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aries1988 : racism   20

Against Murderism | Slate Star Codex

If racism is just a description of what consequences something has, then it can’t be used as a causal explanation.

So Definition By Consequences implies that racism can never be pointed to as a cause of anything, that racist policies can often be good, that nobody “is a racist” or “isn’t a racist”, and that sometimes the KKK trying to terrorize black people is less racist than them not trying to do this. Not only have I never heard anyone try to grapple with these implications, I see no sign anyone has ever thought of them. And now that I’ve brought them up, I don’t think anyone will accept them as true, or even worry about the discrepancy.

in our own universe, we recognize that “murderism” is silly: it confuses cause and effect.
Talk about murderism is obviously confused. But it’s the same confusion between the Definition By Consequences versus the Definition By Motive that we saw was a hallmark of racism.

To be clear – I am not saying that racism doesn’t exist, I’m not saying that we should ignore racism, I’m not saying that minorities should never be able to complain about racism. I’m saying that it’s very dangerous to treat “racism” as a causal explanation, that it might not tell you anything useful about the world, and that’s a crappy lever to use if you want to change behavior.

I don’t want civil war. I want this country to survive long enough to be killed by something awesome, like AI or some kind of genetically engineered superplague. Right now I think going out in a neat way, being killed by a product of our own genius and intellectual progress – rather than a product of our pettiness and mutual hatreds – is the best we can hope for. And I think this is attainable! I think that we, as a nation and as a species, can make it happen.
racism  definition  argument  politics 
22 days ago by aries1988
White Privilege Is Real, but Well-Meaning White Liberals Are Helping to Perpetuate It - Quillette

with progressive ideology. A system that disadvantages blacks, immigrants, Hispanics or Muslims comes to be imagined as a machine operated by an omnipotent white god.

Liberals tend to believe in a kind of reverse white exceptionalism: that whites, in contrast to every other ethnic and racial group, should suppress their communal identity because it’s linked to a system of racial inequality. They seek to deconstruct white identity as an ideological construct designed to maintain power. Cultural conservatives, by contrast, consider whites a group like any other—attached to particular myths, symbols and memories—which should be able to express its identity and interests without fear of censure.

Rather than imagining a world of conflicting groups in which whites oppress non-whites, we should think of white privilege as a complex structure which all people of all races and ethnicities bear some responsibility for. Instead of adopting a simple minded narrative which demonises white identity and casts white people as the villains, we should encourage the whole of society to work collaboratively to reduce system bias.
contrarian  conservatism  usa  race  racism  stereotype  policy  opinion  caucasian  society 
april 2019 by aries1988
Stretch Genes

the genomes of various human beings fall into several reasonably well-defined clusters when analyzed statistically, and these clusters generally correspond to continent of origin. In this statistical sense, races are real.

To Wade, the implications are big. While behavioral differences among races would surely be subtle, they can, he insists, become amplified at the level of entire societies. Slight differences in behavioral predisposition—to cooperation, aggression, trust, propensity to follow rules, and so on—probably pushed different races in directions that led to different social institutions. Indeed the seeds of difference between the world’s great civilizations were perhaps present from the first settlements.

the evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker. (Evolutionary psychologists, while acknowledging that human behavior has a partly genetic basis, generally assume that all people share the same predispositions. They then try to explain these human universals.)

This sends Wade into paroxysms of righteous indignation and he declares that whether or not a thesis might be politically incendiary should have no bearing on the estimate of its scientific validity. What Wade doesn’t tell you is that this is what Pinker himself says in his very next sentence: The fact that a hypothesis is politically uncomfortable does not mean that it is false, but it does mean that we should consider the evidence very carefully before concluding that it is true.
book  critic  gene  human  race  biology  political  opinion  debate  society  evolution  racism 
october 2018 by aries1988
How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613 | Aeon Ideas

By this criterion, Caliban is part of the prehistory of ‘how the Irish became white’, as the historian Noel Ignatiev put it in 1995. None of this is to say that Caliban is actually any of these particular identities, nor that the Dark Lady should literally be identified as belonging to any specific group either, rather that both examples provide a window on the earliest period when our current racial categorisations began to take shape, while still being divergent enough from how our racialised system would ultimately develop.

there are compelling reasons to think that many in a Jacobean audience would rather understand Caliban as being more akin to the first targets of English colonialism, the Irish.

