Thinking Unconstrained

General place of discussion. Topics can span a wide range including but not limited to, observations, insights, problems, solutions, proposals, and hypothetical scenarios. Walk a fine balance between imagination and reality and don't get caught by the trappings of either one.
The focus of this topic is to identify the ephemeral social thoughts of the Zeitgeist pervading the early 21st century. These are named and placed together to get an overall picture of their relationships, which perhaps will also serve as a starting point in forming new social thoughts of the future. I will try to keep each definition as brief as I can. In-depth discussions should have their own dedicated topics so please keep that in mind, and create new topics if need be. I will initially be focusing on social injustice terms that I believe have the highest relevance at this point in time. However this doesn't necessarily mean that the entire topic should go in that direction. It simply means that that's what I think needs to be said now.

I would like to begin with what I refer to as "Blackism". At this point if you're immediately equating this term with the "racial" concept of "black", then indeed you're correct. To cite the "wise" words of Dr. Zaius from the film "Planet of the Apes", "It's a question of simian survival" that this observation be identified, called out and laid bare for what it is. And if you're wincing now (I hope you are), either by the fear of a possible trip-up on my part in using "black-listed" words, or my blatant insensitive quotation of a movie character from a film that played on the fear of the "blacks", then I'll take that as an affirmation of its priority.

Blackism - In the context of the USA, to be labelled a "black" person is a loaded term with a long history of exploitation and dehumanization by the so-called "white" people, and it invokes uncomfortable emotions to many who identify with such characterizations. Historically to be called "black" meant that you were a pariah in "white" society and that you were a second class citizen. Since the black civil rights movement of the 1960's, the term had undergone a revision of sorts. For a while it had become a word that encompassed any who self-identifies as being descendants of the slaves brought from Africa to the USA. With increased immigration and relaxed social stigmatization (including in romantic affairs), the term was extended to include any who "looked the part". The "one drop" rule was applied most effectively to "keep the race pure and segregated". Alas such lines of thought were not constrained to the past but persist in contemporary society. But strangely enough, today there are many who have no discernible semblance of African heritage from a phenotypical point of view but none the less insist that they are "black". Perhaps the "one drop" rule is still in effect but it has now taken a new dimension and perform a new function. There are also many who have no affinity, relation, or inclination to associate with the African slave identity but choose either willingly or by social pressure to adopt it in order to fit the social mold. In essence they are all willing and unwilling participants of blackism, a form of identification of being "black" that no longer has the same meaning as it once had. So what is blackism? To put it bluntly, it's being "not white". It's the rejection of identifying oneself as "white", which can be for many reasons, both voluntary and involuntary, and which does not actually necessitate that one has recent African admixture in their genes. In other words, it is now socially acceptable to be "black" by choice, regardless of the person's ancestry. As we shall see later, this choice of "racial" characterization is applicable for other groups as well. But first, what does being "not white" mean? To adequately answer this, we must examine what I refer to as, "whiteism".

Whiteism - The term "white" used to be constrained to western Europeans and those who exclusively descended from them. In the context of a large melting pot such as the USA, the term "white" became a way of nullifying the ethnic diversity of the European immigrants, allowing them to adopt a new identity of "white Americans" and shed their old allegiances and customs. To unite the people to be "white", this new type of grouping needed contrast, namely the opposite - the "black" people. In essence, "white" people could not exist without setting them apart from the "black" people. Today, many so called "white" people range in ethnicity derived from western Europe extending across half of Eurasia, well into Persia. Many are in fact so mixed that they're not even aware of their genetic origins and have no choice but to refer to each other as "white". That's OK because after all, the white club is the best club with all the perks and you don't want to be labelled as anything else if you can help it. Or so it seemed for a long time. Similar to "blackism", now there are "white" people who prefer to characterize themselves as mixed or as belonging to other "racial" characterizations. In other words, being "white" is now a choice and people are recognizing the inadequacy of labeling individuals along lines of historically hateful divisions. Or perhaps they see advantages in identifying using other "racial" characterizations or for other personal reasons. In any case, what this boils down to is that "whiteism" is defined as the desire and the strong preference to be labelled "white" and not to be labelled as any other "race". It's a socially inherited bigotry that perpetuates the thought that it is not OK to be anything but be "white" and hence is fundamentally and blatantly "racist" and antiquated.

