Racial Identity Tied to Happiness, Study Finds

Oprah Winfrey. Photo: vargas2040 (CC)

Photo: vargas2040 (CC)

ScienceDaily reports:

African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier, according to a study led by psychology researchers at Michigan State University.The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, appears in the current issue of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, a research journal published by the American Psychological Association.

“This is the first empirical study we know of that shows a relationship between racial identity and happiness,” said Stevie C.Y. Yap, doctoral candidate in psychology at MSU and lead researcher on the project.

Previous research has found a relationship between racial identity and favorable outcomes such as self-esteem, Yap said, but none has made the link with happiness.

For the study, the researchers surveyed black adults in Michigan. The results suggest the more the participants identified with being black — or the more being black was an important part of who they are — the more happy they were with life as a whole, Yap said.

The study also explored the reasons behind the connection. Yap said it may be fueled by a sense of belongingness — that is, blacks with a strong sense of racial identity may feel more connected to their racial group, which in turn makes them happy.

Read more here.

What might this say about the White Pride movement?  Could they become legitimate if they dropped their delusions of being persecuted by ethnic and sexual minorities and realized who their real oppressors are?

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  • omission

    Oprah has a billion jillion monies. don’t think racial identity has anything to do with it. walking around feeling happy that you’re black or whatever is ignorant and is mildly delusional. People with this much pride have sweatpants and giant stains and are usually getting something for nothing whenever I encounter them.

    be happy everyone!

    the world is on fucking fire.

  • omission

    Oprah has a billion jillion monies. don’t think racial identity has anything to do with it. walking around feeling happy that you’re black or whatever is ignorant and is mildly delusional. People with this much pride have sweatpants and giant stains and are usually getting something for nothing whenever I encounter them.

    be happy everyone!

    the world is on fucking fire.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Bullshit… The only people who feel happier identifying with their race are the people who equate themselves with racial superiority. There are plenty of people out there who are ashamed of their own racial stereotype and feel happier not identifying with it. In light of this, this study could more indicate an increase in racism than anything.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Bullshit… The only people who feel happier identifying with their race are the people who equate themselves with racial superiority. There are plenty of people out there who are ashamed of their own racial stereotype and feel happier not identifying with it. In light of this, this study could more indicate an increase in racism than anything.

    • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

      So your interpretation is that racism makes you happier?

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        whoa…. I never thought about it that way… but… now that you say it, yeah.
        Do racists enjoy putting down other people, I would expect that they do, or they wouldn’t do it.

        • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

          “Black pride” isn’t usually about putting down other people. It sounds more like the people in this study just feel more connected to their social group. We can discuss how valid it is for anyone to feel pride over something as arbitrary as race, but my sense is that this has more to do with having a support system and feeling that you belong than any misguided sense of racial superiority.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            A support system devoted to only supporting one race is still racist in a sense, its just a more benevolent form. If a support system only allows support for a single race, it is in fact excluding the rest of the races. It is so taboo to have a whites-only support system because we are constantly berated by the idea that it is racist to exclude other races. As a rule I hold no double standards in any sense, so therefore a black, hispanic, or chinese only support system is in fact racist in the same manner the white only one is.

            The distinction is whites are considered “privileged” because the majority (entirety?) of the super-rich and very rich are white. This does not discount the fact that there are dirt-poor white people with less ways of being helped than a “minority”.

            We should do away with all these conceptions of race, if we just had poverty support systems as opposed to racial based ones, things could be better. The issue with this however is that there are still the remains of tribal attitudes out there where if you aren’t of my tribe(race) then you need to be slain. That has to be disposed of first. We however are too afraid to bridge cultural boundaries as it stands now.

            Racism is a great titan, and it has to die organically, and not synthetically.

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            A lot of people would say that American society itself has been “whites-only support system,” which makes the idea of “white pride” or “white identity” less a taboo than a redundancy.

            But I agree with you that we need to move past racial categories.

          • Tuna Ghost

            A support system devoted to only supporting one race is still racist in a sense,…

            Nope. Racism is prejudice added to power and privilege. Without the privilege and power white people hold, it isn’t racism.

            It is so taboo to have a whites-only support system because we are constantly berated by the idea that it is racist to exclude other races.

            American society, in fact much of western society, is a whites-only support system in many ways. Read up on “white privilege”.

            As a rule I hold no double standards in any sense, so therefore a black, hispanic, or chinese only support system is in fact racist in the same manner the white only one is.

            Afraid not, friend. As noted earlier, racism is prejudice added to power and privilege. There is no “reverse-racism”, the very term implies a notion that racism is supposed to only go one way.

            The distinction is whites are considered “privileged” because the majority (entirety?) of the super-rich and very rich are white. This does not discount the fact that there are dirt-poor white people with less ways of being helped than a “minority”.

            Whites are considered “privileged” because whites are privileged in a way minorities are not, regardless of class or income. I’ve heard white people argue that when they’re out wearing urban clothing they’re stopped by police as much as black people, thus proving that they’re not “privileged”–but consider that they’re being stopped precisely because they’re wearing the trappings of minority groups, and thus are viewed as a possible threat.

            We should do away with all these conceptions of race,…

            Easy for you to say, buddy.

            …if we just had poverty support systems as opposed to racial based ones, things could be better.

            We do have those, many many of those.

            The issue with this however is that there are still the remains of tribal attitudes out there where if you aren’t of my tribe(race) then you need to be slain. That has to be disposed of first. We however are too afraid to bridge cultural boundaries as it stands now.

            You will be assimilated? Resistance is futile? I’m not necessarily arguing with this, but I wonder if you’re aware of the implications.

          • chubby

            if I remember correctly assimilation was standardized with the romans, who would leave a garrison of troops in the lands they conquered, since the indigenous men were slain, they would interbreed with the remnants, the children would be given roman citizenship if they then joined the roman army. even in the usa, boarding schools were used to assimilate the indigenous population, the conquered people were not allowed to speak their own languages and forbidden to practice their traditions. wonder how that all went? but alas, not all was lost…..

          • Tuna Ghost

            yeah, their method of assimilation was more successful than previous empires because it was far less brutal. They tied conquered nations to the Roman Empire through indigenous peoples joining the army (as you mentioned), through economics (trade routes running through conquered territories) and through religion (all homes in the Roman Empire were to have at least one area devoted to a Roman diety). This is why they had such a problem in Israel, because the Jews weren’t down with joining a foreign army, worshipping foreign gods and they definitely had their own ideas about the economics of their own country. Pretty much 0-3 there…

          • chubby

            I remember one of my professors use to comment on how the people who assimilated the native americans on this continent were more racists than the romans because they would not intermingle with them, indeed, going so far as to say “the only good indian…” or having a movie like the searchers where the main character is searching for his niece just so he can kill her, somehow becoming the heros for the natives raised in the boarding school system, etc etc…or maybe Im just skewed….

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Well it’s clear there are a lot of points that we disagree upon, but the only major one I’ll contest is your definition of racism. Power and privilege allows for the more devious aspects of racism to play out, but it is not inherent in defining it. Racism is simply the attitude that races are fundamentally different in quality of ability, mind, soul, or any other important aspect.

            I’m also not arguing that racism isn’t alive and thriving in favor of whites. I do however see people as people no matter who they are, and just because someone is white it cannot be assumed that he has extreme privilege simply because of the color of his skin.

            I will say though that I’m confused about you’re bringing up reverse racism(a nonsense term.. racism is racism, there is no directionality). It seemed slightly contradictory, I said that a one-race support system is bad no matter what race it is in favor of. The way it looked, your response was to both say that white-only support systems are racist and say black only-support systems aren’t because the latter would be reverse racism which doesn’t exist?

            I guess our difference here is that you see racism as having a direction of privileged putting down the underprivileged, while I see the existence of reactionary (arguably justified) hatred of the privileged from the underprivileged. If I’m putting words in your mouth then say so, but it seems you only see the former as racism, while I see both sides of the coin as racism. To end racism both sides need to stop, not just one, or a reactionary cycle continues on forever. Now, I think we’ll both agree that the feasibility of achieving this is debatable, and the implications of a transition would be something that needs dramatic consideration.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Racism is simply the attitude that races are fundamentally different in quality of ability, mind, soul, or any other important aspect.

            That is not racism, despite what you may believe. That is prejudice. For it to be enacted, to become racism, it has to be coupled with power (direct racism) and/or privilege (indirect racism). Everyone has prejudices to varying degrees, but without power or privilege these prejudicial ideas cannot be forced upon others. It is when prejudice becomes enforced that is becomes racism. These are important distinctions.

            I do however see people as people no matter who they are, and just because someone is white it cannot be assumed that he has extreme privilege simply because of the color of his skin.

            “Extreme” is a vague term in this conversation, but at any rate: being white gives you privilege that non-whites do not have. This is not even debated anymore, really. The problem is privilege is often invisible to those who benefit from it, leading them to believe it doesn’t exist until the statistics and facts are brought to their attention.

            I will say though that I’m confused about you’re bringing up reverse racism(a nonsense term.. racism is racism, there is no directionality).

            “Reverse-racism” is the term usually applied to percieved racism against whites. My apologies, you didn’t use the term itself but were only describing it.

            It seemed slightly contradictory, I said that a one-race support system is bad no matter what race it is in favor of. The way it looked, your response was to both say that white-only support systems are racist and say black only-support systems aren’t because the latter would be reverse racism which doesn’t exist?

            White-only support systems are racist because a support system that gives advantages only to the ethnic majority are racist. They support a system that already gives privileges to whites over non-whites, thus helping deprive ethnic minorities of these same privileges. For ethnic minorities to have these support systems is NOT the same thing, and saying it is only furthers the problem. There is a matter of who has the power in society. This is important.

            I guess our difference here is that you see racism as having a direction of privileged putting down the underprivileged,…

            Yes, because that’s what it is. It isn’t racism unless prejudicial ideas are being enforced by those in power.

            …while I see the existence of reactionary (arguably justified) hatred of the privileged from the underprivileged.

            This isn’t racism.

            If I’m putting words in your mouth then say so, but it seems you only see the former as racism, while I see both sides of the coin as racism.

            And you are incorrect. It’s a common misconception that many labour under. It is not a coin with two symmetrical sides.

            To end racism both sides need to stop, not just one, or a reactionary cycle continues on forever.

            Can you understand why ethnic minorities might not take kindly to white people saying “hey you know the last 400 plus years of exploitation and human rights abuses that led directly to a system in which white people have privleges you don’t and will never have? Time for you to get over it. I mean, I’ve forgiven you for being angry, so…”

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I’m not sure the implication that racism doesn’t actually exist until its deployed effectively by someone with the power to make it a policy is accurate. The average KKK or Aryan Nation is a true racist, wholly devoted to the concept that their race is superior in all ways to others. They may still be unemployed losers with no real power of any kind…but they are genuine racists…not merely ‘prejudiced’ because they have no real power.

            Your definition works for defining institutionalized racism…but it falls short on a personal level. Actual contempt for other races and a belief in racial superiority is the core of what constitutes racism…and it is routinely engaged in by the also disenfranchised, often as an outlet for their frustrations regarding their own powerlessness.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Precisely what I was trying to get across, just done in a more clear way than I probably would have.

          • Andrew

            There are also other forms of prejudice–like sexism, homophobia, misopedia, and classism–that are often coupled with power.

          • Tuna Ghost

            The average KKK or Aryan Nation is a true racist, wholly devoted to the concept that their race is superior in all ways to others. They may still be unemployed losers with no real power of any kind…but they are genuine racists…not merely ‘prejudiced’ because they have no real power.

            It’s not just power. Members of white supremacist groups, regardless of class or income, still have privlege that both stems from and reinforces institutionalized racism, privlege that ethnic minorities do not have access to.

            Calling an ethnic minority who prefers his or her own race “racist” is equating him or her with the sort a racism that still exists today, that is responsible for the income gap between whites and non-whites (among a great deal of other things). These two examples are not the same, and they shouldn’t be labled as identical.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Well, that theoretical ‘power and privilege’ hasn’t bought them much other than a shared trailer in shabby end of town between trips to jail and generic brands from WalMart in the cupboards. It doesn’t manifest as enormous political capital, or make the completely incompetent suddenly employable. I always wonder what this power of whiteness does manifest as…

            …it’s just my experience, but I always suspected class difference as more of an influence effectively than skin color. Example A: Poor, white male, low education, poor language skills, anger issues. Gets arrested…never seems to gain any benefit from whiteness in employment, legal treatment or any other measurable phenomenon. Example B: Smart white male, raised by educated parents. Good language skills and manners. Gets in trouble but talks a good game and gets off the hook legally most of the time. Example C: Ultra rich white male. Superb education, legendary manners and appearance. Problems (tickets, DUIs, date rapes) disappear no matter what he does. Lawyers on retainer prevent any record from being kept on past behavior. College paid for, trust fund and inheritance insure permanent wealth.

            Skin color is an ever so slight advantage…if and only if it comes alongside the ability to use that advantage where it counts…ie: in a way that ingratiates you to the upper class through language skills, education and manners. Like a toolbox with only one tool…you can’t do much unless you have the full set. Is this fair? No…but it isn’t pure racism or even more than marginally race related…it has a LOT more to do with class. Take away the benefits of class…and the arrest record and unemployment rates for whites suddenly start to move much closer to those for non-whites.

            Where I’ll draw the line and agree with you somewhat is that in hiring, if two candidates are equal in all ways, education, language skills and manner/appearance…and the only difference is in skin color…the odds favor the candidate that matches the background of the employer. Unchecked cultural bias is never pretty…and can manifest as unconsciously institutionalized discrimination. Not that long ago, America was overwhelmingly white…and thus, even without the diehard racists in the mix here and there, its employers were overwhelmingly white…and the predictable pattern of people hiring the person they were most comfortable with locked into place easily. This isn’t hardened racism at play, this is the predominant culture flowing in the path its cuts for itself over generations…not necessarily with malice.

            There are places where malice becomes entrenched (Michigan- undisclosed ANG-AirForce base c.1980s) as one serious bigot finds a position of authority and pulls others into satellite around him, then institutes deliberate racist practices at their leisure. It was a case of rednecks with power and an abiding hatred of blacks…forcing menial chores and denying promotions regularly. But in a twist that kind of skews the ‘whites in power auto-pilot racism’ narrative…my Republican for life, farmboy turned fighter pilot, snow white dad was the investigator for the ANG in that case…and despite entering with skepticism and every reason to take a ‘good old boy’ at his word…pop wound up doing the research carefully, and crucified the (white) staff for their conduct, and was morally outraged that egregious visible racism was tolerated and allowed to prosper there.

            I know that the world is hardly a microcosm of my family and friends…but if I can have a hard stance against racism and have a life filled with friends who have little or no racial bias (but acres of financial/legal problems despite the theoretical value of their whiteness)…then the world of whites is neither as seamless or hostile as it is sometimes made to look. The world of class, however, remains almost impenetrable to those not born into it, skin color regardless.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Well, that theoretical ‘power and privilege’ hasn’t bought them much other than a shared trailer in shabby end of town between trips to jail and generic brands from WalMart in the cupboards. It doesn’t manifest as enormous political capital, or make the completely incompetent suddenly employable. I always wonder what this power of whiteness does manifest as…

            That’s the thing about privilege, it is almost always invisible to those that have it. Do some reading on “white privilege”.

            …it’s just my experience, …

            As a white person, you mean? Why is it, do you think, that white people feel so confident in making remarks about the experiences of ethnic minorities?

            but I always suspected class difference as more of an influence effectively than skin color.

            Well the two obviously intersect, and the lines are not always neatly drawn. Money, or lack thereof, can prove in many cases to be a barrier stronger than race or religion or whatever.

            …but if I can have a hard stance against racism and have a life filled with friends who have little or no racial bias (but acres of financial/legal problems despite the theoretical value of their whiteness)

            That “theoretical” value can be seen quite cleary in statistics pertaining to arrest and jail time.

            Keep in mind, any racial bias doesn’t come from hate, but from something far more insidious and ubiquitous–ignorance. We’re all guilty of it at some time or another.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I am exceedingly bias conscious…especially with regard to my own (yes I have them…but knowing I have them means I can work to counter them…you’re right about the ignorance…its everywhere)…which have been picked through in minute detail over the course of my life.

            I fall into Example B…and live among Example A in my examples above. I’ve seen first hand the benefits that come with my slight difference of class. I speak the language, and know how to deal with the manager class that decides our fates when we become entangled with the law or administration. The further one goes into Northern Michigan, the population of black citizens dwindles…but the crime and poverty are still high…and the arrest records shift exclusively to a class based direct attack on the impoverished, who receive little or no legal counsel/aid (except the usual assigned reps who instruct you to plead guilty and beg for mercy). Rolls for unemployment are high, underemployment is a way of life, and opportunity is slim. All the whiteness in the world has not lent the lower class a lofty position.

            I am familiar with white privilege, but again…I still contend that much of these perceived advantages from whiteness alone are actually sourced elsewhere. There is much written regarding white privilege…and its often subject to the same bias that all other humans suffer from: a non-white persons POV regarding the lives and advantages of whites. Likewise a white, wealthy author from an ivy league background…their experience is largely limited to insulated wealth and safety…which isn’t the POV for about 90% of the rest of us. The writings may include valid observations…but also inaccurate ones because there’s as much experience in being white among blacks as there is being black among whites. Likewise a well off author can postulate about being poor…but the f*cker hasn’t drunk water from public fountains to keep his belly full after day 3 without food…I have.

            Am I less likely to be stopped by a cop? Almost certainly in certain areas (LA, NYC, Detroit, Chicago etc)…but go north and rural until race ceases to be an issue…and the racial aspects vanish…but the harassment, intimidation and discrimination doesn’t end…it just becomes invisible because its white on white/police&courts vs the rest of us. Racism can get cameras on it…classism is everywhere and largely lost in the ‘white noise’.

            I’m grateful for the parents I had, the education I sort of got in a rural area school that repeatedly crashed from underfunding, for only getting in fights where sticks, bottles and knives were involved instead of guns (it was the 70s and 80s tho…times have changed). Most of my advantage comes from parents who had education, spoke like educated people, and gave me a passion for books that allowed me to educate myself far beyond the parameters of the town and life I was born in. I used a lot of public resources at first, because Locke and Voltaire and more are found easily in any library…but I worked out how to use my advantages to best effect after graduation. Erect posture, polite speech, firm handshake, easy smile…all the tools you need to get a chance from a stranger and show them you can work well with others. They aren’t derived from melanin…but from having the good fortune to absorb these lessons from parents that passed them down. I don’t get the credit for them…that goes to my parents and grandparents…I just get a nod for having the good sense to observe the tools for access to opportunity…and picking them up and using them instead of rejecting them as BS.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Like I told Chaorder Gradient, money or the lack thereof can indeed be a barrier higher and stronger at times than race, but in a class system you’re more often than not competing against those in your own class stratum. Oprah competes against people like Bill Gates, and who do you think wins that battle?

            Saying “class is more of an issue than race” is tempting, but its also a method people use to push race issues to the backround. It’s easy for white people to ignore race. That is white privilege. Non-whites aren’t able, do not have the option, of ignoring race.

            Because some non-whites are wealthier than whites does not mean white privilege doesn’t exist, that institutionalized racism doesn’t exist, that being white doesn’t give you advantages that non-whites don’t have.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I’m sure there are places where entrenched, institutionalized racism is worse than usual. Shit…one of those places is Howell MI…where Klansmen are still active and militias are a dime a dozen, a satellite north of Detroit where bigots fled in the aftermath of the 60s and 70s. I may have the ‘privilege’ of not worrying about my race…but it doesn’t mean much when, even with no crimes underway, violations outstanding or anything else to draw fire, I’m still spooked as hell when cops pull me over because I and so many others I know have been railroaded, strip searched, perp walked and generally abused and degraded at random. (Cripes…in one case it was my brothers wife getting the riot act on the way to work…as a nurse. She got chewed out and almost got arrested for asking what she’d done to merit a search. We may never know what the reason was…but clearly whiteness and professional status didn’t protect her from harassment and intimidation. All that spared her was the good sense to suddenly clam up and just wait til it was over without any further complaint.)

            I liked the Tim Wise video…but hes selling goods his audience enjoys hearing…and its a lot more valid in the South than anywhere else. I’m from so far north that there is no slave culture historically. None. Shit…slavery was already en route to ending by the time that part of the U.P. was incorporated as a Michigan territory. It was thinly populated by Irish, Welsh, Swede and Polish farmers and miners. Tim Wise hastily poo-pooed anyone white who claims a non-racist, non-privileged heritage…by saying that if they bother to make the argument, they must be sensitive about it, which means they’re lying or wrong. Pure fallacy.

            There were no 10000 acre land grants for us (and he did make surveying an entire state sound like a cakewalk for his ancestor…clearly his tubby butt has never surveyed an acre in his life. I’ve surveyed only 120 acres…its exhausting…don’t try it if you can avoid it.) The family farm is intact after over 150 years. Still tiny, never worked by any hand that wasn’t born into the family. Our heritage is passed down poems and an old bible and the instruction to read because no one will do it for you. My dad’s education from running like the wind and getting a scholarship…not from his dad being a pillar of the community or drawing a loan or being bailed out by a wealthy ancestor (we had none). My dad didn’t escape Vietnam through privilege…he was drafted and chose to volunteer and buck for pilot rather than go the route of infantry. He passed the classes because he was smart and hated to fail.

            It may be an accident of birth…but when you come from a place where there are literally NO black people to ‘get one over on’ or have advantage over, where you yourself are the low class farmers and ditch diggers for crap wages and there were no slaves to compete for that status with…its hard to swallow a collective notion of guilt, but damned easy to believe that all persons who apply themselves and work hard deserve a chance. You can stand against racism not based upon some vague guilt…but because it is self evident that it is wrong and cheapens all persons involved in it.

            The driving force for change in racial dynamics is to return the support of public education and put a stop to the cycle of drug war hyper-sentencing WHILE returning investment to urban areas and making access to opportunity…but we also have to begin a cycle of VESTING young people of color with the tools that allow opportunity to be grabbed hold of and used. You can legally strip away all institutional bias, offer free perks and gifts of every kind…and a person with no ability to make use of those gifts effectively can still fail to thrive. Changing this is probably the single most desperately necessary factor.

          • Tuna Ghost

            He’s got another good video on class that supports some of your points, over here:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Xe1kX7Wsc

          • Tuna Ghost

            Shit, you’re from the UP?? I lived in Detroit for a few years…damn the UP is barely part of America, I can believe things up there function a bit differently than in the D…

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Yeah :-) It’s a beautiful place. The old homestead is across the bridge and east toward Sault Ste. Marie. Every tiny town up there is a trip into a time machine. The rural poverty is only reduced by a small amount of aid…its mostly mitigated by barter and ingenuity. It’s hell on the young though. The ones that don’t leave and don’t have opportunities hit the skids…badly. Meth has been a problem in every rural county for years now. I fear for the future.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Really good lecture on white privilege and how insidiously invisible it is to those who enjoy its benefits, and how damaging it is to us all regardless of race or class

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA&feature=related

          • chubby

            another for the last word junkies…..
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oYtzBf3z6g

          • Tuna Ghost

            Oi! C’mon guy, it’s not a last-word contest. It’s a discussion that I’ve been enjoying. (hides “last word” trophies under sofa)

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            You seem to redefine racism as “merely” prejudiced, as an arguing point as if prejudice is perfectly alright. I’ll reiterate where I see you are wrong, racism is the attitude(negative OR positive) that people have about another race, irrespective of those particular races. The actions taken on account of these racist attitudes are racist actions, and they can in fact be positive or negative as well.

            It even gets more complex than that when it can appear positive and actually be negative at a personal level. Ask a well-doing hardworking black man his opinions of affirmative action, and there is a good chance that he will see it as a bad thing; it cheapens his hard work, and he will never know if he is performing at an equal level or on merit, or if he is being given extra support. Additionally it adds ammo for the real racists out there who will go around assuming every black man in college is inferior and only there because he is fulfilling a quota.

            On a completely separate note, the dissecting every sentence of my reply with a comment is mildly annoying and not useful for discussion. I don’t need to re-read my own comment; just make your points and move on.

          • Tuna Ghost

            You seem to redefine racism as “merely” prejudiced, as an arguing point as if prejudice is perfectly alright.

            Not perfectly alright, just almost universal. We are constantly pre-judging one another, sometimes it is a useful skill and sometimes it is simply inappropriate.

            I’ll reiterate where I see you are wrong, racism is the attitude(negative OR positive) that people have about another race, irrespective of those particular races.

            No matter how much you re-iterate, it won’t make it correct. You are pre-judging someone when you ascribe them qualities based on race. This becomes racism when you enforce yours, or someone else’s, opinions on them that stem from this pre-judging.

            On a completely separate note, the dissecting every sentence of my reply with a comment is mildly annoying and not useful for discussion. I don’t need to re-read my own comment; just make your points and move on.

            This is a sensitive and important topic that deserves to be tackled point by point, not in general vagueries that skip over small but important bits. Discussions on race are rarely comfortable for all invovled, but this doesn’t mean they’re not important or shouldn’t be engaged. I appreciate your patience.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the semantics of the issue. Its the least important part. The crux of what I’m trying to get at is that what you call prejudice against the privileged, can be harmful for the whole situation. It makes allies on what could be called the other side invisible, and alienates potential allies as well. I don’t mean to say forgive and forget everything, but there need to be fundamental changes in attitude on both sides for progress to happen.

            And I appreciate your patience as well, the best and the most constructive arguments are those that are civil between opposing views.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Very well. If you’re anything like me, though, and like a good eye-opening mindfuck, definitely read up on the concept of “white privilege”. Tim Wise is a big name, you can see one of his lectures here:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA&feature=related

          • chubby

            this will require a universal change of heart, and who can change the hearts of men?

      • omission

        Bigotry has no color barriers, a false sense of pride, the delusion that comes along with it can create an illusion of happiness.

        • Tuna Ghost

          Bigotry does not equal racism, buddy

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s easy to see how simultaneously connecting to other humans and eliminating a big source of cognitive dissonance can be appealing.

    If you’re willing to never, ever, ever leave the confines of your narrow little ethnic enclave. If that’s even possible anymore.

    I’m all for the ethnic pride thing. Just not so exclusively. It’s a tough call where to draw the line; everyone’s got to balance their own need for security versus their curiosity, and the target’s shifting all the time.

    Maybe the point is not to render the question in such absolutist terms. After all, there isn’t even a stable set of biological criteria for defining race or ethnicity.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, it’s easy to see how simultaneously connecting to other humans and eliminating a big source of cognitive dissonance can be appealing.

    If you’re willing to never, ever, ever leave the confines of your narrow little ethnic enclave. If that’s even possible anymore.

    I’m all for the ethnic pride thing. Just not so exclusively. It’s a tough call where to draw the line; everyone’s got to balance their own need for security versus their curiosity, and the target’s shifting all the time.

    Maybe the point is not to render the question in such absolutist terms. After all, there isn’t even a stable set of biological criteria for defining race or ethnicity.

  • Lgolos

    Excellent demonstration of how psychology is garbage

  • JoiquimCouteau

    Excellent demonstration of how psychology is garbage

    • Andrew

      In what way?

      • JoiquimCouteau

        Anyone can put forth any number of mutually exclusive theories based on statistics or questionnaires, and they are reported in the press by virtue of the author’s PhD.

        • Andrew

          Maybe, but I think Haystack and Adalis have better explanations. Dismissal doesn’t really explain anything.

          • JoiquimCouteau

            It’s not dismissal, it’s a rejection of arbitrary distinctions. A worthless theory is not better than no theory.

          • Andrew

            What arbitrary distinctions are you rejecting?

