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Thread: Redlining racist?

  1. #106
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Oh! no, the hiking community, being mostly white, is racist, but not because of this. Racism is not just using the N-word or consciously believing that people who have different colored skin from you are inferior. We all have implicit biases and prejudices, including racial prejudices, even those with the best intentions. Racism is these biases combined with power. (This why people of color cannot be racist, by definition. They can and do have prejudices, but they do not have a position of power in our society.)
    [emphasis added by me]

    I have some questions with this line of reasoning. How does one define 'position of power'? For example, the CEO of my company, a man I greatly admire, is a man of African decent, and his skin has more melanin than mine. He has sat on numerous presidential committees and is internationally regarded. If he told me I could no longer work for our company because I am white and he doesn't want any more white people to work for him, is that racist? Can we reasonably argue that this man does not have a position of power in our society? Does Barrack Obama have power? What about Spike Lee? Michael Jordan? Kanye West? How about Sundar Pichai? Or George Takei? Or Yo-Yo Ma? None of them have power in society? Or is it that they do have power, but can't be racist because the group we assign them to doesn't have power?

    What about people of 'mixed' race, whatever that means, can they be racist? How do we define race, anyway? And is division of humans into specific races meaningful, predictive, and good for society?

    I have a lot of questions, and I ask them in good faith. This is not meant to be rhetorical, even though I imagine one can tell where I stand on that last question.

    And PS, I imagine you moderators have been shifting uncomfortably in your chairs as this thread rolls on and were probably happy it has lied dormant for a few days. But if we think this is an important topic, might as well see it through.
    Sure. Why not.

  2. #107
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    [emphasis added by me]

    I have some questions with this line of reasoning. How does one define 'position of power'? For example, the CEO of my company, a man I greatly admire, is a man of African decent, and his skin has more melanin than mine. He has sat on numerous presidential committees and is internationally regarded. If he told me I could no longer work for our company because I am white and he doesn't want any more white people to work for him, is that racist? Can we reasonably argue that this man does not have a position of power in our society? Does Barrack Obama have power? What about Spike Lee? Michael Jordan? Kanye West? How about Sundar Pichai? Or George Takei? Or Yo-Yo Ma? None of them have power in society? Or is it that they do have power, but can't be racist because the group we assign them to doesn't have power?

    What about people of 'mixed' race, whatever that means, can they be racist? How do we define race, anyway? And is division of humans into specific races meaningful, predictive, and good for society?

    I have a lot of questions, and I ask them in good faith. This is not meant to be rhetorical, even though I imagine one can tell where I stand on that last question.

    And PS, I imagine you moderators have been shifting uncomfortably in your chairs as this thread rolls on and were probably happy it has lied dormant for a few days. But if we think this is an important topic, might as well see it through.
    All of those people you mention have been subjected to and still are subjected to racism. It is a hurdle that they have had to overcome and continue to fight against while achieving any individual power they may have.

    We no longer have the decision whether or not to divide humans into races. The choice was made hundreds of years ago, and though we may try, it will be a long time, if ever, that we will be able to undo that choice. Skin color is absolutely predictive, in terms of your access to housing, healthcare, employment, education, wealth, voting, treatment by law enforcement, etc. Being "race blind" or "not seeing skin color" only perpetuates a white supremacist system.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    We no longer have the decision whether or not to divide humans into races. The choice was made hundreds of years ago, and though we may try, it will be a long time, if ever, that we will be able to undo that choice. Skin color is absolutely predictive, in terms of your access to housing, healthcare, employment, education, wealth, voting, treatment by law enforcement, etc. Being "race blind" or "not seeing skin color" only perpetuates a white supremacist system.


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  4. #109
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. But I don't think you answered even a single one of my (gazillion) questions. Except maybe part of my last question: it sounds like you believe dividing people by race has predictive value and is good for society: not doing so 'perpetuates a white supremacist system.' I'll save additional thoughts on that for a moment. What of my other questions (if you feel like answering them)?
    Sure. Why not.

