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Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Interesting discussion of a number of studies racism and justice, I'll provide the summary for each section, go to the site for details.

quote:
Summary: There is good data that police stop blacks more often, both on the road and in neighborhoods. Studies conflict over whether the extra stops are justifiable; likely this varies by jurisdiction. Extra neighborhood stops are most likely neighborhood-related effects rather than race-related per se, but the neighborhood effects do disproportionately target black people.

Summary: Arrests for violent crimes are probably not racially biased.

Summary: Blacks appear to be arrested for drug use at a rate four times that of whites. Adjusting for known confounds reduces their rate to twice that of whites. However, other theorized confounders could mean that the real relative risk is anywhere between two and parity. Never trust the media to give you any number more complicated than today’s date.

Summary: New York City data suggests no bias of officers towards shooting black suspects compared with their representation among dangerous police encounters, and if anything the reverse effect. Data from Memphis in 1970 suggests a strong bias towards shooting black suspects, probably because they shoot fleeing suspects in addition to potentially dangerous suspects, but this practice has since stopped. Older national data skews more toward the New York City side with little evidence of racial bias, but I don’t know of any recent studies which have compared the race of shooting victims to the race of dangerous attackers on a national level. There is no support for the contention that white officers are more likely than officers of other races to shoot black suspects.

Summary: Prosecution and conviction rates favor blacks over whites, significance unclear.

Summary: Most recent studies suggest a racial sentencing disparity of about 15%, contradicting previous studies that showed lower or no disparity. Changes in sentencing guidelines are one possible explanation; poorly understood methodological differences are a second. Capital punishment still sucks.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/25/race-and-justice-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
A most interesting read - thank you LR!
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Where does this leave us in terms of the topic of racism in America? It's been my contention in other threads that incidents in police interactions with citizens have more to do with how police departments are run than with the race of the people involved in the incident. I've seen tons of reports of no-knock raids on people of various races, as well as extreme unwarranted force used on people of various races; and I could toss in the prevalent practice of shooting dogs on private property. Upon inspection it seems to me that the thin blue line is more of an impediment in law enforcement being respected than any other factor.

That being said racism in America may be a real issue in how people are treated in non-police situations, or maybe even involving police but in 'unofficial' interaction like passing remarks and so forth. There is also the issue of hiring practices, pay, and so forth.

The article does leave room for doubt in the drug department, and regardless I'm confident that there is real racism in America in respect to the War on Drugs.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
I love this:

quote:
Once you do a multiple regression controlling for other factors, like previous record, income, area stopped, et cetera, half of that difference goes away, leaving an unexplained relative risk of 1.5x.
Effectively "Once you discount easily identifiable systemic racism, half the difference goes away"

Black people are disproportionately stuck in high crime areas? Let's factor that out. Black people are disproportionately low income? Let's factor that out. Black people are disproportionately likely to have prior arrests on their record? Let's factor that out.

Evidence of a lack of systemic inequity would lie in none of those factors making a difference.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
I'm glad to see that he does finally get there in the end:
quote:
It would be nice to say that this shows the criminal justice system is not disproportionately harming blacks, but unfortunately it doesn’t come anywhere close to showing anything of the sort. There are still many ways it can indirectly harm blacks without being explicitly racist. Anatole France famously said that “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich as well as poor people from begging for bread and sleeping under bridges”, and in the same way that the laws France cites, be they enforced ever so fairly, would still disproportionately target poor people, so other laws can, even when fairly enforced, target black people. The classic example of this is crack cocaine – a predominantly black drug – carrying a higher sentence than other whiter drugs. Even if the police are scrupulously fair in giving the same sentence to black and white cokeheads, the law will still have a disproportionate effect.

There are also entire classes of laws that are much easier on rich people than poor people – for example, any you can get out of by having a good lawyer – and entire classes of police work that are harsher on poor neighborhoods than rich neighborhoods. If the average black is poorer than the average white, then these laws would have disproportionate racial effects.

For more information on this, I would recommend Tonry and Melewski’s Malign Neglect: Race, Crime, and Punishment in America. They begin by saying everything above is true – the system mostly avoids direct racist bias against black people – and go on to say argue quite consistently that we still have a system where (their words) “recent punishment policies have replaced the urban ghetto, Jim Crow laws, and slavery as a mechanism for maintaining white dominance over blacks in the United States”. If you want something that makes the strongest case for the justice system harming blacks, written by real criminologists who know what they’re talking about, there’s your best bet.

But it's a bit frustrating that he devoted such a small fraction of the article to the actual problems and a huge portion to justifying the biases that the problems give rise to, effectively creating more material by which to support the idea that blacks must simply be more naturally inclined to crime instead of making it clear that the situation is a self feeding cycle resulting from inequity.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

he wasn't justifying biases. If police patrol in high crime areas, and poor neighborhoods have higher crime, and more blacks live in poor neighborhoods - it is not systemic racism.

African Americans aren't 'more inclined to crime' - African Americans are on average poorer, and the poor are more likely to commit crimes. It is an SES problem not a race problem. When you try to address SES problems through a lens of race, you don't accomplish anything.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
quote:
If police patrol in high crime areas, and poor neighborhoods have higher crime, and more blacks live in poor neighborhoods - it is not systemic racism.
Except for the racism that caused black neighborhoods to tend to be poor, you mean.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
It wasn't racism that causes black neighborhoods to tend to be poor. It is predominantly network effects - poor people know poor people and thus their opportunities in life are poor.

If you mean it was racism that resulted in blacks being enslaved in the first place, and thus being poor when enslavement ended - sure but that isn't really relevant to the discussion or problem.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
African Americans aren't 'more inclined to crime' - African Americans are on average poorer, and the poor are more likely to commit crimes. It is an SES problem not a race problem. When you try to address SES problems through a lens of race, you don't accomplish anything.

So you think black people are just naturally poorer than white people then? You're asserting the the wealth disparity along racial lines is a natural state and doesn't represent an inequity unto itself?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
It wasn't racism that causes black neighborhoods to tend to be poor. It is predominantly network effects - poor people know poor people and thus their opportunities in life are poor.


Look up redlining, urban flight and similar practices that create such neighborhoods before making such a demonstrably false assertion.

But that's not even getting to the larger point that such disproportion is racism unto itself. That's how racism work- an inequity that exists along racial lines perpetuates itself. I think you're trying to say that it's not the result of active bigotry in the present; which is completely irrelevant. Bigotry isn't the problem here, racism - oppressive biases and inequities that exist along racial lines - is.

And you pretty much pointed to exactly why simply addressing poverty isn't enough. Systems that attack poverty will most help those with families and networks that connect to wealth and experience, but they won't magically create them for groups that lack access to them along racial lines.

You have to actually address the causes of the disproportion - the inequity - themselves, otherwise you'll just exaggerate the inequity.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Pyr, you're making a good argument for dealing with poverty in America, not for dealing with racism in America.

Let's pretend that the black population began as around level zero when they were emancipated, and from then on there was zero bigotry or active racism against them. This wasn't actually true, but pretend for a moment. By the operation of a capitalist system those at the bottom will tend to stay there, and those near the top tend to stay there. Even with no other influence whatsoever merely beginning at the bottom collectively would explain why blacks would be disproportionately poor now. This is exactly why, I think, some people advocated reparations, and although this isn't a palatable solution it does speak to the truth that the real issue from them was starting at zero in a capitalist system, thus making them "free" but at a significant disadvantage for a very very long time to come.

Since then laws have been passed that make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer, and so by happenstance those who began poor as a group are disproportionately affected by such inequitable laws. You can call this systemic racism if you want (e.g. results that are uneven on racial lines) but since the issue is rich vs. poor if you solve the issue of poverty you simultaneously solve the issue of 'racism' in this sense.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

the initial poverty of african americans is from being brought over as slaves. There was racism, but it had very little impact on african americans remaining poor. Most whites from the same time period who were poor, have remained poor.

In regards to redlining - basically redlining is 'if we give a loan and have to foreclose - how easy will it be for us to resell the property'. If you can't resell a property for a profit if someone defaults on the loan, then it doesn't make sense to make the loan.

Research has shown that while the government made redlining maps, it didn't use them as a basis for making loans, nor did others use these maps.

quote:
HOLC did not practice redlining through its own lending program. Nothing in HOLC’s policies put areas with older homes or racial and ethnic minorities at a disadvantage. HOLC staff did not have access to the residential security maps because the maps were made after HOLC made most of its loans, but HOLC did make loans in all areas, particularly those later colored red and yellow.
Previous research about HOLC’s lending has drawn from loan summaries that the agency created after making loans. These summaries, apparently created only for cities that HOLC resurveyed, reported the number of loans in each of the four different graded areas. Jackson reported that 60 percent of HOLC loans made between 1935 and 1936 in Essex County, New Jersey (Newark), and 68 percent of loans in Shelby County, Tennessee (Memphis), were made to third- and fourth-grade areas.

http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=cplan_papers

Economic decisions often look racist, because race often falls along economic lines.

When a middle class family is denied a loan in a redlined area - it is because the bank would be unlikely to recover the loan amount if the family defaulted because selling the property in that area would be difficult.

I can understand the naive view that loans should be based purely on the merits of the individual seeking the loan. I can understand that it feels unfair that factors not under the control of the individual should play a major role in the actual risk of the loan - namely recovery ability if the loan is defaulted upon. It is, however, not racism for a business that makes loans based on risk - to take that source of risk into account.

quote:
And you pretty much pointed to exactly why simply addressing poverty isn't enough. Systems that attack poverty will most help those with families and networks that connect to wealth and experience, but they won't magically create them for groups that lack access to them along racial lines.
I've posted previously that I would like there to be forced integration based on economic disparity as a way to address part of this networking issue. I'd also discontinue tax exemption, and federal loans to schools and colleges with severe SES imbalances.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
I hadn't addressed the 'urban flight' issue, there were a number of factors and racism likely had little or no role.

1) Stagnant/declining urban jobs increased suburban - a lot of employers had moved out of the city due to increased tax rates, those who could afford to follow the jobs did

2) increasing property taxation - the declining city revenues caused increased property taxes to offset them. Taxes in the subburbs were significantly lower.

3) school system quality, the suburban schools were of far better quality than the urban schools and thus those who could afford to move to allow their children better schools did.

Also it is clear that it was 'wealth flight' not 'white flight'.

Those three factors were found to be the dominant factor in urban to suburban migration - racism played little or no role.

Note that segregation naturally occurs without racism as observed by Schelling.

http://nifty.stanford.edu/2014/mccown-schelling-model-segregation/
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
If it was just wealth flight and not white flight, why did the suburbs end up all white?
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
I have found one good argument for racism having a significant impact.

The segregation of African Americans to non combat positions during WWII - resulted in few opportunities for advancement or recognition and high risk of having demerits on ones record when returning from duty. This in turn resulted in less access to mortgages. Similarly the small number of preexisting colleges that accepted blacks meant that fewer got a college education (and again demerits and officer status were considerations).

