The Race to Ism
Some context (mentioned only due to the emotional charge this topic presents):
First: this video was created against the backdrop of the racial tensions in America and the fallout from the death of black George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. Upon watching the video of George's death, and assuming we're not watching theatre designed to promote an agenda, it's hard not to come away with any conclusion that is not murder, or at least manslaughter. There will be opinions either way and since it's not really the direct focus here anyway, so let's set that event/issue aside as it really is its own discussion topic. We're left with police brutality against those with dark skin colour and what is considered racism, both at the individual level and systemic.
Second: my skin colour is light tan, and yes I chose all the words in that phrase very specifically; including even with those born with what we term Albinism, I have yet to see white skin on a living human that hasn't been painted on. Skin colour does not the person make, the vast majority of humans know this. Like ALL humans, I had no choice in the colour of my skin nor my gender at birth, NONE.
Third: I am well aware of some preferential treatment that the colour of my skin grants me but that is neither asked for nor expected despite its existence and I refuse to be made to feel guilty about it or the second point. I consider those who can't accept that as bullies. I am also well aware of preferential treatment that a family name can give, financial status, religious affiliation, geographic location of origin and so on. Preferential treatment is most definitely not limited to the colour of one's skin by any means.
Fourth: contrary to popular thinking, I don't accept that skin colour is a race, it's the colour pigment of the outer epidermis FFS and we'll have to agree to disagree if you do not feel the same way. At best, humans themselves are a race however, giving rise to the term 'human race'. The colour of one's skin is determined entirely by the gene pool from which they spring.
Fifth: when watching the video, we need to consider the generation of the speaker and their exposure to online content which I would heavily wager is more and wider in scope than most middle aged and higher generational members of the population. Applying judgement without having walked in the speaker's shoes is folly, misguided and a mistake.
Here's the video:
Let's look at the assertions/claims made by the young lady:
church closures covid 19 america
Protesters Set Church On Fire Near White House - YouTube
I took this one as referring to minimal police resistance to these actions contrasted by the pepper spraying of those who were actually peacefully protesting.
So it sure does appear that the young lady indeed has some valid points, that's a wrap Jack!
Yeah, no, not even close.
See, this is just another symptom, another example of the critical issues facing our civilization today. Based on what was said in the video, I think it can safely be concluded that the driving force behind it was the recent protests against racism and treatment of African Americans in the United States and some other countries around the world. Black Lives Matter is the organization that is front and centre along with whatever the organization Antifa is sticking their collective noses into things as well. Let's look deeper, let's look below the symptom level, the underpinnings.
We'll start with a definition of the word race and definition of the word race:
Yupper, this is where all the BS begins. For example, look at #2a:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary said
: a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock
All humans contain the same basic building blocks, the same stock. Without a firm definition of what is meant by 'stock' in this instance then the only conclusion is that there is the human race comprising of families, tribes, peoples or nations (using the term as a grouping word for many humans bound to a specific identity, a country or nation in this case).
How about #2b:
: a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics
I have an interest in computers. By definition then I'm part of a race with others who are interested in computers and I'm then a racist if I say that we computer folk are superior to anyone who doesn't have an interest in computers. Exact same thing can be said for those who have an interest in cross stitching. Sound fatuous? Perhaps, but it is the definition we use so we either accept it as is or change it.
: a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits
Cool, so all my fellow baldies, we're a race and if anyone slags being bald they are racist.
There is a race term that I think most of us are familiar with though and that is the 'human race' mentioned above. If we must insist on using race in this context, this definition, then human race is the only way it actually makes a bit of sense. As far as I'm concerned though, there is no white race, black race, yellow race or red race; the entire idea is utterly absurd. There is the species of human, the human race, who have different characteristics based on which area of our planet they were born in.
You know what though? Why don't we finally do what we should have done long ago: aside from referring to a competition of sorts, how about we disconnect anything else 'human' from the word race? Using the same word for drastically different meanings is just lazy anyway and contributes to lazy thinking as well IMHO. We are a biological species.
