If you’ve ever spent any amount of time speaking out online, or offline, about topics related to the alt-right you’d know that it’s unavoidable that you’ll eventually have to bring up issues related to race in some context since it plays such an intrinsic role in many world events today. You’d also know, quite well I’m sure, how strongly people react when a stance on something race related deviates even just slightly from the mainstream narrative if mentioned in front of them.
Suddenly the most longstanding of your friends, family, colleagues, or online acquaintances can become rabid moral signalers and begin throwing out the ‘r’ word on rapid-fire like an autistic white male distraught with his social standing in high-school. What is it they’re trying to do by labeling you in such a way? When the word “racist” is used it’s almost always an attempt to elicit self-criticism in whomever it’s being applied to so that they self-correct out of a sense of shame. Ideally it should be a self-correction out of a sense of having said something irrational, but colloquially ‘racist’ is implied as automatically being irrational despite the most common definitions people have in mind for it not being that specific.
For a word to carry that much weight it must truly have a definition that’s precise, easily definable, and describes a level of immoral thinking or action that completely defies everything virtuous about modern society. Is that what we see with those who most often throw this word around at those who even slightly challenge their deeply ingrained ideas about the social order as it pertains to race and ethnicity?
Before we get to that let’s examine a few of the most common definitions of the word “racist”. I’ve seen three general definitions of the term which I call the conventional definition, the extreme definition, and the SJW definition. The conventional definition is what most people seem to be familiar with and these following examples illustrate it:
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
A person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
The only problem I see with this conventional definition of the term ‘racist’ is that, at least with Google’s definition, it includes and labels any hypothetical scientific consensus of there being any racial differences between different population groups. I’m not going to argue such a thing exists, but if it did I believe we’d be obligated to either change the definition of ‘racist’ to include an exception for scientific facts, or we’d have to just drop the negative connotation associated to the word ‘racist’ since shaming someone for stating a fact is obviously cognitive dissonance. Come on it’s 2015 people!
The more ‘extreme definition’ of ‘racist’ is occasionally mentioned by the most edgy people in society looking to signal their moral superiority the hardest and loudest. Sociologist Donal Muir gives this example best and he defines a racist as:
“…not only someone who believe in the superiority or inferiority of races, but anyone who subscribes to the notion of race at all.”
The idea that merely referring to race makes you a racist is either so extreme it should be rejected outright, or once again we have to drop all negative connotation associated with it if we’re going to turn it into such a sweeping blanket statement of a label. This definition would literally mean we have to call forensic scientists racist for being able to identify a murder victim’s race by looking at their femur or other bones when their remains are too far decomposed to show skin colour. So we call them racist right alongside cross burning Klansmen? Can you see the problem with doing this?
The argument against the existence of biological race is a petulant one. Simply because people can exist on the border between different racial groupings doesn’t mean this method of classification is useless. The school of thought this sociologist’s extreme definition of ‘racist’ descends from is that of Franz Boas and his student Margaret Mead. Both of them don’t hold any scientific merit today (although they’re still popular among stubborn gender studies/critical theory type sociology classes) and their research has been shown for the purely whimsical theoretic garbage that it was, which the fields of genetics, evolutionary-biology, and human anatomical biology have long since debunked.
Race, whether used in its broadest defining terms in talking about the 3 basic races of Asians, Europeans, and Africans, or in it’s more specific terms that gets into subraces or ethnicities such as Arabs, Mongols, Nordics, Sub-Saharans, Sephardic Jews, etc, is just a way of classifying humans just like how we can classify different breeds of dogs. All dogs belong to the same species, canis lupus familiaris, and can interbreed with each other more or less successfully. Just because two breeds of dogs can create a puppy with a mixed pedigree, isn’t grounds for rejecting the term ‘dog breed’ altogether, let alone the terms race, or subrace as it applies to humans.
If you’re interested, check out my recent video classifying and describing the six European subraces here (1).
Perhaps the newest, and in my opinion the most intellectually dishonest, definition for what qualifies someone as being a racist is the SJW (Social Justice Warrior) definition. It was coined sometime in the 70s but didn’t come to prominence at the academic level until much more recently. It strikes me as nearly impossible to show rates of how often the public uses the term “racist” and then break down how often these different definitions get used, but from paying attention to mainstream media narratives as well as general conversations in the real world and online, I believe we are beginning to see startling trends of the increasing misuse of this word.
This new SJW definition of what makes someone a spooky racist is coming about through the phenomenon of swipple down economics into the mainstream moral narrative as a consequence of attention being given to groups like “black lives matter” who have clearly long since been co-opted by the global elite (2). The increasingly shrill crybully voices of the far left are gaining ground and they basically believe the definition of a racist is boiled down to only being able to apply to those who have “Power + Privilege”. In a frequently referenced paper (3) by Carlos Hoyt Jr. he explains his view on the reason for this new definition:
“Those who advocate [changing the] definition of racism argue that racism should not be considered a merely psychological or cognitive phenomenon, but that, instead, it should be conceived as an action committed against its victims, and that to commit the action of racism, one must have access to the power required to inflict racist harm of the sort that promotes and preserves the status and privileges of the dominant social group and the subordination of the nondominant social group.”