Since military service and earning officer rank and the subsequent mortgage loans (and tax deductibility of mortgage payments) and college were a major source of middle class advancement. I would agree that african americans were hurt economically by the militarys racist practices.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
There are also entire classes of laws that are much easier on rich people than poor people – for example, any you can get out of by having a good lawyer – and entire classes of police work that are harsher on poor neighborhoods than rich neighborhoods. If the average black is poorer than the average white, then these laws would have disproportionate racial effects
Which is precisely why brainwashing poor blacks into thinking that their bugbear is racism, rather than classism, criples them as well as unjustly painting targets on their white neighbors.

At this point in history, addressing classism in Americaa would benefit disavantaged blacks more than any race based program. Focusing on race today is as misguided as it was to focus on poverty during the 1960s at a time when blacks could not vote or sit on juries in many jurisdictions.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
If it was just wealth flight and not white flight, why did the suburbs end up all white?

Short answer:Affirmative ethnic cleansing. Because a significant number minorities, being brainwashed into seeing whites as the cause of their woes, targeted white neighbors for violence. The effect was ethnic cleansing of whites from the4 inner cities. Police protection is scarce because of capital flight, and the plight of inner city and prison whites gets little attention (save in American History X) because conservatives dont care about the poor and the left preaches that ethic cleansing against whites isnt technically "racism" because of "white pr5ivilege." racial profiling against whites is systematically used for investigating food stamp recipients; there is often a presumption of fraud if a white married couple applies for food stamps.

Nothing of what I said denies that blacks are victims of systematic racism. In fact, the processes I just described, the ethic cleansing of whites from the inner cities, hurt blacks as a group more than whites, resulting in a climate where even liberal honkies who claim not to be racist will look at the percentage of African anericans and hispanics as a measure of how unsafe a school is for their children. These racist stats are all conveniently online, displayed seamlessly alongside indicators of school quality...

[ September 03, 2015, 10:40 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Because a significant number minorities, being brainwashed into seeing whites as the cause of their woes, targeted white neighbors for violence.
I can't find any evidence to suggest that this was the case, Pete. Where do you see that white flight was a reaction to increasing black-on-white violence?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Stats on rape and assault in the inner cities, black filmakers like Spike Lee (w3ho grew up in a cushy ass white neighborhood) preacdhing that blacks should resist whites moving into "our" neighborhoods, the fact that white flight because of violence has been documented i n South Africa, the fact tha. Nelson Mandela in his unfortunatr declining years proclaimed that a woman who moves because she is sick of being raped ia not a "true African," because the racial targeted rape and battery that is documented by crime stats in the inner cities is the traditional tool of ethnic cleansers in Europe, the Balkans, Syria, post~Bush Iraq ... Just look at the Gypsies dying to get out of Kosovo right now and ask them why they are fleeing (if you might be bothered to read some non US news sources that would help greatly.) so unless you figure that American whites are more fond of being selected for rape and battery than, say, Kosovar Gypsies or South African whites or Coptic Egyptians or Croatian Serbs or Muslim Bosnians, it seems reasonable to infer that they act for the same motivations as everyone else, and when targeted for their race, tend to move away from situations where their families are violated because of their skin color.

But setting aside the obvious facts, if inner city whites were leaving for the reasons I said, would you concede that ethic cleansing of whites is racist? Because if not you are kind of dodging the point and engaging in a Clintonism (that depends on what "is" is)
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
TomD,

quote:
Where do you see that white flight was a reaction to increasing black-on-white violence?
Here is an annecdote about this,

quote:
The violent threats made against white families during and following the 68’ riots caused another percentage of whites to flee. Stokely Carmichael, aka Kwame Touré, a leader in the Black Panther party who promoted the concept of Black Power commented on Baltimore radio during the riots. My husband, who was a young father at the time, heard him say that blacks needed to stop burning down their own neighborhoods and start going up to places like McClean Blvd and cause destruction in white neighborhoods. My husband’s young family actually lived right off of McClean Blvd. Many men of the neighborhood, including my husband, went to Towson to buy guns out of fear and the need to protect their families. Luckily, none of those guns were put to use.

My father heard Carmichael’s threat, too. We did not live far from McClean Blvd, either. In spite of a daytime curfew on the whole city, my father started pulling out the camping equipment so our large family of young children could evacuate the city if needed.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/05/18/a-childs-memory-of-white-flight-from-baltimore/
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
1) Stagnant/declining urban jobs increased suburban - a lot of employers had moved out of the city due to increased tax rates, those who could afford to follow the jobs did

2) increasing property taxation - the declining city revenues caused increased property taxes to offset them. Taxes in the subburbs were significantly lower.

3) school system quality, the suburban schools were of far better quality than the urban schools and thus those who could afford to move to allow their children better schools did.

Also it is clear that it was 'wealth flight' not 'white flight'.

Those three factors were found to be the dominant factor in urban to suburban migration - racism played little or no role.

Funny how "those who could afford to" mostly happened to be white. Unless your answer to why that was is that black people are just inherently poor, you just explained the form that rasim took in this case, not its absence. The disparity of wealth that allowed more whites to move and left more blacks stuck behind and starved for the resources the migrated out with the wealthy/white population is clear racism in action.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Because a significant number minorities, being brainwashed into seeing whites as the cause of their woes, targeted white neighbors for violence.
I can't find any evidence to suggest that this was the case, Pete. Where do you see that white flight was a reaction to increasing black-on-white violence?
I think that's a bad question. The right question in here is "Why was there black-on-white violence?"

Was actions by black people that preserved their status quo position of dominance? Or was it a reaction/revolution against ongoing oppressive systems?

Was it prejudicial? Yes. But it was bottom up,. not top down. Evaporation, not precipitation, to use the metaphor in the other thread. A reaction to racism, not racism. That doesn't make it a good reaction- in fact it absolutely contributed to overall racism, but trying to call it "racism" confuses the top and bottom in the situation.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
...and when targeted for their race, tend to move away from situations where their families are violated because of their skin color.
What makes you think that whites are targetted more often in poor, ethnic, high-crime neighborhoods than anyone else?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
In regards to redlining - basically redlining is 'if we give a loan and have to foreclose - how easy will it be for us to resell the property'. If you can't resell a property for a profit if someone defaults on the loan, then it doesn't make sense to make the loan.

Research has shown that while the government made redlining maps, it didn't use them as a basis for making loans, nor did others use these maps.

You missed the bigger picture. It isn't "they made loans in these areas and didn't in those"

It was "only black people could get loans in these (bad) areas and only white people could in those (good) ones" along with "White people had to put classes in there deeds prohibiting sale of the property to blacks/other minorities"

quote:
Economic decisions often look racist, because race often falls along economic lines.
And hence are implicitly racist because of that disparity.

quote:
When a middle class family is denied a loan in a redlined area - it is because the bank would be unlikely to recover the loan amount if the family defaulted because selling the property in that area would be difficult.

I can understand the naive view that loans should be based purely on the merits of the individual seeking the loan. I can understand that it feels unfair that factors not under the control of the individual should play a major role in the actual risk of the loan - namely recovery ability if the loan is defaulted upon. It is, however, not racism for a business that makes loans based on risk - to take that source of risk into account.

Except, of course, when the race of the applicant is one of those "risk" factors, especially when used as criteria for quality of the loan and the location of the property that can be bought.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
The percentage of African Americans (AA) who were veterans and received loans was about half that of Caucasians who were veterans and received loans.

The pool of low risk Caucasians was much larger a percentage of the Caucasian veterans ( more officers, more medals and recognitions, had fewer demerits etc.).

So the suggestion that race played a large role in the loans is questionable.

quote:
And hence are implicitly racist because of that disparity.
No, you don't get to redefine racism to mean whatever you want it to mean. Racism is only things that are based on belief of inherent inferiority of the individual or class of individuals based on race.

Discriminating against the poor isn't racism, it is classist.

Similarly the law regarding crack cocaine wasn't racist, even thought it disproportionately incarcerated blacks.

quote:
The harsher penalties for crack cocaine offenses were supported by most of the Congressional Black Caucus, including New York Representatives Major Owens of Brooklyn and Charles Rangel of Harlem, who at the time headed the House Select Com¬mittee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Crack was destroying black communities, and many black political leaders wanted dealers to face longer sentences. “Eleven of the twenty-one blacks who were then members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the law which created the 100-to-1 crack–powder differential,” noted Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy. “In light of charges that the crack–powder distinction was enacted partly because of conscious or unconscious racism, it is noteworthy that none of the black members of Congress made that claim at the time the bill was initially discussed.” Kennedy added: “The absence of any charge by black members of Congress that the crack–powder differential was racially unfair speaks volumes; after all, several of these rep¬resentatives had long histories of distinguished opposition to any public policy that smacked of racial injustice. That several of these representatives demanded a crackdown on crack is also significant. It suggests that the initiative for what became the crack–powder distinction originated to some extent within the ranks of African-American congressional officials.”
http://thefederalist.com/2014/07/17/is-the-war-on-drugs-racist/

The black caucus wasn't 'racist' against blacks - they saw the harm that crack cocaine was doing to their communities and hoped that harsh penalties would mitigate that harm, but instead it exacerbated the harm - with a disproportionate effect on african americans.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
The percentage of African Americans (AA) who were veterans and received loans was about half that of Caucasians who were veterans and received loans.

The pool of low risk Caucasians was much larger a percentage of the Caucasian veterans ( more officers, more medals and recognitions, had fewer demerits etc.).

So the suggestion that race played a large role in the loans is questionable.

It's clear it was a factor, otherwise they would have had such qualifications in proportion. And the GI benefits for educations and loans were intended to actively reward them for service regardless of crediworthiness- it was supposed to create that worthiness for them and be the backing they needed.

quote:
No, you don't get to redefine racism to mean whatever you want it to mean. Racism is only things that are based on belief of inherent inferiority of the individual or class of individuals based on race.
No it's not. That's only rough attempt to capture the gist of possible meaning of it while fitting in the limited space available to a dictionary.

quote:
Similarly the law regarding crack cocaine wasn't racist, even thought it disproportionately incarcerated blacks.
That is exactly what made it racist; disproportionate, oppressive impact along racial lines.

MAybe you should study the issue instead of pretending that one hack line out of a dictionary defines an entire deep field of study. It does show that dictionaries reflect the biases of their writers, but that's a pretty obvious factor regardless of what issue you may be addressing. Dictionary denotations gave give you gist, they can't capture full meaning effectively.

quote:
The black caucus wasn't 'racist' against blacks - they saw the harm that crack cocaine was doing to their communities and hoped that harsh penalties would mitigate that harm, but instead it exacerbated the harm - with a disproportionate effect on african americans.
Being a member of a minority doesn't prevent you from contributing to racism against others of the same race as you when you use your power in ways that, even accidentally, perpetuate harm and oppression along racial lines. A better example is how white and black doctors alike are equally more likely to treat a black patient for gas where they'd treat a white patient for a potential heart attack, leading to a higher rate of heart attacks among blacks. It's not even a conscious or intentional bias, it's so baked in that they only realize it's happening when presented with the statistics after the fact.

Overt personal prejudice can indeed express itself as an active belief in inferiority, but actual, relevant racism is any bias that has a disproportionate, oppressive impact along racial lines, justified or not.
 
