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Why I am not an Anti-Racist

a guest Feb 19th, 2015 276 Never
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  1. Why I am not an anti-racist
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  3. Racism is a term defined by the anti-racist movement.  I'm not referring to the dictionary definition of racism - hating people based on their race.  This isn't what anti-racists really mean when they refer to racism.  What they mean by racism is a worldview where the dominance of White people is rationalized as the natural consequence of White superiority.  The anti-racist further asserts that this worldview is pervasive, being subconsciously held by most White people.  While I believe that there is some truth in these claims, I also think that the extent and harmfulness of racism (by this definition) is greatly exaggerated.  I also think that there exists a tendency towards preferring to live with people similar to oneself, both in terms of culture and appearance, and an innate desire to preserve one's own culture and appearance in future generations.  When expressed by White people these tendencies and desires tend to be lumped together with racism as defined above, even though they are not inherently connected to power and privilege.
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  5. There are, admittedly, some reasons why people would draw a connection between wanting to preserve one's culture, and supremacism and hatred.  The American South pre-civil rights, for example, featured both an explicitly stated desire to maintain White Southern culture, and also government endorsed oppression of Blacks that reached such extremes as public torture lynchings.  On the other hand, preference for one's own ethnicity is not unique to Whites, nor to the majority culture.  In order to attribute the above mentioned tendencies to racism, the anti-racist is forced to draw a distinction between certain behaviors among Whites, and apparently similar behaviors by other groups.  This results in the familiar complaint that "it's only racism when Whites do it".
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  7. Incomparability of Whiteness with other Ethnic Identities
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  9. A very common theme within anti-racist thought, is that Whiteness is a special category, and Whiteness or White identity is not comparable with, for example, Chinese or even Asian identity.  It is claimed that Whiteness is not an identity that formed out of common culture, language, etc., but rather an identity constructed for the purpose of maintaining a distinction between the dominant majority and the oppressed minority.
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  11. It is this distinction that renders it consistent (in their view) to heap scorn on White people and everything related to them.  For example consider the following statements:
  12. In Texas, there are stupid, uneducated people who believe that the world is literally 4000 years old.
  13. In Israel, there are stupid, uneducated people who believe that electricity is literally fire, and therefore the prohibition on lighting a fire on Saturday applies to turning on a light switch.
  14. In the first case, the Texans are viewed as unfortunate Whites who ended up devoid of both culture and education.  Their invented fundamentalist protestantism is not authentic culture and need not be respected.  On the other hand, the Jewish faith is not sullied by association with White supremacy, and therefore mocking it in the same fashion is not considered justified.
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  16. This discrepancy applies especially to the depiction of crime and violence.  One the one hand, someone might describe growing up in a tough Black or multiracial neighborhood in New York.  The crime and violence they experience is described in terms of the realness and authenticity of the neighborhood, and the coexistence of violence with goodness and generosity is emphasized.  On the other hand, violence in a small White rural town is depicted as brutish, a result of lack of eduction, lawlessness and bigotry.  The protagonist cannot wait to escape to the big city when he grows up.
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  18. How Should People of European Ancestry Self-Identify
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  20. Once one accepts that Whiteness is not, in fact, an invented identity created for the purpose of oppression, then the question of whether to identify as White, or English or American, becomes as pointless as whether to identify as a football player or an athlete.  Whiteness is simply a broader category than nationhood.  Is is only when the definition of White discussed in the last section is substituted with this obvious definition, that people get confused about how they can identity with a particular culture or ethnicity, without being one of those people who march around waving Nazi flags.
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  22. In the case of the UK, when a "racist" English person talks about what it means to be English, what they have in mind is probably someone who is either ethnically English, or was born in England to ancestors from somewhere in Western Europe, and looks about the same as someone who is ethnically English.  But if they were to try to express this, they would be faced with all sorts of obfuscation tactics, such as being pressed to define exactly what English culture or genetics was.  Eventually they would get confused and blurt out the word "White" at which point they would be automatically lumped in with (extreme) White nationalists.
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  24. Similar comments apply the the case of the US.  A White American, no matter what European nation their ancestors are from, will have much more in common with another White American (especially from the same region in the US) than either a Black American, or most European citizens.  But this commonality is denied and obfuscated, so that Americans are also forced to either settle for being an American (of any race) as their identity, or to call themselves "White" with all the baggage that comes with that term.
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  26. Once one rejects the idea that Whiteness is a special category that one must either fully reject (as do anti-racists) or embrace (as so called White nationalists seem to do), it is easier to think clearly about identity and ethnicity.  How a person chooses to identify is an expression of their desire to continue their culture, to live with like minded people, and even to preserve certain physical and genetic traits in future generations.  Which of these are important, and at how narrow or broad a scale, will inform how a person defines their own identity.
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  28. How to Avoid Violence and Oppression
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  30. Many people are fearful of racism and racist ideas, because they associate them with atrocities that have been committed as a result of racist ideas, such as the holocaust, or public torture lynchings of Blacks in the US.  However, it is important to note that atrocities have been committed for a wide variety of reasons.  Racism is claimed to be so inherently hateful that, unlike other ideologies (such as communism), its association with violence and atrocities goes beyond the human tendency to take things to extremes.  However the argument for this is circular.  Even the mildest form of preference for similar people is called "racism", and somehow linked with the privileged position of Whites in society, and it is then claimed that all "racist" ideas area linked to violence.  It is as absurd as saying that Obama's healthcare policies are socialist, and therefore he is associated with the atrocities committed by socialist governments.
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  32. As an example of how to be racist without being violent, we can look to Scandinavia.  While not explicitly racist, Scandinavia is certainly mono-cultural, and Scandinavians do tend to hold to a smug belief in the superiority of their culture and worldview.  And yet in spite of this, or perhaps because of this, they have felt the need to do a disproportionate amount of humanitarian and aid work around the world.
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  34. The anti-racist would like to say that Scandinavia has not fully divorced itself from a racist worldview, and therefore its humanitarian accomplishments are hollow.  I would say that Scandinavia proves that monoculture and preference for one's own culture and race, are not incompatible with human decency and progress.
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  36. Conclusion
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  38. Many White people would like to say that while they want to preserve their culture, identity, religion and ethnicity or race, they don't want to engage in violence or oppression.  The anti-racist movement makes the claim that these two things are inseparable, and indeed Whiteness itself was only invented to exclude and marginalize certain groups (at first all non-English, but eventually only Blacks).  I've argued that this claim is false, being based on artificial and sometimes laughable distinctions between Whiteness and other racial, ethnic, national or religious categories.  As the example of Scandinavia shows, it is possible for White people to have a strong ethnic identity without engaging in violence or hatred towards others.
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