Monday, September 10, 2012

the racist assumptions of anti-racism, or yes, social justice warriors are racist

Several people came to this blog seeking "social justice warriors are racist."

This post's for you.

Social justice warriors love to say "race is a social construct" as if that's a new concept. It's actually ancient. Even in the 19th century, when most English-speaking people thought race was a valid concept, the opponents of racism knew, from a scientific view and a theological one, that humanity is one family.

Social justice warriors say "race is a social construct" in the same way that conventional racists say "I'm not racist, but...." It's a rhetorical device that, in their cases, means nothing. If social justice warriors truly believe race is a social construct, why do they make statements about all white people or all people of color?

Because they're racists.

Social justice warriors get their understanding of race from Critical Race Theory, which does not reject the idea of race. It endorses race, then tries to reject the idea of racism by dividing people racially. For Critical Race Theorists, the "social construct" is based on appearance, not culture. That's the only way that they can divide humanity into "people of color" and "white allies" and, by implication, "white enemies." Since all white people are racist in their view, the white allies are still racist, but they become allies because they accept the terms of CRT.

Critical Race Theorists see power in racial terms, as though only poor dark-skinned people and rich white people are relevant to understanding the US today. But power is not that simple.

For more about the assumptions of Critical Race Theorists:

The Man Who Changed Middle-Class Feminism, or Derrick Bell and Critical Race Theory, Where Racism and Anti-Racism Intersect.

Racism equals prejudice plus power, so only whites can be racist?

6 comments:

  1. Oh, at least somebody who writes something sensible and intelligent about how racism is discussed in America.

    I'm italian and racial issues are not part of the agenda so much in my country, even if we had blatant episodes of racism against strangers, not necessarily dark-skinned. So I was baffled when I learned that "Girls", a show which I love, was accused of segregationism. Wait, weren't SATC, and Friends exclusively white too?
    I remember being a kid and enjoying Family matters, the Cosby show, or Fat Albert cartoons and I could empathyise and identify in the characters even if they didn't fit in the same box as me (whiteness).
    I still didn't understand why so much hassle about JUST this show, but reading such musings and criticism on "Girls", I landed in a world where there was the notion that all whites were held as responsible for the social inferiority of black people in America. no matter if you didn't nothing bad, if you're white you benefit directly or indirectly from so called "white privilege". as if the black people of America, as americans, didn't benefit too (directly and indirectly) of the capitalist system exploiting cheap manpower in Africa and in other poor countries around the world. Hilarious.

    They also believe that Condolezza Rice is more disadvantaged face to a white unemployed or working class man(usally referred to with the slur "white trash", that you wisely pointed in another post to be the only racial slur acceptable for PC people).
    The class factor is never, never ever taken in account. When you provide the example of a successful minority academic, sportsman, politician, or teacher, sometimes the magic word "sell-out" appears.

    But what upset me most, is the whole "race is a social construct blah blah". yes this indeed is true. "white" was used in past centuries and now as a label for defining who's worth of a humane treatment, opposed to who's is just eligible for field or home slavery. I always think to the question that many asked themselves those days: "Are italians white?" We come in a great variety of phenotypes, but the majority would be called "white" and still according the stereotypes we were many, catholic, poor, with lots of spawn, loud, needing to work (and thus somewhat inferior, and thus, non-white). same applied to even lighter-skinned groups such as Poles and Irish.

    so this theory is right, at least to me. but why the gods of "race is a construction" call biracial people traitors if they take in account also their white heritage? what about interracial dating, which is seen as "wasting your gene pool in the whites'one" as a Jim Crow racist would say on the other side? what about propagandizing disgusting stereotypes on white women and speaking on the behalf of every single caucasian person pretending to know how they think or what they believe, and yet being offended when somebody plays the same card on them?
    http://abagond.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/how-white-people-think/

    the above blog and comment are just an excelent example for that mindset. namely the mindset of racist people mad ad racism when is directed towards them, and who get insanely mad when people are race-blind. lolwut? the saying "be careful what you wish for" is apt. imagine, you want a racism-free society... and a sudden day someone starts not taking in account your race, isn't that orrible?

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  2. many also criticize the idea of whiteness being the blank state and default condition, which is a fact I never reflected on. this actually gave me food for thought, but at the same time I don't get the idea of why these very persons use the acronym POC. that is something utterly stupid if you despise the idea of whiteness as the default state and the one drop rule. the expression is widespread also in italian language, and when somebody describes me someone a guy as "of color" i say "what color" or "I too have a color, I've a nice yellow-pink color!"


    With this I don't want to say that they're no racial discriminations going on, but simply they're many times used to cover-up something which is class-related. I'm particularly fed up of this tactics because everyday we're fed with the mantras of "blame it on sexism" "blame it on gerontocracy" if we italians youngsters are dramatically unemployed and poor. Guess what, our welfare minister is a woman, but this didn't prevent her to cut dramatically welfare services for retired people and working moms. But hey, aren't you happy now? Women are in key leading roles! Sure...

    I'm happy i stumbled upon your blog, and I'll keep reading.

    PS: sorry for the broken english

    Florrie

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    1. No apologies necessary! Like most Americans, I'm effectively monolingual--I know a tiny bit of French and Spanish, but I wouldn't dare comment on a blog in either language.

      My favorite example of the flaw behind thinking strong female leaders will make a better world is Margaret Thatcher. It's the mind that matters, not the body.

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    2. Oh, when I wrote the last lines about Elsa Fornero (italian welfare and occupation minister) I was just thinking of her british counterpart. And I cringed.
      hopefully, the group of people that believes the statement "It's the mind that matters, not the body" is steadily increasing, given how we had young people and women and young women in decisional roles and in most cases they failed as well as the old, heterosexual, white able cis-gendered males (Have I forgot an adjective? lemme know)

      by the way, thanks for linking http://fuckyeahsocialjusticesally.tumblr.com !
      It just feels less alone seeing that there's somebody else who is puzzled by the twisted logic some show in internet arguments about touchy subjects. :D I laughed a lot but it was a bitter laugh since this come from real discussions.


      Florrie

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    3. I laughed when you asked if you forgot an adjective. I have the same problem. I saw "national privilege" recently, but I'm not sure what the adjective for that is. And since i'm from a country that doesn't have universal health care, I want to know it, since a lot of SJ Warriors come from the 30+ countries that provide more "national privilege" than the average American gets.

      I'm both amused and appalled that fuckyeahsocialjusticesally is still going strong.

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    4. hmm. "National privilege" deserves a post of its own sometime soon.

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