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Old 05-05-2019, 09:48 AM
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Racist stereotypes, the white working class and ego-driven abuse


1: It's occurred to me that a fair number of stereotypes which are applied to ethnic minorities, especially blacks, seem to apply to the more dysfunctional parts of the white, especially rural, working class. Is this just a false impression I'm getting?

Caveat: It's evidently not true of every or perhaps most members of the W(R)WC. Obama's mother was WWC. Some people react to a negative environment by saying: "Having lived it drove home how bad it is so I'm not going to be like that." My own mother's family is WWC (originally from a rural area) and I'd rather be around them than the upper middle class people on my father's side; The ego-driven desire to be #1 can turn you into a real #2.


2: In one of his lectures, endocrinologist (he mainly studies apes) Robert Sapolsky mentioned that the higher homicide rates in Southern states largely comes from fights that revolve around ego/status-driven perceived dissing. Is this accurate?


3: I've also heard that even in countries like Colombia, where you would expect homicides to be overwhelmingly drug-related, they tend to come from drunken fights, often started in bars. Is this accurate?

I've never been in or near a barfight and I don't feel like doing that kind of fieldwork. Does anyone have observations on this? Is it true that there are certain rough bars where fights are common and part of the appeal to the patrons?


4: Any theories as to why there was more opposition to trade in manufactured goods between Japan and the US than between Germany and the US?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 05-05-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:09 AM
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Here's an article about a report about murder in the US. Unfortunately, the link to the actual report is dead. But somewhere CDC has some information that may help you, but inly on domestic murders.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile....64C53R20100513
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:20 AM
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I hate this weird Google redirect thing, sorry. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-d...64C53R20100513
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:21 AM
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3: I've also heard that even in countries like Colombia, where you would expect homicides to be overwhelmingly drug-related
Why would you expect that? Drugs are different from other trade commodities in that some of them are illegal, but the kind of crimes which are overwhelmingly more common in illegal trades than legal ones tend to be more along the lines of extortion or forced labor than murder.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:22 AM
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There is something called an honor culture. In it a man is supposed to protect his own honor because if he does not he will be taken advantage of. It is found wherever the population is too low or dispersed to be effectively policed or the police don't do a good job because of incompetence or corruption.

Jail is the most obvious example of an honor culture where the smallest of slights can lead to violence or murder.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:32 AM
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There is something called an honor culture. In it a man is supposed to protect his own honor because if he does not he will be taken advantage of. It is found wherever the population is too low or dispersed to be effectively policed or the police don't do a good job because of incompetence or corruption.

Jail is the most obvious example of an honor culture where the smallest of slights can lead to violence or murder.
I was thinking along those lines too, I didn't know whether to link to my own thread on this: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=868584


I gather that it's common among both working class whites and a lot of black-majority areas in the US.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:38 AM
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I was thinking along those lines too, I didn't know whether to link to my own thread on this: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=868584


I gather that it's common among both working class whites and a lot of black-majority areas in the US.
There is an interesting Norwegian documentary called Brainwashed where the link between culture, biology and violence is discussed.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:45 AM
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The American South tends to brag about their "honor culture", but really, a better name would be "brutality culture", because it results in a lot more brutal behavior than honorable behavior.

And yes, it emerges naturally when the police can't be trusted. That's a large part of why it shows up in African-American culture. What's white Southerners' excuse?
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:10 AM
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The American South tends to brag about their "honor culture", but really, a better name would be "brutality culture", because it results in a lot more brutal behavior than honorable behavior.

And yes, it emerges naturally when the police can't be trusted. That's a large part of why it shows up in African-American culture. What's white Southerners' excuse?
Perhaps because Southern government tends to be pretty shitty; Look who they elect. Would you think that someone like Roy Moore would be trustworthy as an arbiter of disputes?

Additionally, if you want to justify a slave-owning society and or treat non-whites as Helots with white people as Spartans, honor/brutality/intimidation culture can be useful, if only as a form of gaslighting.

One of the reasons Obama's victory upset so many people was the same as why Jesse Owens' victory was upsetting to Nazis, the same as why there was so much opposition to trade with Japan or why the Japanese victory over whites during the Russo-Japanese war upset so many people: It contradicts the worldview that the worst white person is better than the best non-white person.

If you have low social status because of income, education or some other class marker, it can be tempting to shore up your ego by thinking: "At least I'm not a nigger." Racism tells insecure whites that they're inherently above most humans, no matter how much of a fuck up they are, that they are Spartans and most of humanity is Helots. It gives them a some sense of power and control by shitting down and exerting (abusive) power on someone else.

This guy explains what segregation was like and which kinds of whites were most likely to engage in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUVt-tUwZOg

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 05-06-2019 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:16 AM
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If you have low social status because of income, education or some other class marker, it can be tempting to shore up your ego by thinking: "At least I'm not a nigger." Racism tells insecure whites that they're inherently above most humans, no matter how much of a fuck up they are, that they are Spartans and most of humanity is Helots. It gives them a some sense of power and control by shitting down and exerting (abusive) power on someone else.
And this sort of thinking was purposefully instituted with support from law, in order to fight against the possibility of poor blacks and poor whites uniting to combat the rich and powerful who were screwing them both. It wasn't always like that -- Virginia (around 1700, IIRC) had mixed marriages, lots of free blacks and even land-owning blacks, before the laws changed such that they had to leave and segregation/white supremacism/race-based-chattel-slavery became much more ingrained as the law of the land. This was engineered by those in power, at least partially -- it wasn't a "natural" state of affairs in any way.

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Old 05-06-2019, 11:45 AM
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Are rates of child abuse, rape or alcoholism higher in Southern states, white rural working class or among white Evangelicals?


Ted Bundy's wiki: "He recounted his career as a thief, confirming Kloepfer's long-time suspicion that he had shoplifted virtually everything of substance that he owned.[241] "The big payoff for me," he said, "was actually possessing whatever it was I had stolen. I really enjoyed having something ... that I had wanted and gone out and taken." Possession proved to be an important motive for rape and murder as well.[242] Sexual assault, he said, fulfilled his need to "totally possess" his victims.[243] At first, he killed his victims "as a matter of expediency ... to eliminate the possibility of [being] caught"; but later, murder became part of the "adventure". "The ultimate possession was, in fact, the taking of the life", he said. "And then ... the physical possession of the remains.""

This is the face of old-fashioned Southern honor: https://imgur.com/i4c1uNx

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Old 05-06-2019, 12:52 PM
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The American South tends to brag about their "honor culture", but really, a better name would be "brutality culture", because it results in a lot more brutal behavior than honorable behavior.

And yes, it emerges naturally when the police can't be trusted. That's a large part of why it shows up in African-American culture. What's white Southerners' excuse?
There is a book called Albion's Seed about the different types of Englishmen who settled the US and the legacy that they left. The author says that applachian southerners were what he calls Borderers. These were people from the highlands of the Scottish and English border. They had an extreme honor culture.
The inland southern areas were settled by what the author calls Cavaliers who were descended from those who lost the English Civil War. They had an honor culture and dueling was the way they settled disputes.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:00 PM
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There is a book called Albion's Seed about the different types of Englishmen who settled the US and the legacy that they left. The author says that applachian southerners were what he calls Borderers. These were people from the highlands of the Scottish and English border. They had an extreme honor culture.
The inland southern areas were settled by what the author calls Cavaliers who were descended from those who lost the English Civil War. They had an honor culture and dueling was the way they settled disputes.
Is that the same people who settled Northern Ireland? Ulster Protestants up to the '70s* used housing and job discrimination against an ethnic group they feared and loathed, engaged in electoral gerrymandering to suppress the Catholic vote and would terrorize Catholics by engaging in pogroms of house burning and random violence to intimidate them. They also had Ian Paisley as a leader, a fundamentalist Evangelical leader who railed against homosexuality while promoting Creationism.

