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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day! (Page 11)

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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Ok. Just to be very clear, you're saying it's equally problematic to refuse to vote for a n*%#er as it is to vote for a member of your own minority on the basis of race and believing he will look out for his own?

Yes, Rakeesh, because morally speaking they are completely the same. It is still racism.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
... By definition, isn't racism a statement that you will treat someone a certain way simply because of their race?

Technically, not really.

For example, "racism ... any action, practice, or belief that reflects ... that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some races are innately superior to others."
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/488187/racism

For example, you could be blind (and deaf) and treat everyone exactly the same. But you'd still be racist if you believe that black people are inferior to white people.

Going the other way, if you give black people only red Smarties and white people only green Smarties yet believe all races are equal (or races don't exist), despite treating races differently, you wouldn't be racist because your candy giving doesn't reflect anything except for your own strangeness.

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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:

Obama certainly had his share of fact-stretching and fuzzy math and he's been called on it by the same fact-checkers, but nowhere on Mitt's scale. Romney won the debate -- and he clearly won it -- by being loud, talking over everyone else, and repeating his lies so many times Obama was unable to keep up with them all.

Chris, I quoted some bits of this with credit given to you on Facebook. I hope you don't mind.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:

Going the other way, if you give black people only red Smarties and white people only green Smarties

Best. Analogy. Ever.
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Rakeesh
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You didn't say 'large number' before, Jeff. You said it's the majority vote. This is factually wrong, by a wide margin.

--------

Dan, not despicable at all in one case. Unwise and foolish I would say, and racially motivated and even racist. Despicable? Don't make me laugh. It never ceases to amaze me (and this is only partially addressed to you and Jeff) at just how quickly whites in our country insist minorities just get past letting racial concerns color their vision, or else be deemed the same as the guys who long for days of fire hoses and attack dogs.

It's not the same, and it's not despicable. Just for fun, how many minority members are there in Congress? How many women? But no, we say, secure in the ability not to take a critical look at ourselves in the majority. Any decision made by minorities or women to vote on the basis of this enormous, staggering example of just how far we have to go...it's despicable somehow. It's just as racist as the guy who won't vote for a n*^%er.

Bunk.

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Mucus
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Women aren't even a minority for that matter, which underscores how far we (both countries) need to go.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
You didn't say 'large number' before, Jeff. You said it's the majority vote. This is factually wrong, by a wide margin.

--------

Dan, not despicable at all in one case. Unwise and foolish I would say, and racially motivated and even racist. Despicable? Don't make me laugh. It never ceases to amaze me (and this is only partially addressed to you and Jeff) at just how quickly whites in our country insist minorities just get past letting racial concerns color their vision, or else be deemed the same as the guys who long for days of fire hoses and attack dogs.

It's not the same, and it's not despicable. Just for fun, how many minority members are there in Congress? How many women? But no, we say, secure in the ability not to take a critical look at ourselves in the majority. Any decision made by minorities or women to vote on the basis of this enormous, staggering example of just how far we have to go...it's despicable somehow. It's just as racist as the guy who won't vote for a n*^%er.

Bunk.

Weird.
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Dan_Frank
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I think you're describing two things here, Rakeesh, and conflating them. But there's an important difference between them. Let me see if I can articulate it.

The first is caring about trends, and how they indicate that the group you identify with is getting unfair treatment.

The second is choosing to make individual decisions that are socially accepted as ostensibly decisions about merit/ability/etc. and instead making those decisions based on race. Even if you're doing it because those aforementioned trends worry you, this still seems like blatant, inexcusable racism. Can you explain how it isn't, exactly?

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

Don't make me laugh.

Challenge accepted!

quote:

It's not the same, and it's not despicable.

Now you're reaching into morally gray terrain. I agree with you that it's a great thing to push for progress and equality, but when you vote for someone without knowing their politics, and instead you vote because they have the same skin color that you do, well, that's pretty awful. Heck, it's downright despicable.

Why? Because you are cheating the American people (and yourself) out of the best chance they have of getting the best leader. Sure, you're pushing your own race forward (or your sex), but is that decision right for your country? Not necessarily.

Furthermore, no matter how you look at it, both are committing stupid acts of prejudice. You are throwing out the other candidate because of their race, and that's wrong. You can gloss over the reasoning and say it's because of this or because of that, but it's still wrong.

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Dan_Frank
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Oh, I can see how it's not technically racism by the definition Mucus posted. It's making a decision based on race when it's supposed to be based on merit, but you're doing it for Social Justice, not because you think whites are inferior.

So if the only motivation that is racist is that you think X race is superior to Y race, then you're right, it's not racist.

I think a lot of us intuitively use something more akin to the old MLK quote to define racism: judging someone by their skin color instead of the content of their ideas.

So, assuming this usage, can you explain how what I described in my above post isn't racist?

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Mucus
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I can't assume that usage because I think what is eloquent in a speech isn't necessarily what reflects reality.

ex: pollsters have to treat people differently by race
quote:
Over-sampling is the “selective application of a higher
sampling fraction to rare sub-groups of particular interest
in the population studied, s as to ensure that the final
sample includes a sufficient number of these rare cases
to permit separate analysis”
• Screeners can be included within a survey design in
order to facilitate location of the rare population within
the frame population

www.nri-inc.org/projects/SDICC/TA/Klein_1.pdf

By the over-simplified definition of "treat someone a certain way simply because of their race" that would be racist, but I would argue that it is not.

Edit to add: Alternatively, I probably should have just looked up the guy's views
quote:
King was well aware of the arguments used against affirmative action policies. As far back as 1964, he was writing in Why We Can't Wait: "Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic."

King supported affirmative action-type programs because he never confused the dream with American reality. As he put it, "A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro" to compete on a just and equal basis (quoted in Let the Trumpet Sound, by Stephen Oates).

In a 1965 Playboy interview, King compared affirmative action-style policies to the GI Bill: "Within common law we have ample precedents for special compensatory programs.... And you will remember that America adopted a policy of special treatment for her millions of veterans after the war."

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1292

[ October 05, 2012, 02:36 AM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
40% of the population is a large number of people, Jon. Maybe some of them vote for Romney, but I think it's a safe bet to say that most will follow Obama.

