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Racism Does Not Exist
(let's address what does)

A controversial title for a controversial subject, yet I stand by the basic truth of the above statement;  Racism does not exist.  What is in it's place, and how we should address it, is the subject of this diary entry

"Race refers to the classification of humans into populations or groups based on various factors such as culture, language, social practice or heritable characteristics.[1]
Conceptions and groupings of races vary over time and reflect societal customs [2][3][4] in defining essential types of individuals based on perceived sets of traits.
As a biological term, race describes genetically divergent populations of humans that can be marked by common phenotypic and genotypic traits.[5] This sense of race is often used in forensic anthropology analyzing skeletal remains, biomedical research, and race-based medicine.[6]
Race, however, has no official biological taxonomic significance — all humans belong to the same hominid subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens.[7][8] Nor is there scientific basis for any racial or ethnic hierarchy."  From Wikipedia

We all know that the last paragraph written above is true.  There is only one race on this planet (as race is defined above)  and that is the Human Race.  We are all one race, therefore there can be, and is, no real racism.  There cannot be

"Racism is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.[1] "
From Wikipedia

with the exception of minor skin and facial characteristics, we, human beings, all share the same genetic factors.  A check of the Human genome project's results would verify this fact.  We are all one race.  There can be no "racial superiority" because there is only one race.  Perhaps, if we ever meet another species from another planet, we can become racists, but for now, can't happen.  

So then, if there is no racism, what's left?

Prejudice
"a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics "
From Dictionary .com

Ethno-Supremacy

"The belief that one section of the human race, set apart by superficial characteristics such as skin color or region of birth is inherently superior to all other ethnic groups."
Defined by me

Theo-Supremacy

"The belief that one religion is superior to all other religions."
Defined by me

If we can agree that we are all of the same race, then we can begin to address the real issues as defined above.

Prejudice we all suffer from in one shape or another.  I was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and raised in Hartford.  I am a white male.  I will admit that I am prejudiced against Black people.  I grew up in the Sixties and Seventies and Benton Harbor was not a safe place for people like me.  I do not hate black people, and in no way am I superior to them, nor do I wish to rule them, but I admit that I have an automatic distrust of blacks when I first meet them.  I know this and I do not let my prejudice control my actions or my life, because I also know that most of the time I will be proven wrong, but it's still there.

In my view, a lot of blacks are the same as I am, and probably with better reason.  This is one reason why the "race card" is played so much.  There is a lot of prejudice in the world, and there are many who will use it to advance their agenda, whatever it is.  The thing to remember about prejudice is that it is based on ethnicity, and can be addressed.

Ethno-Supremacy is what the Aryan Nations promote.  I am sure there are other ethnic groups (caste systems come to mind) that believe they alone have the right to rule, that somehow the accident of their birth gives them powers beyond those of the rest of us, but, mostly, those people are few.  Granted, such ethnicity fueled hatred can do a lot of damage, particularly given the fact that most people are sheep and easily led, yet these groups can be stood up to (at least in this country) and kept in check.

Theo-Supremacy is the last type of supremacy that we can address, and is also the most difficult and most insidious.  Theo-supremacists are all around us, in greater or lesser degrees.  Consider Christianity.

I have no idea how many sub-sets of Christianity there are, but there is one underlying truth to all of them, and has been since Martin Luther's day.  They all believe that " My way is the right way", the corollary to which is "all the rest of you are wrong".  In our society, in the main, these differences do not come up often, but I have heard Baptists call the Pope the anti-Christ, and Catholics believe all other forms of Christianity are wrong.  We have all heard the Evangelicals state America is a "Christian Nation" when our Constitution tells us otherwise.  

Currently in the world, Muslims are killing countless others (think Somalia, the Sudan), and even themselves (Shia vs Sunni) in a bid to become the dominant religion on the globe because the Koran tells them to.  (depending upon interpretation, of course).

These are the things we need to focus on and to fight against.  We need to do so, and we need to start right here in America, by addressing our own divisions, the ones we have imposed, or allowed to be imposed upon us, starting with the ethnic identifiers that we employ on a daily basis.

Look at it this way.  In Europe, they don't call Americans African-Americans or Irish-Americans or German-Americans, we're all just Americans.  Only in this country do we separate our identities by ethnicity.  I doubt the rest of the world does.  If we ever get invaded by an extra-terrestrial species,  I doubt they will identify us by ethnicity either.  We'll all be Earthlings, and be typed as such.

