Category Archives: race

The inherent condescension of special funding of black actors

Give me the money!

Institutionalised racial discrimination

Hardly anyone, writes Dalrymple, questions the propriety of allocating funds on the basis of race. He notes that

visitors to the National Theatre or the Royal Shakespeare Company would be surprised to hear that black actors are underrepresented in the theatre, for in those companies’ productions, at least, they seem to be grossly overrepresented, presumably as a result of deliberate policy.

No one notices, either,

the inherent condescension of special funding of black actors and artists in other fields. There are no special funds, for example, for the Chinese, who are presumed able to look after themselves.

More victim than thou

Pocahontas

The one-drop rule

If, writes Dalrymple, Elizabeth Warren could prove that at some time in the past, however distant, one of her ancestors belonged to what the people of Hindustan—the real experts in human classification, having had millennia of practice at it—call the ‘scheduled castes’,

some extra moral authority would be added unto her.

There’s no racist as fanatical as an anti-racist

It demonstrates, Dalrymple says, how racialised liberal thinking—liberal in the US, not in the classical, sense—has remained in America. He observes that

once you start down the road of equality of outcome as the measure of justice, rather than equality under the law, you start dividing humans into groups, and one of the most obvious ways to do so is race. So, having spent years denying that there is any objective reality to racial classifications, liberals start sifting people into racial categories with an obsessiveness that puts South African policemen under the old régime to shame.

Race, among other classifications,

becomes a lens through which the whole of social life is examined.

Exudation of ethnic pride and shame

A Spanish-African-Swiss-Amerindian-Norwegian-Mongolian-Chilean expert on racial issues

Leafing through El País, Dalrymple comes across an unapologetically racist article headed ‘La esperanza de Haití vuela a Chile‘. It is the product of a Swiss-born racial affairs expert of Nordic descent called Carlos Franz.

The article reads in part:

Al igual que otros chilenos soy el orgulloso poseedor de una callana. Esta es una marca congénita de color azulado que aparece sobre la piel del coxis en los recién nacidos con ascendencia indígena o asiática. La callana —también llamada mancha mongólica— suele desaparecer a los dos años. Pero en mi caso aún conservo su sombra en la mitad de mi espalda….Según los genetistas, mi callana, esa marca amerindia cuya sombra llevo orgullosamente en mi espalda, también podría tener orígenes africanos. Mejor aún. Los indígenas y los negros que bailan en mi sangre abrazan a estos nuevos hermanos que llegan a Chile.

Carlos Franz: immensely proud of his Mongolian spot, his Amerindian mark (where precisely on his body this is to be found is not stated), his African origins, and the blood of the oppressed that courses or dances through his veins. There is a shameful Swiss-Norwegian taint to his blood, but it is the merest trace

Dalrymple notes that Franz

welcomes the Haïtians not purely as men, but because they are, or might be, related to him by race. It implies that Amerindians have, as a race, especially warm feelings for people of African descent. I don’t know whether as a sociological generalisation this is true, but if it is true, it would not be by virtue of the blood coursing, or even dancing, through their veins.

Moral complacency

Indeed,

the idea of thoughts or feelings being transmitted hæmotologically has a rather unpleasant historical connotation, of which the author, in his moral complacency, seems unaware.

Franz

places races in a hierarchy, though not the traditional one of intelligence, ranging from inferior to superior, but of victimhood. It is even better to have African descent than Amerindian because Africans have been even worse used than Amerindians and are greater victims. By having black blood coursing through his veins he participates in their victimhood, which conveys upon him the moral authority of a victimised martyr, even though he may have gone to all the best schools, etc.

Humbug

That Franz was born in Geneva and is principally of Norwegian descent is

a matter of shame that besmirches anything that he may have achieved in life, because his achievements must have been the product of privilege, that is to say the privilege borne in his blood.

Dalrymple points out that when Haïti was a French possession,

there was a table of racial descent that included 64 degrees of white purity. That is to say, one black great-great-great-great-grandparent was enough to pollute your blood.

Franz, says Dalrymple,

would agree with this, except that he would assign a different, or opposite, value to the blood that the French would have regarded as polluting. Nor will I repeat the old Southern saying about one drop of blood, a saying with which he would also agree — except that one drop of African blood in his case would wash away all his sins, rather like the waters of the Ganges at Allahabad during the Kumbh Mela.

Most ideological of all fields

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 18.07.50Pleasure is to be derived, Dalrymple writes, from

reading ingenious commentary that serves no useful purpose. In its uselessness is its joy; for in an ideological age, the exercise of intelligence to no purpose comes as a relief.

Alas, he says, literary criticism,

certainly in its academic form, is now the most ideological of all fields. Most criticism seems to be seen through the lens of class, race or sex: one would hardly be surprised to read a Marxist, racial or feminist critique (dreadful word!) of Daisy Ashford’s The Young Visiters.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 18.08.36

Stench of racism in the nation’s second-hand bookshops

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 08.10.46The Equality and Human Rights Commission is, writes Dalrymple, a provider of

non-manual employment for the semi-educated.

Whiff of racism

Foetor hepaticus: breath of great proved dead writers

The commission is

one of England’s busybodying, quasi-governmental organisations.

One of its goals is to sniff out white racist second-hand bookshops,

much as the Spanish Inquisition sniffed out judaising heresies among the conversos.

Visits are made to the second-hand bookshops to ensure that there is a section for black authors, and that all authors are classified by race.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 07.38.06