Posted by DJQuag (Member # 3582) on :
 
The one thing that would help minorities j the United States the most would an effective policy plan to reduce poverty.

Minorities may face a slightly harder time lifting themselves out of poverty, but most of the factors that keep poor families and people poor affect all races.

Would policies of baseline income, free education, etc, single out minorities and give them extra because they're minority? No. Would it disproportionately help minorities, because minorities make up a larger ratio of the poor population? Yes.

Michael Jordan's kids don't need extra help. The kids of meth addicted or alcoholic white people do.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

the difference between caucasian and AA treatment for infarction is because they self report the symptoms differently,

quote:
African American patients were as likely as white patients to report "typical" objective symptoms but were more likely to attribute their symptoms to a gastrointestinal source rather than a cardiac source (P =.05). Of those patients with the final diagnosis of myocardial infarction (n = 45), 61% of African American patients attributed symptoms to a gastrointestinal source and 11% to a cardiac source, versus 26% and 33%, respectively, for white patients
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12094188

So again - not racism. Rather the opposite of racism - doctors give some deference to the self reports of patient regardless of race, but AAs are more likely to interpret the signs and symptoms as gas than are caucasians.


I realize that 'social justice warriors' would like a dramatically expanded meaning. I've used the commonly agreed upon meaning that the word racism has had since the introduction of the word.

When you use word in a way that don't mean what the rest of the world means with the exact same word - you basically eliminate the ability to communicate effectively.

When you mean something other the commonly held meaning - perhaps you can indicate it with additional notation such as a an asterix. racism*. Then everyone will understand that you mean something other than the normal meaning and the wasted verbiage can be avoided.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Michael Jordan's kids don't need extra help. The kids of meth addicted or alcoholic white people do.
Michael Jordan's kids are far more likely to be arrested based on racial profile than white kids of drug addicts are, straight up. Or pulled over for driving because the car they're in suggests to police trying to profile them that hey must have stolen it, they're more likely to be shot trying to get their registration card out than a white guy visibly going for a gun is, etc...

Eliminating poverty is absolutely a parallel issue with crossovers, but pretending that there's no racial bias means that efforts that don't address that as well will have very lopsided results. you have to address and fix every issue, not just one or two, then cross your fingers and hope the rest will fix themselves. Any issue you don't take on in its own right will only get worse if you don't address it, not better.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
My understanding is that previous attempts to reduce poverty without regard to race have often resulted in different outcomes for different races. That more resources get allocated to white neighbourhoods than black, for instance.

The problem with race-blind solutions is that prejudices can be baked into the metrics or criteria for making decisions about who and how to help. Unless measures are in place to prevent it, the solution, without any deliberate attempt to be racist, will tend to exclude black people and favour white people. The most direct way to avoid this is to include race as one of the criteria for decision making; to mitigate unintended consequences of other metrics.

Though this line of reasoning pre-supposes that "helping black people" is one of the justifications for the program. If it isn't, then by all means, discount race. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't end up helping black people.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

quote:
Michael Jordan's kids are far more likely to be arrested based on racial profile than white kids of drug addicts are, straight up.
There is no evidence that this is the case.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
It happens frequently, to the point that black people generally, and completely rationally, have to presume that is going happen and need to preemptively defend themselves from it.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Feel free to provide evidence from any source that any children of famous african americans have a greater chance of being arrested that 'white kids of drug addicts', that sounds like a completely made up claim.

I doubt even children from unknown middle class families have a higher chance of arrest that children of white drug addicts.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Lets see what the research says

quote:
In sum, most racial discrepancies in juvenile male arrests were accounted for by an increased exposure to childhood risk factors. Specifically, Black boys were more likely to display early conduct problems and low academic achievement and experience poor parent–child communication, peer delinquency, and neighborhood problems, which increased their risk for juvenile arrest.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981137/

quote:
These findings suggest that the disproportionately high arrest rate for black citizens is most likely attributable to differential involvement in reported crime rather than to racially biased law enforcement practices.
http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/81/4/1381.abstract

You might be thinking of data from 1968(!) that showed that high SES African Americans were more likely (11.4%) than low SES whites (7.5%) to be arrested. The world has changed over the past 47 years. Even if it hadn't, that data still wouldn't support your claim since low SES doesn't imply children of drug addicts, whom would have a far greater risk of arrest; and the definition of high SES would be insufficient to cover the extremely wealthy and powerful.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Feel free to provide evidence from any source that any children of famous african americans have a greater chance of being arrested that 'white kids of drug addicts', that sounds like a completely made up claim.

I doubt even children from unknown middle class families have a higher chance of arrest that children of white drug addicts.

You forgot "based on race" there. Please respond to what I said, not what you're making up.

Poor white kids might be more likely to be acutely involved in criminal activity due to class and thus arrested, but they're not going to be stopped and detained _because of their color_ wish is something that does frequently happen to blacks. If the white kid actually earns enough to afford a fancy car, they will never be stopped on suspicion they stole it because of their race. Jordan's kids, on the other hand, have to expect that there's a real chance that a cop will pull them over simply because they're black and driving a car that's "too expensive", never mind possibly risking brewing shot in such a situation because they're trying go get their registration.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

quote:
You forgot "based on race" there. Please respond to what I said, not what you're making up.
Let us read exactly what you said,

quote:
Michael Jordan's kids are far more likely to be arrested based on racial profile than white kids of drug addicts are, straight up.
I don't think what you are claiming you said can reasonably be interpreted from what you actually said.

Also it looks like you've also moved the bar from 'arrested' to detained. Offspring of high SES parents in an expensive car are likely to be detained based on racial profiling, but are extremely unlikely to be arrested.

If you were really trying to imply 'Michael Jordan's kids are far more likely to be detained based on racial profile than white kids of drug addicts are to be detained based on a racial profile' - then I completely agree. I also completely agree that any African American has a greater chance of being detained on racial profiling than does any White American.

As to 'driving while black' - I do plan to look at the statistics on this - there are a number of confounders that tend to be ignored and thus in many parts of the country it is probably overstated.

For instance African Americans (AA) are far less likely to wear a seat belt while driving, especially young AA males. Similarly they are far less likely to use car seats, and more likely to use them improperly.

quote:
These populations are less likely to wear seat belts or use child safety seats–especially young males. [...] A recent study examined motor vehicle fatality exposure rates and found that, although black and Hispanic male teenagers travel fewer vehicle miles than their white counterparts, they are nearly twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle crash. Black children ages 5 through 12 face a risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash that is almost three times as great as white children. [...] High school students surveyed by telephone also underscored the disparity in belt use that exists between African Americans and other groups. Over 31 percent of black high school students reported rarely or never wearing their safety belts, compared to 21 percent of white and 18 percent of Hispanic students. (Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/alcohol/Archive/Archive/safesobr/22qp/seatbelt_fact_sheets/seatbelts_afr_amer.html

So that would account for almost all of the disparity using just a single confounder that is ignored in all studies to date of this issue.

I'd also suspect that

1) poor people do more night driving, and since there are more blacks that are poor, that AA do more night driving

2) poor people do more driving under the influence, and the higher rate of poverty among AA implies that there are more AA who DUI

3) poor neighborhoods have more night crime, police patrol and pull over more cars in poor neighborhoods at night, and more AAs live in poor neighborhoods

That would likely remove most of the difference in stops between AAs and whites - and all of the factors can be largely attributed to poverty related behavioural differences as opposed to race. (Which isn't to say that cops don't use racial profiling, just that far less of the difference in stop rates can be attributed to profiling versus poverty behavioural factors).
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Confirmed another of my suspected confounders - African Americans are dramatically more likely to work late shifts, and thus be driving during the hours when police increase their rate of random stops looking for DUIs.

http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2008/workingaroundtheclock.aspx
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Another counfounder would be newness of vehicle. AAs are more likely to be poor, poor individuals are more likely to have an older vehicle, older vehicles are more likely to be in disrepair.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
I'm curious what role time of day plays in risk of being shot by an officer - any bets that night stops are significantly higher risk?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
there are a number of confounders that tend to be ignored
I don't know a polite way to put this, but:

I know a fair bit about statistics, enough to know why your analyses of these studies tend to be flawed themselves. It seems to me that you spend a lot of time lately trying to figure out why statisticians are coming to conclusions that don't comfortably align with your opinions, and thus attempting to poke holes in methodology from the position of someone who is loosely familiar with that methodology.

And that's fine. I actually think more people should do that. I think aiming masses of people at difficult social problems is a good thing, and forcing experts to defend their conclusions is generally a positive. But I also remember a "major medical breakthrough" you announced about four years ago that was going to turn the world on its ear.

Would it make more sense for you to contact the authors of the studies you find inconclusive and direct your questions to them? In my experience, most researchers are quite approachable, even the ones that do "controversial" work.
 
Posted by DJQuag (Member # 3582) on :
 
Nah, I'm still pretty sure that baseline income and free higher education, or even starting down the path to that, would help minorities a lot more then any of the recent protests have.

I'm talking European socialist style stuff. Europe is as much or more racist then the US and minorities and immigrants still manage to get their benefits.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Another counfounder would be newness of vehicle. AAs are more likely to be poor, poor individuals are more likely to have an older vehicle, older vehicles are more likely to be in disrepair.

And none of these "confounders" would exist in an unbiased system, unless you're are asserting an inherent, genetic cause for blacks to be poorer and work night shifts more often. These aren't "confounders" they're self-reinforcing consequences of a biased system.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
That would likely remove most of the difference in stops between AAs and whites - and all of the factors can be largely attributed to poverty related behavioural differences as opposed to race.
So, you're basically saying that blacks are just naturally more poor than whites again. There's no racial disparity, they're just straight up inferior by your calculations?

If you're not saying that, then you have to include the fact that they're disproportionately poor when looking for bias, not try to factor it out.

Right now you're basically highlighting a facet of racism in our system and then massaging the statistics to hide it rather than bothering to actually dig into why the disparity exist and trying to figure out how to address it.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
And just so that the core point isn't lost here, I'll put it out on its own.

By justifying your assertions that racism doesn't exist based on the fact that black people are more poor that white people instead of recognizing that as one of the core ways that racism manifests in the US, you are effectively arguing that black people are inferior to white people and actualyl directly meeting your favored dictionary definition of racism here.

If you don't accept that black people are inferior to white people, then you should be asking "How do we work toward eliminating this disparity?" not "How do we control for it to hide evidence of it in the statistics?"

And you're right- was was being a little inaccurate and too generous with "arrested" since being killed in the process of being detained tends to preclude arrest. It's just different ways of expressing "being harassed, often fatally" by law enforcement based on racial profile, including all associations with poverty based on the bias that a given black person is more likely to be poor, as well as the fallout from lack of resources and connections that actually come from being poor.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
Racist policy (slavery) caused systemic poverty.
Poverty makes more likely negative social behavior.
Negative social behavior causes aversion.

That doesn't mean racism disappeared somewhere along the way. It does however mean that a lot of what looks like racism is now classism. Because of this, fighting against racism will fall short of improving conditions for many African Americans.

There is also a much higher level of backlash by whites (or at least discomfort) when attempting to "fix" racism compared to attempting to "fix" classism.

