Tuesday, March 04, 2008

overt racism

Well, one of my students is choosing to take an overtly racist position for her paper on abortion. The question for the essay reads: "Is an unborn essentially a human being who is in a stage of personal development, or is it essentially something less than human until birth or a certain stage of development?"

The real point is to get them to identify what it means to be "essentially human": What makes us what we are? How are we different than other animals? Do embryonic and fetal tissues share in those essential traits?

Anyhow, one of my students approached me with the question of what to do if ze (since it might be a man or a woman) thought it was ok to abort a black baby, but not a white one. I said well, it seems that you're proposing that race is an essential trait of humanity. The answer "yeah, basically."

As stoic as I typically am in the classroom (especially philosophy), it's difficult for me to stare down blatant, unrepentent racism in the modern world. I understand it as the product of a different place and time. I don't really judge racism in the American south a century ago, because it was a latent cultural assumption inherited from epochs of social conditioning. But today?

I mean seriously, which Sesame Street program did ze miss? Which of the millions of elementary indoctrination attempts, or MTV truisms didn't accomplish its brainwashing purpose? I'm a bit ticked. It's like hey, if you're going to brainwash people into being tolerance drones of all kinds of freakishness, at least make sure the good aspects of uber-tolerance are successfully imparted.

Besides, apparently this person doesn't have the kind of concerns that outweigh racism. For instance, I might think about being racist for a while, but then I couldn't watch Dave Chappelle's black white supremacist and bust out laughing. And what about all the hot Asian girls that are available to me as a single man? And then you've got the issue of Indian food. How can we live in a world where we can't acknowledge the objective superiority of spicy curry and nan to "meat'n'taters" ? Or there's the biggest issue of all: How can a racist live in a world where you can't pull for McFadden over Tebow for Heisman?

At this time and place of human history, I just don't get the impulse of racism...


Anonymous John S said...

As you mentioned food, girls and etc, all people/races are connected in various ways.

And as you pointed out, racists are people simply without having imagination.

It is surprising ze openly admit as a racist in 21st century.

Why don't you tell ze to travel around the world... not to visit Cancun or something like those stupid "American" resorts. That may help ze.

I guess ze have very limited experiences to visit even other parts of the U.S.

4:42 PM  

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