Is Racism about appearance?

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

  1. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    There is plenty of racism within physical types...white on white, black on black...
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  3. EmptySky Banned Banned

    How people act simply follows from their biology, their race. One cannot have rain without rain clouds or smoke without fire.

    Of course, as a believer in God you are free to contradict this, but you will never find any evidence to support your argument, that is, if what you advance may be termed an argument.
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  5. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

    Negative, cultural influence and socioeconomic status will trump biology every time.
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  7. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    By referring to him as "black", you're ignoring the 50% of his heritage that ISN'T black.

    So it's impossible for an American to be biracial?

    I have no control over how other people perceive or classify race, but I also have no obligation to go along with perceptions and classifications that are based on political motivations or ignorance. If Obama was 1/64th white and 63/64th black, it would be kinda silly to classify him as biracial. When it's 50/50, it's pretty damned logical to do so.
  8. BennyF Registered Senior Member

    Likewise, one cannot have racism without a mythical difference in the brains of any two people whom you believe to be from different races. You think that "black" brains are somehow different than "white" brains, when there's no biological difference because race is a myth to begin with.

    As a believer in God, I have an interest in the descendants of Abraham, some of whom God described as a "stiff-necked people" (Exodus 32:9-10). The logical conclusion is that he was criticizing some people for their unwillingness to lower their heads when they prayed. This is a psychological difference, or perhaps a difference in religious practices, but certainly not a racial difference. We all have the same heads. We just don't do the same things with them when in a house of worship.
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    How's that? Racial classification in the US has very little to do with "heritage" percentages - which (we might add) you in fact do not know, for sure.

    Neither did any of the other hundreds and thousands of US citizens who have taken one look at Obama and correctly classified him as "black", in the US.
    It's impossible for that to be their race. We don't even have the vocabulary any more - "quadroon" and "maroon" and so forth no longer exist as categories, in the US.
    You have no obligation to communicate with your fellow Americans at all. The US society that has classified Obama as "black" for his entire life, will file your objections appropriately.
    So you do recognize the futility of such a project, if the percentages (of what, exactly?) seem to you extreme.

    If he were 1/64th "black", and looked exactly like Obama, he would be "black" in the US. The classification does not rest on such considerations.
    Since you do not know, for sure, Obama's actual "racial" mixture, perhaps you could ponder your criteria for the range that would be "not ridiculous" as "biracial" - regardless of his appearance, of course. What's your cutoff?

    To guide you, here is a photograph of some people with a completely different "heritage" than Obama has, in any percentage. So his racial classification would be completely different from theirs, in all percentages, correct? And so a 50/50 mix of one of these people and, say, Obama's mother, would of course have a different racial classification than Obama. What would you say it would be?
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    When dealing with irrational people ....

    I would only remind that what you're dealing with here is a section of society that wishes to forget our American one-drop heritage in order to comfortably deny that a black man has achieved the presidency. They'll throw out history in order to achieve their personal ideological comfort in the present. There's no reasoning with these people; white supremacy is just that important to them.
  11. ClarkKent Registered Member

    This debate has been going on for centuries, particularly in the last few decades and mostly in the U.S. with its historical burden.

    First off we must accept appearance as relevant, or else we throw all of empiricism out along with the "unwanted" social elements, digging a hole from right under our feet.
    Appearance is a manifestation of essence....the end result of generations of nurturing.
    Nature being the sum of all nurturing.

    Secondly we know that species are produced when populations with a common ancestry experience a period of genetic isolation, within different environmental conditions.
    In other words small groups are geographically, or otherwise, isolated within specific environmental conditions, resulting in a uniform distribution of mutations, necessitated by these particular conditions. These mutations accumulate in time, from a small degree, to a larger and larger one, until the group can no longer reproduce with population from groups it once shared an ancestry. This cumulative effect is also accompanied by an alteration in appearance, which indicated this genetic isolation and how the environment promoted and/or inhibited certain traits.

    Thirdly, although the genetic isolation experienced by human populations - presumably caused by population pressured and/or severe climate changes - during migratory periods has resulted in a perceivable and obvious differentiation, this period has not been sufficient to produce a complete diversion.

    Nevertheless, and due to the insights Chaos Theory offers (more specifically the Butterfly Effect), we can assume that the genetic isolation was enough to create some kind of divergence which is now being eliminated due to globalization and population mingling.

    The traits naturally selected during these periods of genetic isolation are not only apparent, sensually, but apparent in the very history of these groups and how some dominated while others stagnated and were eventually dominated.
    To this day these effects can be witnessed in performance variations in such fields as athletics and academics, factoring in the time required to acclimatize to cultural effects.
  12. EmptySky Banned Banned

    Racism is a concept created by Magnus Hirschfield, a German-Jewish physician and sexologist in the early twentieth century. Hirschfield was a practising homosexual and apart from his work on race he crusaded for the normalization of homosexuality as well as other deviant sexual behaviors such as transvetitism and transexualism and the decriminilization of abortion. His institute was eventually shut down and his books burned by the Nazis.