  5. #110
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    [emphasis added by me]

    I have some questions with this line of reasoning. How does one define 'position of power'? For example, the CEO of my company, a man I greatly admire, is a man of African decent, and his skin has more melanin than mine. He has sat on numerous presidential committees and is internationally regarded. If he told me I could no longer work for our company because I am white and he doesn't want any more white people to work for him, is that racist? Can we reasonably argue that this man does not have a position of power in our society? Does Barrack Obama have power? What about Spike Lee? Michael Jordan? Kanye West? How about Sundar Pichai? Or George Takei? Or Yo-Yo Ma? None of them have power in society? Or is it that they do have power, but can't be racist because the group we assign them to doesn't have power?

    What about people of 'mixed' race, whatever that means, can they be racist? How do we define race, anyway? And is division of humans into specific races meaningful, predictive, and good for society?

    I have a lot of questions, and I ask them in good faith. This is not meant to be rhetorical, even though I imagine one can tell where I stand on that last question.

    And PS, I imagine you moderators have been shifting uncomfortably in your chairs as this thread rolls on and were probably happy it has lied dormant for a few days. But if we think this is an important topic, might as well see it through.
    TEO is correct, and I thank him for his answer!

    How does one define 'position of power'? For example, the CEO of my company, a man I greatly admire, is a man of African decent, and his skin has more melanin than mine. He has sat on numerous presidential committees and is internationally regarded. If he told me I could no longer work for our company because I am white and he doesn't want any more white people to work for him, is that racist?
    1. You are speaking of individuals, whereas racism is systemic and pervasive in all elements of American society. Has been since the founding. There are people of color who break through it, and they are the exceptions to the norm. We are a nation of ~320 million people and yet we can count the black people in power easily.
    2. If a corporate leader terminated someone due to their race, and no other reason, that is both racist and illegal.

    Can we reasonably argue that this man does not have a position of power in our society? Does Barrack Obama have power? What about Spike Lee? Michael Jordan? Kanye West? How about Sundar Pichai? Or George Takei? Or Yo-Yo Ma? None of them have power in society? Or is it that they do have power, but can't be racist because the group we assign them to doesn't have power?
    1. George Takei was interned in a prison camp during World War Two due to his ethnicity. Let's all ponder that for a moment.
    2. Of course there are powerful individuals of color in American society, but they are the exceptions, not the norm. There have been exactly nine black senators since 1900. Three Native Americans.
    3. I'm sorry, what's your question? Is it that American society has no institutional racism because a man who was interned in a prison camp has a large Twitter following and black entertainers sell records? Barack Obama was replaced by a man who denied the unquestionable fact that he was born in Hawaii.

    What about people of 'mixed' race, whatever that means, can they be racist?
    1. All Americans see the world in terms of race. Race infuses every element of American society, always, for everyone, whether we realize it or not.

    How do we define race, anyway?
    My name is Brian Glenn, and anyone who knows that name knows that I have Irish heritage. But I have less Irish heritage than Barack Hussein Obama does. You just listed him as black. Somewhere in that fact lies the answer to your question.

    And is division of humans into specific races meaningful, predictive, and good for society?
    1. Whether it is good or bad is immaterial if one refuses first to acknowledge the fact that America, we all, consciously or not, divide people by the skin color.

    You see, hikerbrian, this is the point: you speak as though individuals are racist or not. It is productive, I believe, to start with the fact that every element of our society is racially infused. It isn't that some people burn with hatred and others do not; it is that all Americans, all the time, sort people by their skin color, and that after four centuries, our institutions are so racially informed that we remain segregated, spatially and socially, to this very day.

    Brian

  6. #111
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    TEO is correct, and I thank him for his answer!

