Racism

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Aedes
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 09:57 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;33776 wrote:
Was antisemitism a greater problem in Germany prior to the war than in any other western European nation?
It was comparable and it wasn't much of a problem at all. Jews in Germany were highly assimilated, many were highly educated, many were decorated war heroes from WWI, and many served in the government. This was true in France and England as well. By contrast Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Poland were very poor, often lived in a sort of ghettoized way, and during the first few decades of the 20th century there were vicious pogroms against Jews in eastern Europe. Stalin also happened to persecute Jews, but he was actually worse about it after the war had ended.
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:44 am
@Aedes,
Aedes,

You included

Quote:

We embrace the familiar and shun the unfamiliar.


in your other post and labeled the whole thing under

Quote:

That's not really true.


Then when I point it out you label me as contrarian? Well, forgive me for clarifying.

You said

Quote:

Funny you should mention that since the Romans were the same race as the Franks, Goths, Lombards, Huns, etc.



I also mentioned the Chinese, funny that you didn't. The Chinese also considered the Huns to be barbarians. Are you going to tell us the Chinese and the Huns are the same race as well? If so then the Romans and Chinese had to have been the same race also, if both were the same race as the Huns. I guess in your world different races didn't even exist before the colonial era?

So either dismiss me again as contrarian, or else face the fact that racism existed long before you claimed.
 
Icon
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 10:34 am
@OctoberMist,
Perhaps this should have been titled judgement instead of racism.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 10:47 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Maybe, maybe not. Remember that the genetic differences between races are very small and quantitatively they are vanishingly small compared with the genetic variability that naturally occurs within races.


Yes. I have heard that. I am not versed enough in this sort of thing to really comment on this (is anyone really versed enough on this to make more than an educated guess), but I would imagine the quantity of genetic variation is largely unrelated to kin selection. Kin selection, it seems to me, would depend on a relatively small portion of the genetic code, a small portion that would be amplified by geographical separation.

I am not saying that racism is natural, just that it could be naturally explained. And that should certainly not be taken for an argument that it should be tolerated.

Quote:
Point is, what people notice when they notice race (which is not even a biologically definable entity!) is a disproportionately superficial phenomenon.


I have been trying to avoid using the term race in this discussion because of the reasons you say (my first attempt at addressing this issue included the phrase: "a group of phenotypes as strong as what is typically referred to as 'race'").

With that said, it seems kin selection would be limited to a group of genes that are disproportionately superficial, as our early ancestors were very limited in their genome mapping abilities.

Quote:
And history shows it too. That's why stereotypes change with our culture. Think about America's stereotypes of people from Japan during World War II versus now. Do a web search for American political cartoons about the Japanese from the war years.


Absolutely.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 11:25 am
@Solace,
Solace;33877 wrote:
in your other post and labeled the whole thing under "that's not really true"
As sufficient attention on your part might quickly have shown, my subsequent point made clear which of your points I was addressing.

Quote:
I also mentioned the Chinese, funny that you didn't. The Chinese also considered the Huns to be barbarians.
As they did virtually everyone else of the same race as them. I'd like you to show some evidence that the Chinese had articulated an idea of racial superiority and inferiority that they differentially applied to the Huns.

To have an arch enemy who happens to be a different race is not the same thing as racism. During the early middle ages many people in Christian Europe had a superiority/inferiority attitude directed towards the Moors (whom they called Mohammedans or Saracens). And while some of this highlighted racial differences (which were not all that strong, considering they were of Spanish and North African descent), the CLEAR basis of hatred was the difference in religion. And you can see that in many texts of that time, the most famous being the Song of Roland.
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 01:53 pm
@Aedes,
Okay you make an interesting point, Aedes, I'll admit. I do think that racism has existed for a long time, but in it's modern context it has more prevelance in recent history than it used to.

About this then

Quote:

And while some of this highlighted racial differences ... the CLEAR basis of hatred was the difference in religion.


I'm curious, in the modern world, do you feel that antisemitism is based more as a racial or religious issue?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:23 pm
@OctoberMist,
It's an interesting question. I think that the rationalization behind modern antisemitism has been racial (remember that the Nazis were obsessed with social darwinism). But its long history in Europe has been both religious and (perhaps more importantly) cultural. The first "genetic" antisemitism began in the Spanish Inquisition in the 1490s. In this case, even the conversos (Jews who had converted) were persecuted.

The Nazis used many of the same stereotypes against Jews that people had been using for centuries, but their rationalization was racial (even though there isn't any such thing as a Jewish "race" to begin with).

It's ironic, because many of the stereotypes about Jews were foisted upon them extrinsically. Why were so many Jews in banking and finance? Because the church made usury a sin, so Christians couldn't do it for fear of excommunication -- but Jews filled that niche and Christians were more than happy to do business with them. Why were so many Jews in medicine? Because all of the universities in medieval and early modern Europe were Christian and medicine was the one secular field they could study.


Muslim antisemitism in the modern world is wholly political. It's neither religious nor racial / ethnic. Muslims had a long long long history of benevolence towards Jews really until Zionism came about.
 
josh0335
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:24 pm
@Solace,
Salaams peeps,

Unless anyone can prove that one race is superior to another, then racism cannot be justified. I do agree that racism is natural, as implied by psycholigist Henri Tajfel with his Social Identity Theory.

