Sunday, January 28, 2007

When everything looks like a nail,

the only tool you think you need is a hammer. And if any noting of a problem connected to a group is 'racism', then you've lost the capacity to actually deal with the problem.

Kevin had the above-linked back & forth with a guy, and it reminded me of a radio show I used to listen to here in Oklahoma City. Can't remember the ladies name, the show was on KTOK in the afternoons. Not my favorite show, but tended to listen most days.

One afternoon I was driving south and had her on while she was going on about the 'murder epidemic' in the U.S. and touching on the need for more gun laws(early 80's I believe) because things were 'so much better' in Britain, etc. A guy called in and pointed out the same problem noted in Kevin's post, that if you weren't an inner-city minority male, you weren't facing an 'epidemic; that the mess there was primarily gang- and drug-related, and that if you subtracted those numbers from our homicide rate, our numbers were actually very close to those of Britain. She asked him "Then what's the answer?" and he replied he didn't know what the whole answer to it was.

And she absolutely savaged him. "How dare you say such things without having an answer for them", etc. And the next guy who called in started off with "And he'll tell you 'some of his friends are black', won't he?", and the two of them spent the next couple of minutes talking about how obviously the guy was a racist, and so forth.

And I turned her off. And I never listened to her show again. That was the first time I can remember I actually got hit with the bullshit that taking note of a problem made you a racist/bigot/homophobe/(fill in the insult).

That crap is a big problem for a number of reasons, but the biggest to me is that saying that is, in effect, putting even taking notice of a problem out of bounds. And if you can't speak of a problem, you can't do anything about it.

We're surrounded by that crap, have been for years. Don't mention problems affecting any racial group because that's being a racist; don't mention a problem affecting a minority group because that makes you a bigot(caveat: if you're blaming all the problems on white males and/or conservative beliefs, you get a pat on the head). And as we've seen in dealing with islamist nutcases, almost any group that's an 'approved' minority or victim group cannot be critized anymore without you being called a racist nowadays; apparently any approved-victim group now gets to be considered a 'race' for the sake of staving off criticism/notice of problem/etc.

This also tends to prevent people within a group from doing something, because it pretty much always goes hand-in-hand with "You're a victim, you are not responsible for your problems, so you can't be blamed for them. Or expected to fix them." Which just screws people up worse.

It's one of the wonders of the world that the people in charge of this actually think it helps people. The islamic world, in the mid-East at least, has the slight defense that their culture has always blamed outside forces for problems(that way you're not shamed by not doing something about it): outside that, there's no damn excuse for it. It's condescending, it's hugely bigoted, and in ruins lives.

And I'm damn sick of it.

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