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Trump Derangement Syndrome and the 2020 Election

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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11 September 2019 08:22
 

I agree that there is a segment of the left that defaults to claiming various social effects are the result of racism but I still object to the stereotype of the far-left SJW who goes around thinking “everything is racist.”

So, why carve out a particular group of people, who have a particular set of priors that set them apart, but who basically fit the same description as every other human being on the planet, and claim that they are uniquely a problem?

Because they have carved themselves out.  Also, I have operationalized “everything is racist” quite specifically into two beliefs that reflect, demonstrably, what this self-described left believes, and puts into practice, i.e. the prior they maintain: that any derogatory remark about a person of color is ipso facto evidence of a racist, and any racial-social disparity is ipso facto evidence of systemic racism—current systemic racism, not the complex, interactive legacy of past systemic racism you describe (a legacy I myself emphasize when I get involved in this issue).  So, pointing to this woke left is not stereotyping.  It is describing a self-described minority that sees itself as both necessary and gaining traction in becoming a majority.

We don’t know what these people are basing their priors on

But we do. I was taught the prior in graduate school.  Specifically, this “woke” left does believe the world divides neatly into “racists” and “non-racists.”  Theirs is a simple, dichotomous world (see Figure 3.1 in the pdf at “3)”).  As you can see from the diagram—one adapted from the one I was taught in grad school—they believe society divides neatly and exhaustively into “privilege” and the “oppressed,” with the “privileged” as both the cause of oppression and collectively accountable for it by some immutable trait, not behavior (hence “white privilege,” “male privilege,” “able privilege,” etc.).  This dichotomy is their prior; it is, in my opinion, an utterly juvenile prior; and it does have an impact, an impact which has grown since I was in school (see the current “APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men,” page 3, for instance; this is recent).  In any case, no one needs to speculate about what their prior is because they—or at least the generation of academics before them—have been teaching it for decades.  And it’s hardly worth emphasizing that while we all have our priors, not everyone shares this one—including not every liberal.

And more toward my underlying point, this prior is not simply a matter of ‘thresholds’ and ‘weighting’—what you suggest we all have, and do.  It is instead a schema that forces one to certain conclusions, apriori.  And it is non-negotiable; it is the incontestable basis for specific judgments.  That makes it a bad prior, one that forecloses in advance the kind of nuanced analysis you offer in your last three paragraphs (the kind of analysis I am entirely on board with, by the way).  And to this point, I need to be more clear, as I think my operationalizing of “racism is everywhere” has led to a misunderstanding.  This “woke” left does not see derogatory remarks or racial disparities as “evidence of,” in that further examination is required to determine “a racist” or “systemic racism,” as though weights in gathering evidence against a threshold is being applied.  Instead, the derogatory remark is seen—according to the prior—as the result of being a racist, or the racial disparity is seen as the result of current systemic racism.  I erred in making this default prior into a weaker claim of searching for evidence from a default position—what we all do.  Like the dichotomy of “privilege” and “oppressed,” the conclusion of “racist” or “non-racist” and “systemic racism” or “not-systemic racism” is the dichotomous prior, period. There is no searching because the non-negotiable, dichotomous prior interprets the remark or disparity as “racist” or “systemic racism,” as such. 

So, where we seem to disagree is whether 1) it makes sense to single out a tendency both in the use of priors and in the nature of the prior itself and 2) whether it makes sense to identify a sub-group (the “woke” left) within a larger group (“liberals”) using this prior.  I think it does and you think it doesn’t. 

There is much else I think worth discussing in your post, but does this capture where we stand so far?  I look forward to your reply.

(Incidentally, I don’t think anything hangs on the fact that not all who hold this prior self-describe in the same way, or that not all who hold these operational beliefs about “racists” and “racism” see themselves as part of the same movement, or even tendency.  That’s merely a concern over labels when the intent is to describe trends.

Also, you say:

I know you are not singling out extreme leftists in the sense that you also think other groups are biased in similar ways. But it does seem to me you are arguing that these far leftists are creating a larger problem than the rest of the US population (correct me if I’m wrong).

I do in fact think that other groups—any group— with priors as rigid as the “woke” left should be similarly called out.  On the Right I could mention the “bootstraps” prior of the Republicans: the dogma that failure to prosper indicates a personal failing, not systemic factors as much as—or even more than—personal ability or effort.  It’s just to my knowledge there is no schema as identifiable for this prior as there is for the “privilege” and “oppression” dogma.  In any case, the OP clearly calls the ‘love to the death’ Trump supporter “deranged,” indicating well enough to my mind that I think a prior “Trump can do no wrong” is similarly destructive as the one described.  The OP’s focus is merely a matter of topic, not exclusivity—a focus on what could hurt the Democrats, if you will.  That Trump and the “deranged” support for him has already hurt the Republicans would be a whole other post on its own.)

