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  #151  
Old 10-01-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
I'd be interested to see this poll. Do you have a link to it? Because I'd like to see how the questions were framed.



As a general observation about this issue, though, there are a few points worth making. And I make these points as a lefty/liberal who has mostly lefty/liberals as friends.



I, and just about everyone I know, like a diverse society. I don't "prefer" the people of other races and ethnicities to my own, either as groups or as individuals, but I do prefer living in a society where there is a good mix of races and ethnicities, and where I don't just see white Euro-Americans everywhere I look. This sort of diversity makes the world more interesting in a whole variety of ways. I would note, too, that I came to this position not as a result of any particular political leaning, or to make any particular point; I came to this position out of personal experience.



I grew up in suburban Sydney, Australia. As a kid, basically all of my friends and acquaintances were white Euro-Australians, and my schools were as lily-white as you could possibly imagine. Our idea of exotic cuisine was the local Chinese restaurant. And because of that, I also grew up with the sort of low-level parochialism and xenophobia and racism that was common in Australia at the time, and still is in some places.



My white schoolmates and I often complained about the immigrant communities in our part of the city. We made fun of the Vietnamese and Chinese and Lebanese and Greeks, mocking them for their appearance and their skin color and their poor English and their funny accents and strange food. We complained when we heard people speaking other languages on the train, and periodically lamented the effect that these "slope heads" and "wogs" were having on Australia. Not only that, but because I went to a boarding school and quite a lot of my classmates came from rural Australia, we also had little time for the country's native population, buying into racist stereotypes about Australian aborigines as lazy and drunk and on welfare.



Most of this casual racism was just expressed among ourselves. We didn't go out of our way to find people of color and abuse them, we didn't commit acts of violence, and we didn't parade our bigotry to the world. We even understood, at some level, that our bigotry was wrong. I certainly made a point not to express it in front of my mother, who explicitly rejected racism and intolerance. But my mates and I were pretty comfortable with our sense of superiority, we were pretty happy with the idea of Australia as a place for white people of European ancestry, and we were happy enough to express our beliefs that the increasing number and variety of immigrants was detrimental to the country. Racist jokes were common at our school, and even our (almost all white) teachers had no trouble expressing similar sentiments in front of us. I remember, the year I left high school, one teacher openly lamenting that new admissions policies for our (selective) high school would likely bring in more Asian and Middle Eastern students in future years.



I took these sorts of beliefs with me out into the world, and it wasn't really until I started living among a more diverse group of people, in Sydney and, especially, on my overseas travels, that I changed my tune. Once I got experience of a wider variety of people, my old bigotry evaporated relatively quickly, and I soon came to see how ignorant I'd been. By my early 20s, I'd left most of it behind. If there had been social media around when I was a kid, I have no doubt that trawling through my old posts would reveal a whole host of incredibly offensive material. Luckily, in my day, none of this made it into a permanent or semi-permanent medium.



I don't flagellate myself about my youthful bigotry, or spend inordinate amounts of time feeling guilty about it, but I'm not going to hide from it either. It's part of who I was, and I'm willing to own up to it, even while acknowledging that it was wrong and being happy that I don't think like that anymore. I don't feel embarrassed or somehow inferior because I'm white, but I also acknowledge that being white gives me advantages that others don't have.



Back to the topic of your comment, there is one area where i will acknowledge that I might, under certain circumstances, prefer people of other races and ethnicities to white people, as a general principle. Just about every exit poll and political analysis shows that, here in the United States, a majority of white voters in 2016 voted for Donald Trump. For white men, it was a clear majority at about 62% (compared to 32% for Clinton), and for white women it was a plurality, at 47% (45% for Clinton). By contrast, groups like blacks and Latinos voted for Clinton by a comfortable majority. Given those statistics, if someone asked me to pick a random person to sit next to on a long plane or train journey, basic math would make me more likely to choose a person of color. Sorry if that offends you.
Great post. Unfortunately, Slacker appears incapable of processing nuance, so I doubt he's able to appreciate it.
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  #152  
Old 10-01-2019, 06:09 PM
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Andy of all people lamenting a lack of nuance. That is some rich irony right there.

