What, you're afraid that black people would make white people their slaves if only they could, or something?
As a hypothetical, sure. Let's examine that.
Your concern isn't legitimate, because black people have nowhere near the kind of power to enact any meaningful change in favor of their race to that end (not even with a black president!).
Irrelevant. The hypothetical assumes that they do. Hence, the "if they could", part.
And if ever they did approach a significant portion of the population, then they would be in a position to consider as a sociocultural group the ramifications of that position.
Absolutely. My question is: Do they exhibit the same level of broad sociological support for the principles of racial equality (even if it means a negative result for your own race), which white people exhibited for centuries prior to even ending slavery, much less passing the civil rights act?
Imagine a long scale of history. We didn't just one day end slavery. It was a process, right? The constitution was written about a century earlier, and included language which should have prohibited slavery, but the institution continued anyway. And the racial equality movement, broadly agreed with in principle, still suffered resistance for nearly another century even after slavery was ended. Now imagine a time line of those changes in terms of how the whole of white society in America viewed race. My question is: Where on that timeline would you place the whole of black society in America today?
When considering your answer, examine statements made by black leaders like Sharpton and Jackson. And examine the reactions to those words. And examine the assumptions made by people like Alma within that context (not sure if that's a good representative sample of the "common person", but whatever). When the idea that it's natural and ok for ethnic groups to band together to benefit members of their own group, where does that put us?
I'll point out again that institutions like slavery and Jim Crow could only end as a result of the majority society maturing collectively on the issue of race. Had said society chosen, as Alma seems to think is perfectly acceptable, to act in the best interests of their own group first, it's hard to imagine why they'd ever have given up that power when they had it.
I think it's perfectly relevant to ask if, based on the current rhetoric and views on race being used among some minority groups (let's stick to black for now), those same people would suddenly change their positions if they were the ones in power instead. How conditional are their views of race based on the current
state of power, and how much is just based on, as Alma said: Helping your own kind?
It was obvious that he was making the point that some products and services are exclusive to black consumers and that there's nothing racist about it. It's not about racism. Most stores stock skin-tone bandaids, but whose skintone? Are the bandaid manufacturers racist? Of course not, but that doesn't mean that black people wouldn't like bandaids that are THEIR skin tone.
Yeah. And this was another one of those irrelevant questions that was asked. I never stated that tailoring products to specific consumers was wrong or racist. I said that blaming white people for *not* buying the products targeted to black consumers is silly. You wouldn't blame a white person for buying the white skin tone bandaid anymore than I'd blame a black person for wanting to buy a black one. It's irrelevant to the question I posed. No one was arguing that it's racism to target products to black consumers.
What I did say is that it is racist for a black person to choose to shop only at a "black store", for the sole purpose of helping out the black owner and the black workers there economically. It is racist for exactly the same reason why it would be racist for a white person to choose to only shop at stores owned by people of his own skin color.
If you recall, this was the argument Alma originally made. That it was ok to "help out your own people". It was not about buying products that appeal to you. That's why his follow up is irrelevant. The criteria he originally used, and to which I disagreed, had nothing to do with products, and everything to do with the race of the people who would benefit from the business.
Within the black community, and in most minority communities, there is a heightened sense of unity, and yes, almost a familial sense. And to dismiss this as wrong is the height of ignorance. It's not ideal, but it's not wrong.
You know? I was going to write a longish bit about how black culture in the US was largely invented in the 60s as a deliberate means to distinguish and alienate them from whites and as a means of empowering the leaders of various political movements, but let's just ignore that since it's largely meaningless at this point, decades later. I'll just accept that and move on, I guess.
So the point I'm making still stands though. While the "banding together" may be a natural result of being a smaller culture within a larger one, the result is that the members of that group learn that it's ok (heck, required) for them to act in negative ways toward other racial groups, as a means of empowerment. My question is still relevant: Does that cultural trend disappear as they gain power within the larger culture? Or does that trend actually amplify as their power grows (they'll see this as their tactics working perhaps?), until they gain power and then continue to use the same racial methodology to secure it and ensure that they never again lose it.
I'd suggest that this is far more likely within an historical context. Of course, that's hard to say given that we've never seen a modern example of such a shift within a society largely based on the principles of liberalism. Um... But the flip side is that those who adopt that "minority culture" viewpoint aren't really acting upon those principles, are they?
Hence, why I posited the question. IMO it's a legitimate thing to ponder.
And ultimately it won't change until there's no longer a perception of racism. Which is something that will NEVER go away as long as people like you ignorantly call to revoke "favoritist" policies, and people like varus maliciously stereotype an entire group of people.
