Explaining Racial Politics
In the modern political atmosphere, saying that you don’t believe in racism is near to saying you don’t believe in the Holocaust. And if you were to say you don’t believe in the Holocaust, and it would be fairly mind-blowing to do so considering the evidence, you are not a skeptic. By definition yes, but not by racial politics that will group you in with others who feel the same way – Neo Nazis, Islamic extremists. You cannot have your own opinion. And most collectivist ideologies believe this, including liberals.
History is a powerful thing. On TV, I watched a black woman from America cry on the beaches of Africa, thinking of the slaves who suffered. I found this terribly troubling. Most would not find anything wrong with the scene. Many would understand it. I understand it also. I understand how misguided it is.
I used to feel the same anger at religion when I learned of the oppression of science. It completely tainted my perception of religion. For a long time I could not study it objectively. I could not see the good and the bad – just the bad. But I never cried, or felt near to it, as did the woman standing on the beach.
The emotion that filled her could fill anyone who is looking at events in history. The hurt one fills inside, perhaps strong enough to draw tears, can easily turn into simmering anger, the same heat that I feel coming from many of my liberal instructors.
To make myself clear on the subject of ideology, I will note that this is not an attack on liberals as a whole, but on this specific topic. I do follow some of the ideas of liberal thought – not many, but some. I’m not an eclectic, I should definitely point out. I was raised in California and inherited a very extreme liberal ideology. As a lifelong skeptic, I was soon in discord with the school of thought. And I became an eclectic for a time, but I soon realized how inconsistent I was in my reasoning. I am not a conservative either. I consider myself a post-liberal, or a loose libertarian.
Anyway, the anger from the past will not go away. If you deny racism, you are hitting a discordant note with anyone who clings to resentment derived from past injustices, and the perceived current injustices. A professor would say that you are perpetuating the white privilege that holds down minorities. Your view is not your own, but part of a collective that works as a single organism of institutional racism.
The main argument against institutional racism is the "model minority." Asians in the United States excel, and if you just look at the Japanese, they do incredibly well. The counter argument is this: these Asians have a different ideology, and most come from middle class families in their own countries, and pass it down to their children in America. That’s why their successful.
The counter argument is valid in factual content, but false in application. It gives reasons as to why Asians do so well. However, it does not counter the first argument. I will do my best to illustrate this:
The model minority demonstrates skin color is not a factor regarding success in the United States (though this could most likely be applied to many countries.) it says no more than this, but is relevant because skin color is the point of interest. It directly confronts the subject of racism.
The liberal counter argument works around the perimeter of the issue. Asians do have a different ideology, and that plays a big role. But ideology is not race-specific and therefore has no relevance. It is the same with socioeconomic factors. True, many African Americans are poor, but poverty is not the issue, and if poverty makes many African Americans poor, poverty cannot be racist since it is not a thinking being. Also, people are free to change their ideology at any time.
Liberals use this argument to further their economic aims – to distribute wealth more evenly. Thinking this way, one would want to bring certain minorities out of poverty by using government policy and funds.
The view above overlooks the individual. Should two people be treated the same and given the same opportunities? I think so, though individualism vs. collectivism is a very involved issue that I don’t intend to tackle here. It’s a struggle that has confused humanity since the dawn of man.
Why is racism so political? Color of skin has little bearing on success – ideology is the largest factor, some of which is passed down through families and, particularly like the Asians, society. Without institutional racism, what excuse does race-politics have to exist? It must be plain old bigotry then.
This is all I have to say about bigotry: I wish it didn’t exist. I think it is a horrible thing. I can’t stress that enough, but if I was given the ability to muzzle every bigot in the world, I would not do so. I would let those people continue. Who I’m I to decide whose opinion can be expressed and whose can’t. If you really want to look to history for insight, follow your own opinions and beliefs backward through the centuries, and find out if your ideas have ever been considered to be objectionable, if not outright forbade. But don’t take the lesson you learn in anger. Don’t simmer over what you learn. Do not let it darken your heart. Just learn and pass on your knowledge.
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