This is the way things are, and because they are this way, we have become a nation, not united as one people, but voluntarily separated into ethnic classes.  (Economic classes are different, and not addressed here)

The cure is simple.  We need to stop celebrating diversity and start focusing on the things we all have in common.  There are human universals that we all share.  We like sweets, fats, protein.  We like music.  We express ourselves through song, dance, and art.  We love our children. These are things we have in common, and we need to begin to recognize the sameness in all of us.  

I was invited to a seminar hosted by people with handicaps, and that one phrase, people with handicaps, speaks to another area we need to address.  The English language is a powerful medium of expression (actually, all language is).  What I learned at that seminar is that, if you ball someone a handicapped person, you have already defined the person by the word that comes before it, handicapped.  The first word automatically introduces the person as different from you and I.   Whereas a person with a handicap is introduces as a person first, perhaps with a limitation that you and I do not share, but still a person, and needing to be treated as such.

It is the same with hyphenated-Americans.  There are no Mexican-Americans, Canadian-Americans, or any other Americans unless those Americans hold duel citizenship.  There are only Americans.  Of different ethnic extraction surely, but they should all be identified and treated as Americans first.  This is where we of the great melting pot have failed.  We have separated ourselves and Balkanized our society by allowing ourselves to be identified, and separated, by our ethnicity.  We need to stop this.

As to the arguments for toleration, yes we need to be tolerant of the differences between us, to a point.  There are behaviors that are destructive, evil if you will, and we should not be tolerant of those.  Religious extremism is not something, in my view, we should tolerate.  Those who seek to divide us and polarize us we should not tolerate.  (whatever their political beliefs).  Those who hate we should oppose wherever we see them.

As to religion, honestly, I do not know the answer.  Certainly it starts with those who view their belief system as one in which they can and should share with others taking on those who believe it is their chosen task to force us to believe what they do.  Conversion by the sword doesn't work for me, and I believe it is my job to oppose those who believe otherwise.  My Constitution allows for all beliefs, not just the most militant ones, and I oppose anyone who argues America was meant to be mono-theistic.

I think I'm starting to ramble.

The bottom line is we need to begin to look at ourselves as Americans and not allow ourselves to be separated by ethnicity or creed.  We need to recognize that we are all one race, and that we all share characteristics that should unite us and stand fast against those who would continue to separate us by ethnicity, no matter what their intentions are.  What we really need are less Polish-American Days and more American Days, festivals where we recognize the worth of Americans, period.  

Originally posted to northstardjn on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think you mean well (12+ / 0-)

    But your views are rather naive and simplistic.

    Racism does exist, no matter how you want to parse words. This idea of "colorblindness" is a construct of people who fail to see the very real racism that exists in our society in very real ways.

    This idea ignores structural and institutional racism- which are reflected in incarceration rates of minorities, to name but one.

    Example: you admit to being prejudiced. That's a good thing, and we are all in one way or another. But that is not where racism starts and ends. Further, you can't call for us to stop "seeing" race when you just admitted that you do see it, and you will continue to see it.

    Mine is a lazy rebuttal, but I'm confident that you'll get much better examples of the fallacies of your argument here soon. There are much smarter people on this site than me.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:06:53 AM PDT

    •  I don't think this person means well. (8+ / 0-)

      At all.

      It reads like a tarted-up version of every screed I've ever seen/heard by someone bewailing the loss of their white (usually male, straight, and at least nominally Christian) privilege by blaming it on the rest of us.

      I think it's HR bait, personally, and I think it's intentionally so.

      Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

      by Aji on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:56:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may be right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vita Brevis, ulookarmless, Aji

        I browsed his history and he just seems to be incredibly uneducated, the type that thinks he's smart because he thinks about things, but never bothers to actually educate himself about them.

        I recognize the thought patterns because that's what I used to do when I was about thirteen. =)

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Gosh (0+ / 0-)

        I thought it was pretty straight forward:

        If we want to become the (brotherhood of Man"  that I recall hearing about somewhere, Then we need to start addressing the things that drive us apart.  

        We are all one race.  Sorry if this destroys any feelings of superiority you may believe you possess, but it's true.  We just don't act like it.

        Obviously, you prefer to be polarized, and therefore insist that I, whom you do not know, am fearful of my white male perks.

        No fear here.  I recognize my limitations, and try to overcome those which hold me back from being what I want.  

