The issues of race and gender seem to have blown up here at Gonzo Times. This has not been without resistance. The article I posted in October specifically seems to be getting a lot of attention. I have ran into the classic colorblind concepts in response to much of what was written. I thought to myself that I would lay off the subject a while and get to something more along the lines of economics or warfare but then I realized that the amount of resistance to discussing such concepts seems to be an indicator that there is a great deal that needs to be said, and that the problem is real.
We must not fool ourselves into thinking that they are issues we are immune to. I asked why certain people groups are less dominant in the libertarian and anarchist circles. This was often met with defense of what is. The libertarians seem to take an extremely right wing stance on the subject. They regurgitate the Rush Limbaugh take on racism. They wonder why people call them racist. If we are unwilling to discuss the issues how are we any different from the right wing who also refuses to discuss the issues?
The ‘race card’ ‘race baiting’ and other common right wing catch phrases seem to be brought up. Some of this is from an individuals desire to not discuss a problem and some of it is just from people who do not see the problems. Just about any people group is and can be ethnocentric. We are not immune to this. Looking outside and hearing others will help us to break free from this. We don’t see where our problems lie, but it is easy to point out the flaws in others. One of the things that I have done in Gonzo Times is to challenge my beliefs. This has led to much of the writing you read on the site.
Why is it that when the issue of gender is brought up so many libertarians are upset? I see few libertarian publications addressing the issues, they are too busy with their heads in economics as the end all answer to every problem. Are race or gender issues really something that will be solved with economics? If you believe such then you really are clinging to a Utopian belief of libertarianism. Some are offended and call me a communist. Some jump to the conclusion that the only answer is the state. I will say now that the absence of a state is not the answer to racism or sexism. I will also state that currently under the state we see proof that the answer is not the state. It has not been eliminated under the state or outside of the state. When we present real workable solutions to these issues outside of the state maybe then the label of racist and sexist might fall away. As long as the issues are considered non-issues and we look away the labels will stick.
This article is not about racism or sexism specifically but the reaction of the libertarian and some anarchists when the issues are brought up. These are issues deeply ingrained in society and our perspectives of what is and should be. It is in our entertainment, news, media and in our language. I am not implying or stating that libertarians are racist. I am not saying that all white men are racist. I am however stating that there are some reactions to race and gender issues when I bring them up here and other places from libertarians that are counter productive.
I am often attacked or quickly brushed aside when I bring up the issues. The issues of race and gender are met with hostility by many within libertarian circles. Shall these issues continue to go under our radar? The right wing tends to wish them away and pretend there is no issue of race or gender. They often point to the symptoms of the problem as the justification of the problem. Those who cling to the state for an answer and do not wish the state to address this issue I ask why is it you look to the state for justice in other areas of injustice but not this one?
We tend to quickly address issues pertaining to race and gender with one word solutions. For those who are facing such issues one word is not sufficient. Our movement should be listening to those who have been impacted by these problems. The idea that we are just going to accept racism is absurd. The injustices of racism and sexism are the issues we should speak out against. We do not accept the injustice of rape, theft or murder. Why then should we accept these? If this is a movement that embraces oppression then I want nothing to do with it. I would rather join the ranks of the womanists.
Often the issues that come up I do not think are complete racism. They often may come from people with truly good intentions not seeing the barriers that are being put up. This barrier is often one of ethnocentrism. This is not unique to the white man any more than it is exclusive to other people groups. This is one that can throw up barriers and often leads to being blind of the issues that impact another. How myopic is your perspective? I’m certain that mine can be at times but the problem is that we do not see our own blind spots easily.
Many right libertarians spend a great deal of time reading Austrian theories and delving into economic discussions only to get the same redundant sound bytes from Rachel Maddow fans in response. The frustration is there that people have not taken the time to learn about an issue or to truly comprehend what it is you are saying or where you claim the problems lie. They just come back with phrases that they hear recited daily in the news. The issue of race is often met with the same wall. Countless intellectuals have studied these issues and some libertarians almost steal the right wing responses to these issues they have not taken the time to research or learn about. Many libertarians can often become the sound bite replay they so often are frustrated with.
There are libertarians who have addressed these issues. There is often a strong movement towards patriarchal apologetics that seems to attract many. I would dare say that many who I know either see it as a non-issue or are afraid to speak out on this topic for fear of the reactions they will receive. I have met a hostile reception on many occasions in addressing these issues. Then there are those who have also embraced it with open arms or at least without taking a defense. Taking a defense when bringing up certain disparities is indicative of a problem that may be laying under the surface here.
You must choose to deny the issues or confront them. They will not go away and we will not be able to move forward until we have confronted them. The denial will not homogenize society. It will only create greater rifts and support oppressive social norms.
I predict that my calling this subject out will be met with quick uncritical dismissals. I will be called a ‘communist’ or be said to be ‘playing the race card’. These are the common reactions. I also suspect that many will deny that any issues of race or gender exist. I hope that people will open dialogue and seriously begin to discuss issues or race and gender instead of continuing to look the other way.
I want to be clear that many libertarians have done so and are not guilty of trying to quiet the discussion. Many have left insightful comments and have not thrown up a defensive wall when these issues come up. I was not planning on writing on race or gender this week. It just so happened that the beginning of the week it was a topic that many writers here brought up by coincidence. I had issues of the EPA and government footing the bill for corporate PR to discuss, but those took a back seat after the strong reactions I got from what was brought up earlier this week. At first I just considered avoiding race issues but then realized that I was caving and allowing this issue to be shut down. I can not let that happen.