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Mixed-race student brings lawsuit against charter school for mandatory CRT content.

Politesse

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The problem is that it's all but impossible to fix background. Blaming racism provides an "easy" fix whose costs are supposedly borne only by the evildoers and thus don't matter.
Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challeneged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant. Indeed, I think most writers in this genre see people of color, explicitly not whites, as the parties most able to change the way the system functions. The king can't dissolve the monarchy, that's the job of the proletariat.

I'm sure you mean that sincerely, but even since participating in this thread, I've read the opposite (it may even have been at one of the links provided) to the effect that it's whites who can effect the most change.

Oh? How?
 

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I'm sure you mean that sincerely, but even since participating in this thread, I've read the opposite (it may even have been at one of the links provided) to the effect that it's whites who can effect the most change.

Oh? How?

Ok, well, I can't believe you're actually asking but since you did....

By giving up power and privileges. Well, first, by becoming aware of them (as part of an understanding of Whiteness and for example the unintentional racism that goes along with it), then by giving them up. Or, intervening to help other white people give them up.

I can't readily find the particular quote I was referring to ( I can look again if you want*) but for example:

"Understanding race and racism is rooted in understanding the experience of racialized people. This does not mean simply acknowledging difference or "the other” in a superficial way, which often happens in a multicultural approach with the celebration of difference with song, dance, and food. Understanding racism involves becoming aware of how race and racism affect the lived experience of people of colour and Indigenous people, as well as becoming aware of how we participate, often unknowingly, in racism".

http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism

That is aimed at White people.

If CRT were only for blacks to engage in, I doubt there would be the same type of controversy. There'd be a different sort of controversy.

Obviously, it's neither one or the other. It's both. CRT is about both, I mean.

(PS I added to my post).
 

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*Ah. I found it:

"If you truly want to be an ally against racism, here’s my advice: Talk less and listen more when around people of color. Don’t be that white person who will inevitably fill my inbox or Twitter mentions with reasons that racism doesn’t exist (white supremacy is one a hell of a drug, man). Hear the stories of people of color and learn from them. Then when you see racism in your community, fight like hell to destroy it. Again, as a white person, you’re way more powerful than I am in that regard".

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/opin...jdCPCz90NWS0xwHPMlfz3pSSIIfHx-3TPSP8lpyPoWLiG
 

Politesse

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By giving up power and privileges. Well, first, by becoming aware of them (as part of an understanding of Whiteness and for example the unintentional racism that goes along with it), then by giving them up.
I would describe CRT in general as a school that is very, very skeptical about the possibility of this happening, at least not when driven solely by an internal drive to improve. Fundamentally, expecting people who are in a position of privilege to simply give it up, especially if they aren't really aware of that privilege to begin with, is naive at best and I'm not sure who you're referring to who would imagine this as the primary method by which racial inequalities are reduced. Noblesse oblige is a popular myth, but it is a myth, and like most myths, the truth at its core is heavily bounded and impaired by the material realities it ignores. Fundamentally, core to the reforms of CRT is that people of color, if they desire to break free of the constraints society has placed on them, must occupy traditionally white spaces and firmly refuse to be removed from them. '

White ally-ship is appreciated and possibly even needed at a certain point, but it is not the focus, nor itself above critique. The general feeling is that whites will only actually share power when we are consistently obliged to do so. Their concessions are the result, not the primary mover, of social change in this paradigm. Derrick Bell didn't lead with a polite entreaty to be treated better by his collegues at Harvard. He led with a lawsuit, and encouraged his students of color to become the next generation of Black and Asian students that the American legal profession needed, rather than the one it wanted.


Or, intervening to help other white people give them up.
This is certainly Robin DiAngelo's bag. I don't think she would argue that it should be the focus of advocacy on race issues, though. Perhaps I am wrong, and I should clarify that I am not the biggest fan of Robin DiAngelo, but I would be surprised if she actually said that the liberation of Blacks must start with Whites.


"Understanding race and racism is rooted in understanding the experience of racialized people. This does not mean simply acknowledging difference or "the other” in a superficial way, which often happens in a multicultural approach with the celebration of difference with song, dance, and food. Understanding racism involves becoming aware of how race and racism affect the lived experience of people of colour and Indigenous people, as well as becoming aware of how we participate, often unknowingly, in racism".

http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism

That is aimed at White people.
It is, explicitly so, but it is more in the vein of helping white folks understand what's going on than imploring them to lead it, let alone lead it unilaterally and exclusively.