So that covers what "blackism" and "whiteism" are and what they mean in the context of the American societal thought. But where does that leave other groups such as "Asians" and "Hispanics" etc.? Frankly the cultural dissolution hadn't happened to such an extent in these groups and hence there's no strong sense of collective unity among them. For example, an Ecuadorian does not have a unifying relationship with a Brazilian, nor a Sri Lankan with a Taiwanese. Therefore there are no equivalents such as "Asianism" and "Hispanicism" in the context of a "racial" divide in the USA. Although as a side note, there is a possible "Asianism" in the context of east Asian countries in the Sinosphere, perhaps something that might grow out of cultural Sinocentricism. But that likely isn't going to happen any time soon as many Asian nations are historically Sinophobic and are wary of Chinese imperial influence. The structure itself however is an example of what is commonly referred to as pan-nationalism. This term too is "racist" in its fundamental form, and I contend that this entire notion of a "race" is outdated and only serves to perpetuate old bigotry and as a social distraction to be taken advantage of. Race is a pseudo-scientific characterization and wholly inadequate in the context of a meltingpot population descended from immigrants. To borrow the lyrics of a famous transracial "king of pop", "It don't matter if you're blackist or whiteist". Or if you prefer, according to an iconic speech by MLK, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Indeed to perpetuate the relevance of characterizing people by color or in "racial" terms is itself the definition of a "racist" view. The abandonment of this view is the path out of racial bigotry and these blackist and whiteist identities must be allowed to fade into complete irrelevance as they were supposed to. Besides, human bigotry will find other ways of manifesting. This much is certain.
If one was to trust in the concept of human progress, then the eventual obsolescence of the term "race" is guaranteed. For this to happen, we must first observe that the term itself is tragically antiquated and has no bearing on the actual genetic or cultural makeup of the peoples of Earth. It was a crude way of phenotypically characterizing isolated populations of Homo Sapiens Sapiens species across the world in a view that placed the Europeans at the top - i.e. "white" - the pure, the pristine, without blemish, the light etc. Never mind that aside from some very pale people in heavily overcast nations, Europeans are actually beige or off-white or pink or some other various shades of light brown. There are other terms such as Caucasians or Arians, which insinuate that Europeans are from the Caucus region and hence share an affinity with the darker peoples that inhabit there. Perhaps "white" is a cleaner way of ignoring this annoying detail and hence is more widely used. If racial bigotry is to survive and remain relevant in the 21st century, it would be better to use a more accurate measure and use the terms that are scientifically supported. After all, labeling people by "race" was justified only because men of learning said that that's how we should view the world. In other words, the term "race" as a tool to justify bigotry is no longer adequate in an age of genetic advancements. To explain what I mean, let us examine a new term - "Haplogroupism".

Haplogroupism - In genetics, the closest analogue to the existing "racial" term is the mitochondrial(mt) DNA haplogroup. The vast majority of indigenous Africans belong to the haplogroup L. In contrast, the rest of humanity have been generously assigned various letters of the alphabet to describe their haplogroups - W, A, C, K, X, etc. Could this be a sheer coincidence or does it seem strange that Africans tend to get generalized a lot, including at a genetic level, even though the continent reportedly contains the richest genetic variation among all human populations? It almost seems as if a round table of bigwig geneticists decided to clump all Africans together and call them the L-Haplogroup. Perhaps the thinking was that they're the big Ls, the Losers of every situation on the world stage. If the learned men of science insist upon using genetics to view all "blacks" as the "L"s, then let the profane masses become "haplogroupists" and keep up the charade of faux superiority. It certainly would modernize the old prejudice with the added benefit of being scientifically supported. One can only hope that those who examine such genetic details will eventually realize that humanity as a species is at least 150 thousand years old with a rich history waiting to be uncovered and explored. And that comparing Ls with Hs in search for genetic superiority as an excuse to demean fellow human beings is an exercise of splitting vellus monkey hair.

