Neo-Racism and Its Crimes Against Humanity
by Joseph Pearce
As I write, news is breaking of the horrific killing by a white supremacist of nine people at an African-American church in my own home state of South Carolina. This sickening murder highlights the pernicious nature of racism in its ugliest and most violent manifestation. The person who committed this crime is a throwback to the sort of racism that is a blight upon history, the sort of racism that led to slavery or apartheid, or the sort of racism that led to the Nazi “master race” fetish. Yet racism comes in all shapes and sizes–and in all colours. It is not exclusively a right-wing phenomenon, nor is it exclusively the affliction of one race to the exclusion of others.
I would argue, in fact, that the time has come to nail racism in all its forms and in all its various hues, from the paleo-racism of neo-Nazis–or better, “neo-nutzis”–locked in a racially-warped time-warp, to the neo-racism of those “progressives” who see all of reality in racially-obsessed terms. A fine example of the latter would be the high school teacher who argued recently in the Washington Post that Shakespeare should be dropped from the curriculum because he was “dead” and, which was worse, because he was white. This teacher, let’s call her Miss Clueless, called for her colleagues to stop teaching “a canon that some white people decided upon so long ago.”
“Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world,” writes Miss Clueless, adding that we should not “continue to cling to ONE (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago.” In the 25 years that Miss Clueless has been a secondary teacher, she claimed to “have heard countless times, from respected teachers (mostly white), that they will ALWAYS teach Shakespeare, because our students need Shakespeare and his teachings on the human condition.”
Although this neo-racism is tolerated by those who edit theWashington Post, it is nonetheless as racist as paleo-racism. It judges someone or something not for its inherent quality but for the colour of its skin. I’m sorry, Miss Clueless, but Shakespeare is not read because he is white but because he is brilliant. To ignore his brilliance because of the colour of his skin is to commit the heinous crime of pride and prejudice. It is to discriminate on grounds of skin-colour and not on the grounds of literary quality.
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