Today Sarge had a great post over at The Chant. In addition to the post itself, the comments were superb and thought provoking. One of the comments struck a chord with me in referencing the casual racism to be found in the pages of Belloc's The Modern Traveler.
I looked and looked and couldn't see any racism. What I did see was discrimination.
Now the most common definition of discrimination in today's modern civilization is this:
- "...the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex."
To wit, racism.
Remember that the above is today's most common definition of the term. Then ask yourself what discrimination really means, and whether today's most common definition makes any sense at all.
Particularly in light of the fact that the real definition of discrimination is this:
- "...the recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another."
It appears to me that Belloc was using satire as a lens through which to recognize and understand the difference between human cultures of the 19th century. Along the way, and to use a relatively modern British colloquialism, he was "taking the piss" out of multiple cultures to illustrate that beneath the superficial differences, cultures are populated by human beings who are fundamentally equal.
So, discrimination. Not racism.
Because racism is:
- "...prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior...the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."
See the difference?
I can already hear the sharp intake of breath, the agonized howls of "yabbut, yabbut, YABBUT!"
Now the most common definition of racism in today's modern civilization is this:
- "...the fact that all pale-skinned humans derived from European stock, excepting a very few special ones, victimize all non pale-skinned humans not derived from European stock, due to the pale-skinned belief that all non pale-skins are subhuman animals."
The corollary to this definition is this:
- "...all non pale-skinned humans not derived from European stock are victimized by all pale-skinned humans derived from European stock, except for the very few special ones."
See the difference?
I maintain that the only way human civilization can work correctly, prosper, and make human life better is when that civilization holds that all men are created equal and are endowed by certain natural rights which are granted by a power greater than that of humanity. And surprise, surprise, that's what America's first founding document calls an unalienable truth.
Compare and contrast that with the most common (one might say universal) modern definitions of the terms above.
And ask yourself, why does our (American) government, when counting noses, count the color of the noses? And why do all non-American governments do the same?
As it turns out, there are a great many racists in the world, and most modern governments practice institutionalized racism. But it doesn't work the way the propagandists say it does.
Unfortunately, far too many humans have bought into the notion that a particular form of racism is okay, particularly if they can make money on the deal.
And of those not riding the racism gravy train, most have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the constant pounding of the "you're really a racist" or "you're really a victim of racism" drumbeat. All the while telling themselves that they're much too smart and independently-minded to be brainwashed.
Interestingly, as best I can tell, both racists and non-racists come in every possible skin coloration.
Either the first principle is true, or it is not. If it is not, then as Sarge said, May God have mercy on us all.