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April 22, 2018

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We're awfully stuck....I have a feeling only something very unexpected is going to unstick us, if indeed we ever get there.

A sharp increase in interracial marriage? (I'm only half kidding.)

I don't know where to put this, but it is fascinating.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/the-ugly-coded-critique-of-chick-fil-as-christianity/ar-AAwg9Dg?ocid=spartanntp

I'll give the guy credit for providing the link to the Pew website so you can see how selective he is about what he presents and how he presents it. I could just as easily write and article about how criticizing Christianity is criticizing old, white people using the same source material.

Meh.

I'm with hsh. Take this passage:

Here we see something about the future. Look at the figures for the young, on the left-hand side. Only 9 percent of white Christians are young millennials, compared with 21 percent of Asian Christians and 16 percent of Latino Christians. Some 17 percent of white Christians are from the so-called silent generation. No other group comes close. In other words, white Christians are aging. Christians of color are youthening.

I'm not at all sure those numbers mean what he says they mean, but I don't have time to tease out why at the moment.

Plus, it's bemusing that nowhere is it mentioned that he's a Yale Law professor.

And finally -- I doubt he's responsible for the clickbait headline.......

A sharp increase in interracial marriage?

Actually, I think it is already making inroads. Indeed, I'd say that part of the rise in (visible) racism is due to the racists noticing that. And panicking as a result.

It's so much harder to rant about racial purity when there are hordes of people, including in your own family, who aren't pure anything. (And if you decide to hark back to the "one drop" nonsense of yore, you'll find out that there isn't much of anyone left. Probably including yourself, if you are so incautious as to do the Ancestral DNA thing.)

Here's a chart from Pew:

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/racial-and-ethnic-composition/

Hey, look at the evangelicals!

I'm not at all sure those numbers mean what he says they mean, but I don't have time to tease out why at the moment.

While young Asian Christians represent a larger percentage of Asian Christians than do young Christians in other groups, there's also this (from Pew - https://www.pewforum.org/2012/07/19/asian-americans-a-mosaic-of-faiths-overview/):

Asian Americans as a whole are less likely than Americans overall to believe in God and to pray on a daily basis, and a somewhat higher proportion of Asian Americans are unaffiliated with any religion (26%, compared with 19% of the general public). But some of these measures (such as belief in God and frequency of prayer) may not be very good indicators of religion’s role in a mostly non-Christian population that includes Buddhists and others from non-theistic traditions. Most Asian-American Buddhists and Hindus, for instance, maintain traditional religious beliefs and practices. Two-thirds of Buddhists surveyed believe in ancestral spirits (67%), while three-quarters of Hindus keep a shrine in their home (78%) and 95% of all Indian-American Hindus say they celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

The problem for me is that the article presents how Christians within a given group are distributed in terms of demographics and views. But it doesn't tell you what percentage of people within those groups are Christians to begin with. And it doesn't tell you what percentage of Christians belong to a given group.

From Marty's cite:

Narrow-mindedness of this sort is alarmingly common on the left.

Narrow-mindedness of this sort is alarmingly common. Full stop.

People who live in big cities have, all things considered, different values and a different outlook on life than people who live in rural areas.

People who live in the northeast have, all things considered, different values and a different outlook on life than people who live in the southeast, or the midwest, or the southwest, or the mountain west, or the northwest. People who live in all of those areas have different values and a different outlook than people who live in every other one of those areas.

It's a big country. People are different.

FWIW, there was nothing "coded" in the New Yorker piece. The author found the kind of evangelical Christianity espoused by the owners of Chik-fil-a to be kind of weird, and found their expression of that in their fast food franchises kind of weird.

Because, the New Yorker.

I'm unclear on what the value of arguing about stuff like this is, anymore. Or maybe ever.

I'm unclear on what the value of arguing about stuff like this is, anymore. Or maybe ever.

russell...meant completely unsnarkily...how is arguing about "stuff like this" different from arguing about what behaviors can be labeled "racism"?

You think we have a race problem in the US, and in hopes of helping to end it, you want to be able to talk about it using the word "racism" in a way that some people react badly to.