Peace
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:40 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;33916 wrote:
Unless anyone can prove that one race is superior to another, then racism cannot be justified.
What standard would we use? Whites are superior to blacks at clearing a sodium load, which is why blacks have higher rates of salt-sensitive hypertension. Blacks are superior to whites at avoiding UV damage to skin, hence their lower rates of malignant melanoma.

I'm not trying to be silly here. The criteria used in the past were things like whether lesser races were civilized or brutish. Clearly these judgements are based in ethnocentricity and without objective standard. And clearly one's ability to reach any degree of civility or achievement is based far more on opportunity than on innate racial features.

Even if racism is natural, that doesn't exclude racial tolerance ALSO being natural. There are plenty of opposites in nature -- kindness and cruelty, extroversion and introversion, etc.

So whether or not racism is natural is sort of irrelevant in my book since there is no reason to believe that racism is likely (let alone inescapable).
 
Icon
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:44 pm
@OctoberMist,
Aedes, I rarely disagree with you. I like your logic
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:54 pm
@OctoberMist,
Same here.

I have already had several discussions with Aedes that while there was unresolved disagreement, we were able to come to a common understanding.

From my understanding of argumentation and knowledge, that is the most productive type of discussion you can have.

Disagreement will always be there, so the key is to understand the disagreement. Aedes impresses me in his ability to do that.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:03 pm
@OctoberMist,
Your kind words are much appreciated!
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:15 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:

Even if racism is natural, that doesn't exclude racial tolerance ALSO being natural. There are plenty of opposites in nature -- kindness and cruelty, extroversion and introversion, etc.

So whether or not racism is natural is sort of irrelevant in my book since there is no reason to believe that racism is likely (let alone inescapable).


This is the juxt of the matter, imo, and a clearer way of stating what I was trying to before. It is natural to be suspicious, but is also natural to be accepting. Without being accepting culture and civilization would not have grown at all. Laying aside suspicion will often cause the issue that prompted the suspicion to disappear.
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:28 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
I couldn't disagree more.

I think one has a reasonable moral obligation to form opinions (at least opinions that influence actions) based on true applicable information. I don't believe one can be possibly justified in applying untrue racist stereotypes to another.

If one is justified in thinking that the discriminated party are subhuman and that subhuman entities do not deserve equal rights, how is one not justified in abridging these rights?
The thing is, for the racist it is not untrue, and here is the point: accepting the opinion of others, no matter how dishuman they sound to you, as long as they aren't directly conflicting with your actions. With this I mean: If there is one guy who doesn't wants to hire someone due to racism, let him, its his business he has the right to chose whoever he wants to work there, and it wont have a negative impact on you/the society since it didn't existed before. But if there is someone mass-murdering the subjects of racism, it affects you because it affects your society, so you should intervene. Its all a matter of avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Generalization IS necessary, and we generalize all the time, even if we suppress it we wont get rid of it, nor it is a bad thing in the correct measure. The real problem is that humans get offended then they acknowledge people think negative things of then, even if the said person says so with the greatest sincerity. If I tell one guy of a said race I hadn't searched him before because I was in a hurry and had little information available, and in these conditions excluded him because most people of his race I knew were unfit for the job, he would probably still be offended anyway. I think that this instinct is the one that has to be suppressed.

Mod Edited: Certain words were changed in this post for a broader generalization of the topic. Minor spelling corrections.
 
Henrik phil
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:50 pm
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist;33639 wrote:
Is Racism ever justified? Why or why not?


Racism is natural, but that's murder too. I won't justify murder, and not racism either.
..though I have a tiny little racist inside me, I too.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 04:12 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:
The thing is, for the racist it is not untrue


I can demonstrably show the racist that his opinions are untrue. To hold that blacks are subhuman would require a person to suspend nearly all rational thought.
 
Justin
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 05:32 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Icon wrote:
Perhaps this should have been titled judgement instead of racism.


Great point! Racism isn't just about black and white it's about discriminating against other people because they are different. So above racism and discrimination, (the effect) there is a cause. Basic judgment of another is where racism starts but racism isn't the issue, it's the judgment. Why do we judge others?

It's great to discuss these various things and try not take aim at any one race in the discussions. Racism is a double edged sword... it cuts into both sides when it cuts.

Going further into the rabbit hole though, racism is an effect of what? It's not an effect of skin color or geographical location or political views or nationality. So if we look at racism as an effect, why would we not consider attaching it to a cause? If we know the cause of something we are more apt to understand the effect.

Just a thought! :sarcastic:
 
Icon
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 08:53 pm
@OctoberMist,
I was hoping someone would catch that. Thank you Justin.

I am all about root cause analysis and the root cause of racism IS judgment. Whether over religion, race, ethnicity, location, ideals, or even as low as the clothes that we wear, judgment of others is one of the biggest problems facing man-kind in that it has prevented our progression towards a more emotionally mature society. If we did not have these judgments then we would not need money or continental divides or countries or national pride. We would have pride still, but it would be pride in the human race. Online, we are all whoever we want to be. No skin color, no nationality, no religion, no nothing unless we express those ourselves. We are entirely free to be who we want. Thus the internet has been a place where people of all types can share their mind with the rest of the world uninhibited. Judgment is what we should be discussing if we hope to get anywhere.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 09:13 pm
@OctoberMist,
Along similar lines, perhaps the best philosophical document on racism is the short but stunning "Antisemite and Jew" by Sartre.

Anti-Semite and Jew - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 10:46 am
@Aedes,
Racism ("a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race" - emphasis added), is never justifiable.

Thanks
 
 

 
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