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Woke Racism

Started by GSOgymrat, December 28, 2021, 01:07:13 PM

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GSOgymrat

In his new book Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America linguist John McWhorter makes the argument that the current anti-racist movement championed by people including Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be An Anti-Racist) and Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility) is not similar to a religion but is a religion. An atheist, McWhorter sees anti-racism as religious in the infinite elasticity of its arguments and in its claim to be an all-solving theory, which banishes irony and contradiction and treats all opposition as blasphemy. He cites the prayer sessions and genuflections, the insistence on sin, the creation of saints (e.g. George Floyd murals), and the same extraordinary moral arrogance masquerading as humility and meekness, similar as in evangelical Christians. Like testing for witchcraft by throwing someone in a pond to see if they sink, denial, according to DiAngelo, is tantamount to self-indictment: if you become defensive when someone calls you a racist, it just proves that you are one. McWhorter lists numerous contradictions in anti-racism thought and states to bring notice to these contradictions results in charges of racism, e.g. more black students should be admitted to top schools (via adjusted test scores and grade standards) in order to foster diversity, but it is racist to acknowledge that students are admitted for these reasons. He believes the anti-racism movement is pernicious and goes so far as to say it is as dangerous as the overt racism promoted by some conservatives, mainly because it is being blindly accepted by educational systems and HR offices.

McWhorter holds nothing back on his attacks on anti-racists, which he calls the Elect, and at times he comes off as evangelical as his opponents. He strikes me as someone who spends a lot of time engaged in social media culture wars. He is very blunt that people who have committed to the anti-racism “religion” cannot be reasoned with and he dismisses them outright:

You don’t ask a devout Christian why they can’t “consider” reconceiving of Jesus as a man who simply passed away forever two thousand years ago, as all humans do, was never again sensate to human affairs of any kind, and thus did not and does not “love” them now. In the same way, you cannot “discuss” with an Elect whether they should prioritize logic and civility over their strain of antiracism. Their sense of priorities is fundamentally and unmovably different from those of someone unconverted to their worldview.

McWhorter has several good points and a few lines of thought that are poorly supported. He does not argue that racial inequities do not exist but argues that anti-racists are doing more harm than good. I do appreciate that he offers alternative recommendations for addressing racial inequity: 1) end the war on drugs, 2) teach reading properly, and 3) get past the idea that everybody must go to college. Personally, I don’t like calling anti-racism a religion but I do think it is useful to understand that some people treat anti-racism as though it is a religion. For many people, anti-racism activism gives people an identity and sense of purpose and they react to criticism of anti-racism activism the way people often do when their religion is criticized. It's tribal and emotionally charged.

There are many YouTube and podcasts with McWhorter for those interested in hearing more about his views.

drunkenshoe

Thanks for the summary, GSO. But then racism is literally based on religion, and also vegans and animal rights activist movements have the same cult like quality. Saying that anything that works; that gets a bit of hold on over something turns into a cult now wouldn't be too far off. This has different reasons than those things' purposes and causes. I personally think that the reason is puritanism in general. (As understood in anthropology.) 

But put all that side, play the devil's advocate. How do you fight with homicidal, genocidal cult(s) without finally becoming one? I mean, how long? It's just probably impossible. It's the basic tenet of all of them. Racism.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

SoldierofFortune

In the context of discrimination, wheher against women by men, or against the black people by the white people; It is just to make it seem less heavier.

What about the violence against the men, by the men. It is far more horrible.

aitm

I have a problem with the “anti” label. I mean, shouldn’t that be the default? No child is born racist, they are taught to be. If racism did not exist there would be no “anti”. And exactly what should “anti” be? It would be against racism, in all forms, and when racism continues year after decade and a hundred more years what would “fighting against racism” be called? Anti-racist should be seen as the default for everyone. Racism is the evil that provokes the “anti” why not work on eliminating that instead of whining about people trying to get the same rights that others inherit simply due to skin color. “You mad bro”? Well, fuck yeah we be mad! For fuck sake you’ve had three hundred years of abusing us and now we’re fucking “anti” because we are getting a bit pissy? You ain’t seen pissy…shoulda been here in 68. I’d tell the writer to go fuck himself.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

GSOgymrat

Quote from: aitm on January 07, 2022, 01:18:24 PM
I have a problem with the “anti” label. I mean, shouldn’t that be the default? No child is born racist, they are taught to be. If racism did not exist there would be no “anti”. And exactly what should “anti” be? It would be against racism, in all forms, and when racism continues year after decade and a hundred more years what would “fighting against racism” be called? Anti-racist should be seen as the default for everyone. Racism is the evil that provokes the “anti” why not work on eliminating that instead of whining about people trying to get the same rights that others inherit simply due to skin color. “You mad bro”? Well, fuck yeah we be mad! For fuck sake you’ve had three hundred years of abusing us and now we’re fucking “anti” because we are getting a bit pissy? You ain’t seen pissy…shoulda been here in 68. I’d tell the writer to go fuck himself.

Just to be clear, McWhorter did not coin the term "anti-racist". Anti-racist is used by progressives such as Ibram X. Kendi to emphasize actions that are actively opposed to racist policies. As Kendi defines in his book, an anti-racist is “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea”. The definition of an anti-racist or anti-racism must be center on the support of antiracist policy and not simply the transformation of racist ideas. Anti-racism is about changing power structures. A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An anti-racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy.

