”I'm not a racist, but...” What allows us to say such a obviously not true statement. Is it the schizoid? In a sense we are affirming subconsciously our racism by stating that we are not racists. Earlier I overheard a conversation where someone said this many times, and then when into (from what I could make out of the Italian) an obviously racist rant. Trying to put this in context, while I agree with Joshua that yes, the surface of the problem, which is the violence, is caused by the a disappearance racism from the general population, how much can we say it was ever part of that ”general” anyway, when they change their mind weekly on command of the culture industry? Capitalism doesn't care about race, money doesn't care about race, exploitation doesn't care about race, or care is the wrong word because of course these three things care because race can be used to create profit, so the continuation of the racial problem is good for business, and it's disappearance would be bad for capitalism in both the local and global contexts. In the case of african americans, or african north-americans to be precise the civil rights movement was token, perhaps not exactly as they claim, as the allowance of exploitation of african north-americans by african north-americans is not a sign that racism has disappeared.
But we are now interested in this ”I'm not racist, but...”, why? How can we say it? Why do we need to justify, where does this desire to explain come from? What does it mean that we cannot openly admit that we in fact are racist? And where does it come from?
It was obviously a mistake to convince society that there were things that looked like us but not us. That these men that were in every other way us, except their skin tone some slight external features, were not human, this was Christianity. As far as I'm aware (and please correct if not true) there isn't another society besides the Christiendom where it was actually believed literally that these people who were exactly like us were not human. And here I think is the root of our supposed moral dilemma. That we so contradicted what was obvious on a large sorical scale because we broke our own mind in the process.
I started thinking about this in terms of, not just 20th century thought, but in terms of political idealism, and an argument I had about how I do no think we can any longer believe the Enlightenment project because the underlying social reality was so brutal while professing these values of humanity. How was it possible that these idealistic, fantastic even, thoughts could be made and claimed while standing on the carcasses of millions of slaves? There are three options: First, that it is simply a rue, a political tool to use people. Second, that our leaders are schitzophrenic, for if they really believe in these values while at the same time killing and pillaging, there is obviously a brake in personality. Third, that there is something essentially wrong, even perverse, in the thoughts and concepts themselves, which allows for a structural exploitation humans in the name and betterment of humans.
So we are back at ”I'm not racist, but...”
A while ago I had someone I respect immensely, have worked with, and shared some interesting things with delete and block me from all the social media sites we were involved in with. Before that I have had two persons I have immense respect for delete me, botth of whom fortunately were arbited back into my circle of online aquintanes (neither blocked me). More recently another person I respect, and would even dare to call a friend, say they had thought of deleting me beacuse of the things I post. Now obviously the way and things I post are disturbing enough, and I obviously need to deal with those issues on my person.
But the question that arises in me is what this does to the reality of community, what happens to politics? Does it do something? Does it take forwards, or backwards, sideways?
Of course, before most people consider it not being worth deleting someone you have to reach that point of something ”enough,” which needs to be shared. But the online quosi-mondiality is not the local even when one only has friends one has known before social media for years. The relations and functions are very different when existing in these quasi-public spaces. Obviously the problem is larger because of the way identity changes online making the anonymic total or part in ones functioning online more powerful, and thus enabling trolling and abuse on a epidemic level.
But what happens then in real life (as if online isn't, and this is the biggest lie of social media moralising), do you ignore each other? Do you hash it out (the option I will definitely choose when encountering the first person I mentioned).
Partly it feels like the online has created a sort of 'disposbility' of a contact, that because one doesn't have to, it is easy to delete, one doesn't need to, as compared to when someone works in the same office for example, etc etc, I find it difficult to go anywhere with this because there are so many directions one could go, but it's nagging me.
Of course, and I have blocked people too even if I am in concept against doing it, so it is necessary sometimes, one I added after a while because of what I am talking about. But, when or if you are dealing with someone who is in your community, as it were, with similar interests and perhaps even values, what is the value in removing rather then confronting that person either publically or privately? My question is not on the personal level, but on the communal and political level?
Is online sharing always violence? In the offer of sharing, should we not say Tiens! Take! It is a gift, but you must take it because we want to be close, we want to touch, but never touching in this offering the real proximity or proper or near. But always extended and virtual, even if that sharing is sharing and our hearts touch through touching the machine we touch when we try to touch each other, us, those who are outside that machine, through our hands. This ”tender extending”, or extending tender because it is not in the gift of sharing but a valorized bit stream. Touching through the internet always penetrates space and time and moves our touch from touching this machine that I touch to touch your with writing to you touching this shared writing with your eyes. In the world of internet it is not Psyche that is extended but Eros extended through the gaze and he should know it. (pp. 95 - 97 Derrida ”On touching Jean-Luc Nancy)