As a Heathen, I’ve been on the leading edge of issues of “Racism” since I first got into my religious path. Even back the 14+ years ago when I started, the topic of Heathens being Racist and Heathenism having a problem with Racism was old. Against our will, and without hope of reclaiming them entirely, most of our holy symbols are listed as “hate symbols,” a lot of our religious ideas are “hate speech,” and even the simple ethnic-centric versions of our practice are labeled as “White supremacist.”
I suppose that’s part of why I’ve always been a bit fascinated with the whole concept of racism, and often enough laugh and mock it. Hel, these days when I find most racist stuff I end up laughing my ass off at it. I recently found out about and older meme called Moonman and spent a good half our lauging over one of the stupid little songs.
The term “racist” and even accusations of “Racism” long ago lost it’s power over me because even though so many people considered what I was to be an act of racism, I myself knew that I and most of my religious kin were not driven by that force. To me, and to a lot of people, Racism was something you Did. Racism was an action, and committing those actions made you a racist. Much like overdosing on alcohol or drugs made you an addict.
And that’s an attitude I’ve kept for a long time. But recently, and I started stopping it back when I was in college in the ’06-’10 era, there was a shifting of the paradigm when it came to “Racism.” This shift was something most of us today know as “Privilege Theory.”
Suddenly, and with growing regularity, Racism wasn’t something you Did. It was something you Were. And suddenly only White people could be racist, but anyone else couldn’t be. Even if they were performing actions that had been Racist in the past.
And suddenly, things that were never racist suddenly became acts of racism because they were “linked” with “white culture.” Science became racist, for example, because it emphasized traditionally European values of rationalism and basing one’s theories on factual evidence. Hel, even pumpkin spice got listed as an act of racism.
With the existence of seasonally flavored lattes becoming acts of racism and white supremacy, you can see why I laugh at Moon Man songs. But as much as I might laugh at older school racism, this modern day shift is something that worries me. Not because I think it will just be an open door for white people to start being absolute racists because there’s now no reason not to be.
But because I’ve got a history degree, and I know what happens when you start denigrating an entire race of people as something “sub-human.” Which, let’s face it, racism has become. To be a racist is to be sub-human these days, a degenerate beast incapable of normal human society. Or at least that’s what people would like you to believe.
Post the election, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people insisting Racism cost Hillary the election. As in, white people were so racist, they refused to vote for a white woman. Yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either, except when viewed from the idea that Racism is…like an inherent genetic defect within white people, and this defect caused them to be to…defective…to do what was “civilized.”
The worst part of it all, as I’ve been going through salty post after salty post, is that instead of learning that this attitude about white people and racism was part of why they lost the election, the political left is doubling down even harder on the idea that white is racism, period.
Want to bring back jobs to your community? That’s racism. Want to be able to feed your family? That’s racism. Insist that your opinion matters and should have equal weight with everyone else’s? That’s racism.
If everything is Racism, then….nothing is.
But I don’t see the trend going away. Too many people get too much from it. An excuse for their own bigotry, their own racism. If white people are just automatically racist because they’re white, then you don’t have to treat them like human beings. You can write them off as horrible monsters and it doesn’t matter what you do to them. They deserve it, because “they’re racists.”
Not unlike how it used to be that you could do whatever wanted to Jews, because they were “degenerate thieves,” or blacks because they were “less evolved animals.” As soon as there’s an “excuse” to justify the bigotry, the racism, the hate, then the action becomes “justified.” And no amount of facts or counter evidence will be enough to stop those who feel justified in their actions.
On the bright side, I do think privilege theory is something that cost the Democrats the election this time. The term racism is something that I do believe more and more “white” people are starting to not care about. Racism isn’t something you do, it’s something you “are.” And if you are a thing, well, in my experience most people don’t consider a thing they inherently are with no control over to be something bad. Maybe it’s just a bit of human selfishness, but there it is.
People will avoid doing bad things, but they’ll embrace being a bad thing. Especially if there is not option otherwise.
And this freed them to vote for their own interests because they were going to be vilified for being what they were regardless of what they did. That’s why you saw a lot of states and counties that had voted for Obama switch to Trump. They had done the “not Racist” thing and ultimately were still called racists. It taught a lot of people that racism was no longer about doing the right thing, but about being the right thing. And they could never Be that right thing because of what they were born.
As long as the Democratic party and its supporters cling to this idea of Privilege Theory, this idea that anything and everything “white” is inherently racist no matter what, I do think that they will continue to loose political power. Because they’re denigrating a massive chunk of the population based on Race, and Race alone. And frankly, I’m fine with that happening. But I do worry that the longer Privilege Theory exists, and this idea is maintained, that we will no longer be able to achieve any sort of racial harmony between people, but instead only watch as racial divides grow more and more stark and violent.
At which point actions once deemed Racist become a necessity. After all, depending on the perpetrator, they’re already becoming acceptable. And turn about is generally considered fair play.
It’s not something I want to see. But I think it is something I might very well witness in my lifetime. And that saddens me.