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Is anti-racism racist – against PoC?

December 9, 2016

 

Anti-racism movements are supposed to make people less racist, but I’m not sure how this can be possible. White acolytes to that cause will do a mental run-through of every piece of black history they know, every time they meet a black person.

It can only make them more self-conscious. This nervousness is easy to pick up on and is contagious.

I expect this actually increases racial tension. If you aren’t the kind of blabbermouth who gives everyone within a six foot radius a potted version of all your views within seconds of meeting them, this nervousness is never explained, and the black person could be forgiven for assuming that the white person is nervous in their presence because they are racist.

And they aren’t entirely wrong. People who obsess over race are more likely to read racial explanations into a person’s actions and opinions, when the real explanations are more specific to that individual. I think it a classic trait of racists to boil members of other races down into their perceived racial characteristics.

When we stereotype, we not only make assumptions about others which may not be true, but our expectation that they will fit that box we have created for them is so strong, we might become resentful towards them for not fitting into that box, because we believe that they should.

This is a very strange experience for PoC in any given situation; talking to white people who just aren’t listening, preoccupied as they are with their own ideological preconceptions.

Millennial, cosmopolitan PoC are often not that interested in anti-racism. It is baggage that comes in part from appropriating the entirely different experiences of their parents.

So if a white person supposes that each black person they meet is ultra-sensitive to the topic of slavery, for example, they are making a presumption that has a decent likelihood of being incorrect.

They come across as awkward with other races, which in turn pisses of the black person who either a) is tired of meeting people like that, or b) doesn’t meet many people like that, thought that interracial awkwardness was generally over, and is annoyed to discover that the world has not moved on as much as they assumed. Talk about a total backfire.

If the white person in the above scenario is conversely the kind of person who shouts their opinions from the rooftops, they run the risk of pulling the black person into a conversation about race that they do not want to have (because it is sensitive) or that they are not interested in having (because they find the topic dull) under the racially ignorant assumption than any ethnic minority in white society is at any given time burdened with strong feelings about race that must be acknowledged.

PoC are often bored by other people’s obsessive discussions of race and irritated by the tendency to consider their race before anything else. They don’t want affirmative action, because they believe it isn’t needed.

They feel patronised for being singled out, and do not relate to the Great Victim identity that has been forged from them – which is barely a stone’s throw away from the concept of the Noble Savage, a potty old idea from a universally racist period.

This inability to acknowledge these feelings means that anti-racism can have the reverse effect of what is intended. Instead of making PoC more comfortable, it ignores their interests. Anti-racism has a party line, and it is left-wing “progressive” (read: radical); white people have done wrong, white people owe something to PoC, white people should repair everything.

This level of white guilt is self-indulgent because it privileges white left-wing progressive feeing over conservative PoC feeling. Those mixed race PoC who say they feel more subject to racism in their non-white society than in their white society are waved away as having fallen foul of a white agenda that wishes to eradicate white ills from the textbooks of society.

As much as that is a danger, is more than a little ironic when a progressive anti-racist ideology ignores the feelings of the people it is supposed to support.

The problem is, as always, difference in political opinion. Conservative thought about getting-on-with-things is instantly disregarded by the Left, even though by an anti-racist’s own reasoning, the opinion of any PoC is automatically more valid than the opinion of any white person.

In reality, this idea is never put into practice. White thought, as long as it is appropriately guilty, is always favoured in these circles. When you should be having a debate between 2+ people of the race in question, instead you gather majority white people arguing among themselves.

This makes the debate less a matter of honest conversation and more a matter of moral posturing; white people trying to show who is the most guilty, who is the most at one with the Noble Savages and their struggles. If a PoC tries to enter that debate with a point derived from reason as opposed to following the party line of white guilt, they are instantly flapped down.

These sorts of conversations happen because people well within their comfort zone (in this case, white people) are intellectually stimulated by esoteric discussions about subjects that are uncomfortable for others. Once you realise that this is the nature of these debates, the value of them as a means of establishing the rights and needs of PoC is evidently questionable.

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