Last summer, it was reported that a Chinese woman fell to her grisly death when the metal plate at the top of an escalator gave way. In a major plot twist, this horrifying story turned out to be true. … Incidents like this have been reported often in China, where industrial regulations are regarded as polite suggestions. So how did we in the oh-so-civilized West respond to this horrifying public safety issue? We sent over a few spare temp engineers to work with the Chinese government to establish some regulatory procedures, and major Chinese metropolitan areas where escalators were regularly breaking down have reported zero injuries in the last six months, right?
Of course not! We went around the Internet publishing hilarious gifs illustrating the wacky ways the people of China have begun riding escalators to avoid injury.
Prejudice of any kind implies that you are identified with the thinking mind. It means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.
The World According to Bernie Sanders, from Yanko Tsvetkov’s Atlas of Prejudice: The Complete Stereotype Collection. The map is currently available exclusively in the ebook edition on iBooks (Version 1.5). Those of you who purchased a previous version can update for free!
We should still be talking about Trayvon. We should still be talking about Michael. We should still be talking about Eric. We should still be talking about Sandra. We should still be talking about Aiyana. Black lives matter.
If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.
In the United States, we have a myriad of ways
to enjoy life, perhaps more than any other country on earth.
There are lots of distractions and diversions to
appreciate, to entertain and to give pleasure.
But there is also the threat that some of these things we so
innocently enjoy could turn into addictions.
When we think of addiction, the most common
images that come to mind are an alcoholic, clutching a bottle and drinking beyond
reason, or an illicit drug user, doing whatever it takes to get that next fix.
However, we have since learned that there are addictions to
sex or to gambling or to hoarding or to a lot of other behaviors or other non-controlled
substances that can be just as disruptive and possibly as deleterious as the obvious
No matter what form it might take, addiction is a problem
for the people that face those issues, it’s a problem for the people around
those people, and in many cases there is a need for professionals to step in to
help break the behaviors to overcome those challenges.
But, there is still another addiction that is so insidious,
that is so ingrained, an addiction so deeply woven into our collective psyches
that it has never actually been classified clearly with the others we know of as
an addiction. But we cannot deny this any longer.
Racism is an addiction.
At this point, there might be some mocking laughter. But,
that is a typical initial response when someone points out an addiction to an
addict. So, let me state it again, quite seriously:
RACISM IS AN ADDICTION.
But wait. If we’re going to be scientific about this, we need
to do a test. Can we prove that racism is an addiction?
Let’s compare Racism to an established form of addiction:
Years ago, cigarettes were thought to be relatively harmless,
because the manufacturers lied about their product. Most adults smoked as a
social element, or because they liked the flavor, and many kids wanted to smoke
as a rite of passage: a way of feeling “grown up.” Even Doctors recommended
particular brands of cigarettes to customers, qualifying the behavior as
something that was approved by the medical profession.
Today, everyone knows that cigarette smoking is unhealthy. The
tobacco companies eventually admitted that smoking contributes greatly to heart
and lung diseases and even cancers. But people still smoke, even after knowing
the truth about it. And that’s because no one voluntarily quits a behavior when
they are getting something positive out of it, no matter the long term
outcomes. Sure, you might get emphysema, lung cancer, have coronaries or other health
issues eventually, but that jolt of nicotine you get from smoking right now? Well,
that just feels right.
Years ago, racism was a standard. And it all got started
with slavery, and the lies that accompanied that horrific institution. We know
that for a business to be its most successful, you have to keep your costs low.
Well, nothing is lower than slavery, that’s for sure. Now, the white slave
owners knew they were holding human property. But they didn’t want to think
about that, because what would that make them in the eyes of the world, and to
the egos of themselves?
So, two concepts, both of them blatant falsehoods, got
created to help assuage the feelings of guilt that bubbled under the collective
consciousness of those slave holding families. The first concept was that
slaves weren’t actually human. With the much darker skin, the differently
textured hair, the differently shaped noses, mouths and body types, it wasn’t
extremely difficult to convince the majority of the white population at the
time that this lie was true. This was helped because white people desperately wanted
to believe it, and it must have been a great relief to all of those families to
know that they weren’t actually keeping another human as a slave.
But, if that story wasn’t quite convincing enough, the
second concept was pushed forward, that being that slaves deserved the fate
they received. Slaves were somehow bad or evil beings and their time on earth
was to work off their debts and perhaps go to heaven if they behaved and did everything
as they were told. They must be evil. After all, they’re slaves!