It's 34%, not 40%. It is a large number of people, but it's very clearly in the minority. I still think it's a pretty big assumption that most will vote and that most of those that vote will follow Obama. Voter turnout is usually around 50% or so in general elections, and it's lower for minorities than for whites.
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SenojRetep
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Just to inform this discussion with some (more) numbers:

- African-Americans, who constitute about 12% of the US population, have overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic candidate for President since 1932, regardless of that candidate's race. A large part of this is that Democratic policies are viewed as favorable to the poor, and in the US being black and being poor is correlated. However, the Democratic share of the black vote did increase significantly in 2008 (from 88% in 2004 to 95% in 2008) and it's expected to be just as high this year, if not higher. To me, this indicates that there is possibly a racial component to the support for Obama among the black share of the electorate.

- The overall effect is difficult to disentagle, however, from broader societal effects. Obama's share of the white vote increased by appr. 5% over Kerry's, indicating that some or all of the 7% shift in the black population is probably explainable by non-racial exogenous effects.

- Another interesting effect is that, despite being a fairly constant proportion of the overall population, African-Americans' share of the electorate has increased in each of the last four presidential elections, with the biggest increase coming last year (when they went from 11% of the electorate to 12%).

- The story of Latinos is similar to that of blacks. In previous elections, their vote share has been quite a bit smaller than their population share, however this has been slowly changing over time. That said, while African-Americans' population share and voter share are now approximately equal, Latinos (who make up appr. 16.5% of the population) still are significantly underrepresented in the voting population (only 9% of the voting population). They also disproportionately vote for Democrats, and have for several elections. However, the proportions aren't significantly different than whites with similar economic traits, who also tend to vote for Democrats, although Latinos do consistently vote at slightly higher levels for Democrats than their white economic counterparts.

- With respect to Congress, 82% of Representatives are white, 10% are black, 6% are Latino or Hispanic, 2% are something else (mostly Asian). In the Senate, 96% of Senators are white, 2% are Latino or Hispanic, and 2% are Asian (there are currently no African-American senators).

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Dan_Frank
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Two things, Mucus: I didn't say "treat someone a different way because of their race." That's vague enough that it includes, say, a clothing designer who picks a different color scheme for a black person than they did for a white person. Of course there are examples where treating someone differently based on race makes sense.

I didn't say that, though. I also didn't actually quote MLK, so whether or not his views match with what I'm saying is also basically irrelevant.

I paraphrased his quote because I think the quote, broadly speaking, matches the intuitive definition of racism that I hold: Judging someone not by their ideas but by their race.

If someone says "No way I'm voting for that guy, he's black," then they are being racist. Even if they don't think blacks are inferior to whites, and instead they just expect that black people will probably "look out for their own" and pass policies that hurt white people. I still think that's racist.

You and Rakeesh don't, I guess? Do you think that your position is the more common? You think most people, if I described the above paragraph, would say: "Nah, he's not racist, because to be racist you have to think another race is inferior. He just doesn't trust black people not to screw him over. Makes sense."

Final thought: Is anti-semitism racist? Because this mentality is incredibly common in anti-semites. Many of them would vehemently deny thinking Jews are inferior, they just think Jews are looking to control society and screw over all non-Jews.

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Ron Lambert
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Some FNC commentators are predicting that since Obama was blown out of the water by Romney in the first debate, Obama and crew will resort to even nastier, more negative campaigning, especially including playing the race card.

The Obama supporters are in a total panic about Obama's poor performance in the debate, and are coming up with anything they can think of to excuse it. Chris Matthews (ol' tingle-foot) of MSNBC was nearly hysterical, waving his arms and crying "What happened to Obama?" Al Gore pointed out that Obama arrived in Denver only a couple of hours before the debate, while Romney had been there for several days doing his debate prep there, so that Obama did not have time to adjust to the thinner air at Denver's 5,000 foot altitude.

It is ironic that Obama and his crew would claim that Romney has changed his positions, when one of the main characteristics of Obama's campaigning in 2008 was changing his position constantly, literally from campaign stop to campaign stop, to make it more agreeable to whatever group he was addressing. This is one of the things that tipped me off right away that he was a fake. Obama probably figures that since he does it as a matter of routine, Romney must be doing it too. Obama is the worst liar and deliberate deceiver in the history of American politics. For him to accuse a genuinely religious and moral and honorable and accomplished man such as Mitt Romney of being a liar is the epitome of hypocrisy.

Even if Romney's position has "evolved" over the years, that would be better than stubbornly holding on to a position that ought to be changed. A president must have such flexibility as truth unfolds to him.

But has Romney actually been inconsistent? Or is it rather the case that his position is inconsistent with the way Democrats have been continually misrepresenting his position? There is little more pitiable than a politician who believes his own propaganda, and confuses his campaign ads with the truth.

Romney has now said emphatically before an estimated audience of close to 70 million people that he is not going to lower taxes for the rich, and is not going to raise taxes for the middle class. He made a number of definite declarations. It will be interesting to see how well he sticks by his promises and fulfills them when he is president. And will he get the same positive results that Ronald Reagan did, when Reagan pursued the same policies Romney espouses?

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Samprimary
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Hey ron I posed a very simple direct question to you and you have not answered it yet.

Answer my question!

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I didn't say "treat someone a different way because of their race."

Jeff C did, I'm addressing both parties at once.

quote:
I also didn't actually quote MLK, so whether or not his views match with what I'm saying is also basically irrelevant.
I disagree.
MLK is obviously an important figure in your societies racial history so I think his experience in having a dream and implementing that dream is highly instructive.

quote:
Do you think that your position is the more common?
Popularity is not relevant.
Most people probably think that "racist" is a generic slur without really thinking it through just like Fox News uses "socialist" or Mitt Romney railing against "redistribution."

In reality, there are subtle differences in what terms like racial discrimination, racist, or white privilege mean. Smashing them together leads to ignorance about these critical problems .

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MattP
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quote:
Most people probably think that "racist" is a generic slur
This is an important point. The "racist" that picks the black couple to rent their home even though there was a more qualified white couple strictly because they felt that it would be easier for the white couple to find another place is a different category of person than the "racist" that turns down the most qualified couple because he doesn't want "those people" living in his house.

We can call them both racist but we aren't really talking about the same thing when we do so because the connotative baggage of the word "racism" is too heavy.

