APPENDIX A - UNDERSTANDING RACISM

APPENDIX A - UNDERSTANDING RACISM

Racism can be defined as the belief in the existence of biologically distinct "races" (see below for the concept of race) which can be ordered in a hierarchy of morality, intellectual capacity, culture and civilization. Stop Apologizing, a full-colour 500 page book recently published by Jud Cyllorn, a Vancouver-based writer is an example of very crude racism. Cyllorn states that immigration from Hong Kong and China will subvert Euro-Canadian culture and that white Protestants should "stop apologizing" to "those whose skin colour is a badge of historic failure...." Cyllorn argues that only white protestants are capable of developing civilization and science; all other "races" have simply borrowed from European civilization. He states that: "We [Northern European Protestants] are living in the Decline of the protest [sic] Culture, the Fall is not far away. The immigration patterns unfolding in such as Canada and the USA, are part of the Cause which will bring about the Fall, and none of this [sic].accidental (Page 169.)
For Cyllorn, each "race" has specific talents, but, as civilization advances, some "racial" talents become redundant, or, in fact, a burden. Echoing discredited nineteenth century social Darwinism, Cyllorn states that: "Each race has a profile of abilities of which there are many thousands, and as the environment changes, combinations of these abilities are given the premium of the era... But only that era. Master buggy-whip makers are no longer in great demand. (Page 198.)"
Cyllorn argues that racism is a "natural phenomenon" which benefits civilization. Since only Europeans are equipped to develop civilization, it follows that Europeans benefit from racism. Cyllorn mailed his book to every MP in Ottawa and every MLA in British Columbia. He also sent it to libraries and school in the hope that it would be accepted as a legitimate non-fiction book. There is, of course, no valid evidence and no scientific basis to support Cyllorn's view of "race", culture, science or history.

THEORIES OF RACISM
A majority of social scientists believe that while racism may be pervasive in many countries around the world and appears to have occurred in many different historical time periods, it is not inherent in human nature but is dependent on the ways that groups come into contact. In this view, racism, like homophobia, is a learned response. What produces racism is competition over scarce resources and/or the profit that can be made from a dis-empowered segment of the labour force. As Edna Bonancich explains, racism and ethnic antagonisms tend to break out when employers attempt to replace relatively higher priced labour groups with cheaper minority labour. Bonacich argues that dominant ethnic groups have three options to maintain both the established price of labour and labour standards: 1) restrictions on immigration, 2) apartheid-like labour laws to eliminate job competition, or 3) creating anti-racist labour and trade unions to prevent reductions in wage rates. In Canada, the dynamics of labour market competition and the ideology of racism have often resulted in prejudice and discrimination against many groups, including aboriginal peoples, African, Asian, Irish and Eastern Europeans. However, racism has also resulted as a means to justify the super-exploitation of segments of the labour force. From this perspective, slavery in Europe, the United States and Canada was not a natural consequence of any supposed inherent inferiority of groups or the consequence of ignorance or fear, but the rationalization for the exploitation of people based on skin colour for profit.

RACE
The concept of race arose during the sixteenth century to categorize human beings into groups to justify slavery. The notion that there are biologically discrete "races" that can be ordered in a hierarchy of intelligence, sexuality and morality has been disproved by modern science. Skin colour or ethnic origin does not determine criminality, sexuality or morality as racists claim. In fact, there is no meaningful way to categorize human beings into groups based on the idea of race because the differences within "races" are as great as the differences between "races". As such, the term serves no useful scientific purpose. As many sociologists, anthropologists, biologists and others have recently argued, the term "race" only serves to reify social relationships, obscures the processes underlying the racialization of groups and the social and economic bases for discrimination and racism. The discipline of sociology and anthropology have only recently begun to explore how groups are "racialized" and what socio-economic processes are responsible for the categorization of groups of people into races.