Middleton’s play indicates the coalescing of another racial pole in contrast to blackness, and that’s whiteness – but which groups belonged to which pole was often in flux.
history  ethnic  race  invention  mentality  theater  human  identity  racism 
october 2017 by aries1988
Against Murderism
As usual, the answer is that “racism” is a confusing word that serves as a mishmash of unlike concepts. Here are some of the definitions people use for racism: 1. Definition By Motives: An irrational feeling of hatred toward some race that causes someone to want to hurt or discriminate against them. 2. Definition By Belief: A belief that some race has negative qualities or is inferior, especially if this is innate/genetic. 3. Definition By Consequences: Anything whose consequence is harm to minorities or promotion of white supremacy, regardless of whether or not this is intentional.

Murder is an effect of other goals – sometimes base, sometimes noble – and the invocation of “murderism” only serves to hide these goals and conflate different actions into a single meaningless category.
politics  racism  debate  essay  idea  comparison  moi  question  toread 
august 2017 by aries1988
How Might Ethnonationalism Replace Religion?
If you are like me, you were transfixed by Shadi Hamid‘s NPR interview this morning. He touched broadly on two issues: the compatibility of Islam and democracy, and the consequences of the declining religious support in the West for the rise of ethnonationalism.
ethnonationalism, white pride, and other forms of identity politics fill the void in meaning where religion once was.

First, religion might provide individual psychological benefits, creating what we might term meaning-in-belief.
religion creates social structures that provide collective social benefits to those who participate.

There is a stronger argument here, but that contemporary expressions of ethnonationalism in the U.S. remain too disjointed and episodic to be convincingly doing this work.
The distinctive thing about Nazi Germany was not the presence or celebration of anti-Semites, it was the organization of anti-Semites into a team.
comparison  nazi  germany  opinion  usa  today  politics  racism  ethnic  religion  conflict  future  society 
june 2017 by aries1988
His Kampf

Was Hitchens’s critique of Christianity, he said, not as wan and naive as Christianity itself? Christianity had bound together the civilizations of Europe, and now Hitchens wanted to replace it with—well, what exactly? American neoliberal internationalism? Why should anyone care if Christianity was irrational and illiberal, when rationality and liberalism had never been its purpose? Hitchens had missed the point.

In his view, the Bush administration had manipulated the country into war. “Spreading democracy” and “freedom” are, Spencer said, false ideals, distracting Americans from what really matters—namely, a consciousness of their identity as whites with a shared Christian heritage.

In December, the hipster-Marxist magazine Jacobin published an online essay, “The Elite Roots of Richard Spencer’s Racism,” that sought to understand his white supremacy. “He represents a common and longstanding (if overlooked) phenomenon: the well-educated and financially comfortable bigot,” the author, Michael Phillips, wrote. “His blend of racism and elitism represents only an extreme version of a worldview that has long prevailed among the affluent in Spencer’s hometown.”

Among the German ideas he adopted was a concept of race different from the one he and I had been taught in our multicultural workshops in the ’90s. In the modern era, American discussion of race has limited itself, by convention, to a few canonical categories: black, white, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic. “Race isn’t just color,” Spencer told an audience in December. “Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race.”

For Spencer, race is more akin to the German Volksgeist, literally “the spirit of a people.” Volksgeist is associated, historically, with Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), and Germans became enchanted with it during the 19th century. Some would say the Second World War was the culmination of German devotion to their own Volksgeist. Herder’s followers proposed that each people has an essence that distinguishes it from others.

As one who knew Spencer when we were both hapless, overprivileged adolescents, sharing a desire to transcend our origins, what interests me the most about him is his self-reinvention, the intellectual costume changes (foppish actor, grad-school blowhard, opera-director manqué, and now architect of a white utopian dream of world-historical consequence) spanning three decades. After all, it is said that one of the great advantages of America is that its daughters and sons can escape the strictures of the world in which they were raised, be unlike their forefathers. Spencer has certainly done that.
portrait  altright  leader  university  idea  opinion  religion  usa  west  african  racism  Philosophy  intelligentsia  nazi 
june 2017 by aries1988
Trump's Tribalism and the New Typical Face - The Atlantic
For most of our evolutionary history, tribal humans acted on cues from appearances, drawing information about who to trust based on how people looked. Similarity was a cue to kinship, and kinship a cue to safety. We came to make these judgments very quickly, according to Alexander Todorov, a psychology professor who runs Princeton University’s Social Perception Lab. His work has shown that we make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second. These snap judgments have been shown to predict economic, legal, and other decisions even today.

