Ah, Color Blindness – defending Ward Connerly’s RPI
by George Winkel
Attacks on Ward Connerly’s RPI Racial Privacy Initiative, which likely will be a November ballot proposition in California, have begun. One attack is Emil Guillermo’s Thursday, May 7, 2002, SFGate article entitled “Ah, Color Blindness? Connerly’s Deceptive Vision.”
Kevin Nguyen very ably rebutted Guillermo’s attack in a letter to the editor of Asianweek, which can be found here. I wish to add some rebutting remarks of my own.
First, it should be clearly known the starting point of the government “race” identity monitoring discussion in America is the growing misuse of the decennial census mandated in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. Abetted by recent, misguided, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, America’s “of color,” “minority,” etc., community has grown their census-count into disproportionate political power, distinctly by “race.” Linking “race” together with the census’s enumeration, political re-districting function does more than draw voting-district maps with oddly contorted boundaries. By implying that those of different racial complexions belong driven together inside ethnically cleansed districts of “their” racial “kind,” “race” and the census political process recreates the false biology of “race.”
The central fallacy of so-called “race” is the imaginary world “district lines” hypnotically suggesting dividing our single human species into various complexioned “uses” and “thems.” Official government establishment of this lie, that “race” segments our global population into distinctly separate “sub-species” peoples (“types”), is the heartless and soulless essence of “us” against “them” tribalistic complexion chauvinism. It is false, unnecessary; and before our eyes it dangerously sows the seeds, possibly, of nightmare real ethnic cleansing to come.
Emil Guillermo nearly let the cat out of the bag, revealing this census-driven political skin-pigment war when he whined:
“The Racial Privacy Initiative says to the growing ethnic majority population of California, ‘The less we know about you, the better. Just as you become the dominant force in the state, go hide under a rock. . . .'”(My italics & ellipsis.) Clearly, at core the opposition to the RPI is a power-struggle based on the “biological” slander we sadly all know as “race.” This is less funny than it looks. When “white” people feel their racial consciousness (again, as before in white nationalist Jim Crow years when “whites” felt racially threatened), the tale increasingly will be about dominance, as Guillermo mentioned, not about humanity or equality. It is past time we got the racial moat out of the public eye, which the RPI will do, not grow “race” in the public eye as Guillermo and many “civil rights community” activists want to do.
Guillermo bawls about the RPI “color-blinding” government enumerators to ethnic medical issues, and to racial discrimination abuses of all sorts, including housing discrimination. The medical and housing claims are outright lies. The RPI expressly exempts these, and also police uses of “race” are exempted. Racial “police profiling” data collection is stopped by RPI, because it is nothing but a wedge tactic pushing “race-separation” up the public nose. However, the Legislature could resume government “color-consciousness” under the RPI by a 2/3rds vote. I would like Mr. Guillermo to know I fault the RPI for allowing any exceptions. I think if “race” is a vile superstition, and it is, then “race” absolutely doesn’t exit. The government has no business establishing a belief system (a vile superstition) for any reason whatsoever.
“Race privacy would make it impossible,” Guillermo wails,
“to uncover the changing needs of the state. Send in English-speaking doctors to administer to the newly arrived Hmong? Do we need native speakers or translators in certain areas? How will we know?”The short answer is, we will continue knowing what we need to know. The RPI unhooks government from the “race” superstition which government created and nurtured since colonial government first rationalized chattle slavery 340 years ago. The RPI only stops state government obsessing about “race.” Racial discrimination will always be against the law. The RPI does not impair press freedom or any other weapon in a free society’s arsenal for resolving the social problems which government-created “race” superstition has left us with.
Guillermo argues, supporting his view of the importance of government proselytizing the “race” superstition, as if “race” really distinguishes the three or sometimes five “breeds,” “types” of people claimed to comprise humanity. Guillermo euphemistically substituting “ethnicity” for “race” cannot cloak the racist implication that his thirst for “dominance” supports. The subject of Guillermo’s advocacy is not the true ethnicity of our immigrant peoples with their own languages and separate cultures. “Race” is a slanderous allegation about skin color and “blood” – really genes and heredity – exactly the same as identifies the domesticated animals spawned in labs, on farms, and displayed pedigreed on showroom floors. These have nothing to do with ethnicity or culture. “Race,” reinserted in Guillermo’s piece where he has hijacked “ethnicity,” reveals his hissing racism.
And nothing in the RPI restricts government or anyone recognizing immigrant, ethnic peoples’ culture. The RPI shuts the “blood” spigot of ancestral genetic lies. I don’t have to be a rocket scientist to grasp that the central mission of civil rights racial equality is the challenge of getting law and government clean out of the “race” “blood” and genes and ancestry and skin complexion, and anything else business. With that task, the RPI is a start.
This brings me back to the starting point of the government “race” identity monitoring discussion in America. It is about the abuse of superstitious “race” identities collected on the decennial census mandated in the Constitution. That is, it is about artificially designating racial “types” of people, and growing them toward political “dominance” like so many separate animal species, locked in struggle on the jungle floor of social Darwinism. See who wants that here in America, where once there was a new birth of freedom, and all Men were created equal – almost. We still could all be free and equal in our diverse individuality.
George Winkel practices appellate defense law in the California Fourth Appellate District, the State Supreme Court, and occasionally before the U.S. Ninth Circuit.
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Copyright © 2000 George Winkel and The Multiracial Activist. All rights reserved.