The Reason We Argue About Whoopie
Great writeup. This is similar to an idea I've had kicking around my head for a while now, about what I want to call "The White Supremacy Spectrum".
Let's imagine that we have a linear ordering of different levels of attitudes/beliefs that one might call "white supremacy". The lowest end of "the least amount of white supremacy possible" would be a white person who argues that white people are, in fact, completely inferior to all other races and it is every white person's bounden duty to give as much of the wealth and power that they have stolen to non-white races as possible. On the highest end, a.k.a. "actual white supremacists", you'd have a card-carrying KKK member who believes in the absolute superiority of the white race over all other races and pretty much every horrible policy proposal that would flow downstream from that belief, e.g. forced segregation/apartheid.
The problem is that, as far as I can tell, there are a whole bunch of different levels in between those extremes, but if the two opposite ends of the spectrum I described are levels 1 and 10, most people in this country are somewhere between levels 4 and 6, and the people at level 4 are calling the people at level 6 "white supremacists" (and by so doing, they intend to evoke the same kinds of disgust and hatred that people rightly feel for the folks at level 10, when the worst thing people at level 6 are guilty of is thinking that the fact that most people tend to live in neighborhoods where the majority of the folks around them look the same as they do is just natural human behavior and not evidence of America being racist to the core.
I keep wanting to work up a description of the full spectrum but haven't found the time.
Thanks for writing.
It struck me that the utility of your analysis lies in demonstrating the utter inanity of the 'conversation' about 'racism' in popular culture. More apt would be the descriptor 'self-important screeching and hooting' about 'media-entertainment industry infighting.' And if this isn't ridiculous enough: given the speed of multiplication, might there not be more definitions soon?
You've written about the two, and now the five; I eagerly await your writeup on the Eleven Definitions of Racism, on which a national conversation will be fanned by the ADL but also by PETA, CDC, and Santa Claus.
What do we do?
My proposal is that we create a unifying common enemy to direct our attention and efforts. Suitable candidates include potentially hostile aliens, or perhaps Belgians
You probably already saw this, but in a similar vein, here's a post I really like about how the framework is pretty useless at explaining anything: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/