Patterico's Pontifications

12/7/2009

Racial Ratiocination — Post by Dafydd ab Hugh

Filed under: General — Dafydd @ 11:15 pm

[As Dafydd indicates, he sent me a defense of R.S. McCain's quote by e-mail and I invited him to post it here as a guest post. -- Patterico]

Guest post by Dafydd ab Hugh of Big Lizards infamy…

I believe this is my first post on Patterico’s Pontifications since 1952, when I wrote a piece here defending Democrat Harry S. Truman’s staunch defense of South Korea against the marauding commies from the north. As I recall, Patterico was in favor of detente with Puerto Vallarta at the time. Of course, I could be mistaken; it was a long time ago.

I sent the following to Mr. P. earlier today, after reading the long McCain quote (the other McCain) on Patterico’s Pontifications — one of my two favorite blogs!

The issue at hand is a short quotation by conservative Robert Stacy McCain (no relation, so far as I know); you can read Patterico’s original post here.

He expanded upon the quotation in a later post, wherein he gave us the complete context of McCain’s remarks.

The question is whether the paragraph originally quoted by the owner of this blog constituted racism; Patterico says it does, while I disagree. My reasoning follows…

++++++++++

Now that I have read the full context, I am quite satisfied that McCain’s statement was not, repeat, not racist, racially separatist, or racially prejudiced. I truly believe Patterico has misread the man — though his inartful phrasing certainly contributed to the confusion.

Let’s look at the paragraph that causes most of the cringies:

As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us. [Caps in original]

I don’t know how many paleocon writers Patterico has read, but many tend to write in an expansive and verbose, quasi-nineteenth century diction akin to a book like, say, That Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis) or the Father Brown stories of G.K. Chesterton. In particular, they often use archaic forms of speech — and very old-fashioned, hard-right concepts that sometimes don’t translate well into 21st century English.

It’s irritating when one first encounters it; but after a while, one slips into that mindset and is able to understand what’s being said… much like the lag time between the start of a Shakespeareian play and the point, a few minutes later, when one abruptly begins to parse the cadences of 17th-century English drama.

With this in mind, let’s look at the term “natural.” To an old-right writer like, say, Chesterton, “natural” does not mean good, lovely, free & easy, or admirable; that meaning of natural is really post-hippie era… when hippies appropriated Earth-related terms like natural, earthy, letting it all hang out, and suchlike precisely in reaction to the rejection of the natural by many religious conservatives. Many Christian writers would say, for example, that it was natural for a man to feel the impulse to sexually savage any attractive woman he meets — and “natural” in that sentence is to be considered bad, savage, bestial. The opposite would be our higher selves, which are UN-natural, being gifts of inspiration and conscience from God. (Compare the famous quotation by Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, that in the natural state of Mankind, “the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”)

McCain is about my age, a year older; but I guess he learned to write by reading conservative philosophers of the Chestertonian era; I know several others in McCain’s age group who did the same.

Thus, to someone who writes and thinks in contemporary English, saying that a “revulsion” felt by many people to miscegenation was “natural” means only that it’s a very common thing and not to be marveled at; it emphatically does not mean that the writer necessarily shares that revulsion, nor even that he excuses it. McCain makes this clear in the very next paragraph:

And so when we see an overreaction to this programme, with people urging a return to Jim Crow or even advocating the formation of separate racial nations, the first thing we must understand is that we’re looking at a reaction that is not entirely illogical. What is necessary is to realize what is causing the reaction and to realize how emotionalism may prevent us from properly combatting the programme. WE MUST BE RATIONAL AND PRAGMATIC, for our adversaries are extremely rational and pragmatic in pursuing our destruction. [Caps in original; and note the archaic, English spelling of "programme;" McCain grew up in the American South, not Great Britain... Brit spelling is an affectation.]

To me, it is quite clear that McCain is saying this “revulsion” is an overreaction, and that such irrational emotionalism plays right into the hands of what he calls “communism” (lowercase c, unless Patterico typoed it), and what I would call liberal fascism, after the Jonah Goldberg thesis in his book of that title: We must not react by getting revolted by every interracial marriage; that is an irrational response to the provocation. Instead, we should fight (McCain argues) against the deliberate program of racial provocation by our national enemies — which today is the Hollywood/Berkeley Left alliance.

