Cliché #1: RACISM IS DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF THE COLOR OF ONE’S SKIN.
This is so obviously a crock of cowboy turds that it’s barely worth mentioning. The only reason I’m including it is because I’ve heard it everywhere from schoolteachers to anarcho-punks who sound like schoolteachers. It’s also what I hear from foreigners in Scandinavian or other one-race countries where they “solve” all America’s problems during the spare time their welfare checks keep them free from having to work.
I grew up in an all-white suburb of New York. When I was five or six years old, I overheard someone saying that “colored people” were going to move into the neighborhood. I had never heard of colored people before, but I imagined folks with red blue and yellow strips around their bodies—like an old-style barber pole.
But racism involves RACE, not color. There are albino Negroes that are whiter than most Klansmen. They’re still black. I’ve seen tanned Caucasian sun-worshippers that’d get lost in a coal bin. They’re still white. A GROUP of characteristics makes up a race. It’s physical characteristics like the thickness of lips, the width of the nose, the size of the penis. It’s also cultural. Because of climate and a history of living together, various races or sub-races (“sub” not in the sense of “lower” but in the sense of race-within-a-race) have developed cultural characteristics. A common history of literacy or illiteracy, slavery or freedom, quietude or boisterousness, varying methods of problem-solving, differing values. These are all part of “race.”
Cliché #2: THERE IS NO REAL BASIS FOR RACISM EXCEPT IGNORANT HATRED OF WHAT’S DIFFERENT.
This is probably the biggest liberal misconception—and the one that makes most of their efforts so ineffective. I was mugged twice one year. The second time, they took my black leather jacket—a bigger tragedy than any money loss. Both times, a GROUP of muggers attacked me. In both cases, every attacker was black. People who live in fear of street or subway crime know that if someone attacks them, there’s a good chance that the person doing the attacking will be black (or Hispanic). There’s no arguing with the reality of the situation. It hits you every time you walk down the street.
Last week they called me for jury duty. The state accused the woman defendant of impersonating a police officer to rob a neighbor’s gold chain. The complainant ran a crack house, charging $3 a head to puff up in her apartment. Her son, testifying against the accused thief, said that he was a heroin dealer and he knew the defendant because he sold her drugs. Of course, we found the woman not guilty for lack of credible witnesses against her. Eleven of us immediately voted for acquittal. Two hours later, we convinced the only holdout. Before we could deliver our verdict, however, the defendant escaped police custody and fled—proving us all to be fools. The point: every key player in this drama was black: the escaped defendant, the crack-house complainant, the heroin dealer. The only holdout juror, the one who knew best and was probably right about the crime—was black. “I know these people,” she had told us during deliberations, “I live with them.”
TV crime shows and movies are comic in their attempts to make muggers white Hollywood-looking youths. There may be some, but any city dweller knows that by a large majority if someone attacks and robs them, it will NOT be a white person. Right now I just want to point out that racism has a basis in fear—and that fear is justified.
Related to that is Cliché #3: YOU CAN SEE THAT WE LIVE IN A RACIST SOCIETY BY THE FACT THAT SUCH A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE IN URBAN PRISONS ARE BLACK AND HISPANIC.
Of course, the truth is that a higher percentage of blacks than whites commit prosecuted violent crimes in urban areas. In the NYC subways, for example, blacks v. white crime dominates all others. Blacks get sent to jail more than whites because the crimes black commit are often immediately and obviously violent. White (also known as white-collar) crime is economic and not physical. Often it hurts just as many people just as severely as violent crime. It wipes out finances. It can even cause death through depression and poverty—along with the inability to pay for medical care because of money lost in a white-collar scam. Yet there are time lags between the commission of white-collar crimes and their consequences. Things are more complicated and less obvious. The average Sam doesn’t fear white-collar crime on his way home from school.
Cliché #4: POVERTY CAUSES CRIME.
I’m sure that’s what you said as you read the last few paragraphs. Those poor muggers! They’re so poor that they have to steal to get food for themselves and their families. What a crock of chitlins! The first set of guys who mugged me wore multi-hundred dollar jogging suits and those padded sneakers with the big-meat tongues that cost more than the foot that’s inside them. I’m sure that both times, the people who mugged me had more money than I did. Once, poverty may have caused crime, but crime became ingrained in the culture.
Your daddy lives from mugging. Your pals live from mugging. You live in a society where others live from mugging. Mugging is what you do. It’s a quick, easy way to make money. If you come from a background where there is no value placed on education, then you will live in a way that needs no education. If you come from a background where your parents or your parents’ parents were economically or politically forced into ghettos, then you will adopt the values that developed in those ghettos. If you come from a culture with a history or environment of poverty, then money takes on an increased importance—even if you are not poor yourself.
It is a culture of poverty, rather than poverty itself, that creates the climate for these crimes. Jews are cheap for the same reasons that blacks mug people. Their forefathers were poor. Lack of money increases the desire and value of money. Jews were educated and poor, so they used business (knowledgeable) means to acquire wealth. Blacks did not have a culture of education, but they were strong. That strength became their way to acquire wealth.
Cliché #5: ONLY WHITES CAN BE RACIST.
When white folks talk about “fighting racism,” they mean “white racism.” Louis Farrakhan called Judaism a “gutter religion.” The Black Muslims called white folks “children of the Devil.” Eldridge Cleaver wrote that raping white women was a revolutionary act for a black man (therefore something desirable). All races have their racists. Just as anti-black racism has validity in the experience of white folks, so anti-white racism has validity in the experience of black folks. If you see your race doing nothing but flipping burgers to serve whitey, it can make you mad. If you see your race sleeping in the streets while the white folks in shirts and ties pass you by, saying “don’t bother me for that spare change,” it can piss you off. Sure, black—as well as white—racism has its roots in the experience of the racists. But it’s important to keep in mind that it exists.
Cliché #6 is implied but never directly said in many of the lefty newspapers and demonstrations: TELLING PEOPLE NOT TO BE RACIST WILL CHANGE THEM. This cliché is inferred by the false belief that there is nothing behind racism except propaganda. When the light of the truth is revealed, the masses fly to it like a moth to a hot lightbulb. Turkey crap! Because people’s experience is such a big part of racism, you can talk at them as much as you want, but unless you SHOW them, they will not be convinced.
The B-side of Cliché #6 is Cliché #7: PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EXPRESSING RACISM WILL PREVENT RACISM.
Some “direct action” groups see it as their job to prevent any expression of racism. Besides the morality of allowing free speech and the efficiency of a free marketplace of ideas, the suppression of racist expression is simply a bad tactic. One of the reasons is that by attacking something, you make it more attractive. People like to see themselves as part of an “outgroup” or a persecuted minority.
Traditional psychology—as well as ulcer research—provides another negation of this cliché. If you suppress expression of the anger and frustration, created when faced with crime, the “taking away of jobs” or other forces, then that anger and frustration will find another, more secret but no less dangerous, way of expressing itself.
If you prevent the expression of racism, then you deny yourself the means to counteract it. When you get a syphilis chancre you can put make-up on it so that no one will know it’s there. I’ve heard peroxide will make it disappear. In any case, the oozing red sore goes away by itself. You can deny its expression, but the disease doesn’t go away. In a few years you turn loony, your vertebrae freeze, and you die. But if you allow the chancre to form, you can analyze it, tell what kind of disease it is, and then go about finding a cure for it. Simply shutting racists up (if you could do it) would not stop racism.
Finally, fighting racism means realizing that, although the races are different, there are points of contact. In any society that is as patchwork as ours, there are scores of contact points between different people. Music, sports, Colt 45 Malt Liquor—there is plenty of common ground in which to play.