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Looking for answers in all the wrong places

Dale’s posts certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons on the issue of racism. In the comments section, the delighfully named ‘Godless Capitalist’ from the blog Gene Expression has put forward several views that I must take issue with.

Intermarriage amongst races requires no ‘campaign’, it is a spontaneous social fact. The streets of London suggest that anyone who thinks a ‘campaign’ to encourage it is required is not just wrong but profoundly so. Miscegenation is a natural consequence of close proximity unless institutional racism prevents it.

Many years living in the USA (about 1/3rd of my life) proved to me that significant sections of US society tend to be profoundly racist in ways that have to be experienced by an outsider to be believed. The number of times a black male acquaintance of mine who was attending University in New Jersey was insulted and even assaulted because his girlfriend was white showed me an aspect to US society not many US bloggers like to contemplate.

I do not doubt the factual veracity of the crime figures that Gene Expressions loves to bandy about: I have lived and worked in urban America enough to know the reality. But whilst crime figures prove there are serious problems in Black America, they tell us nothing whatsoever about the causes of those problem. Why look for genetic excuses for what is so obviously a man-made social problem? The historical legacy of slavery, followed by Jim Crow, followed by decades of American socialist 1 and right-statist distortion of American society, all in ways that could not have been better crafted to produce an unassimilated underclass if they had actually set out to ruin as many people as possible, does not ‘prove’ anything at all about African or Afro-European genes.

I am sure if genetic science existed in immediate aftermath of the Imperial Roman withdrawal from Briton, Roman scientists would have shook their heads and written off the ancient Britons as just genetically inferior to the Romans at sight of social chaos, decaying roads and aqueducts falling into disrepair.

Mexico and Brazil are held up as examples of the fallacy of expecting miscegenation to improve racist attitudes, yet that actually proves nothing universal about anything. A ‘white’ ruling class clinging to the top of a social pyramid, presiding over societies structured to maximize class differences proves… that the people at the top like to stay on the top. This is not exactly a stunning revelation. That attitudes towards race, a visible characteristic, would conflate with the socioeconomic ‘markers’ of a power elite who have a vested interest in differentiation tell us even less about some imagined genetic predisposition of the have-nots.

1= I refuse to use the term ‘liberal’ regardless of its popularity in the United States, when the actual meaning of the word indicates ‘illiberal’.

7 comments to Looking for answers in all the wrong places

  • Horus of Hierakonopolis

    “…showed me an aspect to US society not many US bloggers like to contemplate.”

    That is because too many US bloggers is tunnel vision neocons who really don’t wanna admit that not everything that sucks is down to the lefties or Osama bin Garbage or the Euroschmucks, and some of the crap lies closer to home somewhere between the apple pie and mom.

  • Larry Kummer

    Re: author lived in USA, saw racism.

    When did you live in NJ? Sounds like many years ago.

    Although I do not doubt widespread racism still exists, the insitutional structure now weighs heavily against it. Usuallly, anyone reported to university or corporate authoritites as making racial insults faces serious problems.

    Also, I would like to see objective — not anecdotal — evidence that among general populace racism is more prevalent or greater intensity than in England or western Europe, as you seem to imply.

    In my experience, the US has made great progress towards racial harmony in the past two generations.

    As to the causes of social breakdown in Black American, perhaps they are endemic to our overall society. The Black community, like the canary in the coal mine, might just be the first affected.

  • Lime

    As far as I see, the author could have lived in America until yesterday and habe been confronted with a certain uneasiness that still prevails between the different ethnic groups (please take a look at a recent column by Fred Reed about this subject; it can be found in the Lewrockwell.com site). What concerns the institutional American structures against racism, you see they cannot rule how one truely feels; some even hold them for counterproductive in the easing of racial tensions. What many people (specially Europeans) fail to understand is that in the Americas (I am writing from Brazil) white is not only an expression of race but just as well of culture, civilization, advancement. An ideal that, no matter what skin pigmentation, one is wise to strive for. I know, Europeans take civilization for granted. Here, in our backyards, it ain’t exactly so…

  • Larry: How does one measure racist attitudes in an objective, non-anecdotal way? One sees and hears what one sees and hears. The evidence to support my contention of very widespread miscegenation in Britain however is based on walking down the streets of London. It may be less prevalent outside the cosmopolitan capital (I don’t know).

    I live in a whiter-than-white area myself (Chelsea) and thus it is remarkable that the number of mixed race relationships are obvious to me even when I am not visiting more racially diverse parts of town: one cannot go more than a few minutes without seeing a mixed race couple walking down up-market King’s Road.

    As for regarding the USA as the nadir of race relations, no, that it not what I think. I have found widespread racism more poisonous than the USA in parts of France and it is pretty lousy in Germany. Britain, whilst hardly some idyllic haven of perfect tolerance, is nonetheless significantly better (except for a few ghastly areas like Oldham)… and certainly attempts to use institutional pressure to suppress racism in the UK are (generally) less heavy handed than in the USA.

  • Lime

    Yes, that only reinforces the point that I was trying to make about the uselessness of institutional measures against racism. If the dialogue of the races in England is less tense than in America, for instance, it is probably due, to a certain extent, to a social environment not saturated by politically correct laws.

    Also, considering the low birth-rate of the European, it is to imagine that most of those mixed race couples you see walking down London streets will not reproduce. Otherwise, may I ask half jokingly, should one hold the English for an “endangered species”??!!

  • Dale Amon

    If I am anything, I am a space policy wonk with 25 years experience in the fray. I know the stories behind the scenes, the people who made things happen or not happen… and I will unreservedly say that the government involvement in space set us back 20 years. Oh, yeah, the Apollo program got us to the moon 30 years sooner than private enterprise would have… but the cost was putting us almost irrecoverably on the wrong road.

    It is only now, 30 years later, that signs of recovery are coming out of the small hangers of the Mojave.

    Government is a dangerous, murderous beast that must be kept around for wartime defense but at all other times must be held in chains, locked up and kept under eternal guard lest it wreak havoc amongst decent people.