Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Folly in defining racism

Here's an interesting study which purports to map "racist" attitudes out by which Presidential candidate is supported, and finds, not surprisingly, that these "racist" attitudes are common across the board.  But looking at the actual categories--intelligence, work ethic, manners, violence and lawfulness--it strikes me that we have federal agencies and federally funded researchers which work to collect verifiable data in all of these areas, or at least reasonable proxies for these characteristics.  Is it then racism to quote, say, the Department of Justice or the NIH?

Apparently so.  Silly me, I had thought that racism consisted in the belief that all members of a given race are distinguished by such characteristics, not that some or the mean was such.  It really illustrates, to hop on a soapbox I use often, the need for people to study logic in school and learn the differences between A and I, E and O premises.   We need to learn, really, how the premiss "white people can't dance" is not completely refuted by Fred Astaire and Donald O'Connor.

But we don't, and as a result, we're increasingly at each other's throats.   Pretty darned sad.

No comments: