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Author Topic: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)  (Read 343 times)

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Offline AnterosTopic starter

Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« on: October 12, 2016, 05:25:07 AM »
The problem isn't whether or not, however, if they are serious or not.  The problem would exist if they possessed the actual ability and approval of society to act on their particular set of beliefs.  I can believe that the Earth is flat all that I want to, but I'm just a crazy man screaming nonsense in a corner without any way to actually enforce my views on people.  And I say enforce quite literally because there is less than 0% chance of me actually convincing someone through evidence that the world is flat.

That said, if Trump would actually give people like what you describe a pathway to force their beliefs on the rest of America, then there exists a problem.

Of course racism isn't dead.  As long as there are races, distinct in their ethnic identity, there will be racism.  The total elimination of racism is not an ideal goal for a liberal, democratic society because of the necessary policies that would need to be put into place.  The goal should be that institutional racism, racism enforced at the end of a gun or laws or whatever - stuff like Jim Crow - should be eliminated, and that racist ideology should be exposed for the brand of ignorance that it is and shunned on a widespread societal basis.  Goals that have largely been achieved.  The Fox News cry of 'racism is dead b/c we have a black President' is simply something they use to further their political narrative, having no more substance in fact than the idea that the Earth is flat.

In the one case, that is not precisely a great number of people, in the latter...more to come.

Let's say that Trump wins with 50.5% of the vote.  If 16% of his supporters believe that getting rid of slavery was bad, then that means that about 8.1% of the US population believes it, for a total of about 26 million people...a number slightly higher than the population of North Korea (24 million).  This is, of course, almost certainly not true, considering that not every person voting Trump would do so because they wholeheartedly support him.  And that number, I would guess, would be concentrated in certain areas of the country.

The latter is...it can be hard for some people - especially dumb ones - to separate superior race from superior culture.  I may just be thinking naively, but I'm guessing that most of those people aren't saying white people are racially superior, they're culturally superior.  Which is a thing.  Not that white culture is superior to black culture, but that you have certain cultures that are superior to others in general.  Nobody would say that the culture of 8th century France is just as good as the culture of France today.

Racial superiority - in the strictest sense - is difficult to measure.  Race, ethnicity, is basically based upon genetic patterns and selections.  How do you measure the superiority of one set of genes to another?
I'm sorry to say, I find some of your ideas quite disturbing.

First, race is not a genetic or otherise biological concept when applied to modern humanity, but a social one. Associating in anyway race and genetics is both misleading and dangerous.

Second, speaking about racism as an unavoidable and natural phenomenon is ignoring the nature and history of racism. The current  concept of race itself isn't either that old or universal.

Third, limiting the struggle against racism to making some of its expressions illegal is absurd. It's like saying that the fight against violence is won because it's illegal and ignoring the thousands of murders and assaults happening around us.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 01:12:58 PM by Blythe »

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 10:07:05 AM »
First, race is not a genetic or otherise biological concept when applied to modern humanity, but a social one. Associating in anyway race and genetics is both misleading and dangerous.

You didn't listen to what I was saying.  I said the strictest sense of race.  The online Merriam-Webster dictionary gives, as a definition of race, the following: "any one of the groups that human beings can be divided into based on shared distinctive physical traits."  (It also gives a bunch of other definitions, but those are about things like competitive races or the verbal form of them.)

By that definition, race is absolutely biological/genetic.

The idea that race is a social concept...how often do you hear on TV people talking about 'the American race,' or some other group that has diversity of genetics but uniformity of culture?  It's possible, I'll grant it that, but when you usually hear about race in the US, you are talking about differences caused primarily by genetics.

Second, speaking about racism as an unavoidable and natural phenomenon is ignoring the nature and history of racism. The current  concept of race itself isn't either that old or universal.

Really?  Please, do enlighten me on the nature and history of racism.  My assumption that racism is the pre-judgment of others based on nothing more than their physical characteristics must be off.

And more to the point, people will always seek to find a way to claim superiority to others.  You might say that you have superior virtues, or superior military might, or even something as base as having more money, but people want to claim that they are better and superior to others, and doing so based on physical characteristics is a super-easy one.  After all, it requires you to learn nothing about the other guy's culture and society, just what you can see.

Third, limiting the struggle against racism to making some of its expressions illegal is absurd. It's like saying that the fight against violence is won because it's illegal and ignoring the thousands of murders and assaults happening around us.

What else do we have to do?  I'm in agreement with you that racism is bad, but show me a racist policy, a racist law, some form of organized racism that legitimately oppresses people.  Show me something that requires a unified effort to fight and isn't just ghosts and shadows.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 11:27:40 AM »
Yes, in the strictest sense, Reiji - and mumbling an apology for intervening as a European here - but surely the word race is often used these days in a way that heavily blurs the line between genetic heritage and cultural allegiances? Being "black" in a US passport or neighbourhood context isn't only about having black parents and grandparents but also about identifiying with black culture and black history, or a black family history anyway. Barack Obama and Halle Berry both have one black and one white parent, but they're always referred to as black, not white. Keith Jarrett has no black ancestors at all, according to himself, but his look (at least how his face used to look) and the tone of his music have so much black to them that many people have always thought the guy came from a part black background.

Hispanic doesn't seem to be super tightly linked to a definite wider race either, Hispanics can be both light-skinned, syrup- or olive coloured and deep brown. With some people it does seem to be as much a cultural identification as a label of what kind of roots their parents and grandparents had.

American race? Never heard anyone saying that either, but I've heard people saying they are ethnically American a few times - meaning they were of the USA. Relates a bit, of course, to how much effectiveness you would grant to the famous melting-pot.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 11:31:35 AM by gaggedLouise »

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 12:09:10 PM »
Yes, in the strictest sense, Reiji - and mumbling an apology for intervening as a European here - but surely the word race is often used these days in a way that heavily blurs the line between genetic heritage and cultural allegiances?