INDIVIDUAL, INSTITUTIONAL AND ORGANIZED RACISM
Anti-racists tend to distinguish between individual, institutional and organized political racism. Individual racism can be defined as the expression of prejudice between individuals and may range from name calling to physical violence. Institutional racism is based on what may appear to be a neutral institutional practice, but which in effect denies individuals access to employment, services or other opportunities based on membership in a group defined in terms of skin colour, ethnic origin or religious affiliation. Organized racism results when individuals form hate groups to deliberately persecute and oppress people based on skin colour, language, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Organized hate groups advocate the creation of culturally and "racially" homogenous societies by the forcible movement of people to "home lands" or outright genocide. Individual, institutional and organized racism are not only offensive and dehumanizing but restrict access to services, employment and other human rights. Racism is thus not only detrimental to the primary targets of racism but to society in general. Comprehensive projections and preventative measures must therefore be developed to protect individuals and groups from racism, ethnocentrism and religious intolerance in each and every manifestation.

HATE CRIME
A hate crimes is a criminal offense committed by an individual or individuals against a person, property or public order because of skin colour, ethnicity, religion, place of origin, sexual orientation, ability, or gender. Some community groups are seeking an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada to include gender, sexual orientation and ability as protected grounds. Statistics show that the most frequent victims of hate violence in urban centres are gays and lesbians, followed by Canadians of African and South Asian descent and Jews. However, there are a large number of attacks on aboriginal peoples that go largely unreported. Verbal intimidation, assault and vandalism are the most commonly reported types of hate crimes. Hate crimes are designed to create terror, mistrust and the breakdown of social institutions. Hate crimes can have an especially devastating emotional and psychological impact on their victims. Failure to provide legal and other remedies can lead to isolation, increased vulnerable and self-destructive or socially destructive anger.

WHITE SUPREMACY
Modern white supremacy is based on two fundamental untenable beliefs. The first is that there are biologically distinct human "races" which can be scientifically ordered in a hierarchy of morality, intellectual capacity, culture and civilization. In this view, the "white race" of Northern Europe is morally and intellectually superior to all other "races" and the "white race" is primarily responsible for human civilization and science. As a result, all other "races", i.e., Asian, African, American, et cetera, are inferior and is responsible for all moral and social decay. It is therefore the moral destiny of the white races to bring civilization back to the world.
The ideology of modern white supremacy thus draws from the same well of hate as Nazi ideology which is, in turn, based on the scientifically bankrupt concept of "race" and the so-called "race science" of the nineteenth century. To be a racist, or a "racialist", is to believe in biological reductionism and a necessary program of separation, or genocide. The political agenda of white supremacist group is to seize power and to replace democratically elected governments with fascist dictatorships. White supremacist group plan to accomplish this objective by precipitating a "racial holy war", destabilizing democratically elected governments and seizing state power.
The second fundamental basis of modern white supremacy is that the Holocaust - the Nazi policy of genocide - did not occur. If Jews, gypsies and the "unfit" died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, their deaths were not part of any genocidal policy that was devised by Hitler and his followers, but the result of famine and disease. The purpose of denying the Holocaust is to resurrect national socialism and legitimate Hitler.
Realizing that fascism and racism are presently more or less unpalatable to the majority of Canadians, white supremacist attempt to conceal their real agenda by calling themselves Canadian patriots, or friends of freedom. They claim they are not fascist but think that Hitler was a hero who received unfair treatment by the Allies. They demand to be publicly identified as simply favouring "preserving European heritage" and maintaining "traditional" (i.e. Northern European) sources of immigration. When, for example, leaders of the Heritage Front are interviewed by the mainstream media, they repeat over and over that they are "not racist" but "just love their own race"; they are not racist but "racialists"; they are not violent but want to protect themselves from attack and they recruit bright articulate university educated students to create a more acceptable public veneer of respectability. Unfortunately, there are enough gullible reporters to perpetuate the myth that white supremacist groups are just exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and that racists are just one end of the spectrum with anti-racists being at the other.