Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"We were here first"

In the immigration debate, a common argument made by Hispanics goes something like this: "We've been in this country for generations. We were here before you were."  

To borrow a term from our postmodernist friends, let's deconstruct that a bit. "We" clearly means Hispanics, or perhaps some narrower group like Mexicans. "You" refers to whites. The meaning of the argument is that the America is just a piece of land claimed by two racial groups--whites and Latinos--and Hispanics have dibs since they arrived first. 

Set aside the question of who showed up first. In this scenario, there is no United States of America and no American citizens. There are two racial groups fighting over land. This is the worldview of a thoroughgoing racialist. How is the logic of the argument different from the white nationalist who argues that North America belongs to the white race because it was developed by them?  

The outlook of a true American citizen is that only Americans can decide who can move here, and that decision should be based only on what is in the long-term interests of the nation. We Americans have all been here the same length of time--since the birth of the country. Arguments advancing the interests of one racial group against another are illegitimate to the citizen.       

This "we got here first" argument betrays the mind of a tribalist: "I am a cell in a racial body that is in conflict with the racial body of which you are a cell. I operate on this understanding, and so do you, white guy. Your kind believes the same way and always has. Nationhood and citizenship have nothing to do with it. We're not on the same team." 

Liberal delusions to the contrary, very few whites think like that. When whites criticize illegal immigration for its lawlessness and cost to the country, they mean just that.  Of course, "illegal immigration hurts me" is a common underlying sentiment, but "it hurts my race" is rare indeed. 

Whites, even savvy whites, let minorities pull this crap all the time. Activists start talking like brown Nazis, and whites think it's a perfectly legitimate argument. 

Critics are right when they claim that whites think they are superior to others, but they're  looking at the wrong attitudes. White superiority goes like this: Enlightened humans are not tribalists. Non-whites are naturally (and properly) tribalists. Therefore, non-whites are not enlightened humans like us. (The last step is usually not thought through, but it's the logical conclusion). White tribalists are especially low because, while such behavior is normal for people of color, it is beneath a white person. 

I'm not a supremacist because I think non-whites are equal to me and therefore should be held to the standards I impose on myself (non-tribalism). They are not inferiors like children who cannot reach the lofty heights where I reside. 

The only problem with my expectations of non-whites is that I look like Pollyanna in a pink dress.    

2 comments:

Jim Bowery said...

The Inductivist Punk writes: "The only problem with my expectations of non-whites is that I look like Pollyanna in a pink dress."

Har har har. That's a real knee-slapper. But I can top that:

Past studies have documented the prevalence of black on white sexual aggression in prison.(213) These findings are further confirmed by Human Rights Watch's own research. Overall, our correspondence and interviews with white, black, and Hispanic inmates convince us that white inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse.(214) Although many whites reported being raped by white inmates, black on white abuse appears to be more common. To a much lesser extent, non-Hispanic whites also reported being victimized by Hispanic inmates.

Other than sexual abuse of white inmates by African Americans, and, less frequently, Hispanics, interracial and interethnic sexual abuse appears to be much less common than sexual abuse committed by persons of one race or ethnicity against members of that same group. In other words, African Americans typically face sexual abuse at the hands of other African Americans, and Hispanics at the hands of other Hispanics. Some inmates told Human Rights Watch that this pattern reflected an inmate rule, one that was strictly enforced: "only a black can turn out [rape] a black, and only a chicano can turn out a chicano."(215) Breaking this rule by sexually abusing someone of another race or ethnicity, with the exception of a white inmate, could lead to racial or ethnic unrest, as other members of the victim's group would retaliate against the perpetrator's group. A Texas inmate explained, for example: "The Mexicans--indeed all latinos, nobody outside their race can 'check' one without permission from the town that, that person is from. If a black dude were to check a mexican w/out such permission & the mexican stays down & fights back, a riot will take place."(216)

The causes of black on white sexual abuse in prison have been much analyzed. Some commentators have attributed it to the norms of a violent black subculture, the result of social conditioning that encourages aggressiveness and the use of force.(217) Others have viewed it as a form of revenge for white dominance of blacks in outside society.(218) Viewing rape as a hate crime rather than one primarily motivated by sexual urges, they believe that sexually abused white inmates are essentially convenient surrogates for whites generally. Elaborating on this theory, one commentator surmised that "[i]n raping a white inmate, the black aggressor may in some measure be assaulting the white guard on the catwalk."(219)

Some inmates, both black and white, told Human Rights Watch that whites were generally perceived as weaker and thus more vulnerable to sexual abuse. An African American prisoner, describing the situation of incarcerated whites, said:

When individuals come to prison, they know that the first thing that they will have to do is fight. Now there are individuals that are from a certain race that the majority of them are not physically equip to fight. So they are the majority that are force to engage in sexual acts.(220)


And you know how everyone can tell you're a Pollyanna in a Pink Dress?

You comply with "laws" so your "daddy" government protects you from the rapists he keeps in his prison system -- protects you like the PUNK you are. Now put on your pink dress for "daddy", Pollyanna...

Anonymous said...

"Whites, even savvy whites, let minorities pull this crap all the time. Activists start talking like brown Nazis, and whites think it's a perfectly legitimate argument."

Well said. I can't believe some of the shit they say in public. And nobody ever bats an eye.