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Thread: Why Racist is Losing Its Power

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    Why Racist is Losing Its Power

    In college I learned over and over that during a debate of any kind, my Leftist opponents could immediately assess themselves the winner and end the conversation by pointing out my white privilege, and hence, my subconscious racism. If I was making the case that Maya Angelous book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was lousy, I would be informed that I could not possibly understand it because Im white. If I was making the case that Ron Paul would be a good President, I would be informed that I only thought that because I was white and couldnt possibly understand the fear Dr. Paul inspired in non-whites. If, in a casual conversation about music, I mentioned that I didnt care for rap, I would be told that I didnt like it because, as a white guy, I was subconsciously racist, making it impossible for me to appreciate such a black genre. No matter the topic of debate, I could be routed so long as the other guy invoked racism or privilege.

    Calling someone racist or privileged is tactically very useful. Inherent in the concept of white privilege is the fact that it is invisible, or at least invisible to untrained eyes. The original promoter and popularizer of the concept of white privilege, Peggy McIntosh, described this privilege as an invisible knapsack and spoke of the racism of invisible systems that protected this privilege. Similarly, modern definitions of racism are opaque and stress that people can be racist without themselves knowing it.

    Its invisibility is what makes it impossible to rebut. When someone accuses you of something that you yourself cannot see, in the eyes of your accuser, you cannot refute it. If I accused you of wearing a shirt that was stained by invisible jam, how could you tell me it wasnt so? Its invisibility makes it so that you cannot see it, and implicit in my accusation is the assertion that I, for whatever reason, can see it. So it goes with racism and white privilege. When someone would accuse me of either, I would deny it. My opponent would then note that racists with white privilege do not believe they have it, and that not believing you have white privilege is a fundamental part of having white privilege. Said privilege also blinds one to their own racism. The tautological reasoning is airtight.

    An important dynamic of the accusation of racism and white privilege is that the accusers view themselves as a kind of priestly class. They are a part of the group of people wise and smart enough to be able to see something the average Joe cannot. It is a self-designation, since there is no formal process to become a seer of racism and white privilege. There is no official specialized college degree, certification, or membership that separates those who can see racism and white privilege from those who cannot. The fact that there is no official way of becoming a seer cements the tautological nature of their arguments. No one accused of racism and privilege can allege that their accuser is not qualified to so designate them. The accusation itself is the qualification. In an argument about economics or mathematics, the involved parties will invoke how well-educated in these fields everyone is, or is not. There is no such equivalent in arguments about racism and white privilege. By virtue of invoking the concept, you are an expert in it, and your opponent an ignoramus.

    The only other place we see a similar kind of logic is when the mentally unstable, or at the very least eccentric, talk about God. For example, several years ago I was smoking a cigarette on a streetcorner and a homeless man walked up to me and told me that the Devil was making me smoke. I asked him how he knew the Devil was behind it, and he looked me dead in the eye and said, God told me. I did not respond, because how could I? There was no way for me, or anyone else, to determine whether or not God had spoken to this man. To this day, I maintain that God never spoke to him, and that the Devil has never made me smoke. But there is no way of proving this objectively. There certainly was no way for me to convince this guy, in that exact moment, that God had not spoken to him. If I had argued with him, he would have found my arguments ludicrous. How could I know whether or not God had spoken to him? In his mind, for me to even suggest that I could possibly know whether or not God has spoken to him is absurd. By bringing up his conversation with God, this man was establishing himself as one who can see or know what others cannot. As one who can see, he righteously decided it his job to inform the rest of us, who cannot see, about what is good and what is bad.

    Anti-racists use the same logic. They are self-appointed seers of racism and privilege. The difference between the kook in the street telling me about the Devil and egalitarians condemning racism and privilege is not that one uses a sounder logic than the other. The difference is one of power. No one listens to the kook; indeed, society at large considers it important to ignore kooks so we can get on with our daily lives. For anti-racist egalitarians, the situation is exactly the opposite. It is considered important to cling to their every word so the unique evil of racism can finally be eradicated from society once and for all.

    What further strengthens the tautology wherein something is racist simply by being accused of being racist is that, as Sam Francis noted, racist has never been well-defined. There is no algorithm to detect racism, no legal definition, and no way to measure racism the way wealth, speed, or toxicity can be measured. Furthermore, no definition of it has ever gained universal acceptance. In lieu of a precise definition, what is and is not racist is decided by whether or not the accuser can get enough people to agree with him.

    Why is blackface racist? Because most people say so. Why is the word negro racist? Because people agree that it is. Do either of those things have a measurable negative effect on blacks in any way? If someone could magically snap their fingers and make everyone say negro instead of black, would blacks (or, dare I say, negroes) be worse off? This question is moot, as effects are not what determines the label. Racist is assigned on a more democratic basis, and when it comes to blackface and the word negro, the people have spoken. All it takes for something to be racist is for one person to say so, and enough people to agree.

    This is why when something becomes targeted as racist, the media whips up such a frenzy. If the Confederate flag is to be deemed racist, a critical mass of people need to know it as racist as quickly as possible. Once a certain critical mass is reached, there is no turning back. Nothing has ever been considered racist but then later became reinstated as not-racist. So to successfully label anything you dislike as racist is the ultimate triumph. Not only does successfully invoking racism confer victory, it confers honor. To be a fighter of racism is, after all, a very good thing.