 

[ Edited: 11 September 2019 16:58 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
GAD
 
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11 September 2019 08:30
 
MrRon - 11 September 2019 04:04 AM

During a recent Bernie Sanders town hall an attendee claimed the senator is “an advocate for open borders.” Here was Sanders’ response:

“I’m afraid you may be getting your information wrong. That’s not my view. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something that we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”

So at least that’s Bernie’s position. Do you have quotes from any other Democratic presidential candidates that show them specifically advocating for open borders? I’m not claiming that no other candidate has said they are in favor of open borders - I haven’t heard of any that support open borders, so I’m genuinely curious.

Ron

Good for Sanders!

“my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world”

is exactly right! It would be a dog pile and and given our savior culture we would give them trillions in welfare for 3+ generations of high child birth to show them what great people we are.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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11 September 2019 16:22
 

More food for thought, which I append here because I am still thinking about your last post.

You say:

So I guess I am not that worried about the group that has strong priors towards considering things racist. And I still think it is an exaggeration to say that such people see racism “everywhere.” I think it is more accurate to say these people have really strong priors that make it so the weight of evidence needed to see something as “racist” is very slight while it takes a lot of evidence to convince them otherwise. This may be rational or irrational. We don’t know what these people are basing their priors on.  For example, regarding the 10 statements that you mentioned from Trump. People weren’t starting from scratch when interpreting those statements. They were interpreting them in the light of what they already knew about Trump - and lots of people already had high priors that Trump was a racist after the birther thing.

Believing Trump is a racist because of the birther thing is, I would say, itself the result of a defective prior, as though questioning the birth status of black Presidential candidate is done because he’s black and not because he’s a political nemesis with a non-US national as a father (Trump is, after all, Republican).  The birther conspiracy is idiotic; it is based on the worst kind of distortions of “evidence.”  But it’s not racist.  By the standard that it is, questioning the suitability of any black man for any position is racist, just because he’s black, regardless of the context of questioning—which is patently not the case.  The flimsy de facto prior that ‘denigration of a black man is ipso facto racism’ is not, I think, a rational bases for the further application of the bad prior.

As I think we’d agree, one’s prior should be updated by taking, in its totality, the available evidence.  And taking Trump’s statements in totality is precisely what exculpates him of being a “racist.” Take the Maxine Waters comment (the second on the top 10 list).  Calling her “low IQ” is, allegedly, racist.  Yet Trump has called Karl Rove “stupid” five times.  He’s called Tim Obrien and Glenn Beck “stupid” three times.  Robert DeNiro is “not Albert Einstein” and Mark Cuban is “not intelligent enough to run for President.”  Mika Brzezinski, James Comey, James Clapper Jr.—all are, to Trump, some variation on “stupid.”  Donald Trump is clearly a bigot who calls people who disagree or criticize him stupid, routinely.  It’s his modus operand.  So why is the appellation racially motivated when it’s applied to a black Congresswoman who’s opposed him?  Only—I maintain—under the dogmatic prior of “racism is everywhere,” operationalized as ‘a denigrating remark against a person of color ipso facto means racist.’  Given his obvious pattern of calling virtually anyone who’s criticized him some variation on “stupid,” what other explanation is there but this prior for the accusation that he’s a racist just because he’s called Maxine Waters stupid?  And so forth for the rest of those 10 controversies…they all require the bad prior “any derogatory remark against a person of color is the result of being a racist,” or some variation on it.

Also, I am softening the “racism is everywhere” by operationalizing it the way I do.  In an article cited as authoritative by a poster on this forum, one finds that “racism is woven into the warp and woof of the way we see and organize the world—it is one of the many preconceptions we bring to experience and use to construct and make sense of our social world” (emphasis added).  In fact, this “warp and woof” is so pervasive as part of the “dominant narrative” that the idea of an “autonomous subject” who can see past this prior and “escape the confines of [his] own preconception is quite limited.”  To think we can, as a rule, is a “fallacy” because this narrative “begins to shape and determine us, who we are, what we see, how we select, reject, interpret and order subsequent reality.”  (Cornell Law Review, Vol 77, Issue 6, Sept 1992, Article 3, pp. 1278-1280.)

If that doesn’t qualify as “racism is everywhere,” I don’t know what does.

Statements like this are a dime a dozen in the “woke” literature on racism.

