Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Louder Racism, Not MORE Racisim

Chilling. But there is, I think, a saving grace.

This is purely intuitive, with nothing to back it up. But I think it's correct: I don't have the sense that new racists are being minted en masse. I think this is entirely just the old racists getting louder and more brazen. Louder racism, not more racism.

Virulent racism is certainly being normalized and enabled, (even in hipster Brooklyn). And maaaaybe some mild racists have been caught up in this and grown more extreme, though I don't get a sense of a lot of that going on. But - again, this is pure intuition - I just don't get the feeling that, even in the current ugly climate - folks previously uninterested in race are turning virulently racist, as has been seen myriad times over the course of history.

That's why I'm more convinced than ever that this is all just The Un-Self-Aware Assholes’ Last Hurrah.

I try to remain clear-headed, maintaining an unfashionable recognition that everything that disturbs me isn't The Worst Possible Thing....and that gestures smelling faintly of atrocity are not, themselves, atrocities. As a shades of grey person, I often feel quite alone.

But the larger question - are we cycling back to previous brutalism and ignorance we'd thought we'd outgrown? - is what matters in the long view. And, to me, all evidence points to a resounding NO. 

Can a last gasp of brutal ignorance do harm and make things very unpleasant? You bet. But I am now more, not less, convinced of MLK's arc of justice as well as of the propositions of Steven Pinker.

No comments:

Blog Archive