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Racism Spectrum

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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03 February 2019 15:20
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 03:13 PM
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.

I agree with your last paragraph.
The rest is irrelrvant to my specific post.

The special advantage of being white is that ‘life can be easier than for non-whites’.  The way to ‘remove’ this privilege would be ideally to improve the lot of non-whites so that the imbalance were no longer observable.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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03 February 2019 15:23
 
icehorse - 03 February 2019 01:20 PM
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?

It depends on the business owner’s tactics. If she was at first glance discriminating against blacks with a sheer incuriosness about whether they can afford the place and be good tenants, than yeah probably. If she just wasn’t going to extra yard to assess black people because of the circumstances her neighborhood has been dealt, than I wouldn’t know. The mental states, the intentions, and the ought-to-knows all come into play.

And it’s not like there’s not such a thing as black privilege in certain environments - say certain social service’s sectors, where they have historically been fighting for social justice so hard that they’ve conflated racism, white privilege and identity politics. They’re just smaller systems, making actual white privilege more prevalent.

The devils in the details. That’s why I say the act and the mental state are both important and case by case.

[ Edited: 03 February 2019 15:27 by Jb8989]
 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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04 February 2019 07:41
 
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. 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.

If one wants to do more than lip service to the concept of fairness, then it must be accepted by those who enjoy ANY kind of privilege that they may actually have to give up something – the unfair advantages that put them there in the first place.  The qualified black applicant may get the job over them, the black family’s offer on the house may win out over theirs, the black person’s voice or testimony will carry as much weight as theirs, etc., etc., etc.

(Also, in considering the effects of racism, we should not forget the other and smaller minorities whose voices are often unheard.)

 

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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04 February 2019 07:44
 
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 03:23 PM

It depends on the business owner’s tactics. If she was at first glance discriminating against blacks with a sheer incuriosness about whether they can afford the place and be good tenants, than yeah probably. If she just wasn’t going to extra yard to assess black people because of the circumstances her neighborhood has been dealt, than I wouldn’t know. The mental states, the intentions, and the ought-to-knows all come into play.

And it’s not like there’s not such a thing as black privilege in certain environments - say certain social service’s sectors, where they have historically been fighting for social justice so hard that they’ve conflated racism, white privilege and identity politics. They’re just smaller systems, making actual white privilege more prevalent.

The devils in the details. That’s why I say the act and the mental state are both important and case by case.

Yes, the devil’s in the details.  The sad fact is that so many people who ought-to-know do not know. 

There is no doubt that the history and issue of racism is complex, but it could also be boiled down to a lack of empathy and conscience.  Analysis and rationality are important in identifying and understanding problems, but the answer can be as simple as following the ‘Golden Rule’, of consciously treating each and every other person with dignity as individuals in spite of any preconceptions or biases we may hold.

 

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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04 February 2019 09:11
 
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 07:44 AM
Jb8989 - 03 February 2019 03:23 PM

It depends on the business owner’s tactics. If she was at first glance discriminating against blacks with a sheer incuriosness about whether they can afford the place and be good tenants, than yeah probably. If she just wasn’t going to extra yard to assess black people because of the circumstances her neighborhood has been dealt, than I wouldn’t know. The mental states, the intentions, and the ought-to-knows all come into play.

And it’s not like there’s not such a thing as black privilege in certain environments - say certain social service’s sectors, where they have historically been fighting for social justice so hard that they’ve conflated racism, white privilege and identity politics. They’re just smaller systems, making actual white privilege more prevalent.

The devils in the details. That’s why I say the act and the mental state are both important and case by case.

Yes, the devil’s in the details.  The sad fact is that so many people who ought-to-know do not know. 

There is no doubt that the history and issue of racism is complex, but it could also be boiled down to a lack of empathy and conscience.  Analysis and rationality are important in identifying and understanding problems, but the answer can be as simple as following the ‘Golden Rule’, of consciously treating each and every other person with dignity as individuals in spite of any preconceptions or biases we may hold.