All Lives Matter: this phrase is particularly concerning/enraging to many as it is perceived as detracting from message of Black Lives Matter, perhaps diluting it. The problem here is that the word 'all' includes every single human, red and yellow, black and white as the Sunday school song goes, it covers everyone. Focusing on a specific colour of skin in turns leaves the rest out. But what about them? What about the abuse that Indigenous/Aboriginal people have faced, continue to face to this very second? What about those of all skin colours who are abused for their religious beliefs, political beliefs? That's racism based on the definition we use. Further, African slavery, which ended politically in 1865, has been used as a justification for both the existence of racism and current problems ongoing. This would have been an absolutely horrific time for these people to be sure, most slavery is, but what about:
International Labour Organization (ILO) said
- At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
- It means there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
- 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
- Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
- Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors
International Labour Organization (ILO)
"The estimates herein are the result of a collaborative effort between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). They benefited from inputs provided by other UN agencies, in particular the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
In the context of this report, modern slavery covers a set of specific legal concepts including forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, other slavery and slavery like practices, and human trafficking.
Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term that focuses attention on commonalities across these legal concepts. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power."
Look, let me remind us all of something:
This is the Yellowstone Caldera, a massive volcano that has erupted in the past and based on previous patterns is overdue for another. Those around my generation/peer group will remember the summer that never was following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Among other (significant) things was a noticeable drop in temperature felt globally as a result of a single volcanic eruption on the other side of the planet. According to Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel, Oxford University Press, 2000, Pinatubo ejected 2.4 cubic miles of material. Yellowstone's most recent eruption, 630,000 years ago was 240 cubic miles, 100 times more, with the one previously ejecting 600 cubic miles. If this were to happen, saying the results would be nothing less than utterly catastrophic for humanity could still be an understatement.
This is 9 Metis, an asteroid with a diameter of 174 Km's which would render us entirely gone in a flash. While this particular hunk of rock poses no danger to our planet, there are countless more of varying shapes and sizes that do. Extinction level size is considered 100kms or larger but any space rock that has the capability of sending large amounts of debris into the atmosphere is a major threat. Imagine an Chicago Tower sized rock striking the earth at over 10,000km/h…
This is Yersinia pestis, a tiny creature that can't be seen with the naked eye. This bacteria is credited with 3 plagues so far killing an estimated 100+ million humans, deaths that for many were quite gruesome in nature as well. One thing we know about our world: there are lots of organisms in it, tiny or otherwise, that can cause massive amounts of death and destruction at the drop of a hat.
If that weren't enough, the globalist groups in our civilization are rapidly and somewhat successfully pushing us towards their dystopian technocratic nightmare world. This is a world of lost liberty, mass surveillance and total social control.
Question: do any one of the very real and very possible catastrophic events listed above give a hoot about skin colour?
"Of course not, but that is just pie in sky stuff, abstract and has no bearing!"
I have heard variations on the theme of this answer many times during chats with others over the years; I want to go on record as categorically rejecting it as nothing more than excuse making. Just ignoring something does not make it go away or not real, I know, I've tried many times as have we all, but instead makes the problem that much more difficult to deal with…or survive.
Now let's take a look at racism itself, a noun:
Righto, definition #1:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary said
: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
so what? A person's beliefs are their absolute right, their private property, whether any others like it or not, period.
: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
this one is somewhat confusing and I'm sure there are other publications that state this differently but looking it here, what principles? is the question that springs to mind. Other than that, a doctrine or program is nothing more than belief and, as Webster puts it: ": : a plan or system under which action may be taken toward a goal".
: a political or social system founded on racism
: racial prejudice or discrimination
description of two more nouns, so what?
Racism is not a verb, it does not describe action. Racism, discrimination, these are just words we use to describe internal and communicated human behaviour not a given part of nature, not something that was inherent to the planet prior to our arrival on it for example. There is little to no verifiable evidence that different groups of humans are 'wired' in such a way as to perceive other groups of humans as inferior or superior thereby making someone's belief in their superiority based on skin colour or any other biological characteristic a silly fallacy that has been learned, most likely as a result of the behaviour of others, parents for example. [aside: I don't know enough about what we collectively know about the evolution of our species from square one but if there was an overlap in human evolution, could there have been an innate sense of superiority as part of that since it sounds reasonable, again, given what we know, that the next generation human was indeed superior than its predecessor. Discussion for another day.]
Going big picture again, of course including what we've discussed so far, human behaviour can be changed, changed en mass, and changed fast even if prior beliefs/convictions run deep. Any denial of this is a denial of the reality of 2020 so far. There is no more time for excuses, debates, stalls: humanity has grave dangers both on earth and off, both natural and man(made) that are far more real than our petty social issues.
