The All-Seeing Eye

Musings from the central tower…

Everyone’s a little bit racist

So, some windbag apparently came out and declared that if racism is inborn, then shouldn’t racism be perfectly acceptable?

Well, here’s the thing. Racism is not inborn. No, no, no. Racism, in fact, *can’t* be inborn, because biologically there is no such thing as “race.” In order to be racist, therefore, people have to – HAVE TO – be TRAINED to recognize a thing called “race,” TAUGHT to understand what its characteristics are, and SHOWN how to interact socially with people from other “races.” Race is a SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION.

Now, certain patterns of behavior may be inborn and the concept of “race” may be deployed in society to access certain inborn patterns of behavior in different circumstances. You can be taught, for instance, to access the “member of my group/herd” pattern around “white” people and the “member of a rival group/herd” pattern around “black” people – that is, once you’ve learned what a “white” person is and what a “black” person is, definitions which vary widely from place to place and time to time. Most people today probably don’t know what an “octoroon” is but it used to be quite important in this country (hint: Homer Plessy was one, and, in order to get arrested for riding in a whites-only car, had to *tell* the train conductor about his lineage, because that was how white he looked.

So, now that we’ve established that there is biologically no such thing as race and that racism, therefore, is inherently ridiculous, let’s talk about how and why everyone actually is racist.

Let’s consider the average white person who does not consider himself racist, and imagine him walking through a black neighborhood. Imagine that for a moment, now, answer: is he nervous? Is it okay for him to be nervous? Is it racist for him to be nervous?

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September 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment