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Monday, November 13, 2023

The Race of Fishmongers

 There are two pious myths about 'race' which I detest for their falseness:
1) "One's race is the most important fact about one's self".
2) "There are no such things as races";

Leftists promulgate both myths, sometimes even simultaneously, depending on what seems advantageous at the moment.  Rightists, and especially Christian rightists, tend toward promulgating the second myth.

There two myths are pernicious not because they are mutually exclusive (for, after all, one might be correct), and only not because both are false, but also because both may have terrible real-world consequences:

1) IF it is true that "One's race is the most important fact about one's self", THEN racism is not only morally justified, but inevitable and inescapable; and perhaps not merely morally justified, but morally requisite.  This is where the leftists, in general, and the Democratic Party, in particular, have settled.  Though, in their defense, the Democrats have *always* been racists.

2) IF it is true that "There are no such things as races", THEN one is compelled to ignore what one's own lying eyes clearly see.  For instance, in medical care it is not infrequently the case that persons of some races are more susceptible to some specific diseases than to others. And thus, when one pretends that the patient's race does not exist, one may well waste time and effort -- and the patient's health, or even life -- by studiously overlooking conditions known to be more prevalent to persons of the patient's particular race. 

To quote myself from a recent post --

Firstly, the English word 'race' isn't *about* skin-color or ancestry or even about biology; it is about different ways of categorizing things or animals or people. That for about the past 150 years (i.e. since Darwinism took over the minds of the "progressives") we most commonly use the word to denote the broad continental origins of various ethnic groups doesn't change the fact that the word is not so narrow in its designations. [See below for an historical example of 'race' used in this broader, "non-racist", meaning]

Secondly, if you're distinguishing an Englishman from a Welshman, or an Igbo (called 'Ibo' in my youth) man from a Yoruba man, you are distinguishing these men based on their ethnicities -- for which distinctions the word 'race' has historically been used [despite that in presently common usage, an Englishman and a Welshman are of a common 'race', while an Igbo man and a Yoruba man are of a common 'race' different to the former].

But, what does ethnicity mean in a country like America? In the South Bend Indiana of my mother's youth (i.e. nearly a century ago), it mattered immensely whether one was "Polish" or "Hungarian". Or, it mattered not at all, if like her people, one was simply what is now disdained as "WASP". In my own youth in South Bend Indiana, some people just had difficult-to-pronounce family names.

The ethnicity of a black American and the ethnicity of a white America are singularly 'American'. Yet, sometimes, we do need to recognize the broadly continental origins of a person's ancestry.

While 'English' or 'Yoruba' are ethnicities, 'white' is not an ethnicity and 'black' is not an ethnicity. 'European' is not an ethnicity; 'African' is not an ethnicity; 'East Asian' is not an ethnicity; 'American Indian' is not an ethnicity. And so on [Nonetheless, the 'white/European' race is a real thing; and the 'black/(Sub-Saharan) African' race is a real thing; and the 'yellow/East Asian' race is a real thing; and the 'red/American Indian' race is a real thing; and the 'Australian Aborigine' race is a real thing. And so on.].

And yet, there are recognizable differences -- generally unimportant, but sometimes critical -- between a person of primarily European ancestry and a person of primarily (sub-Saharan) African ancestry. To blind ourselves with the one leftist lie that "There is no such thing as race" is as foolish and potentially harmful as to blind ourselves with the other leftist lie that "All there is is race".

At the following link are English translations -- made in the 19th Century, when English-speakers more generally were not so simple-minded as in the present day -- of two ancient Greek references to "the race of fishmongers" --

"I used to think the race of fishmongers Was only insolent in Attica; But now I see that like wild beasts they are Savage by nature, everywhere the same. ..."

"But as to fishmongers, They're an inventive race, and yield to none In shameless conduct. ..."