White Supremacy

13468916

Comments

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    MtM's comments are part of the implicit racism I was talking about upthread. For some it is deliberate dogwhistle, but for others it is the hidden sort. Granted, it is possible to spout the same rubbish and be completely free of racism or xenophobia, but it serves that end regardless...

    ...Anyone who spouts the same, inaccurate rhetoric as racists should at least reconsider their position.

    Isn't this all just "guilt by association ?"

    You acknowledge - thank you for that - that there are those who wish to reduce immigration who are (in your words) "completely free of racism". Why should such people be prevented from arguing for their position with the same freedom that you have to argue a pro-immigration position ?

    Your argument seems to be that white supremacy is so obnoxious that it taints by association any argument that immigration is too high or too easy.

    Which is of course nonsense. Do you think that jihadist terrorism taints any argument for allowing Muslims to build a mosque ? Or that Irish republican terrorism taints any argument for republicanism as a system of government ? Can you give any example of how you think "taint" works in any other context than that of race ?

    Your general thesis on this thread seems to be that the ideology of white supremacy should be fought by making all forms of tribal expression by white people and all forms of restricted immigration to white countries socially unacceptable. Is that it ? By clamping down on anything that you might label as "racist" ?

    Such a strategy is both ineffective and unjust. Ineffective because conspiracy theories flourish best in the dark, thriving on the truths that dare not be spoken. And unjust because it holds all white people responsible for the few violent nutters in a way that you would absolutely reject if applied to Muslims.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    You acknowledge - thank you for that - that there are those who wish to reduce immigration who are (in your words) "completely free of racism". Why should such people be prevented from arguing for their position with the same freedom that you have to argue a pro-immigration position ?

    This seems to come from the dubious idea that freedom of speech is the same as freedom from criticism. If someone is arguing against immigration using the same arguments put forward by racists, why is it illegitimate to point that out? Or to draw conclusions from what's being argued? If you want to argue that immigrants are a bunch of lazy dead weight that has to be supported by everyone else you have perfect freedom to do so. You don't have the "right" to demand other people agree with you, take the argument seriously, or dictate how they interpret your motives.
    Russ wrote: »
    Such a strategy is both ineffective and unjust. Ineffective because conspiracy theories flourish best in the dark, thriving on the truths that dare not be spoken.

    Yeah, this is also one of the common racist tropes, usually associated with scientific racism which portrays itself as boldly telling the truth that black people are all idiots (for example) which "they" want to suppress using underhanded tactics like criticism and pointing out the massive flaws in the data presented.

    No one is stopping you (generic) from unleashing your (generic) inner racist. They are preventing you (generic) from being universally hailed as the hero you (also generic) see yourself (still generic) as, but there's no such thing as a "right to be perceived by others as a bold, truth-telling hero".
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Yeah, this is also one of the common racist tropes, usually associated with scientific racism which portrays itself as boldly telling the truth that black people are all idiots (for example) which "they" want to suppress using underhanded tactics like criticism and pointing out the massive flaws in the data presented.

    No one is stopping you (generic) from unleashing your (generic) inner racist. They are preventing you (generic) from being universally hailed as the hero you (also generic) see yourself (still generic) as, but there's no such thing as a "right to be perceived by others as a bold, truth-telling hero".

    Just want to point out that my older sister's high school biology textbook (assigned in an ordinary northern public school system) contained a precise, detailed, non-critical account of this nonsense as late as 1953, by which time (I believe) it had already long been discredited.

    It's also worth pointing out that this unutterable nonsense was not only written by members of the so-called US intellectual elite (and originally published by The Free Press), it also contains recommendations for public policy (e.g., why "waste" public funds on groups lacking any ability to derive benefit from such expenditures?) which rely on faulty reasoning and evidence and are expressly designed to perpetuate institutional racism.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate



    Gee D wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Ruth, the resource I was chiefly thinking of was water. As Simon Toad notes, he and I disagree and the view I take is the majority one on the left. Of course some super-rich have mega sized swimming pools and use more water but otherwise per capita water use is much less dependent on affluence than are some other resources.
    The resources consumed by a country are not only in people’s residences.
    Rich people do not become rich because they have nice properties.
    I trust you are bright enough to work out the rest

    Thank you for such a kind post. Can I, as a favour, ask that you read mine in its entirety? As a help, the key is the indication that the resource I was referring to as being particularly scarce here was water.
    And water is a resource used by many industries. It is used by unnecessary industries and it is used inefficiently.
    But you know this...
    Gee D wrote: »
    There is an enormous problem caused by cotton growing in Qld using excessive amounts of inland water.

  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gee and I have discussed this before. The view he expresses is that of most Australians, people of good will and progressive views. But I must disagree, for the reasons above and any others I can think of to chuck into the mix.

    This rather makes it sound like your mind is made up irregardless of facts, and you are thrashing around for facts to support your previously-arrived-at opinion.