Taking the easy road, confronting classism, which many (myself included) believe would do far more good, seems like the obvious choice.

Idealism vs. pragmatism. It's not controlling for or hiding evidence. There is little disagreement on how we got here. We know we can't flip a switch and erase entirely our history and subconscious reactions to others. Addressing things that actually improve lives and counter stereotypes will slowly erode what racism remains once classism is no longer (or lesser of) a factor.

That or I'm just some white dude in denial and unwilling to accept responsibility for all those who came before me and acted like ****s, knowingly or through bigoted ignorance. How would I know the difference...
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
You talk like this is an either/or issue, when the truth is that any issue that isn't addressed in its own right will reinforce itself, getting worse instead.

quote:
There is also a much higher level of backlash by whites (or at least discomfort) when attempting to "fix" racism compared to attempting to "fix" classism.
The existence of such prejudice just under the surface- implicit support for inequity and resistance to trying to correct it- is part and parcel of why the issue has to be addressed directly. You'll note that actual efforts to minimize and eliminate classism similarly provoke resistance from people up the economic ladder as their comparable degree of power over poor people and corresponding sense of moral superiority is threatened. All systemic biases are self-protecting and self-reinforcing, that's part of their nature.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
Pyr, it may not technically be an either/or issue, but it might effectively be one. Assuming major steps were taken to address classist concerns (e.g. health care reform, campaign finance/political reform, Wall Street reform, even a basic income) if you still saw disparities on racial lines past that point you could start to question whether the economic and systemic fixes were really getting at the problem. But when you assume right off the bat the issue is something other than a class issue you're going to have a lot of people (even a movement) dedicated to solving something that, even if it really does exist, may be the secondary or tertiary cause of the discrepancy in results. In other words, you're potentially wasting time and energy on the one hand, diluting attention from the primary cause(s) on the other hand, and as D.W. mentioned also causing people to dismiss the situation out of frustration when you call "racism" and they think you're blowing smoke. Even if you're not blowing smoke the whole issue of how to get popular support for a change is one we've mentioned here time and again and is ignored every time.

[ September 14, 2015, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I suppose I see it as a racism problem represented by one circle and a classism problem represented by another circle. The racism circle is smaller and fits almost entirely within the classism circle.

quote:
The existence of such prejudice just under the surface- implicit support for inequity and resistance to trying to correct it- is part and parcel of why the issue has to be addressed directly.
It's not implicit support or resistance, it's largely helplessness to do anything about it. Other than vote. And voting to help someone else has always been a lot to ask of people. We will do it, eventually, but leveraging selfishness of a larger more inclusive group is a much easier battle to fight.

I honestly believe that in a self perpetuating cycle, treating the symptoms (or results of racism) can break the cycle more easily than treating the racism itself. Mostly because I don't understand how you would even do that; at least from the perspective of middleclass or lower-class employee. An employer or law enforcement officer I see how you can make a conscious effort to combat racism directly. For the vast majority of Caucasians what would be the course of action? Protest? Social media posting?

I can see voting for higher minimum wages, better social services, better benefits, fair employment practices, improved lending opportunities and the like. What does anti-racism legislation look like compared to any of those issues today? If you do name some, how do you garner interest / support from those who do not directly benefit from them?

If you go from end result and reverse engineer the problem, I think it is indeed an either/or issue.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
The problem with Pyrtolin's position is that by calling disparity, racism, he over attributes malice to the problem. It's inherent in his claims, and yet he never shows it, nor can he because the majority doesn't feel it anymore. So since he can't show malice directly, he goes out and finds disparity and claims that alone is enough to provide proof (not evidence, proof) of the malice and intent that a charge of racism requires. That ignores completely that disparity itself is something that is worth looking at and can be treated, it unnecessarily alienates potential supporters, it avoids looking at real solutions (because they are not politically correct) and ultimately, it fails to allow you to find any success because there will always be disparities to measure or find.

If you forget about calling it racism, then you can look at the things that LR tracked down that separate the connections between parts of the problem and race and start treating the different areas each on a rational basis. The poor generally need some solutions, some of which have been implemented, some of which we fundamentally disagree on (long term welfare a social good or social bad). And then look at what's causing a disparity between the races in that factor and correcting that as well.

Walter Williams the economist has written of number of things on the impact of social policies on race over time that provide some insight. The destruction of the black family (which like it or not is NOT a legacy of racism, but a more recent response most likely to the welfare state) has had a tremendous impact on family wealth and social class for black families and especially children. It would not be unfair to say, that correcting that one issue would reverse most of the impact of what Pyrtolin labels racism, yet that "solution" doesn't pass his politically correct solutions meter. How serious can one be about solving a problem of race if we're not looking at primary factors of how those problems are linked to race?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The problem with Pyrtolin's position is that by calling disparity, racism, he over attributes malice to the problem.
I think here we have a difference in definition. Institutional racism does not require malice. People who do not understand the use of the word "racism" in this context often insist that the word is used incorrectly, because they do not distinguish between racism and bigotry and thus require malice for racism to be a consideration.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Bureaucratic procedures perpetuate the problem, but if you dig deep enough you will find common cause. Otherwise, it's hard to explain why institutional racism isn't eliminated or remedied whenever and wherever it is found.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The problem with Pyrtolin's position is that by calling disparity, racism, he over attributes malice to the problem.
I think here we have a difference in definition. Institutional racism does not require malice. People who do not understand the use of the word "racism" in this context often insist that the word is used incorrectly, because they do not distinguish between racism and bigotry and thus require malice for racism to be a consideration.
The point is that the concept of bigotry (either through malice or ignorance) is so hard-wired into our concept of "racism" that to create an academic re-definition of the word that is descriptive of outcomes and doesn't speak to bigotry is going to be contradicted by what the subconscious mind says the word means. In short, as we've somewhat agreed on before, "racism" is just not a good word to describe this disparity even though we presently lack another decent word to take its place. Just look at how many explanations of this usage have been needed on this site alone; and we're actually talking about the subject. The truth is that the word "racism" is very charged and so this provides a convenient vehicle for the definition Pyr is using to trigger emotional baggage to make it sound very bad, while at the same time striking from the word the content to which the baggage is attached. That's a tidy arrangement but also guaranteed to have people speaking past each other.

You won't find anyone who will deny that racism is a very bad thing and should be stamped out. But the disparity we are discussing (aside from bigotry) is something that it's not so clear can be directly stamped out, so much as affected secondarily by addressing some more general issues of poverty and class.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The problem with Pyrtolin's position is that by calling disparity, racism, he over attributes malice to the problem.
I think here we have a difference in definition. Institutional racism does not require malice. People who do not understand the use of the word "racism" in this context often insist that the word is used incorrectly, because they do not distinguish between racism and bigotry and thus require malice for racism to be a consideration.
Which is an intentional part of the strategy of the social movement that uses that definition of racism. It's designed to change the understanding of the word by linking it to a word that's commonly used with negative connotations and ultimately to change how the term is interpreted in a legal sense. The real push on using it as you describe stems from a consistent legal interpretation that statistical difference in not actionable racism.

The party that is attempting to redefine a commonly used word, in a way that is disingenuous is the one that is held accountable for the intended (or unintended if you buy that) consequences.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
There's always been some racism that wasn't malicious though. The New England abolitionist could care deeply for the plight of slaves as he suggested sending them back to Africa and being horrified at the suggestion his daughter might want to marry a black man. Or white feminists suggesting that maybe black women should try to sound less angry when confronting injustice.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
The real push on using it as you describe stems from a consistent legal interpretation that statistical difference in not actionable racism.
Actually, no. The modern legal interpretation is the opposite -- namely, that laws which disproportionately negatively affect a given "race" are unconstitutional, even if this effect is unintentional.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
It's almost like the belief that we are all sinners. No matter if you don't actively sin you still aren't going to heaven without admitting you are a sinner and asking Jesus for help.

All of us (or at least the white ones) are racists and we can't fix society until we accept we are racists and proclaim it. That AND not doing racist things just might do the trick.

Or you know, you could short circuit the dogma and just attack the problems and let the psychology self correct. Did anyone have examples of methods to combat racism which were not also methods to combat classism?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
The party that is attempting to redefine a commonly used word, in a way that is disingenuous is the one that is held accountable for the intended (or unintended if you buy that) consequences.
Not always. I think you're talking about words for which *you* have a fixed meaning that you don't want changed. If you controlled language evolution and semantics for everyone else, you could have your way. But words are infinitely malleable and adaptable to changing context, else dictionaries would carry only one definition for each.

For instance, at what point in time do you want everyone now to use what was the common understanding of "marriage" back then? And it what society and under what laws? Should we all agree that marriage can only be between men and women of the same race, that marriage makes the wife property of the husband, that marriage joins people for life with no exceptions? That marriage must be sanctified by God? We could declare that marriage was and remains a property transaction uniting the holdings of two families. What about polygamy or polyandry?

Racism is an odd term that originated with the Nazis, who used it to separate out animals (Jews among them) from true humans (Aryans), even though both groups were Caucasian (itself a mis-classification of all humans into three racial groups based mainly on skin pigmentation). Racist comes from race (and the act of separating people by racialism), which is rooted in an "understanding" that physical appearance implied fitness for different roles or social caste membership. Now we better understand that dividing people by race is a cultural affectation, where two nearly identical looking "white" people may be as genetically dissimilar from each other as any collection of random people on an urban bus.

But we still do it and still rank people according to which racial group to which they are assigned. I remember watching the movie "Black Like Me" (1964, starring James Whitmore) when it first came out and being stunned by the realization that once the main character stained his skin brown he didn't just look like a negro, but became one to everyone around him.

No rational person can explain why any two people of any race(s) should be treated as inherently different given that we are all of a single species, but we do it anyway.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I don't know if the US has the metaphors and language to talk about classism efficiently. One the one hand, there's too much invested in using race as the key marker for a person's quality (outside of certain high society circles).

On the other, the rhetoric of wealth and respectability is too grounded in the reaction against European ideology (whether aristocratic or socialist or communist). It's true that sometimes people say race when they mean class and there's certainly class distincts among white people but, well, people say race when they mean class. How well something is understood and digested in the public sphere is worth keeping track of.

So you can talk about class in the US but I think it's too foreign and uncomfortable for people to think about. Racism is a failure of the American Dream; classism comes too close to a repudiation of it.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
All true NH but it fails to pull this out of an intellectual nose dive of a conversation and treat it as something solvable. If there is another path out of the mess, I don’t' see it.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
The party that is attempting to redefine a commonly used word, in a way that is disingenuous is the one that is held accountable for the intended (or unintended if you buy that) consequences.
Not always. I think you're talking about words for which *you* have a fixed meaning that you don't want changed. If you controlled language evolution and semantics for everyone else, you could have your way. But words are infinitely malleable and adaptable to changing context, else dictionaries would carry only one definition for each.
So it's just a coincidence that the dictionaries agree with me and not Pyrtolin? Really? I'm all for using commonly accepted dictionary terms here.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The real push on using it as you describe stems from a consistent legal interpretation that statistical difference in not actionable racism.
Actually, no. The modern legal interpretation is the opposite -- namely, that laws which disproportionately negatively affect a given "race" are unconstitutional, even if this effect is unintentional.
Lol, prove it. And while you're at it, why don't you look at the time on these decisions and match it to the academic and social movement usage of the term. Really did laugh out loud at this one.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
The party that is attempting to redefine a commonly used word, in a way that is disingenuous is the one that is held accountable for the intended (or unintended if you buy that) consequences.
Not always. I think you're talking about words for which *you* have a fixed meaning that you don't want changed. If you controlled language evolution and semantics for everyone else, you could have your way. But words are infinitely malleable and adaptable to changing context, else dictionaries would carry only one definition for each.

