Thank you Mark for an honest and refreshing book review that doubles as a confession for your own struggle. My daughter who is the CEO of a health care system in rural Maine heard her present and is currently engaged in a major effort to deal with diversity in her employee base. She has hired several black providers and is learning from them how much work needs to be done in a culture and environment overwhelmingly non-black (there are asians, for example). What is interesting, however, that they have become so accustomed to the unintentional “slights” (may be too harsh a term) by well-meaning colleagues, that it “rolls off.” Example upon meeting colleagues for the first time: “Welcome. You need to meet X, Y, Z. They would love to get acquainted with you” (they are also black). What strikes me is that we as individuals may be far less “racist” as mature adults than we were when younger, less informed and inexperienced. But, we still exemplify, participate in, and unwittingly support the systemic realities. A lawyer friend of mine once complained that affirmative action (legally flawed in his opinion) for universities kept him out of his first law school choice, something that felt very “wrong” to him. I understand that. Some apparently “unjust” experiences for the individual are part of the larger commitment to systemic justice. As I see it, that cannot be changed until persons of color wield as much power in the system as whites enjoy.
So we want honest conversation, do we? Let’s do then…
Navel gazing of whatever color is never time well spent, and there’s a lot of it in the present “status quo”. With all this emphasis on white systemic, and genetic racism somebody please list all the ways white people can change the effect of this racism. Other than never arresting another black person, and turning some percent of white income over to the nearest black person, it seems we’re doomed in living in this “status quo” and endlessly discussing it. I’m angry because there’s no action, other than destruction of property, even black property. In less volatile communities handwringing has dominated all conversations. This can’t be healthy for neither blacks or whites.
Well…given the fact that it may be the only opening paragragh you’ve read from “white guy writing a review on a book about racism,” I’ll take that as a qualified complement. May I assume there is more to that passage from Albert Johnson, aka Prodigy? I tried to find the lyrics but could only identity “Shook Ones, Part I and II.” I would like to see the rest of the passage/poem/rap if possible. Thanks.
Hi Jim, Sooooo many of those “slights” or as I think the term is used, micro aggressions. Being in ethics and hearing so many students and professionals over the years use the phrase, “I’m a black and white thinker,” meaning of course, black is bad, white is good, I have found that this is one microaggression that I try not to let go by. So, when I say in the review that I need to engage the courage to wade into the conversation on racism, this is a simple example. I once heard a children’s story in Church that highlighted for the children the differences in lying: “Now children…there are white lies and there are black lies…” The storyteller went on to note of course that white ones are justifiable and black ones are not. I saw several faces of color in the group of children and in telling my colleague Andy Lampkin about this story, I asked him if he ever tuned into such language as a type of slight as you say Jim, or microaggression. In his kindly way, he asked me where I had been for all these years…I hope you’ll be able to join us next Friday for a live conversation about the White Fragility book. He and I will join Carmen, Bonnie, and Alisa for a one hour book review.
Sirje, two rather small examples of my own in trying to make a difference where one lives and works: develop and implement a policy on responding to racist patients and developing an educational series on racism at work. I am in the the position of power such that I can affect both. I don’t know if you are in health care or not but perhaps some of the readers here are. How many of the places we work have policies on responding to patients/persons who engage in racist attacks on nursing, physician, and other staff members? I’ll bet the answer is “none.” It took me a year and a half to get one in place. And now, working on the moment and momentum of this time in our country’s experience with Black Lives Matters, a colleague and I (again because we are in the positions that allow us the power to create such things) are developing a seminar series of indefinite length in time focused on racism in our hospital. Mind you, we do not believe we should be presenting but we can create and facilitate such conversations. If they turn out to be difficult or even rancorous, so be it.
Hi, @Arkdrey: I didn’t see this response before the forum closed, and, as you invited me to, I do care to try again.
I’ve decided that this section on White Fragility would be a good place to place it, for reasons that should become obvious.
Well, you may want to consult yours.
Which, given what you’ve just said, would be…wait for it…wait for it…
You’re not responding to my objection.
What you should say is, “Duly noted.” You should not try to dance around what I’ve said, while, actually, repeating my conclusion.
I haven’t read ahead, and, as I intimated, before, almost never do.
I hope, then, that, as we go through this, your arguments get better, not worse.
That’s your response?
You’re turning into @ajshep. No wonder you were both trading doofus snaps!
You must not have read through my response before you wrote this.
Go back, read what I said, near the end, then go at it again, please.
There, I state that racism and race, originally, from their inception, meant white vs. non-white. Race was invented to distinguish white people from non-white people.
It is only through a kind of colloquial application of the term that people came to say that a Black person having a conflict with a Korean grocer is “racism,” or that an Indian who detests Pakistanis, or, worse, Sri Lankans, has “racist” feelings.
You appear to not know enough about the history of race. If so, this is why you can talk about “original meaning” of the word, but not actually do so.
It’s like you’re a hip-hop fan, hearing an R&B record that was sampled by one of your favorite crews, and you’re upset, wondering why this R&B group bit your boys.
I thought that you were serious.
Also, to make this a tad personal, it sounds like you, a foreigner, are telling a native English speaker—and a writer!—how English works.
Is that what’s happening here?
Both of your claims are nonsense and merely argumentative.
Do you mean no scientist would say that the universe is primarily baryonic matter?
Or do you mean no scientist would say that the visible universe is 98% hydrogen and helium, and 2% everything else?
My goodness: As a person who regularly talks to physicists, this may be one of the most ill-informed things I’ve ever read. It’s absolutely not a meaningful response, Arkdrey. This must be what desperation smells like.
Thankfully, our posts can be compared by objective 3rd parties at future times, in order to see who made sense and who did not. It’s clear that our other members are ill-equipped to adjudicate this.
From the description of Peter Woit’s eponymous book:
The legendary physicist Wolfgang Pauli had a phrase for such ideas: He would describe them as “not even wrong,” meaning that they were so incomplete that they could not even be used to make predictions to compare with observations to see whether they were wrong or not.
This is how what you’re writing reads, Arkdrey: Not even wrong.
These are just horrible, desperate responses.
If you want to refute what I’m saying, you’ve got to actually challenge what I’m saying, and give good, rational, historically meaningful answers.
My goodness. You should have just left well enough alone.
You mean, in the 1500s, when the Portuguese started making trips to Africa, that’s what racism was?
You’re getting to the point where your answers and conceptions are bordering on “Not Worth Responding To.”
Keep in mind: I say that as a guy who answers each question, and typically responds to every statement.
You’re just saying that, because you can make the words go together in order.
On the contrary, I made an argument: I said that the words race and racism enter the vocabulary of human beings in order to describe a specific activity, organized by a then new piece of logic: “Whiteness.”
Please re-read what I said.
Wow: I was not expecting this.
Your original post was really very good. I even said so.
This is just slop. It’s like you’re holding on to the barn walls by your nails.
Antisemitism should be limited exclusively to Semites.
In other words, it’s different than racism in this way: You can’t be anti-semitic against anyone, but anyone can be anti-semitic.
Racism is the opposite: You can only be a racist if you’re white, because it is part of white heritage, and they have never given it up. THAT’S why business is a-boomin’: They’ve been the longest at what they started.
If you’re white, you can only be racist against non-white people. That’s why, for example, you can’t be white and racist against white people. It doesn’t even make sense.
They’re only unanalogous if a) you don’t see the analogy, b) see it, but don’t want to see it, or c) have some kind of silly rule about what can be analogized.
Why would I do that?
If my analogies really don’t work, you should be able to show me in one sentence how. It’s not my problem if you don’t understand them. It’s not even my problem if you they’re “non-analogous.”
If my ideas are logically incoherent, you don’t even have to address the analogies. When you destroy the underlying logic, the analogy falls, too. What are you talking about?
This is stupid. Of course you can. I just did it in my answer, to you.
I said racism had one meaning, originally. It did. It had one mode. It was made to describe one thing.
