Author Topic: USA Politics (redux)  (Read 157409 times)

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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3260 on: November 26, 2021, 08:22:11 PM »
It doesn't make sense to me that BLM has become so closely associated with the issue of police violence. Statistics indicate that black people are disproportionately affected by police violence, but the level of police violence against all people (regardless of race) is very high. The number of people killed by police in the U.S. is four times higher than in Canada (per capita), and that dwarfs the black/white disparity in the U.S.

There are many other ways that U.S. culture treats black lives as though they don't matter, through economic and educational disparity.

Online JBS

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3261 on: November 26, 2021, 08:32:18 PM »
It is actually interesting to follow the online white supremacist right—the "anime nazis" who have largely replaced the III%ers and Oath Keepers and Knights of the White Camellia at neo-confederate rallies—and their reaction to three high-profile trials in which some degree of white supremacy was implicated. They were extremely keen for Rittenhouse to become a martyr so they could riot, but practically as soon as he walked, immediately began to dismiss him as a plant, a liberal roleplaying as a white supremacist, a BLM supporter, etc (with one account spending significant amounts of time analysing his skeletal structure and fat distribution and concluding that he was secretly transgender and therefore an agent of the New World Order); they meanwhile completely ignored the Arbery and Charlottesville trials except for the usual mutterings about how the Tyrannical Government is persecuting them, the Unite the Right organisers were all RINOs and neolib cucks anyway, and Someday There Shall Be A Race War and so on. IOW, it seems like the fact that not all three trials ended in convictions took a great deal of the wind out of their sails, whereas if Rittenhouse had been convicted, they would have hailed him as one of their own and promised to avenge him in blood. As a movement, they evidently cannot exist without the conspiratorial belief that the political system is repressing them somehow, and without this victimhood complex, can't really achieve political unity.

Instead, Rittenhouse has become a beloved figure of a particular breed of ex-liberal (e.g., Glenn Greenwald, Bill Maher) who delights in contrarianism for the sake of it. These people can still claim victimhood by complaining about how their media friends don't invite them to cocktail parties anymore now that they no longer profess liberal views; in their view the real victim is neither Rittenhouse nor the people he killed, but themselves, for being "cancelled". Plenty of prominent conservatives have also attempted this over the years (e.g., Stefan Molyneux, Lauren Southern, etc.) with a lower degree of success.

This is not 1965 Georgia because things no longer break down cleanly on racial lines but similar kinds of repression still do exist. Class relationships have become somewhat more important; the Atlanta Police Department is approximately 80% black and still kills, hurts and arrests black people at elevated rates compared to their share of the population. Why? Most of the victims/arrestees come from poor inner-city neighbourhoods in South Atlanta, whereas the average salary for the police officers is in the six figures and the majority of them live in neighbouring suburban DeKalb County, the second-wealthiest black-majority county in the USA. Essentially, while there are not as many white supremacists in law enforcement, white supremacy was only ever a proxy for class supremacy and that's still very much real. The white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery could (if I recall correctly) be accurately characterised as working-class; Brunswick, GA remains a town divided between a declining post-industrial urban core where no one (white or black) is particularly well off and wealthy, fast-growing carpetbagger coastal enclaves, and if it was someone from the latter who'd been found responsible, it's unlikely there would have been a criminal trial at all, or at best the charge would have been something like involuntary manslaughter and punished via community service.

edit: people on Twitter have also claimed that the police responding to the call initially didn't arrest the killers, and in fact it was not until video footage was leaked to the public that they were actually taken into custody and charged. Twitter is of course not a reliable source but that does seem to be true, although it's unclear exactly what happened (and incompetence—police have historically had a very low clearance rate for murder—seems more likely than malice).

In reference to the Arbery case, I believe the reason for not arresting anyone at the start was active interference (by the prosecutor who herself is now facing charges) by people in the State Attorney's Office.  The intereference was not overtly because of white supremacy, but a result of the social network  which excludes PoC as a result of racism: one of the three killers was a former LEO who had worked with the prosecutors on earlier cases. The people who interfered were in effect trying to protect a personal friend.

To your larger point about the police: I don't think class differences are the key. Many of those LEOs after all have the same socio-cultural background as the people they arrest. I think the problem lies in the basic nature of police: the people chosen by the authorities to inflict violence on the authorities' behalf. IOW the officially sponsored thugs.