 

[ Edited: 11 September 2019 19:00 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
no_profundia
 
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11 September 2019 19:13
 

I think we have reached a point where I need some more information to respond adequately. So rather than respond to your two most recent posts I want to ask some questions for clarification. I think the things we are discussing are somewhat impressionistic: how accurate is a particular description of a particular group of people? It is like discussing how adequate a given description of a particular song is. Even if we agree the song is a good song (or a bad song) we might wind up with wildly different descriptions.

I agree that there is a trend or a movement among the left that is hyper-aware of potential racism. I sometimes think they go too far. I don’t think that is where our disagreement lies. I think our disagreement may lie in how best to describe the movement, the people who make it up, and how worrisome it is.

So, hopefully these questions will help concertize things a bit, at least for me:

1. Have you met anyone in person that you would include in your 8% figure? If so, can you describe a bit what they were like (professors? activists? young? old?, etc.) and the kinds of things they said that qualify them as falling within that 8%?

(I think we tend to think in prototypes and when you talk about the people who belong to this 8% I have specific people that I have met and interacted with in mind that I suspect would fall into that 8% figure. So naturally I am comparing your descriptions to the people I know and the portraits don’t seem to have much in common. I am curious to see if you have different prototypes and perhaps that is why we are providing different descriptions).

2. Where did the 8% figure come from?

3. You mention that you were taught the prior in graduate school. Can you elaborate on what you are referring to here? Were you taught that we can simply assume that all racial disparities are caused by systemic racism and there is no need to even investigate? What were you studying, or what classes were you taking, that taught this prior?

4. Can you provide a reference to the “warp and woof” article so I can read it for myself (or a link to the discussion where the person posted it)?

5. Do you think the entire notion of systemic racism is a myth (or does not apply at all in the US) or do you just think it gets over-applied by a certain group of people?

(I don’t know if different people define systemic racism differently or not but there are three things that I take to be implied by the term:

a. It is possible for policies, attitudes, norms, etc. with no racist intention behind them to have effects that systematically disadvantage certain races. A potential example would be the cultural code that Arline Geronimus points out in her paper that leads to the stigmitization of women who have children when they are “too young”. If Arline is right this norm would systematically disadvantage African-American women since having children when they are younger is actually an advantage for African-American women (while being a disadvantage for white women). So, by imposing a single social norm on different populations one group winds up at a systematic disadvantage even though there is no racist intention behind the norm.

b. Very small biases can have very large effects when added up (when they are not random but have a systematic tendency). For example, I read an article or book a while ago - unfortunately I have forgotten the source and the exact figures - that provided a mathematical example showing what the effect would be if managers were on average 1% more likely to promote a white person over an African-American each year. The effects were quite large in terms of earnings and overall career trajectory. And, of course, this can become self-reinforcing.

c. Related to the second point, while the effect of any one policy, attitude, norm, etc. that has these effects might be quite small when several are operating at once the effect might be quite large. So to determine the effect something has we need to consider the system as a whole.

So that is basically what I think of when people talk about systemic racism).

6. Is your primary problem with the 8% who see racism everywhere in the content of what they believe (that racism is everywhere) or the vehemence with which they believe it?

(I took your objection to be with the vehemence with which they believe it. But this is precisely where I think the 8% is most similar to everyone else in the world. Your latest post makes me think it is the particular content of what they believe -  their “schema” - that you find objectionable and think makes this group somewhat unique, i.e. they have a schema whereas most people don’t).

7. Aside from the “warp and woof” article which I will judge when I read it, can you provide an example where someone claims that any derogatory comment made about an African-American person is racist or that any racial disparity is proof of systemic racism?

(It still is not clear to me whether you are claiming that there are people who literally claim this and would agree with this as a description of their own views or if you are simply inferring that this is what people are doing when they disagree with you about specific cases like the Maxine Waters comment).

 
 
Twissel
 
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12 September 2019 01:40
 

Questioning the birth status of a Presidential Nominee isn’t racist in itself - wondering if Ted Cruz is a born Canadian isn’t racist.

But the degree to which Trump hyped the Borther Conspiracy, with explicit claims that there had been a cover-up to hide Obama’s real birthplace and the fact that he is a born Muslim IS ABSOLUTELY RACIST.
Trump did his hardest to imply that Obama is an Al Qaida plant to bring down the US. That there was no chance he was loyal to this country because of his origin and religion (as he claimed it was).

It is a fallacy to say that because Birtherism might sometimes be not racist, it never is.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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12 September 2019 02:21
 

1. Yes, in graduate school (Social Work) all the professors.  They were all over 40, most were around 50, and some were about 65 or older, near retirement.  A few of my classmates to start qualified; virtually all of them did, by belief, by the end.  Those classmates were from various majors, of various ages (mostly over 25), with various work experiences.  Socially, now, no—no one in the 8%, but I socialize very little—for all intents and purposes, I don’t regularly (just one intimate, two friends, my wife, and by phone and by email close friends and family, who live away).  I also have a few colleagues at work, but none in the 8%.