        Just 'cause I'm curious, what's wrong with wanting all people to begin to recognize we are part of the same family?  Why do you find such a goal offensive to the point where you wax insulting?  What prerogatives are you trying to hold onto that you would lose if we were all truly equal?

        I ask this because the point of what I wrote, though I guess I didn't make it well, was that, if we want to be equal and united, then we need to recognize and address those things that keep us separate (probably said this before).  

        Like it or not, we are all one race.  Sorry if being related to me somewhere in the deep dark past offends you.

        Get over it.

        •  You're so far off base on everything . . . (0+ / 0-)

          that it would be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

          Racism exists.  Get over that.  Only someone who's lived with privilege all of his/her life would ever say something so incredibly ridiculous.

          Now, if you want to argue semantics, how about ethnicity?  And sorry:  I have three, and I claim them all (one of which is white), and I'm not giving up any of those ethnic and cultural pieces of my identity because insecure whites want to force everyone to worship at some artificial altar of homogeneity.

          And FTR:  You attacks on me betray your underlying motivations here.  Get over your own insecurities - and quit trying to insist that racism and all of the horrors that go with it don't exist just to elevate your own desire for superiority.

          Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

          by Aji on Thu Sep 09, 2010 at 09:09:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck (7+ / 0-)

    on redefining a word which has been commonly, even if not precisely correct scientifically, used for eons.  Especially when your opening salvo would most often be heard from those who are racist, as commonly understood.

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:13:09 AM PDT

    •  This Sounds Suspiciously (0+ / 0-)

      Like a former denizen of the Net and this place, a brother FrancisHolland (a lawyer who according to public records had some small trouble with his state bar, which would explain why he was an expatriate), who came up with some BS theory of "color aversive" or some other such nonsense insisting that using this taxonomy would cure racism.  He was at it in earnest right before he started a one-man mission to prove that Markos was a CIA operative.

      Brother, is that you?

      If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

      by shanikka on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 08:01:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whether "races" exist or not is, in some ways, (5+ / 0-)

    immaterial since the cultural constructs of "race" and various forms of "othering" do certainly exist.

    In the sense that there is little biological to do with constructs of "race," I kinda' get where you're going in the first part of your diary. Yet I don't really get how that relates to the rest of your diary.

    Good luck to you, since I think this could go downhill fast...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:15:24 AM PDT

  •  RandomActsOfReason? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dopper0189, Vita Brevis, foufou

    Is that you?

    Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

    by fou on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:17:38 AM PDT

  •  Why be nationalist at all? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fiddler crabby, lizliz, Aji

    The bottom line is we need to begin to look at ourselves as Americans and not allow ourselves to be separated by ethnicity or creed.  We need to recognize that we are all one race, and that we all share characteristics that should unite us and stand fast against those who would continue to separate us by ethnicity, no matter what their intentions are.

    If race is a fiction, then surely nationality is.  Since you seem so allergic to cultural differences, you should be calling for more "people days".

    Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

    by fou on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:20:42 AM PDT

    •  In the long run, yes (0+ / 0-)

      We are all earthlings, and sooner or later we'll get past the nationalistic problems that divide us as well.  Maybe even someday the religious ones.

      AS to the other comments on this page, weeel, I may be naive, or more precisely idealistic, with a romantic twist thrown in, but my point was, and is, that we separate ourselves by ethnicity and call it race.  That's a fact.

      If we were to realize that we are all one race, which we are, and if we were to quit buying in to the artificial distinction that says we are separate races, then maybe, MAYBE, we would begin to look at ourselves and our neighbors, as pieces of the whole, rather than separate entities.  

      It is somewhat obvious to me that, though I may be naive, there are some on here who would rather allow themselves to be defined by country of origin rather than admit that we all have much in common.  There is nothing wrong with pride of self, family, or ethnicity, but to call yourself a separate race is to do yourself an injustice and to helps to perpetuate the divisions that keep polarized.

      Whatever happened to "The Brotherhood of Man?  The Human Race?  If all we are ever to be is Africans, Europeans, Canadians, Asians, etc, etc, what will be the force that brings us together?  Under what auspices will we unite as we should?

      We are all Americans, dammit, even if we don't all get treated the same.  IF we could begin to recognize and address the distinctions made between us by  "race", THEN, maybe, as I stated, we could begin celebrating our commonalities instead of drawing attention to our differences.

      Simplistic, perhaps.  But is it really such a bad goal?

  •  As an analogy: (9+ / 0-)

    I am the L in LGBT.

