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So when CAN you call someone a racist?

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Posts

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    There are actually evolutionary biologists who get into that. They've found, for instance, that a ridiculously high proportion of the distance runners (and specifically distance runners) all come from Kenya, even though the country's national sport is soccer, which they tend to suck at. Obviously, very controversial.

    http://www.blackathlete.net/artman/publish/article_0686.shtml

    The important thing to remember, of course, is that this doesn't necessarily translate into "If race X is better at distance running, than race Y can be better at math," and the author specifically argues against that interpretation. The reason is because evolution isn't based on "adaptation," but natural selection. Obviously, the human brain is a lot more complex than physical traits, and thus, far more unlikely to develop a beneficial mutation. Moreover, even if a mutation did take place, it's not like it would lend a significant enough of an advantage to propagate quickly through the gene pool, especially given the high learning capacity for non-mutated brains.
    I should also be quick to point out that when it comes to most jobs, I don't see how any of these traits could come up. And I'm not exactly looking forward to the day when traits such as aggression/heart attack/etc tendency is part of your medical record. I need only watch Gataca again to appreciate my hope in individual achievement. (Though, ironically, that movie has a good example of what I'm talking about with that piano player.)

    THis is one of the reasons we need universal healthcare, soon. I shudder at the day when insurance companies are just, "Hey, your kid has a gene that makes him susceptible to heart attacks. We're jacking up your rates." Or, "Hey, your kid has a gene that makes him prone to alcoholism. We're jacking up your rates."

    And you just know that if they do this, then they're going to charge minorities more, because afflictions that primarily affect minorities won't have as much funding or ecnomies of scale, and will therefore be more expensive to treat.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    A sort of tangent question regarding racism. Is the answer to believe that all races are equal? For some reason I just find that backwards. It seems that there are definitely advantages afforded different races. I don't know them all, and I do not feel that any one race is a "super" race, but it just seems somewhat natural that some races are actually better at certain things than others. Is this just a belief that is cultured by "balanced" video games? Anyone know of data/studies that speaks to this?


    Equal doesn't mean the same. I mean, on a simple level, those Masai are pretty darn tall - I'm sure just about any Masai could beat me at basketball.

    There may be other differences between the human races/types/phenotypes/whateveryawannacallit, as mentioned by Schrodinger. Does that have any relevance to the equality argument?

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    poshniallo wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    A sort of tangent question regarding racism. Is the answer to believe that all races are equal? For some reason I just find that backwards. It seems that there are definitely advantages afforded different races. I don't know them all, and I do not feel that any one race is a "super" race, but it just seems somewhat natural that some races are actually better at certain things than others. Is this just a belief that is cultured by "balanced" video games? Anyone know of data/studies that speaks to this?


    Equal doesn't mean the same. I mean, on a simple level, those Masai are pretty darn tall - I'm sure just about any Masai could beat me at basketball.

    There may be other differences between the human races/types/phenotypes/whateveryawannacallit, as mentioned by Schrodinger. Does that have any relevance to the equality argument?

    I'm not sure what you are asking/saying. I didn't respond to schrodinger earlier, as I was afraid of coming across like I disagree. I do appreciate that article, as it looked interesting to me.

    As for what you seem to be asking, it could. Just as it might make sense to hire people near a college if you are looking for bright people, it would make sense to look at people from Kenya if you are looking for a distance runner.

    I guess I fall into the racist label in that I realize there may be differences between people based upon where they come from in many ways. I do not believe that I am the superior race, which is common amongst "racist," further I do not believe there is a definite superior race. However, I find it foolish to think that there are not advantages to being born certain places. One of the largest qualifiers we have for that is race. Now, I've tried to make it perfectly clear that a) I do not know the enumerated advantages of any given race, nor b) do I believe it is a clear cut thing. Also, I should say that just because someone has an advantage does not mean they are guaranteed success.

    Does that address what you are saying?


    edit: Upon reading your post one more time. I think I see you were saying that these differences should not matter to society at large. I see and agree with that point. This was why I thought this was a tangential question. I think I see the problem with my question (i.e. are races truly equal?) is that I was misreading the intent of the statement. It isn't to say that the races are fully equal, but to say that race should never be the final and defining question for any decision. Further, in most cases (contrived cases where we are looking for the best runner being not common) race, if relevant at all, is probably so low that it should still be ignored. Right?

