On Racism

One of the more bogus locutions out there stems from identifying with some goofy fiction like the “white race” (really?) and then thinking to “speak for” that fictional grouping.  “Speaking as a white person for a moment…”  Yeah, right.  Funny.

Even if there were a “white race” I wouldn’t consider anyone I know, including myself, authorized to speak for it.  But yes, I consider “races” to be entirely fictional, a-scientific inventions.  There’s no genetics behind the concept, only a confusing hodge-podge of ideas, mixing ideas about “blood” with ethnicity (cultural heritage) and a million other things.

Ashley Montagu was one of the heroes in anthropology, willing to stick his neck out to discredit the whole idea of “races of man”.  Yet efforts such as his, to deconstruct the whole idea of “races”, tend to take a back seat to the front and center battles that just assume the truth of this socially engineered meme virus.

Decades ago I came to the maxim:  “a racist is someone who believes in races” and I’m sticking to that even now.  If you want to overcome racism, go back and study how the idea came to be, and look at the arguments of its opponents.  Sure people differ in how they look, that’s not in dispute. Adaptation is real, the human genome is amazing.  That doesn’t mean the “race” concept is apropos.  After all, it grew to prominence long before anyone knew about DNA.  The race concept never depended on real science in the first place.

Just as the “military industrial complex” is a psychological thing, a tangle of beliefs about being a “superpower” (guffaw) with all the “manifest destiny” mumbo jumbo that goes along, so is the belief in races little more than a mental ailment, for which treatments are readily available.


Category: Quakerism