Race relations in the post apocalypse

I know race relations (or the possible lack thereof) isn’t necessarily something people want to think about, let alone talk about. But. Race relations, racial tensions, and all that other fun stuff that happens now will still be happening after the apocalypse. And I think at some point, those tensions may even get worse.

Personally, I think things might go a little like this: In the beginning, immediately after the apocalypse, people will be so desperate and willing to survive that they’ll join a group–any group–to increase their chances of survival. And as we’ve said numerous times, joining a group will increase your chances of survival. (Assuming, of course, that you don’t do anything to annoy your group members and provoke them into leaving you in the hands of rabid dogs or hungry zombies/vampires.)

That’s great and all, right? Unity, cooperation, all that fun stuff. But at some point, I think something–some sort of catalyst; maybe the formation of permanent settlements–will lead to the separation of these original groups and the formation of new ones. Since like attracts like, I’d imagine most people will naturally drift to other people who are similar to them. Maybe this means a family forms a group with other families, or a group of single people come together.

Of course, that group of single people could be a group of Asian singles, and that group of families could be a group of African families, and maybe a little ways down the dusty wasteland there’ll be a group of white, upper-class, former bank CEOs, or people with red hair, or–well, you know what I mean.

My point is, people will generally find other people who are like them. And then they will group together. And then they will become “us.” And then everyone else will become “them.” And then, at some point, “they” will become dangerous, and “we” will be the only “good” or “right” people. And then you’ll find yourself being hunted down and killed, simply because you do or don’t have red hair. (Or something.)

And then things will be a lot like they are now, only possibly geographically closer together and maybe with less cool weapons, though probably with more fundamentalist thinking. (After all, fear, uncertainty, and fear of uncertainty lead people to do many, many things–some of them violent, vicious, and generally unpleasant.)

When this happens, will this Us vs. Them thinking lead to more wars, fighting, and a general landscape that looks a lot like ours does now? Will the new society be doomed to repeat what happened to pre-apocalypse society? (I wouldn’t be surprised by this; as a group, humans seem to repeat history a lot.) Will this lead to another eventual apocalypse?

But maybe I’m I could be looking at this pessimistically. Maybe post-apocalyptic society will bring peace and lasting unity, and we’ll have that great global society that will allow us to join the United Federation of Planets. That would be awesome, by the way. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to meeting some Vulcans.


7 thoughts on “Race relations in the post apocalypse

    1. I was thinking the same thing, actually. A little scary, but at the same time not terribly surprising.

  1. I think it depends a lot on location, and the nature of the apocalypse. I can see plenty of situations in which people who’ve grown up in relatively diverse environments would be more likely to divide among religious or other ideological differences, rather than race.

  2. I think it’s rather location-dependent. I can see situations in which people who had lived and grown up in very multicultural environments would be more likely to divide over religion or other ideological differences than race. “Us vs. them” doesn’t always fall to color.

    1. No, the divide won’t always happen over color. It is, of course, the most easily seen. But that divide might happen as Catholics vs Protestants, or moms vs non-moms, or anything else that can/will cause a divide in general thinking. I’d imagine that, when the world has totally gone to shit, anything can be the tipping point.

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