I love a few white people, hate a few others, like many, and am indifferent to most.

I love fewer darker skinned folks, like a few more, hate none that I personally know, and am indifferent to most.

I am not in the position, at present, to hire anyone. If I were, my criteria for selecting an employee or a business partner would have nothing to do with race. But I would want someone very intelligent, and someone who shows respect for others. This means that I might cast a very suspicious eye on folks hailing from some cultures, with histories of anti-intellectualism, criminality or bad manners or all three. Some (but by no means all) of those cultures are predominantly filled with dark-skinned folks. Inner-city “gansta” culture is a grand example of this.

Does that make me racist?

I think not.

Similarly, I probably would be uber-reluctant to even consider hiring a Muslim. The religious ideology of Islam promotes an idea set and a value set that has extensive overlap with all sorts of evaluative/normative positions I find abhorrent. It’s easiest simply to not closely associate with Muslims.

And yet I know a few Muslims who seem to me as impeccably well-mannered and good-intentioned as a Mormon.

I bring up Mormons because they are the one religious group with which I have almost no personal bad experience, despite the fact that their myths and dogmas strike me as risible in the extreme. Indeed, I think I have liked every Mormon I’ve met. But, for the life of me, I cannot respect their ideas.

These are not matters of race, of course, but there are some who would try to shoehorn these issues into the “racism”/“racialist” category.

But Mormons and Muslims are not exactly exceptions to my view of people with ideas. I feel a camaraderie with all sorts of folks who take up religions — including Mormons and Muslims — for at least they have an interest in matters I consider important. But all religions strike me as wrong choices, bad choices, and I often wonder about the ease with which others accept their goofy ideas.

And there certainly are many ideas I do discriminate against. Not only would I never hire a Marxist, for instance, I make it a policy never even to argue with these ideologues. There are bad ideas, incorrect ideas, disastrous ideas. And then there are those beyond the pale. Marxism is one such. Maybe the only one such.

Anyone calling himself (or herself) a “socialist” I look upon with deep suspicion. I wouldn’t hire a socialist, either. There are some sorts of intellectual folly that meld too closely, in my experience, with vice and crime. Socialism falls into this category, no matter how well-intentioned some socialists usually seem.

They are great on “seeming.”

I believe in the inherent civility of free association. The important thing about free association is that not only does it allow for participation in peaceful groups — any and all peaceful groups — it allows for not participating in groups. The ability to “just say no” is an important part of freedom.

Which is why I do not consider “inclusion” and “exclusion” to be universalizable goods and evils. Not all inclusion is good; not all exclusion is bad. The free person in a free society has principles that allow discrimination among those groups he or she would join or shun, and allow for selection among candidates for his or her in-group. Out-groups are also allowed. As well as inevitable. If you do not understand this, you do not understand the essence of liberty.

I am not a racist for holding these ideas. I’m curious if you would think otherwise, and might entertain criticism. But be warned: if you think I’m a racist for saying anything above, I have already developed a prejudice against you. I think you are a fool. Or worse. You would have a lot of convincing to do to make me think otherwise.

 

TOPICS for future discussion include “equal liberty” (which I support) vs. “equal inclusion” (which progressives say they support). Racism and other such isms of opprobrium are often defined, these days, by folks who favor equal inclusion, and have no truck with liberty. I think they are very wrong.

 

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