Black and white
May 2nd, 2011 by Unamused
Starlette McNeill of the Daily Race has stumbled across Unamusement Park’s secret hate laboratory in the course of her spiritual pilgrimage/intrepid sleuthing, just like in that Nancy Drew book. You know, “Nancy Drew and the Secret of White Racial Consciousness”?
Fortunately, she — I mean Mrs. McNeill, not Miss Drew — hasn’t yet uncovered our secret bunker complex in Vermont. That, at least, is safe. For the moment.
To describe this post as troubling is an understatement as it does nothing to further the discussion of your position however disagreeable it may be for me. I think that I am more disturbed at your handling of the matter and your redefining of its expression as “another whiny black.” Now, I’m not offended at the title because I don’t identify myself as either whiny or black. The comments that you approved for others to view are indicative of your goal. In my opinion, you would do more to facilitate constructive and meaningful dialogue if you were not so constrained in your vision by race.
I grant that this (“does nothing to further the discussion”) is a reasonable thing to say if you are unfamiliar with the ‘Park and its endless treatises on black people and their many idiosyncrasies. “Another whiny black” is, quite frankly, not much of a post, content-wise. Therefore I suggested more substantial material. “I don’t know what dialogue you think I’m trying to facilitate,” I further ventured, “but I’d settle for getting white people angry.” Followed by the irresistible: “Seriously? You don’t identify as black?” (She will accept “African-American.”)
Anyway, I thought her follow-up comment (below) merited a post of its own.
Thanks for responding to my post and no, I don’t identify as a black person — seriously. I believe that a racialized life is an unexamined and unexperienced life. It is an identity given as I was told that I was black and I have a choice as to whether or not I want to accept it.
Aesthetically, I am not physically black so what does it mean when I am referred to as a black person? Black is a social condition not a human condition. Some books that have been very instrumental in strengthening my position include that of “Race: The History of an Idea in America” by Thomas Gossett, “The Invention of the White Race” by Theodore Allen and anything by David Roediger who said, “(Whiteness) is the empty and therefore terrifying attempt to build an identity based on what one isn’t and on whom one cannot hold back.” The reality of race has not been proven by any branch of science, philosophy or religion though employed by all to justify its oppressions and privileges. It is a cruel imagination in my opinion. To say that I live a raceless life is actually quite libgerating. I stand in agreement with Albert Einstein who said once, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” and DuBois who said that color is “the eternal world-wide mark of meanness.” You have to step outside of it in order to honestly critique it and reject it.
I should add that I do identify as an African American as black is not a country or a continent for that matter but a color.
This post is an open letter to Mrs. McNeill and anyone else who sympathizes with her ideas.
I will try to behave.
Like the police, I’m always telling black people to identify themselves (LOL jk)
If we’re going to have a productive dialogue, and not just play word games until one of us gets bored, then we need to establish some terminology. It doesn’t really matter what terms we use, as long as we both know what they refer to (language being defined by usage).
Yes, black is a color. No, Mrs. McNeill, you are not black in that sense. However, that is not what I mean by “black” in this context, and it is not what 99.9 percent of the English-speaking world means by it either. Forget the color black. It’s about as relevant to this conversation as the South Pole is to Polish people.
Human beings can be grouped into races (and subraces) according to ancestral geography. The black races are made up of people of recent sub-Saharan African descent: those people whose ancestors, going back hundreds of generations and thousands of years, except possibly for the last few hundred years, were inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa. Obviously, there are also people who are 50 percent black, 90 percent black, 1 percent black, and so on, and the lines we draw to separate black from non-black are necessarily blurry — but then so is the line between short and tall, yet height continues to exist.
There are five races of blacks (again, this is based on ancestral geography): the Khoid race (or Hottentot), the Sanid race (or Bushmen), the Central Congoid race, the Bambutid race (or Pygmies), and the Aethiopid race (hybridized with Caucasoids). In America, for well-known historical reasons, the majority of blacks belong to the Central Congoid race (“[g]eographic center and origin in the Congo river basin”). There’s just not a whole lot of Bushmen or Pygmies here.
It is important to remember that races are not defined by skin pigmentation, although in America dark skin is a convenient way to identify black people — hence the term “black”. (There’s not a whole lot of dark-skinned Australian Aborigines here either. Maybe they’re all hanging out with the Pygmies.)
The Central Congoid race has four subraces, two of which are particularly well known. West Africans (the Sudanid subrace) produce the world’s best sprinters. East Africans (the Kafrid or Bantid subrace), on the other hand, produce the best distance runners, but they don’t make good sprinters. According to Jon Entine’s book “Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid to Talk About It,” “no white, Asian or East African has broken ten seconds in the 100metres.” (Update: Harold corrects me in the comments; also see here.)
How can this be? What does ancestral geography have to do with athletic ability? Well, the relevant equation here is:
geographical separation + time + evolution = genetic differences
That, at least, is what evolutionary biology teaches us to expect. Can we test this theory? In fact, this is what happens when you measure and plot three principal components of genetic variation (PC1, PC2, PC3) among black people:
If I had to choose just one conclusion to draw from that graph, “races don’t exist” wouldn’t be it. More on that later.