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I don't think race has as much of an importance in advantages/disadvantages as does culture. Kenyans are good at distance running because they literally run everywhere for transportation (great 60 Minutes piece on reasons why Kenyans are so good at running). Indians are known for the math and science prowress and yet the same looking brown people right next door are not.

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • ZalbinionZalbinion Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Sonos wrote: »
    I don't think race has as much of an importance in advantages/disadvantages as does culture. Kenyans are good at distance running because they literally run everywhere for transportation (great 60 Minutes piece on reasons why Kenyans are so good at running). Indians are known for the math and science prowress and yet the same looking brown people right next door are not.


    I see what you're trying to say, but it's still coming out pretty badly.

    Not all Kenyans are excellent distance runners. There are particular cultural reasons why many Kenyan distance runners are particularly excellent at distance running, and it's fine to acknowledge that, but we shouldn't extrapolate that "most Kenyans are great distance runners" when there are about 35,000,000 Kenyans.

    Similarly, while certain cultural forces may spur some Indians to pursue education in math/science/computer fields, that's no guarantee that any other Indians are also good at math and science.

    The moral here is that it's always better to ask people rather than assume that they're good or bad at a particular thing for racial, gender, age, cultural, etc. reasons.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    The moral here is that it's always better to ask people rather than assume that they're good or bad at a particular thing for racial, gender, age, cultural, etc. reasons.

    Well, to be fair to the other poster, I think they were trying to address my question of whether or not Kenyans have an innate physical advantage. So, it isn't that all Kenyans are better runners, but that the genetics that are shared by Kenyans provide an innate advantage in running.

    Is this racist/biased? I wouldn't think so if it is true, so I am genuinely asking. Is it racist/biased to make decisions based solely on this? For this, I would think so. Just like it is biased to say that tall people will be better than short people at basketball. Is it universally true? Of course not, and that is why it should never be the sole decision point. ( To go off further on a tangent, I wonder how much the standard grade school playground makes some biases worse? Anyone who has ever picked their own team at the court has had to make spot decisions based upon nothing more than appearances. Any success they have with this should solidify certain biases, no?)

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    Sonos wrote: »
    I don't think race has as much of an importance in advantages/disadvantages as does culture. Kenyans are good at distance running because they literally run everywhere for transportation (great 60 Minutes piece on reasons why Kenyans are so good at running). Indians are known for the math and science prowress and yet the same looking brown people right next door are not.


    I see what you're trying to say, but it's still coming out pretty badly.

    Not all Kenyans are excellent distance runners. There are particular cultural reasons why many Kenyan distance runners are particularly excellent at distance running, and it's fine to acknowledge that, but we shouldn't extrapolate that "most Kenyans are great distance runners" when there are about 35,000,000 Kenyans.

    Similarly, while certain cultural forces may spur some Indians to pursue education in math/science/computer fields, that's no guarantee that any other Indians are also good at math and science.

    The moral here is that it's always better to ask people rather than assume that they're good or bad at a particular thing for racial, gender, age, cultural, etc. reasons.

    i know that so spare the moral lesson. i was stereotyping cultures. its kind of hard to say Bill the Indian is good at math so blah blah blah. Certain cultures excel at certain things. I don't assume an Indian is good at math when I see him but I can look at a page of statistics and clearly see that a nation of Indians happen to be good at the maths and sciences. I don't need to or want to speak to individuals to ascertain that.

    So hard not to make a joke here. I've gotten two warnings from mods today so I can't. It's an unlucky day they are on to me!

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    The moral here is that it's always better to ask people rather than assume that they're good or bad at a particular thing for racial, gender, age, cultural, etc. reasons.

    Well, to be fair to the other poster, I think they were trying to address my question of whether or not Kenyans have an innate physical advantage. So, it isn't that all Kenyans are better runners, but that the genetics that are shared by Kenyans provide an innate advantage in running.

    Is this racist/biased? I wouldn't think so if it is true, so I am genuinely asking. Is it racist/biased to make decisions based solely on this? For this, I would think so. Just like it is biased to say that tall people will be better than short people at basketball. Is it universally true? Of course not, and that is why it should never be the sole decision point. ( To go off further on a tangent, I wonder how much the standard grade school playground makes some biases worse? Anyone who has ever picked their own team at the court has had to make spot decisions based upon nothing more than appearances. Any success they have with this should solidify certain biases, no?)
    Yes, it would be racist. Saying that tall people will be better than short people at basketball is also bullshit. It used to be that short Jewish people were the stereotypical basketball players.

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Titmouse wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    The moral here is that it's always better to ask people rather than assume that they're good or bad at a particular thing for racial, gender, age, cultural, etc. reasons.

    Well, to be fair to the other poster, I think they were trying to address my question of whether or not Kenyans have an innate physical advantage. So, it isn't that all Kenyans are better runners, but that the genetics that are shared by Kenyans provide an innate advantage in running.

    Is this racist/biased? I wouldn't think so if it is true, so I am genuinely asking. Is it racist/biased to make decisions based solely on this? For this, I would think so. Just like it is biased to say that tall people will be better than short people at basketball. Is it universally true? Of course not, and that is why it should never be the sole decision point. ( To go off further on a tangent, I wonder how much the standard grade school playground makes some biases worse? Anyone who has ever picked their own team at the court has had to make spot decisions based upon nothing more than appearances. Any success they have with this should solidify certain biases, no?)
    Yes, it would be racist. Saying that tall people will be better than short people at basketball is also bullshit. It used to be that short Jewish people were the stereotypical basketball players.

    if thats being a racist then sign me up I am a racist I guess. Bad example with the basketball thing. Your 1950s basketball fails against Lebron and Jordan. It's not even close to the same sport. Comparing apples to cosmic black holes with that analogy.

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Sonos wrote: »
    Titmouse wrote: »
    Yes, it would be racist. Saying that tall people will be better than short people at basketball is also bullshit. It used to be that short Jewish people were the stereotypical basketball players.

    if thats being a racist then sign me up I am a racist I guess. Bad example with the basketball thing. Your 1950s basketball fails against Lebron and Jordan. It's not even close to the same sport. Comparing apples to cosmic black holes with that analogy.

    I think I have to agree with Sonos. If it is true that a certain gene pool associated with a race has actual advantages at anything, I think it is foolish to not acknowledge it. This would be like saying it is sexist to think that men can not have children. Especially if somehow the requirement for something is, I need people that can have children, men are flat out. The catch, here, is I do not know if this has ever been shown. And outside of hypothetical scenarios, I have never tried to argue that race will ever be a large enough distinguishing point to be considered in a decision.

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    Sonos wrote: »

    I think I have to agree with Sonos. If it is true that a certain gene pool associated with a race has actual advantages at anything, I think it is foolish to not acknowledge it. This would be like saying it is sexist to think that men can not have children. Especially if somehow the requirement for something is, I need people that can have children, men are flat out. The catch, here, is I do not know if this has ever been shown. And outside of hypothetical scenarios, I have never tried to argue that race will ever be a large enough distinguishing point to be considered in a decision.

    I specifically said genes are not a determining factor in my opinion. Culture does not equal genes. Take India and Pakistan. For all intents and purposes they are the same race and yet one is good at math and science and one is very good at making bombs to kill civilians. Same race; different cultures.

    sidenote: before you get your panties in a wad I am working with very general stereotypes here.

    but all pakistanis are evil

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Sonos wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »

    I think I have to agree with Sonos. If it is true that a certain gene pool associated with a race has actual advantages at anything, I think it is foolish to not acknowledge it. This would be like saying it is sexist to think that men can not have children. Especially if somehow the requirement for something is, I need people that can have children, men are flat out. The catch, here, is I do not know if this has ever been shown. And outside of hypothetical scenarios, I have never tried to argue that race will ever be a large enough distinguishing point to be considered in a decision.

    I specifically said genes are not a determining factor in my opinion. Culture does not equal genes. Take India and Pakistan. For all intents and purposes they are the same race and yet one is good at math and science and one is very good at making bombs to kill civilians. Same race; different cultures.

    sidenote: before you get your panties in a wad I am working with very general stereotypes here.

    but all pakistanis are evil

    I was starting with the assumption that whatever variations there are in human genes, they are mostly grouped by culture/race. But, if that bothers you, feel free to s/race/culture/g and be done with it. (Or, if I am flat out wrong, provide links, I make no claim to authority on this.)

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I think that the important distinction is this.

    Suppose that it was scientifically proven that one race had a higher "upper limit" when it came to a specific physical trait, and therefore, the top people at one race would be better than the top people of another race. What would the problem be in that?

    Well, the problem is when you make generalizations based on people at the very top, and assume that it applies to individuals. e.g., even if a Kenyan had more potential than a Sudanese, that does not imply that the average Kenyan would be better than the average Sudan, especially if the two worked equally as hard, or if they have the same speed on paper. To try to attribute general achievements to individuals would be racist.

