On racism

While I spent my pre-adolescent years in the 60s, I recall little of the civil rights struggles of that decade, other than staring in wonderment at the TV as Huntley and Brinkley showed us footage of Watts and Detroit burning. So I admit I can’t speak with ultimate authenticity about the emotions from that time—though I can reflect on what is happening in this time. We hear the trope that it’s not possible for minorities to be racist, as they were the ones oppressed in the first place. If the tables are being turned, that just makes things “fair.”

What a pile.

Human beings, by virtue of being endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights (remember that insignificant piece of parchment called the Declaration of Independence?), are protected from being harmed by acts of force (bodily and otherwise) exerted by others. The Constitution (remember that one?) lays out the limits on how the national government may, and may not, assure that basic liberty. These documents make no intrinsic distinction on skin color. Yes, slavery was a gross moral injustice, and the Framers were sadly unable to eradicate it in their day. But it did eventually meet its demise, and so did the government-sanctioned restrictions on civil liberties that sprouted in its aftermath. Yet, some few out there seem to believe that two wrongs do make a right. Witness the gruesome spectacle that played out in Detroit this past week. An unfortunate black youth darted into the oncoming path of a white motorist who could not stop in time, causing an injury to the child. As any morally upstanding citizen might be expected to do, the driver stopped, exited his vehicle, and came to tend to the youngster. He was rewarded for this behavior by getting brutally beaten by a dozen street thugs. One witness candidly told the Detroit Free Press, “He got his.”

What have we come to?

Disclaimer here. Granting that Atlas Shrugged is a 20th century masterpiece that in many respects is sadly prophetic, there’s a lot I find disagreeable with the outlook of Ayn Rand. But not when it comes to racism. Here are a couple of Rand quotes that apply, courtesy The Ayn Rand Lexicon.

Today, racism is regarded as a crime if practiced by a majority—but as an inalienable right if practiced by a minority. The notion that one’s culture is superior to all others solely because it represents the traditions of one’s ancestors, is regarded as chauvinism if claimed by a majority—but as “ethnic” pride if claimed by a minority.

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

The gang who bashed Steve Utash’s head in judged him based on their perception of “a collective of ancestors.” This is what happens when the laws of nature and nature’s God—on which our society and culture were once based—are supplanted by a victim mentality that justifies the violent restriction of another’s basic human rights.

It wasn’t right when one tribe oppressed another two centuries ago. It isn’t right today. Will those in power affirm their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Oops, didn’t think so.

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