The next statement also appears to arise from a paleoconservative outlook: that a white man might have a high NTF (“Negro tolerance factor,” a very useful phrase invented by black activists) in dealing with black men in everyday transactions… but still feel panic when his brother wants to marry a black chick. And McCain is correct that this is not racism: There is no hint that blacks, as a group, are inferior, or that they should be treated differently as a group. The same man may have the same reaction to his brother wanting to marry an Italian or a Pole — both of whom are of course white.

It’s not racism; it’s more like tribalism or xenophobia. It’s similar to a blonde family being upset if their beautiful, blue-haired, blonde-eyed daughter decides to marry a swarthy southern-European with dark brown hair; the reaction flows from preservation of the sub-subspecies of blonds, not a belief in the superiority of the yellow-hairs, which would be required for true “racism.”

To me — as to most of the paleo-Right, of which I am not a member, of course — the term racism has been egregiously expanded, and not just by leftists. In addition to being used as a political (or sexual) bludgeon (cf. McCain’s example of the sexual extortion by the black character in the play McCain imagines), it’s used as a sloppy catch-all for any expression of distaste for any element of a person’s looks or behavior that the sloppy speaker considers to be unchangeable. Thus, if someone doesn’t want his daughter to marry a blind man, that father may be called a “racist”… as if the handicapped constitute one of the races of Mankind.

McCain draws the same distinction I would: That father is not racist for not wanting his daughter to marry a blind man; he is stupid, irrational, prejudiced, and unreasonable for a very different reason: because the important components of a marriage are a sense of decency, moral uprightness, loyalty, shared interests, sexual desire, and the willingness to love (v.t.) the partner — none of which depends upon being able to see.

That’s how I read the lengthy McCain quotation, most of which appears to be McCain quoting Kent H. Steffgen, whoever he was. (Steffgen wrote at least a couple books attacking Ronald Reagan as a socialist, of all things.) R.S. McCain is not exonerating or praising those who recoil in revulsion from a biracial marriage, but he is acquitting that person of being driven by a belief in the inferiority of one race to another — at least on the evidence presented at trial.

Let me take it out of the context of race, and perhaps you will see the paragraph as I read it. I could easily write the following words (that is, apart from the run-on sentences, juvenile capitalizations, and antique diction; please note this is a paraphrase, not a quotation, despite using the blockquote style):

As Steffgen predicted, the media now force warrior-woman images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The male who does not mind transacting business with a female bank clerk may yet be averse to his daughter joining the Marines, and THIS IS NOT SEXISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

I could write this despite the fact that I do not share that prejudice; I would love it if my little niece Madison grew up and became a Marine Corps sniper. I would worry about her safety but feel no “revulsion.” However, such revulsion is certainly natural; it’s the natural outcome of emotional, irrational, insufficiently enlightened minds reacting negatively against a conscious attempt to mold them into what they see as a liberal mindset. Such thoughtless revulsion is natural, but it’s not optimal.

That is, I think, what McCain was getting at; and I agree with him.

++++++++++

Take it for what you will.

I can shorten my reasoning above to a single sentence: Patterico, I think, took the word “natural” to mean proper or correct; but I think McCain used it to mean understandable given the provocation of a conscious policy to reprogram Americans to think a certain way — a way of thinking I actually share, given that my wife is a different race than I. Still, I understand why Americans generally would resent being manipulated in such a way.

I look forward to 6,322 comments here telling me I’m full of beans; but I assure you, I’ve been called so many names that I’m immune. So it goes.

This has been a Big Lizards production. So there.