    .
  • I think that's an accurate way of describing how I argue Mousethief.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited August 19
    On reflection, it doesn't reflect how I come to a view. I have come to realise that I am governed by emotion and not reason. So I will form a view without necessarily being fully informed of the facts or indeed thinking things through logically. I will then cast around looking for facts which tend to support the position I have chosen. Sometimes I find that I need to change my position, and sometimes I find that I am convinced of another position. That makes me an unreliably ally, sadly.

    However the argument about population and resources and infrastructure in Australia is one that has been going on for quite a while, so I am confident of my minority position. In the bit you extract, I'm trying to say that there may be other things I can say to support my argument , but I would have to cast around for them because I am too lazy or tired to think of them now, or I'm sick of writing about it and I might come back to it later. That sort of thing.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    On reflection, it doesn't reflect how I come to a view. I have come to realise that I am governed by emotion and not reason. So I will form a view without necessarily being fully informed of the facts or indeed thinking things through logically. I will then cast around looking for facts which tend to support the position I have chosen. Sometimes I find that I need to change my position, and sometimes I find that I am convinced of another position. That makes me an unreliably ally, sadly.

    However the argument about population and resources and infrastructure in Australia is one that has been going on for quite a while, so I am confident of my minority position. In the bit you extract, I'm trying to say that there may be other things I can say to support my argument , but I would have to cast around for them because I am too lazy or tired to think of them now, or I'm sick of writing about it and I might come back to it later. That sort of thing.

    "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them". (Hume).

    Quite a shocking idea in a supposed rational age, but it seems obvious that reason cannot tell me what I want. Also, I realized some time ago that rational arguments tell us little about religion.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Very interesting discussion on NPR's A1 today, though I only caught snippets of it. Basically, it was about how people can inadvertently have racist attitudes and not be substantially racist. The interview was between two black men. One was talking about when he was in high school he had made a speech on Black youth that contained many racist attitudes (like boys making babies and not taking responsibility for them). The man is now in his 50's and to this day he regrets ever making the speech.

    While they were talking the host referred to "the low man on the totem pole." He was immediately challenged by a Native American. It flustered the host for a while.

    Today, Elizabeth Warren made an apology to a Native American group about her claim to have Native American blood. Apology was accepted. Want to bet that the person who claims he has no racist bones in his body is not going to let it go?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Very interesting discussion on NPR's A1 today, though I only caught snippets of it. Basically, it was about how people can inadvertently have racist attitudes and not be substantially racist.
    Racism is not on or off, hate or love. It is everything in-between the extremes. It is not always conscious and it can be inadvertent.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    edited August 20
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Racism is not on or off, hate or love. It is everything in-between the extremes. It is not always conscious and it can be inadvertent.

    It can also sometimes be unavoidable. I once had a student of color who was Muslim, and who had fallen pregnant within the first few weeks of her first semester. She was 300 miles away from her family (and I had no idea how her family would take this news), attending a Catholic school where many of the instructors were nuns, and I was genuinely concerned on her behalf and tried to talk with her about her situation, what she wanted to do, and whether and/or how I could help.

    It was hopeless. I finally realized there was nothing I could do. I can only assume either that she had already had multiple extremely negative experiences with white Euro-Americans like me, or that she'd swallowed every hideous negative stereotype she'd ever heard hook, line, and sinker, but she reacted to every effort I made with suspicion, withdrawal, fear, and hostility. It was painfully obvious that she regarded me as an enemy, a racist to my core, and who after all, gets to define / decide who the racists are? Those victimized by racism.

    I am still haunted by memories of our encounters. The school closed down after that semester -- financial difficulties. I have no idea what happened to this young woman, and only hope that she, and her child if she carried to term, are doing well somewhere far away from evil, meddlesome, infidel white women like me.

    Corrected quoting code. BroJames Purgatory Host
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    While they were talking the host referred to "the low man on the totem pole." He was immediately challenged by a Native American. It flustered the host for a while.

    Yeah, there are so many things like that embedded in language, humor, and culture that people just don't think about--or know about. It's hard to keep track of them all, once you do know.

    Today, Elizabeth Warren made an apology to a Native American group about her claim to have Native American blood. Apology was accepted. Want to bet that the person who claims he has no racist bones in his body is not going to let it go?

    And the kicker is that Sen. Warren's DNA test showed she *does* have some Native American blood (FactCheck.org).

    Whether or not it was wise to mention it at all, when she knew it as strong family lore, I don't know. ISTM it's part of her identity, because of soaking up the lore. But probably not as much as for Native Americans of more recent ancestry. And AIUI being officially accepted into a tribe can involve more than ancestry. AFAIK, she wasn't trying to become an enrolled member of any tribe; but some people assumed she was, didn't qualify, and was doing it for political gain.

  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Ah yes, self-hatred for one's race, someone criticized for using a common phrase that refers to an item used in a particular culture, DNA showing ancestry from a certain race ( but not quite enough to permit mention,) people accused of racism based on their unconscious thoughts. I'm so tired of it.

