Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Five Hypostases of Anti-Racism

H1. Race does not exist.
H2. Race exists, but it does not matter.
H3. It matters, but not a lot.
H4. It matters a lot, but I don’t care.
H5. I care, but I’m still not a racist.

All the hypostases are to be taken on the understanding of race as a biological category. H1 is an insanity that constitutes the highest and most sublime hypostasis of anti-racism, avoiding socially risky or uncomfortable sanity. The insanity of H2 avoids both the higher insanity of H1 and the riskier concessions of H3-H5, and may also appeal by sounding a little edgy to the jelly-witted and the cowardly. For these reasons, it is common. With H2-H4, each coming at increasing risk, one may acknowledge immediately obvious reality, scientific findings, etc, thus to pay lip-service to rational obligation or to salve rational conscience, whilst eschewing any further thought on the matter. (H4 is relatively uncommon.) H5 is the socially riskiest and least sublime form of anti-racism. It is unstable, and is likely either to sublimate into another hypostasis, thus to prove adherence to anti-racism, or else to spill over into racism. From the standpoint of a higher hypostasis, all lower hypostases belong more or less to racism. A degree of risk-mitigation is provided throughout by giving ostentatious praise to other races even whilst denying their existence or significance. Naturally denying the existence, the significance, or the personal importance of race may be reformulated in a positive manner, namely, in affirming race as a social-ideological category only. Thus a reformulation of H1 might go as follows: race exists but only as a social-ideological construct of oppression.

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