– Dafydd ab Hugh

39 Responses to “Racial Ratiocination — Post by Dafydd ab Hugh”

  1. Yeah, what HE said.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  2. If you met someone who said “I hate white people because they invaded my country and burned down my village and killed my whole family,” you might think that would be a perfectly natural response to his past, but it would still be racist. He would be racist towards white people. Excuses and complicated definitions and extended hand-waving to explain away obvious bigotry as not racism is often a part of racism (as is blaming Madison Avenue or Hollywood or Washington i.e. Not the South). Saying one’s racism is merely tribalism or xenophobia is missing the point. It’s like if someone said “I’m not an anti-semite, I hate all non-Christians.” Well, the hating-Jewish-people part of your hating non-Christians is anti-semitism. And the not wanting your sister to marry a black man is the racist part of your tribalism. That you might also have bigotry towards Italians or Poles or the rest of the whole world is neither here nor there. And McCain says it’s the media “forcing” interracial images in the public mind. So the revulsion is natural, but the images aren’t? And interracial acceptance will lead to “our destruction”? Anyone doubt that the “our” is a whites-only “our”? Even if he would claim he wants to keep the races separate for the benefit of both races, that’s pretty racist.

    feefob (ed42bd)

  3. I like the way you write but I thought the troublesome word was revulsion, not natural. I’m as troubled by someone who feels revulsion at interracial marriage as I would be by someone who feels revulsion at the thought of a female Marine. On the other hand, I’m sure we’ve all said or written things that sound one way when we say them but sound completely different later, and that might be especially true 10+ years down the road.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  4. In particular, they often use archaic forms of speech — and very old-fashioned, hard-right concepts that sometimes don’t translate well into 21st century English.

    That’s what I was going for when I said it was like Dungeons and Dragons meets Dixie. The way you say it has a lot more clarity I think.

    happyfeet (2c63dd)

  5. [...] to my last post here, Racial Ratiocination: I object in principle to examining a single paragraph, or even a single essay, and concluding that [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Buckley Way (e4ab32)

  6. I like the way you write but I thought the troublesome word was revulsion, not natural.

    Yes, but if you accept the definition he is using for natural:

    bad, savage, bestial

    then the revulsion is being qualified in a negative way instead of a positive one:

    As Steffgen predicted, the media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether [bad, savage, bestial] revulsion.

    Anon Y. Mous (1f3f10)

  7. Feefob:

    If you met someone who said “I hate white people because they invaded my country and burned down my village and killed my whole family,” you might think that would be a perfectly natural response to his past, but it would still be racist.

    This is the only part of your comment I agree with: Saying “X is natural” in the old-fashioned sense of natural does not mean it cannot be racist; but it likewise does not signal approval of X.

    The natural can be good, can be bad; can be racist, can be tribalist (of which racism is a subset), or can be innocent of such “isms.” In this sense, natural merely means the subject is a part of our animal nature.

    Thus, after fasting for a couple of days, it’s only natural that we get hungry. Does that mean we approve of hunger, disapprove, or that hunger is value-neutral?

    Our higher natures, however, are unnatural; more, they are super-natural, transcending the bestial nature of Mankind. Thus Gandhi can fast until he is at the point of death because he wants to make a moral point.

    You may agree or disagree with that point; the point might be good or might be evil; but surely you agree that no mere animal would intentionally starve itself to win a philosophical debate.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (96b517)

  8. The whole scenario is so artificial it’s difficult to descend into this wallowing about racism or not racism.

    Insufficient data is present to determine the racism of the comment. Is the bank clerk a person with a personality straight from Hades? I can deal with such people in the store. I’d not want my brother to marry one. I’d not marry one myself, well one of the male persuasion. I’m sexist enough to have no desire at all for one of the female persuasion being of that persuasion myself.

    (If somebody else does and doesn’t push it into my face with claims of superiority or the like – I should care if they have other ideas? {^_-})

    So we have the same situation with regards to our current POTUS. Regardless of his race, or any other superficial characteristic, his policies, his ethics, his disdain for the country he governs all combine with other factors to indicate he is utterly unfit for the job and largely disconnected from reality from staring at his image in a mirror too often for too long. (Perhaps he’s stared too long at the Harry Potter mirror perhaps?)

    Unfit for educational, ideological, ethical, or experiential reasons is not racism when the same criteria render several others in that party, Rod Blagowhatever for example, utterly unfit as well. It makes no difference what race the individual carries as a badge on his skin. It’s the badges on his character I find distressing.

    {^_^} (Daffyd – Jerry will know who this signature likely belogs to if you wish to converse.)

    JD (847e52)

  9. Would a better synonym for ‘natural’ in this context be the word “reflexive”? If so, it would only push the question back one generation… that is, would it be racist to hold a reflexive revulsion as a reaction to images of inter-racial marriage?

