Warning: You're All Racists

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According to the Seattle Public Schools, "emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology" is a form of racism.

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  1. I hate the entire commie race.

  2. “Cultural Racism:
    Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as ?other?, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.”

    That’s one convoluted, ridiculous statement. In other words, par for the course for Beaurocracy.

    -“defining white skin tones as nude or flesh”: what the hell? How should I define my skin tone? Green? Burnt Sienna? Oh, no, I’m sorry, I’ll be sure to call it “white flesh” or “white nude”.

    -“having a future time orientation”: Again, what the hell? That doesn’t even make sense. How is that racist? AGH!!

    -“emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology”: ummmm…ahem, like this needs any comment, but, um, I think they got this backwards. Isn’t collectivism and identifying yourself as part of a larger group what got racism going in the first place???

    -“defining one form of English as standard”: If we cannot do this, then we might as well stop teaching English and grammar to kids. Look, this is the way I say “I’m going to the store”: “Jak, yo cracka flitta mah ro-mo-cho-mo!” And if any of you disagree, then you’re racist.

    -“identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.”: as Volokh noted, that does not mean that a meaningful list of great writers or composers can not be created if there are no non-whites included…it’s only racist if you leave non-whites out because they’re non-white.

    Also, do these strict standards apply in reverse? What if I define black skin tone as “nude” or “flesh”? Does that mean I’m a racist? Or is “Cultural Racism” only applicable to whites?

    Lastly, volokh needs a new graphical interface on his blog. It SUCKS. It’s hard to differentiate between one post and another, it’s ugly, it hurts me eyes! Luckily, I don’t read it very often.

  3. Even more than the individualism thing, I’m stumped by future time orientation.

  4. I’m not sorry, but they have it backwards; racism is rooted in collectivism.

  5. Everyone is special.

    Except for nasty ol’ whitey.

  6. Whoa! The truth is exactly the opposite. Emphasizing individualism is the best way to mitigate considerations of race and oppose racism. This mistake is owing to the fact that the authors of this nonsense have thrown their ideological bias into this statement about racism.
    Or perhaps they are thinking about the arguments against affirmative action/quota systems that are based on individualism.

    Anyone live up there so as to jump on this BS? Maybe we should all contact the Seattle Public Schools and express our opposition to this barbarism.

  7. uh, in seconding Evan’s reference to that particular item.

  8. JW:

    That’s what the above definition says, pretty much- because most of the guidelines are defined in terms of anti-nonwhite racism. I mean, according to the definition, if I made a list of great writers and composers, and all the people on the list were black, and I left out white people because I hate whitey, then, um, that wouldn’t be racist.

  9. I’m stumped by future time orientation.

    As I understand it, some African languages don’t have as strong a future tense as English does (similar, I suppose, to the way the subjunctive in English isn’t as big a deal as it is in some Romance languages).

  10. Just to be clear, the Seattle schools didn’t make this mumbo-jumbo up. It even cites its source — Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 1197 eds. Adams, Bell & Griffin. — for what it’s worth.

    Luckily, few people will be able to decipher what the writer was attempting to say. I won’t judge whether one form of English should be judged “standard,” but certainly some forms can be judged “clear.”

  11. So it’s OK to say the Pledge Of Aleegiance in another langauge in Seattle schools.

  12. I am totally whipping out the “future time orientation is racism” thing next time my superiors here at the office complain I am late, or didn’t give them enough notice that I need a day off.

  13. Fucking scary. These people are like the Borg. All will be assimilated. All will think the same. There is no “I” or “me” in the Borg language.

    Freaks.

  14. You know, it’s easy to make jokes about this, but this sort of policy is obscene. I mean, they’re advocating the kind of society that I just observed on TV with some tribesman in New Guinea. I daresay that focusing on individual rights and happiness, along with an emphasis on the future, is 80% of why Western culture has been such a great thing. That culture isn’t “white” or oppressive. It’s liberating and open to anyone. Incidentally, as far as blacks go, they are a big part of our culture–they’ve been part of American life for hundreds of years and deserve better than to be treated as some sort of primitive tribesmen that need some white, racist elitist to talk down to them using special words and tenses.

    This really burns me.

  15. While most of this is nonsense, some of it is indeed covert racism, or at least blindness to the fact that not everyone is Caucasian. I once heard Bryant Gumbel and Al Roker musing about what Crayola meant when they called a crayon ‘flesh’. It sure wasn’t the color of their flesh. In fact, it isn’t the skin color of most of the people on earth. I could understand them being a little puzzled.

    Crayola now calls that color ‘peach’ by the way.

  16. Jennifer,

    So, someone saying “I’ll go to the bank tomorrow,” is a racist, while “I might go to the bank tomorrow,” is respectful of other cultures.

    I’m glad I know that now. I have all this guilt about planning my vacation now. To whom should I write a check?

  17. Whoever came up with this nonsense should be nuetered.

  18. -“having a future time orientation”: Again, what the hell? That doesn’t even make sense. How is that racist? AGH!!

    That’s because you do not understand nature’s perfect harmonic simultaneous 4-day time cube. You have been educated singularity stupid.

  19. Pro Libertate,

    The cult of the noble savage lives on in the ranks of intellectuals. Recently a college professor I know, a political scientist, took a trip to India, and came back gushing about how Indians “care so much about the community!” She is now meditating, having weekly reflexology treatments, and scheduling appointments with an acupuncturist. It reminded me of Henry Miller’s extravagant romanticizing of India in “The Rosy Crucifixion,” irrational and embarassing. Intellectuals who are dissatisfied with the West and laugh at Western mysticism as bunk are very vulnerable to “the spiritualism of the exotic East.”

  20. “While most of this is nonsense, some of it is indeed covert racism, or at least blindness to the fact that not everyone is Caucasian.”

    AWESOME, Goeff! you get the game ball!

    This is a very important point. It contrasts nicely with “MikeT’s” – the person who felt that comparing the “evacuation” of the Jews by Nazi Germany with deporting illegal immigrants was part of the author’s “refreshing style” – rant where he seems to expect that: assimilation = abandoning [their] collectivist behavior for ours [US dominant culture].

    Presumably his take on what the culture is/should be. Besides being blind to the horrors of “evacuation” trains, he glibly wants his form of collectivism to triumph. (Triumph of his Will?)

    (and recalling a “flesh” crayon: i remember when “peach” became the alternative. “Flesh”. woah. And who here pines for “Pleasantville”? argh!)

    cheerio!

  21. Rafuzo,

    That was impressive! It’s takes a really special kind of crazy to come up with shit like that.

