Deconstructing the disingenuous conflation of "racism"

Author: Analgesic.Spectre ,

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  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    Analgesic.Spectre
    After witnessing an interesting yet ineffective conversation on racism in a thread (this one: https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/160?page=1), I decided to formally congeal my thoughts. I think the thread touched on some truths, but it did not do so accurately, thus the necessity of this thread.

    The term "racism" is most certainly nebulous, and I suspect this is by design. What constitutes racism exactly? In short, it is anything that references race:

    Hitler enabling mass genocide of Jews? That's racism.
    The black-white I.Q. gap documented in a scholarly fashion? That's racism.
    Observing the fact that certain sections of a nation have disproportionately higher volumes of certain races? That's racism.
    A white man lecturing on another race's history? That's racism.
    Suggesting that separate races exist? That's racism.
    Being white? That's racism.

    The long answer is that dependent on the individual, different definitions of racism will be found, but all with the same zealotry -- this is a critical point. Most people will not have qualms with labelling Hitler a racist, but calling a white man racist, purely because he is white, is a tough pill to swallow for even the most Antifa of Antifas. So, whenever the label "racism" is awarded, negative affect results, regardless of whether a concrete definition has been established (it hasn't, which is why I suspect this is by design: it's an incredibly powerful political tool). Moreover, it is not that racism is meaningless, but that its definition is wildly varied.

    The sinister part comes when you consider that empirical conclusions (there is a black-white I.Q. gap) are linked with extreme racial hatred (justification for killing millions of Jews), but only with one word: racism. Instead of being able to discuss the validity of black-white I.Q. gaps, we're no longer able to do so under the threat of parity with Hitler. This suppression of speech continues with the race notion, wherein we are threatened with racism whenever racial groups/differences are suggested, even ones that are benign (e.gs. Kenyan marathon accomplishments are partially a result of genetics; Asians don't sweat, hence the lack of deodorant in their countries).

    It is this disingenuous conflation, rather than complete meaninglessness, that plagues the definition of "racism". A far better approach would be to abandon the hysterical term, and develop a distinct definition for people of the Hitler variety: racial hatred. That way, we can avoid disingenuous conflation.
  • drafterman
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    So, unless people are literally committing genocide, we're not allowed to call out racism? We'll take it under consideration.
  • Mister_Man
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    --> @drafterman
    Nice strawman, lol

    On a side note, Maxime Bernier (lost the leadership race for conservative party of Canada) made some spot-on perfect points about multiculturalism and immigration, and was instantly labelled a racist by liberals and practically every leftie in Canada. His accurate and meaningful points were completely disregarded because he brought up culture and preserving Canadian identity, which had nothing to do with race.

    More and more frequently nowadays, people (including myself) are shut down without the opportunity to engage in conversation because we simply discuss culture/ethnicity/religion/whatever and are branded a "racist" for bringing up anything (even factually based) that doesn't put minorities (can't forget that whites aren't capable of being victims of racism) on a pedestal.
  • drafterman
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    --> @Mister_Man
    Nice strawman, lol

    Maybe, but it wasn't one I constructed.
  • Mister_Man
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    --> @drafterman
    He's giving an example of actual racism, he isn't say the systemic extermination of an entire race is the ONLY form of racism.
  • drafterman
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    --> @Mister_Man
    Sorry, but if he is going to grip about he ambiguity of the term, such that we need to invent a new one, then I am going to hold him to a certain level of specificity. If he says that term is to target people of the "Hitler variety" then I'm going to hold him to that.
  • Mister_Man
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    --> @drafterman
    He's saying to conflate Hitler with noticing biological differences between races is detrimental, and we need to distinguish between pointing out facts and being blatantly racist.

    I disagree that we should invent a new term, but I think people need to stop labeling everything racist that doesn't make them happy. By "Hitler variety," he means actual racists, not literally only genocidal maniacs.
  • drafterman
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    Sorry, but I just don’t buy labeling all racists as “the Hitler variety”. Talk about conflating terms. Some 80 year old WASP blaming the ethnic maid for stealing her jewelry is racist, but isn’t Hitler.
  • Mister_Man
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    Right, equating mundane racist comments to Hitler isn't good, but that's clearly not what OP was saying. They were simply saying the hatred of one race (Hitler, for example) is not the same as comparing IQ's. Pretty sure they were just giving an example of an actual racist.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @drafterman
    I don't get the impression that AnalS is arguing that the difference in IQ scores shows that black kids are being let down by the school system.   I do get the impression that he wants to suggest it's because blacks are inferior to whites.

