Saturday, March 24, 2007

All White People Can Be Called Racist

That's according to Pandagon's own racist, Amanda. Hey, she's white, right? Here's the context:

PZ Myers was posting on why it’s so ridiculous to attack the theory of evolution by calling Darwin a racist. These sort of nonsensical attacks tell you more about the people making them than about the ideas under assault, namely that social conservatives appear to think that “racism” isn’t so much a social problem as a cheap way to attack political enemies, sort of like asking Bill Clinton if he ever smoked pot...

Since all white people can safely be called “racist”, I have to wonder out loud what the mostly white people who get all enthusiastic about calling Darwin and Sanger racists are trying to get at here. Do they claim that being a racist immediately discredit anything you say or do? Considering that all white people are part of the privileged class in a racist system, that seems to me to mean that we can pretty much immediately discount anything a white person says or does, including what I just wrote. I’ll be the first to admit that I think that’s a tempting plan and part of me wants to support it, but it does have a sticking problem, which is that I don’t want to give up all cultural contributions made by white people. After all, white people have dominated the sciences and arts and humanities in the West for awhile now; they did come up with some useful things in the process, such as computers and penicillin. Unlike some of my more racist brethern, though, I don’t think this means white people are inherently better. I think that if everyone else got access to the education and opportunities white people have hoarded for themselves, they’ll start inventing the next rounds of computers and penicillin. In fact, I suspect that is exactly why white people haven’t shared; we didn’t want to be bested at anything. The downside is that so much squashed potential probably means that many more computers and penicillin that we don’t have.

This statement contains some fairly bizarre ideas. For one thing, we know that there is all kinds of racism and that white people are not the only human beings who can be racist. It's hard to look at the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, for example, without concluding that there was racism involved. And let's not forget the notorious racism of the Japanese, particularly against Koreans. In short, racism is prevalent in most societies at various times and places. Amanda might want to peruse this site to discover that racism has been present (and mostly is still present) on every continent on Earth.

But worse than the ridiculous notion that only white people are (or can be) racists (Amanda, after all, says she doesn't agree with this notion), is the asshattery revealed in Amanda's blathering about white people wanting to "hog" all those inventions and discoveries. This, btw, is the sort of stupidity that got Amanda fired--er, resigned from the John Edwards campaign. The idea that white people would want to suppress scientific discovery by people of other races just so we "wouldn't be bested at anything," reveals such a depth of self-loathing as to be unbelievable. So, the question must be raised, does Amanda really believe the crap she publishes or is it just an online persona? I'm sure this is just more of that really intelligent humor she supposedly trades in, the kind not meant to offend anyone.