Race as a Social Technology
People seem confused by my stance on using the popular “wokism” that “race is a social construct “, because it’s true. I don’t disagree with its truth, just it’s overuse and misuse out of context.
The intellectual discourse about the sociology of race goes far deeper and more nuanced than I am ready for on any social media timeline. The thinking I lend that theory takes lots of time to unpack and digest for my jack rabbit brain. I do see race as a social construct but not as a static, stable one that the term suggests. In my mind it looks more like a giant, morphing robotic machine adapting both to the user and the environment. It has several semiautonomous appendages and articulate systems that work together on different tasks towards one goal.
One seemingly innocuous tendril of the construct is colorism. I got quietly called out for this myself recently. It grasps the object of race categorization and sets it in a hierarchical relationship with other objects. It codifies the object/person/ group by a vague set of phenotypic traits ambiguous enough to spur the group of objects/ people/ groups to self identify and self organize, albeit poorly and inefficiently. The inaccuracies in their self organizing keep the process moving and creates dynamic energy to fuel the machine.
The excess energy is fed into the larger machines to which the racial techno-construct is a slave.
The coding is written first by brute force and violent verbal communication of what the object/person/ group is worth based on its / their color and corespondent phenotypes. Consequent generations and versions of the object/person/ groups have their coding reinforced and updated through the systems hierarchy reward/ punishment algorithms. In this way the object/ person/ group has become in essence an extension of the machine/structure and the widespread use of the code becomes self perpetuating and actuating in and of itself.
From The Huffington Post...
“Shankar Vedantam is the author of the book, The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives. A science reporter for The Washington Post, Vedantam’s research touched on skin color and how even the most liberal-minded progressive thinkers, still display a bias towards light skin. He told the New York Times in 2010: “Dozens of research studies have shown that skin tone and other racial features play powerful roles in who gets ahead and who does not. These factors regularly determine who gets hired, who gets convicted and who gets elected.”
This helps me unfurrow my brow and sigh a reluctant breath of resignation. It’s well designed and constantly refining itself. It’s autonomous and hive-minded. It’s operators have compartmentalized sections of themselves in symbiotic relationships with the machine so that their greater self never has to own the actions or even its existence.
Other appendages and systems include xenophobia, forced miscegenation, fetishism and more. All these systems work in concert with not only the social construct of race but the other social constructs that work the landscape for the humans that sit outside of the scope of the machines.