The gods mercifully gave mankind this little moment of peace between the religious fanaticisms of the past and the fanaticisms of class and race that were speedily to arise and dominate time to come. – G.M. Trevelyan
As America finds itself battling with yet another episode of its perpetual, race-fueled societal division (encapsulated by the #BlackLivesMatter & Confederate Flag fiascoes), Australia finds itself embroiled in a vaguely similar battle of its own: the booing of an indigenous Aussie Rules Football player. While one would be correct in deriving little similarity between the two scenarios, they are both, upon closer scrutiny, inevitable byproducts of the same pseudoscience hogwash that has infiltrated and poisoned large sections of society’s intelligentsia and, so forth, its academic institutions.
Throughout modern history, civilization and its societies have more often than not been unwittingly driven toward the visions of their intellectual elite. They are the self-appointed savior of humanity; the aptly intelligent and capable vehicle by which society is shaped; the morally and ethically superior engine of civilization to whom students are but a blank canvas gateway to the collective mind of the general populace.
It’s difficult to provide a general gist or summary of the race conversation within circles of contemporary academia that would be fit for a blog post without going far beyond the bounds of reader tolerance. Hence, the following insights are but brief summaries and derivatives of arguments otherwise far more pronounced in other places. Some terms and titles are presented as hyperlinks in order to provide you with more thorough analyses and entries into more insightful perspectives should it so strike your interest.
Without further ado, on to racism.
One of the most prominent contemporary sociologists in the Unites States, Joe Feagin, posits a multifaceted institutionalized racism that exists beyond the bounds of actual ethnic or racial prejudice itself. He refers to this concept as ‘The White Racial Frame‘.
The basic idea is that racism is so deeply integrated in the foundations and structural institutions of the United States, as well as the psyche of the American people, that one is effectively racist irrespective of whether or not they are actually racist (so long as they fit specific genetic characteristics, or more specifically, are white people).
Such notions have root in the idea of ‘white privilege’, a concept belonging to yet another relative of the intelligentsia’s pitiful pseudoscience pursuits: ‘Whiteness Studies’. For anybody unfamiliar, that is not a joke. There is quite literally an entire field of American academia (making headway into Europe & Australia) devoted to the the cause & effect of Whiteness.
Without delving too far into the origins or conclusions of such studies, the basic premise is as follows: Living in a predominately white society – founded wholly and solely upon racist atrocities of bygone eras – inadvertently makes one racist, as he is an unassumingly complacent beneficiary of the ‘white racial frame’ and the subsequent gushing river of privilege that it so affords people of pale complexion.
Such intellectual assessment of racism and its effects has disseminated throughout academia all across the Western world. The reality of the matter for such analyses, however, is that they’re often largely devoid of empirical evidence & factual objectivity, throwing global history and anthropology to the winds while operating out of a rather ironic ‘white racial frame’ themselves.
Indeed, as opposed to being any sort of rigorous statements of truth, they’re often simply whimsical forays into subjectivity and emotivism inspired largely by the ghosts of white man’s past that rose from the ashes of World War II.
As prominent [African] American economist, political philosopher and social theorist Thomas Sowell describes in the preface to his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals:
Race and rhetoric have gone together for so long that it is easy to forget that facts also matter—and these facts often contradict many widely held beliefs. Fantasies and fallacies about racial and ethnic issues have had a particularly painful and deadly history, so exposing some of them is more than an academic exercise.
The preface is referring to the unconscious intellectual dishonesty of the modern ‘liberal’ intelligentsia when it comes to such issues. Somewhat complimentary to the motivating incident that inspired this blog post (see: Adam Goodes debacle), Sowell later goes on to describe such dishonesty as it pertains to Australian indigenous race relations [Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, p. 264]:
Where the quest for injustice is over-riding, among the things it over-rides are logic and evidence. For example, various kinds of differences between white and aboriginal Australians were lumped together by a white Australian woman as examples of social injustice:
“The fact that I wake up each morning in a warm, safe, comfortable home, secure in the knowledge that the schools I send my children off to are organised to enhance their life chances and choices, and that good health, employment opportunities and respect are the norm not the goal in our lives has been made possible through the 208-year exploitation of land that belonged to indigenous Australians since the beginning of time.”
Here differences in life chances are attributed to the seizure of land by the transplanted Europeans who settled Australia. If this were meant seriously as an empirical proposition, rather than as an ideological indictment, then the most obvious question would be: Were there no differences in life chances between the Europeans and the aborigines before they met, when they were each living in their own respective homelands? Are differences today greater than they were then? None of this provides a moral justification for the invasion of Australia, but it raises a question about the causal claim that differences in life chances today are due to expropriations of land in the past or exploitation of the indigenous people then or now. Had no invasion of Australia ever occurred, and this white Australian woman had been born in the land of her ancestors— probably England—would she not have awakened each morning to better circumstances and prospects than aborigines in a distant and undisturbed Australia? Nor would she have been any more deserving of this windfall gain in England than in Australia. Yet her sense of guilt for her personal advantages and her ancestors’ sins is greater because she lives in Australia. More important, it leads her to a conclusion all too characteristic of the quest for cosmic justice—that the aborigines should not have to change in order to achieve equality of results with whites in Australia. Clearly, the aborigines would have had to change in order to achieve equality of economic results with Englishmen, had both remained alone in their respective homelands. Yet those with the vision of cosmic justice want both groups to have the same effects without having the same causes, when both are living in the same country.