Carter surely thinks we have a race problem in the US, and (I'm making assumptions here but I don't think they're that much of a stretch!) in hopes of helping to end it, he wants to uncover the potential hidden racial component of certain attitudes and assumptions about religion, a line of thinking that some people are likely to react badly to.

Why does one argument have value while the other does not?

Maybe you think that's just what white people deserve, and maybe it's just what we'll get, eventually, even if our overlords turn out to be from that big economic rival across the Pacific in the end.

My suggestion was more in the Swiftian A Modest Proposal vein, but perhaps it did not come across that way to you.

You know it possibly could be what white people deserve....who knows? We live in a world that is overwhelmingly populated by the duskier hues. Civilizations rise and fall. It could well be that our turn at a fall could come, and if you expect non-whites to forgive and forget, well, that may be a forgone hope if racism is "universal"....but we can only hope for the best and do what we can do to push for an inclusive world with equality and justice for all.

but we can only hope for the best and do what we can do to push for an inclusive world with equality and justice for all.

Well said.

The author found the kind of evangelical Christianity espoused by the owners of Chik-fil-a to be kind of weird, and found their expression of that in their fast food franchises kind of weird.

just for the record, there is no Christianity at all in anything a Chik-fil-A customer will see. the owners have their views, but they kindly do not push them into customers' faces.

there is a really good burger chain in central NC that does push Christianity on its packaging (scripture on cups and wrappers). that's a drag. CfA doesn't do that.

the NYer author is mad at what the CfA owners do outside the retail spots, and inexplicably bent out of shape about the cows CfA uses in its ads.

(i encourage the author to avoid BBQ places, which almost always have a pig as a mascot.)

how is arguing about "stuff like this" different from arguing about what behaviors can be labeled "racism"?

Maybe it's not. I'm just f***ing sick of coastal-elite-vs-the-heartland culture war bullshit.

No doubt that debate, and dynamic, is as interesting to some folks as the race issue is to me. For those to whom it is, by all means carry on, I will not stop you. I'm just some guy on the internet, I have no power over anyone.

But I've had my fill of it. Folks should live their lives as they wish and quit spending time worrying about who does or doesn't like them. We'd all be better for it.

People of color are, arguably, harmed by the persistence of how they are seen, based on their skin color.

I'm sure there are evangelicals somewhere out there who think they are being harmed by some New Yorker writers dislike of Chik-fil-a, but to be honest I'm not really seeing it as a thing.

Blind spot on my end, no doubt.

FWIW, and to forestall a potential line of rebuttal, I have no problem or issue with, animus toward, or bone to pick with evangelicals. I spent time in that world, I'm more than familiar with it, it doesn't bug me. I'm not one these days, but I have pretty close to zero ill will toward them.

I'm just sick of the whole snotty liberal elites meme. It is a bigoted and stupid as anything going in the opposite direction.

If the New Yorker ain't your thing, don't read it. If you read it, you're probably going to find stuff that reflects the point of view of fairly highly educated people who live in large cities in the northeast US, and who are somewhat self-consciously that.

It's as parochial a view as any other, no more no less. Don't let it ruin your day.

It's as parochial a view as any other, no more no less. Don't let it ruin your day.

But, if you are going to criticize it, do it in way that doesn't involve cherry-picking statistics! (In the meantime, eat as much chicken as you please.)

Carter surely thinks we have a race problem in the US, and (I'm making assumptions here but I don't think they're that much of a stretch!) in hopes of helping to end it, he wants to uncover the potential hidden racial component of certain attitudes and assumptions about religion

If that's what he's on about, all good, more power to him.

My take-away was "hypocritical liberals, they're mocking Christians, but they don't realize they're really mocking black women!".

Which seemed about as obnoxious as the NY'er piece. To me.

This is probably a good day for me to stand down from discussions that come with 100 miles of button pushing. I'm coming off of more or less 5 months of 60 hour weeks, I'm freaking beat.

Thank god I'm not an entrepreneur, those guys never get a weekend!! And yes, that was sarcasm.

Four years and ten months to go.

