Moreover, I was guilty of "democratic racism" -- by which we apply ostensibly race-neutral principles such as "due process," constantly demanding clear "evidence" of wrongdoing, rather than confronting prima facie instances of racism head-on. "It seems we're always looking for more proof," said the instructor, an energetic left-wing activist who's been teaching this course for several years. "When it comes to racism, you have to trust your gut."
(in other words, "If somebody feels offended, you have offended. Even if you actually haven't.")
Most of the other 13 students were earnest, grad-student types in their 20s -- too young to remember the late 1980s and early 1990s, when political correctness first took root on college campuses. The jargon I heard at the bookstore took me back to that age -- albeit with a few odd variations. "Allyship" has replaced "solidarity" in the anti-racist lexicon, for instance, when speaking about inter-racial activist partnerships. I also heard one student say she rejected the term "gender-neutral" as sexist, and instead preferred "gender-fluid." One did not "have" a gender or sexual orientation; the operative word is "perform" -- as in, "Sally performs her queerness in a very femme way."
The instructor's Cold War-era Marxist jargon added to the retro intellectual vibe. Like just about everyone in the class, she took it for granted that racism is an outgrowth of capitalism, and that fighting one necessarily means fighting the other. At one point, she asked us to critique a case study about "Cecilia," a community activist who spread a message of tolerance and mutual respect in her neighbourhood. Cecilia's approach was incomplete, the instructor informed us, because she neglected to sound the message that "classism is a form of oppression." The real problem faced by visible minorities in our capitalist society isn't a lack of understanding, "it's the fundamentally inequitable nature of wage labour."
Absolute fucking idiocy. These people are so tied up in being 'anti-racist' they can't even talk to other people of the same race without either apologizing for themselves or insulting the others. Or both. God only knows what groveling they do around blacks or latinos or whatever.
Strongly disagree with this:
In fact, I felt sympathy for just about everyone in that class. In private conversation, they all seemed like good-hearted, intelligent people. But like communist die-hards confessing their counter-revolutionary thought-crimes at a Soviet workers' council, or devout Catholics on their knees in the confessional, they also seemed utterly consumed by their sin, regarding their pallor as a sort of moral leprosy. I came to see them as Lady Macbeths in reverse -- cursing skin with nary a "damn'd spot." Even basic communication with friends and fellow activists, I observed, was a plodding agony of self-censorship, in which every syllable was scrutinized for subconscious racist connotations as it was leaving their mouths.
At this point, no sympathy at all. These bastards want to shove this down all our throats, and I've got no sympathy left for them.