Minorities and Feelings
First, a quick administrative note. This morning I am speaking to the Laguna Niguel Republican Women’s Federated. Then later this evening I am off to support my friend Larry Greenfield, who is speaking to the Calabasas Chapter of ACT.
One other note. I will not be covering health care or Afghanistan or any other policy issue until and unless something actually happens. I am not C-Span. Until an actual healthcare bill is about to be signed into law, the daily machinations are irrelevant to me. As for Afghanistan, when President Hamlet actually stops dithering and makes a decision, after some results are noticeable from the decision either way, I will deal with that then. I will cover Virginia and New Jersey after the elections, not before. As for projecting 2012, leave me alone.
(Yes, I know I just spent almost 200 words talking about what I am not talking about. I don’t want to talk about that either.)
Now on to the main event.
A couple of days ago I wrote about the latest racial temper tantrum from Bob Herbert of the Jayson Blair Times.
The Jayson Blair Times and Bob Herbert spouting racism falls under the category of water being wet.. It’s a given. Yet an email I received from a commenter provided such food for thought that I decided to make it the subject of an entire separate column.
I said the following:
“Race is about a multi-syllabic word known as pigmentation. Pigmentation is a function of what scientists of all races call melanin content. Race is not an attitude, a feeling, or an experience. Going to the planetarium is an experience. Being black means being born to black people that at some point had intercourse. I know this is mindboggling, but stay with me. It also works the same way for other races.”
I also said the following:
“There is nothing in the racial composition of any human being that makes them inferior or superior to any other race. Therefore, people of all races can do a good or bad job at whatever they do for a living.”
A commenter wrote the following, which I redacted for length without altering the gist of their comments:
“Race is about much more than pigmentation, and calling it merely a multi-syllabic word is ignorant of the society in which we all live. Race, in this world, where the norm is the white, heterosexual male, IS an experience. Yes, someone is born black to black people: thank you, captain obvious. However, if you know anything about culture and identity theory, you would know that race is socially constructed and thus becomes an experience that goes far beyond melanin content. I could be humorous and reference Steve Martin in his famous film, The Jerk, but this discussion deserves more than that. To think that race is a superficial and purely exterior quality is an uneducated, unscholarly, and uninformed translation of what race really means.”
“You’re right: ‘There is nothing in the racial composition of any human being that makes them inferior or superior to any other race.’ HOWEVER, the way that our society forms meaning around race is what does, indeed, place one race above or below another.
You are also right when you say ‘therefore, people of all races can do a good or bad job at whatever they do for a living.’ HOWEVER, people of minority races have more negative stereotypes to disprove before they can get there. Because the unfair and prejudiced ways we classify and construct race in our culture, racial minorities have to prove their worth, not because they are less capable by any means, but because they weren’t born into the societal norm we have all created and legitimate everyday.”
I wrote the commenter back, and explained to them that while their point was valid, personal insults were not necessary. My problem with too many liberals is that every conservative is either evil, or an utter imbecile. Calling me “unscholarly” and “uneducated” weakens their own argument. It also validates my point that the left is incapable of honest debate without resorting to ideological bigotry.
To be fair to the commenter, because while I am not neutral or balanced, I am fair, the commenter apologized very graciously. Yet they then pointed out that in my polite email to them, I assumed they were male instead of female. They saw this as evidence of being part of a white, male power structure. I ascribed it to something completely innocuous.
The commenter let their feelings get in the way of reality, which is that their assumptions of what I was thinking were simply wrong.
I bring this up because while the commenter came across as a very nice person, their line of thinking is at the heart of this entire minority grievance issue in America today.
Read the following words of the commenter very closely.
“people of minority races have more negative stereotypes to disprove before they can get there. Because the unfair and prejudiced ways we classify and construct race in our culture, racial minorities have to prove their worth, not because they are less capable by any means, but because they weren’t born into the societal norm we have all created and legitimate everyday.”
This argument must be ripped to shreds because it is factually wrong, and harmful to society.
There was a time in American history when the statement about overcoming negative stereotypes was valid.
Nowadays we have a black man sitting in the White House. He got there by playing the political game better than anybody else that year. I did not vote for him, but there is no denying his political skills on the campaign trail.
Does this mean racism is over with? Of course not. However, most mainstream Americans despise racism. Corporations fall all over themselves to encourage diversity and multiculturalism. So what negative stereotypes do some black people need to overcome in today’s society?
The ones inside their heads.
That’s right. It is psychological. Excluding members of the Klan, who are an aberration, most people would absolutely agree that nothing in a person’s race makes them inherently inferior or superior.
Yet just because somebody is not inferior does not mean that they will not feel inferior.
(Yes, I used a triple negative. Let it go.)
