I wound up in a comment chain last week that was attached to an editorial cartoon and a bigot was attempting to put forth “logical” arguments for taking a pro-white stance on all matters (it’s evidently all a matter of tribalism, and whites who are for equality have just been brainwashed to think this way, y’all). Because of course, everything comes down to self-interest in our me-first world, and people can’t possibly have empathy toward every human being because to do so is unnatural. And in the midst of his very long-winded though actually well-thought out in a closed loop way arguments was the statement that what other races want is the destruction of the white race. Complete annihilation. He used the word genocide somewhere in there as well. And said that all that is wanted is for people to break into tribes again, and if the white tribe just happens to have a bigger slice than all the other tribes combined, it was natural selection, etc.
It suddenly dawned on me why it is so difficult to get through to bigots. They are literally afraid of becoming not just obsolete, not just losing power, but of losing EVERYTHING. They are walking around full of hate because in essence they’re concerned that their pure-blooded great granddaughter may not have the option of a purely white man to reproduce with. Which is such a crazy fear to me, because these are also generally the people who don’t give a crap about the environment, which is also important for their great granddaughter, nor are they particular concerned about investing back into either the population or the infrastructure of our country, which again seems kind of important for future generations. The kind of mental gymnastics that has to be done to justify clinging to these fears is astounding, honestly.
As far as the tribal aspects go, there are hereditary traits we carry. There are also personal preferences we all have, as far as who we want to mate with and what makes us comfortable. For example, I am attracted to men. I find women the more beautiful of the two genders from an artistic/aesthetic viewpoint, but definitely am biologically attracted to men. When it comes to potential mates, though, I have to be connected mentally. If there’s no stimulation in the mind, there isn’t going to be any stimulation for me anywhere else, if you know what I mean. But here’s a good measure of whether something is a personal preference and whether something is a prejudice – it’s a prejudice if you dehumanize anyone who doesn’t meet your preference, or if you want your preferences put onto everyone in the society you live and get angry when society doesn’t live up to your personal preferences.
So maybe yes, tribalism worked for us when we were just starting to come into groups. But to think that it still serves a purpose is so short-sighted. It is giving in to the scarcity mindset that those really in control put on us. It’s us or them but the only people really winning are those above it all pushing the buttons.
Realizing how deep the fear runs will change my approach when I’m forced into interactions with bigoted people in the future. I won’t tolerate the actions taken out of fear, but I will come from a place of sympathy toward the fear and division that runs deep inside. And I will use my white privilege to engage these people when I can and attempt to educate them on the way we’re all interconnected and convince them to lay aside the fear that is at the root of their hatred. I probably won’t break through to many, but maybe I can to a few.