You know more about racism against Blacks than I can ever know. I get that. You know how it feels more than I can ever know. I get that, too.

But racism wasn’t “invented” — it’s a part of human psychology, one that runs amok in any culture if left unchecked. We see examples of racism (and genocide based on racism) from even the beginnings of recorded history. The demeaning, the religion that you mentioned…these are the rationalizations. These are the excuses that well-meaning moms and dads taught their kids in every generation.

I’ll absolutely agree that white racism is unique in how it was enabled and propagated by the march of technology from the 1400’s until today. That much is historical fact. It was that “march of technology” that enabled the industrialization of brutality, from the slave ships to the enforcement of Jim Crow laws to the racism that Blacks face in America today.

But please don’t imagine that racism today is any more cruel or brutal, or that the injustice is any worse than it was before whites began kidnapping Blacks in Africa in the 1400’s. The only way in which it became worse was that it was industrialized, in that the growth of technology and trade enabled the horrors of the slave trade against far more human beings more quickly than was possible before.

I don’t like engaging in whataboutism, but the very best example I can give is that of the Jews. They were not enslaved, and what they faced was completely different in nature from what Blacks faced (and still face), but they did suffer many massacres and genocides in the centuries before WWII. The only real difference between the Holocaust and what they suffered before was in the industrialization of the hatred against them.

Let me reiterate that point: the level of hatred had not changed, but industrialization allowed that hatred to commit an atrocity that stands among the worst in human history. So it goes with slavery and Jim Crow and today’s racism, all enabled and magnified by the growth of technology.

What I’m getting at is this: while times and technologies and societies have changed greatly in the past 5000 years, human beings as individuals have not changed. If you have not done so, I strongly encourage you to read what was written by people then. Regardless of race, they were just as intelligent, just as kind and loving, and just as hateful and spiteful and prejudiced as we are today.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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