How can you eliminate the perception of racism (which I assume you mean as a removal of the view of someone with a different skin color to be of a different "group" than yourself) as long as we have those "favorist" policies which treat us differently based on our skin color? How do you think that will happen? Can it ever happen?
IMO, those policies perpetuate that aspect of racism. It makes us constantly aware of the different groups of people within our society, all separated by race. We are reminded of this every time we fill out a government form which asks us to name the group we're a member of. How can we ever eliminate that perception if we're required to constantly self-identify ourselves by race by our government almost constantly?
Being black isn't always like that.
Why not? And isn't that the problem? If the issue is racial perception, then isn't the solution to get rid of the perception? What if black people didn't think of themselves as "black"? What if they just thought of themselves as "people"? Can you even comprehend what a major advance that would be in terms of social evolution? Can you also see how this is the route to ending racism?
So. Is the problem that the larger society constantly reminds everyone that it is made by whites and for whites? Or is the problem that the smaller societies within it are constantly told that they are black and living in a white world?
First of all, no-- just because something is wrong when those in power do it, doesn't necessarily mean it will be wrong when those not in power do it. That's not how ethics work. Morality, even if you subscribe to a pretty rigid set of morals, is contextual, and different contexts permit different guidelines.
You're splitting hairs there. The vast majority of the time, what I said is absolutely correct. Morals, the "right and wrong" of social conduct, is (or should be) consistent across all the members of the society those morals apply to. It can be argued, in fact, that what you're describing is a case which only exists if we assume some kind of class based society in which different rules can be said to apply to different people.
We don't live in such a system. Well, or we're not supposed to. Of course, when we pass laws which treat people differently based on the color of their skin, we're kinda implementing that old and flawed methodology. Which is one of the reasons I think it's a bad idea.
But if we assume we're pursuing some kind of principled ideal, I'm going to stand by my statement that if something is wrong when done by someone in power, it's also wrong when done by someone not in power. And this certainly is doubly true when we're not talking about the individual people in power, but merely people who happen to be in the social majority.
Secondly, do you even understand systemic racism? Do you understand that for a group of people to pull themselves out of a historically defined economic oppression falls somewhere between incredibly difficult and impossible?
I'd argue that it's incredibly difficult and/or impossible if those people continue to think of themselves as a separate group of people. If they instead simply become part of the larger group, then they have no problems at all. My point is that the systemic racism you're talking about is currently being perpetuated by the very "fight" to fight systemic racism. That's why it can't win. You're literally fighting yourself by doing that.
The way to beat racism in a society is to stop labeling people by race. I know this may seem like a radical concept to many people, but that's the only way it works. As long as people think of themselves as members of a race and not just members of a larger society, one such group will always be "in power", and the rest minorities. And if every minority always fights to be in power, or to balance out the power held by the majority, the cycle will never ever end.
Don't you see that?
You and I have advantages just by sheer virtue of being white. We are more likely to have educated, higher SES parents and grandparents who were better able to provide for us and were better equipped to socially adjust us to a culture that is their own. We are less prone to be victim to racism. More goods and services are targeted directly to our cultural desires.
The economic advantages of being white should not have lasted more than a couple generations past the passage of the civil rights act. And the cultural stuff is honestly BS. The biggest thing holding black america back is that it insists on being treated as "black america" instead of just Americans. Think about it. There are other ethnic groups within the US who have started from vastly different cultural backgrounds than the cultural delta between black and white in the US. Yet they don't experience anywhere near the social problems that blacks do.
Why? And it's not racism directed towards blacks. It really isn't. This is somewhat off my original topic, but whatever.
Racism is oppressive discrimination. Helping people based on race isn't racism when those people are already disadvantaged.
In my opinion, it is. You should help people who are disadvantaged regardless of their skin color. Not because of it.
And if there ever is a time when the footing is more equal, I doubt there will be too much resistance to the idea of doing away with that kind of policy; however, to think that it does more harm than good is unsubstantiated at best, more likely absurd, and at worst, perpetuates the perception that racism is still alive and well.
I disagree. I think the policies themselves perpetuate racism. As I stated earlier, you can't end racism as long as you have those policies. And even if those who gain power change their views and stop thinking in terms of fighting for benefits for their race, you'll still have others who will now be the new minorities. And they'll do the same thing and the cycle will just continue forever.
Maybe I'm a dreamer, but to me this is not a solution. It's a great way to get people to support you politically, but it'll never actually solve the problem of "racism".