Taylor Jared - White identity

Author : Taylor Jared
Title : White identity Racial consciousness in the 21st century
Year : 2011

Link download : Taylor_Jared_-_White_identity.zip

Introduction. On March 13, 1961, black boxer Floyd Patterson knocked out Swedish challenger Ingemar Johansson to retain the world heavyweight title. I was nine years old and knew nothing about boxing, but my eye was caught by a newspaper picture of the victorious Patterson standing over Johansson, out cold on the canvas. I read the article and asked my father if this meant no one on earth could beat Patterson. He said that was right; Patterson was the best boxer in the world. I remember thinking to myself that this just wasn’t right. Surely, there must be one of our guys—a white guy—who could beat him. Floyd Patterson was an American like me, while Ingemar Johansson was a foreigner, a Swede, but I still wanted the white man to win. Readers will no doubt dismiss these thoughts of a nine-year-old child as “racism”—as prejudice I learned from my surroundings—but they should not be so hasty. My parents were missionaries, and I was born and reared in Japan. At age nine I had no experience of black people. My parents had always said that all races were equal and that all people were children of God. I also had no special objection to Patterson because he was black. I think I would have been just as perplexed if Johansson had been knocked out by an Arab or a Chinese. As I grew up I adopted my parents’ liberal views of race, and forgot all about Patterson and Johansson. In fact, as a young liberal I would have been ashamed to recall that I had rooted for the white man rather than the American. It was only when I was in my 40s and began to question conventional assumptions about race that I even remembered what I had thought about that 1961 title fight. As we will see in Chapter 4, children of all races have untutored racial preferences that may be part of their nature. It serves little purpose to call these preferences “racism,” as if they were a moral failing. They appear to be an expression of natural racial identity, which arises far earlier than most people realize and can persist despite efforts to suppress it. Clever experiments in adults show that they retain these preferences, even when they are convinced they do not. Racial identity can be condemned, fought, ignored, or cultivated, but it is unrealistic for a society to pretend it does not exist. ...

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