Maybe it's not. I'm just f***ing sick of coastal-elite-vs-the-heartland culture war bullshit.

That's the whole point. They seek to wear you down with their projection. Don't succumb!

They seek to wear you down with their projection.

It's working.

Shifting gears a bit, and sort of in the spirit of wj's 11:11 AM comment, I've probably mentioned before that my dear, dead grandmother was pretty darned racist. She used the n-word without a thought. In fact, I'm not sure she even meant it in a derogatory way sometimes. I'd guess it's just what almost everyone around her called black people when she was growing up.

She would say things like, "He's a good-looking n**ger," as though she were using the word "fella," without at tinge of malice in her voice. It was weird.

Meanwhile, she was married to my half-Puerto Rican grandfather, who, based on my and my father's DNA results, was likely somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% sub-Saharan African. (She insisted that his father was actually a Spaniard, at least by descent, even if he came from Puerto Rico.)

She died not too long before we took the tests, so never had to confront the evidence. She had mellowed a bit in her dotage, and may have found the whole thing amusing. Maybe she would have said, "Ha! Who would have thought I would have a son and a grandson who were 10% n**ger?"

(I also recall her telling me a story about a neighbor who referred to my father as a spic when he was a kid and how much it infuriated her. It's really something.)

Oddly, and I kind of wish I hadn't posted it, I didn't think so much about the Cik-fil-a angle.

I was more interested in the notion that Black people were more conservative in general, which matches my experience. I also grew up in Texas and the Mexicans I knew were very religious and conservative.

My take was to wonder if the browning of America or whatever eventually overcomes racism but then swings more voters, free to consider a broader range of choices, to conservative candidates.

I was more interested in the notion that Black people were more conservative in general, which matches my experience.

Mine as well.

if the browning of America or whatever eventually overcomes racism but then swings more voters, free to consider a broader range of choices, to conservative candidates

Could be. If that's what they want and what they see as being in their best interest, that's how it should play out.

IMO the biggest mistake the (R) party has made in the last 40 years has been to alienate the Latin/Hispanic community. That ought to have been a lay-up for them, and they've completely FUBAR'ed it.

By all means, go ahead and build that wall.

It's been pretty clear (at least to me) for quite some time that racism was the main thing keeping the Republicans from recruiting large numbers of conservative blacks, Latinos, etc. But if you make your #1 priority trash talking a group, they aren't likely to embrace you . . . even if they would agree with you on lots of other issues.

If anyone doubts that, consider that, thru the 1950s, the vast majority of blacks were reliably Republican. It wasn't the Republican Party was devoted to flaming liberalism then. (It was home to a lot more relative liberals. But it was still, outside the South, the more conservative party.) And nobody thought it amazing that they were voting for the more conservative party.

Haven't been able to read all the comments so apologies if this has been posted already but:

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/18/1718155115

Support for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election was widely attributed to citizens who were “left behind” economically. These claims were based on the strong cross-sectional relationship between Trump support and lacking a college education. Using a representative panel from 2012 to 2016, I find that change in financial wellbeing had little impact on candidate preference. Instead, changing preferences were related to changes in the party’s positions on issues related to American global dominance and the rise of a majority–minority America: issues that threaten white Americans’ sense of dominant group status.

"just for the record, there is no Christianity at all in anything a Chik-fil-A customer will see."

In late 2016 I went to a Chik-fil-a for the first time in forever, and there was no overt Christianity. It was weirdly cult-like, however. Every time a customer said "thank you", the workers were apparently forced to respond with "my pleasure!" Their Stepford-esque smiles and the fact the place was in the middle of a rush, with "my pleasure!"s coming fast and furious, will keep me from ever entering one again.

Potential Chik-fil-A customers will "Closed Sunday" on the sign, and I'm pretty sure they didn't pick that day at random.

I love how a post about the nature of racism turns into a discussion about whether or not a fast-food chicken joint is too Christian.

I'm going to make a fuss about the Buddha statues the next time I visit my favorite Asian-fusion restaurant, just to keep it fair.

will SEE, dammit.

https://www.buddakan.com/?utm_source=Google%20My%20Business&utm_medium=Menu%20Link&utm_campaign=Philadelphia

And I read so fast that I saw the "see" . . . even though it wasn't there.

I'm going to make a fuss about the Buddha statues the next time I visit my favorite Asian-fusion restaurant

Next time I go out for Italian, I will be on the lookout for noodly appendages!

If anyone doubts that, consider that, thru the 1950s, the vast majority of blacks were reliably Republican.

FDR got 71% of the black vote in 1936, despite the Democratic Party's segregationist and lynching all white all the time southern wing. By the end of the 60's it was over as far as blacks voting GOP in any significant numbers.

How can that be? Well, it might have to do with the Great Migration, support for labor rights, pushing economic reforms, and initiating civil war in the Democratic Party to push Civil Rights Legislation.

That and Eleanor Roosevelt!

If anyone doubts that, consider that, thru the 1950s, the vast majority of blacks were reliably Republican.

Also to consider that many blacks up to and including a good deal of the 1960's were not allowed to vote at all. This was during my lifetime...not some period in the long ago and forgotten past.

wj, the reason the Republican party lost the black vote was because of Herbert Hoover

https://www.blacksandpresidency.com/herberthoover.php

and the 1927 Mississippi flood

https://www.blackpast.org/aah/mississippi-river-great-flood-1927

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/may/09/the-mississippi-flood-that-changed-destinies

While people don't remember the political maneuverings of Hoover, African Americans do remember the flood, which is why talk of blowing up the levees were rampant during Katrina.

" Every time a customer said "thank you", the workers were apparently forced to respond with "my pleasure!"

This is pretty common in the south, you walk into 7-11 every employee says hello, not because all of them are nice but when the bell rings it's a requirement. Which is weird because most of them are nice and don't need the bell to be uncomfortably friendly.

I love how a post about the nature of racism turns into a discussion about whether or not a fast-food chicken joint is too Christian.

Completely my fault but I did preface with the disclaimer I didn't really know where to put the link. Sorry.

Every time a customer said "thank you", the workers were apparently forced to respond with "my pleasure!"

At least they're not saying "No problem."

Nothing to be sorry about in my opinion, Marty. This kind of meandering conversation is one of the great charms of ObWi.

Or "Awesome!"

"This is pretty common in the south, you walk into 7-11 every employee says hello, not because all of them are nice but when the bell rings it's a requirement. Which is weird because most of them are nice and don't need the bell to be uncomfortably friendly."

Yes, folks in the South are nice and friendly by and large, but I'm going to guess that 7-11 and other similar retailers train their clerks to give a loud and clear "Hello" to alert all comers that their presence is noticed and light fingers won't be tolerated.

"Look what the cat dragged in!", "Speak of the Devil", a rousing "Norrrrmmmm!" and "All hands on deck ... Ixnay on the hombre!" would all be cause for alarm, too.

My son sent me the link to a book review that ties this discussion with another topic that gets frequent attention here:

In 1882 Roscoe Conkling, one of the drafters of the 14th Amendment—designed to give equal citizenship to freed slaves—persuaded the Supreme Court that it had also meant to protect companies. He misrepresented the contents of a journal to help clinch the argument. Sure enough, between 1868 (when the amendment was adopted) and 1912, the justices decided 28 cases asserting the rights of African-Americans, almost all of which were lost. They decided 312 cases on the rights of companies, which succeeded in striking down minimum-wage and child-labour laws.

Based on limited sampling, QuikTrip almost always gives you a "Hello" when you come through the door. RaceTrac seems to pretend that you don't exist until you approach the counter with money in hand.

Potential Chik-fil-A customers will "Closed Sunday" on the sign, and I'm pretty sure they didn't pick that day at random.

yeah, but so what? banks take it off, too.

they take a day off. more businesses should do that!

Bobby, lj, thanks for the info. (The 1950s were during my lifetime as well. But obviously my pre-teen self wasn't paying attention to some things.)

This is how Chik-fil-A staff used to greet customers in its flagship store before more politically correct business practices were instituted by franchisees:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j3_iPskjxk

Their original greeting was "Your black sinning soul will burn in everlasting Hell, but in the meantime, how bout some fried chicken?"

