Repost: Views on Racism Part 2
Posted Aug 31, 2004
NOTE: This is a repost of an article I wrote. I originally wrote in back around 2004 or so. I'm transferring it here to keep it together with my recent writings.
Please forgive me. In order to properly discuss the nature of racism, I must first start by talking about a seemingly different subject. Please bear with me and all will be clear.
In his book Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein made a claim that the prime source of all warfare is simply population growth. A group of people wish to increase their living space into the domain currently held by another group. Since two groups can't own the same piece of property, conflict occurs until a winner is chosen. He illustrates this concept by showing how an alien species tries to take over our "property" meaning the Earth, and how we retaliate and take over theirs instead. Simple population growth, he says, is the reason for all war.
Well, Mr. Heinlein was close, but not dead center. If population growth was the problem, then major war would occur more within groups who live together then with groups living in different locations. Note that Japan, A country with less land mass than California yet holds almost half the number of people than the entire United States of America. If population growth were the problem, Japan would have huge internal strife much more than strife with its neighbors. The Arabs aren't really hurting for the Israel land, a section of property smaller than the state of New Jersey. Their issue is with the Jews themselves. Nope the major source of almost all wars is...
Throughout history, cultures have had trouble dealing with cultures that differ from theirs. But what is "culture"? Dictionary.com
has a definition of"socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought"
In other words, ideas that a particular group of individuals agree to live by.
So what happens when another group of individuals come along with some ideas that conflict with those already agreed upon? Well by definition, we have a difference of opinion. Now things are not always about right or wrong. Sometimes a difference of opinion is two roads leading to the same destination or goal. I bake my cake a certain way, you bake it a different way. We both have cakes, but mine is German and yours is chocolate. We used different recipes from different sources. (Before someone jumps on me and tries to say that I'm saying there is no evil, Notice that I said that sometimes it's not about good or evil not always.)
One group of individuals agrees to handle religion and law in a particular manner. Another group agreed to a different set of rules. When those two groups begin to interact, they soon find the rules they agreed upon conflict in important situations. Conflict leads to distress and anger. Attacks are made in the name of preserving or spreading the rules they live by. Wars occur.
These attacks and conflicts aren't regulated by skin color.
- In the 1800's, the Irish were treated far worse than any Negro or Indian.
- 1,000's of years ago Africans were originally captured as slaves by Arabs, not Europeans.
- For many generations, the Japanese and Chinese treated each other with intense disdain and anger, even though they are practically cousins.
- WWII started with the Germans blaming the Jews for their problems. The Jews, with their different culture was an easy target.
- Not long ago, North Italians treated the Southern Italians in ways that made black slaves happy to be black.
- The Ancient Huns under the rules made by Attila had huge issues with the Roman Empire.
All of these conflicts and much more can be traced simply to conflicts of culture and attempts of each culture to survive and/or defeat the influence of different cultures.
And this too, is the source in full, of the problem which we call racism.
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