Back when we thought the way to end racism was to make people less conscious of race, social engineers proudly pronounced that there’s actually no such thing as race anyway.
From the outset, this was socially well-intentioned but scientifically silly. Society long ago classified people on the basis of their appearance or “phenotypes.” White (formerly called Caucasian) people generally look different than black (formerly called negroid) people who look different than Asians and so on. This difference in appearance is not a “social construct.” It’s real and it’s measurable and it relates to different geographic origins and ancestry.
To say that there’s no such thing as “race” is to say that there are no differing phenotypes that can be categorized. It’s like saying there’s no such thing as hair color. That’s obviously false. We can see different phenotypes with our own eyes.
With the advent of genetics, scientists saw the underlying reasons for the different phenotypes. It’s due to different genes or “genotypes.”
Some of the genotypes are not reflected in phenotypes but are nonetheless important. For example, blacks are far more likely to develop sickle cell anemia. That’s because one of the sickle cell genes helps them defeat malaria infections which were (and are) common in Africa. On the other hand, cystic fibrosis affects mainly white people, apparently because having one of those genes helps defeat cholera infections which ravaged ancient and medieval cities.
These genes are readily discernable to geneticists, and geneticists ordinarily use racial classifications in discussing them.
This is not to say that every person of a given race has all the typical genotypes and phenotypes of that race. They don’t. The word “race” implies a generalization. Scientists generalize all the time. The fact that there are exceptions to their generalizations does not disprove the generalization. It simply proves that it’s a generalization and not an inviolate rule.
This is also not to say that some races are superior to others in this way or that. “Superior” is a subjective term, not a scientific one. Even if you can define it, you’ll have a hard time measuring it.
Finally, the fact that the races have mixed somewhat does not prove that race does not exist. It merely means that they’ve mixed somewhat. Hair colors get mixed up from parents with different hair colors. That doesn’t mean hair color doesn’t exist.
The well-intentioned effort to defeat racism by denying race was an early example of political correctness creeping into science. Early wokesters wished race didn’t exist, and so they wished it out of existence. I sympathize with their first wish, but the second is just fantasy.
Now we’ve come full circle. The same politically correct crowd that told us there’s no such thing as race now tells us that a failure to recognize race is racist. Society is no longer supposed to de-emphasize race, but is supposed to emphasize it.
The wokesters have discovered that race exists after all, and they want to jam it down your throat.
We are supposed to notice a person’s race and attribute to that person not just phenotypes and genotypes on the basis of his race, but also goodness and badness. Due to his race, a given black person is supposed to be viewed as a good person who is a victim regardless of his actions and personal life experience. And due to his race, a given white person is supposed to be viewed as a bad racist regardless of his actions and principles.
Consider the irony. In the name of anti-racism, we now condemn individual whites as racist on the basis of their race and worship individual blacks on the basis of theirs.
In this new paradigm, good whites who behave as if race is not important to them –people living in, oh, about 2017 – are the worst of all for failing to recognize the racism lurking in their subconscious.
I prefer the good old days when we pretended that race didn’t exist even though we knew it did. “There’s no such thing as race” is a lie, but I like it better than “whites are racist, and the non-racist ones are the worst.”
I’m waiting to be told what to do with someone like Barack Obama who is half white and half black. Is he neither good nor bad because the white balances out the black? Or is he good because he says he “identifies” as black? (By the way, on what conceivable grounds could this half white person raised by whites in Hawaii who has lived a life of privilege among whites, playing golf and playing president, sincerely identify as black?)
This crazy system – concocted by violent, shrieking racial justice warriors in the dim light of burning cars – is unworkable. Its unworkability is not just a detail, but serves to illustrate its unfairness.
I think the rioters know that. It’s all a ruse. It disguises a more sinister agenda having nothing to do with race. Middle America won’t go for it. Naïve Democrats embrace it at their peril this November.