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Chris Bridges
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One of his "definite declarations" was that under his plan, people with pre-existing conditions would still be covered. This is completely untrue, something his campaign admitted previously and again under questioning after the campaign. Romney's model is to make sure people with "continuous coverage" -- i.e. "already have health care" -- won't be dropped if conditions develop or they change plans. It does nothing for people without coverage at all. And that's already the law!

"Pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan," Romney said. Lie.

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Samprimary
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quote:
In reality, there are subtle differences in what terms like racial discrimination, racist, or white privilege mean. Smashing them together leads to ignorance about these critical problems .
I am cartwheeling in to give a retro-80's double thumbs up to this.
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Chris Bridges
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Over the last few months Romney has specified $5 trillion in tax cuts, a 20% cut in income tax rates, a 40% cut in the corporate tax rate, repeal of the estate tax and alternative minimum tax and elimination of taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for households with incomes below $200,000. he has not said how he will pay for this, beyond a vague mention of limiting exemptions and this week's talk of a deductions cap, neither of which come close to filling the gap. Where's the money coming from, Ron? Shuttering PBS?

(Psst: Reagan did it, in part, in the 1986 Tax Reform Act by increasing capital gains taxes and treating them like ordinary income. Think Romney will be doing that?)

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Samprimary
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the five trillion tax cuts figure Obama hammered Romney on is one that seems true, then upon closer examination looks like it is not actually true, but then the numbers come in and, it is true. Not that it's any big deal that it is easy to hammer on a completely impossible lie of a tax plan, but


.. jesus, it sounds like such dramatic hyperbole to call it a 'completely impossible lie of a tax plan' but it is not intellectually dishonest at all to call it that aah.

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Rakeesh
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Jeff, I note that you still haven't addressed your major factual inaccuracy earlier in this discussion re: just how large the minority population in this country is.

quote:
Yes, Rakeesh, because morally speaking they are completely the same. It is still racism.
Alright. For the sake of argument, let's say I agree that they're both completely racism. They're not, but let's just move past that. They're completely the same? Someone who votes on the basis of attempting to see their own minority race, still seriously disadvantaged economically, politically, in terms of education, in representation, so on and so forth, is completely the same as the person who says he won't vote for someone because they're a racial slur?

One person is, by their vote, explicitly attempting to keep a race down just because that race is inferior. The other person is explicitly trying to lift their own race up, because of the perception (factually accurate) that their race is not getting a fair shake in our society just yet. Both are decisions informed by racial politics. I see what you mean when you claim they're both racist, though as Mucus explained that's simply wrong too. But even if they were, what possible reasoning could you use to claim they're equally reprehensible? That they're the same? By this reasoning, all forms of violence are equivalent to one another.

quote:
Now you're reaching into morally gray terrain. I agree with you that it's a great thing to push for progress and equality, but when you vote for someone without knowing their politics, and instead you vote because they have the same skin color that you do, well, that's pretty awful. Heck, it's downright despicable.

Tough talk for a white American dude, if memory serves. Because it is of course just a coincidence that blacks have been between 9-14% of America's population for centuries, and it was never even politically thinkable until the past decade for a black man to be elected-much less a black woman, yes?

If you would drop this absurd equivalence you insist on, we might have the basis for a discussion. But whites in this country have been voting on the basis of skin color for centuries, and have actually been succeeding in advancing the cause of 'our race'. To suggest that a minority member voting for the very first chance they ever have to go against that pattern in our country is the same, is equally awful, remains distasteful to say the least. It remains the attitude of someone who has lived in the privileged section of American politics and hasn't really stopped to consider how the other half (well, excuse me, roughly third, just to belabor that half nonsense from before) lives beyond claiming 'racism is bad' and then considering the case closed.

Senoj's points are very much worth your consideration, Jeff. Consider this as well: the advent of a serious black American presidential candidate was met by...a roughly 10% over historic Democratic voting rates among that group. 10%, from 88 to 95%. That's large, that's an impressive gain of course, and certainly is substantially due to racial themes...but then you've got to consider, also as he points out, that the white vote increased by about 5% too.

So your theme of racially lockstep Democratic voting, your idea that Obama has the election sewn up because of his skin color, is simply nonsense. It's wrong because your perception of how many minorities there actually are in this country was hugely wrong, and it's wrong when you look at the facts of voting patterns.

Morally speaking it's less simple to demonstrate how bad these ideas of yours are, because things get murkier of course. But your theme there too, that a racist is a racist is a racist is a racist, and it doesn't matter if one racist only dates within their race and if the other just has an aversion for Tyler Perry movies and the third wears a hood and burns crosses, is also bunk. There are degrees. It's a complicated question.

-----------------
Dan,

quote:
The first is caring about trends, and how they indicate that the group you identify with is getting unfair treatment.

The second is choosing to make individual decisions that are socially accepted as ostensibly decisions about merit/ability/etc. and instead making those decisions based on race. Even if you're doing it because those aforementioned trends worry you, this still seems like blatant, inexcusable racism. Can you explain how it isn't, exactly?

This is precisely what I'm talking about. This equivalence being drawn here. Us white dudes comfortable in the 21st century, growing up being taught that the race problem is in the past, that MLK pretty much took care of business, are quick to suggest that the guy who won't vote for a racial slur is just as inexcusable as the person who notes a factual, centuries-old trend and tries with their vote to work against it. For one thing, as Mucus explained it's not exactly racism-we're far, far, far, far, FAR from the point where voting for a minority on the basis of their skin color would disadvantage even in the slightest the majority in this country. Or do you think minorities are thrilled with how well Obama has handled issues near and dear to their political hearts?

As for excusable, my response to you is basically the same as it is to Jeff: we have been, historically, really effective at screening out minority politicians from the political process. We still are, in fact. So sure, absolutely, I can excuse someone from trying to hurry tearing down that system a little.

As for the MLK quote, well I can see why you'd consider a discussion of what he actually professed and believed on the matter of race in this country to be irrelevant. Sure, the perception (among whites) is often that what he meant was that we need to eradicate conscious, thinking racism from our hearts and minds and perceptions, and then things will be hunky dory.

That's not what he meant, though.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QB] Jeff, I note that you still haven't addressed your major factual inaccuracy earlier in this discussion re: just how large the minority population in this country is.

