“What is it you most dislike?
Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.”
The first part of my discussion about this quote can be seen here.
In the first part of this post, I commented on the ‘stupidity’ of ‘superstition’ that continues to infect our world in the second decade of the twenty-first century. I’m going to take a deep breath now and comment on the ‘stupidity’ of racism.
Racism is ugly. Racism is repugnant. Above all, racism is a deeply illogical kind of prejudice. It is not logical to hate another person because of something over which they have no control. It would make as much sense to hate a tree for having green leaves or to hate a dog for walking on four legs as to hate someone for the colour of their skin. I would say the same about prejudice aimed at people because of their sex or their sexuality. And the delightful folks who go on about ‘white power’ or ‘white pride’ are always such remarkable specimens of humanity aren’t they? Reminds me of a joke from 1930s Germany when some people were convinced that Germans were an ‘Aryan’ master race. The joke asks ‘ What is an Aryan?’ to which the answer was ‘an Aryan is tall like Hitler, slim like Goering and handsome like Goebbels.’
So, I have no problem with Christopher Hitchens equating racism with ‘stupidity’ and ‘superstition.’ I would also suggest that racism is much less a problem in 2018 than it was in my 1970s childhood. Unfortunately, a great number of people rely on what can be fairly termed a ‘racism industry’ in the West. Journalists, public sector workers and some politicians would be lost without racism to fight against. Just like Joseph Stalin claimed the class struggle would get worse the closer the Soviet Union came to Communism in order to justify his police state, professional ‘anti-racists’ need to find lots of racism or they’d be out of a job. And, boy, do they find racism.
In George Orwell’s novel 1984, the ruling party have distorted language to such an extent that they could claim…
“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”
So it is with the word ‘racism’ in 2018. To accuse someone of such a repugnant prejudice ought to be a very serious matter. For some people, it is their first, their last, indeed their only argument. Just in the past year, I have seen Halloween costumes, the film Dunkirk and an advert for Dove soap all being called racist. The prize for most ridiculous accusation must go to the singer Halsey who accused a hotel of only stocking ‘white people shampoo.’
Accusations of racism have been weaponised by the apostles of identity politics. As I said above, accusing somebody of racism ought to be a very serious matter and should not be used in the most banal of situations ie: disliking hotel shampoo that does not cater to what you consider your needs. The trouble is that some people appear unwilling or unable to engage with those with different opinions and would rather silence them with accusations of prejudice. And because most decent people are repelled by racism, such accusations can be very effective in shutting down debate. Some so-called ‘anti-racists’ need to be very careful as we are already witnessing the rise of white ‘identitarian‘ groups across the West who are more than content to swim in the sewer of identity politics.
I agree wholeheartedly with Christopher Hitchens that racism is ‘stupid.’ However, I am concerned that this accusation is becoming so widespread as to be meaningless. Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf?