How to Combat White Supremacy in its Explicit and Implicit Forms

DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
edited October 2 in Epiphanies
I'd like to discuss how to combat white supremacy, and I'd like to start from the point of these assumptions:

Thread Assumptions

1) Structural inequality exists
2) Whitenormative ideas exist and are common
3) Colourism exists
4) White supremacism exists
5) DNA percentage and cultural heritage are not the same thing
6) Genocidal practices have impacted communities such that some individuals have been deprived of their cultural heritage.

Position I take given those assumptions

a) Intention matters
b) Whitenormative assumptions reinforce structural inequality
c) Whitenormative assumptions functionally enable more severe forms of racism
d) Structural inequality, whitenormative assumptions, colourism and white supremicism exist on a spectrum of racism
e) Intersectional issues magnify the impacts of these social trends
f) The expression and experience of all forms of racism varies significantly depending on context, on both a small and large scale


So do you agree with points a to f and how do we combat white supremacist damage in our societies ?

[Point b) edited at DT's request - B62]
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Comments

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    1) Structural inequality exists
    Yep
    2) Whitenormative ideas exist and are common
    Yes
    3) Colourism exists
    Of course
    4) White supremacism exists
    check
    5) DNA percentage and cultural heritage are not the same thing
    They are not
    6) Genocidal practices have impacted communities such that some individuals have been deprived of their cultural heritage.
    Of course.


    a) Intention matters
    b) Whitenormative assumptions reinforce structural equality
    I think you mean inequailty
    c) Whitenormative assumptions functionally enable more severe forms of racism
    YEP
    d) Structural inequality, whitenormative assumptions, colourism and white supremicism exist on a spectrum of racism
    Been saying that for ever
    e) Intersectional issues magnify the impacts of these social trends
    They do
    f) The expression and experience of all forms of racism varies significantly depending on context, on both a small and large scale
    Yes.
    So do you agree with points a to f and how do we combat white supremacist damage in our societies ?
    A quick comment on e) The impact in the intersection can give us tools to fix the separate roads leading into it. For example, LGBT+ is just as racist as the straight world. Getting people to see their experience projected onto other categories is the starting point of a discussion.
  • @OP
    Points 1-6 make sense to me.
    Re e) - I don't understand what is meant by intersectional issues. Do you mean the combination of some of the points 1-6, the issue raised above re sexual orientation plus racism or something else?

    I'd also note that words matter. In the Canadian context we hear about "colonialism", and then people either are labelled "colonists" or "settlers", which gives pause to the root issues at times because people debate the meanings of these words. Similarly, the use of the word "genocide" in the context of "cultural genocide" becomes a debate about the terms used to describe the loss of languages and culture. I'm not suggesting anything, other than noting that how we choose to frame what we're discussing is important.

    I appreciate that you decided to risk restarting the topic, and also that you chose to have a meta-discussion about it, by which I mean meta-communication as talking about how we talk about things and ensure that the interpretation of what we say is what is intended.
  • So do you agree with points a to f and how do we combat white supremacist damage in our societies ?

    Who are "we" and which societies? I'm not trying to be difficult here- I'm guessing the assumed context is West European/ US/ Anglosphere. But there may be an unconscious Euro/Yankeecentrism there.

    My opinion is that white supremacy worldwide is in its death throes as new powers arise in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The old hegemony is counting on continued interventions and meddling throughout these places to keep the countries weak and dependent on the imperial metropoles. So, if you ask me, a strong anti-imperialist movement is the best thing people in the West can do to combat white supremacy.

    Conversely self-styled anti-racists who don't address Western imperialism are blowing hot air. There are a lot of Western liberals who spend hours scolding each other on Twitter with their cool intersectional takes on this or that issue, but shrug (or sometimes cheer) when their governments wreak havoc in brown, yellow, and black countries.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Conversely self-styled anti-racists who don't address Western imperialism are blowing hot air. There are a lot of Western liberals who spend hours scolding each other on Twitter with their cool intersectional takes on this or that issue, but shrug (or sometimes cheer) when their governments wreak havoc in brown, yellow, and black countries.
    Bullshit. It is the old "You cannot complain about one thing if you are not complaining about everything." rubbish.
    Racism is part of Western imperialism and most anti-racist activists* also decry that imperialism. Many of them have no clear idea of what actually occurs in other countries, but that is a different thing to thinking it is OK.

    *It is clearly outlined in the Woke Librul welcoming PDF. It is a Talking Point in the Quick Start printable wallet card.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Conversely self-styled anti-racists who don't address Western imperialism are blowing hot air. There are a lot of Western liberals who spend hours scolding each other on Twitter with their cool intersectional takes on this or that issue, but shrug (or sometimes cheer) when their governments wreak havoc in brown, yellow, and black countries.
    Bullshit. It is the old "You cannot complain about one thing if you are not complaining about everything." rubbish.

    Only a profound ignorance of history and current events would explain such a response.
  • @SirPalomides in framing the OP I was referring to the societies in which the shipmates contributing to it live. In my case, the UK.

    That might include a view on our foreign policy, but I don’t think that alone will be enough.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    edited October 2
    1) Structural inequality exists

    Yes.
    2) Whitenormative ideas exist and are common

    Exist, yes, undoubtedly. But in most of the circles in which I move (which I accept may not be representative) expressing whitenormative ideas would be extremely rare. If 'ideas' includes unconscious and unexpressed attitudes, and 'common' means 'commonly encountered' (and not 'majority views'), then, yes.
    3) Colourism exists

    Yes.
    4) White supremacism exists

    Yes. But explicit white supremacism is rare and expressing it provokes strong disapproval (at very least) amongt most people.
    5) DNA percentage and cultural heritage are not the same thing

    Yes.
    6) Genocidal practices have impacted communities such that some individuals have been deprived of their cultural heritage.

