Saturday, August 17, 2013

A simple question for N. K. Jemisin and Vox Day—and any anti-racist or scientific sub-speciesist who wishes to answer

ETA: I noticed this is being discussed at MetaFilter's "there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo". Since I can't answer there, I'm going to quote relevant things from there and answer them in the comments on this post.

What do you want, besides book sales? You both have strongly-held beliefs, Critical Race Theory and Human Biodiversity, but you're both silent about the practical application of those beliefs.

Vox Day, you say:
I have repeatedly pointed out that the existence of different human sub-species and/or races does not make those different sub-species and/or races any less validly human. A dog is a dog whether it is a Bichon Frise or a Great Dane. A man is a man whether he is Yoruba or Prussian. My basic argument on race and civilization can be most accurately summarized as the observation that if you wish to pull a sled, you would be well advised to select Siberian huskies rather than chihuahuas or pit bulls.
If people with your beliefs were in power, what changes would there be? Legal segregation of the races as you understand them? A ban on miscegenation? Breeding programs to increase the virtues you see in the different human races, stronger blacks and smarter Asians to serve the more "alpha" whites?

N. K. Jemisin, you say:
We’re seeing growing challenges to hierarchies, to orthodoxies, to every level of “the way it’s always been done”. I agree with Theodore Beale about one thing: this is about the future we want to see — for science fiction/fantasy, for American society, for human civilization.
If people with your beliefs were in power, what changes would there be? Reparations for all African-Americans? Reparations only for the African-Americans who were not slave-owners? Better schools reserved for black folks? Racial quotas for public office? For jobs? Publishing quotas for book covers or main characters or authors? Mandatory sensitivity training in public schools?

I'll point out that class mobility for all Americans is awful, and, as noted in Class Now Trumps Race as the Great Divide in America:
"Relatively speaking, racial differences controlling for class are decreasing while class differences controlling for race are increasing in America," he said. "Non-white folks with a college education are looking more and more like white folks with a college education and white folks who haven't gotten beyond high school are looking more and more like nonwhite folks who haven't finished high school.""
If you do nothing but ask whites to be constantly aware of their "white privilege", the wealth gap will continue to grow and poverty in the US will continue to look like it does now: twice as many white folks in poverty as black, but statistically more black folks in poverty than white. Just as noblesse oblige did not improve life for most commoners, privilege theory does not improve life for poor or middle-class folks of any hue.

Now, being a socialist, I have answers:

1. Discard the idea of race, one of humanity's most foolish notions. Fortunately, it's only a few hundred years old and not part of human nature; we can toss it in history's trash pile along with feudalism and bloodletting and so many other ideas that seemed good at the time.

2. Turn the US from capitalism to socialism. It's time to share the wealth so no one will be economically dependent on anyone else.

What are your answers?

Related: on Vox Day and N. K. Jemisin, the feuding heirs of Racial Realism, and a note about respect

ETA: Vox Day responds: Mailvox: answering a simple question