          • JoiquimCouteau

            To copy-paste from the intro of the study,

            “In this research, we use the Multidimensional Model of Racial
            Identity (Sellers et al., 1998), which suggests that an individual’s
            racial identity comprises three stable dimensions. Two of these
            dimensions are racial centrality and racial regard. Racial centrality
            refers to the importance of race to the self-concept. Racial regard
            is the evaluative dimension of identity and has two components.
            Private regard refers to the degree to which individuals feel
            positively toward their racial group and being a racial group
            member. Public regard refers to individuals’ perceptions of how
            the larger society views their racial group. These three elements
            are considered to be important aspects of one’s racial identity.”

          • Tuna Ghost

            How exactly does that mean the distinctions are “arbitrary”?

          • JoiquimCouteau

            How aren’t they? Any number of categories can be generated for any manner of data, and the results of a study are dependent at least as much on the categories chosen as on the data collected (which is itself influenced by the categorization). There are many thousands of psychology grad students and PhDs who spend millions of hours running this sort of study; apart from saying ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and forgetting about them, of what use are they to those of us who don’t use them to secure grant money?

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Arguably you could think of it as cognitive gerrymandering. Drawing arbitrary lines around our linguistics to claim something statistically when the data-sets are defining it for us.

  • Andrew

    In what way?

  • Happy Black Guy

    What a flaming load of rancid horseshit.

  • Happy Black Guy

    What a flaming load of rancid horseshit.

  • Lgolos

    Anyone can put forth any number of mutually exclusive theories based on statistics or questionnaires, and they are reported in the press by virtue of the author’s PhD.

  • Adalis

    This obviously goes back to the slavery days. People who have been victimized feel better about themselves when they can identify with others who share similar experiences. This can also be seen in other minority groups around the world. Another good example would be the homosexual community. There’s always a gay pride parade and other activities, but you don’t see a heterosexual pride parade. I also think it depends on how one views themself.

  • Adalis

    This obviously goes back to the slavery days. People who have been victimized feel better about themselves when they can identify with others who share similar experiences. This can also be seen in other minority groups around the world. Another good example would be the homosexual community. There’s always a gay pride parade and other activities, but you don’t see a heterosexual pride parade. I also think it depends on how one views themself.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    It seems like this would be true of any form of group identification. If you identify strongly as an African American, you probably perceive yourself as member of a community from which you draw friends, family, support, activities, etc. If you identify strongly as a New Yorker, a gamer, a member of a trade, and so on, then you are likewise probably well-integrated into a community and more happy than you would otherwise have been.

    Probably, there’s nothing special about racial identity as opposed to the simple fact of being well-integrated into a community of one sort or another.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    It seems like this would be true of any form of group identification. If you identify strongly as an African American, you probably perceive yourself as member of a community from which you draw friends, family, support, activities, etc. If you identify strongly as a New Yorker, a gamer, a member of a trade, and so on, then you are likewise probably well-integrated into a community and more happy than you would otherwise have been.

    Probably, there’s nothing special about racial identity as opposed to the simple fact of being well-integrated into a community of one sort or another.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    So your interpretation is that racism makes you happier?

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    whoa…. I never thought about it that way… but… now that you say it, yeah.
    Do racists enjoy putting down other people, I would expect that they do, or they wouldn’t do it.

  • omission

    Bigotry has no color barriers, a false sense of pride, the delusion that comes along with it can create an illusion of happiness.

  • Bethy

    What’s with all the knee-jerk responses equating strong racial identity with racism?

  • Bethy

    What’s with all the knee-jerk responses equating strong racial identity with racism?

    • Tuna Ghost

      Yes, I noticed it too. I imagine its a white person thing. In white culture, you don’t need to strongly identify with your racial identity because society does all that for you; the only ones who do are seen as racist white supremacists.

    • chubby

      “Don’t just feel sorry for the poor Yaqui Indians,” he had said. “Feel sorry for mankind. In the case of the Yaqui Indians, I can even say they’re the lucky ones. They are oppressed, and because of that, some of them may come out triumphant in the end. But the oppressors, the petty tyrants that tread upon them, they don’t have a chance in hell.”

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Its a deep seeded issue. The so called “white people thing” comes from from being constantly told that because a white person is in fact white, he cannot have useful input because he seemingly doesn’t know how it feels to be repressed in one manner or another(this seems to ignore the fact that a class system does exist that does still hurt all races). Arguably you might even think white people as jealous of racial identity; they cannot identify with a “white” race because a definitive white culture does not exist in the same sense that a KKK member would have you believe. If it ever did exist, it is long gone now. This is due to the fact that trying to identify with your race when you are white is immediately considered racist. This puts a wall around racial identity for white people, it is essentially illegal. This has given a white person a split personality as it comes to race. On one end its wanting to be able to identify with your race and feeling unable to from society’s point of view, on the other end, you have those that see the concepts of race and therefore racism as appalling, and want the elimination of them. They want to see individuals for who they are. Some are on one side, some are on the other, and some try to make concessions for both. This makes for a very schizophrenic racial identity.

      I’m sort of on the fence, but more on the “eliminate racism” side. My big contention is that if you identify with your own race more than you do with humanity as a whole you are more likely to be, create, or associate with racist people than those who identify with human beings as a whole.

      I think everyone needs to see the South Park episode about the discussion over the city’s flag where people are disputing the flag as racist. The kids just didn’t see the color of the skin, and could not fathom the racist tones on the flag.

      • Tuna Ghost

        The so called “white people thing” comes from from being constantly told that because a white person is in fact white, he cannot have useful input because he seemingly doesn’t know how it feels to be repressed in one manner or another(this seems to ignore the fact that a class system does exist that does still hurt all races).

        This is the crux of the problem: simply put, no, white people do not “understand” what it is like to be an ethnic minority. You do not, regardless of what you may believe, share those experiences. Read up on “white privilege”.

        Regarding southpark, I’m reminded of this quote “An adult saying ‘I don’t see color, just people’ is basically saying ‘I mean well, but I’m dumb as fuck'”.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Just because the experience isn’t directly there, or exactly the same, empathy and vigilance can assist in getting an idea of how bad it can be. Sure, because the power of the emotions that are involved in terrible experiences aren’t directly felt, I accept that it is not known in its purity. However, this does not completely disqualify us from having useful input.

          Personally you can call me dumb as fuck as you like, but I prefer to ignore color. I’ve always seen racism as just another distraction (just as distracting as the left-right paradigm). Maybe the privilege you speak of is simply that I can see the real issues are up-down, elites vs. not-so-elite. The racism is a false battle where one group has a superiority complex and wants to hold onto it, and the other group have been repressed for such a long time that they see one enemy: the racists. Both sides toil in endless combat while the puppet masters on top screw over everyone.

          However in this discourse I just had a sickening thought over sort of a cosmology of the political atmosphere in this country… I need to mull over it for a bit.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Personally you can call me dumb as fuck as you like, but I prefer to ignore color.

            This. This is white privilege. You are able to ignore color. Actual people of color, however, are not so lucky. Skin color, their own or other people’s, and the issues they cause, are not ignorable because they effect their lives in very basic ways. I know you mean well, but ignoring race and race issues is not going to help anything or anyone but yourself, friend.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            Yeah… As I writing it, that sort of clicked in my mind, I had to sit down for a bit and think it over. I need to do a little re-writing in my mind I guess…

            There are things to be aware of, and I see things in a different light, but I think there is a younger generation arising (I’m probably at the oldest tip of this surfacing iceberg) who see things the way I have.

            I think the problem is a little deeper than an ability to ignore color though. An ability implies a choice. I’m so blind to color in such a way because I don’t have a racial identity to speak of. It has been destroyed essentially, so much that I have reservations that racial identity could ever be a good thing. However, I’m torn; I cannot say whether that is just a bias from years of the lack of a racial identity.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Yeah it’s a bit tricky, isn’t it? The US is pretty much bankrupt as far as culture goes, at least compared to other countries. I was basically raised as much by TV as by my parents, so I shudder to think what constitutes my native “culture”…

            This whole topic is a minefield, but you seem like an open-minded person who genuinely gives a shit, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. Thanks for listening, apologies if I was a bit aggressive. This is an important issue for me.

  • Andrew

    Maybe, but I think Haystack and Adalis have better explanations. Dismissal doesn’t really explain anything.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Bigotry does not equal racism, buddy

  • Tuna Ghost

    Yes, I noticed it too. I imagine its a white person thing. In white culture, you don’t need to strongly identify with your racial identity because society does all that for you; the only ones who do are seen as racist white supremacists.

  • chubby

    “Don’t just feel sorry for the poor Yaqui Indians,” he had said. “Feel sorry for mankind. In the case of the Yaqui Indians, I can even say they’re the lucky ones. They are oppressed, and because of that, some of them may come out triumphant in the end. But the oppressors, the petty tyrants that tread upon them, they don’t have a chance in hell.”

  • Lgolos

    It’s not dismissal, it’s a rejection of arbitrary distinctions. A worthless theory is not better than no theory.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    “Black pride” isn’t usually about putting down other people. It sounds more like the people in this study just feel more connected to their social group. We can discuss how valid it is for anyone to feel pride over something as arbitrary as race, but my sense is that this has more to do with having a support system and feeling that you belong than any misguided sense of racial superiority.

  • Andrew

    What arbitrary distinctions are you rejecting?

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    A support system devoted to only supporting one race is still racist in a sense, its just a more benevolent form. If a support system only allows support for a single race, it is in fact excluding the rest of the races. It is so taboo to have a whites-only support system because we are constantly berated by the idea that it is racist to exclude other races. As a rule I hold no double standards in any sense, so therefore a black, hispanic, or chinese only support system is in fact racist in the same manner the white only one is.

    The distinction is whites are considered “privileged” because the majority (entirety?) of the super-rich and very rich are white. This does not discount the fact that there are dirt-poor white people with less ways of being helped than a “minority”.

    We should do away with all these conceptions of race, if we just had poverty support systems as opposed to racial based ones, things could be better. The issue with this however is that there are still the remains of tribal attitudes out there where if you aren’t of my tribe(race) then you need to be slain. That has to be disposed of first. We however are too afraid to bridge cultural boundaries as it stands now.

    Racism is a great titan, and it has to die organically, and not synthetically.

  • Lgolos

    To copy-paste from the intro of the study,

    “In this research, we use the Multidimensional Model of Racial
    Identity (Sellers et al., 1998), which suggests that an individual’s
    racial identity comprises three stable dimensions. Two of these
    dimensions are racial centrality and racial regard. Racial centrality
    refers to the importance of race to the self-concept. Racial regard
    is the evaluative dimension of identity and has two components.
    Private regard refers to the degree to which individuals feel
    positively toward their racial group and being a racial group
    member. Public regard refers to individuals’ perceptions of how
    the larger society views their racial group. These three elements
    are considered to be important aspects of one’s racial identity.”

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    A lot of people would say that American society itself has been “whites-only support system,” which makes the idea of “white pride” or “white identity” less a taboo than a redundancy.

    But I agree with you that we need to move past racial categories.

  • Tuna Ghost

    A support system devoted to only supporting one race is still racist in a sense,…

    Nope. Racism is prejudice added to power and privilege. Without the privilege and power white people hold, it isn’t racism.

    It is so taboo to have a whites-only support system because we are constantly berated by the idea that it is racist to exclude other races.

    American society, in fact much of western society, is a whites-only support system in many ways. Read up on “white privilege”.

    As a rule I hold no double standards in any sense, so therefore a black, hispanic, or chinese only support system is in fact racist in the same manner the white only one is.

    Afraid not, friend. As noted earlier, racism is prejudice added to power and privilege. There is no “reverse-racism”, the very term implies a notion that racism is supposed to only go one way.

    The distinction is whites are considered “privileged” because the majority (entirety?) of the super-rich and very rich are white. This does not discount the fact that there are dirt-poor white people with less ways of being helped than a “minority”.

    Whites are considered “privileged” because whites are privileged in a way minorities are not, regardless of class or income. I’ve heard white people argue that when they’re out wearing urban clothing they’re stopped by police as much as black people, thus proving that they’re not “privileged”–but consider that they’re being stopped precisely because they’re wearing the trappings of minority groups, and thus are viewed as a possible threat.

    We should do away with all these conceptions of race,…

    Easy for you to say, buddy.

    …if we just had poverty support systems as opposed to racial based ones, things could be better.

    We do have those, many many of those.

    The issue with this however is that there are still the remains of tribal attitudes out there where if you aren’t of my tribe(race) then you need to be slain. That has to be disposed of first. We however are too afraid to bridge cultural boundaries as it stands now.

    You will be assimilated? Resistance is futile? I’m not necessarily arguing with this, but I wonder if you’re aware of the implications.

  • Tuna Ghost

    How exactly does that mean the distinctions are “arbitrary”?

  • chubby

    this will require a universal change of heart, and who can change the hearts of men?

  • Ironaddict06

    Here is the problem I have with BLACK people err. I mean African Americans, they identify themselves African or Black first. Ex: I am an African America. I’m a Black Preacher. I want to celebrate the Black awards for blank, Africa is my motherland, etc.They go out of the way to make sure you know and remember they are black. Their best comedian-is all based on making fun of white people. Yea, it is funny-but what if the comedian made fun of the African Americans-wearing pants down to your knees to show your Underwear, your car cost more than your house etc?

  • Ironaddict06

    Here is the problem I have with BLACK people err. I mean African Americans, they identify themselves African or Black first. Ex: I am an African America. I’m a Black Preacher. I want to celebrate the Black awards for blank, Africa is my motherland, etc.They go out of the way to make sure you know and remember they are black. Their best comedian-is all based on making fun of white people. Yea, it is funny-but what if the comedian made fun of the African Americans-wearing pants down to your knees to show your Underwear, your car cost more than your house etc?

  • Lgolos

    How aren’t they? Any number of categories can be generated for any manner of data, and the results of a study are dependent at least as much on the categories chosen as on the data collected (which is itself influenced by the categorization). There are many thousands of psychology grad students and PhDs who spend millions of hours running this sort of study; apart from saying ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and forgetting about them, of what use are they to those of us who don’t use them to secure grant money?

  • chubby

    if I remember correctly assimilation was standardized with the romans, who would leave a garrison of troops in the lands they conquered, since the indigenous men were slain, they would interbreed with the remnants, the children would be given roman citizenship if they then joined the roman army. even in the usa, boarding schools were used to assimilate the indigenous population, the conquered people were not allowed to speak their own languages and forbidden to practice their traditions. wonder how that all went? but alas, not all was lost…..

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Well it’s clear there are a lot of points that we disagree upon, but the only major one I’ll contest is your definition of racism. Power and privilege allows for the more devious aspects of racism to play out, but it is not inherent in defining it. Racism is simply the attitude that races are fundamentally different in quality of ability, mind, soul, or any other important aspect.

    I’m also not arguing that racism isn’t alive and thriving in favor of whites. I do however see people as people no matter who they are, and just because someone is white it cannot be assumed that he has extreme privilege simply because of the color of his skin.

    I will say though that I’m confused about you’re bringing up reverse racism(a nonsense term.. racism is racism, there is no directionality). It seemed slightly contradictory, I said that a one-race support system is bad no matter what race it is in favor of. The way it looked, your response was to both say that white-only support systems are racist and say black only-support systems aren’t because the latter would be reverse racism which doesn’t exist?

    I guess our difference here is that you see racism as having a direction of privileged putting down the underprivileged, while I see the existence of reactionary (arguably justified) hatred of the privileged from the underprivileged. If I’m putting words in your mouth then say so, but it seems you only see the former as racism, while I see both sides of the coin as racism. To end racism both sides need to stop, not just one, or a reactionary cycle continues on forever. Now, I think we’ll both agree that the feasibility of achieving this is debatable, and the implications of a transition would be something that needs dramatic consideration.

  • Fake

    I never had a strong racial identity, I never felt part of the culture of my country. My identity comes from the media: movies, videogames, books and recently, the Internet. I don’t consider myself an unhappy person, I just had to find happiness in other places.

  • Fake

    I never had a strong racial identity, I never felt part of the culture of my country. My identity comes from the media: movies, videogames, books and recently, the Internet. I don’t consider myself an unhappy person, I just had to find happiness in other places.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If you have the sense to contemplate who you are, where you came from and how you got here…odds are your smart enough to be happier than other folks just on principle. It isn’t ‘black power’ exclusive…I’m Irish mostly, and I can trace my ancestor back to the coffin ship that brought him to the Americas in the 1840s, where he homesteaded a tiny farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that remains in the family even now. I like Irish music, myth and legends, and made my self conversant in at least the basics of Irish history. None of this inspires hate or contempt for anyone else…no racial bias overtones or sense of superiority. I’m sure Hungarian history is just as awesome…I’m just not Hungarian. A lot of people read racism into the possession of a racial identity…unnecessarily. I’m sure there are people who take it too far…and I’m sure they come from every walk of life (lots of Polish National Halls in my area…but you never see them or hear them being anything other than happily Polish…not marching for the creation of an all-Pole state.)

    The most common mistake people make about racism is the inclusion of any kind of cultural bias as an extension of racism. By attacking someone with a highly charged word like racist…over a trivial cultural bias…a person only sets the stage for division and offense. Cultural bias is almost universal among humans…to one extent or another, all our perceptions and attitudes are built on the back of early experiences, which form our first definition of normalcy. This isn’t a crime…this is a state of being.

    Overcoming bias and not falling into the traps of racism (defined as the belief that another race is actually inferior or of less value) is simpler than one might imagine…most people accomplish it to a greater or lesser degree early in life…by leaving home and developing a level of comfort in strange surroundings and discovering that other families have other origins and customs and norms. The only real error is attaching a positive or negative value to customs or traditions that don’t involve serious harm to others. (Different holidays, foods, marriage rites, etc.) You can be biased about all of these things and simply like or dislike them personally without attaching any greater meaning to it than that…because bias is life.

    Without bias…no matter how many times you were burnt by an oven or bit by a snake…you’d never develop the inclination to avoid those experiences. It has a purpose and a place. Being conscious of your biases and where they come from, and being conscious of your origins and where you come from, are just part of being a whole person. Take from that what you will…and go in peace.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If you have the sense to contemplate who you are, where you came from and how you got here…odds are your smart enough to be happier than other folks just on principle. It isn’t ‘black power’ exclusive…I’m Irish mostly, and I can trace my ancestor back to the coffin ship that brought him to the Americas in the 1840s, where he homesteaded a tiny farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that remains in the family even now. I like Irish music, myth and legends, and made my self conversant in at least the basics of Irish history. None of this inspires hate or contempt for anyone else…no racial bias overtones or sense of superiority. I’m sure Hungarian history is just as awesome…I’m just not Hungarian. A lot of people read racism into the possession of a racial identity…unnecessarily. I’m sure there are people who take it too far…and I’m sure they come from every walk of life (lots of Polish National Halls in my area…but you never see them or hear them being anything other than happily Polish…not marching for the creation of an all-Pole state.)

