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Thread: How to reduce / defeat racism?

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    How to reduce / defeat racism?

    Came across this article and found it interesting.

    https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/...ch-study-trump

    The first thing to understand is how white Americans, especially in rural areas, hear accusations of racism. While terms like “racist,” “white privilege,” and “implicit bias” intend to point out systemic biases in America, for white Americans they’re often seen as coded slurs. These terms don’t signal to them that they’re doing something wrong, but that their supposedly racist attitudes (which they would deny having at all) are a justification for lawmakers and other elites to ignore their problems.

    So when they hear accusations of racism, they feel like what they see as the “real” issues — those that afflict them — are getting neglected. This, obviously, makes it difficult to raise issues of race at all with big segments of the population, because they’re often suspicious of the motives.
    DiAngelo offered a telling example, from an anti-racism training session she facilitated:

    One of the white participants left the session and went back to her desk, upset at receiving (what appeared to the training team as) sensitive and diplomatic feedback on how some of her statements had impacted several people of color in the room. At break, several other white participants approached us (the trainers) and reported that they had talked to the woman at her desk, and she was very upset that her statements had been challenged. They wanted to alert us to the fact that she literally “might be having a heart-attack.” Upon questioning from us, they clarified that they meant this literally. These co-workers were sincere in their fear that the young woman might actually physically die as a result of the feedback. Of course, when news of the woman’s potentially fatal condition reached the rest of the participant group, all attention was immediately focused back onto her and away from the impact she had had on the people of color.

    This illustrates just how defensive people can get in the face of accusations of racism: Not only did the woman who faced the criticisms genuinely feel like she was having a heart attack, but the white people around her believed it was totally possible she was. This is the reality of trying to have a conversation about race in America.
    I find it even more interesting that the researcher is more concerned with them not talking about race than about this fragile woman who apparently was having a heart attack, possibly because somebody tried to call her racist and undercut her sense of self worth as a good person. That's worth caring about too. You CAN do both (keep reading...)

    As one example, consider an actual conversation from the study, as reported by Brian Resnick for Vox:

    In the beginning of their conversation, Virginia asks Gustavo how likely he'd be to support transgender rights legislation. Gustavo says he wouldn't support it because he's worried about predatory men using the law as an opportunity to enter women's bathrooms.

    Virginia asks why he feels that way.

    "I'm from South America, and in South America we don't like fags," he tells her.

    This next moment is crucial: Virginia doesn't jump on Gustavo for the slur, and instead says, "I'm gay," in a friendly manner. Gustavo doesn't recoil. Actually, he becomes more interested.

    Gustavo and Virginia go on to discuss how much they love their partners, and how that love helps them overcome adversity. Gustavo tells Virginia that his wife is a disabled person. "God gave me the ability to love a disabled person," he says, and that taking care of one another is why love matters.

    "That resonate a lots with me," Virginia responds. "For me, these laws, and including transgender people are about that. They're about how we treat one another."

    Now that Gustavo is in a place where he's more open, Virginia asks him to imagine what the worst thing could happen if he used a bathroom with a transgender person. He admits he wouldn't be scared. Then comes the breakthrough.

    "Listen, probably I was mistaken," he says of his original position on trans rights.

    Virginia asks him again if he'd vote in favor of banning transgender discrimination. "In favor," he says.

    Hochschild shared similar stories in her book. In one example, a woman tells Hochschild about her love for conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh because he stood up to people — feminists, environmentalists, and other liberals — that she felt belittled her and her lifestyle. As the woman explained, “Oh, liberals think that Bible-believing Southerners are ignorant, backward, rednecks, losers. They think we’re racist, sexist, homophobic, and maybe fat.” She felt that these accusations overlooked many of the problems that rural white Americans faced — growing up poor, struggling to get a better education, and so on.

    Because Hochschild, who’s liberal, didn’t immediately dismiss the woman’s comments and insult her, the two managed to have a frank conversation to reach a better understanding of each other. And the two continued talking as Hochschild wrote her book. From one simple exchange of empathy, it was possible to have more frank conversations.

    “You can turn your political alarm system off without jeopardizing who you are and what you believe,” Hochschild told me. “And you can learn something about the person at the other end of the conversation that’s going to be of profound importance.”
    This is bang on and absolutely the way to go.

    One approach is to pursue certain policies in a race-neutral manner. For example, equipping police with body cameras has become a prominent idea in response to the police shootings of black men over the past few years. But the inherent idea behind body cameras doesn’t have to be racial — it can just be about generally holding police accountable, no matter whom they’re interacting with. And indeed, polls have found that support for body cameras on police officers in general hovers above 90 percent.
    This is also an excellent idea.

    Another idea is to focus not on or against a particular group, but on prejudice and bigotry itself. How and why it happens, admitting it can happen in any of us (and not making claims anyone is immune) how to see it in ourselves, etc.

    At the end of the day the answer is empathy (Seeing yourself in others). The trick is forming that empathy with the people that are being otherized, and to do that, we shouldn't be otherizing more people. As soon as you create any sort of personalized connection between bigot and an individual target, the bigotry will start to melt away. It can even be an imagined or remote connection, so long as you make them feel that they have in common what matters. Want to do the opposite? Depersonalize, take away names and any personal information they could have in common, make them been seen as unrelateable, and bam, bigotry will come against them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by article
    The first thing to understand is how white Americans, especially in rural areas, hear accusations of racism. While terms like “racist,” “white privilege,” and “implicit bias” intend to point out systemic biases in America, for white Americans they’re often seen as coded slurs. These terms don’t signal to them that they’re doing something wrong, but that their supposedly racist attitudes (which they would deny having at all) are a justification for lawmakers and other elites to ignore their problems.
    "White privilege" is basically coded racism. It's saying whites should be put down regardless of whether they did wrong or not. Thus it's punishing people for simply sharing a characteristic with wrongdoers and that's not the American way.

    Furthermore, many on the left take any difference in outcome as proof of racism. Those of us who are after equality of opportunity have a big problem with this. If there's an inequality of result look at it but don't simply assume it's racism at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by article
    One approach is to pursue certain policies in a race-neutral manner. For example, equipping police with body cameras has become a prominent idea in response to the police shootings of black men over the past few years. But the inherent idea behind body cameras doesn’t have to be racial — it can just be about generally holding police accountable, no matter whom they’re interacting with. And indeed, polls have found that support for body cameras on police officers in general hovers above 90 percent.
    Yup. Body cameras are an example of trying to do something about a problem without being discriminatory in the process and hence get high support. Combat actual problems!

    (Now, I think the body camera issue isn't as simple as the left tries to pretend it is. That doesn't mean I'm opposed to them, just that we need a far more thought out approach.)

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    Travel and be open about your fear, anxiety and vulnerabilities to others.
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    The first think to do is realize globally conflict based on race and ethnicity I not just a white vs the world issue.
    We have gone in the USA from melting pot to multiculturalism whixh is failing in the liberal democracies. Everbody demabnds a local special identity other than the group.


    The emphasis on one's individual ethnicity, race, and religion invariably leads to bias, prejudice, and conflict.

    Civil rights for blacks and gays changed and are holding because of a shift in national consensus. It became a norm.

    The norm today is elevating ethnic and cultural differences as a good thing. The result is people think in terms of being different. And that is the root of racial and ethnic problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    The first think to do is realize globally conflict based on race and ethnicity I not just a white vs the world issue.
    We have gone in the USA from melting pot to multiculturalism whixh is failing in the liberal democracies. Everbody demabnds a local special identity other than the group.


    The emphasis on one's individual ethnicity, race, and religion invariably leads to bias, prejudice, and conflict.

    Civil rights for blacks and gays changed and are holding because of a shift in national consensus. It became a norm.

    The norm today is elevating ethnic and cultural differences as a good thing. The result is people think in terms of being different. And that is the root of racial and ethnic problems.
    Because everything was just nice and dandy in the good old days of the melting pot when blacks had to sit in the back and anyone other than a mainstream protestant was unelectable for any office higher than school principal...

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    Travel the world.

    A large number of Brits want Brexit, they do not like being connected to the French and Germans. Under Default the French pulled out of NATO. All about cultural pride and identity. There are Scotts who want independence, those damn English.

    N Ireland Protestants vs Catholics.