    I'm not the one responsible for LGBTs being treated differently. I'd like to be just another person, but those who are homophobic insist on making it an issue, and because of that, my life is different in some ways than a straight person's.

    Same thing goes for any marginalized group. Your diary seems to hold them responsible for "racism" and other isms, as if they're setting themselves aside from others.

    I'm stating this kind of awkwardly, but will gladly try again if needed.

    •  As both an L and a T... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fiddler crabby, princss6

      ...I think you stated it quite well.

    •  Thanks for the insight (0+ / 0-)

      One of the things I didn't address was sexism, with all it's permutations, because it doesn't fit in with what I was trying to say<but I'll throw one back at you.  I've a brother who is a minister, of sorts, and he is very gay friendly,  (as am I), but he pointed something out to me one day that gave me pause.</p>

      (this is anecdotal and I never verified it, so perhaps you'll set me straight here)

      He told me that is some Gay Pride events, there were those who were holding signs to the effect that "We are coming after your children" or words to that effect, which he pointed out didn't help the gay community as a whole at all.

      In the town where I live, we had a lesbian girls track and volleyball coach.  Wonderful lady who'd do anything for school athletics she could, but she was also low key as to her lifestyle choices.  Occasionally there'd be some muttering around town ( I live in the conservative North) but she never really set herself apart from the community.  She was, and is, a part of it, though she has moved on to a better job.

      I'm not sure what my point is, except that she did not set herself apart from the rest around here.  She is a part of the community, and is recognized as such, because she was merely herself, and did not allow artificial distinctions to separate herself from the rest of the community.

      This was kinda the point I was trying to make.  We are all different, but we have allowed ourselves to be separated by category, which works to keep us apart.  If we would see ourselves as one people, rather than a large number of different peoples, then maybe we could draw closer together rather than allow ourselves to be separated by artificial distinctions, including things like sexual orientation.  I've already been called naive and a few other things on this post, but it's still a view I hold.  We are all basically the same, we just don't get treated that way.

      AS I read these comments, I think I'm probably wasting my time.  I never realized how much people have invested in thinking themselves as "different" or "unique".  Not on a personal level of course, we're all unique individuals, but the fact that we should all consider ourselves one race and act occordingly seems to have struck a chord.

  •  I am a one armed person with cancer (5+ / 0-)

    tell me again that I am a person first and handicapped second. I already know that, as do we all.

    Not sure whether you have missed the last 100+ years of discussion on this subject or simply trying to stir the pot.

    Peace

    Some people make you want to change species

    by ulookarmless on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:43:19 AM PDT

  •  The only objectively defined... (4+ / 0-)

    biological taxon is species.  All others are subject to interpretation of relative characteristics and genetic relationships of individual species.  "Race" merely refers to a population below the level of species that contains a set of heritable traits which occurs at a much higher rate than the rest of the species.

    Humans have used those sets of heritable traits to judge others and that is called "racism."

  •  Silly diary (7+ / 0-)

    Totally usesless.  Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of racism  knows this kind of nonsense is nothing but denial.

    like a tree planted by the river, I shall not be moved.

    by lightshine on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:56:25 AM PDT

  •  The problem is not how an individual (10+ / 0-)

    self identifies. The problem is how racists treat people with a skin color different from their own.

    You can call yourself an American whose skin just has a good deal of melanin, but that isn't going to help you much flagging down a cab late at night in a big city.

  •  If you think Europeans aren't racist, well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    princss6, ulookarmless

    just look at opinions of Muslim immigrants in France.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:06:45 AM PDT

  •  You would fail the first week in a college (5+ / 0-)

    ...philosophy class.

    Arguing that because a dictionary definition of "race" means "human race" and therefore there can be no racism is semantic trickery.

    "Race" is certainly a cultural construct, not a biological one.  But whatever you call it, racism is alive and well.

    "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

    by rfall on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:14:59 AM PDT

  •  Sort of correct, but not the way you think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, princss6

    Race is a fiction, and racism is a delusion. Racism exists only in people's minds, not outside.

    True, as Arthur Dent said in the BBC radio version of The Hitchhikers Guide, but not helpful. All of politics takes place in people's minds, not in what some of us laughingly call reality.

    A more important fact is that almost every time you see racism, you see the result of economic inequality leading to political, social, and religious inequality.

    Jews, the Irish, and many other immigrant minorities despised in the 19th century in the US became quite respectable, even White, in the 20th century. Women are very nearly human today. Asians, once the Yellow Peril, are now, although not exactly White, certainly perfectly acceptable.

