The part up to “prejudice” is the title of a chapter in Simon Webb’s book The Equalitarian Dogma. I wrote earlier that Webb convinced me to drop the idea that race is a social construct and accept that it has biological basis. However, it does not mean that it should lead to racial prejudice; believing that race exists while believing in genuine equality and fairness is possible. But, believe it, the anti-racism movement actually throws a wrench in the works.
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In the book mentioned, Webb uses the dialectic method to discuss this issue (sort of turning the weapon around on its users, the Marxists). He made racial discrimination the thesis and anti-racism the antithesis. And his synthesis is the title above. But what’s the basis for this? Let’s summarize The Equalitarian Dogma book first.
Racism and Anti-Racism in a Nutshell
Racial discrimination has probably been around since the start of civilization. As for racial discrimination in the modern age, Webb says that it is mainly the product of the Age of Colonization, when many western colonizers enslaved some black African people. But even before this, African tribes and Arabs had been enslaving black Africans for years. The new colonizers only took advantage of this when they arrived. It is a lie to say that white colonizers invented slavery.
When some people questioned the enslavement of black people, slavers first came up with religious reasons to justify it, such as saying non-white people are a subhuman race described in the Bible. However, (surprise surprise) religious authorities rejected this and said that other races (the papal bull mentioned was actually talking about Indians) are quite human and should be given a chance to accept Christ. So out went religious racism.
When the Age of Science started, the slavers turned to scientific racism. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution came at a convenient time (even though Darwin opposed slavery). They said that biological differences between races exist and some traits render the black race subhuman. Other names of note in this area are Carlton Coon, Charles Kingsley, and Francis Galton. Scientific racism of this time also helped in the development of anti-semitism by Houston Stewart Chamberlain and the Holocaust as perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
Some would again question slavery, and one line of argument was that racism led to it. Abolition efforts came with the call to drop scientific racism. Among the voices were anthropologists Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, who said that cultural differences, not racial differences, account for white ascendancy in the world. But the main message was that we are to be blind to all differences between humans and treat all equally. This was the Equalitarian Dogma. The idea sounds good to many, anyway, even today.
But this came with the attitude that scientific racism has no other purpose than to support discriminatory practices and is to be instantly condemned. Helping this was the controversy of Cyril Burt, who came up with a bogus study on twins to prove that race is biological. When I was searching for scientific studies about race on the Internet, the results often turn up to be similar to Boas’ and Benedict’s thesis, basically saying that biology has no to little bearing on differences between race. However, I suspect that this is all ideologically driven. The tendency seems to be that, if someone even just suggests taking a glance at scientific racism, he is likely to be shut down.
The book’s synthesis of the racism issue dares to raise again the idea of scientific racism, saying the idea could not just be hammered shut in the coffin. Evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin would hint to this in his double-speak: he believes that black underachievement is caused by sociological factors; but he also says that children tend to have the same level of intelligence as their parents within the same race and that genes may have influence on intelligence. Webb notes that differences in achievement are still noticed even in recent studies, even when people of different races are put in the same classroom or schools or subjected to the same content. He says that racial prejudice alone may not explain these differences. He also advises that we lift the taboo over discussing race as something real and with biological roots, and continue more studies about it. He mentions the book The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, and the work of Hans Eysenck, David Reich and James Watson.
To support his point, Webb notes some factual racial differences. Some elements of physical development are faster in black people. Black toddlers tend to walk earlier than white ones. Black teens tend to get into puberty earlier than white ones. Black people tend to have a competitive edge in athletics (one of our own contributors noted this too), and this is attributed to higher levels of testosterone. The downside, however, and this is often attributed to higher testosterone as well, is that more black people commit crimes than other races. Puberty happening earlier means earlier tendency to get into premarital sex. As a result, black students show the least academic aptitude among races. Also, black people have a higher tendency to develop schizophrenia and prostate cancer.
At this point, it becomes more of my opinion. How do we apply “accepting racism, rejecting racial prejudice?” First, look again at the Catholic church as mentioned above. It was able to say that humans of any race should be treated with equal dignity without resorting to any ideology. It is a matter of common sense values. Let’s judge people based not on their intelligence or appearance but on how we perceive their character, as Martin Luther King said.
So we notice that black people fall behind in intelligence and other things. Whether genetic or not in origin, there is a problem to solve. But to solve them, we need to look at the differences. Ignorance of differences may cause us to miss the very factors that will help us help them more effectively.
