National Review Online (NRO) blogger Reihan Salam—a self-declared “conservative” who also writes for the left-wing publication, Slate—recently charged those who prefer intra-racial dating with being “racist.”
Referencing a questionnaire on the dating site OkCupid, Salam expressed his shock over just how many people admitted to having “strong same-race preferences.” “One would think,” Salam writes, “that many people who do have such preferences would either choose not to disclose them publicly, or choose to skip the question entirely.”
Such people are “clueless,” Salam continues, for “the moral appropriateness” of their practices is questionable.
The idea here seems to be something like this: Same-race preferences (at least when indulged in by whites) are bad because they lead to “in-group favoritism.” The latter is bad (at least when indulged in by whites), because it leads to “racial inequality.” This in turn is bad, for it is synonymous with “racism.”
And, of course, “racism” (at least when indulged in by whites) is the worse.
Government policies designed to combat “in-group favoritism” are bound to fail, Salam laments, for “in-group favoritism is a powerful human impulse.” Thus, it’s more feasible for all decent, respectable types to simply aspire to “expand the boundaries of the in-group [.]” Approvingly referring back to “one of the more provocative Ph.D. dissertations I’ve ever read”—The Duty to Miscegenate—Salam explains how this can be done. First, and most obviously, is by way of interracial procreation. He also asserts the need for more "inter-dining." "The rural white Southerner," he remarks, "who dines with nonwhites as a matter of course is doing more to tackle stigma than the urbane white hipster who hardly ever does the same."
Salam concludes his essay by underscoring that "it’s [not] too much to ask those who do express such [same-race] preferences, and those who live them in practice, to reflect on them, and on how there might be more than fighting racism than voting ‘the right way.’"
That Salam’s article could make it out of a college freshman course in critical thinking or ethics without being saturated in red ink, let alone be published in a widely read venue (however much of a rag), is a truly scandalous commentary on the intellectual and moral state of our culture. That he considers himself a "conservative," and is so considered by the folks at National Review (and beyond?), speaks volumes about the state of contemporary "conservatism."
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.