Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

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Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 16 April 2022, 15:06

From diversity training at companies and public entities to our academic lectures and curricula, there seems to be an orthodoxy in the ways in which we discuss prejudice, namely in terms of power structures that protect the interests of dominant groups or cultures that actively discriminate and oppress minorities. The rationale against any other discussion of the topic seems to hinge on the idea that because dominant groups can secure in their interests in many ways, it is meaningless to discuss prejudice against them. And while this may be true, it feels like there is a missed opportunity for discussing the very nature of prejudice in psychological ways given the reality that a victim group in one context can be an oppressor in another—call it horizontal intersectionality. A black man discriminating against a gay Latina might not constitute “reverse discrimination” in our ordinary understanding, but it is a lateral move of perpetuating a very similar bigotry that was not adequately extinguished by the black man’s victimization nor our discourse around prejudice.

By manically focusing on things like “white racism” for instance, which I think tends to give these phenomena intrinsic essences rather than just viewing them as historical happenstances, we prevent ourselves from recognizing that people often make generalizations, often from paltry examples and from their own experiences, and project them onto others. We make numerous cognitive blunders, like the fundamental attribution error (the tendency for people to under-emphasize situational and environmental explanations for an individual’s observed behavior while over-emphasizing dispositional and personality-based explanations) or errors in drawing logical inferences and probabilities and the like. The end result is a kind of prejudice treadmill, whereby we have to put out the fires of prejudice over and over again with each new emerging culture war, all because lessons were never learned most especially by the very groups historically marred by bigotry.

Do you disagree with me that our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete? And if you don’t disagree with me, then how do you conceive of a better alternative to our current public discourse around the subject?
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 19 April 2022, 02:28

How I pictured people would react to this thread:

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How people actually reacted:

😤

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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Derek » 19 April 2022, 02:37

I don't think it's as controversial a view as you might think. My response is basically... "mhm".
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby PopTart » 19 April 2022, 06:32

Agree with every point you make.

There seems to be an orthodoxy? :lol: Honestly, in some places, perhaps more so online and in the States RL, daring to question that orthodoxy can get you figuratively crucified. No seems about it. The orthodoxy is unquestionable and clearly signposted.

I actually don't approve of a lot of the diversity training that is being foisted on people in the business I work for. A lot of people don't like it, they don't see the point in it and find it offensive :shrug: Can't say I blame them. It's incredibly patronising. But that's rather tangential to the question you ask.

I'm always sceptical when a movement, ideology or prevailing train of thought, begins to tell people that certain subjects are outside the scope of discussion. Granted. I have one or two subjects I feel that way about myself. So I am being somewhat hypocritical here, I admit.

But right away that is one of the things that puts my guard up with the current anti-discrimination discourse. I can only discuss it publicly, within the narrow confines as defined by a bunch of people who are no better placed than the rest of us, to decide where that line should be drawn. That doesn't sit well with me.

It's the same as the inability to discuss racial biological differences, both within science and society, as it is perceived as racist simply for doing so. Differences which do indeed exist and can have important and real impacts in ignoring those differences, especially in a multi-ethnic society. I'm not talking about genetic propensity towards intelligence or racial superiority and all of that. Such research and discourse should be subjected to extreme scrutiny and even censor. But censor has become the standard response and study and conversation around less inflammatory subjects has been cast beneath the same blanket of silence and "taboo" as the racial purity stuff. That doesn't help people, it's questionable if it suppresses racism, since the ability to disprove racial differences that could be used to justify racial prejudice, can never be engaged with. It also means that studing things like sickle cell anemia (which predominantly affects people of African descent) or the true causes of higher levels of black child birth deaths in hospitals, are also very difficult to study and grapple with, without running into political hot button issues.

It's an over-correction. One that I think does more harm than good.

In the case of discrimination, instead of focusing on the underlying causes of discrimination in the human condition, we instead focus on those acts of discrimination within a small segment of human society and miss the opportunity to deal decisively with a flaw in our nature and reasoning fully, or at least come to some deeper understanding of it, in favour of short term gains and what I suspect will be long term reversals going forward.

It doesn't help that as history has shown, both on the societal level and on the personal level, that victims of abuse or discrimination, do not infact, become more empathetic to other people who have known suffering or are discriminated but instead, invariably go on the become hardened and indifferent to such and sometimes become perpetrators themselves. There is a case to be made that various forms of discrimination are rampant in some minority groups in the west. One would think that having been the subjects of discrimination, those discriminated against would move away from perpetuating the same thing against others, But no. That isn't the case and if we look through history we can see plenty of examples of that.

