Racism has existed since competing tribes have existed. It is a deeply engrained, biological creation. It occurs through a need for the brain to process vast quantities of information in an efficient manner. We categorize, we stereotype, and we generalize people into convenient ‘groups’.
That’s not to say racism is good. Racism is clearly bad from a social and economic point of view. But it is the truth. We do not have the cognitive resources to process the amount of information we go through on a daily basis. Just think about how large your ‘video’ file would be if, everything you saw and heard was on HD video. Then, and this is where the real data comes in, add to that your emotions during each moment of time. Every conflicting thought of anger, anxiety, and excitement. Every monologue you have occur, hooked up to your visual and auditory stimulus. Then add in the sensations from your skin, the smells from your nose, or the tastes from your mouth.
Your senses don’t ‘stop’. You are constantly feeding your brain inputs. Enormous quantities of data are processed every second. It is truly incredible when you think about it from this perspective just how efficient the human mind is. So it should come as no surprise that these operations are not easy to deal with. There is a reason we do not remember every second of our lives since birth. But we do have a single smell trigger a ‘video’ of a beloved (or dreaded) memory. We are continuously condensing and throwing away irrelevant information.
The octopus is a great example of data processing. To deal with the information comming from its sensitive tenticals, it ‘crowd sources’ the job, by putting part of its brain stem (operating independently) in each appendage.
Racism is a key component of this cognitive necessity. I’ve been reading a lot of crap recently about the Furgeson trial. It falls into two categories.
- A discussion of race on a peripheral level: People saying that race is a construct, built to ensure the propagation of one class over the other. That race is created by men in black suits in a fancy conference room.
- Details of the case and guilt/not guilty being the important factor. If you think that the guilt or innocence of the police officer means anything than you are blind to the political reality of this case. It is a result of underlying racial tensions in a region. Who cares if he was innocent or not. The only people who appear to care are those with nothing to say about race.
I’ll tackle #1 first, then cruise on over to #2.
#1: We use race to subjugate, inferring the solution to perpetuate policies which reverse the subjugation
This is moronic and truthfully leads to misguided, dangerous, and even overtly racist policies. As usual, the people who say this have the intention of ‘eliminating racism’ but going about it in a way which only perpetuates more racism. They are looking at the symptoms of the issue and trying to find the cure by applying the ‘negative’ to it. If the anarchists are right and fighting violence with more violence is wrong and if the solution to racial injustice is to legalize selective racial ‘justice’ then how is this any better, from a moral perspective, than maiming a thief?
A nice example is affirmative action. Forcing colleges to admit more blacks over whites/asians simply by the fact of their race and nothing else. I think that this fires people up, it generates an ‘us vs them’ mentality, and perpetuates racism and sexism to extremely dangerous levels that otherwise, I argue, would not exist.
Race is a social construct, propagated through every man, woman, and child on earth. This much I will agree with. But it is not a conscious construct. It is a subconscious one. Therefore it will never cease because we decided to hold hands and cry together; only to then run home in our segregated communities. Race, as we know it (black vs white), will only end with the communities are integrated fully. But it doesn’t stop there, it has to go further.
People don’t just have to integrate, they have to behave contrary to their biological desires (of being with people who are ‘similar’ in physical characteristics) and have their everyday actions merged with people with different colors. We have to change the ethnic makeup of our social circles.
That means, black and white children becoming friends, work groups containing equal numbers of blacks and whites (requiring extreme population changes), etc. It requires a massive shift; and even then, it will change nothing.
In the end people will find new reasons to segregate each other. It may be on an economic basis (sorry, you are too poor to be in this group), a regional basis (you talk funny, what a hick/trashy person you are), or the introduction of a new racial minority which has not propagated yet.
#2: We are trapped and in our desire to rationalize our inert racism, we use ‘justice’ to guide our viewpoint
If you think minorities aren’t subjugated you are lying to yourself. It is an exceptional rarity that a nation, clan, tribe, kingdom, or commune in history didn’t subjugate one group at the expense of the other. In any part of the globe. The absence of subjugation is so rare, the only examples I can think of are possibly the Kibbutz of Israel (plus some anarchist communes) and a few tribal societies.
In ancient to modern Africa it is the fight of the Bantu Africans and the Pygmies. The latter are treated as slaves and servants; victims of that dangerous war of farmer vs hunter. For the Native Americans, the only concern was for the members of your own tribe. Slaves and servants were taken often as spoils of war from surrounding tribes.
Exploitation comes in many forms. It can be forced of soft. Forced subjugation is putting people in chains, keeping them locked in cells, and controlling their live through direct violence. Soft subjugation is establishing a culture which legally doesn’t subjugate, but collectively decides to repress. An example is the fact that, all else being equal, blacks are more often convicted to life in the case of murder compared to whites. Or those with black names are less likely to get a job interview. It is less morally wrong than putting a gun to someones head, sure, but it’s still bad.
I can care less if the police officer was innocent or guilty. It is as irrelevant to me as the destruction of so many others who are innocent of wrong doings. But the dialogue is relevant. I think it’s great that people are getting riled up and posting stupid things on the internet. I’m happy that people are openly saying racist, self-serving things. I’m happy that liberals pretend to care about race, inhaling the perfume of their own self-righteous crop, only to reinforce a culture of shame and bigotry. I’m happy that conservatives are pretending as if we don’t live in a tiered society. As if, allowing children to be raised in squalor and crime will produce something other than more crime.
I don’t think we can ever fix racism. I think most of the suggestions to ‘fix’ racism are as flawed as section 8 housing is to ‘help’ the poor. Racism starts on an individual level, not a communal one. It starts on a biological tier, the desire to be around other people who look, act, and like the things you do. So long as there is another ‘group’ who is both different looking and enjoys a different culture; we will have racism. We can get over one of these two differences, but through great difficulty. However, we will never get over that poisonous combination, a difference of physical characteristics and cultural practices. That is a recipe for conflict.
Saying whites all live in harmony is like saying all blacks in Africa are nice to each other. There is anti-Semitism, Irish hatred, French distaste, and more. Turn the page in your European history book and see for yourself the incredible suffering inflicted between white groups. The difference between whites and blacks is, that the whites established the society, initially, to ingratiate themselves. There is always less hatred between the sects of a ruling group, so long as there are other enemies to unite against (immigrants, blacks, minorities). It is a biological drive which pushes us to demonize those in an external group. Most blacks were forced to America, they had a different language, culture, and economic status. They have lost their language but not their desire to formulate a new sub-culture, to feel wanted and not subjugated. It is that form of rebellion, inert in all of us, that dooms the race-free movement from the very start. And it is only possible when the population of that minority is large enough to fight. Which blacks are and native Americans are not.
As long as this remains true, nothing will change.