    He says "That way, we can avoid disingenuous conflation", but what is disingenuous is not conflating his attitide towards blacks with Hitler's anti-semitism.  What is disengenuous is his attempt to suggest they are any differerent.
     



  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser @Mister_Man
    Thank you both for posting reasonable interpretations of what I wrote. Drafterman, for whatever reason, is developing a habit of over-simplifying and strawmanning my OPs (another example: https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/170), and I was beginning to lose faith in the people of this website.

    My faith is restored.
  • drafterman
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    You're being too generous. The only example he gives of something it's acceptable to call "racism" is on the Hitler level. The rest are examples he things are a result of "disingenuous conflation."

    Again, if he is going to argue against ambiguity, he is going to have to do better to define the constraints of his proposed phrase. Presenting only the most extreme example is a very poor way of doing that.
  • Buddamoose
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    Most people will not have qualms with labelling Hitler a racist, 

    Funnily enough, the Democrat South was too racist even for the Nazi's, they thought the one drop policy was absurd. They took the blueprints of it and essentially just substituted "Jew" for "black" no joke 😮
  • Buddamoose
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    *substituted "black" for "Jew"? What would the proper order of that be 🤔
  • Mopac
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    Call me crazy, but I would go so far as to say that believing in race is racism.

    I don't think someone who is racist deserves blind hatred. They should be shown charity.
  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    I think that this is just one of those things that will be looked back on in history as a moment of mass insanity akin to a dancing sickness or witch hunt, kicked into overdrive by mass media and its effects on discourse. Take mopac's statement. I have met many people who believe this. Yet it is on its face absurd. And I mean that in the full sense of the word: it is as absurd as insisting that the sky is green or that water is dry. You can walk down the street, pick out people walking by, and with remarkable accuracy that would put things like medical diagnoses or biological identification to shame identify people as a certain race, and genetic testing would verify your estimation. And this would increase in accuracy depending on your exposure to the people which you were categorizing, giving you more accurate and more detailed estimates (A person native to east Asia, for example, is better able to pick out a Japanese person from an Indonesian one, a South African could better differentiate between a bushman and a Bantu). Yet people go through life doubting their lying eyes, and I find that fascinating. And I'm not just trying to a be condescending dick about it, I genuinely do find it interesting from a whole bunch of different angles. Forget IQ differences or the heritability of IQ or crime rates or any of that stuff. That's all at least debatable on both sides, with each side having its data and respective conclusions. I don't think that someone on either side of that debate qualifies for the state of denial that I'm talking about. This is something else entirely, almost a sort of lucid insanity.

    Of course, the arguments are specious if you peel the surface back. The idea that 'race doesn't exist' is predicated on hair-splitting regarding how it is defined, a general ignorance of how things like haplotyping work (or genetics in general), and an inconsistent application of standards to create a sort of special pleading for human race that is never applied to other categorizations (the concept of a 'species' would collapse entirely if it was, let alone its sub-clades). But why is it so eagerly swallowed? I think that there are several reasons. The first is a genuine ignorance of science, replaced with a surface-level familiarity with SCIENCE!. SCIENCE! is a sort of set of conclusions regurgitated into mouths of the American public by things like Now This compilations, 'scientific' 'journalism', or general authoritative figures. It typically has a loose correlation to the more complex and difficult to digest findings on which it is supposedly based, and a few rounds of this process leads to a 'whisper down the lane' effect. A good example of this was a science article that I saw shared on Facebook that blared in a loud headline 'NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL IS HEALTHY FOR YOU', which aside from butchering the statistical analysis of the original research also studiously ignored the fact that the research on which it based explicitly stressed stated that the authors were not advocating abstinence from alcohol as health policy and that it simply should be minimized, and that heavy drinking should be avoided.