I am not going to call out a poster here by name, but the ‘de facto systemic racism as the cause for racial-social disparities’ has been quoted back to me, with emphasis, when I used that phrase to describe her views.

The personalities vary, like one would expect, I think.  Some professors were deferential and eager to teach.  Some were sanctimonious and aggressive at anything approaching disagreement. The rest fell in between.  As for my classmates, they were even more diverse, as there were more of them.  Only a few were sanctimonious and aggressive; most were just people you meet in school.  All but one was politically liberal.  Beyond that we all got along splendidly, bonded by being subject to a lot of petty departmental politics.  As such, I can’t think of any prototype, save through ‘political’ beliefs—that the US is a fundamentally racist and sexist etc. society, and that one mission of social work is to fix this.

The poster on this forum is as nice as one can be.

2. “…the most racially liberal are the Progressive Activists, who form just 8 percent of the population.” Found here.  Per that Vox article that discusses the rising “awareness of racism” among liberals brought about by these activists, I refer to this 8% as “woke.”

3. I could not describe the prior any better than I have already described it, or than the diagram does, just in more detail (but if you ask, I could quote the diagram source for its explanatory material).  No, none of my professors thought there was any need to investigate the causes of social-racial disparities.  They were all explained as being the result of America being a fundamentally racist society; that the racism is woven into the fabric of our culture and enforced in both private and public institutions.  They were never clear on the specifics of the mechanisms, only strident in the assertion that the systemic racism is there; that it must be there because the disparities are there.  So, far from offering any need to investigate this, they were…um…”adverse” to any criticism of it.  Imagine suggesting to a Christian Jesus was not the Son of God…

4. I added the reference later than you could be expected to have seen it.  The article can be found here (it was used in one of my classes).  The quoted material can be found on pages 1278-1281.  To answer part of 3 here, these classes included policy classes (I, II, and III, IV) and practice classes (I, I, III, IV).  This article was used in a practice class, in a segment on how to remediate racism through speech advocacy.

5. No, systemic racism was real.  That is so irrefutable I’ve known no one personally who denies it.  Its effects persist today.  I would say at a time it applied—for all intents and purposes—to all of the US.  Yes, I think the notion is over-applied by a certain group of people.  In the article you will read, you will see how this group gets around the obvious fact that the laws, cultural norms, and institutional norms that sustained that systemic racism no longer exist, yet the systemic racism still does (pp.1282). It boils down to individual actors acting covertly against the norms of their peers, and, indeed, against the accepted norms of society—pretty much the opposite of what systemic means.

(What you describe in your parenthetical is not, I’d say, what the “woke” left mean by systemic racism.  The effects of systemic racism are for them intended and work in a conjunction—in their terms, there is a “matrix of domination” in which race, class and gender (etc.) intersect under what is, at root, intentional oppression.  They acknowledge, of course, what you describe in (a); there are examples similar to it in the literature.  But the underlying stress is on oppression and domination as moral categories that convey intended disadvantage, not simply the unintended effects of non-oppressive decisions and norms. 

Also, “consider the system as a whole” could be included in systemic racism, but the emphasis I’m referring to is on ‘the system as such being racist,’ not that small individual acts of racism within a system have a larger aggregate effect when the system is considered “as a whole”—your (b) and (c).  A few racist police officers in each police department, for instance, could have a larger aggregate effect when policing is considered “as a whole,” but that aggregate effect would be different than the police departments as such being racist—that sort of distinction.

Your views on “systemic” align more or less with mine.)

6. The content of what they believe, not the vehemence.  As far as vehemence goes, they don’t really stand out from other political actors.  Trump’s primary base, for instance, is just as bad.

7.  That “a derogatory comment about a person of color is enough to make one a racist” and “a social-racial disparity is de facto proof of (current) systemic racism” is a description of their prior.  In other words, it is the prior implied—and I would argue necessarily implied—in the specific claims they make.  In the first case, most would refuse to endorse it—but then judge according to it anyway.  In the second case, they would endorse it, if asked, but they don’t go around asserting it as a principle, per se.  It’s just so taken for granted, presumably, they feel no need to.  Without going into detail, the prior appears to be prevalent on this forum.

Instead of doing the search now and linking to articles, I’ll just ask: do you really find it problematic when I say that in the media, routinely, there are articles—somewhere—about a racial disparity attributed to racism (meaning current systemic racism): from police shootings to traffic stops, from poverty demographics to prison demographics, from arrests to police encounters, from interview call backs to all-cause mortality, from unemployment rates to health outcomes…these are just ones I’ve examined myself; the list is goes on and on.  In any case, here is one egregious example that comes to mind off hand, as an exemplary case: Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Young Black Boys.  I’ve read the discussed study entirely.  It concludes no such thing.  Yet for the author of that article, contrary to the study’s main finding the disparity is explained by the “punishing reach of racism.”

