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There is often a confusion when discussing the matter of racism between racism and culturism. Discussions on culture can be extremely interesting and rewarding. Much can be learned from the ways of other cultures. One cannot objectively define which culture is better but some good arguments can be made if we agree to certain criteria. For example, how healthy are the individuals in the culture and does the culture have anything to do with that health. The same is true of wealth, inquisitiveness, population rates, etc. Though there is a great deal of subjectivity one could argue that a culture that promotes happy and healthy individuals with a high degree of well-being is a “good” culture, certainly “better” than one that doesn’t.
Scientifically speaking race, as a biological construct, hardly exists.
The differences between races are so slim as to render them unimportant. In the old days races were categorized scientifically into four groups.
But since then the concept of race has undergone a drastic shift in the scientific community largely due to advances in the understanding of DNA. This was slow at first and came with discoveries that surprised researches who had assumed there were drastic biological differences unpinning the races.
Only recently have studies at the molecular level shown how slight the allelic differences between races really are, and how few the steps that separate all of us from being as dark as the Bougainville Islanders of the South Pacific or as pale as Swedes. What we have learned is that the mechanics of pigment formation are surpassingly subtle. (Discover Magazine, 1994)
Since then science has uncovered that only a small number of genes control skin color which is one of the most obvious visual cues to race. They found that people are people and that philosophical aphorism that “there is only one race, the human race”, is actually more to the biological point than science had considered.
There are no genes that can identify distinct groups that accord with the conventional race categories. In fact, DNA analyses have proved that all humans have much more in common, genetically, than they have differences. The genetic difference between any two humans is less than 1 percent. Moreover, geographically widely separated populations vary from one another in only about 6 to 8 percent of their genes. Because of the overlapping of traits that bear no relationship to one another (such as skin colour and hair texture) and the inability of scientists to cluster peoples into discrete racial packages, modern researchers have concluded that the concept of race has no biological validity. (Smedley, Takezawa, Wade, 2016)
This understanding of race is catching hold, in fact, for the remainder of this article when you see the word “race” mentally put it in quotations marks. Science understands that while very dark skin might seem like a huge difference, because it is so visually striking, it is actually just a result of increased melanin.
That being said, people are still very attached to the idea of being one race or the other. This is especially true where the physical appearance is quite obvious. Individuals of African descent are quite obviously so.
While much of white or black pride stems from the cultural mores that arose out of the two groups having come to see each other as being at odds due to their historical interactions, if we dig though we find that this cultural phenomenon is rooted clearly and soundly in the false believe that the white race was superior to the black race. Black racism arouse as a result of countering this.
Slavery is historically common and taken as a total the number of whites who have been enslaved is greater than the number of blacks. The difference though is that the former slavery was nationalistic, class-based, and economic based rather than race based. Rome would take slaves of all kinds of people. By the time modern slavery came into being the western world was largely united behind the common base of Christianity. Even though France, Spain and England may not have gotten along all that well, this was national. One Christian holding another Christian slave was unseemly. Everyone seemed to agree though, that blacks in Africa were savages, less than human. For some the reasoning was clear, if blacks were fully human and equal with whites they wouldn’t be naked and would have the plow, the firearm, and the bible. Whites, by virtue of their race, had risen higher than the savage black. The reasoning must have been much the same used for animal labor. A dumb cow could pull a wagon, a dumb man a plow.
Even after slavery ended this idea remained.
As the idea of heredity crept into the public mind there arose a concept most vile known as Eugenics. It’s the idea that people could be bred in the same way a prize heifer or a show dog were bred. Simply make sure only the best examples of the race were matched and keep out impurities. Of course, what could be more impure than a dark-skinned sub-human from slave stock taken from savages? Interracial marriage was illegal. People were tested, and family trees were charted. Uncle Bob spend time in prison, Aunt Joan in an asylum, Cousin Frank was frequently unemployed, and third cousin once removed on your fathers’ mother’s sisters’ uncle’s side had a baby out-of-wedlock meant that the modern living individual was not a good candidate for marriage as the obviously flawed heredity from this motley crew lurked somewhere in his blood. Better pass on him, than pass-on his damaged line. Eventually the fad of Eugenics died down some but not after it was responsible for some very horrible activities such as forced sterilization, and of course the creation of Planned Parenthood by Eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger.
