This post is for my US readers. Out of US readers feel free to skip this one.
Let me define race first. Take a population of racially homogeneous people. Separate them into two. Don’t allow them to marry in between but only within themselves. Over a few hundred years, they would become two different races. Erase their shared history. They wouldn’t know they used to be one.
Back in my freshman year, I secretly detested the concept of racially and ethnically defined groups like Indian Student Association, Iranian Student Association, and Black Student Association. How can we just define and categorize people by the color of their skin? A proponent once argued that people with similar values (whatever that means) support one another better. WRONG. People who are supportive support one another better. And supportive has no religion, color, or ethnicity. Animals don’t understand culture. They definitely don’t understand your life situations but they understand loyalty, which is all that matters. That's why even the most socially dull people can make friends with them.
The politics of race had them so divided that they hung out, roomed, partied, and even dated within their little groups. Unsurprisingly, they were mostly miserable, which arguably was exactly what they deserved. Their friendships were not founded on loyalty but on shared skin color, religion, or ethnicity.
Consider these lines of thoughts -
1. Do you want a friend you can always count on or someone who looks like you?
2. Do you want a wife/husband who is loyal and honest or one that merely looks like you?
3. Do you want a daughter who is virtuous and hardworking or one who merely looks like you?
It is obvious that virtue enriches relationships with meaning and depth. Thus, we must seek virtue no matter what color it comes in. By prioritizing race and ethnicity over virtue, people ended up befriending and dating the wrong people. Simultaneously, they missed out on people who were exactly what they were looking for, just because they belonged to a different group. They could have had so many great friendships had they sought virtue over race and ethnicity. Their relationships would have carried so much much meaning had virtue been the founding principle.
I remember times when some of my black friends (more females than males) openly admitted to wanting to date only black people because they wanted to preserve their blackness. I am pretty sure this could be called racist if a white person said it. Chances are whites and other racial groups held similar views but didn’t admit it openly. I personally didn’t care but found it dumb for a minority to reject the majority. If you are looking for a loyal partner and loyalty is uniformly distributed among all races (no reason to assume otherwise), you are bound to find fewer instances of a loyal partner in a minority group. If you don’t give up worshiping your race, you are likely to end up with a partner who looks like you but lacks the qualities of a good partner. In 2018, when I was reading Robert Putnam’s “Our Kids”, I read about single motherhood in black communities. Of course, there are a thousand reasons for it. But I can’t help thinking that they were rejecting good guys of other races to preserve their blackness and be “loyal to their race”. To them, blackness mattered more than virtue. By rejecting white men, they severely diminished their dating pool. In comparison, other minorities like Indian girls and Asian girls were open to men of other races, which possibly allowed them a wider selection of men to pick from. Whenever I saw someone focused on skin color or ethnicity, I saw someone strangling themselves in a buffet. The US was literally a buffet, possibly the most diverse nation on the planet. Yet almost no one understood that what matters is virtue no matter what color it comes it.
The same I saw among Churchian girls. They hopelessly waited to meet Churchian guys. But the stats weren’t in their favor. It is a universal fact that relatively fewer men are religious. This meant a lot of those girls were destined to be single forever. I could see their future in their present choices, but they couldn't. Some of them were destined to be duped by weak men who would “play Christian” just to date them. In both cases, they would end up blaming men or God when the fault was theirs. Had they looked for virtue rather than religion, they would have all found someone. They probably rejected many men of virtue who weren't willing to be a puppet of a church. And they will pay for their dumb choices.
One of roommates avoided both whites and blacks. According to him, whites were too sensitive, "can't take a joke, snowflakes!". Blacks smoked weed and did drugs. And the media tells you that minorities can’t be racists. Good luck if you watch TV. I saw racism in every racially defined group. Perhaps, it is the nature of groups to become polarized. They should have never been racially categorized to begin with.
I felt like racially defined groups allowed people to fend off their humanness. Rarely did people reach out to members of other groups because they were secure that they had their own group to rely on. Had there been no groups, they would have felt more responsible towards others. Imagine thinking “sure he has his people to help him out” vs “damn, he has no one behind him”. Perhaps, they would have been more emphatic to everyone. Perhaps, they would have treated everything like they treated their "brothers".
The biggest danger of racial separation is effective dissemination of propaganda. If whites and blacks watch different TV channels, read different kinds of books, and listen to different kinds of music, they can be served with different narratives of the same event and they wouldn’t even know it. In the media that blacks consume, they can be shown that whites are out to oppress them. In the media that whites consume, they can be shown that blacks and immigrants want to destroy them and their culture. So long they are watching TV separately, they can be inflamed against each other. It makes me think about customer segments in marketing. Customer segments are fed different kinds of advertising because they respond to different things. I see the same in US media.
Another danger of race politics is attribution of responsibility to groups. To say that Muslims attacked the Twin Tower or Americans attacked the middle east is absurd. Muslims and Americans are both collective nouns. They have no will. Only a Muslim or an American can have a will. Thus, only individuals can be held responsible for their actions, not groups. Do you think an average Muslim wakes up every day to hate Americans or an average American wakes up to give a damn about what's happening in the middle east? That's why I said that attribution of group reponsibility is absurd. The propaganda about reparation is dumb beyond measure because of the same reason. If anyone thinks the contrary, I want reparation from all humanity because their mother, Eve, got me kicked of heaven.
If people of the US manage to plug themselves off the propaganda, they may be able to move beyond race, ethnicity, and religion. For this to happen, they must hold virtue above all. If they succeed, they may be able to become an example for the rest of the world.