I read several years ago (and would guess there is still probably truth to it) that white men are the group most likely to be very conservative, but also to be very liberal. So I would call that train thought experiment overly simplified. If the person next to me on the train is an educated white man, I am not going to assume anything is likely to be terribly negative about him. If he is a seemingly uneducated white guy I will definitely be more skeptical, especially if I hear a Southern accent. But I love James Carville, so I still need to give the Southern guy a chance.

I don’t know about the exact wording of the poll, but it is described as having “warmer” feelings towards other races.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/01/76338...utlook-on-race
Quote:
Most racial groups feel more warmly about their own race than they do about other races. That's true for every group, except white liberals, according to the American National Election Studies.[...]

When white liberals adopt some of these progressive positions, Goldberg said, they're "virtue signaling" — they want to prove that they're allies of minority groups and feel they need to do that more assertively and openly in the Trump era.[...]
Engelhardt also suggests white guilt could be a motivating factor.

White guilt directly contravenes the fundamental principle that each person should be judged on their own merits and not for immutable characteristics they were born with and cannot change. It also makes it much harder for Democrats to appeal to white moderates, which as noted in that article have not shifted their racial attitudes at the same time white liberals have shifted them drastically.


Quote:
Engelhardt agrees, and pointed to one specific incident as a potential catalyst — when a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

Which... turned out to be about the most justified shooting in the history of police shootings. That Mike Brown is more of a poster boy for racist police shootings than Tamir Rice is a sad irony of modern life and really hurts the whole cause.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 10-01-2019 at 06:12 PM.
  #153  
Old 10-01-2019, 08:04 PM
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White guilt directly contravenes the fundamental principle that each person should be judged on their own merits and not for immutable characteristics they were born with and cannot change.
No it doesn't. Having a general preference for one group over another is not the same thing as unfairly "judging" individuals based on their group characteristics rather than their own merits.

If it were, then preferring one's own ethnic group over others (as opposed to preferring other ethnic groups over one's own, or what you call "white guilt") would also be "contravening" this fundamental principle of judging individuals on their own merits.

But you seemed to be asserting back in post #11 that white liberals ought to be preferring their own ethnic group over others, and you even claimed to find it "cringey and awkward" when they don't.

Now you're trying to argue that any form of group preference "contravenes the fundamental principle" of judging individuals on their own merits. Can't have it both ways.
  #154  
Old 10-01-2019, 08:17 PM
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It also makes it much harder for Democrats to appeal to white moderates, which as noted in that article have not shifted their racial attitudes at the same time white liberals have shifted them drastically.
Well, liberals are always quicker to adjust to a new more-liberal mainstream than moderates are, as we saw, for instance, in the case of same-sex marriage. The Democratic "moderates" who opposed marriage equality a decade or so ago didn't do themselves, or their party, any favors in the long run.
  #155  
Old 10-02-2019, 05:41 AM
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Well, sure. Thatís kind of his brand. Like Bill Burr or Dave Chappelle, in a way.
Yeah, but I don't buy that brand. There are better quality alternatives available.
  #156  
Old 10-02-2019, 07:12 AM
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It also makes it much harder for Democrats to appeal to white moderates, which as noted in that article have not shifted their racial attitudes at the same time white liberals have shifted them drastically.
Appealing to "white moderates" never works for anyone but bigots. Because they aren't "moderate" at all, they are simply supporters of a racist status quo.
  #157  
Old 10-02-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I read several years ago (and would guess there is still probably truth to it) that white men are the group most likely to be very conservative, but also to be very liberal. So I would call that train thought experiment overly simplified. If the person next to me on the train is an educated white man, I am not going to assume anything is likely to be terribly negative about him. If he is a seemingly uneducated white guy I will definitely be more skeptical, especially if I hear a Southern accent. But I love James Carville, so I still need to give the Southern guy a chance.
My point was merely one of mathematics and random choice. According to the exit poll data I presented in my previous post, if I sit next to a white guy, there's a 6 in 10 chance that he supported Trump; if it's a black or Latino guy, the chances are closer to 2 or 3 in 10. Obviously, where I am in the country and what type of people (education, social class, etc.) predominate will skew the figures in one direction or another.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
I don’t know about the exact wording of the poll, but it is described as having “warmer” feelings towards other races.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/01/76338...utlook-on-race
Quote:
Most racial groups feel more warmly about their own race than they do about other races. That's true for every group, except white liberals, according to the American National Election Studies.[...]

