White Supremacy

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Comments

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    The way forward may be to think primarily from the perspective of those affected by racism. To limit understanding of  how 'racism' works in the imaginations or limited life experiences of white people, as Russ seems intent on doing,  is to ignore the brutal realities of racist practices in the lives of those on the receiving end. A white academic who wants to show there are different IQ readings for black vs white school children may be ostracised or ridiculed by colleagues: the black school child may receive an inferior education due to the results of a skewed pseudo-scientific test or because teachers assume white students are brighter. And the cognitive dissonance involved in living out the interpersonal, legal, economic and cultural implications of racism is lifelong.

    If the focus is kept on lived and articulated black experience, it is often easier to see the specifics, the patterns, something detailed, concrete and violent persisting in the histories and current practices behind racist thinking.  And to see why discrimination and violence may be getting worse for certain groups in certain places.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    edited September 27
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    The way forward may be to think primarily from the perspective of those affected by racism. To limit understanding of  how 'racism' works in the imaginations or limited life experiences of white people, as Russ seems intent on doing,  is to ignore the brutal realities of racist practices in the lives of those on the receiving end. A white academic who wants to show there are different IQ readings for black vs white school children may be ostracised or ridiculed by colleagues: the black school child may receive an inferior education due to the results of a skewed pseudo-scientific test or because teachers assume white students are brighter. And the cognitive dissonance involved in living out the interpersonal, legal, economic and cultural implications of racism is lifelong.

    If the focus is kept on lived and articulated black experience, it is often easier to see the specifics, the patterns, something detailed, concrete and violent persisting in the histories and current practices behind racist thinking.  And to see why discrimination and violence may be getting worse for certain groups in certain places.

    Naga Munchetty's experience suggests that the BBC, like many other organisations, isn't interested in lived and articulated black experience. Because you have to accept that both sides have a legitimate view ... FFS
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    That's a helpful link, Tubbs -- showing so clearly what is unacceptable and indefensible about racist statements and the penalty for countering them from the standpoint of a black woman.
  • MaryLouise wrote: »
    That's a helpful link, Tubbs -- showing so clearly what is unacceptable and indefensible about racist statements and the penalty for countering them from the standpoint of a black woman.

    While the white male journalist who said the same thing didn't get in any trouble. [Either because of the white male bit or because no viewers complained]. You've got to wonder what's going on in the head of someone who decides that a person needs to be disciplined for pointing out a racist being racist and going on to state why that behaviour is not acceptable.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Eliab wrote: »
    I think the images are interesting, and have certainly made me think about why some of the logos have a greater impact on me that others, but they don't much help me to understand why the controversial 'Indians' logo is or is not likely to cause offence in an American context.
    That you do not understand should not be important to you, not as a primary issue. What should be the primary issue is that American Indians find it racist. Maybe words from Indians themselves will help.

    Yes, I think that is of far more value than trying to demonstrate the racism of a logo depicting one race by displaying it alongside notional equivalents for other races.
    To reiterate; your outrage is not the important outrage.

    I didn't say it was, and it isn't. The target audience for the article appears to be (a) Cleveland Indians fans who find the logo unproblematic, and (b) those in a position to influence such fans. I'm in neither category. I'm not sure whether any of us here are.

    However since the notion was introduced on this thread that people generally ought to find all of the logos exactly equivalent in terms of outrage, I can see no reason why you or I should not observe that we don't think they are exactly equivalent.
    The costume is one generally assigned to anyone "oriental", though I suppose the more discerning racist will see all Chinese instead of all east Asians.
    The logo is meant to represent the way a culturally diverse area is shoehorned into an insulting stereotype. Simply because an article of clothing belonged to one of the cultures doesn't remove the racism.

    Yes, I agree that the image, deployed with that intent, would be racist.

    Where we disagree is that I don't look at the logo and think it absolutely necessarily has to have been produced with that intent. On the scale of visceral impact from the 'Negroes' logo at one end, to the 'Whites' logo at the other, it is certainly closer to the 'Negroes' one, but it isn't in quite the same place.
    There is one context being demonstrated here. The use of a stereotype to represent varied groups of people and fetishising imagined traits. The only logo that isn't racist is the WHITES logo.

    Well, no, you're obviously wrong about that. The only logo that might actually be racist is the original Cleveland Indians one. We can be confident that the others aren't because we know that they were all produced for the admirably non-racist purpose of making people think about, and be alert to, the impact of racial images. You could take any of them and deploy it in a racist way, and then it would become, in your hands, a racist image, but in the proper context, there is quite obviously no racism involved at all.