    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life. Yes, The Bell Curve is unutterable nonsense not just because it claims that black people are less intelligent than whites, but first and foremost because it pretends it can divide people in categories of black and white.

  • I think the DNA thing was real blunder for Warren. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, a very small one, especially compared to the endless atrocious things Trump has said and done, and gotten away with. The field is not fair.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    John Roberts wrote much the same thing in Parents Involved. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race" he wrote in an opinion declaring voluntary school desegregation programs in Seattle, WA and Louisville, KY unconstitutional. He then went on to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County [PDF] on the basis that racism doesn't exist in the U.S. any more, at least at the level of government administration of the voting franchise. I'm not sure that worked out all that well. Or maybe it did, from Roberts' perspective.

    At any rate, I'm very skeptical of the "shut up about race and everything will be fine" argument, which mostly seems to be a product of those who regard the current status quo as nearly perfect.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    While they were talking the host referred to "the low man on the totem pole." He was immediately challenged by a Native American. It flustered the host for a while.

    Yeah, there are so many things like that embedded in language, humor, and culture that people just don't think about--or know about. It's hard to keep track of them all, once you do know.

    Today, Elizabeth Warren made an apology to a Native American group about her claim to have Native American blood. Apology was accepted. Want to bet that the person who claims he has no racist bones in his body is not going to let it go?

    And the kicker is that Sen. Warren's DNA test showed she *does* have some Native American blood (FactCheck.org).

    Whether or not it was wise to mention it at all, when she knew it as strong family lore, I don't know. ISTM it's part of her identity, because of soaking up the lore. But probably not as much as for Native Americans of more recent ancestry. And AIUI being officially accepted into a tribe can involve more than ancestry. AFAIK, she wasn't trying to become an enrolled member of any tribe; but some people assumed she was, didn't qualify, and was doing it for political gain.
    Part of her identity....The problem with that is she does not share any of the disadvantage of that identity because she is electively just white.
    Every statement a candidates makes is political, intentionally or not. It was a mistake to mention her supposed ancestry. She admitted the mistake, and that is good. Only time will tell if it was effective.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    John Roberts wrote much the same thing in Parents Involved. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race" he wrote in an opinion declaring voluntary school desegregation programs in Seattle, WA and Louisville, KY unconstitutional. He then went on to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County [PDF] on the basis that racism doesn't exist in the U.S. any more, at least at the level of government administration of the voting franchise. I'm not sure that worked out all that well. Or maybe it did, from Roberts' perspective.

    At any rate, I'm very skeptical of the "shut up about race and everything will be fine" argument, which mostly seems to be a product of those who regard the current status quo as nearly perfect.
    Even if the concept of race were magically removed from everyone, the disadvantages race has caused will still exist. Brown people will still have to fight harder, as a group to get ahead.
    The way forwards is to acknowledge the issues and work to redress the inequities.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Ah yes, self-hatred for one's race, someone criticized for using a common phrase that refers to an item used in a particular culture,

    Yes, talking about someone being "low on the totem pole" is a common enough phrase, and I can well believe that the person using it had no racist intent. And then someone from the particular culture that has totem poles has said "please don't say that".

    OK. Don't say it any more. Accept their request. Move on. If you start defending your rights to use other people's cultures as metaphors, then you start to act racist. Equally, someone could in all innocence talk about being jewed down without understanding the reference to Jews. Someone explains why it's racist and problematic, you apologise and move on.

    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    This is nonsense. Most of the prejudice that black people (for example) face in the US has nothing to do with the fact that they self-define as Black, and everything to do with the fact that a bunch of mostly white people look at them and see a black face.

    I'd love to be able to pretend that race didn't matter, and that having dark skin was of no more account than having freckles or blue eyes, and for all that I think that that's how things should be, that's not the society that we live in. And because of that, "just not being racist" isn't enough.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Part of her identity....The problem with that is [ Elizabeth Warren ] does not share any of the disadvantage of that identity because she is electively just white.
    Every statement a candidates makes is political, intentionally or not. It was a mistake to mention her supposed ancestry. She admitted the mistake, and that is good. Only time will tell if it was effective.

    "Supposed ancestry"? In what sense is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry "supposed"? This seems like pillorying someone for having made the mistake of believing what their parents told them about their ancestors, which in this case happened to actually be true. I'm left with the contrast of revelations about John Kerry's ancestry where Kerry, like Warren, seems to have simply believed what his parents told him about his ancestry but in his case it happened to be false. There were a few cries about him "pretending" to be Irish-American (mostly on the basis of his surname) as an electoral ploy, but that was mostly the realm of cranks. For some reason some people see Warren's case as worse than Kerry's, despite her being actually correct.

    Speaking of carefully parsing candidate statements, Warren's apology was "I am sorry for the harm I have caused", which is quite different from being sorry for having Native American ancestry or being sorry for admitting having Native American ancestry.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited August 20
    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races.
    I think black people can reasonably respond that they'll stop if the white people will.