Absolutely it is.  Much of the research I've done on the subject confirms that race is one of those words that is used interchangeably with other ones of not quite but kind of the same definition/area of study/whatever.  Usually the word race is confused/conflated with the word ethnic or ethnicity, but see below about the potential difference between the two.

Being "black" in a US passport or neighbourhood context isn't only about having black parents and grandparents but also about identifiying with black culture and black history, or a black family history anyway. Barack Obama and Halle Berry both have one black and one white parent, but they're always referred to as black, not white. Keith Jarrett has no black ancestors at all, according to himself, but his look (at least how his face used to look) and the tone of his music have so much black to them that many people have always thought the guy came from a part black background.

Also right.  Generally speaking, anthropologists make two distinct categorizations for people: race and ethnicity.

Race is almost purely physical and genetic.  Consider Germans versus the Finns.  Genetically, they are highly similar to each other, and probably identical if you remove standard variable traits like height, eye and hair color, etc.

Ethnicity, on the other hand, is the category used for people who identify with others based on factors like: common language, shared history, social values, common homeland, religion and mythology, etc.

By those definitions, you might have two peoples who are racially the same, but uniquely identifiable because of their ethnicity.  Nobody would confuse a German for a Finn because they don't speak the same language, or have the same history or homeland.

That said, ethnicity usually divides up unto five subgroups.

There's ethno-linguistic, which emphasizes common language or writing form.

There's ethno-national, which emphasizes a shared sense of national identity.

There's ethno-racial, which emphasizes similar physical appearances based on genetic origins.

There's ethno-regional, which emphasizes hailing from a specific geographical area.

And there's ethno-religious, which emphasizes shared religion, whether that is a broad one or a subsect of one particular religion.

Something else you have to consider - I'm going to take your Keith Jarrett example here - is cultural osmosis.  Most people agree that our modern forms of music - jazz, rock and roll, R&B, list goes on - had their genesis in the black community.  And moreover, consider what the people of today are listening to; I knew kids from my substitute days who were whiter than whitebread but would listen to what might be termed 'black' music.  Why?  A: it was popular; B: it was what all their friends were listening to.  Just because you are of a specific genetic background does not tie you into the cultural traditions, the ethnicity, of that background.  Ethnicity trumps race.

That's why separation based on race simply does not stand up in the real world.  It is the nature of culture to take in and assimilate and absorb parts of other cultures, especially when you consider a place like the US.   I'm not sure how true this is, but I've heard stories saying that within a couple centuries, there'll be so much intermixing of genetics and culture that there won't be distinct races anymore.

Hispanic doesn't seem to be super tightly linked to a definite wider race either, Hispanics can be both light-skinned, syrup- or olive coloured and deep brown. With some people it does seem to be as much a cultural identification as a label of what kind of roots their parents and grandparents had.

That is certainly true.  Consider this.  Back when I was in HS and looking for a part-time job, they would ask you as part of the application to identify your race.  The list of possible races I remember were: Caucausian (non-Hispanic), African, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic.  There was probably an other, but those were the big ones.

By the time I graduated from college, that question about race had actually been separated into two questions.  One asked for identification of race, and listed four options: Caucasian, African, Asian/Pac Islander, and Other.

Separate from that question was a question about whether or not I identify as Hispanic.  I've run into quite a few such setups in the times that I've been looking for a job search - and this is technically a more correct configuration to handle the question, because being Hispanic, especially in the US, is no longer just a matter of whether or not you have the genetics of someone from the Spanish peninsula.  It's more about whether you ascribe to the language, the culture, things that are not tied to DNA.  So being Hispanic is more a matter of ethnicity than race.

Offline AnterosTopic starter

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 02:01:16 PM »
You didn't listen to what I was saying.  I said the strictest sense of race.  The online Merriam-Webster dictionary gives, as a definition of race, the following: "any one of the groups that human beings can be divided into based on shared distinctive physical traits."  (It also gives a bunch of other definitions, but those are about things like competitive races or the verbal form of them.)

By that definition, race is absolutely biological/genetic.

The idea that race is a social concept...how often do you hear on TV people talking about 'the American race,' or some other group that has diversity of genetics but uniformity of culture?  It's possible, I'll grant it that, but when you usually hear about race in the US, you are talking about differences caused primarily by genetics.

I've never heard anyone talk about the American race before, but I may merely not watch the kind of programs where people would use that phrase.

Quoted from Wikipedia: Sociologists, in general, recognize "race" as a social construct. This means that, though the concepts of race and racism are based in observable biological characteristics, any conclusions drawn about race on the basis of those observations are heavily influenced by cultural ideologies. Racism, as an ideology, exists in a society at both the individual and the institutional level.


Really?  Please, do enlighten me on the nature and history of racism.  My assumption that racism is the pre-judgment of others based on nothing more than their physical characteristics must be off.

And more to the point, people will always seek to find a way to claim superiority to others.  You might say that you have superior virtues, or superior military might, or even something as base as having more money, but people want to claim that they are better and superior to others, and doing so based on physical characteristics is a super-easy one.  After all, it requires you to learn nothing about the other guy's culture and society, just what you can see.


Reducing racism to a mere opinion is just a way to make it appear as if we can't do anything about it, because you can't fight an idea, right? But racism is more than an idea. It is a system. And systems can be dismantled.
Rather than mere prejudice, racism is also the the systemic impostion by thought, word and deed of a social order based of the notion of racial hierarchy. That notion of racial hierachy is an invention of cultures(Arab and European, most prominently) that thrived on the conquest and mass enslavement of given populations of physically different people, who could justify their misdeeds by saying that their victims were inferiors by virtue of their race. It's different from the ethnocentrism and xenophobia that were more common before then.


What else do we have to do?  I'm in agreement with you that racism is bad, but show me a racist policy, a racist law, some form of organized racism that legitimately oppresses people.  Show me something that requires a unified effort to fight and isn't just ghosts and shadows.
You're really asking for proof that racist policies exist?
How about this? Voter ID Laws Are Discriminatory Efforts to Disenfranchise, Courts Rule: http://www.newsweek.com/voter-id-laws-discriminatory-disenfranchise-485708
Stop-and-Frisk Campaign: About the Issue http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices
Chicago Police Dept. Plagued by Systemic Racism, Task Force Finds http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/us/chicago-police-dept-plagued-by-systemic-racism-task-force-finds.html?_r=0
But as I said earlier, even laws that are actually against racism haven't made it disappear. They just made it less obvious. People are less likely to explicitely mention race as the reason they act. It doesn't change the things they do or why they do them.
What do we have to do, you ask? We have to equalize the racial power dynamics, because racism is a matter of power. And there is the difficulty, because no oppressor ever willingly relinquish their power over those they oppress.



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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 02:29:46 PM »
You can't legislate intelligence, tolerance or acceptance.  It's been proven time and again.

Laws can be abolished, amended or enacted but none of that changes the way people think, feel and react. 


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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 03:04:57 PM »
Quoted from Wikipedia: Sociologists, in general, recognize "race" as a social construct. This means that, though the concepts of race and racism are based in observable biological characteristics, any conclusions drawn about race on the basis of those observations are heavily influenced by cultural ideologies. Racism, as an ideology, exists in a society at both the individual and the institutional level.

A sociologist would define race as a social construct, because a sociologist is trained to look at everything as a social construct.  And you're still ignoring the fact that I said the strictest  sense, that is, in the most narrowly defined sense of race, in the scientific and anthropological conceptions of it.  I'm not talking about race in that never quite the same definition twice sense you get typically in the media, where they imprecisely define and/or outright change the definition of the words they use so they can use it to support whatever stupid talking point they've got this week.

And you're just proving my point for me.  The concepts of race and racism are based in biological - genetically determined - characteristics.  Conclusions drawn upon the basis of those observations are influenced by culture - not genetics.  That is what I've been trying to say; when people say 'the white race is superior,' they don't mean that the actual genes of white people are superior.  They mean that the cultural practices of white people are.  And while you can't say that one set of genes or another is superior, you can say that the culture of one civilization or another is.

Reducing racism to a mere opinion is just a way to make it appear as if we can't do anything about it, because you can't fight an idea, right? But racism is more than an idea. It is a system. And systems can be dismantled.

It is both.  Racism is an idea, and it can be a system if enough people who embrace the idea come together to collectively force their idea onto others.  Illustration.  In the town of Nowhere, Mississippi, there's a population of 500 people.  Of those 500 people, only 75 of them - 15% of the town's population - embrace racism.  All the rest say that there is no superiority based on genetic race.  Now, under most circumstances, those 75 people would just be crazy people screaming in a corner.  Are they embracing an ideology that is harmful to humanity?  Yes, absolutely.  But the beauty of America is that I don't have to give a shit about the opinions of Billy-Bob Junior Senior III Mountain Dew McColonBlow the VIII.  I do not have to listen to his crap, he's just some idiot racist.  Nobody is under the obligation to listen to the opinions of anyone else, though a wise and intelligent person will because the opinions of other people can be enlightening.

Let's say that 50 of those 75, though, occupy positions within the town government.  Critical positions, ones where they can actually enforce their stupidity on the rest of us.  Then racism becomes a system, and something that absolutely needs to be dismantled.  That's why the leadup to the CRA of 1964 was such a huge time of progress - the institutions of racism in the South, primarily segregation, were being dismantled and new opportunities opening up for those who had formerly been disenfranchised.


Rather than mere prejudice, racism is also the the systemic impostion by thought, word and deed of a social order based of the notion of racial hierarchy. That notion of racial hierachy is an invention of cultures(Arab and European, most prominently) that thrived on the conquest and mass enslavement of given populations of physically different people, who could justify their misdeeds by saying that their victims were inferiors by virtue of their race. It's different from the ethnocentrism and xenophobia that were more common before then.

Right, because saying 'anyone not one of us is inferior' is absolutely different from saying 'we're superior to everyone else.'

How about this? Voter ID Laws Are Discriminatory Efforts to Disenfranchise, Courts Rule: http://www.newsweek.com/voter-id-laws-discriminatory-disenfranchise-485708

Yes, because it's totally racist to insist that people say who they actually are instead of somebody else.  A lot of the argument against Voter ID laws are essentially attempts to, Game of Thrones-like, shame people into non-objection.  When people come out and say how bad and racist voter ID laws are, and how they would totally disenfranchise voters, look at the people they bring up as examples.  You'll never see a poor white person held up as an example of how voter ID laws would silence them, because that would undermine the whole narrative.  I remember the example that John Oliver used on Last Week Tonight when it discussed voter ID - an elderly black woman.

Now, for that example, I was against the difficulties that woman experienced in getting her voter registration, because it was quite obvious that the goalposts were being moved.  She went there on four separate occasions, only to be told the first three times that she was lacking a form of ID needed to obtain voter registration.  Now, I've been guilty of that when I went to get my driver's license renewed, forgetting some important document I might need.  In reality, she should have only had to go twice, because the people at the voter registration office should have laid out for her everything that she needed to be registered after the first time she was rejected.

And lest you think otherwise, this was not in Alabama or Georgia, this was in Pennsylvania, a state that is - depending on your particular bent - either a battleground state or a blue-leaning one.

