Here’s a good post by Lewis Amselem, a.k.a. ‘Diplomad’, on race relations in the West.
Let me be blunt: I find that discussions of race quickly get boring, idiotic, inconclusive, and, often, verbally and even physically violent. Race tells you very little if anything about a person and his or her attributes except, perhaps, for some inconsequential physical ones.
Correct. That there are differences in the statistical distribution of nearly every cognitive and behavioral attribute between long-isolated human groups, and that those differences in distribution can manifest themselves in important ways at the group, and therefore the cultural, level, nevertheless tells you nothing whatsoever about the balance of those traits in any individual. This simple fact should be at the forefront of all consideration of race, but it is stubbornly ignored in favor of false and binary simplifications that either deny any reality to race, or imagine it to be far more important at the individual level than it actually is.
Mr. Amselem continues:
To keep pushing the topic of race can and will force even the most tolerant and open of people (as discussed here, for example) eventually to reach their limit and fight back…
“Conversations” about race in Western countries become one-way progressive harangues deriding white people and their “privilege,” calls for more government action in the name of “social justice,” and, of course, more power for the progressive elites. In our befuddled times, such “conversations” get infused with yet another noxious theme, to wit, “white male patriarchy.” Racism and sexism become one huge pulsating Death Star that requires, you guessed it, more legislation, more government control, more censorship, more repression, and more of all the other hallmarks of progressivism to defeat it.
So, of course, having said that we should not talk about race and its associated sin sexism, I will discuss race and sex, well, mostly I will rant about White Dudes. The contributions of “Pale Dudismo” are considerable, worth recalling, and — dare I say? — defending without shame. That, I will do.
And so he does. Go and read the whole thing.
You may notice the following comment from your humble correspondent:
This is a terribly difficult topic to write about: the electrical potential regarding race is so super-charged that it is almost impossible to raise your hand without being struck by lightning. There are unspeakable truths that nearly everyone knows, nevertheless, to be true; the cognitive dissonance required for our culture to suppress them has reached a point of almost unbearable tension. It is only by speaking them as charitably, and as honestly, as we can, while being as clear as we can that our intention is not to provoke, that we can begin to discharge this dangerous potential without touching off an explosion — an explosion that surely will come if, in fear of the rewards of heresy, we say nothing.
Update: see also this Daily Beast article, by John McWhorter, on antiracism as religion. (Hat tip: JK.) As I’ve mentioned often, all of this — environmentalism, antiracism, radical egalitarianism, etc. — are just the latest forms of the same energetic Puritanism that grew up in New England four centuries ago. It has been stripped of its linkage to anything that transcends the mundane world (i.e God and the sacred), but not its zeal, or its sense of being a community on a mission from God. Here, for example, is a writer for The United States Democratic Review, commenting on New England’s abolitionist fervor in 1855:
“Neither the Puritan nor the Abolitionist is content with the enjoyment of his own freedom of opinion unless he can impose it on others. His only idea of toleration is dictation; and what he means by liberty of speech and thought is universal acquiescence in his own dogmas.”
I excerpt a couple of notable passages from Mr. McWhorter’s essay. First, this (my emphasis):
The Right quite readily questions Antiracism’s tenets. Key, however, is that among Antiracism adherents, those questions are tartly dismissed as inappropriate and often, predictably, as racist themselves. The questions are received with indignation that one would even ask them, with a running implication that their having been asked is a symptom of, yes, racism’s persistence.
Yes, that’s some catch. Also:
Finally, Antiracism is all about a Judgment Day, in a sense equally mesmerizing and mythical. Antiracist scripture includes a ritual reference to, as it were, the Great Day when America “owns up to” or “comes to terms with” structural racism—note that “acknowledge” is a term just as appropriate—and finally, well, fixes it somehow. But how would a country as massive, heterogenous, and politically fractured as this one ever arrive at so conclusive and overarching a policy as “fixing” racism, either psychologically or structurally?
This is a very important point, and one that the late Lawrence Auster used to bring up: What’s the exit strategy in this war on racism? When racism is finally eliminated, how will we know? At what point, and under what conditions, can the warriors fighting for social justice end, at long last, the slaughter of the enemy, because the battle has been won?
Update 2: From the comment-thread at Diplomad’s post, a link to this item by Fred Reed on “white supremacy”. Mr. Reed makes rather a strong case.