[Talented social justice warrior cartoonist Barry Deutch, aka. Ampersand, once would have been lurking to make the point of his cartoon above on Ethics Alarms, in the days before he self-exiled. I miss his reliable and articulate contributions, so I thought his cartoon would give him a free comment for nostalgia purposes. If he objects to it being used here, and he well might, I’ll take it down. (And, of course, the fact that one group benefited from racism in some respect is not a valid argument for others to benefit from racism against that group in response.)]
I was thrilled to see Comment of the Day auteur—we have several here—Humble Talent train his sites on a long-time annoyance of mine in the culture wars, the intellectually indefensible claim that racism only can exist in one direction, with whites being prejudiced against blacks. This is one of the great fallacies of the race-relations debates, and until it’s banished forever to the Land of Self-Serving Lies, I don’t see much progress being made. ‘It’s bad when YOU do it, but OK when I do it’ is, or should be, self-evidently hypocritical. When a group or individual tries to slip that one by, they lose all credibility, and worse, they endorse racism while condemning it. This has become epidemic in the dark days of the George Floyd Freakout, and just because a stunning number of whites, in the grip of fear, apathy or cognitive disability, are temporarily submitting to it doesn’t make the concept any more valid.
Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Now THIS Is Racism…But It’s Joe Biden, So Never Mind.”
“Racism = Prejudice + Power” isn’t, and was never, actually functional. I think they used “prejudice” because of the alliteration. “Racism = Discrimination + Power” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way. Their point was, I believe, and if anyone holding that view wants to correct me, I’ll be willing to listen, that Racism without power isn’t damaging the same way racism with power is, and so it shouldn’t be treated the same way.
There’s perhaps some truth to that; While I don’t particularly like it when people say hurtful things to me based on my race, I don’t think mean words have the same teeth as a two-tiered justice system. I’m not saying that’s what America has. It isn’t (at least not racially, laws are for little people, as the political elite love to showcase, and that’s not a racial divide). But hypothetically, a law that reinforced slavery, as an example, would be a whole lot more damaging to a person than mean words.
I don’t like that description, because it excuses a whole lot of bad behavior. Even if following someone down the street calling them racial slurs is *less* hurtful than actually enslaving them, it’s still not good, reasonable, or acceptable. It’s still something, and whatever that thing is, it’s bad. If “Racism = Prejudice + Power” then what do we call unempowered prejudice?
That said, I’ve always liked it when someone uses “Racism = Prejudice + Power” because I think it’s an example of the mask slipping. Progressives don’t care about prejudice, or discrimination, or whatever the word bridging the = and + are, they care about the power.
Regardless, “Racism = Prejudice + Power” is unworkable now because they’ve further expanded the definition. Prejudice or discrimination is nolonger required… All that’s necessary is a disparate outcome. The power requirement hasn’t changed though; Hockey being comprised almost entirely of white players is racist, because it’s a disparate impact that disenfranchises a disenfranchised group, Basketball being very disproportionately black however, is not racism, because the dis-proportioned minority is disenfranchised.
At some point the mask will entirely slip, I think we’ve started to see this already to an extent, where progressives are going to stop looking for an excuse, and they’re just going to shorten the equation to what they really think, which is “Racism = Power”. The problem won’t be when a white person is doing something particularly bad, the problem will be that they’re white. The fact that this is deeply racist by conventional standards because it assumes power on behalf of every white person based on the color of their skin either won’t occur to them, or won’t matter, because again…. Progressives don’t have a problem with prejudice, they have a problem with power.
Actually… They don’t have a problem with power, even…. They have a problem with other people having power. Their entire ideology is anthropomorphized avarice.