• Xanatos
    48
    First of all, if you know how a bell curve looks, then you'd realize that I did not say that *all* people of a particular race are innately smarter than *all* people of some other race. After all, there is a lot of overlap between human races (however one defines them) in regards to IQ.

    Secondly, what's your explanation as to why exactly Ashkenazi Jews are, on average, smarter than white gentiles are? If you reject the evolutionary explanation for this, then what's your proposed alternative explanation? A Jewish conspiracy?
  • Xanatos
    48
    Sure, one can say that grouping human beings into races is more arbitrary. I'm not really going to challenge that. But isn't the genetic distance between different humans--both on an individual level and on a group level (however one actually defines these human groups, whether in terms of families or in terms of something else)--something that can be both easily and objectively measured? I'm practically certain, for instance, that Ukrainians and Belarusians are much more similar to each other than either of these two groups are to, say, Sentinel Islanders.
  • Xanatos
    48
    Isn't any ideology a social construct--not just eugenics?
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Yes, but there is more genetic diversity within a group than between them. When it comes to political use of the term 'race' it is more or less about appearance and assumption (not based on genetics).

    Someone can look 'white' and have predominantly African or Asian heritage. 'Race' is a bit like nationality. It says something about your cultural upbringing bit certainly doesn't completely determine how you were brought up or how you view the world.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    But isn't the genetic distance between different humans--both on an individual level and on a group level (however one actually defines these human groups, whether in terms of families or in terms of something else)--something that can be both easily and objectively measured? I'm practically certain, for instance, that Ukrainians and Belarusians are much more similar to each other than either of these two groups are to, say, Sentinel Islanders.Xanatos
    But just what are you measuring? Genetical research tells something about your ancestry, but far better does traditional historical geneology about your ancestors.

    First of all, do note how genetics (or population genetics) actually notes these differences. It has nothing to do with political boundaries like Ukraine or Belarus. After all, just short time ago you would be talking about people of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. And as the Sentinel Islands belong to India, then the Sentinels are de facto Indian citizens, at least legally. And the time frame in which population genetics is interested is far more longer.

    Even very broad divisions of the human population into races is a bit problematic. One traditional one is to separate by continents, which still is problematic. For example, what's the purpose of pooling such different people together as "Asian"?

    If separate racial or ethnic groups actually existed, we would expect to find “trademark” alleles and other genetic features that are characteristic of a single group but not present in any others. However, the 2002 Stanford study found that only 7.4% of over 4000 alleles were specific to one geographical region. Furthermore, even when region-specific alleles did appear, they only occurred in about 1% of the people from that region—hardly enough to be any kind of trademark. Thus, there is no evidence that the groups we commonly call “races” have distinct, unifying genetic identities. In fact, there is ample variation within races.

    And basically the classic "race theories" involve culture, language, religion, history and social status to the definition, which obviously cannot be biological / genetical.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Isn't any ideology a social construct--not just eugenics?Xanatos
    Well, just look at a dictionary definition of an ideology:

    a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

    or

    a: a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture

    b: the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program

    c: a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture

    Quite easy to argue that ideologies are of the doing of humans and thus are "a result of human interaction" and "exist because humans agree that they exists". Again that animals of a same species do have different genotypes and phenotypes is something different.
  • Benkei
    4.9k
    Wrong. https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/science-genetics-reshaping-race-debate-21st-century/

    Edit:
    Ultimately, there is so much ambiguity between the races, and so much variation within them, that two people of European descent may be more genetically similar to an Asian person than they are to each other. — Harvard
  • Olivier5
    3.3k
    Indeed, race is not a valid biological concept. Rather it is a cultural concept i.e. a social construct. Which doesn't mean it's moot, but there's no biological underpinning to grouping people together based on the amount of melanin in their skin... Melanin is just ONE protein amongst the hundreds of thousands of proteins we synthetize every day. To regroup all low-melanin people in one "white race" is akin to calling all diabetics the "no-sugar race". Makes no biological sense.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Can someone help please?

    Am I vaguely in the correct ballpark in saying that 'Critical Race Theory' is not about eradicating 'racism' per se (as the view is that is cannot be annihilated), but more or less about how to counteract inequalities that exist due to 'racism'?

