Where I Stand on Racism

I want to preempt any post that I make about racism by stating my beliefs here:

  • It is evil. Full stop.
  • We should ostracize and condemn racists for their beliefs. Full stop.
  • Unprovoked violence against racists makes you, at best, no better a person than they are.
  • Irrefutable evidence is necessary to back up accusations of being racist; not evidence that is circumstantial, out of context, or “dog whistle” in nature.
  • There is no such thing as “reverse racism.” It is all just racism.
  • It does not require the undertones of Marx’s Conflict Theory, or “power imbalances.” Any attempt to steer away from the dictionary definition of racism is an attempt for the that person to excuse their own behavior.
  • Anyone, no matter their own race, is capable of being racist. It is not exclusive to white people. If you feel otherwise it is because you are attempting to excuse your own behavior

 

Racism, the way of the Democratic Party

I may update this from time to time as the need arises and I welcome open discussion about this topic. Limits on what is and is not acceptable to discuss are totalitarian and un-American.

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Accusing People of Being Racist

Accusing someone of being a racist is one of the most gross claims that someone can make against another person. It is a popular tactic that is often used when someone is losing an argument, disagrees with you politically, or is attempting to gain some kind of moral superiority. Its a bad faith tactic that, more often than not, has no basis in reality.

Hindsight is 20/20 and the overwhelming majority of people in the United States concur that racism is bad, being a racist is bad, and would like to see racism no longer exist.

When I lived in Houston I would listen to Michael Berry, a local conservative talk radio show host. He seemed to be lightning rod for controversy because he spoke his mind a lot (like everyday, twice a day), he had a platform, and a large market. Berry is from deep southeast Texas, studied at U of H, UT Austin, and University of Nottingham. He and his wife of 25 years have adopted their two sons. He graduated with honors and has earned two law degrees, and uses his position to do good around Houston. I have personal experience with this; I believe this was back in 2012 or 2013. News of a local, 91 year old recent widower, WWII (Marine) veteran’s home being broken into, burglarized, and vandalized by some local teens was reported. Berry used his radio show to rally the city of Houston; he talked about what happened, spoke of Mr. Wood’s situation, and implored anyone that could help, to help. Long story short, more than 60 local business and 300 volunteers worked to not just restore and improve his home, but to also make it more accessible for the elderly veteran. I got to take part in this, and it was an amazing thing to see so many come together so fast. Story

I bring this up to show the type of person Mr. Berry is.

He is often called a racist. Did I mention that his wife is from India, and that their two sons are from Ethiopia? Taking this information about his family into consideration; what would his burden of proof have to be in order to show that he is not a racist? I imagine that this claim of being a racist precedes him, and quite unfairly so in my opinion.

Another person whose racism, among other things, precedes them is Ben Shapiro. As noted here, Shapiro’s racism is so well documented that you can watch the vitriol pour from his mouth as he bemoans the movie Black Panther. You really get a sense of how racist he is when the article quotes Shapiro as saying, “…[A]nd liberated by the Civil Rights Movement, with federal legislation, and have not been gradually restored to, what always should have been, full civil rights in the United States.” Emphasis is mine.

The article actually does not say that. It was omitted so the author may make the point that Shapiro is racist. It is also likely that the author may have expected no one to want to watch such a racist diatribe and felt that they could make such a claim against Shapiro.

Another thing about the video is the very obvious editing jump that takes place. It doesn’t take long to find the podcast episode or YouTube video and find the part that is edited out, it’s about 35 minutes into the show. The author, Isha Aran (@ishaaran), and the editor of the video clip, Alazar Moges (@zarzarbinkss) would have been unable to make such a claim against Shapiro if that edit had not been made. Below is the very first thing he says in the portion that’s edited out.

Now, you may sense that I’m mocking a little bit. The reason I’m mocking a little bit is because I hate this kind of identity politics. I think it’s incredibly stupid.

As evidence for his defense, let me present exhibits A and B.

This is the stupid identity politics that he was talking about. The people in the pictures are ridiculous, the article’s author and the clip’s editor are dishonest, and this kind of foolish behavior is what got Donald Trump elected President.

