If you believe in communism—that is, if you understand and adhere to its tenets—you’re a communist.
If you believe in socialism, you’re a socialist.
If you believe in capitalism, you’re a capitalist.
If you believe in nudity, you’re a nudist.
If you believe in race, you’re a racist.
That is, if you first of all believe that there is something called “race,” and that it’s determined by skin color, and that it’s significant, and if you second of all adhere to a set of beliefs rooted in the idea that race is determinant with respect to anything but skin color, then you’re a racist.
If you treat people differently, or advocate treating them differently, based solely on the color of their skin, you’re racist.
It doesn’t matter what color you are. Racism is an idea, and ideas are something found in the gray matter within our skulls, regardless of the color of the skin wrapped around them.
Racism is not merely an idea, but a very bad one. It’s a bad one because it treats people not as individuals but as members of a group, which flies in the face of the universally acknowledged truth that every individual human being on the face of the earth is sui generis.
What all people with the same skin color have in common is one thing only: the color of their skin. That’s it.
If you perceive race as a descriptor not of skin color but of the distinguishing genetic characteristics used to break the human family into “the three major races of man” (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid), the same principle applies. There are in fact genetic differences between these “races of man,” and those manifest themselves in many ways, but there is just as much variety between individuals of the same genetic classifications as there is between individuals of the same skin color, for the obvious reason that every individual is still unique.
I say all that up front just to make it perfectly clear what I believe racism to be and how repugnant I find it, and why.
Because the concept of racism is getting such a workout these days that it’s beginning to lose all meaning out there in the wild, wild world of public discourse.
According to a May 19 article on B.T. (“Prince Harry and Meghan slaughtered for new collaboration: ‘Racist!’“), skin care products designed to lighten skin are now considered racist.
The article describes how the the idiot formerly known as Prince and his idiot bride have entered into a collaboration with Procter & Gamble, and that Procter & Gamble produce Olay “skin-lightening” products (Olay Natural White and Olay White Radiance) sold in India, Singapore, and Malaysia. And that’s racist, because (and here the article quotes former Miss America Nina Davuluri), such products “promote a racist ideology that gets people to think that you have to have light skin to be beautiful and successful.”
Therefore, the reasoning goes, the idiot formerly known as Prince and his idiot bride, who claim to have suffered from racism at Buckingham Palace, are now perpetuating racism, and it’s like the worst thing ever and oh my god you guys and can you even.
B.T. links to a Daily Mail article, where we find this (keeping in mind that Nina Davuluri is the former Miss America referred previously):
Miss Davuluri last year launched an online petition urging P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson to stop selling whitening creams.
The petition states: ‘They are sending the message that people are ‘less than’ because they are dark. That they are not enough because of the colour of their skin. That they are not seen, valued, or heard. This is racism.’
She said last night she was shocked that P&G had not done more to address the issue.
First, here’s Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, who is certainly a very lovely woman:
Secondly: I, too, am shocked, shocked—that it had never dawned on me to think of skin darkeners as racist. But surely if skin lighteners are racist because they imply a message that people are “less than” with their darker skin, then the message of skin darkeners must be that people with lighter skin are “less than.”
And Olay is part of that racket, too:
Self-tanning products are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. That’s billions of dollars pouring into the “racist ideology” of skin darkeners. And that’s just the cosmetic side: it doesn’t even include the tanning salons that comprised a 3.8 billion dollar market in 2021 in America alone.
There’s also a 2.3 billion dollar skin-lightener market in America.
Add in sun-tan lotions and after-sun products, and there’s another couple of billion dollars in annual American sales.
It’s like something out of Dr. Seuss: a lot of light-skinned people want to darken their skin and a lot of dark-skinned people want to lighten their skin. And they’re all throwing money at the cynical two-way racists of Olay, a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, now proud sponsors of the idiot formerly known as Prince and his idiot bride. No wonder Dr. Seuss has been canceled: The Sneetches foretold all this bidirectional racism all the way back in 1953!
While the lovely and talented Nina Davuluri raises awareness of the “racist ideology” implicit in skin care products, there’s much more flagrant racism going on in America:
Yes, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated loudly and clearly that she will only allow herself to be interviewed directly by journalists with black or brown skin. There has been pushback; she has not backed down. (Yet. One hopes this proves to have been be a bridge too far even for Chicago progressives.)
So: it’s racist for a company to produce cosmetic products for people who want to lighten their skin, but it’s okay to produce cosmetic products for people who want to darken their skin—and it’s forward-thinking progressive policy for an elected official to restrict journalist’s access to interviews based entirely on the color of their skin.
This is the world we live in.