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Racial Reasoning, Racist Buckets and Effective Racism
More clarification for the curious and confused.
From a Facebook conversation
Here's the difference between 'racial' and 'racist'. Racial means you never ignore race. Race is always taken into consideration. If you are a racialist, like my dad, then you will always say "My friend Bill, a white guy, just called me on the phone today." With racial reasoning, you think race is always material, and that to talk about any kind of situation involving people, if you don't identify them by race, then you're leaving something important out.
Now then the question goes to how deep you think race goes. I think most Americans think race is skin deep and then some. This is more than it used to be 30 years ago. So without making a moral judgment, I say most Americans are 'colorstruck'. Anybody who uses the term 'people of color' are colorstruck. But I think this is mostly a social construction. In fact I say it is a social construction that is fake, but more deeply enforced because of multiculturalism. Most multiculturalism has become hard multiculturalism which is nothing more or less than racial essentialism. How do you know? Anybody who talks about what is 'authentically black' or 'authentically latino' is not talking about culture at all. They are talking about race. 'Cultural appropriation' is nothing more than 'you people have no business doing that'. They are rules of cultural Jim Crow. And Jim Crow is the appropriate context because nobody in Venezuela or Greece gives two beans about what we Americans call each other.
The logical inconsistency in this is very clear to me, but I think many Americans have been buffaloed. That is because of the use of the term 'diversity', which again presumes that there are different kinds of people who can and must be identified not by the way they think issue by issue, but by race, gender, sexual preference. And this is why every survey of every kind in the media focuses on these essentialisms. Not blood type. Not what sect of Christianity. Not height. So the difference between 'diversity' and 'variety' are exactly what the multiculturalists want, and they have made you think their way when you use the term ‘diversity’. This is a Progressive political agenda that has succeeded. It is being pushed back now by the Heterodox Academy and other virtuous people possessed of common sense.
It is only a slightly deeper take, and I say mostly negligible if you argue that race is a hard-coded genetic divide of humanity. What you may see in the future but don't see now are people who take a 23-AndMe genetic test and say "I'm not white, I'm 47.3% northern Italian..." or "I'm not black, I'm 12.5% European..". So now we go to quadroons and octoroons? That's still transparently racial. But since we already have 'cultural appropriation' and 'Native American studies', the deeds have already been done. These are racial lines and they are new racial lines that have been only recently constructed. What the hell is a bipoc? It never existed before now, although a lot of history is being rewritten slavishly to make it appear that I’ve always been one.
Where the rubber meets the road in however these lines are drawn, whether culturally or genetically, is how people expect members of any group to be perceived and judged (or ignored and not judged). If there is any difference whatsoever, then it’s racist. It’s racist because there is a value statement applied to racial identity. It sounds kind of obvious when it is said this way but that’s the difference between racialism and racism. Racialism says you can absolutely divide people into relatively static mutually exclusive groups over which they have no control. You ARE black. Forever. Period. You ARE yellow. Forever. Period. We know all of the races and you are in one of them, period. So I can ALWAYS identify your race and you cannot escape, deny, ignore or hide your racial identity. You are part of this in your immutable history and future. That is racialism. This is what I think most Americans, now colorstruck by multiculturalism now believe. Why? Because American universities have made (starting with black history) it their job to colorize history and politics. Recent construction.
Finally what is racism? Racism is the belief that each of these buckets of humanity have particular histories, destinies and roles to follow and that it is inefficient at best, and immoral at worst for them to deviate from these roles. That people should be judged according to how they fulfill their racial roles. Every race has natural or social advantages that dictate how they should interact with others inside or outside of their race. SHOULD.
How racist is racist? It’s the difference between, ‘occasionally sorta kinda should be aware’ and ‘always absolutely must under punishment of death’. So here’s the most interesting part, and that is Effective Racism. Which basically asks how well does the racist idea work? Now let’s revisit our example of the ‘unarmed black man’ and the ‘white cop’. If I absolutely believe that I am a black man in the racialist sense. That I am culturally and/or genetically black forever, then half the battle is won. I am racialist myself. If I also believe that I have a particular inescapable history, role and destiny as a black man and that I SHOULD be (perceived, ignored, judged, not judged) differently according to my racial identity, then I am racist myself. If on that second value I am a ‘occasionally sorta kinda should’ then I might not be an effective racist. But if I’m always subject to that SHOULD, then I am effectively racist. This is what DuBois called dual consciousness. I am an American, but I’m also not. So into any situation I go with my own effective racism. My acceptance of my own non-individuality, my own racial consciousness which also accepts that it is significantly different, if not completely opposed to other people’s racial consciousness. That’s pretty damned effective. If I am disciplined to a political ideology that enforces this consciousness upon me, I’m a racist.