    Yes. And I don't think you need to go as far as genocide to make that point. Far less aggressive forms of social pressure can eradicate (or entrench) minority cultural practice.

    Although balanced against that is the observations that cultures do change and adapt, and a certain pressure on a minority to conform is probably unavoidable.
    a) Intention matters

    Yes.
    b) Whitenormative assumptions reinforce structural inequality

    Yes.
    c) Whitenormative assumptions functionally enable more severe forms of racism

    Yes.
    d) Structural inequality, whitenormative assumptions, colourism and white supremicism exist on a spectrum of racism

    Sort of - although there are qualitative differences. Structural inequality is a feature of society, distinct from personal racism. If everyone in the UK woke up tomorrow completely blind to race, structural inequality would still be there (albeit unperceived) and would likely persist (though to a diminishing degree) for decades.
    e) Intersectional issues magnify the impacts of these social trends

    Yes.
    f) The expression and experience of all forms of racism varies significantly depending on context, on both a small and large scale

    Yes.
    how do we combat white supremacist damage in our societies ?

    Continue to make explicit racism socially unacceptable. Enforce anti-discrimination laws robustly but fairly. Celebrate diversity. Celebrate minority cultures as important facets of our societies. Reinforce strong legal and ethical principles of tolerance, freedom and liberalism. Support political policies that advance education, public health, good quality housing and community assets, and economical opportunity for all. Assume, as far as is possible, that most people are not racist and are against racism, and create a strong expectation of this that people are encouraged to live up to. Listen to the experience of minorities and that them seriously (but not unquestioningly).

    {Point b) edited to reflect DT's intentions - B62}
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    [tangent] Objection from a Language Person: Is it necessary to use the clumsy, cludgy neologism "whitenormative"? Couldn't we use two words - "white normative" - or compromise and throw in a hyphen? The neologism is just too awkward for some of us to read or to write.

    Thank you. [/tangent]

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Missed answering this one:
    a) Intention matters
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B deliberately pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B cheers on Person C pushing Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B looks away as Person C pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B walks on the inside portion of the path, forcing Person B onto the unstable outside portion, which crumbles tumbling Person B over the edge.
    Person A is spattered across the rocks, regardless of intention.
    So when does intention matter?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Eliab wrote: »
    how do we combat white supremacist damage in our societies ?

    Continue to make explicit racism socially unacceptable. Enforce anti-discrimination laws robustly but fairly.
    The Stanford rapist got a slap on the wrist in the judge's effort to be "fair".
    Eliab wrote: »
    Assume, as far as is possible, that most people are not racist and are against racism, and create a strong expectation of this that people are encouraged to live up to.
    The more reasonable path is to not assume anything regarding someone being racist or not.

    Eliab wrote: »
    Listen to the experience of minorities and that them seriously (but not unquestioningly).
    Yeah...what do you mean by this?
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited October 1
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Missed answering this one:
    a) Intention matters
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B deliberately pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B cheers on Person C pushing Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B looks away as Person C pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B walks on the inside portion of the path, forcing Person B onto the unstable outside portion, which crumbles tumbling Person B over the edge.
    Person A is spattered across the rocks, regardless of intention.
    So when does intention matter?

    Intention certainly matters in how you address person B (and other persons who might be B ) with a goal of preventing future A-splatterings. You list various possibilities in rough order of B's culpability. In cases 1 and 2, B is a murderer. In case 4, B might just be unaware of his surroundings. Murderers go to prison. Careless accidents get public safety campaigns.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    In a discussion about Anthea Butler's op-ed attributing white evangelical support of Donald Trump to their historic tradition of racism Fred Clark touches on intentionality and racism.
    Butler follows this with a rapid-fire history lesson, highlighting case after case of white evangelicalism taking the wrong turn at every crossroads at which they might have turned away from “participation in and support for racist structures in America.” It’s a convincing litany.

    But it won’t be convincing to most white evangelicals because they don’t understand “participation in and support for racist structures” to be what racism means. “Racism,” as they have been (conveniently) taught to understand it, means individual acts of conscious, individual animus. To their credit, they agree that such individual acts and individual animus are bad. They’re proud of recognizing that, which is part of what makes their defensiveness at the identification of racism a mostly genuine, mostly sincere response.

    Italics from the original, bolding added by me.

    Clark goes on to tie this to Lee Atwater's famous quote about achieving the same ends as overt racism through more "abstract" framing like forced busing or tax policy.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Eliab wrote: »
    Assume, as far as is possible, that most people are not racist and are against racism, and create a strong expectation of this that people are encouraged to live up to.
    That's potentially a little naive, although well intentioned. Certainly modelling good behaviour in our families, social and religious groups, and our workplaces can deny racism the cover it needs, but a willingness to censure and correct (even if just by moral example) has to be part of that.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The Stanford rapist got a slap on the wrist in the judge's effort to be "fair".

    So because one judge made a decision you disagree with, we give up on fairness? What's your point here?
    The more reasonable path is to not assume anything regarding someone being racist or not.

    No, not as a way of influencing behaviour, it isn't. Treat someone as if it's a coin toss whether they're a liar/cheat/sex abuser/racist or not, until the evidence is all in, and there's not much of an incentive for them not to be (if they want to and think they can get away with it). Treat them as if it's expected that they aren't, and most people will feel a strong pressure to conform to that.

    If you tell me, for example, "White people don't listen to the experiences of people of colour", I may well agree with you, intellectually, that white people should listen, and it's wrong that they don't, but there's also some comfort there for me if my conscience begins to accuse me of not listening, because I'm performing to a socially accepted standard, even if it's not the highest standard. You might disapprove, but you won't be disappointed, because I'll be doing just what you predicted.