    The mental exercise that I think the artist wants us to perform is to imagine the logos presented outside the context of either the article itself, or an explicitly racist one, and see that they are all 'saying' something equivalent about the group depicted which we should conclude to be equally offensive (or non-offensive). If you think that the "Whites" logo isn't equivalent to all (or even some) of the others, then you are agreeing with me (and disagreeing with the artist) that when presented, as far as is possible, acontextually, the logos are not inherently 'saying' equivalent things, despite the (generally quite convincing) attempt at an equivalent artistic style.

    That's because they aren't equivalent. There is a wider social context of racist stereotyping, which is different for different groups, out of which they cannot be removed.
  • Russ wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Not only is he claiming that racial prejudice (he doesn't believe "racism" actually exists) is determined by intent, he also claims that the only one who can know or judge that intent is the racist themselves.

    You're halfway there, Croesos.

    The phenomena that we're talking about when you refer to "everyday racism" are real. People are prejudiced. People care more about members of their own tribe than about non-members. Feel an ownership of their tribe's territory. Are more comfortable with people they perceive to be like themselves. etc.

    Racism is not a thing that explains these phenomena. It's not a disease of which these are the symptoms.

    Racism isn't well-defined. It's a word that people use in different senses.

    This pretense that each word can have one and only one narrowly tailored meaning would seem less self-serving if you applied it consistently. I've illustrated this point by putting a strike-through in all your words above "that people use in different senses" (i.e. have more than one possible meaning). For example "word" can mean either a series of sounds that convey an idea or a visual representation of a series of sounds that convey an idea. Despite the fact that the spoken word and the written word are two different things most of us, including you, don't feel the need to distinguish between the two every time we use the word "word".

    I also disagree that it's impossible to figure out someone's intentions from their actions, or even the consequences of their actions. If someone does the same thing repeatedly, producing the same outcome each time, at some point it's reasonable to assume that the achieved outcome is the desired outcome.
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    The way forward may be to think primarily from the perspective of those affected by racism. To limit understanding of  how 'racism' works in the imaginations or limited life experiences of white people, as Russ seems intent on doing,  is to ignore the brutal realities of racist practices in the lives of those on the receiving end.

    Russ had rather pointedly said he's indifferent to the effects of racism on non-white people. His only concern is to make sure that no one ever uses the words "racism", "racist", or any of their cognates ever again. In other words, to sabotage any complaints about racial prejudice by denying the legitimacy of any way to refer to such prejudice. Literally Orwellian.
    The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.

    Naturally this came to mind with @Russ frequently insisting (though very selectively) that words can only have one narrow meaning.
  • Eliab wrote: »
    However since the notion was introduced on this thread that people generally ought to find all of the logos exactly equivalent in terms of outrage, I can see no reason why you or I should not observe that we don't think they are exactly equivalent.
    But that is not the point of the artists excercise. The point is that we do not accept stereotyped images of other groups. That the artist might have failed to some degree in the other examples is not relevant.
    Eliab wrote: »
    The costume is one generally assigned to anyone "oriental", though I suppose the more discerning racist will see all Chinese instead of all east Asians.
    The logo is meant to represent the way a culturally diverse area is shoehorned into an insulting stereotype. Simply because an article of clothing belonged to one of the cultures doesn't remove the racism.

    Yes, I agree that the image, deployed with that intent, would be racist.

    Where we disagree is that I don't look at the logo and think it absolutely necessarily has to have been produced with that intent.
    Intent is not relevant. You think buck-toothed, slant-eyed and YELLOW is not racist in itself? Also, labelling the caricature oriental is racist in intent. Both in using the word and implying that all of an incredibly diverse group look the same.
    Eliab wrote: »
    On the scale of visceral impact from the 'Negroes' logo at one end, to the 'Whites' logo at the other, it is certainly closer to the 'Negroes' one, but it isn't in quite the same place.
    Identical to the negroes one, in my eyes.
    Eliab wrote: »
    There is one context being demonstrated here. The use of a stereotype to represent varied groups of people and fetishising imagined traits. The only logo that isn't racist is the WHITES logo.