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Offline amw

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3262 on: November 26, 2021, 09:01:59 PM »
In reference to the Arbery case, I believe the reason for not arresting anyone at the start was active interference (by the prosecutor who herself is now facing charges) by people in the State Attorney's Office.  The intereference was not overtly because of white supremacy, but a result of the social network  which excludes PoC as a result of racism: one of the three killers was a former LEO who had worked with the prosecutors on earlier cases. The people who interfered were in effect trying to protect a personal friend.
That makes sense as well.

Quote
To your larger point about the police: I don't think class differences are the key. Many of those LEOs after all have the same socio-cultural background as the people they arrest. I think the problem lies in the basic nature of police: the people chosen by the authorities to inflict violence on the authorities' behalf. IOW the officially sponsored thugs.
True. But it is notable that police have become one of the more highly-paid professions in many cities, thereby giving people from these disadvantaged backgrounds a "leg up" financially (in some cases for the first time in their family's history), but with the expectation that they will inflict said violence in support of said social networks as a result—something that they then become deeply invested in due to the personal stakes now involved. As Baron Scarpia mentioned above, police do after all kill quite a lot of white people as well; these are just almost exclusively people outside the social networks. And the culture in a lot of police departments aims to desensitise officers to committing acts of violence, to the point where it spills over on an interpersonal level as well (e.g., there's a high rate of domestic violence in police families), while fostering a culture of protecting one's own (extending also to prosecutors, DAs, etc) that very quickly turns into a siege mentality as soon as any person within that network receives any kind of public criticism, let alone is accused of a crime. This in turn often seems to result in police precincts becoming hotbeds of conspiracy theories, paranoia, and general insecurity, which then leads to even more police violence, etc. In general therefore, a policeman's lot is not a happy one, but not for the reasons G&S alluded to.

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3263 on: November 27, 2021, 05:15:19 AM »
If this case had taken place in 1965 Georgia. The obvious verdict would have proven to be something different. Even now, I hesitate to hope that we are in a much better place.
I was being sarcastic but that's true. These bubbas almost got away with it. I have to say that the prosecutor was masterful.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 05:18:07 AM by milk »

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3264 on: November 27, 2021, 05:29:56 AM »
It doesn't make sense to me that BLM has become so closely associated with the issue of police violence. Statistics indicate that black people are disproportionately affected by police violence, but the level of police violence against all people (regardless of race) is very high. The number of people killed by police in the U.S. is four times higher than in Canada (per capita), and that dwarfs the black/white disparity in the U.S.

There are many other ways that U.S. culture treats black lives as though they don't matter, through economic and educational disparity.
I think the main issues get sidelined: just my opinion. Health care, education, living wages, transportation, worker's rights. BLM focuses on the wrong things IMO. Blake, for example, had a weapon and was committing a crime. He was going for a knife; he refused to comply; he'd already been tasered. It's always sad when any person of any ethnicity gets shot by the cops but it's a small number and the number without weapons is even lower. There seems to be good evidence that racism plays a role in who's stopped and that can lead to insane tragedies like the case of Philando Castile. But it's rare. Plenty of my lefty friends justified all those protests that burned down police stations and businesses. All these young people today wasting their time on these things when they really should be or could be doing something positive in the community.
I think the democratic party is putting itself out of business. Did I write this already? Bill Maher's line was that the dems are saying something like, "white people suck; vote for us." And he said it's like saying to a girl at a party, "you're ugly, do you want to dance?"

Offline amw

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3265 on: November 27, 2021, 07:36:19 AM »
Blake, for example, had a weapon and was committing a crime. He was going for a knife; he refused to comply; he'd already been tasered.
Hypothetically, in some kind of imaginary world where the job of police officers is not to hurt people but rather to promote public safety and order, a police officer could deescalate such a situation, convince the person to surrender their weapon and talk them down from whatever crime they planned to commit. (in fact this skill is regularly performed by mental health professionals, social workers, child protection services, teachers, parents/family members, clergy, etc.... and also by police officers when confronting, say, white supremacist mass shooters such as Dylann Roof)

Plenty of my lefty friends justified all those protests that burned down police stations and businesses. [....]
I think the democratic party is putting itself out of business.
The police precinct that was burned down was in the city of Minneapolis. If you have a chance, look up what political party controls the Minneapolis police department, city council, mayoralty, all county-wide elected officials, the state governorship, and majorities in the state legislature, and then consider whether the people engaged in armed insurrection against that political party would, in fact, be supporters of that political party.

