It seems that this case needs to be made again and again, generation after generation. Well here it is.
Tag Archives: racism
With economic times the way they are and a demographically changing society, I feel the ethnic tension flowing and the faucet turning, with boiling water threatening to pour on us all. This seems to be an eternal curse of perpetually tribal humanity, and secular humanists seem to be the only ones to not fall on some side of it’s disastrous nature.
As he battles cancer, Christopher Hitchens seems able to battle past the disabling effects of disease and address once humanity once again with reason:
And all this contains the true ingredients of tragedy—and of irony. One of the great advantages possessed by Homo sapiens is the amazing lack of variation between its different “branches.” Since we left Africa, we have diverged as a species hardly at all. If we were dogs, we would all be the same breed. We do not suffer from the enormous differences that separate other primates, let alone other mammals. As if to spite this huge natural gift, and to disfigure what could be our overwhelming solidarity, we manage to find excuses for chauvinism and racism on the most minor of occasions and then to make the most of them. This is why condemnation of bigotry and superstition is not just a moral question but a matter of survival.
This is the tragic flaw. With knowledge of our genetic roots, the reality of our lack of difference becomes undeniable. It is organized religion, with its emphasis on “chosen people,” fate and personality assigned by birthdate that keeps us locked in this death spiral.
For those who seem intent on turning this faucet of hate, I beg you to please stop. What do you expect to gain?
Racial clashes have sprung up in Northern California, and without the expected suspects:
At least four high-profile attacks involving blacks and Asians have occurred since January in San Francisco and Oakland, including the beating death of Tian Sheng Yu, 59, last month. Two 18-year-old men have been charged with the murder.
Rongshi Chen, 64, was assaulted last fall in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley by a pair of men Chen could only identify as “young and black”. They kicked his ribs, broke his collarbone and made off with $200, credit cards and Chen’s identification. No one caught the attackers.
When I lived in Berkeley a while back, I moved in to a sublet where my roommates were predominantly Asian. Growing up a good liberal in Seattle, I didn’t have any stereotypes and was very open to them. In return, I got treated like a second-class citizen with all of them giving me stares and ignoring me. The landlord even refused to take my rent money and wouldn’t answer my requests to see my mail. He evicted me with a bunch of made-up claims, saying that I had failed to pay rent and literally threatening me with violence if I didn’t leave.
Once I got out of that scary situation, I told the police. They said they’d keep tabs on it but said I didn’t have enough for an arrest or anything like that.
I think stories like mine and the one above go to show that racism is a recurring facet of human society, not caused by whites in the south, reclusive Asians or angry blacks but what I believe is our shared tribal nature with primates.