I know, I know, "racism, a petty social issue you say?! Asshole!"
Again, do any of the very real threats we all face, ALL of us, give a hoot about skin colour or any other physical characteristic? No they do not and neither should we. What difference does it make? Where is the peer reviewed social study information proving that one's life is altered or affected simply due to the colour of another's skin should their life paths cross. This is ridiculous to even consider.
Humans have shown a penchant for wanting to belong and to view things that are different with some apprehension. Funny how, despite the potential for some similarities and shared interests, humans are unique, every one of us different from the other and yet that is perfectly acceptable. Bring the group together and watch it go to mob in no time, group-think taking over but opinion does not reality make, regardless of how many people share it.
Reason and emotion need to be in balance as much as possible. With the exception of temporary shifts based on individual situations, shifting too far either way results in impaired decision making. Racism et al, this is one of those situations where the scale needs to tip in favour of reason as too much emotion obscures the facts, distorts perceived reality. There are many examples of this I'm sure; I prefer the simple ones so how about the old email tip which I reckon applies to texting and most modern messaging: never email/reply angry or impaired. After a calm down or sobering up, very often the message won't be sent at all or its tone and content altered, often greatly. This illustrates how emotion directs/alters behaviour. Put a large mass of humans operating in an emotionally tipped favour can very often result in big problems just like we're witnessing today.
Not the least of these problems is division among the human race.
I talk about liberty an awful lot but wanna know what real freedom tastes like? Ditch the societal and accompanying emotional baggage that has been forced on civilization for uncountable generations now, just ditch it. Turn the volume down on emotion and let your mind wander, wear socks in saddles proudly.
When talking about life being changeable, philosopher comic Bill Hicks put it this way: "And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one."
"Again, this is all well and good but there's more to it than that, you're being over simplistic!"
NO, it is that simple, period. Altering or directing one's behaviour based on the colour of another's skin is, straight up, stupid.
"But, but the past!"
No but but, the past cannot be altered, there is no going back, there is no reason to elevate it beyond an informational marker on the road map of humanity. Further it is also ridiculous expecting the present to account for the past. What matters is the present; the choices we make here and now will be considerably influential in how the future unfolds.
It doesn't make any difference that there are folks who ridiculously consider different skin colour as subhuman from themselves thereby justifying being able to take action against the sub species; this only makes these folks deluded and depending on any/the action taken, potential criminals to boot.
There are a lot of things the coronavirus is not, but one that it is is an excellent metaphor for human change. Initially the media was breathless with the term R factor or R Naught, R0 and how it relates to the spread of infectious disease. The adjective infectious is connected directly to disease in this context but it stands on its own with one of its positive usages being:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary said
: spreading or capable of spreading rapidly to others
an infectious laugh
Her happiness was infectious.
This is exactly how humanity can change at a fundamental level and with relative ease as this idea has one big advantage over disease: it doesn't require physical contact, ideas are communicated in many different ways.
There's nothing profound here: when one chooses to educate themselves and encourage their family to do the same, the life they live will reflect the results of this choice. Virtue signalling becomes a non-starter as one doesn't place high, or any, priority on how they perceive or want other people to view them. Instead, we act because of knowledge, conviction, interest and passion among other reasons. Setting aside the parent/child relationship, a separate discussion, we recognize that at birth, we've arrived in world where nobody owes us anything and we are not entitled to anything. Whether one chooses to accept it or not does not change this reality. We recognize that we are not born with any superiority or elevated status over any other member of the human race, period, no need to list specifics. We recognize personal responsibility for ALL aspects of our lives.
The universe answered my question of how to conclude with this perfect fit that was randomly stumbled across:
Among other things, this describes racism to a tee…let's make it a non starter shall we?
Brandon Smith said"First, it's impossible to be “dehumanized” by another person's opinion of you. If they are wrong, or an idiot, then their opinion carries no weight and should be ignored. Your value is not determined by their opinion. No one can be “silenced” by another person's viewpoint unless they allow themselves to be silenced. If they are right about you and are telling you something you don't want to hear, then that is your problem, not theirs. No one in this world is entitled to protection from other people's opinions. Period."