1. notleia says:

    I think the concept of racism is more fluid than you give it credit for. (Which means I find the basis for your criticism of CRT to be faulty.) The purpose of racism is for in-group/out-group scheiss, so it entirely depends on the criteria for what is to be included and what is to be excluded. So I think religion can absolutely be a part of the muddle built up as the justification for whatever bull is going on at the moment. After a certain point, is there even a meaningful difference within the distinction, between discrimination based on race and discrimination based on religion or economic status?

    But you have an agenda in mind, don’t you, Travis?

    • Brennan McPherson says:

      Is there a difference between a parking ticket ($30), a payment for a purse ($30), and paying someone back for loaned money ($30)?

      Ask someone running a Buddhist monastery if it makes a difference whether they discriminate based on religion or skin color.

      What a stupid question…

      • notleia says:

        Does it matter if someone steps on your toes because you’re wearing a BLM shirt or a Packers hat? Kinda doesn’t matter when the thing that needs to happen is them getting off your foot.

        • Brennan McPherson says:

          I think it would make a difference if they stepped on my foot because of my religion, or because of my skin color. And, in the practical outworking of law, social dialogue, etc., it certainly matters to make the distinction.

          • notleia says:

            I guess we’re just gonna differ on this one, because sure, it can matter for legalese purposes, but take a moment to remember that most of this doesn’t actually make it to court.
            But be careful you don’t do that thing that goalpost-moving jerks do, where they pretend that microaggressions that don’t make it to court are not “real” racism.

            • It matters for a heck of a lot more than legalese purposes, and you know it.

              • notleia says:

                No, I have changed my mind on the subject to downgrade the importance of the cause for someone being a jerkwad. That is a “them” problem, for them and their therapists, and to the rest of us, it only matters that their jerkwaddery is prevented from harming someone.

                Lemme see if I can find a Captain Awkward for that.

              • I’d take you seriously if you didn’t move the goalpost on white males and those who believe differently from you on politics and religion.

                Racism has different motivations and goals than discrimination based on religion. Racism attacks the worth of an individual, whereas discrimination based on religion sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. Fighting racism takes totally different words and actions than fighting discrimination based on political affiliation, etc. If you believe CRT, it can never just be a “them” problem. So, what do you even believe?

              • notleia says:

                But is it really all that different in motivation and goals?
                Someone said at one point (I can’t be arsed to google it at the moment) that conservatism is based on the notion that one group must be protected but not constrained by the law, while there must be another group who is constrained but not protected by the law. So, in-group and out-group scheiss. Is religious discrimination any less irrational than racial discrimination? If so (obv you think so), how so?

                And we still seem to be missing each other on the point about individual actions versus systemic injustices.

              • Yes, it’s much more rational in many cases (although sometimes not). See my response below to the other comment train. If you actually considered the real world, rather than your own agenda, you’d see the evidence everywhere.

                You seem to be saying that because white males are statistically less likely to be at a disadvantage, it’s ok to discriminate against them and be a jerkwad, which is irrational goal-post moving. In doing so you can discriminate against poor white males who have been screwed by the same system. You think that’s ok? Because it’s not.

              • notleia says:

                So you’re saying is that white dudes deserve the benefit of the doubt over the experiences of people who are not white dudes as to what constitutes discrimination and oppression, desu ne?

              • notleia says:

                Who is the reliable narrator in this situation, Brennan, most of whom are people you have never met?

              • Lol, no, I’m saying you act like you care about all discrimination, but you obviously don’t. Then you say that all sorts of discrimination are equal, when in fact they can’t be – especially if you’re into CRT. And you complain about goalpost moving while doing it yourself. And you want to focus on systemic injustice by focusing on the individual white guy who did something wrong, but when others focus on the individual you say that’s a no-no, you must focus on the system. Then you continue building strawmen to knock down… I’m getting bored.