    There are exceptions. California put prosperous Japanese-Americans into concentration camps, but that was after Japan and the US were locked in a non-shooting war with a large economic component for decades. It came out of nationalism, not poverty.

    The case of African-Americans is special, because so much effort went into keeping them poor after Emancipation, continuing to this day. But in fact, Republicans don't mind Michael Steele or Clarence Thomas. See, it isn't about race. It's about good N*****s vs. those uppity poor people.

    Chris Rock tried to make fun of this, but had to give it up because too many people mistook his satire for reality.

    Whom do Real Americans hate? Poor Blacks, poor Mexicans, poor and indignant Muslims (especially Palestinian refugees and the Taliban, but not Saudi princes), women who don't make as much as men but insist that they should, unions, and LGBTs, at least as long as there was support for keeping them out of jobs and having rights. Commies, it goes without saying, but that only applies to North Korea and Cuba. Drug dealers whose main customers are in the US.

    The poor of Asia, Africa, and Latin America south of Mexico don't get much of this, because they are neither in the US nor attacking it, verbally or physically. Except, let's see, Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, various factions in Iraq, Venezuela, Cuba, and Haiti.

    Oh, you didn't know we hate Haiti? Yes, Real American haters are still punishing Haiti for having a successful slave rebellion two centuries ago. But it's a secret from the rest of us, hence the Dog Whistle code.

    Busting the Dog Whistle code.

    by Mokurai on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:24:40 AM PDT

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      I couldn't believe it when Pat Robertson came out with his screed on Haitians having sold their soul to the devil for their freedom and the earthquake was God's punishment.

      I'm not so sure we hate the poor so much as we fear them, as well as despise them for their poverty.

      We tend to forget here's only so much wealth available, and as it gets concentrated in the hands of a few, there will be that many more poor created.

      Which of course means more people to despise.  The wonder is they haven't risen up.

      Ah, well.  One way or another there's a revolution coming.

  •  Martin Luther invented Christianity? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dirkster42, Vita Brevis, ulookarmless

    > I have no idea how many sub-sets of Christianity there are, but there is one underlying truth to all of them, and has been since Martin Luther's day.  They all believe that " My way is the right way", the corollary to which is "all the rest of you are wrong".

    My instinct was to counter-argue that there are plenty of progressive/liberal branches of Christianity which believe that their inherited tradition and continuing discernment has a lot to offer all those seeking the Way but who don't believe they have a monopoly on Truth.

    But then I read what you wrote more closely.  Since Martin Luther's day?  So Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox get a pass?  Except apparently not, since "Catholics believe all other forms of Christianity are wrong."  So Martin Luther invented the, "I'm right and so you're wrong" way of doing Christianity?  Pretty sure that argument has been happening since at least Paul.  And during Jesus' time, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, and probably others had enough strong differences to form different sects of Judaism.  

    The idea that, "I'm right about X and if you disagree, you're wrong," is as old as humanity.  Approximately equally old is the drive to find ways to co-exist, to learn from each other, to see each others' differences not as things which should be eliminated but as things we can learn from, things which can enrich our understanding and our experience.

    •  You left out the pork-eating Samaritan Jews (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42

      whom all the others agreed were an abomination.

      Also Paul said that among the Gentiles are some who are a Torah (law, but also scriptures, righteousness) to themselves. Quite thoroughly ignored, of course.

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:51:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oy gevalt! (0+ / 0-)

    We have separated ourselves and Balkanized our society by allowing ourselves to be identified, and separated, by our ethnicity.

    Because ethnic communities are a recent invention and never existed before?

    Huh?  To acknowledge and be proud of one's ethnic heritage is not "Balkanization".  One can very well be a Polish-American or an Italian-American or an Irish-American or a African-American and still be a damned good American.  

    Like clockwork, this stupid shit shows up as some kind of "bold" commentary on "today's" society and it's problems.  

    Here's today's society and it's problems:  High unemployment, job losses, loss of the "American dream", etc.  

    That's what's killing this country.  Not the Poles, the Italians, the Irish, the blacks, etc. who are proud of their ethnic heritage.  

    Btw, acknowledging cultural differences is neither racism nor ethno-centrism.  It's just acknowledging the obvious.  

    Damfino: "Reality has an anti-Obama bias."

    by ThAnswr on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 12:29:27 PM PDT

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