I think this addresses one part of Mrs. McNeill’s comment.
… I don’t identify as a black person… It is an identity given as I was told that I was black and I have a choice as to whether or not I want to accept it.
Aesthetically, I am not physically black so what does it mean when I am referred to as a black person? Black is a social condition not a human condition. …
I should add that I do identify as an African American as black is not a country or a continent for that matter but a color.
According to my definition (which happens to be a very popular one, as well as the only one that makes sense socially, genetically, and anthropologically), one cannot choose to be black or not, for exactly the same reason that one cannot choose one’s parents.
Americans are citizens of the United States of America; Africans come from Africa, or at least their ancestors do; African-Americans… well, you figure it out. But black is — okay, yes, a color, but also a way to describe ancient ancestry.
The reality of race
Now I’ll address the second part of Mrs. McNeill’s comment.
The reality of race has not been proven by any branch of science, philosophy or religion though employed by all to justify its oppressions and privileges. It is a cruel imagination in my opinion.
You’re in luck, because debunking the statement I’ve emphasized is one of Unamusement Park’s specialties. I have written extensively on the subject:
- “Big lies,” Big Lie #1 being that race doesn’t exist
- “The African Running Straw Man,” again, which addresses differences (genetic, athletic… er, peripatetic?) between black subraces
- “Income and IQ,” on race differences in intelligence
- “Your ideas are stupid and so are you (part 2),” rebutting a “rebuttal” of race differences in intelligence
- “‘Scientific racism’ is actually valid science” (part 1, part 2), on debunking race denialism — the (massive) part 2, in particular, has a lot of information about genetic race
- here are more and more and more posts debunking race denialism
- hey, I even wrote something about Hispanic people
Here are some of race realism’s greatest hits (race realism being the radical idea that races are real, as opposed to race denialism).
- An article in the American Journal of Human Genetics reports a 99.86 percent success rate in determining a person’s self-reported race (white, African-American, East Asian, or Hispanic) based solely on genetic clusters (i.e., patterns of DNA).
- According to Genome Biology, geneticists, medical doctors, and statisticians agree: medically speaking, race exists. That’s probably why acknowledging the reality of race can help doctors treat patients.
- Forensic anthropologists can determine a person’s race just from looking at his bones (CNN). Dr. George Gill can explain it better than I can.
- From the Department of Uncomfortable Truths: Richard Lynn’s “Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis”.
- We already saw a plot of genetic variation among black people. Here’s one of genetic variation among all the races — I mean, the so-called, fake, imaginary, non-existent races, of course:
- Here are a couple of genetic maps from famous geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza’s magnum opus, “The History and Geography of Human Genes” — again, this is just genes. First, we look at the whole world:
And here’s a closer look at Africa:
So… that’s it. That’s my case. Race is real, and it’s genetic.
Which is why Asian people have Asian babies.
A, B, C and 1, 2, 3… and 4
Finally, I will address the third part of Mrs. McNeill’s comment.
I believe that a racialized life is an unexamined and unexperienced life. …
… Some books that have been very instrumental in strengthening my position include that of “Race: The History of an Idea in America” by Thomas Gossett, “The Invention of the White Race” by Theodore Allen and anything by David Roediger who said, “(Whiteness) is the empty and therefore terrifying attempt to build an identity based on what one isn’t and on whom one cannot hold back.” …
… To say that I live a raceless life is actually quite liberating. I stand in agreement with Albert Einstein who said once, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” and DuBois who said that color is “the eternal world-wide mark of meanness.” You have to step outside of it in order to honestly critique it and reject it.
Certainly one can put too much emphasis on race. Unfortunately, our problem is that we do not put nearly enough emphasis on race. We do not acknowledge its reality, its significance.
Here are four statements which are (a) true, and not even scientifically controversial, (b) crucial to understanding the world we live in, but nevertheless (c) totally unacceptable in mainstream, contemporary American society, for purely political reasons (as opposed to scientific or moral or… whatever).
- black people are less intelligent on average than white people
- black people commit more crime on average than white people
- it’s better to live in a white-majority nation than a black-majority nation
- most racial discrimination in the USA today is directed against white people
Anyway, this blog is essentially all about the four statements above, so I won’t even address them in this post (well, maybe the third statement — see below). Instead, I want to talk about this excellent example of a racial slur: “[whiteness] is the empty and therefore terrifying attempt to build an identity based on what one isn’t and on whom one cannot hold back” (David Roediger).
What can a proud Caucasian say to such nonsense? (“Screw you, David Roediger” leaps to mind.) I’m supposed to take this clown’s word for it that whiteness is an attempt (an empty and therefore terrifying one, at that) to build an identity based on what one isn’t and on whom one cannot hold back? Gee, and all this time I’ve been operating under the assumption that whiteness is the quality of belonging to the white race, and that the white race (or races — see Caucasoid races E through J) is made up of people of recent European descent: those people whose ancestors, going back hundreds of generations and thousands of years, except possibly for the last few hundred years, were inhabitants of Europe. And Russia. And bits of North Africa — okay, it’s complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to tell Poles from Pakistanis (that is, Nordish Caucasoid from Indic Caucasoid). So that’s what white people are.