I don't think we can have an honest and frank conversation about discrimination, especially in the current political and cultural environment and as such, we can't find any truth or really actionable answer for addressing the fundamental issue a it exists today. :shrug:

I tend to believe that the only way out of the mire is to stop talking about discrimination so much, such that the inflammation around the issue, can subside enough that healthy and rationale conversation can be had again.

But I don't really see that happening. But then, if someone who I've often percieved as being fairly left in his views such as yourself pooler, can ask the question, maybe I'm wrong and I'd be glad to be proven so.

It might be the pessimist in me lately, but I'm seeing a tidal surge of opposition in normal British people to the anti-discrimination rhetoric coming here from the states and it concerns me a great deal. People are being pushed to the extremesand I don't see the conversation, in it's current form, going anyplace good in the near future.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 19 April 2022, 08:24

Derek wrote:I don't think it's as controversial a view as you might think. My response is basically... "mhm".

Huh. Well that’s boring. Can’t you just pretend to be a super progressive and tell me I’m a toxic white-adjacent something or other?

PopTart wrote:I don't think we can have an honest and frank conversation about discrimination, especially in the current political and cultural environment and as such, we can't find any truth or really actionable answer for addressing the fundamental issue a it exists today.

I tend to believe that the only way out of the mire is to stop talking about discrimination so much, such that the inflammation around the issue, can subside enough that healthy and rationale conversation can be had again.

It’s always amusing to me whenever I come across an article or video where the author says something along the lines of, “Wr need to have a conversation about race” or “America is not ready to have a conversation about race” and I’m like “bitch where u been?” Ugh.

PopTart wrote:It might be the pessimist in me lately, but I'm seeing a tidal surge of opposition in normal British people to the anti-discrimination rhetoric coming here from the states and it concerns me a great deal. People are being pushed to the extremesand I don't see the conversation, in it's current form, going anyplace good in the near future.

Wait, what do you mean? That people in Great Britain have doubled down on racism as a means to combat obnoxious race-splaining?
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Derek » 19 April 2022, 18:47

poolerboy0077 wrote:
Derek wrote:I don't think it's as controversial a view as you might think. My response is basically... "mhm".

Huh. Well that’s boring. Can’t you just pretend to be a super progressive and tell me I’m a toxic white-adjacent something or other?

I'm actually thinking of backpedaling and becoming an anarcho-capitalist who complains about SJWs. It's a much more comforting and holistic worldview than whatever bullshit I'm on now.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby PopTart » 19 April 2022, 19:00

poolerboy0077 wrote:
PopTart wrote:I don't think we can have an honest and frank conversation about discrimination, especially in the current political and cultural environment and as such, we can't find any truth or really actionable answer for addressing the fundamental issue a it exists today.

I tend to believe that the only way out of the mire is to stop talking about discrimination so much, such that the inflammation around the issue, can subside enough that healthy and rationale conversation can be had again.

It’s always amusing to me whenever I come across an article or video where the author says something along the lines of, “Wr need to have a conversation about race” or “America is not ready to have a conversation about race” and I’m like “bitch where u been?” Ugh.
Oh, a conversation is being had, but it isn't the right conversation.
poolerboy0077 wrote:
PopTart wrote:It might be the pessimist in me lately, but I'm seeing a tidal surge of opposition in normal British people to the anti-discrimination rhetoric coming here from the states and it concerns me a great deal. People are being pushed to the extremesand I don't see the conversation, in it's current form, going anyplace good in the near future.

Wait, what do you mean? That people in Great Britain have doubled down on racism as a means to combat obnoxious race-splaining?
The Uk hasn't been all that racist. Sure politically, the government has had some really questionable policies, windrush among them. If you want to go back to colonial periods, there was racism there too, but largely engaged in by the minority who steered the empire. Which wasn't the common British people. The people aren't the government. British people have traditionally been very tolerant and accepting. But the "race-splaining" as you call it, how quintessentially American, is just a facet of the anti-discrimination rhetoric being foisted upon a people, who before now, didn't give a flying fuck where you put your dick, so long as you got permission from the recipient before hand, didn't care what colour your skin was, so long as you knew the cultural significance of football, fish and chips and hating the french, then you were good enough, if you wanted to dress in womens clothes or call yourself a hamster, that was fine to, but maybe put some effort in eh? Because Gareth looks fucking fantastic in a miniskirt on crossdressing tuesday drinks out and frankly some people around here just don't seem to be trying. But now they are being told that their attitudes aren't good enough.

