I think I must be a white supremacist. Not because I think all lives matter, contrary to what the Black Lives Matter movement thinks I ought not to think. Rather it’s because mattering requires a ‘for whom?’, and I’m highly doubtful there’s anyone for whom all lives matter. And so it’s equally doubtful that there’s anyone for whom all black lives matter.
That said, I’m pretty sure there’s no one for whom no lives matter. So I must think that for any one of us, and that includes me, only some lives matter. And, truth be told, when I think of the people who matter to me, most of them are white. So I must be a white supremacist.
But I think it might be even worse. When I think of the people who matter to me, most of them are reasonably intelligent. And a few of those people are black. So am I a white supremacist or just an intellectual snob? And of the two, which is the more reprehensible?
The answer can’t be about nature versus nurture. After all, no one chooses her intelligence any more than she does her skin colour. So is there no bottom to the well of my bigotries?
My theist friends tell me that God loves everyone. Well, try telling that to the first-born of Egypt. Or to the Amalekites. So my Christian friends concede, okay, maybe not God. But at least Jesus loves everyone. That is, he might hate the sin, but never the sinner.
So why can’t I say I don’t hate black people, I just hate their pigmentation? Or I don’t hate Retrumplicans, I just hate their stupidity?
I don’t know about you, but I find this ontological hair-splitting unhelpful. People with that pigmentation are called blacks. People who are that stupid are called Retrumplicans. As it happens, some of my best friends are black, and none of my best friends are Retrumplicans. So maybe I’m not a white supremacist after all.