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Racism......Inherent abilities

Pro and Con

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1faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 9:35am Top

As a person who has always enjoyed diversity....marveled at the wonderful differences between individuals, differences determined by geography or ethnic backgrounds, it had never accured to me that appreciating the talents inherent to any group of people was racist. Not sure it is.
Am I wrong on this ?
Thinking a person is superior to others seems to be quite different than feeling that a person's individual talents may be a notch above others. Broadening this out can mean that we see and recognize the differences between groups of people.
If we recognize and appreciate these differences, would we not have an easier time erasing racism altogether ?
Reminded of the big push for equal rights for women in the 60s....to my mind, many women went about this on the wrong premise....trying to prove that women and men were the "same" rather than equal. We are not the same...we think differently, perform tasks differently......it would seem that sexism and racism are more about a failure to accept and appreciate the differences than the other way around. (sadly this push for sameness has created a society where many women have to try to be both...work like a man, while maintaining her role as a woman and she is still often not appreciated as equal)
We are not all the "same"......created equally but wonderfully different. Our talents vary as much as our physical appearences.
Keeping in mind that there are always exceptions, people are individuals and should be allowed their own definition, it is still hard not to notice that some groups of people are inherently better at some things.

How is it possible to close one's eyes to the reality of these differences ? Should we ? and is it "racist" when we acknowledge them ?

2richardbsmith
Feb 7, 2012, 9:51am Top

I think racism is in the eye of the beholder. It would be good to be able to recognize and to appreciate differences. It would be good to enjoy the occasional bit of humor. But there is so much hurt and so much malice, and so much inaccuracy and manipulation in the use of apparent and real differences.

3Arctic-Stranger
Feb 7, 2012, 12:39pm Top

There are levels of racism, from stupidly benign to vicious. Lumping people into talent groups stays on the benign side.

I told this once before here. I was visiting in the hospital when I ran into an older, African American pastor. We started chatting, and I asked him how long he had been in Alaska, and he told me, "since 1944." I knew a lot of African Americans came up to work on the Alcan, so I asked if his dad came up to work on the highway. "No," he replied, "we came up to homestead."

I remember thinking, "Black people homesteaded?"

The problem with categorizing people, even into positive categories ( thrifty Scotsmen, dancing Negros, etc) is that the flip side can also become a part of the mix (wily Asians, moneygrubbing Jews).

Certainly you mean no harm, and I attribute none to you, but there are so many people of race and color that do not fit the stereotypes that the categories really not all that useful.

You don't want to be like the family on the main line in Philly I stayed with during a conference when I was in college. I was paired with a young African American man, and the family was accepting, but clearly had not been around African Americans before. Among the comments made were, "I'm sorry we didn't have chicken," and "Well, I guess you play basketball."

He was about 5'6".

4faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 12:42pm Top

>2 richardbsmith:
Well, it seems pretty evident that as soon as we attempt to draw attention and/or appreciation away from our differences by insisting that we view all peoples through the same lens, we create a situtaion that is the reverse of what we are hoping to achieve.
It is my belief that we are all different for a reason.....when we try to push people into "sameness boxes" we are destroying not only beauty, creativity and enrichment but a bit of ourselves as well. We wish to be seen as unique yet connected in some larger way to those around us. We strive for equality yet if being the "same as" in all ways is the means to equality, it isn't going to happen.

5faceinbook
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 1:18pm Top

>3 Arctic-Stranger:
Good points all !

"The problem with categorizing people, even into positive categories ( thrifty Scotsmen, dancing Negros, etc) is that the flip side can also become a part of the mix (wily Asians, moneygrubbing Jews)."

Hurtful yes, harmful probably in some ways but if you think of it in terms of groups like our two current political groups Right/Left....the two sides gather members based, in part on personality traits, these traits have both their strengths and their weaknesses. This is the human conditon.
To recognize both, appreciate the strengths and learn to deal with the weaknesses would make life a lot easier.

Feel much the same way about the Asians, Scotsmen, Blacks...whatever. the more we try to close our eyes to that which we do not like, the less we are able to really appreciate that which sets us apart.

In one of my Native teachings I was taught that the Creator had endowed all races with an intrinsic weakness to overcome

White Race was greed
Red Race was jealousy
Black Race was violence
Yellow Race power

Pretty simplistic but I believe the point in that lesson was that we all do indeed have certain sterotypes, if you want to call it that, that are indicitive to how we were Created.

Of course blanketing ALL of any group as being one thing or another is rather foolish since within whatever group we find ourselves there are many many wonderful distinctions between one person from another. But, stereo types came into being for a reason....be they good or bad. Pretending they are not real doesn't seem to have made us any more accepting of each other.

6faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 1:23pm Top

> 3
"You don't want to be like the family on the main line in Philly I stayed with during a conference when I was in college. I was paired with a young African American man, and the family was accepting, but clearly had not been around African Americans before. Among the comments made were, "I'm sorry we didn't have chicken," and "Well, I guess you play basketball."

No I do not want to be like the family on the main line in Philly. However, I think this family is a dying entity. Most of what they said came from an innocence due to lack of education and or experience. It sounds as if they were not being mean or nasty, just unaware. There is too much education and so many media avenues today that one would hope most people would be more aware.
I hope the young African American man was blessed with a sense of humor ?

Would have found this hilarious myself....no matter which side of the equation I was on. Of course, generally, I am not looking to take offense nor do I want to be offensive. (for the most part....there are some who tend to induce a bit of bad behavior on my part....don't like it when it happens either)

7Arctic-Stranger
Feb 7, 2012, 1:38pm Top

The young man was a real trooper. He realized the family was trying, and he honored their efforts (with a minimum of eye-rolling my way). This was in the early '80s, so we can hope this kind of ignorance is dying off...but something tells me not.

For example, the current race baiting by Gingrinch can only work with group that is inclined to think of black people as food stamp junkies who spend welfare money in liquor stores.

8faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 1:52pm Top

>7 Arctic-Stranger:
Yes. Guess my answer to that would be that if the White's he were appealing to with this kind of garbage were more worried about what the White bankers did to this country, the loss of pension funds and home values, they would have little time left to worry about who was getting food stamps and who is not. In fact, they may worry a bit about the possibility of finding themselves in the food stamp line.

Part of the point in the lesson regarding collective weakness is the primary principle that we all have them. None are excused.

To me, it seems that ignoring the obvious doesn't solve the problem.
We have perfected hypocrisy to an art form I guess.

9theoria
Feb 7, 2012, 1:57pm Top

1> I think the idea that there are talents that are "inherent to any group of people" (my emphasis) is the problem, or, rather, raises questions. First, is there anything "inherent" to groups of people, and, second, what are those things? The sameness/difference debate within feminism is long-standing. This debate, and similar debates around race, ethnicity and "civilizations" (Huntington), may remain stuck in a dead end when there is a failure to look for difference at the most significant level: between individuals. Of course, this undermines the idea that difference is primarily manifested at the level of the group. The relationship between individuals and groups might be a better place to address the sameness/difference question.

10Tugar
Feb 7, 2012, 2:00pm Top

We are all racists whether or not we want to believe it. It's how you use it that defines your "racism".

11theoria
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 2:08pm Top

If we are all racists, then the word racist is evacuated of meaning. In my view, such a perspective amounts to a lazy form of relativism.

As opposed to this, one can distinguish racism (implying an ideology of racial super- and sub-ordination) from racialism, the perspective that one can look out at the world and see "races." Seeing "race" is not racist, it is racialist. However, racialism is a precondition of racism.

12BruceCoulson
Feb 7, 2012, 2:07pm Top

Biologically, there are genetic differences between groups that lead to different types of diseases that are gene-specific. (e.g sickle-cell anemia)

More mixing between the 'races' (cf the movie Bulworth) could correct that problem.

Other than genetic traits shared from common ancestry that tend to appear mostly in certain groups, I can't think of any 'inherent' differences.

I'm reminded of the black comedian with the long lead-in story where he's asking God why he has black skin, kinky hair, etc. and God is answering that all of those traits help him survive in the jungles and grasslands. The black querent has one final question: "What the ^&*% am I doing in Cleveland?"

13theoria
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 2:12pm Top

12> The mapping of haplotypes onto historically defined ethnic/racial groups, whose boundaries have been variable, is, ironically, highly unscientific.

14faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 2:41pm Top

>9 theoria:" First, is there anything "inherent" to groups of people,"

Yes I believe there are....as I said, stereo types are around for a reason. Of course some of them are mean and malicious, but many are not. Where did they come from if not from observation of repeated behaviors ?

"The relationship between individuals and groups might be a better place to address the sameness/difference question."

There would have to be a distinction between a "chosen" group and a group one finds themselves in due to genetics.
For the most part people choose groups they feel comfortable within. Like minded individuals are drawn together as seen in political parties. Within the groups are varied degrees of differences or likeness but for the most part, the group as a whole comes to represent something.

The other type of group would be ethnic in nature. We are born into these groups and as I see it, there are differences between these groups. They are not all that hard to recognize. Comedians have a hay day pointing them out. Historically they have been used to accomplish many great things as well as to cause destruction.
Though one has no choice in the matter of these groups, they still have a comfort level because in some ways they are amongst others who are "like" themselves.
A person of mixed race could probably best describe what it is like to find themselves outside of such a group.

The question in my mind is when did acknowledging these ethnic or genetic groups become racist and why can't we learn to embrace them rather than try to pretend they do not exist.
I fear I am repeating myself. As you pointed out, there probably are no answers to this question. There will always be those who wish to divide rather than unite.

>10 Tugar:
"We are all racists whether or not we want to believe it. It's how you use it that defines your "racism"."

Then, racism, is not always meant to be hurtful ? or degrading ? At least I believe this to be the case. It is our differences that should unite us not divide us. Just is a matter of how one looks at it.

15Arctic-Stranger
Feb 7, 2012, 2:42pm Top

If we are all racists, then the word racist is evacuated of meaning. In my view, such a perspective amounts to a lazy form of relativism.

We are all human. We are all mammals. We are all sentient beings. Those terms are not evacuated of meaning because they apply universally to all people.

You may be right about how universal racism dilutes the term, but you need firmer ground to stand on. you come close in your second sentence, but that ignores the unintended effects, which can be rather vicious at times, of the person who "merely" sees the world through the lens of race, but does not think there is anything wrong in that perception.

16faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 2:44pm Top

>11 theoria:
Thank you !

" However, racialism is a precondition of racism."

But, racialism does not necessarly not to evolve into racism ?

17faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 3:00pm Top

>12 BruceCoulson:
"Other than genetic traits shared from common ancestry that tend to appear mostly in certain groups, I can't think of any 'inherent' differences."

Our genetic traits make us different one from the other. We inherit our genetics from our ancestors they are inherent.
Why just in certain groups ? If groups of people have similar physical differences in appearence and or health issues why would it not be that they also have differences in personalities and abilities ?

"I'm reminded of the black comedian with the long lead-in story where he's asking God why he has black skin, kinky hair, etc. and God is answering that all of those traits help him survive in the jungles and grasslands. The black querent has one final question: "What the ^&*% am I doing in Cleveland?"

You've completely discredited the role of evolution. That was funny though.

18BruceCoulson
Feb 7, 2012, 3:02pm Top

> 13

The Royal Liverpool Hospital and NHS seem to disagree with your assessment as to the validity of haplotypes,

Clearly, with 'racial' intermingling, genes can crop up in all sorts of places one might not expect. General tendencies are not a hard-and-fast rule as to appearance.

Scientifically, there is only one 'race': homo sapiens. The ability to have fertile offspring no matter what the mix is proof enough of that. There are genetic variations within our species, of course, just as there is in most species.

Racism historically has been defined as seeing one (or more) group(s) (not always defined by discernable genetic differences; cf Irish in 19th Century) as inferior (usually intellectually and/or morally).

19BruceCoulson
Feb 7, 2012, 3:03pm Top

>17 faceinbook:

Evolution is a long, slow process; in those terms, the transplanting of peoples across the globe happened a few seconds ago.

Not that it makes the joke any less funny...

20lawecon
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 3:40pm Top

~1
"it had never accured to me that appreciating the talents inherent to any group of people was racist. Not sure it is.
Am I wrong on this ?
==============="========

It is occurred, not acccured. Two quite different things. And "groups of people" don't have talents. Individuals have talents.

21theoria
Feb 7, 2012, 3:42pm Top

18> I'm not questioning the scientific validity of the haplotype, which complicates our folk knowledge of "race" immensely (in my view, it entirely deconstructs "race" as we have known it). What I am questioning is the mapping of haplotype clusters onto historically defined and shifting racial/ethnic groups. This mapping is more often done by public health officials than genome scientists.

22theoria
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 4:19pm Top

15> I think we are in agreement. Making allowances for the generalization, "we are all racialists" is more apt than "we are all racists."

16> "But, racialism does not necessarly not to evolve into racism?"
No, there's no necessity.

23jjwilson61
Feb 7, 2012, 4:18pm Top

If you are appreciating diversity why not appreciate it at the individual level? What's the purpose of ascribing a trait to a group of people where more likely than not an individual member of that group won't have that trait.

24faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 4:25pm Top

>20 lawecon:
Spelling is not my long suit....stand corrected.

Individuals have talents yes, but groups can contain a large percentage people who happen to have certain given talents.

such as a group comprised of family members who can sing.
A talent which is often but not always passed on to offspring.
Same can be said for athletic abilities.

25jjwilson61
Feb 7, 2012, 4:46pm Top

24> True, but the genetic similarity within a family are orders of magnitude higher than within a "racial" group.

26lawecon
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 11:07pm Top

~24

"Individuals have talents yes, but groups can contain a large percentage people who happen to have certain given talents."

And from that you know, ah........ That anyone who is a member of said "group" will have that talent. Ah, no, that doesn't follow. That all people with that talent are members of that "group." Ah, no, that doesn't follow either.

I give up. What is the point of that observation about the frequence of a talent in an artificially constructed "group"?

27richardbsmith
Feb 7, 2012, 6:19pm Top

I flat out cannot jump.

28faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Yeah and I can't dance.

29faceinbook
Feb 7, 2012, 7:25pm Top

30lawecon
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Again, let's assume that is true. Let's assume that there is a high incidence of Blacks in the top 10% of all basketball players. (Obviously because playing basketball was a survival trait in Africa, but not in North America or Asia or Europe.) Does that mean that all Blacks are great basketball players? Does it mean that all great basketball players are Black? What follows from such a "fact"?

Perhaps one could then predict that Howard University has the greatest undefeated basketball team in the U.S.? Does it? Have you looked to see?

It must be important to know these things about the frequency of talents in a given defined "group," since it is the sort of thing that seems to fascinate some people. I won't mention what people in particular historically or their broader social and political outlook, but I'm sure you can find out if you look it up.

But while you're looking it up, perhaps you could explain why these factoids fascinate you and you feel that they are important?

31SimonW11
Feb 8, 2012, 8:29am Top

ii think that there are traits that folks are proud to have associated with their people, I think there are traits that people wish were not associated with their people, I suspect too that there are a lot of people who feel inferior that because the do not have the those positive traits which their background is supposed to give them. Ordinary people having to find an excuse for being normal.
It must suck to be of Italian ancestry and not be able to cook.

