Saturday, September 24, 2016
Racism and freedom of thought
I am a racist -- as the Left define that term. I think that there are different races and that some (not all) of the differences between those races matter. Aside from the fanatic Left, most people would concede that there are differences between people and that some of those differences can matter so why deny that groups of people can be different too? I suppose an answer to that is possible but I have yet to hear one.
The reason the Left get such a charge out of the "racist" accusation is that it puts people in mind of the deeds of the unforgotten Uncle Adolf. Adolf was for a time seen as a kindly uncle by most Germans. So Leftists exploit that memory to imply that anybody who mentions race at all must be only a hairsbreadth away from being a genocidal maniac. I suppose most people can see that such an inference is too sweeping but I want to show that it is very sweeping indeed.
And I intend to use myself to show how incorrect that inference is. Although I am a racist, one of the people I most admire is David P. To my mind he is worth more to humanity than a whole skyscraper full of bureaucrats. David runs a small cafe where I often have brunch. He takes orders, he makes coffees, he delivers orders to the tables, he clears away dirty dishes and wipes down tables. And he has got a ready smile for everyone all the time.
And all those things are needed. They are things that people voluntarily seek out and pay money for. And the benefit of them is totally clear and uncontrovertible -- unlike the dubious "services" provided by bureaucrats in skyscrapers. I certainly enjoy my excellent brunches from David but when has any bureaucrat given me pleasure? If a skyscraper full of bureaucrats vanished overnight, few people would notice. But if David did not come in one morning, there would be a lot of people milling around and feeling very deprived.
David is Vietnamese. He grew up in Australia but his parents were "boat people": People who fled Communism in small boats to get to a safer place. So what sort of racist am I when I admire immensely a brownish man of unambiguously Asian appearance? I will tell you what sort I am. I think the Vietnamese are a fine race who pull their weight more than most. I am racially pro-Vietnamese. Not all of them are as good as David but Vietnamese have been in Australia for a long time now and I have been observing them for a long time. And a lot of them are as good as David P.
I could go on with other examples of people I admire. I could mention Pavan, who is Indian and also the most good humoured man I know. I could mention Les, who is one of the manliest men I know but who, like a lot of Kiwis, has both English and Maori ancestors. And so on. And more broadly, I could mention how much I admire the Japanese and Chinese for their unusual intelligence. I am in fact a Sinophile of sorts. I admire the Han.
So, you see, it is possible to be a racist without thinking ill of people, let alone wishing to harm them.
But I don't think highly of all people I meet and I don't think highly of all human groups that I encounter. It could hardly be clearer that people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry are in general dangerous people to have around and I understand well the "white flight" to the suburbs whereby mainstream Americans seek to avoid them. Their problem is not their skin color but their aggressive behavior.
And it is that aggressive behaviour that should in my view be focused on, not their racial origin. As I have long argued, I think it is crazy to catch malefactors and then let them go. Once someone has been found guilty of some foul deed, it seems crazy to let them go so that they can re-offend. So how to improve that situation? We once did deal with it well. Up until the early 19th century, murderers and other grave offenders in England were hanged at Tyburn and similar places. There was a zero rate of re-offending for them.
There are so many people who commit crimes these days that we can hardly hang them all. Even in the early 19th century, the British didn't hang everybody. Petty criminals were, for instance, banished to Australia. I am descended from two such petty criminals.
It seems to me, however, that recidivists (repeat offenders) are a special case. It is often said that anybody can make a mistake and that people should be given an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. So a first-offender should be punished but after that let go in the hope that he will not re-offend. But what if he does reoffend? I think that shows him as a seriously deficient person who is unlikely to change in response to mercy and forgiveness.
That doesn't mean that we have to hang him but it does mean that he has to be kept permanently out of circulation in the law-abiding community. Low-cost permanent detention would be one possibility. Only about 2% of the population commit crimes and only about half of them re-offend so the numbers to be accommodated might not be impossibly costly -- particularly if bare-bones accommodation only were provided.
And a traditional method could be used too: Exile. Exile goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times and probably earlier. As a descendant of exiled people, I think it could almost be called humane. There is no doubt that some poor countries could be paid a small sum to take in exiled Western criminals. Africa might be particularly receptive. Afro-Americans would not seem too different from the local population and criminals of Caucasian origin would usually seem positively law-abiding compared to the African locals.
And then there are the Jihadis. There is no doubt that they are a problem group at the moment. To deal with them I think we have to deny Muslims not only freedom of speech but even freedom of thought. That is an extraordinary thing to propose but the only other way I can see of protecting ourselves from the insane minority of Muslims is to repatriate all Muslims to their ancestral lands.
So what do I mean by freedom of thought? I mean that any evidence of Jihadi sympathies among Muslims has to be made illegal so that the person concerned can be caught before he carries out Jihadi deeds. He is then exiled to his ancestral country.
The cooperation of the Muslim population at large would be needed for that to be done effectively but if it is put strongly to them that their permission to stay in Western countries is at stake, I have no doubt that co-operation would be forthcoming. Very quietly, a lot of co-operation at preventing terrorist acts is already given. There have even been instances of Muslim parents incriminating their radicalized children.
But what about the First Amendment, Americans will say? I hate to state the obvious here but the First Amendment protects speech only, not thought! I think a court could find the two to be separable.
So I don't want to harm anyone on the basis of their race but I do believe that we need to use firmer measures to protect ourselves from crime. And noting the differences between different groups of people can aid that. The characteristic crimes of each group may benefit from solutions "tailor-made" for that group: Jihadis need thought monitoring, Africans need Africa.