  22. I get the whole Crayola thing, but if the name of a crayon color is the most oppresive racism you have to deal with, I’d say things are looking up.

  23. So, if I understand “future time orientation” correctly, it simply means considering your actions based on how they will affect you in the future. Does this mean that if my girlfriend wanted to know where our relationship is going that I can respond that she is a racist?

  24. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Crayola hasn’t called a crayon “flesh” since at least the early 60s.

  25. I don’t understand why Libertarians don’t get into the calling “racism” game. Point out that public schools have always given black students lesser educations than white students, therefore anyone who doesn’t support privitization of schools is a racist. Government has segregated blacks against there will by crowding them into government houising project “ghettos”. The government uses drug laws and gun laws to search and harrase young black men. The government uses enviornmental and safety laws, selectivly enforced against blacks, to prevent them from starting buisnesses. And affirmative action programs are to prevent blacks from concentrating their power in the economy, and keeping them spread apart and weak in the workplace.

    I am not being humorous when I say that Libertarianism is the only ideology that isn’t conspiring to enslave and destroy non-whites. All other ideologies are created by whites, with the explicit purpose of oppressing non-whites and elevating european inspired enslavement as the highest ideal.

  26. So, someone saying “I’ll go to the bank tomorrow,” is a racist, while “I might go to the bank tomorrow,” is respectful of other cultures.

    Your use of the individualist term “I” shows that you’re still an oppressive pig.

    Actually, I think the individualism = racist comes from the pop-anthropology idea that before white men appeared in Africa, the continent was one big happy family, filled with people working together toward the common good as opposed to selfish individuals only out for themselves.

    As far as Crayola’s “flesh” crayon is concerned, didn’t they phase that out in the early 1960s?

  27. That’s correct- Crayola hasn’t made a “flesh” colored crayon since 1962. Anyone who tells you differently is a goddamned future-time-orienteerist.

    Incidentally, Crayola dropped “Indian Red” in 1999, and the name had nothing to do with Native Americans- “Instead, the name referred to a reddish pigment from India that was often used in oil paints.”

    http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0872797.html

  28. As I understand it, some African languages don’t have as strong a future tense as English does (similar, I suppose, to the way the subjunctive in English isn’t as big a deal as it is in some Romance languages).

    See? Those damn Mexicans are trying to take over our country with their evil, subjunctivist ways.

    And I thought we had finally begun to move past defining people by their orientation.

  29. Recently a college professor I know, a political scientist, took a trip to India, and came back gushing about how Indians “care so much about the community!” She is now meditating, having weekly reflexology treatments, and scheduling appointments with an acupuncturist.

    I’ve been to India. It sucked. Hard.

  30. Well until they come out with Crayons labled: Honkey White, Nigger Black, Chink Yellow, Drunk Injun Red, and Beaner Brown I’ll have to say that Crayons are about as non-racist as you can get. The people who look for racism in every facet of their daily lives are desperate single focused fools.

  31. What is downright sinister about this is how it takes policy disagreements and puts them into the realm of moral approbation. If you support individual rights and capitalism, you are not just wrong you are racist. This is how totalitarian regimes work; they redefine dissent and political disagreement in such a way as to make the dissenter not just wrong but criminal or worse insane. The communists were great about sending dissidents to insane asylums. These kinds of policies set us down that same road. Now, you child goes to school and says something like “I think individuals are responsible for themselves and ought to be free to pursue whatever they like and should be rewarded for their merit and hard work” and he or she faces not only the approbation of some leftist nitwit teacher but also the prospect of being branded a “racist” by the school system. Combine this with “hate speech” codes and you child ends up in some re-education class otherwise known as sensitivity training. If your child doesn’t play the game and continues speak unorthodox views and he is branded a trouble maker and ends up being kicked out of school and placed in a “special school” and categorized with various criminals and delinquents.

    What is really scary is that this kind of stuff goes on in schools and offices all over the country. If you don’t believe me, go to a corporate sponsored diversity training session (of which there are many) and speak out against affirmative action and see how long you have a job or how bright your future is with the company. This stuff is just sinister and people who push it are flat-out dangerous.

  32. Just to be an individual here for a moment…

    I would like to point out that the reactions to this show a lack of perspective. The point of the poorly written defintion was to point out that one should not devalue someone/some culture because they__________________. (clarity lost due to cut/paste composition I would bet).

    The idea is that cultural racism would include a failure to recognize that there are aspects of our culture (i.e., a greater value is placed on individualism than in some other cultures) that are treated as if they were settled issues, when in fact there are other perspectives that are just as legit. To devalue a group or individual for disagreeing with that perspective, for placing greater value on the collective, for instance, is a form of racism if we allow racism to mean “negative discrimination.”

    Libertarians, as a minority position holder, might be able to come up with ways that the majority position devalues their perspective… and on many non-libertarian websites they would be mocked for their wrong-headed point of view.

  33. The “future time orientation” thing seems to reflect a funny sort of latent racism in the writers, really, like the “noble savage” stuff mentioned above. You only need that if you think that minorities really are incapable of being on time. Now, if you think that “lazy mexicans (or blacks, what have you)” is, in fact, just a stereotype, the whole thing becomes kinda moot.

    And blacks in America haven’t spoken those African languages for hundreds of years; surely that puts them past the Sapir-Whorf expiration date. After all, African-American Vernacular has, to my knowledge, no weaker a future tense than standard English (dammit, now I’m racist!).

  34. My daughter has been a student in the Seattle school district since kindergarden, and currently in the 10th grade. The sort of lefty mumbo-jumbo typified in this this convoluted attempt to define racism reminds me of some of the ranting that occasionally pops up at school meetings — and is usually left unchallanged by both the district and other parents as a form of appeasement, in much the same way that PTA meetings in the suburbs will indulge someone prattling on about “putting God back in the classroom” before they all move on to more practical matters. Perhaps we should all object to this inappropriate sermonizing, but that’s sure to lead to an ugly fight, which can be more trouble than it’s worth.

    And for what it’s worth, the high school my daughter attends is roughly one thirds white, black and East Asian, and it also has a very mixed foreign-born population (one of the weirdest things you’ll ever see is someone wearing a burka in their yearbook photo — like, why bother?). And while the students still tend to hang out with their own kind, there’s very little interracial tension in her school, mainly because the administration never indulges in any form of group identification, and always treats each student as an indiviual. Also, the foreign borns are both expected to learn proper English and are eager to learn it.

    My point is that the more negative aspect of the Seattle school district’s definition of racism doesn’t appear to be trickling down to the classroom. Still, they’d be wise to get rid of it — and probably will, now that they’re about to become the laughingstock of the blogosphere.