Every day

32richardbsmith
Feb 8, 2012, 9:11am Top

There was a 70's or 80's movie where the white man had a college age fling with a black woman and there was a son conceived that the man did not know about until the kid was a teenager.

The guy. who was somewhat down on his luck, took his son to a playground to find someone to play a pickup game, and to wager on the outcome. They found a white dad and his white overweight son who he thought were suckers enough.

Our hero had assumed his black son could play basketball and they would stuff the white dad and overweight boy. But to our hero's shock his athletic looking black son could not play basketball at all.

they lost the game and the bet.

It was funny. The white guy was a fairly famous actor, though I cannot remember his name, or the name of the movie.

33madpoet
Feb 8, 2012, 9:58am Top

Even ostensibly positive stereotypes about race are still stereotypes. Are all Asians good at math? Do all African Americans play basketball? Of course not. Also, a 'positive' stereotype often simply reinforces an otherwise negative image. The stereotype that African Americans can dance, or play sports really well, reinforces the stereotype that that is all that they are good at (not academics or business, for example). Which, of course, is unfair.

Most 'racial' differences are really just cultural or societal differences, anyways. They are environmental, not genetic. There is no 'basketball gene' that blacks have, and other races don't. It's just that basketball is more commonly played in African American neighborhoods than it is in white or Asian neighborhoods.

What good ever came from either racism or 'racialism'? Forget it. Just judge others, if you must judge at all, as individuals.

34faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 11:35am Top

>30 lawecon:
"But while you're looking it up, perhaps you could explain why these factoids fascinate you and you feel that they are important?"

Been looking things up, have found that most often differences come down to survival , either in response to physical surroundings or social structures.

In answer to your question ... I find diversity beautiful....it dismays me when it is used negatively or when, in the name of God, commerce or whatever, we seek to wipe out entire cultures so as to create "sameness".
If we are all different one from the other....there is a reason. We lose much when we try to blend rather than "stand out". If we "stand out" we need to accept that we will do this for both positive and negative attributes.....we ALL will, no exclusions.
Just feel that racism would be less destructive if this were a prevailing attitude.

Would be remiss if I didn't say that being called a "racist" because of my statements about a Jewish lawyer doesn't help. No, I am not racist.....just have observed that IN GENERAL, an individual of an ethnic Jewish background has profoundly different skills than an individual of Native American decent. Both individuals have equal value but based on observation, in a court of law, one group seems to have a larger proportion of individuals who have more apptitude at this than the other. (not to say there are no exceptions to this) No where was it mentioned that my mind was set in stone, or not open to suggestions and making choices based on personal merits.
How can we not notice who dances well on the crowded dance floor and who does not. If we mention it we are racist ?? That is just amazing to me. That to me is more racist than noticing and appreciating.
Do not think I am alone, just happen to flap about it is all....it is my belief that we all do this mental assessment in a ton of little ways when we decide who is going to take care of our children, prepare our taxes, fix our automobiles, represent us in office, handle our health issues or handle our legal affairs.
It is almost impossible NOT to. We rely on differences to survive, not on sameness.

>33 madpoet:
"What good ever came from either racism or 'racialism'? Forget it. Just judge others, if you must judge at all, as individuals"

Perfect example ! It is NOT about judging, which we all do, everyday in a million ways about many different things....it is about "appreciating"

First thing to come to mind when something or someone....individual OR group is "different" from ourselves is the word "judge", which is probably valid, as I would suppose in order to "appreciate" one must make a judgement of some sort, but when did the word "judge" start being only about that which we see in others that is negative ?
I judge the differences and come up with the words "wonderful" or "interesting" or often "impossible for me...glad you can do it"

By the way....nobody has come up with an answer as to why comedians do so well when using stereo types.
Attempts at humor really are not all that funny unless they contain a kernel of truth.

35jjwilson61
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 12:23pm Top

34> In answer to your question ... I find diversity beautiful...

That's what puzzles me. If you like diversity then trying to lump people and traits by what group they belong to is the opposite of what you say you like. The maximum diversity is in the individual, not the group.

...it is my belief that we all do this mental assessment in a ton of little ways when we decide who is going to take care of our children, prepare our taxes, fix our automobiles, represent us in office, handle our health issues or handle our legal affairs.

If that is true then we are all racists, but I'm not convinced it's true. I don't look at the color of someone's skin when deciding who fixes my car.

By the way....nobody has come up with an answer as to why comedians do so well when using stereo types.
Attempts at humor really are not all that funny unless they contain a kernel of truth


It's funny because they are well-known stereotypes and, no, they don't have to contain a kernel of truth.

36faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 12:42pm Top

>35 jjwilson61:
Well then, I guess I am guilty as charged, cause I see differences in both individuals AND in ethnic groups and/or cultures.
there were over 100 tribes of Natives in this country and they were all different one from the other...as groups and as then individauls. They had different physical attributes and different skills....the English pretty much lumped them all into a group call "Natives" but if you are looking for old time Indian art work, it is best to find it in the specific tribe that was known for it's talent in the particular type of art you want. Today it is called "blood memory" which enables them to cast pottery, weave baskets, bead clothing or make blankets......whatever.
Will say it again, do not mean to devalue the diversity of the individual but when you deny the diversity between ethnic groups or cultures.....something is lost in that process.

Humor isn't funny unless it contains a kernel of truth.....check that out with a comedian....the funniest are the ones who make us laugh at ourselves....and we can't do that unless we have the presence of mind to see ourselves as we really are.
Will admit that there are those who can not do this.

37jjwilson61
Feb 8, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Of course there are cultural differences between different cultures. But that's explainable by the different cultures valuing different things and so the members of that culture will work harder at those things that that culture values.

I just see that saying that black people are good at football is round-about way of saying that they aren't good at academics. But even with your native tribes example, it wouldn't be right to dismiss a potter from tribe X because everyone knows his tribe is good at basket weaving.

38margd
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 3:56pm Top

30: "But while you're looking it up, perhaps you could explain why these factoids fascinate you and you feel that they are important?"

34: Been looking things up, have found that most often differences come down to survival , either in response to physical surroundings or social structures. // In answer to your question ... I find diversity beautiful....it dismays me when it is used negatively or when, in the name of God, commerce or whatever, we seek to wipe out entire cultures so as to create "sameness".

Funny, obesity is no doubt an intersect of genes and environment--some people who would survive well in ancestral environment are more susceptible than others to obesity in Western civilization. And there is some link to race: (ETA: Many/most?) Asians lack some "fat" gene we Caucasians carry. Africans and American Indians (ETA: tend to be) more susceptible to Type II diabetes. A diversity that does not enchant, I suspect!

39faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 1:50pm Top

>38 margd:
Yes margd, you are correct. Asians, Native Americans and Africans all have different ways of metabolizing food, which gives them vulnerabilities that we do not have. Had the pleasure of working with a doctor for a time, who was a "teaching" doctor...took time to explain a lot of things, this was one of those things.
Was told but can not support it with written fact that Natives metabolized food more slowly because it allowed them to experience less hunger and kept them warmer in cold weather. Makes sense....but not sure on that. As health issues such as diabetes continue to be a problem for many Natives, it doesn't seem to be about their surroundings any longer. They have food available year round and more shelter from the elements....they are different from Whites or Asians or East Indians...and continue to be so.

this thread started as an off shoot of another discussion. The original point I was trying to make was that we couldn't decide one day to choose our ethnic group. We can adopt the life style of another group, it's spiritual leanings and cultural habits, we can also be adopted by that group but, we can not BE something we are not merely because we decide we are now "Jewish" or "Muslim" or "Native American" or what ever it is we feel we want to be.

From that point we went through a labyrinth that has led to this post.

Margd, I think you made the strongest point yet as to why this holds true, we are not physically identical. Our very body chemistry is different from one group to the other. If Native Americans want to deal with their health issues, they are going to have recognize the difference and adjust their eating habits accordingly...not easy in this "fast food nation" but an undeniable fact. Just as is the fact that alcohol to most Natives is like pouring water on a gremlin.....not good...and a lot of it has to do with their physical/chemical makeup.

Many would call my last statement a "racist" remark.....if so, again, guilty as charged.
No changes will be made for the better by ignoring what we find offensive or different and pretending it doesn't exist.

40faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 2:04pm Top

"Just as is the fact that alcohol to most Natives is like pouring water on a gremlin.....not good...and a lot of it has to do with their physical/chemical makeup"

To be clear. Not ALL Natives are alcoholics, nor are all of them guilty of being unable to hold their liquor (I know someone is going to jump on this) BUT, alcoholism among Natives as an ethnic group is a horrible problem, a large problem and it has a lot to do,in part, with a difference inherent in their physical makeup.

41Tugar
Feb 8, 2012, 2:21pm Top

"difference inherent in their physical makeup" Can you provide a link to supporting documentation or are you just blowing peacepipe smoke up everyone's a**

42faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 3:15pm Top

>41 Tugar: There are many if you choose to search for them....here are two. First heard this premise from a doctor, of course HE may have blowing smoke up MY a**. Not sure but I trusted him none the less.

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;112/4/e328

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;112/4/e328

43faceinbook
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Oops !
http://www.peele.net/faq/indians.html

This is not a secret. But, it is surprising that so many people would think it hogwash. But then, we are busy trying not to look at how we differ, so as not to offend, thus risk being labeled as offensive.
There is nothing offensive in this fact, it is a sad fact, it is a weakness that has been exploited. One could ask themselves, if this knowledge would have been available years ago, would things be different for this group now ?

44jjwilson61
Feb 8, 2012, 5:06pm Top

39> Asians, Native Americans and Africans all have different ways of metabolizing food,

That's vastly overstating the case. The metabolic pathways of animals at least, I'm not sure about plants, are nearly identical. There are small differences between species and the differences among human populations are smaller still. Yes, some asians lack an enzyme for metabolizing lactose, the sugar in milk. And some Native Americans have a problem metabolizing alcohol. But not all. So sure, from a public health standpoint it makes sense to put more resources into combating alcoholism among Native Americans but in the end your going to have to target individuals because each person is unique.

45faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 5:52pm Top

>44 jjwilson61: "That's vastly overstating the case."

From wiki:
"In 2002, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives were at a much higher risk than other minority populations for heavy drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol dependence.36 A study carried out from 2002 to 2005 reported that 10.7 percent of all Native American and Alaskan Native age groups suffered from alcohol use disorder, whereas 7.6 percent of other ethnic groups reported the same disorder.37 Alcoholism is a particular issue among Native American women. General statistics indicate that Native American women drink less than men; however, specific tribal social norms and location cause this to vary among individuals.38 As a result, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder rates are higher than the national average in some tribes.39 Among tribes in Alaska, the rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, 5.6 every 1,000 births, is nearly three times higher than non-Indians' rate, 1.5 every 1,000 births.39 Overall, 11.7% of Native American and Alaskan Native deaths are alcohol-related, which includes traffic accidents, alcoholic liver disease, homicide, suicide, and falls.40

Native Americans are more likely than other ethnic groups to report past year illicit drug abuse.41 Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are the main suppliers of illegal substances to reservations in Indian Country and presumed growers of marijuana on reservations.42 Drug-trafficking organizations run by African-American, Asian, and Native American gangs and criminal groups also smuggle and supply on-reservation drug retailers with inventories of marijuana, ice methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.42 The most commonly abused drug on reservations is marijuana because of its ready availability.4344 The number of Native Americans seeking help for marijuana addiction increased from 1,119 to 2,147 from 2003 to 2007.45 It is a potentially alarming statistic in the face of declining rates of reported marijuana use among 12-17 and 18-25 year-olds nationwide.46 There is significant correlation between Methamphetamine and native americans"

How does one "overstate" this case ?

Obviously, poverty, life style and family dynamics all come into play.
One, however, can not ignore inherent differences, especially if it can be a key to solving the problem.

this isn't about, or maybe I should say it wasn't about, the Natives....this thread was about differences between groups of individuals

Do a bit of googling as to the different health issues suffered by people due ethnic back ground. It is interesting.

I don't think that the difference in the metabolic system has to be big. Doesn't take much of a change within one's body to throw something off kilter...the change can be very small.

People can not chose to be any ethnic group they desire to be.
Doesn't work that way....we are all different one from another which can be defined as such within a certain group of people and then as individuals.

Lawecon calls himself a "Jew" he may very well be a Jew in all ways but ethnically. Which, when I pointed this out, he claimed was bull....choosing to be a Jew, being adopted by the Jewish community was the same as being ethnically a Jew. No it is not ! If that is the case.......I am East Indian....would love to have that hair !

46jjwilson61
Feb 8, 2012, 6:36pm Top

A study carried out from 2002 to 2005 reported that 10.7 percent of all Native American and Alaskan Native age groups suffered from alcohol use disorder, whereas 7.6 percent of other ethnic groups reported the same disorder

As I said, 10.7 percent is a long way from they're all alcoholics.

47lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 6:40pm Top

~34

"Been looking things up, have found that most often differences come down to survival , either in response to physical surroundings or social structures."

That is what I said. Obiously playing basketball has been a survival trait in Africa for many thousands of years, but was not a survival trait in Europe or the Americas or Asia. How else could you explain that certain Black people are superb basketball players?

48lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 6:51pm Top

~45

"Lawecon calls himself a "Jew" he may very well be a Jew in all ways but ethnically. Which, when I pointed this out, he claimed was bull....choosing to be a Jew, being adopted by the Jewish community was the same as being ethnically a Jew. No it is not!"

Well, what can one say against such extensive presentation of evidence and profound reasoning?

I guess I should rip that yellow star off of my coat now.......
Too bad you weren't around about 50 years ago in Germany. Think how many people you could have saved (or condemned)! You know, that Hitler guy looked kinda Jewish, didn't he? And that Wagner, what a schanuer! We know what that means, don't we?

Incidentally, I'm just curious, how do you explain that David had red hair and blue eyes? I bet he wasn't a Jew either! What does your intuition tell you?

49madpoet
Feb 8, 2012, 8:07pm Top

>34 faceinbook: You can call it 'appreciating', but it's really the same thing. You aren't seeing the person, you are seeing an 'Asian', a 'Native American', etc.

When I was a white guy living in Canada, I rarely noticed racism (it wasn't directed at ME). But when I started living in China, it really annoyed me that the people around me didn't see me. They just saw a "louwei" (a foreigner). All their stereotypes were from Hollywood movies: that white people are violent and have a lot of sex. To be fair, I thought all Chinese were good at Kung Fu, before I went to China. We were both wrong.

Perhaps the cure for racism and prejudice is experience. If you had friends of other races, you would see those friends as individuals, and not just black, white, Asian, etc.

50faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 8:29pm Top

>46 jjwilson61:
Did not say ALL....they have a higher percentage and it is a problem.

>48 lawecon:
Totally beside the point...as per usual !

>49 madpoet:
Are you denying that you recognize an Asian person when you see one ? Or a Black person ?

51mikevail
Feb 8, 2012, 11:42pm Top

Faceinbook may be on to something here. Here's some things us white people are good at:

- Not getting arrested at disproportional rates
- Getting good service at restaurants and stores
- Acquiring quality education and health care
- Being in charge of huge corporations or countries
- Not being confused with other white people
I've always wondered why black people are not good at these things. Maybe its their metabolism.

52lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 11:48pm Top

49

"All their stereotypes were from Hollywood movies: that white people are violent and have a lot of sex. To be fair, I thought all Chinese were good at Kung Fu, before I went to China."

ROTFL.

53lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 11:51pm Top

~51

Dang, now I'm sorry that "my People" don't have the customs of those genetic Christians in the other thread, and I then can't say "Amen, mikevail!"

Stupid thread. What good is a thread where you agree with a bunch of people? Oy.

54faceinbook
Feb 9, 2012, 10:34am Top

We are a despicable species !!

55Tugar
Feb 9, 2012, 11:58am Top

We are a lovely species. We should just spend a little less time critiquing everything we say, determining whether or not it will be offensive to any possible person or group on the planet. We get offended and we move on. That's life. Evolution proves one thing. The skin of man has grown considerably thinner in the last 50 years. Whoops I didn't include women with that. I'm in for it now.

56faceinbook
Feb 9, 2012, 12:56pm Top

>55 Tugar:
"We are a lovely species"
Less so in the the 50 years I would agree ! There seems to be a flaw in our methodology.
It would seem to me that if we recognize our differences, both strengths and weaknesses and accept them as such, it speaks more of tolerance than to pretend they do not exist.
Certainly would lead to less worry about what we say and if we are being offensive or if we are choosing to be offended .....especially if we start with ourselves.

57jjwilson61
Feb 9, 2012, 8:29pm Top

I would say that some people on this earth might think that things have improved in the way that man treats his fellow man in the last 50 years. Becoming more thin skinned might be seen as an improvement, depending on your skin color.

58SimonW11
Feb 14, 2012, 2:19am Top

So what inherent ability of your race are you proud of Faceinabook?

59lawecon
Feb 14, 2012, 8:09am Top

~55

" We should just spend a little less time critiquing everything we say, determining whether or not it will be offensive to any possible person or group on the planet. We get offended and we move on. That's life."

Hey, I'm willing to join in. If you would just post your occupation or profession, your race, your religion, and your political beliefs, I'm sure I can find something insensitive to say about each of them. Warm fuzzies, you know.

60faceinbook
Feb 14, 2012, 8:46am Top

>59 lawecon:
"Hey, I'm willing to join in. If you would just post your occupation or profession, your race, your religion, and your political beliefs, I'm sure I can find something insensitive to say about each of them. Warm fuzzies, you know."

My point made exactly !
Why is the first thing that comes to mind is something "insensitive" or negative ? Guess that is not the way I think.....I see difference, I look for the positive.
One can not pretend that we are all the same....we spent a whole lot of time pretending that racism was something of our past in this country, only to find out how ugly it can still be when we elected Obama.
We also seem to persist in claiming that a major reason for the opposition to this man is not about race.
We need to call a spade a spade so to speak.

>58 SimonW11:
Like a majority of American's, I am a mutt. I can't dance, unable to sing, did not inherit the stoic silence (obviously) of my Native background.....let's see....there is my hair. No grey, over 60 and no grey (Native roots) given family history this will not happen till in my 80s. ;)

61jjwilson61
Feb 14, 2012, 9:32am Top

60> One can not pretend that we are all the same

It's like you aren't hearing us. I am not pretending everyone is the same. What I am doing is denying that everyone across some ethnic grouping have some common qualities beyond the superficial. I'm being more individualistic than you are.

62SimonW11
Feb 14, 2012, 9:47am Top

what is it that the anglo saxons are better at? whats their talent?

63BruceCoulson
Feb 14, 2012, 10:19am Top

>62 SimonW11:

Taking other people's stuff on a large scale?

64faceinbook
Feb 14, 2012, 10:29am Top

>61 jjwilson61:
It is like you are not hearing me. Define "superficial" and if we have "superficial" differences, why do we not appreciate them rather than use them to divide or as Lawecon so nicely put it : be "insensitive" about.

As human's we are not given to seeing the individualistic. We look for differences and likenesses, if it isn't race, it is social standing, or political beliefs, personality traits or even physical appearance. Then we form groups, we do this as naturally as we breath, be they religious or political, social or economic, often they are ethnic and rather than appreciate the differences between one group from another, we use this as a wedge to find fault or create further division.

We all differ individually but we also use our likenesses, those traits or talents that we have which draw us to one group or another, to survive. What makes one person valuable to the whole may not be possible for another to accomplish. Same goes for the societies and groupings we choose to surround ourselves with. There are always exceptions and nothing holds true all of the time but for the most part, we are different for a reason but so too are we similar in many ways in our differences. I just don't think we do ourselves any favors by denying our differences either individually or by the groups we find ourselves a part of.

65faceinbook
Feb 14, 2012, 10:31am Top

>63 BruceCoulson:
I am glad you said that !

66Tugar
Edited: Feb 14, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Hey, I'm willing to join in. If you would just post your occupation or profession, your race, your religion, and your political beliefs, I'm sure I can find something insensitive to say about each of them. Warm fuzzies, you know.

White, registered nurse, atheist, right wing. There you go.

67faceinbook
Edited: Feb 14, 2012, 3:07pm Top

>66 Tugar:
Spent years working with nurses.....they are VERY special people ! I admire them for their abilities and their dedication to others ! Any one who chooses that profession and stays with it....has a gift.

How is that for a warm fuzzie ?
Seriously...some of the best years of my life were spent working with a team with nurses.

Haven't a clue anymore where I stand on spirituality and most often find myself leaning towards the left.
Forced retirement from the medical field (Unit Secretary in an ICU) due to illness.
Forced retirement again, just recently due to bookstore closing.

68lawecon
Edited: Feb 14, 2012, 5:32pm Top

~60

">59 lawecon:
"Hey, I'm willing to join in. If you would just post your occupation or profession, your race, your religion, and your political beliefs, I'm sure I can find something insensitive to say about each of them. Warm fuzzies, you know."

My point made exactly !
Why is the first thing that comes to mind is something "insensitive" or negative ? Guess that is not the way I think.....I see difference, I look for the positive."

If you'd read the post I was responding to before replying, my response might have made more sense to you. But I guess these kneejerk emotional replies are much more, ah, emotionally satisfying to you.

69lawecon
Feb 14, 2012, 5:30pm Top

~62

Some are really obnoxious and irritating. See, e.g., Bennie Hill and John Cleese http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJSey8HRUhU Some of us are chips off the old block, don't you know?

70faceinbook
Feb 14, 2012, 5:46pm Top

>68 lawecon:
Trying to come up with a "warm fuzzie" reply to post #68.
Nothing I can come up with has "jerked a knee" or satisfied the appropriate emotion yet.

This may take a while !

71margd
Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 11:27am Top

Ferris State U in Michigan opens a museum on racism on April 26. Can it be the first in the nation? Sounds like the impact on visitors is similar to that of Holocaust Museum in DC. Encouraging that mostly white Ferris State U is host--it happens to be the alma mater of the most outspokenly racist person I know. Discouraging that the Museum is still adding to its collection...

"... (A) Ferris State sophomore ... was particularly troubled by a series of items about President Barack Obama."

"One T-shirt on display reads: "Any White Guy 2012." Another shirt that says "Obama '08" is accompanied by a cartoon monkey holding a banana. A mouse pad shows robe-wearing Ku Klux Klan members chasing an Obama caricature above the words, "Run Obama Run.""

""I was like, 'Wow. People still think this. This is crazy...'"

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jYxgdeih8uuKhVFoO2Gy7v7kKgtg?d...

72lawecon
Apr 19, 2012, 9:05am Top

Sadly, I think it probably is the first in the nation. And while I apologize in advance to those who are alumni, Ferris State University?? Of course, there is no racism in America...... of course.........

73madpoet
Apr 19, 2012, 9:52pm Top

Museums usually hold relics of the past. But since racism isn't just in the past, maybe that's why no-one built a 'museum of racism' before. It would be like building a 'museum of trees'... in the middle of a forest.

74margd
Nov 3, 2012, 6:26am Top

In way too much tech-detail for me at least, geneticists show that individuals from various populations (not race) carry different profiles of rare and common variants (e.g., predisposing for disease such a kidney disease), and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection--which isn't to say that any one of us couldn't carry rare variants.

An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. Nature 491, 56–65 (01 November 2012) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7422/full/nature11632.html

Abstract. By characterizing the geographic and functional spectrum of human genetic variation, the 1000 Genomes Project aims to build a resource to help to understand the genetic contribution to disease. Here we describe the genomes of 1,092 individuals from 14 populations, constructed using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome and exome sequencing. By developing methods to integrate information across several algorithms and diverse data sources, we provide a validated haplotype map of 38|thinsp|million single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1.4|thinsp|million short insertions and deletions, and more than 14,000 larger deletions. We show that individuals from different populations carry different profiles of rare and common variants, and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection. We show that evolutionary conservation and coding consequence are key determinants of the strength of purifying selection, that rare-variant load varies substantially across biological pathways, and that each individual contains hundreds of rare non-coding variants at conserved sites, such as motif-disrupting changes in transcription-factor-binding sites. This resource, which captures up to 98% of accessible single nucleotide polymorphisms at a frequency of 1% in related populations, enables analysis of common and low-frequency variants in individuals from diverse, including admixed, populations.

75faceinbook
Nov 3, 2012, 8:40am Top

>74 margd:
Thank you margd. Very technical regarding the physical aspect. I believe that was mentioned somewhere in the tread as well. Worked with at doctor who explained the difference in matabolism between Whites and Native Indians. This difference is reponsible for the high rate of diabitis in Native American tribes. It is also a key factor as to why they have more problems with alcohol addiction.
We are speaking now of "physical" differences...it would seem to me that this would also follow through in other less tangible ways...
Not sure why or when "different" became something less than desireable.

76madpoet
Nov 5, 2012, 12:08am Top

>75 faceinbook:
Of course there are physical differences between population groups. That's where the whole idea of 'race' comes from.

But it's a big jump to go from saying one group of people is more likely to have diabetes, or sickle-cell anemia, or to be lactose intolerant, to saying that one group is smarter, or has special talents, for genetic reasons.

The problem with saying people of one race have 'inherent abilities', is you are ignoring individuality. While celebrating supposed differences between races, you are suppressing individual differences and talents. Even 'positive' stereotypes are still stereotypes. On closer examination, they aren't so positive, either. When someone says, "Black people are good at basketball, and they can dance!" the implication is that that is all they are good at. Why not say that blacks are good at math, or are great writers? Because you think only Asians and whites have those talents?

Forget race. Celebrate the individual, instead.

77SimonW11
Nov 5, 2012, 12:25am Top

Since Africa has by far the largest gene pool. It seems strange to attribute any particular attribute to its people. As a race they are far more varied than the other races. Genetically they are distinguished by a wider range of abilities and talents, Even skin colour the feature that most is most often used to distinguish them varies much more amongst Africans than it does amongst any other race.

78margd
Edited: Nov 5, 2012, 2:10am Top

>76 madpoet: Forget race.

>77 SimonW11: Since Africa has by far the largest gene pool. It seems strange to attribute any particular attribute to its people.

Agreed. The study looked at populations.

OT? As someone with Scottish highland ancestry, I find interesting that every "race" has populations with high-bridged noses--typically those who lived in mountainous areas with cool, arid air. Every "race" had enough genetic variation that mountainous environment could select from to make those noses.

79Lunar
Nov 5, 2012, 2:52am Top

#77: Genetically they are distinguished by a wider range of abilities and talents

While non-Africans can almost certainly be described as the red-headed stepchildren of the human race, making the jump to "abilities and talents" is still unwarranted no matter what group you're talking about.

#76: "Black people are good at basketball, and they can dance!"

Thaddeus Russell's A Renegade History of the United States has plenty of great anecdotes about such racial stereotyping over the years. Once upon a time, it was Jewish people who were thought to be "naturally inclined" towards basketball and Italian-Americans were thought to be "black" in part because of their loose-kneed dancing... until a stiff-kneed Frank Sinatra came along and helped Italian-Americans earn their puritan card.

80lawecon
Nov 5, 2012, 7:39am Top

~76

"Forget race. Celebrate the individual, instead. "

Odd advice from someone who resides in a country completely dominated by a Communist Party http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/01/opinion/china-cpc-congress-secrecy/index.html and that still considers the Han ethnicity to be vastly superior to all other Peoples in history.

81faceinbook
Nov 5, 2012, 8:14am Top

>76 madpoet:
"But it's a big jump to go from saying one group of people is more likely to have diabetes, or sickle-cell anemia, or to be lactose intolerant, to saying that one group is smarter, or has special talents, for genetic reasons."

Is it not all connected ? The brain is a physical entity.
If you have had several of one kind of animal in your life time you will find that they all have different and unique personalities. However if you have Labradors rather than Yorkshire terriers you will find that the Labrador inherently likes water and will retrieve while the terrier will hunt rodents and will NOT retrieve them. Both animals are physically built to accomplish that which they seem to want to do without much proding. There are always exceptions of course.

Neither talent is more "special" than the other....only different. Neither is an indication of intellegence or lack there of. There are smart dogs and dogs that are less than intellegent in both breeds ....had some of each myself.

Regardless of whether one believes this or not, it isn't until we, as a society, accept and appreciate DIFFERENCES, rather than trying to hemoginze all people into one group, that we will see the end of what we call "racism". Obama has problems because of who is parents were, how he looks, where he grew up, how he was educated and to some extent, I think because of his intellegence. He is different ! If you look at the chart sent through on one of these threads about all of the conspiricey theories that have been attributed to him, they all stem from those differences.

82jjwilson61
Nov 5, 2012, 11:18am Top

Regardless of whether one believes this or not, it isn't until we, as a society, accept and appreciate DIFFERENCES, rather than trying to hemoginze all people into one group...

I guess we're going around in circles, but I'll say it one more time. Your the one who's trying to homogenize people into groups. The rest of us want to celebrate the attributes of the individual.

83faceinbook
Nov 5, 2012, 2:22pm Top

>82 jjwilson61:
Nope not so......compare our desire to create sameness through religion. Especially Christianity and some Islamic faiths.....Only one way ! If we are that way about spirituality it follows through that we are pretty much that way about everything. This of course does not mean everybody, there are exceptions.

Never in my life have I homogenized anyone....in fact I got into all kinds of trouble during the big women's lib movement. Women were trying to prove that they were "the same" as men. That their brains functioned in exactly the same way. They do not and there is a reason that they do not. They function equally but NOT the same. Most men approach issues in a different fashion than most women do.

"celebrate the attributes of the individual."

Well, that isn't working all that well. Obama has been accused of "palling around with terroists" of being a "Muslim" or applying "Kension" (sp) government to America.

Guess we will celebrate one's individuality until someone a bit "different" is in a postition that makes us uncomfortable....then we will pick the worst possible attributes associated with their race and/or color and accuse him of them.

84madpoet
Nov 5, 2012, 8:13pm Top

>80 lawecon: "Odd advice from someone who resides in a country completely dominated by a Communist Party and that still considers the Han ethnicity to be vastly superior to all other Peoples in history."

It would be odd advice if I agreed with everything- or even most things- the government of the country I resided in did or believed. Do you agree with everything your government says or does, Lawecon?