Mike Cl

#5
Quote from: GSOgymrat on January 08, 2022, 01:29:32 AM
Just to be clear, McWhorter did not coin the term "anti-racist". Anti-racist is used by progressives such as Ibram X. Kendi to emphasize actions that are actively opposed to racist policies. As Kendi defines in his book, an anti-racist is “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea”. The definition of an anti-racist or anti-racism must be center on the support of antiracist policy and not simply the transformation of racist ideas. Anti-racism is about changing power structures. A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An anti-racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy.
I agree with all of the above.  But I was struck by how political that all is.  Why political?  Because according to biology there are no human races but only a human race.  One.  What apparent differences humans appear to have are literally skin deep and have no significance--scientifically.  Politically, we do love to label, so we can have our 'us vs them' categories in tact. Scientifically, there is no 'us vs them', for we are all one.  Not so socially or politically.  Organized religions play a huge role in that as does some of our politics.

A great site for this topic:
https://askabiologist.asu.edu/questions/human-races

Are different races subspecies?

No! Races are not subspecies of the human species. There is only one “race”â€"the human race. So why can’t we sort humans into subspecies like we can with other animals? The answer is that the human species doesn’t have much genetic variation. We are too alike to split into groups.   
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?<br />Then he is not omnipotent,<br />Is he able but not willing?<br />Then whence cometh evil?<br />Is he neither able or willing?<br />Then why call him god?

aitm

Quote from: GSOgymrat on January 08, 2022, 01:29:32 AM
Just to be clear, McWhorter did not coin the term "anti-racist". Anti-racist is used by progressives such as Ibram X. Kendi to emphasize actions that are actively opposed to racist policies. As Kendi defines in his book, an anti-racist is “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea”. The definition of an anti-racist or anti-racism must be center on the support of antiracist policy and not simply the transformation of racist ideas. Anti-racism is about changing power structures. A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An anti-racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy.

Again, I take issue with whomever is calling the default human condition, or what should be the default as “anti”, when racism is the active resistance to the norm of a non-racist upbringing. I cannot see being resistant or defensive against racism as being “anti” when again, it is the norm at birth.

I also take exception to the idea that there cannot be a non-racist policy…the reality of course is there may be few because the non-racist child is eventually jaded by his parents or peers into the racist. I do think there can be non-racist policies, and that it is easier to do than we think. For instance, perhaps, as much as we all dread another number assigned to us, we had a secondary number much like a private drivers license but. But not our SS number then job applicants or home buyers applicant or college bound students would submit the pertinent information and were judged specifically on the basis of that information and we remove those subtle bias by names associated with ethnicities, and of course remove the person of such application from revealing skin color or perceived religions.

Perhaps in court we did not have the victim and perp in the room to be pre-judged but rather have them represented by an appointed person. The evidence as such is presented, and given our ability to modify Video or photos could blur said person to a degree when one could not tell their heritage at all. Such a procedure, if even really feasible could present a fairer way of judging someone.

Of course these suggestions would be fought lie crazy because people want to be able to judge a person by their heritage as they think they and they alone have the ability to judge without preconceived notions.

Of course I am familiar with the multiple past social and governmental acts that actively took a role in maintaining a separate society as in “red-lining” which we should all be quite knowledgeable about. Non-racist policies do exist, they however, cannot be fairly implemented when those doing said implementation have bias or racist views.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Cassia

I only call something to be "like a religion" if it is based on untruths. Racism is real and lurks in all of us. My education in hate of various groups began as soon as I could communicate.

the_antithesis

Quote from: Cassia on January 08, 2022, 10:11:43 AM
I only call something to be "like a religion" if it is based on untruths...

It has been my experience that truth or the lack thereof is immaterial to religion. I think "like a religion" is defined by something else.

GSOgymrat

Quote from: Mike Cl on January 08, 2022, 09:23:19 AM
Races are not subspecies of the human species. There is only one “race”â€"the human race. So why can’t we sort humans into subspecies like we can with other animals? The answer is that the human species doesn’t have much genetic variation. We are too alike to split into groups.   

Quote from: aitm on January 08, 2022, 10:09:26 AM
Again, I take issue with whomever is calling the default human condition, or what should be the default as “anti”, when racism is the active resistance to the norm of a non-racist upbringing. I cannot see being resistant or defensive against racism as being “anti” when again, it is the norm at birth.

Research indicates that newborns cannot distinguish between races but 3-month-olds can and prefer their own-race faces. People are not born blank slates and are an amalgam of heredity, culture, and environment. I don't think humans have evolved to be racist but they have evolved to make distinctions. We are one human race but people divide themselves into groups over all kinds of distinctions. Different societies accept different levels of diversity. I think it is best to recognize we have all kinds of biases, that infants have biases, so they can be addressed.

GSOgymrat

Quote from: aitm on January 08, 2022, 10:09:26 AM
I also take exception to the idea that there cannot be a non-racist policy…the reality of course is there may be few because the non-racist child is eventually jaded by his parents or peers into the racist. I do think there can be non-racist policies, and that it is easier to do than we think. For instance, perhaps, as much as we all dread another number assigned to us, we had a secondary number much like a private drivers license but. But not our SS number then job applicants or home buyers applicant or college bound students would submit the pertinent information and were judged specifically on the basis of that information and we remove those subtle bias by names associated with ethnicities, and of course remove the person of such application from revealing skin color or perceived religions.

The argument is that a color-blind policy is racist because it does not take into account the legacy of racism that has led to people of color being at a disadvantage. This argument focuses not on the racial bias of individuals making the decision but the racial societal factors that affect the applicants.