As for the first statement—or something like it—in action, see those 10 USA Today examples, Maxine Waters in particular.

(To reiterate:

I don’t think anything hangs on the fact that not all who hold this prior self-describe in the same way, or that not all who hold these operational beliefs about “racists” and “racism” see themselves as part of the same movement, or even tendency.  That’s merely a concern over labels when the intent is to describe trends.

That the prior has become more widespread among Democrats, more prevalent in the universities, and more prevalent in the media is a result of this trend. Just how extensively it has spread, and therefore how worrisome it is…I don’t really know.)

 

[ Edited: 12 September 2019 16:31 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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12 September 2019 02:25
 

Trump did his hardest to imply…there was no chance he was loyal to this country because of his origin and religion

Right. Not because he is black, but because he was not loyal to his country because of his origin and religion.  The fallacy is in saying that Birtherism is “racist” in the first place, just because some racists also like to believe it.

[ Edited: 12 September 2019 02:53 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
MrRon
 
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12 September 2019 04:10
 
Twissel - 12 September 2019 01:40 AM

Questioning the birth status of a Presidential Nominee isn’t racist in itself - wondering if Ted Cruz is a born Canadian isn’t racist.

But the degree to which Trump hyped the Borther Conspiracy, with explicit claims that there had been a cover-up to hide Obama’s real birthplace and the fact that he is a born Muslim IS ABSOLUTELY RACIST.
Trump did his hardest to imply that Obama is an Al Qaida plant to bring down the US. That there was no chance he was loyal to this country because of his origin and religion (as he claimed it was).

It is a fallacy to say that because Birtherism might sometimes be not racist, it never is.

Trump also called Obama a “terrible student” and demanded to see his academic records. He questioned how he had been admitted to Columbia University and Harvard Law School. On what basis would Trump make such accusations??? We can speculate on Trump’s motivations, but I think there is a pretty clear pattern of racist behavior if not outright racism. The clincher for me was Trump’s interviews with Michael Savage during the 2016 campaign. Anybody who knows anything about the despicable Savage (and I listened to him for two years on my daily commutes to work) knows that he is without a doubt a racist through and through. And Trump made it clear that he greatly admired and respected Savage. To this day, I think the two are still quite friendly.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that anyone who is a bonafide racist voted for Trump and not Hillary in 2016. If Trump is NOT a racist, then he sure is sending out the wrong signals to the electorate.

Ron

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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12 September 2019 04:23
 
MrRon - 12 September 2019 04:10 AM
Twissel - 12 September 2019 01:40 AM

Questioning the birth status of a Presidential Nominee isn’t racist in itself - wondering if Ted Cruz is a born Canadian isn’t racist.

But the degree to which Trump hyped the Borther Conspiracy, with explicit claims that there had been a cover-up to hide Obama’s real birthplace and the fact that he is a born Muslim IS ABSOLUTELY RACIST.
Trump did his hardest to imply that Obama is an Al Qaida plant to bring down the US. That there was no chance he was loyal to this country because of his origin and religion (as he claimed it was).

It is a fallacy to say that because Birtherism might sometimes be not racist, it never is.

Trump also called Obama a “terrible student” and demanded to see his academic records. He questioned how he had been admitted to Columbia University and Harvard Law School. On what basis would Trump make such accusations??? We can speculate on Trump’s motivations, but I think there is a pretty clear pattern of racist behavior if not outright racism. The clincher for me was Trump’s interviews with Michael Savage during the 2016 campaign. Anybody who knows anything about the despicable Savage (and I listened to him for two years on my daily commutes to work) knows that he is without a doubt a racist through and through. And Trump made it clear that he greatly admired and respected Savage. To this day, I think the two are still quite friendly.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that anyone who is a bonafide racist voted for Trump and not Hillary in 2016. If Trump is NOT a racist, then he sure is sending out the wrong signals to the electorate.

Ron

He could have questioned Obama’s admission to and performance at Columbia and Harvard on the same grounds that Clarence Thomas has quipped that his own law degree from Yale was worth “15 cents” because of affirmative action; that it was worth so little because of the doubts he faced (even for himself) that he’d earned it and not gotten into Yale Law School just because he was black (he reports working twice as hard to avoid this stigma and signing up for the hardest classes he could).  Is Clarence Thomas, then, a racist for denigrating his own degree because of affirmative action at Yale?