    As a critique of this view - building on what I mentioned above - if we're happy to state that our common view of 'race' is about superficial appearances and more closely related to culture and upbringing, then to be categorised as race x or y is more about the cultural aspect than mere skin pigmentation. Examples of such racism exist between peoples who look very similar (if not identical in most respects). The problem from here is how anyone identifies as this or that 'race' becomes something of a 'choice' yet the main issue is that no matter how you perceived yourself you cannot realistically expect everyone else to agree with you on this. This seems to be the biggest problem.

    That critique aside (and looking to the US) it seems pretty messy to ask people to pay for their ancestors views/actions, yet it does seem unfair that - according to how I understand Critical Race Theory - a large section of US society has been viewed in a bad light and basically held back and not allowed the same opportunities as others.

    Clearly the racism has reduced in the US over the centuries but it is still not good enough that great advances have been made. It just might be that we have to sadly wait it out, so to speak, and that in a generation or three thigns will continue to 'progress'. How to progress in the meantime? I believe this is precisely what Critical Race Theory is about ... am I correct?
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    A lot of people are obsessed with race, gender, unequal distributions (of anything) and the like. Like any obsession, it's unhealthy.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    If it's in the public domain we're better to attend to it than ignore it. Humans are a particularly 'tribal' species full of errors and stupidities. Racism is a rather nasty stupidity, but my point if that we might do better to look into the similarities such attitudes have with things like patriotism.

    People are quite happy to refer to patriotism as a good thing, yet nationalism isn't. I was wondering if there is a similar discrepancy between two differing views of 'race' as their is to 'nation'? Might be a useless idea but I thought I'd bring it up just in case someone sees something of value in it.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    The contrast between patriotism (good) and nationalism (bad) is illustrative. I don't know how one could be a patriot and not be a nationalist as well. Nationalism has been given a quite negative slant in the last 40 or 50 years. I suppose that is because some of our worst enemies have been nationalists, so therefore we should not be.

    For some leftists (internationalist socialists) patriotism is as grave a sin as nationalism. They at least agree that the two terms mean the same thing. Patriotism and nationalism have potential negative aspects, for sure. "My country, right or wrong!" is never good foreign policy.

    Race hatred is clearly a bad thing. We have seen plenty of that (and not just in the US). I would describe "race hatred" and run of the mill "racism" as different points on a continuum. Race hatred leads to lynching. Ordinary racism leads to segregated suburban communities and schools. White suburbs are not in the same category as KKK terrorism.

    Racism has resulted in social structures that permanently disadvantaged racial targets. Cutting blacks out of the real estate expansion of the post-war boom hardened economic disparities. Racial discrimination in employment, accommodations, education, and so on, further cemented inequality into place. Then there is the feedback loop. Well off people don't usually want to live with poor people which leads to further racial separation.

    Did I get this from critical race theory? No, just from reading history.

    I don't believe in white supremacy, white fragility, and the like. I believe that people are far more alike than they are different. One can count on groups of people pursuing their own advantage. If they happen to be in the majority, happen to have more money, happen to have more power -- then they are going to come way out on top, and those who don't have those assets probably won't.

    Only SOME white people had all that. We have a wealthy ruling class and a smaller prosperous middle class. Together, they make up maybe 20% of the population. The rest of the population is working class, and generally they have not done all that well, historically or recently. The majority of the working class has been white. Whiteness didn't help their class status.

    Racism blames the losers for not coming out on top. That's just stupid, of course. Poor people, white, black, hispanic, asian, or what have you are usually poor because their parents were not members of the ruling or prosperous middle class. The escalator of upward mobility doesn't start on the basement level.

    "Yes but... There are millions and millions of white people who own homes that are worth a lot of money. They are getting rich while we, who couldn't get a mortgage, are getting poorer."

    Not so fast. Most working class people do not own the homes they live in. They are in debt up to their ears for much of their lives. They don't have clear ownership of their house until they pay off the mortgage.

    House, car, college loans, and credit cards are a sort of indenture. If you want to keep your house, car, and the stuff you bought on credit, you had better be a compliant employee. IF NOT... there are serious consequences. Then there is that degree you worked hard for, paid for on credit, and may not now be able to pay back. Again, there are unpleasant consequences for being a deadbeat.

    The people who deserve the envy of the poor are prosperous middle class and ruling class people with enough money to actually pay for the large properties, cars, educations, travel, and so on that they enjoy.

    I'm not sure there is a cure for racial hatred. Containing it may be all we can do.

    The best bet to reduce racism is for working class people -- black and white together -- to recognize they are in the same sinking boat. It's mostly about money. Follow the money, as the saying goes. Economics explains why a few are on top and most of us are not.