    If the local police force stop some people and hand out harsher sentences solely because they're black you won't solve the problem if you refuse to include blackness as the local police force defines it in your analysis.

    That's leaving out the way that a shared history of being on the negative end of racial categories creates a culture some of which e.g. gospel music, jazz, etc has value in it's own right.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    That's leaving out the way that a shared history of being on the negative end of racial categories creates a culture some of which e.g. gospel music, jazz, etc has value in it's own right.
    Any culture has value in its own right in fact. It's just it occurred to me as I was posting that the word 'culture' is sometimes used in a pejorative way by racists in these circumstances and I overcorrected and then got called away from keyboard.

  • Yes, talking about someone being "low on the totem pole" is a common enough phrase, and I can well believe that the person using it had no racist intent. And then someone from the particular culture that has totem poles has said "please don't say that".

    OK. Don't say it any more. Accept their request. Move on. If you start defending your rights to use other people's cultures as metaphors, then you start to act racist. Equally, someone could in all innocence talk about being jewed down without understanding the reference to Jews. Someone explains why it's racist and problematic, you apologise and move on.

    The problem arises when the person saying or doing explains back "there's no problem" or should know better but doesn't care. Reminded of an anguished call with one of my children who lived and taught in the UK for a few years. She tried to explain that "red Indian" was offensive, and dressing like someone of that ethnicity was problematic, and was told it was not. -- it's the equivalent of blackface.

    This I'm told is part of what they mean when they say "white privilege". You don't have to even think about being white and you can be unselfconscious about what you say and do.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Part of her identity....The problem with that is [ Elizabeth Warren ] does not share any of the disadvantage of that identity because she is electively just white.
    Every statement a candidates makes is political, intentionally or not. It was a mistake to mention her supposed ancestry. She admitted the mistake, and that is good. Only time will tell if it was effective.

    "Supposed ancestry"? In what sense is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry "supposed"? This seems like pillorying someone for having made the mistake of believing what their parents told them about their ancestors, which in this case happened to actually be true. I'm left with the contrast of revelations about John Kerry's ancestry where Kerry, like Warren, seems to have simply believed what his parents told him about his ancestry but in his case it happened to be false. There were a few cries about him "pretending" to be Irish-American (mostly on the basis of his surname) as an electoral ploy, but that was mostly the realm of cranks. For some reason some people see Warren's case as worse than Kerry's, despite her being actually correct.

    Speaking of carefully parsing candidate statements, Warren's apology was "I am sorry for the harm I have caused", which is quite different from being sorry for having Native American ancestry or being sorry for admitting having Native American ancestry.
    It was supposed at the time it was made. She had naught but family lore. Mentioning that was ignorant at best.
    As I said, she admitted her mistake. And that is good.
    As far as Kerry, I didn’t know about his misinformed claim.
    That Warren is pilloried and Kerry was not is part of the misfortune of being a woman running for office in America and facing off against the inclownbent.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    John Roberts wrote much the same thing in Parents Involved. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race" he wrote in an opinion declaring voluntary school desegregation programs in Seattle, WA and Louisville, KY unconstitutional. He then went on to gut the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County [PDF] on the basis that racism doesn't exist in the U.S. any more, at least at the level of government administration of the voting franchise. I'm not sure that worked out all that well. Or maybe it did, from Roberts' perspective.

    At any rate, I'm very skeptical of the "shut up about race and everything will be fine" argument, which mostly seems to be a product of those who regard the current status quo as nearly perfect.

    I'm not responsible for your John Roberts, I didn't say everything would be fine and I sure don't think the status quo is anywhere near perfect. But nothings getting better your way is it? Denying race isn't denying racism. Discrimination based on color would no doubt continue for some time, but wouldn't it be a step in the right direction to quit having boxes to check on job applications, and quit asking what color someone is when making a police report and quit teaching children to look at each other with these labels in mind? Yes it has elements of whistling a happy tune, but I think it would be a start in a direction we haven't tried.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I shortened my comments about Elizabeth Warren yesterday. Several Native Americans did reply that if she had so much as one drop of Native American blood she is Native American. However, the different Native American nations do have their own rules about how much of their blood you have to have in order to be enrolled as a member of the nation. Used to be you had to have as much as 25% of their blood--this was a federal rule, but then the Fed's began to allow the nations to determine their own rules.

    Yes, Warren does have some native American blood in her, but it would not have been enough for her to have special status in an American college at the time of her enrollment, and the argument could be made that she prevented more qualified Native American from going to the college.
  • The problem arises when the person saying or doing explains back "there's no problem" or should know better but doesn't care. Reminded of an anguished call with one of my children who lived and taught in the UK for a few years. She tried to explain that "red Indian" was offensive, and dressing like someone of that ethnicity was problematic, and was told it was not.

    Quite.

    Things are offensive because people find them offensive. So when someone says "that's offensive", they're really saying either "I find that offensive/hurtful" or "lots of people who share characteristic X find that offensive/hurtful" - and when you phrase it that way, it's easier to understand why "no it isn't" is a really stupid response.

