Sunday, July 10, 2011

the curious logic of the Anti-racism Cult

When I think about the logic of anti-racists, I remember this (bold by Julia [info]sparkymonster , yellow highlight by me):

From racefail

Julia takes a typical Anti-racism Theorist position when she says criticizing AW equals criticizing all POC: if you disagree with a black person who believes in Anti-racism Theory, you're a racist. Given her difficulty with conventional reasoning, it's entirely understandable why her "academic phallus" is ignored "a bunch".

Her logic made me worry about the provider of her academic phallus. I don't know if [info]sparkymonster  considers herself "out", but it's easy to find her with a quick google. If she's not "out", at the very least, she should tell the folks at the feministsf wiki to do something about this page. Julia, it turns out, is a testament to the ruling class education provided by Harvard University.

The Anti-racist belief that a criticism of an individual equals criticism of a race was shown throughout Racefail 09. Patrick Nielsen Hayden was called a racist for noting that "Some people are smarter than others," even though his "some people" included "white allies" like [info]coffeeandink.

Julia's sarcastic claim that "critical race theory doesn't exist" is a fine example of cult logic: she can afford to be sarcastic because she's speaking of an article of faith; she knows true believers know that critical race theory exists.

But there's a problem with that claim. Black folks on the right and left criticize Critical Race Theory. For example, from the right:

The Lightness of Critical Race Theory by Winkfield F. Twyman, Jr.

From the left:

The limits of anti-racism by Adolph Reed Jr.

Why Anti-Racism Will Fail, by the Rev. Thandeka

How Anti-racists deal with this inconvenient fact, I don't know. Are black folks who reject identitarianism considered race traitors, or allies of the wrong whites?

The answer seems to be that Anti-racism Theorists simply ignore criticism. That's what cults do.

Perhaps the greatest card they palm: They pretend they speak for all people of color while they ignore nearly half of the US's black population. Anti-racism Theory is beloved by middle-class activists, but "African Americans see a widening gulf between the values of middle class and poor blacks, and nearly four-in-ten say that because of the diversity within their community, blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race". So, when an Anti-racist claims to know what black folks want, remember that what they mean is they know what liberal bougie black folks want.

Anti-racists are very comfortable with a theory that has no evidence to support it. They prefer rules to reason, which is why they'll tell you not to say "niggardly" and to ban Huckleberry Finn and that no one should adopt anything from another culture. Rules make life comfortingly simple. You can ignore context.

Which is why I was wrong to get upset at [info]coffeeandink and [info]sparkymonster  and [info]marydell  for taking what I've said out of context. They do not seem to grasp that meaning changes in context.

Possibly of interest:

Testing for racism

The unbearable whiteness and upper class privilege of anti-racism