...another topic that gets frequent attention here

Interview with the author:

A Civil Rights Movement for Corporations? Inside the 400-Year Struggle: UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler on his new book We the Corporations

People ask "What is racism?"

Cue the asslicking, pigfucking, vermin, subhuman republican candidate for Governor of Wyoming:

https://juanitajean.com/and-hell-fit-right-in-too/

When walking into a convenience store (or small restaurant) in Japan, you also get a 'shout out' greeting. Perhaps lj could transcribe it. I doubt very much that is 'company policy', but an ingrained cultural habit. (that it happens in tiny little local restaurants is evidence for that)

On the receiving end, it's welcome and comforting. If Chick-Fil-A manages to make their teenage employees less sullen, good for them. It's pretty crummy that powerful corporations have to exert themselves to ensure polite, friendly public interactions.

(The 1950s were during my lifetime as well. But obviously my pre-teen self wasn't paying attention to some things.)

I remember my in youth opening Bircher tracts with a world map showing the communist countries colored deep ever advancing red (and the British Commonwealth colored some kind of weird near pink color).

It was scary. I also remember the dreaded domino theory. What happened to these concepts? Could it be that 'taking over the world' is pretty hard?

These days, I am a bit more sanguine about such matters. I don't get too worked up about the Ukraine (traditional Russian sphere of influence), ISIS ('bout time the Muslim world had a civil war), terrorism (phffft), man-made islands in the South China Sea (big deal, we kicked China's ass for 200 years and you don't expect blowback? Are you 'effing insane?), dictatorships in Latin America (ours are just ducky, "theirs" are the embodiment of pure absolute evil), and anything going on in Africa (total tragedy on a massive and unacknowledged scale).

One thing that is a concern: American hubris. It will either end or somebody else will end it. I tend to prefer the former.

Remember when Roosevelt "gave away eastern Europe to Stalin?" and the US Department of State somehow misplaced ("lost") China? Good times. How did that work out for them?

But, in my cups, I digress.

Back on topic: If you (rightfully) point out to somebody that what they believe, feel, or do is "racist" and they take offense, go all red in the face, and get righteously angry, don't despair. Racist is as racist does. Repeated exposure to such an admonition may have a salutary effect. Don't give up. Keep calling them out.

Usually, you will never "change their mind" anyway (it's, you know, usually already made up), but it's worth the effort. You know what makes a good salesperson? Expressing empathy? Agreeing with the client? Being nice?

Sometimes. But the really great ones can hear a thousand "no's" and press on to the until that one response of, "Sure, why not?" And they move on to the next 1,000.

Never give up. Never surrender. Spit in their eye.

If Russia wants influence in Ukraine (or Georgia or the Baltics for that matter) they should try the Chinese model: put some money into infrastructure, like China is in Africa and central Asia. You can even own a chunk of it, if you at least build it. Having a booming economy to flaunt helps, too.

Instead, the Russian approach appears to be to buy politicians when they can and use military force when they can't. Of course, following the Chinese model would require at least a small step back from total kleptocracy, which doesn't seem to be how Putin rolls....

American hubris can be a problem, but it's not something where we've corneted the market.

I had quite enough of the "bless your heart" brand of hospitality Southerners use during the 30 years I had to live there. Genuine niceness is preferable, but if I can’t get that I’ll take the honest, sullen teen telling me there were no problems encountered during the preparation of my food.

wj, the reason the Republican party lost the black vote was because of Herbert Hoover

Any mention of Herbert Hoover brings to mind for me the theme song from All in the Family. And now Archie Bunker, more or less, is president.

Just as a refresher, here are the aforementioned lyrics. It does capture the same mentality that seems to be widely shared by Trump's base.

Boy the way Glenn Miller played
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn't need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.

{In the longer version}

People seemed to be content,
Fifty dollars paid the rent,
Freaks were in a circus tent.
Those were the days.

Take a little Sunday spin,
Go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day,
That cost you under a fin.

Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don't know just what went wrong,
Those were the days.

I also remember the dreaded domino theory.