Lying is clearly a part of an addiction, because it allows
you to ignore the facts to continue the behavior.
Once slavery ended, whites knew that the same Black people they
owned couldn’t live in the same neighborhoods with them as “equals” (never mind
that they lived in the same houses with their families in some cases, when they
were property). Former slaves and former masters in the same vicinity would be
awkward and uncomfortable for the people that were no longer in charge. So Jim
Crow Laws forced the Black citizenry into locations away from where white people lived and
worked. Instead of breaking the
addiction, it simply took a different form: Now, the idea was to make it clear
that Black people, though they no longer were slaves, were still second class, still not fully human, and not worthy of being treated in the same
way as those that were.
It’s the “not fully human” and the “not nice” elements of the story that have persisted. That is the thread that has been passed from generation to
generation, both to preserve the legacy of the white ancestors that built their
fortunes on the backs of their living and breathing chattel, but also to
continue to abuse and demean each ensuing generation, despite the truth.
Throughout the years, there have been a series
of “facts” presented as a method of perpetuating racism. For example, some scientific
researchers suggested that IQ was a function of genetics and that the genetic
marker for the Negro put their intelligence level ten to twenty points lower
than that of a white person. This, though during slave days, Black people were intentionally kept illiterate as a matter of course, to limit their communication skills with other slaves, to make sure they couldn’t read contracts they were coerced to sign, and to make it that much more difficult for them to learn anything else.
Also, these research results were biased, as Black people did not have the same access to food, water and education to be tested on a level playing field as whites, and we know that IQ tests, in general, are biased based on cultural norms, adding to the inaccuracies of those results.
Conversely, there was a sense of fear about blacks because
of their physicality. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, Black people, most especially Black men, were considered
super human on that level, because of their strength and power, a factor of
intimidation creeping in for whites, afraid of some kind of retribution
for their previous unspeakable acts.
Ultimately, this played into the slave mentality most whites had when seeing Black persons, viewed by them as “beasts of burden”: strong and stupid.
The racist addict mentality needed a group of people that
would always be, like the ground, there to walk all over, forever. It’s also important to note that the continued
lies that white families told to each other were much more easily done because Black people were kept out of their areas, meaning there was nothing to contradict
the stories, the fables, all of the blatant untruths being created within those
But Black citizens started to have some financial achievements in
spite of the negative treatment. One of the earliest major successes was Madame
C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in US History. Her line of
beauty and health care products were made exclusively for Black folks to use.
On that theme, Black people were attempting to assimilate into
white culture. By straightening their hair (with irons that burned their scalps),
attempting to lighten their skin (with bleaches or acids that also burned and harmed
their flesh), and dressing well, all in an effort to seem more pleasing and
less threatening to white folks, the abuse, the neglect, the ridicule
continued, unchecked. Attempts made by the Black Community to “fit in” were wasted efforts
because there was no way to fit into a racist mentality.
To maintain a hierarchical structure, where whites remained at
the top of the pyramid, all of these choices and behaviors helped to prop up
that concept very well. But, in spite of
Jim Crow, designed to hobble Black Americans and prevent their success, there was a town
that became known as “Black Wall Street.” A section of Tulsa, Oklahoma called
Greenwood was a booming location, a successfully functioning area where Black entrepreneurs were running their own businesses and earning their own money, in the late
It is all about power and control over someone else. This is
abuse carried to an unbelievable level, an addiction about continuing to “own” someone else, control their behavior and determine their fate.
But that was nearly a century ago. Haven’t we progressed
In the interim, there have been successful Black people who
have become notable in various fields, from athletics to mathematics, from
biology to technology. But, all too frequently, they had to be lifted up by
sympathetic or opportunistic white people who saw their value and used it to further
their own wants and needs, who more or less installed them into the white
racist structure as examples. It
permitted a finite number of Black achievers into the “white world,” and placated the
critics - people who felt that Black people could not and should not be left out of
our community: the exceptions that prove the rule.
The legendary Jackie Robinson, icon of the American sport of
Baseball, wouldn’t have gotten a single at bat in the Major Leagues, except that
Branch Rickey, a white man, chose him to become a member of the Brooklyn
Dodgers. The clear instruction from Rickey to Robinson was for him to “never
fight back” against the racial abuse he was sure to suffer from opposing
players and fans because that would be seen as “not fitting into” society,
this, though those “society” members acted more like animals than the persons
they suggested were ever did.