  35. Cultural Racism:
    Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people

    Most white people I know of are putting as much energy into contributing to the end of self-determination and individual sovereignty as the rest of the flesh-tone palette. I consider this behavior to be abnormal and valueless. Am I still a cultural racist [sic] for being disgusted by all of them?

  36. Also, isn’t it kind of racist> of them to assume I speak any variety of English? You’d think those protests recently would have opened their eyes. Sadly, it seems institutional racism is a problem.

    This post was written in Navajo and translated with a special Babelfish page only I know about.

  37. The idea is that cultural racism would include a failure to recognize that there are aspects of our culture (i.e., a greater value is placed on individualism than in some other cultures) that are treated as if they were settled issues, when in fact there are other perspectives that are just as legit. To devalue a group or individual for disagreeing with that perspective, for placing greater value on the collective, for instance, is a form of racism if we allow racism to mean “negative discrimination.”

    Translation: we dare not even suggest that some ways of doing things might work better than others, and a comment like “capitalism has worked better than Communism” is no different from “people with my skin color are better than people with yours”.

  38. jaybird, I was exposed to the horrors of the “flesh” crayon as a child in the mid-70s. It wasn’t pale enough for me, so I, too, was confused.

    Actually, although it’s a minor issue, I think “flesh” is a little inappropriate. I don’t blame Crayola for making the change.

  39. On the “Future time orientation” question:

    From Some Website:
    “Structure of the Free to Choose Scale. In combination with other scales comprising our East-West dimension the Free to Choose Scale was administered to a group of subjects. It showed substantial correlations with the scales comprising the West pole of the East-West dimension. The ideological character of the Freedmans’ economic theory is definitely pro-capitalist. Its emphasis is on self-reliance, past-future time orientation, immediate critical appraisal and a belief system that is based primarily on cognition and secondarily on affect. It seems to appeal to entrepreneurs with a preference for reason over creativity, critical over imaginative, prescriptive vs. non-discursive modes of operations, and legalistic-impersonal personnel policies.”

  40. What is really scary is that this kind of stuff goes on in schools and offices all over the country. If you don’t believe me, go to a corporate sponsored diversity training session (of which there are many) and speak out against affirmative action and see how long you have a job or how bright your future is with the company. This stuff is just sinister and people who push it are flat-out dangerous.

    I’m with John.

    I’ve considered the issue for a long time now, about thirty seconds, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we are basically dealing with the ‘re-education’ arm of a communist front.
    I suppose it would be plauible to engage in dialogue with these people and try and win them over with logic and nuanced resoning, but that’s boring.

    So my plan is to build an elaborate tree house/system in my front garden, get up there with an air rifle and a two week supply of cheesy doritos and take pop shots at people who like they’re overly keen on sharing.

  41. What’s wrong with calling a crayon “flesh”? It doesn’t mean that that particular shade is the ONLY possible color of flesh, just that it is one of the colors of flesh. Is “Blue” the only possible shade of blue? I hope not, because I’m rather fond of cerulean.

    Let me state unequivocably that I am against discrimination on the basis of race and I do believe that all cultures have worth and deserve respect. That being said, when a culture becomes so “multi-cultural” that there is no discernable “national” culture, a significant part of what makes a counry a country is lost. Instead of unity of culture with regional and ethnic variations (a good thing), you get disunity, fragmentation and a strong trend towards the breakup of the country. Taken to extremes (as Seattle seems to be doing) multi-culturalism and “racial sensitivity” will lead to the dissolution of the country.

    As for that time bias bit…well any shred of credibility that the statement may of had left was completely vaporized when I came to that phrase.

  42. Jennifer,

    Thanks for the reactionary reaction to my comment. You are a shitty translator of ideas.

    The better short version would be: Take time to recognize that not all your preconceived notions are correct.

    Idiot.

  43. or universal…

  44. Take time to recognize that not all your preconceived notions are correct.

    Don’t blame Jennifer for not taking her time. It’s part of her culture.

    Racist.

  45. Take time to recognize that not all your preconceived notions are correct.

    Equating that with “Cultural Racism” makes the whole concept of the word Racism meaningless.

    Unless you are one you believes that you are a Racist since you called Jennifer an idiot.

  46. MainStreamMan:

    The idea is that cultural racism would include a failure to recognize that there are aspects of our culture (i.e., a greater value is placed on individualism than in some other cultures) that are treated as if they were settled issues, when in fact there are other perspectives that are just as legit. To devalue a group or individual for disagreeing with that perspective, for placing greater value on the collective, for instance, is a form of racism if we allow racism to mean “negative discrimination.”

    So, for example, in my cultural context, it is a settled issue that racism is wrong. Thus, if I were to scorn someone who comes from a culture were racism is the norm for deriding someone else based on their race, I would be engaged in cultural racism?

    I think your problem is that you’re conflating disparate impact with negative discrimination in general and then conflating that with racism. Obviously, if someone is castigated for holding “abnormal” views and those views are more commonly held amoung members of a given race for cultural reasons, you’d see a disparate impact. However, calling anything that has a disparate impact racist is absurd, since the mechanism may not involve a form of racial bias. It’s like saying malaria is racist since it disproportionately affects non-white people.

  47. MainStream Man:
    Nobody argues that people are not free to “place a value on the collective” in this culture. Cooperatives are just that — voluntary. It’s those people’s attempts to force everyone else to adhere to those collective efforts and values that undermines race relations, labor relations and everything else. I don’t want to join the union? I’m a scab and traitor. I don’t want to join the Black Student Union? Uncle Tom. I don’t buy “fair trade” products? I’m contributing to world poverty and environmental degradation. Further, collectivism as policy is sinister and nefarious in that it always ends in force — against the individual. Treat people like groups of sheep, and they will surely act like it.

  48. MP
    No,
    I am really more of a “Jenniferist.” ;]

    As for devaluing the term racism, I am not sure I follow. What the underlying idea here is is a recognition that there are many competing world views that an individual may choose from, but many of those choices result from the culture in which they were raised. To interact with others as if the choices that your culture made for you are correct or valuable while the choices their culture made for them are incorrect or invaluable is prejudiced in the true sense of the word… you would be prejudging based on assumptions you take as axiomatic when in fact they can be debated.

    See the Gibson post for an extreme example of where that mindset can lead.

    For more in depth discussions of these issues I would recommend the non-fiction writings of Samuel R. Delany

  49. I think your problem is that you’re conflating disparate impact with negative discrimination in general and then conflating that with racism.