If CRT were only for blacks to engage in, I doubt there would be the same type of controversy.
Black liberation was always the focus of critical race theory in the United States. While a handful of white self help gurus like DiAngelo (who arrived at the party twenty years late) have made a pretty penny for themselves by cashing in on the white market for reading a politely filtered version of critical race theory its principle researchers, philosophers, and intended audience were always racially subjugated people themselves, originally within the legal system and filtering out into the other social sciences as the empirical value of the paradigm became increasingly obvious. Derrick Bell, Patricia Williams, Kimberle Crenshaw, and the other giants of this field never made converting Whites a primary goal, and their writings on the question tended to be more.. frank. Up to, and passing, the point of being considerably offensive to whites, hence a large part of the controversty. White America was not ready for an entire academic school that treated them primarily as a passive impediments rather than heroic agents of change. They still aren't.
 

ruby sparks

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I would describe CRT in general as a school that is very, very skeptical about the possibility of this happening, at least not when driven solely by an internal drive to improve. Fundamentally, expecting people who are in a position of privilege to simply give it up, especially if they aren't really aware of that privilege to begin with, is naive at best and I'm not sure who you're referring to who would imagine this as the primary method by which racial inequalities are reduced. Noblesse oblige is a popular myth, but it is a myth, and like most myths, the truth at its core is heavily bounded and impaired by the material realities it ignores. Fundamentally, core to the reforms of CRT is that people of color, if they desire to break free of the constraints society has placed on them, must occupy traditionally white spaces and firmly refuse to be removed from them. White ally-ship is appreciated, but it is not the focus, nor itself above critique.

This is certainly Robin D'Angelo's bag. I don't think she would argue that it should be the focus of advocacy on race issues, though. Perhaps I am wrong, and I should clarify that I am not the biggest fan of Robin D'Angelo, but I would be surprised if she actually said that the liberation of Blacks must start with Whites.


"Understanding race and racism is rooted in understanding the experience of racialized people. This does not mean simply acknowledging difference or "the other” in a superficial way, which often happens in a multicultural approach with the celebration of difference with song, dance, and food. Understanding racism involves becoming aware of how race and racism affect the lived experience of people of colour and Indigenous people, as well as becoming aware of how we participate, often unknowingly, in racism".

http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism

That is aimed at White people.
It is, explicitly so, but it is more in the vein of helping white folks understand what's going on than imploring them to lead it, let alone lead it unilaterally and exclusively.

If CRT were only for blacks to engage in, I doubt there would be the same type of controversy.
Black liberation was always the focus of critical race theory in the United States. While a handful of white self help gurus like D'Angelo (who arrived at the party twenty years late) have made a pretty penny for themselves by cashing in on the white market for reading a politely filtered version of critical race theory its principle researchers, philosophers, and intended audience were always racially subjugated people themselves, originally within the legal system and filtering out into the other social sciences as the empirical value of the paradigm became increasingly obvious. Derrick Bell, Patricia Williams, Kimberle Crenshaw, and the other giants of this field never made converting Whites a primary goal, and their writings on the question tended to be frank. Up to, and passing, the point of being very offensive to whites, hence a large part of the controversty. White America was not ready for an entire academic school that treated them primarily as a passive impediments rather than heroic agents of change. They still aren't.

Ok. Thanks. Several good points. Especially the last two sentences, imo.

Bear in mind that I am not offering a strong opinion one way or the other on this particular point. I am only noting that there is a range of views (and I am not as aware of the history as you are). In my afterthought post, what the writer said did seem to suggest a significant role for white people. Whether he was endorsing CRT explicitly, or merely anti-racism generally, I don't know. It was in any case his own opinion.

My own personal view would be that if such things are to work well, all people in society would ideally play a constructive part.

Even including what John McWhorter suggests. He, as you may know, takes quite a different line. :)

Or maybe Victimology is already integrated into CRT and I am behind the curve.
 

Politesse

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My own personal view would be that if such things are to work well, all people in society would ideally play a constructive part.
That would be great, but that's a utopian vision, not social theory. I don't think the movers and shakers of CRT ever imagined that everyone involved would pursue the same goals with equal passion, or that this was a prerequisite to ameliorating racial inequalities. Fundamentally, you really only need a small, persistent core of advocates to push the needle of social inequallity. Do you imagine that, when the Civil Rights movement began, or even when it ended, that the majority of white Americans supported it? We didn't, but we didn't need to in order for political actions like strikes, boycotts, and sit-ins to do their magic. These actions structurally altered what American politicians' natural self-interest would lead them to do, rather than trying to convince them to act against their self-interest voluntarily When the cost of refusing to change became greater than the cost of allowing some small alterations of institutional structure, things changed. Opinions changed. An entire generation of American politicians suddenly pretended they'd supported liberating ideals all along. Really as the result of a few hundred thousand people standing up and refusing to accept the supposed conditions of their existence under a white supremacist system.
 

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My own personal view would be that if such things are to work well, all people in society would ideally play a constructive part.
That would be great, but that's a utopian vision, not social theory. I don't think the movers and shakers of CRT ever imagined that everyone involved would pursue the same goals with equal passion, or that this was a prerequisite to ameliorating racial inequalities. Fundamentally, you really only need a small, persistent core of advocates to push the needle of social inequallity. Do you imagine that, when the Civil Rights movement began, or even when it ended, that the majority of white Americans supported it? We didn't, but we didn't need to in order for political actions like strikes, boycotts, and sit-ins to do their magic. These actions structurally altered what American politicians' natural self-interest would lead them to do, rather than trying to convince them to act against their self-interest voluntarily as previous, less successful efforts had tried to do.

