I'm glad David Thompson's blog is once again touching on the subject of Racism Inc., because I had to listen to some parents at a kids' birthday party the other day going on about racism as though no other issue would ever exist again. Christ, I wanted to ruin their afternoon.
I wanted to say: surely it's human nature that if you encourage a group to look out for racism against themselves - they will learn to do just that. They will naturally see what is to be gained by claiming to be victims of racism. Even when the racism is doubtful - they will still get the sympathy, or the extra leeway.
They will also make mistakes. It's mundane human nature to misunderstand each other's motives. Sometimes we will ascribe very negative motives to someone who has simply had a bad day. I dare say some blacks or Muslims sometimes feel an unnecessary paranoia of racism. It surely exists, but can it be as prevalent as everyone is saying?
We need to be free to say 'actually perhaps that situation was not racism or xenophobia'. But I'm not sure we do feel free to say that. If we do, then members of victim groups threaten to get twice as angry, and 'progressive' do-gooders shout with fury. Of course, if you deny racism you must be one of the racists.
The result: we're encouraged to say that some situation has a racial element, and very much NOT encouraged to question it. So the show rumbles on, with seemingly unstoppable momentum.
Because it isn't just the victim group members, it's the white people who want to strike a pose by rejecting any faith in their own culture. Other whites, furthermore, who don't get that neutrality towards race is the ideal. These types think they are oh-so-worthy if they take sides against whites in some way.
...anyway my fellow party-goers didn't get to hear all that, so I had to write it all down in a hurry. It's not entertaining and not pretty - just primate social dynamics.