Solving the question of ID for voting is simple.  Because it's never the question of what sort of ID is acceptable or not.  What you inevitably hear about is the difficulty in obtaining said ID.  Answer: establish, at your local post office, fire station, or police station, a National ID Card handout.  When someone turns 18, they can head down to one or more of those locations, and at no cost obtain a United States ID card, provided they present evidence that they are a citizen.  Renewal of the card follows US Passport policy of once every 10 years.

Stop-and-Frisk Campaign: About the Issue http://www.nyclu.org/issues/racial-justice/stop-and-frisk-practices

Stop and Frisk was racist, but not because the law itself was actually racist - it was in the implementation of it, and you can't expect to understand with 100% clarity how people will enact a policy.  That said, if a non-racist law is shown as implemented in a totally racist way, the best thing to do is repeal the law, as they did.

But as I said earlier, even laws that are actually against racism haven't made it disappear. They just made it less obvious. People are less likely to explicitely mention race as the reason they act. It doesn't change the things they do or why they do them.

Of course not.  If you wanted to make racism disappear, totally and utterly, you would have to ban the idea of racism.  And that requires an Orwellian-style government that monitors the thoughts and discussions and private conversations of its citizens - an omnipresent surveillance state.  Even then, you won't be able to perfectly get rid of racism, because how do you know what someone is thinking?  (Though I would suppose that Lincoln Powell would be able to help out with that.)

What do we have to do, you ask? We have to equalize the racial power dynamics, because racism is a matter of power. And there is the difficulty, because no oppressor ever willingly relinquish their power over those they oppress.

How do you propose to equalize the racial power dynamics?  From how you make it sound, it sounds like the minute that the people who have gotten the short end of the stick aren't being oppressed anymore, they're just going to turn around and start oppressing the former oppressors.

And if you think racism is about power, that people without power can't be racist, let me ask you this:

Does that mean the group of 5 Neo-Nazis that meets in my apartment building twice a month aren't racist?  'Cause heaven knows they don't have any power.

You can't legislate intelligence, tolerance or acceptance.  It's been proven time and again.

Laws can be abolished, amended or enacted but none of that changes the way people think, feel and react. 

I haven't watched it in forever, but I always remember this quote about racism and racists from Law & Order:

"We're past the separate lunch counters stage, we're past the separate drinking fountains stage.  We're at the hearts and minds stage, and for that there is no quick and easy solution."

You can make racism in practice illegal as the day is long, but Beguile is right, you can't use laws to force how people change think and feel.

Offline AnterosTopic starter

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 01:59:40 AM »
A sociologist would define race as a social construct, because a sociologist is trained to look at everything as a social construct.  And you're still ignoring the fact that I said the strictest  sense, that is, in the most narrowly defined sense of race, in the scientific and anthropological conceptions of it.  I'm not talking about race in that never quite the same definition twice sense you get typically in the media, where they imprecisely define and/or outright change the definition of the words they use so they can use it to support whatever stupid talking point they've got this week.

And you're just proving my point for me.  The concepts of race and racism are based in biological - genetically determined - characteristics.  Conclusions drawn upon the basis of those observations are influenced by culture - not genetics.  That is what I've been trying to say; when people say 'the white race is superior,' they don't mean that the actual genes of white people are superior.  They mean that the cultural practices of white people are.  And while you can't say that one set of genes or another is superior, you can say that the culture of one civilization or another is.
I certainly can't say that  a culture or civilization is superior to another. Who decide of the crrteria to be judged and how to judge them? As for the definition of races, I do not see how I validate your point. While the notion of races is mostly based on observable physical traits, those traits are chosen quite arbitrarily, while others are ignored just as arbitrarily. Saying that red horses are a single taxon for example is based on an observable trait, but it doesn't make it scientfically exact, just as saying that black people are a race doesn't make it biologically true.

It is both. Racism is an idea, and it can be a system if enough people who embrace the idea come together to collectively force their idea onto others.  Illustration.  In the town of Nowhere, Mississippi, there's a population of 500 people.  Of those 500 people, only 75 of them - 15% of the town's population - embrace racism.  All the rest say that there is no superiority based on genetic race.  Now, under most circumstances, those 75 people would just be crazy people screaming in a corner.  Are they embracing an ideology that is harmful to humanity?  Yes, absolutely.  But the beauty of America is that I don't have to give a shit about the opinions of Billy-Bob Junior Senior III Mountain Dew McColonBlow the VIII.  I do not have to listen to his crap, he's just some idiot racist.  Nobody is under the obligation to listen to the opinions of anyone else, though a wise and intelligent person will because the opinions of other people can be enlightening.

Let's say that 50 of those 75, though, occupy positions within the town government.  Critical positions, ones where they can actually enforce their stupidity on the rest of us.  Then racism becomes a system, and something that absolutely needs to be dismantled.  That's why the leadup to the CRA of 1964 was such a huge time of progress - the institutions of racism in the South, primarily segregation, were being dismantled and new opportunities opening up for those who had formerly been disenfranchised.

Just because only a minority identify as racist doesn't mean the others are not. They ofent just won't admit it to themsleves and/or others. But it doesn't matter, because merely participating in the perpetuation of a racist system without challenging it is enough. What is more, that system is already in place, it doesn't need to develop from the local level, because the local situation exist within a greater whole, not in a vacuum. That minority of racists you mention exist within a system that is more lkely to enable and protect them that those victim of their racism.
In short, your entire argument is made by ignoring the fact that racism is part of both US(among many others) institutions and mentality. Want an example? http://aattp.org/new-study-whites-more-likely-to-support-harsher-laws-if-more-blacks-are-arrested/



Right, because saying 'anyone not one of us is inferior' is absolutely different from saying 'we're superior to everyone else.'

There is a difference. Racism implies superiority based on physical differences. That means that there is no chance of acceptation, or even assimilation, unlike cases of ethnic discrimination which are largely based on culture.

Yes, because it's totally racist to insist that people say who they actually are instead of somebody else.  A lot of the argument against Voter ID laws are essentially attempts to, Game of Thrones-like, shame people into non-objection.  When people come out and say how bad and racist voter ID laws are, and how they would totally disenfranchise voters, look at the people they bring up as examples.  You'll never see a poor white person held up as an example of how voter ID laws would silence them, because that would undermine the whole narrative.  I remember the example that John Oliver used on Last Week Tonight when it discussed voter ID - an elderly black woman.

Now, for that example, I was against the difficulties that woman experienced in getting her voter registration, because it was quite obvious that the goalposts were being moved.  She went there on four separate occasions, only to be told the first three times that she was lacking a form of ID needed to obtain voter registration.  Now, I've been guilty of that when I went to get my driver's license renewed, forgetting some important document I might need.  In reality, she should have only had to go twice, because the people at the voter registration office should have laid out for her everything that she needed to be registered after the first time she was rejected.

And lest you think otherwise, this was not in Alabama or Georgia, this was in Pennsylvania, a state that is - depending on your particular bent - either a battleground state or a blue-leaning one.

Solving the question of ID for voting is simple.  Because it's never the question of what sort of ID is acceptable or not.  What you inevitably hear about is the difficulty in obtaining said ID.  Answer: establish, at your local post office, fire station, or police station, a National ID Card handout.  When someone turns 18, they can head down to one or more of those locations, and at no cost obtain a United States ID card, provided they present evidence that they are a citizen.  Renewal of the card follows US Passport policy of once every 10 years.

Stop and Frisk was racist, but not because the law itself was actually racist - it was in the implementation of it, and you can't expect to understand with 100% clarity how people will enact a policy.  That said, if a non-racist law is shown as implemented in a totally racist way, the best thing to do is repeal the law, as they did.
You do realize that what makes the ID laws racist is their calculated and disproportionate impact on PoC? Nobody said that white people were not also affected, just not in so important proportions.
As for Stop & Frisk, just because it wasn't explicitely aimed at PoC, doesn't mean it wasn't implicitely.

Of course not.  If you wanted to make racism disappear, totally and utterly, you would have to ban the idea of racism.  And that requires an Orwellian-style government that monitors the thoughts and discussions and private conversations of its citizens - an omnipresent surveillance state.  Even then, you won't be able to perfectly get rid of racism, because how do you know what someone is thinking?  (Though I would suppose that Lincoln Powell would be able to help out with that.)
As I repeatedly said, merely making racism illegal doesn't work, anymore than making alcohol illegal worked. People grew up thinking that their racists thoughts and comportments are normal and something they are entitled to. Many enjoy it or benefit from it and often those who suffer from it have integrated it just as much and will try to accomodate the racists rather than denounce them, knowing their racism is an integral part of society and thus supported by it. Even when racism is reported, it's often not believed, or reports are shouted down, the protester is subjected to threats, aggressions or accusations. Just look at Colin Kaepernick.
Still while laws against racist thoughts are useless, appropriate laws in support of people vulnerable to racism could be used to break those patterns. They could allow more access to resources, more protection, more visibility, more credibility to those who need it. If racism is made ineffective, it becomes a waste of energy and is bound to collapse as a system.

How do you propose to equalize the racial power dynamics?  From how you make it sound, it sounds like the minute that the people who have gotten the short end of the stick aren't being oppressed anymore, they're just going to turn around and start oppressing the former oppressors.

And if you think racism is about power, that people without power can't be racist, let me ask you this:

Does that mean the group of 5 Neo-Nazis that meets in my apartment building twice a month aren't racist?  'Cause heaven knows they don't have any power.

I haven't watched it in forever, but I always remember this quote about racism and racists from Law & Order:

"We're past the separate lunch counters stage, we're past the separate drinking fountains stage.  We're at the hearts and minds stage, and for that there is no quick and easy solution."

You can make racism in practice illegal as the day is long, but Beguile is right, you can't use laws to force how people change think and feel.
You keep arguing against an argument I do not make. When did I talk about making laws about thoughts and feelings? :-\
As for equalizing power dynamics, it could start with involving minorities in the creation and enforcement of policies that will affect their communities for example.
A bunch of neo-nazis (people whose whole ideology is about white power and getting rid of Jews & PoC) gather regularly, potentially terrifying whole families and since they keep coming back, they presumably aren't even being bothered. In a country where white supremacists are the greatest terrorist threat, where black and latinx people get accosted by police for standing in front of their own houses.  Doesn't seem like they're powerless to me. White privilege is also a form of power.

PS: If you wish to continue this discussion, creating a thread for it might be better than hijacking this one?

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 04:56:21 PM »
This is going to be my last post on this subject, because this is a thread to discuss the election and not to discuss racism, because whatever you believe about racism, I'm of the notion that you can have two people and three different opinions on racism.

I certainly can't say that  a culture or civilization is superior to another. Who decide of the crrteria to be judged and how to judge them? As for the definition of races, I do not see how I validate your point. While the notion of races is mostly based on observable physical traits, those traits are chosen quite arbitrarily, while others are ignored just as arbitrarily. Saying that red horses are a single taxon for example is based on an observable trait, but it doesn't make it scientfically exact, just as saying that black people are a race doesn't make it biologically true.

My point is this: people use the words race and ethnicity interchangeably, to mean the same thing, when in fact that they are not the same thing.  Moreover, when people talk about racial superiority, they are not talking about superiority based on race, they are talking about it based on ethnicity.  In short, people are dumb and imprecise and their stupidity should be accounted for.
 
Just because only a minority identify as racist doesn't mean the others are not. They ofent just won't admit it to themsleves and/or others. But it doesn't matter, because merely participating in the perpetuation of a racist system without challenging it is enough. What is more, that system is already in place, it doesn't need to develop from the local level, because the local situation exist within a greater whole, not in a vacuum. That minority of racists you mention exist within a system that is more lkely to enable and protect them that those victim of their racism.