Does that remind anyone of anything?


*When the IRA started replying with pointed arguments.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:48 PM
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This is the face of old-fashioned Southern honor: https://imgur.com/i4c1uNx
I do not understand how an image from Predator has to do with the subject.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:04 PM
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I do not understand how an image from Predator has to do with the subject.
Exerting power and abuse over others as a way to make yourself feel powerful and superior, to reduce others to subhuman possessions you can control, just like slavers, Ted Bundy and the Predator did.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 05-06-2019 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:23 PM
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Exerting power and abuse over others as a way to make yourself feel powerful and superior, to reduce others to subhuman possessions you can control, just like slavers, Ted Bundy and the Predator did.
I can't resist asking, "As in dissing the South?"
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:14 PM
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I can't resist asking, "As in dissing the South?"
You know, I really think you should Pit me on this. I'd love to see how that would go. Maybe I'd be surprised to learn that a lot of other members think I'm a cunt which would be unpleasant but ultimately good to learn.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:37 PM
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I can't speak for other societies, but in the U.S., race, poverty and "class" are tied in an Gordian knot. Spend enough time with black, white, and Hispanic poor rural or working-class urban families and you'll find that their problems and aspirations are pretty much identical. So are their bar fights. Go deep, deep into the woods and you'll find illiterate white meth cookers living in shacks who will shoot you without a second thought if they think you're nosy.

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Caveat: It's evidently not true of every or perhaps most members of the W(R)WC. Obama's mother was WWC.
Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, had a PhD in anthropology, and spent a good part of her life living and working in Indonesia. Eventually she wound up working for Bank Rayat in Indonesia, with a grant funded by the World Bank, and as a research and policy coordinator for Women's World Banking. Her parents moved from Kansas to Seattle when she was 13. Her father sold furniture and her mother was vice-president of a bank. Four years later the Dunham family moved to Hawaii to seek their fortune.

Obama's "my grandparents are just Kansas farmers" shtick sounded great, but it's even less legitimate than Lyndon Johnson's Silver Star from World War II.

FTR, my mother's parents were Ozark farmers. Her two brothers were decorated officers in World War II; two of her sisters were teachers, one of whom had a PhD.; and she was a nurse.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 05-06-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:37 PM
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1: It's occurred to me that a fair number of stereotypes which are applied to ethnic minorities, especially blacks, seem to apply to the more dysfunctional parts of the white, especially rural, working class. Is this just a false impression I'm getting?

Caveat: It's evidently not true of every or perhaps most members of the W(R)WC. Obama's mother was WWC. Some people react to a negative environment by saying: "Having lived it drove home how bad it is so I'm not going to be like that." My own mother's family is WWC (originally from a rural area) and I'd rather be around them than the upper middle class people on my father's side; The ego-driven desire to be #1 can turn you into a real #2.


2: In one of his lectures, endocrinologist (he mainly studies apes) Robert Sapolsky mentioned that the higher homicide rates in Southern states largely comes from fights that revolve around ego/status-driven perceived dissing. Is this accurate?


3: I've also heard that even in countries like Colombia, where you would expect homicides to be overwhelmingly drug-related, they tend to come from drunken fights, often started in bars. Is this accurate?

I've never been in or near a barfight and I don't feel like doing that kind of fieldwork. Does anyone have observations on this? Is it true that there are certain rough bars where fights are common and part of the appeal to the patrons?


4: Any theories as to why there was more opposition to trade in manufactured goods between Japan and the US than between Germany and the US?
As was mentioned, its honor culture. In some cultures, usually more dangerous ones, if people think you are weak then you will be a target for crime, violence and cruelty. So being willing to stand up for yourself is more important whereas in more upper class environments it is known that even if you don't stand up for yourself, things won't really get 'that' bad for you.

