Sunday, June 26, 2011

The New Racism

What is racism?

Many people have a general idea of what racism is. For instance, many people think that racism is cruelty toward people of color engaged in by white skinned people. Some even think that people of color cannot be racists because they are the traditional victims of racism.

With this “historical view” of racism, the suffering of ancestors is somehow inflicted on their living descendants too. It is not uncommon to hear a person, who has seldom experienced racism, complain about his suffering when he is actually referring to the suffering of his ancestors. And, to carry it further, according to this view, it is the living descendants of now dead racists who are somehow guilty of and must pay for the racism of their ancestors. Shame on them!

Yet, fostering racism is a deliberate strategy of the left. The left needs the existence of racism and they demagogue the issue to get the moral upper hand on conservatives. It is their strategy for earning the black vote. In fact, if racism were to be eliminated, the left would begin losing elections. The “race card” is nothing more than a cynical political gambit for stoking up moral outrage against conservatives while at the same time doing nothing to actually eliminate racism.

But if we really want to understand racism, the idea that racism is cruelty isn’t enough. Racism has a source and in order to evaluate issues of race we must be informed by definitions that provide broad principles that apply consistently. And once we understand how racism works, we’ll see that racism is the secret political weapon of the left, not a problem the left is seeking to eliminate.

Ayn Rand has given the best definition of racism.

“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."(1)

Rand held that racism is wrong because of the collectivism of it, the idea of “pre-judging” people according to superficial "collective" characteristics rather than their character traits as individuals. It means that the judged person is inferior or superior because of the group into which he was born. Collectivism not only breeds prejudice (judging before you have all the facts) it is the very prejudice itself. Examples of collectivism are all around us. Here are a few:

"I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America, and beyond the given of my appearance, no one around me seemed to know exactly what that meant."

It is a shame that this person had to “raise” himself without parental help. Perhaps the reason why it seemed that no one around him knew what being a “black man” meant is that this is, for the most part, a society of individuals. In fact, ours is the only society where a person can distinguish himself as an individual rather than as a member of a group. Consigning oneself to the position of a “black man”, accepting membership in a collective of people with black skin, is to take a very limited view of what being “American” means. Americans do not “join groups”, they are not assigned a caste when they are born; they are part of a melting pot where people can make their own way by means of distinguishing themselves as individuals. To tie oneself down to a group, to assume a group identity, to think like a group thinks and then to act politically as a group, is not American at all, it is collectivist.

Some people may think, “Yeah, so what? We are members of races. Can’t you see that?” Many people have accepted the propaganda that collective membership is good, that collective joining can protect the individual, provides cohesion and power; but this is not good; it breeds conformity, ignorance, political chauvinism and racism. It is slavery. More than this, it forbids the individual from rising socially and economically in society without the approval of the collective.

In my view, the very idea that races exist is racism. Certainly, there are "ethnic groups" consisting of people with similar physical characteristics, but the range of those characteristics are limited to skin, hair, body types, sometimes language and habits (traditions), none of which determine character and reasoning ability. They are superficial and ever-changing among members of these "groups". There are no races, there are only individuals. Another quote:

"There were enough of us on campus to constitute a tribe, and when it came to hanging out many of us chose to function like a tribe, staying close together, traveling in packs," he wrote. "It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, TO SHOW YOUR LOYALTY TO THE BLACK MASSES, TO STRIKE OUT, and name names."

It is apparent from this quote that the writer saw his college experience from a collectivist viewpoint, even a tribal viewpoint more akin to the view of what is considered to be African rather than American. One is reminded of movies where a person from a remote tribe is thrust suddenly into a civilized environment. He continues to use tribal principles in the midst of the new society and interprets all situations and relationships from this tribal perspective. He sees an older person and wonders if he is the chief of the white tribe. He sees a woman and is startled about her independence and disrespect for her husband when she does things according to her own judgement. He thinks that since collective identity is considered a normal premise of his own society that it must be a normal premise of all others. Eventually, he will discover the individuality that is part of his adopted culture and he may learn to see it as a special advancement from tribalism or he will continue to connect his own identity with that of his tribe. The success of his life will hang in the balance of this connection. Another quote:

"You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!"