(In fact, this is also the case in almost every city I can think of that has seen anti-police protests and riots, from Ferguson to Kenosha. Mostly blue cities; all facing down intense and unequal police violence, structural racism, and economic hardship. If protestors and activists are trying to tear down the Democratic Party, perhaps it's simply because they recognise who their oppressors are. Not that you don't also see this in red cities—e.g., there were protests in Tulsa as well—but there's simply fewer red cities with large black/minority populations to oppress to begin with.)

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3266 on: November 28, 2021, 08:22:52 AM »
Hypothetically, in some kind of imaginary world where the job of police officers is not to hurt people but rather to promote public safety and order, a police officer could deescalate such a situation, convince the person to surrender their weapon and talk them down from whatever crime they planned to commit. (in fact this skill is regularly performed by mental health professionals, social workers, child protection services, teachers, parents/family members, clergy, etc.... and also by police officers when confronting, say, white supremacist mass shooters such as Dylann Roof)
The police precinct that was burned down was in the city of Minneapolis. If you have a chance, look up what political party controls the Minneapolis police department, city council, mayoralty, all county-wide elected officials, the state governorship, and majorities in the state legislature, and then consider whether the people engaged in armed insurrection against that political party would, in fact, be supporters of that political party.

(In fact, this is also the case in almost every city I can think of that has seen anti-police protests and riots, from Ferguson to Kenosha. Mostly blue cities; all facing down intense and unequal police violence, structural racism, and economic hardship. If protestors and activists are trying to tear down the Democratic Party, perhaps it's simply because they recognise who their oppressors are. Not that you don't also see this in red cities—e.g., there were protests in Tulsa as well—but there's simply fewer red cities with large black/minority populations to oppress to begin with.)
I don’t really buy it. The police were called on Blake because he was a serial abuser, he was where he shouldn’t have been, and they wanted him on warrants too. Ok, Monday morning quarterback says maybe they could have done something better but the facts say he’s like most people that get shot by cops: a criminal in commission of a crime reaching for a weapon. Why does he get to be a hero? He did the wrong thing on that day and in his life. What do I care what he says or his uncle says? Maybe they should be apologizing for causing all this suffering.
I lived in Minneapolis for 10 years and know it well. Yes, the left has failed people. You say it’s because the left is racist and oppressive? Huh? I don’t know, I’ve been on the left my whole life but Im beginning to think the answer is not some abstract thing like structural racism. Yes, there’s racism. This is a complicated discussion and the easiest thing to yell is structural racism. You can breath a sigh of relief and move on. I rather think it’s more complicated. Probably, it’s a mix of things including racism, bad leadership, failing schools, community breakdown, family disintegration, etc. I remember working with an African-American girl who told me that at 20 there was this big pressure in her family and community to have a bunch of kids out of wedlock, that she was bucking a trend just by not having kids. That’s a “cultural issue” and I know it’s generally forbidden to mention it. People like Glenn Loury and John McWhorter talk about it all the time so it’s not just white conservatives bringing it up. I’m not leaving out racism, I’m just not so naive as to think that everyone’s a victim of a system. It’s just much more complicated and this drive by young people to see oppression in everything and deny progress and tear down the order of things is misguided IMO. I’m not even against aspiring to new ways of living as humans. I just want to know what it’s based on. I certainly agree there’s racism in policing but liberal do-good-ers in Minneapolis have failed pretty badly. For much of the time I lived in Minneapolis, there was a female black mayor. I forget her name. Should we blame her for the structural racism that’s lead to such poor outcomes?

