Jan. 17th, 2011

azn_jack_fiend: (Seven Samurai)
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Wow, what an awful question for Martin Luther King day. 90% of the answers are flip, cynical "nope, human beings are naturally racist." Well, fuck you very much. Thanks for naturalizing all the bullshit I've been through in my life and implying it's some kind of inevitable geological process that I have no business complaining about.

Those answers are also profoundly ignorant. First of all, race is a concept invented by 17th-18th century Europeans. It's historically contingent. Four hundred years ago, no one knew what it meant, and 400 years from now, people will probably have forgotten what it meant. As for the tendencies towards certain kinds of social groupings, inter-ethnic violence, fear of strangers, and so on... those will still be around, but the specific forms they take will be dependent on what we decide as a society. We have agency. We have responsibility. Racism is not gravity, folks. Ugh.

I won't see the end of it in my lifetime (unless I get preserved as a severed head maybe!) but I'm optimistic in the long run.


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