For instance, at what point in time do you want everyone now to use what was the common understanding of "marriage" back then? And it what society and under what laws? Should we all agree that marriage can only be between men and women of the same race, that marriage makes the wife property of the husband, that marriage joins people for life with no exceptions? That marriage must be sanctified by God? We could declare that marriage was and remains a property transaction uniting the holdings of two families. What about polygamy or polyandry?

NH, you've chosen a really bad example here in marriage. In fact, the definition of marriage was fairly stable and comprehensible in a secular context until the laws were recently changed. It's true that once the law redefined the word it would make no sense for anyone to claim the word meant what it used to; the definition was changed by fiat. Your example here would seem to validate Seriati's claim, that a legal redefining of racism is in the midst of happening. But in the absence of a redefinition by fiat the dictionary is not drafted in order to prescribe how words should be used arbitrarily. Rather, the dictionary tracks how words are used and how they used to be used. If you want to claim that Seriati's definition of racism is just some definition he wants to promote and isn't the norm then I challenge you to go out and interview 100 people and report back on how many of them associate racism with bigotry and how many of them associate it with income disparity regardless of bigotry. If Pyr's usage is in vogue in academia and certain "ism" circles then obviously anyone in those circles will insist that's what the word means. But when you impute that the classic meaning of racism is something Seriati is personally trying to force on others you've really entered doublethink territory. It's what almost everyone means by it, and people like Pyr know that very well even though they will never say so.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Uh, you mean AI, not NH [Razz] Marriage hasn't been a particularly stable institution, either.

And dictionaries are proscriptivist as least as often as they are descriptivist. Even the descriptivist definitions are used by proscriptivists as an argument from authority.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
In fact, the definition of marriage was fairly stable and comprehensible in a secular context until the laws were recently changed.
quote:
Rather, the dictionary tracks how words are used and how they used to be used.
Actually, I would argue that the legal definition had to catch up with how the word was being used. It's not like gay couples weren't having ceremonies and introducing themselves as married prior to the legal change. If two men told you they were married prior to the change of law people still understood what they meant. They may disagree with the use or point out that it wasn't legal, but they understood the usage of the word. The same can apply to racism I suppose. Even if someone uses the word “wrong” most people will still understand what they mean.

You may take offense at the abuse of language when shoe horned into something so crude as verbal or written communication but if you comprehend what someone means, the word served its purpose. By all means attempt to correct someone when there is a better more concise means to convey what they “mean” compared to what they “said” but be prepared to have them offended. [Razz]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
NH, you've chosen a really bad example here in marriage. In fact, the definition of marriage was fairly stable and comprehensible in a secular context until the laws were recently changed. It's true that once the law redefined the word it would make no sense for anyone to claim the word meant what it used to; the definition was changed by fiat. Your example here would seem to validate Seriati's claim, that a legal redefining of racism is in the midst of happening. But in the absence of a redefinition by fiat the dictionary is not drafted in order to prescribe how words should be used arbitrarily. Rather, the dictionary tracks how words are used and how they used to be used. If you want to claim that Seriati's definition of racism is just some definition he wants to promote and isn't the norm then I challenge you to go out and interview 100 people and report back on how many of them associate racism with bigotry and how many of them associate it with income disparity regardless of bigotry. If Pyr's usage is in vogue in academia and certain "ism" circles then obviously anyone in those circles will insist that's what the word means. But when you impute that the classic meaning of racism is something Seriati is personally trying to force on others you've really entered doublethink territory. It's what almost everyone means by it, and people like Pyr know that very well even though they will never say so.
I can get past the misattribution easier than my misunderstanding of what you're trying to say. I'd say that the Supreme Court has similarly "redefined" many other words in pretty much the same fashion. In Virginia "marriage" didn't mean blacks and whites marrying each other until the SC said it did, and now it does. Do you want to argue with them about the "sudden" redefinition they made to the term?

I confess that I love dictionaries and etymology more than most people do. It helps me to understand how inextricably close language and culture have been tied to each other throughout human history, while at the same time it doesn't force me to accept the meanings that words were commonly assigned in times far before our own. As a consequence, I find it especially amusing that more than any other group I can think of, Christians insist that words mean what they supposedly did 2000 years ago and pretend to act accordingly. If you read my post on the biblical use of "slave" and "servant" about the many English language translations of those ancient Greek (not Aramaic) works, you should get a chuckle about how the "biblical" meaning of "marriage" is defended today instead of confirmation of your emotional biases for what it is supposed to mean.

ETA: DW, great post!
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Uh, you mean AI, not NH

Heh...whoops?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
My comment about marriage was only that a law can change the meaning of a word suddenly regardless of common usage. Al, why do you think I "want to argue" about that definition? I neither said that nor is it relevant to my general point, which is that definitions tend to reflect common usage, not prescribed usage, with the exception being with legal redefinitions. If you don't think marriage is a good example of that then don't worry, an example is all it was.

If racism means something in common usage then unless a law, for instance, redefines it suddenly no one can simply claim it means something else. Maybe it can to a small circle that agrees to use it differently, but to tell the majority their use is wrong is silly. It seems to me that you guys are actually agreeing with me; perhaps my last post wasn't clear enough. If language and culture are tied then you'd have to show me that U.S. culture now identities racism as a disparity in outcomes regardless of cause. I will repeat my challenge to any who disagree to literally go out onto the street and interview random people to find out what they think the word means.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I do agree with your last post Fenring. My only contention is that the use is largely irrelevant when it comes to solving the issue it describes.

If our neighbor lives like us, works in a similar job, has similar hobbies, speaks the same language with a similar accent there are few (some certainly) who hold racist views or treat that neighbor differently based upon their race.

There ARE many who would avoid or treat with suspicion those who act differently, live in situations outside of their social or economical circles, or speak with different accents or different languages and have different hobbies or jobs they can’t relate to or feel are beneath them or envy them for what they have. Those instances very frequently happen along racial lines. This phenomenon looks effectively like racism. It can even cause racism.

In what way does framing a problem help solve it? In my experience framing is only useful in stalling or doing the minimum required.
 
Posted by DJQuag (Member # 3582) on :
 
I would think that ignoring generational poverty and class issues, and insisting that the number one priority should be giving people special treatment or aid based upon their race and not their circumstances, is likely to increase racism and bigotry in the country.

Giving out the metaphorical equivalent of forty acres and a mule, in whatever form that might take, is definitely going to make the rich and upper middle class white population feel really good about themselves. But the whites in poverty? They're going to resent that kind of policy, and they're going to resent the people benefiting from it. Because while intellectually people can understand that all things being equal, minorities have it harder in the US, life isn't a picnic for anyone who had become entangled in the all too often sandpit that is poverty.

A man staring at a fifteen foot tall wall that they need to climb over unaided is not going to like it if a minority, who is facing a twenty foot wall, gets a rope thrown down to him to help him out, while the first man gets told to suck it up and handle things himself, because he's already won due to the color of his skin.

[ September 15, 2015, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: DJQuag ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
The largest and most disproportionately poor population group in our society has *always* been blacks. It only looks like favoritism to some people because needing the most help they get the most attention. It's odd that this same principle holds for Obamacare, that for a lot of people who need the medical care they would themselves be able to receive, they oppose it because others they think are less deserving would also get it.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
It's odd that this same principle holds for Obamacare, that for a lot of people who need the medical care they would themselves be able to receive, they oppose it because others they think are less deserving would also get it.
Do you really believe that? I assume people oppose it because they believe they themselves will either have to pay more (directly or through taxes), or will have their services degraded because of Obamacare. I don't expect there are a significant number who oppose based on what someone less deserving would get.

I'm always willing to believe people are selfish, but that level of spite knowing it will cost them seems ridiculous to me.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
That was the subject of a number of reports on NPR in previous years. In one case, a reporter spent time in Florida in a poor white community where one person was quoted saying exactly that, and the reporter commented that it was a theme she heard repeated by others. It's still an anecdotal report, but not fabricated.

I'll go further [Wink] , and say that I heard another news report over the winter where someone in Louisiana said he would never vote for a black person because everybody has their right place in the world. He was asked if he thought he was a racist and he said absolutely not, just saying what everybody knows. No malice there.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
It's odd that this same principle holds for Obamacare, that for a lot of people who need the medical care they would themselves be able to receive, they oppose it because others they think are less deserving would also get it.
Do you really believe that? I assume people oppose it because they believe they themselves will either have to pay more (directly or through taxes), or will have their services degraded because of Obamacare. I don't expect there are a significant number who oppose based on what someone less deserving would get.

I'm always willing to believe people are selfish, but that level of spite knowing it will cost them seems ridiculous to me.

Look at every argument against public support systems. THe primary assault on the best solutions to classism always come down to "Poor people are stealing your hard earned money, "Helping them will just make them dependent/leaches", "Public support destroys families", and the like. Even in the face of evidence that supporting poorer people tend to enrich everyone, people prefer to maintain the moral and economic power over those less fortunate that they get from the disparity.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DJQuag:
I would think that ignoring generational poverty and class issues, and insisting that the number one priority should be giving people special treatment or aid based upon their race and not their circumstances, is likely to increase racism and bigotry in the country.


Which is the kind of sentiment the false argument implicit in the spurious characterization of "number one priority" is designed to engender. Working to solve the problem isn't what causes resentment so much as such lies told about efforts to solve the problem that stir up resistance from the majority to enforce the inequitable status quo.

quote:
Giving out the metaphorical equivalent of forty acres and a mule, in whatever form that might take, is definitely going to make the rich and upper middle class white population feel really good about themselves. But the whites in poverty? They're going to resent that kind of policy, and they're going to resent the people benefiting from it. Because while intellectually people can understand that all things being equal, minorities have it harder in the US, life isn't a picnic for anyone who had become entangled in the all too often sandpit that is poverty.

Indeed, which is why such solutions generally aren't proposed, but rather ones that work towards equalizing current opportunity, such that minorities aren't operating at a disadvantage to otherwise comparable members of the majority.

quote:
A man staring at a fifteen foot tall wall that they need to climb over unaided is not going to like it if a minority, who is facing a twenty foot wall, gets a rope thrown down to him to help him out, while the first man gets told to suck it up and handle things himself, because he's already won due to the color of his skin.
Indeed- and in the process misses the fact that the rope is only 5 feet long, serving only to lift the other person up to his current level, and the claim that it will get him all the way to the top comes from a politician that uses it to keep the second guy voting for him.