In short, your entire argument is made by ignoring the fact that racism is part of both US(among many others) institutions and mentality. Want an example? http://aattp.org/new-study-whites-more-likely-to-support-harsher-laws-if-more-blacks-are-arrested/

So, if you can be racist without even actually knowing that you are, doesn't that technically mean that everyone can be racist?  And if you can be racist by simply failing to challenge a racist system, then doesn't that change the definition of what racism actually is?  Because if you can be non-racist except for failing to overturn systems that are, then again, everyone can be racist.  The Supreme Court overturned portions of the Voting Rights Act a few years ago which sparked a discussion on racism in America because the moment that happened, state governments started moving to disenfranchise.  Does that make the SCOTUS racist?

I would like to ask: what's the solution here?  Tear down all the institutions that participated in racism because they might be still be carrying racist portions of their structure and operation?  The vast majority of institutions that exist in the United States today - local government, state governments, federal ones - were conceived of in an era were racism existed.  Or have some of those institutions somehow purged themselves of that legacy and now operate free and clear?  And, here's the big one: how do you tell which ones have and which ones haven't?  What are the criteria that need to be met for that?

As for your article, two things.  One, I would actually like to see the study paper itself and read it, instead of the commentaries that are offered on it by non-academic outlets, before I make a call.  Two, by the general setup of both scenarios - showing the mugshots of people arrested and in prison because of policies like Stop and Frisk - you at least would not have gotten me to agree to the petition in either case.  Forget white vs black, if all those people are criminals, I don't want them back out on the street where they can do more harm to the community, I want them in jail.  Now, if the study were to show that you had a higher rate of false incarceration for minorities - say that 1/3rd of blacks compared to 1/10th of whites - then that would be something worth combating. 

Also, one last thing on this.  From the Stanford source: "Stanford psychology researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt found that when white people were told about these racial disparities, they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities."

In short, if people are told that black people are more likely to commit crimes and break the law, then the more they want to lock up black people.  That's not because they are black, that's because of the notion, the perception, that they are criminals.  It's like feminists going around screaming that all men are potential rapists.  If you believe that all men are potential rapists, then you aren't going to want men to be around, are you?

You do realize that what makes the ID laws racist is their calculated and disproportionate impact on PoC? Nobody said that white people were not also affected, just not in so important proportions.

As for Stop & Frisk, just because it wasn't explicitely aimed at PoC, doesn't mean it wasn't implicitely.

Show me your numbers for that.  Show me the data that shows that a higher percentage of minorities are denied access to voting because of voter ID efforts.  And I will remind you that, in quite a similar fashion to the drug war (done by that dirty, dirty communist Richard Nixon), racial crackdown is not the goal.  The goal of voter ID laws is the political disenfranchisement of the people who are trying to replace you - and in a nation where political office is seen as a career and not a service, where the highest goal is not service but endless re-election, corruption aimed at enhancing these goals is inevitable.

Race ends up becoming a major portion of the complaint, however, because minorities tend to vote Democrat, and the people trying to institute these laws are largely Republicans.  If the Democrats were behind a similar effort, you would not see them target minorities because those are the people who largely vote for them - you would instead see Democrats attempt to suppress the votes of the highly wealthy, Christian groups, and the elderly, because those are all groups who trend towards voting Republican.

In short, is race a part of it?  Yes, but only insomuch as the fact that it dovetails into a general political aim.

S&F: That's kind of what I'm saying.  The law itself did not explicitly state that it was to be targeted against minorities, but when it was put into effect and enforced, it ended up targeting them more than others.  Also, it's worth pointing out that the data usually used to decry Stop and Frisk as a totally racist policy were the records of arrests that came about as a result, and those records showed that the majority of persons arrested under the law were of minority status.  I would also point out, however, that every person who was arrested under Stop & Frisk was also committing a crime.  This ends up being one of the idiot moments of our nation when it comes to law enforcement, because somehow we've got this idea that you shouldn't arrest people out of proportion to their portion of the population.  Which either means you need to have either Precrime, or simply stop arresting people after you hit that population proportion, which means letting criminals continue their work unmatched.

As I repeatedly said, merely making racism illegal doesn't work, anymore than making alcohol illegal worked. People grew up thinking that their racists thoughts and comportments are normal and something they are entitled to.

I won't make measure about whether or not racist thoughts are 'normal,' because what normalcy is is not something easily defined, but I will say that they are absolutely entitled to think whatever they like, as long as it is thought.  Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.  Is it wrong?  Sure, but people are allowed to be wrong.

Just look at Colin Kaepernick.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Still while laws against racist thoughts are useless, appropriate laws in support of people vulnerable to racism could be used to break those patterns. They could allow more access to resources, more protection, more visibility, more credibility to those who need it. If racism is made ineffective, it becomes a waste of energy and is bound to collapse as a system.

You mean things like the social safety net, or affirmative action, or the Community Re-Investment Act, or Executive Order 10925, or Head Start, or body/dash cameras for cops?

I will say this much.  Access means nothing if you haven't the drive to go for it.  I have Internet access that allows me to peruse the entire WWW.  But for some strange reason, despite the fact that I have access to Fox News Online, I don't make regular use of it.

In a country where white supremacists are the greatest terrorist threat, where black and latinx people get accosted by police for standing in front of their own houses.  Doesn't seem like they're powerless to me.

Name to me five massacres of people caused by white supremacists - and I'll be generous and say within the Western, developed world in the last 25 years - without using Google.

White supremacists are a problem.  But the number one terrorist threat?



...and that's that.  No more of this, this is a thread for talking about how terrible the two candidates are.