    His critique of race(1) was superficial, relying on such simplistic observations that all humans can interbreed, that blood transfusions across racial boundaries are possible, that all humans are approximately similar in appearance, with little or no discussion of the prevailing scientific evidence to back his assertions. Most of his book is aimed at the concept of intra-European races such as Nordics, Alpines, Mediterraneans, Dinarics, etc...

    The reason for this is, of course, that he is attempting to conceal the presence of his own people [Jews] in Europe, as well as in other areas of his work find a platform for his own sexual nature.

    Ironically, in a list of the seventy greatest minds in history which he compiles, only two are Asian with no blacks. Even Hirschfield cannot blatantly fabricate evidence which does not exist.

    The capitalist establishment seized on his work, having large populations of non-whites to integrate after the decline of slavery and colonialism as well as having its eyes on overseas markets, and so his ideas became part of the mainstream zeitgeist.


    (1) Racism; Magnus Hirschfeld ; translated and edited by Eden and Cedar Paul; London, 1937.

    The writings of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld: A bibliography (Canadian Gay Archives publication series); 1958.
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  13. ClarkKent Registered Member

    Race, like gender, is a human category based on empirical evidence.

    Man does not invent reality, but only orders it and categorizes it.

    These things are evident, in both racial and gender issues:

    1- The concepts are so emotionally laden that any attempt to discuss them rationally eventually leads to accusations of hatred and bigotry.

    2- Social circumstances, in the present, favors an eradication of all natural distinctions - even as far as beauty - so as to attempt o construct artificial environments, which might prove to be more harmonious.

    3- As gender is a cultural application of naturally occurring sexual types - with specific traits and roles - so are genetic distinctions, caused by some period of prolonged genetic isolation, are taken up by culture for specific purposes.

    4- All appearance is relevant, as the senses evolve for the purpose of making use of them.

    5- Even if such categories as Caucasian, Negro, Asian, may be a bit too general, there is an obvious distinction in potentials between one population group and an other - distinctions quickly being lost in the ongoing uniformity of population mixing and social ideals that promote only distinction when it is derived via social service.

    6- History is a testament to this genetic heritage, and no amount of excuses can hide the obvious effects of environment upon a population - nor are these effects superficial, as this implies a mind/body duality which is absurd.

    7- Anyone wishing to preserve the notion of equal potentials, based on the small degree of divergence between one group and an other, must first explain how a 1% difference matters whereas a 0.1% doesn't...and then offer an alternative explanation as to how species evolve, if potentials are uniformly distributed and mutations do not matter.

    9- Consciousness evolved to discriminate, and so to acquire choice, and many here have no issue with discriminating between anything else, based on appearances, except for human beings - and still they are unable to explain why this exception to the rule other than utility. In this way the culturally based censorship is exposed as another social mechanism.
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  14. BennyF Registered Senior Member

    Assuming that you believe in the mythical concept of race, which I do not, it's actually incorrect to refer to Obama as "black". One look at his mother will show you the truth which you either cannot see or cannot admit.

    If you believe in race, then Obama is mixed-race. This is the Romeo-meets-Juliet scenario, playing out in the twenty-first century. If you believe in race, then he's 1/2 black and 1/2 white. When he fathered children by a (presumably) purebred black woman, their children became 3/4 black.

    We'll see who THEY have children with.

    If you DON'T believe in the mythical concept of race, like me, then he's simply a man, whose skin is brown (something like mine), whose face has two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth (like mine), and who was probably born outside this country. That's the only real difference between him and me.
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    ? "mythical?"

    Race is a real phenomenon - races really exist, and really have real effects on real people in the real world. This occurs whether you "believe in" race or not.

    Do you believe in the "mythical concept" of nation?

    The fact that Obama's mother is a white woman makes no difference - plenty of black people have white ancestors. Race isn't decided by what your parents look like, it's decided by what you look like.

    There is no such category as "mixed-race" in the US. Obama is black.

    All of the people in that paragraph are black - and odds are very slim that Michelle Obama is a "purebred" black woman (whatever that even means).

    There is no such race as "half black" or "3/4 black." Those are just black people. Racists aren't going to discriminate against Obama half as much as a "purebred" black man, nor his children 1/4 as much.

    ? Seriously?
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member


    No one cares what you think, lets here what others think, others that do see "race" I want to know how they see it, let iceaura define how obama is called black, not you, by your own admission you can't comperhend such things.


    Great Ad hominem: its does not matter how disgusting or despicable the "creator of racism" was or what intentions were made. If the devil says the sky is blue, just because the devil said it does not make it wrong.
  17. Ambrose Mason Obsidian Gael Registered Senior Member

    I think that racism is about appearance, but also about habits, choices, customs, etiquette and culture. From what I can tell those things [and surely other things unnamed] play a big part in racial tensions.

    I know some people who are very irksome about other races than their own and they tend to make use of stereotypes and petty differences than the people they were raised around. And the racism I've seen doesn't just go one way. It's quite sad, I say.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    This is a new one, for me.