And maybe they aren't for some. But people who never gave any of it much thought before, now feel like they are being spoken down too, while minorities such as we, are being held up on often times, undeserved pedestals. Resentment ensues.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Magic J » 24 April 2022, 16:00

PopTart wrote:I actually don't approve of a lot of the diversity training that is being foisted on people in the business I work for. A lot of people don't like it, they don't see the point in it and find it offensive :shrug: Can't say I blame them. It's incredibly patronising. But that's rather tangential to the question you ask.

I've never worked or studied anywhere where "diversity training" was mandated, but I'm familiar with the practice. From what I've seen, they're not something I would personally wish to engage in. I think the reduction of racism to "implicit biases", as much diversity training seems to do, is a great mistake. More importantly, they don't even seem to work to reduce an individual's implicit biases. They fail at every hurdle.

So why are they popular? Legal protection, it looks good, etc. At the risk of a very well deserved cancellation, I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that they're most useful as a way for employer's to keep the rabble in line. Keep everybody in a state of low level paranoia and hyperfocussed on the etiquette of interpersonal interactions, and they might not be able to develop the sense of solidarity that's essential if they're to realise, "hey, these bastards are stealing from us!". It's just good business.

PopTart wrote:It doesn't help that as history has shown, both on the societal level and on the personal level, that victims of abuse or discrimination, do not infact, become more empathetic to other people who have known suffering or are discriminated but instead, invariably go on the become hardened and indifferent to such and sometimes become perpetrators themselves...

I think that studying this sort of historical phenomenon is a good foil to lines of thinking which tend towards racial essentialism. The Irish of the Medieval and modern period might be a good example of this. Victims of colonialism in their native Ireland, and racialised as an inferior and backward sub-class, they were invited into the newly created "white race" when they had emigrated to the Americas, themselves becoming participants in the racialisation and oppression of black Americans. Or it would be a good example if the white race warriors hadn't co-opted it for their own purposes. Now they, as "Irish-Americans", can themselves engage in the politics of wounded identity. :P

PopTart wrote:The Uk hasn't been all that racist. Sure politically, the government has had some really questionable policies, windrush among them. If you want to go back to colonial periods, there was racism there too, but largely engaged in by the minority who steered the empire. Which wasn't the common British people. The people aren't the government. British people have traditionally been very tolerant and accepting. But the "race-splaining" as you call it, how quintessentially American, is just a facet of the anti-discrimination rhetoric being foisted upon a people, who before now, didn't give a flying fuck where you put your dick, so long as you got permission from the recipient before hand, didn't care what colour your skin was, so long as you knew the cultural significance of football, fish and chips and hating the french, then you were good enough, if you wanted to dress in womens clothes or call yourself a hamster, that was fine to, but maybe put some effort in eh? Because Gareth looks fucking fantastic in a miniskirt on crossdressing tuesday drinks out and frankly some people around here just don't seem to be trying. But now they are being told that their attitudes aren't good enough.

-It'sPureIdeology.gif

Nah, but seriously, I think there's elements of truth amongst a set of basically false assertions here. The British government, largely supported by the British people (well over half of which though of homosexual relations as being "always wrong" according to polling), legally oppressed gay people, particularly gay men, well into the twentieth century, and to a lesser extent into the twenty first century. And I don't think I can take the statement that, "[historically], the UK hasn't been all that racist" seriously. Such a broad generalisation can be swiftly dispensed with by recalling the single example that a very popular election slogan of the 60's was "if you want a n----- for a neighbour, vote Labour!". There's not much more explicitly racist than that. Again, this sort of stuff is just good business. Encourage white Britons in their xenophobia, mould that xenophobia into a concrete racism, and watch as they turn their ire onto the Pakistani immigrants instead of a government that threw them into destitution.

However, I would agree that there is a totalising element to US/American discourse on race. Americans do, after all, seem to constitute the majority in today's Anglophone online public square. Obviously, the development of racism in the US and the UK followed distinct trajectories, with a more overtly segregationist attitude developing in the US as a product racial slavery occurring within the home country. I would venture that British racism developed with the imperial project, and was thus a more distant concern for the average Briton; only becoming more overt in the post-war period with the arrival of imperial subjects from overseas. Clearly, these distinct histories are going to foster different ways of talking about race, and it might not be appropriate to apply one to the other. So I'd ask: what specifically do you think is an inappropriately "American" way of talking about racial discrimination in the UK?

poolerboy0077 wrote:Do you disagree with me that our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete? And if you don’t disagree with me, then how do you conceive of a better alternative to our current public discourse around the subject?

