A Brief History of Modern Racism

I remember the first time I got called a racist. I was 17 years old, and was in my first year of university, involved in a philosophical discussion. Someone had claimed that the word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace’, and I had countered that it really means ‘submission’, only to be told that this was a misconception that I had to be racist to believe. In the 20 years since then, as this essay will examine, our conception of what racism is has only become more ridiculous.

Racism originally started out as a reaction to the racial supremacist sentiments that were blamed, in English-speaking popular culture, for World War II. As the story goes, the evil dictator Adolf Hitler stirred up such latent sentiments among German speakers, which lead to an attempt to invade Eastern Europe for the purposes of securing lebensraum for the overflow of Germans. This led to the deaths of some thirty million people, and all because of racism.

Quite reasonably, there developed a movement within postwar popular culture to reject racist sentiments, so that the causes of World War II would not cause another great conflagration. The problem, as with so much of popular culture, is that things went too far. Far, far too far.

Once upon a time, in order to be called a racist you had to display racial prejudice that harmed someone. A racist would be someone who called a black man a “nigger” in public, or someone who refused to hire the best-qualified applicant on the grounds that he was Asian. An example of something that was racist would be going around your neighbourhood beating up Aborigines. Choosing to hold an unfashionable political opinion was not racist, as this was just a thought, and thoughts weren’t crimes once.

Now, if a person doesn’t actively hate the white race and wish for its destruction, that person is considered some kind of white supremacist. The ‘It’s Okay To Be White’ campaign revealed that, in the minds of many people, a refusal to feel guilt on account of being white is tantamount to support for white supremacy. You can now be racist merely for a refusal to be ashamed for being white.

In modern times, our conception of racism has evolved, and well beyond any directive to treat different races on equal terms. The white man is perfectly evil – if you think that there’s a semblance of good in him, you’re a racist. All men of other races are perfectly innocent – if you think there’s a semblance of malice in them that did not arise as a result of their oppression at the hands of white people, you’re a racist. This is the new dogma – question it at your peril.

All economic and social advantages that the white man possesses can be attributed to his ruthless oppression of coloured people and the theft of their natural birthright, but curiously this does not apply to Jews. Despite being much wealthier than the average white person (at least in America), Jews did not achieve their position by any immoral means, but only by diligent and intelligent application of effort.

It is never explained why the white man can not have become rich by the same application of effort as the Jew, it’s just assumed that the white man became rich through crime, while the Jew – who is far wealthier – did so through honest hard work.

Similarly, an attempt has been made to redefine racism as “prejudice + power”, implying that black people cannot be racist against white people on account of that black people do not possess institutional power with which to oppress white people. But, as above, white people do not possess institutional power with which to oppress Jews, yet white people are accused of anti-Jewish racism all the time.

Believing in science is now racist if science suggests facts that are in any way unflattering to a coloured person. It’s not even okay to suggest that different groups of people evolved to meet the survival challenges of different environments, unless of course all non-white people evolved to be superior to whites (there is no way in which white people could have evolved to be superior over anyone else). The idea that the different challenges of different environments led to different intelligences is right out.

It can be seen from the examples above that much of what passes for modern racism is really an anti-white sentiment, either self-hatred projected outwards (as in the case of the social justice warrior) or simple hatred born of envy and fear (as in the case of most coloured people). This explains why accusations of racism are often made in situations where they make no logical sense, the most common example today being getting called racist for expressing a dislike of Islam.

The truth, of course, is that most of this racism hysteria is part of what is known as “call-out culture” – in other words, it’s mostly a way for bourgeois white people to one-up each other, gaining social capital at the expense of their fellows. The modern concept of racism has, therefore, lost all contact with its roots as a way of reducing suffering from racial prejudice. It’s now just a fashion, displayed as shamelessly as any other.

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