    I have never before heard anyone claim that US racism was invented by a German homosexual in the 1900s.

    btw: when you are attempting to damage someone's reputation among the general public, you might want to leave out the part about the Nazis burning their books. Most people out here in the big world sort of see that as a credit, not a debit, to an intellectual's reputation.
    In biological analysis they are mistakes, if your interest is in anything other than skin color, possibly nose or eye shape.
  19. EmptySky Banned Banned

    You find Hirschfield disgusting? I made no such value judgement. The responsibility for your statement is all yours. Neither can his intentions be considered 'irrelevant' anymore than those of a politician or law maker or businessman or anyone who seeks to change public opinion for their own benefit, unless you wish to bury your head in the sand and be led around like a sheep.

    It's not a claim, it's a fact backed by researchers at the Oxford English Dictionary. If you can find the concept mentioned prior to 1938 and outlined in such detail, so that it is so obviously the origins of the modern belief used by those who oppose racial classification today then post your data.

    Is that the big wide world full of Christians and Muslims and atheist intellectuals who need to be spoon-fed a sugar coated version of reality, replacing one devil with another and one god with another?
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Certainly you implied such, as there was no reason to mention his sexuality.

    Intention is irrelevant to truth, If I wanted you to believe the sky is blue for some kind of nefarious or selfish reasoning, that does not change the fact the sky is blue.

    I'm not arguing about an origin of the word, as for belief are you arguing that prior to 1938 no one objected to oppression based on racial lines?
  21. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Well, there's an argument against any scientific concept of race.
    I'm thinking Benny may be the one drinking chicken soup.
    I'm also thinking it really isn't working all that well for him.

    No, Benny. That's racism, not race. It would appear that the two concepts are identical, as far as you're concerned.
    You're really not very good at this, are you?

    Take a good look around, Benny. The world thrives on group identities. You're going to have a terribly difficult time denying that.

    You mean those who act on visible differences to treat others with disrespect? Surely you did.

    No, Benny.
    A belief in race is not an indicator of racism. Has it occured to you that it might be you who is intolerant? Has it occured to you that you might be the one lumping all those with a certain belief into a single basket?
    Has it occured to you that you might be every bit as prejudiced as those you despise?
    Your god would disapprove, you know.

    Has there been a single post you've made here without mentioning the phrase "The mythical concept of race"?
    It's a mantra for you, isn't it. Five words which allow you to ignore reality, as long as you repeat them to yourself loud and long enough.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    How would a dictionary be relevant to this matter?
    Yep, that one. We tend to have a low opinion of bookburning in general, and Nazi bookburning in particular - people whose books are burned by Goebbel's propaganda operation were probably a threat to that operation, which speaks in their favor.
  23. BennyF Registered Senior Member

    No, races really DON'T exist. I presented he proof of this a few pages ago. The short version involves making the temporary assumption that race exists, and then showing, by a logical series of arguments, that this temporary assumption leads to a contradiction. In this case, the contradiction is the historical facts concerning the descendants of a female slave who belonged to Thomas Jefferson (our third President) and who got pregnant by him. From your point of view, the "inconvenient truth" is that most of these descendants of a female slave look more like him than they do her. If race was a real concept, then this racial crossover couldn't happen, but it did.

    Then they're not really "black", they're mixed-race, to borrow a 20th century term, whose only purpose is to provide a bridge between the 19th century racists and the color-blind 21st century.

    Depends on who you ask. A 19th century racist would agree with you. A 20th century realist would say he's mixed-race. As a color-blind person in the 21st century, it doesn't really matter. He's a man, just like me and you and half the world.

    According to the racial laws that were passed by at least one state, if a man had even one drop of "black blood" (whatever that means), then he was "black". By the very same reasoning, if a woman has even one drop of "white blood" in her (whatever that means), then she is "white". If only one of these statements makes sense to you, then you're a ranting racist. If they both make sense, then it's time for you to see a psychiatrist. I personally don't believe either one, because the whole world has some mixture of different ancestors in its' bloodline, so the whole world is "mixed-race" (to temporarily use a phrase that doesn't really make sense anymore, given the fact that race doesn't exist).

    The only consistent view of "inter-racial breeding" (or the children of an "inter-racial marriage") is that none of us are pure "black" or pure "white". The only part of me that's even remotely "white" is my eyeballs, and that's true for the whole world. Nobody is either black or white. We're all simply human beings.

    So if the Obama girls grow up and have children by "white" men, these new children (Obama's grandchildren) would still be "black"?

    Then please tell me what happens if these people grow up and have children by other "white" people, who grow up and have children by other "white" people, who grow up and have children by other "white" people ...

    This is EXACTLY what happened to Thomas Jefferson's female slave, Sally Hemming. They had sex one day, Sally got pregnant, and two centuries later, most of her descendants look more like Tom than Sally. There's a flaw in your argument, and you don't even know what it is. (hint: it's your flawed concept of racial identity, which never adjusts for the colors of the immediate ancestors, assuming that you believe in permanently colored pigeonholes, aka "race", which I don't)
    Last edited: May 8, 2010

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