This is called an inferiority complex. It exists in many people. Tall people are better than short people. Thin people are better than fat people. Beautiful people are better than ugly people. The fact that this last one is undefined is irrelevant. These are all value judgments with no basis in fact.
(Although undefined does not mean cannot be defined.)
Rich people are better than poor people. The list goes on.
To truly appreciate the depth of this, I remember a 1994 debate on the CNN show “Crossfire.” Guilty white liberal Bob Beckel was in favor of affirmative action, while Armstrong Williams, a conservative who happens to be black, was against it. When Beckel got patronizing, Armstrong got passionate.
“I don’t need your help. I’m not inferior. My children are not inferior. My children will compete with your children and do better, without your help.”
Some will argue that institutionalized racism is why blacks may have this inferiority complex. This may be an explanation, but it is not an excuse. Accepting this line of thinking means we will never get to an equal colorblind society.
I am not interested in whether or not a black person “feels” they will not get a fair shot. I care about what actually is. If a white man engages in racism in hiring, you punish him. It’s that simple. You punish the perpetrators of bad deeds, rather than handicap all of society.
This issue of feelings is even more toxic with regards to gender.
(It also explains why I am single.)
On more than one occasion a feminist has said to me that I hurt their feelings.
(I expressed politically conservative opinions.)
I asked them for specific examples of actual things I said, and why it was hurtful. I am a reasonable person. Give me an example, I will look at it.
Instead they told me that while I did not specifically say anything, they still felt bad. I told them that it is wrong to make an accusations that cannot be backed up.
They then resorted to the ultimate ridiculous tactic.
“Feelings are never wrong.”
Ladies, I do not care if this costs me a shot at marriage and children, but that phrase is a bunch of cr@pola. I would rather be single than neutered.
Yes, feelings absolutely can be wrong. No, feelings are not an absolute end all be all end to the discussion.
When I refuse to agree with their premise, they then say I am being insensitive, and that this proves their point.
Then I have to resort to extreme measures.
(Picking up a bullhorn) “You are right. I am a racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobe. More importantly, I don’t give a d@mn about your idiotic feelings and I never will. Your feelings are screwing up society. I would rather be insensitive than be an emotional cripple. Now do us all a favor and ductape your trap shut before I waterboard the psychologist that taught you this emotional claptrap.”
Now just to be clear, I am not saying that all feelings are wrong. Somebody can feel something and be right. I feel that minorities in society today are often a bunch of crybabies. I am right. Yet I am right based on evidence.
Feelings themselves are not a substitute for data or empirical evidence. If it was, the 1960s kids and their “if it feels good, do it,” attitude would not have been so incredibly worthless.
The solution is for everybody to celebrate my favorite holiday. It is called “Shut the hell up and go to work” day. Everyone should honor it equally.
I have seen the benefits of respecting this holiday. Look at three areas of life where equality exists. Sports, sales, and the military all celebrate this holiday, and they are as close to race neutral as we can get.
The successful black people in sales offices I worked in did not feel the deck was stacked. They were given a telephone and some leads and asked, “Can you sell?” They responded, “Yes, I can.”
In 15 years, I never saw a statistical difference between the successful salespeople based on race. It was not there.
Look at professional sports. Look at the National Football League. When Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers won a Super Bowl for his team at age 34, the media spent less time on his race than on how amazing it was that somebody so young could have won against more experienced counterparts. His team won because good players followed the lead of a good coach. Race was totally irrelevant.
The military is about life and death. When a soldier is in a foxhole next to another soldier, that bond transcends race.
Anybody that wants to see white and black people hugging each other as brothers, go to a military reunion, a locker room, or an expensive getaway to celebrate sales success.
There is no reason for minorities in America at this stage to feel the deck is stacked. The extra hurdles they need to overcome are mythical.
I will say it again. Perpetrators of discrimination must be prosecuted. They are the minority.
For actual victims of discrimination, there are remedies, from the EEOC to the courts.
For those who simply feel like victims based on past history, drink a glass of “shut up and get over it.”
My dad was a Holocaust survivor. He was hunted like a dog and shot at. I never got special treatment. There were no victicrats in my household.
Heck, I am a Jewish Republican. I am hated by more people than others can imagine. You know how hard it is to unite liberal Jews and Islamofacists on anything? Show them a Jewish Republican, and the blood drips from their fangs.
What do I do about it? I go to work and live my life.
Slavery was evil. It also has not existed in a long time. Yet by believing the deck is stacked without factual evidence to back this up, that traps the believer of these opinions to an internal slavery that they will never break free from.
None of us are superior or inferior to any of the rest of us. People who feel otherwise have an internal problem, not an external one.
Leave your feelings at home. The workplace is about results.
The only question is this…
“Can you do the d@mn job?”
If the answer is yes, there is a place for you virtually anywhere and everywhere.