Offline BasilValentine

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3267 on: November 28, 2021, 08:48:34 AM »
… Im beginning to think the answer is not some abstract thing like structural racism. Yes, there’s racism. This is a complicated discussion and the easiest thing to yell is structural racism. You can breath a sigh of relief and move on. I rather think it’s more complicated. Probably, it’s a mix of things including racism, bad leadership, failing schools, community breakdown, family disintegration, etc. I remember working with an African-American girl who told me that at 20 there was this big pressure in her family and community to have a bunch of kids out of wedlock, that she was bucking a trend just by not having kids. That’s a “cultural issue” and I know it’s generally forbidden to mention it. … I’m not leaving out racism, I’m just not so naive as to think that everyone’s a victim of a system. It’s just much more complicated and this drive by young people to see oppression in everything and deny progress and tear down the order of things is misguided IMO.

It's not an either/or question. It's not "is everyone [PoC] the victim of a system [systemic racism] or is it more complicated. It's an and question. Everyone is a victim of systemic racism and it's more complicated. 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 08:50:06 AM by BasilValentine »

Offline amw

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3268 on: November 28, 2021, 09:48:01 AM »
Structural racism is not an abstraction, it is a material phenomenon. This term refers to when the activities of human beings organised into larger groups—which can refer to a police department, a network of friends and acquaintances, a government, an educational institution, a corporation, or larger groupings of these types of institutions working in concert—result in racism—which refers to unequal outcomes that correlate with race. (Race is an abstraction; it is a category determined by one’s perceived ethnic and cultural background rather than one’s material reality, in which no significant genetic differences that correlate to the phenotypic markers used as a racial heuristic have ever been found.)

All unequal outcomes are the result of oppression. This can be structural—e.g., difficulty finding and retaining employment and housing due to companies whose members either hold racist attitudes or enable them in various ways—or it can be personal—e.g., difficulty finding and retaining employment and housing due to a neglectful family, abusive partner, or any of myriad other such factors. Unequal outcomes may also result from complex chains of events: Black people had lower incomes and no access to property ownership due to racist laws; state and local governments run by racists passed laws using local property taxes to fund schools, thereby preventing black communities from having good schools; racist laws were repealed or weakened, and black home ownership increased; racist white people, no longer as represented in government, left communities that had black homeowners; property developers enabled this racism because they could profit off the now-cheap homes in formerly white areas; these low property values led schools in black areas to exist but remain underfunded; governments could not change these property tax laws because they had to enable these racist groups to survive politically. This does not mean that the unequal outcome is not systemic and intentional just because there are many moving parts. Under completely equal conditions no unequal outcomes would occur [i.e., on population-wide scales, within standard margins of error, if that wasn't obvious]. People who disagree with this are largely Malthusian/Social Darwinist types whose ideas, while largely discredited, continue to be promoted again largely as a result of structural forces (networks of friends and acquaintances centered around alumni of prestigious universities, which promote people like Charles Murray/Andrew Sullivan, whose work is otherwise unverifiable, due to their status as friends/insiders; this is the flip side of how structural institutions produce unequal negative outcomes).

There is also no such thing as a natural criminal, crime in general runs contrary to human nature, and most people who commit crimes are ones who have failed to secure legal employment etc., and again this is due to poverty (a force of structural oppression resulting from the extraction of the surplus value of labour—again, very much material rather than abstract), interpersonal oppression (most criminals have difficult family lives, untreated mental illnesses etc.), and yes racism as well. All criminals can be rehabilitated if there is political will to do so. This has been documented by psychologists and psychiatrists within the prison system for some time, with the main counterarguments resting almost entirely in the realm of pop culture and its endless output of propaganda about atavistic serial killers who cannot be reasoned with (Halloween, Friday the 13th etc) to the point where this idea of the “criminal” has become not only a fetish object in the classical sense, a noumenal entity onto which beliefs are projected, but has even become valorised (Hannibal, Dexter, etc).

Progress, by contrast, is a complete abstraction. Progress is generally identified by various manipulated metrics—e.g., economically, a claimed increase in GDP purchasing power parity, wages earned, etc., where these do not take into account alternative measures of financial stability such as cost of living; a claimed decrease in unemployment in which the percentages of the population considered employable are not disclosed. Similarly people who argue for progress in the arena of racism will point to an increase in average incomes among various minority groups, which are never indexed to present-day monetary values let alone correlated with costs of living, or to poll numbers showing long term declines in racist attitudes, when poll instruments are highly bias-prone and difficult to control for confounding variables. No proof can be made for claims regarding minority community leadership, “family disintegration”, etc., although no proof is needed for these claims since people who make them are already not arguing within the arena of facts but rather that of emotional appeal to developmentally arrested Turner Diaries readers like themselves. In general, the idea that there are no systems of oppression worth talking about, and widespread social progress is an undeniable fact, is a very popular one among people who benefit from systems of oppression that have allowed them personally and their friends and family to experience social progress.