    I find it amusing that no one ever says, "Or, you're white, you must be good at (blank)." Why? Because white people are treated as individuals, and thus, have a wide variety of possible skills and interest. OTOH, that doesn't stop people from saying "Jews are good with money," "Black people are good at basketball," "Asians are good at math," etc. The assumption there is that minorities are NOT individuals.

  • VBakesVBakes Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I think Schrodinger has made the best end all points. I agree wit pretty much everything he's said so there no need to contribute more than that.

    Therman Murman?......Jesus.
  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I think that the important distinction is this.

    Suppose that it was scientifically proven that one race had a higher "upper limit" when it came to a specific physical trait, and therefore, the top people at one race would be better than the top people of another race. What would the problem be in that?

    Well, the problem is when you make generalizations based on people at the very top, and assume that it applies to individuals. e.g., even if a Kenyan had more potential than a Sudanese, that does not imply that the average Kenyan would be better than the average Sudan, especially if the two worked equally as hard, or if they have the same speed on paper. To try to attribute general achievements to individuals would be racist.

    I find it amusing that no one ever says, "Or, you're white, you must be good at (blank)." Why? Because white people are treated as individuals, and thus, have a wide variety of possible skills and interest. OTOH, that doesn't stop people from saying "Jews are good with money," "Black people are good at basketball," "Asians are good at math," etc. The assumption there is that minorities are NOT individuals.

    I agree but would a scientist/statistician be a racist if he simply delivered his derived facts? Assuming he did the study with no ill-intent or was trying to prove that one race was better than another I would say no.

    What people do with those statistics is their own business.

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Again, the hypothetical scenario assumed that X was already scientifically proven, so no.

    Racism is the result of ignorance, and my motto has been that you can't fight ignorance with more ignorance. Presenting statistics is not ignorance. Attempting to use those statistics in a fallacious manner to draw fallacious conclusions, like a fallacy of composition or a fallacy of division, is.

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Again, the hypothetical scenario assumed that X was already scientifically proven, so no.

    Racism is the result of ignorance, and my motto has been that you can't fight ignorance with more ignorance. Presenting statistics is not ignorance. Attempting to use those statistics in a fallacious manner to draw fallacious conclusions, like a fallacy of composition or a fallacy of division, is.

    no arguement there.

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    edit: Removed as it was pointless and I didn't use it later.

    Well, the problem is when you make generalizations based on people at the very top, and assume that it applies to individuals. e.g., even if a Kenyan had more potential than a Sudanese, that does not imply that the average Kenyan would be better than the average Sudan, especially if the two worked equally as hard, or if they have the same speed on paper. To try to attribute general achievements to individuals would be racist.

    I see -- and agree with -- what you are saying. However, I could also see the argument for picking a (to keep that hypothetical alive) Kenyan, all other things being equal, as I would have a reason to expect they could do better. I guess I should make this clear, do not pick the person because he has better potential alone, but if all other qualifications came down to anyone and a Kenyan, I'd pick the Kenyan. Would that still be racist?
    I find it amusing that no one ever says, "Or, you're white, you must be good at (blank)." Why? Because white people are treated as individuals, and thus, have a wide variety of possible skills and interest. OTOH, that doesn't stop people from saying "Jews are good with money," "Black people are good at basketball," "Asians are good at math," etc. The assumption there is that minorities are NOT individuals.

    First, you've never heard "white people are bigots?" :) What about "white people are racist?" I've actually heard some form of both.

    More importantly, I do not think white people (I'm assuming the generic term in America) have a monopoly on this. I personally don't know all the stereotypes Asian's have on white people, but I know they have them.

  • SonosSonos Registered User
    edited June 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    More importantly, I do not think white people (I'm assuming the generic term in America) have a monopoly on this. I personally don't know all the stereotypes Asian's have on white people, but I know they have them.

    one stereotype I heard that Asian think of whites is that they always rule the Earth. true or not? You decide.

    ahhhhhhhh booze and racism. ummmmmmm....

    Sonovius.png
    PokeCode: 3952 3495 1748
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Sonos wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    More importantly, I do not think white people (I'm assuming the generic term in America) have a monopoly on this. I personally don't know all the stereotypes Asian's have on white people, but I know they have them.

    one stereotype I heard that Asian think of whites is that they always rule the Earth. true or not? You decide.

    ahhhhhhhh booze and racism. ummmmmmm....

    In Japan maybe.

    In China, they would snicker at the idea. In a generation or two, they will laugh out loud about it.

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