    • notleia says:

      I did say I was gonna throw up some Captain Awkward, I should follow through on that: https://captainawkward.com/2018/02/26/1083-and-1084-nazis-are-beyond-awkward-do-not-engage/

      • Travis Perry says:

        I doubt very much I will ever follow a link to something labeled as “Captain Awkward.” I don’t mean that as a slap in the face, but you are failing to speak a language I respect here–the language of serious study and considered thought. I’m not interested in jokes here.

        • notleia says:

          Welp, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that maybe you aren’t confidence in my assessment of a source as useful even if it has a funny name.

    • Travis Perry says:

      You might be interested in seeing my reply to Autumn’s comment. What Critical Race Theorists are doing is in essence moving the goalposts on what racism is or was. Why they are doing that, I can only speculate. A speculation I don’t care to engage in as of this moment.

      But in effect it does matter when we are talking about American history if there was from the beginning a concept of “white” that people sought to defend and exclude others from. Actually the concept of “white” developed over time. Europeans landing in the Americas had many types of prejudices–some based on nationality, many based on religion, quite a few based on social status–racial prejudice being just one among many. Historically, the focus on race would become more important over time. Racism became more important than it was at first.

      What I just said is actually the truth, as best I am able to determine truth. CRT is making the definition of racism anachronistic in essence.

      Your statement about my agenda is quite interesting. Of course every time anyone sets out to explain something based on history, they have the agenda of convincing others what they are saying is true. My primary reason for trying to convince people what I am saying is true is that I believe it. Yes, that’s a type of agenda, but one that’s immediately obvious.

      • notleia says:

        The bit about an agenda was mostly a joke. Should I have put in a passive-aggressive smiley on that? “Agenda” has become such a loaded word that it feels like an accusation when it’s often just a statement of fact, desu ne?

        I don’t wanna anticipate your bit about discrimination based on religion too much, but I have a feeling that you want to make it sound less bad than racism.

        • Obviously religious discrim. can be just as bad. But there’s also instances where it’s obviously not. Ex. a Muslim Mosque not hiring a Christian Pastor because they want to discriminate based on religion, or vice-a-versa. It’s actually good in instances such as that.

          • notleia says:

            Except that’s not what the actual issues on the ground are. I’m pretty dang sure no one cares about assessing Muslims for a Baptist pastorship.
            The issues that ARE happening is more along the line of people firing the math teacher or the janitor of a religious school for being gay or getting a divorce or an abortion, when there is no evidence that being gay/divorced/abortion-having affects their ability to perform in the capacity of being math teacher or janitor.

            (Like, ESPECIALLY if these are the same people who will defend molester pastors and argue that they should still be in contact with and in an authoritative position with children.)

      • I should have read this comment before responding above. Agreed.

  2. Autumn Grayson says:

    A lot of people blame racism/white supremacy for things that might not actually be related, but most of them aren’t actually arguing that racism is the only problem facing the world. Most of them are fully aware that there are other types of prejudices and that people can hate each other while also seeing each other as fully human. So pointing out that racism wasn’t the only prejudice in early America isn’t as useful to the conversation. A lot of super woke people would be more likely to roll their eyes and be like ‘Duh, why else do you think we complain about sexism and homophobia and cultural intolerance and all that other stuff?’ Racism just happens to be pretty high on their list.

    That’s probably the most notable thing that came to mind. As for your questions at the end, I think I agree that the process you described probably applied to a lot of people, though I expect it was more complicated than that. Different people often go through different processes to get to a certain point. Though you did allude to there being a lot of complex circumstances happening during America’s founding.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Autumn, I think pointing out that racism isn’t the only kind of ethnic discrimination is very important for definining what is the scope of racism. Yes, of course modern people are often concerned about gender discrimination and homophobia…but when talking about the discrimination that, say, the Irish faced, the modern Critical Race Theorist explanation for that is that the concept of whiteness changed and Irish people were not really considered white at one time–that’s why they were discriminated against. What such a thought is doing is saying that the idea of “white” as a common group that sought to defend itself and assert its authority and power over other groups is something that’s always been true in U.S. history. When in fact the concept of being “white” started out amorphous and ill-defined, basically that which is non-Indian and non-Black. Which had absolutely nothing to do with many of the prejudices early Americans had.

