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Author Topic: Why I support Affirmative Action..  (Read 23678 times)

filet o' fish

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2008, 02:33:40 AM »
there's actually shockingly little support for the troops, in my opinion.  just lots of little magnets that go on cars.

I agree 100%.  It's a neat little slogan that let's us ignore what the troops are doing and allows us to think we're helping while we turn the other way.  If we supported the troops, there'd be no Walter Reed, no vet homeless problem, no stoploss.  We don't support the troops.  We support intellectual shortcircuits.

Spot f-ing on.

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vercingetorix

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2008, 09:10:23 AM »
Would people have been so upset about Walter Reed if they knew that 45% of the soldiers in question were rapists?  65%? 

Do people get upset about the quality of health care in prison?  They should.  Is there a difference?  Why do we see one?

actually, i think the number of rapists at Walter Reed is around 80%.  just get your facts right next time.  and prisoners are more worthy of care than wounded veterans.  sound points all around.

luke

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2008, 09:22:15 AM »
http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7243.html

"The word "racism" first came into common usage in the 1930s when a new word was required to describe the theories on which the Nazis based their persecution of the Jews. As is the case with many of the terms historians use, the phenomenon existed before the coinage of the word that we use to describe it. But our understanding of what beliefs and behaviors are to be considered "racist" has been unstable. Somewhere between the view that racism is a peculiar modern idea without much historical precedent and the notion that it is simply a manifestation of the ancient phenomenon of tribalism or xenophobia may lie a working definition that covers more than scientific or biological racism but less than the kind of group prejudice based on culture, religion, or simply a sense of family or kinship.2

It is when differences that might otherwise be considered ethnocultural are regarded as innate, indelible, and unchangeable that a racist attitude or ideology can be said to exist. It finds its clearest expression when the kind of ethnic differences that are firmly rooted in language, customs, and kinship are overridden in the name of an imagined collectivity based on pigmentation, as in white supremacy, or on a linguistically based myth of remote descent from a superior race, as in Aryanism. But racism as I conceive it is not merely an attitude or set of beliefs; it also expresses itself in the practices, institutions, and structures that a sense of deep difference justifies or validates. Racism, therefore, is more than theorizing about human differences or thinking badly of a group over which one has no control. It either directly sustains or proposes to establish a racial order, a permanent group hierarchy that is believed to reflect the laws of nature or the decrees of God. Racism in this sense is neither a given of human social existence, a universal "consciousness of kind," nor simply a modern theory that biology determines history and culture. Like the modern scientific racism that is one expression of it, it has a historical trajectory and is mainly, if not exclusively, a product of the West. But it originated in at least a prototypical form in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries rather than in the eighteenth or nineteenth (as is sometimes maintained) and was originally articulated in the idioms of religion more than in those of natural science.

Racism is therefore not merely "xenophobia"--a term invented by the ancient Greeks to describe a reflexive feeling of hostility to the stranger or Other. Xenophobia may be a starting point upon which racism can be constructed, but it is not the thing itself. For an understanding of the emergence of Western racism in the late Middle Ages and early modern period, a clear distinction between racism and religious intolerance is crucial. The religious bigot condemns and persecutes others for what they believe, not for what they intrinsically are. I would not therefore consider the sincere missionary, who may despise the beliefs and habits of the object of his ministrations, to be a racist. If a heathen can be redeemed through baptism, or if an ethnic stranger can be assimilated into the tribe or the culture in such a way that his or her origins cease to matter in any significant way, we are in the presence of an attitude that often creates conflict and misery, but not one that should be labeled racist. It might be useful to have another term, such as "culturalism," to describe an inability or unwillingness to tolerate cultural differences, but if assimilation were genuinely on offer, I would withhold the "R" word. Even if a group--for example, Muslims in the Ottoman Empire or Christians in early medieval Europe--is privileged in the eyes of the secular and religious authorities, racism is not operative if members of stigmatized groups can voluntarily change their identities and advance to positions of prominence and prestige within the dominant group. Examples would include the medieval bishops who had converted from Judaism and the Ottoman generals who had been born Christian. (Of course mobility may also be impeded by barriers of "caste" or "estate" that differentiate on a basis other than membership in a collectivity that thinks of itself, or is thought of by others, to constitute a distinctive "people," or "ethnos.")

Admittedly, however, there is a substantial gray area between racism and "culturalism." One has to distinguish among differing conceptions of culture. If we think of culture as historically constructed, fluid, variable in time and space, and adaptable to changing circumstances, it is a concept antithetical to that of race. But culture can be reified and essentialized to the point where it becomes the functional equivalent of race. Peoples or ethnic groups can be endowed with national souls or Volksgeister, which, rather than being inherited by any observable biological or genetic process, are passed on from generation to generation by some mysterious or even supernatural means, a kind of recurring gift from God. The long-standing European belief that children had the same "blood" as their parents was more metaphor and myth than empirical science, but it sanctioned a kind of genealogical determinism that could turn racial when applied to entire ethnic groups.3

Deterministic cultural particularism can do the work of biological racism quite effectively, as we shall see in more detail in later discussions of völkisch nationalism in Germany and South Africa. Contemporary British sociologists have identified and analyzed what they call "the new cultural racism." John Solomos and Les Back argue, for example, that race is now "coded as culture," that "the central feature of these processes is that the qualities of social groups are fixed, made natural, confined within a pseudo-biologically defined culturalism." Racism is therefore "a scavenger ideology, which gains its power from its ability to pick out and utilize ideas and values from other sets of ideas and beliefs in specific socio-historical contexts." But there are also "strong continuities in the articulation of the images of the 'other,' as well as in the images which are evident in the ways in which racist movements define the boundaries of 'race' and 'nation.'"4 These continuities suggest to me that there is a general history of racism, as well as a history of particular racisms, but knowledge of specific contexts is necessary to an understanding of the varying forms and functions of the generic phenomenon with which we are concerned.

My theory or conception of racism, therefore, has two components: difference and power. It originates from a mind-set that regards "them" as different from "us" in ways that are permanent and unbridgeable. This sense of difference provides a motive or rationale for using our power advantage to treat the ethnoracial Other in ways that we would regard as cruel or unjust if applied to members of our own group. The possible consequences of this nexus of attitude and action range from unofficial but pervasive social discrimination at one end of the spectrum to genocide at the other, with government-sanctioned segregation, colonial subjugation, exclusion, forced deportation (or "ethnic cleansing"), and enslavement among the other variations on the theme. In all manifestations of racism from the mildest to the most severe, what is being denied is the possibility that the racializers and the racialized can coexist in the same society, except perhaps on the basis of domination and subordination. Also rejected is any notion that individuals can obliterate ethnoracial difference by changing their identities.


luke

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2008, 09:23:10 AM »
 The French sociologist Pierre-André Taguieff has distinguished between two distinctive varieties or "logics" of racism--"le racisme d'exploitation" and "le racisme d'ex-termination."5 One might also call the two possibilities the racism of inclusion and the racism of exclusion. Both are racist because the inclusionary variant permits incorporation only on the basis of a rigid hierarchy justified by a belief in permanent, unbridgeable differences between the associated groups, while the exclusionary type goes further and finds no way at all that the groups can coexist in the same society. The former would obviously apply most readily to white supremacy and the latter to antisemitism. But historical reality is too messy to enable us to use these dichotomies consistently in a group-specific way. For long periods in European history, Jews were tolerated so long as they stayed in "their place" (the ghetto), whereas African Americans migrating to the northern states during the era of slavery and afterward often found themselves exposed to what the psychologist Joel Kovel has called "aversive racism" to distinguish it from the "dominative" variety that he finds ascendant in the South.6 Antebellum "black laws" forbidding the immigration of free African Americans into several Midwestern states were conspicuous examples of aversive racism, as were the various schemes for colonizing blacks outside of the United States. Depending on the circumstances of the dominant group, and what uses, if any, it has for the subalterns, the logic of racism can shift from inclusionary to exclusionary and vice versa.

My conception may at first seem too broad to have the historical specificity that I promised to give it. It is possible that relations among peoples before the late Middle Ages were sometimes characterized by the kind of hostility and exclusiveness that betokens racism. But it was more common, if not universal, to assimilate strangers into the tribe or nation, if they were willing to be so incorporated. There might be non-Western forms of prejudice and ethnocentrism that would be hard to exclude under the terms of my definition. The traditional belief of the Japanese that only people of their own stock can truly understand and appreciate their culture, with the resulting discrimination against Japanese-born Koreans, might be an example.7 Another might be the feudal-type hegemony exercised by the ethnically distinct Tutsi herdsmen over the Hutu agriculturalists in Rwanda and Burundi before colonization.8 But I will concentrate on racism in Europe and its colonial extensions since the fifteenth century for several reasons. First, even if it has existed elsewhere in rudimentary form, the virus of racism did not infect Europe itself prior to the period between the late medieval and early modern periods. Hence we can study its emergence in a time and place for which we have a substantial historical record. Second, the varieties of racism that developed in the West had greater impact on world history than any functional equivalent that we might detect in another era or part of the world. Third, the logic of racism was fully worked out, elaborately implemented, and carried to its ultimate extremes in the West, while at the same time being identified, condemned, and resisted from within the same cultural tradition.

What makes Western racism so autonomous and conspicuous in world history has been that it developed in a context that presumed human equality of some kind. First came the doctrine that the Crucifixion offered grace to all willing to receive it and made all Christian believers equal before God. Later came the more revolutionary concept that all "men" are born free and equal and entitled to equal rights in society and government. If a culture holds a premise of spiritual and temporal inequality, if a hierarchy exists that is unquestioned even by its lower-ranking members, as in the Indian caste system before the modern era, there is no incentive to deny the full humanity of underlings in order to treat them as impure or unworthy. If equality is the norm in the spiritual or temporal realms (or in both at the same time), and there are groups of people within the society who are so despised or disparaged that the upholders of the norms feel compelled to make them exceptions to the promise or realization of equality, they can be denied the prospect of equal status only if they allegedly possess some extraordinary deficiency that makes them less than fully human. It is uniquely in the West that we find the dialectical interaction between a premise of equality and an intense prejudice toward certain groups that would seem to be a precondition for the full flowering of racism as an ideology or worldview.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #84 on: January 05, 2008, 10:24:36 AM »
now you're just trying to get people fired up.

wait, what do i mean now?  ???

It won't work.  Everybody supports the troops, remember?  Prostrate yourself before the troops people, pay your fealty.  I like to ask people what percentage of the troops have to be rapists before they stop supporting them.  50%?  65%?  What percentage of American troops raped Vietnamese women?  Do percentages matter, or should it be aggregated?  What role does complicity play?  Is it worse if 1/2 of all American servicemen are rapists or if there is 1 rape for every 2 soldiers.

But @#!* me, we support the troops.  This line of thinking must stop.  When was the last time we had a discusssion about this [transmission terminated]

there's actually shockingly little support for the troops, in my opinion.  just lots of little magnets that go on cars.

Amen.

I found it ironic that people considered it unpatriotic of me (and unsympathetic to the troops) to oppose the war when it began, yet my rationale was simple: there was no conclusive evidence to send our troops into a place where they would die. 

Yet I was the one not supporting my troops according to many people.

Go figure. 

The Knight

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #85 on: February 06, 2008, 03:06:54 PM »
i think the most xenophobic, racist people on the planet are the Japanese. they beat whitey every which way, heck they also hate whitey.

qft
I'm really happy with my school!!!

kono

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Re: Why I support Affirmative Action..
« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2008, 10:27:23 AM »
Stop cross-posting.

post edited by EC