I agree and I disagree. Empathy is about sharing emotional experiences, but that’s not that same thing as seeking to emotionally join with strangers and further sharing material gains. I think that there’s sociocultural considerations that render even the most empathetic people to tight knit groups.

.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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04 February 2019 09:23
 
Nhoj Morley - 03 February 2019 02:04 PM

 

Why is there a spectrum?

Because I think that a person’s intentions, purpose or lack thereof need to be taken into account when considering whether and how intensly an act can be considered racist.

For example, a sixteen year old black boy who grew up in an all black neighborhood in Alabama surrounded by black people who conditioned him to think that white people will hurt him in various different ways should be thought of differently than the black man who grew up well-educated in New York City around a mixed crowd, if both hypothetically presented in a similar situation with the same racist feelings and words toward white people and “The Man.”

Is it reasonable to think that the first kid ought to know he shouldn’t get scared at a white delivery man and yell at his cracker ass to get off his steps? I don’t know, maybe not if he’s fresh off the boat from Bama.

It’s a slightly outlandish hypo but the point’s the same on a more subtle level.

[ Edited: 04 February 2019 09:28 by Jb8989]
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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04 February 2019 09:58
 
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 07:41 AM
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. 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.

If one wants to do more than lip service to the concept of fairness, then it must be accepted by those who enjoy ANY kind of privilege that they may actually have to give up something – the unfair advantages that put them there in the first place.  The qualified black applicant may get the job over them, the black family’s offer on the house may win out over theirs, the black person’s voice or testimony will carry as much weight as theirs, etc., etc., etc.

(Also, in considering the effects of racism, we should not forget the other and smaller minorities whose voices are often unheard.)

All of your examples sound like “fair opportunity” to me. It’s a question of framing, and your framing seems divisive. We don’t need more divisiveness.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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04 February 2019 10:04
 
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 09:11 AM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 07:44 AM

Yes, the devil’s in the details.  The sad fact is that so many people who ought-to-know do not know. 

There is no doubt that the history and issue of racism is complex, but it could also be boiled down to a lack of empathy and conscience.  Analysis and rationality are important in identifying and understanding problems, but the answer can be as simple as following the ‘Golden Rule’, of consciously treating each and every other person with dignity as individuals in spite of any preconceptions or biases we may hold.

I agree and I disagree. Empathy is about sharing emotional experiences, but that’s not that same thing as seeking to emotionally join with strangers and further sharing material gains. I think that there’s sociocultural considerations that render even the most empathetic people to tight knit groups.

It seems to me that empathy would not necessarily require one to seek out strangers or share currently held material gains per se.  However, it would require us all to treat others who cross our paths, socially and professionally, fairly and not make gains at their expense. 

Most of us no longer live in such tight knit groups, and those who do have more exposure to ‘the other’ than in the past.  It seems that ignorance is less of an excuse for racism than it once was.  And although we humans tend to have more empathy for those closest to us, I don’t see how this negates our ability to treat others without prejudice.

I’ve been speaking here of how people treat each other as individuals.  As a society, rectifying past injustices and arriving at a fairer society/ies is far more complicated, will take changes in attitude and commitment of resources.  But it still comes down to each of us doing what is right; we just need to be nicer.  (Yeah, I know this is simplistic, but sometimes we simpletons aren’t wrong.)

 

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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04 February 2019 14:06
 
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 10:04 AM
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 09:11 AM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 07:44 AM

Yes, the devil’s in the details.  The sad fact is that so many people who ought-to-know do not know. 

There is no doubt that the history and issue of racism is complex, but it could also be boiled down to a lack of empathy and conscience.  Analysis and rationality are important in identifying and understanding problems, but the answer can be as simple as following the ‘Golden Rule’, of consciously treating each and every other person with dignity as individuals in spite of any preconceptions or biases we may hold.

