• T Clark
    3.8k
    So you are essentially conceding that my approach is more practical - in that you have said that a racially focused solution is not the way to go.Judaka

    I've been saying that throughout this discussion.

    What are the benefits to your "ideology"Judaka

    It's two separate issues - How things are. What we do about them. What are the benefits of knowing how things are? 1) Knowing the truth is good in and of itself. 2) Facing the unpleasant truth is good for the soul. 3) Understanding how things got the way they are may make it easier for people to change their attitudes 4) Knowing how things got the way they are has implications for who should be held primarily responsible for making things better.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    It's true, and also irrelevant, that race has no anatomical or genetic basis. That it's an artificial construct. Fact is, race in this context was invented by Europeans, white people, as a way to put other people in their place, to dehumanize them so they could be exploited.T Clark


    Wait a minute, people aren't red and yellow black and white randomly. People inherit the characteristics of their racial group (or mixed racial group), such as skin coloration and a zillion genetic traits from their biological parents. To paraphrase a George Carlin skit:

    "Thorndyke Clark happens to be white."

    He had two white parents?
    Indeed he did.
    And did they fuck?
    Oh yes, they certainly did.
    So, where is the fucking surprise? Wouldn't it be more surprising if he were Chinese?

    Are you sure that no other large grouping of people, like those living in Asia, on their own didn't/don't parse differences among peoples in a similar way that Europeans did/do? Or People in Africa, the Western Hemisphere, etc.?

    "Race" has both denotative and connotative meanings, some of the latter which are positive, some negative, and some neutral. In a 1912 hymn, "O master workman of the race" (Jesus), "race" means "human". It has also referenced what we call ethnicity--Irish, Catalonian, Ukrainian, etc. Race has been applied to the African, Asian, Caucasian, Amerindian, and Australian aboriginal peoples.

    Then it has famously and notoriously been applied to the "Aryan race", a concoction of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, the leadership of which often fell very far short of the Aryan Ideal: tall, blond, blue-eyed, muscular, etc.

    Race, referencing ethnicity, should be criticized for seeing consistency of traits, particularly in Europe. The peoples of Europe have been stirred and mixed about as much as possible, going back to the earliest waves of migration out of Africa, and subsequent east-west-north-south sloshing of population movement.

    Race, referencing the largest groups of peoples, has more validity. The people of Africa, those who did not migrate, display the genetic great diversity of the "root stock" of the world's population. Africans do not have Neanderthal or Denisovans DNA, because those and other ancient humanoid groups arose from the earliest outward migrations from Africa. The Eurasian plains, the area north of the Middle East, was the mixing bowl out of which Aboriginal, Amerindian, Asian, and European people came.

    The Great Error in the concept of race is that some races are better than others, rather than there are some differences among the races.
  • Judaka
    366

    Racial histories and your prejudice against different races are not "truths", they are interpretations. Doesn't appear that many people on this forum understand the difference honestly and it's just an egotistical outlook to have, thinking your interpretations = the truth. Your "benefits" all are based on you being more knowledgable than me, which is just a convenient assumption, it cannot be anything but an assumption.

    When we are talking about interpretations, the benefit cannot be "knowing more". This is a philosophy forum, I am not interested in trying to "win" arguments - there is no winning. So, there can only be the hope to expand my knowledge and develop my opinions. Your views have no practical application, there's a litany of downsides (literally) to them and now you're just hoping it's good enough to portray yourself as the one dealing with tough truths. Toxic interpretations aren't tough truths, they're dumb truths and they're subjective. Anyway, I think I'm done here.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    Race like gender or even nationality is a strong dividing factor how we categorize intentionally or unintentionally people. And since we do have and use these categorizations, it does have an effect.

    . I am an individualist, I want people to be judged for their individual characteristics and NOT group identities, which I reject for the most part.Judaka
    This ought to be obvious, but seldom is. Actually, that addition of "I reject for the most part" is crucial. Because to say differences between groups people don't exist at all, or are only the invention of the mind of some people, isn't right either.

    The Great Error in the concept of race is that some races are better than others, rather than there are some differences among the races.Bitter Crank
    And then there are differences inside one race. I think the taboo-stigma of the topic makes it quite difficult. Or the hypocrisy involved in it.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    Wait a minute, people aren't red and yellow black and white randomly. People inherit the characteristics of their racial group (or mixed racial group), such as skin coloration and a zillion genetic traits from their biological parents. To paraphrase a George Carlin skit:Bitter Crank

    I wasn't trying to open up the question of whether or not race has a physical, genetic basis, although I recognize that the way I wrote it did just that. What I was trying to do was show that the social basis of race is what matters. White people defined black people as black and treated them differently because of that. That makes race real.

