Obama Should Boycott Anti-"Racism" Conference, Theory of "Races"
Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.
Many, many but not all Blacks, including Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-Calif.), are angry that President Barack Obama is boycotting a UN World Conference on Racism. I'm pleased to see President Obama boycott this conference, but for a very different reason than others: the word "racism" is an anachronism that undercuts the struggle it purports to fight.
If we believe that whites persecute us on the basis of our "race" then we must agree with white supremacists that Blacks are from a different "race" from whites. Ever since whites used excuses based on the belief in separate and unequal "races" to justify slavery, there has been the strong belief in America and elsewhere that whites and Blacks, by virtue of different skin colors and skin color-associated physical characteristics, are from separate "races", and therefore should use separate bathrooms, etc.
The belief in separate races is a manifestly false belief, based on white supremacist propaganda rather than science. Rather than try to "unite the races", we need to state very clearly and consistently that "race" does not exist at all, and that whites are persecuting us based on our skin color and ethnicity. It seems silly to persecute people based on skin color, because it is silly. The belief in separate "races" gives this color aroused bigotry a patina of scientific rationale which should instead be rejected once and for all. I'm am convinced that, rhetorically and politically, this is the more solid and powerful high ground from which to fight that which for decades has erroneously been termed "racism".
And so I don't want to see President Barack Obama lend his name and the power of the US Government to the belief that separate "races" exist. They don't and they never did.
There is a very real problem with Isreal's treatment of Arabs (and American police treatment of Blacks), but these problems are based on the determination of some people with white skin to dominate, persecute, and marginalize others based on their skin color and ethnicity. That's not "racism". That's color and ethnicity-associated ideation, emotion and political behavior. Fighting so-called "racism" will not change Israels's behavior toward Arab neighbors. Cutting US support for Israel and it's military will change Israel's behavior toward its Arab neighbors, and does not require us to concede that we are from a different species than whites.
Of course, changing US policy toward Israel will take a generation or two of effort, but calling Israel "racist" will not change Israel's behavior any sooner. It will only embolden them in their false belief and insistence that, as part of different "races", Arabs and Israelis are fundamentally different from each other in ways that go beyond their skin color, eye color, hair color, ethnicity and history.
Let's get this right. Let's insist that although different skin colors and ethnicities exist, the belief in "separate races" is a white supremacist fallacy argument whose only purpose is to perpetuate color-aroused defamation, subjugation, and marginalization of others. Like it or not, we cannot logically insist that separate "races" do not exist while simultaneously continuing to rely on the word "racism" to describe color-aroused subjugation of others. Before we can teach the world, we need to get our own semantic and rhetorical house in order.
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Redwater, Alberta, Canada