I realized yesterday I would need to write this post. I didn’t want to, because I’ll have to change details to protect the guilty and even so, there are people who, if they read this, will be very upset. However…
My friend Patrick Richardson pinged me yesterday and pointed me to a post on Facebook, where the most brazen racist stuff was being posted in broad daylight. As in “this race is better at this, and this race will never do that.”
Other people – a lot of you who read here – were piping in with “no, it’s not the race, it’s the culture.”
And I had to tell Pat, “No, it’s not even the culture, unless Marxism is the culture. These are self-forged chains.”
Then I explained how I KNOW so, how I know a lot of the recent results in the US are because it’s very hard for human beings to overcome… well… their natural inclinations (which are common to all humans) when they’re given a ready made excuse and when all their failures will count as sort of laurels of glory on the heads of martyrs.
First, let’s start by admitting that yes, different races – AS A WHOLE, ON AVERAGE – have different characteristics. But in this case we have to chop races very fine, and it becomes really hard to tell race from culture.
I’m the first to make jokes about my organization skills and point out I’m Latin and some stereotypes exist because they are true. But the fact is I grew up in Portugal, and the CULTURE there discourages exactitude. There is this sort of pride in “we do it haphazardly.” In fact, because I’ve always been hyper-busy I had to develop some organization skills, which often resulted in my being called “Teutonic” and not in an approving manner. Now there might – or might not – be a genetic component. Both my kids have had to work really hard at organization, but how much of that is from being raised with a devil-may-care-artistic (Ugh, I hate admitting that) – mother who was likely to forget lunch time, or to put them down for a nap on time, because she got caught up in a novel?
For that matter, how much of the chaos that tends to envelope my life has to do with my genetic origin and how much with the fact that I work for multiple bosses and have more duties than time to fit them in?
Which bring us to the whole “but certain races have lower IQs and certain races have lower organizational skills and certain races are naturally—”
Oy. Under the microscope, and without looking at melanin it’s REALLY hard to tell what race anyone is. My son did a cartoon image of me for my birthday 2 years ago. He likes to give me gifts, and he was broke. As he was coloring it, he got a shock. He used a little darker pen, and came back to me and said, “Mom, did you know that your features are African?” I laughed and told him that when I got a tan and wore an afro perm in the seventies, people IN PORTUGAL (who have a much finer range for what they consider “African”. I.e. the (I)reverend Wright is “normal white.”) called me “the young lady of color” in stores. As in “Go help the young lady of color next.”
Now, my hair is poke-straight (as in it’s hard to style it so it doesn’t look like a witch’s broom, my eyes are hazel and when my hair had color – shuddup wretches. Color I didn’t BUY – it was a deep dark mahogany red/brown, almost black inside, but turning fiery when it caught the sun. [My kids, finding a picture of me in full sun in the eighties, “Mom, why did you dye your hair to look like Ronald McDonald’s?” Me “I didn’t dye my hair back then.” Them “Oh.” Yep, they’re both off my will.]) Most people seeing me don’t even think “Hispanic” or “Latin.” They do think that of my sons who are both darker than I, and whose features have just a little of the Amerindian about the eyes. But not of me.
Again, we’re all more mixed than you think. Ancient statues in South America show people with African features. Remains found here from way before Amerindian arrival (Sorry, but Native American is a politically correct abomination. NO race of humans evolved here, that we know. Calling Amerindians Native Americans is buying into their prevailing myths. Kind of like calling all westerns Sons of Eve. Even if you believe in it, you know there’s a difference between religion and proven fact. Oh, wait, no you don’t. Which is why it’s not taught that the oldest remains found in North America are Caucasian and why the tribes were allowed to claim them for burial because “Our legends say we were created here.” PFUI. I treat them like normal human beings. And give them the same credence I give anyone else. I no more believe their legends than I believe some of my ancestors were suckled by a wolf. Deal. And as for “they were named in error because Columbus was an ignoramus” – again, deal. So were most people. Look at the Pensylvannia Dutch, descended from GERMANS. Look at the poor Germans whom the Portuguese call Alemoes (after the Alans, only ONE tribe.) Look at any Portuguese from the North, called Luso even though the Lusitans only occupied from the middle of the country down. The fact they’re called Amerindians because they were “named in error” just makes them like the rest of the human race. Throughout history the name for other tribes was “those weirdos over there” however pronounced. And the name for every mountain in a foreign language is as Pratchett pointed out “your finger, you fool.”)
Even in Europe, where every country has this mania for thinking they’re a separate race (and coming from a country with tons of tourism, I’ll tell you I could distinguish French tourists from Germans at a glance 90% of the time) they’re really all mixed. For instance, I found while reading a book on 18th century England that after the Peninsular war a LOT of Portuguese went to England as servants to the point it was hard to find a servant who wasn’t at least half Portuguese. Their descendants, by the late 19th century were as English as John Bull and probably talked in scathing tones of all those Portuguese who were undisciplined and unorganized.