I don't think 'Han supremacy' is the avowed, official policy of the CCP. Although I have noticed it is sometimes the way it acts, just like the government in the old USSR favoured Russians over other ethnicities.

You are fortunate to live in a country where the government has never favoured the majority (white, Protestant) ethnic group over minorities (Black, Hispanic, Indian, Catholic), or restricted their rights. Where no politician would use fear of a minority for political gain.

Maybe you Americans could inform the developing world on how to eliminate racism, since it doesn't exist in America anymore.

85Arctic-Stranger
Nov 5, 2012, 8:22pm Top

LE is often in his own little world. A place where HE is the only rational person.

86Carnophile
Nov 5, 2012, 8:40pm Top

>34 faceinbook:
have observed that IN GENERAL, an individual of an ethnic Jewish background has profoundly different skills than an individual of Native American decent. Both individuals have equal value but based on observation, in a court of law, one group seems to have a larger proportion of individuals who have more apptitude at this than the other.

Did the person who wrote this accuse her political opponents of being racists in other threads?

87lawecon
Nov 5, 2012, 10:10pm Top

~85

Well, if I ever feel lonely, I can just look over into the next monad and there you are.

88Lunar
Nov 6, 2012, 1:30am Top

#81: Is it not all connected ? The brain is a physical entity.

To think I had ignored this thread until yesterday.... Nope, the evidence for race being an indicator of "talents" has simply not panned out. Accept it.

There are smart dogs and dogs that are less than intellegent in both breeds ....had some of each myself.

Terrible analogy. Dogs are quite unique among large mammals for their ability vary their features over the generations. I don't recall the details, but there's something going on at the genetic level with dogs that simply doesn't happen with humans and other animals that gives them much greater plasticity in gene expression. It's bad enough that you're making the jump from sickle-shaped blood cells. But to make the jump from what are basically the genomic equivalent of a chameleon... just flawed thinking all the way through.

89faceinbook
Nov 6, 2012, 8:54am Top

>86 Carnophile:
Is recognizing "race" racism ? I don't think so....racism is when you feel that one race is superior over another. I have never made that claim....I think that different races are associated with different talents and/or abilities....(wonder why the hell that is ?) this does not mean one is superior ....just different !
If we continue to deny differences, we will never get over racism in it's negative conotation.
Already posted that I probably could be considered a racist, given today's definition. However, I have never in my life felt that one race was superior over another. EVER !
We were created differently...and there are reasons for our differences. If we worked "with" them rather than working at denying them (one of the reasons we were ill prepared for the war in the Middle East), we would have a far better planet.

90Lunar
Nov 7, 2012, 7:49am Top

#89: Is recognizing "race" racism ?

Depends on how utterly baseless it is and how much a person persists in such ignorance. If they're told a certain number of times how their views on race are complete bullshit, one might start to wonder where that persistence is really coming from.

racism is when you feel that one race is superior over another. I have never made that claim....I think that different races are associated with different talents and/or abilities

Those are exactly the same thing. Plenty fucking racists before you have believed that different races had different strengths. But you seem to think that you can spin this by attaching the imaginary racial differences you see to the cultural diversity bandwagon and hoping you don't get called out as a talking colostomy bag.

91SimonW11
Nov 7, 2012, 11:06am Top

So trying to fit all people into one group is wrong but trying to fit them into one of say, five, groups is right?

People remain diverse no matter what groups you slot them into. Seeing a person as a group member means only that they you do not know them well enough to see them as a person.

The perniciousness about using race. Is that it is too big and arbitrary to have any value.

92faceinbook
Nov 7, 2012, 1:11pm Top

>91 SimonW11:
Would you agree that, in general, women and men have distinct differences and that these differences are pretty standard to most females and/or males ? Other than the physical of course. Women have spent a great deal of time and effort into proving that we are the "same" rather than accepting that we are different yet should be considered equal. There is value in our differences and it is my belief that there is a reason for them....if we don't pay attention to them, we fail to have a proper balance, in all aspects of our life.

Will go back to the Native American tribes that lived on this continent....some 4,000 tribes of which 513 are still recognized by our government.
These tribes were all different, not only as to their physical features but also in personality and temperment. Early settler's were aware of this and prepared accordingly....how does one account for this difference ?

I don't believe that recognizing is the same as judging. Also feel that there are differences for a reason...probably said this before. Since we live under diverse conditions it follows that we would adapt in ways that would differ one from the other. Not so sure that one can seperate the mind and personality from the physical.....it seems that it would all be connected......that is not to say that every person isn't unique in their own way, which trumps race or sex but I don't think we are that much different than animals. Used dogs as an example but was thinking about the horses I've had as well. Owned both Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses.......every single animal had it's own personality but when you ride a Saddlebred, you better have your wits about you because they are usually high strung and skiddish. Quarter horses are low key and will work for you........Saddlebreds are about the show.
OR do you believe that we are set apart from the rest of the animal kingdom in this matter ? that we may "look" different but it means nothing when it comes to temperment or personality ?

I will point out again that White's tend to try to hemoginze further using religion. If one believes in a God, how on earth can one think that a God would make such a diverse species of animals and then give them only one way to understand that which is spiritual.....THAT never made sense to me . We do not all see things in the same way on an individual basis let alone on a racial divide.

It just seems to make sense that we would all get along far better if we recognized a few things rather than denied them.

93faceinbook
Nov 7, 2012, 1:19pm Top

>91 SimonW11:
I may be all wrong on this subject....have no clue at all...just my way of looking at the world. Personally, I wouldn't want us all to be alike or think alike....even the experience of reading a novel written by someone of a different race or nationality is a learning experience, in that it makes one think in new ways.

For quite some time I've wondered why it is that some of us fear change so much or are alarmed by that which is "different". (Obama is different.....raised all kinds of ugliness) It appears to me that the first thing many try to do is fit those differences into something that we ourselves are comfortable with, which doesn't always work that well. Would be far easier to accept that the difference exists and is probably there for a reason.

94quicksiva
Edited: Nov 7, 2012, 4:19pm Top

Faceinbook,
How would you respond to these words by Count Constantine Francis Chassebeuf De Volney , translated into English by Thomas Jefferson and Joel Barlow in 1793?

"Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. Behold the wrecks of her metropolis, of Thebes with her hundred palaces, the parent of cities and the monument of the caprice of destiny. There a people, now forgotten, discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair, founded on the study of the laws of nature, those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe. Lower down those dusky points are the pyramids whose masses have astonished you. Beyond that, the coast, hemmed in between the sea and a narrow ridge of mountains was the habitation of the Phoenicians. These were the famous cities of Tyre, of Sidon, of Ascalon, of Gaza, and of Berytus. "
The Ruins of Empires by C.F.Volney
Count Constantine Francis Chassebeuf De Volney - Thomas Jefferson and Joel Barlow , trans.1793

95quicksiva
Nov 7, 2012, 4:41pm Top

Faceinbook,
Have you ever read any Apuleius? Lucius Apuleius was the first African known to publish outside Africa. He was a "Barbarian" from south of the Mediterranean who after boasting of his intentions, demonstrated with amazing virtuosity and wit that he could speak and write Latin as well as any educated Roman, and more in tune with Greek philosophy, Platonic ideals, and ancient Egyptian wisdom than the majority of his contemporaries in Third Century Roman Empire.

See The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius.

96faceinbook
Nov 7, 2012, 5:16pm Top

>95 quicksiva:
"Have you ever read any Apuleius?"
No I can not say that I have. Just not certain the point you are trying to make. I read info on De Volney and tried to figure out how you were comparing my idea's and his. Other than history repeats itself which I do believe and in that perhaps I might as well forget that people are EVER going to give up on twisting our differences into something negative and using them to divide rather than cooporate.

97quicksiva
Nov 7, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Apuleius (born c. 125 in Madaurus in Africa Proconsularis), is unambivalent and unapologetic in defense of his mixed origin:

"Concerning my fatherland, as you have shown on the basis of my own writings, it lies on the very border of Numidia and Gaetulia. I have in fact declared in my public declarations made in the presence of the honorable Lollianus Avitus, that I am half Numidian and half Gaetulian. However, I do not see what there is in this for me to be ashamed of, any more than there was for the Elder Cyrus, being of mixed origin, half Mede and half Persian. After all it is not where a man was born but his way of life that should be considered, nor in what region, but how he lives his life. . . . Have we not seen that in all periods and among all peoples different characters occur, while some appear more remarkable for their stupidity or their cleverness? The wise Anacharsis was born among the extremely foolish Scythians, among the intelligent Athenians, the silly Meletides. And yet I have not spoken out of shame for my country."

See Apuleius, The Rhetorical Works. Transl. & ann. S. Harrison, J. Hilton, & V. Hunink. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Includes the Defense and The God of Socrates.
and
Apuleius, The Works of Apuleius. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1911. Includes Met., God of Soc., Florida, Defense, but not Plato's Doctrine.


Apuleius of Madauros.

98lawecon
Nov 7, 2012, 6:42pm Top

The classical definition of racism had to do with "civilizing ability" or "civilizing potential." The notion was simply that certain Peoples could attain a state of progressive and civilized society and certain couldn't. If you couldn't, perhaps you weren't a natural slave, but you could choose between savagery and barbarism or being led (usually in a colonial setting) by the "better types."

It had nothing per se to do with OTHER differences between types of people. Specifically, it had nothing to do with whether certain Peoples had predominate fast runners or cleaver craftsmen or beautiful hair.

The problem with all of this, for those who haven't been around for the last hundred years of intellectual development, is that the notion of Peoples is no longer all that viable. It is now generally recognized that using such language is, at very best, referring to a statistical mean or median of an arbitrarily defined group. Outside of certain isolated tribes in the Amazon or New Guinea there aren't any "natural" Peoples any longer. What there were were abolished by the rise of nations which are, per se, anti-homogeneous but very dependent upon loyalty to the sovereign.

99Lunar
Nov 8, 2012, 2:29am Top

#98: The classical definition of racism had to do with "civilizing ability" or "civilizing potential."

Which is not altogether dissimilar to the kinds of racial stereotypes that have persisted outside of such a narrow scope. Blacks are thought by racists to be better dancers because they are more "primitive," or they are thought to be better at basketball, which is the modern stand-in for "more suited to manual labor." While racial stereotypes aren't explicitly about who gets to control whom, they are still considered to be a form of racism well beyond the awkward use of phrases like "shuck and jive."

100SimonW11
Nov 8, 2012, 4:58am Top

i do not deny that different groups may have different characteristics. I just see no reason to look for anything other than culture to explain those differences. I French children growing up in Germany, will prefer rye bread to brioche. A Bishops Daughter cast adrift as a child on the streets of London will grow up to have questionable morals. While the pimp's get raised in her place will be a self satisfied little prig.

101faceinbook
Nov 8, 2012, 7:52am Top

>100 SimonW11:
Guess we are talking in circles here....but I remind you that the differences in races is not confined to personality characteristics.....it is sometimes physical. This is important to recognize for their personal health and welfare.

102lawecon
Nov 8, 2012, 8:03am Top

~100

While my past interactions with you have been entirely unproductive, let me try once more. What possible difference does it make that "different groups may have different characteristics" unless, for instance, one is a planner in a totalitarian society?

Further, the phrase is inaccurate. The factually correct phrase is: "The mean of the traits of those individuals who we have defined as belonging in a particular group may differ from the mean of the same traits of other arbitrarily defined groups."

103lawecon
Nov 8, 2012, 8:05am Top

~101

" This is important to recognize for their personal health and welfare."

Yept, as I just said before I read this post, "a planner in a totalitarian society." Which, as we know from your other posts on "universal service for the young," is the way you think about policy issues.

104faceinbook
Nov 8, 2012, 8:21am Top

>103 lawecon:
It has NOTHING to do with policy issues...OR "universal service for the young"
Native American's have a huge problem with diabetes........due to their inability to metabolize process foods. (alcohol as well) This is a physical difference. Has nothing to do with racism or policy or anything other than the health of a human being. This is NOT something new......the fact that Natives are unable to metabolize alcohol has been used by the Whites for hundreds of years......the fact that Natives have an epidemic of diabetes doesn't concern us much but if the tribe wants to insure the health of it's members they will have to recognize that they are different in that they can not eat "junk food" without having a higher risk of becoming ill.

I am the LAST person who would want a totalitarian society. In fact, I think that the White Male in THIS society pretty much felt they had it all sewed up ! What a mess they've made ! How loud they are crying when it appears that their little kingdom is under attack. We are going to be and act differently no matter how hard they try to make us all little soldiers under one happy umbrella.

105SimonW11
Nov 8, 2012, 1:42pm Top

there are physical difference between genetic groups, but with the possible exception of the rather arbitrary cluster of features that is used to distinguish "a race", these variations occure in much smaller population groups that map very poorly to race. consider height, consider the Massai, and Pygmies. How closely does height map to race?
Consider this map, see how the gene does not follow racial boundaries? That different groups have different physical attributes. is without question. that those differences map meaningfully to the antiquated notion of race is very questionable.

106geneg
Nov 8, 2012, 1:57pm Top

White men can't jump and white people can't dance. What else do you need to know about race?

107timspalding
Nov 8, 2012, 9:35pm Top

>105 SimonW11:

I'd like to know more about that map. Where did it come from?

108SimonW11
Nov 9, 2012, 2:52am Top

Oh sorry it is a map of the distribution of the gene causing sickle cell anaemia distribution. it was taken from wikipedia. As I recall but not from the wikipedia article which i did not read, there are a few variations of the gene all of which that are assumed to have arisen as spontaneous mutations in Africa this has not prevented it from established itself in other malaria ridden zones. many genes when mapped show little correlation with race. which is why I a said the indicators chosen to assign race are arbitary, If say limb/body length, lung capacity/bodyweight, or nose shape were the feature cluster chosen as racial indicators . then the global distribution of these new look races would be very different, TheDark skin, pale hair, eye folds, or dimpled chins,etc do not seem to be useful markers for the distribution of other genes.

109quicksiva
Edited: Nov 9, 2012, 8:06pm Top

Faceinbook,
How does substantia nigra fit into your theories?
Wiki tells us...
The substantia nigra is a brain structure located in the mesencephalon (midbrain) that plays an important role in reward, addiction, and movement. Substantia nigra is Latin for "black substance", as parts of the substantia nigra appear darker than neighboring areas due to high levels of melanin in dopaminergic neurons. Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta.
Although the substantia nigra appears as a continuous band in brain sections, anatomical studies have found that it actually consists of two parts with very different connections and functions, the pars compacta and pars reticulata. The pars compacta serves mainly as an input to the basal ganglia circuit, supplying the striatum with dopamine. The pars reticulata, on the other hand, serves mainly as an output, conveying signals from the basal ganglia to numerous other brain structures.

We have all got a little nigra in us. Some more than others.

