Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thoughts About Race

Okay, first of all, there are still racist people, racism is bad, this country has a shameful history, blah blah blah.

For a few years now, I've been saying that, for me, racial progress in this country can be measured by the fact that although my fellow Generation Xers may hold onto some preconceptions and stereotypes about race (which I think is unfortunate even if I think it may be unavoidable), those preconceptions and stereotypes are almost immediately dismissed by 99% of us upon actually meeting someone of a different race (provided they don't fulfill those preconceptions and stereotypes, obviously).

To me that's progress; I mean, if you treat people of a different race exactly as you treat people of your own race, your stereotypes and preconceptions don't really matter anymore. So who cares about them?

Well, Tyrone Forman, an associate professor of African-American studies and sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago, for one. In a USA Today article about how young Americans don't tend to care so much about race these days, this paragraph appears:

Even though young people report having friends of other races, Forman says, those friendships don't necessarily lead to a reduction in negative attitudes toward a racial group, because people view their own friends as an exception to whatever stereotype may exist.


Here's your 21st century leftism for you, in all its thought-policing glory. It doesn't matter if you have friends of different races and threat them the same as you treat friends of your own race. What really matters is what you think about other races, your actions notwithstanding. Believing the right thing seems to be held in a higher regard than doing the right thing. Personally, I'd rather have a boss who claims to hate white people but treats me fabulously than one who claims to love white people but treats me like crap.

Once you've reached the point that your preconceptions and stereotypes have absolutely no effect on how you relate to people of a different race, those preconceptions and stereotypes become like a miniscule, benign growth on your colon that causes you no pain or discomfort whatsoever until you die peacefully in your sleep at the age of 106. Professor Tyrone Forman, however, isn't content to let that growth alone; he wants to perform invasive, relatively dangerous surgery on you, because, well, other growths in other colons have turned ugly.

A man once dreamt of a nation in which his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Again:

[P]eople view their own friends as an exception to whatever stereotype may exist.


That seems to me to be the dictionary definition of judging a person not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Preconceptions and stereotypes might be an unfortunate fact of life, but, by and large, it looks as though we have overcome.

Comments:
Believing the right thing seems to be held in a higher regard than doing the right thing.

Well, yeah. That's what we loved so much about Clinton. Remember how hard he worked for women, while treating his wife like shit? As your representative 21st century leftie, I can say we eat that stuff up.
 
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