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This post was edited by Coulomb at 2014-5-25 16:14|
What Is Racism?
by Thomas Jackson
There is surely no nation in the world that holds "racism" in greater horror than does the United States. Compared to other kinds of offenses, it is thought to be somehow more reprehensible. The press and public have become so used to tales of murder, rape, robbery, and arson, that any but the most spectacular crimes are shrugged off as part of the inevitable texture of American life. "Racism" is never shrugged off. For example, when a white Georgetown Law School student reported earlier this year that black students are not as qualified as white students, it set off a booming, national controversy about "racism." If the student had merely murdered someone he would have attracted far less attention and criticism.
Racism is, indeed, the national obsession. Universities are on full alert for it, newspapers and politicians denounce it, churches preach against it, America is said to be racked with it, but just what *is* racism?
Dictionaries are not much help in understanding what is meant by the word. They usually define it as the belief that one's own ethnic stock is superior to others, or as the belief that culture and behavior are rooted in race. When Americans speak of racism they mean a great deal more than this. Nevertheless, the dictionary definition of racism is a clue to understanding what Americans *do* mean. A peculiarly American meaning derives from the current dogma that all ethnic stocks are equal. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, all races have been declared to be equally talented and hard- working, and anyone who questions the dogma is thought to be not merely wrong but evil.
The dogma has logical consequences that are profoundly important. If blacks, for example, are equal to whites in every way, what accounts for their poverty, criminality, and dissipation? Since any theory of racial differences has been outlawed, the only possible explanation for black failure is white racism. And since blacks are markedly poor, crime-prone, and dissipated, America must be racked with pervasive racism. Nothing else could be keeping them in such an abject state.
All public discourse on race today is locked into this rigid logic. Any explanation for black failure that does not depend on white wickedness threatens to veer off into the forbidden territory of racial differences. Thus, even if today's whites can find in their hearts no desire to oppress blacks, yesterday's whites must have oppressed them. If whites do not consciously oppress blacks, they must oppress them UNconsciously. If no obviously racist individuals can be identified, then *institutions* must be racist. Or, since blacks are failing so terribly in America, there simply must be millions of white people we do not know about, who are working day and night to keep blacks in misery. The dogma of racial equality leaves no room for an explanation of black failure that is not, in some fashion, an indictment of white people.
The logical consequences of this are clear. Since we are required to believe that the only explanation for non-white failure is white racism, every time a non-white is poor, commits a crime, goes on welfare, or takes drugs, white society stands accused of yet another act of racism. All failure or misbehavior by non-whites is standing proof that white society is riddled with hatred and bigotry. For precisely so long as non-whites fail to succeed in life at exactly the same level as whites, whites will be, by definition, thwarting and oppressing them. This obligatory pattern of thinking leads to strange conclusions. First of all, racism is a sin that is thought to be committed almost exclusively by white people. Indeed, a black congressman from Chicago, Gus Savage, and Coleman Young, the black mayor of Detroit, have argued that only white people *can* be racist. Likewise, in 1987, the affirmative action officer of the State Insurance Fund of New York issued a company pamphlet in which she explained that *all* whites are racist and that *only* whites can be racist. How else could the plight of blacks be explained without flirting with the possibility of racial inequality?
Although some blacks and liberal whites concede that non-whites can, perhaps, be racist, they invariably add that non-whites have been forced into it as self-defense because of centuries of white oppression. What appears to be non-white racism is so understandable and forgivable that it hardly deserves the name. Thus, whether or not an act is called racism depends on the race of the racist. What would surely be called racism when done by whites is thought to be normal when done by anyone else. The reverse is also true.
Examples of this sort of double standard are so common, it is almost tedious to list them: When a white man kills a black man and uses the word "ni*ger" while doing so, there is an enormous media uproar and the nation beats its collective breast; when members of the black Yahweh cult carry out ritual murders of random whites, the media are silent (see AR of March, 1991). College campuses forbid pejorative statements about non-whites as "racist," but ignore scurrilous attacks on whites.
At election time, if 60 percent of the white voters vote for a white candidate, and 95 percent of the black voters vote for the black opponent, it is white who are accused of racial bias. There are 107 "historically black" colleges, whose fundamental blackness must be preserved in the name of diversity, but all historically white colleges must be forcibly integrated in the name of... the same thing. To resist would be racist.
"Black pride" is said to be a wonderful and worthy thing, but anything that could be construed as an expression of white pride is a form of hatred. It is perfectly natural for third-world immigrants to expect school instruction and driver's tests in their own languages, whereas for native Americans to ask them to learn English is racist.
Blatant anti-white prejudice, in the form of affirmative action, is now the law of the land. Anything remotely like affirmative action, if practiced in favor of whites, would be attacked as despicable favoritism.
All across the country, black, Hispanic, and Asian clubs and caucuses are thought to be fine expressions of ethnic solidarity, but any club or association expressly for whites is by definition racist. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) campaigns openly for black advantage but is a respected "civil rights" organization. The National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP) campaigns merely for equal treatment of all races, but is said to be viciously racist.
At a few college campuses, students opposed to affirmative action have set up student unions for whites, analogous to those for blacks, Hispanics, etc, and have been roundly condemned as racists. Recently, when the white students at Lowell High School in San Francisco found themselves to be a minority, they asked for a racially exclusive club like the ones that non- whites have. They were turned down in horror. Indeed, in America today, any club not specifically formed to be a white enclave but whose members simply happen all to be white is branded as racist.