But perhaps the bigots of society should go further in their prejudices and instead be looking at other hominid admixtures and start measuring the purity of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens genetics of various populations. Surely genetics must find an excuse to debase one another and call each other using sub-human terms; to dehumanize and make apes and monkeys out of one another. This would lead to a situation I refer to as, Homopuritanism or Homoexclusivism.

Homoexclusivism - This is a term used to describe the prejudiced views of human beings based on perceived differences due to genetic contributions from other Homo (man) variants. i.e. genetic material not from Homo Sapiens Sapiens. These include Homo Neanderthalensis, Homo Denisovan, Homo Cromagnon and Homo Erectus etc. The presence or absence of these genetic admixtures from extinct Homo variants can be used to support the traditional "racial" views, and the gross generalizations and unfair treatment that can occur among those who gravitate toward bigotry. Not only that, in a possible scenario where genetic engineering will inject genetic materials from other species into humans, this term would also be applied to separate the "mutants" from the "norms". The same could occur if mechanization or computer augmentation was to be deployed. These kinds of scenarios have been popularized in many science fictions but it's impossible to say if any of them will actually occur in the near future. By all accounts, all assume that they would be discriminated against due to our inherent human nature. I concur. They would certainly encounter the prejudice of homoexclusivism.

No matter what may come down the floodgates of history, prejudices along lines of genetics, kinship, and tribalism will always exist. But that doesn't mean that those lines of thought should ever be supported either directly or indirectly, excused or even embraced. They must always be exposed to reveal the ugly shrouded bigotry lying underneath, and the infernal desires to debase the human character to the level of beasts. In other words, we must all strive to nurture our humanity, and lose the beast within.
Prejudice isn't constrained to genetics and is actually quite prevalent across many different social groupings. For example, religious and political discriminations are quite common and are rather frequently expected as part of normal social behavior. Such things are assumed to be acceptable due to their innate calls for competition and ideological purity, even though these ideas may lead to wars and tremendous human misery. Collectively we can either condemn them all or allow all forms of prejudices to exist. Or we need to draw clear boundaries and state what is acceptable and what is not.

Without getting into the nitty gritty details of lawyer-speak, we can in general state that if the person in question has a choice in the matter of belonging to a group and has the freedom to change their allegiance, then that's fair game - up to a point, provided that the person is in no way harming anyone either directly, or indirectly. But often times such boundaries cannot be clearly cut in this way. And what may have been understood to be a personal choice or normal behavior of socially-acceptable condescension at one point in time, become reversed and stigmatized by new groups and generations with new understanding; who recognize the ugly and hateful outlooks of the ignorant and the insecure.

Most of the time, ignorance is battled through knowledge and acclimatization to the minor groups through the media. The more one is exposed to the characters of little understood groups, the more socially accepting one becomes as the compulsion to associate and exert their understanding upon the world soon becomes a part of their new identity. One only needs to view the progress of western media to verify the veracity of this. However I feel that the insecurity aspect has not been addressed as well, and this has created many people who are emboldened to become the new oppressors against any who do not accept or embrace the once marginalized groups. The prejudice is then reversed and the intolerance begins once again. The oppressed become the oppressors, and the sickness spreads to the sideline bigots waiting for an excuse to vent their emotional deficiencies. All use hate and anger as their fuel and care not for reason or compassion. It's human nature to be discriminatory but doing so out of hate is the problem that we as a society need to tackle.