Well, unless you want to talk about this:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


Because THAT is frickin' hilarious.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 05:00:23 PM by ReijiTabibito »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 06:35:07 PM »
Idly curious, but is there any specific reason you upped the threshold from three to five massacres? It seems like even one massacre would be a bad thing.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 06:46:02 PM »
Agreed that one massacre is a bad thing.

But I can think of at least two massacres (or at least, what I would term massacre) by white supremacists in the last 25 years in the developed world.  There may be another one out there lurking around that I'm not aware of - but the specific number isn't the point.

The point I want to make with that statement is saying that white supremacy is the number one terror threat in the US, or the West, or even the whole world is not correct.  Perhaps I should have simply said that.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 07:04:02 PM »
I suppose you're counting in Breivik's butchery at Utöya as one of the legit White Sup massacres? Most of the people he killed were immigrants or children of immigrants, and one of the key reasons for his act was that he felt Norway had been accepting too many Asian, African and Latin American immigrants and refugees.

Overall I would agree with you - Jihadist terrorism is a more alarming and more dangerous problem today than white supremacist terrorism. And it's more difficult to detect and fight - partly due to the language barrier. It's easier to gather intelligence about terrorists and madmen who are speaking the same language as the police, or a language close to theirs.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 07:05:18 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Sabre

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2016, 01:47:55 AM »
Name to me five massacres of people caused by white supremacists - and I'll be generous and say within the Western, developed world in the last 25 years - without using Google.

White supremacists are a problem.  But the number one terrorist threat?

The problem with that challenge is that it equates notoriety with threat ranking. White supremacists, nativist militias, and various other fringe groups are in fact a major threat, and the argument could be made that they're number one on the list for federal law enforcement. The issue is Jihadists are several degrees harder for the federal government to track and expose in time, while in the past 25 years the FBI has gotten infiltration, subversion, and ultimate dismantling of these fringe American movements down to an art form.

In this election, the very question of what is the number one security threat cuts to the heart of the great divide in the country. For many of Trump's supporters, it's the Jihadists who are the most dangerous given their invisibility, and far right domestic terrorists are less of a concern as many of them share core fundamental values they agree with. Meanwhile for Hillary's supporters Jihadists are not as big a threat as the far right since, even with their visible success, a Jihadist is not someone who poses a threat to their values and beliefs, while the fringe militia groups do.

The outcome of this election I think hinges on which fringe groups who have the ear of the two candidates, whether real or imagined, undecided voters and centrist leaning Republicans and Democrats are comfortable with.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2016, 02:53:35 AM »
This is going to be my last post on this subject, because this is a thread to discuss the election and not to discuss racism, because whatever you believe about racism, I'm of the notion that you can have two people and three different opinions on racism.

+100. This discussion about racism, ethniciity and identity politics does need to get broken out into its own thread.


Offline Blythe

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2016, 01:14:03 PM »
Topic split/given it's own thread, peoples, since it was starting to derail the News thread.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2016, 01:43:03 PM »
The problem with that challenge is that it equates notoriety with threat ranking. White supremacists, nativist militias, and various other fringe groups are in fact a major threat, and the argument could be made that they're number one on the list for federal law enforcement. The issue is Jihadists are several degrees harder for the federal government to track and expose in time, while in the past 25 years the FBI has gotten infiltration, subversion, and ultimate dismantling of these fringe American movements down to an art form.

+1

It seems to me less that the problem lies with one specific group/ideal/etc (though one group rising to too much power presents a clear and present danger, as was seen with the rise of groups like I.S. and Boko Haram.) but the true threat lies with what creates these extremists (OF all types, races, faiths,etc)  and compels them to go around killing as many people as they can and causing destruction in the name of their goals.

Part of the problem too I feel is a lack of proper understanding and education. I remember encountering quite a few people that felt and said that religion was solely the reason for Terrorism.....as if they forgot that groups like the IRA exist.

While I will admit that the protestant/catholic thing is one part of the IRA and its goals and hostilities, I feel most would agree with me that their goals were always much more politically based.

And the reasons for people joining the ranks of such groups ranges to everything from "I hate group Y with all of my heart and want to see them dead" to "Im in it because they pay me/give me food/water." or "I did it just because I like killing" or some just don't know any better.

Its a very complex thing and there is sadly no one right answer.


As for the whole topic of race. I think it is the physical traits that are applied to Humans as a result of evolution, breeding and adaptation over time. That is it.

Mental, social, emotional, intellectual characteristics are a product of nature and nurture, our environment and parents as well as that which is around us to shape our personality and such as we age. Race has nothing to do with the mindset, culture and family upbringing has more to do with it, with some of the person's own personal choices sprinkled in as well.

At our cores Human beings are all the same. We are all Saints and Sinners, all heroes and villains. Race is only skin deep. And if we want to ever reach our greatest potential we need to do away with all of the Isms that hold us back. the Racism, Sexism, Classism, Ableism, Etc Etc.

If we want to survive and thrive into the future we can only do it together.

Almost makes me wish for an alien invasion :P  Nothing gets humans working together like a Big Bad to collectively beat up together and rally behind.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 01:52:18 PM by Lustful Bride »

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2016, 02:11:31 PM »
Only in fiction. A real-life alien invasion would just guarantee our doom, they'd wipe us out before we finished arguing over whose military was in charge.

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2016, 02:14:57 PM »
Only in fiction. A real-life alien invasion would just guarantee our doom, they'd wipe us out before we finished arguing over whose military was in charge.

Spoil sport :P

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2016, 02:33:49 PM »
The problem with that challenge is that it equates notoriety with threat ranking. White supremacists, nativist militias, and various other fringe groups are in fact a major threat, and the argument could be made that they're number one on the list for federal law enforcement. The issue is Jihadists are several degrees harder for the federal government to track and expose in time, while in the past 25 years the FBI has gotten infiltration, subversion, and ultimate dismantling of these fringe American movements down to an art form.

