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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, February 08, 2016

To be or Not to be Racist?

A while ago a “white” woman whose blog I used to follow before she stopped writing it became deeply troubled after she found herself fighting the ridiculous concern that she could be a racist. This happened because in her very understandable zeal to defend her gender against all attacks, she posted on Facebook something that she might better have left unrevealed. That item consisted of an extremely ugly diatribe against women supposedly uttered by a Rainbow guy who supposedly was a pastor. 

  By way of explanation here, though the "white" persons I have met who would accept this concept have been few and far between, I guess because so many of them have been so thoroughly conditioned to see so-called "black" people as being invariably unattractive to the eye, I have long regarded “Rainbows” as being by far the best term to use for so-called “black” Americans.  We -- they -- bear all the skin hues of the human spectrum, while I am still waiting for someone to say what it is about gay people that in any way suggests the rainbow -- that many-hued weather wonder that North Africans so poetically call “the bride of the rain” and that gays have wrongheadedly and cruelly misappropriated as their own.  It can't be their super-exclusive sexual preferences -- the only thing that distinguishes them from everyone else. 

 I think that broadside by a surely phony pastor was just a right wing dirty trick designed to stir up animosity by Euro (i.e. European-derived or “white") women toward Rainbows --  two groups that are especially unlikely to give the Republicans a majority of their votes. This lady's post prominently displayed a picture of the "Reverend," as if to make sure that there could be no mistake about certain things.  

Nevertheless ... minutes after this lady hit her "post" button she had dozens of responses. (Obviously she is in a world over there at Facebook that I know nothing about on Blogger and on DKos, and I couldn’t deal with it if I did know.)  This quickly led to a many-pronged brouhaha that left her in a web of confusion and unwarranted doubt about her own leanings, which till then she had thought were quite the opposite of those of the U.S.'s highly bigoted right wing, when she had meant only to expose the Reverend's deadly diatribe to the withering rays of the Sun.

From having, by an odd trick of fate and accidents of geography, lived the first half of my life almost entirely among so-called "black" people and now the second half of it mainly among so-called "white" people, I am certain that the grasp that Euros generally have of racism falls short of the understanding that a Rainbow would have.  I'm not talking here about often oblivious and unconscious younger Rainbows. I'm talking more about older Rainbows, and especially the really old ones, like me, who grew up under the heels of the Jim Crow system when it had the national blessing of this country's legal system.

The problem that "white" people have is precisely the fact that they are in such a majority -- a situation that won't end any time soon, though they would deny that as ferociously as they would deny that their understanding of racism or of any other concept is in any way less than that of “black” people.   Euros don't take into account the fact that the laws of mathematics and probability alone guarantee that in their day-to-day life they mostly see only each other, and historically they have not been defined by having racism exerted against them, which is exactly the opposite of the Rainbow experience.  Most Rainbows may live in mostly Rainbow communities, but they still see a lot more of "white" people in various capacities than in the reverse, and they hear and feel even more, by a long shot.  So what happens is that every once in a great while, as with this lady, Euros -- several of them anyway -- might wonder if they are racists when actually they're not, while -- more often -- others actually are being racist when, again erroneously, they think and they want all others to think that the opposite is really the case.

One of this lady’s commenters accidentally cast a very illuminating light on this when he said that he has come to believe that there are "more black racists than there are white ones." Yet even though he may have meant proportionately, still how could that be, when one also reminds himself of the fact that racism is primarily a matter of strength and force?

Racism is always exerted primarily by the group that controls all the instruments of power in a society -- the laws, the media, the educational institutions, the jobs, the opportunities, and all the rest of that --and they feel that this puts them in a position to exert any kind of bias they please against those for whom they have only contempt, because of differences in melanin count or hair direction, or because of a differing language, different countries of recent origin, things their predecessors have historically done to those opposite groups, and a variety of other reasons, and you will never see this situation existing in the reverse.

 Euros have a large number of vicious epithets that they use to denote Rainbows, while Rainbows, though they have never been found to be lacking in language skills in any arena in which they are pitted against Euros, have yet to come up with even one term that comes anywhere close to matching those epithets in virulence to use against Euros.  This, all by itself, is decisive evidence of where the deepest and widest reservoirs of American race hatred are to be found.

What you will see in Rainbows iis instead the condition of being race-conscious or race-minded.   That is quite different from being racist, and instead it's a totally benign thing, even though some Euros, thinking themselves to be the very picture of cleverness and perceptiveness, will fall all over themselves trying to portray that consciousness as being "racist".

Again, because there are so many of them, Euros don't know what it is to be defined by race, while for badly outnumbered and outgunned Rainbows, that situation has existed from the very beginning of the American Experience, and so, when faced with difficulties, quite often Rainbows try to work things out by starting from their awareness, their consciousness, of what sets them apart from the Euros.

The validity of doing that may vary somewhat from one era to the next, but it has been so reliable in the past that Rainbows of any sharpness and acuity see no reason to abandon race-consciousness just yet, especially when there are political forces working just as hard as they can to make respectable and legal all over again all those evil customs and practices of this country's dark past, as if all the intervening years of striving for better attitudes and behavior by the more enlightened of this country's majority citizens have meant exactly nothing.


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