    Wow. That is a heavy sentance. Can I be the first to hold my hands up and say I do not understand what it means.

    Having said that, I’m going to say I agree with it as:

    a) It sounds clever
    b) If you don’t understand something that sounds clever then you’re best off going along with it anyway.

  50. Re:”I think your problem is that you’re conflating disparate impact with negative discrimination in general and then conflating that with racism.”

    No, I am clearly not making such a conflation. I have not even brought the impact of the prejudice into the discussion.

    Think of it as cultural hubris.

  51. In the last few years I have begun to notice the use of the words “individualist” and “individualism” invectively. I may be off my meds here, but methinks such language is a new (or at least recycled) coat of paint for people whose favorite Crayola in the box is “Scarlet.” The same folks also no longer say “communism” or “collectivism;” now it’s “communitarianism.”

  52. From VERENA HUBER-DYSON: “The essence of G?del’s incompleteness theorem is that you cannot have both completeness and consistency. A bold anthropomorphic conclusion is that there are three types of people; those that must have answers to everything; those that panic in the face of inconsistencies; and those that plod along taking the gaps of incompleteness as well as the clashes of inconsistencies in stride if they notice them at all, or else they succumb to the tragedy of the human condition.”

    If you fall into the first group, you will have trouble seeing my point.

  53. On future time orientation, I think it shows up here because of its association with the “culture of poverty” theory, which attempts to explain how poverty is maintained intergenerationally. Having a present versus a future time orientation is regarded as a characteristic of the culture of poverty, because people with a present time orientation don’t invest in their futures by getting education, saving/investing, etc.

    Culture of poverty has been denounced as racist for many years. Critics say that it blames the victims of classist/racist society by focusing on their role in maintaining their impoverished conditions.

    The focus on individualism over collectivism bit probably reflects the presumably Marxist leanings of the, uh, scholars cited on the Seattle schools page. Which is interesting because the guy most associated with the theory, Oscar Lewis, is quoted in this Wikipedia entry as saying that subpopulations with a culture of poverty lack class consciousness. So would that make them individualists?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_poverty

  54. MainStreamMan,

    As for devaluing the term racism, I am not sure I follow. What the underlying idea here is is a recognition that there are many competing world views that an individual may choose from, but many of those choices result from the culture in which they were raised. To interact with others as if the choices that your culture made for you are correct or valuable while the choices their culture made for them are incorrect or invaluable is prejudiced in the true sense of the word… you would be prejudging based on assumptions you take as axiomatic when in fact they can be debated.

    No, it is not prejudice in any meaningful sense. Two people of different cultures can debate the merits of their cultures. Provided they are not dismissing the possible validity of the opposing view or denying another human beings worth, prejudice is not entering the equation.

    Meanwhile, if people are considered free to choose what cultural values they adhere to, there is no way to make a meaningful distinction between those which are “culturally determined” and those that are “freely chosen.” When you talk about “choices that your culture made for you,” you are denying the agency of those who are in a culture, while assuming an exception for yourself that is absurd on its face.

  55. Evan,

    >and I left out white people because I hate whitey, then, um, that wouldn’t be racist.

    Marxist theories about racism tend to emphasize “structural” racism. People with that ideological bent will argue that it is literally impossible for black people in America to be racist, because they don’t have access to the power structure.

  56. If you fall into the first group, you will have trouble seeing my point.

    I’m in the 4th group. We just think you’re full of shit.

    Yep. Everyone is special.

  57. MSM:

    You haven’t discusses specific impacts, but some form of impact is implicit when you say “devaluing.” What I’m arguing is that the fact that while the “devaluing” may affect members of different cultures or races in different frequencies does not obligately lead to any form of cultural or racial bias independent of the incidence of the view.

    Also, cultural hubris does not necessarily imply racism and not all promotion of cultural norms is hubristic. For example, in one culture people may be expected to be strictly punctual for social events while in another it may be considered proper to arrive 10-15 min after the formal start time. It is not hubristic to expect that a person from the latter culture would adopt the former culture’s norm on this. The creation of cultural norms (like the designation of a “standard” form of English) is important for facilitating interaction, so in a situation where the norm is clear (in formal education or business, for example) there is a justified expectation that one will comply with it for the sake of clarity. Not all norms have untilitarian underpinings, but those utilitarian norms are important and attempting to suspend them does have deleterious effects.

    Further, unless the norm itself is discriminatory (ex people should only interact with others of the same race), encouraging compliance with the norm does not constitute racial or culturial bias, hubristic or not. For example, enjoying hockey is a cultural norm in the northern midwest, but an African American from the south who moved there is unlikely to hold that norm. Does that enthusiastic embrace of hockey constitute racism?

  58. MSM,

    “If you fall into the first group, you will have trouble seeing my point”

    Actually, the more I read of your posts, the more I believe that anyone who believes in intellectual honesty will have trouble seeing your point.

    To wit, anyone calling me a racist based on the color of my skin…well, I hope you don’t have problems seeing my point on that one.

    Anyone calling me a racist because I believe that people should be treated as individuals, and not pre-judged on the basis of their sking color…well, I hope you don’t have problems seeing my point on that one.

    The funny thing is, beyond all your circle-squaring, I actually agree with your first point, although the Seattle statement is NOT a good example of how to deal with it. Yes, cultural prejudices exist. And yes, you should always examine your assumptions. But defining racism by referring to a single race is wrong. Defining racism by attacking an abstract political stance is wrong, especially when that stance actually criticizes racism!

    It’s not just whites that have to examine their assumptions. And it’s a disservice to victims of racism everywhere to absolutely link their cause to a collectivist ideology, because it isn’t true.

    On another note, am I the only one who felt the future time orientation swipe was at least an oblique attack at the perceived homophobia of Hans Herman Hoppe? Maybe I’m reaching, but even Jen’s explanation of this phrase seems to be a bit of a reach to me.

  59. “Future time orientation”
    The western industrialized world doesn’t fit with not showing up for work when scheduled.
    It may be difficult for other cultures that are not oriented to time like “we” are.
    If you aren’t going to re-orient yourself, you may not be very successful in a western culture.
    How that makes me racist,I don’t understand.

  60. Does this mean that if some old Nazi moves into my neighborhood that it would be cultural hegemony for me to impose my non-Nazi values upon him?

    We seriously need a re-Enlightenment. To purge all of these stuck-in-the-Romantic-Era social “science” people from our culture. Oh, heck, I just oppressed someone again, didn’t I?