On the subject of organization, what it seems to correlate to is how early the country was industrialized. The same for most of the bourgeois virtues, which don’t really pay off in a rural society. Now, there isn’t enough time for that to be evolution, so it must be acquired through the culture.
I’ll say my son, the biologist, says that genes flick off and on and that certain characteristics show up in humans depending on what the instinctive back of the brain perceives as advantageous. (Which might have bloody nothing to do with what IS rationally advantageous.) Say you’re in a family where an artistic temperament is viewed as a mark of genius. You’re going to develop very differently than if you’re in a family where order and performing rote tasks are valued. Since most of these “decisions” are made before you can talk, chances are that you’ll end up thinking you’re that way naturally. (Not that there AREN’T situations in which parents are complete mysteries to the kids and vice versa. Genetic inclination for this or that is a sliding scale.)
So, what I’m saying is that all humans are portions of this and that, and most humans have talents and abilities they’ve never developed. I, for instance, have no talent for languages. And I’ve produced two sons who have no talent for languages. Foreign language learning, that is.
However, I took to English like a duck to water, right? Um… sort of. I studied English as I never studied any other language (and do keep in mind at one time I was fluent in six.) Why? Because my favorite writers wrote in English and I wanted to get at them in the original. I studied far more than the people who were naturally gifted (drop my brother naked in an Amazonian jungle and two weeks later he’ll emerge speaking the tribal language without an accent. Also, likely, with three wives. Never mind.) I studied more than should be possible. But by my third year, I was coasting, and the acquisition of more English was easy, because I scrounged hotel lobbies for books discarded by American tourists. Reading added vocabulary and colloquial constructions, and no one meeting me would think I don’t have a talent for languages.
Now, that said, yes, some populations consistently test lower for this and that, or do better at this and that. Part of it might be culture. (Do you know how hard it is to tell the effects of say nutrition on the brain as it develops? Or how the effect of not using the brain in a certain way from VERY early on show up later on?) And part, yes, is hereditary.
But just like when you talk about men and women, when you talk of racial characteristics, you’re talking “mean” – no, I don’t mean you’re making people cry – I mean you’re talking about a statistical creation that might or might not apply to anyone in particular.
For instance, most men are better than most women at mechanical/math tasks. But when I was taking those courses, I rarely found a man who could beat me. (And this again brings up culture, or at least a different wiring. A lot of the smarter – yes, I said that – girls didn’t even compete. They wanted to get married and be looked after. Since the “be looked after” doesn’t compute and I’m competitive as heck, I never pulled back. However, pushing girls to do what they don’t want to/aren’t by instinct inclined to do is a mug’s game and no one has ever explained why this is a conclusion devoutly to be hoped for. Sure you can use your coffeepot to dig a trench and you can brew coffee in your shovel, but WHY would you want to do it?)
What I mean is, no one should, at any time, look at a person’s skin color or listen to a person’s accent and go “He will be a great basketball star” or “he should be a mathematician.” Because people don’t come in neat packages. And people CAN if they want to overcome all their natural “advantages” or “disadvantages.”
Which brings me to self-forged chains.
When I got married, we knew another couple, exactly like us. They got married a week before us, and the woman was Portuguese, same degree I had. She was from slightly better families (think regency. While Dad’s family was probably older and “better” we were from the poorest branch and – this is my guess – from a long line of Odds, so we didn’t have the CONNECTIONS, let alone the money that came with being “of good families.”) Her family had a vacation home in Spain (this is important later.) My family went on vacation for the first time when I was 14 and stayed with friends for two weeks. Oh, she is also blue eyed.
Anyway, when we came to the states, I had a year to go on my degree, and since Dan had just started work at a beginner programmer’s salary, and since my parents weren’t willing to pay for me to enter college here (and might not have been able to afford it, anyway. I didn’t ask. I put myself through college, including buying books) my only choice was to go back and take the exams for my degree at the end of the year (they didn’t take attendance.) Which is in fact how I got my degree, and which has served me for about two years total employment in the US, but never mind that.
My friend’s family was better off, or perhaps more hands on. They paid for her to go to graduate school in the US. Because she had been in a slightly different track (Portuguese/English, I think) and they didn’t offer Portuguese here, she went with Spanish, in which she was also fluent.
Next I heard of her she was involved in all these Latin “causes” and student unions and attributed anything that didn’t go right to “discrimination.”
Meanwhile I got my first job in the US as a retail clerk, and yes, I can tell you there was discrimination. Every one of my co-workers (including the one with a record) were taught to open the store safe, except myself and the black woman. However, when money was missing, we were the first asked about it. At which point I walked and found a much better job as a multilingual secretary. (The other woman walked some weeks later.)
Are there stupid *ssholes in the world? Sure there are. And some of them are racist. (And not all of those are white.) However, all that idiot’s actions did was propel me to a much better job. Because I thought “I can do better than this.” And then forgot about him.
So, after working as an international secretary for a while, I worked as a free lance translator, and then I got pregnant and we moved, and I decided to try to become a writer.