This post may not be very helpful to the person I was replying to but I hope it may be useful to others.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 12:40:43 PM by amw »

Offline greg

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3269 on: November 28, 2021, 12:26:32 PM »
Under completely equal conditions no unequal outcomes would occur.
You must be talking about something totally different here, because to me this makes no sense at all.
1) Nothing can be perfectly equal, unequal outcomes are inevitable with anything of scale or not easily calculated through numbers alone
2) If "completely equal conditions" means everything thing external is set up the same (which is impossible, though you might be able to get somewhat close), why would you think there is no difference in personal capacity between people, traits like innate intelligence (surely the mentally retarded and people with down syndrome like that are that way solely due to external oppression?), strength (men are naturally stronger because of access to gyms, or patriarchy, or access to protein?), etc.

Your statement could be true if we had two copies of the universe where everything happens identically, and you compare the two. That's about the only scenario, though.


There is also no such thing as a natural criminal, crime in general runs contrary to human nature, and most people who commit crimes are ones who have failed to secure legal employment etc., and again this is due to poverty (a force of structural oppression resulting from the extraction of the surplus value of labour—again, very much material rather than abstract), interpersonal oppression (most criminals have difficult family lives, untreated mental illnesses etc.), and yes racism as well. All criminals can be rehabilitated if there is political will to do so. This has been documented by psychologists and psychiatrists within the prison system for some time, with the main counterarguments resting almost entirely in the realm of pop culture and its endless output of propaganda about atavistic serial killers who cannot be reasoned with (Halloween, Friday the 13th etc) to the point where this idea of the “criminal” has become not only a fetish object in the classical sense, a noumenal entity onto which beliefs are projected, but has even become valorised (Hannibal, Dexter, etc).
This is completely ignoring the existence of psychopaths, who have a completely irregular brain which is malformed at the front. It's not only that they don't have a capacity for empathy, but many of their emotional capacities are turned down so much that they need extreme stimulation just to feel anything at all. They are totally beyond saving. The rehabilitation they show will just be them putting on their mask, sharpening their skills on how to be manipulative. And if they don't get into crime again, it might be solely due to a risk/reward calculation. If you want to consider that a sorry excuse for "saving" them, then okay. But crime is in their nature. We aren't all the same.
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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3270 on: November 28, 2021, 01:51:54 PM »
Structural racism is not an abstraction, it is a material phenomenon. This term refers to when the activities of human beings organised into larger groups—which can refer to a police department, a network of friends and acquaintances, a government, an educational institution, a corporation, or larger groupings of these types of institutions working in concert—result in racism—which refers to unequal outcomes that correlate with race. (Race is an abstraction; it is a category determined by one’s perceived ethnic and cultural background rather than one’s material reality, in which no significant genetic differences that correlate to the phenotypic markers used as a racial heuristic have ever been found.)

All unequal outcomes are the result of oppression. This can be structural—e.g., difficulty finding and retaining employment and housing due to companies whose members either hold racist attitudes or enable them in various ways—or it can be personal—e.g., difficulty finding and retaining employment and housing due to a neglectful family, abusive partner, or any of myriad other such factors. Unequal outcomes may also result from complex chains of events: Black people had lower incomes and no access to property ownership due to racist laws; state and local governments run by racists passed laws using local property taxes to fund schools, thereby preventing black communities from having good schools; racist laws were repealed or weakened, and black home ownership increased; racist white people, no longer as represented in government, left communities that had black homeowners; property developers enabled this racism because they could profit off the now-cheap homes in formerly white areas; these low property values led schools in black areas to exist but remain underfunded; governments could not change these property tax laws because they had to enable these racist groups to survive politically. This does not mean that the unequal outcome is not systemic and intentional just because there are many moving parts. Under completely equal conditions no unequal outcomes would occur [i.e., on population-wide scales, within standard margins of error, if that wasn't obvious]. People who disagree with this are largely Malthusian/Social Darwinist types whose ideas, while largely discredited, continue to be promoted again largely as a result of structural forces (networks of friends and acquaintances centered around alumni of prestigious universities, which promote people like Charles Murray/Andrew Sullivan, whose work is otherwise unverifiable, due to their status as friends/insiders; this is the flip side of how structural institutions produce unequal negative outcomes).

