I posted a question regarding why one would take pride in oneâ€™s skin color when it is clearly not something that we would praise or blame one another for. I would still be interested in an answer. Since posting my comments regarding what I consider the silliness of having â€œprideâ€ in the color of oneâ€™s skin, Iâ€™ll admit itâ€™s been on my mind, and I was reminded of an essay by Jean-Paul Sartre entitled â€œAnti-Semite and Jew,â€ in which he argues that anti-Semiticism is attractive because it can be a source of pride for those who really have no attributes that actually merit pride.
The following are selections from that essay:
The rational man groans as he gropes for the truth; he knows that his reasoning is no more than tentative, that other considerations may supervene to cast doubt on itâ€¦But there are people who are attracted by the durability of stone. They wish to be massive and impenetrable; they wish not to changeâ€¦
â€¦[T]he anti-Semite is impervious to reason and to experienceâ€¦not because his conviction is strong. Rather his conviction is strong because he has chosen first of all to be impervious.
â€¦The anti-Semite has no illusions about what he is. He considers himself an average man, modestly average, basically mediocre.
â€¦To this end he finds the existence of the Jew absolutely necessary. Otherwise to whom would he be superior?
…Anti-Semiticism is not merely the joy of hating; it brings positive pleasures too. By treating the Jew as an inferior and pernicious being, I affirm at the same time that I belong to the elite. This eliteâ€¦closely resembles an aristocracy of birth. There is nothing I have to do to merit my superiority, and neither can I lose it. It is given once and for all. It is a thingâ€¦
Sartre, Jean-Paul (1948): â€œAnti-Semite and Jewâ€ from Anti-Semite and Jew, trans. by George J. Becker, NY: Grove Press.
I think the analogy with this and taking pride in oneâ€™s skin color is blatantly obvious, so I wonâ€™t insult you by explicating it.
One of the things JP points out is something that Iâ€™ve been harping on about on this website in a couple of threads. Thatâ€™s that if one is willing to believe propositions without justification, not only are you likely to believe false propositions, but you run the risk of believing harmful ideas. If you convince yourself that you have a special access to knowledge that nobody else has access to, then your beliefs will be impervious to reason and experience. Once you conclude that your internal truth detectors (ITDâ€™s) are superior to (i) everybody elseâ€™s ITDâ€™s, (ii) your senses, and (iii) your ability to reason, then what is to stop you from believing anything and everything that you would enjoy believing?
Iâ€™d like to brag for a moment about how Iâ€™m raising my kids as color blind as I possibly can. I came home from work one evening, and my son,6 years old at the time, was excited to tell me about an episode of Star Trek heâ€™d watched. I asked him which series he was talking about. It was the one â€œwith the man captain.â€ Well narrowed it down to three (this was before â€œEnterpriseâ€). I asked him to narrow it down further. â€œThe captain is bald.â€ Narrows it down to two (TNG and DS9). More specific? He couldnâ€™t think of a way to distinguish between the two captains, so he started describing the aliens. It would be easy to distinguish between the captains of TNG and DS9 as they are different colors. But since skin color is such an irrelevant feature, it never even occurred to him that skin color is a characteristic worth mentioning.
Below is a cutnpaste of my comments from the Texas Town Remains a White Settlement Thread
â€¢ Hereâ€™s some insight. You had nothing to do with the color of your skin. Itâ€™s determined by your genes, as is most of your other physical characteristics.
Claiming to be proud of the color of oneâ€™s skin is akin to, and makes about as much sense as being proud of the length of your colon. Both are completely beyond your control, both having nothing to do with you, both are determined by your genes.
Maybe you might want to claim pride in what others of your skin color have done. Maybe watching Carl Lewis made you proud to be black, or George Wâ€™s leadership makes you proud to be whiteâ€¦
Well, I have dangly earlobes as opposed to connected earlobes. I want to take pride in the accomplishments of those who share my genetic trait of dangly earlobes. Einstein, Condie Rice, and Prince Siddhartha were all danglers. Makes me proud to be a dangler.
In fact, I come from a village that was settled by folks with dangly earlobes. â€œDanglyearlobeopolis.â€ We donâ€™t have a problem with those with connected earlobes, but we get a little annoyed when they try to use the â€œdangler onlyâ€ peircing boutiques.
Did you know that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were all danglers? Yep, 100% of them. Yet we still allow â€œconnecterdsâ€ to live in our country.
Iâ€™ve got a bumpersticker on my car that reads â€œDangly Powerâ€ but that seems a little biased, so Iâ€™m going to replace it with a â€œPower of Pride in Danglyshipnessâ€ sticker.
I want to emphasize that some of my best friends are â€œConnecterdsâ€ and I am no way affiliated with those dangly supremecists who burn an Ankh on the sundecks of the poor connecterds.
I even let my daughter date one of them people once. I donâ€™t want her to marry him â€™cause Iâ€™m sure God divided the danglers from the connecterds for a reason.
April 14th, 2006 at 3:51 pm
Some people try to argue that Jesus had connected lobes.
God wouldnâ€™t have let that happen, so I donâ€™t believe itâ€¦
SOLIDARITY MY DANGLY EARLOBED BRETHREN!
April 22nd, 2006 at 6:32 pm
Iâ€™ve recently noticed a downturn in the number of dangly earlobed folks in my part of Canada. Due, no doubt, to failed immigration policies.
Should I be trying to convince the wife that we should be poppinâ€™ out more little ones to before we become the minority?