Your points about the origins of CRT are informative, and I accept them.

It may be that of late especially, either CRT has morphed somewhat, or other ideas which are not strictly-speaking 'CRT proper' have become attached and mingled with them.

Whatever way we slice what I might call the 'general current situation', white-blaming and white-asking has I think become a part of it all.

As you say, it may not have been or even be the core (of CRT).

Personally, I wouldn't call the expectation utopian. Yes, history often teaches us that social change happens due to agitation from the disadvantaged side, but by no means always or only. Imo, persuading the advantaged side is in principle also a really good part of any overall strategy. Many would even say it is crucial. 'Equal passion' is not necessary of course. It can even be done by what I am calling the advantaged side reluctantly, but still be co-operative.

And then there is the aspect of the disadvantaged side looking in the mirror and acknowledging things THEY might be averse to acknowledging, in their turn. Their own complicity and responsibility I mean.
 

Politesse

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My own personal view would be that if such things are to work well, all people in society would ideally play a constructive part.
That would be great, but that's a utopian vision, not social theory. I don't think the movers and shakers of CRT ever imagined that everyone involved would pursue the same goals with equal passion, or that this was a prerequisite to ameliorating racial inequalities. Fundamentally, you really only need a small, persistent core of advocates to push the needle of social inequallity. Do you imagine that, when the Civil Rights movement began, or even when it ended, that the majority of white Americans supported it? We didn't, but we didn't need to in order for political actions like strikes, boycotts, and sit-ins to do their magic. These actions structurally altered what American politicians' natural self-interest would lead them to do, rather than trying to convince them to act against their self-interest voluntarily as previous, less successful efforts had tried to do.

Your points about the origins of CRT are informative, and I accept them.

It may be that of late especially, either CRT has morphed somewhat, or other ideas which are not strictly-speaking 'CRT proper' have become attached and mingled with them.

It was never a unified whole, more a paradigm. Especially after Bell retired and passed on, eight years ago.
 

ruby sparks

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Your points about the origins of CRT are informative, and I accept them.

It may be that of late especially, either CRT has morphed somewhat, or other ideas which are not strictly-speaking 'CRT proper' have become attached and mingled with them.

It was never a unified whole, more a paradigm. Especially after Bell retired and passed on, eight years ago.

Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.
 

repoman

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Your points about the origins of CRT are informative, and I accept them.

It may be that of late especially, either CRT has morphed somewhat, or other ideas which are not strictly-speaking 'CRT proper' have become attached and mingled with them.

It was never a unified whole, more a paradigm. Especially after Bell retired and passed on, eight years ago.

Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.

Maybe from the white passing Jewish guy Noel Ignatiev:

https://www.latimes.com/obituaries/story/2019-11-11/noel-ignatiev-dies-race-whiteness

quote-treason-to-whiteness-is-loyalty-to-humanity-noel-ignatiev-61-85-03.jpeg
 

Politesse

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Your points about the origins of CRT are informative, and I accept them.

It may be that of late especially, either CRT has morphed somewhat, or other ideas which are not strictly-speaking 'CRT proper' have become attached and mingled with them.

It was never a unified whole, more a paradigm. Especially after Bell retired and passed on, eight years ago.

Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.

For me to complain about ninja edits would be the height of hypocrisy.

I would describe those two paradigms as separate but permeable, as they both arose around the same time (the early 1980s), but in different places and in different home disciplines. Certain works would surely be read by someone studying under either aegis- Baldwin, Allen, Bell himself. Unlike CRT, Whiteness studies were not meant to primarily address the situation in the US, being centered in part at British universities from the beginning and capturing a more global sense of "whiteness" and "blackness" that go beyond the questions of American politics. They tend to focus on cultural construction of whiteness and white identity more so than social construction of racist insitutions as per CRT. It is invariably asking questions about personal identity in a way that critical theory (of anything) purposefully does not. But, there is plenty of overlap and shared projects I am also certain.
 

ruby sparks

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Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.

Maybe from the white passing Jewish guy Noel Ignatiev:

https://www.latimes.com/obituaries/story/2019-11-11/noel-ignatiev-dies-race-whiteness

View attachment 31019

I see he wrote a book in which he claimed that Immigrant (to America) Irish were not initially considered 'white', until the mid 19th C.

That sounds more than a bit dubious. I think 3 of them (who had been born in Ireland) were signatories to the Declaration of Independence.
 

ruby sparks

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Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.

For me to complain about ninja edits would be the height of hypocrisy.

I would describe those two paradigms as separate but permeable, as they both arose around the same time (the early 1980s), but in different places and in different home disciplines. Certain works would surely be read by someone studying under either aegis- Baldwin, Allen, Bell himself. Unlike CRT, Whiteness studies were not meant to primarily address the situation in the US, being centered in part at British universities from the beginning and capturing a more global sense of "whiteness" and "blackness" that go beyond the questions of American politics. They tend to focus on cultural construction of whiteness and white identity more so than social construction of racist insitutions as per CRT. It is invariably asking questions about personal identity in a way that critical theory (of anything) purposefully does not. But, there is plenty of overlap and shared projects I am also certain.

