Sherelle Jacobs, “The West is doomed if it blames all its problems on Evil White Males; ‘Anti-racist’ hyperbole has become a convenient excuse not to properly examine our own history,” The Telegraph, January 30, 2023 (9:00 pm).
Few seem to have the courage to denounce the excesses of “anti-racism”–which tragically and ironically sometimes assume the characteristics of racism itself.
While some in the class of victims of racism may at times obtain important advantages (e.g., academic posts or television news jobs) as a result of anti-racism policies which discriminate on the basis of race, in the long run racism will not be overcome by adopting measues that are racist in themselves.
Members of “the white race” and their ancestors are not the only human beings who can be guilty of racism.
Moreover, it is worth recalling the fact that “race” is not itself a scientific concept.
Sherelle Jacobs of The Telegraph draws attention to ssome of the “anti-racist” excesses that obscure an accurate view of history, and discriminate against others on racist grounds.
She herself, she recounts, was denied an opportunity to speak at a recent conference at her alma mater. She, being of mixed-race background, was prohibited from speaking on account of her “proximity to whiteness”.
We should never deny or downplay the dark side of Western history – nor the strangely double-edged story of Western freedom.
But here’s the thing. The evil “whiteness” stuff is getting out of hand. Everywhere one looks there are excesses. Take the decolonised university courses that seek to purge Dead White Men (the intellectual cousin of the Evil White Male) from the curriculum. Or the obsession with toppling statues of figures such as Cecil Rhodes. That’s before we get onto the full-blown anti-white discrimination. When I attended a colourism workshop at my old university not long ago, mixed race women, including me, were prohibited from speaking on account of our “proximity to whiteness”. Even worse is the trend towards barring white people from black spaces altogether. Two Canadian theatres have sparked an outcry by limiting performances to an “all black-identifying audience”.
As loathsome as racism is and has been in the past, we need to understand that there are many forms of racism, which becomes particularly evident when we look at the wide range of societies in this world and its some eight billion people.
Perhaps we would do well to focus less on the past and more on the present and the future, which we ourselves are responsible for shaping, and to continue our pursuit of a world in which, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., individuals “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.
The Spirit of Voltaire