    Tell me instead that "Considerate and socially responsible white people listen to the experiences of people of colour", then as soon as you have my intellectual assent, I'm under an immediate psychological pressure to live up to your (and my) expectations. I think that I am a considerate and socially responsible person, and if the default assumption is that I will therefore act in a certain way, it makes it more likely that I will do so.

    tl:dr - guilt is usually a shit motivator.
    Yeah...what do you mean by this?

    People who have personally experienced racism will know more about it than I do. That does not mean that their conclusions about how to address it will be infallible.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Missed answering this one:
    a) Intention matters
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B deliberately pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B cheers on Person C pushing Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B looks away as Person C pushes Person A over the edge.
    Person A is walking along a cliff and Person B walks on the inside portion of the path, forcing Person B onto the unstable outside portion, which crumbles tumbling Person B over the edge.
    Person A is spattered across the rocks, regardless of intention.
    So when does intention matter?

    Intention certainly matters in how you address person B (and other persons who might be B ) with a goal of preventing future A-splatterings. You list various possibilities in rough order of B's culpability. In cases 1 and 2, B is a murderer. In case 4, B might just be unaware of his surroundings. Murderers go to prison. Careless accidents get public safety campaigns.
    This is the problem. If case 4 happens once, or is looked at as a single case each time it happens, it can look like an accident. Or coincidence. Or random chance. But when one looks at the pattern of all the similar incidences, it is most obviously not.
    It is not a coincidence that black people are hired less often. And get lower pay and fewer promotions when they are. It is not a coincidence that black people are more likely to be arrested, convicted and receive higher sentences in the same circumstances.
    Those things happen often despite intentions.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited October 1
    Stupid quote nesting
    Back in a mo after sorting it out.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Eliab wrote: »
    So because one judge made a decision you disagree with, we give up on fairness? What's your point here?
    The point is that fair is not an objective viewpoint. Plenty of folks think that Turner was treated fairly. Very few of those will be women and the number of rape victims who do will be minuscule.
    Eliab wrote: »
    The more reasonable path is to not assume anything regarding someone being racist or not.

    No, not as a way of influencing behaviour, it isn't.
    How we frame our expectations as a society is different to how we judge that societies actions.
    Assume, as far as is possible, that most people are not racist and are against racism, and create a strong expectation of this that people are encouraged to live up to.
    The first part is not realistic or reasonable. it deals with actions, and one should not start with a bias when evaluating actions, that is how implicit racism furthers explicit racism. The second bit is how we frame our aspirations and it is good to be idealistic in that. It is silly to think that everyone will live up to it.
    Eliab wrote: »
    tl:dr - guilt is usually a shit motivator.
    Must I go through the timelines of who fucking long this is taking? Centuries and we are still doing this. And you still want to go slow.
    Eliab wrote: »
    Yeah...what do you mean by this?

    People who have personally experienced racism will know more about it than I do. That does not mean that their conclusions about how to address it will be infallible.
    No one is infallible. However, white society has not managed to fix the problem it created.

    The problem with how you keep phrasing your response is that it sound suspiciously like a loophole to allow one to ignore what one does not like.
  • edited October 1
    Apparently to deal with racism and the implications thereof, it's helpful to understand the foundations of, and the implications for current generations'. Have any of you heard of The Blanket Exercise? It demonstrates what European settlement of Canada did to indigenous peoples and forces the discussion of the implications. It was invented by Kairos as far as I know. My adult children would say that such direct contact with the implications creates the situation of being "woke" to the issues.

    Are there any experiential programs in other countries which address systematic and historical racist and culturalist treatment of identifiable minorities in other countries? The Blanket Exercise is quite experientially powerful and good education. Tears are shed frequently, i.e., empathy develops.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Hosting
    Lil Buddha, as I've been explaining to people, this is not Dead Horses and not Purgatory but a more closely-hosted board, so what people might be used to as acceptable under the normal 'hosting lite' may not fly here.

    This is also a board that 'is not intended to be an echo chamber, nor yet a pillory.' It's also I would add, neither Hell nor a vicarage tea party, but developing a pattern of sprinkling posts with contemptuous swearing does not help other people to engage constructively. It's the temperature-raising pattern of posting observed over several threads that I'm interested in, not individual words themselves.

    If you can't bring yourself to dial it down a bit, then may I suggest that the Hell board would be a better place for that style of posting.

    Louise
    Epiphanies Host

    Hosting off






  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The point is that fair is not an objective viewpoint. Plenty of folks think that Turner was treated fairly. Very few of those will be women and the number of rape victims who do will be minuscule.

    I don't think I've ever posted my views on the appropriate range of sentences for rape, in general or in that specific case. So you don't have (as far as I can tell) any personal data by which to predict my likely reaction.

    Yet you clearly expect me to agree with you that the judge called it wrong. Your use of the example proves the opposite of your point - there is a standard of fairness which, if not objective, is at least so commonly and widely shared that egregious departures from it will be recognised.

    That judges sometimes make bad, irrational, unfair or questionable decisions is not news to me.
    How we frame our expectations as a society is different to how we judge that societies actions.

    Yes, and the OP is about how we as a society should act to change racist views, not (primarily) about when we conclude that someone is being racist. My argument is that high expectations of non-racism, which include the assumption that decent people are not (consciously), and do not want to be, racist is a factor that strongly influences behaviour.

    Do you think it's a coincidence that pretty much all professional footballers cheat, and pretty much no professional golfers do? Or is it possible that the different expectations in each sporting sub-cultural might influence conduct?
    Must I go through the timelines of who fucking long this is taking? Centuries and we are still doing this. And you still want to go slow.

    I don't see how you can derive a desire to go slow from anything I've said.

    If either of us had the power to eradicate all racism tomorrow by polishing a magic lamp, I'd be as quick with the Brasso as you. The fact that I don't have a magic lamp, and don't think you do either, does not mean that I want to delay justice.
    However, white society has not managed to fix the problem it created.

    There are huge assumptions there. In particular, it's nonsense to talk of "white society" as if it had a singular set of interests and intentions. It doesn't. Being white (or not) does not imply any special ability or disability to be part of the sort of social change that we'd both like to see.
    The problem with how you keep phrasing your response is that it sound suspiciously like a loophole to allow one to ignore what one does not like.

    There are certainly things which I accept, or approve of, or do and intend to keep doing, that you (in my view, wrongly and irrationally) consider to be at least racism-adjacent. My response on this thread isn't about any of those things. It's about the things which we both agree are problematic.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Eliab wrote: »
    Being white (or not) does not imply any special ability or disability to be part of the sort of social change that we'd both like to see.

    I don't think this true. If a march of white supremacists are confronted by a much larger counter-demonstration, a large proportion of which are white, I think that does effect a greater message than a counter-demonstration that is largely non-white. It's not up to white people solely to counter the narrative of white supremacy, but we (those who are white or can pass as white) do have a special potency in opposing that narrative.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    edited October 2
    @OP
    Points 1-6 make sense to me.
    Re e) - I don't understand what is meant by intersectional issues. Do you mean the combination of some of the points 1-6, the issue raised above re sexual orientation plus racism or something else?

    ...

    Yes. intersectionality is a legal term coined in 1989 by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap.

    For example:

    Two working class women - one black LGBT+ and the other straight and white. Both may be discriminated against because of their class and gender, but the other differences need to be taken into account as well. The black woman may also experience homophobia and racism. The white woman won't. The argument goes that failing to acknowledge this complexity fails to acknowledge reality. This makes total sense to me, I just didn't realise there was a word for it until fairly recently.

    I pinched the example from a Time article whilst this Vox article discusses about why the concept has become more controversial in some circles.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Eliab wrote: »
    tl:dr - guilt is usually a shit motivator.
    Must I go through the timelines of who fucking long this is taking? Centuries and we are still doing this. And you still want to go slow.
    Two people want to drive to a destination on the other side of a valley and one proposes they take a straight line cross country. The other thinks that the bottom of the valley is too boggy to drive through and they'd be better off driving round the road up the valley and back the other side. I don't think it's true to say that the second wants to go slow.

    Eliab is right: guilt is a poor motivator. He is equally right: arguing or pointing out that nearly all white people have racist tendencies normalises racist tendencies.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Eliab wrote: »
    tl:dr - guilt is usually a shit motivator.
    Must I go through the timelines of who fucking long this is taking? Centuries and we are still doing this. And you still want to go slow.
    Two people want to drive to a destination on the other side of a valley and one proposes they take a straight line cross country. The other thinks that the bottom of the valley is too boggy to drive through and they'd be better off driving round the road up the valley and back the other side. I don't think it's true to say that the second wants to go slow.

    Eliab is right: guilt is a poor motivator. He is equally right: arguing or pointing out that nearly all white people have racist tendencies normalises racist tendencies.

    Which may be the case but it doesn't exactly move the discussion on or identify ways of making that not so.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Eliab is right: guilt is a poor motivator. He is equally right: arguing or pointing out that nearly all white people have racist tendencies normalises racist tendencies.

    Ignoring racism doesn't have all that great a track record either. When you establish a standard that it's wrong to point out that a racist act is racist you normalize the idea that pointing out racism is worse than racism, something I've heard expressed in a less direct form.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    I don't think this true. If a march of white supremacists are confronted by a much larger counter-demonstration, a large proportion of which are white, I think that does effect a greater message than a counter-demonstration that is largely non-white. It's not up to white people solely to counter the narrative of white supremacy, but we (those who are white or can pass as white) do have a special potency in opposing that narrative.

    A greater message for whom? Special potency for which audience? This whole thread reeks of white savior complex.

    Of course it would be great if white people collectively stopped being racist tomorrow, but they're not. The most effective movements against white supremacy have almost always been majority non-white, both in leadership and in rank-and-file. The civil rights movement, the black liberation movement, the American Indian movement, Cesar Chavez and the UFW. Not to mention the anti-colonial movements that rocked imperialism while white hippies were trying to levitate the Pentagon. Today there are folks like Black Lives Matter, the anti-ICE movement, etc, typically led, again, by people of color.

    Instead of navel-gazing and engaging in a urination tournament of woke-upsmanship, to see who can formulate the most unimpeachable anti-racist slogans, why not identify actually groups getting things done and see how you can help them.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    I don't think this true. If a march of white supremacists are confronted by a much larger counter-demonstration, a large proportion of which are white, I think that does effect a greater message than a counter-demonstration that is largely non-white. It's not up to white people solely to counter the narrative of white supremacy, but we (those who are white or can pass as white) do have a special potency in opposing that narrative.

    A greater message for whom? Special potency for which audience?

    One of the big conceits among white supremacists is that all white people secretly agree with them but are too intimidated by [ social pressure / the PC police / Jewish overlords / the Illuminati / whatever ] to say so out loud. Demonstrating the falsehood of this belief is useful, in situations where such beliefs are in fact false.

    It should be noted that this conceit dovetails very well with Eliab's position that racists can be embarrassed into silence through social pressure.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    I believe it's beholden on us to point out racism whenever we encounter it - but I'm tending towards agreeing with the wider point, that saying to people's faces that nearly all white people are racist, is problematic (even if it's true).

    If our immediate goal is less racism, then I don't know: starting off with "you're all racists" isn't exactly a learning moment.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    I don't think this true. If a march of white supremacists are confronted by a much larger counter-demonstration, a large proportion of which are white, I think that does effect a greater message than a counter-demonstration that is largely non-white. It's not up to white people solely to counter the narrative of white supremacy, but we (those who are white or can pass as white) do have a special potency in opposing that narrative.

    A greater message for whom? Special potency for which audience?

    One of the big conceits among white supremacists is that all white people secretly agree with them but are too intimidated by [ social pressure / the PC police / Jewish overlords / the Illuminati / whatever ] to say so out loud. Demonstrating the falsehood of this belief is useful, in situations where such beliefs are in fact false.

    I think their conceit is more that most white people- a "silent majority"- do agree with them. Which seems, I daresay, accurate. They are well aware of the existence of anti-racist whites, whom they regard as dupes, race traitors, etc.

    I've been to a few of these counter-demonstrations. Often the Antifa and friends do outnumber the Nazis, and often many of them are white- many of them also tend to be anarchists, communists, and other far-leftists, whom liberals tend to hate almost as much as the Nazis. These actions do play a useful role in disrupting the organizing of particularly dangerous groups and possibly preventing violence against local communities. And yeah, it feels good to see the Nazis get stomped.

    But since we all seem to agree that we are talking about a structural problem, manifested in the prevailing socio-economic order, disrupting some bonehead group's one-day rally doesn't seem to really strike the heart of the matter.

    The people doing the most on that front form a wide array of groups doing a wide range of actions, some legal, some not-so-legal. Usually it's very local, unromantic, sometimes unrewarding work. I also believe the decline of white supremacy in the West will coincide with the decline of Western power globally.

  • "I want to help you fight against racism."

    "Okay but first you have to sign this affidavit admitting you and all white people deep down inside have racist tendencies."
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Eliab wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The point is that fair is not an objective viewpoint. Plenty of folks think that Turner was treated fairly. Very few of those will be women and the number of rape victims who do will be minuscule.

    I don't think I've ever posted my views on the appropriate range of sentences for rape, in general or in that specific case. So you don't have (as far as I can tell) any personal data by which to predict my likely reaction.

    Yet you clearly expect me to agree with you that the judge called it wrong. Your use of the example proves the opposite of your point - there is a standard of fairness which, if not objective, is at least so commonly and widely shared that egregious departures from it will be recognised.
    I expect you to agree, or at least understand the point, because your posting indicates that you are probably a generally decent person. The number of people who appear to have sympathy with the judge's decision is not small, given the way that rape cases are treated in general, so guilt clearly has not worked.
    Eliab wrote: »
    How we frame our expectations as a society is different to how we judge that societies actions.

    Yes, and the OP is about how we as a society should act to change racist views, not (primarily) about when we conclude that someone is being racist.
    One cannot change racist views without identifying what they are. The broad strokes are easy, but it is the details which complete the piece, but they are also the most difficult to see.
    Eliab wrote: »
    My argument is that high expectations of non-racism, which include the assumption that decent people are not (consciously), and do not want to be, racist is a factor that strongly influences behaviour.
    People do not want to be seen as racist, not even by themselves, which is why rooting it out is so difficult. They do not therefore become not racist as much as they become not explicitly racist. It one reason why Civil Rights have been so slow. People look at the worse example and think they are fine because they no longer do that thing.
    Eliab wrote: »
    Do you think it's a coincidence that pretty much all professional footballers cheat, and pretty much no professional golfers do? Or is it possible that the different expectations in each sporting sub-cultural might influence conduct?
    Or perhaps because golfers have much greater personal attention. The camera cannot follow each and every footballer, but each and every golfer, it does.
    Eliab wrote: »
    I don't see how you can derive a desire to go slow from anything I've said.
    My bad, because one does need to understand the background of the song. The go slow is pretty much your proposed approach of assuming that expecting good will result in good.
    Eliab wrote: »
    However, white society has not managed to fix the problem it created.
    There are huge assumptions there. In particular, it's nonsense to talk of "white society" as if it had a singular set of interests and intentions. It doesn't. Being white (or not) does not imply any special ability or disability to be part of the sort of social change that we'd both like to see.
    Whilst being white doesn't mean you will share particular views; it means in a society controlled by a majority of white people, there is no natural incentive to change. And that means change will be slow. As it indeed has been. Progress has been made by confrontation, not expectation.
    Eliab wrote: »
    The problem with how you keep phrasing your response is that it sound suspiciously like a loophole to allow one to ignore what one does not like.

    There are certainly things which I accept, or approve of, or do and intend to keep doing, that you (in my view, wrongly and irrationally) consider to be at least racism-adjacent. My response on this thread isn't about any of those things. It's about the things which we both agree are problematic.
    Regardless of the issue, it still comes across as if you are the arbiter of what we are allowed to complain about.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Eliab is right: guilt is a poor motivator. He is equally right: arguing or pointing out that nearly all white people have racist tendencies normalises racist tendencies.
    It is normalised, that is why it is so difficult to change.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    This is the problem. If case 4 happens once, or is looked at as a single case each time it happens, it can look like an accident. Or coincidence. Or random chance. But when one looks at the pattern of all the similar incidences, it is most obviously not.

    And when there is a pattern of accidents, then something changes - we put a fence up, or move the footpath away from the cliff, or otherwise make a structural change so that somebody being careless doesn't cause someone else to die. The solution is not to prosecute the careless walker for murder.
    It is not a coincidence that black people are hired less often. And get lower pay and fewer promotions when they are. It is not a coincidence that black people are more likely to be arrested, convicted and receive higher sentences in the same circumstances.
    Those things happen often despite intentions.

    No, it's not a coincidence. But I'll dispute your last sentence. Those things happen because we let them - we lack the intention to prevent it. Very much like the US approach to gun violence - society as a whole lacks the intention to do anything about it, so we get thoughts and prayers.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Eliab is right: guilt is a poor motivator. He is equally right: arguing or pointing out that nearly all white people have racist tendencies normalises racist tendencies.
    Ignoring racism doesn't have all that great a track record either. When you establish a standard that it's wrong to point out that a racist act is racist you normalize the idea that pointing out racism is worse than racism, something I've heard expressed in a less direct form.
    Pointing out that racist acts are wrong is not the same as pointing out how many people are engaged in them.
    People have I think done studies on littering. Signs that talk about how large the litter problem is and how much litter gets dropped are largely ineffective: they just encourage the idea that everybody does it. Signs that suggest that hardly anybody is doing it are effective.

    On the other hand, it is true that racism one doesn't want to encourage the idea that anything less deliberately harmful than malice aforethought isn't actual racism. I think the intention behind introducing the concepts of structural and institutional racism was to try to solve the dilemma.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    I've been to a few of these counter-demonstrations. Often the Antifa and friends do outnumber the Nazis, and often many of them are white- many of them also tend to be anarchists, communists, and other far-leftists, whom liberals tend to hate almost as much as the Nazis. These actions do play a useful role in disrupting the organizing of particularly dangerous groups and possibly preventing violence against local communities. And yeah, it feels good to see the Nazis get stomped.

    But since we all seem to agree that we are talking about a structural problem, manifested in the prevailing socio-economic order, disrupting some bonehead group's one-day rally doesn't seem to really strike the heart of the matter.

    The people doing the most on that front form a wide array of groups doing a wide range of actions, some legal, some not-so-legal. Usually it's very local, unromantic, sometimes unrewarding work. I also believe the decline of white supremacy in the West will coincide with the decline of Western power globally.

    Yes, I've often wondered about my very liberal friends raising an eyebrow at my counter-demonstration activities. What do they think I'm doing? Obviously, I'd much rather be at home with a cup of tea and a good book, but feel I compelled to turn out if the fash are marching, because, I don't know, I don't want to be in a concentration camp any time soon. And I'm sure they're not racists - they just don't seem to think it's their bailiwick, despite the fact that they'll be rounded up at some point too.

    But given that the fastest growing terrorist threat in the UK is from the far right, and also that the (institutionally racist) police are/were (largely) responsible for collecting intelligence on them, I'm going to keep opposing them because someone has to. I'm also very concerned that the British Army is harbouring and training right wing extremists, and very little is being done about that. That the army fosters racist behaviour and speech is pretty much a matter of record.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    This is the problem. If case 4 happens once, or is looked at as a single case each time it happens, it can look like an accident. Or coincidence. Or random chance. But when one looks at the pattern of all the similar incidences, it is most obviously not.

    And when there is a pattern of accidents, then something changes - we put a fence up, or move the footpath away from the cliff, or otherwise make a structural change so that somebody being careless doesn't cause someone else to die. The solution is not to prosecute the careless walker for murder.
    The point was not that the walker is careless, but that the walker forces Person A into a perilous situation. Nor was it to assign a murder charge to the walker, but still demonstrate responsibility for the death of Person A.
    It is not a coincidence that black people are hired less often. And get lower pay and fewer promotions when they are. It is not a coincidence that black people are more likely to be arrested, convicted and receive higher sentences in the same circumstances.
    Those things happen often despite intentions.

    No, it's not a coincidence. But I'll dispute your last sentence. Those things happen because we let them - we lack the intention to prevent it.
    I think that is picking nits.
    Very much like the US approach to gun violence - society as a whole lacks the intention to do anything about it, so we get thoughts and prayers.
    According to what I've read, and in talking to gun owners, most Americans are in favour of gun control of some sort. However, the trust in the government to get it right and the reticence to have one's own guns affected.
    And that mirrors, in some respects, civil rights.
  • Annnnnd moving onto what we might actually do.

    I used to be quite anti defined quotas, but all women shortlists for a proportion of seats have worked really well in terms of increasing female representation in parliament. Insisting on women on the boards of large companies also seems to have had a positive impact. Should we look again at affirmative action or will this make racial divisions worse ?

    The DDA walks a compromise path, you must interview candidates with an identified disability if they meet the essential criteria - it’s not a quota but it increases folks chances of being hired.

    Do we need these kind of strategies ?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Yes. Most people of colour are refused before they get to the interview stage. Being able to get through the literal door won’t eliminate all prejudice, but it will help.
  • asherasher Shipmate
    edited October 5
    I recently finished Reni Eddo-Lodge's book, which has some bearing on this.

    I found it interesting and challenging. I have not discussed it with anyone for all the obvious reasons. I do not propose to do so here, again for all the obvious reasons.

    I understand that people may refer to whiteness as a thing to make a particular set of points, that these points are important, need to be made and need to be heard.

    What I continue to find hard with references to whiteness is the flattening effect this has on very diverse experiences of life.

    I happen to come (originally) from Middlesbrough. It is a socially, economically and educationally very deprived area. The people who live in Middlesbrough are largely white, and the area has a distinct set of stories and a clear self understanding (as indeed many poorer areas do). It has a rich psycho-geography and sense of place.

    So much of the area's and residents' identity is being stripped away by economic change, deprivation, austerity. People feel that their stories are being lost. Strong backs, inner fortitude and grim humour.

    To speak of the 'whiteness' of many Middlesbrough residents is to implicitly suggest that they (and indeed many of the residents of other deprived UK areas, say, Govan) share life advantages with the UK's ruling Etonian elite.

    I think the implicit denial of the diversity of white British experience is a barrier for many, getting in the way of the important consideration of the black British experience.

    It is in this sense that , at times, I find Lilbudda's discourse binary and unhelpful. Getting in the way, and setting back otherwise important points.

    Respectfully

    Asher
  • I think the implicit denial of the diversity of white British experience is a barrier for many, getting in the way of the important consideration of the black British experience.

    I don't believe that there is "a black British experience" any more than there is "a white British experience" - but the set of experiences of black Britons tend to have being on the receiving end of racism in common, which is not something shared by white Britons - even ones from very deprived areas.

    White privilege isn't saying that all white people are privileged - there are similar arguments made in the US with respect to white folks from rural Appalachia, for example - it's saying that all other things being equal, a white man and a black man in similar circumstances don't face a level playing field.

    Sure - in terms of absolute privilege, someone like Malia Obama, despite her twin disadvantages of being black and female, has way more privilege than a 21-year-old unemployed white guy in rural Appalachia.

    What of it? Everything is intersectional. There's race and sex and class and socioeconomics and regional background and religion and education and ...
  • asherasher Shipmate
    Thanks.

    Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race) would agree with you. They seemed (in my reading) to point beyond the author's experience to make some general points about the the black British experience - perhaps suggesting that racism is the common black British experience.

    The book did make me wonder where Roma fitted into her schema. IME anti-traveller prejudice has socially acceptability in the UK, and can be found in BAME populations as well as white populations. Are gypsies white?

    Going a bit Marxist, I feel that the working people in low wage employment have common experiences of exclusion in British society...but that's off topic...

    In my first post I was trying to hint that economic and demographic change, austerity, lost stories and identities underlie much C2DE white prejudice. These are factors that do not impact on the ABC1 to the same extent.

    Cheers

    Asher
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    I've had the argument with lB before (most recently in Hell) that class has a greater effect on outcomes than race does: that BME people are more likely to come from or live in poor working class families is an exacerbating factor.

    I know Middlesborough tangentially - I don't have much cause to go there, but I don't live so far away, and where I am shares many of the same problems associated with poverty: low expectations and aspirations, poor health, poor housing, and precarious, low paid, low skill employment. It's in such places (yes, Sunderland, I'm looking at you) where the far right can flourish - the scapegoating of foreigners and immigrants (although many of the North East's immigrants are also white) is easy to do when you don't know any black or Asian people, and your neighbourhood is almost or exclusively white.

    These are some of the most underprivileged and unheard communities in the country. If they find that White Nationalism gives them a voice, it's not exactly surprising.
  • I think the implicit denial of the diversity of white British experience is a barrier for many, getting in the way of the important consideration of the black British experience.

    I don't believe that there is "a black British experience" any more than there is "a white British experience" - but the set of experiences of black Britons tend to have being on the receiving end of racism in common, which is not something shared by white Britons - even ones from very deprived areas.

    White privilege isn't saying that all white people are privileged - there are similar arguments made in the US with respect to white folks from rural Appalachia, for example - it's saying that all other things being equal, a white man and a black man in similar circumstances don't face a level playing field.

    Sure - in terms of absolute privilege, someone like Malia Obama, despite her twin disadvantages of being black and female, has way more privilege than a 21-year-old unemployed white guy in rural Appalachia.

    What of it? Everything is intersectional. There's race and sex and class and socioeconomics and regional background and religion and education and ...

    "What of it" IMHO is that you're going to get a lot further, faster, if you (general you) don't run around unnecessarily pissing off people who are either a) sympathetic or b) halfway to being sympathetic to your issues.

    We served for years in a multi-cultural-but-mainly-Vietnamese parish, and we had some outright white racists as well as some undeclared-but-nervous-white people. I count it one of our achievements to have been (humanly speaking) responsible for blending those folks together with our refugee / poor/ Asian contingent to create a unified, loving group of people (well, at least until the sociopath hit us).

    And we didn't do it by freaking out the borderline white people--the ones who could go either way, depending on how they were treated. We found ways to bring them on board. We built relationships (including through cross-racial godparenting, which turned out to be a stroke of genius). We did NOT keep mouthing off about the white privilege of people who were frankly poor and elderly, as well as living in the inner city. Did it exist? Yes, to a certain degree. Was constantly talking about it and poking them in the eye emotionally going to bring them on board with the rest of our Asian and black parish? Um, no. So we didn't.

    Things worked out damned well, even with the obvious racist couple. Too well, perhaps, as they were the ones who eventually became the allies of our (Vietnamese refugee) sociopath, and brought the whole parish into division... But the division was emphatically NOT on racial lines. Which proves something, I suppose.
  • asherasher Shipmate
    I think the implicit denial of the diversity of white British experience is a barrier for many, getting in the way of the important consideration of the black British experience.

    I don't believe that there is "a black British experience" any more than there is "a white British experience" - but the set of experiences of black Britons tend to have being on the receiving end of racism in common, which is not something shared by white Britons - even ones from very deprived areas.

    White privilege isn't saying that all white people are privileged - there are similar arguments made in the US with respect to white folks from rural Appalachia, for example - it's saying that all other things being equal, a white man and a black man in similar circumstances don't face a level playing field.

    Sure - in terms of absolute privilege, someone like Malia Obama, despite her twin disadvantages of being black and female, has way more privilege than a 21-year-old unemployed white guy in rural Appalachia.

    What of it? Everything is intersectional. There's race and sex and class and socioeconomics and regional background and religion and education and ...

    "What of it" IMHO is that you're going to get a lot further, faster, if you (general you) don't run around unnecessarily pissing off people who are either a) sympathetic or b) halfway to being sympathetic to your issues.

    We served for years in a multi-cultural-but-mainly-Vietnamese parish, and we had some outright white racists as well as some undeclared-but-nervous-white people. I count it one of our achievements to have been (humanly speaking) responsible for blending those folks together with our refugee / poor/ Asian contingent to create a unified, loving group of people (well, at least until the sociopath hit us).

    And we didn't do it by freaking out the borderline white people--the ones who could go either way, depending on how they were treated. We found ways to bring them on board. We built relationships (including through cross-racial godparenting, which turned out to be a stroke of genius). We did NOT keep mouthing off about the white privilege of people who were frankly poor and elderly, as well as living in the inner city. Did it exist? Yes, to a certain degree. Was constantly talking about it and poking them in the eye emotionally going to bring them on board with the rest of our Asian and black parish? Um, no. So we didn't.

    Things worked out damned well, even with the obvious racist couple. Too well, perhaps, as they were the ones who eventually became the allies of our (Vietnamese refugee) sociopath, and brought the whole parish into division... But the division was emphatically NOT on racial lines. Which proves something, I suppose.

    Thank you. That is inspiring.
  • asherasher Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    I've had the argument with lB before (most recently in Hell) that class has a greater effect on outcomes than race does: that BME people are more likely to come from or live in poor working class families is an exacerbating factor.

    I know Middlesborough tangentially - I don't have much cause to go there, but I don't live so far away, and where I am shares many of the same problems associated with poverty: low expectations and aspirations, poor health, poor housing, and precarious, low paid, low skill employment. It's in such places (yes, Sunderland, I'm looking at you) where the far right can flourish - the scapegoating of foreigners and immigrants (although many of the North East's immigrants are also white) is easy to do when you don't know any black or Asian people, and your neighbourhood is almost or exclusively white.

    These are some of the most underprivileged and unheard communities in the country. If they find that White Nationalism gives them a voice, it's not exactly surprising.

    Yes, when the underprivileged unheard communities lash out, it is a failure of our politics, and blaming them just leads to the millwall effect (everyone hates us, we dont care).

    We should not be surprised when marginalised regions express dysfunction.

    Thanks

    Asher
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    asher wrote: »
    I recently finished Reni Eddo-Lodge's book, which has some bearing on this.

    I found it interesting and challenging. I have not discussed it with anyone for all the obvious reasons. I do not propose to do so here, again for all the obvious reasons.

    I understand that people may refer to whiteness as a thing to make a particular set of points, that these points are important, need to be made and need to be heard.

    What I continue to find hard with references to whiteness is the flattening effect this has on very diverse experiences of life.

    I happen to come (originally) from Middlesbrough. It is a socially, economically and educationally very deprived area. The people who live in Middlesbrough are largely white, and the area has a distinct set of stories and a clear self understanding (as indeed many poorer areas do). It has a rich psycho-geography and sense of place.

    So much of the area's and residents' identity is being stripped away by economic change, deprivation, austerity. People feel that their stories are being lost. Strong backs, inner fortitude and grim humour.

    To speak of the 'whiteness' of many Middlesbrough residents is to implicitly suggest that they (and indeed many of the residents of other deprived UK areas, say, Govan) share life advantages with the UK's ruling Etonian elite.

    Except I do not see people doing this, I am certainly not Yes, there are different experiences for different groups of people who happen to be white. But they do all share whiteness and at every level whiteness is an advantage. A working class white person has an advantage over a working class black person. This does not deny that a working class white person is disadvantaged against a middle-class white person and, in some circumstances, against a middle class black person.
    asher wrote: »
    I think the implicit denial of the diversity of white British experience is a barrier for many, getting in the way of the important consideration of the black British experience.
    That is an inferred denial, and an incomplete reading of my posts on SOF. I've said the same thing as Leorning Cniht does in this post.
    White privilege isn't saying that all white people are privileged - there are similar arguments made in the US with respect to white folks from rural Appalachia, for example - it's saying that all other things being equal, a white man and a black man in similar circumstances don't face a level playing field.
  • asherasher Shipmate
    Thank you for an interesting thoughtful response @lilbuddha

    'every level whiteness is an advantage' -

    I don't know if you missed my words about travellers/gypsies/roma. In the UK such groups are almost exclusively white, yet there has been a state sanctioned campaign of legislation and action to marginalise, criminalise and exclude. This campaign has had explicit support from large portions of the British population. No group in the UK is more disadvantaged.

    How do you see the 'whiteness' of travellers.

    (as a tangent, I'd be interested in your views on the 'whiteness' of the Irish. Dunno if you are too young to remember 'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish'. A few years back there were cultural commentators drawing parallels between the black british and the black irish experience, and writing about how the irish became 'white')

    I think it is a smooth stone that deprivation provides fertile soil for extremism. For me at least, socialism and even Marxism provides a more useful model than identity politics in supporting deprived communities to resist extremism.

    Identity politics (as ably set out in @lilbuddha posts here) carries the danger of further fracturing deprived communities by focusing on gradations of societal oppression experienced by skin tone. I'm not clear how @lilbuddha approach supports change.

    Socialism and Marxism support and promote the unity of the masses in mutual support and resisting oppression.

    (of course, it must be mentioned that @Lamb Chopped approach of practically working for unity in Christ is humbling)

    Respectfully,

    Asher
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    If you want to see how racist tropes remain the same - just shift their target - look at 19th C Punch cartoons of bow-legged, chimp-faced characters, helpfully captioned 'Patrick O'Simian'.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    I'm not sure it actually helps to say "my experience of prejudice and oppression is worse than your experience of prejudice and oppression". To experience being despised and rejected for no good reason is to experience injustice.

    If you believe that one cause of prejudice trumps all others, are you not in danger of discounting the suffering of those who have lived with and experienced prejudice for other reasons? "You can't possibly have experienced the pain I have since you don't have my particular disadvantage".

    As it happens, I agree with lilBuddha that in a predominantly white population, whiteness give you a relatively favourable edge over non-whiteness when it comes to experiencing demeaning. But I don't think that determines the extent of any individual's suffering through being demeaned. That seems to me to be a fair distinction to draw.
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