There is also no such thing as a natural criminal, crime in general runs contrary to human nature, and most people who commit crimes are ones who have failed to secure legal employment etc., and again this is due to poverty (a force of structural oppression resulting from the extraction of the surplus value of labour—again, very much material rather than abstract), interpersonal oppression (most criminals have difficult family lives, untreated mental illnesses etc.), and yes racism as well. All criminals can be rehabilitated if there is political will to do so. This has been documented by psychologists and psychiatrists within the prison system for some time, with the main counterarguments resting almost entirely in the realm of pop culture and its endless output of propaganda about atavistic serial killers who cannot be reasoned with (Halloween, Friday the 13th etc) to the point where this idea of the “criminal” has become not only a fetish object in the classical sense, a noumenal entity onto which beliefs are projected, but has even become valorised (Hannibal, Dexter, etc).

Progress, by contrast, is a complete abstraction. Progress is generally identified by various manipulated metrics—e.g., economically, a claimed increase in GDP purchasing power parity, wages earned, etc., where these do not take into account alternative measures of financial stability such as cost of living; a claimed decrease in unemployment in which the percentages of the population considered employable are not disclosed. Similarly people who argue for progress in the arena of racism will point to an increase in average incomes among various minority groups, which are never indexed to present-day monetary values let alone correlated with costs of living, or to poll numbers showing long term declines in racist attitudes, when poll instruments are highly bias-prone and difficult to control for confounding variables. No proof can be made for claims regarding minority community leadership, “family disintegration”, etc., although no proof is needed for these claims since people who make them are already not arguing within the arena of facts but rather that of emotional appeal to developmentally arrested Turner Diaries readers like themselves. In general, the idea that there are no systems of oppression worth talking about, and widespread social progress is an undeniable fact, is a very popular one among people who benefit from systems of oppression that have allowed them personally and their friends and family to experience social progress.

This post may not be very helpful to the person I was replying to but I hope it may be useful to others.

Excellent post.
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Offline Fëanor

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3271 on: November 28, 2021, 02:01:36 PM »
Structural racism is not an abstraction, it is a material phenomenon. This term refers to when the activities of human beings organised into larger groups—which can refer to a police department, a network of friends and acquaintances, a government, an educational institution, a corporation, or larger groupings of these types of institutions working in concert—result in racism—which refers to unequal outcomes that correlate with race. (Race is an abstraction; it is a category determined by one’s perceived ethnic and cultural background rather than one’s material reality, in which no significant genetic differences that correlate to the phenotypic markers used as a racial heuristic have ever been found.)

No, races are configurations of traits -- that is, single "phenotypic markers" indeed, appear in varying degrees everywhere but the combinations are what defines race for practical purpose.

So for example forensic anthropologists routinely attempt to identify race for from skeletal remains because it is practically useful for discovering the identities of individuals.  Of course identifications can be confounded by persons of mixed race.

The idea that race doesn't exist is a "liberal", politically correct ideology that isn't consistent with reality.

All unequal outcomes are the result of oppression.

Balderdash:  oppression is only one factor in unequal outcomes.  Natural ability is obviously a factor;  and it nothing else where significant, there is the factor of luck.  Strict equality of outcome would have to be enforced by draconian measures.

There is also no such thing as a natural criminal, crime in general runs contrary to human nature ...

That peoples are naturally good was a tenet of the Stoic philosophers, but I don't belief it.  Personally I believe that all human beings have tendencies to both selfishness and altruism.   And I happen to believe both are traits were and are necessary to the survival human beings as species..  But individuals one one trait or the other can predominate.  Granted, circumstance may drive a typical individual one way or the other.

It seems that some individuals are almost entirely selfish in their orientation;  in its extreme it's clearly pathological.  How else do we explain malignant narcissists like Donald Trump?