It’s important to know at this particular moment that this is exactly the strategic aim of the new Anti-Racists in their amplification of their Orwellian language of ‘white fragility’ and ‘white privilege’. Their effective racism (note how precisely I am able to use the same terms as in the above paragraph). Say I am a white male, a non-bipoc. If I absolutely believe that I am a white man in the racialist sense. That I am culturally and/or genetically white forever, then half the battle is won. I am racialist myself. If I also believe that I have a particular inescapable history, role and destiny as a white man and that I SHOULD be (perceived, ignored, judged, not judged) differently according to my racial identity, then I am racist myself. If on that second value I am a ‘occasionally sorta kinda should’ then I might not be an effective racist. But if I’m always subject to that SHOULD, then I am effectively racist. This is what DuBois called dual consciousness. I am an American, but I’m also not. So into any situation I go with my own effective racism. My acceptance of my own non-individuality, my own racial consciousness which also accepts that it is significantly different, if not completely opposed to other people’s racial consciousness. That’s pretty damned effective. If I am disciplined to a political ideology that enforces this consciousness upon me, I’m a racist.
So of course it is the aim of the new Anti-Racists to impress upon whitefolks that they are all racist no matter what. This Kafka trap is fairly clever. One doesn’t simple walk out of its Mordor, but it helps to ignore and resist its all-seeing eye. That starts with rejection of the racial role as a first premise.
It doesn't matter how much power one has if you are playing a racial role. If your racial role says that you should be dominant over your 'opponent' then you will assume an attitude of dominance whether or not you have any real power. If your racial role says that you should be submissive, that will be your attitude and you will find playing the role of a victim is more cherished. If you are to be subversive, then you will play that racial role in the assumption that the system is always corrupt. If you are to be a sacrificed martyr in asymmetrical warfare, then you can be effectively racist all by yourself without provocation. What is a 'trigger warning' other than something that amplifies the power of a college professor when it must be assumed that the role of a ‘minority race’ is to be so powerless as to be traumatized by the mere utterance of a word? In all of these ways the effectiveness of racism can be determined. It's not about prejudice + power. It's about accepting a racial identity and playing the role.
So in a one on one situation, it matters whether I play the role that is determined by my racial consciousness and makes the situation effectively racist. There’s the dynamic. Is this a racial thing? Is this a racist thing? That’s entirely under the control of the way people decide to behave, effectively with regard to their racial identities.
Everybody, whether or not they accept racial identities imposed upon them, are always in control of how they act and behave in every situation. “I’m going to do the Christian thing.” “I’m going behave professionally.” “I’m going to represent Brooklyn.” “My grandfather told me that I should always do this.” This should be trivially easy for everyone. And yet you know how much things have changed from the 1990s when it was uncommon to hear people start their arguments with ‘As a [insert intersectional multicultural identity here], my experience tells me…’. These are the particular voices we Americans are chided into ‘empowering’. Everybody knows the formula. Well done, Orwellians.
I should add that I think its critically important to understand that humans will form in-groups and out-groups of arbitrary boundaries. The psychological research is clear, even though I'm not good at citing it. I think the key researchers here are Milgram and Zimbardo, separately. But there is a more recent study that shows that any division of people, even completely arbitrary divisions, will lead to in-group thinking and behavior. This is Tajfel’s Minimal Group Paradigm. We could make it hairy arms + dark colored shoes vs light colored shoes + drinks milk. People conform to any group. So what is the biggest problem with race? That we ever bother to think about it - it will inevitably make value of itself whether or not the lines are logical or consistent. This is the problem with being colorstuck. Without any personal history of conflict, you will create conflict simply because you accept a racial role. Beware those who tell you racism is human nature. It is not, no more than discrimination by blood type or type of shoes. People will discriminate based on any grouping. Individualism, anyone?
The most pernicious aspect of today's Orwellian agenda is the way in which it convinces people to recast their own experiences into a racialized narrative. It does so against the other essentialisms as well, but the focus here is on race. In fact, personal individual experience is in my view, the most important tool that people have to divest themselves of imposed identities whether racial or otherwise. So I am convinced that the cure comes from the realm of psychology and mental health because it seems obvious to me now and in retrospect that only someone who has been psychologically weakened will accept outside identifications.
This is also in consonance with my particular definition of America's political split on identity and intersectionality; the two ideological tribes:
The problem with today's multiculturalism is that it is different than pluralism. Pluralism is the proper ethos for America, multiculturalism is not. The difference can be explained simply by assuming Americans can be divided into two tribes:
Ideological Tribe A
We believe that America is at its best when its mainstream is maintained without regard to race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual preference, etc..
Ideological Tribe B
We believe that America is at its best when its mainstream is maintained with special regard to race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual preference, etc.
In summary and conclusion, I have nothing further to say. I just provide this for analysis. I hope the conceptual tools I lay out for you help you. See you on the other side of Mordor.