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RACE: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT

No sound-minded human being would ever say with a straight face, that human classification based on color [race], is inherently necessary...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Racism vs. racism: Racial pride vs. Radicalization of Racial pride

Racism is simply the idea that one’s race is better than any other race. This is a natural perception, assumption or feeling about one’s race. Taking it in itself by itself, it’s benign. We all believe that there’s something special about ourselves or our race. This is a natural feeling about one’s self no one should be denied. We all can express it all we want.

Europeans can pride in who they are and Africans can pride in who they are.
If pride in one’s race isn’t the problem then what’s the problem?

While a simple pride in one’s race is acceptable, the application of that pride in one’s race is what we need to keep our eyes on. Some people believe that their race is the best and stop from there…they don’t go any farther.  Others believe their race is the best but take it a little farther. They either flaunt the success of their race with flamboyant arrogance or they use that pride to make sure that others feel bad about their race. In a word, they use the pride in their race as an instrument to not only pride in their race, but to make sure that other races are not only put down, but that the conceptual distance between themselves and other Races is greatly increased.
One might feel bad or sad when put down through racial pride but that’s not the evil of racism. That’s more about one’s emotional strength then it’s about any truth about races.

But that still, by itself is not the problem!
So being proud of your race (even with excessive edge) is not the problem. And using that pride in one’s race to put others down, while bad, isn’t the major problem in what we consider the evil of ‘Racism.’

So what’s the problem with race and Racism?

A feeling about one’s self is innate. It’s not something you create! While it might be enhanced by some factors within one’s social environment, one’s general feeling about oneself is natural. So one’s feeling about one’s race is a bigger version of one’s feeling about one’s race.
Feeling about one’s self à pride in one’s family à pride in one’s collective group à pride in one’s race
This is simply a natural progression and there’s nothing wrong or unnatural about it.

Here’s where the problem lies when it comes to racism.
There are effectivizing factors that play into racism to make it either effective or affecting. These are the instrumentalizing issues I call Instigating Factors. And these are the factors that determine the evils that originate from racism.

Some of these factors are
-          Hatred
-          Power
-          Wealth
-          Bigotry (religious or otherwise)
-          Poverty


When these IFs play into racism, racism becomes detrimental to both parties. When hatred plays into pride in one’s race, then it becomes destructive to everyone. When Power or Wealth is used by those who possess it against people of a different race then a problem is created.
Unless you have the above IFs, then a simple pride in one’s race isn’t the problem.  When a simple pride in one’s race (racism) is radicalized through the application of IFs then it becomes Racism.

ð  Racism + IFs = Racism.
So Racism is the radical application of racism
 
We tend to lump everything up as bad without any critical analysis. What’s bad in being proud of one’s race or tribe or any social group? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! What’s questionable or even wrong is the radicalization of that pride through the application of IFs. This is what affects others and the very person applying the IFs.

When a ‘white person’ expresses his/her pride in his/her race, we have to remember that his feelings are absolutely natural and acceptable. What we have to note; however, is the possible radicalization of his natural feelings through the use of IFs. The latter is the evil of Racism we talk about.