Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli
I've long nursed a theory that apart from whatever cultural biases towards hatred exist (manifested in racism and other -isms), there is a certain interpretation of conservatism that leads directly to a logic of racism. It is based on the idea that inequality among minorities is a result of their racial or ethnic heritage. The former is strictly racist, the latter more of an unconscious bias, which of course is just as much a part of racism as that which makes its way to conscious awareness and acceptance.
Of course, it is certainly possible to not take this interpretation of conservatism. There are other explanations for minority inequality that conservatism can, if not explain, co-exist with.
What I find interesting is that opposition to this claim often relies on a sort of reverse argument-from-consequence. Because, according to this logical fallacy, a consequence of conservatism undermines its validity. This would be true if this were the only valid interpretation of conservatism. But it is not. It does not have to be the consequence.
And yet it so often is the consequence - this tendency towards racial bias - in a spectrum of ways, to much greater degree on the political and social right. Everything from the blatant KKK member to the "weekend" racist, who number so substantially in Aemjeff's post - and who we've all encountered amongst conservatives everywhere.
Here's a thought: there are certainly plenty of liberals with racial bias, however they would be horrified to admit it (wouldn't we all?). But anyhow you just don't see it very often at all. I mean, as a challenge, go out and try and find examples of racism towards minorities* on the internet.
(* Let's not even get into the weaksauce reverse-racism crap because its just so trite. It is rarely about cognitive bias or historical oppression - those things that have always driven out-group hostility.)
So why is it so hard to find liberals willing to say racist - or apparently racist) things about minorities, even if they really think/feel them? And here's the kicker: what is it about conservatism that makes conservatives obviously feel more comfortable with it? I think I have a good idea, but I'll just put it out there for now!
I agree with much of this. "Conservatism" and "racism" are obviously far too broad as descriptors to be useful in any sort of analysis. It's also true that racism isn't the sole province of conservatism in any form. I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge of trying to clearly define how some forms of conservatism and racism might be compatible with one another; but conservatism often implies strong in-group bonds, adherence to tradition - general distrust of difference or change. (Obviously that's not a complete or a universally true assertion.)
My personal beef is with so-called "scientific racists" - the guys who tell you that some races are on the average stupider than others - but it's ok, because although they're not too bright, they sure can run fast! Steve Sailer, whose name comes up from time to time, is an exemplar. Here's some of what I've previously posted
about Sailer, for reference.)
I also have a problem with the cynical use of white racial resentment by political parties in the U.S. - and one reason why there's a relationship between conservatives and racism in this nation, at this time, is the direct result of Nixon's Southern Strategy response to the Civil Rights Act, and the realignment caused by that legislation including the flight of southern white racists from the Democratic party to the Republicans. It's virtually certain that somebody will point out that the Democrats aren't exactly innocent of the cynical use of racial resentment, and assert a morally equivalence. I say that's not the case (though that doesn't excuse the Democrats.) I think the specific history of slavery and racism in this country has placed a far greater moral burden on the actions of the majority wrt to everyone else - especially black people.