110faceinbook
Nov 11, 2012, 2:42pm Top

>109 quicksiva:
First of all....they are indeed "my theories" and the reason I have them is because I am fasintated by our differences. I don't feel that we are supposed to be the same. We should certainly all be equal but not the same.
Since the brain is a physical entity I imagine it would differ in many ways as do our other physical features. Yet as humans we all share certain traits that are undeniable....just as various races share traits that are indicative of their race.
Spend a lot of time wondering how our physical aspects affect our personality , how our geographical locations dictate how we view the world.....and how both of these affect the way we process thoughts.
If we differ that much from person to person, it just would follow that we would differ from race to race...
If we approach people with the thought in mind that they may not see things our way, in fact they may be incapable of seeing things our way, we would have a far better chance of actually getting along with others. It is my belief that this is the way to look at people as individuals .......acknowledging the difference, accepting the difference and allowing it to be so. When we say we "don't see color" or "we are all the same" we are not accepting that others may be different than ourselves. Again....this is just my theory. May be all wrong.....but the way we've approached racism to date hasn't worked very well and is taking a long time to overcome.

I have a black girl friend, she drives a black car. Her comment "White people who say they don't see color are full of crap....see my car ? What color is it ? Black ? That is right ! Don't see color my ass !"

111SimonW11
Nov 12, 2012, 7:21am Top

Shrug, I see colour and I think colour is important in moulding personality and the way people interact in practically every country in the world. I just think it takes a fool to think that you can identify someones personality by their colour. Culture is far more important and race is just a way of tagging culture and a damned vague one at that.

I recall Michelle Obama remarking that it was not until she went to Kenya to meet Her husbands relatives that she realise how much more she was American than she was black. It is culture that defines us not ancestry.

Do you not have the term coconut in your country?

112Lunar
Nov 13, 2012, 2:15am Top

#110: If we differ that much from person to person, it just would follow that we would differ from race to race...

No, it doesn't follow at all. The data shows the opposite. You only believe that because of your inflated notion of the importance of racial differences. How many times do you have to be told that intergroup differences are dwarfed by intragroup differences? And yet here you are repeating your stupid racial scientism like a broken record.

#111: Do you not have the term coconut in your country?

I believe so. Lemme see if I can use it in a sentence. "Whitefaceinbook's views on race are frickin' coconuts!"

113SimonW11
Nov 13, 2012, 3:35am Top

let me try again, I believe that your black friend is likely to have a similar outlook to other black people. for the same reason I think a Mormon friend shares a similar outlook to other Mormon people. And further I think your outlook is closer to that of your black friend than it is to Mitt Romney's, even though he is presumably the same race as you.

114faceinbook
Nov 13, 2012, 8:01am Top

>113 SimonW11:
I am of mixed heritage......

"I recall Michelle Obama remarking that it was not until she went to Kenya to meet Her husbands relatives that she realise how much more she was American than she was black. It is culture that defines us not ancestry."

On what basis do we form our cultural beliefs, practices and achievements ? Is it based solely on geography or does personality play a part ?

115lawecon
Nov 13, 2012, 8:21am Top

Here is a question that seems to be more relevant to what you keep saying, face: When we have certain personality traits is it because of our individual genetic structure interacting with our experiences or is it because our genetic structure was in a certain racial group according to certain acquainted and long ago discarded anthropological theories of the 19th century?

Another way of asking the same question is: Do you believe in phrenology?

116faceinbook
Nov 13, 2012, 8:49am Top

>115 lawecon:
Thank you.....yes.

"genetic structure was in a certain racial group according to certain acquainted and long ago discarded anthropological theories of the 19th century? "

Why were these discarded and who made the decision that all of it warrented discarding ?
Obviously somewhere along the line someone decided that the brain and how it functions is seperated from other physical aspects of a person's make up. Since it is a fact that we differ physically according to racial divisions.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/why-kenyans-make-such-g...

This article focuses only on the physical genetics......is the brain not a physical part of the body and why is it exempt from the same genetic differences ? (bumps in the skull aside)

117lawecon
Nov 13, 2012, 8:56am Top

So you do believe in phrenology. I had long suspected that to be the case.

118faceinbook
Nov 13, 2012, 1:08pm Top

>117 lawecon:
If believing that people are inherintly different in some ways and that there is probably a reason for this difference is phrenology, then, yes I do. I don't however think that bumps on the skull tell the entire story.

IMO it seems we would benefit far more by recongnizing difference than denying that it exists. Most negative racism stems from expectations that those around us will act the "same" as we do.....when this doesn't occur we attach a negative stereo type on race and/or gender.

119SimonW11
Nov 13, 2012, 1:26pm Top

nods Kenya is home to the Massai.
So to repeat myself. via copy and paste.
"Consider height, consider the Massai, and Pygmies. How closely does height map to race?"

Long arms and legs make for great runners, No doubt about it. but to cut and paste again, "these variations occur in much smaller population groups" than race. looking at America,I suspect you would find a lot of people with Mandinka ancestry amongst your International runners, they are another tall people.

It does not mean that the woman who served you fries at your local KFC is faster than you. There are a lot more genes in Africa than that. When it comes to running Kenya is not a typical African country but exceptional. to use its as an example is to define a race by its outliers.

120jjwilson61
Nov 13, 2012, 5:20pm Top

IMO it seems we would benefit far more by recongnizing difference than denying that it exists.

You keep saying this, but no one here is denying that differences between people exist.

121faceinbook
Nov 13, 2012, 5:39pm Top

>120 jjwilson61:
No I guess not....what is in question is whether people are different in specific ways identifiable by race. When I suggested this I was called a racist.......and perhaps I am though I don't see that recognizing racial differences as a negative, just a fact of nature.

122mikevail
Nov 13, 2012, 10:38pm Top

123lawecon
Nov 13, 2012, 11:02pm Top

~121

"No I guess not....what is in question is whether people are different in specific ways identifiable by race. When I suggested this I was called a racist.......and perhaps I am though I don't see that recognizing racial differences as a negative, just a fact of nature."

Of course. It is only natural to recognize that Black People are natural dancers and sports figures but would be lousy, for instance, in politics.

124faceinbook
Nov 14, 2012, 7:50am Top

>123 lawecon:
"sports figures but would be lousy, for instance, in politics."

Well, that would depend on the sports figure in question. Guess we've all learned what happens when actors jump into the political arena.....

125lawecon
Nov 14, 2012, 8:45am Top

But them there actors were White guys, and thus are naturally good at politics (or just about anything else that has to do with brains rather than brawn). Right?

126faceinbook
Nov 14, 2012, 11:46am Top

>125 lawecon:
Intellegence Difference

One has nothing to do with the other.

127faceinbook
Nov 14, 2012, 11:47am Top

>125 lawecon:

Politics Brains

These two are not related either for that matter !

128SimonW11
Nov 15, 2012, 4:29am Top

So to summarise, Id Amin, natural runner.

129faceinbook
Nov 16, 2012, 11:15am Top



Dalai Lama.............
"However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. When we are sick or very young or very old, we must depend on the support of others. There is no significant division between us and other people, because our basic natures are the same. If we wish to ensure everyone’s peace and happiness we need to cultivate a healthy respect for the diversity of our peoples and cultures, founded on an understanding of this fundamental sameness of all human beings."

We can have it both ways, recognize our sameness while respecting our diversity.

130jjwilson61
Nov 16, 2012, 12:07pm Top

Yes, respect our individual diversity, by all means. But racial diversity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

131faceinbook
Nov 16, 2012, 3:06pm Top

>130 jjwilson61:
"cultivate a healthy respect for the diversity of our peoples and cultures"

Since when has a show of respect been all that it is not cracked up to be ?? But then, I suppose we know more than some Asian guy ?

132lawecon
Nov 17, 2012, 9:03am Top

~131

Well, yes, I would think so. I mean, Asians aren't known for their knowledge, just for being inscrutable. Next you'll be telling us that Black people can be brilliant !!

133faceinbook
Nov 17, 2012, 10:43am Top

>132 lawecon:
Sarcasim !!!! I choose to think that the use of sarcasim is a mark of intellengence rather than the lowest form of wit.
What is amazing is that if intellegence is linked to sarcasim, why it is that you persist in making a point that hasn't much to do with what I am saying. Almost have to choose to take what I am saying and twist it the wrong way on purpose. For what reason ?

The Dalai Lama said it exactly right as to the point I've been trying to make and I would think you could see that. But, no.....

134lawecon
Edited: Nov 17, 2012, 1:27pm Top

Yes, people are frequently complaining about my twisting what they have said by plainly stating the clear implications of what they have said. Apparently is is OK to have certain disgusting views, but not to have anyone say too plainly what they lead to..........

Incidentally, what has the Dalai Lama done to you that you are making such abhorrent and twisted use of what he has said?

135faceinbook
Nov 17, 2012, 4:46pm Top

>134 lawecon:
Perhaps you could explain to me what the Dalai Lama meant by the above quote ?

136SimonW11
Nov 17, 2012, 7:00pm Top

135> He meant Tibetans are not Chinese but they can still respect each other.
Somali's are not Nigerians but they can still respect each other. Jews are not Palestinians But they can still respect each other. Americans are not Mexican but they can still respect each other. even the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa can he claim acknowledge differences and respect each other. notice how in those examples as in the original quote the differentiation is not by race.

137Lunar
Nov 18, 2012, 4:03am Top

#135: Perhaps you could explain how the hell you got it into your head that the Dalai Lama was talking about your twisted racial theories?

138Arctic-Stranger
Edited: Nov 18, 2012, 4:09am Top

Yes, people are frequently complaining about my twisting what they have said by plainly stating the clear implications of what they have said.

What is funny is that you actually believe what you wrote above.

139lawecon
Nov 18, 2012, 10:43am Top

~138

Yes I do, Arctic. I am glad that it is amusing to you. It is amusing to me that your inferential skills are so underdeveloped that you apparently don't recognize what I am doing. Ho, ho...........

140faceinbook
Nov 18, 2012, 11:14am Top

>136 SimonW11:
Yes....I agree, but it seems to me that this is a task that we as humans have failed at repeatedly. The evidence is apparent in how the first Black President has been treated. Something about the way we are going about "respecting" each other is not working all that well. Is it not possible to have a different way of looking at it ?

Racism is the result of using racial differences negatively. ....the fact that the race native to North America could not metabolize alcohol was used to the benefit of a race of peoples whose out look was profoundly different and it remains so in many ways.

I would say accepting and respecting differences is a different matter altogether.

It is not in my nature to disrespect others... I am a curious person and I am interested in diversity. I look at a piece of art from the Orient and a work of art from Mexico and wonder how and why they are so totally different. Why one can recognize a piece of art as being indicitive to one place or another. What makes the artists in one area so alike yet so different than an artist across the pond ? (just an example....there are many many interesting differences) Maybe I think too much....but I've never felt that the recognization of these things is a racist act.

Of course, until we learn to respect those who share our ethnic and/ or cultural back grounds, I suppose there is little hope of spreading that respect to those who look or act differently than we do. There seems to be little chance of that happening any time soon. What is it called when some of us brow beat those we do not really know over our own assumptions about what they are saying or what we feel they may be thinking ? Must have a title....
(this is not applied to you)

141jjwilson61
Nov 18, 2012, 12:59pm Top

.but I've never felt that the recognization of these things is a racist act

It becomes a racist act when you attribute the difference to some innate difference based on this nebulous concept called race instead of on the culture they grew up in.

142faceinbook
Nov 18, 2012, 1:51pm Top

>141 jjwilson61:
What is it that forms culture ? Obviously it is in part geographic but that can not be entirely what "culture" is based on.

143jjwilson61
Nov 18, 2012, 8:03pm Top

Your culture is the ways of life of the people you grew up with. It has nothing to do with genetics and geography only because those people must live somewhere. A baby from the other side of the world would still have the culture of the people he grew up with.

144SimonW11
Nov 18, 2012, 8:15pm Top

142> why not?

145Helcura
Nov 19, 2012, 2:28am Top

>142 faceinbook:

Culture is totally geographic. If an infant from a Romanian orphanage is raised in France by parents who never tell the child about the adoption, the child will be French in every cultural way. The same thing is true of an infant adopted from Nigeria - the only difference is that some people will look at that child's skin color and decide that person can't possibly be French and treat them differently - which would be racist.

146faceinbook
Nov 24, 2012, 1:27pm Top

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/may-jun...

>145 Helcura:
I would be beneficial for the adoptive parents to understand the childs geneology so as to keep the child in the best physical health. The child from Nigeria can not be French although he can be incorporated into the French culture. The child is Nigerian......It is not my belief that anyone should be treated differently......human's should all have the benefit of being treated equally....but so too should they be appreciated for thier differences.....rather than being measured according to what ever standards one feels all humans should be measured.

147jjwilson61
Nov 24, 2012, 2:31pm Top

146> Look at the first sentence of that article again:

Both the structure and function of the human brain throughout its development are shaped by the environment. The social environment, in turn, is shaped by culture.

She's saying that the culture that one grows up in shapes the brain, not the other way around.

148faceinbook
Nov 24, 2012, 4:09pm Top

>147 jjwilson61:
I understand that...but what is it that makes up our culture ? The things we do, they way we do them ? Those things we are good at doing perhaps ??? Why are we all so different ? If human beings were all thrown into one group...a group that thought the same, lived the same, approached problems in the same fashion, created art in the same way or produced the same goods ....... we would not have cultural or racial differences. Is environment strickly social or is it a combination of nature and nuture ? What inherint traits are we born with ? If we are born with some from our parents, why then wouldn't they also be inherited along cultural divides ?

The ONLY point I was trying to make is that perhaps the greatest source of "racism" in it's negative interpretation, has come about because we as humans, expect others to think and feel the same way as we ourselves do. Instead of recognizing that another culture (color aside) may look at something in a totally different fashion. Much like religion, the predominant race/culture feels that because there are these differences, somehow this makes others inferior. Rather than respecting difference we see it as a negative. I do not believe this to be true.....

"She's saying that the culture that one grows up in shapes the brain, not the other way around."

How does one separate the two ? And if the brain is indeed mallable, whose culture should we insist is the "correct" culture.....the way we must all operate ? I believe American's function mostly according to the White European culture, allowing for small pockets of other cutural groups within the whole. But, it is our insistance that those small groups be able to fully assimilate that leads to negative "racism".

If we are THAT mallable...why then do we continue to have problems with racial tensions. The Black's in this country do have their own culture as do the Natives....our attempts to intigrate have been very difficult. Native American's, no matter how successful they may become, will most often keep returning to the reservations.....to where they fit best. Some would say it has, for the most part, to do with color. I just don't believe that.....I think it is deeper than that. When we ignore this we lose something. Other cultures have a lot they could teach White European's....if we could get over the fact that Indian's are lazy, as are Blacks.....perhaps they had other ways of accomplishing things ? How would we know ? They have been judged by our standards and left wanting...perfect targets for racism.

Reminds me of Austraila and the aboriginies, of how, a group of Christians felt that they could "breed" the Black out of the Natives. Why ? Most assuredly the "good Christians" must have felt superior in some fashion ? A very racist thing to assume. Changing the way they "looked" was not going to change hundreds of years of culture and how they approached living their lives. I believe that they gave up on "changing their looks" but are still hell bent on changing their culture.

149SimonW11
Nov 24, 2012, 4:46pm Top

146> I see no connection between the link and what you wrote every example there points to culture as the shaper of our minds.
for example

"in a 2006 study comparing native Chinese and native English speakers solving these same simple math problems, Tang and colleagues discovered that among native Chinese speakers, there was not only less activation in these language-related areas than among the English speakers, but also more activation in the premotor cortex areas associated with movement. These researchers suggested that the source of this difference might be the Chinese language’s focus on images and writing in contrast to the sound-focused English language in which each letter has a particular sound."

