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Author Topic: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)  (Read 4308 times)

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Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2016, 04:35:33 PM »
I tend to feel like the fallacy of false dichotomy pops up in discussions like this.  As if there can only be focus on one threat--Islamic terrorism or white supremacist terrorism.  It's much like how my ex used to say that money was being wasted on a space program that could better be spent on feeding and housing the homeless.  Actually, both can and do have money spent on them, along with hundreds if not thousands of other pressing matters.

Personally, I lean towards what Christopher Hitchens once said--that Islamic fundamentalism is the most dangerous threat to world peace and safety, at this moment.  This threat is often focused on the largest fear, which is Islamic terrorists acquiring a nuclear device or some other weapon of mass destruction.  But notice what I said up there, two sentences earlier--the most dangerous threat to world peace and safety.  It isn't the most pressing threat to the peace and stability of every region of the world.  The United States, in particular, does not suffer more deaths and destruction from Islamic terror right now than other forms of terror.  Attacks specifically directed by Islamic terrorists are much fewer in number here than white supremacists.  9/11 was the largest terror attack on U.S. soil, but that was also 15 years ago, and an outlier compared to what happened before and after.  We have many more Dylan Roofs committing terror here than Osama bin Ladens.

Some of the reason we have fewer Islamic terror attacks is that our security apparatus is geared more towards them, so they are prevented and foiled more often if they are planned or attempted.  Homegrown Islamic terror attacks (San Bernardino, Boston Marathon) slip by more than attacks from outside the nation.  But they are still outnumbered by white supremacist attacks.  There are more white supremacist organizations and individuals here, for one thing.  There is also a majority of the nation that is white, and many of those citizens may very well downplay white terrorists compared to non-white terrorists.

What priority you give something and where it happens is important.  Far, far more people die in the United States from drunk driving than airline crashes...but when an airliner crashes, it gets top priority in the media.  Terror attacks from outsiders get much more attention than homegrown attacks.  It feeds into the narrative that our nation is beset on all sides from hordes of foreign threats.

Europe has its own problems with immigration and terror, and it's a different mix than the United States.  Years ago homegrown terror was the priority, with communist-based groups in places like Greece or the Basque homeland killing people.  Now there are attacks from Muslim extremists to include.  That doesn't get rid of white supremacist terror, nor should it be ignored in favor of the newer threats.  I'm sure law enforcement and security are working to stop both.

Offline CopperLily

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2016, 02:18:05 AM »
Breivik is always the only argument people are able to bring up - and that was five years ago.

I'm not saying other things aren't happening. Just that by the same logic that discounts Breivik as not "nowadays", Americans should totally not be concerned about that whole 9/11 thing.

It's a false dichotomy. More than one thing can be threatening at a time, and a modern nation should be capable of addressing more than one threat. I'd suggest that in the U.S. at least, part of the reason "white nationalist" terrorists don't register is the very, very active campaign to portray them as lone wolves and isolated loners.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2016, 03:43:52 AM »
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.)

You've accidentally scrolled down half the page past several suitable definitions to find one that agrees with your point in a section entitled "Race defined for kids".  It's an easy mistake to make, but generally anything labelled specifically for kids is not the strictest scientific definition possible.  The (relevant) one it actually gives is:

a :  a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock
b :  a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics

(although even that isn't the strictest one.  The strictest one is definition one - "a breeding stock of animals").  However, that pretty clearly supports the sociological construct as equal to to any other and, depending on how "stock" is defined, the predominant one.

Edit: provably worth mentioning that merriam Webster is a proudly descriptivist dictionary. They don't say what words mean, they say how people use them. Using it as an authority on what words mean is kind of circular. If that's a route you want to pursue, use a different dictionary. And remember: don't just look at the kids' section!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 04:47:28 AM by Kythia »

Offline Clown without Clothes

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2017, 12:58:13 AM »
Race is a very real thing and there are obvious differences between races. In fact there are even differences between people who most would lump into a broader race category. It truly is fascinating too, to explore it all, the history and cultures.

As far as racism goes, well that is just a word certain people like to use to try and silence others when they hear something they don't like. A way to dumb things down and repress truth and freedom of speech.