(By the way, don’t confuse who’s bending over backwards here…)

[ Edited: 12 September 2019 05:54 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
mapadofu
 
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12 September 2019 05:31
 

Not having been able to find the full quote and its context (I believe it is from his book), to me a reasonable interpretation is that the 15 cent value comes from the perception of other people, especially racist people, who’d think that a black man could never succeed at Yale without special help.

 
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12 September 2019 06:40
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 12 September 2019 02:21 AM

1. Yes, in graduate school (Social Work) all the professors.  They were all over 40, most were around 50, and some were about 65 or older, near retirement.  A few of my classmates to start qualified; virtually all of them did, by belief, by the end.  Those classmates were from various majors, of various ages (mostly over 25), with various work experiences.  Socially, now, no—no one in the 8%, but I socialize very little—for all intents and purposes, I don’t regularly (just one intimate, two friends, my wife, and by phone and by email close friends and family, who live away).  I also have a few colleagues at work, but none in the 8%.

I am not going to call out a poster here by name, but the ‘de facto systemic racism as the cause for racial-social disparities’ has been quoted back to me, with emphasis, when I used that phrase to describe her views.

The personalities vary, like one would expect, I think.  Some professors were deferential and eager to teach.  Some were sanctimonious and aggressive at anything approaching disagreement. The rest fell in between.  As for my classmates, they were even more diverse, as there were more of them.  Only a few were sanctimonious and aggressive; most were just people you meet in school.  All but one was politically liberal.  Beyond that we all got along splendidly, bonded by being subject to a lot of petty departmental politics.  As such, I can’t think of any prototype, save through ‘political’ beliefs—that the US is a fundamentally racist and sexist etc. society, and that one mission of social work is to fix this.

The poster on this forum is as nice as one can be.

2. “…the most racially liberal are the Progressive Activists, who form just 8 percent of the population.” Found here.  Per that Vox article that discusses the rising “awareness of racism” among liberals brought about by these activists, I refer to this 8% as “woke.”

3. I could not describe the prior any better than I have already described it, or than the diagram does, just in more detail (but if you ask, I could quote the diagram source for its explanatory material).  No, none of my professors thought there was any need to investigate the causes of social-racial disparities.  They were all explained as being the result of America being a fundamentally racist society; that the racism is woven into the fabric of our culture and enforced in both private and public institutions.  They were never clear on the specifics of the mechanisms, only strident in the assertion that the systemic racism is there; that it must be there because the disparities are there.  So, far from offering any need to investigate this, they were…um…”adverse” to any criticism of it.  Imagine suggesting to a Christian Jesus was not the Son of God…

4. I added the reference later than you could be expected to have seen it.  The article can be found here (it was used in one of my classes).  The quoted material can be found on pages 1278-1281.  To answer part of 3 here, these classes included policy classes (I, II, and III, IV) and practice classes (I, I, III, IV).  This article was used in a practice class, in a segment on how to remediate racism through speech advocacy.

5. No, systemic racism was real.  That is so irrefutable I’ve known no one personally who denies it.  Its effects persist today.  I would say at a time it applied—for all intents and purposes—to all of the US.  Yes, I think the notion is over-applied by a certain group of people.  In the article you will read, you will see how this group gets around the obvious fact that the laws, cultural norms, and institutional norms that sustained that systemic racism no longer exist, yet the systemic racism still does (pp.1282). It boils down to individual actors acting covertly against the norms of their peers, and, indeed, against the accepted norms of society—pretty much the opposite of what systemic means.

(What you describe in your parenthetical is not, I’d say, what the “woke” left mean by systemic racism.  The effects of systemic racism are for them intended and work in a conjunction—in their terms, there is a “matrix of domination” in which race, class and gender (etc.) intersect under what is, at root, intentional oppression.  They acknowledge, of course, what you describe in (a); there are examples similar to it in the literature.  But the underlying stress is on oppression and domination as moral categories that convey intended disadvantage, not simply the unintended effects of non-oppressive decisions and norms. 

Also, “consider the system as a whole” could be included in systemic racism, but the emphasis I’m referring to is on ‘the system as a such being racist,’ not that small individual acts of racism within a system have a larger aggregate effect when the system is considered “as a whole”—your (b) and (c).  A few racist police officers in each police department, for instance, could have a larger aggregate effect when policing is considered “as a whole,” but that aggregate effect would be different than the police departments as such being racist—that sort of distinction.

Your views on “systemic” align with mine.)

6. The content of what they believe, not the vehemence.  As far as vehemence goes, they don’t really stand out from other political actors.  Trump’s primary base, for instance, is just as bad.