This is a historical fact. Do you think when Japan closed its borders to outsiders in 1635, the Dutch called them “racist”?
The only people, since the origin of race as a notion, who’ve said it had a different meaning are a) the people who don’t experience racism, or, b) the people who listen to them.
Non-white people understand that racism is white supremacy very readily, almost intuitively. When I say it, it’s rarely a problem. Only Black people who are tightly associated with white people—as friends, lovers, frat & sorors, business associates, etc.—hem and haw a bit. But, in my experience, they don’t do this because they think I’m wrong. They do it because they think I’m right.
It’s only white people who always have a real, serious problem with this formulation. I wonder why.
That they do, or may, is irrelevant to the analogy.
Clearly, people prefer the other look, because it exists.
No one who prefers the other look, however, will tell you that the car started that way. Even if you HATE the way Silvias look, unmodified, anyone who drifts will admit that that is the way his car started.
Also, a note: You need to write more simply. It’s clear you have a good mind, but your writing is a nightmare on Elm St.
I’d rather just hand:
a) Your original post
b) My response, and
c) Your counter-response
to a disinterested 3rd party historian with a knowledge of racial history, and ask them who they think wore it better.
Care to try again?
Why would it be the “only” one, when I said it was “one of the best”? You’ve got to read more closely, Mark.
But it is the only one, that I recall, where the writer describes something akin to a fight-or-flight response when engaging the work.
A friend of mine once said that the reason horror films can be so exciting to Black people is that a) they’re so visually hyperbolic, and b) it’s white people getting done in, on-screen.
I think, in a similar sense, the vision of white people being emotionally disquieted by White Fragility, to some Black people, provides momentary repose.
Not, usually, for me, because I’ve seen a lot of this, and I know it’s momentary. But your text was definitely attention-getting.
You can read the lyrics to Mobb Deep’s 1995 masterpiece, here.
I must say that those contrasts have bothered me, but not nearly (apparently) as they did you, to my shame. However, “evil” being portrayed almost always in “black” and “purity/goodness” in white, has profoundly troubled me for decades. Even the Bible (pre-racism as we know it) talks about our “sins as white as snow,” implying they were certainly anything but white before. Scriptural references to the “darkness of ignorance” and the “light of truth,” and so on–endless. Baked into our “beings” in ways we cannot consciously realize until we are “done” (to continue the baking analogy).
Having said that, I must tell you that at this point in US history and even in my life, I am drawn to the black church (not just SDA) to hear the unadulterated message of Jesus to our contemporary world. One year ago D and I visited the MLK Jr. memorial museum and church in Atlanta, the pulpit his father once occupied. We got there at 10 and were whisked by a young mother into the “breakfast” for visitors before the service begins. Welcomed warmly and people even “thrilled” we were there, smiles all around, thier spirit of fellowship and unity sends chills through me as I write this. The service? Oh my.
My wife noticed so many “pink” fashion statements on men and women and said: “Is this Breast Cancer Awareness” week? For at least 20 minutes between music you can hardly imagine, a video was shown. Two women and one man from the congregation who had battled breast cancer told their stories of how that fellowship had carried them through that storm in so many ways. Then, dramatically, they were asked to come forward to the front, at which point the pastor asked all the women and men who were also breast cancer survivors to stand. Then all the family members or friends connected to them and so on. Spine-tingling my friend. Then, he preached a remarkably coherent and joyful sermon and my breath finally returned. My guess is that this happens routinely, not rarely, in that congregation. At least six members approached us and urged us to join with them!! Spontaneous. We live 120 miles away, so . . . But, when my color is absolutely irrelevant to a group so different in color than I, how can I not wish that had the scenarios been reversed, my white congregation would have thrown their arms around them as they did us? If you have not had such experiences, you cannot understand this issue!
Will try. Slammed next Sabbath with Sligo Zoom class!!
I’m not sure what percentage of the population is in a position to implement policy. For the rest of us, social interaction is less managed. It’s those folk that are at a loss for concrete action. I would suggest that racial equality is the government’s job, and the rest is personal mind-set. This can’t be mandated, except for extreme antisocial behaviour. I don’t think that is what the “racist” accusations are strictly about. The current drumbeat on racism is an emotional venting meant to evoke guilt and is a shaming. It’s gotten to the point where no white person is going initiate contact with a black person because we don’t know what to say without over-compensating. That makes for strained relationships. A list of prescribed behaviours are not going to take care of racism; and neither is changing US history.
Listen, again… I appreciate you trying to carry on a discussion after I already said that I’m not willing to discuss this issue with you. Before you jump on and accuse me of not presenting an argument, or merely making a statement… Below is my personal judgement from a great deal of time I spent in discussing these issues with you. I have concluded that your argumentative strategy largely relies on:
Throwing out exorbitant amount of claims that multiply with every response, and then triumphant declaration of victory when you find something you can twist and present as inconsistent.
Semantic shift when #1 doesn’t work, claiming exception… while at the same time…
Largely relying on arguments via analogies that are arguably not analogous … and
Resorting to argument from false generalization or concepts to make universal assumptions about entire category with deceptive statements like “racism is a part of white heritage”. It is true if it is applied in a limited scope of that statement. It is false when one claims is as a universal generalization.
I could keep on going, but it would be rather pointless, since you are not able to recognize these in your argumentative strategy and correct these. At which point any viable discussion with you on this subject becomes very unlikely.
And it’s a pity really. We seem to have much in common. I love philosophy-driven science fiction like Blade Runner and Dune. I also think that “The Boys” is brilliant. I have been a music producer in a genre which was heavily influenced and derived from hip-hop philosophy and techniques, before I transitioned to film and TV. I spent my HS years in a mostly black school in Opa Locka… and much of my experience and academics were constrained to sports, etc, etc.
So, we could have other meaningful and more productive conversations about viable aspect of American and global society, especially as it relates to race and your personal perspective.
I don’t think that your binary and rather fundamentalist approach to racism would allow for a nuanced discussion on this subject.
I would rather not, since our concepts and assumptions about it are very different. If we can’t agree on what fruit is, then our discussion about varieties of tomatoes may get very confusing .
I presume you said that after you wrote the response under review. Which means I’m responding to a text that precedes your edict, correct?
I find this response fascinating, as I do much of what you say.
In a way, your statements sound like the punchline in Liberty Mutual’s famed 2020 ad, “Caricature”:
When one says that “racism is a part of white heritage,” as I did, what is “a limited scope of that statement,” and what is “a universal generalization” of it?
I’d like you, or someone, to tell me what exactly these are.
In other words, everyone white is white because someone came up with the term white to classify people. The practice in which they were interested was 1) demarcating a purportedly superior group, in order for them to 2) mistreat those who were not part of that group; to demarcate people who were not white.
In other words, the term was originated, as it pertains to human classification, to perpetuate a notion of race. It is from this idea of race that we get racism.
This means that whiteness—the idea, not necessarily the eponymous skin color—is forever linked with race, because it was created for that reason. It never existed before this, and it has never existed at a time when such notions were not in force.
This is the Confederate Naval Jack:
This is the state flag of Alabama:
One might look at these two documents and say that they are nothing alike, and that comparing them is “a universal generalization.”
On the other hand, another person might look at them, knowing the history of the South, knowing what the confederacy was, knowing Alabama’s role, not only in the Confederacy, but in the history of racism, and, with massive understatement, say one word: “Obviously.”
You, apparently, like the caricatured, hero sandwich-chomping cameraman, would say, “I don’t see it.”
It is very unlikely. But it’s not necessarily for the reasons you give, or just for them. It’s also because I don’t agree with the reasons you give.
I see the coherence of my viewpoint as marked by its ability to describe what one sees in the actual world, as well as to make predictions about what one might see.
You classify it as you have done, but I’m barely able to see why you reject it, in part because your writing is often bad, but, also, perhaps, because I am not seeing past my assumptions.
That’s why I keep bringing up this “3rd party.”
What I mean is that, I completely understand that you think I’m doing everything that you say in your four-part list.
Meanwhile, I don’t know how to describe what you do, except as tortured prose. (To me, your analytical approach might be best summarized in your response to my comparison of racism and anti-semitism…or, better, your entire response to my dark matter / car wash / drift car analogies.)
However, I’m always aware that what we write is a historical record. I’m completely willing to wait until some future time, when someone knowledgeable and objective, perhaps, looks at what you’ve said, then at what I’ve said, or vice versa, and declares who was, in their opinion, correct.
In other words, I have no need to declare myself the winner. I think I’m clear, but perhaps I’m not clear to you because of assumptions I have that are not visible to me.
For example, you recently revealed you see racist acts as ones that are intentional:
Meanwhile, I said:
These are frameworks that would, arguably, widely vary how one analyzes and talks about racism. However, while we’ve been discussing this subject for over two years, here on Spectrum, it was only three days ago that I realized you hold this perspective.
There may be many such assumptions we both hold; one that makes breaching this topic difficult-to-impossible, without further investigating those topics we each consider properly basic.
As explained by James Smiley Bishop, “A properly basic belief is an unprovable belief that is held on the basis of human experience, and that is rational to hold to in the absence of a logical defeater.”
Of course. Perhaps we will!
I don’t think my views are more binary or fundamentalist than a system that has globally divided 7.5 billion human beings, and all future arrivals, into categories of white and non-white; in other words, that has made it feasible for most to tell to which category any one of them belongs. (At least, that is what the Maximum Maxim suggests.)
You may be correct, though, re: nuance. I’m not sure.
I mean, in an oppressive context, nuance is often a luxury of the power class. The subservient, meanwhile, would frequently rather just throw a grenade.
It’s more of an inquisitive response about an issue I’m curious about and find rather bizzarre I this conversation. I’ve added a reply about the flags, since you may find it interesting.
Generalization is precisely in one’s choise to proceed to perpetuate that demarcation. I’m not sure how you can reconcile to claim both…
That it’s not a viable criterion and it was invented to demarcate superior humanity by self-described “white people”.
And that such it’s still a viable demarcation for you to use in your arguments.
Confusing issue for me is the default equation of WHITE > BLACK that you may inadvertently have to reify to attempt to make the case of some total supremacy in all aspects of human being. It has some problematic implications of actually reifying “white people” as supreme.
Just for your personal trivia knowledge, that’s St. Andrew’s cross. You will find it on the flag of GB, Scotland, Jamaica, Florida and Alabama… Not only confederate flag.
Universal means applicable to every person or case… in your case, every white person, etc. It obviously wouldn’t be the case of similarities between two flags… out of all flags you would be considering.
Here’s were we got to a part I’m curious about, because I find certain implications exceptionally bizzarre.
In a personal you and I context… Do you categorize yourself as a subservient black person and I as a supreme and dominant white person?
I recently watched a series of 22 videos by a PhD Professor of Biology (Nathaniel T. Jeanson) who is a creationist, and conducting research into the ethnicity of various people groups. This has really turned my thinking around in regards to race relations and racism!
Dr. Jeanson shows that there is only one race–the human race, and that we are all shades of brown in the Black - White spectrum of skin color. He has taken the genetic information used by evolutionists, which is spread out over 100,000 to 200,000 years, and condensed it into the approximate time from Noah and the flood until today. Because the genetic changes are stretched over such a long time in the evolutionist paradigm, there are basically no historical events to corroborate the DNA changes. By using a shortened 4,500 year timeline, he is able to make predictions from the genetic changes between people groups, looking for historical events among the people groups indicated in the approximate time frame (plus or minus 200 years).
All of the presentations are great (~45 minutes each), but the first six, and specifically Parts 3 & 4, as well as 6 & 7, would give you a good idea of what he has found. Many Europeans, and by extension North Americans, actually have Mongolian and African genetic markers in their DNA. The DNA indicates the history of various people groups as they have migrated around the world. He compares changes in maternal mitochondrial RNA to trace female lineage, and changes to Y chromosomes to trace male lineage.
Here is his page that explains what he is doing. I am also providing a YouTube link to the first in his series. Enjoy!
I’ve often asked, if one drop makes you blood, then aren’t we all one race…?
I can do so because I’m talking about the generalization and how it functions.
Recently, many people have started to make the point that “race is not real,” because there is no biological fundament for it.
This is true: Genetically, there is no such thing as “race.”
The fact that there is no such thing as race genetically, however, does not mean that there is no such thing as race socially.
Said another way, there isn’t any such thing as “genetically superior people,” or “superior white culture.”
There is such a thing as white supremacy.
I think I’ve addressed this, above. However, I’m having a hard time reading your statement, so I’m not sure.
Please let me know if I’ve addressed the issue. If not, please pose it another way.
Florida was part of the Confederacy.
Great Britain and Jamaica were tied together through the bonds of British governance and culture.
Scotland was the homeland of St. Andrews, and is also a part of the United Kingdom, dominated by Great Britain.
For example, like I said, “All white people are white, and function as white people.” This means that, in some sense and/or way, they are universally “related.”
I don’t know what this sentence means.
However, my point is this:
a) Half a millennium ago, Europeans came up with an idea of “racial unity and superiority,” branded by the word white.
b) Centuries later, people so classified as white dominate people who aren’t white in almost every metric.
These two facts are not unrelated. They are especially not unrelated when one considers that what links them is half a millennium of continuous mistreatment, of non-white people, by white people.
When I say white supremacy, I’m talking about the arc that links these two facts; everything that connects them.
When white people say, “anyone can be racist,” they are, first, underselling the gravity of my above statement. They are minimizing, deliberately or not, the brutality by which those 500 years were characterized.
Second, they are affixing a very late, faulty understanding of what racism is, and means, to the word racism.
Look up the contemporaneous documentation of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., or the African National Congress, in their fight to overthrow apartheid. You’re not likely to find the idea expressed that Black people were, or could be, “racist to white people.”
You’re not likely to find it in documents written during Reconstruction, as Black people began to hold U.S. governmental offices, and begin to achieve some limited parity with white people.
This is a very new, relatively speaking, addition to the description of raciality, and what it means: The notion that “anyone can be racist,” that “Black people can be racist to each other or to white people,” that “Indians and Pakistani people can be racist to each other,” etc.
This is colloquia run amuck, to the point that the original meaning of the word, why it was formed, and what it describes becomes smeared out and lost…though all are still operative.
Thanks for the question.
I categorize myself as a victim of racism (aka white supremacy).
As for you, or any white person, I would say you may be a racist, or you may not be.
In one of the episodes Dr. Jeanson states that the categories of race (Black, White, Caucasian, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino) are all human constructions based on a false concept of humanity and in a sense creating a false priority of importance. We have Darwinian Evolution to thank for the concept “Survival of the Fittest”. Even the order in which the labels have been and are presented on government and job applications, has over time, created in the minds of many, a presumptive hierarchy.
Not quite. I will rephrase. In order to assume generalized racial supremacy, you have to be able to follow the full implication of your generalizations.
I understand that you are considering yourself as a victim, but victim concept alone doesn’t imply any kind of hierarchy relationships in context of supremacy. I’m sure that you understand that supremacy is a concept communicating hierarchy.
Do you consider your self as my subservient victim?
Do you consider me individually as your supreme in power, authority, and dominance?
If the answer is no, you would need some further explanation as to where the boundaries of interpersonal relationships apply in the way you define racism as it applies to individuals.
You have to keep in mind that “white people” are not reading what you structure as some monolith you generally describe as “white people”. They are reading this as individuals that they have to somehow relate to what you define very generally. If you don’t define it more specifically at the level of individuals, then it’s difficult for individuals to understand what you are talking about, and many would naturally be object to being smitten by those proverbial grenades that lack nuance.
If you’re saying that the terms victim and supremacist, when applied to the same field, imply a hierarchy, yes, I’d agree with that statement.
By definition, a victim would be “subservient.”
So, that word, in the context of your question, is a superfluity; like saying “hard rock,” “cold ice cream,” or “hot fire.”
If you’re asking me,
Do you consider your self as my victim?
I’d say, “I don’t know if I am, or not, because I do not know if you are a racist (white supremacist), or not.”
I might also add, "I suspect I am, because I might suspect any and all white people of racism as long as a) the minimum requirement is that one be white—low bar to entry—and, b) racists are deceitful, secretive, and violent.
“However, I do not know, because I do not know if you are a racist or not.”
I would answer this question in the same terms I did your first one.
My answer is, in so many words, “I don’t know.”
This corresponds to my earlier statement, pertaining to the most objective answer one can give when asked, “Are all white people racist?”
That answer is, also, “I don’t know.”
…i.e., people who are white; monolithic in, at least, that regard.
I would say such people should probably become familiar with the history of how white people have, collectively, interacted with non-white people over the last 1,000 years, but with special attention paid to the last 500 years.
At that point, there was a major disruptive moment via a) European world exploration and b) the consolidation of race as a notion.
They should look closely at contacts between white and non-white people over that time period. Not just, “We had a maid named Mary, and we loved her,” but, especially, what have white people done at their worst?
Once engaged with this process, they should ask themselves and others, “Given these behaviors, what effect did they have on future behavior, of non-white people, but especially the future behavior of white people?”
So, for example, consider what you call “white on black US slavery and segregation.” When it officially ended, what did white people do, collectively, at their worst?
One answer is sharecropping, poll taxes, jail, repression, lynching, etc. All of this is in books.
So, then the white people of whom I’m speaking should perform the analysis I’m suggesting, and repeat the process, again, iteratively: “Given these behaviors, what effect did they have on future behavior, of non-white people, but especially the future behavior of white people?”
Let me skip to the end: Do this enough, though multiple iterations, and what you end up with is a massive, four-dimensional point cloud in the shape of white supremacy; i.e., a depiction of racism where it is hard to tell whose specific input generated any specific spacial volume.
The vagueness of such an object is why it is impossible for me to answer your questions above, or even why it is often hard for many white persons to see themselves as racist.
Further, few white people, if any, are going to actually perform this suggested exercise. What they will likely do is believe what they see, and what their family and peers have told them to believe about what they see as it pertains to race.
For example, when you left the USSR, your father told you that you had to think of yourself as “of lower status than blacks in US.”
This suggestion lacks massive amounts of data, particularly about “Blacks in the U.S.” However, it is probably as detailed or complete as the information almost any white person was given about Black people — perhaps the less said, the better? — when going “into the world.”
I’ve found, however, in those instances where white people perform this exercise, or some version of it, they may become more attuned to the effects their actions, and those of others, including their ancestors, have had on what exists.
Without the same, it’s difficult for individuals to understand what I am talking about, and many would naturally object to being smitten by those proverbial grenades that lack nuance.
Seymour, I liked your previous post in which you described how your genetics professor had tracked the genetic changes of different human groups that are genetically related.
But now you post that “ the categories of race…are all…based on a false concept”.
Translation: THERE ARE NO RACES.
You lost me on that one.
How could Dr. Jeanson track an apparently nonexistent category based on a false concept?
Perhaps you could clarify what your professor was tracking if not races.?
What is his word for a group of genetically related people who are superficially described as “ Black, White, Caucasian, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino”?
Although it appears from the comments on this website, that many of my Caucasian brethren here would be quite willing to give up their identity as a member of the White race, or at least degrade it; I am loath to give up my identity as White. I like it.
It’s OK to be White, and Black lives really do matter.
Would your professor mind if I self identify as White?
Is it OK for a Jew to self identity as a Jew?
(careful with that one.)
(I like that you appear to me to be working diligently toward peace and harmony between the different “races”, “nations”, families, ethnicities, or whatever word you present to us that your professor would use. In seeking to be a peacemaker, you are showing yourself to be a child of God.)