Racial differences do not justify racism

When I read far-right or far-left websites, a justification for racism I often hear is that race X is worse in way Y and hence deserves to be treated worse. E.g:

  • Black people commit more crime, use more state handouts, contribute less to science etc… Hence we should reduce the benefits given to unemployed blacks/have harsher punishments for black criminals/other racist policy etc…
  • White people are more racist/sexist, more privileged, more hateful etc… Hence we should make whites pay reparations/make it harder for white children to get into university/racist policy Y etc…

Both make the same mistake. Even if you accept that

  • the races or ethnicity’s they talk about are real or somehow meaningful
  • their narrative that race A is worse than race B
  • their narrative that race A is worse due to internal as opposed to external reasons

they’re still wrong. Why? Because even if a group is on average bad and deserves to be punished, that does not mean that every member of that group is bad. Groups don’t exist. They’re aggregations. What racists want you to do is stop thinking about individuals and instead see each person as an extension of a collective. That’s wrong. A black person who obeys the law should not be held morally liable for the actions of a criminal who happens to have the same skin color as them. A white immigrant who lives in a trailer park should not be punished because slaveholders descendent have wealth built on blood.

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