    How does one define 'position of power'? For example, the CEO of my company, a man I greatly admire, is a man of African decent, and his skin has more melanin than mine. He has sat on numerous presidential committees and is internationally regarded. If he told me I could no longer work for our company because I am white and he doesn't want any more white people to work for him, is that racist?
    1. You are speaking of individuals, whereas racism is systemic and pervasive in all elements of American society. Has been since the founding. There are people of color who break through it, and they are the exceptions to the norm. We are a nation of ~320 million people and yet we can count the black people in power easily.
    2. If a corporate leader terminated someone due to their race, and no other reason, that is both racist and illegal.

    Can we reasonably argue that this man does not have a position of power in our society? Does Barrack Obama have power? What about Spike Lee? Michael Jordan? Kanye West? How about Sundar Pichai? Or George Takei? Or Yo-Yo Ma? None of them have power in society? Or is it that they do have power, but can't be racist because the group we assign them to doesn't have power?
    1. George Takei was interned in a prison camp during World War Two due to his ethnicity. Let's all ponder that for a moment.
    2. Of course there are powerful individuals of color in American society, but they are the exceptions, not the norm. There have been exactly nine black senators since 1900. Three Native Americans.
    3. I'm sorry, what's your question? Is it that American society has no institutional racism because a man who was interned in a prison camp has a large Twitter following and black entertainers sell records? Barack Obama was replaced by a man who denied the unquestionable fact that he was born in Hawaii.

    What about people of 'mixed' race, whatever that means, can they be racist?
    1. All Americans see the world in terms of race. Race infuses every element of American society, always, for everyone, whether we realize it or not.

    How do we define race, anyway?
    My name is Brian Glenn, and anyone who knows that name knows that I have Irish heritage. But I have less Irish heritage than Barack Hussein Obama does. You just listed him as black. Somewhere in that fact lies the answer to your question.

    And is division of humans into specific races meaningful, predictive, and good for society?
    1. Whether it is good or bad is immaterial if one refuses first to acknowledge the fact that America, we all, consciously or not, divide people by the skin color.

    You see, hikerbrian, this is the point: you speak as though individuals are racist or not. It is productive, I believe, to start with the fact that every element of our society is racially infused. It isn't that some people burn with hatred and others do not; it is that all Americans, all the time, sort people by their skin color, and that after four centuries, our institutions are so racially informed that we remain segregated, spatially and socially, to this very day.

    Brian
    This sure sounds like something you would hear in a university classroom nowadays...hmmm

  7. #112
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    This sure sounds like something you would hear in a university classroom nowadays...hmmm
    Agree on that. No multiple choice exam here and no curve on an essay exam for sure.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    This sure sounds like something you would hear in a university classroom nowadays...hmmm
    I assume the 'hmm' was added to make sure it was '14 words'?

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    This sure sounds like something you would hear in a university classroom nowadays...hmmm
    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I assume the 'hmm' was added to make sure it was '14 words'?
    For those of you who might've missed the not-so-subtle reference, TJsName just called maineguy a white supremacist.
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  10. #115
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I would invite people to step back from the initial knee-jerk reaction (which I myself shared), and let the idea mellow for a day.
    Respectfully Brian, I hope you'll consider taking your own advice: step back from your knee-jerk reaction, let the ideas mellow for a day, and then let's have a civil electronic conversation. I'd ask at that time if you'd please consider re-reading what you wrote above, and then edit your post to eliminate the thoughts you ascribe to me that I simply did not write. In the meantime, I have some confidence that TEO is more than capable of formulating his own arguments, and I'm hopeful he can do so without putting words in my mouth.
    Sure. Why not.

  11. #116
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I assume the 'hmm' was added to make sure it was '14 words'?
    LOL You don't exactly have to be Columbo to figure out what my post implies with regards to the post it quoted.
    Last edited by maineguy; 03-19-2021 at 07:21 AM.

  12. #117
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    For those of you who might've missed the not-so-subtle reference, TJsName just called maineguy a white supremacist.
    Funny. Well, back in my college days there were times that I was "three sheets to the wind".
    Last edited by maineguy; 03-19-2021 at 08:05 AM.

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