Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

On origins of White racism and Caucasian blackface

Clearly, Europe and her (former) colonies have a racism problem. It’s not much older than 500 years. Before it started kidnapping Africans and selling them as merchandise, evidence shows, there was no anti-Black racism on the Old Continent. It’s a supremacy that had to be adopted to enable enslaving and exploiting others. European Anti-Semitism is at least four times older but that doesn’t render its racism innocent.

Not Feeling Good

Every superiority complex is rooted in feelings of inferiority and an unwillingness to feel bad. “I’d rather beat up others than to feel bad about myself.” The problem with that tactic is that it doesn’t really help.

This is like a shy person who drank alcohol at the party instead of facing his/her fears. Every time people get too close for comfort, another glass needs to be emptied. They just doubled their problems. Now they have both secret shyness and alcoholism to deal with.

A difference with racism is that alcoholics “only” destroy their own lives (and families) while racism destroys others. But a doubling of problems exists there too. Now Whites had to live with their stealth racial insecurity and their record of cruelty against the rest of humankind — considering them subhuman, apes, treating them worse than their dogs.

Biology

Historically, early Europeans had every reason to feel not good about themselves. Out of the tropics, they couldn’t survive for lack of Vitamin D, which is mainly synthesized in sunlight-exposed skin. There, there was not enough sun. It was also cold, so our ancestors needed to cover up.

They were suffering from fractures and many other discomforts and illnesses. D supplements were not in the basket of health yet. The best survivors were those with lighter and lighter skin, almost going albino. They could survive the cold North but at what price?

Their beautiful hair had lost its curls, outer layer, and luster, leaving it hanging lifelessly and brittle in front of their eyes. They now could not survive in the tropics anymore (sunburn, skin cancer). Sunscreen wasn’t covered by the insurance companies. And they looked ridiculous. They were also hard to tell apart — they all looked the same.

Racisms

They should have worked on their inner pride — but they didn’t. They started avoiding any suntan, claiming that White was actually superior, the new elite. When Europe got firearms based on the Chinese gunpowder invention (never paid them for intellectual property rights), this was their chance to conquer the world and enslave those despicable Blacks.

Christianity did its part in justifying killing and enslavement of African heathens. Noah had cursed the offspring of Ham with being slaves of slaves (Genesis 9:25). They were the occupiers of Canaan but also the Egyptians who were taken captive (Isaiah 20:4). Both episodes involve nakedness. They would be slaves to Shem (ibid 9:26). Since Christians held that they were the new Jews, these were their rightful owners.

The Jewish Sages had 1000 years before, explained  that the Biblical stories about the different Gentile Peoples were now invalid since one emperor had mixed all Nations (so that no nation could rise up against him). This removed any Jewish-religious support for racism forever.

Racism wasn’t always (only) skin-based. One time, Peoples thought that their own gods were superior or languages or cultures. Then, some 150 years ago, regular medical science began to look at hereditary inferiority. It was a mix of language-based superiority (German) and color obsession (blond, blue eyes). The Nazis added moral inferiority to the mix, not being happy with just being superior but committed to enslaving inferiors (Slaves) and destroying their cultures, while trying to exterminate those deemed genetically morally inferior (Holocaust).

Biologically speaking, there is only one human race left, homo sapience sapience. (Neanderthals and other human races left the globe long ago.) All humans are fit to have offspring with all other opposite-sex humans. We all have much more in common than in whatever way we differ. For many, opposites attract, and people happily marry across ethnic divides.

Europe Today

Unfortunately, European racism is not over. Two examples. Brexit, the greatest upcoming European disaster, has its roots in racism. No more foreigners; no more foreign rulings. Britons must rule the waves again.

The Netherlands has its own Santa story (Sinterklaas), based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas (270–343), bishop of Myra (present-day Turkey). The loving Right Reverend is not assisted by elves but by Zwarte Pieten, his servants in blackface who could take you away if you’d been too evil a child. The Dutch now are heavily divided between those who say, hands off of our cultural roots and those who understand that this blackface lays the base of racist fears in children. Especially when I was young, there were no dark-skinned people in the Low Countries. Negroid then was always scary. A country that amassed its wealth by colonialism and slave trade had not done with its racism.

In fact, most Whites are so uncomfortable in their own skin that they can’t be normal around non-Whites, can’t dance, and can’t be physically close without escaping into sex. White babies, seeing how uptight their parents are, often decide that they want nothing to do with these cold people — perpetuating White self-hatred, the root of White racism.

Therefore, Whites need to sit together (Non-Whites have enough to handle — let’s solve it between us; we made the mess, we clean it up.) and help each other shed their fears and intolerance of their fears. They need to learn that they are OK and how to take their humble place among the majority of the world — really deeply connected to all Whites (including themselves) and thereby to all people — and all of creation.

White racism kills non-Whites and emotionally maims Whites. That’s ‘good.’ We don’t need to end racism to help the poor Blacks (yet another stereotype). Rather, we should do so for our own sake. Because we can’t be proud of ourselves while tolerating the embarrassment of racism.

Blackface

Call me stupid but I must admit that I had to think very hard before I could understand the present upset in North America with blackface. They know what Afro-Americans look like. What does it matter if some pink-faced guys put on very dark make-up? But now I understand.

How do I feel when someone would put on a giant nose to impersonate a Jew? Or when a Jew tells jokes on Jews to Gentiles? Or when cis-men go in drag to amuse cis-gender onlookers? What’s especially bad is the caricaturing and reducing ‘the other’ to stereotypes and issues.

Racism kills. Blackface doesn’t kill. But it surely signals tolerance for lethal racism. No more blackface. It’s an embarrassment to us Whites.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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