Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Controversy Ahead: Interview with White Pride Proponent

The link to the following interview contains an open discussion about race and could potentially offend people that are sensitive when it comes to such issues. If you fall into that category, I would recommend not reading any further. HERE is an interview with “White Pride” fighter Melvin Costa on the Sherdog forum:

First and foremost I want the people out there not to mix up love for my own with hate for others. I don't hate any other race. I love my own. That's what I'm about pretty much; the advancement of my people, my culture, my heritage.

Is Mr. Costa a racist? Apparently, Mr. Costa has been banned from participating in MMA fights because of his swastika tattoo and/or ideological beliefs. Mr. Costa says he was in prison for many years, and the swastika tattoo stands for the "purity of my people's blood," not hate.  Mr. Costa also quotes now-President Obama, who said, "I'm for consonance in all my people, putting in civic duties for my people, and advancing my people." He compares his views to President Obama's statements.

I don't know whether Mr. Costa is a malevolent racist--he never says in the interview that he believes "whites" are superior to anyone else or that he wants laws enforcing racial segregation. He appears to agree with voluntary racial segregation, but does believing in voluntary segregation make him a racist? Keep in mind that most parts of America right now are de facto segregated by race.

Also, how should we characterize people who believe Western culture is superior to other cultures? Would we call pro-Westerners ignorant or racist? Probably not--there are many PhDs and Wall Street Journal writers who are proud of Western culture and who believe it is the best culture. In fact, most pro-Western proponents probably believe Western culture transcends race, even though it was made exclusively by people they consider "white."  (The definition of "white" has changed over time in America, a fact I sometimes wonder whether white supremacists fully appreciate.)

In any case, some people might say the difference between a Melvin Costa and a Victor Davis Hanson is eight years of college, but that's a horribly unfair comparison. Mr. Hanson, of course, does not favor racial segregation and does not make comments based on racial pride. Perhaps if Mr. Costa removed his tattoos and talked about his love of Western culture instead of his love of "white" persons, he would become eligible to fight in major MMA events. Removing the tattoos certainly seems like the first step in re-gaining his MMA eligibility.  Beyond that, Mr. Costa could shift the debate into the free speech arena, where he could argue that a company like Dana White's Ultimate Fighting Championship has no business deciding whom to hire or deploy based on someone's non-violent personal views, and that no company ought to pick and choose participants based on tattoos.

I'll leave you with another reader's comment: "I've never understood the concept of being proud of complete genetic randomness."  Indeed.

[Note: this post has been updated since its original publication.]


Jamie said...

I'm a bit unclear in what way a Swastika is a symbol exclusive to "white pride." Actually, I'm not clear on any symbol which has exclusive or significant "white" meaning. Perhaps that goes hand-in-hand with the reason you see few examples of people demonstrating legitimate "white pride" -- "whites" don't tend to go through the sorts of struggles (on the basis of their ethnicity) which create them. Lacking those specific sorts of struggles it's not clear what exactly one is demonstrating "pride" in.

One can contrast this with, for example, wearing a Star of David or a swatch of green fabric, which are clearly associated with struggles that a particular group is going through or has gone through.

K_Yew said...

@Jamie: thanks for your comment! I like the reference to the "swatch of green fabric" :-)