Thanks. Noted.

I was in the interim trying to think of historical counter-examples to the idea that it was unrealistic to expect white people to be the main instigators of racial change.......and I thought of the Quakers and abolitionism.

Now, don't get me wrong, Im certainly not saying that African Americans nowadays should just wait for whitey to go all Jesus about the issue.
 

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The problem is that it's all but impossible to fix background. Blaming racism provides an "easy" fix whose costs are supposedly borne only by the evildoers and thus don't matter.
Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challeneged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant. Indeed, I think most writers in this genre see people of color, explicitly not whites, as the parties most able to change the way the system functions. The king can't dissolve the monarchy, that's the job of the proletariat.

CRT is starting with the assumption that racism is the cause, thus it can't be used to prove anything about racism.

There are some true racists and I have no problem with punishing them but disparate results is a hopelessly inadequate way to find them.
Accepting injury without protest is a completely inadequate way to challenge the common belief that such offenses are acceptable, earned, or "trivial". Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequlaities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of their original victim. This was literally the central thesis of White Fragility, the book all the conservatives are so afraid of but haven't read.

You are still assuming without proof.

I'm reminded of the woman I used to know who was diagnosed as an alcoholic. Her denials were taken as evidence she was in denial rather than the reality that she didn't drink.

(The problem: A screening question "Have you ever lost friends due to alcohol?" She answered yes. Note that the question does not ask whose alcohol use--she had lost friends due to them becoming alcoholics.)
 

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CRT is starting with the assumption that racism is the cause, thus it can't be used to prove anything about racism.

There are some true racists and I have no problem with punishing them but disparate results is a hopelessly inadequate way to find them.
Accepting injury without protest is a completely inadequate way to challenge the common belief that such offenses are acceptable, earned, or "trivial". Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequlaities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of their original victim. This was literally the central thesis of White Fragility, the book all the conservatives are so afraid of but haven't read.

You are still assuming without proof.

I'm reminded of the woman I used to know who was diagnosed as an alcoholic. Her denials were taken as evidence she was in denial rather than the reality that she didn't drink.

(The problem: A screening question "Have you ever lost friends due to alcohol?" She answered yes. Note that the question does not ask whose alcohol use--she had lost friends due to them becoming alcoholics.)

You are assuming without proof.

In fact, there are multiple studies that back up Politesse's position.
 

Politesse

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Wasn't aware I had a position. I've been trying to be relatively in outlining the school and its history.
 

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Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challeneged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant.
...
Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequlaities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of
Nice theory; but it's completely disingenuous. Fault is totally relevant, because the very people insisting it's irrelevant are in point of fact obsessed with fault and are basing their entire case on it. All this talk of "the aggrieved feelings of the accused", all this criticizing the accused for assuming their feelings are important, is nothing but a schoolyard bully saying "Oh, is poor baby going to cry now?" after he beats you up. The bullies who push this garbage always give themselves away...

their[sic] original victim.
...like that.

If you truly thought personal culpability was irrelevant, you wouldn't have made a point of claiming the people aggrieved about being accused are in fact personally culpable.
 

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Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challeneged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant.
...
Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequlaities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of
Nice theory; but it's completely disingenuous. Fault is totally relevant, because the very people insisting it's irrelevant are in point of fact obsessed with fault and are basing their entire case on it. All this talk of "the aggrieved feelings of the accused", all this criticizing the accused for assuming their feelings are important, is nothing but a schoolyard bully saying "Oh, is poor baby going to cry now?" after he beats you up. The bullies who push this garbage always give themselves away...

their[sic] original victim.
...like that.

If you truly thought personal culpability was irrelevant, you wouldn't have made a point of claiming the people aggrieved about being accused are in fact personally culpable.

What's diaengineous is the way you twist words to mean what you want them to mean without regard for the author's clear intention and explanation.
 

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Personally, I thought it was very good catch by Bomb#20.

That doesn't mean I go along with the bullying analogy though. I wouldn't. I just mean the selling of the 'it's not about fault' thing, which to me was obviously a bit.....hard to buy.

Note that I am still able to agree that CRT is perhaps somewhat less, relatively speaking, about personal fault than some other approaches.

And I think poli has a point about the conversation in some cases being (inappropriately) switched to having the wrong emphasis (the aggrieved feelings of the accused).

But imo the cat did nonetheless come out of the bag regarding blame.
 

Politesse

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.
 

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Just out of curiosity, where did Whiteness Studies originate? From the same black guys, or from different black guys?

ps I can only hope you read my appallingly belated edits when I'm replying to you. :)

All my best nuggets of insight are late arrivals. Or so I like to delude myself. Lol.

For me to complain about ninja edits would be the height of hypocrisy.

I would describe those two paradigms as separate but permeable, as they both arose around the same time (the early 1980s), but in different places and in different home disciplines. Certain works would surely be read by someone studying under either aegis- Baldwin, Allen, Bell himself. Unlike CRT, Whiteness studies were not meant to primarily address the situation in the US, being centered in part at British universities from the beginning and capturing a more global sense of "whiteness" and "blackness" that go beyond the questions of American politics. They tend to focus on cultural construction of whiteness and white identity more so than social construction of racist insitutions as per CRT. It is invariably asking questions about personal identity in a way that critical theory (of anything) purposefully does not. But, there is plenty of overlap and shared projects I am also certain.

