I, Racist
John Metta

Excellent article. I’d like to point out that there are quite a few people who act like racists but who are not discriminating on skin color, but on income, wealth, preferences, and social status. They discriminate against both black and white people. They may discriminate more often against black people because they are, as a group, more disadvantaged.

The crux is that African-Americans have lower per capita income, household income, and wealth. There is a large black underclass with little education. Educated whites who have educated friends from, say, Nigeria or Jamaica or England find that American blacks, in comparison, have a chip on their shoulder. They may think that black preferences (in the economic sense of “preferences”) are threatening to civil order. For example, studies show that less affluent black kids are major litterbugs.

Black people are creative - probably because they have always had to do more with less. Less affluent black men, when trying to find a mate, have had to develop other attributes with which to compete other than income, wealth and security. In older times they dressed up their vehicles (often their only store of wealth) by flying raccoon tails from radio aerials, installed white wall tires, and dressed like Superfly. Today, young men dress up their 70s sedans with 22" wheels and custom paint jobs. Some “sag” or wear lots of jewelry. White people are a modest group. Many find outward displays of sexuality immodest. They think all hip hop is aggressive and threatening. There is nothing wrong with dressing differently or “pimping” car — it’s just different preferences, but some see another’s preferences as defining.

Let’s face it, people are intolerant of other people with different values, habits, or preferences. White people discriminate on things as trivial as shirt logos, vacation destinations, neighborhood, automobile marques, alma maters, lineage, grammar, and manners. They are not very discriminating about who they discriminate against. Black skin is to some white people a proxy for these differences.

Unfortunately, people (whether red, yellow, black or white) are not, on average, very smart or prone to thinking through issues. They rely on rules of thumb. They stereotype ethnic groups based the most repellent features of ethnic sub groups. Black people may assume that liberal, non-racist white people are racists when they actually discriminating on differences other than skin color. It hurts to be discriminated against for whatever reason, but discrimination based on social status is unconscious evolutionary behavior giving genes the best odds of survival. Survival of the Fittest, as they say. Black or white, everyone wants to marry up, and everyone wants security.

Evolutionary behavior is not necessarily moral but it has been instilled in us by millions of years of Natural Selection. We can overwrite our built-in behaviors for the greater good, but it is difficult and perhaps too much to expect of the average person, much less the 50% of the population that are less than average (assuming a normal distribution). Give your liberal aunt some credit. She just wants to guide you through the mine field.

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