Thursday, June 19, 2008

The cure for racism is individualism

Due to the actions of the Seattle Public Schools in invoking its race-based bussing, I learned about race at a very young age. Going from a predominantly white school in North Seattle to a school in the Capitol Hill area, which was predominantly minorities, I was aggressively introduced to what race was by other students. As a result, I've thought about race relations far more than I believe most white people do. I've read Malcolm X's autobiography twice, seen the bulk of Spike Lee's films, and have immersed myself in black culture.

I didn't end up becoming a racist. Far from it. I was also bullied by white kids, and saw myself acting as a bully without realizing it immediately. Despite the conventional wisdom that we had progressed beyond racism for the most part, I kept seeing remnants of it in one of the most liberal cities in America. Over time, I came to the conclusion that race is about as relevant as someone's hair color or their shoe size when measuring someone's character.

This is said by Ron Paul:

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals. Racists believe that all individual who share superficial physical characteristics are alike; as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their intense focus on race is inherently racist, because it views individuals only as members of racial groups.

Conservatives and libertarians should fight back and challenge the myth that collectivist liberals care more about racism. Modern liberalism, however well intentioned, is a byproduct of the same collectivist thinking that characterizes racism. The continued insistence on group thinking only inflames racial tensions.

The ones who think they are combatting prejudice in the name of diversity have done a great deal of harm. Blacks have had the "victim" label permanently placed on them. Whereas black families were strong even in the face of segregation (the image of Malcolm X's mother, who was intimidating in the face of her husband's execution, the knowledge of her mother's rape and poverty comes to mind), they are now broken, as Barack Obama focussed on in his Father's Day speech.

Racism remains an elephant in the room in American politics. I believe that the issue of race must be wiped of its importance, so that people of all ethnic groups can move on with their lives without having the victimization of an entire group tied like a ball and chain to their person. The only way I see that happening is for people to focus less on racial groups and focus more on people as individuals.

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