The “RACE” to Gilligan’s Island

There IS no such thing as distinct human races. All humans that exist today come from one single line of descent. That is no more debatable than arguing that the sun does not shine during daytime or that the earth is flat. But unfortunately, those who wander into ideological islands for themselves, get into that stuff and leave the rest of us with real info on dry land. Bon voyage, Gilligan!

 

“Race is ‘real’ BECAUSE it is socially constructed.” Afrikans simply blindly go for this. The mythology of “Santa Claus” is socially constructed, but as a sociologist, I’m not foolish enough to actually argue that that makes “Santa” REAL or to use him as an actual explanatory variable for social phenomena. Socially constructed by its very nature means some humans agreed for some reason to construct it and had social power to make that construction obligatory in the consciousness and/or real social experience of others. It is therefore also, contingent and not obligatory or “natural” and is configured in a particular matrix of power that CAN and MUST be deconstructed. So RACISM is REAL, “race” itself is not. One of the most basic parts of RACISM is the teaching that “race” is real. That is why individual racism is classified as a mental illness. It is a person making real decisions on the basis of imaginary assumptions. We need to attack racism and deconstruct race as a concept, but you cannot deconstruct it if you are going to use it in your supposedly liberatory theory. You cannot use race to deconstruct race, if you try you will only end up with race just like you started. I have written whole books against racism, I did not treat race as a reality in any of them. That is how Eurocentrism tricks people into maintaining its philosophy while thinking they are being liberatory or revolutionary.

I don’t think any one “race” has power. It is Eurocentrism, a system, not an individual or a particular biological group, that has power over the great majority of ALL human beings. I am for getting rid of that so that human equality is possible.

I don’t see and have never seen a difference between arguing for Afrikan humanity and arguing for humanity for all. In pursuing one, you MUST pursue the other because, contrary to what Eurocentrists taught, Afrikans ARE humans.

Reminds me of a really weird question I got in college. I was very active in Student government and in Eurocentric progressive organizations and in Afrikan organizations and a young Euroamerican woman came up and first, congratulated me on my achievements and then undermined her positive message by asking me about my future and whether I planned to be a “black” leader or a “regular” leader. That was literally the first time I ever knew that that some thought there was a mutually exclusive difference. I kind of stood there and I don’t think I ever responded but if I ever got a chance to hitch a ride in a time machine and go back, I would answer in the classical Afrikan philosophical form “BOTH..AND?”

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