Actually, Rakeesh, I admitted that my information was wrong, if you look back a bit. I even explained how the idea came to be in my head, and that I must have confused it with what is going to happen in a few decades. Look back a page or two, Rakeesh. There's a reason I haven't brought it up again.

quote:
For the sake of argument, let's say I agree that they're both completely racism. They're not, but let's just move past that.
If you are going to say the first sentence, don't say the second. One negates the other.

quote:
They're completely the same? Someone who votes on the basis of attempting to see their own minority race, still seriously disadvantaged economically, politically, in terms of education, in representation, so on and so forth, is completely the same as the person who says he won't vote for someone because they're a racial slur?
I'll address your initial question, which is, "They're completely the same?"

If I go out and steal from a man, and then I go out and steal from another, does the crime not mean the same thing? What if I steal from a rich man, and then I steal from a poor man? Is it suddenly different? Should the judgement of that crime be different now, just because we feel more empathy for the poor man?

Well sure, you might rationalize, the rich man has so much more, so the crime isn't as bad. The poor man needs that thing you stole more than the rich man does, because he's poor.

I would say no, as would the law, because stealing is stealing and it is still wrong. My argument to you is not one of rationalization or even that the motivation behind the crime is the same. Surely, the intentions of the black woman are somewhat better than the hateful white man, but aren't they both racially motivated and hurtful to the process of election? If you vote for one person because of their race, but not the other, aren't you cheating the country by not understanding the facts? The simple fact is that they are, each of them, contributing to a problem, no matter their intentions, because the process of having a fair and proper election has become broken. The black woman refuses to care about the facts and has made up her mind to vote for the man who looks like she does, just like the white man has decided to vote for the man who looks like him. Both parties are sharing the crime, no matter how you try to rationalize their motivation.

quote:
One person is, by their vote, explicitly attempting to keep a race down just because that race is inferior. The other person is explicitly trying to lift their own race up, because of the perception (factually accurate) that their race is not getting a fair shake in our society just yet.
Yet, is not the white man also voting, in turn, for the white politician because he believes that he will look out for his interests? Both sides are voting for someone who looks like they do. There might be other factors, such as a deplorable hatred for the Other, but that does not negate the fact that each side is still racially motivated in their decision making.

quote:
But even if they were, what possible reasoning could you use to claim they're equally reprehensible?
They both hinder the election process, furthering ignorance and promoting racial preference.

quote:
That they're the same? By this reasoning, all forms of violence are equivalent to one another.
Actually, that analogy doesn't really work in this scenario. In this scenario, both outcomes are the exact same, despite each person's motivations. Killing a man and punching a man reap completely different results; on the other hand, voting for somebody when you don't know anything about their politics or policies, but because they look a certain way, ultimately contributes to the same end, which is that it cheats a nation out of the best possible leader. That's the crime here.

quote:
Tough talk for a white American dude, if memory serves.
Don't use my race against me. It only comes off as petty.

quote:

If you would drop this absurd equivalence you insist on, we might have the basis for a discussion. But whites in this country have been voting on the basis of skin color for centuries, and have actually been succeeding in advancing the cause of 'our race'. To suggest that a minority member voting for the very first chance they ever have to go against that pattern in our country is the same, is equally awful, remains distasteful to say the least. It remains the attitude of someone who has lived in the privileged section of American politics and hasn't really stopped to consider how the other half (well, excuse me, roughly third, just to belabor that half nonsense from before) lives beyond claiming 'racism is bad' and then considering the case closed.

Let me be very clear here. I am not promoting either candidate in any way, nor am I saying it is reprehensible for a person of a certain race to vote for someone of their own race. My issue is that they are doing it for the sole reason that the person shares their skin color.

You bring up the fact that whites have been voting for whites on this exact same basis for centuries, but never once did I say that this was OK. In fact, I quite deplore it and find it detestable. I, myself, do not vote based upon a person's skin color, so I in turn expect my fellow Americans to do the same.


quote:
So your theme of racially lockstep Democratic voting, your idea that Obama has the election sewn up because of his skin color, is simply nonsense.
Actually, Rakeesh, I stated that it was a factor. A major factor, yes, but only one factor. I listed several of them. I did this so that I could point out that he was a member of certain social groups: democrats and minorities. He also appeals to the poor for many reasons, but also because he doesn't come from a wealthy family. The more people who can relate to a candidate, the stronger their chance of winning.

When asked why they voted for George W. Bush back in 2000, many votes explained that he simply "looked like the kind of guy you could have a beer with". They didn't mention his politics. They didn't talk about his stance on China, since that was a growing concern at the time. No, they talked about how he seemed like someone they could sit down and relate to.

quote:

Morally speaking it's less simple to demonstrate how bad these ideas of yours are, because things get murkier of course. But your theme there too, that a racist is a racist is a racist is a racist, and it doesn't matter if one racist only dates within their race and if the other just has an aversion for Tyler Perry movies and the third wears a hood and burns crosses, is also bunk. There are degrees. It's a complicated question.

Sure, Rakeesh, but it doesn't change the underlining message. By voting for a candidate simply because of their race, you are still allowing the idea of racism to exist. You aren't getting rid of it; you're furthering it. Racism doesn't just exist when it's convenient for you; it exists because it exists, and it's that simple.

Both individuals presented in this discussion have shown that they couldn't care less about the issues of this election, that they would rather live in complete ignorance and still go out and cast their votes for a person that appeals to them on the lowest possible qualification---their physical appearance.

That's wrong, no matter how you look at it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The first is caring about trends, and how they indicate that the group you identify with is getting unfair treatment.

The second is choosing to make individual decisions that are socially accepted as ostensibly decisions about merit/ability/etc. and instead making those decisions based on race. Even if you're doing it because those aforementioned trends worry you, this still seems like blatant, inexcusable racism. Can you explain how it isn't, exactly?

As for excusable, my response to you is basically the same as it is to Jeff: we have been, historically, really effective at screening out minority politicians from the political process. We still are, in fact. So sure, absolutely, I can excuse someone from trying to hurry tearing down that system a little.

Did I correctly bold your answer to my question? If not, could you repeat your answer to my question? Preferably without all the extraneous hostility, condescension, and implications that my arguments are invalid because of my race. If you honestly believe that, you're welcome not to argue with me, but if you argue with me, try to focus on the content of what I say and not my skin color.