We won’t go into (often reverse) racist *sses in publishing, shall we? Asking me to write my biography and emphasize how Portuguese were oppressed by the US (this was implied, since it was supposed to be like “Rigoberta Menchu”) so they “could promote” me was nothing if not a piece of racism, or at least culturism.
However, — this is not a brag – I always have the greatest distaste to conforming to what people in authority want me to do. So I continued my own path, often sideways.
Do I still meet with “discrimination” – oh, sure, but so does my husband, whose family has been here since the revolution. So do you. Yes, every one of you. People will make assumptions about you based on how you look, how you dress, your weight…
I read that people are being turned away from grad school because “if you don’t have the discipline to stay away from carbs, you can’t make it.” Well, take older son. He’s been carb free (more than low carb) for 4 years. He’s still overweight. He’s just not morbidly obese. He’s also the most self-disciplined person I know and takes a huge load of classes as well as starting two businesses on the side. But he’s a pre-eclampsia baby and some studies indicate this creates a permanent metabolic problem.
So, every one of you, be you ever so lily white, will meet with *sses of another or the same race who will discriminate against you. Because we’re human and distinguishing our tribe from “those weirdos over there” is the first thing humans do.
What is the best way to deal with it?
Sigh and go on. Not associate with those people, if you can help it. Go around, go under, go through.
BUT unfortunately Marxism, taught not just at our universities but on a grand scale across the world, teaches people that it is impossible to succeed in the face of discrimination.
EVERY minority in the US is taught this. EVERY nation that’s poorer than the US (all of them, pretty much) is told that they are poor BECAUSE the US is rich and “discriminates” against them.
Add in political correctness and teachers who’ll demand less from certain kids because of… well, the “soft racism of lowered expectations.” (Like, my younger kid managing to get to sixth grade without learning anything and with massive sensory issues. One idiot told me she thought his speech impediment was because “you have an accent.” And “you speak Portuguese at home.” The second is not and never was true, and the first means every American would have a severe speech impediment [You British readers want to hold your tongues. No, really.])
Do minorities test lower because there’s something genetic? Even if there is something genetic, is it because certain genes got flipped very early? We don’t know. No one does.
What we do know is this – if you go through life adhering to Marxism, believing victimhood is a sort of glorious condition, and excusing all your failures by someone else holding you down, you WILL FAIL. And anything you try to administer will be a completely mess. And any country where everyone believes this will fail gloriously and from on high (so to put it.)
I haven’t studied the history well enough to pronounce, but superficially Argentina pre and post Marxism would seem to be a case study. Marxism is also largely why Brazil is the nation of the future…. And always will be. The characteristic of the future is that it never arrives.
Which brings us to…
It’s impossible to assume someone is failing because of their race, when their race is likely – through indoctrination in our schools – endow them with the certainty everyone is doing them down.
And it’s impossible to assume a nation is failing because of this or that genetic characteristic because in fact it’s more likely to fail because of its Marxist beliefs.
Take Portugal (I’m not using it!) – once the leader of the world. Now perpetually broke (to be fair it was that even while leader of the world, but that’s something else) and begging on the international street corner. Years ago some member of a racist organization posted here the link to a site that claimed this was because Portugal had got so much darker. They used as “proof” the fact that Portugal’s last kings looked German. I almost hurt myself laughing. The Portuguese kings were always – like every other king in Europe – related to NO ONE BUT OTHER ROYAL FAMILIES. And to those they were VERY intimately related, if you know what I mean.
Now there are reasons for that spiral, having to do with too much money foolishly spent, and with certain cultural idiosyncrasies. Race would be a hard one to swallow, since Portuguese are a mixed lot with a lot of English in the North (three of my grandparents were blue eyed and two were blond.) And to be fair Marxism is a late comer to the mess, though it hasn’t helped anyone.
So about those startlingly racist comments – they should remain out of bounds, not because all humans are equal – which is a piece of nonsense – but because we have absolutely no clue what part of a human’s performance (if any) is influenced by his/her race and in fact, it’s far more likely to be influenced by his/her Marxism (acknowledged or not.)
Now, if we could set up this experiment, where every human being is equal under the law (you can’t stop racist *ssholes, but you can make them irrelevant. Most people, in my experience, are decent) then maybe we could actually eventually determine if there are genetic differences and discuss how to help those who need help. BUT a country where everyone is equal under the law is, as we all know, a pipe dream.
Oh, and my friend? Yeah. She doesn’t talk to me anymore. You see, the professors discriminated against her, so she never finished her degree. And her bosses discriminate against her too, so she’s retail clerk. And I am stuck up because I’m a published author (this was the reason given for hanging up on me when I called her. Okay, I hadn’t called her in a year or so, because I’d lost the number. But neither had SHE called me. Also, btw, at that time was right after my first series tanked. “Stuck up” had very little to do with my state at the time.)
Also, I’m just lucky, because people have never discriminated against me.
I guess I am.