White people! Remember us? We built Western civilization? Invented just about everything worth inventing? Discovered just about everything worth discovering? Modern medicine? Man on the moon? Milk, pasteurization of?
You must have noticed that our countries — white-majority nations — are the best places in the world to live. America, Britain, Canada, Denmark, even Estonia for crying out loud (most internet freedom in the world!), France, Germany — why on Earth did I think this list was necessary? I mean, sure, there are good things about, er… Afghanistan, Botswana, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, um… French Polynesia is quite nice (even if they do hate the Chinese)… Ghana?
These are all perfectly obvious facts about the white race. About the worst thing that can be said about them is that focusing too much on them demonstrates an irrational or even unhealthy interest in whiteness. After all, I didn’t build Western civilization. I didn’t put a man on the moon (as far as I know). At best, my ancestors did. So why the race obsession?
— a question, incidentally, which only white people ever have to answer. If they hope to avoid being publicly disgraced, that is.
Why do I take pride in white accomplishments? Why do I bother to identify as white? Because in a world of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Eskimos, Indians, Arabs, Jews, Pygmies, and a slew of other races and ethnicities, life is very dangerous for the one group that doesn’t look out for its own interests. The one group, in fact, that generally doesn’t allow anyone to look out for its interests.
I hope you’re ready, ’cause here’s the really racist part
White racial consciousness is essentially the radical idea that whites are people too; that their opinions count, even their opinions about race; and that they should look out for their own interests. The interests of the white race, that is: their big extended family. You know, the way every other race looks out for itself? (Sorry OneSTDV, I’m still working on the whole white moral autonomy thing.)
“White supremacy,” however you define it, really doesn’t enter into it. Nor does it enter into this:
White nationalism (white separatism, if you prefer — replace “nation” by “neighborhood”) is essentially the radical idea that white people would be better off (in any way you’d care to name — and no, “diverseness” doesn’t count) in a white-majority nation (I listed some above), with a system of immigration and naturalization (i.e., assimilation) designed to keep it that way.
Well… wouldn’t they? Be better off, that is. You know, like the Japanese in Japan, with their strict immigration policies? Or, hell, like the Mexicans in Mexico, with their strict immigration policies?
Consider Mexico. Look at the rate at which Mexicans are immigrating to California. Look at the slow but steady deterioration — destruction, really — of that once great state. Now look at the way Mexico already is. Well… what did you think would happen? California will turn into Mexico as soon as it is full of Mexicans. I am continually astonished that this is a controversial theory.
Consider a certain other continent — I’m not going to say which. Picture the following purely hypothetical scenario — better yet, don’t picture it, just read it. A fourteen-year-old boy, high on cocaine, forces a mother to watch as he decapitates her son with a machete. Next, he and dozen of his machete-wielding, cocaine-snorting chums will rape and murder her. In an adjacent country, maybe even an adjacent village, children are being tortured and killed for being “witches,” while albinos are being murdered and dismembered so that their body parts can be sold to “witches.” Oh yeah, and it’s the twenty-first goddamn century. Quick: what race are all these people?
Follow-up question: how, exactly, is the evil legacy of colonialism, imperialism, and slavery making Nigerians massacre hundreds of men, women, and children with machetes? Or making South African machete gangs slice off young men’s genitals for use in “traditional medicine”? (That’s African culture for you. Hey, who are we to judge? Oh, that’s right: we’re civilized human beings.) Or making East Africans chop up albinos for similar magical purposes? Or making Africans torture and murder “witches,” some of them just children? (It’s surprisingly popular over there.)
Here, have a shirt. Alllllll better.
- Eden Prairie, MN: 91 percent white, 5 percent Asian, 2 percent black
- Ellicott City, MD: 78 percent white, 12 percent Asian, 7 percent black
- Newton, MA: 88 percent white, 8 percent Asian, 2 percent black
- Bellevue, WA: 74 percent white, 17 percent Asian, 2 percent black
- McKinney, TX: 78 percent white, 1 percent Asian, 7 percent black
And the worst, most dangerous, most drug- and crime-ridden cities?
- Cleveland, OH: 53 percent black, 36 percent non-Hispanic white
- Memphis, TN: 63 percent black, 30 percent non-Hispanic white
- Detroit, MI: 82 percent black, 12 percent white
- Flint, MI: 53 percent black, 41 percent white
- Miami, FL: 19 percent black, 70 percent Hispanic, 12 percent non-Hispanic white
The list goes on. According to Hip-Hop Wired, of all places,
[o]ut of the top 10 list [of the most dangerous cities in America], African Americans are more than 50% of the population on 8 of the 10 cities listed.
White nationalism: the best idea everybody’s ever hated.