With the discovery of DNA Eugenics reared its ugly head again. Here was proof that traits were passed down from generation to generation. Why, all sorts of behaviors could be attributed to “good genes”. Even now we read stories of those trying to isolate the “gay gene” or the “smart gene” or the “violent criminal gene” in an effort to perhaps someday rid the human race of something bad or produce more of some desired trait. In actuality it provides nothing more than an excuse for wrong-headed thinking.
This was all muddled more thoroughly by the fact that there are some differences between races that create evolutionary advantages depending on climate.
It’s obvious that if humans evolved black skin they did so for a reason. Science tells us that people with dark skin handle heat better. People with white skin handle cold better. People with eye folds handle the glare of snow better and are less prone to snow blindness than those without. Some groups of people are fatter and can handle water and cold better than others. There are many traits along these lines that do indeed differentiate one race from another. However, they are not exclusive to that race and are not always of great advantage. Also, they do not create an intellectual superiority.
Even when these advantages exist in a race they are only of advantage in the environment in which they evolved. The ability to handle bright snow is meaningless in the jungle.
Then there is the fact that even when discussing a race not all segments of that population share all the traits. Africa is a perfect example of this. Africa is a huge landmass. In terms of environment it has jungles, savannas, deserts, and wetlands. The animal life ranges from camelids to the great cats, to the giant Nile crocodile to penguins. The dark-skinned humans that live there are also very diverse. Some are tall and lean with springs for muscles, others are stout and muscular, while others have a greater body fat than their relatives elsewhere on the continent. Of course among all that there are also the pygmies like the Bakola, Aka, and Bedzan. A black from Ethiopia is quite different from one from elsewhere in Africa. Some will be quick to point out the reason for this is their relation to Berbers and Arabs but this does go to my point that skin color isn’t all it is cracked up to be. It’s only, skin deep.
It’s common to hear, “go back far enough and we’re all African”. However, even this may not be true as several discoveries have led anthropologists down a different road of human migration that may not be Africa-centric. If it keeps up we may be saying, “if you go back far enough we’re all Asian”. What does that matter unless you are trying to hang your hat on something that happened literally a million years ago? Why would someone take pride in being African and in saying the whole human race is African?
As blacks (especially in America) fought and gained more rights they underwent a cultural shift.
Many of them ironically adopted the same ignorant beliefs whites had held, that of black superiority.
This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the insane teachings of Louis Farrakhan. He teaches that the blacks were the pharaohs of old (not the case) and that they are depicted often in art as having wings because they once literally did (not the case) and whites, due to their jealously cut their wings from them (clearly, not the case) so they could never fly again.
Though religious people still believe in miracles and angles, that belief has been tempered in most by the Enlightenment. Someone who tells how they prayed and then say an angel standing near them in their room, might be believed. Someone who says they say a 90 foot Jesus in their backyard is likely to be looked on with incredulity. In like manner the beliefs of Farrakhan are seen by most as rantings and rhetoric. Yet a segment of the black population, seeking to feel better about being black, attaches to this and holds it as absolutely true.
Taking pride in one’s race is taking pride in nothing at all.
That’s because you have nothing to do with your origin whatsoever. Thinking you are great because you are white is like the bratty little kid in grade school who thinks he’s great because his father owns the local car dealership and they have money. That kid did nothing at all to earn that money he’s just claiming pride for himself from something his father did not him. That’s the same when it comes to any racial motives pro, or con.
I very much like Ayn Rand’s take on this subject. She put it very succinctly when she said, “A genius is a genius no matter how many morons belong to the same race and a moron is a moron no matter how many geniuses belong to the same race.”
That’s the key. Morons are trying to claim genius, not because they earned it or worked for it, but because they belong to a race some genius or the other happens to belong to. Or they claim they are superior because some moron belonged to a different race. For every black neighborhood thug there is a white neighborhood thug, for every Hitler there is an Idi Armin. For every Einstein there is a Mary Jackson.
Now it seems that certain people must highlight when a minority does something. The first African American to…The first woman to…the first Hispanic to…do whatever. Something that’s already been done, even if it’s been done 100 times before, is somehow more special and important when done by a minority. This is nothing more than a “soft” form of racism.
Ayn Rand gives greater detail to her thoughts on racism, which she considered one of the lowest and most brutish forms of collectivism.
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.
Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination. (Rand, 1963)
The below video includes the above and contains greater detail among which is this wonderful phrase, “As if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another.”
If you are a flaming idiot you can feel secure in the knowledge that you are such, not because of the race you belong to, but because you have failed to raise yourself higher than your idiocy and if you are a racist you can be sure you are an idiot.