Is evaluating someone's behavior based upon their life experience, racist?

As the thread title asks, but considering that one’s cultural life experience may be more tied to their race and upbringing. Not to say that all people of a particular race may have experienced something similar but generally they would have more often than not.

No, as long as you are talking about the perception of ‘race’, ‘race’ being a thing which does not actually exist.

Sure it’s racist.

But practically any judgment or observation you make about a non-white person is racist.

What do you want to say? I guess I’m not really understanding what you are saying.

Why is it racist to discuss the affect of societal perceptions of ‘race’ on their behavior?

Well, it would not be racist as long as you’d ask the same question about other races. But if it’s something you would only do to minorities, it’s by definition prejudiced against them.

That said, that type of thinking only works if you are okay with the idea of good and bad racism. If you define racism as always bad, then there’s no way to claim that that is racism. Well, unless the person told you it offended them and you did it anyways.

If you (generic “you”) evaluates someone’s behavior based on their life experience, and you know what that person’s life experience has been, then no, I don’t think that’s racist.

What becomes problematic is when your evaluation is based on assumptions about the person’s life experiences based on your assumptions about what “race” they are and whatever beliefs you hold about that “race”. [sub](FWIW, I hold the opinion that “race” is a societal/cultural distinction, not a biological one.)[/sub]

How do you explain the fact that certain sports are so dominated by people of certain races (for example, the overwhelming whiteness of the US Olympic swim team)?

Too much chlorine?

Seriously? Is this a whoosh?

Assuming it isn’t: economics. Most competitive swimmers need significant resources beyond just being able to swim: high quality pools, coaching, camps, etc. You also probably need a parent or adult to drive you to said activities. All of these things cost money.

Generally, the fewer resources needed to excel in a sport, the more socioeconomically diverse the participants at a high level will be. In America and much of the Western world, race correlates highly with income.

This is why there are tons of people of color in sports like soccer (you just need a ball) and baseball (a stick, a ball) and many fewer in equestrian sports (you need a horse). Of course there are special programs that attempt to alleviate the disparity (just saw a program about an all-Black polo team that won a national title, and the Williams sisters are involved in some tennis programs to allow inner city kids the opportunity to learn to play). But these delineations have everything to do with social conditions and nothing to do with biological.

That is definitely a racist statement. There are no facts regarding the dominance of certain ‘races’ in anything because there is no such thing as a ‘race’. Simply basing a question on that assumption that there are makes your statement racist.

I don’t get your logic. I think most intelligent people would concur that there is very little, if any, biological differences among phenotypical groups. Ergo, there is no such thing as “race.”

However, based on phenotypical differences among humans, a system of advantage and disadvantage has evolved. Ergo, there is a socially constructed concept of race that anyone with cognitive ability in the Western world, at least, is familiar with.

I admit that I did not look up the composition of the Olympic swim team. But I know competitive swimmers, and my uni has one of the top rated swimming teams in the nation. I can’t think of one non-White swimmer from this population.

My best friend, however, was a competitive swimmer in HS… He is a Black guy, educated at an affluent HS with some of the best swim facilities and coaches in the state.

I think we need more info, the OP as presented is way too vague.

How would you establish as a ‘fact’ the a ‘race’ is dominant in anything if you have no factual basis for distinquishing who belongs to a ‘race’?

You can talk about peoples perceptions that swimmers tend to belong to a ‘white race’ and how their life experiences brought them to this illogical conclusion without being racist.

I know very few share my view of this, but as far as I’m concerned racism is the belief in the existence of races. They don’t exist. As far as ‘race’ being a social construct, so is the Tooth Fairy.

Why would you choose to believe something so at odds with reality?

Whether a race can be defined scientifically or genetically is irrelevant, what matters if how you are defined socially and treated. Believing that doesn’t exist is akin to stuffing your ears and chanting lalalala.

Is it racist to say that blacks are the fastest runners? Is it racist even if it’s true? It is, you know.

Is it racist to say sickle cell is a black disease?

Genetic research is finding answers to the questions about why certain races do better in certain sports. Caucasians hold the records in weight lifting, shot put, hammer throw and other upper body strength sports. Asians excel at flexibility sports like gymnastics and figure skating but they’re not strong, and can’t run or jump for shit.

The last time a white man held the world record in the 100 meter was in 1960. More than half the people in the world are Asian, yet even with the strict discipline and huge sports system of China and Japan, there has never been an Asian sprinter of any great ability. Unless somebody slipped in recently, all the world records for commonly run distances are held by blacks.

Different races are better at different things. That is a fact. Closing your eyes to it and calling it racist won’t change it.

I am not at odds with reality. It is not a belief, it is a fact. There are no races, and the social constructs are based on the mistaken belief that there are.

Okay, I accept that there is no biologically valid definition of race. From a social perspective it seems silly to deny that we do tend to divide people into racial categories.

I don’t deny that it happens. But doing that doesn’t make ‘races’ real.