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3272 on: November 28, 2021, 02:03:34 PM »

All unequal outcomes are the result of oppression.

No. Obviously no. This is akin to a religious belief.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 02:05:26 PM by milk »

Offline amw

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3273 on: November 28, 2021, 04:47:12 PM »
Individual differences in skill, luck and circumstance average out very quickly in any population size exceeding a few hundred individuals; any remaining between-population differences must be ascribed to some structural difference.

(Not all such differences will be intentional. If you took completely random groups of twenty thousand one-year-old babies and twenty thousand adults, and observed that the sample of adults scored significantly higher on cognitive ability tests, not many conclusions could be drawn from such an observation as your group selection has already controlled for at least two of the most relevant variables. Whereas within the sample of adults, for the same cognitive ability test, a multivariate analysis of their demographic characteristics might reveal the most salient factors correlating with cognitive score to be level of education, personal income, parents' income, presence/absence of mental health conditions, diet, exposure to air/water pollution, for example. All of these factors are, or can be, results of intentional, goal-directed human activity. [Mental health conditions can be natural, i.e., a chemical imbalance/developmental disability, but are usually also partly & sometimes wholly anthropogenic, i.e., with trauma, upbringing, stress, social milieu, etc. playing a role.])

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3274 on: November 29, 2021, 06:30:27 AM »
Balderdash:  oppression is only one factor in unequal outcomes.  Natural ability is obviously a factor;  and it nothing else where significant, there is the factor of luck.  Strict equality of outcome would have to be enforced by draconian measures.

I don't think amw means that each individual would be equally successful. I think amw means that each race/ethnic group would be equally successful in a statistical sense, given equal treatment by the society. I agree with this, except for the slight reservation that some cultures might emphasize values which might lead to more material success, compared with other cultures. But in the U.S. cultures of different races are strongly shaped by official and unofficial discrimination.

Offline Fëanor

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3275 on: November 29, 2021, 06:49:37 AM »
Individual differences in skill, luck and circumstance average out very quickly in any population size exceeding a few hundred individuals; any remaining between-population differences must be ascribed to some structural difference.

(Not all such differences will be intentional. If you took completely random groups of twenty thousand one-year-old babies and twenty thousand adults, and observed that the sample of adults scored significantly higher on cognitive ability tests, not many conclusions could be drawn from such an observation as your group selection has already controlled for at least two of the most relevant variables. Whereas within the sample of adults, for the same cognitive ability test, a multivariate analysis of their demographic characteristics might reveal the most salient factors correlating with cognitive score to be level of education, personal income, parents' income, presence/absence of mental health conditions, diet, exposure to air/water pollution, for example. All of these factors are, or can be, results of intentional, goal-directed human activity. [Mental health conditions can be natural, i.e., a chemical imbalance/developmental disability, but are usually also partly & sometimes wholly anthropogenic, i.e., with trauma, upbringing, stress, social milieu, etc. playing a role.])

Please understand that, earlier above, I was objecting to a few categorical statements you made.

I certainly don't reject that systemic racism exists in the USA and elsewhere.

Offline greg

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3276 on: November 29, 2021, 07:33:12 PM »
I think amw means that each race/ethnic group would be equally successful in a statistical sense, given equal treatment by the society. I agree with this, except for the slight reservation that some cultures might emphasize values which might lead to more material success, compared with other cultures. But in the U.S. cultures of different races are strongly shaped by official and unofficial discrimination.
So why do people think it's so taboo to discuss even the possibility of differences in innate traits like average IQ in races? IMO what matters most about it is one's attitude towards it. If there is a difference, you can just acknowledge it and move on. Don't make it into a big deal.

Perhaps it is a fault of people that put the importance of the group over the individual, and obsess over it? (and they are scared that if they think about it too much, that they'll become racist?)

Just because the racial group I belong to isn't #1 in average IQ (#1 being east Asians), doesn't mean anything at all. Who cares. All of us are individuals, we're not just members of a race, so we can all be respectfully treated regardless.