    Trying to change racial attitudes in a vacuum, or because they seem like bad manners, is just not worth the effort.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    For some leftists (internationalist socialists) patriotism is as grave a sin as nationalism.Bitter Crank

    I find patriotism kind of repugnant myself. I understand why people have a sense of patriotism (I likely do myself in some superficial respects) I just don't see any logical justification in it other than a needful clinging to what I assume is an innate human attribute of wanting to be part of something bigger that we can understand perhaps (akin to religions).

    It seems to me that a lot of the racial debate follows this same path. I'm not fond of it but I cannot say it is 'right' or 'wrong' when so many are invested in it and probably because they have the innate drive to be invested in it. For those reasons I want clarification on what exactly Critical Race Theory is compared to my limited understanding of it as marked out above.

    I have referred to racism as merely one type of prejudice before. Many berated me for this as they viewed 'prejudice' as being a less impactful term than racism and believed I was trying soften act of racism as 'mere prejudice'.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Am I vaguely in the correct ballpark in saying that 'Critical Race Theory' is not about eradicating 'racism' per se (as the view is that is cannot be annihilated), but more or less about how to counteract inequalities that exist due to 'racism'?I like sushi
    I think so too. Critical race theory starts from the idea that racism is inherent (to white people?) and includes far more things than the ordinary definition of racism; that there are people who hold racist ideas. Blurring the line just what is racism seems to be also the case. Furthermore, it seems to totally accept and endorse the division between people by race.

    What I find odd in the US and UK are that many applications ask about the race or ethnicity of the applicant. Perhaps the structural issues start from things like that.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    The contrast between patriotism (good) and nationalism (bad) is illustrative. I don't know how one could be a patriot and not be a nationalist as well. Nationalism has been given a quite negative slant in the last 40 or 50 years. I suppose that is because some of our worst enemies have been nationalists, so therefore we should not be.Bitter Crank
    Well, people don't know the term jingoism and the term chauvinism has another definition today also. But I guess any word meaning that people would have some positive thoughts about their nation will be something very negative to some.

    In the US patriotism is still accepted, but I think in Europe many are viewing it as something negative. Nation states are bad!
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Critical race theory starts from the idea that racism is inherent (to white people?) and includes far more things than the ordinary definition of racism; that there are people who hold racist ideas. Blurring the line just what is racism seems to be also the case. Furthermore, it seems to totally accept and endorse the division between people by race.ssu

    I see this kind of thing from some but certainly not all in what I've read. As in 'white people,' and talkign about racism in such a way that isn't exactly an 'accusation' aimed at anyone just a matter-of-factness about how historically such things have played a whole in dividing people ... so I don't think it 'endorses' any division between people but certainly does seem to say that such divisions are inevitable (which I agree with although I'm not completely sold that 'race' is anything more than a form of tribalism entwined around basic cultural norm of human behaviour.

    As with a lot of topics in the mainstream it can be hard to dig past the noise and find the actual original ideas and thoughts behind them.

    The differences from country to country on this topic are also quite different. Where I currently live people don't understand or care about this kind of thing generally speaking. It does exist to some degree just like it does everywhere and given that the population is quite isolated (historically) from other countries and has good reason to not exactly be overly fond of western interference in it's colonial aspects, but they don't much care about it.
  • James Riley
    2.1k
    Nationalism and patriotism seem to me to be like fandom.

    I feel a certain amount of pride in finding commonality with others who have done something admirable, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why. I think it is, objectively, delusional. So, rather than give in to it, I check myself.

    I may try to do admirable things myself, and I may applaud and admire others who do admirable things, but I'll not pat myself on the back for charging up a hill that I did not charge up, just because the guy who did is a white American male like me.

    The same analysis applies to ancestor worship. Ancestors may have set a standard that one should try to live up to (maybe not), but just because one is cut from the same cloth does not a garment make.

    Fans and nationalists and patriots remind me of the chicken-hawk. And I don't mean the bird. The bird is okay.

    Admirable things need to be done. Get out there and do them if you will. But don't take credit for things done by others just because they look like you or live where you do. If you want to feel good about yourself, that ain't how it's done.

    Such delusion is just conservative feel-good politics.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    I feel a certain amount of pride in finding commonality with others who have done something admirable, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why. I think it is, objectively, delusional. So, rather than give in to it, I check myself.James Riley

    I think it is just basic tribalism. Someone in your 'tribe' does something well, or even no so well, and you react as if they are some kind of extended representative of you (which to some weird measure they as you share commonalities with them in terms of cultural upbringing).

