Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
  Issues of race are not simple.
Those who think they are tend to be naive or flat out bigots.

The quotes in the above link are the things I hear all the time and have heard all my life. And the jerk spouting off in those posts is pretty representative of a lot of people I know.

We've got a long way to go. I fear the mountain top is still far away.
Not that this has anything to do with the bile in the link, but it has been pointed out to me that Obama is not a black man, but rather a half black man, with the implication that the watering down of race somehow waters down the significance of his successful candidacy. I think, actually, it's his status as "mixed race" - as I believe my grandparents would've called it - that makes him actually more dangerous and grand in context to the racists. He's their worst nightmare - again, what my grandparents would have casually referred to as a "mulatto." The point being that the race complexities and what they mean symbolically haven't even really begun in regard to Mr. Obama.
Black, Yellow, Brown, White, the primary world race colors. Just an observation from life, if you mix and match these races, Black is the most dominant. You will get a black baby every time. If you mix the rest, you will get a Yellow baby every time. If you mix the last two you get a brown baby.....seems that us Whiteys ain't so special after all!
It's sad but true, and during my studies in college--I was a psychology major, of all things--that kind of us-vs-them, ingroup-vs-outgroup mentality is hardwired into the human brain.

Washing it out is about as likely as washing out the human male desire to be polygamous. Most higher functioning people can rise above it, but just as there are some otherwise smart, reasonable guys who think with their dingies, there will be otherwise smart and reasonable people who just plain hate blacks, Jews, Belgians, or the homeless. They try to justify it, they try to make it some sort of appeal to reason...but it is what it is.

The mountain top isn't just far away, Greg. It's actually just an illusion.
Ross- While I agree with the Darwinian aspect of your tribalism theory, I also have seen this tension erased between various ethnicities inside the United States over the past 50 years. The Irish, the Poles, etc... are no longer considered "those people."

However, the neurological hardwiring of tribalism doesn't take place until people are told who to distrust. Society influences those decisions, so it is my belief that racial issues will eventually diminish, little by little over the next several generations. The vast majority will reach the mountain top, but not all.
Good post, great link, thanks.

I have lived long enough to have seen some attitudes on race change. So, I'm a believer. The mountain top may still be far away, but it's a few inches closer than it was when I was born.

And whether or not Barack Obama becomes our next President (and I believe he will) does it not say something about our country that he is this close?
Good point.
The Irish, the Poles, etc... are no longer considered "those people."

As true as this is, Greg, another set of "those people" as always risen to take their place. first it was the Irish and Poles, then Commies, blacks, and Jews; now Latinos, Asians, and "libs".

We are at war with Eastasia; we have always been at war with Eastasia.
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