Recently I have noticed individuals of mostly African extraction sitting at tiny makeshift tables in front of certain stores. In a manner both friendly and menacing they solicit donations from passing shoppers, most of whom are affluent European Americans.
It is a scene familiar to most of us. Perhaps we should not blame them personally; they are what they are. No, my disgust is with my own. There is something distasteful to me in the public way Europeans invariably hand over money to these individuals, often stopping to engage in not-very-convincing banter as if they were old friends.
These public acts of charity, I think, are designed to enhance the Westerner's moral status in the eyes of his community. More importantly, it is a clear exchange: in return for cash, the white man is absolved of the nasty thoughts and deeds of which by virtue of his genetic heritage he is assumed to be guilty. It is rather analogous to the selling and granting of indulgences by the Church.
It is a telling measure of my alienation, one could argue, that I feel no such charitable urge towards The Other. Absolutely none. Nor do I suffer from guilt or shame for not partaking in the bizarre ritual, whether it be surrendering cash to African beggars on our streets, building houses in Central America, adopting Mongolian babies, or sending money to grossly overpopulated African countries. I just do not feel it. In fact, it strikes me as unreasonable, harmful, and immoral to hand over one's resources. On a purely biological level, it is an arrant violation of our genetic interests.
I am of course not without altruistic instincts--a quality for which our race is known--but my loyalty is to my own. Charity, after all, begins at home, as the Bible affirms in 1 Tim 5:8: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Let me be clear: for ourselves and ourselves alone.
It is imperative we pull together. The world continues to fracture in ways still unacknowledged by most. New conflicts are emerging over issues of cultural difference, ethnic dominance, and resource scarcity. Primal loyalties are resurfacing. Old scores are being settled. There is no avoiding it. We must not allow altruism to supersede our instinct for self-preservation. Choose life.
So there you have it. Should you be in Laguna Beach this weekend, do look me up. I will be the tall handsome chap in polo shirt, red shorts, and boat shoes, giving a donation to a group of little blonde Boy Scouts and their beaming fathers. We can discuss the matter in more detail, and perhaps buy each other a cocktail.