    As I said, sorry that I confused things.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    I think I'm done here.Judaka

    Makes sense to me.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    Race like gender or even nationality is a strong dividing factor how we categorize intentionally or unintentionally people. And since we do have and use these categorizations, it does have an effect.ssu

    I agree with that.
  • Benkei
    2k
    This ought to be obvious, but seldom is. Actually, that addition of "I reject for the most part" is crucial. Because to say differences between groups people don't exist at all, or are only the invention of the mind of some people, isn't right either.ssu

    Is it? My identity is defined by my relation to the world. That includes other people. There's family, neighbourhood, city, state, the world. I "borrow" from it all. Then there's how I relate to human history; get from my parents, studied in a university over 400 years old, live in a house I didn't build. Or as the ancient celts said: I draw water from wells I didn't build. There's nothing "individual" about my identity at all. It's one of the more persistent illusions of our time that the individualism is something to aspire to while it really is a degradation of society.

    That's not to say we should blindly accept the position and relations that we are thrown in. In the end freedom is about accepting the chains we want to bind ourselves with; family, friends, kids etc.

    So getting that back to privilege, I think the main differences can be found there: it's mostly about opportunity to be able to choose. Money makes it easier to choose, so people with more are privileged. Sometimes that's even unfair, e.g. inheritance inequality or exorbitant salaries or taxation rules disproportionally benefitting RoI over wages.

    And there's definitely a privilege to being part of the dominant sub-culture within a nation and that's still being male, white, straight, no tattoos etc. All else being equal, I'm more likely to land a job interview than the guy with the foreign sounding name on his resume. All else being equal, I'm less likely to be stopped by police. All else being equal, people are less likely to call the cops when I'm tresspassing. Here's a nice video demonstrating that in the Netherlands, where being white makes all the difference:

  • Baden
    8.2k


    The experiment fails because they didn't have the subjects doing the same thing—it's conceivable that the hacksawing looked more suspicious in itself than the hammer-tapping, and even if it wasn't, changing the activity invalidates the whole thing. Which is a pity because I suspect the underlying point is true but the filmmakers wanted to make sure they got the "right" result and gerrymandered things.

    Edit: The video description says this: "They all used the same utensils (hammer, saw, plyers) for the same amount of time." So, as it should be. Why they only showed the white guy using the hammer and the other two using the hacksaw is beyond me then.
  • Baden
    8.2k
    Incidentally, I did once chase a guy away from a bike because I thought he was stealing it though he had no tools that I remember. Maybe it really was his bike :lol: (As it happens, he was white.)
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    gerrymanderedBaden

    I've never seen that word used that way. Not a complaint. Maybe I'll use it too. That's how language changes.
  • Baden
    8.2k


    It's both a verb and a noun. Results here though https://www.english-corpora.org/coca/ do suggest you yanks predominantly use it as a noun.

    Edit: Maybe you were just referring to my metaphorical use. In which case, yes, gotcha (literal use also predominant in the corpus).
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    It's both a verb and a noun. Results here though https://www.english-corpora.org/coca/ do suggest you yanks predominantly use it as a noun.Baden

    Americans use it as both a noun and a verb, but I've never heard it used to refer to anything other than establishing inequitable voting districts. The word comes from here in Massachusetts. You seem to be using it to mean a kind of generic screwing around to misrepresent things.

    I couldn't get access to the link you provided without registering.
  • Baden
    8.2k


    Thought so. See my edit. And I'd forgotten I'd previously registered. But it's worth the two minutes to have that site at your disposal if you're a language buff.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    Edit: Maybe you were just referring to my metaphorical use. In which case, yes, gotcha (literal use also predominant in the corpus).Baden

    I don't mind the metaphorical use, although Governor Gerry might.
  • Judaka
    366

    It's one of the more persistent illusions of our time that the individualism is something to aspire to while it really is a degradation of society.Benkei

    What's your reasoning for favouring collectivism over individualism?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    gerrymanderedBaden

    I've never seen that word used that way. Not a complaint. Maybe I'll use it too. That's how language changes.T Clark

    You do and you'll be sharing a small, damp, hot, mold and vermin-infested cell with Baden. He's being charged by the Anglo-Saxon Gestapo with felony misappropriation, unauthorized use of a term with a very solid and specific meaning***, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

    ***early 19th century: from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts + salamander, from the supposed similarity between a salamander and the shape of a new voting district on a map drawn when he was in office (1812), the creation of which was felt to favor his party; the map (with claws, wings, and fangs added) was published in the Boston Weekly Messenger, with the title The Gerry-Mander.