I don't know about point 4, but it makes sense because Japanese people have a different appearance and different culture than whites in the US.

I've heard lynchings were more common in areas without reliable law enforcement. Which again, makes sense because without the police around people take justice on themselves.

I'm guessing at root, the higher levels of racial resentment in the south are borne out of trying to justify slavery by dehumanizing black people, combined with fear that they will respond to all the abuse by fighting back.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:31 PM
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I've heard lynchings were more common in areas without reliable law enforcement. Which again, makes sense because without the police around people take justice on themselves.

I'm guessing at root, the higher levels of racial resentment in the south are borne out of trying to justify slavery by dehumanizing black people, combined with fear that they will respond to all the abuse by fighting back.
Let me point out that the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abraham Smith, the inspiration for the song Strange Fruit, occurred in Marion, Indiana; and that Donald Trump is from New York.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:58 PM
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And this sort of thinking was purposefully instituted with support from law, in order to fight against the possibility of poor blacks and poor whites uniting to combat the rich and powerful who were screwing them both. It wasn't always like that -- Virginia (around 1700, IIRC) had mixed marriages, lots of free blacks and even land-owning blacks, before the laws changed such that they had to leave and segregation/white supremacism/race-based-chattel-slavery became much more ingrained as the law of the land. This was engineered by those in power, at least partially -- it wasn't a "natural" state of affairs in any way.
Exactly.

As Lyndon Johnson said (as quoted by Bill Moyers):

Quote:
If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:24 PM
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I've heard lynchings were more common in areas without reliable law enforcement. Which again, makes sense because without the police around people take justice on themselves.
Black people accounted for 72.7% of U.S. lynchings. Maybe the police chose not to be around.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:50 AM
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Of ego and classicism, I recently came across an old discussion on the web wherein the participants mentioned parts of some major city in a southern state, stating what high school they went to determined their class and how good they were as a person, even later in life.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:50 AM
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4: Any theories as to why there was more opposition to trade in manufactured goods between Japan and the US than between Germany and the US?
Because the influx of Japanese goods was much more sudden, tended to compete more directly with American goods, and was undergirded by a far more aggressive trade policy. It's pretty clear that Japan has been superseded as main trade rival by China at this point though, after the "Lost Decade". Speaking as someone of East Asian descent, most resentment against trade competition from East Asian countries is driven by genuine economic factors with racism being only a supporting cause.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:35 AM
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China is more of an assembly origin. The chunk of parts making up a circuit board come from Taiwan, Japan or Korea.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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Because the influx of Japanese goods was much more sudden, tended to compete more directly with American goods, and was undergirded by a far more aggressive trade policy.
Timeline point. In 1972 I had never hear of Toyota, Mazda, or Nissan/Datsun. There was a Honda motorcycle dealership in St. Louis that displayed a tiny little car that my friends called, "a motorized shopping cart." By 1975 a Ford dealer in Paducah, KY also sold those cars. He added the Accord in 1976. Finally, he sold the Ford dealership and concentrated on Hondas.

It was that fast.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:50 PM
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1: It's occurred to me that a fair number of stereotypes which are applied to ethnic minorities, especially blacks, seem to apply to the more dysfunctional parts of the white, especially rural, working class. Is this just a false impression I'm getting?
If it's a false impression, you're not the only one that's getting it.

[url]https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tom+hanks+black+jeopardy&view=detail&mid=7EB867A1EAA8AA8D017B7EB867A1EAA8AA8D017B&FORM=VIRE[url]


ETA this is just a little levity
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:24 PM
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Let me point out that the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abraham Smith, the inspiration for the song Strange Fruit, occurred in Marion, Indiana; and that Donald Trump is from New York.
also, during early 20th century Indiana was like aa KKK HQ, and Oregon had KKK legislative, so racism is not just southerners; LA had restrictive covenants forbidding selling to Jews or Blacks.
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