    Even people from European countries who view themselves as being 'European' rather than spanish, german or whatever, are adhering to a level of tribal allegiance. no doubt they care about 'Europe' in the sense that they identify as 'European' rather than to this or that singular country.

    Anyway, I am interested to learn more about what people think of Critical Race Theory because, like many other areas, I believe there is somethin in there for me to learn in regards to my views on the religiosity of human beings and how this feature translates itself into/through human culture. It seems to me there is something similar going on here that ties Critical Theory (in general), Nationalistic pride (or patriotism), and the current culture trend of Identity Politics (including sexual orientation, sexism and racism) to basic cosmological upheaval (our sense of belonging in the face of an infinitely expanding universe. If the religious persons cannot truly keep ignoring the vast endless expanse of the universe and this brings with it a sense of insignificance that I believe some just cannot even face let alone deal with so they look for 'reasons' and 'meaning' within human clusters that seem to approximate what or who they see themselves as and/or as a place where what they say or do is taken seriously and listened to (the later being the greatest need of most humans I'd say!).
  • ssu
    4.6k
    I see this kind of thing from some but certainly not all in what I've read. - As with a lot of topics in the mainstream it can be hard to dig past the noise and find the actual original ideas and thoughts behind them.I like sushi
    Now this is true. Perhaps Critical race theory should be defined to three separate categories:

    a) CRT of a specific author
    b) Programs or authors close to CRT, using parts of the theory or in general have ideas close to CRT.
    c) What those who are the detractors of CRT see as CRT.

    And as the issue has become part of the politicized "Culture War", it's extremely confusing to follow the debate. I think the general rule is to just look at what the people actually have said themselves and never quote or follow what a third person has described them saying.
  • James Riley
    2.1k
    I think it is just basic tribalism.I like sushi

    :100:

    I am interested to learn more about what people think of Critical Race TheoryI like sushi

    I don't know much about it. During the recent dust-up over the issue, I remember the "right" running with it, as if it were being taught in public schools, while the left explained it is a university, if not graduate school and law school level subject that didn't mean what the right thought it meant. This compelled me to look it up once on the interwebs and it didn't pique my interest so I moved on to other stuff. All the best in your efforts.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    @I like sushi. A side note:

    Prior to the Nazis, (1920s) the term "race" was still used the way "ethnic" is used now. The French and Finns might each of been referenced as a "race". At the same time, race applied to the major human groups -- Amerindians, Australians, Asians, Africans, and Europeans. The deeper you go into human origins, the more complicated it gets -- because people wandered around a lot; there was species mixing with Neanderthals and Denisovans. Populations were replaced from time to time, here and there, and/or they mixed genetically. Populations died out. All this didn't begin to settle out and stabilize until around 5,000 years ago, give or take a a couple millennia.

    Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel is a good explanation of why 2 races (asians and caucasians) came to dominate world history. A lot of it had to do with geography and geology. Asians and caucasians were able to spread out along lines of latitude--east and west. (Climate tends to be similar.). Africans and amerindians were distributed along north/south lines of longitude, along which climate tends to change a lot. Second, Africa and the Western Hemisphere did not provide wild animals that were amenable to domestication. No horses, camels, water buffalo, or cows. Therefore, there were no draft animals to provide power and transportation. Third, Asians and Europeans became somewhat resistant to the diseases they encountered int heir domesticated animals (measles and smallpox, for example). Particularly when Europeans encountered Amerindians, pandemics severely reduced their populations. Smallpox (and other diseases) were worse for Native Americans than the Black Plague was for Europe or Asia.

    The upshot is that Europeans and Asians were in a position to expand and dominate--not because they were superior, but because they were geographically lucky.

    20th and 21st century racial theorists in the US (mostly) seized upon race, and ideas about racial supremacy -- white supremacy and white privilege -- as the explanation for "Why do Europeans have so much and Africans so little?" Layer on to that the history of global expansion (imperial, colonial) or slavery: and here we are.

    People tend to be all alike, regardless of where they come from and (an important corollary) people are not nice. We have to work very hard to be nice. Whoever has the upper hand in any group encounter will tend to dominate the less fortunate, and domination is usually an ugly business.

    The CRT and racial theorists tend to believe that if people get rid of bad ideas and replace them with good ideas, all will be well. Unfortunately, as I said, people with good ideas can still manage to be very not nice.
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