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Racism Spectrum

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 08:16
 

We all know that it’s a hot topic with very little nuanced discussion. I’m wondering if this makes sense, or where it can improve. Please add, subtract or alter the framing as you think accurate.

I think that the spectrum would begin with utter ignorance and look like this:

Ignorance -> subconscious ambivalence about racism -> conscious unawareness of one’s own unvetted attitudes that accidentally contribute to racism -> aware of but uncaring about one’s own racist tendencies -> overt racism.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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03 February 2019 09:18
 
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 08:16 AM

We all know that it’s a hot topic with very little nuanced discussion. I’m wondering if this makes sense, or where it can improve. Please add, subtract or alter the framing as you think accurate.

I think that the spectrum would begin with utter ignorance and look like this:

Ignorance -> subconscious ambivalence about racism -> conscious unawareness of one’s own unvetted attitudes that accidentally contribute to racism -> aware of but uncaring about one’s own racist tendencies -> overt racism.

There are also those who think that they have vetted their own attitudes but deny to themselves that they are racist, who claim a logical basis for their distorted views.  In some ways, I think these people are the most insidious and dangerous.  On the other hand, they would have little power if they were met with less ignorance and ambivalence.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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03 February 2019 09:23
 
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 08:16 AM

We all know that it’s a hot topic with very little nuanced discussion. I’m wondering if this makes sense, or where it can improve. Please add, subtract or alter the framing as you think accurate.

I think that the spectrum would begin with utter ignorance and look like this:

Ignorance -> subconscious ambivalence about racism -> conscious unawareness of one’s own unvetted attitudes that accidentally contribute to racism -> aware of but uncaring about one’s own racist tendencies -> overt racism.

If I read your spectrum correctly it appears to imply that racism is universal. Is that your intention? If that wasn’t your intention, then shouldn’t the spectrum include things like: “not racist” and “actively fighting one’s own racist tendencies” ?

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 09:31
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 09:23 AM
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 08:16 AM

We all know that it’s a hot topic with very little nuanced discussion. I’m wondering if this makes sense, or where it can improve. Please add, subtract or alter the framing as you think accurate.

I think that the spectrum would begin with utter ignorance and look like this:

Ignorance -> subconscious ambivalence about racism -> conscious unawareness of one’s own unvetted attitudes that accidentally contribute to racism -> aware of but uncaring about one’s own racist tendencies -> overt racism.

If I read your spectrum correctly it appears to imply that racism is universal. Is that your intention? If that wasn’t your intention, then shouldn’t the spectrum include things like: “not racist” and “actively fighting one’s own racist tendencies” ?

Good point, and no, I don’t think that it’s universal. An (1) act of racism, plus (2) a mental state, is what I intended to imply as the starting line. Good catch.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 09:38
 
Jan_CAN - 03 February 2019 09:18 AM
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 08:16 AM

We all know that it’s a hot topic with very little nuanced discussion. I’m wondering if this makes sense, or where it can improve. Please add, subtract or alter the framing as you think accurate.

I think that the spectrum would begin with utter ignorance and look like this:

Ignorance -> subconscious ambivalence about racism -> conscious unawareness of one’s own unvetted attitudes that accidentally contribute to racism -> aware of but uncaring about one’s own racist tendencies -> overt racism.

There are also those who think that they have vetted their own attitudes but deny to themselves that they are racist, who claim a logical basis for their distorted views.  In some ways, I think these people are the most insidious and dangerous.  On the other hand, they would have little power if they were met with less ignorance and ambivalence.

I guess that would be a form of overt racism, but I’m trying to objectify the spectrum. Insideousness and danger aside, one either knows or should know that a certain behavior is or is not racist regardless of another person’s reaction or irrational over reaction to it. And if someone doesn’t, that’s sort of my point of trying to view it on a spectrum. The “IQ crew” come in forms of those who have a lot of merit to how they’re unpacking their argument, to those who just use denial like you said.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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03 February 2019 10:35
 

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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03 February 2019 11:19
 
EN - 03 February 2019 10:35 AM

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

I know this is a bit of a broken record, but..

The oligarchy is putting stress on 99.99999% percent of us. It’s far harder to maintain equanimity when you’re under stress. This is not meant to excuse anything, I’d say it’s more like biology. To take an extreme case, the Dalai Lama himself, if drowning, might clamber on top of a fellow swimmer.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 11:47
 
EN - 03 February 2019 10:35 AM

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

It is. Racism has become a social fixation with good and bad consequences. For example - and for many here I imagine this is true - it’s often difficult to distinguish between my priviledge as a white person and my entitlement as a good person. More and more people are persiverating on this, and an increased self awareness is one positive consequence, while an over fixation on illusory forms of discrimination is a negative one. With the frequency of claims, it’s difficult to take each case by case. Knowing you, I wouldn’t worry. You’re already a good man.