    More proof of how Massachusetts politics have been rotten from the beginning.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    You do and you'll be sharing a small, damp, hot, mold and vermin-infested cell with Baden. He's being charged by the Anglo-Saxon Gestapo with felony misappropriation, unauthorized use of a term with a very solid and specific meaning***, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.Bitter Crank

    @Baden is an Irishman living in Southeast Asia. Not much chance of extradition. I, on the other hand, am duly chastened and beg forgiveness and mercy.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    Baden is an Irishman living in Southeast Asia.T Clark

    The Anglo Saxon Gestapo knows exactly where he lives. As for you, just make sure that you gerrymander nothing but congressional boundaries.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.8k


    We don't even have to go that far. The individual exists within an environment which affects them. From the point of an individualist, one needs to consider what effects are happening in the enviroment or collective. Individuals and their successes never occurs without it.

    Indeed, we are properly speaking about individualists here. Those who align themselves against society using people in terms of race, gender, economics etc., are deeply indvidualist in they want to deny society misuse or mistreatment of a person for it's goals. The core of these movements is well-being of an individual. (contrast to collectivist accounts which these sort of exploitation is fine if it creates a social order).

    The indvidual is the goal of group identifaction. We use it to form an undstanding of who someone is and how they belong. It sets up who an indivdual is to us and our society.

    So it is true social catergories like race, gender, sex, economic value, family, our names, are created. We add them, use them, for our specifcally social purposes.

    But this doesn't mean they don't exist or mean something. People exist as different individuals. When people encounter each other or not, they take on signifcance or not. If a child, for example, is named, then it can be tlaked abour and related to. We can form ideas about who this person is, how society relates to them or not.

    To know the differance of Willow, for example, means being able to identify I am one society needs to feed. Or being able to identify me as a threat who must starve, so a food store lasts longer.

    To fail to know Willow puts me outside society's grasp
    If people don't have e concept or category for me, then I cannot be related to. People cannot work together to benefit my individual ( "feed Willow" ) or specifically prevent it ( "never feed that monster Willow" ).

    The problem with trying to ignore race it was specifcally formed to relate ro real existing people. In the same way a name is our connection to how an indviudal is part of our society, so is race. It became our way of relating to many different people. Our society named us with races organise us as the different people who exist.

    Those diffrenecs don't go away just because we wake up one day and decide never to mention race. Not only to we have the problem of people still relating in racial terms without saying so, but there is the wider issue of our society. The way it has related to existing people is still presence. Dispossession or exclusion of these different people doesn' or go away just because we eliminate a category of race from our thoughts.

    After all, those effects happened or are on the underlying person and how they exist within our society. Put another way, to speak about "racial injustices" is not to talk about our thoughts or intentions, but of material conditions of someone in society, conditions which are present whether we chooe to call them racism or not.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    Economic advantage and white privilege are different concepts. Any individual, regardless of race, can have economic advantage over another.NOS4A2

    Very true. And when they have economic advantages over others, the advantages and privileges derived therefrom are about money--not race.
  • Benkei
    2k
    I never said I did. I was much less talking about individualism as a social theory, which the term collectivism points to, than a personal idea of identity that we were talking about.

    That said, I don't reject government interference at the detriment of some individual liberty outright as I do think it has a role to play in creating opportunity, eg. positive freedom. Stuff like universal healthcare is a no brainer to me, considering I've never once have had to worry about medical bills or those of my family or having to skimp on treatment due to money concerns.
  • Judaka
    366

    The problem here is not identifying obvious physical attributes like race or gender, nor is it that people think they have significance. The issue is "interpretative relevance" or the meaning we take away from those characteristics. For instance, presuming that because someone is black, he is more likely to be dangerous.

    There are a plethora of ways to "know Willow" and some of them make more sense than others. It isn't just that I may have an opinion about how people are based on their race and gender, it's that I could use my opinions about their race and gender and consider them sufficient to know how to think about someone and how to deal with someone. That defines whether "Willow" can be simply characterised by gender and race or whether other characteristics are important.

    I've got no problem (and it would be silly if I did) with people having their identity based on the many groups they belong to. Though I don't necessarily agree with how liberally people call things groups when they could just as easily be called characteristics, gender is an example of that.

    My goal is not to eliminate race as a concept - it's to reduce the interpretative relevance of race. To remove it as something that people use to judge others and prioritise as a way to form opinions about others.

    Individuals should be responsible for their actions and not the actions of the groups they belong to, they shouldn't be disliked because of what others with their skin colour or gender did. Social justice is not an excuse, there is no excuse. Racists, those who believe in racial histories and the like aren't evil - they're just stupid.

