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Race Discrimination

Quote 974

" It's certainly not acceptable to make racist or homophobic remarks, or to let people get away with making them in your company. The question is whether it should be against the law "

   --  Masden Pirie

What is racism

What is race? Is it a colour of your skin or/and:
  • A collection of practices
  • Political commitments
  • Attitudes and affects as culture.

Should shops be able to discriminate?

Right to property is protected, you can control who enters your building and home, so the same should apply to your other property like shops to exclude who you wish.

Segregation and slavery was supported by government laws, property rights do not support racism, the market would remove it.
Segregation was always done by law and not business.
Problem is too much acceptance of big government.

Ron Paul with Bill Moyers on Racism

Ron Paul with Bill Moyers on Racism

  • Libertarianism is the enemy of all racism
  • Racism is a collectivist idea
  • You put people in categories
  • We don't see you have rights because you are gays or women, but you have rights as an individual

Playing "The Race Card"

  • Playing the race card typically involves jumping to a conclusion not compelled by the facts
  • False or exaggerated claims of bias piggyback on real instances of victimization
  • Self righteous screeds about "White male oppression"
  • The person who assumes the best of others and offers plausible alternatives to the verdict of racism is typically dismissed as naïve or often complicit in racial injustice. The presumption of guilt leads people to play the race card and effectively silences those who would call their bluff
  • A marked man had better always look for assassins, a black man marked by race for social contempt had better always look for bigotry
  • These claims seem to define bigotry so broadly that the losing side of almost any social or political conflict can claim to be victims of racerlike bias
  • Because the law offers little or no redress for garden variety unfairness many people are tempted to recast their grievances in terms the law will recognise (play the race card)
  • If, as the legal multiculturalist claim, racism is a failure to tolerate non mainstream norms and practices, then the loser of almost any social or political conflict can claim to be the victim of race-like bias.
  • The good natured humanitarian who listens attentively to the first claim of social injustice will become an impatient curmudgeon after multiple similar admonishments.
  • If goodwill is exhausted and popular opinion sours, the coercive force of law will be of little effect.
  • Will such frustrated critics distinguish the stronger claims from the weaker when the proponents did not?
  • The fantastic aspiration to somehow make society perfectly fair through force of law reflects a dangerous combination of gauzy idealism, narcissistic entitlement, and reckless hubris. And it lets almost everyone play the race card.
  • These more ambiguous cases call for a close judgement calls and nuanced arguments that’s our sound-bite society doesn't easily accommodate
  • I suspect many people make accusations of racism because that seems to be the only way to draw attention to severe social injustices.

Affirmative action

  • And the not so subtle insinuation that anyone who suggested that an affirmative action candidate wasn't qualified was a closet racist
  • For instance affirmative action is inconsistent with formal equality, but it furthers economic equality and integration; separate ethnic and racial organisations and clubs promote solidarity and cultural autonomy but violate the norms of equality and hinder social integration. This can produce a catch 22 where any action will be "racist" according to someone. 
  • If the evil of racism is race discrimination, then antiracists must oppose affirmative action.
  • Opponents of affirmative action insist that " Racism is racism", whether the victim is "black,white,yellow, green or purple". The legal imperative, they insist, is equal treatment. They point out that the constitution guarantees every person " equal protection of the laws" and does not make any particular downtrodden group the special ward of the law. The defenders of affirmative action retort that racism is not a matter of Chromatherapy, it is a set of beliefs and practices that reduce some groups of people to second class citizenship. The defenders insist that affirmative action does just the opposite
  • Wouldn't the typical left liberal elite university enjoy greater pedagogical benefits from ideological diversity or religious diversity? Why not admissions preferences for born again Christians or libertarians.
  • To its opponents, affirmative action offends morality of meritocracy. This is how it is "like racism". Few sincerely think that affirmative action is motivate by racial animosity or that it furthers racial inequality-- one of which would seem to be an indispensable attribute of "racism". Rather than object that it, like racism is offensive because it short-changes those who deserve the laurels of elite in order to make preferences based on accident of birth.
  • From this perspective, both kinds of racism-- conventional and "reverse" are equally suspect.
  • We can't undo the wrongs of the past: trying to imagine what any given neighbourhood profession or individual would have been like "but for" racism is idle speculation.

