The Freudian leitmotif to a Crash of Races, briefly touched upon in Crash, not Clash is incomplete without the mention of the primary handicap that it brings into the day-to-day relationships between peoples of varied races, and the potential catastrophe implied by the presence of a Freudian mechanism of suppression of issues vital to human survival.
A peculiarity of race relations, is that no matter how well intentioned interaction amongst the races, a special degree of attention and/or fainted lack of attention, becomes part of the person-to-person routine. No-where was this more apparent, than in the attitudes attributable to Obama’s self-professed post-racialist fans in the 2008 Presidential election. Being entirely white, these so called “trans-racialists” are called White Narcissits in the Crash of Races hypothesis. Obama’s non-white supporters had narry a trouble expressing ethnocentric motivations behind their own votes, while whites were giventwo choices: embrace Obama’s blackness as payback for past-wrongs or plead “post-racialism.” Singling out Obama as a metis, or protesting the electorates’ obsession with Obama’s darker tone, was disallowed. This was the case for Obama supporters world-wide; all the white countrys’ where he enjoyed popular support followed this, and only this, pattern.
In the daily lives of individuals of diverse communities- Robert Putnam’s trailblazing study has exposed what some would rightfully consider the biggest pit-fall of the “diversity” doctrine and ideals of “multi-ethnic” society. The straight-jacket of Obama’s election, bespoke of the fragility with which Whites are permitted to comment and reflect upon non-whites. Putnam’s research, focusing on inter-communal trust, translates what we witnessed in the election, to the micro-level of inter-racial dynamics.
The question of trust, deserves a separate study – and Putnam seems to have literally put-aside all further such endeavors. The bad-publicity garnered as a result of his statistics – unequivocal proof of inherent tension in all multi-racial communities, resulted in an unprecedented attempt to avoid mention of the inevitable conclusions of Putnam’s research.
Putnam’s work flushes out what many people feel, but fail to vocalise – namely the constant vigilance required when dealing with others of races different from our own. It’s like walking on egg-shells, laid over a mine-field. A lack of trust, is accompanied by increased fear. Ordinary exchanges take on new dimensions as innocent words and expressions require monitoring for content which may be found offensive to fault-finding racially sensitised peers.
The origin of this trust/fear mechanism remains to be clarified; since the mechanism has never even been acknowledged, but merely suggested by Putnam’s research, the clarification will be long in the coming. Anthropological inquiries insist on the importance of acculturation in developing the repertoire of an individuals gestuers, expressions, proxemics, and kinesics – all of which admit culture, age, and gender sensitivities. While no one has suggested sensitivities to race and ethnicity, such a factor must be considered when accounting for the difficulty of trusting those whose most intimate non-verbal communication we read least well.
Human beings are programmed for survival. Basic ethology shed a light on this survival program, when discussing the role of trust in in-group and outer-group behaviour. Trust is the glue of social cooperation, and without it, no communal undertakings are possible. Putnam’s study lays particular emphasis on the role absence of trust plays in deteriorating civic participation of American citizenry. The ethological explanation is that inter-racial relations stress trust-based activity, and produce suboptimal results for communal undertakings. Studies of human communication would add that such trust is absent specifically because gestures common to one group, do not reach across to other groups. Crucially, the comfort which non-verbal communication conveys about the “threat/no threat” aspect of a a communication pair, is absent in inter-racial interaction.
This is the case in every setting where peoples of varying races are forced to share space. At work, it is manifest by the inability to express religious, ethnic (especially white, majority ethnic – while minority are encouraged), and political opinions. In the media, by the hysteria with which any and all transgressions of racial social convention are met. In the community – by the alienation and withdrawal of certain neighbours, and the destruction of communal policing and control over public space – increasing abuse of public goods by those with the initiateive to do so, and the corresponding reliance on non-community policing – i.e. city police.
As the cases of Baghdad, Gujarat, and Yugoslavia unquestionably prove, in a very real sense,differences lay the potential for the most explosive conflict imaginable at the human scale. Segregation offers more comfort and less mental stress.
The mental stress which accompanies Racial relations, is minimised or downplayed by the imbalance of public discourse – favoring militant ethnocentrism of minorities, over reactionary hegemonism of the majority. The psychological impact of condoning and encouraging minority ethnocentrism on both majority and minority races, is never considered.
In the case of the majority people, the sacrifice required of one’s identity, means accepting race-related stress (i.e. stress result from forced compensation of diminished trust) without so much as a right to question it. In the case of minority psychology, condoning ethnic nationalism cultivates resentment, hypersensitivity, escapism, and scapegoating – undermining virtually any and all of the basic traits expected of an independent individual well integrated in the industrial process. A militant mindset sets the stage for terrible, and vicious conflict. By placing the the minority at odds with an entire system which is presented as unresponsiveive to his legitimated but unrealistic expectations, it imparts the anxiety characteristic of an insurgent outsider. An outsider waging a silent war, eyeing his future pray.
This “eying” is precisely what majority populations feel, in most of the White world. The litany of guilt-based racial discourse, creates a situation in which it is only a matter of time, before the militant outsider, takes the race riot to the level, beyond which the forces of law and order will no longer be responsive to the deligitimised majority, and hence permit costly, and brutal race based conflict.
The Freudian undercurrent to all present discussions of white and non-white relations in the white world, assures that any measures taken to prevent violent recalcitrance on the part of minorities against middle class whites, appear draconian and excessive.
If this current continues to dominate in the racial discourse, eventually the measures required of effectively suppressing recurring racial insurgency, will not enjoy legitimacy among forces of law and order whose members actions will be constrained by lack of legitimacy. Necessary measures will not be implemented and the predator will finally break the barrier between “eying his prey” to enjoying the open-ended thrill of the unrestricted chase.
Trust is about more than just believing or listening to what someone has to say – it is ultimately about being able to decide whether a relationship presents such a threat as to require fight or flight. While it is morally impossible to decry progress of the Civil Rights era, white flight can be seen as a justified reaction to such progress by a portion of the population who cannot deal with the psychological difficulty of sharing space with non-whites. A lack of trust virtually guarantees levels of stress which made conflict-free interaction impossible.
The stress continues – and in many ways, it is heating up. White flight has reached its territorial limits. Civil Rights legislation did not lead to racial transformations of key institutions of law and order, and elite decision making groups. As more recent migrants couple economic success with ethnic assertion, a rejection of the white world’s Judeo-Christian-Secular culture, removes the final barrier between flight and fight. Whites have been checkmated.
What happens next, will largely depend on the alliances formed in key institutions of the white world – and the programs to which they dedicate their activities. The alliances involve Jews and Asians. What they do, determines the Crash of Races scenario. The fundamental step required for coming up with a viable program that prevents genocide and debilitating racial conflict, is the one which has yet to be taken – the admission that a real Crash of Races is slowly becoming inevitable, if it continues to enjoy the protection of the shadows to which all discussions of Race have been relegated in society, as a result of the diminished power of traditional white elites.