    I suppose that if your reflex isn’t triggered with say, a mexican/asian marriage, but IS triggered by a black/white marriage, then it would be racist. If you’re just tired of being lectured to it wouldn’t be.

    Mr. Michael (cfe06a)

  10. Ah, DAFYDD, YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO DISAGREE. Don’t do it. Just show the teeniest tiniest awareness and you get sent to Siberia for being racist.

    Currently waging a losing war with a webhost. Don’t much care. He sure does.

    I’m an American and I can say any damned thing I want to and invite any and all offended parties to go and fuck themselves. You thought police, carry on. You want to proscribe free speech. Here and now? We can just say anything we like without bothering if we “offend” your tender bits. Shades of being an American.

    Curtis (653a53)

  11. “The next statement also appears to arise from a paleoconservative outlook: that a white man might have a high NTF (”Negro tolerance factor,” a very useful phrase invented by black activists) in dealing with black men in everyday transactions… but still feel panic when his brother wants to marry a black chick. And McCain is correct that this is not racism: There is no hint that blacks, as a group, are inferior, or that they should be treated differently as a group.”

    There’s only two small problems with that argument.

    1.) The person who feels that way IS putting “black chicks” into a group, and IS treating them differently.

    2. That’s racist.

    But, other than that your argument makes sense.

    Dave Surls (de7f08)

  12. As for RSMcCain, I continue to find the quote troubling, notwithstanding your explanation, in large part because of his continued defense of the Confederacy on some level. Not all those who defend the Confederacy are racists, of course, but I find (and I live in the South) that a great many are, at least, somewhat “soft” racists who have high levels of that xenophobia you describe (and is not racism simply a particular type of xenophobia?). I also find that those who look back fondly on the “Southern way of life” have trouble identifying exactly what aspects of that life they wish to honor and exemplify, as much of the central core of it was based on slavery and the relegation of women to particular roles in life.

    PatHMV (003aa1)

  13. “it’s the natural outcome of emotional, irrational, insufficiently enlightened minds reacting negatively against a conscious attempt to mold them into what they see as a liberal mindset.”

    No offense, but so what?

    If the human race were all Ghandi, it might already have become extinct at this point, and if one takes genetic survival as a non-negotiable imperative, then a whole bunch of “emotional, irrational, insufficiently enlightened” reactions begin to make a whole lot of sense.

    To paraphrase E.O. Wilson, nature always has culture on a leash, and will always pull it back when “enlightened minds” lead it too far away. While this may offend those who value, truth, beauty, goodness and other sublime values, nature simply doesn’t give a toss.

    JB (df22e1)

  14. Several points.

    First, I always understood that “natural” can be descriptive rather than a statement that something is ideal and believing in giving people the benefit of the doubt, I assumed that is how McCain meant it. But, incidentally, the use of the word “natural” to describe ideals is not new to the hippies. For instance, there is little “natural” in natural law, upon which this nation was founded.

    But even as taking it as saying “it is normal, it is common, it is just how people are.” Well, first, I dispute that. I am sure this is very likely to be a generational thing, but people my age (mid-thirties) and younger typically will barely bat an eyelash at seeing interracial couples. If it is so natural and so unavoidable, then how come I don’t do it? Am I unnatural?

    As for whether it is racism, I employ the definition of racism as being the opposite of MLK’s “dream”: “to judge a person by the color of their skin and not the content of their character.” And to judge your potential daughter in law not by her character but by the color of her skin is wrong.

    I might add that the entire hypothetical offends another value of mine. I don’t believe in being judgmental about people’s choices in mates, with only limited exceptions. My attitude is that so long as my sister, brother, etc. is happy, and no one is hitting the other or any other behavior in that range of complete unacceptability, we have a positive duty to help things work out and the quality of the pairing is none of our damn business. That’s how I was raised, and I am constantly amazed when other people think its their place to tell their family who to marry.

    Also I find your argument a little odd. You quote McCain approvingly saying that this feeling is not “logical.” It is race-based, and illogical, but it is not racism. I guess then I would love to hear what definition you are working off of. And hey, you don’t have to accept my definition of racism, but I still thing it does define a raced-based wrong to judge a person based on his skin color, even if you don’t want to call it racism, and to me that is a difference without distinction.