To accuse someone of racism with nothing more than edited and out of context soundbites, or in spite of the fact that someone’s entire immediate family is not white, is a bush league tactic used when someone is too poorly informed/educated to make a reasoned argument. When the accusation is made many feel that defending themselves against the claim immediately becomes the most important thing they can do. Based on the situation this may be true, but more importantly you should expect this accusation anytime you engage with leftists. Come into the discussion with a strong, preplanned defense and a biting retort for their need to make such an accusation about you. A strong play will give you the upper hand, and allow you to steer the conversation back to the facts. Staying calm and focused is key; such a disgusting accusation is likely to leave you incensed. Expect it, prepare for it, and use reason and facts to show how incorrect they and their arguments are.

The Patriarchy

In my summer school history class the instructor wanted us to read Hayden and King’s, “Feminism and the Civil Rights Movement.” For those that have not read it, it is by two college aged women in 1965 who are expressing their dismay with, what they feel, is the Civil Rights Era leaving women behind. How, even in their supposed egalitarian SNCC, they were relegated to the roles that, traditionally, had been the only fit for women; clerical/secretarial duties and “cleaning the freedom house,” while not holding many (or any at all) leadership roles.

We were supposed to discuss within the small groups of those that we sit nearby. Somewhere during the chat the young lady I sit next to dropped the P word.

Yes, she bemoaned the Patriarchy. This took me by surprise, this was the first time in any face-to-face interaction I have ever had that someone actually, and quite seriously, cursed the patriarchy. This is odd because you see, I am the embodiment of the patriarchy: white, cis-gendered, heterosexual male; 3 for 3, batting average is 1.000, let’s go home.

All kidding aside, I knew she was seriously going there with our discussion, but I was unsure as to the right way to proceed.

Here’s where it gets fun. She is a very early 20-something, middle of the middle-class, definitional wasp white girl. During the regular academic year she attends a very small, women’s only liberal arts college in Allentown, PA. I imagine it is an understatement to say that she’s been indoctrinated to think that women in the U.S. are living under the scourge of systemic oppression.

This is not to say that instances of sexism do not exist. I think that would be a foolish thing to say. The difference is that there exists no such structural, systematic, or institutionalized level of sexual discrimination in the way that there does in Saudi Arabia, for example; or, generally speaking, a society that applies Sharia Law.
Sharia Law Around the World

Back to it. I mentioned Saudi Arabia to my classmate as an example of where this patriarchy may exist, and that claiming that the U.S. is somehow like Saudi Arabia is misguided at best. Her response was hard to follow, she talks quietly and out of the side of her mouth, and she will often turn her head away from the conversation while speaking. She ended her response with how the STEM field is a male dominated, and how her mom, many years ago, was the only woman in a large audience at some STEM related conference (she also has someone in her family that participated in most every topic we ever discuss). Thankfully, someone else in the group spoke up which kept me from potentially opening the can of worms that was me asking what exactly she was majoring in. Turns out, she is studying genetic engineering & biotechnology, which is way more than I am capable of. It is also good that she is at least consistent with her complaints of the STEM field, and is changing the demographics of it by participating in it.

My criticism of the STEM field argument is that, as far as I know, there are not people actively restricting women from participating in the field. There is no governmental agency or action standing in the way of women getting into the STEM field. If people are telling girls and women they cannot or should not get into the STEM field they should stop, and instead encourage them to study in the STEM field if they want to.

But I digress; my final point in our discussion was that today, women are more free, have more opportunities, and have the most equal of rights under U.S. law than at any other time in the history of world and United States.

Is there work to be done in order to tamp out sexism and sexual abuses of women? You betcha. But, does the U.S. even come close in comparison to countries like Saudi Arabia? Absolutely not. The parts of the world that live with Sharia Law as a meaningful part of their legal system are by far some of the worst offenders of women’s rights. It is an insult to the legacy of those that fought hard for women’s rights in the U.S. to claim there are parallels to the repressive regimes under which hundreds of millions of women are forced to live.

I do not understand “The Patriarchy” and would like to be informed of what I am missing.