    The most common mistake people make about racism is the inclusion of any kind of cultural bias as an extension of racism. By attacking someone with a highly charged word like racist…over a trivial cultural bias…a person only sets the stage for division and offense. Cultural bias is almost universal among humans…to one extent or another, all our perceptions and attitudes are built on the back of early experiences, which form our first definition of normalcy. This isn’t a crime…this is a state of being.

    Overcoming bias and not falling into the traps of racism (defined as the belief that another race is actually inferior or of less value) is simpler than one might imagine…most people accomplish it to a greater or lesser degree early in life…by leaving home and developing a level of comfort in strange surroundings and discovering that other families have other origins and customs and norms. The only real error is attaching a positive or negative value to customs or traditions that don’t involve serious harm to others. (Different holidays, foods, marriage rites, etc.) You can be biased about all of these things and simply like or dislike them personally without attaching any greater meaning to it than that…because bias is life.

    Without bias…no matter how many times you were burnt by an oven or bit by a snake…you’d never develop the inclination to avoid those experiences. It has a purpose and a place. Being conscious of your biases and where they come from, and being conscious of your origins and where you come from, are just part of being a whole person. Take from that what you will…and go in peace.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Racism is simply the attitude that races are fundamentally different in quality of ability, mind, soul, or any other important aspect.

    That is not racism, despite what you may believe. That is prejudice. For it to be enacted, to become racism, it has to be coupled with power (direct racism) and/or privilege (indirect racism). Everyone has prejudices to varying degrees, but without power or privilege these prejudicial ideas cannot be forced upon others. It is when prejudice becomes enforced that is becomes racism. These are important distinctions.

    I do however see people as people no matter who they are, and just because someone is white it cannot be assumed that he has extreme privilege simply because of the color of his skin.

    “Extreme” is a vague term in this conversation, but at any rate: being white gives you privilege that non-whites do not have. This is not even debated anymore, really. The problem is privilege is often invisible to those who benefit from it, leading them to believe it doesn’t exist until the statistics and facts are brought to their attention.

    I will say though that I’m confused about you’re bringing up reverse racism(a nonsense term.. racism is racism, there is no directionality).

    “Reverse-racism” is the term usually applied to percieved racism against whites. My apologies, you didn’t use the term itself but were only describing it.

    It seemed slightly contradictory, I said that a one-race support system is bad no matter what race it is in favor of. The way it looked, your response was to both say that white-only support systems are racist and say black only-support systems aren’t because the latter would be reverse racism which doesn’t exist?

    White-only support systems are racist because a support system that gives advantages only to the ethnic majority are racist. They support a system that already gives privileges to whites over non-whites, thus helping deprive ethnic minorities of these same privileges. For ethnic minorities to have these support systems is NOT the same thing, and saying it is only furthers the problem. There is a matter of who has the power in society. This is important.

    I guess our difference here is that you see racism as having a direction of privileged putting down the underprivileged,…

    Yes, because that’s what it is. It isn’t racism unless prejudicial ideas are being enforced by those in power.

    …while I see the existence of reactionary (arguably justified) hatred of the privileged from the underprivileged.

    This isn’t racism.

    If I’m putting words in your mouth then say so, but it seems you only see the former as racism, while I see both sides of the coin as racism.

    And you are incorrect. It’s a common misconception that many labour under. It is not a coin with two symmetrical sides.

    To end racism both sides need to stop, not just one, or a reactionary cycle continues on forever.

    Can you understand why ethnic minorities might not take kindly to white people saying “hey you know the last 400 plus years of exploitation and human rights abuses that led directly to a system in which white people have privleges you don’t and will never have? Time for you to get over it. I mean, I’ve forgiven you for being angry, so…”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m not sure the implication that racism doesn’t actually exist until its deployed effectively by someone with the power to make it a policy is accurate. The average KKK or Aryan Nation is a true racist, wholly devoted to the concept that their race is superior in all ways to others. They may still be unemployed losers with no real power of any kind…but they are genuine racists…not merely ‘prejudiced’ because they have no real power.

    Your definition works for defining institutionalized racism…but it falls short on a personal level. Actual contempt for other races and a belief in racial superiority is the core of what constitutes racism…and it is routinely engaged in by the also disenfranchised, often as an outlet for their frustrations regarding their own powerlessness.

  • auh

    OH LOOK ANOTHER OPRAH DROP.

    Why don’t you guys just come out and say it? Oprah owns Disinfo.

  • auh

    OH LOOK ANOTHER OPRAH DROP.

    Why don’t you guys just come out and say it? Oprah owns Disinfo.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Precisely what I was trying to get across, just done in a more clear way than I probably would have.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    You seem to redefine racism as “merely” prejudiced, as an arguing point as if prejudice is perfectly alright. I’ll reiterate where I see you are wrong, racism is the attitude(negative OR positive) that people have about another race, irrespective of those particular races. The actions taken on account of these racist attitudes are racist actions, and they can in fact be positive or negative as well.

    It even gets more complex than that when it can appear positive and actually be negative at a personal level. Ask a well-doing hardworking black man his opinions of affirmative action, and there is a good chance that he will see it as a bad thing; it cheapens his hard work, and he will never know if he is performing at an equal level or on merit, or if he is being given extra support. Additionally it adds ammo for the real racists out there who will go around assuming every black man in college is inferior and only there because he is fulfilling a quota.

    On a completely separate note, the dissecting every sentence of my reply with a comment is mildly annoying and not useful for discussion. I don’t need to re-read my own comment; just make your points and move on.

  • Andrew

    There are also other forms of prejudice–like sexism, homophobia, misopedia, and classism–that are often coupled with power.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Arguably you could think of it as cognitive gerrymandering. Drawing arbitrary lines around our linguistics to claim something statistically when the data-sets are defining it for us.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Its a deep seeded issue. The so called “white people thing” comes from from being constantly told that because a white person is in fact white, he cannot have useful input because he seemingly doesn’t know how it feels to be repressed in one manner or another(this seems to ignore the fact that a class system does exist that does still hurt all races). Arguably you might even think white people as jealous of racial identity; they cannot identify with a “white” race because a definitive white culture does not exist in the same sense that a KKK member would have you believe. If it ever did exist, it is long gone now. This is due to the fact that trying to identify with your race when you are white is immediately considered racist. This puts a wall around racial identity for white people, it is essentially illegal. This has given a white person a split personality as it comes to race. On one end its wanting to be able to identify with your race and feeling unable to from society’s point of view, on the other end, you have those that see the concepts of race and therefore racism as appalling, and want the elimination of them. They want to see individuals for who they are. Some are on one side, some are on the other, and some try to make concessions for both. This makes for a very schizophrenic racial identity.

    I’m sort of on the fence, but more on the “eliminate racism” side. My big contention is that if you identify with your own race more than you do with humanity as a whole you are more likely to be, create, or associate with racist people than those who identify with human beings as a whole.

    I think everyone needs to see the South Park episode about the discussion over the city’s flag where people are disputing the flag as racist, and the kids just didn’t see the color of the skin, and could not fathom the racist tones on the flag.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Its a deep seeded issue. The so called “white people thing” comes from from being constantly told that because a white person is in fact white, he cannot have useful input because he seemingly doesn’t know how it feels to be repressed in one manner or another(this seems to ignore the fact that a class system does exist that does still hurt all races). Arguably you might even think white people as jealous of racial identity; they cannot identify with a “white” race because a definitive white culture does not exist in the same sense that a KKK member would have you believe. If it ever did exist, it is long gone now. This is due to the fact that trying to identify with your race when you are white is immediately considered racist. This puts a wall around racial identity for white people, it is essentially illegal. This has given a white person a split personality as it comes to race. On one end its wanting to be able to identify with your race and feeling unable to from society’s point of view, on the other end, you have those that see the concepts of race and therefore racism as appalling, and want the elimination of them. They want to see individuals for who they are. Some are on one side, some are on the other, and some try to make concessions for both. This makes for a very schizophrenic racial identity.

    I’m sort of on the fence, but more on the “eliminate racism” side. My big contention is that if you identify with your own race more than you do with humanity as a whole you are more likely to be, create, or associate with racist people than those who identify with human beings as a whole.

    I think everyone needs to see the South Park episode about the discussion over the city’s flag where people are disputing the flag as racist, and the kids just didn’t see the color of the skin, and could not fathom the racist tones on the flag.

  • Tuna Ghost

    The average KKK or Aryan Nation is a true racist, wholly devoted to the concept that their race is superior in all ways to others. They may still be unemployed losers with no real power of any kind…but they are genuine racists…not merely ‘prejudiced’ because they have no real power.

    It’s not just power. Members of white supremacist groups, regardless of class or income, still have privlege that both stems from and reinforces institutionalized racism, privlege that ethnic minorities do not have access to.

    Calling an ethnic minority who prefers his or her own race “racist” is equating him or her with the sort a racism that still exists today, that is responsible for the income gap between whites and non-whites (among a great deal of other things). These two examples are not the same, and they shouldn’t be labled as identical.

