RE: Not Funny Now - Sad

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 20:52:00 MDT

Mike Lorrey writes

> [But] there are different types of racists as well. Those
> who think that someone needs to meet a lower standard just
> because of their skin color to get the same job or to be
> accepted into college, or someone who thinks that someone
> who is 7 generations separated from their enslaved ancestors
> deserves 'reparations', is themselves a racist:

Not necessarily. I agree that this is *sometimes* the case,
but a person can realize that, statistically, black people are
often less qualified than, say, Asians, and "deserve" to have
a helping hand. This person *need not* be a racist. I.e.,
it's possible that they do not believe that the statistical
inferiority came about through inherent (in the strong sense
of inevitable) traits, but rather conditionally. You and I
would agree that whatever human beings "deserve", sometimes
it is and sometimes it is not what is best for them and for
everyone in the long run.

> they are assuming that the black person is inferior to the white person
> in that they are incapable of attaining the same level of achievement
> with the same standards of performance,

Yes. That is exactly what they are assuming. Of course, I'm
sure that you know that they amplify on this to assert that the
causes of this incapacity are racism or poverty or whatever.

> or that their life was somehow oppressed because their
> great-great-great-great grandparent happened to
> be a slave (rather than, say, a serf).

Yes. Their argument becomes very awkward at this point.

> These sentiments about affirmative action and reparations arise
> in the liberal white person from the same opinions (no matter
> how guiltily felt) about the inferiority of black people that
> results from stereotypes and ignorance, feelings that blacks are
> somehow less capable of achievement as individuals than whites.

It all depends on how methodical those opinions are: again, if
they believe that the inferiority is statistical in nature, such
as for example, the inferiority of my people (from western Nebraska,
as compared to urban Jews), and is traceable to historical conditions,
that's one thing. But if they deeply and unconsciously fear that it's
much stronger and broader (i.e., they are racist) then that's another.
Now I better stop... and quickly exclaim that there are many liberals
who deny any differences whatsoever, statistical or not. They live
in denial, and attribute *all* differences between *all* people
everywhere to discrimination and racist attitudes on others' parts.

> Just as the KKK racist discriminates by hate and exclusion, the
> liberal racist discriminates by guilt and coddling, and both do it
> on a basis of skin color rather than the character of the individual.

Yes. Exactly so. And they appear to have no idea of how
much harm they do to everyone---especially to the intended
beneficiaries of their discrimination.

Lee Corbin

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