    But I think that there's a deeper issue that makes that one possible in the first place in general, and another one which affects this topic in particular. The first is the fact that in the West a large subset of people have come to see experts, scientists, and journalists in an almost magisterial light when it comes to facts of the physical world. Probably on of the best examples of this are nutritionists, who continue to command a large following despite a laughably bad track record of actually recommending a healthy diet. But many professions have this problem, to a lesser or greater extent. People are taught not only to dull one's scepticism if information comes from a 'reputable source', but often to ignore and ridicule anyone who contradicts a source more reputable than them. This makes the market for truth one in which esteem and the unthinking credence which it affords plays a larger role than the ability to convince your average thinking person, and that is a system which is ripe for abuse. Our education system cultivates people into this slavishness, which is completely at odds with the original values behind universal education and the democratic spirit in general. Nowadays, people are more fervent in their belief in science in the midst of large replication scandals and things like the file drawer effect. Because of this, our society's immune system has an incredibly weakened response to bullshit, making it relatively easy to bamboozle people to such an extent that they can not only entertain the idea that different races don't exist, but can see people who think that they do as heretical in some way. At least the geocentrists had the excuse of not denying the obvious.
  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    The final reason is that mass media and the growing scale of modern industrial society have taken the concept of thought taboos to new heights. These are progressively sliding ever further into madness territory, and as they do the penalty for transgressions will rise as the system becomes more fragile. I remember reading an interesting account of some of the earlier research on gender dysphoria. It was a long read, but incredibly enlightening, if not a little bit frightening. It catalogued, in succinct detail, the many twists and turns involved in the then nascent scientific understanding of gender identity being completely overturned. The fascinating thing is that the overturning was in no way reliant on any specific study coming out. There was no landmark 'debunking', really. What happened was that an incredibly motivated minority threatened academics with bad press, career censure, and general pressure, coupled with harassment and the abuse of good faith. It really made me think about what makes our scientific apparatus tick, who decides when something is 'debunked', and how easy it is for political, non-scientific actors to corrupt the research process with a little bit of concerted action. Now we are at the point where questioning the trans orthodoxy is a heresy. If you point out that current treatments have bad effects, or even in some cases try to study it, your very questioning or investigation are cast as 'violence' against trans people. The questioning of trans ideology, including palpable results like high suicide rates and psychological pathology, is itself cast as the cause of said high suicide rates and pathology. It doesn't take a genius to see that this ideological setup is unfalsifiable and blatantly unscientific. But if you speak out then you are ostracized, and failing to agree with the SCIENCE! means that you're dumb, uninformed, or just plain evil, regardless of whether plain old 'science' is at your back. And, of course, if disagreeing with the party line makes you 'unscientific', then you cannot publish in reputable journals, and the dearth SCIENCE on your side is further proof of you unscientificity. The same thing has happened with race, but oftentimes the penalties for crossing that line are even more steep. Racism has been cast as our society's cardinal evil, and it's impossible for most people to think clearly about it in a time where being accused of this ill-defined and nebulous accusation can literally make you a pariah overnight. It's classic human behavior to dissociate with someone who violates the rules of the 'tribe', but decades of living in an ever more elaborate mass media web have transformed real communities, bounded in time and place, to nebulous ideological mobs with much less qualms against casting out 'subverters' or waging war against an out-group in starkly Orwellian fashion.

    So all in all, given our situation, it's not really that surprising. As Chesterton once prophetically put it, there will come a day when swords will be drawn to prove that the leaves are green in summer. Well, it can't be far off.

  • Mopac
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    I think the media is incredibly racist. I also think that lines of race are pushed on to the population.


    If discrimination based on race is illegal, why do they colllect demographic information about race?


    It's some king of eugenicist conspiracy, that is what I think. 

  • Mister_Man
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    --> @drafterman
    You're being too generous. The only example he gives of something it's acceptable to call "racism" is on the Hitler level.
    So? He gave an example of an actual racist, that doesn't mean he believes that Hitler is the only racist on Earth.

    Presenting only the most extreme example is a very poor way of doing that.
    No, it isn't. I understand what he means. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean he's doing a poor job at explaining the differences between racism and factual information comparable between ethnic backgrounds.

    I think Analgesic.Spectre made a good point that you're just over simplifying everything. He even replied saying I'm right, so looks like we've made progress and should be able to see eye to eye now, yeah?
  • drafterman
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    So? He gave an example of an actual racist, that doesn't mean he believes that Hitler is the only racist on Earth.
    I never said he believes Hitler is the only racist on Earth.


    No, it isn't. I understand what he means. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean he's doing a poor job at explaining the differences between racism and factual information comparable between ethnic backgrounds.
    One could say that the quality of an explanation is directly tied to its ability to convey understanding, but I digress. The issue is not in the existence of factual information, but how it is used. It is factual information to say that blacks have a different skin tone than whites. Not racist. But to use that information to act in a discriminatory manner against blacks: racist.