Frequent recipients of such discriminations are the scapegoats and those that are easy prey for the bullies. They're always few in number, have few or no support from the established authorities, and have little means of protecting themselves from the onslaught of the opposing mob. Any situation that gives even a semblance of these conditions will exhibit such a dynamic. This includes absence of representation from all forms of media, or silence from the establishment figureheads, or the act of turning a blind eye to blatant offences visible to all. The vectors of discrimination can thus be controlled by those who have the ability and the means to manipulate the moral thoughts of the life-trained. For an individual to be free from the shackles of prejudicial mindsets is to free the mind from the fear-fueled garbage that bombard the subconscious through the habitual act of the daily scrolls and swipes. It is to see through the veil of hate and reach for the kernel of love. Thus the real battle can begin and the cycle of debasement begin to unravel upon itself.
Globalization has exposed many people in the industrialized world to a wide variety of cultures and groups. The process has shifted perceptions in many ways but it has also frequently outright broken worldviews, especially in relation to popular cultures and their stated social expectations. It has also resulted in much confusion as to what is correct behavior when it comes to vilifying a group. The hard drawn lines of the old and the traditional were replaced with moral ambiguity with its underlying tenet of "be nice and don't say anything critical or you'll get sued up to your gullet or publicly shamed by so and so". Any form of criticism now has the potential to be weaponized and used against you in online mob tribunals or in an actual court by opportunistic careerists who profit mainly from such witchhunts. The inquisition circus strives to both entertain through its outrages and polarizes by stirring old hatreds to remain relevant and interesting in the eyes of the public. How far can the outrages go before they numb the senses and lose all potency? How far can the moral high ground be exploited before the profits dry up?

With 7.5 billion people in the world, expecting everyone to simply get along and remain free of any form of conflict is not realistic by a long shot. We can however have non-hateful and non-violent ways of resolving those conflicts and allow candid dialogue to take place. Without such outlets, options are limited and pressure inevitably builds up. Therefore the so-called hate speeches must take place along with other critical points of view, but they must also be done with respect and as equals in a proper setting as a process of de-escalation. All others result in strife and profit for the vultures who incite and take advantage of human suffering. But these types of conflict and their proponents are not the ones who are the most vulnerable and need their rights fought. It is as you say, the ones who have no support and are left neglected who need the focus. These are the people who do not fit into the main groups and are marginalized and ignored. They are the in-betweens, the multi-modals, and the ones in the state of transition from one major group to another. I refer to this latter group and their state of being as "Transidenticism".

Transidenticism - The most well known concept of "trans" is the transgender, which broadly speaking is a person who was born of one gender who decides later on to identify as the opposite gender. This process is often mocked for it is little understood by many, as gender is widely acknowledged to be fundamentally biologically binary and immutable. The case of having both genders (in possessing both male and female physical organs, but not at a chromosomal level) does however exist and is known as hermaphroditism. Although such cases occur in nature, this is viewed as something separate from the phenomena of identifying oneself as the opposite gender, which is often construed to mean that this form of identity is purely mental rather than having any physical basis for justification. The transgender identity currently holds the fourth letter in the "sexually deviant acronyms group" with a growing list of applicants who desire the social protection of the larger group solidarity. Even though there's an overlap between cross-dressing and engaging in homo relations, the concept of transitioning from one gender to another should actually be viewed as part of a different mechanism. The person is not just deciding to let others know of their preference for intimate attractions and engage in them, but instead desires to fundamentally change oneself and to become someone else. This is transidenticism. The preference for intimate relations is a separate characterization and is distinct from the transidentity. Such a person can never belong to the group that one leaves behind or to the group that one is transitioning towards. They are in essence a new form of being, forged in the middle of the two and have more in affinity with others who identify in similar ways through other spheres.

The transidentity thus encompasses all those who transition from one concrete group to another as a conscious desire to change and to discard the former self - for whatever reason. Transgender is only a subset of such people. Others transition racially (transracial), species-ly (transpecies), mechanically (transmech), and all forms of hypothetical thoughts related to transhumanism and its imaginings. But the mechanics of transidentity in more moderate and mundane terms also occur for many people, such as transitioning from one nationality to another (transnational), changing careers (transoccupational), or religious (transreligious) and political affiliations (transpolitical) etc. Those characterizations are not understood to be concrete and immutable however, and hence they cannot be considered to be transidentities. But they do highlight the desire to transition and change oneself is inherent in all people, and the transidentity is only a pronounced form of it. A coalescence of disparate trans- groups is then a possibility, if there's enough recognition and common ground to be found among them. In such a setting, transphobia would need to expand its definition to account for all those who transidentify. Perhaps such a solidarity will help society at large to become more tolerant towards those who do not fit in binary slots and rigid definitions.