7.  That “a derogatory comment about a person of color is enough to make one a racist” and “a social-racial disparity is de facto proof of (current) systemic racism” is a description of their prior.  In other words, it is the prior implied—and I would argue necessarily implied—in the specific claims they make.  In the first case, most would refuse to endorse it—but then judge according to it anyway.  In the second case, they would endorse it, if asked, but they don’t go around asserting it as a principle, per se.  It’s just so taken for granted, presumably, they feel no need to.  Without going into detail, the prior appears to be prevalent on this forum.

Instead of doing the search now and linking to articles, I’ll just ask: do you really find it problematic when I say that in the media, routinely, there are articles—somewhere—about a racial disparity attributed to racism (meaning current systemic racism): from police shootings to traffic stops, from poverty demographics to prison demographics, from arrests to police encounters, from interview call backs to all-cause mortality, from unemployment rates to health outcomes…these are just ones I’ve examined myself; the list is goes on and on.  In any case, here is one egregious example that comes to mind off hand, as an exemplary case: Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Young Boys.  I’ve read the discussed study entirely.  It concludes no such thing.  Yet for the author of that article, contrary to the study’s main finding the disparity is explained by the “punishing reach of racism.”

As for the first statement—or something like it—in action, see those 10 USA Today examples, Maxine Waters in particular.

(To reiterate:

I don’t think anything hangs on the fact that not all who hold this prior self-describe in the same way, or that not all who hold these operational beliefs about “racists” and “racism” see themselves as part of the same movement, or even tendency.  That’s merely a concern over labels when the intent is to describe trends.

That the prior has become more widespread among Democrats, more prevalent in the universities, and more prevalent in the media is a result of this trend. Just how extensively it has spread, and therefore how worrisome it is…I don’t really know.)

Although you said you aren’t going to call out a poster here by name, it is quite clear who you are referring to as the only ‘her’ in that discussion.

To clarify, my definition of ‘systemic racism’ is better described by that of no_profundia in post #94, point #5.  I think it was wise of him to try to ascertain how we use this term because it certainly affects such discussions.  What you describe with this term, I would more likely refer to as ‘institutional racism’.

Is putting someone in the 8% ‘hard left’ box with only a superficial understanding of their views much better than putting someone in a ‘racist’ box without justification?  (Although the “nice as one can be” bit did soften it somewhat, sort of.)

But yeah, I do believe that Trump is a racist.  If not, we’d have to consider terms like racist-sympathizer, racist-enabler, user-of-racism-for-personal-gain.  If that makes me hard left in your mind, then so be it.

[ Edited: 12 September 2019 06:47 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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12 September 2019 07:12
 

Jan_CAN

By not calling you out by name I did not intend to conceal your identity from him.  In fact, I assumed he would know it was you, having already directed him to that thread.  My sole intent there was to prevent passersby not privy to the full context of the conversation from making assumptions about you.  Your clarification here prevents that even better, so thanks.

I have said—twice now—that the specific labels are not the point.  It’s about a trend, or a tendency.  I’ve also said in that same stress that not everyone will self-identify with this trend or tendency, even if their views fall in line with it.  So “hard left,” “far left,” “woke,” or just “left who thinks x, y, z”—it doesn’t matter to me, as long as I am specifying x, y, and z. 

As to where you fall, if you can pick from my posts what you identify with, and what you don’t, that is best, of course; in light of that, what I identify you as is irrelevant.  And to this point, that you believe “systemic racism” means what no_profundia means clarifies one thing for me but raises another, namely: are the social-racial disparities that ipso facto mean racism due to systemic racism or institutional racism.  Institutions being part of the social system, the difference is not altogether clear—at least to me.  Also, (a) in his #5 refers to unintended effects of an otherwise non-racist norm or policy.  Are you saying that the “racism” that explains social-racial disparities is the result of such unintended effects—that the “racism” per se is unintentional…?

[ Edited: 12 September 2019 07:14 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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12 September 2019 07:15
 

Regardless of birthplace, Obama was a baby in Hawaii- not even Trump claimed he didn’t grow up in the US.
The “Divided Loyalty” trope for first or second generation immigrants has a long history of being used by Racists against every generation of immigrants for over a hundred years. If you don’t think it’s racist, then you just haven’t done your homework.

 
 
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12 September 2019 07:40
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 11 September 2019 04:22 PM

. . .

. . . , I am softening the “racism is everywhere” by operationalizing it the way I do.  In an article cited as authoritative by a poster on this forum, one finds that “racism is woven into the warp and woof of the way we see and organize the world—it is one of the many preconceptions we bring to experience and use to construct and make sense of our social world” (emphasis added).  In fact, this “warp and woof” is so pervasive as part of the “dominant narrative” that the idea of an “autonomous subject” who can see past this prior and “escape the confines of [his] own preconception is quite limited.”  To think we can, as a rule, is a “fallacy” because this narrative “begins to shape and determine us, who we are, what we see, how we select, reject, interpret and order subsequent reality.”  (Cornell Law Review, Vol 77, Issue 6, Sept 1992, Article 3, pp. 1278-1280.)