    I think Analgesic.Spectre made a good point that you're just over simplifying everything. He even replied saying I'm right, so looks like we've made progress and should be able to see eye to eye now, yeah?
    Yeah, he @'d keithprosser as well, saying that he was right. Now I ask you to read what keith actually wrote in response to him and tell me what his position is on the issue.
  • Mister_Man
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    --> @drafterman
    But to use that information to act in a discriminatory manner against blacks: racist.
    That's true, I'm not arguing against that. Pointing out differences of the average IQ scores between the two races is not racist.

    If he said Keith was right that blacks are inferior, then I would consider him racist, as that's a blanket statement and he hasn't backed it with facts.
  • drafterman
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    That's true, I'm not arguing against that. Pointing out differences of the average IQ scores between the two races is not racist.
    Neither is wearing a white robe with a pointed hat and burning a cross. Yet...

    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and is racist like a duck, I'm going to point out the racism.

    The racial IQ thing is a "fact" inordinately brought out by people wishing to portray blacks in a negative light? Don't believe me?

    Consider that Analgesic is just an alt account of Zarroette

    Who posted a similar thread here:

    In the other thread, Zarroette explicitly links black IQ as a predictor of their ability to "function" in society.

    On other web sites, Zarroette has identified them as having a greater degree of probability of having undesirable genetics:

    Oh, and she outlined an argument whose title was "Racism is Moral"

    Do we really need to connect more dots?

    When someone dresses up as a KKK member and starts burning crosses, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are a KKK member and are racist. When someone trudges out this "fact" that is almost always used by race realists trying to root their racism in science, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are a racist.

    If we were to take this fact and divorce it of any and all context or social history, no it isn't racist. But guess what? I'm not going to evaluate it in a vaccuum. To ignore the context and history of the use of that fact is just intellectually dishonest.


    If he said Keith was right that blacks are inferior, then I would consider him racist, as that's a blanket statement and he hasn't backed it with facts.

    Again, you need to read what Keith wrote"

    [Anal] says "That way, we can avoid disingenuous conflation", but what is disingenuous is not conflating his attitide towards blacks with Hitler's anti-semitism.  What is disengenuous is his attempt to suggest they are any differerent.

    Keith is saying that it is disingenuous to suggest that Anal's attitude towards blacks is different from Hitler's anti-semetism.

    To which Anal responded:

    Thank you both for posting reasonable interpretations of what I wrote.
    Now, what is the more reasonable interpreation, that Anal actually read both of your posts and was giving honest praise, or he just skimmed the thread and saw two people who thought were disagreeing with me and responded because of thati
  • keithprosser
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    Drafterman wrote:
    Keith is saying that it is disingenuous to suggest that Anal's attitude towards blacks is different from Hitler's anti-semetism.
    I want to make it clear that is indeed my view.

    Very nice post above, btw, drafterman!



  • drafterman
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    --> @keithprosser
    👉😎👉

84 days later

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @drafterman
    Who posted a similar thread here:
    My OP here is an updated version of that. Please keep in mind that humans aren't bound by homeostasis.

    In the other thread, Zarroette explicitly links black IQ as a predictor of their ability to "function" in society.
    Whilst you didn't link this thread, I'll save effort and time by agreeing with these words. In short, 85 I.Q. makes societal functionality far more difficult than 100 or 115 I.Q. -- hardly a controversial comment.

    On other web sites, Zarroette has identified them as having a greater degree of probability of having undesirable genetics:
    The prevalence of the MAOA gene (Warrior gene) in Black people, relative to Whites and Asians, supports that conclusion. There are other negative genetics more commonly found in Blacks (and also positive ones, to be fair), too. My comment represented conclusions from verifiable data.

    Oh, and she outlined an argument whose title was "Racism is Moral"
    I like to use these websites as learning tools, wherein I test new/unpopular ideas. I don't necessarily agree with my argument, nor do I see any attempt from you to debunk it.

    When someone dresses up as a KKK member and starts burning crosses, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they are a KKK member and are racist.
    You beg the living daylights out of the question. It's not whether I'm a racist. I made this OP specifically to address the apparently axiomatic conception of "racist". You need to address the criticism of this OP, in that you need to show that usage of the terms "racist" or "racism" is accurate.

    Again, you are using profoundly sloppy language, inundated with clumsy conflation -- it's mostly hysterical nonsense.