Even President Obama, the first Black Commander-in-Chief,
did have a very strong and powerful white advocate that helped move his
scholastic career ahead, and helped to assure he got the best chances to
succeed as possible: his mom, Ann Dunham.
There have been some individual successes that have gotten around the system, those, through luck and pluck, that managed to avoid much
of the trouble to find their way through that labyrinth of hatred. But the
problem: Black people that do reach success often do not have any power to make
the changes within that racist framework to help other members of the Black community also achieve parity. This
is clearly demonstrated as even President Obama was not able to change the
hearts and minds of millions from releasing their addiction.
Then again, that’s also a function of being rescued from a
place where you have to deal with the viciousness of a system, specifically designed
to continue to abuse you in every possible way. You might simply be grateful
you escaped. That gratefulness could make you unwilling to do anything to help
others with their effort and struggle for fear of being considered “a problem” and tossed back into the
pain and torture yourself.
Very few “stand alone” Black businesspeople have
gotten to a level of allowing them to create a path for others to follow. Oprah, Tyler Perry and Beyoncé only have
so much power at their disposal.
It’s also why you
are seeing such backlash over “Affirmative Action.” That’s clearly a function
of an addictive behavior. If you have to diminish what few small gains were
permitted over a century’s long struggle for equality, that clearly is, in a
We know the concept that Black people “weren’t human” or were “deserving
of punishment just because they existed” were clearly lies. Really, calling
them “lies” doesn’t do those despicable acts justice. These were crimes against
humanity. Now that all of that is crystal clear, wouldn’t the behaviors change?
Even with the knowledge, just as our cigarette smoker is
still puffing away, even knowing the harm that habit is creating, our addict is still clutching racism like a baby with a blanket, there is no correction
in behavior. The problem remains.
How is there no movement to change? Looking a
bit closer, we find that there is something else to examine: how white society,
as a whole, has acted to permit those that have this addiction to continue with
If you think of United States society as a “White vs. Black”
scenario, there is a benefit for all whites in having racists around. The members
of the general white population, who permit Racist Addicts to continue their
behaviors, are the “enablers,” people who are there to help make excuses for
all of those unthinkable choices, to ignore the voices from victims that have
been calling for it to end, to deny that a problem even exists. This is all a
part of what may be seen as “White Privilege.”
White Privilege means that anyone who is white, or who is
perceived as white, will be treated fairly, will receive all of the rights that
are due to a citizen of this country, and will have ample opportunity to
attempt whatever they would like to try, to fail and fail, and fail again, to
eventually succeed, and be celebrated for their achievements.
Conversely, Black people, but again, especially Black men in this country are frequently seen as “a
problem” or “troublemakers” on sight. This goes back to the self-segregation
that whites had created, disallowing Black folks in their neighborhoods, schools or places of business.
You cannot learn anything about another person if you aren’t
around them to see who they are and what they do. So, even though it isn’t
appropriate to discriminate against People of Color, and you can’t prevent
someone from living on your block because of how they look, once the laws had changed, you can still raise the price of real estate high and make sure the
“undesirables” can never earn enough to pay to live there, too. Problem solved.
Obviously, that’s all a function of addiction, too. Twist it
around, change the name, do things differently so that it doesn’t appear that
it’s still the same behavior.
It’s still the same behavior.
It would serve to remind that though slavery is no longer a
function of general society, it is still permitted for those that are
incarcerated. Is there any wonder that so many Black citizens wind up in
prisons across the land? It is, quite simply, a method of continuing the
practice of old, just with a slightly different name.
While we’re on the topic of law enforcement, let’s take a
brief look at the parallel cases of Tamir Rice and Dylann Roof.
chronologically first, on November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, a Black twelve year old
boy in Cleveland, Ohio, playing with a toy pistol, was called in to police as a
threat by a citizen. When the police arrived, before their vehicle had even
come to a stop, the responding officer fired his revolver twice, with one shot proving to be fatal to the child,
who died the next day. There was no questioning, no due process, no examination
of the scene before action was taken and no concern about an innocent boy who
was doing nothing wrong.
