Monday, 2 June 2014


I am totally and utterly done with racism.

In the west we don't like smelly factories and low-paid manual work.

So we closed down most of our manufacturing, but we still want to buy the goods, and we want them CHEAP.

So the Chinese said, OK, we'll make that stuff, we'll work long hours for really low wages, we'll risk our health, and then we'll sell it to you for low prices. Happy now?

And we said no, we're not happy because the quality is poor. We want better stuff. But we don't want to pay more.

So the Chinese said OK, we'll train our staff better, buy state of the art manufacturing equipment, and create really good quality stuff for you, and we'll keep the prices low.

And we said goody, goody, lots of stuff, very cheap, now we'll blame you for polluting the planet, oh and by the way, we'll still call your stuff crap, even while we fill our homes with it as fast as we can.

Oh and also? We don't trust you. So we won't buy from you, we want middle men to deal with you, we'll buy from them.

So, every day I talk to friendly, helpful Chinese people who sell me beads (from China) and charms (from China) and other jewellery components (from China), and I count them out into cute little bags (from China), and send them off in strong padded envelopes (from China), to people who then tell me:

"Wow, this stuff is really great quality, so much nicer than the junk from China" because it was shipped from Canada. Because, you know, Canada is the great manufacturing centre of the world, everyone knows that.

OK, so whatever. If you genuinely believe that China produces sub-standard goods, then you are simply misinformed. The quality of their manufacturing ranges from garbage to the finest possible, just like anywhere else. If you've never bought poor quality manufactured goods from your own country then you have been very lucky indeed.

No, the fact is that this is a matter of racism, and like all matters of racism it's complicated, dark, deep, and often subconscious. Implicit bias is now a very well understood and carefully studied area, and forgive me for posting this yet again if you've seen it many times before, but I urge you, if you haven't already, to take the time to do this test.

That site has many other tests, all worthwhile. If you genuinely wish to be a better person, and I think most of us do, it may assist in that effort.

Here's what happens. Racism isn't logical. Humans are all the same, we know this, a brain surgeon has no way of telling the race of a brain, because there is no difference. There is absolutely zero good reason to discriminate by race. Therefore all racism is caused by at best flawed logic, and at worst by sheer bigiotry.

But humans like to think they are logical. So they will come up with some excuse to be racist. They may even genuinely believe it, and I'm certain this happens frequently.

The closest you usually get to honesty on the topic is when people say "It's not their skin colour that bothers me, it's their attitude" or some such thing. This implies that millions of people all have the same attitude, which is obviously absurd, but it beats pretending not to be racist.

The problem is that cultural stereotypes are based in fact. Culture does affect attitude, it is very pervasive. Canadians really ARE different to Americans, and for a multitude of reasons, and within a large country, such as the US, there are mass cultural differences from region to region. It's real. It's the subject of study.

But culture isn't race. There may well be overlaps, but it's not the same thing. The same problem arises, however, when prejudging an individual based on the culture you know he arose from. That is going to cause problems. The only way to judge a person is to meet him. Anything else is unreliable and potentially dangerous.

Furthermore, attitude can be a direct result of racism, and the persecution caused by it. In other words, it becomes a self-fulfiling prophecy. If you fail to give children of race/culture X the same quality of education that you give your own, they will suffer from it and grow up to be lazy/stupid/criminal as a direct result.

There is no possible excuse for racism. Racists are not good people. Using racial epithets is not funny or clever, in fact I see it as some sort of disorder, maybe along the line of Tourette's. You KNOW those words are unacceptable among rational people, but you use them anyway? What the fuck is wrong with you?

And don't talk to me about political correctness. It's just courtesy. What do you have against courtesy?

Oh, and finally, allowing older people to be racist because it's a generational thing? No. Another lame excuse. I won't tolerate it.

No fence here, it's very simple. Racism is wholly unacceptable, it's also stupid. Grow up.


  1. Well said as usual. I am ashamed that I'll never be able to convince my father otherwise though, so I just avoid the subject. He's too set in his ways.

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  3. As someone who's routinely on the receiving end of racist abuse (after all, I'm a leftist anti-Zionist brown skinned person with no love of the American Empire) I must say I rather enjoy racism online when it's directed against me. It makes me feel superior :D

    1. And a jolly good way of dealing with it too.