A Journal for Western Man




The Philosophy of Racism

Duncan Bayne

Issue XI- February 20, 2003



The act of discriminating
The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment
Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.

In the words of the immortal
Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other.

Specifically, the first two definitions of discrimination are correct, and the third really means:


The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Discrimination is a good thing, and is a function of an healthy human mind. Without discrimination, we wouldn't be able to live, as we wouldn't be able to act upon the nature of things. For example, choosing between foods isn't easy; one must consider health, taste, availability and price. In other words, one must clearly discriminate between foods, based on their objective properties. Unfortunately, in modern parlance, the terms 'discrimination' and 'racism' are used almost interchangably.

Consider the infamous
John Wayne quote, "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people." Clearly, one could only make a statement like that, if one considers 'black Americans' to be an identity to which attributes such as 'irresponsible' can be applied. Other attributes applied by racists to black Americans include 'violent', 'criminal-minded', 'stupid', and ... 'disadvantaged'.

Affirmative Action has as its underpinning the notion that black Americans are somehow disadvantaged. For this to be the case, advocates of Affirmative Action must consider that an individual cannot be judged solely as an individual, that he in fact derives certain attributes from his race. Thus, in effect, the only difference between the NAACP and the Ku Klux Klan is their choice of attributes they associate with all black Americans - effectively, one group chooses 'disadvantaged', the other 'inferior to white Americans'.

So, what is the cure for racism?
Individualism. If one thinks of a person as an individual and judges him by his actions alone, then racism is impossible. The catch is that this will never happen as long as pressure groups keep insisting that people think of others in terms of their race. In order to destroy the philosophical foundations of racism, groups like the NAACP will have to give up their support for Affirmative Action, and start denouncing it instead.

Duncan Bayne is a contributor to The Rational Argumentator.

(C) 2003 Duncan Bayne

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