mystery about it. It does not fall out of the sky or come up through the cracks in the sidewalk. It comes from whites acting in racist ways – not from black people talking about whites acting in racist ways.

Some whites might say “you are keeping racism alive” because they hold to one or more the beliefs listed above, but the heart of the matter is that talking about race makes white people uncomfortable. Because deep down, whether they want to admit it or not, they know that they have an unfair position in society because of the colour of their skin. Instead of living right they would rather live a lie – like they have been doing to different degrees ever since slave days.

– Abagond, 2010.

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What do they teach about racism in American high schools? In “Lies My Teacher Told Me” (1995) James W. Loewen looked at 12 history books commonly used in American high schools. One of the things he looked at is what they teach about racism. Very little, as it turns out.

Most history books do not even have the word “racism” or “racial prejudice” in their index. None of the 12 point out out how racism grew out of the practice of keeping black slaves. Not one. The closest any of them get to the cause of racism is this:

[African Americans] looked different from members of white ethnic groups. The color of their skin made assimilation difficult. For this reason they remained outsiders.

Nothing more! And this was in the 1990s, not the 1950s! As if racism is completely natural, as if white Americans do not now or ever had screwed up ideas and feelings about black people!!!

It used to be worse: before 1970 they took the white Southern view of the Civil War and the Reconstruction that followed – like what you see in the Hollywood film “Gone With the Wind” (1939)!!!  You know, like everyone in the South – black, white and presumably Native American – was happy and the North went and destroyed it all, that it had little to do with freeing the slaves, that the North ruled the South after the war just to get rich.

Now they teach that being a slave is terrible – well, 10 out of 12 books do – that the war was about freeing the slaves and that the North tried its best during the 12 years of Reconstruction after the war to rule the South.

But even so they all underplay the racism of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and any other white person they choose to make into a hero. None point out that there must be something sick and very wrong with white Americans for wanting to own black slaves.

All 12 history books underplay white American racism after 1877, both North and South. They all leave out stuff like:

  • What blacks themselves said, like Ida B. Wells or Richard Wright, about how it was to be black in America then
  • Sundown towns: thousands of towns in the North and Midwest where blacks had to leave by sundown
  • The Tulsa race riot in 1921
  • Ota Benga, an African who was shown behind bars in the Bronx Zoo in 1906.
  • That major league baseball forced out blacks in 1889
  • Violence against blacks who became successful

Only two books said blacks faced discrimination in the North! Even Loewen himself never uses the term Jim Crow!

The history books do point out examples of racism during this period, but the overall picture is one of white indifference, not white hatred. High school students are left to assume that if blacks fell behind the Jews and Italians who came to the country after the slaves were freed, it must be their own fault. Because, you know, racism is not a big deal.

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Racism 101

Romona Moore, less important to the New York police than a white woman's dog.

Racism is the belief that one race is naturally better than another.  Not merely different but better. And not just better through some accident of history or the current balance of power, but better naturally, better because they are just born that way.

That is the dictionary meaning, the one I use here. In America there are two other common meanings:

The first I call Jim Crow racism; the second, institutional racism. The racism that most White Americans practise is neither of those but colour-blind racism. That is the kind where white people say they do not see colour – until you want to marry their daughter. They do not hate blacks so much as look down on them. They see them through stereotypes, most of which go back to slave times. Like how it is all right to overwork black women, not respect them and think they are oversexed. All that comes straight from when they were slaves.

Some important points to keep in mind about the racism of White Americans against blacks (and, more generally, whites against people of colour anywhere in the English-speaking world):

  1. Race is social. It is a fiction of society that made keeping slaves seem right and good, one that is still used to excuse white privilege – the unfair advantages that whites enjoy, like better schools and safer neighbourhoods.
  2. Racism is not natural but learned. Some societies divide the world by race, but most do not. Religion, language and nation are far more common.
  3. Racism is the air that American culture breathes. America was built on racism, having robbed the natives of their land and blacks of their labour. It has become built into its culture – into its schoolbooks and television shows and jokes. It is hard to escape or unlearn.
  4. Whites are still racist and it still matters. Their racism, while not as bad as it once was, still has measurable effects on unemployment, income, health, education, etc.
  5. Whites are largely blind to racism. Because it does not affect them directly; because they do not want to admit they are racist since they are taught it is a bad thing.
  6. Blacks are racist too. But their racism is mainly directed against themselves – internalized racism.
  7. White racism affects American society way more than black racism. Because whites hold most of the positions of power.
  8. Blacks in America cannot afford to be colour-blind. Because they live in a white racist society.
  9. Shutting up about racism will not make it go away. It will only allow it to live on in people’s hearts and minds unexamined.
  10. White people use certain stock arguments about race. Most of them shift blame and attention away from their sins. Or they make it about their feelings, as if their feelings are more important than the truth.
  11. Saying bad things about white people is not the same thing as hating them. Their errors need to be pointed out.

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Humpty Dumpty: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.

Alice: The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.

Humpty Dumpty: The question is which is to be master – that’s all.

A racist is someone who believes that:

each race or ethnic group possesses specific characterisitics, abilities, or qualities that distinguish it as inferior or superior to another such group.

That is what the Oxford English Dictionary says and so, as a matter blog policy, it is what I go by.

But that puts me at odds with both anti-racists and most White Americans who have changed the meaning of the word to suit their own ends.

White Americans seem to think that a racist is someone who says the n-word in a mean way (but not in a “friendly” or “joking” way), is in favour of the Klan, maybe has a Nazi flag on his bedroom wall, etc. Skinheads, neo-Nazis, Stormfront and all those. By narrowing the meaning of the word they have – presto-changeo – made themselves not racist!

What they mean by “racism” is the old Jim Crow racism that the civil rights movement publicly shamed on American television coast-to-coast in the 1960s, making it rare now in respectable white circlesBut what has taken its place is a more subtle form of racism, which I call colour-blind racism. The colour-blind racist says he does not see colour – until you want to marry his daughter. He does not hate blacks so much as look down on them.

A colour-blind racist hides his racism under three layers of niceness (or maybe just one thin layer)  and maybe throws in some politically correct words for added measure, but deep down he is still racist in the good old Oxford dictionary sense. How do we know? The numbers show that racism still goes on in housing, education, unemployment, marriage, etc.

Whites are taught that racism is bad. They pride themselves in not being racist. So when you call white people racist they get upset. They think you mean the Jim Crow sort.

To me racism is what it is in the dictionary: a set of beliefs – like communism or Platonism. When I say someone is racist I am doubting their thinking, not their character. And, nine times out of ten, the racism in question is not the ugly, old Jim Crow sort but the new, subtle colour-blind kind.

At the other end are the anti-racists who say:

racism = prejudice + power

But they are also changing the meaning of the word. And, in any case, I do not buy it, but that is another post.

Some say I am watering down the word, but how? I am the one who is sticking to the meaning of the word. If it turns out that most people are racist, then so be it. No point in fooling ourselves about it by changing the meaning of the word.

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Two Chinese fighter planes fire rockets at ground targets in an amphibious landing drill during the third phase of the Sino-Russian The Chinese Invasion Experiment is a thought experiment where you imagine what would become of white people if the Chinese took over America and began to settle it:

Meijiang: Quick Facts:

  • Location: In North America, between Canada and Mexico
  • Status: overseas autonomous region
  • Governor: Lee Kwan Yu (since 2307)
  • Capital: San Francisco
  • Land Area: 9,166,601 sq km
  • Population: 1315.8 million (2309 est.)
  • Major ethnic groups: Han Chinese (75%), White American (12%), Mexican (8%), Black American (3%), Other (2%).
  • Resources: coal, timber, beef, wheat, hydroelectric power

Notes on the White American people:

The White Americans live mainly in the overseas Chinese province of Meijiang. It used to be their own country, called America.

They are not at all Chinese. They are distant relations of the Germans of Germany and close cousins of the British and Australians. Their language is English. Their religion is Protestant Christianity. Because of  Chinese rule their religion is weak.

There are 159 million White Americans. Most live in Meijiang but some live in the neighbouring country of Canada or in big Chinese cities on the mainland, like Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Chinese fear them as kind of wild and dangerous.

Hundreds of years ago they settled in cities across Meijiang. Their great city was New York. They were free and independent from the 1600s to the 2000s. Their empire – and their golden age – was from 1945 to 2017.

China began taking over their country in the late 2000s. By 2138 it was complete. In the 2100s they started sending Chinese there to live so that now San Francisco, the capital, is only 8% white and Meijiang as a whole is only 15% white.

White Americans are not allowed to study their language, English, after middle school.  They cannot study or practise their religion, Christianity, till age 18. The Chinese treat them like dirt and destroy their famous buildings, particularly in New York and Washington. Taxi drivers in San Francisco will not pick them up.

Chinese workers at one factory say things like this:

Everyone always says watch out for whites, they’ll rob you. And they do look aggressive.

They are always trouble. They can’t speak Chinese. And they steal.

When asked why so many whites are out of work, the Chinese say it is because they do not work hard

One hard-working Chinese business owner  puts it well:

The Chinese are sick of being blamed for white misfortune in present times. The whites drop out, join gangs, sell drugs, go to jail – almost all of them. Then they demand special government support because we “took their land” and we owe them. On top of that they rob us and steal our cars, and somehow it’s all our fault. There are lots of poor Chinese people too but they don’t get the same attention.

Source: Except for the Quick Facts, none of this is made up: I just took a post I wrote about the Uighurs, whose land is being invaded by the Chinese, and a comment about Native Canadians and  then changed up the names and dates.

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The race industry argument says that racism is no longer a big deal, that it is being kept alive by those who make money out of it or win votes.

Here is Rush Limbaugh in 2009:

The race industry is still around.  One of my most fervent desires and wishes, I’m serious, as a human being, is that all of this racism just be over with, all this group victimization be over with, and I don’t get it, because it’s never going to end.  These are tactics, these are political tactics employed by the left to secure power, and they’ll never give it up.  And while they’re the ones out there practicing all this racism and groupthink and victimization, they’re blaming people like me for it.  And it’s just a shame.  It’s just a shame.

But it is way older than that. Here is Booker T. Washington almost a hundred years before in 1911:

There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.

Are there people who make money or win votes by bringing up racism? Of course. But there are also doctors who make money out of curing diseases. While you can argue that some doctors help to create disease or find cures to things that are not true diseases, disease would not go away if all the doctors became house painters. Instead it would get far worse.

In Booker T Washington’s day it was not the “race industry”, the profitable complainers, who hung black men from trees or kept black people at the back of the bus, who kept blacks from voting; they are not the ones who kept blacks out of  libraries, cinemas, hotels, restaurants and amusement parks.

Likewise today it is not the complainers, the whiners, the race card pullers, who make innocent black children go to bad schools, who help to keep blacks  out of white neighbourhoods, who hire them last and fire them first, who would rather spend money keeping black men in prison than in getting them off of drugs, etc.

That a black man could make the race industry argument at the height of Jim Crow shows two things:

  1. A race industry does not prove that racism is just being kept alive by complainers, that if they shut up it would go away.
  2. That some black people can argue that racism is no big deal even when it is.

The main thing that both Booker T Washington and Rush Limbaugh leave out is that they themselves make their living by defending an unjust society as just.

Thanks to commenter Great White Man for bringing the Booker T Washington quote to my attention.

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