(And the guy would also by full weel right to insist that making the wall 10 feet shorter would help anyone, but that change wouldn't eliminate the fact that he's already 5ft higher along it than the first guy, and thus represent a larger relative benefit to him that to the guy further down.)
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
It's odd that this same principle holds for Obamacare, that for a lot of people who need the medical care they would themselves be able to receive, they oppose it because others they think are less deserving would also get it.
Do you really believe that? I assume people oppose it because they believe they themselves will either have to pay more (directly or through taxes), or will have their services degraded because of Obamacare. I don't expect there are a significant number who oppose based on what someone less deserving would get.

I'm always willing to believe people are selfish, but that level of spite knowing it will cost them seems ridiculous to me.

Look at every argument against public support systems. THe primary assault on the best solutions to classism always come down to "Poor people are stealing your hard earned money, "Helping them will just make them dependent/leaches", "Public support destroys families", and the like. Even in the face of evidence that supporting poorer people tend to enrich everyone, people prefer to maintain the moral and economic power over those less fortunate that they get from the disparity.
Pyr,

Your first statement was verging on suggesting that people will refuse to support something that helps the poor also, purely out of spite, hence D.W.'s comment. Your subsequent response says it a bit better but still won't let go of the classism-spite angle for some reason. You are conflating two different unrelated issues, one of which is the real issue that people don't want their income taken from them to support what they see as a dubious government program. The other and totally separate issue which you seem to be lumping in is the idea that people want to keep the poor in their place because that's where they belong. No doubt some people do believe this latter notion but it has no relation to the systemic argument about whether earners should pay for others' keep. Your conflating of these two ideas unnecessarily incorporates a malicious intention to anyone against Obamacare or the welfare system, and this is a dishonest construction.

In a way you should look to your definition of racism vs bigotry to make your terms on this topic more clear. The issue of not supporting a welfare/public system is to racism (systemic oppression, with no necessary malice or bigotry) what wanting the poor to stay in their place is to bigotry (well actually it just is bigotry). Since you are so insistent on bigotry not being tied into the definition of racism, so you should avoid discussing classism in the same breath as mentioning that people are concerned about paying more for things they don't necessary think will work.

[ September 16, 2015, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
If racism means something in common usage then unless a law, for instance, redefines it suddenly no one can simply claim it means something else. Maybe it can to a small circle that agrees to use it differently, but to tell the majority their use is wrong is silly. It seems to me that you guys are actually agreeing with me; perhaps my last post wasn't clear enough. If language and culture are tied then you'd have to show me that U.S. culture now identities racism as a disparity in outcomes regardless of cause. I will repeat my challenge to any who disagree to literally go out onto the street and interview random people to find out what they think the word means.

This is find except when you're trying to make an argument about what someone else, intentionally using the term in a specific way has said. At that point any argument that isn't grounded in the intended meaning is a false reply to what was said, regardless of being able to point to any large group of people and say "well, that's what they mean by it" despite the context making it clear that a different meaning is intended.

It's one thing to directly take issue with someone using "literally" to mean "figuratively" or "ignorant" to mean "stupid" as very commonly happens in current usage. It's quite another to represent someone as having intentionally used the words in their literal sense when the context makes it clear that they were using them in the figurative sense. What's more, it leads to unproductive encumbrance of discussions as more effort begins to need to be put into pedant-proofing statements to avoid the conversation from being derailed by people who deliberately miss intended meaning and instead try to cleverly "win" the argument by changing the intended meaning to one more convenient to their ends, even if they might be technically right about relative frequency or explicit dictionary support of certain usage.

English is a very context-based language; connotation is far, far more important to conveying meaning than technical denotation.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Pyr,

so it sounds like you agree that your usage of the word racism is very non standard, but that others are being unnecessarily pedantic and attempting to derail the conversation when they suggest that what you call racism isn't racism.

Am I understanding your argument correctly?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
You are conflating two different unrelated issues, one of which is the real issue that people don't want their income taken from them to support what they see as a dubious government program.
EXcept, of course that the notion that it's dubious arises purely from bias and political machination, and not from any actual evidence. You see it even more in claims that fast food workers don't deserve a living wage, despite that it would actively mean that everyone else would make relatively more as well and in arguments against payroll transparency on the claim that people would try to tear each other down, and attacks on unions; a preference for trying to tear down people who have managed to negotiate a better deal instead of using the fact of that deal to negotiate better conditions for themselves.

You seem to be suggesting that I'm claiming that bigotry doesn't exist or is completely unrelated, neither of which is true. Classism and racism both actively give rise to bigotry on both sides of the line, which can help to feed them. It is one possible mechanism, where contextually relevant.

It is also something that can't be addressed directly by policy, so isn't really relevant to policy discussions (and certainly shouldn't be allowed to corrupt policy discussions) It can only- in general- be alleviated over time as policy decisions to fix structural issues stop providing fodder for it to feed itself or through direct, person to person communication and education efforts. (In specific cases, particularly where you're talking about the behavoir of state officials, it can and should be addressed directly as one method of breaking the overall cycle. Prohibiting police from using racial profiling and the like, despite the fact that there is a statistical correlation that might be used to justify it)

quote:
The other and totally separate issue which you seem to be lumping in is the idea that people want to keep the poor in their place, and that they deserve no better than they earn for themselves. ]No doubt some people do believe this latter notion but it has no relation to the systemic argument about whether earners should pay for others' keep.
It absolutely does, because the notion of deserving what one has nominally earned and the corresponding notion that each person earns what they deserve to are the root justification that even makes it coherent to argue that such support systems amount to taking away from one person to give to another instead of representing a common investment that increases what you're able to make in the first place. You seem to miss here that, rather than arguing on the merits of a given investment, the entire discussion is being hijacked by the false notion of taking away from the "more deserving" and giving to the "less deserving", completely displacing substantive arguments about whether or not a given policy is effective.

PUt another way if a policy is effective in enriching everyone by alleviating poverty, then it shouldn't matter if the nominal presentation shows some numbers being transferred from you to others, because you come out ahead in the end otherwise. When you put aside the question of "does this enrich everyone" and instead argue that the policy is bad because the numbers are going to people who don't "deserve" them, it's impossible to say that you're not making an argument based purely on moral principles despite the effective harm that you suffer in the process. (Spite is one possible way to characterize it, if that's the term you wish to use for such, but I see self-righteousness and moral dictatorship as more accurate descriptors. In many cases, people convince themselves that they're doing such for the good of the people that they're undercutting by forcing them to, hopefully, act in ways that comport with their own sense or moral justice)

[ September 16, 2015, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
so it sounds like you agree that your usage of the word racism is very non standard, but that others are being unnecessarily pedantic and attempting to derail the conversation when they suggest that what you call racism isn't racism.

And even more so when they criticise arguments made from that particular academic meaning of the word and otherwise try to prove that it doesn't exist in that sense by relying on a switch to the colloquial sense as evidence, never mind actively avoiding addressing the fact that the academic sense has far greater utility in describing a specific class of problems than simply standing in as a vague synonym for prejudice.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Since you are so insistent on bigotry not being tied into the definition of racism, so you should avoid discussing classism in the same breath as mentioning that people are concerned about paying more for things they don't necessary think will work.
That relies on the false assertion that the current state of each problem is the same. While bigotry arising from racism is generally appealed to through dog whistles and other more subtle methods (though it's amusing to see how much Traction Trump is getting from being honestly and outright bigoted, dispensing with the cover) the bigotry being fostered in classis is actively and nakedly displayed, even to the point of being elevated to social and economic ideals. THe only relationship between the two is that they're systems of oppression- you can draw some degree of empathy from one to the other, but aside from that, each is a very different problem to actually tackle, even where they intersect with each other.
 
Posted by Seriati (Member # 2266) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
so it sounds like you agree that your usage of the word racism is very non standard, but that others are being unnecessarily pedantic and attempting to derail the conversation when they suggest that what you call racism isn't racism.

And even more so when they criticise arguments made from that particular academic meaning of the word and otherwise try to prove that it doesn't exist in that sense by relying on a switch to the colloquial sense as evidence, never mind actively avoiding addressing the fact that the academic sense has far greater utility in describing a specific class of problems than simply standing in as a vague synonym for prejudice.
I don't do that. What I do is deliberately challenge your reliance on the confusion to make implications that aren't warranted by an academic definition, and your attempt to assert into common discussions - where the common definition is being used by participants - extremist arguments that only make sense under the academic definition. And I do this, because I view this efforts on your part as propaganda intended to have effects based on the confusion between the common definition and the academic definition that can, will and are intended to change the meaning of concepts that do in fact rely on the full context of the common definition.

I always like it though when someone tries to pre-empt criticism by aggressively asserting their opponents are engaged in a tactic they themselves employ. In this case obviously trying to claim it's people relying on a common understanding of a word are being manipulative rather than the person who's using a particular definition deliberately to try and achieve a social end by fiat.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
SO, in other words, you engage in active motive speculation and try to derail my arguments by imputing such false accusations rather than actually addressing points I'm making. Thanks for clarifying that.

quote:
always like it though when someone tries to pre-empt criticism by aggressively asserting their opponents are engaged in a tactic they themselves employ. In this case obviously trying to claim it's people relying on a common understanding of a word are being manipulative rather than the person who's using a particular definition deliberately to try and achieve a social end by fiat.
Indeed. Very amusing given that that's exactly what you're doing here.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
The official taboo on "motive speculation" here has always amused me. Occasionally people accuse others of that but I think it would be a difficult if not futile exercise to find someone here who doesn't engage in it.

You can have a discussion or you can teach a lesson in the proper use of language. Doing both at once and seeing it as a debate tactic is just kinda sad and irritating.

That's not to say I don't appreciate being corrected when I say something stupid(ly). [Smile]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
The official taboo on "motive speculation" here has always amused me. Occasionally people accuse others of that but I think it would be a difficult if not futile exercise to find someone here who doesn't engage in it.

While I'm sure people do try to sort out what someone is saying something and have correct or incorrect theories about it, I don't think it's all that unreasonable to say "Take people at their word for what they mean rather than attacking them for having a secret agenda that you speculate them must be trying to advance"
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
SO, in other words, you engage in active motive speculation and try to derail my arguments by imputing such false accusations rather than actually addressing points I'm making. Thanks for clarifying that.

No, Pyr, Seriati's right. That doesn't mean he's right about everything; maybe your theories have something to them, maybe not. But your discussion style is very much employing deliberate confusion in order to obscure what point you're actually trying to make. We are interested to hear your ideas, but not when the idea is merely a reiteration of a definition whose purpose for being is circular to the point its use is trying to demonstrate.

I would suggest you consider how seriously you are really taking comments made by others here, because it honestly feels like you summarily ignore anything people say and simply repeat your point while asserting that our attempt to create lines of communication with you are an attempt to "derail" your point. It's your point that we would actually like to address, and your method of argumentation is actually the thing preventing that. Help us to speak with you better, and you'll see the resistance fade away.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
"Take people at their word for what they mean rather than attacking them for having a secret agenda that you speculate them must be trying to advance"
My personal issue is that if I "take people at their word" I end up having to dismiss 90% of their content as gibberish and feel forced to read between the lines to figure out what they are trying to say or what their position is.

