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Racism Spectrum

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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28 February 2019 21:03
 

I agree with the criticism of JP Rushton’s theory by Peregrine, Ember and Ember, 2003. The weakness of Rushton’s theory that stood out to me when I critically analyzed it was that both Caucasoids and Mongoloids in the global context each represent a broad spectrum from low-IQ peoples to high-IQ peoples. Mongoloids include both Australian aborigines (60 IQ) and Koreans (105 IQ). Caucasoids include both Indians (82 IQ) and Ashkenazi Jews (110 IQ). Rushton’s samples tended to include only subsets of the peoples of USA and Canada, so “Mongoloids” would be mainly the Asians descended from China, Japan and Korea (excluding Native Americans?) and “Caucasoids” would be whites descended from Europe. The researchers who have built positively on Rushton’s theory (such as Templer and Arikawa) have ignored Rushton’s three-race scheme in favor of a more continuous and unified model, more fitting for evolutionary theory. The three-race scheme is not necessary to make sense of class differences, though it may be useful for forensic anthropologists, as racially differential bone features are more a matter of genetic drift, less a matter of climate adaptation.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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09 March 2019 12:31
 
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.

From an article in the March 11, 2019 New Yorker titled ‘BOUNDARY CONDITIONS’ -  “The effort to fortify today’s borders is rooted in centuries of racial animus.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/when-the-frontier-becomes-the-wall

First paragraph of this article:

On Election Day, 2018, residents of Nogales, Arizona, began to notice a single row of coiled razor wire growing across the top of the city’s border wall. The barrier has been a stark feature of the town’s urban landscape for more than twenty years, rolling up and over hilltops as it cleaves the American town from its larger, Mexican counterpart. But, in the weeks and months that followed, additional coils were gradually installed along the length of the fence by active-duty troops sent to the border by President Trump, giving residents the sense that they were living inside an occupied city. By February, concertina wire covered the wall from top to bottom, and the Nogales City Council passed a unanimous resolution calling for its removal. Such wire has only one purpose, the resolution declared—to harm or to kill. It is something “only found in a war, prison, or battle setting.”

Last paragraph of this article:

“What makes the wall terrifying to so many who live along the border is, in part, the way it serves as an inescapable reminder of the brutalities and injustices that have long been unleashed upon the frontier. The very presence of a barrier represents a profound psychological, political, ecological, cultural, and spatial reordering. In Arizona, west of Nogales, the border wall bifurcates the lands of the Tohono O’odham people, who live on the second-largest reservation in the United States. In an interview with the writer Marcello Di Cintio, a Tohono O’odham elder named Ofelia Rivas speaks of how post-9/11 enforcement shut down the cross-border pilgrimage routes of her people and led to the erection of border fencing and steel-bollard vehicle barriers across their sacred lands. The year the barriers went up, Rivas says, “we lost eleven elders. One after another, they passed away. It just seemed they couldn’t comprehend what was happening.” It was as if they had been poisoned, as if America had found a new way to take their land. At this point, Rivas begins to speak of her body, her hair. For Rivas, as for many native people, hair is intimately tied to heritage and identity. For the O’odham, the poet Ofelia Zepeda writes, “Our hair is our dress. It is our adornment.” When the walls went up, Rivas remembers, she had long hair. Each time an elder died, however, she would cut a length of it as an act of homage. “By the end of the year,” she recalls, “my hair was gone.”

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250179821  (the New Yorker article is a review of the book - ‘The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America’ by Greg Grandin)

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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10 March 2019 09:11
 

Another problem with trying to put “racism” on a spectrum is that the most common thought and behavior patterns associated with “racism” are very likely instinctive. Races are merely extended families, and people will tend to value their own families at the expense of competing families, following from the “selfish gene” theory of Richard Dawkins (we are puppets of our genes, and the genes function to maximize their own preponderance). Such political expressions as border walls are manifestations of this instinct. The popular ideology at odds with the “racism” instinct does not reduce the instinct but merely suppresses its associated behaviors or redirects them. If we had an ideology that tried to prohibit sexuality, then would it follow that some members are pushed toward the non-sexual end of a sexuality spectrum? Not really. Catholic or Buddhist monks are generally no less sexual than everyone else.

EDIT: I am not talking about the spectrum from implicit to explicit, but the spectrum from non-racist to racist, which seems to be the most common perceived spectrum.