I do agree the cultural factor is also important, as you noted. Cultural values of work ethic are super important. I've sort of concluded that there are three things, anyways, that are most important for what is regarded as "success"- 1) luck (especially in regards to inheriting wealth), 2) IQ, 3) Work ethic. Though all three do come down to luck in the end.
Wagie wagie get back in the cagie

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3277 on: November 30, 2021, 06:13:09 AM »
So why do people think it's so taboo to discuss even the possibility of differences in innate traits like average IQ in races? IMO what matters most about it is one's attitude towards it. If there is a difference, you can just acknowledge it and move on. Don't make it into a big deal.

Perhaps it is a fault of people that put the importance of the group over the individual, and obsess over it? (and they are scared that if they think about it too much, that they'll become racist?)

Just because the racial group I belong to isn't #1 in average IQ (#1 being east Asians), doesn't mean anything at all. Who cares. All of us are individuals, we're not just members of a race, so we can all be respectfully treated regardless.

I do agree the cultural factor is also important, as you noted. Cultural values of work ethic are super important. I've sort of concluded that there are three things, anyways, that are most important for what is regarded as "success"- 1) luck (especially in regards to inheriting wealth), 2) IQ, 3) Work ethic. Though all three do come down to luck in the end.
it’s a very uncomfortable topic. There are differences in height and eye sight between ethnic groups. Intelligence may be a much more complicated thing to measure and not worth (I hope/think) paying attention to. I do think that the ideology that all differences in outcomes come from oppression will lead to terrible policies which will make most everything worse. I also think environmental factors are a big part of the deal but that doesn’t mean oppression necessarily. Obviously there’s a legacy of unfairness to acknowledge and deal with. But treating people as mainly identities is a disaster politically and policy-wise. I just think we will never convince some people of this. I don’t want to ever be closed-minded about things though so where there’s a good reason to focus on identity I’d like to know where we should.
ETA: I think all this focus on identities is an invitation to the right wing and is courting disaster. The left came out with a shocker over the last few years: whiteness is a kind of indelible thing. It’s almost a mirror of the racist right. Now we’re getting this ethnic nationalism from the right too. The left and right are saying liberalism doesn’t work; we need a new system based on identity-oppression (i.e. critical theories from the left) or we need to base society on religious or ethnic nationalism (right). This is a huge danger to society.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 06:29:16 AM by milk »

Offline greg

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3278 on: November 30, 2021, 07:29:29 AM »
it’s a very uncomfortable topic.
It sure is. Not something to ever bring up randomly with no context.  :D
I wish people could acknowledge it as a possible thing, but then not care at all because retards could make it could lead to very dark paths that I hope we never have to go through.


it’s a very uncomfortable topic. There are differences in height and eye sight between ethnic groups. Intelligence may be a much more complicated thing to measure and not worth (I hope/think) paying attention to. I do think that the ideology that all differences in outcomes come from oppression will lead to terrible policies which will make most everything worse. I also think environmental factors are a big part of the deal but that doesn’t mean oppression necessarily. Obviously there’s a legacy of unfairness to acknowledge and deal with. But treating people as mainly identities is a disaster politically and policy-wise. I just think we will never convince some people of this. I don’t want to ever be closed-minded about things though so where there’s a good reason to focus on identity I’d like to know where we should.
ETA: I think all this focus on identities is an invitation to the right wing and is courting disaster. The left came out with a shocker over the last few years: whiteness is a kind of indelible thing. It’s almost a mirror of the racist right. Now we’re getting this ethnic nationalism from the right too. The left and right are saying liberalism doesn’t work; we need a new system based on identity-oppression (i.e. critical theories from the left) or we need to base society on religious or ethnic nationalism (right). This is a huge danger to society.
Yeah, I agree with all of this.
Also, to the people that get into identity politics, they need to remember that if they are being treated as a member of a group, then they will be seen as disposable, and not treated as a full individual. Their choice, I guess.
Probably a cause of this is some breakdown of communities and religion in modern society. Many lost people out there.
Wagie wagie get back in the cagie

Offline milk

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Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Reply #3279 on: November 30, 2021, 08:03:13 AM »
Also, to the people that get into identity politics, they need to remember that if they are being treated as a member of a group, then they will be seen as disposable, and not treated as a full individual. Their choice, I guess.

Glenn Loury, a black economist at Brown university, had this interesting response when his minority students complained that there aren’t enough professors or other students that “look like them.” He said, “they’re human beings. They DO look like you.”