Compare that with the story of Dylann Roof, a twenty-one year old
white male who, on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina, armed with
several weapons and a cache of ammunition, entered the Emanuel African
Methodist Episcopal Church with the plan to “kill Black people” and try to “start
a race war.” Though he prayed with the members of the church in attendance for
an hour, he still did not waver from his intent and killed nine Black people, and
wounded a tenth.
Though it was known that Roof was armed and dangerous, and
on the run, hundreds of miles from the scene of the massacre, police managed to
get him into custody, unharmed. It’s notable that Roof’s website featured neo-Nazi
images and white supremacy symbols.
Two cases: a Black child with a toy is shot and killed by a white officer
instantly, and a white adult who already had murdered nine Black people and was known
to be carrying weapons and ammunition was calmly taken in.
That is the ultimate
definition of White Privilege.
In the grand scheme, telling and overt behaviors like hate
images and hate speech are tolerated from addicts by enablers without
criticism, which only encourages those addicts to continue those actions,
unchecked. It empowers the addicted to do more, which encourages others to potentially
participate and emboldens them to take their actions farther, creating more racist behavior and leads to more racists in the population.
That’s not to say that addicts don’t come up against some
response. However, critics of any bad behavior know that addicts always have an excuse for their addictions, or a reason why they won’t listen to the
criticism. “I’m just making a joke.” “Why do you care? It isn’t hurting you.” “I refuse to listen to those statements.” “Don’t say that to me that way.” “I can’t hear you when you’re being mean to
me.” Addicts will find any and every reason, from “tone policing” to attempting
to discredit the facts, even if it means lying, all in an effort to continue
the behavior for one more year, month, day. Certainly that fits the actions of
our Racism Addicts.
It’s difficult to find high profile white people who are
willing to break the cycle of hate for their fellow humans and act as
interventionists to this behavior, exposing it for what it is.
when it comes to addiction, an addict will not listen to the
people who are being abused as a reason/motivation to stop.
familiar with domestic abuse is aware of that truth.
It’s why the
#BlackLivesMatter movement isn’t gaining much traction with the white community
at large. The enablers are all too willing to overlook everything being said on
the topic by Black people in order to keep things just as they are. The frequent
response “All Lives Matter” is the most obvious proof of that fact.
The addiction of racism is, quite clearly, the most
difficult addiction for white people to break. We know it is difficult because we already know
and are completely aware that it’s based entirely on lies and on hate, we have
known that to be true for hundreds of years, and yet people are still doing it
and/or are still turning a blind eye to those that are doing it, except in the
most blatant and most extreme cases. And we know that if you can only see the
world as an “Us vs. Them” scenario, then there always have to be “others,”
which encourages racism to continue.
Also, just as sure as there is no epithet that can be used against
a white person that has the power, the history, the level of abuse as the “N”
word does for Black people, Racism Addicts are never in a position where they might
experience racism for themselves, allowing them to understand and better
comprehend what the effects of their racism truly are.
More importantly, these racist addicts already know and are fully aware that they will NEVER BE in a position to
experience racism, making this an addiction without consequences.
Imagine being hooked on crack cocaine and never needing to stop
smoking it because it doesn’t have any negative impact on your life. That is
what we are attempting to fight.
How can we break the racism addiction with all of this going
against us? And by “us” I mean, humanity. Think about it. Racism leads to a
mindset where the victims of that thinking are considered to be “less than” by
the people perpetrating it. And that allows those with that mindset to perceive
the “lesser people” existing “everywhere else.”
So, racists can look at a
ghetto and switch their water supply from potable to poison,or racists can fly
over other countries, drop bombs on people and call it “collateral damage” in
the face of getting what our nation wants, while the unaware population rarely,
if ever, has to see the other perspective.
Racism allows war to seem appropriate, perhaps even expected
or inevitable, which might explain why the United States has a military larger
than the next seven nations combined. But it also destroys goodwill between
different peoples, it makes some humans feel forgotten, or feel they have no
When a person comes to believe that they have no value, that person has
nothing left to lose. And that leads to the desire to destroy everything, which
is the mindset you are seeing from terrorist groups like the Taliban and ISIL.
Could overt racism be directly responsible for those groups becoming powerful
and attracting more people who feel disenfranchised?
The addiction of racism is not exclusively an American
issue. Certainly most countries in Europe, as well as South Africa, Australia
and New Zealand all have variations on this theme. But the United States, with
the reputation of being the beacon of freedom and being a country that supposedly
cares for its own, with the power and might of the Stars and Stripes, has an expectation of setting the standard.
