Monday 11 September 2023

Can I change race?


I started reading David Copperfield earlier this year and got stuck. I was about a quarter of the way through and finding it a bit tough going and so I laid it aside. It might have stayed there, but something brought me back. Could I really be defeated by Dickens when I had managed Dostoevsky in Russian? So, I finished Copperfield’s adventures found the book wonderful and learned a lesson that was quite unexpected.

The landscape of London is quite different. Copperfield walks through countryside to get to Highgate. But it is the attitudes that are unimaginably different.  Copperfield must ask permission to court Dora. Steerforth cannot possibly marry Emily because she is working class, but the sexual relationship she has with him makes it impossible for her to marry anyone else.

But the biggest change between the early nineteenth century and today is of course the demographic makeup of the UK. There are no ethnic minorities in Dickens apart from Fagin. Indeed, hardly anyone is from abroad. The ethnic makeup of Britain had barely changed since the Norman Conquest.

But there is now a concerted effort to change this truth and to make the past more representative of the present.

The people whose families arrived in the UK since the 1950 have the right to the same fair and equal treatment as everyone else. It is wrong to discriminate against someone because of race or religion or any other characteristic.

It is reasonable that jobs, sporting teams, TV programmes and films set in modern Britain should reflect Britain as it is today. But it is not unreasonable that nine or ten members or indeed every member of sports team should be white so long as people from ethnic minorities are not discriminated against, because this does reflect the demographic situation.

But the demand now is not merely that the present should reflect the demographic reality of modern Britain, but that the past should too. This is a deception and the next woke battle, which will take it in a yet stranger direction.

Until very recently films based on classic English literature would have casts that reflected the characters. Dickens didn’t have black characters because he rarely if ever saw black people. To suppose that Pip in Great Expectations would meet a black Estella is to imagine something almost impossible in the society of the time. If Steerforth cannot marry Emily because she is working class, is it likely that he would marry her if she were black?

The idea that Dev Patel could walk through nineteenth century London while being treated equally by white people and without meeting racial prejudice is preposterous. If Dora’s father opposed Copperfield’s relationship with her even though they were colleagues, how much more would he oppose it if Copperfield were ethnically Indian?

This might all be dismissed as of no consequence. So, what if Copperfield is brown, so what if Anne Boleyn is black. It provides equal opportunities for actors. But the important issue is the reason why there is such a concerted attempt to pretend that the past was other than it was.

If Britain was always a multiethnic, multiracial society and we can show this because David Copperfield was brown, and Anne Boleyn was black then the present demographic makeup of the UK is not really a change at all. In embracing the present multicultural Britain, we are embracing the past too and demonstrating the one follows from the other. The children of David Copperfield or his real-life equivalent were diverse, and their descendants were the diverse population we have today.

People from ethnic minorities are British citizens. We are not allowed to make a distinction between British ethnicity and other ethnicities. It would be divisive to make the distinction. We are white British, or black British in the census. There is no option to say I have a British ethnicity.

But if this is true then it follows that a British character such as Copperfield or a British historical figure like Anne Boleyn could also be black British even if this is obviously false.

Once you get rid of the concept of a British ethnicity and this may well be necessary in a multiracial society where everyone is equally British, then the past too becomes multiethnic even if it wasn’t.

Even the British origin myths such as Gawain and the Green Knight involve Dev Patel pretending that Gawain could have been Indian. It’s like portraying the Bhagavad Gita as a conversation between King Arthur and Merlin.

But behind all of this is something else. The whole point of the new woke religion is to do away with objective truth. What matters is how someone subjectively feels rather than objective reality.

This has reached its peak in the concept of transgender. It doesn’t matter if your DNA says that you are a man or if you have a male body, the feeling that you are in reality a woman is more important. The result is to subjectify sex and gender to the extent that anyone without any sort of medical diagnosis can legally change sex and a man can become a woman.

From the objective point of view this is absurd and previous generations would immediately have pointed this out. But the triumph of feeling over fact has reached the stage where men can give birth and there is talk of transplanting wombs into male bodies so that they can grow babies.

But it is not merely sex and gender that have been made a matter of subjectivity. Race too is a social construct. If men can become women, why can’t black people become white people?

Well, they can? David Copperfield is white. Anne Boleyn was white. Now we see them transformed from a white character to a black or brown actor. If nineteenth century London was 99.9% white, now we see it transformed to a multiracial society like London today.

We are not there yet. While Dev Patel can play David Copperfield try including white actors in the Mahābhārata. Even opera and theatre that was designed originally for white actors such as the Mikado, Othello or Turandot cannot now be played by white actors without controversy.

Transracialism still only works one way. White characters can become black, white historical figures can become black, but not the other way round.

But if race really is a social construct, then it will have to embrace equal opportunity. Otherwise, it is the equivalent of saying that men can become women, but women cannot become men.

But once you allow that DNA or physical characteristics do not determine sex and gender, then it will logically follow that they do not determine race or indeed anything else.

We accept this already with cases of mixed race. Prince Harry’s children may define themselves as black because they have a black mother even if no one could guess that they were. But once you allow self-definition of race for one person how can you deny it for another?

A Redenção de Cam (Redemption of Ham) by Modesto Brocos

The problem for woke is this, however. It both depends on race being a social construct and race being something physically visible. If eleven white women play for the England football team, what is to prevent half of them saying they are really black? But you don’t have black parents? So, what. We have already accepted that being British has nothing to do with ancestry.

So, what is to prevent me defining myself as black even if I can trace my ancestry to the Norman Conquest? It cannot be my DNA that prevents me, because it doesn’t prevent me changing sex. It cannot be my appearance, because Prince Harry’s children can define themselves as they please.

At this point the race relations industry collapses. Critical race theory tells us that Black people cannot be racist against other black people and cannot be racist against white people, because white people have “white privilege”. But this means that if a white person says something derogatory against a black person, he can merely say I am black. He may not look black, but everyone if you go back far enough has a black ancestor. What’s more if I merely feel black, if I identify with other black people who is to say I can’t because of my appearance if Prince Harry’s children can. What has it to do with what I look like?

This is the endgame of woke. If David Copperfield can be black, why can’t I? In that case I will according to woke theory be incapable of being racist. There will no longer be an objective concept of race.

Unfortunately, too when white can become black, and men can become women there will no longer be an objective concept of anything. Humanity will have been remade and we will at last be ready for socialism.

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