It's a big question. In general, I think that the current dominant discourse on prejudice is overly focussed on speech and behaviour codes moderating interpersonal interactions. It seems to me that this is can become a vaguely alienating way to engage with others. Obviously, one should be mindful of the way they speak and behave, but there's too much onus placed on this to "resolve" political conflicts. I see a lot of talk about combatting systemic oppression through eliminating individual prejudices, but in the end, the systems which sustain those prejudices remain. Like you say, we often over-emphasise dispositional factors. It's a frustrating turn, and one which I feel is a dead end.

So, what is to be done? Well, I think we need to get away from seeing individual prejudice as a foremost arena of political participation. Is it good and worthwhile to examine your own and other's prejudices and attempt to eliminate them? Yes. Will that solve the defining political issues of today? No. Perhaps if we can get away from this, and with discussions on prejudice no longer having to carry the weight of political engagement as a whole, then we can have a more nuanced popular conversation on the nature of human prejudice.

Maybe.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Brenden » 26 April 2022, 16:39

Harvard's implicit bias tests are completely bunk. I did the one for fat people and it said I wasn't very biased — which is ridiculous.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Derek » 26 April 2022, 18:52

I took that test once and it told me I'm biased against white people. It might be true, I don't know.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 26 April 2022, 21:59

Brenden wrote:I did the one for fat people and it said I wasn't very biased — which is ridiculous.

:lol:

You just reminded me of this pitch for a slapstick comedy movie I made involving Rebel Wilson as a fat Batman with a fit Robin who has to always help her out because she always gets stuck on the window of the bat mobile or dangling from her grappling hook due to her humongous weight. She crushes (no pun intended) on her sidekick, always wondering ways to approach him to profess her love to him even though he’s gay as fuck.

Derek wrote:I took that test once and it told me I'm biased against white people. It might be true, I don't know.

I have a friend who says she hates white people but can’t seem to stop marrying them. You give me that kinda vibe.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby Derek » 26 April 2022, 22:16

If I'm going by porn consumption, my favorite race is Hispanic. That's more of an explicit bias, though.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 27 April 2022, 02:00

Derek wrote:If I'm going by porn consumption, my favorite race is Hispanic. That's more of an explicit bias, though.

Hispanics can be white, so I’m guessing you’re taking about the darkies?

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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby PopTart » 30 April 2022, 11:43

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:I actually don't approve of a lot of the diversity training that is being foisted on people in the business I work for. A lot of people don't like it, they don't see the point in it and find it offensive :shrug: Can't say I blame them. It's incredibly patronising. But that's rather tangential to the question you ask.

I've never worked or studied anywhere where "diversity training" was mandated, but I'm familiar with the practice. From what I've seen, they're not something I would personally wish to engage in. I think the reduction of racism to "implicit biases", as much diversity training seems to do, is a great mistake. More importantly, they don't even seem to work to reduce an individual's implicit biases. They fail at every hurdle.

So why are they popular? Legal protection, it looks good, etc. At the risk of a very well deserved cancellation, I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that they're most useful as a way for employer's to keep the rabble in line. Keep everybody in a state of low level paranoia and hyperfocussed on the etiquette of interpersonal interactions, and they might not be able to develop the sense of solidarity that's essential if they're to realise, "hey, these bastards are stealing from us!". It's just good business.
The last company I worked for and the current one, both mandate diversity training. I actually refused to participate when the material began talking about being aware of "whiteness" amongst a couple of other ideas I find either misguided, wrong or outright toxic. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to complete the training or face disciplinary action. :shrug: It was particularly galling when a member of HR, told me I should be grateful that the business was promoting "my interests" :runaway: I would much prefer my employers paid as little attention to my sexual orientation as I do. I find it disquietting that we have a culture of taking note of who is different and why. I rather a business I work for be blind to such identity matters and focus on the quality of my work and my fitness for the job I'm doing.