I agree and I disagree. Empathy is about sharing emotional experiences, but that’s not that same thing as seeking to emotionally join with strangers and further sharing material gains. I think that there’s sociocultural considerations that render even the most empathetic people to tight knit groups.

It seems to me that empathy would not necessarily require one to seek out strangers or share currently held material gains per se.  However, it would require us all to treat others who cross our paths, socially and professionally, fairly and not make gains at their expense. 

Most of us no longer live in such tight knit groups, and those who do have more exposure to ‘the other’ than in the past.  It seems that ignorance is less of an excuse for racism than it once was.  And although we humans tend to have more empathy for those closest to us, I don’t see how this negates our ability to treat others without prejudice.

I’ve been speaking here of how people treat each other as individuals.  As a society, rectifying past injustices and arriving at a fairer society/ies is far more complicated, will take changes in attitude and commitment of resources.  But it still comes down to each of us doing what is right; we just need to be nicer.  (Yeah, I know this is simplistic, but sometimes we simpletons aren’t wrong.)

We agree more than we disagree, but (1) what’s fair isn’t always equal, and (2) prejudice, not racism or unchecked bias, but prejudice is an inherent psychological phenomena. I’m of the camp that believes it’s unshakable, and I think that society’s reluctance to share with a capital S is hardwired as a result.

As an example for number one: it’s unfair to professionally treat someone smart and qualified equal to someone much less smart and qualified even when doing so would induce more corporate racial diversity. And an example for number two, there have always been the same percentage of winners and losers with regard to money and resources in this world. There’s more today than there’s ever been, but the percentages are the same since the Romans.

I’m skeptical about the overlap when considering the remedies for one and two.

 

[ Edited: 04 February 2019 14:11 by Jb8989]
 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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04 February 2019 15:14
 
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 02:06 PM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 10:04 AM

It seems to me that empathy would not necessarily require one to seek out strangers or share currently held material gains per se.  However, it would require us all to treat others who cross our paths, socially and professionally, fairly and not make gains at their expense. 

Most of us no longer live in such tight knit groups, and those who do have more exposure to ‘the other’ than in the past.  It seems that ignorance is less of an excuse for racism than it once was.  And although we humans tend to have more empathy for those closest to us, I don’t see how this negates our ability to treat others without prejudice.

I’ve been speaking here of how people treat each other as individuals.  As a society, rectifying past injustices and arriving at a fairer society/ies is far more complicated, will take changes in attitude and commitment of resources.  But it still comes down to each of us doing what is right; we just need to be nicer.  (Yeah, I know this is simplistic, but sometimes we simpletons aren’t wrong.)

We agree more than we disagree, but (1) what’s fair isn’t always equal, and (2) prejudice, not racism or unchecked bias, but prejudice is an inherent psychological phenomena. I’m of the camp that believes it’s unshakable, and I think that society’s reluctance to share with a capital S is hardwired as a result.

As an example for number one: it’s unfair to professionally treat someone smart and qualified equal to someone much less smart and qualified even when doing so would induce more corporate racial diversity. And an example for number two, there have always been the same percentage of winners and losers with regard to money and resources in this world. There’s more today than there’s ever been, but the percentages are the same since the Romans.

I’m skeptical about the overlap when considering the remedies for one and two.

I understand that human nature evolved and has retained a certain amount of tribalism, but I do not think that this is unshakable.  I think we’re perfectly capable of evolving further to consider all humanity to be members of our ‘tribe’.  As the world has become more of a global community, there are places where different peoples live side by side in relative harmony; it can be done.  It must be a goal to strive for, which can’t be done unless we see it as a possibility.

Whether or not one believes in efforts such as affirmative action, if we ever get to the point of minimizing/eliminating subtle and overt racism, increased diversity will be the end result regardless.  It’s been happening gradually anyway, although too slowly, but it is, hopefully, the track we’re all on.  (As long as, in the meantime, we do not destroy the planet or blow ourselves up first.)