  • Tuna Ghost

    You seem to redefine racism as “merely” prejudiced, as an arguing point as if prejudice is perfectly alright.

    Not perfectly alright, just almost universal. We are constantly pre-judging one another, sometimes it is a useful skill and sometimes it is simply inappropriate.

    I’ll reiterate where I see you are wrong, racism is the attitude(negative OR positive) that people have about another race, irrespective of those particular races.

    No matter how much you re-iterate, it won’t make it correct. You are pre-judging someone when you ascribe them qualities based on race. This becomes racism when you enforce yours, or someone else’s, opinions on them that stem from this pre-judging.

    On a completely separate note, the dissecting every sentence of my reply with a comment is mildly annoying and not useful for discussion. I don’t need to re-read my own comment; just make your points and move on.

    This is a sensitive and important topic that deserves to be tackled point by point, not in general vagueries that skip over small but important bits. Discussions on race are rarely comfortable for all invovled, but this doesn’t mean they’re not important or shouldn’t be engaged. I appreciate your patience.

  • Tuna Ghost

    The so called “white people thing” comes from from being constantly told that because a white person is in fact white, he cannot have useful input because he seemingly doesn’t know how it feels to be repressed in one manner or another(this seems to ignore the fact that a class system does exist that does still hurt all races).

    This is the crux of the problem: simply put, no, white people do not “understand” what it is like to be an ethnic minority. You do not, regardless of what you may believe, share those experiences. Read up on “white privilege”.

    Regarding southpark, I’m reminded of this quote “An adult saying ‘I don’t see color, just people’ is basically saying ‘I mean well, but I’m dumb as fuck'”.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the semantics of the issue. Its the least important part. The crux of what I’m trying to get at is that what you call prejudice against the privileged, can be harmful for the whole situation. It makes allies on what could be called the other side invisible, and alienates potential allies as well. I don’t mean to say forgive and forget everything, but there need to be fundamental changes in attitude on both sides for progress to happen.

    And I appreciate your patience as well, the best and the most constructive arguments are those that are civil between opposing views.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Just because the experience isn’t directly there, or exactly the same, empathy and vigilance can assist in getting an idea of how bad it can be. Sure, because the power of the emotions that are involved in terrible experiences aren’t directly felt, I accept that it is not known in its purity. However, this does not completely disqualify us from having useful input.

    Personally you can call me dumb as fuck as you like, but I prefer to ignore color. I’ve always seen racism as just another distraction (just as distracting as the left-right paradigm). Maybe the privilege you speak of is simply that I can see the real issues are up-down, elites vs. not-so-elite. The racism is a false battle where one group has a superiority complex and wants to hold onto it, and the other group have been repressed for such a long time that they see one enemy: the racists. Both sides toil in endless combat while the puppet masters on top screw over everyone.

    However in this discourse I just had a sickening thought over sort of a cosmology of the political atmosphere in this country… I need to mull over it for a bit.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well, that theoretical ‘power and privilege’ hasn’t bought them much other than a shared trailer in shabby end of town between trips to jail and generic brands from WalMart in the cupboards. It doesn’t manifest as enormous political capital, or make the completely incompetent suddenly employable. I always wonder what this power of whiteness does manifest as…

    …it’s just my experience, but I always suspected class difference as more of an influence effectively than skin color. Example A: Poor, white male, low education, poor language skills, anger issues. Gets arrested…never seems to gain any benefit from whiteness in employment, legal treatment or any other measurable phenomenon. Example B: Smart white male, raised by educated parents. Good language skills and manners. Gets in trouble but talks a good game and gets off the hook legally most of the time. Example C: Ultra rich white male. Superb education, legendary manners and appearance. Problems (tickets, DUIs, date rapes) disappear no matter what he does. Lawyers on retainer prevent any record from being kept on past behavior. College paid for, trust fund and inheritance insure permanent wealth.

    Skin color is an ever so slight advantage…if and only if it comes alongside the ability to use that advantage where it counts…ie: in a way that ingratiates you to the upper class through language skills, education and manners. Like a toolbox with only one tool…you can’t do much unless you have the full set. Is this fair? No…but it isn’t pure racism or even more than marginally race related…it has a LOT more to do with class. Take away the benefits of class…and the arrest record and unemployment rates for whites suddenly start to move much closer to those for non-whites.

    Where I’ll draw the line and agree with you somewhat is that in hiring, if two candidates are equal in all ways, education, language skills and manner/appearance…and the only difference is in skin color…the odds favor the candidate that matches the background of the employer. Unchecked cultural bias is never pretty…and can manifest as unconsciously institutionalized discrimination. Not that long ago, America was overwhelmingly white…and thus, even without the diehard racists in the mix here and there, its employers were overwhelmingly white…and the predictable pattern of people hiring the person they were most comfortable with locked into place easily. This isn’t hardened racism at play, this is the predominant culture flowing in the path its cuts for itself over generations…not necessarily with malice.

    There are places where malice becomes entrenched (Michigan- undisclosed ANG-AirForce base c.1980s) as one serious bigot finds a position of authority and pulls others into satellite around him, then institutes deliberate racist practices at their leisure. It was a case of rednecks with power and an abiding hatred of blacks…forcing menial chores and denying promotions regularly. But in a twist that kind of skews the ‘whites in power auto-pilot racism’ narrative…my Republican for life, farmboy turned fighter pilot, snow white dad was the investigator for the ANG in that case…and despite entering with skepticism and every reason to take a ‘good old boy’ at his word…pop wound up doing the research carefully, and crucified the (white) staff for their conduct, and was morally outraged that egregious visible racism was tolerated and allowed to prosper there.

    I know that the world is hardly a microcosm of my family and friends…but if I can have a hard stance against racism and have a life filled with friends who have little or no racial bias (but acres of financial/legal problems despite the theoretical value of their whiteness)…then the world of whites is neither as seamless or hostile as it is sometimes made to look. The world of class, however, remains almost impenetrable to those not born into it, skin color regardless.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Well, that theoretical ‘power and privilege’ hasn’t bought them much other than a shared trailer in shabby end of town between trips to jail and generic brands from WalMart in the cupboards. It doesn’t manifest as enormous political capital, or make the completely incompetent suddenly employable. I always wonder what this power of whiteness does manifest as…

    That’s the thing about privilege, it is almost always invisible to those that have it. Do some reading on “white privilege”.

    …it’s just my experience, …

    As a white person, you mean? Why is it, do you think, that white people feel so confident in making remarks about the experiences of ethnic minorities?

    but I always suspected class difference as more of an influence effectively than skin color.

    Well the two obviously intersect, and the lines are not always neatly drawn. Money, or lack thereof, can prove in many cases to be a barrier stronger than race or religion or whatever.

    …but if I can have a hard stance against racism and have a life filled with friends who have little or no racial bias (but acres of financial/legal problems despite the theoretical value of their whiteness)

    That “theoretical” value can be seen quite cleary in statistics pertaining to arrest and jail time.

    Keep in mind, any racial bias doesn’t come from hate, but from something far more insidious and ubiquitous–ignorance. We’re all guilty of it at some time or another.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Personally you can call me dumb as fuck as you like, but I prefer to ignore color.

    This. This is white privilege. You are able to ignore color. Actual people of color, however, are not so lucky. Skin color, their own or other people’s, and the issues they cause, are not ignorable because they effect their lives in very basic ways. I know you mean well, but ignoring race and race issues is not going to help anything or anyone but yourself, friend.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Very well. If you’re anything like me, though, and like a good eye-opening mindfuck, definitely read up on the concept of “white privilege”. Tim Wise is a big name, you can see one of his lectures here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA&feature=related

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I am exceedingly bias conscious…especially with regard to my own (yes I have them…but knowing I have them means I can work to counter them…you’re right about the ignorance…its everywhere)…which have been picked through in minute detail over the course of my life.

    I fall into Example B…and live among Example A in my examples above. I’ve seen first hand the benefits that come with my slight difference of class. I speak the language, and know how to deal with the manager class that decides our fates when we become entangled with the law or administration. The further one goes into Northern Michigan, the population of black citizens dwindles…but the crime and poverty are still high…and the arrest records shift exclusively to a class based direct attack on the impoverished, who receive little or no legal counsel/aid (except the usual assigned reps who instruct you to plead guilty and beg for mercy). Rolls for unemployment are high, underemployment is a way of life, and opportunity is slim. All the whiteness in the world has not lent the lower class a lofty position.

    I am familiar with white privilege, but again…I still contend that much of these perceived advantages from whiteness alone are actually sourced elsewhere. There is much written regarding white privilege…and its often subject to the same bias that all other humans suffer from: a non-white persons POV regarding the lives and advantages of whites. Likewise a white, wealthy author from an ivy league background…their experience is largely limited to insulated wealth and safety…which isn’t the POV for about 90% of the rest of us. The writings may include valid observations…but also inaccurate ones because there’s as much experience in being white among blacks as there is being black among whites. Likewise a well off author can postulate about being poor…but the f*cker hasn’t drunk water from public fountains to keep his belly full after day 3 without food…I have.

    Am I less likely to be stopped by a cop? Almost certainly in certain areas (LA, NYC, Detroit, Chicago etc)…but go north and rural until race ceases to be an issue…and the racial aspects vanish…but the harassment, intimidation and discrimination doesn’t end…it just becomes invisible because its white on white/police&courts vs the rest of us. Racism can get cameras on it…classism is everywhere and largely lost in the ‘white noise’.