Why do I hold that view? Because I think that, while you're right about the training being in place for legal protection reasons, I think it's also a form of free PR. The perception is, that the majority are in favour of much of this diversity, anti-racism stuff coming from the states. Making a big show of "virtue" is free publicity. It portrays the business as ethical (as if businesses can even be ethical. They are money making machines, the bottom line is all that really matters, everything else is window dressing) Which might seem all well and good, while prevailing public opinion is in line with the seeming principle of "diversity" (which I question is actually the case, it's more about inverting power structures, not about reshaping those structures) minorities might see some minor, short-lived benefits. But should the worm turn and the worm always turns, the next dominant and popular opinion might be far less generous towards minorities. Businesses will do what all businesses do and drop the facade of support for "diversity" and take up whichever cause ensures they keep their profit margin/marketshare/goodwill. Only now we have a culture of taking note of who is different and why, where before, it was acceptable even encouraged to disregard such considerations. Discrimination starts at looking at what sets us apart from one another. "Diversity and inclusion" training, is all about taking note of how we differ and reducing individuals down to mindless group identities.

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:It doesn't help that as history has shown, both on the societal level and on the personal level, that victims of abuse or discrimination, do not infact, become more empathetic to other people who have known suffering or are discriminated but instead, invariably go on the become hardened and indifferent to such and sometimes become perpetrators themselves...

I think that studying this sort of historical phenomenon is a good foil to lines of thinking which tend towards racial essentialism. The Irish of the Medieval and modern period might be a good example of this. Victims of colonialism in their native Ireland, and racialised as an inferior and backward sub-class, they were invited into the newly created "white race" when they had emigrated to the Americas, themselves becoming participants in the racialisation and oppression of black Americans. Or it would be a good example if the white race warriors hadn't co-opted it for their own purposes. Now they, as "Irish-Americans", can themselves engage in the politics of wounded identity. :P
A good example actually, yes.

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:The Uk hasn't been all that racist. Sure politically, the government has had some really questionable policies, windrush among them. If you want to go back to colonial periods, there was racism there too, but largely engaged in by the minority who steered the empire. Which wasn't the common British people. The people aren't the government. British people have traditionally been very tolerant and accepting. But the "race-splaining" as you call it, how quintessentially American, is just a facet of the anti-discrimination rhetoric being foisted upon a people, who before now, didn't give a flying fuck where you put your dick, so long as you got permission from the recipient before hand, didn't care what colour your skin was, so long as you knew the cultural significance of football, fish and chips and hating the french, then you were good enough, if you wanted to dress in womens clothes or call yourself a hamster, that was fine to, but maybe put some effort in eh? Because Gareth looks fucking fantastic in a miniskirt on crossdressing tuesday drinks out and frankly some people around here just don't seem to be trying. But now they are being told that their attitudes aren't good enough.

-It'sPureIdeology.gif

Nah, but seriously, I think there's elements of truth amongst a set of basically false assertions here. The British government, largely supported by the British people (well over half of which though of homosexual relations as being "always wrong" according to polling), legally oppressed gay people, particularly gay men, well into the twentieth century, and to a lesser extent into the twenty first century. And I don't think I can take the statement that, "[historically], the UK hasn't been all that racist" seriously. Such a broad generalisation can be swiftly dispensed with by recalling the single example that a very popular election slogan of the 60's was "if you want a n----- for a neighbour, vote Labour!". There's not much more explicitly racist than that. Again, this sort of stuff is just good business. Encourage white Britons in their xenophobia, mould that xenophobia into a concrete racism, and watch as they turn their ire onto the Pakistani immigrants instead of a government that threw them into destitution.
Yes, you're right here to a degree and I can't argue your point entirely. My main point is that people often use the colonial past of the UK, to justify classifying Brits as being more discriminatory than we actually are or historically have been. It's often used to justify actions on a faulty premise or supposition. Many people who do so, do so not realising that British democracy in it's current, universal sufferage format is fairly new. During empire, the majority of British people in the Isles, didn't have the right to vote or participate in government to any real extent. The people of Britain were often times, just as dirt poor, just as deprived and just as downtrodden as their colonial counterparts. Nobody really likes to confront that. It was often times, however, popular British opinion, from those same downtrodden people, that drove movements for abolition and even, to a large extent, de-colonisation in later decades. British people welcomed black American soldiers during WW2, while their American counterparts were shocked to find British people inviting black soldiers into their homes and sharing meals with them.