When white liberals adopt some of these progressive positions, Goldberg said, they're "virtue signaling" — they want to prove that they're allies of minority groups and feel they need to do that more assertively and openly in the Trump era.[...]
Engelhardt also suggests white guilt could be a motivating factor.
White guilt directly contravenes the fundamental principle that each person should be judged on their own merits and not for immutable characteristics they were born with and cannot change. It also makes it much harder for Democrats to appeal to white moderates, which as noted in that article have not shifted their racial attitudes at the same time white liberals have shifted them drastically.
The thing is, apart from that one sentence where "Engelhardt also suggests white guilt could be a motivating factor," there is really nothing about "white guilt" in the story. For example, the sentence about white guilt is immediately followed by an anecdote about a woman in Iowa who argued that Trump is a white supremacist, and talked about how she had made efforts to become more culturally aware and not "pigeonhole people because of how they look." That's not "white guilt"; it's a perfectly reasonable way of living in a diverse society. If you believe that a conscious effort to avoid racial stereotyping and pigeonholing are bad things, then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about that.

Also, while the term "virtue signalling" is often used as a pejorative in the modern world, that needn't be the case. Look at the way it's used in the article you cite. According to the researcher, white liberals want "to prove that they're allies of minority groups and feel they need to do that more assertively and openly in the Trump era." Again, I'm just not seeing the problem here. If I make a comment about opposing white supremacy and wanting more racial and ethnic harmony and tolerance in our society, and you accuse me of wanting to show that I'm an ally of minority groups, then I'll happily plead guilty to the charge. I do consider myself an ally. That doesn't mean that I agree with every argument or political position advocated by a person of color, but in a country where minorities have often been treated incredibly badly, I see no harm in signalling my support for them.

And this goes to another point made in the article about white liberals and their attitude to being white in America. Here's what one of the researchers observes:
Quote:
Engelhardt says these recent flips suggests there's something about being white in America that white liberals are trying to distance themselves from — something that could be accelerated by the rhetoric and tone of Trump and some of his supporters.
Emphasis mine. Again, this is probably true, and I have no problem accepting it.

As I said in a previous post, I don't feel guilty or embarrassed about the fact that I'm white. At the same time, though, there are significant numbers of white Americans (and Australians, etc.) whose identity is tightly connected to their own whiteness, and who believe that their country would be a better place if it were a white monoculture. They seem to have a zero-sum view of culture, whereby any addition of other types of people somehow detracts from the strength and value of their own culture. I do, unashamedly and unreservedly, admit that I want to distance myself from that aspect of "being white in America." When 60 percent of white men and a plurality of white women vote for a President who demonizes immigrants, and especially non-white immigrants, that's a problem, and it's an aspect of whiteness in America that I want no part of.

Until recently, I lived in Southern California, a place with immigrants everywhere, including many from the groups that Trump has demonized. I know people of Mexican and Central American and South American descent who have been accosted in supermarkets and told that they shouldn't speak Spanish, or that they should go back where they came from. I know plenty who routinely get pulled over by police and border patrol agents because of how they look, even when they were born in the United States.

I'm an immigrant who holds a job teaching American history at an American university. I'm just as guilty of taking a job from an American as any Mexican farm worker. Probably more, because with farm work, it can often be hard to find Americans willing to do the job; that's not true with university teaching. I've lived in the US for almost 20 years, but I still have the same Australian accent that I had when I arrived. Anyone who talks to me can immediately identify me as an immigrant. But visually, I'm indistinguishable from a white American. Have a guess how many times I've been told to "go back home," or been accused or stealing jobs from Americans.

We can pretend that the debate over immigration is just about economics, or jobs, or border security, or whatever, but that's a lie; for many white Americans, including the President, it's about race and ethnicity first and foremost, and if rejecting that means that I'm "virtue signaling" or suffering "white guilt," then I'm willing to live with that.

As for your point about appealing to white moderates, that term is unfortunately often just a euphemism for people who oppose change. As some guy once said:
Quote:
First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advised the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection…

Last edited by mhendo; 10-02-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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