T Nation

Is It OK To Be White? I'm Not Sure


That doesn’t mean she wasn’t dissapointed.


Can you explain why you think she was disappointed?


Because, she’s an intelligent black person. This would obviously impact her. I would assume it bothers her that supposedly well-intentioned people who view themselves as allies might speak down to her if they initially saw her.

And she seems to say so in the article.

“The researchers found that liberal individuals were less likely to use words that would make them appear highly competent when the person they were addressing was presumed to be black rather than white. No significant differences were seen in the word selection of conservatives based on the presumed race of their partner. “It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect,” Dupree says. “Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.””


I have worked with a Cletus, Scooter and a DeWayne. All white and all official on their driver’s license.


This statement seemed strange compared to

Because the main hypothesis predicts that liberals (but not conservatives) will engage in a
competence downshif

My favorite is Chad. I’ve got an uncle Chad. Guy’s a hoot. Every redneck has an uncle Chad.

Edit; but clearly those names aren’t nearly as white as EMILY or JAKE (whom I assume, obviously, is from state farm)


Ok. But the reactions to stereotypical black names were different depending on conservative vs. liberal. Both groups did not react to the same degree to these names. Sorry, I’m not sure if you’re meaning to point something out or just wanted to share. I’m honestly not trying to be sarcastic .


Why is it being assumed stereotypical black names = stupid?

And how would that leap be redeeming for the liberals in the study?


I mean maybe you’re looking at this a bit wrong. Let’s assume for the rest of this post we’re talking about well intentioned liberals and conservatives, not arch evil archetypes of both.

Number 1, the study is weak AF as far as stats go. Robbing the results of any real correlation/causation power. This is true for most soft science studies, but especially so in this case.

If we’re assuming the best intentions of both sides I believe that both conservatives and liberals are paternalistic towards the poor and minorities. They just Express those things in different ways.

Conservatives give more to charity regardless of income (because God requires it). They push personal responsibility and the narratives of picking yourself up by your bootstraps. Essentially you as an individual have the most agency in the outcomes of your life (internal locus of control). They care less about offending people that need help, hence no change in linguistic behaviour. Conservatives tend to score higher on rationality and lower on empathy, so this makes sense.

Liberals favor government programs that help the poor/minorities. They believe that the way society is structured has hamstrung vulnerable people before they get out of the starting gates (external locus of control). They push narratives of community, oppression and obligation to care for the less fortunate. They score higher on empathy.

So it would make sense that an empathetic person who believes that a group of people underperform through little fault of their own would be more likely to coddle someone they view as less fortunate, even subcounsciously.

Remember even if the study found a real pattern of behaviour it isn’t necessarily malice driving the behaviour. Black people stuck in the inner city poverty cycle tend to have far lower literacy rates than whites. That drives some unconventional naming of children. The implicit assumption when you meet someone with an illiterate/odd name is that their parents were either cruel or dumb.

In the case of Scooter for example, he was quite intelligent. He was a self taught engineer that put himself through school. His parents however were both cruel and semi-literate.


The obvious solution is for black people to stop naming their children with names that sound like a random collection of syllables that sound like something an alien on Star Trek would be called. And stop with the apostrophes and unnecessary accent marks.


@Sloth - Is this a common complaint that Democrat politicians “competence downshift” when talking to black people? I’m asking because this is the first time I have heard this.

Also, do you vote Republican?


In short, potentially well intentioned people, who potentially see themselves as allies would competence downshift. Which might then be seen as patronizing. I shared that very explanation a couple times. It is one the author shares in the related article.


For the record, I want it to be clear that I personally have not claimed that these stereotypical “black names” are “stupid.”


It actually a charge you will hear, that Democrats patronize. Biden’s controversial “put y’all back in chaaaains” was one such example.

Yes, to some degree. I didn’t and won’t for Trump


Surely we can all agree that Bob, Mark, and William are stupid as hell though right?

Also Josh my name which isn’t quite as lame as some others but admittedly pretty boring. I should have been named Jet


How about the name Abcde for a girl? Pronounced Ab-city.



There’s a Louis Black bit about this where he references Abcde as a stupid name


Lewis Black? Damn, that’s old news then.


Well, shoot. My name happens to be Mark Bob.William II…


Oh man, early '00’s at least … it was a fucking funny ass bit though … he mentioned a kid named Asshole … pronounced Ash-holley


An extended in law of mine named his son Jet, which IMO is pretty damn cool.

I hated mine as a kid. Too easy to make fun of- with Peter Cotton tail and pumpkin eater being as popular as they were.