Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Racism is apparently the only discrimination that matters

I read some more of the discussion I mentioned yesterday.

In that discussion on racism, I mentioned forms of discrimination I have faced or my family has faced in the past. Apparently, though, that just made some there mad because to mention any form of discrimination that doesn't involve labeling all white people as racist against non-white people is just denying racism exists and insulting them. Uh, ok.

Yet by that same logic, their talk about racism belittles all the discrimination I've faced and denies it. In other words, it has no logic at all.

People are discriminated against in ways big and small all the time. It is not always about race. It is not always that significant. If you get on a crowded bus, and one person hasn't bathed that day, and another person smells like flowers, you will discriminate against the non-bather and sit next to the flower child. And with good reason. Now, perhaps the non-bather was homeless and it wasn't her fault she couldn't bathe that day, or maybe her water was shut off, or who knows, but that isn't the point. By not sitting next to her, you've discriminated against her. But no one would begrudge you for doing so. Of course, those with a racial filter on full-tilt would say that you didn't sit next to her because of her race if her race doesn't match yours and the flower child does. Because they see everything as about race, even when its not. When everyone on that bus is the same race, they'll still say everything is about race. It gets rather tiresome.

I think it speaks volumes that any mention of discrimination I or my family has faced is dismissed out of hand, not only that, but then is included as further evidence that I'm racist, for being insensitive enough to point out that there are other forms of discrimination, some of which are actually still socially acceptable, such as discrimination against atheists. It is like they think racism is the only form of discrimination that matters. Anything else is a threat to their status as number one victim. Not even when that discrimination takes the form of genocide does it matter - it is still all about how I'm a racist, despite a few dozen members of my family being sent to the gas chambers by the nazis. Then they get mad at me for bringing it up at all because hey, I'm a racist, I don't get to complain about being discriminated against. I'm white, I should just take my privilege and shut up. Except they don't quite articulate any real privilege, just vague nonsense that has more to do with demographics than racism.

Basically, the whole conversation can be boiled down to being told "shut up, you're white, you're a racist - say otherwise and you are a bigger racist for not accepting that you are a racist for being white - and now we're blocking any further conversation on the subject because if you don't understand that just being white makes you a racist and that claiming any form of discrimination against yourself makes you a racist just proves you're a racist." Not exactly a constructive conversation. Mostly it is about hate, if you ask me.

The really sad thing is that by trying to redefine racism to a blanket term that applies to all white people (and only white people) just for being white they dilute the word to meaninglessness. If one doesn't want to be called a racist or be a racist, and yet what one does as an individual is irrelevant to that label, then why not refuse to hire minorities, denigrate them, and shout the n-word at them, because to do so apparently makes you no more a racist than the person who is sitting quietly at home reading a book (but had the audacity to be born white). Once racism is no longer about what you do, but is only about skin color, then you've robbed the word of all real meaning. Michael Richards's n-word scream fest on stage then is not news, because hey, we already knew he was a racist because he was white. So let's not even report on it, because racism isn't about what you do anymore. Some white folks drag a black man behind a truck and kill him for being black, well, that's not news either. No need to report it to anyone. After all, we knew they were white. So we knew they were racist. Their murder was beside the point.

I wonder if it will ever occur to these left-wing types that being filled with such hate and directing it at those who wish to engage you in discussion will not convince anyone of anything except that they are not worth talking to.

I'm not going back to that thread, or any other on that site. Not because of anything they said - not even for the insults. I can take that. That is even part of the conversation, when you get down to it. I'm not going back because, though I was respectful and stuck to the topic at hand, I was still semi-blocked (put in moderation status) simply because they disagreed with my ideas and did not wish to engage them on that level. If that's what they have to resort to, then the conversation is over.

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