We all have our prejudices, and we can be prejudiced about things, ideas, or people. Hence anyone, regardless of color, can harbor prejudicial, even hatefully prejudicial feelings about any race. To be guilty of racism, however, to be a racist, say the revision proponents, one must have power, and power of a special sort. For the revisionists, racism is prejudice plus power leveraged at an institutional level to maintain the privileges of the dominant social group.”
It seems completely reasonable to me to put forward arguments to support a perception of one race in a society doing more harm to another. Obviously racial/ethnic conflicts are never perfectly 50/50 in terms of the amount of harm one group does to another, but just the same they’re never unidirectional either. It takes two to tango as they say, but the public perception dictated by the media does tend to paint a picture that often misses the factual reasons why one group might be acting a certain way towards another, such as some capacity of self-defense. Of course there’s usually a multi-layered and complex history within any conflict and assigning total blame against one side or another is shortsighted, if not intentionally subversive of those who push this type of narrative.
If you can collect data on the different ways two groups cause harm to each other as well as the frequency of harm, and then give a well reasoned conclusion based on that hard data that shows how one group is being overtly oppressive to the other, meaning their total damage far outweighs the blow-back from the other group, then we can call that oppression. We don’t need to shift the definition of racism to incorporate words we already have, and we also shouldn’t obfuscate people’s understandings of words in some type of academic neurolinguistic psychological warfare against an entire ethno-group within a country!
Trying to change the definition of a word while maintaining the colloquial clout that it’s built up with it’s older definition is as ridiculous as claiming we’re going to now use the word “murder” to describe all forms of “assault”. Expecting people to keep viewing this use of the new version of murder with the same level of social rejection is laughable. The problem with devaluing and broadening the term “racist” while simultaneously cutting off an entire group from being able to use it as a label for their detractors who are using it against them, you will simply desensitize them to the word. If the left continues to push these fallacious made up definitions of old words as a form of newspeak, you will see pushback where people begin fully identifying with this word to the point where they begin to see it in a positive light and will then take it to extremes.
As an outspoken critic of cultural marxist newspeak, I believe the best defense against this intellectual elite’s subversion of Western culture is to simply out-intellectualize them. This isn’t going to be the type of fight everyone can take up alongside me, and I understand there’s other tactics successfully being used by the alt-right, but what I want to encourage among those of us who are naturally talented in sparring with our words, is for us to take up the extremes of rationality in our deconstruction of the left’s insane emotionally driven propaganda. If this is your strategy as well you have to pick your battles as it’s more time consuming than other forms of activism, but in my experience it has more power to cause the most intelligent and seemingly rational among the left to consider switching teams.
To be successful at this you can’t lower yourself to the level of seeing “racist” as a term of endearment, as I’ve seen some people actually encourage others to do. What you have to do is debate with polite, logical fallacy-free, non-confrontational language, and to dismantle any labels thrown at you such as ‘racist’ by pointing out what someone is trying to accomplish by using it. It’s likely they’re calling you this because you’ve said something like ‘Trump’s policy if elected to deport illegal immigrants’ is great.
The mainstream media and many people have called him racist for saying he’ll do that and also for pointing out the easily proven statistics on illegal Mexican immigrants committing far more crime than average, especially sexual assault. Facts aren’t racist, and just because some openly racist people support Trump doesn’t mean that you are a racist as well. The way to dismantle this accusation of being a racist is to tell them that this is an Affirming the Consequent fallacy.
An example of this fallacy goes like this, “All dogs have fleas, my cat has fleas, therefore my cat is a dog”. In the context of someone saying your support for Trump is because you’re a racist, they’re thinking process goes like this “All racists are anti-immigration, this guy is anti-immigration, therefore this guy is a racist.”. It’s similar to the putting the cart before the horse fallacy. Being anti-immigration is simply a political policy anyone can view as favourable, while being racist is an intent rooted in an irrational dislike of someone of a different racial group than you.
So what I just said did redefine what a racist is compared to the conventional definition, but it only narrowed it a bit, it didn’t attempt to completely broaden and move it to have a nearly completely different meaning. Since facts can’t be racist, and there’s a myriad of facts that we can bring forward to demonstrate there is no latent biological equality between people of different racial groups (which is another article for another day), we have to make a slight tweak to the conventional definition of racist to include this exception. If “we need to have an honest discussion about race” which is something the political left race activists have turned into a meme at this point, we have to be able to talk about facts without the connotations associated with the word racist from suppressing perfectly rational, scientific discourse.
So using the conventional definition from the Oxford dictionary of what a “racist” is, here is my revised definition:
A person who irrationally shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another without scientific proof and an agreed upon consensus on what human qualities can actually be categorized as superior or inferior.
Watch the video of this article if you’d prefer!