About two weeks ago there was national outrage from the left, and to a smaller degree, from the right, over the atrocity that is the basing of one’s actions upon statistical facts. Specifically, columnist John Derbyshire’s advising, among other things, that for one’s own personal safety, traveling through black neighborhoods should be avoided when possible. It did not matter that this advice was based on the statistical danger of traveling through black neighborhoods; Derbyshire had spoken one of the left’s many Great Taboos, and the prideful purveyors of tolerance would not tolerate it, which irony was unfortunately lost on them.
Derbyshire was called a racist by those who demand that all facts be happy facts, but that if that’s not possible, then that they not be acknowledged. Derbyshire acknowledged. (Read his piece at the link above; he provides all necessary citations.)
A few months back, I asked a young black female fan of Obama to tell me what racism is. She said racism is hating a person because of his skin color. She is correct of course, but only in part.
Racism does not always mean being anti-black or anti-Chinese or anti-white. Racism is simply making judgments, good or bad, based on a person’s race. Many blacks are very welcome to race-based judgments: they themselves often rightfully brag that they have a fine-tuned natural rhythm that allows them to dance better than whites (more often simply stated, “White people can’t dance”). Is this racist? Technically, yes; it is a judgment about a person based on his skin color. Is it acceptable? Of course.
There is not good racism (a black man wearing whiteface as a joke) and bad racism (a white man wearing blackface as a joke), but pro-(race) and anti-(race) racism. What Derbyshire wrote was, to be sure, racist, but it was the racism of a third kind: objective observation.
One of the few sins the left believes in is the sin of observation. I personally have been called a racist for making the general observation from first-hand experience that blacks walk slowly when crossing the street in front of my car as I sit there and wait for them. Generally, they will look me right in the eyes as they walk, observing for themselves that I am waiting for them, and they seem almost to relish this.
Generally, of course. “Generally” does not mean “absolutely.” “Generally” is never followed by an ironclad rule or a law of nature. Some whites inconsiderately take their sweet time too when crossing the street. Some blacks give a nod of acknowledgment and a wave of thanks when you grant them the go-ahead to cross in front of you, and they will jog across or at least power-walk. When that happens, one can’t help but be pleasantly surprised.
Stereotypes (general observations) exist because they are real (generally observable). To stereotype is to share an observation. So what of judgments not based on race? Would it be considered anti-Christian to state that Christians are generally anti-abortion? The stereotypical Christian (of which demo I include myself) is anti-abortion. How is making the assumption that a Christian conforms to the Christian stereotype any different from assuming that a black person conforms to the black stereotype? Is it because of the horrible treatment of blacks in the past? Oh, were Christians never enslaved? Were Christians never killed for their beliefs?
Now, are people correct to call me a racist for making my race-based observations? Well, technically, yes. But it’s not of the anti-black variety, as is meant by screechers of “RACISM!” Rather, it is of the objective-observation variety, like Derbyshire’s and countless others’ who aren’t afraid to see what they see.