Chocolate City? Vanilla City?

If you're looking to understand why discussions between blacks and whites about racism are often so difficult in this country, you need only know this: when the subject is race and racism, whites and blacks are often not talking about the same thing.


Paul Hue said...

====from the article===
First, there is nothing to suggest that his comment about New Orleans retaining its black majority portended a dislike of whites, let alone plans to keep them out. In fact, if we simply examine Nagin's own personal history... we would immediately recognize the absurdity of the charge. Nagin owes his political career not to New Orleans' blacks, but New Orleans' white folks. It was whites who voted for him, at a rate of nearly ninety percent,
This logic is fine... so long as it gets applied also to people saying things that Tim disagrees with. For example, many leftists insist that proponents of school vouchers and opponents of affirmative action are "racist". But people like me apply this sort of analysis to them, and reach the same conclusion that Tim reaches about Nagin.

Paul Hue said...

====From the article====
Until white folks get as upset about racism actually limiting the life choices and chances of people of color, as we do about black folks hurting our feelings

I think Tim Wise needs to figure out the true thought and feelings of these "white folks", as well as the blacks who feel the same way. These people are "upset" because Nagin's words "hurt their feelings." They are upset at constantly being called "racist" for supporting low taxes and school vouchers, or simply for living in subburbs or openly hoping that Detroit voters would expel their currupt mayor, and despite authentically believing 100% that racism should not "limit the life choices and chances of people of color." So when these crackers hear Nagin's comments, it reminds them of the many times that they get unjustly called racist, and it becomes an opportunity for them to express this frustration.

Paul Hue said...

=====from the article
If you're looking to understand why discussions between blacks and whites about racism are often so difficult in this country, you need only know this: when the subject is race and racism, whites and blacks are often not talking about the same thing.

I suppose I agree with the above. But first we have to clarify the author's terminology.

When Tim Wise says "whites" above, he is refering to the approximately half of white folks who vote Republican and who believe that racism in the US a minor problem. About 10% or so of blacks agree with this view.

By "blacks" above, he is refering to the approximately 90% of blacks who believe that on-going racism is a major problem in the US, and is the primary explanation for discrepancies in black-white socio-economic indicators (education levels, grades, and test scores, income, wealth, crime victimization, crime perpetuation, etc). About half of all honkies agree with this view. "Black", then, is an especially poor term to identify this view, since most Americans with this view aren't even black!

Thus I propose the terms "racialist" and "behavioralists" to charactorize people according to these ideologies, with "racialists" believing that a 2006 American's race primarily determines outcomes for these factors, and "behavioralists" believing that a 2006 American's behavior primarily determines these outcomes.

So, yes indeed, racialists and behavioralists are speaking of different things when they talk about racism. When racialists, like Tim, rfer to "racism", the are refering to:

1. Factors which don't even exist anymore, like restrictive covenents and race-based "red-lining".
2. Amorphous, un-observable, and un-provable (and un-disprovable) catch-phrases, such as "institutional racism". 3. Beliefs and behaviors that they conclude are racist, but are not. This would include people supporting school vouchers, low taxes, and cuts to government programs, or opposing affirmative action. Also, insurance companies "red-lining" based on crime rates, or people moving from high-crime areas to low-crime areas.

When behavioralists, like me, speak of racism, we are speaking of the dictionary's definition:
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Nadir said...

Your terms "racialist" and "behavioralist" are inappropriate. Not all people who believe that racism is an obstacle beleive that it is the most significant obstacle that a minority will face. Some (like me) believe that behavior is more important, and that blacks have been overcoming racism for centuries. We shall continue to overcome.

Recognizing that discrimination and prejudice based on race exists, and that racism is a factor in how whites and blacks perceive and act toward each other is merely living in the real world. Race would not be such a prominent issue in this blog if you and I did not make it so.

If you are a prospective employer or a loan officer or a cop, your perception of me is very important in my dealings with you. If your diversity and sensitivity training was more powerful than the images you saw on television or in the movies, then you will look at me with an open mind and judge me on my actions.

If you see my skin and long hair, and assume that I am a reggae musician, you would be wrong. However, my appearance will require you to reference your mental frames. We all do it. How we react to those frames of reference will determine whether we are racist or not.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I agree with everything you said in the above entry.