Genealogy let alone race is never mentioned.

150faceinbook
Nov 24, 2012, 4:58pm Top

Let me ask this question : Does anyone think that a group of people, representing any given culture, purposely try to thwart other's so as not to get along well ? Or, if it was easier, in some fashion, would they choose to get along ?
I would like to believe the second option to be true.

Granted some cultures are quieter about their groupings and their ways but then it is, to my way of thinking , their nature to do so while others are louder or more violent, they certainly make themselves more noticeable than others.

151faceinbook
Nov 24, 2012, 5:05pm Top

>149 SimonW11:
No race is not mentioned but it is impossible to seperate race from culture. How would you do that ? There are different cultures within races but generally when two people are a different color they have originated from different cultures. They may be living in the same place at this point in time but where they came from differs.

152jjwilson61
Nov 24, 2012, 10:26pm Top

151> I don't see what black skin or thick lips has to do with eating fried chicken. Of course culture is related to race but only because of history. There's nothing intrinsically linking the two.

153SimonW11
Nov 25, 2012, 2:16am Top

151 > "No race is not mentioned but it is impossible to seperate race from culture. How would you do that ?"

You are the one trying to separate race from culture. How do you do it?

For my part I would say cultures differentiate between people on cosmetic grounds. That a Nigerian child that does not belong in France does not belong only if it is rejected.

154SimonW11
Nov 25, 2012, 2:49am Top

150> "Does anyone think that a group of people, representing any given culture, purposely try to thwart other's so as not to get along well ?"

Oh yes this is a common even instinctual response"

"Granted some cultures are quieter about their groupings and their ways but then it is, to my way of thinking , their nature to do so while others are louder or more violent, they certainly make themselves more noticeable than others."

Nods for example Americans have a reputation for being both loud and violent. do you see this as an example of race determining behaviour?

155Lunar
Nov 25, 2012, 5:19am Top

#146: It is not my belief that anyone should be treated differently.

That's mighty generous of you. But it actually turns out that the turd your are polishing goes by the name of "racialism." It's the hip new racism for fuckers who don't want people to think they're racial supremacists.

156theoria
Nov 25, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Are misogyny and racism inherent abilities?

157SimonW11
Nov 25, 2012, 4:55pm Top

156> no

158RidgewayGirl
Nov 25, 2012, 6:51pm Top

That racialism stuff is racism dressed up in modern clothes, but is just as vile. I understand the need to justify the racist views that one finds oneself holding, but wouldn't it be more honest to recognize what is being said as something that needs to be changed or to own up to one's racism?

This is exactly the quagmire that James D. Watson waded into and then found that his entire, not unsubstantial, achievements stained by it and was forced to resign in disgrace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-agin/how-not-to-end-a-career-t_b_68953.html

The article is mainly about Watson's idiocy, but also explains why believing that different groups have different intelligence/skill levels is just wrong.

159faceinbook
Nov 25, 2012, 8:39pm Top

>158 RidgewayGirl:
I have said that skills may differ from culture to culture....which as much as we don't want to SEE it does sometimes means race to race BUT.....

I have NEVER said that other races are not as intellegent as any given race. Nor have I said that people should not live where ever they choose to live. The fact is this.....as American's we thought that the East Indians in Iraq would welcome us with open arms when we "liberated" them from Hussain. We never considered that they are a different culture (also they are of a different race.....a fact that often coexists with cultureal differences) and that perhaps they don't understand what democracy means....this does NOT mean they are stupid or deserve less than humane treatment, it means simply that if we understood the difference better, we may have acted differently. I feel the same about the liberation of the African-Americans . We freed slaves and expected that they understand our culture. To point out that perhaps they didn't understand does NOT mean they are stupid....just DIFFERENT. Another example would be the Native Americans.....handed them a piece of worthless land and shovel and expected them to farm. For the most part, they knew nothing about farming and when they failed so miserably we labeled them as lazy or stupid. THAT is racism. Suggesting that there was nothing in the Native American race (I believe there were several tribes who farmed but they were a minority) or their culture, that would give them a clue as to how to farm is pointing out a difference NOT that they are stupid. (in fact if we would have taken time to learn any thing from the Native who did farm, America would never had experienced the dust bowl) But, of course....our differences were not to be recognized or appreciated....we were to all be the same....same values, same culture cause this is America. It is my opinion that it isn't that simple. When we are disappointed in differences, racism is born. Because an African American didn't understand how to function properly in our society he was lazy or dumb, so too was the Native....when the Iraqies keep slipping back into the horrible conditions that result in corrupt dictatorship, we are upset that they are not taking care of the "gift" we bestowed on their culture...."freedom". I do not believe they understand what so ever how to operate in any fashion than how they have in the past.

Now for what it is worth.....there still are not many Native American farmers....the East Indian's still do not know how to hand democracy and for some reason, something we best not explore or bring up, the African-American culture, in this country, has a few problems in.....NOT all African American's but enough to wonder why this persists. I do not believe it is because they are lazy or violent or stupid....but I do believe they lost a culture and never replaced it with the ways of White European culture. Some were able to do so but not all and I do NOT believe it is because they want the problems many of them are experiencing today. It has not been an easy process for any involved.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cfsi-icse/cil-cai/magazine/v02n01/doc1-eng.pdf

Have American's, at any time during history, taken the time to do any thing suggested in this article ? I suggest if we had done more there would be a lot less racism in this country. It would seem that many are stuck in the denial stage.

160RidgewayGirl
Edited: Nov 25, 2012, 8:59pm Top

Maybe if we worked on treating people as individuals instead of members of groups and realizing that there is more variation among the members of a group than there is between groups, there would be less racism? Maybe if there was less pointing out of anecdotal differences and then insisting that focusing on those differences wasn't racist, we could get some traction here? Cultural differences between countries are not due to skin color.

Look, racism is a learned behavior and it is much more prevalent among older people. I understand that. But just because change is hard, and more difficult as one ages, does not mean that this ridiculous and somewhat incoherent point of view should be tolerated. Read up on the topic, research it and maybe think more carefully about what you want to say. Of course people are different. But to look at people as a collection of traits based on racial stereotypes is to have one's suspicions confirmed because one then filters for what one wants to believe. That your stereotypes are, in your mind, not belittling to the groups in question does not make them true or less racist.

There's no science behind your views.

161SimonW11
Nov 25, 2012, 10:35pm Top

The reason the mayflower settlers chose their encampment. Was because the native Americans had cleared the area to farm. The reason the colony survived was because natives taught them how to farm.
Native Americans have contributed to your culture from day one. and today Morgan Freeman,George Takei, Quentin Kūhiō Kawānanakoa and of course President Obama, along with every other minority group member in the United States continue to be not only a part of but often major contributors to Its culture. They are not "separate but equal" rather they are essential parts.

Just as Scotland would be the poor without Jackie Kay that most Scottish of poets or England without Lenny Henry or France without Alexandre Dumas.

I just do not understand how you can insist that people like him are not truly French.

162faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 8:51am Top

>160 RidgewayGirl:
Again, I never said that differences were due to skin color although cultures often differ between those peoples of different colors.
Yes we should see people as individuals....definately, but people form groups. Family groups, social groups. ethnic groups .....these groups differ from each other. We tend to distain this practice as somehow being wrong.....I've used the example of religion. The persistance of some groups to insist that they are "right" and others are "wrong" or they are superior in some way because they have something nobody else is privey to. Is that any different than "racism" other than it isn't defined by color of the skin ?

We are all different.....yet the same. Is what the Dahli Lama was saying and we need to respect our differences in order to have a more peaceful existance. He did not say "notice" our differences or "deny" those differences he said "respect" them.

>161 SimonW11:
Yes the Natives and the settler's got along fine for about 40 years. After which the culture of the White European clashed with the various cultures of Native tribes. At this point White Europeans did what the normally do, put those who are native to the land on the defensive and they must assimilate or become irrelevent. Of course people will do what they need to survive . My point is that had we been more respectful of our differences the Natives and African American's may not be experiencing some of the problems they still struggle with today. This sensitivity to cultural difference may be of help when dealing with the Middle East.

Perhaps if, as a culture, more of us viewed other cultures as deserving respect rather than with fear and suspicion we would not have to experience such violence as took place recently in a Seik community, nor would we have seen the nasty racism that President Obama has been the target of since his election in 08. That stuff does not come from respect...it is born of fear. Fear of something or someone "different" than themselves. Obama can not change what he looks like or who his parents were....can not change the fact that his ancestors come from a far different culture than some of those whose country he is now leading. This should be a "plus" not a minus.....something to respect rather than to be used as a tool to instill fear and hate. Unfortuantely after all these many years.....many people do not respect Obama for who he is....and I firmly believe much of it has to do with race.

163RidgewayGirl
Nov 26, 2012, 11:03am Top

No, but in the example of the Romanian or Nigerian born baby raised as French, you asserted that the Nigerian born child could never really be French, while remaining silent on the chances of the Romanian born child. That's pretty telling.

And you've been discussing race all along. Now you want to add in religious affiliation and the more neutral term "group". There is a difference between, say, someone who reads a lot of detective novels and who speaks derisively about people who read romance novels and a racist, even if that racist insists they mean no harm and are just "appreciating differences".

Look, the next time you meet someone whose skin color or heritage does not match your own, try treating and thinking about them solely as an individual. Don't think to yourself that he's probably good at basketball or doesn't like to swim because of his genetic background, but because he's a guy who likes basketball. Like your nephew or the pastor of your church, cases in which you do regard it as personal preference rather than some proof that racial stereotypes apply. People are individuals. And among groups, however you arbitrarily chose to define them, the difference among the members of that group is greater than the difference between groups.

When your son tells you he's thinking of buying a pick-up as his next vehicle, do you attribute that to his race? Or your own love of multi-grain bread? Or if you have a bad habit, do you excuse it as inherent in your racial makeup? Like labelling people? Something that you can't change, so you'd better justify it as "an appreciation"? Wouldn't it be more helpful to regard it as an unfortunate vestige of your upbringing or the remnant of something that you were taught when you were young? Then you could work to get over it and stop putting people into boxes.

Yes, racism exists. As does misogyny and religious intolerance and general idiocy. That does not mean one should try to justify it or clean it up to allow people to feel comfortable in their intolerance. And the "benign" racism you're endorsing isn't harmless. It puts people into place as "other" and allows a person in contact with you to feel more open and comfortable with his or her own racist views.

164RidgewayGirl
Edited: Nov 26, 2012, 11:10am Top

Um, and I don't think that America's heritage of not being sufficiently sensitive to the cultural differences of African Americans is the source of our current issues. Unless, by "should have been more respectful" you actually mean "should not have enslaved, beaten, raped and murdered". Or if you want to bring it into the present "should not have regretted the passage of the Civil Rights act" or "should not have stated that they just want free phones and are inherently lazy". It goes a little further than a lack of sensitivity to cultural differences.

165faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 12:49pm Top

>163 RidgewayGirl:
Not sure what you are talking about when you reference the Rhomanian child. I wouldn't feel any differently about any child adopted into a culture different than that in which he/she is born to. When a child is adopted it is important for the child's health and welfare to know the health history of the family from which the child is adopted. This is not always possible but it is best for the child. SOMETIMES conditions are related to race....just a dang fact. So the child will adapt to a different culture but certain things can not be changed....

I have no desire to box people or change people.......never have.....It is not in my power to change anybody. Even if I could, I would find the world a very boring place if everyone were the same or predictable. If I come into contact with people who disrespect human dignity, I pretty much make a point not to come into contact with them again.

Perhaps I have not stated what I mean properly....nobody I know in my personal life would call me a racist. I have aquaintances and friends from many ethnic groups and different sexual orientation. When I am in the company of a new aquaintance I do not first see their differences or their similarities, in fact the first thing I notice about anyone is their eyes, not sure why but I can tell you the color of anyone's eyes....they are indeed the windows to the soul and to me the most important thing about anyone is, if what shows in their eyes is matching what they are saying or doing. That is how I approach an individual, any individual...don't care what color or culture or whether they are rich or poor. To me it doesn't get more personal or individual than that.

I facilitate three book groups....two of them are all White groups and one has a Black member. When choosing books to read..I HAVE to be aware of the fact that the group with the Black woman may want to read something quite different than the other two groups. Because this women is definately a minority within the group I believe it is important to consider her suggestions when making our future reading list, without overlooking them even if I have doubts about the other women liking the books. Is this racist ?
A lesson I learned from the groups is that, in general, people do not appreciate those who do not think or feel the same as they do. All of the groups started about 10-12 yrs ago......they were all large groups....over twenty people per group. All three groups are now down to six to ten members. After thinking about it a while I noticed that those who stayed in the groups were those who accepted the fact that not everyone was going to think or feel the same about what they have read. People are intolerant with those who do not like a book that they themselves hold in high regard. To the point of quitting a group. They simply do not want to hear it. I don't think this is exclusive to reading material. It seems to me that this attitude follows through to pretty much everything. What is disconcerting is the fact that the majority left the groups......it is only a minority of the members who remain.

"It goes a little further than a lack of sensitivity to cultural differences. "

Please explain as to how ?

One more question....
My sister is a human resource specialist and at this point in time most of her coworkers are Black women. They hold meetings periotically. My sister is ALWAYS there on time or she is early. The meeting usually start late because the other women dribble in slowly. She knows this and it doesn't much bother her anymore. One of the women made a comment one time about Lori always being the "first" person to arrive at a meeting. Her best friend in the work place made this statement "Lori is White European, she can not help herself !"

Is this a racist comment ??? Why would someone make such an observation ? Where did it come from ? Why did they all think it was funny ? Including my sister ?

166SimonW11
Nov 26, 2012, 12:56pm Top

"many people do not respect Obama for who he is....and I firmly believe much of it has to do with raceISM."

there fixed it for you.

167RidgewayGirl
Nov 26, 2012, 1:00pm Top

....nobody I know in my personal life would call me a racist.

Maybe you should invite them to read this thread. I do get that you don't think your views are prejudiced. Read back over what you've read, and there's a lot there to indicate that that is not the case.

"It goes a little further than a lack of sensitivity to cultural differences. "

Please explain as to how ?


I thought I had, unless you missed reading the actual post in which I mentioned that the enslavement, rape, beating and murdering that went on in this country, might have a greater impact in one's viewing the slaveholders and oppressors with fear and suspicion than when the overseer made that joke about the new slave's name that wasn't funny, and really, really insensitive to his cultural roots.

As for today -- racism is more than forgetting to wish someone a Happy Kwaanza, for Pete's sake.

168jjwilson61
Nov 26, 2012, 1:48pm Top

165> Making fun of racial stereotypes has always been the source of much humor. It doesn't make the stereotypes any more acceptable. Think of it this way, if every single White European was always on time to meetings then it would just be a fact, nothing funny about it.

And I really doubt that your sister's propensity for being on time is due to her genetic makeup. It's much more likely to be due to her culture. Actually, I take that back, it could also be due to her personality which is at least partially genetically determined, but as far as I know personality types aren't correlated with race.

169faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 1:52pm Top

you did not answer as to whether my sister was treated to a bit of reverse racism.....or why a group of Black people would make such an observation.

"I mentioned that the enslavement, rape, beating and murdering that went on in this country, might have a greater impact in one's viewing the slaveholders and oppressors with fear and suspicion than when the overseer made that joke about the new slave's name that wasn't funny, and really, really insensitive to his cultural roots."

So our current racism problem stems from over a hundred years ago ? Even though there are few left who lived through that horrible time in our history ?? History is important and what we did is reprehensible but that is has anthing to do with the knee jerk reaction that many American's had to our first African-American President. Sorry, I do not agree with you on that.

"As for today -- racism is more than forgetting to wish someone a Happy Kwaanza, for Pete's sake."

That makes no sense what so ever......I never have taken this lightly.....I find the inhumane treatment of others deplorable.
You are cherry picking what I say to make a point and perhaps you have a point but when you dismiss anything that speaks of how I feel about people personally, you lose some credibility. You don't know me.....only what I've written. I've said that perhaps I didn't state what I mean properly. However, you seem to have made a pretty firm judgement as to my character........the above statement was flippant. I am not trying to "overlook" anything, if anything, perhaps I am looking at too much.

And I suppose I should confess...as far as the race of a driver who would choose a pickup truck. I own a Mini Cooper and when I am following a certain type of pickup truck, the one's with the lift kits and the pipes from here to there....you know the kind. Some of which sport brass "bumper nuts" (those bumper nuts are usually inline with my windshield by the way) I form a very judgemental opinion about who would drive such a vehicle, This opinion includes the stereo typical idea of White Redneck type guys. Also go so far as to opinion to myself who the hell they voted for in the last election. I've tried to not do this but I haven't been proven wrong yet. I pretty much dismiss the fact that the driver may be Black and/or Democratic. I know.......I am bad !

170faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 2:25pm Top

>128 SimonW11:
So the comment was racist ? My sister had a right to be upset if she choose to ?

Where do stereotypes come from ? Didn't we go over this at some point ? Behind stereotypes there are truths. Or they would not exist. I would say that it is how the stereotypical observation is used that determines a racist remark or not. It can be funny....it is funny....nothing is really funny if it doesn't contain a grain of truth either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype

According to this definition, stereotyping can be both beneficial and detrimental. Depending to what purpose one is using stereotyping.

", but as far as I know personality types aren't correlated with race."

Well, you never met my mother. She was German......VERY German. Nor did you ever meet my father who was part Native and part French. Was not always a marriage made in heaven.

You could eat off the floors in my home. One's nose was to be firmly planted on the grindstone.

My dad often operated on "Indian Time", he also had a tendency to feel that problems were not something to be "tackled" so much as something to "learn" from and they would resolve themselves......much to my mother's dismay.

My sister definately did not get her propensity to be on time from my father though I will agree that it could very well have been from my mom.

Of course this is very stereotypical....but I do not believe that having said this I am being racist. I am not saying this to be MEAN nor would I use any of this to harm or judge anyone without knowing them....it is an amusing observation.....makes life interesting.

171RidgewayGirl
Nov 26, 2012, 2:51pm Top

Look, you say you're not racist, then make a bunch of comments that say otherwise, then say that I don't know you. You're right, I am only basing my conclusions on your comments. If you made all of those lengthy comments in error, then correct your statements. Your friends and neighbors, by the way, may be being polite.

You notice that your German mother was tidy and use that as proof that stereotypes are true. Pick any collection of stereotypes for any group of people and, look, there's a trait that also applies to your mother. Really, try this. Then try collecting every stereotype, good and bad that applies to Germans. Do all of them apply to your mother? Do some of them apply to your father? Stereotypes are there to provide the lazy with a way to shoehorn people into boxes that deny them their individuality. I have implied from your many and vigorous posts that you're not lazy, and I can't figure out why you fixate so much on the subject.

172faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Am I to pretend that life is different that it really is ? That stereotypes do not exist ?

I am fixated, if you want to call it that, on this subject because the differences between people interest me, the fact that we are all the same yet so profoundly different in some ways.......it does not threaten me, nor do I mean to make people angry, nor do I judge others personally with out knowing them. To my way of thinking these differing ways are not "good" or "bad" nor should they be used a tools to judge.....but they exist, they just ARE..... and to me they are interesting....
Guess I was amazed by the amount of racism after Obama took office and wondered why on earth we can not get past someone who appears "different" or someone whose background is "different" than our own. It occured to me that people do not like DIFFERENT and they really have no understanding of what it is they are so against Rather than seeing Obama as a plus, many saw him as a threat. I am proud to be from a country who voted in a Black man with Muslim heritage. A person not only of mixed race but of mixed heritage. It would seem to me he has a lot to offer as his life experiences differ from many Americans. Instead he has had to deny part of his heritage and live with a lot of crap regarding his racial background. Rather than learning anything about what it means to be someone like Obama, we insist that he be as hemoginzed as most of us.

"? Stereotypes are there to provide the lazy with a way to shoehorn people into boxes that deny them their individuality."

Only if it is your intent to do so.

Stereotyping is done for various reasons
Did you read the definition of stereotype ? Where stereotypes come from ??

By the way...I was trying to be funny....I do NOT feel that this is racist. Some people make a lot of money being funny......and they go WAY beyond anything that I've said in so far as stereotyping. I loved my parents....I like the fact that my mom gave me a work ethic that allowed me to survive when I needed to do so. I also appreciate the fact that my dad showed me a way to approach problems that was less stressful than my mother's method.
The rest doesn't really matter and if someone else were to say what I said about my parents, it wouldn't bother me a bit......if the intent is to be funny...well it is amuzing...if they mean to be hurtful than chances are they are this way with most everyone..... at which point it would seem to be their problem not mine....one can not be insulted unless they allow themselves to be.

Still didn't answer whether my sister's friend was being racist.

I believe she made a statement that would by some be labeled racist....depends on whether one is focused on the words or on the intent. Since my sister and she had a very close working relationship and they remain friends even though the woman is retired and has moved miles away, I kind of think that her intent was to be funny. It was a very stereotypical comment as well but there was no intent to harm. Not to mention how politically incorrect something like that was in the work place...but I suppose, there are those who would take offense and make a stink.....intent aside...it is important to be politically correct when speaking I guess. By the way, my sister wouldn't dare say something like that in reverse......which I find interesting. She would not ever want to hurt any of the good women she worked with. I am, as you probably have noticed, not all that good at this, I tend to say what I think and have regrets later.....yet somehow I know that those who I associate with do not find me to be racist.

"Your friends and neighbors, by the way, may be being polite."

Again, you do not know me or my relationships with my friends and neighbors. I tend to hang around with people who are not worried about saying things so much as the way or the reason they are being said. And yes, for the most part, they are the odd balls, the "not so in" crowd, the readers and the thinkers.......and as I've said before, they are all shades of color and come from varied cultural back grounds.
I've also been exposed to two cultures.....and believe me there is plenty about the differences that would make great stereotypical jokes......most importantly, those whose MO is a bit different are often the first to laugh at themselves...unless of course they are "looking" for an insult. There are always a few of those and for them life is filled with anxiety over who is saying what about them and how to twist it to the negative. There are plenty of nasty people out there whose intent is horrible, without trying to see "horrible" when it simply doesn't exist.

173lawecon
Nov 26, 2012, 4:23pm Top

At this point I don't quite understand what is going on in this thread. Obviously, faceinbook is confused about her intellectual position on this issue. Obviously, other posters have tried to explain to her where she is going wrong, but are themselves operating mainly from "what must be true !!" (i.e., an article of faith that doesn't square all that well with many of their other intellectual positions).

So what is the point in continuing? Apparently the contemporary counterpart of "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

174faceinbook
Nov 26, 2012, 4:48pm Top

>173 lawecon:

"At this point I don't quite understand what is going on in this thread. Obviously, faceinbook is confused about her intellectual position on this issue."

Wow ! are you actually limiting my intellectual confusion to my position on this issue ?

And I guess I can thank you since, not only have you pointed out the obvious frutility of our discussion but you have once again made me feel comfortable in that I am not alone in my intellectual confusion. In fact the only one who seems to never be confused at all on any level would be yourself.....so actually.....I feel much better. Thank you !

175lawecon
Nov 26, 2012, 7:42pm Top

You are welcome.

I think that each of us should try to achieve that state of affairs that makes he or she comfortable. In your case that is feeling you are right, no matter what evidence (or lack there of) there is for your position and no matter the internal consistency (or lack thereof) of your position. The warm glow of Right Intuition !! Whatever floats your boat.

176SimonW11
Edited: Nov 28, 2012, 4:09am Top

" you have a point but when you dismiss anything that speaks of how I feel about people personally, you lose some credibility."

If we were discussing bigotry then your feelings would be important indicators. But we are not. We are discussing racism. Something that has infected the viewpoint of such saintly people as Harriet Beecher Stowe. I do hope I have not said anything to suggest that I think any worse of you than I think you are mistaken.

Many Japanese people, categorise people by their blood type assigning them each a distinct personality type. It is not on the face of it unreasonable. That blood chemistry can have an effect on your personality is undeniable. Others categorise people by their horoscope. The Victorians were keen phrenologists carefully measuring the skull and using it to determine likely recidivists. That to is plausible. The skull fits the brain after all and surely the shape of the brain must effect the nature of the mind. Alas after years of research investigators failed to find any quantifiable link. Race was equally plausible and has proved just as much of a dead end.

That rascism is today not considered as harmless a belief as phrenology or any of the others I mentioned, is not because it is more dangerous,
but because we have seen its dangers realised. thus when we see you playing with such ideas we are all to aware that you are playing with fire.

177faceinbook
Nov 27, 2012, 8:04am Top

>175 lawecon:
I have no idea if I am right or wrong.....this wasn't about being "right" or "wrong" Just about an opinion or an observation or just plain wondering how it works. Very seldom do I claim that "I am right and everyone else is wrong" I think I've said that on plenty of the threads I've posted on. Unlike many who post, I am not an expert on anything...let alone on ALL things.
It is however my opinion that one should NEVER undervalue their "intuition"....actually, during matriarcal periods of history "women's intuition" was a valued commondity. I can only surmise that this somehow bother's you ? After all, women do seem to rely more on their intuition than men. This too may be foolishness but when I look around at where men have taken us lately....I'm not all that certain just how foolish it is.

178faceinbook
Nov 27, 2012, 8:27am Top

>176 SimonW11:

Thank you....I can see your point. However, in doing so, it seems to me that racism will be with us forever....or until the point we are hemoginzed enough not to recognize our physical differences. I would suspect, that those who posted to this thread are amongst those who are open minded, sadly, I am not so sure this applies to a majority of people. This is disheartening.
I was honesty taken aback by the amount of "ugly" that came out when Obama was elected.... had the stupid notion that for the most part we, as a nation, were past most of that. Guess I was looking for an answer with all my mumblings It isn't in my nature to be suspecious of what I don't know....I am far to curious.
I can see that if those who are fear based were to apply those fears based soley on the color of the person ...... well, guess we did see that after 2008 ? Just surprised it is still around. I never saw anything about Obama's physical appearence or his mixed heritage as threatening....thought it to be exciting and perhaps helpful to our society in so far as understanding others.

179quicksiva
Jan 9, 2013, 5:12pm Top

An article in the May 17, 2010 Sports Illustrated (Sports Genes), by David Epstein, reports:

”We are all black. Not in the sense that our skin is of a shade that protects against equatorial UV sunlight, but in the sense that Africa is contained in our every cell.

It starts with our brown-eyed, many-times-great-grandmother, the woman scientists call Mitochondrial Eve. Mitochondrial DNA is a genetic material that is inherited from one's mother, and as it happens, every one of us shares some of it with Mitochondrial Eve, a woman who lived in sub-Saharan Africa around 150,000 years ago, when the entire human population consisted of a few tens of thousands.”

“Since the mid-1990s scientists have been following the path of mankind's genes away from Mitochondrial Eve by collecting genetic data throughout Africa and beyond. Geneticists Kenneth Kidd of Yale and Sarah Tishkoff of Penn have been among the leaders in this endeavor. Some of their work supports the "recent African origin" model, which suggests that all modern humans can trace their ancestry to a single population in east-central Africa as recently as 100,000 years ago. Since humans branched off from our common ancestor with chimps about six million years ago, that means we're about a one-minute drill out of Africa.

What Kidd, Tishkoff and others have found is that genetic variability—differences in DNA among people—is greater among Africans within a single population than among people from different continents outside Africa. This is because all human genetic information was contained in Africa not so terribly long ago, and our ancestors who left Africa—most likely a single group of no more than a few hundred people—took only a small portion of it with them en route to populating the world. All of us outside Africa are genetic subsets of the subset that left Africa. So despite the fact that black Africans may share certain obvious features, such as dark skin, when it comes to an African's entire genome, there might be more difference between him and his next-door neighbor than between Dirk Nowitzki and Ichiro Suzuki. In fact, the farther a group of native people is from Africa, the less genetically diverse it tends to be. In some sections of DNA, Kidd says, there is more variation within a single African Pygmy population than in the entire rest of the world combined. "In that sense," Kidd says, "I like to say that all Europeans look alike."

“This has tremendous implications. In some cases, for example, classifying people solely according to their dark skin will impart no genetically based knowledge about the group's members other than that they have dark skin. Take, for another example, sports. Kidd suggests that for any activity that has a genetic component, the world's most naturally gifted person is likely to be African (or recently removed from Africa, as are African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans), as is the world's least naturally gifted individual. So both the fastest and slowest runners might well be of recent African descent.”

“That's not to say that scouts should be looking for the next MJ or Usain among African Pygmies. "There are some anatomical features that would intervene," says Kidd, referring to the Pygmies' short legs, but he adds that "you might find the most naturally gifted basketball players in some of those populations in Africa where height and coordination are on average very high, and where you have a lot of other genetic variation within that group."

180quicksiva
Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 5:53pm Top

>62 SimonW11:-what is it that the anglo saxons are better at? whats their talent?

>63 BruceCoulson:-Taking other people's stuff on a large scale?

>65 faceinbook:- I am glad you said that !

=========

You might want to look at The Iceman Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism and Agression by Michael Bradley. Bradley argues that the Ice Age experiences of European humanity gave them a peculiar psychology, sociology and biology; which is the source of much racism, sexism and aggression.

181quicksiva
Jan 9, 2013, 7:37pm Top

"It is beyond all dispute that Rome found the point of support of its military power in the Occident. The legions from the Danube and the Rhine were always braver, stronger and better disciplined than those from the Euphrates and the Nile. But it is in the Orient, especially in these countries of "old civilization," that we must look for industry and riches, for technical ability and artistic productions, as well as for intelligence and science, even before Constantine made it the center of political power. While Greece merely vegetated in a state of poverty, humiliation and exhaustion; while Italy suffered depopulation and became unable to provide for her own support; while the other countries of Europe were hardly out of barbarism; Asia Minor, Egypt and Syria gathered the rich harvests Roman peace made possible. Their industrial centers cultivated and renewed all the traditions that had caused their former celebrity. A more intense intellectual life corresponded with the economic activity of these great manufacturing and exporting countries. They excelled in every profession except that of arms, and even the prejudiced Romans admitted their superiority. The menace of an Oriental empire haunted the imaginations of the first masters of the world. Such an empire seems to have been the main thought of the dictator Cæsar, and the triumvir Antony almost realized it. Even Nero thought of making Alexandria his capital. Although Rome, supported by her army and the right of might, retained the political authority for a long time, she bowed to the fatal moral ascendency of more advanced peoples."