If your argument, Sabre, is that the FBI can infiltrate, subvert, and dismantle fringe American movements like some people can make coffee, then wouldn't it be fair to say that while they are a presence, they really aren't that much of a threat?  These groups exist, I will definitely grant you that, and like the Marauders, they have sworn that they are up to no good.  But if the FBI and ATF and whatever other three letter organizations you can think of have the ability to do what you are saying, then how much of a threat can they pose to public safety?

In this election, the very question of what is the number one security threat cuts to the heart of the great divide in the country. For many of Trump's supporters, it's the Jihadists who are the most dangerous given their invisibility, and far right domestic terrorists are less of a concern as many of them share core fundamental values they agree with. Meanwhile for Hillary's supporters Jihadists are not as big a threat as the far right since, even with their visible success, a Jihadist is not someone who poses a threat to their values and beliefs, while the fringe militia groups do.

Which echoes someone I listen to on a semi-semi-regular basis.  Ask a Democrat and a Republican who is the greatest threat to prosperity in America.

The Republican will probably say something like Iran or ISIS or Russia or China.

The Democrat will say a Republican.

(This particular speaker's own view is that Republicans should stop saying foreigners are the biggest threat to America and start saying the political, regressive, militant left - and those Democrats who support them - are the biggest threat.  I'm of the opinion that regressives are a problem, but the problem with politicians is that they're all self-centered dicks who just want the gravy train to continue.  So not in total agreement.)


@LB:  The thing that creates extremism - which I agree in all forms is bad.  Doesn't matter what tag you put before it.  The thing that makes it is basically insistence that everyone and everything talk, act, and behave the way that you do.  I love my references, which is why I absorb so much media.  I'm actually reminded of Assassin's Creed Unity - not exactly a worthwhile title to have entered the family, but the protagonist of the story, Arno Dorian, says this: "Ideals too easily give way to dogma.  Dogma becomes fanaticism."  You'll never catch me saying I'm a fan, but one of our presidential candidates said that America's greatest strength is its diversity.  Which is true, but not in the sense that they were using for diversity.  The real beauty of our society is that no one is required to subscribe to or even listen to the opinions of others.  I can say that plain old cheese pizza is the best kind of pizza there is, and others are free to disagree.

Extremists can't tolerate dissension.  Everything has to be exactly the way that they want it to be.

Offline Sabre

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2016, 03:06:02 PM »
The key phrase there is 'to public safety.' This is a certain qualifier some people mean when they say threat, but there are others. The kind of threat fundamentalist, anti-federalist, or nativist movements pose isn't with public mayhem, though this is certainly possible, but through subversion of the political process and social contract. It's the subtle difference between highlighting what is a threat to America versus a threat to Americans, with all the identity politics that goes into defining one or the other. What concerns people about far right groups that doesn't concern them about Jihadists is that, while people can die, in great numbers even, from a Jihadist attack, the nation and its popular principles goes on. There aren't that many Muslims in America to be concerned about them breaking off from society as a whole in rebellion against American principles and democracy, though this may be a greater issue in Europe and South Asia. But if a far right threat carries out a successful attack, one after another, and ends up energizing a large swathe of the population against the rest of the country, the situation becomes almost existential.

The definitions people use, and the qualifiers they don't say when asked to define something, are today closely tied to one's political and social identity. In America, race is that shorthand word people on both sides use to refer to racialization of their in-group opposed to their out-group. Everything else tends to be superficial aspects highlighted after the fact. Thus for many supporting Trump these days, when asked who is the greatest threat they'd answer with some foreign entity, but with asterisks are targeting this assertion at their political opponents who may not only disagree, but who they feel are aiding and abetting them. In the shortest possible terms, they're against Hillary, and ranking threats according to what they perceive to be her allies and supporters has more to do with attacking her camp than it does the threat itself. Similarly for many Hillary supporters, the nearest but slightly different enemy is who they are targeting when they focus on 'Republicans' or whatever they feel they represent.

Offline RedRose

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2016, 08:18:34 AM »
White supremacists nowadays will paint a swastika on a wall or at "worst" beat up someone... Granted, it happens rather often in some countries and I'm happy guns are illegal where I am. That's awful, but as a European, the crazies planting bombs in train stations, running over school kids or Christmas fair goers with cars, slaughtering priests during mass or shooting mall shoppers are much more worrying to me. Unfortunately it took a lot for Europe to wake up. And many Americans still haven't smelled the coffee. FTR many people, when they finally get it, become much too violent and racist themselves... sigh

As for race, I think the fear/mistrust of the Other is as old as humanity, and actually people are getting much better about it!

Offline Blythe

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2016, 10:46:58 AM »
White supremacists nowadays will paint a swastika on a wall or at "worst" beat up someone... Granted, it happens rather often in some countries and I'm happy guns are illegal where I am. That's awful, but as a European,

Here in the USA, unfortunately, that's not the worst they do. The massacre involving the shooter Dylan Roof in Charleston, NC is a pretty good example (albeit a very extreme one) of things that people generally fear about what white supremacists can/will do.

Offline Warlock

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2016, 04:08:00 PM »
Although not necessarily from white supremacist groups, but within similar circles, we've had a high number of cases of arson in various asylum accomodations in Sweden. Meanwhile our Islamists terrorists haven't really had the impact, with mostly failed bombing attempts, which have been seen in the rest of Europe.

Should also note a shift, at least on our end, where race is a lesser aspect and with national identity taking a more prominent role as a motivating factor. At least from my own understanding. So, not quite comfortable speaking in terms of ''white supremacism'' since it doesn't fully capture it, or is even misleading, and precision on these issues are quite important as to not weaken ourselves.