My high school freshman year world history teacher, bless his basketball coach soul, said ominously that there was something called "dialectical materialism," which was the Communists' plan for conquering the world. Dialectical materialism, he explained, was a phenomenon involving fighting small wars and winning them -- e.g. in Vietnam (this was 1964) -- and consolidating territory, then having another war, and winning that, and on and on until they had the whole world.

This teacher sat in class one day in the late spring and gave us, out loud, the 100 questions that would be on the final exam -- and the answers, for us to jot down and study.

Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

I suspect that there's nobody here who wouldn't agree that Herbert Hover would be a huge step up from today. Not only was he a far better President, for all his shortcomings. It's also impossible to imagine Trump doing the kind of job that Hoover did leading relief efforts in Europe after WW I and again advising on them after WW II. Or being called upon, by any successor, to advise on the reorganization of the executive branch (Hoover Commission).

Those were the days, indeed!

I haven't read all the comments so I apologize if there is some repetition.

Part of the problem with 'racism' as a term is that we want too much out of it. The academic definition ranges all the way from subtle bias all the way through to systemic oppression and further to wanting to kill someone or ruin their lives just based on their race.

You can't expect a term with that much range to be usefully used in public discourse. This is especially true when the most common non-academic definitions are used to mean something more on the KKK range rather than 'might have a slight hesitation in recognizing someone of another race'.

Which leads to the other problem--practical usage. The term 'racist' tends to be used to mark someone as out of bounds, worthy of ostracism, or not worthy of being heard. It is a silencing move in much of current discourse. Since that is a very common usage, it tough to talk about 'racism' in terms that don't justify ostracism (think about the entymology too, ostracism is 'being put out of the race').

You can EITHER mark some small subset of things as out of bounds and worthy of ostracism OR mark some broadly experienced thing as undesirable but not worthy of ostracism. But if you use the same word to cover both cases you are going to cause trouble. People will feel attacked when you don't mean for them to feel attacked. This will lead them to discount your attacks as 'hypersensitive' and will innoculate them to the word when you want to use it in the strong ostracism sense.

I tend to use racism in the out of bounds sense. So KKK members are racists. Institutional racism should be strongly fought. Lower level bias is worth noticing, but I don't want to muddy the strength of the ostracism sense of racism by mixing in low level things.

I feel the same way about 'sexual misconduct'. Don't lump in rape and inappropriate flirting in the same term. We want wildly different responses so we shouldn't umbrella them.

I agree with Sebastian. I dont use the word "racism" except when its freaking obvious. For one thing, a word like that ends communication and I still believe communication is possible with people who stop short of joining the KKK.

I feel similarly about 'homophobia'. If you are q bit squicked out by the thought of man on man sex, but are willing to let me love who I want, marry who I want, etc I don't think it helps to call your reaction 'homophobic'.

Academics shouldn't try to appropriate high emotion words for low emotion situations.

I don't think the problem is academics so much as ideological purists in the political sphere. For one thing, they are in a position to do far more damage . . . to the causes they purport to support.

sebastian, i think you have captured the sense of the room. and true to form have done so succinctly, eloquently, and in a moderate (in the best way!) tone.

y'all have persuaded me. "racism" will be reserved for actual malice.

thanks for your thoughts everyone.

Hmmmm. I appreciate Sebastian weighing in, but I disagree. There are a lot of systematic, structural issues that I think should be labeled as racism in order to underline the destructive nature, even though they are absent actual malice. Was there malice involved in Flint, MI? Was their malice involved in the Philly Starbucks?

I do agree that developments have problematized the term racism. I personally think that 'micro aggressions' immediately imply that the person 'committing' the act has malice when they may not have any malice at all.

But going back to structural issues that end up impacting African Americans, what precisely do we call them so as to bring attention to the negative impact they have on not only African Americans but on our goal of a equitable society? If we don't call them 'racism', we are really fooling ourselves as to the progress we are making towards that goal.

is this racism?