This is a statement of pure collectivist thinking. It has been engaged by some of the most deadly societies in the world. The idea of pitting a group of people against the rest of society when that society is organized around the principle of individual rights (and extends those rights to every individual regardless of color) is so old fashioned, so ancient that it exposes this person as one without knowledge of the historical and moral significance of the society in which he lives. To pit one’s “group” against society is a declaration of war against freedom, individual rights and due process of law. It declares animosity against some of the most advanced and civilized, even the most benign, ideas ever invented by man and throws society into a perpetual struggle of group against group where the winners become masters and the losers become slaves. And another quote:

"To avoid being mistaken for a white sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy."

In short, he chose his friends by whether they were collectivists or not. He took a decidedly Marxist orientation and strove to ensure that anyone who knew him saw him as an opponent of everything that America stood for. America was capitalist; he saw capitalism as an enemy of his collective. America was based upon individual rights; he saw individual rights not as a liberating concept, a general principle that applied in all political and moral contexts, but as responsible for oppression.

And this is the key to what collectivists want to propagate; the idea that freedom is the bringer of dictatorship because it allows some people, those with money, white people, to enslave and dominate other collectives. The truth, the missing truth, is that capitalism does no such thing; capitalism is about individuals and their freedom to create; capitalism gives them an even playing field and those who understand the nature of capitalism also understand that they are free to create products (in free exchange) that make the lives of people better.

Collectivists create an inversion of values through their anti-capitalist propaganda; they invented the myth of class (collective) warfare. Once they established this collectivist myth in the universities, society became a war and this war liberated the most brutal of thugs who pretended to be the defenders of collectives and haters of capitalism. And once they established a collectivist base, it was an easy step to the principle of racial war where races replaced classes. This created the deadly groundwork for the next lethal inversion, the idea that it was the responsibility of the productive, the white people in this scheme, to take care of their invented collective victims. The truth is that tribalism leads to collectivism and collectivism leads to altruism which leads to forced altruism which leads to enslavement and dictatorship...genocide, concentration camps and mass graves. That is the legacy of collectivism not the legacy of capitalism.

There is only one way to eliminate racism in society and that is by eliminating the thinking that creates it. The basic premise of racism is collectivism and as long as collectivism is dominant in our society, particularly among intellectuals on the left and the right; and especially among the people who are considered victims of racism, we will not be rid of this virulent idea. You can bet that the left doesn’t want to be rid of it under any circumstances.

To understand what the left is doing in crying wolf about racism, one must understand that the only way to stop racism is to educate people about the evil of collectivism. But the left does not do this; it is collectivism that the left fosters; it suggests to minority groups that they should stick together to fight against capitalism; it suggests that the “fight” against racism is not merely economic, but moral and economic, that the only emotion to feel about capitalism is outrage, and that capitalism deserves sabotage and tearing down. With this foundation, any outrageous act is justified and any act of civility is a show of weakness. The solution is to enslave the capitalists, to kill them, to imprison them and to parade them in chains as examples of the worst among mankind. I submit that this is the exact opposite of the truth; leftist intellectuals and politicians are the wolves crying wolf.

No leftist countenances individuals to become more productive. This would be working according to the “white man’s” rules. Production, education, hard work? That’s the stuff of Uncle Toms’. Hatred and anger at the “white” collective has become hatred and violence toward companies and the entire capitalist system, such as it is. Only collectivism could countenance violence, protests, riots and murder of people who are part of a system that enables men, all men, to survive in peace through mutual cooperation.

You can see how far down the left has taken society by reading an excellent article written by Economist Walter Williams. In it, Professor Williams informs us of how racist some collectivist groups have become:

“Last year, four black Skidmore College students yelled racial slurs while they beat up a white man because he was dining with a black man. Skidmore College's first response was to offer counseling to one of the black students charged with the crime. In 2009, a black Columbia University professor assaulted a white woman during a heated argument about race relations. According to interviews and court records obtained and reported by Denver's ABC affiliate (12/4/2009), black gangs roamed downtown Denver verbally venting their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a four-month crime wave. Earlier this year, two black girls beat a white girl at a McDonald's, and the victim suffered a seizure. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered an emergency shutdown of the beaches in Chicago because mobs of blacks were terrorizing families. According to the NBC affiliate there (6/8/2011), a gang of black teens stormed a city bus, attacked white victims and ran off with their belongings.

Racist black attacks are not only against whites but also against Asians.

In San Francisco, five blacks beat an 83-year-old Chinese man to death. They threw a 57-year-old woman off a train platform. Two black Oakland teenagers assaulted a 59-year-old Chinese man; the punching knocked him to the ground, killing him. At Philly's South Philadelphia High School, Asian students report that black students routinely pelt them with food and beat, punch and kick them in school hallways and bathrooms as they hurl racial epithets such as "Hey, Chinese!" and "Yo, Dragon Ball!" The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund charged the School District of Philadelphia with "deliberate indifference" toward black victimization of Asian students.

