Sunday, October 19, 2008

Racism is alive and well in America

Have a look at this short video:

Obviously racism is a big issue especially in the South (which is famous around the world for it), but that video was done in Ohio. That shows that racism is pretty common all over the country, it thrives in pockets wherever you have general ignorance and lower overall education levels. My worry is that some racist is going to pop out from behind a bush somewhere and assassinate Obama during that period after the election but before he officially takes office and has the full protection that a president gets. He will be exposed to higher risk during those 2 months.

Here's what I think about racism in general:
Racism is seductive to people for a couple of reasons. First of all, because it gives a person a certain sense of advantage without doing anything to deserve it. If you can push down all other groups and elevate your own, then it's an easy win for you. Preference in jobs, in getting loans, in politics, in finding a place to live, places to eat - all of life becomes easier if your group is privileged above other groups. This is especially appealing to those who cannot achieve much through their own efforts. (in other words, if they didn't go to college, and so don't have the advantages in life that that gives. This is why it is more common among less educated people)

The second reason is because to some degree, there are some facets of it that are actually true. For example, we are told it is wrong to think that black men are more likely to commit crimes more than white men, because all men are individuals and capable of individual thought and free will. But the fact is that statistically, a much higher percentage of blacks DO commit crime and end up in prison. As of 2005, blacks are responsible for 7 times as much crime as whites (see here for supporting facts)

Some would say that's because they are forced to it by economic circumstances, and then also they are targeted more by police. Those things are also true. But for whatever reasons, the fact remains that a higher percentage of blacks commit a higher percentage of the crimes to the point where it has become endemic to that sub-culture. Of course, if you starve a man, you can't really blame him if he then steals food to survive, however, the fact that it is unfair and explainable is one thing, but the fact that it is still statistically true, is another. Areas that are predominantly black have more crime than areas that are predominantly white. It's simply undeniable.

And so racists have fuel for their argument. It benefits them personally, and it is supported by statistics.

Of course whites are not the only racists. There are black racists as well. But blacks are only 12% of the population, so the whites win that one. And it is not just an American phenomenon. Germans were famous for racism. To this day, that is what the Nazi movement is most famous for. (well that, and that whole global domination thing) The Japanese, despite their polite demeanor and highly evolved society, are well known to be racist. I have read that it is even taught in Japanese schools as a simple fact of biology. (HomoSapiens is broken down into races and ranked, with Japanese on the top, and blacks on the bottom of the list). Japan is xenophobic to the extent that they do not allow immigration of anyone. They wish to keep the Japanese race 'pure'. South Africa is also famous for it as well, of course. It's everywhere.

Although there are US statistics to show that, as a group, black society has higher crime levels and lower education levels, that does NOT mean that an individual person who is black will have poor education or commit crimes merely because he is black. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It has to do with who he hangs out with, and the culture he is enmeshed with. A person is not primed to do crime by his skin color. Rather, he is prepared by the values, perspectives and worldview that he shares with his peers and kin. Crime is not a race issue, it's a class issue. If you grow up surrounded by criminals, then chances are you will be a criminal, regardless of what race you happen to belong to, or what color your skin, or hair, or eyes are. Race is irrelevent. But the culture - THAT'S the part that influences behavior and so becomes a predictor of future behavior.

Barack Obama is half black. But he is also a Harvard graduate, a published author, a state Senator, a US Senator, an agent for positive change in society, and his resume is full of amazing things. He is very intelligent, and has done spectacularly well, and that is why he has risen to the candidacy of the job of president of the US. Will he boost blacks over whites? well, I doubt it. But I'm sure he won't do anything that allows further denigration of blacks. I imagine he would dismantle any systemic barriers that prevent blacks from bettering themselves. But he certainly would not harm whites. Don't forget, it is mostly whites who are voting for him. Blacks are only 12% of the population. There aren't nearly enough blacks alone to elect him Senator, let alone President.

Culturally, he has far more in common with educated whites than he does with ghetto blacks. There are not a lot of wealthy, Harvard-educated, published, US Senators who are in the ghetto, and these things are far more at the core of who he is than just the pigmentation color of his epidermis.

So don't be surprised by the fact that racism is out there and still common. It will disappear only when everyone is educated past it. And, given that the quality of our education is going down, and that more than 50% of high school students are dropping out in many major American cities, that doesn't seem likely anytime soon. Rather, it seems that we are spiralling down into a society and a culture where racism and other ignorances and boorish thoughts, feelings, and actions are enshrined.

Education is far more important than just a way to get a better job. It raises you up out of the stink and mess of ignorance that otherwise sticks to you and holds you down.


At 12/21/2008 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep thinking that you are an wrong its more people of color than people like you.

At 12/21/2008 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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