There is a great deal of nuance that is lost in the current discourse and that only really plays in to the extremes on either sides agendas and rarely serves to improve or better the circumstances of the average person. :shrug:

Magic J wrote:However, I would agree that there is a totalising element to US/American discourse on race. Americans do, after all, seem to constitute the majority in today's Anglophone online public square. Obviously, the development of racism in the US and the UK followed distinct trajectories, with a more overtly segregationist attitude developing in the US as a product racial slavery occurring within the home country. I would venture that British racism developed with the imperial project, and was thus a more distant concern for the average Briton; only becoming more overt in the post-war period with the arrival of imperial subjects from overseas. Clearly, these distinct histories are going to foster different ways of talking about race, and it might not be appropriate to apply one to the other. So I'd ask: what specifically do you think is an inappropriately "American" way of talking about racial discrimination in the UK?
I guess, if I'm entirely honest, it's making false equivelance. So many Americans and increasingly, young Brits aswell, are labouring under the impression that discrimination on both sides of the pond are the same. Take the mass BLM movement that swept the west in 2021. There was absolutely no justified reason for that movement being adopted here. I won't get into the real statistics of black men killed by police officers in the US and how that compares to popular perception. But in the UK, it simply isn't the same issue. We don't have an armed constabularly. We have so few deaths in police custody that it is the exception and not the norm. Yet I watched as violent mobs and yes, they were mobs, literally chased unarmed police, jeering and threatening violence over an act of police brutality, seemingly racially motivated, in another country, whose history of race relations is entirely distinct and different from our own. The fact that many of those that participated were sporting the latest in designer fashion trainers, wearing smart watches and filming their escapades on fancy smartphones wasn't lost on me either. These were clearly the marginalised and oppressed people in our society making their feelings known as they poured out of their universities (paid for by the state and my taxes) to assault the historic figures and monuments that mean something to a great many people in this country. :rolleyes:

Our laws do not contain any residual "Jim Crow" era BS. We don't have the lingering systemic after effects of segregation, because we never had institutionalised segregation. Yet the discourse treats British institutions as if they had, treat British people as if they had supported these phantom systemic shortcomings and I'm tired of Americans superimposing their inability to deal with these legacies in a rational and even handed way, onto the rest of us. I'm sick of not being able to address the handful of loopholes and failings in our own institutions, because we can't have a discussion about race in the context of our own shortcomings. Only in the context of American ones. Let alone have a reasonable conversation, about why it is, that young white men are now at the bottom of every ranking for achievement and wellness. This country has the best laws around discrimination bar none. That's the best you can do. The American attitude of late, is one that seeks to dictate and regulate what people say, do and even think. I find that to be anathema and the very antithesis of British tradition.

In the working class people of southern England, I'm seeing a hardening of opinion to those people they were once open and receptive towards. I can't say I blame them. I'm hearing more and more ill feeling and resentment at being unjustly miscast as the villains of the piece. A greater willingness to think in their own racial terms and to identify people of other ethnicities, primarily as their ethnicity, rather than as individuals. While everyone is sitting around talking about high minded ideals and the "nature of discourse" there are radical elements stoking these divisions and making sure that worm turns.

People need to shut the fuck up about race, discrimination and "diversity" and start talking about what we share in common, our common heritage, our common achievements and our shared humanity. Everything else is an exercise in arm chair philosophy and social peacocking.
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 May 2022, 04:41

I've little to say in all of this, to be honest, since I neither care enough to keep track of the thread nor know nearly so much about it all as you persons do.

BUT, I will say I'm extraordinarily displeased with Edinburgh University's decision to rename Hume Tower. Normally I wouldn't much mind such a thing, especially when it comes to (for example) monuments to figures from the American Confederate States. Yet David Hume is certainly an exception.

Just had to voice that! I'll not intrude any further!
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Re: Do you think our public discourse on prejudice is incomplete?

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 3 May 2022, 07:06

PopTart wrote:
Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:I actually don't approve of a lot of the diversity training that is being foisted on people in the business I work for. A lot of people don't like it, they don't see the point in it and find it offensive :shrug: Can't say I blame them. It's incredibly patronising. But that's rather tangential to the question you ask.

I've never worked or studied anywhere where "diversity training" was mandated, but I'm familiar with the practice. From what I've seen, they're not something I would personally wish to engage in. I think the reduction of racism to "implicit biases", as much diversity training seems to do, is a great mistake. More importantly, they don't even seem to work to reduce an individual's implicit biases. They fail at every hurdle.

