Expedient Racism

It’s a cult of violence, punishment gone mad, people apparently thinking if a little abuse is good for us, a lot must be better, and we are all raised in it, it is the most heritable thing in the  world, transmitted by force, from all to all. This abuse is a feedback loop, reinforcing itself, the abused abuse, and are abused again “to stop them.”

The threat never ceases, as many have observed, humans live in threat response constantly, always on guard. In this world, where there is always the pain of authority and power over your head, stress is a condition of human life.

Our aboriginal world was largely monochromatic, as the chimpanzee Gombe secession and war showed, our neighbors were our cousins, and they look just like us. Many human societies have customs designed to differentiate themselves from the neighbors, who probably started out as identical to ourselves, scarification and such. I don’t think our aboriginal condition meant different coloured neighbors; I don’t think skin-colour racism is an old thing in the world, certainly it isn’t primal.

Fighting is, though, violence is, and in a world of threat, finding an obvious, visible other to deflect to . . . priceless, to make an Amex commercial out of it. This is racism – convenience, visibility. The function it serves – othering, threat, war, the dominance of warriors, is older than racism, and apparently not suffering any criticism, everyone loves punishing, everyone worships strength.

I think racism doesn’t need to be taught.

I think in this setup, this competitive, punitive, police state cult of punishing and violence, I think the kids will be looking for victims, and find their own way to racism, whether you model exactly that particular sort of hate or not.

I mean, that would be terrific, I guess if we were just a cult of violence all day long, but not a racist one, an equal opportunity police state . . . OK, you see it now? I hate racism too, but if this were a non-violent world, where people wouldn’t hurt us, then racism would just be mean comedy, right? I just think if there’s a racial murder, the murder should get top billing, like it might be a murder prosecution, but . . . no, it’s an op-ed about race. I’m not getting there.

I would happily wake up to a world that is racist, misogynist, queerist and everything else, if it weren’t violent, if nobody killed nobody. Conversely, I will still fear a world where every verifiable form of discrimination has been outlawed but violence has not – and it has not if we still allow someone to do it, like the police and the military.

 

Jeff

June 7th., 2020

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