    Well, no, you're obviously wrong about that. The only logo that might actually be racist is the original Cleveland Indians one. We can be confident that the others aren't because we know that they were all produced for the admirably non-racist purpose of making people think about, and be alert to, the impact of racial images. You could take any of them and deploy it in a racist way, and then it would become, in your hands, a racist image, but in the proper context, there is quite obviously no racism involved at all.
    This is just weird.
    Eliab wrote: »
    The mental exercise that I think the artist wants us to perform is to imagine the logos presented outside the context of either the article itself, or an explicitly racist one, and see that they are all 'saying' something equivalent about the group depicted which we should conclude to be equally offensive (or non-offensive).
    Obviously. In fact the artist so states this is his point. His failure is that not all stereotypes are as easily represented in just a face.
    Eliab wrote: »
    If you think that the "Whites" logo isn't equivalent to all (or even some) of the others, then you are agreeing with me (and disagreeing with the artist) that when presented, as far as is possible, acontextually, the logos are not inherently 'saying' equivalent things, despite the (generally quite convincing) attempt at an equivalent artistic style.
    No. The whites logo isn't equivalent because there is no real stereotype for white people in white societies.* The few ones that are commonly floated are referencing negative stereotypes of brown peoples.
    Eliab wrote: »
    That's because they aren't equivalent. There is a wider social context of racist stereotyping, which is different for different groups, out of which they cannot be removed.
    There is a difference in how stereotypes are applied, but racism is racism. Some of it is worse, yes. For example, it is worse to stereotype a group so hard that it leads to enslavement and lynching, but it is still harmful to stereotype a group with "positive" associations like industrious and good at maths.

    *Though there is a strong argument for this being true of most of the world because of Western influences.

  • Genuine question. Is "oriental" racist? I've only known caucasians object to it, and not many of them (I'm in the UK).
  • Tubbs wrote: »
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    That's a helpful link, Tubbs -- showing so clearly what is unacceptable and indefensible about racist statements and the penalty for countering them from the standpoint of a black woman.

    While the white male journalist who said the same thing didn't get in any trouble. [Either because of the white male bit or because no viewers complained]. You've got to wonder what's going on in the head of someone who decides that a person needs to be disciplined for pointing out a racist being racist and going on to state why that behaviour is not acceptable.
    The BBC pretend that impartial means giving equal time to both sides. This is ridiculous. It is not fair or just* to give abuser and the abused equal time. Even if it were, Munchetty and Maitlis were getting their equal time then.

    *im·par·tial

    adjective: treating all rivals or disputants equally; fair and just
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    @Russ is asserting that structural racism and whitenormative thought don’t form part of the spectrum of racism.

    Before I could assert that, I'd have to understand better what you mean by those terms. Which is what I'm asking.

    What I think I'm denying here is the proposition that white supremacism and "everyday racism" have sufficient commonality of causation that tackling one will be effective against the other.
    Ingroup/outgrup re your sports team, of your fandom is just not objectively harmful in the same way.
    You can walk away from your sports team; put that part of your life on hold until next weekend. A person's looks are with them all the time. I get that.

    What I'm saying is that commonality of consequences doesn't mean commonality of causation, and it's causation that we have to understand if we are to take effective action.

  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited September 27
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The BBC pretend that impartial means giving equal time to both sides. This is ridiculous. It is not fair or just* to give abuser and the abused equal time. Even if it were, Munchetty and Maitlis were getting their equal time then.

    I thought that the BBC's ruling was that it was fair for Munchetty to call what Trump said racist, but that she shouldn't extend that to call him a racist on a news programme.

    "Trump made a racist statement" is pretty much a statement of fact.
    "Trump is a racist" is an editorial opinion, albeit one I share, and one that has plenty of supporting data.
    Genuine question. Is "oriental" racist? I've only known caucasians object to it, and not many of them (I'm in the UK).

    It's dated, and Eurocentric (describing part of the world as "East" implies that there's a centre that it's east of) and usually goes hand-in-hand with at least unthinking casually racist attitudes. I'm a white Brit too, and it's not a word I will use to describe people.

    Based on the responses of the people I know who do come from that part of the world, it's not as bad as many of the other popular racist epithets, but they'd rather it not be used.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Russ is under the misapprehension that racism is something you do, rather than something that is done to you.

    Maybe because some of the people on these boards are so insistent that racism isn't something that white people can suffer or that black people can commit ?

  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    edited September 27
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Intent is not relevant.

    Yes it is.
    You think buck-toothed, slant-eyed and YELLOW is not racist in itself?

    I'm not sure that anything is racist "in itself". Things are racist in their real and potential interactions with people.

    That particular logo is demonstrably not racist "in itself" because there is a context in which it was not racist to produce it - that being the one in which it was actually produced. At least, I'm assuming we agree that Jesse Alkire was not being racist when he drew it, but maybe I'm assuming too much there?

