There is one thing in which liberal activists are right: everyone is racist. There is one thing in which they’re wrong: everyone is racist.
Racism is not confined to white people — and the idea that it equals prejudice plus power is an interesting (and stupid, as usual) Marxist distortion we’ll deal with later — it’s a characteristic of being human.
Why? Oh, like most other things because it was evolutionarily sound. I.e. those who had it survived and had more kids.
The thing is it’s not so much “racism” as in discriminating against another race. It’s “Fear of the stranger.”
And even if it involves just-so stories, it really doesn’t take much to figure out why people who have a fear of the stranger survive and have more children more than those who don’t. Even in modern society, the teen who will hitchhike and get in the car with just anyone has a higher chance of ending up dead. But long before that, the little kid who approaches panel vans driven by strangers, has a good chance of ending up dead. (NOT as high was our media makes it out to be, but high enough their scares are justified.)
In pre-human times, with many bands and tribelets living close enough for kids to stray, the name for a kid who thought that his family or strangers were equivalent was — at least if we go by how our closest relatives, the chimps, treat young from other bands — “dinner.”
Oh sure, in times of stress and famine, the chances that your own band would tuck in were fairly high, but still the chances that dear old mom would eat you were not nearly as high as that a stranger would eat you.
The thing is, this fear of the stranger activates more the more the stranger looks like you and your family. No, seriously. When is the last time anyone was accused of racism towards another species (Okay, fine, Harambe, but that’s an exception and also liberals be cray.) This makes perfect sense, because even toddlers (at least those not desensitized by stuffed animals and parents’ being idiots) understand that large animals are dangerous.
Okay, so being afraid of cows might be a new one, and I sort of invented it (I have no idea why as a child I thought cows and horses were both man-eaters. None. But then I thought there were sharks with chainsaws under my bed ready to lop off any limb that extended over the edge, so we might as well admit as a proto-writer I was already rather Odd) but most kids are afraid of anything large and furry that charges towards them. This is not racism, it’s survival.
The fear of the stranger that goes under “racism” in our society is the fear of people like us and yet not like us.
And it’s not racism in the sense that the media and liberals (who be cray) portray it. If you believe racism as they portray it, then you believe paler people are born with an instinctive fear of African features and dark skin. For the party that claims to be for “science” this is odder than believing in chainsaw sharks. What is their evolutionary reason for it, precisely? Is it the sort of fear as that of the Aliens in Arthur C. Clark’s Childhood’s end? Are people of African descent thought to bring about the apocalypse and does time run in a circular fashion?
Oh, I know, they say we all internalize racism and self-racism. Both those things are stupid. We absorb all sorts of prejudices from the society we live in, but for the last several decades we’ve been pounded with anti-racism. It works too. I was reading a mystery from the eighties where the teen wishes she were black, because you know, black people are so much cooler and don’t oppose other people. Yep, the book was written in the eighties. (And I thought “Rachel Dolezal, we hardly knew ya”) and the writer thought this was a perfectly sane character to sketch. And who knows, it might be, given the barrage of anti-racist propaganda. (More on that later, too.) But racism, true racism, is “fear of the stranger.” The myths and attacks come from THAT and it’s one of the basic instincts of humans. BTW it also makes “internalized racism” even dumber. You don’t fear yourself as a stranger, unless you’ve had one of those strokes that make it impossible to recognize yourself in the mirror.
So if the fear isn’t of dark skin or African features, what is it a fear of? “People who are not like my family/tribe/village to whom I’m accustomed” is a better way to describe it.
When I was a little girl, living in Portugal, I saw all kind of distinctions when I first entered elementary school. Some of my classmates were much darker than I, some were blond. Some were tall, some were short. Being sort of medium, I never had that trigger fear of the “stranger” or at least not towards appearance.
It took going back after 30 years here to realize as a child I’d seen differences that weren’t there. For one, Portuguese “blond” is a medium brown hair (unless enhanced with dye.) I myself was often called “ruiva” by guys calling from street corners, because my dark brown hair threw off red highlights in the full sun. Oh, sure there was a Viking in the wood pile there, and if I’d been in the sun a lot, my hair would look flame red when fully lit (acutally bozo-red. My kids make fun of those pictures.) BUT in the shade hair was dark brown (now it is whatever I feel like coloring it, being a rather ugly iron-grey since I was 28.)
It took my going back after 30 years here and getting stuck watching some sort of multi-school gymnastics competition to have the stunning realization of “Heavens, all these kids look like cousins.”
This is because the human brain in a highly homogeneous population will find the most minor differences to attach “stranger danger” to.
As for big differences… I was six the first time I saw a blond man. I mean REALLY blond. He must have been a tourist. In those days there weren’t many tourists in the north of Portugal, and at any rate, I was only taken to the city when I needed to buy shoes or something else my parents couldn’t find in the village.
So I’d never seen a blond. As I remember, I screamed, and tried to run. I also had nightmares for days. In my mind, I decided he was one of those molded plastic dolls, hair and skin the same color, that had come to life. But that came after for the nightmares. The first reaction was pure fear of the stranger.
The thing about that? Fear of the stranger — duh — goes away with familiarity. I had a blond friend in college (real blond, even if dark blond. Her parents were not from around there. At least her dad wasn’t.) My husband’s best friend for twenty years, whose kids were raised with ours as “cousins” was blond. His kids are blond. I don’t run screaming from them.
If kids are raised together in a great variety of skin colors and hair colors, they don’t even notice them. My kids who attended an urban school, rarely remembered to tell me the race of their friends. Which really wasn’t an issue, except when the friends did the same and their parents did have an issue with friendships between races.