You need a decoder ring or psychic gifts to get past the arguing for argument's sake that goes on here sometimes. Or sorry, semantic debates.

Rafi's quotes of a source without editorializing them and seeing all the responses to them as if it was his point are at once a breath of fresh air and a perfect example of how badly we all suck at communicating without motive speculation.

At least when communicating in person we can use non-verbal queues to fill in some blanks. Here, we can only use context and past history of the writer.

[ September 16, 2015, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Everyone here clearly has a point of view, otherwise why bother "sharing"? We don't need to declare it in headline form on every post for the rest of us who know each other to know what their angle is. Sometimes it's partisan, but sometimes it's about completeness or definitional clarity. Debate requires leaning into each other's comments in order to get at what wasn't explicitly said.

Rafi is a good example of someone who posts and runs rather than engage in that sort of discussion where he will have to defend comments. It leaves the rest of us in a position of having to do that for him; it's not motive speculation, but more filling in blanks he (for some reason) won't reveal for himself. There aren't many others here who as regularly engage in that sort of tactic.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
SO, in other words, you engage in active motive speculation and try to derail my arguments by imputing such false accusations rather than actually addressing points I'm making. Thanks for clarifying that.

No, Pyr, Seriati's right. That doesn't mean he's right about everything; maybe your theories have something to them, maybe not. But your discussion style is very much employing deliberate confusion in order to obscure what point you're actually trying to make. We are interested to hear your ideas, but not when the idea is merely a reiteration of a definition whose purpose for being is circular to the point its use is trying to demonstrate.

I would suggest you consider how seriously you are really taking comments made by others here, because it honestly feels like you summarily ignore anything people say and simply repeat your point while asserting that our attempt to create lines of communication with you are an attempt to "derail" your point. It's your point that we would actually like to address, and your method of argumentation is actually the thing preventing that. Help us to speak with you better, and you'll see the resistance fade
away.

I disagree, I don't think Pyrtolin tries to deliberately confuse people. I DO think he tries to stake out and defend the semantic territory on which the debate will happen, and I think this often spirals into endless quibbling. So I'm not saying it's an effective or ideal style. But I don't think it's the same thing as trying to manipulate people by confusing them.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
"...And therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him."

...Unless they are stubborn internet posters who see little art in warfare. [Wink]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I disagree, I don't think Pyrtolin tries to deliberately confuse people. I DO think he tries to stake out and defend the semantic territory on which the debate will happen, and I think this often spirals into endless quibbling. So I'm not saying it's an effective or ideal style. But I don't think it's the same thing as trying to manipulate people by confusing them.

I should have been a bit more clear. I don't mean I think Pyr intentionally desires to confuse people. I mean that he intentionally employs a style of argument that he knows will create confusion. This may seem like a fine point, but if anything I'm implying more that his posts lack charity and rather than suggesting there is any ill intent in them. I don't think he desires quibbling, but he knows very well that this will result from posting in a certain way and he does it anyhow.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
quote:
I mean that he intentionally employs a style of argument that he knows will create confusion.
Don't we all confuse, at least a little (hint)? Pyrtolin is one of most well-informed posters here AND has a particular intellectually oriented point of view. Often when someone doesn't understand him, they misinterpret what he says and argue against that misunderstanding. FWIW, I don't always take the time to completely absorb his complex points and sometimes don't understand them, myself. I give him credit for the (usually) patient way he spends a lot more time here than most trying to correct those misapplied counter-arguments.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
I mean that he intentionally employs a style of argument that he knows will create confusion.
Just the opposite- I try to address confusion and clarify when people are making false arguments based on mixing definitions.

The problem comes when someone replies to me saying "what you secretly mean is this" and even after I clarify and explain what I do mean explicitly, they keep coming backs and saying "but what you really, secretly mean is this other thing" which is often the exact opposite of what I've explicitly said that I mean.

FRom my perspective the confusion doesn't come from my efforts to clarify exactly what I mean but rather from assertions of others about what I "really" mean instead of actually engaging the issues or ideas.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I mean that he intentionally employs a style of argument that he knows will create confusion.
Just the opposite- I try to address confusion and clarify when people are making false arguments based on mixing definitions.

The problem comes when someone replies to me saying "what you secretly mean is this" and even after I clarify and explain what I do mean explicitly, they keep coming backs and saying "but what you really, secretly mean is this other thing" which is often the exact opposite of what I've explicitly said that I mean.

FRom my perspective the confusion doesn't come from my efforts to clarify exactly what I mean but rather from assertions of others about what I "really" mean instead of actually engaging the issues or ideas.

Yes, I think what you say happens too. But tell my in all honesty - how many times have you made posts which devolved into arguing over what a word means? Assuming the answer is "a lot" don't you think that's an unnecessary waste of time when getting over the language itself it hardly the deepest thing that can be discussed?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
ABsolutely, which is why I've noted that skipping the points that I'mm king in favor of arguing over the terms I'm using is a form of derailment. I try to actively avoid such digressions except where I see my meaning or someone else's being misrepresented, intentionally or not, in ways that undercut productive discussion
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
When you use a word in a way that is dramatically different from its commonly used meaning, even if that meaning might be accepted by certain groups of academics or other subcultures - it is you who are derailing conversation due to your non standard usage. ANd thus it is you who are 'undercutting productive discussion'.

You use the word racism to mean racism (discrimination based upon race) + classism (discrimination based upon SES) + network effects + familiarity bias (preferring the familiar to the unfamiliar) + non discriminatory practices that happen to disproportionately impact particular races (such as increased police presence in high crime areas, or the fact that police make more stops during the night, etc.).

There is no reason why society should accept or agree with the much more encompassing definition.

So it isn't 'derailment' to clarify what you mean when you use the term since it is so dramatically different from its normal and well understood meaning.

Especially when you then claim that individuals are racist (or 'white supremecist') when they say that disparity in outcomes are due to factors that are not predominantly race based, but rather SES, economics, network effects, or other identified factors.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 945) on :
 
I think the arguments here often get to a point where the precise meanings of the terms being used actually serve to frame the debate. They get to this point very quickly because of the history of interaction between the same posters and on the same ideas.

So I don't blame anyone for arguing these points, really. It's not always derailment. Along with differing values, it's the core of the disagreement.

But it does get old, too, and it's hard to call it constructive debate.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
You use the word racism to mean racism (discrimination based upon race) + classism (discrimination based upon SES) + network effects + familiarity bias (preferring the familiar to the unfamiliar) + non discriminatory practices that happen to disproportionately impact particular races (such as increased police presence in high crime areas, or the fact that police make more stops during the night, etc.).
No. I use it to mea "Prejudice based on race in combination with societal power to have harmful effects on similarly identified people as whole"

It intersects with other forms of social injustice, but you only get to your misrepresentation here because you refuse do dig deeper ans ask why people of a given race are more affected by certain injustices than others, never mind looking at what the3 downline effects of being affected over time has been as infrastructures built up and entrenched those biases.

quote:
non discriminatory practices that happen to disproportionately impact particular races
This is the most egregious of the way that you miss the point. Someone posted it recently, but I'll remind you again of the quote "The law, in it's attention to equality, forbids the rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges"

It was mad on the basis of class, but the logic carries over. A nominally equal law that has a disproportionate impact on different races exposes racial inequity and contributes to it so long as the racial inequity remains.

Disparate impact is, de facto, discriminatory. And when it's discriminatory in a harmful way, it represents a systemic injustice.

And even there we get closer to the heart of why the distinction between basic prejudices and discrimination and those that are combined with the power to oppress or harm segments of society is important- it directly prevents people from falling into the trap of pretending that nominal discrimination in more important than discriminatory effect. IT allows us to see the discriminatory injustice embodied in the nominally equal law that it's illegal for anyone to sleep under a bridge and see that a more just solution might be a law that says that an person in need is guaranteed a publicly funded bed to sleep in so that they do not have to sleep under bridges. While that does nominally discriminate in favor of the homeless as they have the most need, the outcome is more equitable across the board, as it doesn't provide those at the bottom with any more than those at the top already have, just the bare minimum to establish a common baseline for opportunity.

quote:
There is no reason why society should accept or agree with the much more encompassing definition.
Indeed. And that's a false argument, because there is indeed no need for you to use that definition in your own communication if you don't want to. Only to be aware of it so that you can honestly interpret what someone else is saying when they're clearly applying it. The fact that you choose not to use a word in a certain way does not negate the fact that it's actively dishonest to reinterpret the words of another who is using it that way.

quote:
So it isn't 'derailment' to clarify what you mean when you use the term since it is so dramatically different from its normal and well understood meaning.
And that's not what I claims. What I claimed is that it is dearaliment to ignore clarifications and construct arguments and assert hidden motives based on your preferred meaning of the word, such that the point gets left behind and the argument devolves into repeatedly correcting misrepresentations.

quote:
Especially when you then claim that individuals are racist (or 'white supremecist') when they say that disparity in outcomes are due to factors that are not predominantly race based, but rather SES, economics, network effects, or other identified factors.
Which is a thing that I haven't done. I've pointed out places where you've effectively argued that it's natural that there are racial disparities along those lines by refusing to acknowledge that the fact that a given race consistently is at the short end of the stick across all of those categories is a problem or sign that there's something inequitable going on. And you seem to be very confused on the point of noting that our society exhibits white supremacy at the moment- a state descriptor- with an accusation of any given individual being someone who intentionally works toward that as a goal, rather than just implicitly supporting it as the status quo if they don't make an active effort to unwind it. (Which again, is only brought up at all because other here where mischaracterizing the use of the phrase in a similar way and attacking the ideas of others under false premises based on that misuse)

Especially in the case of public officials and law enforcement making the assumption, that a black person is likely to be poor (and the cascade of assumptions that flow out form there) and then acting based on that profile actively promotes racism, even if the statistics nominally justify the assumption. If anything, the only way to start breaking the cycle is to make an active effort to be sure to discard assumptions in that case and to instead treat the person as an individual without asusmptions.

[ September 17, 2015, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
IT allows us to see the discriminatory injustice embodied in the nominally equal law that it's illegal for anyone to sleep under a bridge and see that a more just solution might be a law that says that an person in need is guaranteed a publicly funded bed to sleep in so that they do not have to sleep under bridges. While that does nominally discriminate in favor of the homeless as they have the most need, the outcome is more equitable across the board, as it doesn't provide those at the bottom with any more than those at the top already have, just the bare minimum to establish a common baseline for opportunity.
This gets back to a question I posed earlier in this discussion.

In what ways does a law to combat racism, (blatant, entrenched systemic or otherwise) differ from a class centric law which does not target by race?
quote:
Especially in the case of public officials and law enforcement making the assumption, that a black person is likely to be poor (and the cascade of assumptions that flow out form there) and then acting based on that profile actively promotes racism, even if the statistics nominally justify the assumption. If anything, the only way to start breaking the cycle is to make an active effort to be sure to discard assumptions in that case and to instead treat the person as an individual without assumptions.
How do we solve this? What real world actions help change this behavior? How do you institute or enforce these changes of thought?