    And then more oddly, you say this is not racially separatist, but then you note that all of this is born from a desire to “preserve” the “subspecies.” First, black people are not a subspecies of human, sheesh. Second, why the hell is there any value in preserving it? And third, its nonsensical: “this is not racial separatism this is just a desire to preserve the separation of races.” To say that a desire to separate the racism is not racial separatism is an abuse of the language and ordinary meaning.

    I especially find the example of handicaps bizarre. Substituting blindness for race, you then say, “That father is not racist for not wanting his daughter to marry a blind man; he is stupid, irrational, PREJUDICED, and unreasonable.” [my caps] I won’t call that a straw man because there are some odd people in society would call it racism, but I will say I don’t recall anyone here making that argument. Still given that blindness is not a race, no it is not racism. But it is prejudiced as you acknowledge. As such it is a form of bigotry. But then fold that back on itself. If it is disability-based prejudice to say that you don’t want your daughter to marry a blind man, then how come it isn’t race-based prejudice to say you don’t want your daughter to marry a black man?

    Saying it is just natural, or that everyone is racist is a cop out used by racists time and again. My reaction to that is the same when I read Freud claim that all men want to kill their fathers and sleep with their mothers: speak for yourself. In fact as a rule of thumb most absolutist statements about humans are wrong and most of the exceptions to that rule are tautologies. I am constantly amazed at how often humans attribute behavior to nature or otherwise claim it is universal when in fact most of our behaviors, thoughts and attitudes are learned. I know my own heart and I have observed children who were not raised to judge by color and to the extent they notice color at all, they get it is a trait that is only skin deep.

    I am not going to be nasty and condemn you or anything like that. I am a big believer in love the sinner hate the sin. But you have some attitudes to unlearn, Daf.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  15. “And then more oddly, you say this is not racially separatist, but then you note that all of this is born from a desire to “preserve” the “subspecies.” First, black people are not a subspecies of human, sheesh. Second, why the hell is there any value in preserving it?”

    Because human biodiversity is a reality, whether blank slatists like you want to admit it or not. It is well-established among those not brainwashed into cultural Marxism that there are group differences in, e.g. IQ that are largely heritable. The entire PC culture that denies this fact is unscientific nonsense on stilts. If by now you deny that there’s a huge gap between East Asians and Sub-Saharan Africans unexplainable by environment, then I suggest you look at the appropriate studies (such as performance of adopted malnourished East Asian babies into well-to-do European and American families.)

    PC homilies do not substitute for knowledge, buddy.

    JB (df22e1)

  16. JB

    > Because human biodiversity is a reality, whether blank slatists like you want to admit it or not.

    Of course there is biodiversity. And when you limit your options you reduce the biodiversity of your community, which endagers it. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a bad thing to marry your cousin (although to be fair the law isn’t concerned with that so much as the moral angle).

    > It is well-established among those not brainwashed into cultural Marxism that there are group differences in, e.g. IQ that are largely heritable.

    Oy vey, so you think the brain gene is connected to the skin color gene? Like as melatonin goes up, IQ goes invariably down?

    Look if you want to breed to make smarter children, breed with smart people. But if you think you have excluded black people by saying that you are a crazy-ass racist. Ditto for any other trait you wish to promote by breeding.

    Even if you don’t believe the races are equal, again, unless you believe that NO black people have the right genes to become your mate, you are being shallow and stupid. And call me crazy, but I am pretty sure you never gave your spouse, if you have one, an IQ test before proposing marriage.

    And as for the studies, sheesh, don’t you know definitive science is almost impossible with humans? For instance, if you are talking about the transracial adoption studies, the fact is they don’t prove half as much as you claim and indeed undercut much of it. those studies show that the IQ scores of black children rise when they are raised in white families, until they reach adulthood. The bell curve morons say that somehow this is proof that black people are dumber that this is their true intelligence reasserting itself. But in fact it proves beyond any doubt a more basic point: that IQ tests are not accurate measures of true intelligence, that other factors such as environment factor in. Which undercuts their entire thesis. And then further the same data can be used to tell a different story: that when they are young and less likely to be aware of racial issues they do better; but as they grow up and start being exposed to the racial issue, the do worse. That is bolstered by recent research that shows that black students actually learn better and score higher on IQ tests when the teacher first discusses the achievements of barrack obama (this was done back when he was a candidate).

