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There has been some discussion of racial politics recently on this site. The existence of a predominantly black underclass affects racial politics. I thought it might be worth posting explicitly about the underclass. I actually posted the following on Rebirth of Reason a little over three years ago. I take the word "underclass" to refer to those people that are entangled in a self-destructive behavior pattern of sexual predation, teenage pregnancy, welfare dependence, crime, and substance abuse. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of them. Once a person is entangled in this, only he or she can get himself or herself out of it. The rest of us may be able to do things to make it easier or harder, but it is ultimately up to the individual. In this country, the underclass is predominantly black. (I gather this is not true in other countries, such as England.) There are undoubtedly historical reasons for this which I will not try to analyze here. This should not be important and certainly does not change what I have already said. Since race looms large in America today, the blackness of the underclass becomes important in various ways. It gives people in the underclass an excuse, if they wish to use it, for not trying to disentangle themselves or not trying very hard. It may not be a very good excuse, but it is an excuse. It leads some people to say that non-blacks, especially whites, should not say anything about the underclass. Such exclusion of people from talking about an issue is not right and may lead to the loss of good ideas. It provides fodder for people who are prejudiced against blacks and are looking for things to support their prejudices. It skews the statistics for blacks. Different people may use these statistics in different ways, but if they do not acknowledge the skewing, they are not being honest.
In 1775 Alexander Hamilton wrote: "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power." And the Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." Both quotes from our Founding Fathers represent their firm belief in god-endowed rights. This dogmatic view is erroneous. It led to massive mistakes in the Constitution, and grave violations of individual rights throughout our existence as a nation. Millions of citizens now don't believe in god-given rights. They have realized that if god is a myth, then so are the rights he mythically installed in humans. This fantastic foundation for our nation has therefore cracked wide open, and it's crumbling before our eyes. Ayn Rand tried to fix the flaw. She looked away from god and toward individual human lives. She pointed toward an objective basis for man's rights, and thus for our nation. But most intellectuals have not followed in her footsteps. They have returned to more primitive foundations for nationhood, namely religion and race. If someone believes that rights come from a particular god, then logically their nation should be based on the religion of that particular god. And so we see Jews, Christians and Muslims at each other's throats, because each group is fundamentally, spiritually dissimilar, and therefore entirely incompatible with the other in terms of building or sustaining a nation of religionists who believe rights come from their particular god and faith. What if someone does not believe in a rights-endowing creator? What then should be the thing that unites a nation of people? If not a spiritual characteristic, like religious faith, then what about a physical characteristic, like race? Race, however, is a crude trait upon which to form a nation of intelligent people. So it must be conflated with some sort of culture. Logically that will end up being the culture most closely associated with the preferred race. And here we arrive at the notion of a nation founded on "ethnicity": the ethno-state. Here, rights do not originate from one's god, but from one's "ethnic" identity. The ethno-nationalist, like the religionist, represents a political misintegration of the physical and the spiritual. He seeks an integrated whole, but cannot objectively grasp the concept of individual rights by inducing it from the lives of individual men. Ethno-nationalists are biased toward the physical aspects of human life, whereas religionists are biased toward the spiritual. Finally there is the political globalist, who might see the problems with "ethnic" and religion-based nationalism, but who has no fix for the concept of individual rights. Ultimately he rejects individualism as fatally flawed, adopts a collectivist position regarding rights, and advocates something like worldwide communism. In my view, this must be worse than any nationalism, because it sacrifices the individual to all of humanity, whereas nationalism sacrifices the individual to a portion of humanity. Less total sacrificing will be required under nationalism, because there are less people in the group for whom one must sacrifice. Of course it makes little difference to the individual person whether he's sacrificed for globalism or nationalism, unless he supports one of those causes. While I think globalism is generally a bigger threat to civilization, this does not mean I support a religious or "ethnic" nationalism. Rather, a nation should be founded on the shared recognition of objectively identified rights in relation to the individual's natural life.
Philippe Rushton vs David Suzuki debate begins at minute 12 This is Cavalli-Sforza's aproximate 'race' map. Note that Cavalli-Sforza is mentioned by Suzuki as a defense that race does not exist as he had proved there is more variation within the races than among them. And this is an old 19century race map. http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/race-maps/ So do you think that a category such as race can be identified? Do you think the debate was politically charged on either side?
Dear reader, I used to think like you at one point, and I have to say it takes maturity, putting yourself in another person's shoes and actually being willing to own up to the privilege that you have for you to be able to acknowledge what they're saying is correct. Until that point, nothing I say will ever make a difference, and you will remain wrapped up in your childish haughtiness and scoffing, condescending remarks. You're too focused on yourself - you feel victimised, you feel targeted, you are offended, you aren't being catered to. You're not even considering anyone else, you're focusing on your own feelings of discomfort. (The same discomfort PoC have to face their entire lives.) The funny thing is, though you mock it, white men are privileged above everyone else. You hold the power. You have the say. You are the voice that is listened to. You always have been. The world caters specifically to you. You are the ones in control. I, too, have privilege as a white person over PoC. (And I believe the "white person killing a black person vs. vice versa" comment is likely referring to the highly controversial George Zimmerman case, which actually proves the point the OP in that post is making.) Why would I want to justify racism towards whites? I am white. You - and millions like you - are operating under the fundamental misunderstanding that things are equal. They are not. PoC experience racism and discrimination on a regular basis in a way they we don't see or experience, because society benefits us as white people. Our experiences cannot compare. We are not victims of racial profiling. We are not turned down jobs or opportunities or homes because of the color of our skin. We are not victims of ludicrous stereotypes that cause people to judge us wrongly or mock our culture. We haven't been victims of hate crimes. We are not subject to words and terms that dehumanise us. We do not have centuries of systematic oppression and abuse behind us. It was not us who less than a 100 years ago were seen as less than secondary citizens. We are never made to feel "not good enough" because of our skin. The media, fashion, marketing and what is considered beautiful, caters to us - white women, white men. We are the ones represented in films, music, books. We see ourselves everywhere. We never feel like we aren't included or do not belong anywhere (this is also why "white people" societies at university are ridiculous ideas at best.) We do not get to decide what no longer matters in racism, what is irrelevant and what is and is not racist. When we're insulted, it is not a throwback to decades of abuse and discrimination. It is at best a personal attack that briefly offends us and highlights, for a moment, our race - something that happens to PoC most days - and we feel it constitutes "racism" the same as what PoC suffer from. That is wrong. Other cultures do not have our history of invasion, of dominating other cultures and appropriating them, of slavery and imperialism. It is white people behind most of the damage done to other parts of the world, and it was primarily white men who did the damage - obviously due to women's roles in society at the time - hence why they say "white men." It is the truth, and no one is going to apologise if that makes you feel uncomfortable. They are not going to be polite and hospitable to someone who talks to them so patronizingly and ignores hundreds of years of oppression and racism to make themselves feel better, and preaches their ignorant perception of "equality" when we're not even there yet.