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.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2009/10/ideological-bigotry-part-xxiii-bob-herberts-racial-temper-tantrum/

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.”

They continued:

“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.

eric

8 Responses to “Minorities and Feelings”

  1. Dav Lev Says:

    Someones race does play an important part in their life, lets not
    deceive ourselves.

    I have met many people who just simply won’t have anything to do
    with a black, no matter the race of the Presiden ( he is a mulatto folks-a mixed race).

    There is an interesting picture in today’s LA Times, showing a group of current LA Laker basketball players mingling with former players.

    Funny how all the people are black..from Koby to Magic, to Derek, etc.

    Could we construe this photo as racist, there not being one white player?
    I mean, one of the team members is a Jew, part black and part white.
    Hmmmmmmmm how is he classified?

    I asked a friend a question..if Obama’s grandmother were a Jew,
    what would he be considered? I didn’t get an answer.

    Would Jessie Jackson who called New York City, “Hamie town” have
    approved a Jewish black?

    But you know, if Obama were part Jewish, he could really educate the country on the manyh Jewish holidays, and we have enough for
    every religion. Just think, at Sabbath services, he, Rahm, David,
    Tim, Paul, Larry, etc., could don their kippurs (hats) and say the blessings.

    But what would the Arab anti-Defamation League say? Oh I can hear it now, a Jewish cabal, sort of like the Bush neo-cons.

    Maybe there is reverse discrimination in the White House..all those Jews?

    On second thought, I don’t want a Jew for President. You know
    M. Albright is a Jew, deep down, even though her parents converted
    to keep separate from those Holocaust Jews. She claim she didn’t know about her Jewish grandparents? Oh come on little kinder.

    Of course Hitler still managed to gas converts, and the children of
    mixed marriages. Get it Albright, you would have been a lamp shade.

    Does race play an important part in the USA. You bet it does..sometimes
    it works for you and sometimes agin you. Just look at the post office
    and DMV as examples of something gone terribly wrong.

    BTW, the Federal government allowed affirmative action over 2 decades ago. Could have fooled me.

  2. Jersey McJones Says:

    “Calling me “unscholarly” and “uneducated” weakens their own argument.”

    they didn’t call you that. The only insult I saw in your expurgated quotation was the snarky “captain obvious.” Not much by way of insults. What they said was: “To think that race is a superficial and purely exterior quality is an uneducated, unscholarly, and uninformed translation of what race really means.” And they’re absolutely right. Your belief that race is simply skin pigmentation and is without consequence beyond that is just plain silly – and rather ironic, coming from a man who takes his own Jewish identity so seriously, conscientiously and sensitively.

    To many people, Jews are a race. In reality they are a mix of semites, caucasions, and other races. But in the real world, many people see Jews as a race, and that race they see as having certain natural dispositions, ie: “Jews are smarter and funnier than most people,” “Jews are cheap,” “Jews have big noses,” “Jewish women are predisposed to guilting people,” etc. None of these generalizations are true, of course, but people still believe them. So race, even when it’s not really race, plays a far more important role in society than just skin pigmentation. And in the world’s most heterogenous society, America, race plays very deep and complicated roles.

    And to say that the only negative stereotyopes that minorities must overcome are “ones inside their heads” is gallingly stupid. One must live in a cave to believe such a thing. But since we all know that our good host is niether stupid nor resuides in a cave, why would he say such a thing? One simple reason: cognitive dissonance. The reality that race plays such a major role in society doesn’t jive with your political ideology. Conservatives, espeically of the Wall Street variety, have to believe that everyone has the same opportunities in life, that the Free Markets are truly free – for all, and that everyone gets what the deserve. All tree of these beliefs are obviously false to anyone who’s ever spent so much as a day on this Earth.

    First take the notion that everyone has the same opportunities in life. Right off the bat, the day you’re born, this ideal is disproven. To whom you are born is just plain a matter of pure luck. You do not choose your parents. If your parents are smart, educated, erudite, and open-minded, then your chances in life are far better than if your parents are stupid, ignorant, backwards, and close-minded. So right from the very get-go in life it should be plain for all to see that NOT everyone has the same opportunities in life. Even the word “opportunity” implies luck. When we see an “opportunity” we say “How opportune!” – re: “How lucky!” Again, from the very word and from the very day we’re born any intelligent person can not deny that we OBVIOUSLY do NOT have all the same opportunities in life.

    I could give countless other examples of life’s variables that are beyond our control. From accidents, to crimes, to force majeure, life is full of the unexpected and change. Only if we lived in static universe (and if you’re unlucky enough to be born to religious fundamentalist parents, you may well believe we do) would it be true that everyone has the same opportunities in life. But we live in a changing universe, and so obviously we do not.

    Now, take the notion that the Free Markets are truly free. For starters, they can’t be. Free Market is an oxymoron. There’s no such a thing. Some entity must exert force over markets to keep them as “free” as possible, right off the bat. For instance, what good is a contract if it is unenforcible by law? Right there the concept of truly “Free” Markets is dissolved. And in a heterogenous society like ours, there must be other guarentees as well. For instance, in order to keep markets truly as free as possible we muct have laws that impose equality and punish prejudicial actions, otherwise the markets would only be free for those who choose to make it so. We’re it not for equal opportunity laws, for example, we’d still be living in a segregated society where opportunity and free markets would be limited only to those with preexisting power and wealth. The conservative’s ideal of a Free Market is a simplistic and unrealistic concept. In real life, as with race, Markets are complex forces that can never truly be free for the very cause of keeping them as free as possible in the first place. Again, to any intelligent person, this should be blatantly obvious.