    Racism exists and it has a real effect on the IQ scores and success of African Americans. In that situation, it is unscientific to claim that you know what their true abilities are. I admit I take it as an article of faith that the races are basically equal (which by the way, is not Marxism my silly friend). But you don’t share my assumption. Fair enough, but before you besmirch an entire group of people, you have to have proof and you are lacking that. So therefore the sensible thing to do is not to use race as a proxy for intelligence, etc. if you want to distinguish among people according to intelligence, do so; but don’t use skin color as a proxy, because what we can say for sure is that it is a terrible proxy.

    A.W. to happyfeet (e7d72e)

  17. ah, dang that isn’t supposed to be to happyfeet at all.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  18. My godson is half Philippino and half Greek, and both those ethnicities are each a conglomeration of a dozen or so others, and he is Mensa. High Mensa. And I wish these Stormfront queers like concerned conservative and JB would get out of here and go back to masturbating in front of Hitler’s picture.

    nk (df76d4)

  19. JB said:

    It is well-established among those not brainwashed into cultural Marxism that there are group differences in, e.g. IQ that are largely heritable.

    “Well-established”? Says who? What exactly do you mean by “IQ,” and what percentage of difference is attributable to genetics and what to the conditions under which one is raised?

    If you read Stephen J. Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, you will see that intelligence tests of one sort or another (whether based on skull capacity or “IQ” tests) have been fudged for centuries to get the “right” result. Anthropologists, for example, were discovered to pack BBs placed in “white” skulls more compactly than they would in “black” or “native” skulls, with the result being erroneous data regarding relative skull capacities of different races.

    Earlier IQ tests used questions which relied on background knowledge which would likely be had by white, middle-class teenagers, but would cause confusion to black, lower-class teenagers who had grown up in a very different environment.

    Your comment is another reason why this entire debate is very important, as it is drawing out a lot of what people really think but rarely say. The political bullshit and racial opportunism of people like the President and the Senate Majority Leader make it difficult to have these conversations, but the real facts do need to come out, and people who hold them need to be not ostracized but educated about the actual reality, not the mythology that they believe in their heart of hearts nor the outrageousness of the PC-left.

    [note: released from moderation filter. --Stashiu]

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  20. Now nk, that’s just a disturbing image all the way around, man…

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  21. Oh, and sorry for the bungled italics. Left off a closing tag after “The Mismeasure of Man.”

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  22. [...] 0 Comments After a hiatus of approximately 237 years, I have put a post up at Patterico’s Pontifications, where I got my start blogging back when the rocks were still cooling. You can read it here. [...]

    Dafydd’s Pontifications | America Watches Obama (4ab9a2)

  23. Dafydd ab hugh, in my first quick read of your post, I’m very glad to see natural and it’s definition addressed. This bothered me when the original post was put up because as we’ve seen, words matter but without defining the terms, the subjectivity can render everything a bit “iffy”. It was tough to interpret the statement without the critical terms being defined.

    As an American Indian who married into a white, traditional southern family, I was received with little enthusiasm and many sideways glances because there were lines being crossed. These posts have been interesting to read and to see different aspects of preconceived notions and prejudicial presuppositions at play in the south. And other’s interpretations of such.

    Now I’ll go back and take my time re-reading this.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  24. Folks:

    I posted this comment in my other post here (The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Buckley Way — Post by Dafydd ab Hugh), but I think I should post it here, too:

    Racist: A person who believes some races are cosmically inferior to others.

    Racial bigot: A person who dislikes people because they belong to a particular race.

    Racialist: A person who thinks race is always a person’s most important characteristic.

    Racial separatist: A person advocating a separation of the races.

    Racial supremicist: A person who believes one race should rule over the others.

    Racial discrimination: Treating a person differently because of his race.

    …Distinct words for distinct concepts.

    It’s important we all be using by and large the same language: A person can be a racial separatist without being a racial supremicist (Randy Weaver, for example), or he can be a racial bigot without being a racist, or he can be a racist but not engage in racial discrimination.

