Politics Of Illusion
Maybe this essay’s literalism annoys you. So what if “white” people aren’t really white? Must we adopt some correct but clumsy term? “Caucasian”, perhaps? “European-American”? How inconvenient! “White” is such a short, simple word; it takes so little time and thought to say; so won’t it do?
No, it won’t. Consider this riddle, one told by Abraham Lincoln:
Suppose you call a tail a leg. How many legs does a dog have?
Answer: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Likewise, I say: calling people white doesn’t make them white.
Dear reader, I urge you to see with your own eyes, rather than with other people’s lies! For whiteness is a lie. It supports the pseudoscience of race and the tyranny of supremacism, and it is itself an illusion. Anyone who sees white people is literally hallucinating.
Racism requires such hallucinations, for race does not exist. Race is an exaggeration. It is a genetic tan. It’s skin-deep. It is no more than a tribal signifier; and tribalism fights for symbols, not realities.
Humankind’s skill at manipulating symbols leaves us vulnerable to being manipulated by our own symbols. It is a kind of magic spell that we can cast upon ourselves; hatred by hypnosis.
How to dispel such ensorcelment? This essay proposes an aesthetic antidote and a moral tactic. The aesthetic antidote is optical precision. Mark Twain defined the moral tactic with this aphorism:
One horselaugh is worth a thousand syllogisms.