In many of these brutal attacks, the news media make no mention of the race of the perpetrators. If it were white racist gangs randomly attacking blacks, the mainstream media would have no hesitation reporting the race of the perps. Editors for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune admitted to deliberately censoring information about black crime for political reasons. Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern recently said that the paper's reason for censorship was to "guard against subjecting an entire group of people to suspicion."

These racist attacks can, at least in part, be attributed to the black elite, who have a vested interest in racial paranoia. And that includes a president who has spent years aligned with people who have promoted racial grievance and polarization and appointed an attorney general who's accused us of being "a nation of cowards" on matters of race and has refused to prosecute black thugs who gathered at a Philadelphia voting site in blatant violation of federal voter intimidation laws. Tragically, black youngsters — who are seething with resentments, refusing to accept educational and other opportunities unknown to blacks yesteryear — will turn out to be the larger victims in the long run.”(2)

Professor Williams, however, misses the real point. The political elite want racist attacks to take place in order to engender fear and cowering, as well as acquiescence to leftist political programs, not because they want to make society better but because they want power. They don’t want people to know that this racist anger could not exist in a society that rejects collectivism and altruism. These thugs could not kill and rob innocent citizens without the idea that a collective must fight other collectives. And without the idea that "man is his brother's keeper", they would not be able to muster the moral outrage that justifies open hatred toward whites. Whites are selfish, they make money, they dress well, they educate themselves, they speak clearly, they work within the system and this means they exploit the poor. This racism toward whites could not exist without the idea of altruism. And most importantly, they would not be able to target and hate capitalism were it not for the fact that capitalism is about individuals acheiving their own success...which every collectivist group considers to be evil. Altruists and collectivists (racists) must destroy capitalism because capitalism is the one system that enables the individual to succeed in life.

The left wants to destroy all values because values, and this is something the conservatives have missed too, are what capitalism is about…creating them, trading them and thereby making better lives. If people of different colors decide they want better lives through productive jobs rather than re-distribution, then it would be the end of the left’s political life.

What is the left’s strategy? Rand said it again:

“The inversion of all standards—the propagation of racism as anti-racist, of injustice as just, of immorality as moral, and the reasoning behind it, which is worse than the offenses—is flagrantly evident in the policy of preferential treatment for minorities (i.e., racial quotas) in employment and education. If there is a quicker way to destroy people than by preaching brotherly love while spreading blind, inter-racial hatred, you name it.”(3)

Capitalism requires people of quality, individuals with their own minds. Collectivism requires unquestioning conformity. Capitalism requires production of values, collectivism requires destruction of values. Capitalism requires individualism. Collectivism requires uniformity in looks, habits, speech and victimhood. Capitalism requires the desire to survive and be happy; collectivism requires envy, hatred and the desire to destroy the values created by capitalism…those values are reason, clear thinking, morality, productive activity, workers, engineers, factories, machines, banks and the products that improve peoples’ lives. Collectivists can’t stand to compare socialism to capitalism…so they lie, discriminate against individuals, beat, bomb and destroy in order to keep people from discovering that capitalism is the only system that means life for people of all colors. Capitalism would destroy racism and the racist collectivists in power today can’t allow that.

The leftist scheme of fostering collectivism, altruism and force against individuals is a house of cards. All one has to do is remove the collectivist base and the left can no longer justify the altruist "solution" of re-distribution, violence and forced theft.

Each of us is an individual and we don't like being defined and herded like cattle. The President insists on deciding who we are but it is a definition based on collectivism and altruism. That is not what built this nation and it is not who we are. When he implies through his books and speeches, as he did yesterday in his press conference(June 29, 2011), that collectivism and altruism are the correct solutions, and that we should each sacrifice so that he can spend incessantly, I say I understand what you are saying, Mr. President. You want to make us into slaves. Apparently, you don't realize that your version of morality is corrupt and it doesn't work, just as your deficit spending these last two years has not worked. I say, check your premises, Mr. President. You can solve all the problems of this country by leaving us alone - not by spending like there is no tomorrow.

(1)Ayn Rand, The Return of the Primitive (Racism)
(3)The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. III, No. 14 April 8, 1974 Moral Inflation--Part III

Note: All other quotes are taken from Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama

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