    More often if he’s one, he’s the other; but the terms are not synonyms.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (96b517)

  25. “he can be a racial bigot without being a racist”

    No he can’t, and this is obvious.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  26. Let’s agree on a term: If you use the race of someone to decide anything about them other than what race they are, you are a racist, and an asshole.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  27. [...] 2: I was so intent on my own writing I didn’t see update here, here and here at [...]

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  28. Daf

    call it what you will, but judging the desirability of a daughter in law because of the color of her skin and no the content of her character is wrong, period.

    Now if you want to say, “i know that. but i was raised a certain way and i can’t quite control by visceral reaction even as i know it is wrong” I’ll let that slide. but to pretend it is not a little wrong, is itself wrong.

    A.W. (185232)

  29. AW said it a lot nicer and better than me, I suppose, but Dafydd is 100% right that we need to get on the same page, language wise.

    There are too many games going on. ‘It’s natural.’ ‘I didn’t say that, exactly’. ‘I was talking to racist people and speaking their langauge.’ ‘That’s just racial bigottry, not racism.’

    OH, well, in that case, it’s still wrong. That’s the end game, isn’t it? We shouldn’t accept the kind of thing Mccain is talking about, which he defines as not racism, even though it is explicitly *intolerance of a race* (which is what a dictionary would tell you is racism in 1930 or 2009).

    Do I think we need 10 subcategories of this general problem, in order to give people a way to show intolerance without wearing the scarlet R? Not really. They are wearing the scarlet W right under that scarlet R.

    Dustin (44f8cb)

  30. PathHMV: Stephen J. Gould was a Marxist whose politics controlled his popular science writing. His evolutionary theorizing is now dismissed as charlatanry.

    As much as leftists liked Gould hated the idea and tried to suppress it, there is now substantial evidence that intelligence is in substantial pary heritable, and that there are significant group differences in inherited intelligence.

    The Mismeasure of Man was refuted many years ago.

    Rich Rostrom (8abb80)

  31. And isn’t it bloody obvious, though? In Africa, where the tribe is supreme and athleticism the most important trait around, isn’t it obvious that the traits best suited to preserve both be the most conserved ones?

    The question is, are the genes that control athleticism inversely proportional to those that control intelligence? That, I have absolutely no clue, and I suspect right now very few people do.

    But I would say that you only have so many hours in the day, and if you’re out there training your body so’s you can outrun a lion and hunt down a gazelle, that’s so much time less you have to pore over your calculus textbook.

    But I tell you what, if you think high IQ means you’re smarter or more intelligent, you’re wrong. Because, in the savannah, that Maasai savage is far more intelligent and far smarter about survival than you. And he’s gonna live longer, too, all other things being equal.

    Dustin: No, it’s not intolerance of a race. Being averse to something does not mean you’re intolerant of it. I’m generally risk-averse, but if something promises me 100x return, I’ll hold my nose and tolerate the risk if it seemed at all logical to do so.

    The term ‘tolerant’ simply means you can deal with it. Hypothetically, I can think my sister made a mistake marrying who she did because he’s Australian and a lib, and still send him Christmas cards and celebrate his birthday and talk to him on Skype.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  32. Greg

    > In Africa, where the tribe is supreme and athleticism the most important trait around, isn’t it obvious that the traits best suited to preserve both be the most conserved ones?

    Mind boggles that you apparently think black people in Africa are mainly running around chucking spears.

    And no, athleticism is not the most important trait even in a primitive tribe. Do you think those people are outrunning the gazelles and taking them down with their jaws like a tiger? No. they are using tools, weapons, and using their intelligence to ensure accuracy.

    By the way, its funny we keep tossing around this concept of tribalism. As a general rule the tribe doesn’t restrict its people to marrying within the tribe. Why? Well, take the tribe in Dances with Wolves. If they kept their genes to themselves, pretty soon everyone would be sleeping with their cousins—because there would be no one left to sleep with.

    > The question is, are the genes that control athleticism inversely proportional to those that control intelligence?

    How about this? If you want to promote athleticism in your offspring, then only date jocks. If you want to promote intelligence, only date members of mensa. Why bother using race as a proxy for either?

    > if you’re out there training your body so’s you can outrun a lion and hunt down a gazelle, that’s so much time less you have to pore over your calculus textbook.

