T Nation

What is Racism?

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote] jj-dude wrote:

As for the actual Science behind race it is very, very simple. There is one race for humans, unlike, say felids or equines where there are bona fide several. Humans almost died out about 75,000 years ago and as such we are probably one of the most homogeneous animal populations on Earth.

[/quote]

This is a semantic game. So there’s not different “races” then? We’re all the same? No. There are huge biological differences between human populations that have been separated geographically and temporally. To deny this and pretend we’re all the same is nonsense. Even on the continent of Africa you’ve got pigmies who are three feet tall and East Africans who are twice the size. There are dozens and dozens of separate populations of people in Africa who have vastly different genetic make up and biological differences.

A common response to this from people who deny race is that humans share 99% of their DNA. This is of course a meaningless response as we also share 95% of our DNA with fish.

So no, we are not extremely “homogenous” by any means. And to say there is only one “race” is a semantic game. Call it whatever you like. Human populations that diverged on separate paths developed into very different groups.[/quote]

No it is not a semantic game. In Biology different race is defined as being slightly below the distinction of species. E.g. there are different races of cats, tiger, lion, etc. and the major determining factor in determining race is how well they can breed. Look at horses and donkeys. These generally have a hard time procreating and the offspring is pretty much always a mule – a sterile male. No racist ever heaved a sigh that while they didn’t like blacks or hispanics, thank God they can’t have babies with them.

The racist horror is miscegenation: that lower races can interbreed so profligately that the purer races will be overwhelmed. This is why there were laws again whites and blacks marrying because the fear was they would have scores of mulatto children who would then displace the pure bloods. Hitler did not think the Germans were the master race, he just thought they were the least corrupted and hence pure Aryans could be bred from them. This is why after hearing that 100,000 people died in the firebombing of Hamburg Himmler quipped that it would make cleanup after the war easier.

It is frankly immaterial if certain ethnic groups have differences. Statistics do not apply to individuals. Even if 5% of some group are mentally handicapped, there is no reason in the world that the rest of them might not be Einsteins. Knowing a ton of stats about some group still leaves with little to no information about any one you meet. Judging all in a group by the behaviors of a few is called bigotry. Backing it by statistics is an intellectual abomination but much cherished in public discourse.

Much Nazi experimentation in the concentration camps were efforts to find ways to determine the “jewishness” of people. They measured hair kinkiness, nose size, eye size, blood type and a ton of other things too and even a cloddish butcher like Mengele couldn’t figure out a simple test. It is telling that Himmler was a chicken farmer and most of his information about race came from that. That is roughly the level that racism works at still as an intellectual movement.

So the question for you then is this: If you don’t like some group, why can’t you just admit it rather than dressing it up in some pseudo-intellectual garb? One of my buddies, who was a Black Panther, told me that he like southern Rednecks the best since they’d tell you what they thought. He hated northern Liberals because they always had a theory about him (and blacks in general) and would lie to him if it suited their purposes.

– jj

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

Ah, no? I didn’t say that. ???[/quote]

If there are that many races, it would be a long shot to have anyone of exclusively one race. I’m scotch irish danish welsh, what race do I belong to?[/quote]

Why would there need to be people of one race for races to exist? Now if you’re “Scotch Irish” and both sides of your family are Catholics then you would be one race. You’d be a Celt. Otherwise you’d be part Celtic, part Anglo-Saxon. And you would look immediately recognisable as a white European and you would never be mistaken for a Pygmie or a Sudanese. I really don’t see the point of any of this. This is all a leftist narrative that doesn’t hold water.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

Why would there need to be people of one race for races to exist? Now if you’re “Scotch Irish” and both sides of your family are Catholics then you would be one race. You’d be a Celt. Otherwise you’d be part Celtic, part Anglo-Saxon. And you would look immediately recognisable as a white European and you would never be mistaken for a Pygmie or a Sudanese. I really don’t see the point of any of this. This is all a leftist narrative that doesn’t hold water.[/quote]

Ok. Since race is a real thing a person has. Without knowing my ancestors how could I find out what race I am? I also have a half black friend who’d like to find out, how can we determine?

[quote]jj-dude wrote:

No it is not a semantic game. In Biology different race is defined as being slightly below the distinction of species. E.g. there are different races of cats, tiger, lion, etc. and the major determining factor in determining race is how well they can breed. Look at horses and donkeys. These generally have a hard time procreating and the offspring is pretty much always a mule – a sterile male. No racist ever heaved a sigh that while they didn’t like blacks or hispanics, thank God they can’t have babies with them.

[/quote]

You’ve just shown how it is a semantic game. The fact that it doesn’t meet the scientific criteria for “race” is neither here not there. The differences are undeniable. So I’ll play your semantic game then. Okay, there are no “races” but rather unique “populations” of peoples. These unique populations of peoples have historically been referred to as “races”. Why change the word? Because it’s not technically scientifically correct? That leaves us with all the differences that I have described and no way to talk about them. And that is really the goal of this whole “race doesn’t exist” narrative of the left. They want to pretend that there are no differences between populations.

And BTW, there are actually fertility issues between some mixed race couples.

Well, regardless of whether they are “lower” or not it is certainly true that some races(populations if you like) have three, four, five times as many children as other races and outbreed them. This can be seen throughout history. The Germans and the Celts outbred the Romans.

I don’t know what any of this has got to do with anything.

Is it? Why is it “immaterial?”

This is getting pretty silly now.

Did I say otherwise? Again, I have no idea what any of this has to do with anything.

Bullshit. Everyone does it every day. It’s the only way we have of making informed decisions about things. If I wanted 100 long distance runners I’m not going to pick pygmies I’m going to pick East Africans. That would be an informed decision not bigotry. And at the same time I recognise that some of the East Africans won’t be good runners and maybe there’s a couple of tall pygmies out there who are good runners. But the odds are going to be way in favour of the East Africans. I feel ridiculous having to explain all of this because it’s so mindnumbingly obvious.

An “intellectual abomination?” Sorry, I think I’ll have to drop out after this comment. It’s becoming too silly.

Okay, I’m out. Thanks for the nonsense. And yes, I am racist. Profoundly so and proud of it.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

Why would there need to be people of one race for races to exist? Now if you’re “Scotch Irish” and both sides of your family are Catholics then you would be one race. You’d be a Celt. Otherwise you’d be part Celtic, part Anglo-Saxon. And you would look immediately recognisable as a white European and you would never be mistaken for a Pygmie or a Sudanese. I really don’t see the point of any of this. This is all a leftist narrative that doesn’t hold water.[/quote]

Ok. Since race is a real thing a person has. Without knowing my ancestors how could I find out what race I am? I also have a half black friend who’d like to find out, how can we determine?[/quote]

Your black friend could look in the mirror and say, gee I look like I’ve got a significant African heritage. I look half African, half European. If he’s part Sudanese for example, he might be able to notice Sudanese features. You can look in the mirror and immediately tell you’re white European. You might even have a distinct Irish phenotype look. If either of you wanted further information you could take a DNA test that reveals your ancestral origins very accurately.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

I’m not sure what you’re asking. I consider there to be dozens and dozens of different races in Africa. I do not consider a pygmie and a Sudanese to be the same race no.[/quote]

I thought there were three races: Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid.

[quote]doogie wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

I’m not sure what you’re asking. I consider there to be dozens and dozens of different races in Africa. I do not consider a pygmie and a Sudanese to be the same race no.[/quote]

I thought there were three races: Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid. [/quote]

Hamites, Shemites and Japhetites.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

Why would there need to be people of one race for races to exist? Now if you’re “Scotch Irish” and both sides of your family are Catholics then you would be one race. You’d be a Celt. Otherwise you’d be part Celtic, part Anglo-Saxon. And you would look immediately recognisable as a white European and you would never be mistaken for a Pygmie or a Sudanese. I really don’t see the point of any of this. This is all a leftist narrative that doesn’t hold water.[/quote]

Ok. Since race is a real thing a person has. Without knowing my ancestors how could I find out what race I am? I also have a half black friend who’d like to find out, how can we determine?[/quote]

Your black friend could look in the mirror and say, gee I look like I’ve got a significant African heritage. I look half African, half European. If he’s part Sudanese for example, he might be able to notice Sudanese features. You can look in the mirror and immediately tell you’re white European. You might even have a distinct Irish phenotype look. If either of you wanted further information you could take a DNA test that reveals your ancestral origins very accurately.[/quote]

I thought you said african and european weren’t races. What gene(s) do I need to be a celt?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

I thought you said african and european weren’t races.

[/quote]

I’m not interested in silly semantic games. If you want to pretend that the concept we refer to when we say “race” is not a real concept that’s up to you. But I’m not going to play along any longer. If you have anything serious to say I’m happy to reply.

[quote]

What gene(s) do I need to be a celt?[/quote]

Actually I can tell you all about it if you’re really interested. I took the test myself. Three actually. My paternal line actually picked up the exact place in Western Ireland where many of my ancestors came from. I wonder how it was able to do something like that given what you’ve been saying. Maybe someone should tell the geneticists that there are no population groups with unique, shared genetic traits?

Straw man.

I’m not talking semantics and I haven’t said there aren’t some general gene linked traits that are generally linked to general origin areas. That however doesn’t define race. You keep dodging my questions.

For example, earlier you insinuated the Irish were a race, but now you are saying a certain specific location in Ireland is genetically distinct from the rest of Ireland. So, is that genetic distinction of that small area in Ireland a race? Why or why not?

You can say the exact same thing about an immediate or extended family. With a genetic test I could tell you who your parents are who were siblings and who were cousins. So, I guess each family is a race because they are general to a geographic location and genetically distinguishable from all other groups.

The whole distinction between what constitutes and doesn’t constitute a race is arbitrary because the distinctions go all the way down from continents to regions to towns to tribes to families. So one town in Ireland has big ears, I guess it’s a race.

There is no scientific bases to make a distinction of different “races”. The ability to trace genetic lineage and the groupings of physical traits caused by these distinctions is a continuum as you just proved yourself.

Race has no real meaning in a scientific point of view.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
I’ve been thinking about starting a thread on this for a while. The word “racism” is used in such a wide variety of contexts it’s become a largely meaningless word that is used as a general perjorative; often to disparage someone and discredit their argument. It’s become a kind of Shibboleth that defines the “in group” - what is accepted and what is not. Once you’ve been labelled a “racist” you are a pariah. In the workplace, social situation, politics - at all costs one must avoid this label. The consequences of being “outed” as a “racist” are immense. And this of course, stifles free speech and intellectual honesty.

But what is “racism?” What does if mean to be “racist?” Alain de Benoist wrote an interesting essay about the problem defining “racism” and the extraordinary range of meanings and contexts in which it is used:

So what do you think “racism” is? How would you define it?[/quote]

I see the point you’re trying to make, but I’d argue that the social stigma associated with being labeled as a racist pales in comparison to being on the receiving end of racism. For most people, it’s pretty easy to avoid social pitfalls that might lead to that accusation, and the vast majority of people will consider a discussion more intellectually honest if it avoids prejudice based on race. Not only that, but we’re all guilty of prejudice once and a while (only human, blah blah), and usually a simple apology will suffice if you slip up; it would take repeated and unabashed offenses for someone to truly earn the social pariah status of “racist”.

I agree with your definition of racism, “pathological hatred and animosity towards another race”. However, I think there are different levels of racism, and it doesn’t have to reach “sign taped to a country drug store” levels to be harmful. Consider the famous Bertrand study:

http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/spring03/racialbias.html

From the study, 5,000 resumes were sent out to fairly low-skill jobs (clerical, sales, customer service and the like). Resumes with “Emily” and “Brendan” got 50% more callbacks then “Lakisha” and “Jamal” despite literally having the exact same resume. The employers aren’t outright saying that they won’t hire black people and probably wouldn’t be considered overt racists, but when out of the public eye and left to their own devices, they let their preconceived notions about race color their judgement, pun intended. Is that not racism? Is that not harmful to not only black people, but society as a whole?

Is it not fair to call out someone for making such generalizations based on race, because doing so causes less harm to the “racist” than letting it go does to someone they hurt?

And I think the bigger question is this: What good comes of racism, even as a leftist libtard like myself defines it? What good has ever come of such distinctions? Has history ever been kind to or legitimized prejudice?

Any NFL scout worth his mustard would not draft someone based on their T-test alone; doing so would be going off of grossly inadequate information. So why would making judgments based on skin color alone qualify as an “informed decision”?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Straw man.

I’m not talking semantics and I haven’t said there aren’t some general gene linked traits that are generally linked to general origin areas. That however doesn’t define race. You keep dodging my questions.

For example, earlier you insinuated the Irish were a race, but now you are saying a certain specific location in Ireland is genetically distinct from the rest of Ireland. So, is that genetic distinction of that small area in Ireland a race? Why or why not?

You can say the exact same thing about an immediate or extended family. With a genetic test I could tell you who your parents are who were siblings and who were cousins. So, I guess each family is a race because they are general to a geographic location and genetically distinguishable from all other groups.

The whole distinction between what constitutes and doesn’t constitute a race is arbitrary because the distinctions go all the way down from continents to regions to towns to tribes to families. So one town in Ireland has big ears, I guess it’s a race.

There is no scientific bases to make a distinction of different “races”. The ability to trace genetic lineage and the groupings of physical traits caused by these distinctions is a continuum as you just proved yourself.
[/quote]

Human beings are very good at organizing and categorizing things. This can be both a blessing and a curse.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Race has no real meaning in a scientific point of view.[/quote]

Even if that were true, so what? It has a very meaningful social application. Surely?

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Race has no real meaning in a scientific point of view.[/quote]

Even if that were true, so what? It has a very meaningful social application. Surely?[/quote]

I though you denied race as a social construct, but no, I’ve never found it particularly useful. There are some limited medical uses, but that’s about it. What social uses are you talking about?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Straw man.

I’m not talking semantics and I haven’t said there aren’t some general gene linked traits that are generally linked to general origin areas.

[/quote]

Then why take issue with the word used? You agree with the concept but object to the word used to refer to the concept? Why? What would you have us call it?

No, you’ve dodged mine. And your whole purpose in denying “race” exists is to distract and obfuscate from the fact that these very real biological differences exist. They are so pronounced that they have been the main cause of human conflict throughout history. This is undeniable. It is extremely frustrating to have someone try to obfuscate all of these facts. I’m starting to wish I hadn’t started this thread. Everyone who has a normal opinion on these things is too afraid to join the discussion so the only contributors are those who deny the facts about the profound biological differences between human populations.

No I didn’t. I made perfectly clear that “Celtic” was the “race” I was talking about. The Celts live in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, parts of England, parts of France and some Spaniards have Celtic blood. But you object to the term race? Why? What term should we use?

No. They are able to link me to that location because other people from that location have the same random mutations in their code showing that I am directly related to them.

Are two brothers a “family” or are they components of a family? Is a family a tribe or a component of a tribe? I don’t understand what it is you think you are proving. The Celtic “race” is not an arbitrary distinction. They are a collection of tribes who intermarried for thousands of years developing unique genetic phenotype that are distinct from Germans or Latins or Jews etc. They branched off and formed a distinct biological cluster of related families.

Again, you object to the term “race” even though it would leave us with no way to refer to such things. And that is the aim isn’t it? Interesting that you mention Newspeak from 1984. Very interesting. Newspeak was designed to remove words from the English language(like “race” for example), in order to prevent people from being able to think about and communicate certain concepts that the party didn’t want them to think about. This is exactly what you are doing here. Exactly.

Well yes. Each family is a component of a particular racial group. Often mixed but that does not mean that Celts are the same as Germans. Celts and Germans are two distinctly different population clusters.

How could they not? Are you saying in order for a non-arbitrary distinction to be made everyone within that “race” would have to be identical genetically like twins?

How about the colour green? There are many different shades of green. There are many colours that are a mixture of green and other colour/s. Does that mean that “green” does not exist? As I said, this is really quite frustrating and silly. I think it would be best if we agree to disagree because we’re only going around in silly circles here.

So one population of rainbow trout developed an extra fin. Is it not a rainbow trout? Please, let’s drop this.

Even if that were true, so what? It is a meaningful distinction socially. The Arabs for example are a distinct population cluster that is unique and unlike other population clusters.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

I though you denied race as a social construct,

[/quote]

I did and do. A “social construct” is a human invention. A “social application” is something that serves a useful purpose in social relations. Two completely unrelated concepts.

Yes you have. Everyone has and everyone discriminates in such a manner on a daily basis.

How about immigration? Do we want to take sub-Saharan Africans to boost our brain power or some other population cluster?

[quote] Ironskape wrote:

I see the point you’re trying to make, but I’d argue that the social stigma associated with being labeled as a racist pales in comparison to being on the receiving end of racism.

[/quote]

That’s hardly the point when we’re talking about people being falsely accused of racism.

Maybe it’s because they’re stupid sounding made up names? Maybe the result would be different if authentic foreign names were proffered instead of ridiculous sounding and ridiculously spelled invented names? Just a thought but I may be wrong.

I’ve never suggested people who are genuinely racist shouldn’t be dealt with appropriately.

But such distinctions are real and cannot be wished away. No matter how much distraction and pretending they don’t exist they will remain and people will discriminate(not necessarily negative connotation here) based on such distinctions. It’s how people learn and made judgements about the world around them. I know not all spiders bite. But if I come across a spider I’ve never seen before I’m cautious of it because I have learned that some spiders are dangerous. This is a natural and normal response.

It’s not based on “skin colour alone” that’s the whole point. The differences between races extend far beyond “skin colour” and pretending otherwise will not change that.

I disagree because it?s a continuum. There are no biological lines in the sand around which to make the claim. No, there are not significant biological differences between races and more than there are within races. And there are plenty of accurate ways to refer to these characteristics, you are already doing it. You can even use the word Celtic or whatever, but they aren?t by any scientific reason a race.

People will fight over dumb things. People fighting over skin color or hair color doesn?t mean the biological difference is significant. Especially when you factor in cultural differences.

You?re comparisons are lacking. A trout with an extra fin may or may not be a trout any longer. There are scientific qualifications as to what constitutes a trout. For example, if the new fin trout could no longer breed with the finned brethren, no it would probably no longer be a trout. There is a scientific qualification for what a trout is. Same for your atmosphere reference. There is a petering out of atmosphere but when used scientifically, there are exacting criteria for where the atmosphere ends. I could take a scientific measurement and tell you if a location was in the atmosphere or not.

Green is another one. From x wavelength to y wavelength of photons is ?green?. Though this too is largely arbitrary having more to do with the way receptors and neurons interpret the impact of a photon. Each green is scientifically as distinct as a ?green? photon is for ultra violet or microwaves. And more importantly the wavelengths of photons cannot be mixed. A photon can?t be half green and half gama-ray. If those 2 energy states ?mixed? you still end up with photon of an exact identifiable energy state that would be x-ray or UV.

Why is Celtic a race but the Irish town with big ears isn?t?

Edited

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
That’s hardly the point when we’re talking about people being falsely accused of racism.
[/quote]

But is it falsely? It’s entirely possible to be a little bit racist. Most of us are from time to time. That doesn’t make it okay, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be more aware of how our words affect other people.

Don’t be the guy that gets offended when someone gets offended. No one likes that guy.

  1. Aren’t all names invented and made up?

  2. There are real people named Lakisha and Jamal. They exist. They didn’t pick their names. Even if they did, how is this arrangement of syllables and letters any less valid than “Mike”?

Sometimes the appropriate reaction is to tell someone what they said was racist. There are degrees of racism, and small missteps are still wrong.

But is that a fair distinction? What can you really tell about someone based on skin color or eyebrow height?

In your mind, what is it okay to assume about someone based on race? I’m genuinely asking.

Also, maybe don’t compare people of different races to spiders in a forest.

Same question: what are those differences that extend beyond skin color?