    Everyone has the ability to make a choice.
  • thewonder
    346
    I feel like identity politics is just annoying because it's relatively new and hasn't quite figured out how not to be annoying yet. "White privilige" will become a relevant concept and not a thought-terminating cliché as the "invisible knapsack" gets unpacked.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    Identity politics is as old as homosapiens.
  • thewonder
    346

    Well, yeah, but, like, what I mean is that the term "white privilege" didn't really appear until 1989. It just takes a while for things like that to be phased through the left-wing sloganeering that occurs in overly eager activist camps so that they can be rendered meaningful. Personally, I think that "white privilege" is a rather meek euphemism, and that a better term ought to be adopted.
  • Waya
    1k
    I personally haven't done anything to a black person that would harm them in any manner. Why do I owe them anything? A lot of others are the same way, what is the point? During the War between the states, a lot of white people died to liberate black people just the same. Why do we owe them anything 200 years later?
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    There are better terms. People like to push their own small minded agendas though at the expense of clarity, precision and reason.

    Groups if people have always been targeted to feel guilty, useless and/or ill-treated; likely before our species came into being. It doesn’t take a genius to see such social behaviors in others parts of the animal kingdom.

    It’s just words that make the phenomenon more apparent substantial, leading to its power is political discourse.
  • thewonder
    346

    I think that the phenomenon of race is relatively new. Race is a social construct which only came into being during whatever you want to call the era of civilization.

    As far as "white privilege" is concerned. It is the case that 'Western civilization' has resulted in a global situation to where being "white" offers you an unfair advantage. White people, or even people who, like myself, for all intensive purposes, pass as white (I'm a quarter Columbian, which, according to most racists, makes me "not white" (I think that the consensus is something like 12%.(You know that you're giving the other party too much credit when you ask whether they round up or down, but I think that it might be 12 so that you'd have to be four generations apart.))), should consider that in some regard. Perhaps the notion of "white privilege" doesn't need to stick around as it is means of getting a certain point accross that is only so effective, but the idea doesn't need to be wholeheartedly disbanded. You are, through the magic of chaosmosis, somehow partially responsbile for whatever situation it is that you find yourself in.

    I mean, I'm just saying that in spite of that I don't technically have it, I do check my "white privilege" and that, if you are a white person, you should too.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    I gave up on the idea of reparations as I've worked through this discussion, but within my previous theory about reparations, we don't owe people anything for what was done 200 years ago. All those people are dead and gone. 5 to 8 generations (depending how you count) have passed since the end of slavery. The masters and slaves both are long dead.

    The worst period of Jim Crow is now a century past. Those people are also dead.

    The people to whom a debt could be considered payable are the children of the last generation and their parents. So 3 generations, back to the beginning of the Federal Housing Program post WWII. During the 1940s, 50s, 60, and into the 1970s, blacks were systematically excluded from a critical wealth-building program: the construction of huge suburban tracts around all of the major cities. They were excluded explicitly: Blacks were not to be approved for mortgages in suburban building projects. (You can read all about the policy in the recent book, The Color of Money.)

    Whites who were given mortgages in the suburban projects were able to benefit from the appreciation of their high quality homes. Home value appreciation became the core cash asset of the white middle class.

    For blacks? It was new, large-scale, high rise construction that was designated as rental property. The quality of the homes was good, but urban administrations were usually not willing to spend the money on maintaining the buildings so that they would remain good places to live. In any case, renters do not accumulate equity.

    In cities where the large high-rise and dense public housing buildings were maintained, they remain in good shape. After all, cast concrete doesn't deteriorate very fast. Of course, it wasn't the concrete that failed in cities that neglected their public housing. It was the elevator systems, heating, ventilation, cleaning, routine maintenance, and security that failed, eventually turning the neglected buildings into cast concrete shit holes.

    In addition to dealing the black population out of value-appreciating suburban housing, blacks tended to be concentrated (an active process) in specific "redlined" areas -- slums, in other words. Generally low levels of income caused by poor education, insufficient access to jobs or the transportation needed to get to outlying jobs, and harsh policing (which other groups of people were not subject to) resulted in the present underclass. You can add on to all that "the end of welfare as we know it" in the 1990s under William Jefferson Clinton, president of the US from Arkansas.

    Just as suburban development benefitted whites from coast to coast, the pattern of denying blacks opportunity was also carried out coast to coast.

    The blacks who would receive reparations, if reparations were to be handed out (don't worry, they won't be, ever) are blacks who are alive now and have suffered under current and recent policy.

    Look, you didn't do it to blacks, and I didn't do it to blacks. My parents didn't participate in the suburban program because they lived in a small town, where the FHA was not building nice homes. I didn't benefit from black poverty, and neither did you. The idea of reparations doesn't depend on you or me benefitting or causing the problem. We are merely part of the country led by some people who went out of their way to fuck over black people once more time.
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