No one wants to be called a racist, for it is considered particularly degrading to engage in ethnic sorting of people for bad traits; and being subjected to this magical epithet is now associated with an almost ritual shame.
Well, agitating for the murder of specific ethnic groups should not be confused with old ladies sighing when they see migrants on the streets. It’s not the same thing at all, of course, most people realise that, but the phenomena are nevertheless placed under the same category.
Based on our Western liberal values, we have the absolute right to think what we want about individuals, groups and subgroups. If we notice a group of people acting in a certain way, we create preconceived ideas about that group, even if we realise that not everyone in the group behaves in the same way. This is a kind of statistical consideration. If the majority or a large enough proportion behave in a certain way, we create these preconceptions. It could be that Germans are square and engineering-minded, that French people have mistresses and that Italians talk fast and loud.
The preconceptions can be both true and false, of course not every Frenchman has a mistress, but enough of them for us to notice the phenomenon (compared to countries with no mistresses). The exact amount, or measure, may be shrouded in mystery, but it is an estimate that the brain makes in the subconscious, and is also influenced by a kind of collective consciousness; if all your colleagues say that Frenchmen have mistresses, you may be more inclined to make the same analysis.
There is nothing wrong with this behaviour, categorising individuals and groups of people has probably contributed to the survival of the human race; these are behaviours and drives that are deeply ingrained in our consciousness.
The wrong thing is to advocate murder or violence against a specific group of people. Or to demand that they be treated differently before the law because of their ethnicity. Quotas and special legislation (although nowadays mostly proposed by the left) are also racist or sexist. Quotas for blacks in university programmes indicate that they are not believed to have the mental capacity to do so on their own. The same goes for quotas for women in other contexts.
But wait a minute, quotas are an emergency solution because the patriarchy (male networks) is still in power, and by imposing quotas we speed up equality. Yes, that’s how many people argue, but it’s not true at all. Government agencies, institutions, academia and media have largely been taken over by women in the Western world; and many minorities are now represented. Even the HR departments of many companies have a preponderance of women. The dominance of patriarchy, if looked at closely, would turn out to be a conspiracy theory. So are theories of systemic racism.
Finally, if we strip away all the fluff, what remains is the advocacy and implementation of violence against various groups. This is the core of racism. But encouraging and carrying out acts of violence – against anyone – is prohibited by law in most societies; discriminating against ethnic groups before the law is also mostly illegal.
So why all the talk about racism?
It should be everyone’s right to say whatever they want, about individuals, races, ethnic groups, etc. as long as we don’t advocate violence, murder or special legislation.
Do you notice the irony in this? It is usually the left that wants to rebel (revolution) against various groups, and they are the ones who want special legislation (quotas) based on gender, race and sexual orientation. And at the same time, it’s often these self-proclaimed progressives who call people racists, as a magical insult, in order to stigmatise, humiliate and probably avoid difficult debates.
And now that the word racism has been watered down to the point where it can be a matter of glances or thoughts, you realise that people care less about its original meaning. And maybe that was a desired outcome, so that the left can respond to us with their nice racism, instead of the ugly racism of the right? Because when dark-skinned people vandalise cities across Europe and abuse other communities, the events are described in forgiving words, in terms of socio-economic conditions, poverty, exclusion, etc. While the police, the only force between the perpetrators and the people, are described as racist and intolerant. Then we have reversed the ship a whole turn.
Realising that the concept of racism is a matter of interpretation, and that it is a self-appointed clergy that makes the interpretation and presents it to the general public. Thus, it is perfectly possible to be racist against Jews, if it is done to counter Zionism, the expansion of Israel and apartheid against Palestinians, but not if Jews are portrayed as greedy global bankers, etc. The same thing with blacks, it is considered racist to designate them as a people with low IQ, while the left is working hard to introduce quotas for blacks in universities, which is actually an expression of the same distrust of their intelligence. “Pitying” certain ethnic groups is also a sign of superiority and a real disregard for their abilities.
Navigating this climate is extremely confusing. There is often a lack of intellectual rigour, the level of debate is low, and there is no desire for dialogue between the two sides. And we often hear about increasing polarisation and division. The only common factor is that everyone is racist, in their own special way.