Thanks. Noted.

I was in the interim trying to think of historical counter-examples to the idea that it was unrealistic to expect white people to be the main instigators of racial change.......and I thought of the Quakers and abolitionism.

Now, don't get me wrong, Im certainly not saying that African Americans nowadays should just wait for whitey to go all Jesus about the issue.

Quakers and abolitionists did not start the anti-slavery movement. There had been slave rebellions as well as freed slaves and never slave blacks in the US since very early on and perhaps before the US was the US. But the abolitionist movement required the buy in of whites in order to progress just as the Civil Rights movement required the buy in of whites in order to progress and todays' civil rights still and will always require the buy in of at least some white people. After all, white (male) people have been the ones in power for centuries. End to injustice requires at least a partial buy in of those who benefit from the injustice. This, btw, is NOT about how nothing works until white people give their approval and agree. It's about the need for those in power to wake up and acknowledge and be willing to change what has unfairly given them the advantages and the off group disadvantages.
 

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Personally, I thought it was very good catch by Bomb#20.

That doesn't mean I go along with the bullying analogy though. I wouldn't. I just mean the selling of the 'it's not about fault' thing, which to me was obviously a bit.....hard to buy.

Note that I am still able to agree that CRT is perhaps somewhat less, relatively speaking, about personal fault than some other approaches.

And I think poli has a point about the conversation in some cases being (inappropriately) switched to having the wrong emphasis (the aggrieved feelings of the accused).

But imo the cat did nonetheless come out of the bag regarding blame.

I didn't think it was any kind of 'catch' at all.

Politesse does an excellent job of describing and elucidating the points in his posts throughout. See especially #71.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists

CRT assumes racism is the cause of all inequality and cannot be falsified. Thus, it’s not science.
 

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I dunno.

My schools had requirements I didn't like. Part of education is learning that sometimes you have to do things you really really don't want to do in order to achieve a goal.
Tom

Yeah, people have to deal with that in the workplace too. Every year, having to fill out the evaluation form. Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your goals for the upcoming year? 90 percent of the workers can't answer honestly because "Do my job, get my pay, go home at five." isn't a career enhancing statement.


Oh, I see.

So, if your workplace sent you on compulsory courses saying that people from certain groups were inherently corrupt, that'd be a-okay with you?

Good thing that's not what's happening here.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists

CRT assumes racism is the cause of all inequality and cannot be falsified. Thus, it’s not science.
??? That's definitely not the case. That doesn't even make sense. How would racism create, for instance, gender inequalities?
 

repoman

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.

So bring in CRT advisors for a large company that fucks over its employees and the general public on a non racial basis.

This is both public relations and a new form of buying indulgences.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.

So bring in CRT advisors for a large company that fucks over its employees and the general public on a non racial basis.

This is both public relations and a new form of buying indulgences.

It’s sad that those who push CRT fail to appreciate how similar to religion it is.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.

So bring in CRT advisors for a large company that fucks over its employees and the general public on a non racial basis.

This is both public relations and a new form of buying indulgences.

Well, I do agree with the last five words of that post. I don't think large corporations are necessarily acting in good faith when they bring in diversity coaches and the like. That's not the fault of Critical Race Theory, though, which never proposed in the first place that mandatory diversity trainings would ameliorate racism. A corporation in a substantive position to genuinely address racial inequalities, but doing so is much more expensive than hiring some popular self-help author to come and preach for the weekend, so CRT would in fact predict that they would prefer to do the latter rather than the former, thus actually perpetuating the system that the training is supposedly combating by giving the policymakers involved the comforting feeling that they have "done something" and their investors comfortable insurance against credible claims of intentional racism that might drive away consumers (or potential students, in this case), without taking actions that would, for instance, insure wage equality or guarantee that their beneficial products made it to all markets at an affordable price regardless of whether racialized inequities would make doing so unprofitable.

Wow, that's a long ass sentence. I probably should have put a period in there somewhere.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.

Fair enough. But the largely missing ingredient in CRT and the like, as far as I can see, is criticism (or critical analysis) of non-whites.

I earlier asked if something like John McWhorter's critiques, for example, had been integrated into CRT yet. I was only half-joking.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists, not whether individual actors within the system feel personally guilty/aggrieved/sad/angry about it except insofar as those feelings play a role in reproducing and reinforcing racist institutions (which they do). You do have the power to create consicous changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, but it's not as simple as "feeling like" you are doing so or wanting to do so; the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed. This is not impossible, but is much harder and therefore less likely, for the recipient of social privilege to do as it is against human nature to strive consistently against one's own wellbeing, or even to risk it. It is easier to cultivate a feeling of anti-racism than to truly challenge empirically observeable material bases of inequalities.