    (I suspect your daughter was dealing with people whose entire exposure to Native Americans came from cowboy films, Tom Sawyer, and Peter Pan, and that the people dressing as "red Indians" would also dress as Romans, or as a pharaoh, or as Robin Hood just the same. It's easy to understand why people with that background would be in want of education. It's harder to understand how the answer to "I find that offensive" can be "no, you don't.")
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    I shortened my comments about Elizabeth Warren yesterday. Several Native Americans did reply that if she had so much as one drop of Native American blood she is Native American. However, the different Native American nations do have their own rules about how much of their blood you have to have in order to be enrolled as a member of the nation. Used to be you had to have as much as 25% of their blood--this was a federal rule, but then the Fed's began to allow the nations to determine their own rules.

    Yes, Warren does have some native American blood in her, but it would not have been enough for her to have special status in an American college at the time of her enrollment, and the argument could be made that she prevented more qualified Native American from going to the college.

    I believe that the claim she enrolled in a special program on that basis was subsequently debunked.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    but wouldn't it be a step in the right direction to quit having boxes to check on job applications, and quit asking what color someone is when making a police report and quit teaching children to look at each other with these labels in mind? Yes it has elements of whistling a happy tune, but I think it would be a start in a direction we haven't tried.

    You understand that the reason we have all these statistics about police treatment of ethnic minorities, employment prospects, and so on is these kinds of forms, right? If you take away the statistics, it's harder to know that you even have a problem.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    It was supposed at the time it was made. She had naught but family lore. Mentioning that was ignorant at best.

    Isn't "family lore" all most people know about their ancestry? And yet the strictures against discussing family history without documentary evidence to back it up does not seem to apply to anyone other than Elizabeth Warren.
    Twilight wrote: »
    Denying race isn't denying racism. Discrimination based on color would no doubt continue for some time, but wouldn't it be a step in the right direction to quit having boxes to check on job applications, and quit asking what color someone is when making a police report and quit teaching children to look at each other with these labels in mind? Yes it has elements of whistling a happy tune, but I think it would be a start in a direction we haven't tried.

    It should also be noted that your suggestions would also prevent the collection of any data that could demonstrate ongoing racial bias. Ceasing to collect racial and ethnic data on policing doesn't seem like it would do much to promote racially unbiased policing, just make it harder to demonstrate that it still existed.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Yes, Warren does have some native American blood in her, but it would not have been enough for her to have special status in an American college at the time of her enrollment, and the argument could be made that she prevented more qualified Native American from going to the college.

    Yes, that argument could be made if someone wanted to dishonestly pretend Warren had ever claimed Native American heritage on college or job applications. She didn't.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    Ah yes, self-hatred for one's race, someone criticized for using a common phrase that refers to an item used in a particular culture,

    Yes, talking about someone being "low on the totem pole" is a common enough phrase, and I can well believe that the person using it had no racist intent. And then someone from the particular culture that has totem poles has said "please don't say that".

    OK. Don't say it any more. Accept their request. Move on. If you start defending your rights to use other people's cultures as metaphors, then you start to act racist. Equally, someone could in all innocence talk about being jewed down without understanding the reference to Jews. Someone explains why it's racist and problematic, you apologise and move on.

    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    This is nonsense. Most of the prejudice that black people (for example) face in the US has nothing to do with the fact that they self-define as Black, and everything to do with the fact that a bunch of mostly white people look at them and see a black face.

    I'd love to be able to pretend that race didn't matter, and that having dark skin was of no more account than having freckles or blue eyes, and for all that I think that that's how things should be, that's not the society that we live in. And because of that, "just not being racist" isn't enough.

    Oh there's a world of difference between a negative stereotype like attributing cheapness to Jewish people and talking about an inanimate item like a totem pole. That says nothing negative about Native Americans at all. Can a Muslim say, "She was dressed up like a Christmas tree?" or is that stealing from the Christian culture? That's the nonsense.

    I said we should stop officially labeling people by race. I did not say don't be racist. The part I bolded is you misrepresenting what I said and the quotes are pretty close to you lying about what I said.

    We can't tell people not to be racist because we cannot control people's feelings but we can control what we require on forms and teach in schools. Maybe if we stop the basic lie that humans are separated into groups like dog breeds it would be a step in the right direction. When doctors quit calling homosexuality a mental illness it didn't stop people from being homophobic but I believe it started a change in thinking for many reasonable people.

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 20
    (Notably Trump never paid out the $1000,000 he claimed he’d pay her if a dna test proved she had native ancestry - she had asked him to pay it to a Native American charity.)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    We can't tell people not to be racist because we cannot control people's feelings but we can control what we require on forms and teach in schools. Maybe if we stop the basic lie that humans are separated into groups like dog breeds it would be a step in the right direction. When doctors quit calling homosexuality a mental illness it didn't stop people from being homophobic but I believe it started a change in thinking for many reasonable people.