So why are they popular? Legal protection, it looks good, etc. At the risk of a very well deserved cancellation, I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that they're most useful as a way for employer's to keep the rabble in line. Keep everybody in a state of low level paranoia and hyperfocussed on the etiquette of interpersonal interactions, and they might not be able to develop the sense of solidarity that's essential if they're to realise, "hey, these bastards are stealing from us!". It's just good business.
The last company I worked for and the current one, both mandate diversity training. I actually refused to participate when the material began talking about being aware of "whiteness" amongst a couple of other ideas I find either misguided, wrong or outright toxic. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to complete the training or face disciplinary action. :shrug: It was particularly galling when a member of HR, told me I should be grateful that the business was promoting "my interests" :runaway: I would much prefer my employers paid as little attention to my sexual orientation as I do. I find it disquietting that we have a culture of taking note of who is different and why. I rather a business I work for be blind to such identity matters and focus on the quality of my work and my fitness for the job I'm doing.

Why do I hold that view? Because I think that, while you're right about the training being in place for legal protection reasons, I think it's also a form of free PR. The perception is, that the majority are in favour of much of this diversity, anti-racism stuff coming from the states. Making a big show of "virtue" is free publicity. It portrays the business as ethical (as if businesses can even be ethical. They are money making machines, the bottom line is all that really matters, everything else is window dressing) Which might seem all well and good, while prevailing public opinion is in line with the seeming principle of "diversity" (which I question is actually the case, it's more about inverting power structures, not about reshaping those structures) minorities might see some minor, short-lived benefits. But should the worm turn and the worm always turns, the next dominant and popular opinion might be far less generous towards minorities. Businesses will do what all businesses do and drop the facade of support for "diversity" and take up whichever cause ensures they keep their profit margin/marketshare/goodwill. Only now we have a culture of taking note of who is different and why, where before, it was acceptable even encouraged to disregard such considerations. Discrimination starts at looking at what sets us apart from one another. "Diversity and inclusion" training, is all about taking note of how we differ and reducing individuals down to mindless group identities.

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:It doesn't help that as history has shown, both on the societal level and on the personal level, that victims of abuse or discrimination, do not infact, become more empathetic to other people who have known suffering or are discriminated but instead, invariably go on the become hardened and indifferent to such and sometimes become perpetrators themselves...

I think that studying this sort of historical phenomenon is a good foil to lines of thinking which tend towards racial essentialism. The Irish of the Medieval and modern period might be a good example of this. Victims of colonialism in their native Ireland, and racialised as an inferior and backward sub-class, they were invited into the newly created "white race" when they had emigrated to the Americas, themselves becoming participants in the racialisation and oppression of black Americans. Or it would be a good example if the white race warriors hadn't co-opted it for their own purposes. Now they, as "Irish-Americans", can themselves engage in the politics of wounded identity. :P
A good example actually, yes.

Magic J wrote:
PopTart wrote:The Uk hasn't been all that racist. Sure politically, the government has had some really questionable policies, windrush among them. If you want to go back to colonial periods, there was racism there too, but largely engaged in by the minority who steered the empire. Which wasn't the common British people. The people aren't the government. British people have traditionally been very tolerant and accepting. But the "race-splaining" as you call it, how quintessentially American, is just a facet of the anti-discrimination rhetoric being foisted upon a people, who before now, didn't give a flying fuck where you put your dick, so long as you got permission from the recipient before hand, didn't care what colour your skin was, so long as you knew the cultural significance of football, fish and chips and hating the french, then you were good enough, if you wanted to dress in womens clothes or call yourself a hamster, that was fine to, but maybe put some effort in eh? Because Gareth looks fucking fantastic in a miniskirt on crossdressing tuesday drinks out and frankly some people around here just don't seem to be trying. But now they are being told that their attitudes aren't good enough.

