Mixing the teams up

Its a shame when you miss a post and the associated discussion first time around. Last month David at Minority Report bravely tackled the sticky subject of inter-racial breeding

Its a shame when you miss a post and the associated discussion first time around. Last month Minority Report bravely tackled the sticky subject of inter-racial breeding in Mixing the teams up.

A telling point halfway down:

Recently, a popular stress on cultural identity, has worked to apply fresh paint on racial boundaries.

This reminds me of an article I read recently. A argument against inter-racial relationships, by a mixed-race American who married a white woman, is surely worth a read. Dell Gines post (found via Clive Davis and Booker Rising) asserts that since the pool of eligible black males has decreased in the USA due to social problems within those communities, if a white woman dates/marries one such eligible black man, she is reducing that pool even further. Black women are of course free to date white guys, but in both cases, the end result is the decrease of the black community. The erosion of the black community is a negative effect of all this.

My response is to reiterate that cultures are not fixed. They change and evolve over the generations. Black culture is certainly to be respected, but can and should it be preserved? (The same, of course, may be asked of white culture). The answer to all these questions is “probably not!” Even if the insidious eugenics proposed by Gines were employed, and a black racial purity was preserved in the USA, the black culture itself would change anyway. So why not accept this, and let black and white cultures merge with each other? As the author Hanif Kureishi suggests, multiculturalism is the idea that “purity is incestuous”. That cultures change into something else is not necessarily a cause for concern.

4 thoughts on “Mixing the teams up”

  1. As someone often considered ‘mixed race’ I find it very disturbing that the allure of ‘race’ is still with us – and that otherwise liberal, intelligent people who are genuinely anti-racist feel perfectly at liberty to go on using the word “race’ without quotation marks, when “race” is yet another socially-constructed form of identification. Some of us seem to believe that “races” must exist simply because racism does, partly because prominent Black liberationists like Stokely Carmichael have responded to racism in racialist terms. But as Kwame Anthony Appiah and others have noted, “the existence of racism does not require the existence of races. (You don’t have to believe in witchcraft, after all, to believe that women were persecuted as witches in colonial Massachusetts.)” Anyone who is not yet clear on the grave dangers involved in continuing to perpetuate “race-thinking” needs urgently to read Paul Gilroy’s “Between the Camps” – or at least the interview with him published here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/people-newright/article_328.jsp

  2. Very interesting point. I think you could make it stronger though.

    It’s true you don’t have to *believe* in witchcraft…etc, but you do have to have an idea of what the concept (or construct) of what witchcraft is/was supposed to be/consist of, in order to have any meaningful belief about whether 8 million women were burned/drowned as witches in europe over several centuries. (I prefer the european example, since what I understood to be the implied point of the Salem witch-burning story is that it would have been ok if they had been “real” witches, and if only it hadn’t been the result of some dodgy corn-meal or whatever it was.)

    My point though is that I don’t suppose it matters much on what (spurious) grounds people are and have been persecuted, it’s the persecution itself that should be persecuted, not the basis for it, otherwise it seems to imply that some persecution is ok (eg if it’s based on something that has an objective existance) and some is not (eg if it’s based on a subjective social construct). The minute it boils down to an argument about what is and isn’t objectively real, we’re *all* in trouble, I say.

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