Racism without racists

This type of racism or more precisely racial injury without racists accounts for a large and growing share of the racial injustice in our society


  • In a society where hierarchies are everywhere and almost anyone is snubbed on some occasion, perhaps it is unrealistic to expect widespread outrage for ambiguous racial slights
  • Law does not try to eliminate bias, because to do so would be too costly in terms of wrongly imposed liability, invasive investigations, restrictions on employer flexibility, and freedom of expression.
  • Others may feel that race ( or at least non-Caucasian) race is some kind of handicap or deformity that it would be impolite to mention, like a lisp or a cleft palate.
  • Still others may be uncomfortable with a racial etiquette that's constantly in flux. (coloured person, negro, black, Afro-American).
  • If we can't even agree on terminology, but lots of people are quick to take offense when anyone gets it "wrong", is it better just to avoid the topic altogether
  • One's own culture is a constitutive element of one's personality and deepest self. To pressure or force people to abandon or modify their culture or any part of it is a grave offence against their dignity and a violation of their human rights.
  • Supposed we reserved the moral condemnation that typically accompanies the word "racism" for clear cases of bigotry and we thought of the more complex and nuanced problems in the way we think of say air pollution rather than the way we think or rape and murder.
  • Most people aren't really culpable even if we all contribute to the problem. I didn't choose to design American cities around the private car rather than the street car. Given the cities we have who can blame me for driving half an hour every day to and from work.

Civil rights

  • Civil rights laws gave non-racist proprietors an excuse to do what they as business people- must have wanted to do anyway
  • Because many of these second generation civil rights would impose real costs on businesses, resistance is understandably greater. Costs can't just be "tolerated", they must be either absorbed by equity holders or passed along to customers in most cases, a bit of both.

Racism by analogy

Human biology and defensible social norms require distinctions based on sex that we would condemn if based on race-sex segregation in sports is O.K., race segregation is not. Accommodation of disabilities often entails expensive mandates; its precursor-accommodation of religion-rarely does. Blithe or tortured analogies obscure these differences and encourage imprecise thinking and ambiguous legal mandates. When it is hard to tell what the law requires, its easy for people to make good faith mistakes.

Self segregation and integration

  • How did the definition of racism become so malleable that passive acquiescence in minority self-segregation and well meaning efforts at integration both qualified for the designation? 
  • Most people prefer integration to segregation. But they prefer segregation with their own race to integration in a milieu that they feel is dominated by people of another race. 
  • For every argument that racial justice demands integration there's a counterargument that it requires separatism-- in ethnic theme houses ethnic studies classes indeterminable bilingual education multicultural organisations and ethnic pride programs of every conceivable hue.

Politically correct terms for race.

Try using the U.K Police method for the colours of people skin to avoid offence?
IC1 – White person, northern European type
IC2 – Mediterranean European/Hispanic
IC3 – African/Afro-Caribbean person
IC4 – Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Maldivian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, or any other (South) Asian person
IC5 – Chinese, Japanese, or South-East Asian person
IC6 – Arab person
IC0 – Origin unknown 

Exposing racism by parallel

Should sentences be based on race?

Should the court must take into account the offender's personal, family, community, and cultural background in imposing a sentence?
Should we advocate a penalty discount just for being a particular race? Or a penalty for being another race?
Should tht be the first consideration, more important than the other reasons for sentencing?
Consideration of the offender's ethnicity, is a fairly tangled question in itself.
Such allowances as damaging the important principle of everyone being equal before the law.
It offends our concept of individual responsibility. People are inherently unequal in their personalities, temperaments and abilities. Upbringings are also very different.

Perceptual narrowing

Babies, don't group faces, they see them all as distinct. But as they get older, they lose ability to distinguish animals by their faces.
Very early on, infants stop being able to tell the difference between certain speech sounds that they're not hearing.
Hence, all [insert ethnicity here] look the same. This isn't racism.