The first step is in breaking an addiction is in acknowledging
there is a problem, then starting to talk about it. That is a discussion that
is immensely overdue. It likely should have happened after the Emancipation
Proclamation and the XIII Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. Or it
might have happened when the Civil Rights Act was passed into law. But, in each
of those moments, the addicts and enablers just weren’t ready.
And since then, with Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore and
far too many other high profile cases of hate, harm and death in the news, from
1964 through to President Obama’s second term, and countless subtle and smaller
offenses that aren’t important enough to be reported to anyone, maybe not even told
to our friends or close relatives, this discussion has still not begun.
has been a constant “save it for later” narrative when it comes to finally examining
the immovable object of racism and the irresistible force of the addiction to
A school shooting spree in a small Canadian town leaves four dead.
How come the American press, which exalts strict Canadian gun control as the model for US gun control policy, isn’t repeatedly screaming the news to the high heavens?
Keep trying to tell me that American press agents and agencies are unbiased and neutral reporters of actual facts and news, particularly on a Constitutional issue.
Every review should have, below the name of the critic, their ten current favourite works in the medium. That way you have some chance of seeing their prejudices (and they get some sense of what it feels like to be exposed).
Tamás is a “rich jewish gay dad from central europe”, as he defines himself. Of course he is more than that. True, he is openly gay and lives with HIV. But not only that, he fights against prejudice concerning both as the communications officer of European AIDS Treatment Group and as a PhD candidate researching the social psychology of HIV/AIDS. When not working he is one of the most provocative member of Hungarian tumblr community under the pseudonym @schulmeister. Most users have a love or hate relationship with him. But - to me - all this is a part of a performance, trying to stretch his own and the community’s boundaries and to talk about things even if uncomfortable to some. This kind of bravery has its rewards, but it isn’t always easy.
This is his struggle and happiness on a regular Sunday afternoon frozen in time as portraits.
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.
The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant.
The interesting thing about the Power+Prejudice definition of racism is that is applies only at the macro level, and not on the individual. That is, it only considers power in terms of global and national institutions.
There is no amount of power a PoC can express against a white person that could counterbalance the apparently infinite might that is the Caucasoid Cultural Juggernaut. If a black man kills a white man, for being white, it is not racism, because he is but one black man, and the white man still has power.
If a group of black men pull a white man out of a truck and beat him to death with bricks because he is white, it is not racism, because still blacks do not have power so long as whites run the city government.
If blacks form the majority of people in a municipality, including a variety of high government positions, and a black person harms a white for his race, it is not racism, because the country is still white.
If a nation is black, in Africa, surrounded by other black, African countries, and the leader of that country launches a genocidal campaign to dispossess whites of their property and openly supports hate crimes against them, it is still not racism because whites ran the country in the past, and decades of black majority rule somehow cannot change who actually has power. And besides, White People collectively rule the world together anyway.
What this means is that no matter how much control people of color seize, no matter how much power they attain, be it political, economic, cultural, or military, regardless of any immediately visible and blatantly obvious power imbalances that may appear to exist between any number of people of color in any area and any number of white people in any area, white people will still, as an inherent quality of their Caucasianism, have some form of power and dominance over people of color that people of color are utterly helpless to destroy.
In other words, to a liberal, whites are not racist because they maythink that they are superior to other races, but because by virtue of simply existing and being white, regardless of any actions they or their ancestors may or may not have committed to any person of color at any time for any reason… they actually are.
Even now at 21, I can’t refrain from worrying about if my art is too “Manga”.
In France, manga is a HUGE market, but people that are too much influenced by it are kind of looked down, as if it wasn’t “real art”, as if it was too childish. So sadly, it did grow almost as a shame for me, and even while hiding it, people kept throwing it at my face, haha. I never knew if it was because of my Asian face or if my drawings are in fact too Manga-ish. A bit of both maybe.
It’s sad because it did spoil a big part of my love for Japanese and Asian comics and even today I kind of hide myself to read some.
Pretty common story for asian artists in Europe I think! :)
This comic is the story of my entire life although NO Asian person with Asian cultural background thinks my work is anything close to manga. I haven’t even watched any anime since I turned 15 (with an exception for Osomatsu san)