By PAT WATSON
These days, in a multi-ethnic city such as Toronto, in a hostile argument between strangers of differing ethnicity, you might not hear some other well-known racial slurs; that would be politically incorrect. But you might hear one person attack another with ‘racist’.
So is a racist someone who upholds White supremacy, or would it be a person who shows prejudice toward Whites? You can see where the term then is the verbal equivalent to lobbing a stick of dynamite in a fog.
Now, this may seem facetious but perhaps in these heated word battles, the combatants should add some adjectives to their epithets for clarity; White racist or Black racist or Indian racist, for example. Confusion reigns because the term has been distorted to attack victims of racial discrimination as being racist.
“Racist” is the foot soldier for “Racism”. Racism then, takes on more dimensions. So before going any further, here are the words of African-American psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, as she defines racism: “A local/national/global behavioral system of thoughts, speech, action and emotional response, consciously and/or subconsciously determined, practiced by people who classify themselves as White, in all areas of people activity – economic, education, entertainment, labour, law, politics, religion, sex and war – for the ultimate purpose of maintaining White genetic survival and preventing White genetic annihilation on planet Earth; a planet on which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-White by the minority of people who classify themselves as White…So the fear of White genetic annihilation is related to the demographic conditions that exist on planet Earth. And this is what racism is all about; it’s preventing White genetic annihilation. And once you set up a system for your survival it is not logical to anticipate that the persons are going to change survival strategy. It’s not about hating White people it’s about understanding why they do what they do, even when they are denying that is their intention.”
Like Southern Africa under apartheid, the United States has for a much longer period been a locus for this genetic battle. Little wonder then that the world seemed to become topsy-turvy when Barack Obama, the son of a White mother and Black father was elected to the highest post in the land. The rest of the world celebrated almost giddily, as did those in America who voted him in.
Why did the rest of the world so badly want Obama to become president? A common view is that the previous president was so bad at the job – had dragged America so far down in the eyes of the world – that the choice of Obama was assured.
But, this action by American voters resonated with the rest of the world in part because like Obama most of the rest of the world is not White. They were able to see themselves in him, in a country held up as a kind ideal by many in faraway places, thanks in no small part, it should be noticed, to the images popularized by the American film industry.
So shouldn’t we step away from the term racist, which has become so nebulous as to now have almost no real meaning aside from slur, and begin to talk more specifically about the social-psychological strategy of White supremacy?
White supremacy is why one little Africentric alternative school in Toronto was fought against so assiduously. That school is where children would receive the implicit message that Black people are not inferior. Who then would feel threatened that the people who keep up the fight for racial entitlement are foisting a fable and not a fact? What would be the result when it dawns on everyone – every one – that the emperor has no clothes?
To be clear, since no doubt it will be confused as such, this is not a message of hate since arguments about race always stir animosity. It is an appeal for awareness of what is driving certain behaviour. It cannot have gone without notice that an awful lot of White people are starting to put on the mantle of victim in this issue of race as the ‘browning’ of North America takes hold. It is important to beware of this since people who consider themselves victims often react in dangerous ways if they feel their backs are to the wall.
A note on Halloween protocol…
Friends do not let friends go out in Blackface as costume for Halloween.
Pat Watson is the author of the recently published ebook, In Through A Coloured Lens. Twitter@patprose.