Here are some suggestions. Since black people tend to be more athletic, providing them some particular athletics programs may help. If black teens tend to get into puberty earlier than white ones or tend to more easily give in to violence, they can be given earlier guidance and counseling on the issue. If they are seen lagging behind in academics, specific help can be provided to them. The idea is that you are looking at a person’s needs and providing the specific things needed without seeing these as “special treatment” but as appropriate measures. If they get locked out of programs since other races do better, perhaps some programs could add slots to increase chances (maybe add teachers to deal with it), or refer them to a school with the same programs but they can more easily qualify for. There are many solutions that could be developed.
Back to Webb, he suggests “Hybrid Vigour,” which is crossbreeding. I take it to mean he encourages interracial mating (and marriage). Perhaps this will allow the good genes from one race to cross over with the other one, with the hope of improving the quality of life of the later generation. This is based on Webb’s own research on the history of prehistoric people, where he says that Homo Sapiens, after a failed attempt to migrate out of Africa, mated with Neanderthals and Denisovans. As a result, the second attempt to migrate was more successful, implying that interbreeding improved the intelligence of the later generation. Based on this, Webb also says that all of humanity are mongrels, since interbreeding had already occurred at some point in prehistory.
Problems with Anti-Racism
Webb says the anti-racist side throws a wrench in the works of race relations by using deceit to make it look like they are upholding black rights. I mentioned in my previous article the rewriting of history saying black people invented the light bulb and other things. There is also the claim that a member of the British Royal Family several centuries ago mated with a black person, so using the one-drop rule, the Royal Family should be considered black. Of course, nothing exists to substantiate these. There was also that “Cheddar Man” issue, where the prehistoric fossil of a man found in Somerset was claimed to be that of a black man, but this was all speculation with no scientific evidence to prove it. I also mentioned the 1619 Project, the attempt to rewrite history from the black perspective, which is sure to be filled with fabrications.
Another example of the wrong approach cited by Webb is that of some universities setting admissions quotas. The observation was made that Asians are the most likely to top university admissions and black people, because of their tendency to rate the lowest, tend to get locked out of admissions slots. So the solution was to set quotas; limit the number of Asian students and set a minimum quota of black students. But this is clearly racism, because you are trying to lock out one race in favor of the other.
A driving force behind all these is Critical Race Theory. Introduced as an academic concept, CRT is actually more of an ideological movement. CRT claims that the foundation of modern society is racism by whites. All of western society, from the nuclear family to government, is soiled by white racism, so everything must be uprooted and changed. So there’s no doubt about it: they want to overthrow western society. But they can’t be in the open about it, so CRT purveyors just say that they’re for a “just cause” and use gaslighting and bullying on any perceived opponents. Any attempt to point out that racism does not exist in a certain case will be tagged as white supremacist itself, thereby self-protecting against any dissent. Even when disconnected from its Marxist roots, CRT is full of leaps of logic and will not cure racial prejudice but will further incite it.
I am not saying that there is no more racial discrimination these days. But the Equalitarian Dogma and anti-racism are the wrong approaches. They are questionable ideologies that try to force equality or equal outcomes for all. It’s better to focus on equal opportunity while applying common sensibility to help and pull each other up.
Get Real Philippines has always held that culture is at the heart of many problems in the Philippines. Even Webb acknowledges that culture has a role in the racism issue. I have said that racial discrimination more a product of culture. If you want to remove it, it is best done by looking at the culture that led to it and making changes there. Quoting David Landes’ The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, ‘If we learn anything from the history of economic development it is that culture makes all the difference.’
I wrote on this risky topic not only because I found a lot of truth in Webb’s book, but because it was relevant to current issues. CRT and related things might brew up a storm that will make Covid look tame. This teaches us to be careful of the ideas we encounter. Some ideas seem innocuous, sometimes claiming to be the ultimate force of good, but they are ultimately harmful for society. They take advantage of our lapses in logic: for example, how can you actually help reduce racism if you are trying to dig up the “secret” racism? That actually brings more attention to it and increases the likelihood of conflict.
Also, the mentality behind “accepting racism, rejecting racial prejudice” is not locked in by the ideas of others. If someone gives you an ideology and expects you to follow it to the letter, best resist. I believe we all have the right to take apart the ideas and pick out what we agree and disagree with. Each individual has the right to decide for themselves what they want to believe.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.