What do people really mean by “racism” today? Firstly, they mean any derogatory language, actions, and images associated with race—a large category, since man has forever invented crudeness based on appearances, just go to any school; secondly, “racism” refers to the scientific idea—based on traditions centuries old—that man is divided in a way analogous but not identical to dog breeds and so can be improved in a similar way, and that the division means there is no singular “humanity”; thirdly, “racism” refers to the idea that political units and policies should be based around race, either understood in its scientific sense or in the shorthands that have developed over the centuries. All the above is lumped, in current normative thought (and even law), into the pejorative statement “racism”—to be deemed racist is social death in polite society.
The net includes everything from folk songs to Lawrence of Arabia’s assertion that he fought for “the English race” to abuse screamed in football stadiums to the correlation between race and IQ. “Racism” was originally coined as a neutral way to describe an idea, but it has now morphed into a word for what is taboo. As with gender and sex, the left does not deny race exactly; rather, it asserts that it can only be understood as a mutable cultural artefact—hence the Irish in America “became white” at some point. The left denies race in its full sense because it suggests that there are immutable differences within man; hence equality is impossible.
Rhetorically, the left has canalised the middle-class obsession with respectability to use “racism” to intimidate. Unlike aristocrats and the underclass—royals and gypsies—the middle class derives its status from respectability, not blood and tribe; and respectability is mediated by religion, broadly understood. Leftists have turned the middle-class concern with respectability against it by making “racism” social death—akin to breaking wind in church, if not desecrating the altar. The foundations were laid by Victorian clergymen who told their congregations to pray for “our dusky brothers and sisters” and stump up generously for Dr. Livingstone’s mission to Africa. Over the years, this has expanded via a Christless Christianity so that a great many ideas about race are taboo; even to suggest it is a biological concept is taboo, although “race” still appears in Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene—for now.
To live by individual respectability is better than gypsy-aristocratic tribalism—you spend less time in blood feuds—except when brazen sophists hack the status system; the man who can shamelessly redefine bagels as “racist” has immense power—especially in a democracy, where the masses rule.
Terms like “black” and “white”—terms favoured by the left to talk about race—represent the highest-level shorthand for reality, but the left favours these terms because they can be used to build in-out groups dynamics based on resentment. In reality, Africa, for example, contains a great many sub-races—an Ethiopian is different in appearance and behaviour to a Congolese; it is only the highest-level shorthand to say “black Africa”. Similarly, “blacks” in America are a distinct group formed from prisoners of war and criminals gathered from different West African tribes; and so they have distinct behavioural dynamics.
The left exploits differences in reality levels—from Spengler’s “spiritual race” to contemporary Human Biological Diversity—to claim the concept does not exist, except culturally. Yet they are attached to a cultural black-white dichotomy, especially when linked to the Atlantic slave trade; and so “anti-racism” mainly refers to Anglo-American history with the Atlantic slave trade. Hence interracial ads will often feature a black man and a white woman, but not, say, an Asian man and a white woman—and this is because the religion is not concerned about race per se but with this particular dynamic; and so such cultural products are most common in America and Britain, because both were involved in the Atlantic slave trade and both have leftist civic religions derived from a similar Protestant source.