      What actually happened is that non-racial prejudices of many kinds–religious and ethnic prejudices of many flavors–would become less important, and racism would become more important. But it’s a mistake to read into the past that racism was the only issue of importance in America with regard to ethnic tensions. And it is being thought of that way–I’m not making that up.

      No, I don’t want to cause any eye rolling. But the 1619 Project and various other cultural expressions inspired by CRT really /do/ make racism the One Important Thing when talking about ethnic tensions and prejudices of the past. But it wasn’t.

      • notleia says:

        Yanno, you guys make a lot of sounds about CRT for having not even read it.

      • notleia says:

        Okay, let’s see if I can articulate better after my initial reaction of wanting to slam my head on a desk.

        So you think that race isn’t the Big Effin Deal, so what do you think was? Social class? ((((Guess what race plays a part in social class)))) Maybe you should be writing a series on social class rather than racism, then. Get you a subject you can actually believe in.
        ‘Cause so far you’re coming across as “racism wasn’t that bad in the 1600s therefore CHECKMATE LIBERALS.” I’m sure that’s super comforting to the Black people executed without trial by cops on the street. (/s)

        Yanno, why don’t I make a semi-official challenge for you to write about social class? Read that White Trash book by Nancy Isenberg and Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan Metzl.

        • I think you may be reading politics into his posts when he’s not intending it…

        • Travis Tyree Perry says:

          Social class was a big deal. So was non-racial ethnic prejudice, as in, “Yeah I know the Irish are white and cannot be permanently enslaved by law–but they’re bloodly animals!” I.e. it was conceivable to think of someone as both white and “other.” That got quite complex at times–for example, early Americans tended to both loathe and love both the French and the British.

          There was also anti-immigration prejudice as reflected in the American Party, better known as the No-Nothing Party. Stereotyping based on nationality was super common. And religious stereotyping was common.

          Racism was a thing, too. But at first, not any more important than other prejudices. Though how important depended on who you were and where you lived. Charleston and New York City were not the same (and still aren’t, but whatever).

          In other words, the past was like a foreign land to modern people, different from our times and complex as all societies are. Yet modern people are in general doing a massive reduction of all complexity when looking at the past.

          There seems to be a hidden agenda in so doing (speaking of agenda), because a complete villification of the past does allow one to imagine the need to totally destroy our entire society and rebuild from from scratch. To build a new utopian hellhole, er, I mean “paradise.” 😉

          As opposed to removing the cancers that ail us, but allowing the patient to live.

          But maybe there is no hidden agenda. Maybe a large corpus of modern people, trained by increasingly fast-paced media, simply lack the patience required to fully understand complex issues. It is in fact intellectually easier to see what we perceive as the big issues of our day as being basically the same in the past…

  3. notleia says:

    Hey, I have been reading a new thing about humans and their cognitive differences from other animals and about how that might be related to our social capacity (Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari). Previously I have posted some junk about the natural “tribal” group to be about 50 people. Turns out, it’s more like 150 people.
    That is a definite leap beyond most animals, but what makes us truly unique is that we can coordinate with individuals that WE DON’T EVEN KNOW (dramatic music). The author credits this because of our capacity to imagine and communicate about things that don’t even exist in a physical sense, like nationality or human rights or money or legal entities.

    Imma tie that back into this in-group/out-group stuff because beyond the 150 people that we can make close relationships with, we rely on these ideas that don’t exist in real time-space, like ethnic groups and religions and junk, basically narratives that we tell ourselves. So outside of our 150 people, we rely on scripts. And (dramatic music) racism can make up part of those scripts, like who gets the benefit of the doubt between the white person you don’t know and the black person you don’t know (you know how this part goes).

    It’s the narratives and unconscious biases like these that help make up the systemic injustice that I keep nattering on about. Who gets the benefit of the doubt. Who gets to be accommodated. Who is more reliable. Who has the power.

    • Travis Tyree Perry says:

      Referring to a book like this works better for me than Captain Awkward. Just to explain what I meant by “speaking my language.” FYI.

What do you think?