If I got it right, and you're saying it's not racist... okay. You refer to what Mucus said. So racism only means "thinks X race is superior/inferior."

So it wouldn't be racist for a white guy to say "man, this black guy is brilliant and qualified, but I'm afraid he'll screw over white people like me, so I won't vote for him." Or "This black guy is brilliant and qualified for the job, but I feel bad for this stupid trailer trash white guy who applied, so I'll hire him. The black guy is smart enough to get a job anywhere"

Right? Not racist at all, yeah?

----------------

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
I also didn't actually quote MLK, so whether or not his views match with what I'm saying is also basically irrelevant.
I disagree.
MLK is obviously an important figure in your societies racial history so I think his experience in having a dream and implementing that dream is highly instructive.

Sure, but it's irrelevant as a rebuttal to my point.

If someone says: "I believe in what Thomas Jefferson said: Socialism is the most humane political system in the world. For X reasons."

It's not actually an argument to say "Nope, Jefferson never said that!"

You're ignoring the actual content. If it makes you feel better, pretend I didn't mention MLK. You're welcome to mention him when you like, but if you're disputing what I said, then dispute the content.

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Do you think that your position is the more common?
Popularity is not relevant.
Most people probably think that "racist" is a generic slur without really thinking it through just like Fox News uses "socialist" or Mitt Romney railing against "redistribution."

In reality, there are subtle differences in what terms like racial discrimination, racist, or white privilege mean. Smashing them together leads to ignorance about these critical problems .

Popularity is completely relevant when we're discussing usage of words, actually. As relevant as the OED or Britannica or whatever it was you linked earlier.

But if you mean, popularity isn't relevant to issues of racism, because most people are too blinded by their privilege and unconsciously maintain the pervasive, subtle oppression of black people... much like the "patriarchy" that keeps women down... I really don't have much else to say.

I mean, other than "it's crap." There are no good arguments for that stuff.

As far as I've seen it used, "white privilege" (like "male privilege") is just an easily twisted amorphous fallacy that can be used to discredit someone's opinion, deflect criticism, and otherwise shut down rational conversation. If you really buy into it, then I don't think there's anything I could possibly say to change your mind.

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Samprimary
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Wait, am I understanding this correctly (I don't know honestly)

Do you think "white privilege" is not like, a real thing, it's just a fallacy? Like there's no actual advantage conferred by various means, in sum, to being white in this country?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
As far as I've seen it used, "white privilege" (like "male privilege") is just an easily twisted amorphous fallacy...
This is a sentence that could only be uttered by a white male.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
As far as I've seen it used, "white privilege" (like "male privilege") is just an easily twisted amorphous fallacy...
This is a sentence that could only be uttered by a white male.
As a purple female, I find this offensive.
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Vadon
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I'm going to jump into the racism discussion against my better judgement, mostly because I'm bored and on my long bus commute home. I'll be talking in the abstract, mostly.

Although the discussion has long since moved past whether the number of non-white citizens have made whites a plurality, I think it would be a good idea not just to look at the demographic breakdown of the number of citizens according to their race. I want to know the relative turn out rates, numbers of registered voters, and numbers of those voters disenfranchised by felony convictions of each racial category compared to their percent of the larger population.

Even if its true that 34% of citizens in the United States are non-white(I'm willing to believe that number), what is the percent of non-white voter turnout in the election? If there is a significant difference between the two--which I'd wager there is--it demands investigation. This not just related to race, I'd also want to see voter participation rates broken down by sex, income bracket, region, religion, etc.

But to the question of voting for or against someone based upon their race, I suppose I should preface my opinion by saying that I support affirmative action. I'm also willing to admit to the fact that Obama's being black is a part of the reason I'll be voting for him. When we look at the racial demographic breakdowns in this country, we see there is still a lot of inequality between races according to primary social goods. I include in my list of primary social goods things like cultural capital, social capital, as well as liquid capital and assets. I take the evidence of gross inequality between races as evidence that there are systematic problems and not just social issues generating the inequality.

As a middle class white guy, I've never had to experience the effects of racism in the same way that a black man does. Even if I know the problem exists, I believe there is value to the knowledge gained by experience. Personal experience allows you to compare the struggles you face against others you've endured. I'm not so arrogant as to think that just because I know there's gross inequalities that I also know what it's like to face them.

It's like the idea of homosexuals in favor of homosexual rights being painted as a single issue voter. Gay people don't only face discrimination for being gay, they also struggle with rising gas prices, pollution, and generalized national security. As a straight man, I have no idea what its like to experience that discrimination and contrast that with the difficulties of other aspects in my life. But I trust the judgement of a gay person on issues relating to homosexual discrimination far more than a person who hasn't experienced it.

President Obama, as a black man, has faced many obstacles in his life by virtue of being black. He's also an extremely well educated man, demonstrates a judgment I like in my leaders, and his political alignment, while slightly right of mine, is far more in line with my own than Romney's.

One could object to my saying that Obama being black is part of the reason I'm supporting him by saying its not his race that I'm voting on, but the experiences he has had by virtue of being black. To that I respond I wouldn't think he's had those experiences if it weren't for the fact that I've read his books and that he's black.

So do I think I'm a racist for letting Obama's race influence my vote? No. I think I'm a racist because I have been socially conditioned into having prejudiced opinions of people without any evidence but the race of the individual. I'm also self-aware of my racism and work to accommodate for it without over compensation.

(Edited for clarity and cohesion. Cut me a break, I'm on my phone.)

[ October 05, 2012, 07:32 PM: Message edited by: Vadon ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Wait, am I understanding this correctly (I don't know honestly)

Do you think "white privilege" is not like, a real thing, it's just a fallacy? Like there's no actual advantage conferred by various means, in sum, to being white in this country?

No, if that's what you mean, then I agree it exists.

That's not the way I've typically seen it used. The place I typically see the term (and "male privilege") used is the Social Justice community, and both terms mean a lot more than just "there are some social advantages to being white/male."

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
As far as I've seen it used, "white privilege" (like "male privilege") is just an easily twisted amorphous fallacy...
This is a sentence that could only be uttered by a white male.
Like clockwork!

That's a perfect response, Tom. I mean, it could not be more on the nose if you were my sockpuppet and I'd written it for you.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Do you think that your position is the more common?
Popularity is not relevant.
Most people probably think that "racist" is a generic slur without really thinking it through just like Fox News uses "socialist" or Mitt Romney railing against "redistribution."

