Sinn Fein major domo Gerry Adams has ignited a social media storm. Not for his history of murder, maiming and lies as the capo de tutti capi of the Irish Republican Army, you understand, but because he used a term verboten for white males. While watching Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Adams took took to Twitter – that very modern self-erected gallows – and described the main character as a ‘Ballymurphy nigger’.
The word ‘nigger’ is a curious one, giving rise as it does to a sort of linguistic apartheid under the terms of which black people may and often do use it, while white people absolutely may not. It is, of course, a derogatory term originating from that sector of the slave trade which involved the keeping of black slaves by white plantation owners in the south of the United States of America. Blacks today often defend their use of it as justified in the cause of reclaiming or taking back their heritage from the white man. And, boy, are modern blacks obsessed with the white man.
The use of the word by whites is, it goes without saying, regarded as racist, a word which surely has a claim to be the most tiresome of the current millennium, at least so far. ‘Racism’ functions in exactly the same way as ‘fascism’ in Orwell’s famous analysis in The Lion and the Unicorn;
“The word fascism now has no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’”.
My mother-in-law, an exceedingly tiresome and stupid woman, deems everything she doesn’t like about interpersonal relations to be ‘racist’, while at the same time blaming all the ills of the world on Americans and, in particular, Jews. She is a perfect example of the paradox of the contemporary attitude of blacks towards the white world, such as it is still allowed to subsist and heading as it is towards its twilight and nightfall.
Plucked from the arse-end of Trinidad by my father-in-law, a mild-mannered white Nottingham school teacher who may now regret his fancy, so hen-pecked is he, she has no conception that she would still be languishing in some Caribbean hell-hole if not for her timely and amorous abduction. So it is with many modern blacks, who hate whitey while failing to appreciate that their own status would be greatly diminished were it not for the achievements of their hated enemy.
With these reflections in mind, I recently triggered, if not exactly a Twitter storm, certainly a minor squall by asking a black Tweeter to explain to me why it is that racism is bad. Note that I did not claim that it wasn’t, even if the word itself has been shorn of its original meaning and is now used in place of ‘racialism’. Goodness. Talk about the $64,000 question.
The first outraged, wide-eyed, black-and-white-minstrel show response was from a chap who calls himself ‘Pocket Aces’ (@Libra_Scale1982), whose avatar is a purple box reading ‘SHUT the f**k up and don’t be A RACIST’. I refrained from pointing out that by performing the first action it would be impossible to perform the second except via the media of art or mime. Mr. Aces was perplexed;
“You need proof that racism is bad? Wtf?”
Wtf indeed. Again, I neglected to point out that, in a reasonable world – that is, one where reason is the yardstick of discourse – any statement of purported fact needs proof, and to ask for one is not to deny the truth or otherwise of the original statement. I shan’t bore you with the ongoing ‘conversation’, except to say that one of the Tweets from Mr. Aces read;
“jim crow? Segraation? Gentrification? Any of these ring a bell? [sic]
Indeed they do, although now that Black History Month seems to have been extended to run the entire year round, I may have missed some classes. These spittle-flecked responses to my perfectly reasonable question kept coming. One of them read;
“white student leave a noose on the locker of a black kid. Pretty scary for a kid. Bad or nah?”
Yes, I think it would have been bad, had Mr. Aces produced any source for this claim. Equally bad, I feel, is the string of hate crime hoaxes centred around race which have infested American universities. At this point, we were joined by another contributor, Jay C. (@JasonCol96). His burden was as follows;
“the fact your asking someone to justify why racism is bad, means you need to sort your life out”
It may well be the case that I need to sort my life out, but it still didn’t answer the question. Here are a series of responses which might have gone some way to answering the question as to why racism is or may be bad, with racism here defined as remarks derogatory towards a person of a different race;
A racist remark may include threats of violence unacceptable in civilised society.
A racist attitude from, say, an interviewer towards an interviewee of a different race leading to the interviewee failing the interviewee purely on the grounds of that racial difference tends towards inefficiency in the workforce.
A remark based on race which is intended to incite an act of violence towards members of that race is unacceptable in modern society.
Racism is a negative approach to interpersonal relations, and tends towards the decay of society.
None of these are necessarily a correct answer as to why racism is bad, but they are at least a range of options. Not one of my correspondents, however, essayed anything remotely like an answer to my question.
I was, however, the butt of a good deal of criticism, with one chap, J (@kidsimpson), informing me that he would be in London later this year, and would tell me when that would be. He implied that any appointment we might make would be detrimental to my health. Jolly good thing I am in Costa Rica.
The rest of the insults were standard Twitter fare, spattered with potty-mouthed language and ebonics-tinged hip-hop speak, the type of infantile drivel young black men are encouraged to use in lieu of intelligent discourse. Tellingly, Pocket Aces replied to my repeating my plea for reasons as to why racism was bad with the following;
“I’ve given you plenty you are just choosing to skip over them.”
He had given me none. But reality has never stood in the way of the self-righteous black social media user.
My point is this. Blacks have certainly had a hard time through some of history, as have many other racial groupimgs. But it is often their own fault, choosing as some of them do to goof off from that very history while the white man gets on and creates it. Racism, in the sense of offence-giving, may well be bad, but the reasons why it is so should be stated as they are seen to exist, rather than simply posited as an article of dogma, as if black people were each micro-pontiffs issuing monotonous sees and bulls.
I struggle to see how abandoning reasoned discourse helps the black cause. Perhaps reason is just too Enlightenment, too Cartesian, too white. Perhaps reason is just not wack enough.
J helped me considerably, however, by pointing out that I was ‘where logic and facts go to die’.
I may have that printed on my business card.