 
 
icehorse
 
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03 February 2019 11:54
 
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 11:47 AM
EN - 03 February 2019 10:35 AM

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

It is. Racism has become a social fixation with good and bad consequences. For example - and for many here I imagine this is true - it’s often difficult to distinguish between my priviledge as a white person and my entitlement as a good person. More and more people are persiverating on this, and an increased self awareness is one positive consequence, while an over fixation on illusory forms of discrimination is a negative one. With the frequency of claims, it’s difficult to take each case by case. Knowing you, I wouldn’t worry. You’re already a good man.

Referring back to a recent, LONG thread, I still think that the phrase “white privilege” is itself racist, and is inaccurate, unnecessarily divisive, and in support of identity politics. Isn’t it more accurate to say that what we’re really striving for is equal opportunity?

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 12:32
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 11:54 AM
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 11:47 AM
EN - 03 February 2019 10:35 AM

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

It is. Racism has become a social fixation with good and bad consequences. For example - and for many here I imagine this is true - it’s often difficult to distinguish between my priviledge as a white person and my entitlement as a good person. More and more people are persiverating on this, and an increased self awareness is one positive consequence, while an over fixation on illusory forms of discrimination is a negative one. With the frequency of claims, it’s difficult to take each case by case. Knowing you, I wouldn’t worry. You’re already a good man.

Referring back to a recent, LONG thread, I still think that the phrase “white privilege” is itself racist, and is inaccurate, unnecessarily divisive, and in support of identity politics. Isn’t it more accurate to say that what we’re really striving for is equal opportunity?

Contextually, the words privilege and opportunity are interchangeable in my above post. I used the word privilege because colloquially it has explanatory value. It’s a bit off-point, but I think that we agree that the phrase white privilege has evolved into a reactionary default for those struggling to analyze the small and big aspects of racism, but I still use the phrase because sometimes it just fits. Nevertheless, it’s not unimportant that I didn’t use them together. Replace the words and my point’s the same: “it’s often difficult to distinguish between my opportunity as a white person and my entitlement as a good person.” The point being a skin tone deference v. a normal social right due to being good (or good at something specific).

[ Edited: 03 February 2019 12:36 by Jb8989]
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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03 February 2019 13:20
 
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 12:32 PM
icehorse - 03 February 2019 11:54 AM
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 11:47 AM
EN - 03 February 2019 10:35 AM

I’m consciously aware of my own bias and prejudice and make an effort to prevent it from becoming overt.  I am generally successful, but I’m disturbed about seeing more and more racist actions in the world around me. Or, perhaps they are just reported more often.  It’s amazing how deep our tribalism goes.

It is. Racism has become a social fixation with good and bad consequences. For example - and for many here I imagine this is true - it’s often difficult to distinguish between my priviledge as a white person and my entitlement as a good person. More and more people are persiverating on this, and an increased self awareness is one positive consequence, while an over fixation on illusory forms of discrimination is a negative one. With the frequency of claims, it’s difficult to take each case by case. Knowing you, I wouldn’t worry. You’re already a good man.

Referring back to a recent, LONG thread, I still think that the phrase “white privilege” is itself racist, and is inaccurate, unnecessarily divisive, and in support of identity politics. Isn’t it more accurate to say that what we’re really striving for is equal opportunity?

Contextually, the words privilege and opportunity are interchangeable in my above post. I used the word privilege because colloquially it has explanatory value. It’s a bit off-point, but I think that we agree that the phrase white privilege has evolved into a reactionary default for those struggling to analyze the small and big aspects of racism, but I still use the phrase because sometimes it just fits. Nevertheless, it’s not unimportant that I didn’t use them together. Replace the words and my point’s the same: “it’s often difficult to distinguish between my opportunity as a white person and my entitlement as a good person.” The point being a skin tone deference v. a normal social right due to being good (or good at something specific).

It’s not my intention to derail this thread. if you think it’s been derailed, we can shut down this part of the discussion.

That said, I would say something like this: “In the US, you have a better chance at getting fair opportunities if you’re white,  than if you’re black.”

