I debated whether or not to post on this because, frankly, the discussions I am seeing regarding this issue are almost uniformly idiotic to a nauseating extent, and I’m trying to avoid that garbage on this blog. From “social construction” (a hopelessly confused, idiotic term which plagued me at the hands of my colleagues all the way through grad school) to “cultural appropriation” (an unbelievably confused, idiotic term which I didn’t discover until post-grad school), the blathering pseudo-intellectuals are furiously rampaging about. It almost actually makes me sick.
I can’t emphasize this enough for those who are new to these postmodernists run amok: don’t succumb to the obvious insanity. You’re going to meet lots of people who seem steadfastly committed to what appears, prima facie, utterly moronic. But if they talk a lot…and just keep talking…and the fogbank builds and builds…it starts to seem maybe merely as stupid as everything else looks through the fogbank…
Just stop. Save your soul from this garbage and study actual thought, not postmodernist tripe masquerading as such. I promise it will lead to a better life. Regarding this particular issue, the fact is that ethnicity has an actual biological basis. Period. This is well-known, readily observable, easily confirmed, and it should be obvious.
So why do the postmodernists survive? The same way they always do: they latch onto issues requiring more knowledge than they have, and then they simultaneously flail about, reveling in their ignorance, and blast rhetorical fog everywhere proclaiming said ignorance universal until no one knows what’s going on anymore, and those who are so inclined (perhaps out of an “everyone’s a winner,” or perhaps more accurately, “no one’s a loser” mentality so common to cultural relativists) side with the morons. Thus, the phenomenon perpetuates at the expense of countless wasted intellectual lives.
Take the current case of race and whether or not mere assertion suffices as membership in a given ethnicity. In any other such obviously silly case, again, this would be laughed out of the room, but here we are with tons of people proclaiming all sorts of insanity as though it were obvious. It is also proclaimed that failure to endorse said insanity is evidence of nothing less than firmly entrenched bigotry. It’s honestly scary to me how stupid people can become after devoting their lives to crazed relativistic ideologies, and I fear what might have become of me had I not been fortunate enough to have excellent intellectual guides in my life. Just check it out: You’re not black until you’re mistreated on that account, some say. Being black is a purely arbitrary distinction (warning: unbelievably stupid article), say others.
But there is what I hope to be a quiet majority which knows the obvious: race has a biological basis. Just think of a simple experiment: Line up 100 people, 50 randomly selected from Nigeria, and 50 randomly selected from Russia. Do you really think you’d have no better than a 50/50 success rate at identifying who’s who? That certainly doesn’t settle everything, but it’s mighty hard to deny that there’s a real biological basis for ethnicity if that experiment yields a greater than 50/50 chance of successful identification. Morphological categorization ain’t flawless, but it sure ain’t nothin’.
One problem here is that human ethnicity is a relatively subtle evolutionary phenomenon – we certainly aren’t of different species, though we are of different ethnicities. All the way down the standard classifications of organisms, we are identical – all the way to homo sapiens sapiens. But ethnic genetic variation between humans does exist, and it appears to consist largely of relative allele frequencies.
Of course, being the idiots that humans tend to be, rather than take this information and celebrate the incredible awesomeness which evolution has bestowed upon our races (check out studies on why West Africans tend to be superior sprinters, or why North Africans tend to be superior distance runners – this article discusses this at a high level), we decide to make up bullshit about each other and commit some of the most egregiously immoral acts in human history on that basis.
But we need to get our heads out of our asses, here. We can’t just act like there’s no distinction between a man from Sudan and a man from Norway. There is. It’s a fact. We adapt to our environments, and that’s just how it is. This adaptation is expressed genetically, and we have, as a result, various ethnicities.
Racism is bad. It’s so awful, that I understand the reluctance to give it any ground whatsoever, but the truth is that the differences between us utterly fail to justify mistreatment between us. It is almost certainly a fact that the ethnicities are in some respects superior and inferior to one another in various ways (athletically and, gasp, even intellectually), but even if that’s the case, we can’t be so shallow-minded as to think this somehow provides justification for racism. It does not. If we can’t understand this, we are in serious trouble. We need not reject real differences between us to provide an artificial homogeneity because we are so lacking in mental acuity that we can’t tolerate heterogeneity.
We are brothers and sisters, and there is no need to think otherwise. What’s more, we should all study and find value in human history in its entirety, regardless of ethnicity. African history is full of important, relevant information for me, as is European history. I have learned incredibly valuable, life-changing information from a variety of ethnically distinct civilizations, and none of these blathering “cultural appropriation” fools can tell me I ought not to absorb such information into my life.
In short, as always, be mindful, cleave to the truth, and carry forth a pure, righteous will. It’s the only way.