It really amazes me that racism still exists in the world today, at least on such an overt level. And it’s not just in the US, people in Europe throw bananas at opposing black soccer players (even though many players on their team are black, also). I don’t understand how anyone thinks it’s funny or cute to treat people poorly based upon the color of their skin. I like to think of myself as an example of how skin colors can work together. While I am mostly brown, I have a white birthmark on my chest and a black hyperpigmentation on my nose. Fortunately, if either get bigger, I have a pretty good idea I’m developing cancer. My brown skin, on the other hand, protects me from UV damage. So, all of my skin pigments help me not have cancer. I am a veritable Benneton ad.
My apparent pro-racial unity stance contrasts strongly with a surprising large number of racists in America. A recent article by a writer from the National Review, John Derbyshire, commented on talks that white parents should have to their kids. He references these talks as parallels to talks black parents have to their kids about the racism in the world, and how they have to behave to make sure they’re not shot or arrested unjustifiably. In reality, his article only highlights his hate-filled racism.
What I find astonishing about this is that John Derbyshire is not just some internet troll that spews violent hate. This was a clearly edited, revised, screed about how blacks are inferior to white people. It is the Mein Kampf of our generation. This is perhaps an overstatement, but I don’t think the modern generation has the patience to read a book as long as Mein Kampf. So, the modern day Mein Kampf would probably be a blog post (or maybe even a Facebook status).
It amazes me that people are able to say such terrible things on a public forum. Admittedly, I don’t read YouTube comments, but usually those are written knee-jerk responses by people at 3:30 at night. John Derbyshire spent the time to delineate how white people should never associate with black people, unless they are “intelligent” and “well-socialized”. And then they should only befriend them to use them as an “amulet to potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.”
I wonder what ratio of John Derbyshire’s black friends are aware that they are only “amulets of non-prejudice” (hint: it’s a number divided by 0). Fortunately, National Review fired John Derbyshire for his bigoted rant, but the question still remains, how much of the right secretly agree with John Derbyshire’s views?
I think this Gallup poll from last September is the most telling statistic for Republicans:
It’s pretty telling. While most people who define themselves as Independents and Democrats (also Liberals and Moderates) have ~90% approval of interracial marriage, people who define themselves as Conservative or Republican only have a ~78% approval of it. Interestingly, individuals from the South and who have a high school education or less also have ~78% approval of interracial marriage. I think it’s probably a funny coincidence, though it is possible that it is all the same group that they’re sampling who are Republican and have a high school or less education. And we are talking about interracial marriage, not gay marriage.
I’m not trying to say Republicans are racist or anything like that. But I just want to underline that there are still some people out there in the world who would be cool with Plessy vs. Ferguson. I generally don’t deal with such absolute terms, but they’re wrong. There is a beautiful line from Darwin’s Origin of the Species: “the greatest amount of life can be supported by great diversification of structure”. The greater the diversity, the more we can survive together. I’d like to believe that that is real Social Darwinism. The problem is I don’t know how to convince white people that all races can benefit by working together. Maybe if I were white…