    Now, finally, take the Objectivist notion that every gets what the deserve. this is the most farsical of all conservative beliefs. But conservatives MUST believe this because it is the very glue that holds their worldview together. When a conservative, for instance, refers to “productive” or “successful” people, they invariably mean “wealthy” people. Even our good host, just the other day, lamented that not enough Jewish people are becoming stock brokers and such anymore, and conferred that they too many of them were wasting their lives as “teachers” and such. It was rather obnoxious. Is the fireman not “productive?” Is the teacher not “successful?” Who is a conservative to determine productivity or success in the first place? It is a truly obnoxious presumption. For to each person is measured their own success and productivity in life. Wealthy people, in general, are no more productive or successful than anyone else. They’re simply wealthy. In all likelyhood, they were born that way. And countless studies have proven that the wealthy are particularly risk-averse, as can be proven by the greatest engine of job creation in America – the small business. The vast majority of small businesses, about 95%, provide only a middle-class level of personal profit. That’s why the notion that estate taxes hurt family businesses and farms is a myth, a lie. No farm has ever been closed because of estate taxes. Ever. And the vast majority, over 95%, of small business are too small to be affected by such a tax. For the few businesses that are affected, this can easily be averted with proper estate management.

    The wealthy are NOT by definition “successful” or “productive.” They are simply wealthy. To believe otherwise requires one to idolize wealth above all other things – God, family, country. And that is just plain evil.

    JMJ

  3. Micky 2 Says:

    And Jersey and all the liberals are going to level the playing field for everyone, according to them who deserves it most.
    First thing they have to do is to get minorities into a whining contest among themselves so they can figure out who goes first.

    Thats easily done by convincing them all that they dont have equal opportunity in America. Such a Jersey just tried to do. Even if its their own fault that they’re failures.

    Sure, there are those less exposed to opportunity than others, life is not always fair. But in reading what you wrote its plain to see that you would want to be the ultimate affirmative action man ever.
    If everything is so out of control then take your butt to another country and see how equal your opportunities are.

    To use such poor examples as you did to define opportunity such as this

    ” First take the notion that everyone has the same opportunities in life. Right off the bat, the day you’re born, this ideal is disproven. To whom you are born is just plain a matter of pure luck. You do not choose your parents.”

    Is just plain childish and taking things out of context like a little kid.
    We are all equally entitle the the provisions of our laws, an education, to be kept safe from enemies and to pursue success under the same rules as everyone else.
    Whats the next stupid example ? That because my hair is brown I cant star in Legally Blonde ?

    Oh, here it is.
    “In real life, as with race, Markets are complex forces that can never truly be free for the very cause of keeping them as free as possible in the first place. Again, to any intelligent person, this should be blatantly obvious.”

    The markets are constrained by their need to stay free ? So they can never be totally free ?

    You missed it big time buddy

  4. Jersey McJones Says:

    Micky,

    “And Jersey and all the liberals are going to level the playing field for everyone, according to them who deserves it most.”

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? How do we level the p[laying field for all while at the same time leveling it more for some people whom we believe deserve somthing more? That makes no sense. The wierd second half of that statement aside, what’s wrong with leveling the playing field? Do you want a unlevel playing field? What the heck do you want?

    I actually empathized with Eric’s point about Herbert’s whining. I didn’t see race in that issue. On the contrary, I specifically said that Herbert missed the entire point, as did our good host, though both for obviously different reasons. I even asserted that Herbert is rather nototirous for race-baiting, hopefully implying that I really don’t care for that sort of rhetoric. Lord knows there’s enough real problems with race in America without the superfluous demagoguery. But to simply negate the real issues of race and such is just plain ol’ intentional ignorance.

    Now, of course, you can never truly level the playing field for all, no more than markets could ever truly be free, or opportunities could ever be constant and universal, or everyone could be made to be truly productive, whatever that means. I would never espouse such a system and no liberal worth their salt would either (and just like conservatives, there’re plenty of liberals not worth their salt). But we should, of course, strive to make the field as level as possible. the way things are now, those “socialist” Europeans have a greater rate of generational advancement (climbing the social ladder) than we Americans! Obviously we’re doing something wrong. The point of America is that each generation does better than the last. When we start failing at that, and we are, then America itself is failing.

    “The markets are constrained by their need to stay free? So they can never be totally free?”

    Would anyone care to explain to Micky what I meant? Think about it, Micky. it’s not just true for markets, either, Micky. It’s true of all freedoms and liberties. Think about it.

    JMJ

  5. Micky 2 Says:

    “What the heck is that supposed to mean? How do we level the p[laying field for all while at the same time leveling it more for some people whom we believe deserve somthing more? ”

    Think about what you just said.
    Thats the dems intention and why it wont work.

    “It’s true of all freedoms and liberties. Think about it.”

    You were being incredibly petty.

    Yes jersey, I get the simple principle that no one or thing can ever be “ABSOLUTELY” free.
    You’re a genius

    “When we start failing at that, and we are, then America itself is failing.”

    Nice to see you admit the failures of this administration for once

  6. Jersey McJones Says:

    One of the biggest problems I have with this administration is the way they played plotics with the stimulus moneys. Let’s face it – the only reason they’ve spent so little of it thus far is that next year is the mid-terms and that’s when the money will start flowing, especially to swing districts. Another problem I have with them is the lack of reversals of previous administration policies. It’s been quite disappointing. Overall, though, I think this administration is far better than the last so far.

    JMJ

  7. Norm Says:

    Is it me or is it ‘grammer correction’

    Ref:”…but because they weren’t born into the societal norm we have all created and legitimate everyday…”

    “legitimize” (because a former classmate said, “Because it sounds better.” LOL)

  8. Norm Says:

    Eric…
    I cross-posted this article here: http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2009/10/now-on-to-main-event-racism.html

    If you do not agree with my collage addition please inform me so that I can delete it.

    Thanks, Norm

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