In reality, there are subtle differences in what terms like racial discrimination, racist, or white privilege mean. Smashing them together leads to ignorance about these critical problems .

Popularity is completely relevant when we're discussing usage of words, actually. As relevant as the OED or Britannica or whatever it was you linked earlier.

I'm not sure if you're serious, but if you are, that's probably the root of the miscommunication.

I have almost zero interest in the usage of words. What I have interest in is racism and what approaches people make take to deal with it. (e.g. voting for representation)

For example, we can imagine that in a state that we'll call South Barolina, people have gone on a very successful campaign to call eating pudding "racism" and suddenly many people are "racists." But that doesn't mean that the concept (or the problem) of (actual) racism has disappeared or that I'm suddenly interested in talking about pudding, it just means we have a oddly useless new phrase for describing people that eat pudding.

Similarly, I'm not talking about racism-as-useless-definition, or racism-as-slur, I'm talking about actual racism.

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Dan_Frank
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So you quoted the Britannica definition just because you agree with it, and wanted the trappings of authority?

Okay. I disagree with it. Let's not rely on what's "technically" racism-according-to-Britannica.

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Rakeesh
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Jeff,

quote:
Actually, Rakeesh, I admitted that my information was wrong, if you look back a bit. I even explained how the idea came to be in my head, and that I must have confused it with what is going to happen in a few decades. Look back a page or two, Rakeesh. There's a reason I haven't brought it up again.

You did acknowledge you were wrong without, that I recall, acknowledging that it was a very large error but in any event: that you so wildly overestimated the minority population in this country (without getting into a lower proportion of minority turnout, of course) doesn't seem to have impacted your notion that Obama has the election at a walk, one of the fundamental reasons being the minority vote.

So it was about more than just the number.

quote:
I would say no, as would the law, because stealing is stealing and it is still wrong. My argument to you is not one of rationalization or even that the motivation behind the crime is the same. Surely, the intentions of the black woman are somewhat better than the hateful white man, but aren't they both racially motivated and hurtful to the process of election? If you vote for one person because of their race, but not the other, aren't you cheating the country by not understanding the facts? The simple fact is that they are, each of them, contributing to a problem, no matter their intentions, because the process of having a fair and proper election has become broken. The black woman refuses to care about the facts and has made up her mind to vote for the man who looks like she does, just like the white man has decided to vote for the man who looks like him. Both parties are sharing the crime, no matter how you try to rationalize their motivation.
We're not talking about the law. But alright, your point is that stealing the 50th silver salad fork from Daddy Warbucks is the same as stealing Little Orphan Annie's second (of two) pairs of shoes, assuming she has two, because they're both stealing.

Alright. Morally speaking that's nonsense because one person is harmed much much more than the other, but I can see there's not going to be much gained by further discussion on that point.

As for facts...well. You started this discussion by suggesting Obama can take the election easily largely due to his appeal to 'the poor' and to minorities, because (and you don't come out and say this, but it's plain) most minority voters are voting on racist grounds. I guess because of talking to coworkers, or something. But your basis for this claim was hugely overestimating just how many such voters there are. So. Facts.

quote:
Yet, is not the white man also voting, in turn, for the white politician because he believes that he will look out for his interests? Both sides are voting for someone who looks like they do. There might be other factors, such as a deplorable hatred for the Other, but that does not negate the fact that each side is still racially motivated in their decision making.

Except his interests aren't actually under attack. *If* they are threatened, it's a far flung future threat indeed.

quote:
They both hinder the election process, furthering ignorance and promoting racial preference.

Goodness yes, they both hinder the process to the same extent. Your coworker, voting for the first black candidate for President who had a shot ever, is exactly as racially motivated as the guy who goes out of his way not to vote for racial slurs. Both will change their minds about as often, and as time passes and her minority achieves something approaching equal representation, she'll continue to vote color.

Yeah.

quote:
Don't use my race against me. It only comes off as petty.
Likening your coworker to your virulently bigoted step dad, that was petty. This is just me pointing out, bluntly, how thoroughly you live in white privilege.

quote:
Let me be very clear here. I am not promoting either candidate in any way, nor am I saying it is reprehensible for a person of a certain race to vote for someone of their own race. My issue is that they are doing it for the sole reason that the person shares their skin color.
Mm-hm. So when you say, as you have, that Obama has a major advantage in the election because of how many racist votes he'll get (this is what you've said), that's not a rejection of the candidate?

quote:
You bring up the fact that whites have been voting for whites on this exact same basis for centuries, but never once did I say that this was OK. In fact, I quite deplore it and find it detestable. I, myself, do not vote based upon a person's skin color, so I in turn expect my fellow Americans to do the same.
Oh, of course not. Unfortunately I tend to think problems such as generations of culturally and legally enforced racism are a bit more complex and enduring than 'I don't vote on skin color, if everyone just did that it would be great'.

It would be interesting to know, in detail, just what questions you asked to determine your coworker knew *nothing* about Obama except his race.

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Jeff C.
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Rakeesh, I have said this multiple times now. I was not only referring to race. I said that he was part of that group, the minority group, and that he also was a democrat, and also came from a poor upbringing. These three things combined will get him the minority vote, the democratic vote, and the poor vote. Maybe not all of them, but certainly most.

quote:
Mm-hm. So when you say, as you have, that Obama has a major advantage in the election because of how many racist votes he'll get (this is what you've said), that's not a rejection of the candidate?
No, Rakeesh, it's not, because I voted for the man once before. If you want, I can sit here and tell you how Romney is a part of certain groups, and how he will undoubtedly have their vote because of it. That's how politics works, as I've said, because people generally vote on the person they relate to the most.

quote:
Likening your coworker to your virulently bigoted step dad, that was petty. This is just me pointing out, bluntly, how thoroughly you live in white privilege.
I likened them because they both exude ignorance on the subject of politics. They are vastly different in many ways, but of this they share a commonality. And saying that I live in white privilege shows an exceedingly large amount of ignorance on your part. I have not brought up your personal upbringing, nor have I aimed to directly insult you on a personal level, yet you have done so twice thus far, shadowing each insult with sarcasm and disdain. If you disagree with me, so be it, but leave it at that and try, at least for now, to be civil in your discussion.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Like clockwork!

