Sunday, May 21, 2006

The real real liberal agenda - really!

I'll admit it: I knew it was only a matter of time before my misleading rhetoric and outright lies were exposed. My recent post about Bill O'Reilly's racist tantrum was all in service to the fact that I want "to open the borders and give citizenship to illegals is to replace our current population with non-white (or at least non-non-Hispanic white) socialists." More fundamental to that is my belief that white people are inherently better than people of other races, rooted in my essential disgust for white people.

Sarcasm aside, blogger Glaivester, is absolutely correct that this doesn't make any sense. Where he loses me is the connection between what actually I said and the above interpretation of my real feelings. Here's the paragraph to which he took offense.
What I find to be brain-meltingly frustrating about arguing with people like this (see also here - and FYI I post on Plastic as yellownumber5) is that they seem to think that it's merely a coincidence that it's white Christian dudes who have snapped up the majority of the positions of power and the majority of the wealth in the world. Given that we do know about some blatant and some less blatant instances of bias - racism, sexism, etc - and that we don't know of any reason why white Christian dudes should be a lot better off than the rest of the inhabitants of this planet, the "it just so happens" mentality seems pretty fishy to me.
That all seems pretty reasonable to me, but I'm the one who wrote it so therefore I might be a little biased. If I may elaborate a little further, I was trying to express a general desire for the government to somewhat reflect the governed. In what is supposedly a representational democracy, I find it hard to believe that there are no oppressive mindsets or mechanisms that have kept only people with XY chromosomes in the White House - and yes, I outright reject the idea that white menfolk are inherently better at living than everyone else. He has me there.

So what's the logic behind Glaivester donning his tinfoil hat? I'll let him explain.
In fact, unless you are going to argue that it is a coincidence, you are going to have to argue that the prevalence of white males in positions of power is because they have some propensity that makes them achieve more. Either that, or you have to argue that somehow, before they initially achieved power, they originally exercised white power through being dishonest and stealing it, breaking treaties, etc., and that they were better at this (or simply more immoral and willing to do it more) than other races.
...
So the point is that blaming racism for whites being so dominant in the world is rather ridiculous, because racism could not be institutionalized until after whits [sic] had gained dominance. So there is no sensible way to decry whites for being dominant without in some way admitting that they are more competent (on average). So Sara Anderson is in some ways admitting to some of the ideas she despises.
The logical mobius strip that's being created here is truly dizzying. If I am not mistaken, Glaivester's point here is predicated on the idea that if someone has power, they must have earned it through a superior intellect or tenacity or whathaveyou. In other words, if you "admit" that one person has more power than another, then you're admitting to their inherent superiority. This seems like a bit of a stretch, since as I said originally, we have some pretty clear evidence of various roadblocks (to put it lightly) that have been set up between various peoples of color and the kind of prosperity that is generally reserved for pale guys who slick their hair back and wear monocles.

Between the impression Glaivester got, and the commenter that suggested I read Guns, Germs and Steel (I really should, now that you mention it), I guess I might have left the impression that there have been no factors in history that have affected unfair imbalances of power other than malice. On the contrary, like any good Godless evolutionist, I do understand that there's always a lucky or unlucky break that can have a radical effect on the outcome of history. Hand-in-hand with that knowledge should be idea that using unearned advantages to hoard power and resources is unfair and unethical. White people aren't more talented at business because malaria isn't endemic to Scandanavia, after all. Rich people don't have superior taste to poor people because they eat foie gras instead of Shake 'n' Bake. Glaivester is creating a moral framework to explain the maintenence of an immoral status quo. The name we have for his particular type of apologism is "racism."

After decrying those (i.e. me) who won't attribute white privilege to an inherent superiority or random chance (hint: if it keeps happening over and over again, it's not random!), he throws out every retrograde bigot's favorite guilt trip.
But I am tired of hearing whites have to apologize for their existence and their culture, and of hearing them vilified.
In a word: what-the-fuck-ever. Culture is not all-or-nothing. When there are toxic parts of your culture, you need to distance yourself from them and denounce them, even if they are advantageous to you. This includes racism and sexism and the persistent paranoia that people who don't think you're superior to them are out to get you. You do need to apologize for these things when you engage in them, and you aren't a victim when you lose your ill-gotten gains.

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