-It'sPureIdeology.gif

Nah, but seriously, I think there's elements of truth amongst a set of basically false assertions here. The British government, largely supported by the British people (well over half of which though of homosexual relations as being "always wrong" according to polling), legally oppressed gay people, particularly gay men, well into the twentieth century, and to a lesser extent into the twenty first century. And I don't think I can take the statement that, "[historically], the UK hasn't been all that racist" seriously. Such a broad generalisation can be swiftly dispensed with by recalling the single example that a very popular election slogan of the 60's was "if you want a n----- for a neighbour, vote Labour!". There's not much more explicitly racist than that. Again, this sort of stuff is just good business. Encourage white Britons in their xenophobia, mould that xenophobia into a concrete racism, and watch as they turn their ire onto the Pakistani immigrants instead of a government that threw them into destitution.
Yes, you're right here to a degree and I can't argue your point entirely. My main point is that people often use the colonial past of the UK, to justify classifying Brits as being more discriminatory than we actually are or historically have been. It's often used to justify actions on a faulty premise or supposition. Many people who do so, do so not realising that British democracy in it's current, universal sufferage format is fairly new. During empire, the majority of British people in the Isles, didn't have the right to vote or participate in government to any real extent. The people of Britain were often times, just as dirt poor, just as deprived and just as downtrodden as their colonial counterparts. Nobody really likes to confront that. It was often times, however, popular British opinion, from those same downtrodden people, that drove movements for abolition and even, to a large extent, de-colonisation in later decades. British people welcomed black American soldiers during WW2, while their American counterparts were shocked to find British people inviting black soldiers into their homes and sharing meals with them.

There is a great deal of nuance that is lost in the current discourse and that only really plays in to the extremes on either sides agendas and rarely serves to improve or better the circumstances of the average person. :shrug:

Magic J wrote:However, I would agree that there is a totalising element to US/American discourse on race. Americans do, after all, seem to constitute the majority in today's Anglophone online public square. Obviously, the development of racism in the US and the UK followed distinct trajectories, with a more overtly segregationist attitude developing in the US as a product racial slavery occurring within the home country. I would venture that British racism developed with the imperial project, and was thus a more distant concern for the average Briton; only becoming more overt in the post-war period with the arrival of imperial subjects from overseas. Clearly, these distinct histories are going to foster different ways of talking about race, and it might not be appropriate to apply one to the other. So I'd ask: what specifically do you think is an inappropriately "American" way of talking about racial discrimination in the UK?
I guess, if I'm entirely honest, it's making false equivelance. So many Americans and increasingly, young Brits aswell, are labouring under the impression that discrimination on both sides of the pond are the same. Take the mass BLM movement that swept the west in 2021. There was absolutely no justified reason for that movement being adopted here. I won't get into the real statistics of black men killed by police officers in the US and how that compares to popular perception. But in the UK, it simply isn't the same issue. We don't have an armed constabularly. We have so few deaths in police custody that it is the exception and not the norm. Yet I watched as violent mobs and yes, they were mobs, literally chased unarmed police, jeering and threatening violence over an act of police brutality, seemingly racially motivated, in another country, whose history of race relations is entirely distinct and different from our own. The fact that many of those that participated were sporting the latest in designer fashion trainers, wearing smart watches and filming their escapades on fancy smartphones wasn't lost on me either. These were clearly the marginalised and oppressed people in our society making their feelings known as they poured out of their universities (paid for by the state and my taxes) to assault the historic figures and monuments that mean something to a great many people in this country. :rolleyes:

Our laws do not contain any residual "Jim Crow" era BS. We don't have the lingering systemic after effects of segregation, because we never had institutionalised segregation. Yet the discourse treats British institutions as if they had, treat British people as if they had supported these phantom systemic shortcomings and I'm tired of Americans superimposing their inability to deal with these legacies in a rational and even handed way, onto the rest of us. I'm sick of not being able to address the handful of loopholes and failings in our own institutions, because we can't have a discussion about race in the context of our own shortcomings. Only in the context of American ones. Let alone have a reasonable conversation, about why it is, that young white men are now at the bottom of every ranking for achievement and wellness. This country has the best laws around discrimination bar none. That's the best you can do. The American attitude of late, is one that seeks to dictate and regulate what people say, do and even think. I find that to be anathema and the very antithesis of British tradition.

In the working class people of southern England, I'm seeing a hardening of opinion to those people they were once open and receptive towards. I can't say I blame them. I'm hearing more and more ill feeling and resentment at being unjustly miscast as the villains of the piece. A greater willingness to think in their own racial terms and to identify people of other ethnicities, primarily as their ethnicity, rather than as individuals. While everyone is sitting around talking about high minded ideals and the "nature of discourse" there are radical elements stoking these divisions and making sure that worm turns.

People need to shut the fuck up about race, discrimination and "diversity" and start talking about what we share in common, our common heritage, our common achievements and our shared humanity. Everything else is an exercise in arm chair philosophy and social peacocking.


I don't appreciate your cavalier, disrespectful comparison of trivial subjects of discourse to armchair philosophy. It's ignorant, rude, excessively dismissive, and honestly more than a little demeaning. Proper armchair philosophy, or a priori speculation, is a perfectly rational and worthwhile enterprise.
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