 

 
 
Jb8989
 
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04 February 2019 16:32
 
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 03:14 PM
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 02:06 PM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 10:04 AM

It seems to me that empathy would not necessarily require one to seek out strangers or share currently held material gains per se.  However, it would require us all to treat others who cross our paths, socially and professionally, fairly and not make gains at their expense. 

Most of us no longer live in such tight knit groups, and those who do have more exposure to ‘the other’ than in the past.  It seems that ignorance is less of an excuse for racism than it once was.  And although we humans tend to have more empathy for those closest to us, I don’t see how this negates our ability to treat others without prejudice.

I’ve been speaking here of how people treat each other as individuals.  As a society, rectifying past injustices and arriving at a fairer society/ies is far more complicated, will take changes in attitude and commitment of resources.  But it still comes down to each of us doing what is right; we just need to be nicer.  (Yeah, I know this is simplistic, but sometimes we simpletons aren’t wrong.)

We agree more than we disagree, but (1) what’s fair isn’t always equal, and (2) prejudice, not racism or unchecked bias, but prejudice is an inherent psychological phenomena. I’m of the camp that believes it’s unshakable, and I think that society’s reluctance to share with a capital S is hardwired as a result.

As an example for number one: it’s unfair to professionally treat someone smart and qualified equal to someone much less smart and qualified even when doing so would induce more corporate racial diversity. And an example for number two, there have always been the same percentage of winners and losers with regard to money and resources in this world. There’s more today than there’s ever been, but the percentages are the same since the Romans.

I’m skeptical about the overlap when considering the remedies for one and two.

I understand that human nature evolved and has retained a certain amount of tribalism, but I do not think that this is unshakable.  I think we’re perfectly capable of evolving further to consider all humanity to be members of our ‘tribe’.  As the world has become more of a global community, there are places where different peoples live side by side in relative harmony; it can be done.  It must be a goal to strive for, which can’t be done unless we see it as a possibility.

Whether or not one believes in efforts such as affirmative action, if we ever get to the point of minimizing/eliminating subtle and overt racism, increased diversity will be the end result regardless.  It’s been happening gradually anyway, although too slowly, but it is, hopefully, the track we’re all on.  (As long as, in the meantime, we do not destroy the planet or blow ourselves up first.)

I totally agree that goals are great, tribalism is bad, diversity is nice, and harmony is cool. Any thoughts on the spectrum?

 

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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04 February 2019 17:21
 
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 04:32 PM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 03:14 PM
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 02:06 PM

We agree more than we disagree, but (1) what’s fair isn’t always equal, and (2) prejudice, not racism or unchecked bias, but prejudice is an inherent psychological phenomena. I’m of the camp that believes it’s unshakable, and I think that society’s reluctance to share with a capital S is hardwired as a result.

As an example for number one: it’s unfair to professionally treat someone smart and qualified equal to someone much less smart and qualified even when doing so would induce more corporate racial diversity. And an example for number two, there have always been the same percentage of winners and losers with regard to money and resources in this world. There’s more today than there’s ever been, but the percentages are the same since the Romans.

I’m skeptical about the overlap when considering the remedies for one and two.

I understand that human nature evolved and has retained a certain amount of tribalism, but I do not think that this is unshakable.  I think we’re perfectly capable of evolving further to consider all humanity to be members of our ‘tribe’.  As the world has become more of a global community, there are places where different peoples live side by side in relative harmony; it can be done.  It must be a goal to strive for, which can’t be done unless we see it as a possibility.

Whether or not one believes in efforts such as affirmative action, if we ever get to the point of minimizing/eliminating subtle and overt racism, increased diversity will be the end result regardless.  It’s been happening gradually anyway, although too slowly, but it is, hopefully, the track we’re all on.  (As long as, in the meantime, we do not destroy the planet or blow ourselves up first.)

I totally agree that goals are great, tribalism is bad, diversity is nice, and harmony is cool. Any thoughts on the spectrum?