I don’t suggest “ignore racism” and it will go away. I suggest “break the cycles that reinforce those assumptions and racism diminishes.” The way I see it only one method is actionable. The other is fantasy.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
In what ways does a law to combat racism, (blatant, entrenched systemic or otherwise) differ from a class centric law which does not target by race?
It compensates for various forms of selection bias that help compensate for factors beyond immediate economic issues.

Affirmative action laws- requirements that employers work to hire qualified candidates in proportion to representation of race in the population are a good example.

Even with an overall bump in income, a huge part of professional success comes from who you know and connections and support in your proximate family and community.

IF employers hire purely race blind, then the fact that there are far more qualified white candidate in proportion to race and job opening in a given field means that that disparity will perpetuate itself, since more white people employed in the field means more white family networks producing more qualified candidates while other minorities will produce fewer candidates.

On the other hand, if employers have to make the effort to find qualified candidates in proportion to race, or at lest break ties in favor of a more equitable racial balance, then you increase the opportunity for minorities to grow similar networks on an equal footing.

If you ignore race, you perpetuate the structural inequity, even if baseline income is adjusted, because the issue goes far beyond simply being able to afford to try to get into the field, but also involved compensating for being far behind on the generational wealth represented by connections to people in the field. (And similar goes for just getting access to and succeeding in the proper higher education/professional training institutions to actually make it).

On the other hand if you pay attention to race and intentionally break the cycle by making sure qualified candidates of all races have more equitable access to the field, you don't take anything away from other qualified candidate except the artificial advantage they have due to overwhelming numbers

(Even more, if you consider the fact that there isn't an exhaustive search for each position, so, through force of numbers, lower qualified candidates of the group that represents an overwhelming majority frequently get a nod before higher qualified minority candidates who don't even manage to make it on the radar. The only thing that such people "lose" is the artificial advantage that comes from the bias in the market)
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
And, as an extra add on there- the xenophobia/unfamiliarity factor is mitigated as well, since representation of minorities in larger proportion means that their distinctive characteristics become part of what is considered familiar and no longer register as outsiders or play to biases that they tend to to have as much aptitude in a given field.

[ September 18, 2015, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
So Pyr you're endorsing the 40 acres and a mule solution? This means giving black people some compensation or outright advantage to make up for the disadvantage they began with after the Civil War.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
And the disadvantages that's been inflicted on them since the Civil War.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
Affirmative action laws- requirements that employers work to hire qualified candidates in proportion to representation of race in the population are a good example.
Do you believe that the value of these types of laws that could pass are of equal value to the types of laws based on classism which could pass?

Would you factor in pushback from those displaced by affirmative action? What about determining at what point you declare "mission accomplished" and roll back those measures? Do those factors make targeting based on economics a better long term strategy?

Either way we are talking about forcing action through law in order to (eventually) change the way people think and behave. Which path is more likely to succeed? Is the timeline for one far shorter than the other?

Which is easier to enforce?

[ September 18, 2015, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So Pyr you're endorsing the 40 acres and a mule solution? This means giving black people some compensation or outright advantage to make up for the disadvantage they began with after the Civil War.

WHat outright advantage are you talking about? The removal of an active disadvantage does not amount to an advantage. Unless you're saying that being better qualified by passed up for a lower qualified low hanging fruit counts as an equitable state?
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So Pyr you're endorsing the 40 acres and a mule solution? This means giving black people some compensation or outright advantage to make up for the disadvantage they began with after the Civil War.

WHat outright advantage are you talking about? The removal of an active disadvantage does not amount to an advantage. Unless you're saying that being better qualified by passed up for a lower qualified low hanging fruit counts as an equitable state?
You only mentioned affirmative action, but how is that not granting an advantage? The aggregate effect is supposed to be a balancing out of stats, but in the individual case someone is being hired on account of his race over someone white, which in that instance disadvantages the white person. I'm not assessing the merits of this, but merely trying to nail down what you're saying.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Do you believe that the value of these types of laws that could pass are of equal value to the types of laws based on classism which could pass?
Some have already passed, like the one we're talking about. I don't see this as very relevant, to be honest as it's basically an endorsement of tyranny of the majority in a system that's supposed to have explicit protections for the minority against abusive attacks from the majority.

If can only be equal to you if and when I can convince you to vote to regard me as an equal then I am, de facto, a second class citizen, subservient to your power to grant or deny me equitable treatment.

quote:
Would you factor in pushback from those displaced by affirmative action? What about determining at what point you declare "mission accomplished" and roll back those measures? Do those factors make targeting based on economics a better long term strategy?
If there was no pushback, then the measures really wouldn't be necessary. The degree to which a given privileged group fights against a move toward equity is a pretty good measure of how deeply entrenched a given bias is.

The measures roll themselves back automatically. They only actually influence behavoir so long as effort needs to be made to correct for structural biases. IF there's little to no bias in the pool of applicants, then the law essentially has no effect. If the bias shifts in some other direction than the law helps prevent a feedback loop from coming to be that exacerbates the slip.

quote:
Either way we are talking about forcing action through law in order to (eventually) change the way people think and behave. Which path is more likely to succeed? Is the timeline for one far shorter than the other?
Each path done right will succeed in its own right. A comparison isn't relevant, because each is addressing a different form of inequity. This isn't an either/or issue. It's a both/and situation.

If your car has bad brakes and bad tires, you don't fix the brakes and hope the problem with the tires will fix itself, even if you may be able to point to ways that driving with bad brakes is doing extra damage to the tires and vice versa. You have to fix each problems in its own way to get everything back up to par.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So Pyr you're endorsing the 40 acres and a mule solution? This means giving black people some compensation or outright advantage to make up for the disadvantage they began with after the Civil War.

WHat outright advantage are you talking about? The removal of an active disadvantage does not amount to an advantage. Unless you're saying that being better qualified by passed up for a lower qualified low hanging fruit counts as an equitable state?
You only mentioned affirmative action, but how is that not granting an advantage? The aggregate effect is supposed to be a balancing out of stats, but in the individual case someone is being hired on account of his race over someone white, which in that instance disadvantages the white person. I'm not assessing the merits of this, but merely trying to nail down what you're saying.
Let's say we're playing poker and I get dealt two hands that I can pick between at will while you get dealt one hand to play against me. Would it really be making me disadvantaged to insist that we each only get one hand?

Look up the Rigged Monopoly experiment as well. I can't find a good text summary of it at the moment, but there's a lot of video out there. EVen when both players know the game is rigged- that one play is getting more money from passing Go, getting to roll twice a turn, etc... The player that the game is biased in favor of will attribute their success to being a better player and not to having an unfair advantage, and even act in aggressive, effectively oppressive ways toward the unfavored player. Would you really characterize it as giving a disadvantage to the privileged player in that scenario to say that they actualyl had to play by the same rules as the other player?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
If your car has bad brakes and bad tires, you don't fix the brakes and hope the problem with the tires will fix itself, even if you may be able to point to ways that driving with bad brakes is doing extra damage to the tires and vice versa. You have to fix each problems in its own way to get everything back up to par.
Racisim isn't bad breaks or bad tires though. It's getting pulled over and not knowing if it's because your car is in dissrepair or if you are just guilty of driving while black. If your car was in good repair, you would know and the cop wouldn't have a credible reason to why they pulled you over when called out for it.
 
Posted by Fenring (Member # 6953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Look up the Rigged Monopoly experiment as well. I can't find a good text summary of it at the moment, but there's a lot of video out there. EVen when both players know the game is rigged- that one play is getting more money from passing Go, getting to roll twice a turn, etc... The player that the game is biased in favor of will attribute their success to being a better player and not to having an unfair advantage, and even act in aggressive, effectively oppressive ways toward the unfavored player. Would you really characterize it as giving a disadvantage to the privileged player in that scenario to say that they actualyl had to play by the same rules as the other player?

Your chief fallacy here is called affirming the consequent, aka the assumption of causation. IF the game is rigged THEN the beneficiary will deny it was unfair. Your claim is that in the case of a beneficiary who denies the game was unfair this is proof the game was rigged. This is a fundamental logical error, one of the first ones in the book.

The entire core of our discussion is that you're framing a result as being caused by something we're not sure is causing it. In fact there's reason to believe that's not what's causing it, or at least not principally. Since you do not admit into your calculus any data other than the result, you actually forbid yourself even entering the discussion about possible causes; you are obsessed with the result only and choose to see it in a certain light.

[ September 18, 2015, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]
 
Posted by DJQuag (Member # 3582) on :
 
I might be a little more open to these ideas if the activists and media weren't exusively focusing on race these days. If poverty and racism both need fixing, they should both get focus.

There's been no argument made that putting policies in place to alleviate poverty and the conditions that create it wouldn't help minorities more then the past year or two of protests have. The only response appears to be "Well, racism is a separate problem that is so much worse." Well, piss on that. Ivory tower white people lecturing to those who have actually lived in or are living in poverty is something I have little patience for.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
If your car has bad brakes and bad tires, you don't fix the brakes and hope the problem with the tires will fix itself, even if you may be able to point to ways that driving with bad brakes is doing extra damage to the tires and vice versa. You have to fix each problems in its own way to get everything back up to par.
Racisim isn't bad breaks or bad tires though. It's getting pulled over and not knowing if it's because your car is in dissrepair or if you are just guilty of driving while black. If your car was in good repair, you would know and the cop wouldn't have a credible reason to why they pulled you over when called out for it.
And when your car is in good repair, but you keep getting pulled over because cops know that people who look like you tend to have a problem somewhere that they can write a ticket for? (To avoid mixing metaphors here)
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
IF the game is rigged THEN the beneficiary will deny it was unfair. Your claim is that in the case of a beneficiary who denies the game was unfair this is proof the game was rigged.
NO, the evidence of the rigging is in the statistical basis of the results of playing as well as in the direct observable difference in treatment of the players.

quote:
he entire core of our discussion is that you're framing a result as being caused by something we're not sure is causing it.
No, that is, again, your misrepresentation of my position. "Caused by" is your false assertion, and it won't magically become my argument no matter how many times you try to falsely put it in my mouth. Racial disparities are not "caused by" racism. That _are_ structural racism. The question then is to ask what needs to be done to correct those structural disparities. It can be informative to look at what initially caused them, but it's the curernt harm that they perptuate that's more relevant.

quote:
Since you do not admit into your calculus any data other than the result, you actually forbid yourself even entering the discussion about possible causes
That's pure nonsense. Better to say that since I'm willing to be honest about the current resulting state, I can actualyl honestly look for current causes and seek to correct them, while you, not willing to even admit to an honest evaluation of the results, end up going off chasing after false causes that mach your misrepresentation of the results.

Clear, self-perpetuating racial inequity exists. It does real harm to society as a whole, but especially to those as the losing end of it. If you deny those facts then there's no way you can look for honest solutions to those problems, instead you effectively assert that such inequity is a normal and natural state and falsely assume that fixing other issues is all that matters.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
And when your car is in good repair, but you keep getting pulled over because cops know that people who look like you tend to have a problem somewhere that they can write a ticket for? (To avoid mixing metaphors here)
Then you can more easily demostrait a pattern of harassment.

By removing variables / excuses for targeting other than race you make solving race based issues that much easier.
 


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