If that doesn’t qualify as “racism is everywhere,” I don’t know what does.

Statements like this are a dime a dozen in the “woke” literature on racism.

I’m not fond of the word “woke,” either, for whatever that’s worth. But I do understand systemic racism to be largely under the surface rather than out in the open. Back when Donald Trump’s dad was busy plying his trade, he ran things in covertly racist ways, just as his competitors were doing. No doubt such matters were explored somewhat at the Trump home, but otherwise it was not a subject for proper discussion. Taboo, you know?

Does artificially categorizing people via guesswork impede their success? Sorry—just a few random thoughts; to me, they seem obviously connected:

Once released, a person who’s been incarcerated, especially if it’s for a long time, tends not to fare as well as he might have had he never been locked up.
What’s your best guess regarding the “racial” proportion of drivers who get stopped by police for improperly signaling a turn—does it more or less match actual population proportions?

I know a woman who, when she was a young child, had a slightly older brother whose speech couldn’t be understood by anyone but her. So guess what?—the grownups assumed she was mentally handicapped because she was the only person in the world who was able to translate her big brother’s unclear speech. Her brother had gone through all the testing, and he’d come up mentally handicapped. She sounded just like her brother whenever she was found talking to him, so she must be one of them!

Once someone gets categorized in a seriously negative way, a great deal of effort may be necessary for that person to survive into being as productive a person as she otherwise might have been.

 
 
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12 September 2019 09:35
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 12 September 2019 07:12 AM

Jan_CAN

By not calling you out by name I did not intend to conceal your identity from him.  In fact, I assumed he would know it was you, having already directed him to that thread.  My sole intent there was to prevent passersby not privy to the full context of the conversation from making assumptions about you.  Your clarification here prevents that even better, so thanks.

I have said—twice now—that the specific labels are not the point.  It’s about a trend, or a tendency.  I’ve also said in that same stress that not everyone will self-identify with this trend or tendency, even if their views fall in line with it.  So “hard left,” “far left,” “woke,” or just “left who thinks x, y, z”—it doesn’t matter to me, as long as I am specifying x, y, and z. 

As to where you fall, if you can pick from my posts what you identify with, and what you don’t, that is best, of course; in light of that, what I identify you as is irrelevant.  And to this point, that you believe “systemic racism” means what no_profundia means clarifies one thing for me but raises another, namely: are the social-racial disparities that ipso facto mean racism due to systemic racism or institutional racism.  Institutions being part of the social system, the difference is not altogether clear—at least to me.  Also, (a) in his #5 refers to unintended effects of an otherwise non-racist norm or policy.  Are you saying that the “racism” that explains social-racial disparities is the result of such unintended effects—that the “racism” per se is unintentional…?

I think specific labels do seem to be the point and core to what this thread is about.  I think it’s important for all of us to be careful with the labels and it can be disconcerting to be seen by others so differently from how we see ourselves.  But I don’t think you intended a personal slight per se.

I think that social-racial disparities are due to systemic racism AND institutional racism, with systemic racism probably the largest factor affecting the day-to-day lives of the majority of members of minorities.

What I consider examples of systemic racism:
— Unconscious bias or prejudice that affects hiring and promotion of minorities.
— Stereotyping of minorities in a manner that affects expectations, e.g. students in a classroom.
— Unintentional neglect (and indifference?) that leads to the lack of funding to correct for the effects of poverty on minorities, which creates a vicious cycle of social disparity.
— Subtle-to-explicit racism that minorities have to contend with that can affect psyche, self-esteem, feelings of belonging, etc. 

What I consider examples of institutional racism:
(Although laws do not support unfair treatment in institutions, they happen nonetheless.)
— Longer prison sentences for minorities.
— Greater likelihood to be stopped by police, treated with disrespect, subjected to excessive force.
— Credibility of minorities questioned more rigorously, with more suspicion than others (witnesses, victims).

And of course, none of the above are unique to the U.S.  In my country, there have been indigenous women who were reported missing, their disappearances not investigated properly by police, who were later found to have been murdered.  Recently a video surfaced of a police officer interrogating a frightened indigenous teen who was reporting a sexual assault; she was treated like a criminal by a harsh male officer rather than listened to as a potential victim.  However, due to recognition and more public awareness of these problems, it appears that measures are being taken to correct these, I hope.

 

 
 
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