    Oh, my, you do think we outrun these animals. Look, the average track star can get run a mile in four minutes. That’s about 15 mph. Supposedly our speed limit is around 30 mph. Lions and gazelles can run at 50 mph. You are not not going to outrun either animal. If you are going to kill a gazelle or survive with a lion, you better pick up a weapon. That requires intelligence.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  33. i’ll add something else. primative “tribal” societies have shown themselves to be remarkable sophisticated. many of the wonders of the world were built by “primatives” often according to remarkably complex understandings of the movement of the universe. its that kind of behavior that endlessly spawns “chariots of the gods” type theories. but assuming these things weren’t built by aliens, then you have to marvel at how these supposedly primative people did so much without the benefit of anything like our technology. i guess somehow they took a break from outrunning animals (lol), to do their calculus.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  34. Frankly, this argument that
    “As much as leftists liked Gould hated the idea and tried to suppress it, there is now substantial evidence that intelligence is in substantial pary heritable, and that there are significant group differences in inherited intelligence.

    The Mismeasure of Man was refuted many years ago.”

    has a very, VERY high burden of proof. it’s asserting:

    a) there is a way to MEANINGFULLY(IE, you didn’t rate individual’s ‘smartness’ from 1-5 or had them take an IQ test) quantify brainpower. (just as an example, is it skill with math? if it’s skill with math, is it the ability to do long division in your head, or is it the ability to do vector calculus with reams of scratch paper; one does NOT imply the other. hey, what about the ability to remember 500 fiddly little formulas that the other guy needs to right down on a reference sheet…and math is just one out of DOZENS of things that we roll up in a giant ball and call intelligence)

    b) having quantified smartness, you now need to assemble a statistically significant sample of people from each of these ‘groups’ you think might have different brains.
    Then, you need to find a way to actually TEST your brain-number accurately.
    Then you need to be able to correct for ‘Nurture’…and good luck there. The insane complexity that is a human being’s social/academic/physical environment throughout their life is NOT something you can put in a box and claim doesn’t affect your results.

    And then? after you prove that *favored_group* is 15% smarter than everyone else?

    The gigantic bell-curve of individuality makes your life’s work useless for making judgments of any particular human or small group of humans.
    Have fun!

    Morendin (1039c5)

  35. further clarification of Point A) above:
    The average of math and writing and good judgment in a crisis is a meaningless concept, akin to the average of Orange and Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
    (mmm, cranberry sauce).

    Taking an IQ test that purports to test on various aspects of what we call intelligence and then spits out a number at the end, and then trying to use that number to demonstrate correlation with genetic makeup of the subjects is the exact sort of voodoo science that’s gotten the East Anglia CRU in trouble.

    Morendin (1039c5)

  36. moren

    i pretty much covered this ground at #16. gmta.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  37. “Oy vey, so you think the brain gene is connected to the skin color gene?”

    Crudely put, but that is basically what the science says. Different populations of people, defined in racial terms, possess different average IQ levels. Jews and many Asians are high IQ, for instance. So we can make reasonably accurate projections about the results if the US changes its demographic profile in different ways. For instance, the current Hispanic influx will lower the average US IQ, with various predictable consequences on things like education and GDP.

    None of this is really a matter open for debate, even if it offends some people to hear it said.

    Subotai (b70b59)

  38. subotai

    As i said way back when, it is not open to debate that IQ is influenced by factors other than innate intelligence, so your claims are rubbish.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  39. Sorry Dafydd,

    I don’t buy your creative interpretation. Who was RSM’s audience for his 1996 message? Supposedly he was trying to keep a certain group from becoming white separatists. That would be a noble goal. But it appears while doing so he appealed to their vanity and told these potential white separatists (not Chesterton or old-style Christians) that revulsion of your (potential) in-laws based on their race is not racism.

    RSM is fatally wrong on this point above all else. It isn’t tribal, it’s racial because he didn’t make a general case; he made a racial case while speaking to potential white separatists. He told potential racists that race-based feelings of revulsion are not racist.

    No amount of creativity or humor will remove this justification of racism. Just as Clinton couldn’t redefine the meaning of “is”.

    Peter J Barban (a12e49)


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