...as Columbo used to say. In examining the less-attractive motives of those who call themselves the anti-racists, I forgot to mention a powerful reverse factor. The narrative for motive of the racists - that would be us - is very simple to understand. It is white people's fault but it is uncomfortable to look and that and admit it. It is the sort of evasion we have all seen a hundred times in the people around us, especially children, so the accusation is easily understood, and for those who are evading thinking very hard, and attractive place to land. Even among those who believe that's not the whole story, thinking that they and their friends might be a little racist, but not very much, there is a ready acknowledgement that yes, this refusal of white people to admit the truth is a lot of the problem.
It has the added advantage of having been true in the past, so when people squeal "I'm not racist," there is an automatic reaction of "Yeah, they said that 20 years ago, and 40 years ago, and 60 years ago too," and on that basis the idea is not even considered. Plus you can always find individual anecdotes of people who really are racist but won't admit it, which "proves" your point psychologically when you are in the usual state of confirmation bias we all inhabit.
There is a line of thought among conservatives that the decades of improvement in race relations peaked around thirty years ago and things have even started getting worse over the last fifteen years. I don't think such things are easy to measure and rely too much on subjective impressions, but I can at least see the point. Various types of polling about race put the peak about twenty years ago and show no dropoff as of a few years ago. (Sorry to not make citations there. Be it known that when I make such assertions and later take the trouble to back them up I am mostly right but forgot at least one important aspect. I don't keep organised links about a lot of subjects. I think I am starting with Pew, here, but it's not worth my time.)
Ultimately, I don't think that is a strong motive for the supposed racists. AS the accusations have come down to "you aren't admitting you are racist, which proves you are racist," I think it has been run into the ground intellectually. It will have currency socially and politically for decades more, but I can't concern myself with that. Not my playing field.
As an interesting side note, Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, about whom I will have more to say going forward, do not think the Robin DiAngelo and Derrick Bell accusations according to Critical Race Theory are much directed at all white people, but at the liberal white people who scream loudest they aren't racist. They note that complaints of nice liberals being the bigger problem culturally (though useful politically) go back at least as far as MLK. It gives me a new perspective on that whole discussion, that it's not me they're yelling at, even though they would be unlikely to exempt me.
"It has the added advantage of having been true in the past, so when people squeal 'I'm not racist,' there is an automatic reaction of 'Yeah, they said that 20 years ago, and 40 years ago, and 60 years ago too, and on that basis the idea is not even considered."
It's a substantial association fallacy, which seems to be a form of secundum quid.
The US is an astoundingly non-racist place by world standards. I’ve worked in Asia, Africa and South America and found this to be absolutely true. There the perception is often to get a straight, honest service you want white Anglo-Saxon or Western Europeans. In my company we found that it was difficult to send our highly qualified black PhD from Guadeloupe (graduate of Paris Mines) to anywhere in the Middle East or Asia.
the current push to label western countries as Racist is more that the left has lost a true “mission” where they all think they were in Mississippi in 1960 fighting the KKK. They have no substitute for meaning
The US is an astoundingly non-racist place by world standards. I’ve worked in Asia, Africa and South America and found this to be absolutely true.
I am reminded of my working in Argentina. From my work I knew a fair number of Argentine professionals of the Jewish faith. Make no mistake about it, there was an anti-Semitic tinge to the country. One Argentine Jew told me he had gone to a scientific conference in the US. He told me he was surprised by the non-reaction reaction- "Oh, that's nice"- he got when he informed someone at the conference he was Jewish. Whereas Argentines made a big deal out of his being Jewish.
I was twice invited into households - in Argentina and in Bolivia- that featured pictures of Adolf Hitler on the living room wall. Then there was the retired professor in Peru- he claimed to have met Che during his motorcycle trip through South America- who made his anti-Semitism very evident in the five minutes I talked with him. Ironically, his nephew visiting from the US had a Jewish wife.
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