1. Mike Duran says:

    Good post, Travis. You conclude, “A type of what we might consider ethnocentrism is supported in the Bible though.” Don’t you think it’d be better described as a “centrism” based on religion, faith, or belief rather than ethnicity? Thanks!

  2. A.K. Preston says:

    Very good thoughts, Travis! I especially like how you pointed out that by today’s standards, many of Ham’s descendants would be considered “white.” Things get even more interesting when you factor in migration and intermarriage over time. I would even go so far as to say that there are Europeans descended from Ham and Africans descended from Japheth. I remember one of my old college instructors mentioning a genetic link between the modern Dutch and a tribe in Ethiopia—the only physical trait they share is above average height, but they’re actually closer to each other genetically than they are to other Europeans or Africans. And a lot of Australasian peoples are almost identical, genetically, to Slavic peoples in Eastern Europe. It just goes to show how fundamentally flawed the whole “race” concept is in describing reality. I personally think it’s time to get rid of it.

  3. notleia says:

    Hoo boy, racism explained by way of white evangelicalism. This is gonna be…..interesting, isn’t it. For some reason, Travis, I didn’t think you were as Creationist as you’re currently giving me impressions of. But, alas, you are a literalist, and maybe someday you’ll end up downing the 6-day Koolaid in public.
    Let us remember, y’all, that the designation of “white” has always been political — and used for exclusion. Italians weren’t always considered “white.” Even nowadays, Middle Eastern peeps are and also are not “white,” depending on the speaker. (Like Mexicans, come to think of it.) Heck, politics is why Hispanics have ticky-boxes in different places than, say, Black or Asian people. Hispanics had to become honorarily white because at the time that Texas came into the Union (such as it was), only white people were allowed to be landowners, and keeping the wealthy Hispanic landowners happy was important for making Texas a state.
    But Travis is right that, historically speaking, our sense of in-group and out-group have made everybody outside of our tribe a foreigner. That’s part of the political things, that as the tribal world got wider, our in-group expanded to include the allies that were still “foreign” but okay, until they were barely foreign anymore.

    • notleia says:

      Ooh, I forgot to ramble about smoking and hemp. It looks like Eurasians were hittin’ that marijuana long before they found out about tobacco. Even before the association between assassins and hashish,hemp was used as a fiber plant for thread and rope in the Neolithic age — and they probably started using it to get high at about the same time.

      • Travis Tyree Perry says:

        That ancient people raised hemp is clear. But if there’s an archaelogical find clearly showing they smoked it, I’m unaware of it. If you can show me a source showing otherwise, I’d appreciate it.

        People don’t in fact automatically dry, burn, and inhale whatever they grow. That’s learned behavior.

    • Travis Tyree Perry says:

      That you believe a white person necessarily must represent what white people think is a hallmark of modern racism, which is as false as the old racism. But anyway, we’ll get there later.

      In short, I’m not a post-modernist. I believe in objective truth. Not true for my race but not true for another.

      • Even funnier that she IS a white person. But at least she’s not a man, right?

      • notleia says:

        Have you read much about racism from nonwhite authors? Ijeoma Oluo has a conveniently titled book called So You Want to Talk About Race. Maybe I’ll get to read it in a couple months when the library’s hold list works it’s way down.

        • Travis Perry says:

          Have you done a comparitive study of the history of racism as told by white authors versus nonwhite authors? If you have, even if informally, I would be deeply interested in how you see the white authors tackling the issue differently from non-whites. So if you have those insights, please share them.

          As for me doing a deep dive into books directly about the history of racism, I confess I haven’t done that. I have an MA in History and have done a boat load of reading that related to race and racism but haven’t tackled the subject directly.

          Nonetheless I have read two books that profoundly affected how I see race and racism, the first of which was actually about racism (and was written by a black author). I will mention both of them as I go along. Both works involve meticulous examination of historical records–the kind of thing your race supposedly doesn’t change. I mean, what Classical writers in Greece and Rome said is what they said, right? And the records of importation of enslaved persons to and various laws and ordinances of Colonial South Carolina were what they were, right?

          But of the two authors that have influenced most my thoughts on race and racism, both were men. One was black and one was white. Though I didn’t actually know the race of either man until today–I looked up the info on them in order to be able to write this comment.

          I’ll specifically mention them these two books as these posts go along.

          • If it’s not critical race theory, she’ll say it’s insufficient.

          • notleia says:

            Well, it’s something, I guess. I’ll look forward to your bibliography.
            The thing is, I think you’re mostly gonna be compare-contrasting Bronze/Iron Age tribalism with maybe a 1980s mainstream perception of racism. Critical race theory has been The Thing for at least 20 years, so it definitely feels like you’ll be missing something if you ignore it.

            • I’m curious, since it’s been two decades, what’s been CRT’s impact on POC? How has CRT substantively changed POC’s lives for the better?

              • notleia says:

                Brennan, some asshole must be using your account to make shitty posts, because I wouldn’t have put you down for that kind of victim-blaming bullshit.

              • Who’s blaming victims for anything? You always say you judge a philosophy by it’s actual result. So, what’s been the actual result of CRT? CRT is concerned with unequal treatment of POC, and arguing for different pathways to end it, right? What’s been the result of it? Pretty straightforward question. I can’t see the connection with how that’s “victim-blaming bullshit” or a “shitty post.”

            • Travis Perry says:

              Notleia, perhaps it doesn’t surprise you that I don’t care in the slightest what “The Thing” is, whatever it is, whatever the field. I will arrive where I do based on my own reasoning. No seeker of truth should ever follow the crowd to believe something just because most people are headed that direction, in my opinion.

              But of course I can’t just ignore CRT. And I won’t. Though what I say about it will not be a simple dismissal, so I’d prefer to get to that topic when I’m ready.

              To give a bit of a preview though, CRT is right to be critical of the American past. But wrong on a lot of things–most basically, wrong in not even agreeing in the existence of verifiable reality that is race neutral. No, who you are (in terms of race) is /always/ part of what you see and think according to CRT. Or at least, from what I understand of it–which is why there’s a great deal of emphasis on storytelling. Which is directly pertinent for a site that talks about storytelling…God willing I will get a chance to talk about that in due time.

  4. Autumn Grayson says:

    The main points I get from your post are that racism exists, the Bible does NOT support it, and that racism is wrong/something that Christians should oppose. On those fronts we of course agree, though there might be details we could quibble about.

    Kind of interesting how you point out the fact that ancient prejudices rested more in terms of tribalism and basic My Group vs Not My Group. That’s probably a small part of why a lot of prejudices in my stories stem from those things. Originally, I was a lot more fascinated and inspired by ancient societies instead of modern or futuristic ones. Though that’s not the only reason tribalism works better for my story worlds.

    Specism is another major prejudice exhibited by chars in my stories, though,since there are often different types of creatures interacting with one another and they have plenty of reasons to resent each other and must work through it. That’s an interesting issue though, since there are obvious physical differences between different species. One of the best arguments against racism is that humans are the same in every way that counts, so there’s no reason for us to be abusing each other.

    But that argument would be less useful in a society where two very different species are trying to heal the old resentments between them. They might be able to talk about sameness in terms of having the same capacity for rational thought and moral behavior, but not much else. So considering how such prejudices might play out in a particular world, along with how to solve them, can be an interesting puzzle that could give us insight on how to fix our own society.

    • Travis Tyree Perry says:

      Yeah thinking about different intelligent species living together is a fascinating way to explore the limits of racism.

      As for summing up what I said, you do seem to have missed one key point. Racism as we know it today has not always existed.

What do you think?