Analytic philosophy and the left apparently is going to be a continuing theme of this blog. It started a while back when some leftist complained that philosophy departments here in America had not engaged with racism, imperialism, etc., the way that other disciplines had. Given the excesses found in those other disciplines, I think this is an advantage. In fact, the role of analytic philosophy should be to offer corrections of the often hateful and unsupported nonsense spewed by those people.
The latest is the teacher who claimed that “to be white is to be racist, period.” What evidence does the teacher have for his claim? Does this mean that whites can never ever be non-racist, or is he merely talking about today’s whites? Is this characteristic of whites unique to whites? If so, is this genetic? What about blacks who are partly white? These are just some of the questions one would like answered by those who agree with this claim.
But consider an earlier affliction of mainstream Americans: anti-Irish sentiments. These sentiments existed in the nineteenth century, but they have died out to such an extent that they are not noticeable anymore. If such sentiments still exist, they have hardly any effect. I claim that racism today in America, compared with that when I was a child, is much lower and may even be approaching that of anti-Irish sentiment, were it not for the fact that the race hustlers keep whipping up hysteria about the subject.
Let me also make another comparison: “to be a leftist is to be anti-Asian-American, period.” Leftists today just cannot bring themselves to demand that Ivy League schools let in as many qualified Asian-Americans as possible, because they think there are already too many of them. It is useless pointing out to them that Asians are in the same position that Jews were in in earlier decades. They just refuse to accept that Asians deserve better. So, they are racists, too.
Finally, I can’t help but make still another comparison: “to be a leftist is to be given to making stupid comments about racism in whites, period.” There are many examples of this, but consider the proposals for a “national conversation about race.” We know how such “conversations” would go. They would go like this:
Ordinary Whites: “We’d like to see fewer blacks become criminals and fewer insisting that doing well in school is ‘acting white.’”
Leftists: “You people are nothing but racists.”
Why would anyone want to participate in a conversation like that?
Then there’s the insistence that saying “all lives matter” is racist. Once you say that, you’ve lost a lot of people. You might just as well tell them it’s okay to become part of a white power group.
Incidentally, let me note that I wouldn’t be saying what I am saying if I thought it might harm blacks. I think the truth is the exact opposite, that saying that whites can’t help but be racist (and variations on that theme) actually may increase racism. Those whites who are just barely into the realm of non-racism may decide that there’s no point anymore, that since one can’t help but be racist, why not join a white supremacist group? And those who are well within the realm of non-racism may get angry at the idea that they must do yet more to prove that they are not racist. They may decide that they will not do anymore, that they may even start going the other direction.
Needless to say, the teacher making this statement was white, which means that it was nothing but virtue-signaling (though I suppose it is remotely possible that he was some kind of agent provocateur hoping to increase racism). There is altogether too much emphasis on race these days, and not enough on class.