Too often people forget that subjugation and oppression, irrespective of ethnic or racial makeup, have existed throughout the sands of time and across the spectrum of geography. Long before the modern conceptualized product of race existed, Europe (white man) itself was subjugated to racial, ethnic, cultural, and ideological supremacy, having suffered invasion and occupation from the Mongols of Asia, the Moors of Africa, and the Islamic Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire among others. Indeed, an extended period of Middle Eastern invasion and occupation of continental Europe culminated in the Gates of Vienna being stormed by Arab Islamic supremacists, who themselves were entangled in both intra and inter-ethnic civil war, and which lasted for over a century beyond the event.
The Atlantic Slave trade (forget about even mentioning the Arab Slave Trade; the precursor to it all) and the Holocaust are so embedded within the collective memory via the the intellectual promotion of these issues by way of ‘white frame’ rhetoric, that the Christian Armenian genocide and a plethora of other intra and inter-ethnic atrocities – both recent and distant – have been relegated to nothing more than footnotes in the pages of history.
Lost in translation amidst the clusterfuck of racial apologetics is the following: White people’s ancestors were subjugated, oppressed, enslaved, raped, and murdered in a largely analogous fashion to that which those of ‘minorities’ were. Indeed, white women were taken as breeding material for Middle Eastern Islamists, and the men for labour. Perhaps the only real difference between the two is that the minority (black) people in Western (white) societies escaped complete disintegration and rather found emancipation, ultimately becoming a part of the fabric of wider society as opposed to the dust left in the wake of its non-Western counterparts that all but erased their presence.
But the dishonesty of the situation goes far further, and has far broader implications. The reality of the matter in many circles of academia culminates in the suggestion that – quite literally – only white people can be racist. Indeed, if you are a member of a minority demographic in a ‘white racial frame’, you are by nature absolved of the charge of racism irrespective of your individual prejudices.
In a global environment in which white people – contrary to what much of the intellectual rhetoric surrounding the topic of race may have you believe – are projected to become an overwhelming global minority (representing less than 9% of the global demographic within decades), one has to wonder what the end game of this conversation actually is.
Perhaps one professor of Humanities at a Liberal Arts college (Shimer College) in Chicago has the answer:
And in response to some of the backlash he received, he offered brief insight into the intellectual foundation of such sentiment:
The above may appear to be some appeal to ridicule – an attempt to undermine the argument for the ‘white racial frame’ by attacking the absurdity of its low-hanging fruit – but it is rather simply an honest example of the end-road of the intellectual reasoning that has so poisoned and divided society. Whether it be the suggestion of en masse white suicide, or subconscious layman grievances with the colour of one’s skin and ancestry to the point that you’re wishing your whiteness away, this is the predestination.
White people are the devil; the inadvertent, unconscious provocateur of all evil that envelops the world; the great Satan that subjects the unwilling, incapable and innocent minority to a life of hardship via mere existence, and thus the concept of cosmic justice so foretold by the intellectual elite states that we must self-subjugate in response, so as to cleanse ourselves of the sins of our forebears.
So deep the rabbit has burrowed, and so convoluted and disingenuous the conversation has become, that the colloquial context of racism quite literally no longer means what it used to mean.
So the story goes: To be white is to be racist, and to be racist is to be white.
Such a story isn’t without its caveats, though. Whiteness Studies and academic postulations on race & society are in many ways tied to the ideological premises of neofeminism*. Both inherently and unreservedly conjure images of the same social nemesis – the straight white male, to wit, The Great Oppressor. Henceforth, white women (and men of the LGBTQ persuasion – another chapter all of its own) are natural extensions of the minority protected class.
It comes of no surprise then that the three members of a Sunrise panel scorning Alan Jones, among others, for being privileged, middle class white males with an opinion on the Adam Goodes debacle, were middle-upper class straight white females that – more than likely – live in largely ethnically homogeneous (white) communities, speaking from a position of genuine privilege. Irony nor hypocrisy appear to have any bounds in the contemporary landscape of race relations.
Unbeknownst to AFL fans, it matters not if you were complacent or complicit in the booing of Adam Goodes. And it matters not the reasoning behind it. You were already a racist long before, and will continue to be long after.
The American intelligentsia has sneezed, and Australia is belatedly catching the cold.