[ Edited: 10 March 2019 09:18 by Abel Dean]
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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24 March 2019 15:39
 
Abel Dean - 10 March 2019 09:11 AM

Another problem with trying to put “racism” on a spectrum is that the most common thought and behavior patterns associated with “racism” are very likely instinctive.

You have to make a distinction between otherism and racism. Otherism is pretty basic. It requires personal and in-group prejudices, but that doesn’t mean that racism is a requisite. Conflating the two is a red herring that I see a lot. In other words, just because other-ism induced tribalism is emotionally basic behavior, doesn’t mean that the cultural dominance associated with systemic racism is as well.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 17:08
 
Jb8989 - 24 March 2019 03:39 PM
Abel Dean - 10 March 2019 09:11 AM

Another problem with trying to put “racism” on a spectrum is that the most common thought and behavior patterns associated with “racism” are very likely instinctive.

You have to make a distinction between otherism and racism. Otherism is pretty basic. It requires personal and in-group prejudices, but that doesn’t mean that racism is a requisite. Conflating the two is a red herring that I see a lot. In other words, just because other-ism induced tribalism is emotionally basic behavior, doesn’t mean that the cultural dominance associated with systemic racism is as well.

No behavior is wholly genetically determined, so no behavior is a requisite, but I think it is important to recognize that genetics makes some behaviors much easier than others. The best explanation for why an us-vs-them mentality of any sort exists is the selfish gene theory of Richard Dawkins. This explanation has the greatest relevance when we are talking about small tribes. An individual shares more genetic variants with his or her own tribe than with any other group. This explanation has the second-greatest relevance when we are talking about races. Your tribe is far more likely to make alliances with tribes who are more genetically related to your own tribe, not less genetically related. It is true even if instead of tribes we are talking about nations of the modern world. It is no evolutionary accident.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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24 March 2019 18:06
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 05:08 PM

No behavior is wholly genetically determined, so no behavior is a requisite, but I think it is important to recognize that genetics makes some behaviors much easier than others. The best explanation for why an us-vs-them mentality of any sort exists is the selfish gene theory of Richard Dawkins. This explanation has the greatest relevance when we are talking about small tribes. An individual shares more genetic variants with his or her own tribe than with any other group. This explanation has the second-greatest relevance when we are talking about races. Your tribe is far more likely to make alliances with tribes who are more genetically related to your own tribe, not less genetically related. It is true even if instead of tribes we are talking about nations of the modern world. It is no evolutionary accident.

Biological similarities don’t mean that you inherit racism. It’s a concept as much as it is a behavior. And you can choose to associate with every idea your family or in-group thinks, or none of them. That’s the beauty of intelligence and choice.   

 

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 18:16
 
Jb8989 - 24 March 2019 06:06 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 05:08 PM

No behavior is wholly genetically determined, so no behavior is a requisite, but I think it is important to recognize that genetics makes some behaviors much easier than others. The best explanation for why an us-vs-them mentality of any sort exists is the selfish gene theory of Richard Dawkins. This explanation has the greatest relevance when we are talking about small tribes. An individual shares more genetic variants with his or her own tribe than with any other group. This explanation has the second-greatest relevance when we are talking about races. Your tribe is far more likely to make alliances with tribes who are more genetically related to your own tribe, not less genetically related. It is true even if instead of tribes we are talking about nations of the modern world. It is no evolutionary accident.

Biological similarities don’t mean that you inherit racism. It’s a concept as much as it is a behavior. And you can choose to associate with every idea your family or in-group thinks, or none of them. That’s the beauty of intelligence and choice.   

 

Many people are blank-slate thinkers on matters of race alone. Some people are blank-slate thinkers on absolutely every matter. It is popular among sociologists. They assert that it is just as easy to love a strange child that you have never seen in your life as it is to love one’s own child. It may seem bizarre, but I read an interview of a sociologist who accepted such a premise for the sake of solving the problem of class inequality of child care. She proposed that we should be loving other children just as much as we love our own children, as love for our own children is just a social construct.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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24 March 2019 18:57
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 06:16 PM
Jb8989 - 24 March 2019 06:06 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 05:08 PM

No behavior is wholly genetically determined, so no behavior is a requisite, but I think it is important to recognize that genetics makes some behaviors much easier than others. The best explanation for why an us-vs-them mentality of any sort exists is the selfish gene theory of Richard Dawkins. This explanation has the greatest relevance when we are talking about small tribes. An individual shares more genetic variants with his or her own tribe than with any other group. This explanation has the second-greatest relevance when we are talking about races. Your tribe is far more likely to make alliances with tribes who are more genetically related to your own tribe, not less genetically related. It is true even if instead of tribes we are talking about nations of the modern world. It is no evolutionary accident.