    Imagine if the homeless man who claimed I was smoking because of the Devil had a receptive audience. What if people wanted to share in the special feeling that must come with knowing God has elected to speak to you? What if, in a clamor to feel special, more and more people started claiming that God was talking to them, and that God wanted the rest of us to stop giving in to the Devil and smoking? What if several of these people then got on CNN? What if the anchors on CNN agreed with them? What if a few of them got book deals to write about how the Devil causes smokers? What if those books became overwhelmingly popular among academics and they started teaching it to their students? The logic behind the argument would not grow sounder, but the argument itself would suddenly have validity merely because enough people, and enough powerful people, were parroting it.

    In our times, the willingness to label something racist has increased as the country becomes less and less white. The increasing number of non-whites means that reaching a critical mass of people who agree with you that something is racist is becoming easier and easier. In the 1980s, Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas defended his state flags allusion to the Confederacy. In 1992, when he was first running for President, he assured white voters he was on their side by publicly condemning black rapper Sister Souljas highly-publicized comments about killing whites. With the country still three-quarters white, Republicans like Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, who were pro-immigration and pro-affirmative action, were considered not racist. The smear of racism was reserved for more marginal political groups like the Christian Right and paleoconservatives. But after winning re-election in 1996, Mr. Clinton celebrated the forecast that white America was coming to an end, and those changes he celebrated would dramatically change how the Left would use the word racist.

    But by 2008, with whites having diminished to around two-thirds of the population, the smear racist could be wielded much more broadly. Senator John McCain, a longstanding supporter of both unfettered immigration and affirmative action, never managed to escape the taint of racism for merely being in the way of a black mans ascension to the White House. Once Mr. Obama won, the portrayal of the Republican Party as belonging only to dying white racists became ubiquitous throughout the media and the academy. The Tea Party was immediately labelled racist, and once Mr. Obama won reelection, they were labeled powerless racists headed for historys dustbin. The Republican surge in the 2014 midterms was also racist, but immaterial. Mr. Obama had won, and twice. The rhetorical tool of yelling that the other guy was a racist, buttressed by an increasingly large chorus of non-whites eager to repeat it, seemed to be an invincible tool for Leftist political power. It was working over and over again and nothing could stop it, not the Tea Party, not Rush Limbaugh, not Mitt Romney. Youre with History or youre with the racists, and History is on the march.

    The complete lack of logic behind the word racist was never a problem so long as the victories kept rolling in. Who cares if something makes sense, so long as it gets you what you want? But as the Left was rolling in victory after victory, their own ranks began to split. By the now the children of anti-racist activists were entering the world of politics, journalism, and the academy. Their parents had taught them the trump card of labeling the other guy a racist, but the kids took this weapon and ran with it. Suddenly, young Leftists were accusing older Leftists of racism and privilege. Their parents had apparently never taught their kids that when using the word racist as a political weapon, an important string came attached: pas dennemis gauche no enemies to the Left. Or perhaps that lesson was taught, but ignored by this new generation in their lust for power and desire for goodness. Either way, during the Obama years, intra-Left conflicts began where different factions of the Left began lobbing the racist attack at one another.

    These conflicts would start to crack the power of the word racist as they highlighted the incoherence of, and the inability to falsify or disprove, the accusation of racism. When two Leftists accuse each other of being racist, who determines the winner of the argument? I imagine Leftists yearn for the simpler days of only ever punching Right, as they now fall into never-ending cycles of one of these two back-and-forths:

    A: Youre racist!
    B: No, youre racist!
    A: No, you are!

    A: X is racist!
    B: No, its not!
    A: Yes, it is, and you are, too!
    B: We need to be more civil and fact-based in our arguments.
    A: Thats racist!

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    Why is the word “negro” racist? Because people agree that it is. The same happens to the word "racist". People agree that it must be something bad. When I went to school many decades ago, the word "Neger" (German word for Negro, not pejoratively meant) was commonly used. I remember having had an exercise (dictation) at primary school, when the teacher used the sentence: "The negro gets on a cobra (Der Neger steigt auf eine Kobra)." Absolutely impossible to say such a word today. The teacher would be dismissed on the spot and charged with a hate speech crime in order to breathe the air behind bars for a long time.

    So the meaning of words changes over the decades, especially in our euphemistic culture where unfovourable and ugly words are banned from using in daily life. Nobody should be offended especially no non White. But the hybris goes on further. Negros should only be called Africans, black Africans utmost. Everybody is a racist who does not go along with this newspeak or does not adore African culture or denies its existance. Jrgen Spanuth's theory of a northern Atlantis as a Germanic bearer of culture is racist and fearfully banned. We all have to recognize that life and culture comes from Africa. Therefore it also has to be common knowledge that the ruins of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) derive from black Africans and not from Ethiopeans, Sabaeans, who immigrated to Africa in prehistoric times. Today‘s world is a crazy world. All things are brought upside down. All living areas are anti-racist, even archeology.

    I doubt if we should join the game of antiracism. What would happen if I answered the question :"Are you a racist ?" with "Yes I am !" A racist need not be a white supremacist, but a person who is interested in human races, nations, peoples and their diversities etc. like an arabist who studies arabic culture and language, or a sinologist, who is interested in ... etc. So the definition of "racist" depends on what you mean by it. And I personally do not go the way of the majority.
    "Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht, dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht. Ich kann die Augen nicht mehr schlieen und meine heien Trnen flieen!" (Heinrich Heine, "Nachtgedanken")

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    I was speaking to a negro at work and the subject of reparations and racism came up. I told him that i was a racist. He said no, you are not. I said yes, I am a hard core racist. He refused to believe me. A strange conversation for sure.
    "Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect."

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