    I’m grateful for the parents I had, the education I sort of got in a rural area school that repeatedly crashed from underfunding, for only getting in fights where sticks, bottles and knives were involved instead of guns (it was the 70s and 80s tho…times have changed). Most of my advantage comes from parents who had education, spoke like educated people, and gave me a passion for books that allowed me to educate myself far beyond the parameters of the town and life I was born in. I used a lot of public resources at first, because Locke and Voltaire and more are found easily in any library…but I worked out how to use my advantages to best effect after graduation. Erect posture, polite speech, firm handshake, easy smile…all the tools you need to get a chance from a stranger and show them you can work well with others. They aren’t derived from melanin…but from having the good fortune to absorb these lessons from parents that passed them down. I don’t get the credit for them…that goes to my parents and grandparents…I just get a nod for having the good sense to observe the tools for access to opportunity…and picking them up and using them instead of rejecting them as BS.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Like I told Chaorder Gradient, money or the lack thereof can indeed be a barrier higher and stronger at times than race, but in a class system you’re more often than not competing against those in your own class stratum. Oprah competes against people like Bill Gates, and who do you think wins that battle?

    Saying “class is more of an issue than race” is tempting, but its also a method people use to push race issues to the backround. It’s easy for white people to ignore race. That is white privilege. Non-whites aren’t able, do not have the option, of ignoring race.

    Because some non-whites are wealthier than whites does not mean white privilege doesn’t exist, that institutionalized racism doesn’t exist, that being white doesn’t give you advantages that non-whites don’t have.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Really good lecture on white privilege and how insidiously invisible it is to those who enjoy its benefits, and how damaging it is to us all regardless of race or class

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA&feature=related

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m sure there are places where entrenched, institutionalized racism is worse than usual. Shit…one of those places is Howell MI…where Klansmen are still active and militias are a dime a dozen, a satellite north of Detroit where bigots fled in the aftermath of the 60s and 70s. I may have the ‘privilege’ of not worrying about my race…but it doesn’t mean much when, even with no crimes underway, violations outstanding or anything else to draw fire, I’m still spooked as hell when cops pull me over because I and so many others I know have been railroaded, strip searched, perp walked and generally abused and degraded at random. (Cripes…in one case it was my brothers wife getting the riot act on the way to work…as a nurse. She got chewed out and almost got arrested for asking what she’d done to merit a search. We may never know what the reason was…but clearly whiteness and professional status didn’t protect her from harassment and intimidation. All that spared her was the good sense to suddenly clam up and just wait til it was over without any further complaint.)

    I liked the Tim Wise video…but hes selling goods his audience enjoys hearing…and its a lot more valid in the South than anywhere else. I’m from so far north that there is no slave culture historically. None. Shit…slavery was already en route to ending by the time that part of the U.P. was incorporated as a Michigan territory. It was thinly populated by Irish, Welsh, Swede and Polish farmers and miners. Tim Wise hastily poo-pooed anyone white who claims a non-racist, non-privileged heritage…by saying that if they bother to make the argument, they must be sensitive about it, which means they’re lying or wrong. Pure fallacy.

    There were no 10000 acre land grants for us (and he did make surveying an entire state sound like a cakewalk for his ancestor…clearly his tubby butt has never surveyed an acre in his life. I’ve surveyed only 120 acres…its exhausting…don’t try it if you can avoid it.) The family farm is intact after over 150 years. Still tiny, never worked by any hand that wasn’t born into the family. Our heritage is passed down poems and an old bible and the instruction to read because no one will do it for you. My dad’s education from running like the wind and getting a scholarship…not from his dad being a pillar of the community or drawing a loan or being bailed out by a wealthy ancestor (we had none). My dad didn’t escape Vietnam through privilege…he was drafted and chose to volunteer and buck for pilot rather than go the route of infantry. He passed the classes because he was smart and hated to fail.

    It may be an accident of birth…but when you come from a place where there are literally NO black people to ‘get one over on’ or have advantage over, where you yourself are the low class farmers and ditch diggers for crap wages and there were no slaves to compete for that status with…its hard to swallow a collective notion of guilt, but damned easy to believe that all persons who apply themselves and work hard deserve a chance. You can stand against racism not based upon some vague guilt…but because it is self evident that it is wrong and cheapens all persons involved in it.

    The driving force for change in racial dynamics is to return the support of public education and put a stop to the cycle of drug war hyper-sentencing WHILE returning investment to urban areas and making access to opportunity…but we also have to begin a cycle of VESTING young people of color with the tools that allow opportunity to be grabbed hold of and used. You can legally strip away all institutional bias, offer free perks and gifts of every kind…and a person with no ability to make use of those gifts effectively can still fail to thrive. Changing this is probably the single most desperately necessary factor.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Yeah… As I writing it, that sort of clicked in my mind, I had to sit down for a bit and think it over. I need to do a little re-writing in my mind I guess…

    There are things to be aware of, and I see things in a different light, but I think there is a younger generation arising (I’m probably at the oldest tip of this surfacing iceberg) who see things the way I have.

    I think the problem is a little deeper than an ability to ignore color though. An ability implies a choice. I’m so blind to color in such a way because I don’t have a racial identity to speak of. It has been destroyed essentially, so much that I have reservations that racial identity could ever be a good thing. However, I’m torn; I cannot say whether that is just a bias from years of the lack of a racial identity.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Yeah… As I writing it, that sort of clicked in my mind, I had to sit down for a bit and think it over. I need to do a little re-writing in my mind I guess…

    There are things to be aware of, and I see things in a different light, but I think there is a younger generation arising (I’m probably at the oldest tip of this surfacing iceberg) who see things the way I have.

    I think the problem is a little deeper than an ability to ignore color though. An ability implies a choice. I’m so blind to color in such a way because I don’t have a racial identity to speak of. It has been destroyed essentially, so much that I have reservations that racial identity could ever be a good thing. However, I’m torn; I cannot say whether that is just a bias from years of the lack of a racial identity.

  • Jordan

    I understand this has already been talked to death, however, I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say that, I think, the point of the article is ‘acceptance.’

    For example:

    “The results suggest the more the participants identified with being black — or the more being black was an important part of who they are — the more happy they were with life as a whole, Yap said.”

    “The study also explored the reasons behind the connection. Yap said it may be fueled by a sense of belongingness — that is, blacks with a strong sense of racial identity may feel more connected to their racial group, which in turn makes them happy.”

    I think you could replace the word ‘black’ with any minority.

  • Jordan

    I understand this has already been talked to death, however, I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say that, I think, the point of the article is ‘acceptance.’

    For example:

    “The results suggest the more the participants identified with being black — or the more being black was an important part of who they are — the more happy they were with life as a whole, Yap said.”

    “The study also explored the reasons behind the connection. Yap said it may be fueled by a sense of belongingness — that is, blacks with a strong sense of racial identity may feel more connected to their racial group, which in turn makes them happy.”

    I think you could replace the word ‘black’ with any minority.

  • chubby

    another for the last word junkies…..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oYtzBf3z6g

  • Tuna Ghost

    He’s got another good video on class that supports some of your points, over here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Xe1kX7Wsc

  • Tuna Ghost

    Oi! C’mon guy, it’s not a last-word contest. It’s a discussion that I’ve been enjoying. (hides “last word” trophies under sofa)

  • Tuna Ghost

    Shit, you’re from the UP?? I lived in Detroit for a few years…damn the UP is barely part of America, I can believe things up there function a bit differently than in the D…

  • Tuna Ghost

    yeah, their method of assimilation was more successful than previous empires because it was far less brutal. They tied conquered nations to the Roman Empire through indigenous peoples joining the army (as you mentioned), through economics (trade routes running through conquered territories) and through religion (all homes in the Roman Empire were to have at least one area devoted to a Roman diety). This is why they had such a problem in Israel, because the Jews weren’t down with joining a foreign army, worshipping foreign gods and they definitely had their own ideas about the economics of their own country. Pretty much 0-3 there…

  • Tuna Ghost

    Yeah it’s a bit tricky, isn’t it? The US is pretty much bankrupt as far as culture goes, at least compared to other countries. I was basically raised as much by TV as by my parents, so I shudder to think what constitutes my native “culture”…

    This whole topic is a minefield, but you seem like an open-minded person who genuinely gives a shit, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. Thanks for listening, apologies if I was a bit aggressive. This is an important issue for me.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Yeah :-) It’s a beautiful place. The old homestead is across the bridge and east toward Sault Ste. Marie. Every tiny town up there is a trip into a time machine. The rural poverty is only reduced by a small amount of aid…its mostly mitigated by barter and ingenuity. It’s hell on the young though. The ones that don’t leave and don’t have opportunities hit the skids…badly. Meth has been a problem in every rural county for years now. I fear for the future.

  • chubby

    I remember one of my professors use to comment on how the people who assimilated the native americans on this continent were more racists than the romans because they would not intermingle with them, indeed, going so far as to say “the only good indian…” or having a movie like the searchers where the main character is searching for his niece just so he can kill her, somehow becoming the heros for the natives raised in the boarding school system, etc etc…or maybe Im just skewed….

  • Efrixione

    What about us mutts? Mixed race people with no racial identity?

  • Rico99

    What about us mutts? Mixed race people with no racial identity?

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