New Alpha Unit. In this post, she clarifies some misconceptions in her earlier post, Race, Sex and Other Dirty Things. I understand her POV, but I wonder if there are cases where it is not true. But her POV does make a lot of sense. I hadn’t quite characterized it that way completely in my mind before.
Part of the problem is that not all racism is based on notions of race purity, so her characterization makes sense more in a modern Western spirit of racism than in that of other cultures and eras. The racial purity thing seems actually to have been a relatively late and often Western innovation. Earlier tribes, I suspect, did not care much about race purity. But tribal males have always cared about protecting access to their own females while willfully attempting to raid the females of other tribes. The points about slavery are well-taken.
Race is not nearly as significant as people would have you believe.
This seems obvious to many people who would say, “We all know that by now. The Human Genome Project told us that.”
Well, I’m saying that Race is an obfuscation. A fog. A smokescreen. A distraction.
Some of the things that one race of people does to another race of people are not rooted in Race. The most obvious example is slavery. Most people understand that slavery is something human beings have been doing to one another for millenia. Every race has practiced it. Every race has been victimized by it. So slavery isn’t coming from Race. It is coming from something else.
There is nothing about being Black that inclines people toward enslaving others. There is nothing about being White that inclines people toward enslaving others. Enslaving others is a human predilection. People love exercising power and control over other people.
Something that upsets many people is what Robert wrote about in his post The Fake White Slavemaster Black Slave Rape Epidemic. The subject is the sexual abuse of female slaves in the South, and also sexual relationships between White men and Black women in the postbellum South. This is a touchy subject for Black women in particular.
But as I pointed out, males have engaged in this sort of behavior throughout history. It crosses racial and ethnic lines. Race complicates the picture a great deal, but this kind of behavior isn’t coming from Race. It’s coming from male sexuality. And human nature. This doesn’t make it any less upsetting. But those guys didn’t act that way because they were White. They acted that way because they were guys.
People wonder what I mean when I say that racism at its core is about sex. Racism isn’t all about sex, but I think sex is its nucleus. I’m not the first person who’s made that suggestion, by the way. The reason sex lies at the heart of racism is that sex is the way a race propagates itself. If racial purity is your objective, then you have to exercise some degree of control over who people in your race are having sex with.
Whites in the United States have written along these lines for a very long time. Not all of them have been virulent racists. One Southern White author from long ago candidly stated that it didn’t matter, even, if there were White men who had a preference, sexually, for Black women. What mattered was the preservation of the White race itself, which was reason enough to avoid such relationships.
Anyone who disputes that male sexual anxiety lies at the heart of racism simply is unfamiliar with what racists themselves have said on the subject. I say that it is primarily male anxiety because other males are the competition when it comes to having and controlling access to women.
So this is what I’m talking about when I say that racism is mainly about sex. And this is what I mean when I say that race can obscure what’s really going on in some situations.