  61. This from a city that has a statute of Vladimir Lenin. Seattle used to be a nice city 20 years ago. Now it sucks.

  62. Maybe I’m reaching, but even Jen’s explanation of this phrase seems to be a bit of a reach to me.

    I challenge anybody here, regardless of their race, to come up with an explanation of “future time orientation is racist” that isn’t a bit of a reach.

  63. Jennifer, in the future, all mankind will be bald, white, 7-feet tall, and have giant heads. I saw this in a futurist book when I was a kid. Clearly, this will be a racist future. Therefore, having an orientation to this future is also racist.

    No reaching here, baby.

  64. Is it racist for me to value my culture over another by saying something like “the way Americans treat women is better than the way Saudis treat women?” If I am accused of racism for this, then can’t I, being a woman, fight back by tossing out charges of sexism?

  65. One other thing about this is how is devalues the term “racism”. Racism by its nature implies intent or at least it once did. Someone is not or should not be inadvertantly a racist. What this and MSM kind of thinking does is turn that on its head. Moreover, it makes Western cultural and enlightenment values inherently racist. You can now be a racist by simply adhering to Western Enlightenment ideas even though consciously you have nothing against people of another race. In fact, since racism is no longer defined by individual prejudice but is instead defined by ideas, you can be a racist towards your own race. Thus, we black people who grew up in the Jim Crow south but came to hold enlightenment ideas (for example Condi Rice or Clarence Thomas) end up being called racists by other black people. The whole thing is downright to use a cliche Orwellian.

  66. Does this mean that if some old Nazi moves into my neighborhood that it would be cultural hegemony for me to impose my non-Nazi values upon him? We seriously need a re-Enlightenment. To purge all of these stuck-in-the-Romantic-Era social “science” people from our culture. Oh, heck, I just oppressed someone again, didn’t I?

    All cultures are equally wonderful and no culture is better than any other. That’s why I won’t say things like “Modern African countries like Ghana, that still have slavery, should stop that and emancipate all slaves.” No, it would be racist for me to make such a comment about African slavery.

  67. “We get black people” Sorry should have read that closer. Did not mean to say “We black people”.

  68. Jesse, that ain’t news, we’ve been taught that for 40 years.

    The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites.

    Well, we are all racists, at least us white people, we just don’t realize it because we have been victimized by the culture of dead white males that permeates our society thus rendering it a cesspool.

    Believing in the inherent superiority of any other race or ethnic group is, by definition, not racism (don’t argue, that was on my Sociology 101 final exam).

  69. I’m not sorry, but they have it backwards; racism is rooted in collectivism.

    DING!!!

    Poster uncle sam gets the award! Correctamundo!

    Collective ideology has always been the breeding ground of racism.

  70. I once heard Bryant Gumbel and Al Roker musing about what Crayola meant when they called a crayon ‘flesh’. It sure wasn’t the color of their flesh.

    I hear tell that in spanish speaking countries, black crayons are referred to as “Negro”.

  71. Amanda H says, “The same folks also no longer say “communism” or “collectivism;” now it’s “communitarianism.””

    Or “progressivism.” You’ll hear that a lot on California, especially. I think a memo must have gone out to all the apparatchiks and fellow-travelers: “Remember, it’s ixnay on the ommunistkay. We’re going with ‘progressive’ TFN.”

    Some of them have made attempts in recent years to hijack “libertarian.” But usually someone pops up to point out the discrepancy between their views and actions, and anyhing that is remotely libertarian. I don’t see very many defenders of traditional Progressivism popping up to redress that other hijacking, though. So I think the “neo-Progressives” (my term) may get away with the theft.

  72. left out white as in, any other race or ethnic group besides white. As you know, there are not ethnic groups among Causcasoids. See, there it is, racism. I capitalized it.

  73. “Collective ideology has always been the breeding ground of racism.”

    Tripple bonsu points Paul. Most of the world thinks in the collective mindset. In the collective mindset, the group, the family or the tribe takes precidence over the individual. While obvious, the logical results of that thinking are not. If all that matters is the collective (i.e. your collective) then anyone in another collective is inherently inferior. If you want to find the most racist people on earth, don’t go to America, go to tribal societies in Africa or clan based societies in places like Kosovo.

  74. I’ll just referece my last comment from previous post about racism* =

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/05/does_hating_hip.shtml

    *’white people are the anti-race’

    I’m wondering what precise type of trouble id get in at those schools if i stood in front of the class and announced,

    “People, try and understand = Racism is GAY. Really really gay.”

    JG

  75. “I’ll just referece my last comment from previous post about racism* =

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/05/does_hating_hip.shtml

    *’white people are the anti-race'”

    Man that is a scary thought. If they are the anti-race, doesn’t that make them something less than human? Are white people going to be in the 21st Century what Jews were for the facists in the 20th?

  76. MainStreamMan quotes Verena Huber-Dyson: “A bold anthropomorphic conclusion is that there are three types of people; those that must have answers to everything; those that panic in the face of inconsistencies; and those that plod along taking the gaps of incompleteness as well as the clashes of inconsistencies in stride if they notice them at all, or else they succumb to the tragedy of the human condition.”

    Star Trek treated this kind of thing in allegory. You may remember the various computers that ran things on several planets visited by the Enterprise crew (with the human subjects being almost mechanically subservient to the dictates of the machine). Those computers fell in the first of Huber-Dyson’s categories. But Kirk, being of the third category could always (sometimes with the help of the first/third category hybrid, Mr. Spock) come up with a time-wasting problem or insoluble contradiction that would fry the machine’s circuits. Category two people were generally noname locals and expendable redshirts.

    Gee, when I was watching those episodes as a kid, I didn’t know I was examining the anthropomorphic projections of G?del’s incompleteness theorem! That Roddenberry — tricky guy!

  77. Of course individualism is racist. As race is defined as a particular set of phenotypes, an individual is for practical purposes a race of one. To be an individualist means placing a higher value on your own ideas, culture, and values than on any other. To believe that one race is superior to others is racist. Therefore individualism is racist, QED.

    I’m fairly certain that words stopped having meanings sometime in the 70’s.

  78. Maurkov, it was that danged Wittgenstein. Before him, words meant what they said. Also, there were no words with more than three syllables before his meddling. You can look it up.

  79. My year and a half of college Japanese taught me that they do not have a future tense. I could be wrong, though.

  80. Ah, so desu. Watashi-wa Pro Libertate.

    After that, I remember about ten words. When I was in Tokyo, wakarimas and wakarimasen were my most useful terms (forgive my bad Romanji–I learned Japanese via the hiragana).