But things are changing.

Offline Noisekick

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2017, 09:30:02 AM »
Actually the race divide in the sense of black, white, asian is not backed by science. In genetics you have haplogroups which means that there are a whole lot of different ethnicities even within groups seen as white, black or asian. Sub-saharan Africans are completely different from Austronesians despite both being of darker skin color.

Science gives a basis that says that people who differentiated based on pigmentation are ultimately uneducated and irrational.

On basis on culture, there is not inherently black or white culture, but the culture is based on multiple circumstances such as where you grew up and you life situation. For example there are white Namibians who embrace Namibian culture despite 90% of the Namibian population being black African. In Namibia people don't look down on that because for most of them it represents unity and reconciliation. There are plenty of Americans of European descent who grew up in black neighborhoods or even were adopted into a predominantly black family and therefore the culture there is their culture because they don't know anything else. That is why I think people arguing about cultural appropriation don't have any clue what they are talking about.

In Japan for example, people appreciate foreigners participating in their culture as long as they are doing it right.


In regards to using the word "racist", I think it is a bad approach to just call someone that as it does not provide a solution, it just shows that you are willing to ignore a problem by not handling it. If you come across someone who is racially prejudiced, you just need to challenge them and maybe, gradually they will change. Also emotional arguments are moot. A lot of people do not care if you are offended or are about to cry because they dont agree with your worldview. To get to them you need to argue rationally, be able to give reasons and evidence or be comprehensive. Arguments are like gears, they need to interlock so that there is traction. If your counterarguments do not address the opposing arguments given, the discussion will go nowhere.

Offline Blythe

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2017, 12:14:55 PM »
As far as racism goes, well that is just a word certain people like to use to try and silence others when they hear something they don't like. A way to dumb things down and repress truth and freedom of speech.

To clear this up before it becomes a major talking point for the thread:

No. Racism is real. It is not just a word used to silence people.

Example: Dylann Roof killed innocent people, motivated by a racist ideology.

It is not just a word.

It is a reality.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2017, 12:58:11 PM »
Actually the race divide in the sense of black, white, asian is not backed by science. In genetics you have haplogroups which means that there are a whole lot of different ethnicities even within groups seen as white, black or asian. Sub-saharan Africans are completely different from Austronesians despite both being of darker skin color.

Science gives a basis that says that people who differentiated based on pigmentation are ultimately uneducated and irrational.

On basis on culture, there is not inherently black or white culture, but the culture is based on multiple circumstances such as where you grew up and you life situation. For example there are white Namibians who embrace Namibian culture despite 90% of the Namibian population being black African. In Namibia people don't look down on that because for most of them it represents unity and reconciliation. There are plenty of Americans of European descent who grew up in black neighborhoods or even were adopted into a predominantly black family and therefore the culture there is their culture because they don't know anything else. That is why I think people arguing about cultural appropriation don't have any clue what they are talking about.

In Japan for example, people appreciate foreigners participating in their culture as long as they are doing it right.


In regards to using the word "racist", I think it is a bad approach to just call someone that as it does not provide a solution, it just shows that you are willing to ignore a problem by not handling it. If you come across someone who is racially prejudiced, you just need to challenge them and maybe, gradually they will change. Also emotional arguments are moot. A lot of people do not care if you are offended or are about to cry because they dont agree with your worldview. To get to them you need to argue rationally, be able to give reasons and evidence or be comprehensive. Arguments are like gears, they need to interlock so that there is traction. If your counterarguments do not address the opposing arguments given, the discussion will go nowhere.
cultural assimilation and cultural appropriation are two different things. Appropriation is when someone takes and uses something from another culture, to their advantage, and completely ignore it's context, use, and origins.

Aka: black people are seen as ghetto if they wear heir hair in cornrows, but when white people do it.. it's trendy and takes on a different name completely.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2017, 01:07:41 PM »
cultural assimilation and cultural appropriation are two different things. Appropriation is when someone takes and uses something from another culture, to their advantage, and completely ignore it's context, use, and origins.

Aka: black people are seen as ghetto if they wear heir hair in cornrows, but when white people do it.. it's trendy and takes on a different name completely.

