Is Racism about appearance?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by ElectricFetus, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    So race exists.

    No, you are dealing with people who are attempting to educate you on the fact that race does exist and that people are of different colour as a result of their racial heritage. You have yet to grasp this very simple fact.

    You complain about others in this thread pigeonholing according to colour, yet you have obsessively done so yourself.

    Only if you are colour blind and unable to distinguish the different tones and colours that people actually are.

    Tell me, if one day you were mugged by a white caucasian person and the police asked you what that person looked like. What would you say? How would you describe them?

    My grandfather was black and my grandmother was white. My paternal grandfather had African and French ancestry, as did my paternal grandmother. You are saying that I am giving an inaccurate description of both of them because I refer to him as black and my grandmother white? You do not make sense. You're telling me that if you are faced with a black African, you would have difficulty in describing his colour? I can assure you, he would not.

    At the heart of all this, it is astounding that in your zeal to accuse others of racism, you do not realise the racism behind denying someone their racial identity. It also makes you highly hypocritical.

    So if a white person mugged you, you'd tell the police he was brown?

    What if he was covered in colourful tattoos? Would you describe them as being multi-coloured?

    You seem to object with classifying people as black or white or mixed and you deem it racist to do so. African American for example, revel in the fact that they are "black". They are proud of their racial identity, just as white anglo-saxon Americans are proud of their racial identity and identify themselves as white.

    As someone who is of mixed ancestry, I have no problems in identifying myself as black or "coloured". I am inordinately proud of my racial origins. And to have some upstart tell me that I'm racist because I can identify myself as "black" is insulting and racist, because in doing so, you are denying me my black heritage.


    The hypocrisy of your stance is hilarious. You are so attempting to not be racist that you are being more racist than anyone else.

    Again, you speak of sex and small children.

    Racists do consider all possible shades of brown. Just as you keep obsessively doing.
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  3. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    The Jews aren't really a race, as far as I'm aware.
    I tihnk this is the main problem. People are confusing racism with a certain cultural or religious dislike. Admittedly, it can be linked to racism on several levels, but the antipathy towards Muslims, for example, can hardly be attributed to a racial antipathy.

    When most people think "Muslim" they envisage someone of middle eastern appearance, even though the religion itself is based in many nations - some of them more populous than the middle eastern ones. There's few things more annoying than being called a "racist" because you admit to a dislike of one religion or culture, and that is primarily the result of most people not knowing what the hell they're talking about when they refer to "race".
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  5. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Hardly. I already replied telling you why it doesn't work.

    It's an example of fuzzy feelgood logic one finds on those annoying emails people send around telling you to forward it on so that at least 5 others can feel good too.
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  7. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Your analogies actually support what he is saying. Blind people have complicated social and professional interactions with other people, just like non-blind people. If they could not tell the difference, then the difference is not really significant for the rest of us.

    If the only reason you buy red gum instead of white gum is because the former is red, what you are getting is the same product - plus a greater liklihood of problematic food dyes - but are choosing it because of marketing. IOW ideas about the product, rather than the product itself. Unless you are interested in having other people see red gum in your mouth or have some other reason to place a value on the color of your gum.

    If it is correct that racism disappeared if we were blind, then the ideas founding racism are not relevent to most people's real values. They represent, like the color of the gum, properties that are irrelevent.
  8. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Your response missed the point entirely:

    You fallaciously assume that, outside of the scope of visual observation, there are in fact "differences". No-one is seeking to prove that there are no differences. The simple fact is, it is differences that the racist focuses on, and the primary means of identifying differences is sight.
  9. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Just to get fussy in here....

    I would say that without sight, the racist would have trouble applying racist ideas, building them up or understanding what the purveyors of racism were referring to. So abstract ideas not based in reality would have no way to hook into reality at all.

    I think, further, that his problem with your argument indicates naivte about blind people. As they would be missing all this important stuff - important to us - because they are blind.
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Which is precisely my point.

    As I said from the beginning, it's just a thought-experiment. But it does nicely illustrate at least, the scope of the problem.
  11. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    just noticed I left out 'if'. As if they would be missing all this......

    and yes, I was agreeing with you.
  12. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member


    Damn how such a wee word like "if" can entirely change the meaning of a sentence eh?

