All Or Nothing, Black and White Thinking and How Racism Works

Commenter tulio, responding to a previous comment of mine, makes some interesting observations about racist thinking that I then respond to. The references are to anti-Black racists and White racists who hate non-Whites, but I don’t mean to be a PC dickwad and single out Whites here. Racism is found all over the world in all sorts of groups, in many cases calling itself, tribalism, sectarianism, etc. It works the same way with non-Whites as it does with Whites, and non-Whites can be and frequently are as racist, or more racist, than Whites.

RL: I am kind of confused though. I would not call it self-hating because I don’t hate any part of myself. I mean, I hate what these illegals have done to the city I live in, but then I have to deal with them all day. I shop at the illegal alien supermarket because they’re nicer than the Whites. I go to Spanish language Mass because it’s cooler and the Hispanics are nicer.I talk to the illegals a lot and I get drunk with them in the bars and they put their arms around me like we are best buddies. They say they like me because I’m nice to the Mexicans. But then I really do want them to go back to Mexico. But if I were a Mexican, I would probably be just like them. I don’t hate them as individuals, but I hate what they do to our towns collectively.

Tulio then responds.

tulio: This is a fascinating passage and really shows just how psychologically and sociologically complicated race is in America. I think many people feel just like you. In fact, I’m convinced that extremists, like the Nordicist you mentioned is nothing more than a coping mechanism in the face of dealing with a world full of contradictions, idiosyncrasies, and shades of gray. It makes life psychologically easier and mentally more manageable. You don’t have to be bogged down with all these contradicting thoughts that drain mental energy.Just write off an entire race, hate them, want absolutely nothing to do with them and you don’t really have to think about it. If you ever confront an extremist on anything and you introduce logic that forces them to question their beliefs, they get abruptly upset. And you can see why. You are making their easily manageable world much more arduous. Living with cognitive dissonance isn’t for everyone.

I respond:

Yeah, it’s so much easier just to say, “Fuck em all,” than to say, “Well, some of them are good, and some of them are bad.” Well, then do you hate them or what? If some are good and some are bad, you can’t really hate them. There are not that many real racists who say, “Well, some are good, and some are bad,” because once you say that, it’s hard to hate.

The anti-Black and anti-non-White racists I run into online generally just hate everyone in the group that they dislike, and most of them simply do not befriend, socialize with or date Blacks or non-Whites. You see, once you start doing that, it screws up your whole racist system.

What a lot of the racists do say, though, is that a few, and only a few Blacks are good people. It’s like 5-10% or most. If 90-95% of Blacks suck, then you can blow off the good ones and say Oh well. But you see, they have to make the good Blacks very few in number, because once you start saying that many Blacks are good people, like 20, 30, 40% or more, then it’s going to be quite hard to hate them.

I think a lot of these folks also want to say, “Look, I don’t want to sort out the good Blacks from the bad. Fuck it. Too difficult. Either they’re all ok, or they all suck. Since they’re not all ok, I’m going to say they all suck and just get a divorce from Black people.”

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One thought on “All Or Nothing, Black and White Thinking and How Racism Works”

  1. I missed this post until now. I wanted to emphasize that I think this model of thinking explains many forms of extremism beyond racism . Especially the religious kind. Just inability to deal with a world full of contradictions and lacking in mental rigor to sort it out logically.

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