But then wouldn't that become Assimilation and make it part of the culture as a whole if more people do it? If everyone does it then it becomes normalized and more accepted by everyone rather than just being seen as something only those in the ghettos do.

Edit:for example: Rap Music was considered something only people of color listened to, but once it got taken into the world at large more people listened to it and made their own songs and it become more accepted and shared all around, something for everyone to have together and come together on.

As for appropriation: We live in such an interconnected world now and people are becoming increasingly racially and culturally mixed that we all technically have something from some other culture or interact with it everyday without realizing it.

And at a certain point intent and actions also come into play.

There is a difference between a white person wearing a sombrero because its hot outside and the sombrero provides the most shade form the Sun, and a white person wearing a sombrero while holding tequila and talking to Hispanics in a mocking accented voice.

There's a difference between someone in Japan just dyeing their hair blonde and...this X3 (which i find more funny than insulting but I can see why some people would be offended since it is a stereotype of westerners having big noses...)

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Though then of course there are just people who are assholes and the idiot factor for people who act racist in minor ways and are literally too dumb to realize the problem with their actions.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 01:45:36 PM by Lustful Bride »

Offline la dame en noir

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2017, 02:03:47 PM »
But then wouldn't that become Assimilation and make it part of the culture as a whole if more people do it? If everyone does it then it becomes normalized and more accepted by everyone rather than just being seen as something only those in the ghettos do.

Edit:for example: Rap Music was considered something only people of color listened to, but once it got taken into the world at large more people listened to it and made their own songs and it become more accepted and shared all around, something for everyone to have together and come together on.

As for appropriation: We live in such an interconnected world now and people are becoming increasingly racially and culturally mixed that we all technically have something from some other culture or interact with it everyday without realizing it.

And at a certain point intent and actions also come into play.

There is a difference between a white person wearing a sombrero because its hot outside and the sombrero provides the most shade form the Sun, and a white person wearing a sombrero while holding tequila and talking to Hispanics in a mocking accented voice.

There's a difference between someone in Japan just dyeing their hair blonde and...this X3 (which i find more funny than insulting but I can see why some people would be offended since it is a stereotype of westerners having big noses...)

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Though then of course there are just people who are assholes and the idiot factor for people who act racist in minor ways and are literally too dumb to realize the problem with their actions.
that has nothing to do with what I said I'm not arguing with you about it.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 02:14:52 PM by la dame en noir »


Online Lustful Bride

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2017, 02:19:49 PM »
Alright, sorry.

Offline Silk

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2017, 02:46:07 PM »
Intrincally hair colour isn't a culture, however were in the world which hair isn't limited to what it is naturally thanks to dyes, and as a result can be used as a sign of culture. E.g Goths/Emo/etc generally having black hair with some kind of highlight. Strong impactful colours being punk. Or dare I say it, blondes and the aryans. Just because it happens naturally doesn't mean a culture can't adapt a haircolour into it.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2017, 02:55:07 PM »
Intrincally hair colour isn't a culture, however were in the world which hair isn't limited to what it is naturally thanks to dyes, and as a result can be used as a sign of culture. E.g Goths/Emo/etc generally having black hair with some kind of highlight. Strong impactful colours being punk. Or dare I say it, blondes and the aryans. Just because it happens naturally doesn't mean a culture can't adapt a haircolour into it.
that doesn't make any sense. Because it's a genetic trait that's even found in parts of the Polynesian islands.

Offline Scott

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2017, 05:42:39 PM »
I'm pretty fly for a white guy.

Offline Silk

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »
that doesn't make any sense. Because it's a genetic trait that's even found in parts of the Polynesian islands.
You said that hair colour can't be a part of culture, I used a few examples, like Goth culture, which having a specific hair colour is often very much a sign of that culture. In this case, dyed black hair. I mean, unless you think all of those goths just happened to be born with black hair.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2017, 09:04:04 PM »
I think by this point this thread is gonna degrade into just hurt feelings and everyone getting upset at eachother.