That's a perfect response, Tom. I mean, it could not be more on the nose if you were my sockpuppet and I'd written it for you.

That you are self-aware enough to know that your shameful racism is shameful enough that someone will comment on it is not a point in your favor, Dan. Look, seriously, I know you're smart enough to know what the term "white privilege" actually means, and I know you're smart enough to know that it absolutely exists; I know you've seen the studies demonstrating this, and know you understand the sociological and psychological factors at play, here. So what you're really objecting to is the idea that it's okay to actively suppress the power of an overpowered group in favor of a group that has been actively oppressed in the past and is consequently underpowered. This is entirely consistent with your personal philosophy; I understand that. But don't pretend that the phenomenon that action is meant to address doesn't exist; just man up and admit that, yes, it exists and it's a shame but you honestly don't care enough to allow it to violate your personal principles.

(And, Jeff, stealing from the poor is indeed a far, far worse crime than stealing from the rich. The law is only a tool -- it is not a goal -- and is at best one of many factors that help determine the morality of an action. There are many legal things which are immoral, and many illegal things that are moral.)

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Like clockwork!

That's a perfect response, Tom. I mean, it could not be more on the nose if you were my sockpuppet and I'd written it for you.

That you are self-aware enough to know that your shameful racism is shameful enough that someone will comment on it is not a point in your favor, Dan. Look, seriously, I know you're smart enough to know what the term "white privilege" actually means, and I know you're smart enough to know that it absolutely exists; I know you've seen the studies demonstrating this, and know you understand the sociological and psychological factors at play, here. So what you're really objecting to is the idea that it's okay to actively suppress the power of an overpowered group in favor of a group that has been actively oppressed in the past and is consequently underpowered. This is entirely consistent with your personal philosophy; I understand that. But don't pretend that the phenomenon that action is meant to address doesn't exist; just man up and admit that, yes, it exists and it's a shame but you honestly don't care enough to allow it to violate your personal principles.

Well, sure, you're right that I object to hurting people for the sake of other people. That's true! Even if the people that are being hurt are better off that the people being helped, I still think that's deeply immoral. No "manning up" required, not ashamed of it in the least. [Smile]

That being said, the context in which I normally see the "X Privilege" terms being used are as I said earlier. Not as a descriptive term to indicate that whites or males have advantages, but as a term to indicate that because of these advantages the privileged group is invalidated. They can't understand/can't comment/can't criticize/etc. Whatever the need of the moment is. It's used as a very versatile ad hominem, essentially.

What amazed me is how immediately and blatantly you demonstrated the mindset I'm talking about. Do you honestly not see that? I'm pretty surprised.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What amazed me is how immediately and blatantly you demonstrated the mindset I'm talking about.
Heh. I imagine that you probably get a lot of that, since "I don't get why people say that I, as a white guy, don't really get to give my perspective on what being a minority is like" is pretty much an invitation to have that repeatedly explained to you, and it's the entirety of what you've been doing in this thread. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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Well, no, not so much. I mean, no, I don't get it all that often (It's a pretty cheesy and intellectually lazy way to argue, which is why I am legitimately, honestly surprised to see you so gleefully use it). And also, no, I'm not saying anything about my perspective on "what being a minority is like."

I have been giving my perspective on racism, of course. But it's pretty weird to characterize any white person's opinion of racism as trying to claim "what being a minority is like."

Of course, you and Rakeesh and other whities feel totally comfortable giving your opinions on racism. So it's not really inappropriate for a white man to talk about racism. Only if he's criticizing some prevailing attitudes about racism is it not okay.

Which, again, is why claims like this are really just a tool used to deflect criticism and avoid rational discussion.

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Rakeesh
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You're missing the point. The point is not that you can't give or have a perspective on racism or racial matters. The point is that you should show, should have, some deep abiding skepticism as to how accurate, how valid, how reflective of the actual world that opinion is because...white privilege.

I would have to do a lot of research and even immersion before I would be taken seriously if I decided to speak about the living circumstances of, say, low income Catholic families in southern England who had come from generations of the same. It would be laughable and, to them, offensive particularly if I were to conclude from my far flung, ill informed perspective that things weren't that bad for them. That they didn't face any sort of serious cultural or governmental intolerance.

But just because we're all Americans, supposedly-this being another sign of that privilege, the automatic assumption that our opinion is valid and our experience relevant-us white American men have some right to have our opinion on experiences we know very little, as a group, about be respected as valid...I'm not sure, just because everyone has opinions or something.

You get to have an opinion. What you don't get is to have an opinion that conveniently fits your own perspective and serves your own interest and get to have it without being regarded with skepticism. Especially when you say (and believe, before being corrected) things like minorities are half the country. That remark, for example, is a sign of being radically out of touch with just what the race situation is. Or to say 'white privilege is usually used as a fallacy', or to quote MLK and then pivot away from actually examining his thoughts on a topic.

It's interesting how circular your argument is. You say that 'white privilege' is used as a rhetorical bludgeon against white people on racial matters. We describe white privilege and the way in which it means your perspective should be taken with a grain of salt, a substantial one, because of the way it directly supports the status quo. You exult that this serves to prove your point, without ever actually explaining why your thoughts on the nature and pervasiveness of racism should be considered as valid as opinions that don't, as you and Jeff have alluded to, hint that the problem is solved when people 'don't vote on skin color' or that all it takes is a conscious decision not to be racist.

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Rakeesh
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Also: you cannot possibly express an opinion about racism without also making a statement, whether you mean to or not, about the minority experience. It's not an abstract, it's not a math problem, and to express what racism is or looks like means at the very least making a statement that challenges or affirms to some extent 'the minority experience'.
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Samprimary
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The absolute best best best part about my white privilege is that it's everywhere, but I don't have to bother ever analyzing it or even recognizing that it's there in many ways. It's just there, inexorably, at almost every level of society. I literally don't even have to know it's there!

And that in converse is the worst part of it for persons of color slash minority races. They end up having to confront it, because it's there and it works against them, and it's frequently just right-out thrown in their faces. By a majority race comprised of individuals usually certain they are not contributing to it. Whee!

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
You're missing the point. The point is not that you can't give or have a perspective on racism or racial matters. The point is that you should show, should have, some deep abiding skepticism as to how accurate, how valid, how reflective of the actual world that opinion is because...white privilege.

