I am using a hypothetical scenario on whether technology will provide the solution to racism, either real or imagined, to get a better understanding of human nature and the present nature of racism, both old school and new school racism. Once the cosmetic surgery or genetic engineering of a “White No More” or “Black No More” becomes widespread allowing skin color to be just another fashion decision for adults and a parental choice of attributes for babies, people will be whatever skin color they want and therefore racism should disappear. After all, once there is no such thing as genetically decided permanent skin color anymore, people will no longer be able to place anyone in any white or black race category based on sense experience skin color. Or will they? The logic seems simple enough but the events of Rachel Dolezal show it may not be that easy. It is easy enough to determine why racists would want her to lose her job, but why supposed non-racists wanted her — a single mother with two kids to support with one of those kids the son of a black ex-husband and thus definitely black by political correctness standards — unemployed is confusing and difficult to grasp.
To a racist living the delusion of a genetically socially and culturally superior white race and an inferior black race, Dolezal was a fraud and a traitor to her true superior white color by pretending to be an inferior black; thus, she should be punished by the loss of her job. A racist might also say that as a fraud and traitor, she deserves to live and work with the inferior black race and thus let this loser keep her job; essentially expel her from the ‘white’ race. Either way, the reasoning is based on their delusion of white supremacy and black inferiority. To a racist, Dolezal’s qualifications, competency, education, and job performance would be irrelevant to deciding her fate, the only material issues are skin color and the appropriate punishment for her denial of her “true” skin color that is physically associated with the superior attributes of a white race.
Our predicted technology would be able to eliminate this old school racism because there will be no “true” skin color to betray nor to misrepresent and thus no superior or inferior attributes to be associated with any particular skin color. Once being white or black is not a genetic attribute firmly established at conception, a racist will eventually lose the ability to make racist associations and until then will lose the ability to do anything about any racist associations they do make because they will not know who is truly white or black by their or their relatives’ physical appearance. Saying a person is black and therefore inferior so that one can discriminate against or oppress that person because the person is full, ½, 1/4, 1/8, or whatever ‘black’ is useless if the full, ½, 1/4, 1/8, or whatever ‘black’ may in fact all be white and the same is true of the converse. In order to maintain their racist language fabric in this new technological reality, racists would actually have to establish a correlation at the DNA/genetic level between skin color genes and whatever physical, mental, social, or cultural attributes they consider superior or inferior. This is logically and empirically impossible. The best they would be able to do would be to discriminate against and oppress people who choose to have black skin and thus the issue of whether they are full, ½, 1/4, 1/8, or whatever black is irrelevant, the only relevant fact would be their fashion choice of skin color. There would be no white or black ‘race’ but only sense experience of white or back skin — which is the situation we want.
This latter situation is substantively not racism but a new type of -ism. It is not discrimination and oppression of persons who are of a ‘black’ race but of persons who choose to wear a certain fashion or cosmetic trend. It would be the same as discriminating against persons who have breast enhancement, nose jobs, wear bow ties, wear white after Labor Day, or any of the infinite number of ways people discriminate against each other because they do not like each other or view each other as inferior to them. It would not be an issue of a superior ‘white’ race and an inferior ‘black’ race, but simply of a superior or inferior fashion style.
A non-racist would also consider Dolezal a fraud but not a traitor since supposedly to them there really is no ‘race’ to betray. As far as they are concerned, she is a physically white person pretending to be a physically black person in the same way that a sighted person would be a fraud pretending to be blind or a physically healthy person pretending to be disabled in order to get handicap parking stickers would be a fraud — or the other way around. To a supposed non-racist, the supposed important fact is that she lied about her skin color or pretended to be black when she is not; she was a wigger, which is a bad thing. Thus a non-racist would conclude Dolezal deserves to lose her job for being a fraud regardless of her qualifications, competency, education, and job performance in the same way that any employee lying to their employer should lose their job based on fraud — regardless of whether or not she really believes or identifies with being black. To a supposed non-racist, her identification as black is simply a sign of mental illness, such as a hypochondriac who is not ill always believing she is ill only in her case she did not believe in an illness but a benefit as she saw it.
In the latter case of supposed non-racist reasoning, where supposedly there is no racism, our technology should at least be able to keep Dolezal employed at the NAACP, right? Assume she goes to “White No More”, views their choice of skin colors from Plessy Black (in honor of the octoroon from Plessy v. Ferguson who could pass as white) to Zulu Black (their darkest available color), and she chooses Zulu Black. She then does the surgery/genetic engineering at her own expense and is now of Zulu Black skin color. She can now honestly apply for employment at the NAACP, tell them she is black since they seem to care, and honestly get employment as a black person, right?
That should be the case based on the supposed non-racist logic for throwing her out into the street, but it does not seem to be the case. Such a color change would be called “putting on black face” and is considered more racist that being a wigger. This is where I lose the logic of the fraud basis for making her lose her employment. If someone was only pretending to be blind but is then blinded, they are no longer pretending, they are blind? What is different about the supposed non-racist definition for supposedly nonexistent ‘race’ and its relation to the sense experience of skin color that does not allow for a person of physical white skin to become a person of physically black skin — or the other way — without being called racist?