Sarah Hoyt wrote an excellent piece this morning describing the Leftist view of racism as, in essence, fear of the stranger. Fear of the stranger contains a strongly rational component, in that, as she puts it:
In pre-human times, with many bands and tribelets living close enough for kids to stray, the name for a kid who thought that his family or strangers were equivalent was — at least if we go by how our closest relatives, the chimps, treat young from other bands — “dinner.”
Oh sure, in times of stress and famine, the chances that your own band would tuck in were fairly high, but still the chances that dear old mom would eat you were not nearly as high as that a stranger would eat you.
In other words, the in-group was more likely to protect and cherish you — and less likely to eat you — than the out-group. So fear of the stranger was rational, and selected for.
That isn’t to say you cannot regard someone of a different background as part of the in-group. Over time, as individuals prove themselves and you get to know them, the fear of the stranger will ease because the individual is no longer a stranger to you.
My in-laws are of Cuban ancestry, and their culture is somewhat different from the one in which I was raised. But having lived with it for near to a decade now, it is very familiar to me. It is not strange or odd.
But therein lies the distinction. You get to know someone first. And if they prove themselves, then they are no longer regarded as strangers.
Instead of rationally determining which individuals and groups are good, and offer no threat to you, then acting accordingly, Leftists demand that you display a knee-jerk reaction every time fear of the stranger comes, and immediately accept that person into your home, regardless of what they say or do.
The Syrian migrant/refugee business is a great case in point, as is illegal immigration. The Left thinks it a crime to ask the stranger what his business is, and why he wants to enter our community. They think it is a crime to not immediately give the stranger every possible honor, a seat at our table, a home in our village, a position of power in our councils, and then demand nothing from him in return. We don’t even demand that he obey our laws, or speak our language.
It’s absolutely insane.
Their position is beyond stupid. Any species that acted this way in the wild would be rendered extinct within a generation. They would be eaten by everyone. They would be gullible fools, easy snacks for any predators.
A Leftist sees a sketchy van roll into his neighborhood, and in order to virtue signal his moral superiority over us, he immediately dismisses his fear of the stranger, and offers his children to the sketchy van owner, heedless of any threat or danger (because recognizing any threat is discriminatory). He asks the sketchy van owner to come into his home, eat at his table, and give company to his wife. It doesn’t even matter if the van owner speaks his language. In fact, the more difference he has from you, the stranger he is to you, the better for the moral preening.
Any hesitation to do this immediately and reflexively is racism/sexism/homophobia/islamophobia/whatever.
It’s knee-jerk moral preening, and if it weren’t moderated by a fair amount of Rightist common sense, it would have already destroyed the country, and then the Leftists themselves, in short order.
There’s a reason, of course, why Stalinists shot gullible true believers. They didn’t want those idiots around either. They were useful for destroying the old order — because they bring civilizational extinction wherever they achieve power — but they are useless for any other purpose.
Leftist anti-racism is a knee-jerk reaction to a survival instinct. If the choice is dismissing the stranger, or doing whatever the Left is doing, dismissing is the superior choice, because it at least concedes survival. The best position, of course, is a healthy skepticism of the stranger, until he proves himself adequately, upon which he is no longer strange to you.
But nothing other than civilizational hara kiri is acceptable to the political Left.