Racial/Ethnic racism and the follow-on discrimination are central to the American and global dilemma.(1) Once in power, dominant groups seek to retain their dominance and power.(2) However, those eternal optimists among us believe that there are solutions to the racism problem; i.e., populations can be taught and learn to operate as “antiracists” or that economic markets can dissuade economic agents from practicing discrimination based on race/ethnicity. This may be true, but these are only partial and temporary responses to the problem. They represent only the first play of a multi-play strategic game, and they cannot produce a durable long-run equilibrium.
Racism is in our DNA whether we are dominators or the dominated. Like the “original sin,” once a dominant group comes to the fore through the imposition of superiority using racist, malicious, egregious, and oppressive tactics, even if acts of atonement are offered, something akin to eschatological/cataclysmic salvation must occur for peace to return.
This “salvation” can come in at least three forms: (1) Homogenization of humans by eliminating racial/ethnic physical (phenotypical) differences; (2) homogenization of the human mind so that there are no deviations from what is established as an acceptable status quo; or (3) destruction of the society.
We arrive at this conclusion based on a reality: “All it Takes is One.”(3) That is, a single individual is likely to search history, identify past conditions, and then persuade and mobilize others to seek revenge or justice, or a return to a former status quo.
Realize that racism is embedded in every aspect of life: Oral and written literatures (of the nonfiction and fiction variety); art (visual and aural, digital, or otherwise); architecture; sports; etc. To know life (past and present) is to know racism. Therefore, members of groups, who come to know about historical racism as dominators or dominated, are likely to be incentivized to act in response to that history.
Specifically, a spirit of freedom is eternal among humans, and dominated groups (whether long dominated or former dominators) tend to seek freedom from domination. History reflects this fact. If the dominated rise to supersede the former dominator, a knowing of history may motivate the new dominator to engage in acts of revenge or justice against the former dominator. On the other hand, if the dominated begins to emerge/rise vis-à-vis a dominator, the latter may recall history, move to thwart that emergence/rise, and act to return the dominated to their former state. This par de deux of dominator and dominated based on racism—this rising and falling—is not a stable, long-run equilibrium.
Accordingly, we arrive at the following three alternatives as potential solutions: All seek to produce a durable equilibrium. They feature two forms of homogenization and destruction.
(1) Physical/Phenotype homogenization.—A dominator may seek to homogenize the population so that races and ethnicities (different phenotypes) disappear. This is a long and arduous undertaking, but there is evidence of it today—especially in the Western World. The logic is, even if a fully homogeneous population knows that it was previously comprised of dominator and dominated groups, because those groups have disappeared, there is no longer a need or reason to seek revenge/justice. In addition, because the population is homogeneous, the issue of domination based on race/ethnicity is irrelevant.
(2) Mental homogenization.—Using media, all forms of technology, and communications, it is possible to homogenize the minds of populations (mind control) so that there is little to no deviation from the accepted status quo (even with dominators and dominated existing). If, in response to knowledge of history, dominated deviants arise seeking revenge/justice or dominator deviants arise seeking to return emerging/rising dominated to their former states, then media, technology, and communications are employed to identify such deviants instantaneously and to neutralize or eliminate them. The militarization of police in an increasingly near police state supports this strategy for homogenizing populations mentally.
(3) Destruction.—If the two homogenization alternatives are unsuccessful, then domina- tors and the dominated continue in struggle: To obtain freedom, to rise, to seek revenge/justice, or to reimpose domination. Ultimately, this struggle can motivate destructive acts that may be designed to remove knowledge of history (reflecting racism in all its forms) from the society.(4) In a worst-case scenario, this would constitute the cataclysmic event already mentioned. It would be a “Great Reset” of the WW III variety and a new start sans racism.
Man, in his limited wisdom, failed to see solutions to his problems. The four seasons, for example, when mapped to “Black, Red, Yellow, and White” human types, symbolize that for long-term and stable life on Earth there must be a rotation of control and power. Racial/Ethnic groups should willingly give way to each other so that there can be renewals and extension of man’s progress and growth on the planet.
We should recognize that we cannot all escape this planet at any point soon. Consequently, we should allow these periodic changes in leadership and progress to occur. When a dominant group concludes that its offerings are insufficient responses to problems/conditions, then it should step aside and permit a formerly dominated group to rise to lead and usher in progress.
The failure of the current dominant group to lead with the wisdom that the Earth’s health is our wealth, the groups’ sole preoccupation with materialism, and its refusal to relinquish control to those better prepared to lead all portend a forthcoming crisis.
All over the world, the dominator is promoting the physical homogenization of races/ethnicities. Also, it is transforming the society with media, technology, communications, and individualized devices so that the unaware are increasingly unable to generate independent thought. Moreover, the era of dominators’ ability to monitor and control individual thought and behavior is upon us.(5)
We concur that these two alternatives represent a scientific approach to resolving the racism problem, but both require the dominated to bow to the control/will of the dominator.
However, among the dominated are some who observe the implementation of these alternatives and opt out. Those who reject the dominator’s plans will fight in opposition to them. As noted, effective opposition to alternatives 1 and 2 can lead to the feared cataclysmic destruction described as alternative 3.
If the dominator concedes that alternatives 1, 2, and 3 are not acceptable ways ahead and promises to commit to the above-described rotation of power, the following questions arise: (A) Will the dominator honor promises? and (B) Who should dominate next? Given the uncertainty associated with answers to these questions, the strategic and global game of life with racism will likely continue with pain and suffering for the dominated. That is, until the dominated conclude that sufficient power is assembled to strike an effective blow for liberty, and that it is better to die than to live under racism’s oppression. This places us back at alternative 3—cataclysmic destruction.
Another potential alternative is the establishment of an “independent authority” to enforce the rotation of power and the obliteration of racism wherever it exists. But this “independent authority” comes with its own set of new questions and problems.
Racism may be a mutant genie that is non-reinsertable into a bottle and made to disappear.
1 Interpreting Ibram X. Kendi (2019), we define racism as extending “support for racist policies through actions or inaction or expressing racist ideas.” See p. 14 of How to be an Antiracist: One World, New York. Note that to be racist and to exhibit racism requires the power to impose one’s discriminatory ideas and beliefs that are based on race/ethnicity.
2 The venerable Frederick Douglass said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” This is from Douglass’s August 3, 1847 “West Indian Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York. (https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress/; Ret. 092523). We add: One must have power to extract what is demanded.
3 See B. B. Robinson (2020), and Chapter 3 of Exodus: A Book for Black Americans Suggesting a Way Out and Up, BlackEconomics.org, Honolulu. (Ret. 092523).
4 This condition is reflected in book burnings as in the famous movie Fahrenheit 451, and in current efforts—for example—to rewrite and ban books that include Critical Race Theory (CRT).
5 Consider the ongoing work of futurist Yuval Noah Harari, who contends that AI will control us and our futures. See “AI and Future of Humanity” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWiM-LuRe6w). (Ret. 092623).