The ugly nature of progressive race views
When it comes to race, we are witnessing an ugly return to segregation, unequal treatment, and forced outcomes. A re-examination of our concept of race is becoming overdue.
Race is not just the coloration of one's skin, as it may widely vary in hue and intensity and, over time, in the same group of individuals. For example, not all Caucasians are fair-skinned, and not all Africans are black. Generally, we ascribe to a geographic location (original or changed by migration) a racial characteristic, whereby Europe and parts of America are majority "white," Africa is "black," Asia is "yellow," etc. These are mere historical shorthand words that are visual in origin and fail to convey the true meaning of race. They are what the human eye may see or have seen, and they are incomplete descriptions at best. Indeed, these "colorations" have become stereotypes and have been further compromised by the introduction of slur words equivalent to each race group.
So what is race, and how can we best go beyond our simple awareness of it, understand it more thoroughly, and make good use of that understanding in interpersonal relationships?
Race, intended as one's skin coloration, is only one physical feature of discrete and differentiated groups of people within the human species. How these characteristics evolved, perhaps from one common set of ancestors, remains a mystery shrouded in time and protected by the lack of historical records. Whether we were all the same skin color at one time, or different from the very beginning, is not as important as to observe that clans or tribes composed of multiple families living together and working together for the common good appeared to be homogeneous in their physical characteristics, their language, their customs, and their traditions. In one word, major groups had distinct cultures.
Within the same cultural group, individuals and sub-groups would progressively vary in their physical features from a homogenous autochthonous center (the motherland, the group's most ancestral home) and toward the periphery of their settlement. It was at the periphery that the group would begin to differentiate from the center in noticeable ways, by entering in contact with other cultures, or simply by being farther removed from the center of their own culture. This continues to this day, whereby border regions are often inhabited by at least bilingual and even tri-lingual people. Defense and self-protection were more problematic at the periphery, especially because the surrounding groups were often unfriendly and aroused fear and suspicions. In inter-group relationships, at that time, diplomacy was an expedient that seldom produced the wanted results. War and domination of one group over another were the most frequently chosen solution.
It is interesting to note that the first multi-racial — i.e., not culturally and racially homogenous — empires have left little historical record of "race" (i.e., skin coloration) as being a major cause of internal conflict. Culture, economic power, and religion prevailed in importance over considerations of skin hue. Slavery was widely practiced, and it, too, was colorblind. Emperors, generals, and nobles could be any race they happened to be, by and large. What was always present, however, was the original concept of distinct families, clans, and nations.
The innate envy, fear, and suspicion of the "other" group, of their economic and military power, and of their intentions over their neighbors prevented complete mingling through intermarriage (i.e., the creation of one single planetary "race") and has persisted to this day. These feelings of envy and mistrust appear to be inherent in human nature, whereby even kinfolk may fight each other over their often scarce possessions. I believe that this mistrust was and continues to be augmented by differences in culture, politics, customs, beliefs, and skin color. If I am (or my group is) stronger and bigger than you, as it goes, then I am safer, richer, more comfortable — and I vastly prefer it than to being at your mercy. I may be black (or blacker), or I may be white (or whiter) or some other hue, but what matters is that I have the power (money, weapons, youth, health, cunning) and you don't. It appears that this line of reasoning, conscious or subconscious, holds true at the macro-level (nation-states) and at the micro-level (families and clans). It holds true in Africa, in Europe, in America, in Asia, and in Oceania.
In the early days of the United States, the war of independence from England spurred a formal, written declaration of its motives. Within that document, a statement has become familiar to Americans more than any other: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It is at this point that one problem became obvious: who was a "man" created by God and endowed with these Rights, and who wasn't? Was this passage to be understood as meaning that all "men" created by God were equal in standing before their Creator and in their Rights, but not necessarily while here on Earth? How could slavery coexist with the Declaration?
Apparently, this glaring contradiction did not immediately register with the people in Washington who were in charge of defining the governing principles of this country and its laws and regulations. Many continued to hold other men in servitude, either as living machines of production (cotton, other crops), or household help (in the best cases). Was this because the term "men" did not apply to these people, and therefore, it did not entitle them to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Or was it because of the color of their skin? Could it be that it was for the former reason, with the skin color being a pre-existing feature and not a causative feature? In other words, were slaves transported from West Africa to America because of their skin color or because of their economic value?
Here, the psychology of one group versus another would find its roots where they've always been: in the political and economic power that ensured the dominant group's safety and comfort at the expense of the "lesser" groups — which is a better definition of racism, and one that includes but transcends skin coloration. A bloody civil war had to be fought to begin the societal march toward full acceptance of the Declaration's equality truth, and then on to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the seminal words of Martin Luther King:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Today in America and elsewhere, a new racism has reared its ugly head amid the progressive elites of the dominant group. Under the false flag of "equity, diversity, and inclusion" (per se, perfectly acceptable principles), one culture (which happens to have a more prevalent skin color than another) is once again being treated as inferior (in capability, potential, worth), as not capable of taking ownership of its own destiny, as in need of facilitation, protections, safeguards, handouts, and entitlements — "graciously" handed out by the progressive elites. Character is but a secondary or tertiary consideration, as often "skin coloration" becomes the first (and often the only) standard of performance. Gone are the days of equal opportunity; enter the days of preferential (and disempowering, dehumanizing) treatment.
We're entering a new era of discrimination, dressed up in better-sounding terms. It must not become the new normal.
Image: Max Pixel, CC0 public domain.