22A005 Prejudice by Jim Davies, 2/1/2022


It means pre-judging. Forming a view of someone before getting to know him or her, often on the basis of something he cannot help, such as race, or physical deformity. There's a great deal of it around. Will that continue, after government evaporates?

It's not just about skin color. Every big wave of immigrants to America faced a great deal of prejudice (except those from Siberia 20,000 years ago, and for the Brits who arrived before most of the rest) by those already here. Irish people fleeing starvation were treated disgracefully. Poles, Swedes, Jews, all from Eastern Europe, were given demeaning names and denied the best jobs. Chinese and Japanese were despised and given backbreaking work on the railroads - and laws were passed to prohibit opium so as to harass them when at leisure. Later on, the latter were deprived of property and put in concentration camps because FDR really, really wanted to wage war on Japan.

But every one of these suffered the indignities and rose above them, in most cases rising to fulfill their American Dream. Asians, particularly, have worked so hard and well as to surpass the native whites; and it's rare indeed to find any of them (or Hispanics) protesting discrimination. Jews, too, have done well - despite continuing, vicious prejudice against them seen quite often. On the Net recently I "met" one such bigot, who called them the "skum of the earth" and claimed that 99% of them are "criminal" - while offering no statistical data in support. Jews are so diligent that they rise to the top of most professions, including government, and he and others claimed that they started most wars. To my response that Chamberlain, Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler, Hirohito, Stalin, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon and both Bushes were all gentiles, he gave no reply.

Blacks, though, have had less success. Most did not come here to follow an American Dream; their ancestors were kidnapped and enslaved. Ever since, a prejudice against them has been crippling.

Most, but not all. The late Walter Williams rose above it and excelled in life. So did Thomas Sowell, happily still with us at 91, and the remarkable Candace Owens. Many others, especially in sports and a few in entertainment like Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and Morgan Freeman, have risen above it and prospered. But the great majority have not. They have no cultural tradition that equates progress with study and hard work, but who else is to blame?

First, the kidnappers - obviously. Those were mostly black native Africans, who captured people and "sold" them as property to shippers who took them to North and South America for sale to enslavers. They were forced to labor for the new "owner" even though he had no proper title, since they were human beings, with the natural right to own and operate themselves. The government shut its ears (excluded them from its courts) to any appeal for relief, and set agents after the few who tried to escape. Government was thereby integral in the slave business; without it, the institution could not possibly have survived. That set a long precedent; slaves learned to work only under compulsion; "success" was to do as little as they could get away with.

Second, the bigots who, after slavery was forcibly abolished by the victors in the War to Prevent Secession, did their utmost to exclude blacks from a market society - again, by enacting laws to keep them separate. These were the Southern Democrats, and it went on from 1865 through 1965. Their only excuse was that the War had ruined the economy; they didn't want blacks to compete for the few jobs available. The lesson drummed in to the blacks was, again, that they were inferior.

Third, the "Liberals" who, after 1960, bid for votes by pretending to favor blacks with laws against discrimination. Laws never work, and in this case they went far too far - as often happens - by imposing reverse discrimination; instead of hindering job placement for blacks relative to whites, they hindered it for whites relative to blacks. Preference was decreed, and while quotas were never required explicitly, they were and are certainly required implicitly. Today hiring must result in a mix of races reflecting the general community, so displacing merit as a qualifier. The impact on excellence in US industry will continue to be severe for decades to come. And once again, blacks as a group are being taught that they are second-class; that they can only "make it" if given assistance by force - that they are inadequate, to succeed on their own.

All three of these primary culprits relied entirely on government, to do their destructive work. Had there not been any, none of them could have done it and any prejudice they had would have been unable to take practical effect. When government has evaporated, that's what will prevail; so in the coming zero government society, blacks will at long last compete in society on an equal footing. They will regain a self-respect that should never have been denied them.

Prejudice will, in that market society, bring its own cost. Somebody favors a vendor (of labor or goods) because of an extraneous factor like skin color or ethnic origin will on average lose a better deal; his unprejudiced rival will succeed more. The bigotry will, therefore, fade away.


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