Do I detect some facetiousness in your last reply (perhaps not)?  It may be that I tend to state the obvious, but I think I made a valid counterpoint that human nature can evolve past the inclinations that lead to racism.

In regards to the racism spectrum, there are of course degrees ranging from insensitivity, ignorance, and prejudice to blatant and overt racism.  With some more difficult to detect than others, and some more ingrained than others.  Each of us might describe this ‘spectrum’ somewhat differently, but I think this kind of analysis and discussion can lead to more awareness and self-examination which can be good.

 

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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04 February 2019 18:32
 
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 05:21 PM
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 04:32 PM
Jan_CAN - 04 February 2019 03:14 PM
Jb8989 - 04 February 2019 02:06 PM

We agree more than we disagree, but (1) what’s fair isn’t always equal, and (2) prejudice, not racism or unchecked bias, but prejudice is an inherent psychological phenomena. I’m of the camp that believes it’s unshakable, and I think that society’s reluctance to share with a capital S is hardwired as a result.

As an example for number one: it’s unfair to professionally treat someone smart and qualified equal to someone much less smart and qualified even when doing so would induce more corporate racial diversity. And an example for number two, there have always been the same percentage of winners and losers with regard to money and resources in this world. There’s more today than there’s ever been, but the percentages are the same since the Romans.

I’m skeptical about the overlap when considering the remedies for one and two.

I understand that human nature evolved and has retained a certain amount of tribalism, but I do not think that this is unshakable.  I think we’re perfectly capable of evolving further to consider all humanity to be members of our ‘tribe’.  As the world has become more of a global community, there are places where different peoples live side by side in relative harmony; it can be done.  It must be a goal to strive for, which can’t be done unless we see it as a possibility.

Whether or not one believes in efforts such as affirmative action, if we ever get to the point of minimizing/eliminating subtle and overt racism, increased diversity will be the end result regardless.  It’s been happening gradually anyway, although too slowly, but it is, hopefully, the track we’re all on.  (As long as, in the meantime, we do not destroy the planet or blow ourselves up first.)

I totally agree that goals are great, tribalism is bad, diversity is nice, and harmony is cool. Any thoughts on the spectrum?

human nature can evolve past the inclinations that lead to racism.

No facetiousness…It would be nice. The pigmentation brigade is one of the dumbest subsets of us all. If otherism is hardwired, certainly we can think of more creative divides.

 

 
 
LadyJane
 
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05 February 2019 05:35
 

The tribalism factor is hardwired but so is co-operation.  When we were bands of nomads roaming around we were suspicious of the tribe with different apparel.  And now we are here.  Still tribal with different plumage.

It’s not exclusively American.  And it’s not a zero sum game.

It’s not as though during the French Revolution everyone would storm the castle and rise to the level of royals.  It doesn’t work that way.  You pilfer the jewels and then allocate them among the peasants to even things out.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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05 February 2019 09:09
 
LadyJane - 05 February 2019 05:35 AM

The tribalism factor is hardwired but so is co-operation.  When we were bands of nomads roaming around we were suspicious of the tribe with different apparel.  And now we are here.  Still tribal with different plumage.

It’s not exclusively American.  And it’s not a zero sum game.

It’s not as though during the French Revolution everyone would storm the castle and rise to the level of royals.  It doesn’t work that way.  You pilfer the jewels and then allocate them among the peasants to even things out.

Yeah but there was never enough. It was always the people who knew the most about and sat the closest to the money that had the most of it. Modern millionaires are just the Romans who worked on top of the coin. I guess the internet made it so that you no longer have to baby sit your cash to have it. That’s a little new.

Edit add: The thought occurred to me that maybe comprehensive capatalism bridged the gap between passive outsider suspicion and active outsider discrimination. IMO it’s fine to be leery initially if it’s part of your process of getting to know another. It’s just not cool to be conclusiory about one’s early leeriness.

[ Edited: 05 February 2019 09:14 by Jb8989]
 
 
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