    That's one interpretation of history. Another would be that gay people publicly claiming their identity and not pretending to be just like everyone else (a.k.a. "closeting") was an even bigger factor in the "change in thinking for many reasonable people". Telling gay people not to self-identify as gay has a long history of failure while gay people being out and proud has a short and recent history of success.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Oh there's a world of difference between a negative stereotype like attributing cheapness to Jewish people and talking about an inanimate item like a totem pole. That says nothing negative about Native Americans at all. Can a Muslim say, "She was dressed up like a Christmas tree?" or is that stealing from the Christian culture? That's the nonsense.

    It's not about stealing - it's about causing offense, and it seems that the Native American man in Gramps49's story found this use offensive. I don't know why - perhaps totem poles are of particular spiritual significance to his people, and he found the metaphor offensive; perhaps he was irked at the equating of the low position on the totem pole with a low-status position (my understanding is that totem poles do not, in general, display a vertical hierarchy). It doesn't really matter.

    The man found it offensive. It is reasonable to ask why he finds it offensive. It's even reasonable (although not terribly polite) to wonder whether he's especially sensitive, or whether the offense would be taken by many people like him. But it's not reasonable to argue that he's not offended. That makes no sense at all.

    Twilight wrote: »
    We can't tell people not to be racist because we cannot control people's feelings but we can control what we require on forms and teach in schools.

    We don't have access to anyone's innermost feelings, but we can expect particular behaviour. It is now, in most circles, socially unacceptable to drive whilst drunk. This wasn't the case in the past - there has been a social change. That change did not come about by refusing to talk about alcohol, or pretending that alcoholic drinks didn't exist.

    Twilight wrote: »
    When doctors quit calling homosexuality a mental illness it didn't stop people from being homophobic but I believe it started a change in thinking for many reasonable people.

    The equivalent to this for race would be the elimination of the pseudo-scientific nonsense about how the "black race" is inferior that one found in textbooks until frighteningly recently.

    I'll point out that there are plenty of demographic type forms out there that ask about sexuality, and this hasn't prevented a change in thinking for many reasonable people.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    So you're saying the Black Pride movement of the late 1960's solved everything?

    Asking gay people to deny their sexual orientation is not the same thing at all as asking people of all "races" to quit self- identifying based on the amount of pigment in their skin. There's a real and important difference between gays and straights and there really isn't any difference between blacks and whites.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    There's a real and important difference between gays and straights and there really isn't any difference between blacks and whites.

    There's a real and important difference between gays and straights if I'm looking for a sexual partner, although even that isn't terribly important - because the important question isn't whether the object of my desire would in theory be interested in sex with some generic person of my sex, but whether they would be interested in sex with me.

    If I'm looking for sex, it doesn't matter whether she turns me down because she's gay, or she turns me down because she thinks I'm hideous. The end result is the same.

    But I think the real test for your proposal is to ask whether it has any support among the people who are current victims of discrimination. Can you find black people who will support your don't ask, don't tell pigmentation policy?
  • Twilight wrote: »
    There's a real and important difference between gays and straights and there really isn't any difference between blacks and whites.

    I think a more important difference (in terms of the rapid acceptance of gay people vs the rather slower reduction in racism) is that dominant white couples might well have a gay child, but they're not going to have a black child.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    If someone is arguing against immigration using the same arguments put forward by racists, why is it illegitimate to point that out?

    If someone is arguing against cruelty to animals, why is it illegitimate to point out that Hitler believed in being kind to animals ?

    Because it's playing the man and not the ball ? Because it says nothing about the validity of the argument or the truthfulness of the factual propositions involved ? Because it's implying Bad Things about the other person without making any allegation that they can refute ? Because it's just dumping a load of negative emotional weight on the other person that they don't deserve ?

    Or - put it another way - because Satan uses that argument a lot ?

    Isn 't it obvious that someone arguing against immigration of black people for racist reasons it going to have something in common with people arguing for lower immigration for reasons that have nothing to do with race ?
    Russ wrote: »
    Ineffective because conspiracy theories flourish best in the dark, thriving on the truths that dare not be spoken.

    ...portrays itself as boldly telling the truth that black people are all idiots (for example) which "they" want to suppress using underhanded tactics like criticism and pointing out the massive flaws in the data presented.

    Yes, conspiracy theorists like to portray themselves as boldly telling truths that "they" - those in power - don't want us to know. But IME conspiracy theorists aren't reinforced in their beliefs by critical engagement with their data; what they seize on as proof of their point of view is suppression of ideas, hiding things.

    It's not so much that absence of evidence is evidence of cover-up. It's that if something's worth covering up it must be true. If a proposition is false it doesn't or shouldn't need to be hidden.

    To this paranoid mindset, the wisdom of the ages is to be found not in orthodoxy but in whichever heresy the ancient authorities took most pains to erase.

    So the more you try to make a particular belief socially unacceptable, the more you confirm that there's something in it.