    In Myanmar a cultural genocide and purge of a minority.

    In China I believe Hans are an underclass.

    Japan is notoriously Jingoistic. Descendants of Koreans taken in WWII are an underclass. Historically there have been Japanese only signs on establishments.

    The mid east and North Africa. Jews, Arabs, and Persians playing out centuries of racial conflict. Arab Persian conflict has turned Yemen into a graveyard.

    India and Pakistan playing out Hindu vs Muslim conflicts in a ling running conflict over Kashmir. A recent exchange ended in an India jet being shot down. Two nuclear nations.

    The Rwandan genocide of Tutsi by Hutu.

    Basque separators in Spain.

    That is just off the top of my head. Everyone seems to have a genetic tic need to associate with a group, likely a survival mechanism. Watcheda biologist on CNN today who studies it supported by experiment.

    The way things are going on in the world the fact we went from slavery to a black president in 200 years or so is staggering historically. The fact that we survived the violent racial conduits post WWII and are now having rational public debate is also staggering in an historical context.

    Canada also has done a good jib of assimilation. P

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    In China I believe Hans are an underclass.
    You have it backwards.

    The Rwandan genocide of Tutsi by Hutu.
    While it started this way most of the killing appears to have been a fight over resources.

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    The article cites a technique called deep canvassing, where people were persuaded to become less fearful of trans people. It produces a strong and seemingly lasting effect on the attitudes of the people treated:

    These brief conversations increased positivity toward transgender people, as measured with a survey tool called a “feeling thermometer”, by ~10 points, an amount larger than the average increase in positive affect toward gay men and lesbians among Americans between 1998 and 2012 (8.5 points)
    Lopez asks the important question: "can it be applied to other kinds of bigotry, such as racism, that might be more entrenched in the US?" But he avoids answering this question, and I think it's because there's no way to tell unless someone repeats this experiment for race. I think it might produce a small reduction in racism, but that's about it.

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    I don't know if there is a way to end racism, but we have had quite a bit of success in my small southern city. How? Our schools are very integrated because over the years our neighborhoods have become far more integrated than they were in the past. When I moved here twenty years ago, the first black neighbor to move near me was met with "KKK" painted across the side of his rental home. Now, while still mostly white, we have several black neighbors and we see black children and young men walking down the street and nobody reacts negatively to that, like you hear of in some places. Many of the black folks near me are homeowners, despite there still being several rental homes on my street, due to the owners dying or going to nursing homes and their families deciding to use the property as a rental. There are many mixed race relationships and mixed race children and young adults here. We still have problems, but living near each other, working together, having relationships with people with different skin tones helps decrease racism in a community. People may not love each other, but at least they tolerate each other and live peacefully side by side. When I was still working, many of my patients had photos of mixed race grandchildren in their rooms. Many of the young women were in mixed race relationships too. This made me a bit optimistic as it was very different when I first started working.

    But, I do agree that attacking people who look different from you or stereotyping white, black or any other race or ethnicity of people, based on the worst examples isn't going to help.

    In some ways, class privilege is the bigger problem here. Those who have the most money or the most education or the most power frequently use it to suppress the lower classes. Not everyone, but I've known white people that are very educated and say they have sympathy for black people but they live in upper class all white or mostly white neighborhoods and rarely interact with anyone who is different from them. Those are the liberal or conservative elites that others complain about.

    When I'm here in Georgia, I see, and interact with black folks almost everyday. Unfortunately my city has only a sprinkling of other race/ethnic groups, although we do have at least four or five Mexican restaurants. Everybody seems to like Tex/Mex food around here. When I go visit New Jersey, there are times when I never see anyone who isn't white. My sister lives in a small town that is white. I don't think there is a single black person in her town. That always seems weird to me.

    So, if there is a solution it must involve more integration in neighborhoods and schools and more children of mixed race/ethnic backgrounds. This must be voluntary, as it has been where I live. Forcing people to integrate tends to result in backlash and misunderstanding. But, when people actually interact and get to know each other personally, a lot of racial stereotypes become less common. Still, I'm afraid that racism will always be present when it comes to humans.

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    Teach people about cognitive biases. Teach people how to spot fake news. Racism is just the result of faulty deduction. That's a fixable problem.

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