Societies have globalized, but instincts to demarcate self and other—and to rush to judgments accordingly—persist. As Obama told The New Yorker, “Your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. You should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish.”

“The idea is it’s not just about who looks like you, or your lifelong learning about— say, who looks masculine or feminine, and what that means,” Todorov said, “but it’s a lot about who you’ve been around in the very recent past. The positive finding that we can overcome biases by exposure more easily than once thought.”
face  perception  ethnic  racism 
november 2016 by aries1988
Can Racism Be Stopped in the Third Grade?
The program, which was also put in place this school year at Ethical Culture, Fieldston’s other elementary school, would boost self-esteem and a sense of belonging among minority kids while combating the racism, subtle or otherwise, that can permeate historically white environments. It would foster interracial empathy by encouraging children to recognize differences without disrespect while teaching kids strategies, and the language, for navigating racial conflict.

In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance.

The much more intimate, idiosyncratic, lived experience of race — that is a harder discussion to have, especially when it probes reflexive reactions to difference (fear, disgust, mistrust, anxiety, curiosity, eagerness, attraction, admiration) that are sometimes heated, irrational, and not always pleasant.

This same parent who sends her children to Lower because she values diversity tends not to dwell on the fact that she has few close friends of color; that her neighborhood is almost entirely white; that her nanny or housecleaner or doorman has brown skin. The program at Lower was designed, and is supported in large part, by people who have spent their lives on the other side of that well-meaning silence and can testify that it’s no way to thrive.

by 4 they are already absorbing the lessons of a racist culture. All of them know reflexively which race it is preferable to be. Even today, almost three-quarters of a century since the Doll Test, made famous in Brown v. Board of Education, experiments by CNN and Margaret Beale Spencer have found that black and white children still show a bias toward people with lighter skin.

At 7 or 8, children become very concerned with fairness and responsive to lessons about prejudice. This is why the third, fourth, and fifth grades are good moments to teach about slavery and the Civil War, suffrage and the civil-rights movement. Kids at that age tend to be eager to wrestle with questions of inequality, and while they are just beginning to form a sense of racial identity (this happens around 7 for most children, though for some white kids it takes until middle school), it hasn’t yet acquired much tribal force. It’s the closest humans come to a racially uncomplicated self.
race  education  racism  children  groupe  debate  perception  discussion  experiment  school  instapaper_favs 
may 2015 by aries1988
The n-word: An entrenched racial slur now more prevalent than ever | The Washington Post
But this generation has almost no personal connection to the civil rights struggle and doesn’t equate the word, at least not exclusively, with racism. Perhaps these Americans had parents or grandparents who felt strongly about the inappropriateness of the n-word, but they grew up themselves with a level of comfort with it, and wouldn’t be as stringent in raising their own children.

Removed from its loaded context, and viewed only through the lens of linguistics, the n-word is a marvel of modern language — springing from the Latin word for black (“niger”), obtaining its awful power during the era of slavery, retaining that power through a century of lynchings and Jim Crow segregation, then splitting off into a second, distinct word that means pretty much the exact opposite of the original.

A United States where everyone is using the n-word at will — where it contains no deeper, outside meaning at all — is difficult to imagine. But no more unimaginable than a country where the word is completely gone. What is far more likely is that the word continues to exist for generations to come — and continues to vex us with the same issues of history, context and ownership that it does now.
language  usa  racism 
november 2014 by aries1988
Traveling While Arab -
I have no complaint about security measures because they have obviously been instituted for my protection as a passenger. Most security personnel perform their duties in a polite and exemplary manner, but some use the procedures to slight you or to make you understand that you are unwelcome or inferior.

It is true, of course, that terrifying and barbarous crimes committed by terrorists in the name of Islam have cast a shadow over the image of all Muslims. But the most basic rule of justice is that criminal responsibility lies with the individual, and not “by association” with a group that happens to share the same religious or ethnic identity. Can all Americans be held responsible for the torture of Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison?

In fact, the number of Arab and Muslim victims of Islamic extremist terrorism far exceeds the number of Western victims. In the last two years alone, terrorists in Egypt have killed more than 400 Egyptian police officers and soldiers.
story  racism  airport  opinion 
october 2014 by aries1988

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