I note that "Critical Theory" in the social sciences has always meant the same fundamental thing: the holistic study of the power structures constructed within social institutions, inclusive of but not defined by the actions and thoughts of individual actors. Critical Race Theory is an application of this general methodology, not, as some here would seem to have it, a challenge to its most basic tenet.

Fair enough. But the largely missing ingredient in CRT and the like, as far as I can see, is criticism (or critical analysis) of non-whites.

I earlier asked if something like John McWhorter's critiques, for example, had been integrated into CRT yet. I was only half-joking.

That still assumes that blame-seeking is the point to begin with. If that is what you mean by criticism. Non-whites obviously are and must be a part of the critique of the whole social system; their perspective on their own situation is in fact the focus of most CRT-based activism, hence the whole discursive conversation about becoming empowered and recovering means of agency, or in modern slang "woke" to one's own situation. Liberal whites may co-opt this phrase to mean more or less whatever they want it to apparently, but it was originally cribbed from a poem about the author's growing awareness of the context of her life, and that accepting dominant cultural narratives is ultimately optional. The perception that CRT exists to find fault with whites on a racial basis is projection; CRT fundamentally treats racism as a production of a whole society together.
 

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That still assumes that blame-seeking is the point to begin with.

Imo, blame-seeking (and indeed blame-effacing) IS, often or usually, at least implicitly, part of the point. I think it's silly to pretend otherwise.

If that is what you mean by criticism. Non-whites obviously are and must be a part of the critique of the whole social system; their perspective on their own situation is in fact the focus of most CRT-based activism, hence the whole discursive conversation about becoming empowered and recovering means of agency, or in modern slang "woke" to one's own situation. Whites may co-opt this phrase, but it was originally cribbed from a poem about the author's growing awareness of the context of her life, and that accepting dominant cultural narratives is ultimately optional.

Personally, I have not yet seen much of what I might call the criticism of 'not being woke enough' in CRT (and the like) though I would not be surprised if you could fine me some.

No, I was more thinking of the sort of stuff John McWhorter speaks of, for example:

What’s Holding Blacks Back?
https://www.city-journal.org/html/what’s-holding-blacks-back-12025.html

And there are other things that could be mentioned. Dare I mention CPT (coloured people time)?

My point is not to have a fight about who is to blame or who is more to blame, and I'm not endorsing McWorter's thesis as a whole. My point is that stuff is always complicated. CRT, it seems to me, has an angle, one which is slightly restrictive, one might even say a tad myopic (Feminism has a similar problem, imo, but I digress). Imo, the best analyses are those which can take everything in, as objectively as possible.
 

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That still assumes that blame-seeking is the point to begin with.

Imo, blame-seeking IS, often or usually, at least implicitly, part of the point. I think it's silly to pretend otherwise.
Well, if anyone is primarily motivated by a search for individual culpability, they are not engaging in Critical Theory, almost by definition. It's basic definition is the critique of communal institutional structures, and this has always been paired with skepticism toward the agency of any one individual.
 

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That still assumes that blame-seeking is the point to begin with.

Imo, blame-seeking IS, often or usually, at least implicitly, part of the point. I think it's silly to pretend otherwise.
Well, if anyone is primarily motivated by a search for individual culpability, they are not engaging in Critical Theory, almost by definition. It's basic definition is the critique of communal institutional structures, and this has always been paired with skepticism toward the agency of any one individual.

First, and very importantly, I did not say primarily.

And as we have both agreed, CRT is by now somewhat amorphous. So....I'm wary of no true scotsmen.

And it was the other things I mentioned (now three times) that I was more interested in exploring.
 

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Sometimes there really is such a thing as a Scotsman. At least where Academic schools are concerned. If I describe myself as a Marxist but do not have a focus on class struggle through the iterations of successive societies, I'm confused, not just inventive.

What is it you're actually trying to say? I might be better able to satisfyingly respond if I better understood your argument.
 

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Sometimes there really is such a thing as a Scotsman. At least where Academic schools are concerned. If I describe myself as a Marxist but do not have a focus on class struggle through the iterations of successive societies, I'm confused, not just inventive.

What is it you're actually trying to say? I might be better able to satisfyingly respond if I better understood your argument.

Ok. These ideas live and breathe (and breed) outside the relative purity of academia, but point taken.

My main point is about the breadth of many (social) critiques generally (here, CRT, elsewhere it could be something else). Many critiques are, imo, flawed, because they only span a limited scope. It's a bugbear of mine. In this case, I am saying that I think a full, 'grown up' analysis of the issues we are discussing should include what I might loosely call issues with black culture. That doesn't fully define what I mean, but it's part of it. I mean things which the black demographic should arguably take more responsibility for, and/or acknowledge (and which perhaps CRT etc should include in their critiques).

In my defence, I did specifically cite some things, more than once. I linked to a John McWhorter article, and I mentioned CPT (which I'm not saying is a major component, by the way, just one worthy of some interesting discussion perhaps).