Biological similarities don’t mean that you inherit racism. It’s a concept as much as it is a behavior. And you can choose to associate with every idea your family or in-group thinks, or none of them. That’s the beauty of intelligence and choice.   

 

Many people are blank-slate thinkers on matters of race alone. Some people are blank-slate thinkers on absolutely every matter. It is popular among sociologists. They assert that it is just as easy to love a strange child that you have never seen in your life as it is to love one’s own child. It may seem bizarre, but I read an interview of a sociologist who accepted such a premise for the sake of solving the problem of class inequality of child care. She proposed that we should be loving other children just as much as we love our own children, as love for our own children is just a social construct.

I can’t keep up, but I will say this, you don’t have to love another child as much as your own to not be racist. I don’t know what you mean by blank slate thinking but if you mean non-nuanced, I might argue that this is the problem with judging people on color or outward attributes rather than behavior. Evaluating someone’s character takes a little intellectual endurance currently lacking in a lot of places.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 19:05
 

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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24 March 2019 20:39
 

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 20:55
 
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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24 March 2019 21:09
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 08:55 PM
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

I literally just explained to the KNOWN causal phenomenon.  You don’t need to invent a bullshit theory to try and counter it.

Non-biologically related breastfeeding pairs release oxytocin, which also creates the emotional bond.  The ACTION is stronger than DNA.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 21:21
 
Garret - 24 March 2019 09:09 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 08:55 PM
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

I literally just explained to the KNOWN causal phenomenon.  You don’t need to invent a bullshit theory to try and counter it.

Non-biologically related breastfeeding pairs release oxytocin, which also creates the emotional bond.  The ACTION is stronger than DNA.

I am NOT saying that your neurochemical explanation is false. I am saying that it is incomplete, because it is not an explanation of the root cause. It is an explanation merely of the mechanism. Why is there an oxytocin shortage for mothers with respect to their prematurely-born children? That fact does not follow directly from any other premise of neurochemistry or developmental biology. It follows only from evolutionary psychology.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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24 March 2019 21:24
 

I literally already told you why.  You are inventing new reasons in order to make your theories justifiable.  You are intentionally seeking out ways to justify your dogmatic beliefs about DNA and social bonding.

Breastfeeding between a non-related woman and infant also produces oxytocin.  It is an ACTION that produces this bond, not DNA.  In fact, producing lactation in mothers that adopt is a highly recommended by physicians as a way to help build that bond in cases of adoption.

Also, biological mother/child pairs that don’t engage in breastfeeding don’t produce this oxytocin, even when the child is perfectly healthy.

[ Edited: 24 March 2019 21:30 by Garret]
 
burt
 
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burt
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24 March 2019 21:33
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 05:08 PM
Jb8989 - 24 March 2019 03:39 PM
Abel Dean - 10 March 2019 09:11 AM

Another problem with trying to put “racism” on a spectrum is that the most common thought and behavior patterns associated with “racism” are very likely instinctive.

You have to make a distinction between otherism and racism. Otherism is pretty basic. It requires personal and in-group prejudices, but that doesn’t mean that racism is a requisite. Conflating the two is a red herring that I see a lot. In other words, just because other-ism induced tribalism is emotionally basic behavior, doesn’t mean that the cultural dominance associated with systemic racism is as well.

No behavior is wholly genetically determined, so no behavior is a requisite, but I think it is important to recognize that genetics makes some behaviors much easier than others. The best explanation for why an us-vs-them mentality of any sort exists is the selfish gene theory of Richard Dawkins. This explanation has the greatest relevance when we are talking about small tribes. An individual shares more genetic variants with his or her own tribe than with any other group. This explanation has the second-greatest relevance when we are talking about races. Your tribe is far more likely to make alliances with tribes who are more genetically related to your own tribe, not less genetically related. It is true even if instead of tribes we are talking about nations of the modern world. It is no evolutionary accident.

Read up on the current literature, though. The selfish gene theory isn’t state of the art. I suggest Bowles and Gintis, A Cooperative Species.

 
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