    Oki opai was the naughtiest phrase that the native Japanese students in my class could teach me, so they’re short on cuss words as well as tenses 🙂

  81. Ah, so desu. Watashi-wa Pro Libertate.

    After that, I remember about ten words. When I was in Tokyo, wakarimas and wakarimasen were my most useful terms (forgive my bad Romanji–I learned Japanese via the hiragana).

    Oki opai was the naughtiest phrase that the native Japanese students in my class could teach me, so they’re short on cuss words as well as tenses 🙂

  82. Quasibill:

    “Anyone calling me a racist because I believe that people should be treated as individuals, and not pre-judged on the basis of their skin color…well, I hope you don’t have problems seeing my point on that one.”

    I think my point was that no one was calling your embrace of individualism racist. It would only be racist if you were unable to appreciate other people’s/group’s tendency to choose differently. In an educational environment this would come about by having the answer to a test question counted as correct or incorrect based on the single criteria without recognition that students may be coming to class with a very different set of axioms. So if in your social studies class only individualistic points of view were considered correct, and cultural beliefs that disagreed with that were considered incorrect as policy, then your curriculum could be accused, appropriately, of being biased… “Cultural racism” as a term, identifies those aspects of our culture that we take as axiomatic, that we don’t think about since they are assumed to be true, even though they are viewed differently in different cultures. If those axiomatic beliefs end up systematically excluding alternate view points in your school system, you have institutional racism based on an underlying cultural racism. When a school district identifies this phenomena, and implements policies to avoid institutional racism that is based in cultural axioms, they are not calling you a racist. They are attempting to avoid racist practices among their staff…

    And this is a bad thing how?

    The policy is not saying that individualism is racist, they are saying that blindly “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology” without recognizing that there is a range of opinions on the issue that may be represented among your students is an example of cultural racism leading to institutional racism.

    The degree to which you believe the schools exist for cultural endoctrination rather than academic skill learning will place you on a sliding scale deciding when you consider a culturally based belief to be incompatible with the school’s mission, or the goals of a particular classroom learning activity.

  83. James Anderson Merritt

    Actually, the computers fell into group two: can’t deal with inconsistency.

    ;~)

  84. Leftists confuse culturalism with racism. It may very well be culturalist to think individually insted of collectively. Many asian cultures assert the value of the group over the value of the individual. In fact, rugged individualism is very much part of our American culture.

    Leftists also think that all cultures are equally good and valuable except for American culture, which is intrinsically racist.

  85. Jonas Cord,

    I think we are very close to agreeing, actually.

    “When you talk about “choices that your culture made for you,” you are denying the agency of those who are in a culture, while assuming an exception for yourself that is absurd on its face.”

    Recognizing that both you and others are products of the interaction between history/circumstances and “agency” does not deny that agency or assume an exception for yourself. What it does is help you avoid “dismissing the possible validity of the opposing view or denying another human beings worth”

  86. Look. We may be products of our culture, but we aren’t merely automatons, programmed to act only through our weird cultural biases. We have the ability to reason, and we have the ability to overcome prejudices and built-in inclinations. This idea that we are all locked into a specific innate cultural viewpoint is hugely overblown.

    I, for one, have made a study of other cultures. I’ve used my reason and my judgment to decide what I liked and disliked about those cultures. My tentative conclusion is that American and European culture is generally superior. Not in every way, mind you, just in toto. Does that make me a racist? Of course not. It makes me a utilitarian. Granted, what I think of as good is partially determined by where I come from, but, obviously, there are plenty of wackos in Seattle who come from pretty much the same cultural and ethnic background as I do, and they seem to have escaped their biases without any trouble. Why can’t other groups do the same? Or not?

    Incidentally, despite the hate thrown at the U.S. by people clamoring for diversity, I defy anyone to point out any single nation that has as much diverse thought as we do. Our “oppressive” society seems to generate a lot of viewpoints, doesn’t it? I wonder why? Could it be that we value individualism and the right of people to express that individualism? And to associate with others who want to express their shared values? Even the collectivists can lodge their hate against me and mine. . .just so long as they don’t try to impose their will upon me through the force of government. That’s the biggest difference between me and them, and that’s why I’m better than they are 🙂

  87. MSM –

    Incorporating assumptions about individualism vs collectivism into instruction may be bad pedagogy, but I still don?t think there is a colorable argument that it is racism. Given that the phenomenon you describe as “cultural racism” has no required element of race or ethnicity and can still occur in an entirely ethnically homogenous setting, categorizing it as a form of racism requires a radical redefinition of what racism is.

    Also, it doesn’t constitute “cultural endoctrination” to simply promote a value that may have a higher incidence rate in one culture than another. To argue this, you’d have to believe that the adoption of the value is intrinsicly linked to the adoption of the culture of higher incidence. Individuals’ values spring from a synthesis of culture, experience, and introspection, amoung other things.

    My object isn’t to the assertion of the existence of the phenomenom in question, but the repeated usage of hot-button terms like racism and cultural indoctrination to describe something with no intrisic relation to them.

  88. “I, for one, have made a study of other cultures”

    There is the mistake you made Liberate and the root of your racism. You are not supposed to study and understand other cultures because understanding implies judging them by some objective standard. You are only supposed to be content in the knowledge that those cultures are wonderful and equal to and in many cases superior to your own Western Culture. Actual knowledge and understanding of other cultures just leads to racist thinking and conclusions like the one you just made. You clearly need some re-education to improve your political consciousness.

  89. John, I’m so screwed. I’m too pro-science and rationality to survive a radically religious government. I’m totally gulag bound if the wacko left takes over. The Republicans don’t like my love of liberty, the Democrats despise my preferences for free markets and limited government, the Libertarians think I’m too sane and practical.

    Maybe I should just turn myself in now and skip the rush 🙂

  90. >The policy is not saying that individualism is racist, they are saying that blindly “emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology” without recognizing that there is a range of opinions on the issue that may be represented among your students is an example of cultural racism leading to institutional racism.

    I doubt that the statement about individualism versus collectivism refers to the possibility that test questions might be culturally biased. Chances are it has some basis in “alternative” educational theories in which individual academic achievement is downplayed in favor of group work such as breaking out into discussion groups that reach some consensus on an issue and then present it to the larger class, doing group projects rather than writing individual papers, and sharing answers while taking tests. In other words, educational practices that allow less able students to get by drawing on the abilities of more able students. Where individual academic achievement is emphasized, white students tend to outperform black and Hispanic students. Therefore, educational systems that emphasize individual achievement are racist.

    I’m not endorsing this point of view. But I believe that’s what they’re getting at with the collectivist thing.

