essays/posts on a variety of flavorful topics

Archive for the ‘Race Issues’ Category

Anti-White Prejudice in the Form of Disproportionate Bashing at The Nation Magazine

I wrote this comment regarding Rick Perlstein’s November article on Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy, but I never published it–forgot my Disqus password and didn’t want to dig it up again. So here it is on my own blog. . . .

But first, allow me to mention that what I object most about culturally progressive magazines focusing so much on white racism is that they don’t provide any context in which to put such racism. Yes, I’m against racism. But the context is that the world is an incredibly racist place. In addition to white racism, we have . . . Japanese racism against Koreans living in Japan. Chinese racism against the Japanese–not to mention many other minorities in China. Black African racism against minorities–including Asians and whites. Indian prejudice against the Untouchables. Jewish racism against Palestinians. Arab racism against blacks. (Incidentally, did you realize that the African-Arab slave trade continued on until past the 1930s? The Brits attempted to stop it–but had problems doing so. Did you realize that slavery was ubiquitous among the Indian tribes of America?) Etc., etc., etc. (Just so there’s no misunderstanding, the “Etc, etc., etc.” part is supposed to indicate that, yes, I’m aware there are thousands of other examples I could have picked.)

Using a strategy to gain white votes by vilifying blacks is horrible, please don’t get me wrong. But to bring it up so much–you’ve got us talking about white prejudice, again and again. (See my article on cultural progressives for insights into their motivations.)

Okay, enough of the intro. Here’s my comment:

Rick,

Haven’t listened to the video yet (perhaps that will provide more context) but I had glanced at your article, and as a conservative I felt a pang of guilt. I believe in voting for the common good; I don’t believe in voting on the basis of what’s only good for my race.  On Wikipedia, I read a slightly more complete version of what Atwater said.  It didn’t sound good, but, honestly, I was left me somewhat confused–I wasn’t really sure how to interpret some of his sentences.  Again, perhaps the video will clear things up.

But the reason I really want to write involves the larger question of context.

Look, you might not like it, but there are non-racists who do want low taxes and feel that there are people who take advantage of welfare. I work with the poor, and I see some (certainly not all) of them taking advantage of the system. I’ve seen young people jump on the dole, leaving older people who had better values to work year-round at difficult jobs.

Also, aren’t you and The Nation just beating a horse to death again with this article? A lot has already been said about the Southern Strategy. But here you are bringing it to our attention once more. And the events in question happened over 25 years ago.

Context:  What about Reverend Wright, whose sermons even the New York Times called racist? Obama went to his church for how many years and ostensibly had no idea about Wright’s views? And why Wright’s church, of all churches. Why not another, non-racist church?

What I’m trying to get at is that there’s a need for proportionality and balance. There’s a need for putting racism in its context.

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My Comment on Wesley Smith’s “Derbyshire’s Racism Denies Human Exceptionalism” Post (at his Secondhand Smoke blog)

Here’s the Wesley Smith’s article:  http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/04/07/derbyshires-racism-denies-human-exceptionalism/

secondhand smoke

Below is the comment I left:

Nautilus April 14th, 2012 | 11:02 pm

(NOTE:  I’ve made  a few changes and shortened the following essay/comment since I published it on Secondhand Smoke as a comment.)

Let’s look at this another way.  If you and I were 100 percent sure that the various races are the same in all significant ways then the ultimate outcome of that would be us not talking about racial differences.  Any such differences would be superficial, and so what would be the point?

Now let’s assume that we were to feel 100 percent sure of the opposite:  there exist, in fact, group average differences on matters such as intelligence, criminal behavior, athletic ability, etc.

What should the ultimate outcome of this second postulate be?  Should we, then, talk about group differences?

I would argue that we shouldn’t for the simple fact that it wouldn’t be a loving thing to do.  (Allow me to hasten to add that I’m not advocating that a legal mechanism be put in place here.  Truth-Love-Beauty.  Our talk should be influenced by love, but I disagree with laws which serve to limit the expression of explanations or ideas–even those with which I disagree.)

Race is so deeply intertwined with a person’s identity that the suggestion that another’s group is below par (whether in being law abiding or in athletics or whatever) is simply going to be taken as a personal affront–even if one were to qualify such a statement by saying something such as:  But, of course, individuals within any group can be brilliant, highly athletic, etc.

So in the first case we wouldn’t talk about racial differences, and in the second case we shouldn’t talk about racial differences.  The outcome:  People who want to exhibit love will not be talking about the possible specifics of group racial differences.

Truth, Love, Beauty:  Three important virtues.  The possibility of the existence of non-superficial racial differences would pits truth against beauty–what’s true wouldn’t be beautiful.  Truth and beauty should be reconciled through love.

How to overcome possible conflicts of interest?

In a nutshell:  We have to be more understanding of the Other, whoever the other is.

I believe we should strive to create a society in which a victimization/envy mentality is not emphasized.  We should focus on bonafide examples of racism and try to abolish those as opposed to focusing on the diffuse, “it’s everywhere” variety of racism.

That being said, we also shouldn’t over-emphasize worldly achievements:  And think about it:  Isn’t it also simply better for individuals to live in a society which values humility?

I’d like to see the SAT abolished.  Do we really need “elite” universities?  Wouldn’t a typical state school be good enough?  This might be shocking to some people, but plenty of top-contributing scientists have received their education at state universities or non-Ivy private universities.

Humility for everyone all around:  That would go a long way toward making the world a better place, no matter if group racial differences exist or not.

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