    That ISTM is the sort of space that white supremacists inhabit. It's a corner of the nutjob world where Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon and the Titanic didn't really sink.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited August 20
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I shortened my comments about Elizabeth Warren yesterday. Several Native Americans did reply that if she had so much as one drop of Native American blood she is Native American. However, the different Native American nations do have their own rules about how much of their blood you have to have in order to be enrolled as a member of the nation. Used to be you had to have as much as 25% of their blood--this was a federal rule, but then the Fed's began to allow the nations to determine their own rules.

    Yes, Warren does have some native American blood in her, but it would not have been enough for her to have special status in an American college at the time of her enrollment, and the argument could be made that she prevented more qualified Native American from going to the college.

    The whole practice of making having a sufficient "blood quantum" a requirement for tribal membership was imposed upon tribes by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The idea of tribal membership is much more complicated than mere ancestry and involves belonging to the community.

    That is part of the reason why 1. anyone's claiming "Native American" as one's identity (or as one of multiple identities) on work, government, or professional association paperwork without having had any consultation with tribal leadership about membership and 2. claiming that a DNA test alone can resolve controversy about such claiming of identity, especially if such claims about the significance of a DNA test are made without any consultation with tribal leadership beforehand are deeply insensitive.
  • Here's news from Canada. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/patrik-mathews-accused-of-involvement-in-neo-nazi-group-1.5253212

    The link said it. Extremist neo-Nazi group has Canadian military connections. Horrifying.
  • And, to further complicate who's Native American, there are many, many tribes / groups / bands that the US gov't doesn't recognize. I'm not sure why, other than not really wanting to deal with Native Americans at all, and hoping that the unrecognized tribes would die off.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 21
    Well, I might as well complicate things again, I suppose.

    I have a full-blood Cherokee great-grandmother who was born in Indian Territory and who was sent in her youth to an Indian residential school. She was quite proud of her ethnicity. I knew her personally for years (a long-lived family) and loved her dearly. Her daughter my grandmother was not proud of her heritage (though she, too, may have been full-blood, this is not clear) and did her best to hide it, including from her son my father. This created a rift in the family.

    Fortunately my aunt, my father's sister, rescued the family papers which include a land claim against the US government (denied because my family registered for the Dawes Rolls in the first go-round, after which there was apparently some massive governmental screw-up and it was all to do over again--and my family did NOT register that time, and so remain technically unenrolled and therefore ineligible for tribal membership.)

    For what it's worth (basically nothing, I know) my family has looked full blood all the way down to my father's generation. I have my mother's face and coloring, though I have more subtle physical inheritances from my father's side.

    All right.

    Now tell me:

    1. Am I ever allowed to even mention the Cherokee aspect to my family tree, and if so, upon what occasions? If the answer is "no," am I dishonoring my great-grandmother, who was darn proud of it and wanted it known? If the answer is "yes," am I supporting my grandmother's racism-motivated attempt to pass for white? Does it even matter what the facts are, anyway?
    2. Does it make matters easier or more complicated if I mention that I have roughly the same percentage of ancestry from about eight other sources, and nothing else predominates?
    3. Do my personal wishes have anything to do with it? Does it make any difference that I have tried to regain/reassemble what I can of our heritage which my grandmother withheld from her descendants (yes, I know, this is a pathetic endeavor, particularly when one tries to learn to read Cherokee from a book, having no better options)?
    4. Does the fact that I am not claiming any government, social or educational advantage as a result of it make any difference?
    5. Must I fucking call myself simply "white" simplicitur in spite of the fact that I know less about the white ancestry of my family than I do about the Cherokee?
    6. Why the hell does the federal government get to determine my identity at several removes (we are not enrolled on the Dawes rolls due to the aforementioned fuckup; the criteria for tribal membership include such enrollment; the criterion for even mentioning Cherokee ancestry according to some people is tribal membership; therefore the US government is deciding who the hell I am)?
    7. Am I a fool to take it personally when my son's school band asks him to play a song which has lyrics which are at best extremely racially insensitive toward American Indians? If I am allowed to protest, must I do it without any reference whatsoever to the American Indian connection of my family? (and I can tell you right now making that complaint as a putative 100% white is going to get me nowhere, given the circumstances)

    Sincerely,
    Agitated of Who-the-Hell-Knows-Where
  • LC--

    I did a quick search on "i have native american ancestry. now what?" at Duck Duck Go. Looks like some of the hits might be from Native American groups.

    BTW, lots of non-Native people dislike the kind of song (and other misusage and disrespect). So IMHO it's ok for you to be offended, no matter how you identify. No clue what you should do about it.

    Good luck!
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    It was supposed at the time it was made. She had naught but family lore. Mentioning that was ignorant at best.

    Isn't "family lore" all most people know about their ancestry? And yet the strictures against discussing family history without documentary evidence to back it up does not seem to apply to anyone other than Elizabeth Warren.
    Everything she says is going to be criticised. It is not right, it is not fair, but it is what was always going to happen. It is ridiculous to think it wouldn't be. Warren is a female politician in the United States of America. It means she is going to be criticised at a level no white man will be. Again, not right and not fair. But change that problem, don't complain when someone points it out.

    Regarding unproven white ancestry. The Irish had a bad time in the early years of their mass immigration to America. The Irish do not have a bad time in America now. So claiming Irish ancestry, regardless of accuracy, does not have the same connotations. Same with German, Italian, Norwegian, etc.


  • When Madeleine Albright was secretary of state, she found out she had hidden Jewish ancestry--not way back, like Elizabeth's Native American ancestry. When MA's ancestry came out, some people thought she was faking it for some advantage.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    [Part of her identity....The problem with that is she does not share any of the disadvantage of that identity because she is electively just white.

    Is suffering disadvantage an essential part of non-white identity?
  • Things are offensive because people find them offensive.

    By that definition, virtually everything is offensive. I'd say it means everyone should just stay at home all day and never interact with another human, but there are people who would find doing that offensive as well.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I'd say it means everyone should just stay at home all day and never interact with another human,
    Don't encourage me, I'm already borderline agoraphobic over this new complicated world.

  • Twilight wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    Ah yes, self-hatred for one's race, someone criticized for using a common phrase that refers to an item used in a particular culture,

    Yes, talking about someone being "low on the totem pole" is a common enough phrase, and I can well believe that the person using it had no racist intent. And then someone from the particular culture that has totem poles has said "please don't say that".

    OK. Don't say it any more. Accept their request. Move on. If you start defending your rights to use other people's cultures as metaphors, then you start to act racist. Equally, someone could in all innocence talk about being jewed down without understanding the reference to Jews. Someone explains why it's racist and problematic, you apologise and move on.

    Twilight wrote: »
    We're going to have race problems so long as people keep insisting we have races. Race only exists so long as people keep defining themselves and others by unscientific, vague labels and surprisingly it's the people one would think most anxious to drop those labels who seem to cling to them most fiercely and make them part of every single aspect of life.

    This is nonsense. Most of the prejudice that black people (for example) face in the US has nothing to do with the fact that they self-define as Black, and everything to do with the fact that a bunch of mostly white people look at them and see a black face.

    I'd love to be able to pretend that race didn't matter, and that having dark skin was of no more account than having freckles or blue eyes, and for all that I think that that's how things should be, that's not the society that we live in. And because of that, "just not being racist" isn't enough.

    Oh there's a world of difference between a negative stereotype like attributing cheapness to Jewish people and talking about an inanimate item like a totem pole. That says nothing negative about Native Americans at all. Can a Muslim say, "She was dressed up like a Christmas tree?" or is that stealing from the Christian culture? That's the nonsense.

    I said we should stop officially labeling people by race. I did not say don't be racist. The part I bolded is you misrepresenting what I said and the quotes are pretty close to you lying about what I said.

    We can't tell people not to be racist because we cannot control people's feelings but we can control what we require on forms and teach in schools. Maybe if we stop the basic lie that humans are separated into groups like dog breeds it would be a step in the right direction. When doctors quit calling homosexuality a mental illness it didn't stop people from being homophobic but I believe it started a change in thinking for many reasonable people.
    >>Twilight posted:
    Oh there's a world of difference between a negative stereotype like attributing cheapness to Jewish people and talking about an inanimate item like a totem pole. That says nothing negative about Native Americans at all. Can a Muslim say, "She was dressed up like a Christmas tree?" or is that stealing from the Christian culture? That's the nonsense.<<

    That's probably false. The Christmas tree is a symbol of a holiday. A better comparison to "low man on the totem pole" might reflect something more central to Christian traditions out of context. Perhaps something about Jesus being God's bastard.
  • jbohnjbohn Shipmate

    Is suffering disadvantage an essential part of non-white identity?

    In the US? Yes.
    Things are offensive because people find them offensive.

    By that definition, virtually everything is offensive. I'd say it means everyone should just stay at home all day and never interact with another human, but there are people who would find doing that offensive as well.

    Or, you know, try your best not to be offensive, and take responsibility when you inevitably inadvertently do, and make amends. It really isn't that hard, actually.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I shortened my comments about Elizabeth Warren yesterday. Several Native Americans did reply that if she had so much as one drop of Native American blood she is Native American. However, the different Native American nations do have their own rules about how much of their blood you have to have in order to be enrolled as a member of the nation. Used to be you had to have as much as 25% of their blood--this was a federal rule, but then the Fed's began to allow the nations to determine their own rules.

    Yes, Warren does have some native American blood in her, but it would not have been enough for her to have special status in an American college at the time of her enrollment, and the argument could be made that she prevented more qualified Native American from going to the college.

    I believe that the claim she enrolled in a special program on that basis was subsequently debunked.

    FOX NEWS has been harping on this point for the past two weeks. Even though it has been debunked by mainstream media, there is the old proverb "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it." This was attributed to Goebbels but it is FOX News' mantra.
This discussion has been closed.