  91. van,

    That’s a common claim when it comes to standardized testing. Doubtlessly, there’s a little truth to it. However, since people of just about every ethnicity have succeeded here (on tests, in school, in the workplace), I think such claims have limited value. And when those claims are applied to people who live in the United States and who are part of groups that have been here for generations, well, I think those claims serve interests other than trying to “help” anyone. Identity politics are about getting and keeping power, not about truth.

  92. MattXIV

    I do believe we are using different defintions of racism given your statements. Race as you are using it seems a very problematic construct from my point of view. If you shift towards the older, broader meaning of race– “coherent grouping based on definable characteristics” –rather than something to do with geneology, we might be able to get closer to agreement.

    I will emphasize again that I think the Seattle schools made their point in a very ham-fisted way, but the practice they are attempting to address is a real and powerful one that deserves to be addressed. Given the diversity of our nation (cf Pro Liberate), it is important to be aware of your own preconceptions and their potential impact on your students before you design your curriculum.

    Again, I fail to see how this is a problem.

    If you think the the Seattle schools were calling you racist for holding mainstream views, you are just being touchy. What they were saying was that teachers should examine their mainstream views and recognize that they are not the only views out there. That they should be aware of the potential impact that their views may have on their students. Seattle schools are taking the position that the school should not be primarily an agent of cultural endoctrination, but a place of academic skill development. The only way to avoid a defacto program of endoctrination is to be aware of the sources of latent bias (which include assumptions that have their source in culture). “Cultural racism,” is a clumsy term for sure, but not really inaccurate…

  93. Wow, I’m really surprised that this ‘definition of racism’ by Seattle Public Schools has gotten the exposure it has. (Yes, I think the definition is ridiculous and insulting.)

    BTW, Dr. Caprice Hollins is director of the SPS Department of Equity and Race Relations. Here’s an interesting recent news item about her:

    http://www.komotv.com/stories/43438.htm

  94. MSM – Who actually uses that definition of race? I’ve never encoutered any form of racial distinction used to describe people without a central genealogical element to it. If you’re going to radically redefine race, of course people are going to disagree with you about what constitutes racism, because to most people what you’re saying no longer makes sense. Under your definition libertarians, vegans, visual learners, bassists, and brunettes are all races. I don’t describe my politics as liberal because in the contemporary language used for describing politics liberal means something radically different and you probably should do likewise regarding your usage of the term race. “Cultural racism” is a pretty damn confusing term, considering it uses neither the normal definition of race nor culture. It’s pretty noxious with regards to policy debate since it tries to prejudice the debated regarding what role public education should interact with the existing values and beliefs of students by labeling the proactive position as “racist” via an idiosyncratic definition of race.

  95. >That’s a common claim when it comes to standardized testing.

    Yes, and I think it has some validity when it comes to standardized testing. Which is not to say that standardized testing has no value, but only that standardized test questions shouldn’t be culturally biased. I don’t think that the statement about individualism versus collectivism on the school system’s website has to do with cultural bias in relation to test questions though — I think it’s as I described in my prior post.

    I agree with you completely about identity politics. I think that entire ideology about racism that the site promotes is product of white guilt blended with Marxism. It’s an attempt to atone for the sins of our fathers by shortcutting the process of improving the conditions of racial minorities in the U.S., and it is harmful because it encourages racial division by demonizing one race and American culture. But, there are many vested interests here — school bureaucrats, academics, teachers, teacher unions, non-profit activist/advocacy groups and so on.

    It’s depressing. If I ever have kids, I’ll be so scared to send them to school. Even were they to have a non-white father, there are so many ideologues out there just chomping to indocrinate kids into some mediocre paradigm or other. I don’t know if I could cope.

    Here’s an interesting site, BTW:

    http://racetraitor.org/

  96. Forget all this talk. It’s time for a French-style revolution. Anyone who believes that individualism = racism gets a free trip to the guillotine.

    Concerning racism: Race is a figment of primitive imaginations. Anyone who believes that there is any such thing as race is a racist (and primitive).

  97. Except, The Real Bill, the people more prone to using Madame Le Guillotine are the ones who think that individualism = racism.

  98. Can’t believe no one’s posted this yet:

    Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

  99. Well, Pro L, that’s all the more reason to use La Madame against them!

  100. MattXIV

    I think my definition is less radical than you imply. Most people who talk about race in terms of geneology, aren’t being very systematic in their definitions. When they say “Black” they are not talking about skin color, not really about class, not dialect, not genetic heritage in any meaningful way… but rather about some amorphous “people like that” kind of construct. For that reason, talk about excluding “people like that” can change on a whim to include the individual you don’t wish to respect… when we are forced to say how we define “people like that” we fall back on abstractions that don’t match our behavior very well…”people like that” are really groupings of people based on some identifiable (although potentially quite latent) characteristic.

    So when we talk about racism, we are really saying that we don’t want people to define an individual’s worth as an individual based on some arbitrary (and narrow?) defining characteristic that is irrelevent to the decision. Skin color is the prototypical narrow defining characteristic that is irrelevant when judging someone’s worth. Any equally arbitrary parameter used in the same way is irrelevant to judging someone’s worth. If you fill in “believes differently than I” in the slot where we put “has dark skin” before, the behavior is not less counter-productive in a teacher.

    The potentially latent nature of assumptions that are taken as axiomatic within your own culture make them the most likely to be used in this way… since they are the ones the define “people like that.”

    I really just wanted to point out the the people thinking this policy equated individualism with racism were suffering from martyr syndrome of some sort. It used the example of the dominant racial grouping in Seattle (“Whites” as useless a category label as that is) as, get this, the dominant racial group… and then pulled common axiomatic assumptions from that group as examples of axiomatic assumptions…clearly an attack on you soldiers of freedom. Clearly a communist plot… (cf. many posts above).

  101. Randolph…

    That makes the point much clearer than I, I do believe.

  102. Van…interesting is right.
    Thanks.

  103. Peter Bagge’s comment at 12:24 PM was both interesting and encouraging.

  104. If this statement is official, you’re on the highway to hell, fast lane.

  105. I really just wanted to point out the the people thinking this policy equated individualism with racism were suffering from martyr syndrome of some sort. It used the example of the dominant racial grouping in Seattle (“Whites” as useless a category label as that is) as, get this, the dominant racial group… and then pulled common axiomatic assumptions from that group as examples of axiomatic assumptions…clearly an attack on you soldiers of freedom.

    There were no assumptions made on the part of the readers. The text clearly stated that endorsement of individualism is a pretext to racism.

    To wit:
    ————–
    Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
    ————–

    I tend to take people at their written word, especially when they are in positions of state autority. You? Do you honestly think that if this policy were enforced to the letter that the defense would come down to “Now, you didn’t really mean that did you?”

  106. MSM – But the amorphous “people like that” construct always includes either visible manifestations of heritable traits (ex skin, hair, and eye colors) and/or a reference to a source population (ex African American) when the group is classifed as a race. That is what conceptually separates race from other social divisions. “Black” may not be rigorously defined, but it is definitely linked to the visible manifestation of herritable traits common in sub-Saharan African populations. It’s one thing to say races are ambiguous social constructs, it’s another thing to drain the word fo any meaning other than “a type of people” while using the ambiguity as an excuse.

    Per your example, in order for it to be racism, the term that needs to be plugged in would need to be a primary characteristic assigned to a race or a race itself. Insert “age” into the gap for example. Making assumptions about people based on age may be bad pedagogy, but it isn’t by any stretch of the imagination racism. Plugging in “Believes differently than me” is like plugging in “age” – it’s bias, but it’s not RACIAL bias, in the sense that the word race is used by 99.9% of the population. I guess those examples may be racism by the definition you use, but they aren’t by the typical definition.

  107. The Seattle school district, the largest school system in Washington State, has a nasty, insane message for budding entrepreneurs, civil libertarians, and free market conservatives: your belief in individual rights or individual initiative brands you as a racist.

    The Seattle Public Schools formally define individualism as a form of ?cultural racism,? declaring that ?cultural racism? includes ?emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology.?

    On their web site, they also define racism to include stereotypically white traits such as ?future time orientation,? which is a pejorative word used among African-American studies professors for studying and ?acting white? to reap future advancement, rather than devoting one?s energy to being hip or cool and enjoying the moment.

    It is racist for the Seattle schools to stereotype achievement as a ?white? characteristic. Plenty of non-whites study and exercise self-discipline. No school system should disparage student studying and achievement. That is at odds with a school system?s basic educational mission.

    The Seattle schools also declare ?equality? of treatment to be a form of racially-biased assimilation, favoring instead affirmative action in the form of ?unequal treatment for those who have been disadvantaged over time,? to give historically oppressed groups ?special programs and benefits.?

    The ?equality? they deride ? the notion that ?people who are the same in those respects relevant to how they are treated in those circumstances should receive the same treatment? ? is the same notion of equal treatment whose infringement is the basis for a disparate-treatment discrimination lawsuit under the federal civil rights laws, under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

    In an apparent conflict with federal law, the Seattle schools deny that whites can be the victims of racism. They define racism as limited to acts against groups that have ?little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites).?

    By contrast, federal appeals courts routinely rule against institutions that fire or harass white employees, recognizing that whites can indeed be victims of racism. See, e.g., Bowen v. Missouri Department of Social Services (2002) (racial harassment of white employee by black co-worker); Taxman v. Board of Education (1996) (termination of white teacher instead of black teacher). And the Supreme Court held that racial discrimination against whites by local governments is generally illegal in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989). Affirmative action can?t be used to justify terminating or harassing an employee.

    The Seattle schools? racist policy, which appears to condone unlawful racial discrimination and retaliation against whites, is on the web site of its Equity and Race Relations department, directed by Caprice Hollins, a politically-correct self-proclaimed multicultural ?educator.? Some education.

    It appears that the Seattle schools would rather spend their time teaching (and practicing) racism, rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    The Supreme Court is currently considering a challenge to the Seattle schools? policy of assigning pupils to schools based on their race, in the case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. The Seattle schools? racist web site should be brought to the Supreme Court?s attention, since it speaks volumes about the school system?s discriminatory purpose, and a discriminatory purpose invalidates even an otherwise permissible affirmative action policy under the Supreme Court?s 1996 decision in Shaw v. Hunt.

  108. Now that I think about it, the cultural racism policy uses axiomatic assumptions about “white” people based on cultural stereotypes of “whiteness” to come up with the axiomatic assumptions that would fall under the policy, so the policy is a clear example of cultural racism (and without mutilating the definition of race beyond recognition either!).

  109. JW:

    You need to read in context.
    The defintions that the SPS are using work under the assumption that “whites” are the dominant racial grouping (based on their own defintion) in the United States(85% in Seattle meet their criteria). They then state that cultural racism (which I have already said is a poor linguistic construction for the concept) is “Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness [i.e., the dominant group], and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color [i.e., those not in the dominant group] as ?other?, different, less than, or render them invisible.”

    They then give a poorly thought out list of potential aspects of “white” society (already defined as the dominant group… and based on their definition it is certainly the dominant group in Seattle) that might serve to devalue those not in the dominant group. The list includes an assumption that the dominant culture in the US (which they label “white”) includes a cultural practice of “emphasizing individualism as opposed to more collective ideology.”

    So if you read in context, you can infer from that that the practice of DEFINING NORMALITY by whether or not someone values individualism more highly than a collective ideology is an example of racism. It clearly does not say that valuing individualism more highly than collectivism is racist, but rather that to define normality based on which position you hold is cultural racism. If you take them at their word based on what they wrote, you can’t accuse them of defining the dominant culture’s ideology as racist. They are defining cultural racism as the practice of using the dominant cultures ideology as a criteria for judging the worth of others who may not share that ideology. Hold whatever beliefs you want, but respect the rights of others to hold different beliefs. That is what the policy is stating in its poorly cludged together cut&paste list of definitions.

    Which means that if/when there is a different dominant group (defined however you want to define it) in Seattle with a different set of axiomatic assumptions about the world, then the specifics would change, but the policy wouldn’t.

    MattXIV: age-ism, sex-ism, etc… are sub-classes of racism… with age defining the race in one case, gender the other. These are terms that are commonly used in the US. The point is that “racism” is the superordinate category name for bias based on superficial grouping. I would be willing to bet that if you did a careful content analysis of the dominant uses of the term “racism” it would be closer to my definition (by including many arbitrary groupings having nothing to do with geneology) than the the narrow definition you are using.

    But I could be wrong. I would, by the way, tend to use the term “prejudice” or “negative bias” rather than “racism”… but this discussion was about the term “racism.”

  110. Regarding “Now that I think about it…”

    You are, of course, right on the money.

  111. Great information, Hans. Thank you for posting.

  112. Wait, there’s more. On May 30th the Seattle Public Schools comittee on “Race & Equity” will be meeting to discuss accomodating prayer in Seattle Schools….for Muslims, just Muslims.

    See article at http://www.komotv.com/kenschram/story.asp?ID=43438

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