Because again, it is fear of the stranger. Take an American kid who was raised with all skin colors, though, and introduce someone who dresses funny and the fear of the stranger activates. Which is why we’re now using (and fostering) “racism” for things that have bloody nothing to do with race.
I’ve become a different race before my very eyes, for instance. Worst, my family, abroad, has internalized/believes this. Oh, not a different race from them, but that we’re all a minority and despised.
Look, I grew up thinking of myself as “White.” This is a broad church in Portugal. I have a cousin who looks considerably more African than Obama’s Reverend Wright, but was also considered “White.” You’d really need to look pretty dark not to be considered “white.”
Yes, there were hints that some people already considered Portuguese “Latin” when I came here thirty years ago. Like, my first boss in the US thought Portugal was a city in Mexico (and he didn’t like Mexicans.) Someone (at a Mensa meeting for Bob’s sake,) was so sold on me as “Hispanic” that he heard my accent as that of Ricky Ricardo’s. Those of you who heard me (or search sings the blues in this blog, where there is a reading) should be jaw-dropped. Portuguese LOOKS like Spanish written, but sounds nothing like Spanish, so the accent is markedly different. Oh, and when I got my social security card they tried to put “Hispanic” in the field. I’d have taken Latin, but there was no such classification and Spanish I’m NOT.
The Hispanic/Latin classification in governmental things isn’t STRICTLY a race. There are Hispanic whites (one of our friends was an exchange student from argentina, whose family were first generation immigrants from Italy. If they’d immigrated here they’d be “white” but they hadn’t, so she was “Hispanic.”) and black Hispanics and everything in between.
At least that was the idea. BUT the problem when you paint a target and say “this is different” you’re going to activate the human instinct for “fear of the stranger.” And remember that this fear of the stranger can and does pick up minute differences.
So, over the last thirty years, I’ve watched Latin become a race. I’m still not 100 percent sure what people are picking up on, and sometimes what they do pick/don’t pick is bewildering. I’ve more than once been in a line/situation where my two kids are picked as “Latin” but I’m not. Given they’re a mix of me and their very white anglo-saxon looking father, this is somewhat bewildering. Though I’m happy — ???– to report as times go on, I too am picked out as Latin by strangers who don’t even ask before writing “Latin” in the form or saying “Hey, you’re Latin.” (To be fair, whatever the heck the marker is might have been there from the beginning, witness first boss, and social security lady.But it’s now more prevalent. People are more alert to the signs.)
It’s more prevalent now, though. People used to mistake me for Russian (this sometimes still happens, if they hear me before taking a good look at me), Greek, Italian, or Arab. But now, nine times out of ten it’s “Latin.”
Sure there are manners, there is a culture. I can laugh at “you’re so Cuban” jokes because they’re remarkably similar to what “you’re so Portuguese” jokes would be. And maybe what people are picking up on is gestures, a way of standing, but it’s all getting both highlighted by saying “look at this minority here” (seriously, guys, we could do this with redheads or people who have freckles by deciding they were an oppressed minority) and made “racial” instead of cultural. (Part of this is the liberal — liberals be cray — confusion between race and culture. They have come to think these are the same and culture can’t be changed, which is why making someone learn/speak English is racist. As someone who learned English at 14 I’m here to tell you calling Harambe’s death the result of racism is SANER.)
Because of that there is a tendency to consider “white” only blond and blue eyed, which frankly excludes even my husband.
The justification for this is the delightful Marxist illusion that racism= prejudice + power. Have I mentioned I thought Marx — who at any rate is not the originator of this illusion. That’s his followers trying to make his crazy cakes theory work — and his followers are all some form of Aspergers, and unable to see things outside what they’re classified as?
They seem to think — be honest, most sf writers do too — that power equals institutional/economic/government power.
Power in human societies is a matter of one on one interactions. Even if all black people in the US were held in menial positions, do you know how much power those can have? Yep, a cook can spit in your food. But more than that, a daycare worker can wreak havoc among her charges and mess with their self-image for years, even though she’s ultimately a low paid drone. But of course, because of various affirmatives, black people are disproportionately represented in the machinery of our government, both local and federal. And if you think that a DMV worker has no power over you, you don’t drive.
Even if racism REALLY were a thing of power and prejudice, it would apply to every “race” of human, ever. But it’s not. Racism is a fear of the stranger.
And our industrial-education-entertainment complex has the ability to cut out entire groups of people, point them out as different and thereby CREATE racism against them, which then requires intervention to make them “non discriminated against.”
It’s as old a game as any. “Divide and conquer.” If people are dependent on the government to keep them from each other’s throats, then they won’t notice the government is planting a foot more and more firmly on their necks. And if they do, they won’t unite to topple that government.
Sure, you’ll always experience “stranger danger” when you meet someone who is truly different. But stranger danger doesn’t shove people into groups and then train them to fear every other group. By rights, Reverend Wright should be part of the great indistinct majority of people who can be “Whatever” if everyone, himself included, hadn’t been trained to think of african features as meaning “different race.” (Older son gets considered black as often as Latin. It’s the features.)
Stranger danger is not racism as the ideologues proclaim it, but it’s the only form of non-government-induced racism, and the basis of what they use to try to claim that everyone is racist (like that heinous experiment with infants.) Stranger danger is a leftover instinct, not particularly useful in our society except to keep children from panel vans.
Fortunately it can be defeated by living in a varied society with people of all sizes and colors. After a while the alarm stops ringing.
Of course, you’ll still react to someone who ACTS weird comes to town. But seriously, would you want to stop that? Often it is a sign of danger, in fact, as often “acting weird” has to do with mental illness.
More importantly, when that leftist activist comes to town, do you want to think of her as just another human being, even as she lectures you on your “toxic whiteness”? Think of the lost opportunities to point and laugh.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Race And Racism | According To Hoyt