Cumont, Franz Valery Marie (2011-03-23). The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism (pp. 124-125). . Kindle Edition.

182MartyBrandon
Jan 10, 2013, 8:28am Top

Racial divisions are of fairly recent origin and quite blurry. Though genetic categories, whose members show predisposition to certain abilities, exist, they're often not the same categories we use for race. Phylotree (http://www.phylotree.org) is one of the most commonly used trees by biomedical researchers for assigning individuals to their genetic category, or haplotype in this case.

Inherent differences due to gender are more interesting. The division between males and females is extraordinarily old and is preserved by evolution, as each follows a different reproductive strategy.

183quicksiva
Edited: Jan 11, 2013, 3:55am Top

W. E. B. DU BOIS on Passing! From The Crisis 36 (July 1929): 234, 248-50.

"Nella Larsen's "Passing" is one of the finest novels of the year. If it did not treat a forbidden subject—the inter-marriage of a stodgy middle-class white man to a very beautiful and selfish octoroon—it would have an excellent chance to be hailed, selected and recommended. As it is, it will probably be given the "silence", with only the commendation of word of mouth. But what of that? It is a good close-knit story, moving along surely but with enough leisure to set out seven delicately limned characters. Above all, the thing is done with studied and singularly successful art. Nella Larsen is learning how to write and acquiring style, and she is doing it very simply and clearly.

Three colored novelists have lately essayed this intriguing and ticklish subject of a person's right to conceal the fact that he had a grand¬parent of Negro descent. It is all a petty, silly matter of no real importance which another generation will comprehend with great difficulty. But today, and in the minds of most white Americans, it is a matter of tremendous moral import. One may deceive as to killing, stealing and adultery, but you must tell your friend that you're "colored", or suffer a very material hell fire in this world, if not in the next. The reason of all this, is of course that so many white people in America either know or fear that they have Negro blood. My friend, who is in the Record Department of Massachusetts, found a lady's ancestry the other day. Her colored grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and through him she might join the D. A. R. But she asked "confidentially", could that matter of "his—er—color be left out?"

Walter White in "Flight" records the facts of an excursion of a New Orleans girl from the colored race to the white race and back again. Jessie Fauset in "Plum Bun" considers the spiritual experiences and rewards of such an excursion, but the story of the excursion fades into unimportance beside that historical document of the description of a colored Philadelphia family. That characterization ought to live in literature.

Nella Larsen attempts quite a different thing. She explains just what "passing" is: the psychology of the thing; the reaction of it on friend and enemy. It is a difficult task, but she attacks the problem fearlessly and with consummate art. The great problem is under what circumstances would a person take a step like this and how would they feel about it? And how would their fellows feel?
So here is the story: Irene, who is faintly colored, is faint with shop¬ping. She goes to a hotel roof for rest and peace and tea. That's all. Far from being ashamed of herself, she is proud of her dark husband and lovely boys. Moreover, she is deceiving no one. If they wish to recognize her as Spanish, then that is their good fortune or misfor¬tune. She is resting and getting cool and drinking tea. Then suddenly she faces an entirely different kind of problem. She sees Clare and Clare recognizes her and pounces on her. Clare is brilliantly beauti¬ful. She is colored in a different way. She has been rather brutally kicked into the white world, and has married a white man, almost in self-defense. She has a daughter, but she is lonesome and eyes her playmate Irene with fierce joy. Here is the plot. Its development is the reaction of the race-conscious Puritan, Irene; the lonesome hedonist, Clare; and then the formation of the rapidly developing triangle with the cynical keen rebel, Irene's husband.

If the American Negro renaissance gives us many more books like this, with its sincerity, its simplicity and charm, we can soon with equanimity drop the word "Negro". Meantime, your job is clear. Buy the book."

In another review in the New York News, we are told that, “Clare Kendry, the ‘near white,’ is married to a white man. The situation is complicated by the fact that the husband has an orthodox southern viewpoint concerning Negroes. Moreover, Clare's white husband calls her ‘Nig’ because as she grows older she becomes darker.
The unsuspecting husband explains to Clare's ‘near white’ friends that as long as he is assured that Clare is not colored he might even call her ‘nigger’."
From New York News, September 28, 1929: n.p.

184quicksiva
Jan 18, 2013, 8:54pm Top

In 1871, H.P. Blavatsky could write, “Contaminated by centuries of dogmatic superstition, by an ineradicable--though quite unwarranted--sense of superiority over those whom the English term so contemptuously "niggers," the white European would hardly submit himself to the practical tuition of either Kopt, Brahman, or Lama. To become a neophyte, one must be ready to devote himself heart and soul to the study of mystic sciences”.

Blavatsky, H.P. (2008-02-24). Isis Unveiled (Kindle Locations 23739-23742). . Kindle Edition.

185margd
May 22, 2013, 10:21am Top

The American Anthropological Association's project "Race: Are We So Different?" has travelling exhibit, book, website, etc. useful as a starting point for discussion, e.g., http://www.understandingrace.org/humvar/race_humvar.html.

"RACE: Are We So Different? is an accessible and fascinating look at the idea of race, demonstrating how popular belief is often inconsistent with current scientific understanding. More information on the exhibition and further teaching resources may be found at www.understandingrace.org."

(Our son, an international adoptee, has his portrait and opinion in the AAA's exhibit, which is currently at local university's Museum of Natural History. Former classmates, teachers, and others were thrilled to find him there!)

186quicksiva
May 22, 2013, 11:25am Top

>185 margd:
=======
Thanks!

188theoria
Jun 12, 2013, 10:56am Top

No.

189jjwilson61
Jun 12, 2013, 11:28am Top

Why racism? The study said that the racial advantage was slight compared to the increased survival rate of girls of either race.

But in any case you can't tell anything about the causes from this study. It could be entirely biological that black girls have a higher survival rate, or maybe blacks are more religious in general and make the due to that are more apt to push the doctors to try to save the babies who are way premature. But we'll have to wait for another study to find that out.

190faceinbook
Jun 12, 2013, 12:36pm Top

My grandson was 2 lbs at birth. His parents were told that he was the lowest on the list of survival rate. The doctor at the time said this "Black babies survive better overall, girls first than boys.....White babies second, girls over boys." He was from a huge medical complex/ medical collage center in Wisconsin. His work was with premature babies.

I agree it could be biological...that is what I was asserting in the first place. That we have biological differences and since the brain and all it controls are part of that biology, we may have differences that are indicative to what ever race we have in our gene pool.

I do not think that this is a racist remark....although it was taken as such.

191margd
Jun 12, 2013, 1:14pm Top

> 187 Racism ? or just different as a group ?

"There isn't conclusive evidence yet to explain why girls and black infants have better chances of survival, Morse said. But female preemies' lungs tend to be more developed at birth, which could be part of the explanation, Morse said."

This quote made me wonder the origins of the "blacks' and "whites". If the white group was predominantly from western Europe, ~1 of 32 would be heterozygous for cystic fibrosis, and, I think, spinal bifida / hydrocephaly? And neither condition is conducive to preemie survival! So I don't think "proof" of racial difference here--only a hint of a group difference researchers might want to investigate in order to improve patient care.

This researcher seems to be most interested in odds of survival and of later quality of life, info which I hope is used to guide parents and not to ration care based on any group differences such as gender.

192faceinbook
Jun 12, 2013, 3:55pm Top

>191 margd:
My premise in this is only that we may benefit from differences more often than not. Especially in the physical aspect. If a group of individuals are resistant to some diseases while another may be prone to them, why would that be ? And how can we use the information to benefit all.

193jjwilson61
Jun 12, 2013, 11:58pm Top

The fact that on average one groups biology differs in some slight way from some other groups biology doesn't really mean anything when you're talking about individuals.

194faceinbook
Jun 13, 2013, 10:48am Top

>193 jjwilson61:
No it doesn't. But it can make a difference within groups. Which is what I said in the first place. If the brain is part of our biological make up why then would the brain be exempt from differences ? I don't know the answers....but it is stuff I think about and I don't think this is racist in nature. The idea is not about judging others based on those differences but appreciating that they exist and thinking that it may be easier to interact with others if we understand our differences. It also may be beneficial to accept that perhaps people not only do not want to change/understand, they may not have as much control over changing/understanding as we may think.

195SimonW11
Jun 14, 2013, 3:50am Top

I just do not see the point of studies like this. What has been learnt that is of benefit. Knowing That parents who ticked the box marked black re more likely to have a child survive is of no benefit to anyone.
I can think of plenty of factors that it could be.

lets see Hypothesis one
1) the parents melanin content is the important factor.
2) the amount of contact Parents have with the child is the factor.
3) the Parents insistence on a intervention is factor.
4) hospitals respond differently to parental demands for one group than the do for the other.
5) differing rates of vacination rates between are are the factor.
6 differing bodily proportions are key.
7) Stem cell activity is key.
8) A particular gene sequence is key.
9) toys placed in the incubator are significant.
10 parental diet is key.

and so on and so on hypotheses after hypothesis, Implausable or plausable,

It seems to me that the resources would have been spent testing the most plausable of these. finding a link to the consumption of greasy greens is a lot more useful. Than finding out white babies die because umm... we don't know why yet.

196faceinbook
Jun 14, 2013, 7:02am Top

>195 SimonW11:
" That parents who ticked the box marked black re more likely to have a child survive is of no benefit to anyone. "

Not sure why you are making your assumption. Having worked in the medical field I can safely say that when a Native American is admitted with an unspecified illness, the first thing they check for is diabetes.......this is not a racist action...this is because Native American have a high incidence of diabetes.

"Than finding out white babies die because umm... we don't know why yet."

If we knew what it was that gave black babies a physical advantage, we may be able to use that to help white babies. Or visa versa....depending on any strengths or weaknesses.

197SimonW11
Jun 14, 2013, 10:35am Top

196>If we knew what it was that gave black babies a physical advantage, we may be able to use that to help white babies.

yes but they did not test for what be giving some babies an advantage.

But instead of choosing to test a hypothesis that could be applied to all babies. Such as Diet, the presence of a gene or a social factor.

they choose to examine one that could not.

"Oh Ms Humphries The problem is you are not black here take some Methoxsalen" is hardly a plausible treatment.

while if they had surveyed diet instead of race.they would have information they could apply ".
for example. Avoid dairy products to give your child the best chance of surviving premature birth.

Knowing that the black kids do well. is not information that is of much use. knowing that babies with mothers within a certain a BMI range are more likely to have problems is useful.

What is important is not that the babies are black or white but knowing what it was that gave those babies a physical advantage.

198faceinbook
Jun 14, 2013, 12:09pm Top

For crying out loud....you can not as much as you may want to ignore the color of someone's skin.

199margd
Edited: Jun 14, 2013, 12:14pm Top

> 194 ...If the brain is part of our biological make up why then would the brain be exempt from differences ? I don't know the answers....but it is stuff I think about and I don't think this is racist in nature. The idea is not about judging others based on those differences but appreciating that they exist and thinking that it may be easier to interact with others if we understand our differences. It also may be beneficial to accept that perhaps people not only do not want to change/understand, they may not have as much control over changing/understanding as we may think.

Only 2% of educational attainment can be (weakly) leaked to genes, and this linkage may not stand up to future repeats of study as it is only barely statistically significant. That is, at least 98% of educational attainment is determined by environment. If only 2% of educational attainment is attributable to genes in the general population, I would be astounded if there was a difference between 'races', although I have no doubt that some smaller groups (intermarrying grad students?) might eventually have some small advantage. I agree that people may find it difficult to change--but 98% of what restrains or enables us is environmental, not genetic.

Roughly excerpted from a Science News article: May 30, 2013 a group of more than 200 researchers published their findings in Science*, one of the most prestigious journals. Considering the apparent effect of all 2 million SNPs (locations on genes), the analysis can account for only about 2 percent of the difference between those with the highest and lowest levels of education (a proxy for differences in the way peoples’ brains work or in personality traits like perseverance that could help people get through school?) The single SNP with the strongest effect explains just 0.022 percent of the variation in educational attainment in the people sampled. The SNP most strongly associated with finishing college gives people about a 1.8 percentage point difference in the odds of completing a degree.

"...Even scientists used to tiny effects have expressed disappointment at the small contribution of these variants. “It’s not even like a cup half full,” says Robert Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at Kings College London. “It’s a cup that is less than 1 percent full.”"

..."The study barely clears a widely accepted statistical hurdle for ruling out apparent associations that actually occur by chance. Some studies that skim that hurdle turn out not to be true when later repeated, especially when the trait is not clearly genetic. “This is literally right on the border,” (Duke University geneticist David) Goldstein says, and “has a real good chance of being wrong.”

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/350765/description/Genes_weakly_linke...

*C. A. Rietveld et al. GWAS of 126,559 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Science published online May 30, 2013. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/recent

200faceinbook
Jun 14, 2013, 12:22pm Top

>199 margd:
Thank you....

201theoria
Jun 14, 2013, 12:33pm Top

198> What precisely does skin color tell you about an individual?

202SimonW11
Jun 14, 2013, 4:13pm Top

198> If the racial origin data on medical forms was replaced with BMI we would have a lot more useful information.

203faceinbook
Jun 14, 2013, 4:48pm Top

201
Ancestry. Origins.

204quicksiva
Oct 6, 2013, 4:07pm Top

Please read Passing by Nella Larsen or The Invisible Line by Daniel Sharfstein which is a well written account of three black families that have passed for white for many years.

I have grand-children, nieces and nephews who look as "white" as anyone. Some of my ancestors chose to pass and others didn't.

My dark skinned father came North to avoid a chain gang. His fair skinned brother was sent North to get his PHD.

“The acceptance of the fiction that the racial ancestry could be determined with the degree of precision called for by the relevant standards or definitions rested on false assumptions that racial categories of prior ancestors had been accurately reported, that those reporting in the past shared the definitions currently in use, and that racial purity actually existed in the United States.”
Cheryl I. Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” 106 Harv. L. R. 1707, 1740, 1993)

205Michael_Welch
Oct 6, 2013, 4:19pm Top

One time on Saturday Night Live Alex Karras and one of the gang did this pseudo "rap":

"White guys!/And we take no crap!/Listen while we do our 'white guy' rap!/White guys!" This was in the '80s when rap wasn't taken very seriously by uh "white guys."

A friend of mine and I (NOT Harsch by the way) used to chant that at times when we were "bein' bad" you might say because white guys need to compensate huh...

206JGL53
Oct 6, 2013, 8:25pm Top

All humans have common great grandparents that date back only a few thousand generations and thus we are all cousins. I think we should keep that in mind to keep all this in perspective.

Also we are all individuals and our individual traits make us unique, not social groupings, which tend to be overly subjective. Personally I don't think of myself as particularly like either of my parents. After all I only share 50 per cent of my genome with either of them.

I'm like Steven Colbert. I don't see race. The only reason I know I am white is because policemen call me "Sir".

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