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  13. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Yeah ,yeah, so we're down to the old "if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound" bullshit.

    I'm firmly on the side of "yes, it does".
    You, apparently, are on the other.

    *Edit - oh, and by the way - if, as you say, the primary means of identifying such differences is sight, then does this disprove that there are other means by which such differences can be identified?
    That's not really a question.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  14. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    This argument implies that Glaucon is saying there are no visual differences between the races. He isn't. In fact it is clear in his argument he acknowledges that.

    A deaf person could find the fallen tree - that was standing the day before - and know it had fallen.

    The struck blind racist however can still come out with racist tracts but acting interpersonally like a racist becomes a severe problem.
  15. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    With what senses do you notice the difference between the races? And what are those differences?
  16. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member



    You've seriously misunderstood.

    I'll dumb it down a little:

    There are phenotypic differences in humans that are observable.
    When one cannot observe them, one cannot identify them.

    Did I say that?
  17. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Isn't it?
    So you're saying that because some people lack ocular facillity, it really isn't all that important and the rest of us should learn to get along without it.

    No, you're getting one of two similar but different species of Myrtacae.

    Preference, actually. You're assuming that the basis of that preference would be visual alone. While important, it is not the be and end all.
    Ask any gardener.

    Oh. heh. You have no idea I'm talking about trees?

  18. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    The thing being, of course, that we can observe them - blind people aside. The difference between a native African and a Korean is quite clear.

    You're saying that if we couldn't see those differences, racism probably wouldn't exist. While this argument clearly crosses into theoretical territory, I don't agree with you. Humans being what they are, we'd simply find some other means of identification.

    No, you didn't. My apologies. although I had to disregard the first sentence of that paragraph in order to see what you meant :
    If you're going to use the word "fallaciously", you'd be best using it in a context which supports the rest of your intent.

    As I said though - given that we agree there are differences, do you seriously think humans wouldn't still be racist if we were all blind?
    You appear to have far more faith in humanity than I do. Blind faith? Heh.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  19. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    In regard to judging the worth and character of other people in the ways that racists do, absolutely. I am not talking about tennis players and astronomers wearing blindfolds.
    Oh, well, we are all homo sapians, if you are concerned about species. Notice, you jumped from one analogy to another as if I had said something about this new one.

    But racism draws non-visual conclusions from visual cues. A gardner - one who is focused on aesthetic issues rather than say growing vegetables for eating - is using visual cues because of VISUAL BASED AESTHETICS. Or are you saying that racism is only about aesthetics?

    I am not the focus here, unless you are out of arguments.
  20. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    As far as this, make your case.....
  21. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    As long as you disregard the "fallaciously". Not quite as clear as your sympathies lead you to believe, hmmm?

    This, though, is a better question.
    Without spending too much time thinking about it, I would use a general term like "perception".
    Ocular understanding is only one part of the puzzle. When trying to understand anything one sees, More goes into what you're viewing than it's physical appearance alone.
    Cognizence realies upon an understanding reached by using all the senses applicable, and then churning that information into a conclusion.

    You both appear to be saying that racism relies upon sight alone.
    I simply disagree. There is far more to it than that.
    As I said, ask any gardener why he will plant certain plants and not others. It's not simply because he likes the look of them.
  22. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    What case? You're saying "If" we were all blind, racism wouldn't exist.
    I'm disagreeing, because I believe that racism arises as a result of many factors - take away the visual, and it'd still exist.

    Look, all you two are doing is postulating something which can't be conclusively proven or disproven either way, and saying you believe it.
    I'm saying I don't.

    It's started to become like arguing about religion.
  23. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Can you keep the focus on the issues rather than on me, please.

    This response, otherwise, makes not sense to me. I understood you were saying he would fall down on saying there was no sound. I do not see the word fallaciously anywhere.

    This is all abstract. What are you talking about? What racist beliefs do you have and how do you support them with perception?

    Let us know when you can back this up. You keep asserting the same things.

    And I gave an example of other reasons he or she might choose plants above. So clearly I know this.

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