Offline rekhaiyer

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2017, 01:12:54 AM »
Yeah, heading towards the 'can of worms' territory now.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2017, 08:54:14 PM »
You said that hair colour can't be a part of culture, I used a few examples, like Goth culture, which having a specific hair colour is often very much a sign of that culture. In this case, dyed black hair. I mean, unless you think all of those goths just happened to be born with black hair.
You specifically said Blonde hair which you equated to a group of people who harmed another group based off of looks and religion. That doesn't make any sense. In that case, blonde hair is apart of Swedish culture. Talking about an alternative culture in the context I was going does not make sense.

So I'm not going to argue about that, because thats silly. It's a genetic trait.

Offline Sabre

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2017, 11:59:52 AM »
By that definition, race is absolutely biological/genetic.

The irony is that the definition is far from strict, being vague as it is to the point where race is neither a complete social construction but neither is it a biological reality. There's far more genetic variation between individuals of one 'race' as there are between two 'races,' to the point where arguing that race is a biological reality is dependent on just 5% of our DNA. Then you have the issue where there are no strict divisions between groups like 'white' or 'black' but rather there's a lot of gradation and overlap, which means there are no pure races, just mongrels of arbitrary categories or fuzzy sets that we define with very little scientific rigor.

However, there is sufficient data where a computer can pick out distinct populations that align with common racial categories. The problem there however is that it requires us telling the computer exactly how much it should discriminate in the first place. Test for enough genes and you can find statistical differences between people of two neighboring cities. The same argument that says there is a 'white' and a 'black' race is just as applicable to saying there is a 'Pisan' and 'Florentine' race. One can argue that the continental definition is best, but by then the distinction is almost meaningless and certainly not biologically useful. Genetically there's not so much a divide between continents as there is between Subsaharan Africans and everyone else, and within Subsaharan Africans you have an absurd amount of genetic variety. So where should the computer data be divided? And what makes that division any better or meaningful than any other? Race becomes almost meaningless if you can describe both the entire human population of Eurasia AND the British royal family as distinct races.

It's funny, race scientists in the past somehow knew the significance of race, but couldn't find any meaningful way to define them. Today, we can clearly find differences between two populations, but have no clear way of determining the significance. Race becomes valid only if we're willing to be as vague and uncommitted as possible to what makes up a race, and what are the differences between them. We certainly can't scientifically classify them, as race breaks nearly every rule.

So race is a social construct that can have biological consequences. It can never be one nor the other due to how vague it really is, and at best it can be useful for developing drugs targeting a population that has a certain degree of relatedness though not much else. At that point it's just a proxy for biological relatedness, and the medical field can most certainly do away with the social categories altogether. So race isn't a natural distinction at all, but rather a socially defined population or identity arbitrarily based on various degrees of biological relatedness.

Offline aouser626

Re: Race/Identity Tangent (split from News thread)
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2017, 04:56:23 PM »
Race can be "distinguished" according to the social definition of race, not according to the scientific definition. For example, through forensic science in DNA profiling, through the analysis of the allele frequencies after a sequence of techniques from PCR to that of electrophoresis, various phenotypical traits can be inferred.

For example, the subject should have "brown eyes". The comprehensive list of the commonly recognized phenotypical traits of which constitutes the social definition of a "race" is then thus utilized in communication with the public, the layman.

For perspective, consider that a mathematician of the East Asian's layman's set of phenotypical features would have more in common with that of the "Caucasian", than a "Caucasian" mathematician with a "Caucasian", say, professional rugby player, depending on the specific alleles of which you are discriminating for.

Children and teens internationally competing in the International Mathematics Olympiad have significantly more similarities (e.g. OCD etc.) than they do with the majority of their peers back home. If we discriminate for these specific traits (e.g. alleles suspected to be responsible for their neurological architecture and thus their affinity for mathematics etc.) instead, then the social definition of "race" would be significantly more distinguishable, as, you see, they would all be significantly more intelligent than other potential "races", whereby, for example, the variance and thus standard deviation of their I.Q. points would be minimized, and hence, we can more confidently say that such is a "racial trait".

That is of course a perspective for the layman, not a statistical analysis of allele frequency distributions.

Currently, there is still yet a concrete, scientific definition of race that utilizes mathematical definitions. Thus, biologically, there is no such thing as race, it is a social science definition.