Can you explain why I should do that? I approach most things with skepticism and self-criticism, but I don't see why I should have some extra-special-deep-abiding skepticism of this in particular. Is there some reason you think it's more difficult/impossible to understand something intellectually rather than understanding it via personal experience?

Often times people don't look very critically at their personal experiences in the first place, and make lots of mistakes in accurately explaining their experiences. Do you disagree?

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
But just because we're all Americans, supposedly-this being another sign of that privilege, the automatic assumption that our opinion is valid and our experience relevant-us white American men have some right to have our opinion on experiences we know very little, as a group, about be respected as valid...I'm not sure, just because everyone has opinions or something.

There it is again... how relevant our "experience" is. Shrug.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
You get to have an opinion. What you don't get is to have an opinion that conveniently fits your own perspective and serves your own interest and get to have it without being regarded with skepticism. Especially when you say (and believe, before being corrected) things like minorities are half the country. That remark, for example, is a sign of being radically out of touch with just what the race situation is. Or to say 'white privilege is usually used as a fallacy', or to quote MLK and then pivot away from actually examining his thoughts on a topic.

Heh, again, I used a bad paraphrase of an MLK quote in the context of an argument I was making. It actually didn't occur to me that people would assume I was trying to use MLK's authority as an argument, but I see now that it could be read that way. My mistake. I don't think such authority exists, and didn't intend to assume any of the authority you assign to MLK for myself.

Also, can you explain how what I said fits my own perspective and serves my own interest? I don't understand what you mean, so an explanation would be helpful.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It's interesting how circular your argument is. You say that 'white privilege' is used as a rhetorical bludgeon against white people on racial matters. We describe white privilege and the way in which it means your perspective should be taken with a grain of salt, a substantial one, because of the way it directly supports the status quo. You exult that this serves to prove your point, without ever actually explaining why your thoughts on the nature and pervasiveness of racism should be considered as valid as opinions that don't, as you and Jeff have alluded to, hint that the problem is solved when people 'don't vote on skin color' or that all it takes is a conscious decision not to be racist.

Your responses seem equally circular to me.

One thing, though: I will never try to convince you that due to my experiences my opinion should be considered valid/as valid/more valid or whatever. This is because I don't think that people's opinions gain validity based on where they're coming from.

I think that arguments and explanations are valid based on whether or not I can think of any criticisms of them, and then whether or not my criticisms can be addressed by the person I am talking to. Repeat.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Can you explain why I should do that? I approach most things with skepticism and self-criticism, but I don't see why I should have some extra-special-deep-abiding skepticism of this in particular. Is there some reason you think it's more difficult/impossible to understand something intellectually rather than understanding it via personal experience?
Well, this gets right back to white privilege which you disregard, so I don't know how much an explanation will be worth, but here goes: there's nothing special about it, to us. We're not receiving any unusual or unwarranted benefits, it seems, so to us white privilege isn't something that has to be considered-we 'know' that we abide by MLK's injunction to judge people by the content of their characters and not their skin, so to us it seems as though it's more or less a thing of the past. You should be more skeptical of it because it's there (studies on a variety of aspects of American life demonstrate this conclusively, however much anyone wishes to claim it's a fallacy), and by your (and my) nature it is harder to detect because for us it's a reality we haven't courted, we just live in it. It's a confirmation bias, so to speak, and I know you're familiar with those and why extra skepticism is needed to detect them.
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Dan_Frank
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I spent a good portion of my life believing those studies (after all, they're "conclusive!") and seeing examples of white privilege everywhere. If anything, any confirmation bias I had was functioning in the opposite way that you describe, to reinforce my belief in how deeply racist society was.

I think that, to the extent cultural racism exists in our country (and it does!), I still see it. But I've taken a more skeptical and critical view of those conclusive studies, of social justice, of "white privilege," etc. as well.

Because the conclusions of the studies are explanations couched as facts, and I think they are often not the best explanations. Because "social justice" is mostly just a tribal subculture designed to give people a sense of moral superiority and righteousness. And because, well, I already bitched about how I see "white privilege" used.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Because the conclusions of the studies are explanations couched as facts
You will have to show us what studies you are working on to come to this conclusion.

There is a large subset of Social Justice Warriors which are among the most obnoxiously terrible things on the internet and its kind of frankly broken and toxic shit all wandering to the fore but the behavior of a weird subset of social justikeers does not in any way impact the truth of the matter that america is a deeply racist country with generations to go before there's any sort of real parity that prevents the ingrained socialization and inclusion of privilege to whites.

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Rakeesh
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What it comes down to for me is, as I've said before, how strange and hugely unlikely the idea is that a society with cultural, legal, religious, political, and economic open racism for centuries can be thought to have overcome those problems in literally less than a tenth of the number of generations than those problems were, setting aside non-overt/on the books problems, in place.

If we were reading about a social problem of similar duration and power in a different society long in the past, few indeed would credit the majority's leaders in history books claiming the problem had been largely dealt with so quickly. Most people would (rightly) regard such a thing with skepticism.

I suppose it ties into American exceptionalism, though. We're just that good. Two or three generations since we addressed (much) of the on-the-books racism in our country, and the claim that it still persists in subtle cultural ways is just a fallacy...even though, y'know, just all racial, ethnic, religious, and gender groups except 'white Christian male' are still hugely underrepresented in the upper tiers of the private sector and of government. White privilege is just a fallacy. We're just...I don't know, lucky or something.

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Rakeesh
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But since you mentioned it, Dan, how *do* you explain those facts-underrepresentation-in my last paragraph? They are so consistent and so pervasive it cannot just be coincidence.
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Parkour
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We should pat ourselves on the backs for how good we have been about talking about how we have combated racism. What is really important is that people don't make me feel bad about the fact that racism exists, because I'm not the problem, I'm the GOOD white man who agrees that racism is a bad thing and shouldn't exist.

Repeat forever.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Okay. I disagree with it. Let's not rely on what's "technically" racism-according-to-Britannica.

Well, if you have something against Britannica, Merriam Webster ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racist ) or Oxford-US edition ( http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/racist ) have pretty similar definitions.

But more importantly, I don't know why one would prefer your interpretation of the MLK-definition. Not only does it not seem very useful in explaining how racial discrimination works, it has weird side-effects like defining MLK as a racist.

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