Zeitgeist

What is a Racist?

August 08, 2012

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Ah, but the Indo-European peoples possess the gene for lactose tolerance, a trait lacking in a great many of the world’s peoples. Does dietary advantage count as “€œsuperior”€?

But away with sophistry! Everybody knows that when we speak of superior, we mean one trait among many”€”intelligence.

So is a person a racist if they believe a race other than his own is more intelligent?

John Derbyshire has noted that though black people have measured average IQs a full standard deviation lower than whites, Asians have average IQs higher than white people.

Derbyshire got called a racist for the first observation, but what about the second?

Is it not racist if a white person says Asians are smarter, but racist if an Asian says it?

And how are we to count the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews, a standard deviation higher than the non-Jewish white norm? Should we lump them in with whites (Yay for us!) or establish a separate category for them?

Jews have been the targets of some pretty racist sentiments themselves. Joseph Mengele, Auschwitz’s “€œAngel of Death,”€ is sometimes cited as an example of how racism always leads to genocide. And we all know that if you’re a “racist,” that’s the gateway drug to becoming a genocidal Nazi.

Racism is generally associated with a fixation on “€œracial purity.”€ So what would you call someone who believes in hybrid vigor, the idea that superior genetic stock is produced by mixing the races?

What about someone who thinks that one race might have on average lesser intellectual gifts than another, but that does not in any way justify oppressing them? Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln both might fall into that category, at least at some point in their lives.

You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.

“€”Abraham Lincoln, July 1, 1854

Suppose it is true that the negro is inferior to the white in the gifts of nature; is it not the exact reverse of justice that the white should for that reason take from the negro any part of the little which has been given him?

“€”Abraham Lincoln, October 1, 1858

So was Lincoln a racist?

Given how much mileage the left is getting out of calling people racist, perhaps it’s asking too much for them to explain just what the hell they mean by the term before throwing it around so loosely. This is obviously their working definition:

A person who is so bad that you need not apply normal standards of decency or ethical conduct when dealing with them.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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