Or to put it another way, as much as I regularly think Trausti is a complete arse, easily recognised by the religious traits he accuses others of, like a broken clock he sometimes tells the right time. The assumption behind CRT is, I think, that inequalities for blacks are due to anti-black racism. And not much else. Which is why I started this line of exchange by saying I thought there were missing (or understated) components of the CRT analysis, and of its close relatives.
 

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If you truly thought personal culpability was irrelevant, you wouldn't have made a point of claiming the people aggrieved about being accused are in fact personally culpable.

What's diaengineous is the way you twist words to mean what you want them to mean without regard for the author's clear intention and explanation.
I did nothing of the sort. I carefully regarded the author's clear explanation and his clear intention. And I took note of the fact that the intention did not match the explanation.

But imo the cat did nonetheless come out of the bag regarding blame.

I didn't think it was any kind of 'catch' at all.

Politesse does an excellent job of describing and elucidating the points in his posts throughout. See especially #71.
Indeed. When you were reading his excellent elucidation in post #71, did you overlook that it was a confession?

"...people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, ... You do have the power to create conscious changes to the patterns of social interaction if you and others apply yourselves to the project, ... the fundamental ideas of your culture must be critically considered and rejected, and the material circumstances that drive inequalities forcibly reversed.​

If a person's approach is "The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. ... this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequalities from being addressed", then, when he encounters somebody who's been aggrieved by a trumped-up racism accusation, who says she hasn't been discriminating against or otherwise hurting black people, he'll say this sort of thing:

"I'm not saying you're hurting black people -- this isn't about you hurting them. Let's talk about how the government/corporate-America/academia/whatever-institutions are hurting black people."​

He will not say this sort of thing:

"Just because you don't intend to hurt black people doesn't mean you aren't hurting them; besides which, it's your moral duty to actively apply yourself to my inequality reversal project.",​

as if just minding your own business counted as hurting black people. The latter sort of reply is what we can expect from a person with a blame-seeking approach.
 

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If your thesis is that racism is a communal product of an unequal society, people can be victimized by others without those others consciously intending to harm anyone per se, and if they do intend harm that isn't ncessarily the only or even most important factor producing inequality. From a CRT perspective, the question to determine is whether a structural inequality exists

CRT assumes racism is the cause of all inequality and cannot be falsified. Thus, it’s not science.
??? That's definitely not the case. That doesn't even make sense. How would racism create, for instance, gender inequalities?

Obviously he was talking about racial inequality.
 

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??? That's definitely not the case. That doesn't even make sense. How would racism create, for instance, gender inequalities?

Obviously he was talking about racial inequality.

Racism and racial inequality are essentially synonyms from a CRT perspective (or perhaps, one is the primary symptom and measure of the other), so in that case I suppose that is true.
 

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??? That's definitely not the case. That doesn't even make sense. How would racism create, for instance, gender inequalities?

Obviously he was talking about racial inequality.

Racism and racial inequality are essentially synonyms from a CRT perspective (or perhaps, one is the primary symptom and measure of the other), so in that case I suppose that is true.

Either of which, to me, is at least a bit skewed.

Which does not mean I think CRT is a load of rubbish by any means.
 

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I did nothing of the sort. I carefully regarded the author's clear explanation and his clear intention. And I took note of the fact that the intention did not match the explanation.

By the same logic by which pointing out that a cargo truck, due to its sheer mass and size, has a bigger potential of harming and killing other traffic participants than a moped counts as holding truck drivers personally culpable for every accident ever that involved a truck, or by which suggesting legislation that demands trucks be retrofitted with turning assistant systems / blind spot monitors without demanding the same for mopeds counts as discrimination against truck drivers? I.e., not at all.

Recognising that acts have unintended consequences, that due to power imbalances, some agents' acts are prone to have more dire consequences than others', that some of these unintended and unwanted consequences can be mitigated by reducing the blind spots that make agents unable to see their acts' unintended consequences, and that not all agents' blind spots have an identical potential to produce harm and thus some agents' blind spots are more of a problem for society than others', isn't accusing anyone of being personally culpable for those consequences. In fact, it's almost the opposite.
 

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Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challenged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant.

Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequalities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of their original victim.

If anyone can read the part bolded in blue and the part in green and say that the latter is compatible with the former, I'd say they're doing mental gymnastics.

Human psychology being what it is (extending to being prone to giving agency even to bad weather in extreme cases, or shouting at their malfunctioning computer keyboard) I doubt that attributing personal fault, especially as here in matters of human affairs and interactions, can be entirely rinsed out of our thinking on such things. Better to acknowledge it as an (I'm tempted to say almost inevitably ever-present) ingredient, I think. Then one can make the case that it's deliberately intended not to be the main emphasis of a particular approach.

For example, how many people can read a critique negatively employing the term 'white supremacy' and mentally divorce it entirely from either the actions of currently-living white actors/agents, or indeed absolve them of all responsibility for those actions? Bear in mind that even passivity could be seen as blameworthy.

I'd say it was a very tall order, even for the well-intended writer.

The trick, as I see it, as a white person, is to try to take some of the implied criticism on the chin, because at least some of it is valid. Sure, sometimes claims go a bit ott (the ideas around claims that STEM is racist spring to mind) but that always happens with almost anything. I'd say it's also a good idea to try not to assume that there necessarily is any implied personal criticism, which there sometimes isn't. I'd say 'feeling blamed (or wronged)' might be as endemic to human thinking as 'blaming' is, and they might even be two sides of the same coin.
 
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Another CRT fueled attack



Repo, given what I think is your tendency to routinely misattribute certain things, I'd like to ask you to substantiate your perception that that attack was in fact CRT-fuelled.

I read a report where one eye-witness said that just before the attack, two of the cyclists had grabbed onto the moving car to catch a ride, that the driver braked, and that one of the cyclists then crashed into something, resulting in a bloody lip.

That does not mean it wasn't CRT-fueled of course. But I still think you should back that up.

If not, your post might be more suitable to a new or different thread, where you might even discuss whether you think the attack was in any way racially-motivated in general terms, for example.
 

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The other thing about CRT which I don't buy is that racism = the racist system, and not the unbenign actions of its members (which are merely prejudice or bigotry).

Unless I'm mistaken, I'm pretty sure I read that claim somewhere, perhaps even in this thread? Someone can correct me if I am wrong. Granted, it may not have been a CRT-related claim specifically.

The distinction between individual racism and systemic racism seems much better to me.
 

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Definitely not what an expert in critical race theory would recommend. The whole point of shifting the direction of study away from individual culpability is to understand how racist institutions function as whole structures. "Fault" is irrelevant, the system needs to be documented and challenged as a communal social production in which all actors are relevant.

Again, this obsession with guilt and personal culpability is distracting from the actual problems, preventing true inequalities from being addressed by derailing the conversation into a discussion about the aggrieved feelings of the accused, in which it is assumed but never stated that the feelings of the accused should be considered more important or more justified than those of their original victim.

If anyone can read the part bolded in blue and the part in green and say that the latter is compatible with the former, I'd say they're doing mental gymnastics.

WUT? Seriously, what the heck?

You need to be a lot more explicit as I don't see anything that even suggests the two remarks are contradictory. My best guess is that you're not making explicit five steps in the derivation of the alleged contradiction, at least two of which steps are more "kind of feels like" than any kind of logical necessity.

My best guess is that your objection hinges on the word "victim", but that's not really informative. To stay with my earlier analogy, if a moped is shoved off the road by a 40-tonner, we tend to call the guy who visits the graveyard for an extended stay a traffic victim, and not the guy who visits a repair shop for a minor paint job - and we do so without first determining which of them, if either, is at fault for the accident, or which action by either of them or by a third party may have prevented it. Calling the moped rider a traffic victim in no way implies criminal fault on the side of the truck driver.
 

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If anyone can read the part bolded in blue and the part in green and say that the latter is compatible with the former, I'd say they're doing mental gymnastics.

WUT? Seriously, what the heck?

You need to be a lot more explicit as I don't see anything that even suggests the two remarks are contradictory. My best guess is that you're not making explicit five steps in the derivation of the alleged contradiction, at least two of which steps are more "kind of feels like" than any kind of logical necessity.

My best guess is that your objection hinges on the word "victim", but that's not really informative. To stay with my earlier analogy, if a moped is shoved off the road by a 40-tonner, we tend to call the guy who visits the graveyard for an extended stay a traffic victim, and not the guy who visits a repair shop for a minor paint job - and we do so without first determining which of them, if either, is at fault for the accident, or which action by either of them or by a third party may have prevented it. Calling the moped rider a traffic victim in no way implies criminal fault on the side of the truck driver.

Like Bomb, I picked up on 'their victim'.

Who is the 'they' in 'their'? It is the previously-referred to 'accused', is it not?

As such, I don't think your non-agental analogy covers it in this case.
 

Jokodo

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Dec 29, 2010
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Basic Beliefs
humanist
If anyone can read the part bolded in blue and the part in green and say that the latter is compatible with the former, I'd say they're doing mental gymnastics.

WUT? Seriously, what the heck?

You need to be a lot more explicit as I don't see anything that even suggests the two remarks are contradictory. My best guess is that you're not making explicit five steps in the derivation of the alleged contradiction, at least two of which steps are more "kind of feels like" than any kind of logical necessity.

My best guess is that your objection hinges on the word "victim", but that's not really informative. To stay with my earlier analogy, if a moped is shoved off the road by a 40-tonner, we tend to call the guy who visits the graveyard for an extended stay a traffic victim, and not the guy who visits a repair shop for a minor paint job - and we do so without first determining which of them, if either, is at fault for the accident, or which action by either of them or by a third party may have prevented it. Calling the moped rider a traffic victim in no way implies criminal fault on the side of the truck driver.

Like Bomb, I picked up on the (conjoined) terms 'their', and 'victim', and I would also include the word 'accused'.

I think you're doing mental gymnastics. You obviously disagree.
And I think you're doing mental gymnastics, but feel free to prove me wrong by making the missing steps in your derivation explicit.
Ps contradictory is your word, not mine.

You said "incompatible " - if anything a stronger claim.
 
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