    Anyway, I'm not defending racial caricatures of Asian people. I'm saying that I don't get quite the same immediate emotional reaction to one particular caricature as I do to another, partly because of actual differences in the imagery, but mostly because the social context of how the groups involved have been treated is different. You might think my emotional response is wrong, but there's not much I can do about that.
    This is just weird.

    Why weird? I don't think Jesse Alkire was wrong to draw those logos. Therefore there is at least one context in which they are a legitimate artistic expression.

    Are you saying that even in that context it was wrong to draw them? And, presumably, his website's provider is wrong to host them, Croesos was wrong to link to them, and you were wrong to give a verbal description of one of them?

    Or does intent suddenly matter when it's the intent of those you see as allies?
    There is a difference in how stereotypes are applied, but racism is racism. Some of it is worse, yes. For example, it is worse to stereotype a group so hard that it leads to enslavement and lynching, but it is still harmful to stereotype a group with "positive" associations like industrious and good at maths.

    Do you think that I am disagreeing with that (serious question)? Because that's basically a summary of my argument.
  • @russ I defined these things in a long composite post up thread which you have already quoted.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited September 27
    Russ wrote: »
    Maybe because some of the people on these boards are so insistent that racism isn't something that white people can suffer or that black people can commit ?

    "The Law of Conservation of Racism" (for every act of racism against one race there must be an equal and opposite act of racism against every other race, however defined) is not a thing.

    Seriously, whining about how there's not enough racism against white people is the definition of skewed priorities.
  • @Eliab

    The caricatures are racist regardless of intent. Jesse Alkire is not racist. Why? Because he drew them to demonstrate how the original caricature is racist.
    Or does intent suddenly matter when it's the intent of those you see as allies?
    A person drawing such caricatures for other reasons, even without malice, would be racist. Feel free to illustrate ones you do no think would be.

    I would be lying if I said I had the exact same emotional response to every instance of racism. I am human. But I would be very disappointed in myself if I did not have the same intellectual response.
  • Eliab wrote: »
    I don't think Jesse Alkire was wrong to draw those logos. Therefore there is at least one context in which they are a legitimate artistic expression.
    I don’t think he was wrong to draw the logos either, but I don’t think that’s the same as saying the logos he drew aren’t racist. I have trouble as seeing them as anything but racist, and I think that was his point in drawing them. He is using the inherent racism of specific stereotypes in the images he drew to demonstrate the racism of the Cleveland Indians logo—his legitimate (and effective) artistic expression is predicated on the racism of the logos he drew.

    To say the images aren’t racist because he wasn’t motivated by racism seems not only wrong, it seems to completely miss the point he was making. They are racist, and his artistic point is to demonstrate why the logo he modeled them on is also racist.

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Intent is not relevant.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Jesse Alkire is not racist. Why? Because he drew them to demonstrate how the original caricature is racist...

    ...A person drawing such caricatures for other reasons, even without malice, would be racist.

    @lilbuddha, can you resolve this contradiction ?

    You seem to be saying that an act - in this case producing a piece of art - is or isn't racist depending on the intent of the actor. Whilst denying that intent is relevant...

    If an Asian person declared that they were offended by this artwork, would that change your mind as to whether the act of drawing it was racist ? Or would you be happy to explain that the act wasn't racist because your understanding is that the intent behind the act was to support ethnic minorities rather than to denigrate them ?

    Or is that the act was racist regardless of intent but it's OK to commit racist acts as long as one doesn't do it with racist intent ?
  • Russ wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Intent is not relevant.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Jesse Alkire is not racist. Why? Because he drew them to demonstrate how the original caricature is racist...

    ...A person drawing such caricatures for other reasons, even without malice, would be racist.

    @lilbuddha, can you resolve this contradiction ?
    It isn't a contradiction. It is quote mining, which generates the appearance of one. Hmmmm...
    Anyway, I'm back to ignoring your posts until they are at least consistent with each other.

  • Russ wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Russ is under the misapprehension that racism is something you do, rather than something that is done to you.

    Maybe because some of the people on these boards are so insistent that racism isn't something that white people can suffer or that black people can commit ?

    That smacks of whataboutary and side-steps the fact that racism is crap regardless. But if it helps ... Yes, any group can experience racism if they are the minority / less powerful and racism exists in all communities.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited September 28
    Racism is racism, regardless of the direction of the power differential. The difference is the effect the racism has.
    e.g. White people thinking black people are inferior has more of an effect than black people saying thinking people can't dance.*

    *Ironically, that stereotype is derives from racism against black people.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    @russ I defined these things in a long composite post up thread which you have already quoted.

    Don't think you did.

    I'd like to address point 9 (one of those that you say I'm denying).
    [9) Structural inequality, whitenormative assumptions, colourism and white supremicism are all forms of more or less purposive racism

    You've not said anything about what "structural inequality" is.

    There seems to be some doubt over whether "whitenormative" is to be understood in terms of what is considered normal or usual, or in terms of applying cultural norms (or if these are in fact so closely linked that it's the same thing).

    "Colourism" you've clarified as referring to shades of skin colour within other races as well as within one's own race.

    "Racism" means different things to different people. Seems like you're using the word
    - to include both deliberate (purposive) and unintentional acts
    - to include both the choices made by individuals (which it is meaningful to categorise as morally good or bad) and various unchosen outworkings of human nature
    - to include phenomena that relate directly to race and those that don't (if a pale-skinned person feels negatively about the darker skin of someone of the same race then it's not about race)

    On the assumption that by "racism" you mean something like "the set of factors that tend to disadvantage non-whites in white-majority societies", then (subject to clarification of terms) I don't see anything wrong with your reasoning here.

    People talk past each other when the word "racism" or "racist" is used because they use it differently.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    @Croesos,
    Russ had rather pointedly said he's indifferent to the effects of racism on non-white people.

    No, what I said was that I was not addressing MaryLouise's point about the feelings of black people.

    Not because black people's feelings are any less significant than anyone else's feelings - they're not. But because no amount of feelings make a false statement true or a good thing bad.
    His only concern is to make sure that no one ever uses the words "racism", "racist", or any of their cognates ever again. In other words, to sabotage any complaints about racial prejudice by denying the legitimacy of any way to refer to such prejudice.

    If that were true, it would indeed be Orwellian.

    But it's not. I'm happy for you to use the R-word with any one of its multiple meanings, so long as I know which meaning you intend. (? Communication 101 ?)

    Of course you can complain about racially-motivated assaults, or being mistaken for a recent immigrant, or anything else.

    But if you are being deliberately ambiguous so as to imply a causal connection that doesn't exist, or to attribute to one complaint the moral seriousness of the other, then you're using words dishonestly.

    Imagine you know someone who's allergic to cats and also to strawberries. If they coin a word "allergenism" to refer to all the various ways in which social factors contribute to the frequency and severity of their allergic reactions, and end up concluding that banning strawberries will solve the problem of their cat allergy then they have made an error in their thinking.

    And no amount of sympathy for the intensity of their suffering from the symptoms involved will make that thinking right. (Allergic responses can vary from the trivial to the life-threatening).

    Experiential knowledge of what it feels like to be allergic to cats does not guarantee the correctness of their conclusion.

    However satisfying it may be to blame their pain on an undefined and all-embracing allergenism which serves as a focus for their negative emotion, it's obscuring the cause-effect relationships involved.

    Can you see how that way of using words could be unhelpful ? It's difficult to think about and talk about the relationship between two things without having the words to distinguish them.

    (PS: not saying it's an exact analogy)
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    edited October 9
    Hosting

    As has been pointed out above, sealioning is an admin call, however it is part of the hostly remit on this board (which differs from Purgatory rules) that this is a more closely hosted board because we're doing something different here. As a result the hosts may act in ways such as, but not limited to:

    'For example: Some phrases or sources may be ruled off limits on a particular thread as they are seen as unhelpful. Circular discussions may be closed. Tangents redirected'.

    All three hosts here have observed a pattern of posting from Russ which is bogging down the thread with constant definitional quibbling and nit-picking which could be sealioning (with board-wide implications) or which could simply be a habitual posting style which just happens to cause problems on this board.

    So the hosts are now temporarily suspending this thread to refer it to the admins.

    Louise
    Epiphanies Host

    Hosting off
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited September 29
    admin mode/

    @russ you have been warned on this thread about 'sealioning'.

    The admins have discussed this, and your constant disregard for other posters' experience on this specific forum despite its specific Guidelines, and have deemed that your behaviour constitutes jerkdom and is continuing to do so despite hostly intervention.

    Which, frankly, wasn't a difficult conclusion to come to. And is a Commandment 1 breach.

    If you persist in being a jerk, as a minimum you can expect shore leave without further notice.

    Discussion of this ruling belongs in the Styx, and nowhere else.

    Thread closed. Again. It's run its course.

    /admin mode
This discussion has been closed.