I have had several articles published on the radical website Dissident Voice, including a critique of Noam Chomsky’s views on the Israel Lobby, and an examination of the idea that nations are “imagined communities”: “Invention, Imagination, Race and Nation“.
Recently, I wrote “Probing Max Blumenthal’s Goliath” i for Dissident Voice and Kim Petersen, one of the site’s editors, responded with “Is the West Comparatively Racism-Free?” ii.
This is my reply – Dissident Voice wouldn’t publish it because they say my thesis is ‘weak’.
I’m grateful for Kim’s response, as it forces me to clarify my – tentative – hypothesis. He asks me
In what universe can a person – seriously and meaningfully – argue that the West is critical of its racist history when it still carries out the racist policies?
My answer is, that the racist policies have declined, while the criticism of them grows louder and shriller. I think one can defend the hypothesis that
Western societies, with the exception of Israel, are currently among the least racially prejudiced on earth.
Still, there is no way in an essay I can fully justify this claim, for it would require studying hundreds of different societies. All I have time to do here is offer some examples of my reasoning.
I don’t think Kim understands the concept of falsification, for I’ve tried out my “look at how differently the West treats Israel in contrast to South Africa” argument on him (private communication), and he didn’t agree. I spell it out below.
You can’t show the West is especially “racist” by listing examples of it. You can’t prove anything by accumulating evidence for it. What you have to do, is ask the following:
1. If this hypothesis were correct, X would be the case.
2. Is X the case?
1. If white racial supremacy were more dominant in the Western countries than Jewish racial supremacy, the Western countries would have boycotted Israel before they boycotted apartheid South Africa.
2. Did this happen? No, the exact opposite happened. Western countries persuaded South Africa to give up apartheid, but Israel is supported to the hilt – for example, the USA gives it over eight million dollars a day iii.
It follows that the implicit claim of the anti-racist left, that white supremacy is more powerful than Jewish supremacy, is false. It’s a lie of omission – they don’t mention Jewish supremacy at all. They simply assert that Israel is an asset of American imperialism, without trying to test this claim. And they try to make it impossible to doubt that Israel is an ally, and that support for it is a product of the power of the Jewish lobby, by calling that argument “anti-semitic”.
The white boycott of apartheid was started by Australia in 1971: “this was the first time a predominantly white nation had taken the side of multiracial sport, producing an unsettling resonance that more “White” boycotts were coming.” iv , and grew from there.
1. If Britain is a fundamentally racist society, the government would not have produced a report falsely accusing the police of “institutional racism” as a result of its failure to prosecute the murderers of a black teenager. The failure was in fact the result of, duh, lack of evidence against the suspects. The government would not have implemented an inquiry whose proceedings “bore some resemblance to the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s” v, making use of the circular argument that doubt about racism is evidence of racism. In short, it would not have implemented the politics of the p.c. anti-racist left.
2. In fact, as this report, “Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics” (PDF) demonstrates, that is exactly what happened. The police are now obliged to investigate any allegation of racism, with the definition of “racism” being left entirely to the imagination of the plaintiff.
1. If the USA were fundamentally white racist, George Zimmerman, accused of the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, would never have been prosecuted, since there was not enough evidence for a prosecutor to argue in court that he was guilty. Furthermore, the media would not have bombarded us with the implication that Martin’s death had anything to do with race, since there was never a shred of evidence that Zimmerman was racially motivated – the only racially hostile comment was made by Martin vi.
2. Zimmerman was in fact charged with murder, after a Facebook campaign (!) influenced the legal system. Fortunately, despite the efforts of the media, that system still follows the principle that you cannot be convicted of a crime unless your guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt, and he was acquitted.
My final counter-example is the Duke university lacrosse case of 2006, in which three white students were falsely accused of rape by a black woman, the D.A. and eighty-eight academics at their university, and most of the national media leaned toward hinting strongly that the suspects were guilty. If any institution embodies “white privilege”, you might think it would be an elite southern university. But again, the facts falsify the hypothesis – see, for example, the book “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” vii.
Stephen Miller, in the Duke university student newspaper, has done my work for me: “Imagine that Collin, Reade and David had been black students, accused of raping a white girl and that they faced a witchhunt led by a prosecutor re-elected thanks to the overwhelming support of the white community. Then imagine this witchhunt was supported by hordes of student protesters, prominent white activists and a large portion of an elite campus faculty, many of them affiliated with the European Studies Department. Imagine also that the University president suspends the almost all-black sports team of which these students are members and fires their black coach. Further imagine that the accuser in the case has continually changed her story from the first night, that there is no evidence against the players, that they’ve cooperated with the police and passed polygraphs and that extensive evidence exists to prove their innocence. You think that scenario would have lasted for a year? Try a week.” viii
In each of the above cases, I have proposed two alternative sets of events. One of these alternatives, had it occurred, would have been correctly seen as falsification of my hypothesis that Western societies are comparatively racism-free. In each case, the converse happened.
I have not the space or time to aggregate the evidence of other societies and compare them with North America, Australasia and Western Europe. But, briefly, as far as I know, the only societies which champion a negative view of themselves are Western ones. Chinese universities don’t teach their students about “Han Chinese privilege”, nor to feel guilty about the treatment of Muslims in Western China. But in Western societies, fraudulent “anti-racist” academic work, such as the output of Theodor Adorno, Stephen Jay Gould ix, Richard Lewontin x, et. al., has been influential since World War II. And this influence extends beyond academia, into the media and politics. What has happened in Britain, where you are investigated if someone claims you said something “racist”, should be seen as a warning, and we should try to prevent it happening anywhere else.
We – in Canada, Britain, the USA, etc. – live in among the least racially prejudiced societies known. We are anti-racist to a fault. We tend to believe even the most ridiculous stories of white racism told by professional minority campaigners. The judicial system still mostly adheres to concepts like presumption of innocence and color-blindness, but there are attempts to undermine this. The only substantial kind of racial oppression in the West is the state of Israel. Exposing the falsehoods – especially those from the left – which make this oppression possible should be a priority.
P.S. (January 2015) My assertion, above, that ‘the definition of “racism” is left entirely to the imagination of the plaintiff’ in UK law was an understatement – the organization in charge of major criminal prosecutions in England and Wales defines “Racist Incident” as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/rrpbcrleaf.html