Posts Tagged ‘racism’
Viva la popular culture!
For many topics of interest to the average person, there seem to be two utterly different and diametrically opposed worlds of information. These worlds are so different that one might be called “Normal World” and the other might be called “Bizarro World.” It is possible, in fact likely, that each of these worlds works the way it does in large part because the other world exists. Not just good and evil, right and wrong, obverse and reverse, but in true yin and yang fashion, one world is shaped by the shape of the other, and this can be said of both.
If you follow the race-IQ discussion, you’ll note that the entire edifice is calibrated to questions of work and class. As long as classism stands, the arguments of inherent ability will be plausible to far too many people, and the problem of blacks in poverty will be used to justify itself. Just as racism has always been used to justify poverty.
Indeed, my first real conversations with a peer about race and biology were at this new school, with my friend Miles. He was very smart and he was Jewish. He used to tell me that Jews would always be smarter than Catholics. Here’s why….
Joey: “Hey, Greg. You’re a regular Walking Encyclopedia!”
Greg: “Thanks, Joey. I like to learn lots of stuff”
(Mugrphhhmmmft is the sound Joey’s fist makes giving Greg a bloody nose.)
I wondered what happened to all of the liberals that I had hoped to pal around with in college. I found a few, but they were far between. I was often the only one in arguments who would take the liberal view. But I didn’t consider myself persecuted. I was just outnumbered, and overall I could have friendly arguments with them. Sometimes they would say stupid things that made my blood boil. It had to do with their racism, and it was a particularly nasty sort of racism.
Join me, if you will, in a moment of utter, deep cynicism. That would mean you thinking, for just a moment, exactly like I think every second of the day. This will be painful for you, unless you are already where I am.
There was a new problem to deal with. Waiting at the end of the farm road, blocking our access to the highway, was a police car. The lights weren’t on, so we weren’t sure if he was waiting for us or not. We were not going to be able to avoid scrutiny. As we approached the road he hit his siren button and his lights button and so I knew we were going to be “interviewed.” I stopped the car and politely waited for him to approach us. In the meantime I was reaching for my wallet to show him my driver’s license. I looked over at Mark and mouthed the words “Fourth Amendment.” He knew what this meant. Don’t say anything incriminatory.
The traveler was a college-educated westerner with a late-Victorian attitude about Africans. The idea that all Africans are at least a little subhuman would have been a starting point for him. Throwing in a tribe here and there with especially cannibalistic or otherwise uncouth tendencies would be typical. Running into a group of individuals that looked to him almost like a separate species would be notable, and he did in fact make note of it, but this would be something he would take in stride.