Some of this is undoubtedly due to racism. But some of it is probably also due to “income-ism” or “trust-ism”. For example, a business owner might be wary of any employee candidates that come from impoverished neighborhoods. Now let’s say that there are more blacks than whites in impoverished neighborhoods. Is the business owner being racist or is she just protecting her business?

 
 
Jefe
 
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03 February 2019 13:40
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:20 PM

That said, I would say something like this: “In the US, you have a better chance at getting fair opportunities if you’re white,  than if you’re black.”

This right here IS white privilege.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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03 February 2019 13:47
 
Jefe - 03 February 2019 01:40 PM
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:20 PM

That said, I would say something like this: “In the US, you have a better chance at getting fair opportunities if you’re white,  than if you’re black.”

This right here IS white privilege.

back to semantics again. I think everyone on this forum agrees that it’s easier to be white in the US than black. The point is that we don’t want to balance the playing field by taking anything away from anyone, we want to balance the playing field by adding more fairness across the board.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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03 February 2019 14:04
 

I’m not sure why there is a spectrum but it would have to include ‘proxy racism’. As in, “Personally, I don’t have a problem with blacks. However, our business depends on not doing anything that might put off customers who do have a problem.” or, “This neighborhood must appeal to home buyers. In insuring its appeal, some less than desirable choices must be made. That’s life in the Big City. It doesn’t mean I’m a racist.” and, “My black pal is cool and I have had no problems, However, I am still convinced that those people who have a problem with blacks probably did have actual problems in dealing with them. I see too few to judge the whole situation.”

A Mystery Racism is played out by decidedly non-racist folks who are only looking out for the well-being and customer base of those who are. “I don’t personally know any of these people but social stability must be maintained.” 

Why is there a spectrum? Where does it come from? Would anyone suggest that, before we learned about races in humanity, we all got along fine? Didn’t we simply judge differing appearances and unfamiliararities as other-ness that is not to be trusted? It is more complicated now. On the one hand, one discovers how one feels about humanity’s diversity and that is usually a matter of acclimation. On the other hand, there are these big gob-smacking explanations that must be chosen or argued over that provide a secondary path to racism with remarks like this… “Okay, I can accept evolution but not the same evolution. Whites evolved from chimps and blacks evolved from gorillas.”

According to genetic scientist Spencer Wells, we are all a mere 2000 generations from a single ancestor. Why isn’t that happy news?

 
 
Jefe
 
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03 February 2019 15:02
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:47 PM
Jefe - 03 February 2019 01:40 PM
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:20 PM

That said, I would say something like this: “In the US, you have a better chance at getting fair opportunities if you’re white,  than if you’re black.”

This right here IS white privilege.

back to semantics again. I think everyone on this forum agrees that it’s easier to be white in the US than black.

Once again, semantics peddling aside, this is exactly what the term ‘white privilege’ means - that it is easier to be white in the US (and some other places) than non-white.

The point is that we don’t want to balance the playing field by taking anything away from anyone, we want to balance the playing field by adding more fairness across the board.

The term by itself says nothing about taking stuff away, or down-playing the struggles of white folks who don’t have a golden toilet to poop in.  It is simply the acknowledgement of that difference.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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03 February 2019 15:13
 
Jefe - 03 February 2019 03:02 PM
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:47 PM
Jefe - 03 February 2019 01:40 PM
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:20 PM

That said, I would say something like this: “In the US, you have a better chance at getting fair opportunities if you’re white,  than if you’re black.”

This right here IS white privilege.

back to semantics again. I think everyone on this forum agrees that it’s easier to be white in the US than black.

Once again, semantics peddling aside, this is exactly what the term ‘white privilege’ means - that it is easier to be white in the US (and some other places) than non-white.

The point is that we don’t want to balance the playing field by taking anything away from anyone, we want to balance the playing field by adding more fairness across the board.

The term by itself says nothing about taking stuff away, or down-playing the struggles of white folks who don’t have a golden toilet to poop in.  It is simply the acknowledgement of that difference.

A privilege is a special advantage. It’s something that can be taken away. What do you propose to do about “white privilege”? Do you propose to take something away from whites? The framing is needlessly divisive. The other problem with the phrase “white privilege” is that it’s inaccurate. Opportunities are not spread fairly across all white people. Some blacks have the same opportunities as whites. Asians frequently have the same opportunities as whites. The phrase was designed to be divisive.

Instead, we should seek to improve opportunities for those who do not currently have fair opportunities. This is an additive approach, not a subtractive approach.

 
 
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