Your statements are contradictory.
- If it is true you don't know what "race is a social construct" means then you have no authority to argue that such a statement is not a fair summary of fauxlaw's P#4.
- If you do actually know what "race is a social construct" means then your insincerity undermines your argument.
Which is it?
My statements aren't contradictory. And the reason is simple.
I entertain the possibility that I haven't gauged your application of "social construct" when I stated this:
But then again, I still do [not] know what you mean when you state that race is a "social construct." Is it synonymous with "imaginary"?
(Thanks for the correction, by the way.) "But then again," is an idiom which, when applied, indicates a contrary possibility. That is, I'm letting you know that I've only assumed a meaning and proceeded with it absent of your clarification. And there's a bit of nuance which needs identification: I never stated that I didn't know what is meant by "race is a social construct;" I specifically asked you what you meant when you stated that race is a social construct. Furthermore, fauxlaw literally didn't argue that "race is a social construct."
Contrary to popular belief that the division of the human species based on physical variations is natural, there exists no clear, reliable distinctions that bind people to such groupings. According to the American Anthropological Association, "Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes." While there is a biological basis for differences in human phenotypes, most notably in skin color, the genetic variability of humans is found not amongst, but rather within racial groups – meaning the perceived level of dissimilarity amongst the species has virtually no biological basis. Genetic diversity has characterized human survival, rendering the idea of a "pure" ancestry as obsolete. Under this interpretation, race is conceptualized through a lens of artificiality, rather than through the skeleton of a scientific discovery. As a result, scholars have begun to broaden discourses of race by defining it as a social construct and exploring the historical contexts that led to its inception and persistence in contemporary society.
Most historians, anthropologists, and sociologists describe human races as a social construct, preferring instead the term population or ancestry, which can be given a clear operational definition. Even those who reject the formal concept of race, however, still use the word race in day-to-day speech. This may either be a matter of semantics, or an effect of an underlying cultural significance of race in racist societies.
Which is perfectly in accord with fauxlaw's P4 thesis:
First let's define "social construct" using Wikipedia:
A social construct or construction is the meaning, notion, or connotation placed on an object or event by a society, and adopted by the inhabitants of that society with respect to how they view or deal with the object or event. In that respect, a social construct as an idea would be widely accepted as natural by the society.
Now your citation, also from Wikipedia, states this:
Under this interpretation, race is conceptualized through a lens of artificiality, rather than through the skeleton of a scientific discovery. As a result, scholars have begun to broaden discourses of race by defining it as a social construct and exploring the historical contexts that led to its inception and persistence in contemporary society.
"A lens of artificiality" which lacks the information of scientific discovery, correct? This doesn't necessarily align with the aforementioned description. Case in point: the genetic similarity between Humans and Chimpanzees is at 99%; therefore "Humans" and "Chimps" are "social constructs" despite the terms predating the discovery of the genetic code in 1961. The description itself (social construct) isn't contingent on the presence of scientific discovery at all.
So then, does the latter description even correctly align with fauxlaw's statements? No. Read Fauxlaw's statements again: if anything he's arguing that race has no utility as a social construct since it doesn't produce anything a society would find significant. He isn't levying scientific criticism (for the most part) on the application of racial distinction, but more so it's application in the context of public goods--i.e. infrastructure, and education, the subject of this discussion.
Who is THEY? fauxlaw has failed to tether his pronoun specifically but we have two choices
- "NY schools" (which includes state and city and private and public)
- "The woke generation" which fauxlaw does not define and the term has no well defined common meaning. If we assume that woke is being used in the sense of "a perceived awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial justice"then "the woke generation" is basically anybody who thinks they have a handle on the issues of social justice- which likely includes all debater on this site.
Or "They" can be both. That is, it is entirely possible that the administrations of New York schools exhibit "wokeness."
Is it true that NY schools have distinguished white people into seven separate categories? No, this statement is quite false.
Fair enough. "Eight" categories.
Is it true that everybody concerned abut social justice has distinguished white people into seven separate categories. No, this statement is also false.o
You're declaring it false based on your assumption of fauxlaw's meaning. Where's your "But then again..."? Or why not ask fauxlaw what he meant before declaring what he stated was false?
So what is fauxlaw talking about? fauxlaw still hasn't bothered to explain but his claim is based on a racist pamphlet that a high school principal mailed to his student's parents last week.
True, fauxlaw hasn't bothered to explicitly define what he meant by "woke generation." On the other hand, you haven't bothered to ask him what he meant. Instead, you extended your criticism on the assumption of what he meant. So let me put forward the same characterization you levied against my argument: if you do in fact understand what he meant by "woke generation" then isn't your "insincerity [undermining] your argument"? The difference between your extensions and my extensions, however, is that I have at least a couple of times entertained the notion that I might be misinterpreting your application of your terms; you've afforded fauxlaw no such courtesy. Instead, you've strawmanned him.
All reporting indicates that the pamphlet represents the opinion of one man and that NY schools (public, private, state, and city) haven't yet had a chance to investigate much less issue a press statement, much much less indicate any measure of support for Federman's racism, and much, much, much, much less representing the opinion of all people concerned with social justice.
This is inaccurate. The origin of the graphic was reported to originate from Barnor Hesse who teaches at North Western University in Illinois.
fauxlaw's generalization reveals an unjustified bigotry towards both of his unwarrented targets: NY schools and a whole generation of people are racist because one example of racism happened this week.
Or his allusion to this event serves as an exemplar delineating a "woke" trend. It would have behooved you to extend this inquiry:
How did we get from Federman to [all] "NY schools" (state or city? who cares it is fiction anyway) which then transmogrifies into the whole trans-generational woke generation by the very next sentence?
which would have compelled fauxlaw to explain himself. Furthermore, if we're going to indulge lexical semantics (an indulgence with which I take no issue) then we have to be meticulous. fauxlaw doesn't state AT ALL that his reference was to "ALL" New York schools. He just states, "New York Schools." (You added the "ALL.") It's not a generalization; at best, it's an erroneous plurality since he doesn't qualify it with quantifiable descriptors.
I'm not saying that this sentiment is unworthy. I am saying that after starting out with a couple of acts of casual bigotry visited upon NY schools and "woke" people, fauxlaw's P4 calls to celebrate difference reads as insincere.
The subject isn't whether your find it worthy; the subject is whether his subsequent statement reflects a radical "overnight" change. And it doesn't.
fauxlaw (post #1):
They have distinguished "white" people [never saw anyone who is white in my life, not even an albino is white, nor are few Blacks actually black, which means all such labels are ignorance incarnate] into seven separate categories, demonstrating, once again, we are adept at segregating and criticising one another more than we are inclusive and celebratory of our differences.
fauxlaw (post #4):
So, why are we so hung up on racial profile at all? Why can't we look at one another, celebrate our differences rather than discriminate by them. Is that so hard?