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/4/5/17199810/school-discipline-race-racism-gao

There is also good research showing the reality of racism in America. A 2014 study, for example, found that people generally view black boys as older and less innocent starting at the age of 10. “Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection,” Phillip Goff, an author of the 2014 study, said in a statement. “Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”

Another study released in 2017 produced similar results, finding that Americans overall view black girls as less innocent and more mature for their age, from ages 5 to 14. Survey respondents were more likely to say that black girls, compared to white girls, need less nurturing, less protection, to be supported less, to be comforted less, are more independent, know more about adult topics, and know more about sex. The researchers described this as the “adultification” of black girls.

it leads to real, and really negative, outcomes for black kids.

You can coin all the precisely defined, non-inflammatory terms you want for bigotry/racism/bias/homophobia, etc.

Once the Rush Limbaughs of this world get their filthy mitts on them, the connotations and emotional impact will be completely out of your control.

So, "Limbaughism = racism + sex with underage Dominican hookers + goat fncking". Rush can use that on his show as much as he wants.

There are a lot of systematic, structural issues that I think should be labeled as racism in order to underline the destructive nature, even though they are absent actual malice. Was there malice involved in Flint, MI? Was their malice involved in the Philly Starbucks?

I would suggest that there is something you might term "passive malice". That's what we saw in Flint -- indifference to the negative consequences of actions because of who would be impacted. It's not a matter of acting out of malice; just of not doing anything about what was happening.

In the Starbucks case, I would say that malice was again at least passively present. That is, the manager acted because of a negative view of the race of those involved. It may have been more a thought of "I have to get these guys out of here because they will do something bad" than "I have to attack these guys because of their race." But the only real difference is whether the attack is first or second hand.

If you are q bit squicked out by the thought of man on man sex, but are willing to let me love who I want, marry who I want, etc I don't think it helps to call your reaction 'homophobic'.

Sorry to weigh in twice, but if I am squicked out by that, why is that the case? I'd suggest it is because society makes it so that men are constrained to act in particular ways, and other ways of acting are not available to them. In that case, it is a lot more enlightening to view it as 'homophobia', because it is a societal pressure to make people believe that doing certain things with a man is gross, but doing the precise same things with a woman is the way things should be. 'don't worry, it is not homophobic if you get grossed out' is a way of assuring people they are not wrong, but if you think about it, they have been conditioned by society to think one way that really is, at its heart, wrong. You may be right that it does not help to use an accusation of homophobia as a club to beat people on the head with. But it carries the implicit danger that people are going to think that it is alright to be squicked out, and when someone acts on that, the macho 'if a f*g ever makes a pass at me, I'd knock his teeth down this throat', you are saying that somehow that behavior, while not acceptable, is understandable. Is it?

This makes a bigger difference for African Americans because they aren't afforded the opportunity to 'pass'. Two gay white guys sit in a starbucks in Philly without ordering and no one is going to call the cops on them. So someone is squicked out by a black man and a white woman holding hands, saying that is not racist seems to be missing the point. Or cleek's example, where blacks children are presumed to be more responsible for their actions, which then justifies them being punished more severely.

On refresh, wj suggests it is passive malice. So why is it so harmful to call that passive racism? Or if racism is passive, it isn't really racism? Or is it not really worth the effort to confront it? It seems to me that it is and all the discussions about how it is important to take smaller steps seems to miss the fact that these are the smaller steps, confronting these attitudes at that point rather than in some life or death situation, is where you want to do it.

OK, I also agree with everything in LJ's last couple of comments.

So, I remain confused. Nothing new in my world.

Maybe the line is whether someone is actually harmed? If so, who decides what "actual harm" is?

Getting arrested for waiting for a friend, or having lead in your water, are clearly harms.

Feeling like your culture has been co-opted if someone who doesn't look like cooks your favorite food or sings your favorite song, maybe no so much.

There's a line somewhere in the middle of that.

Where is it? I don't know.

lj:But it carries the implicit danger that people are going to think that it is alright to be squicked out

Is it a little ok to be squicked out by sex in general hetsex samesex all the sex without discrimination? I mean that shit is messy and complicated and strenuous and mutates the body and fuddles the mind and that is if it is done right.

Asking for a friend.

On refresh, wj suggests it is passive malice. So why is it so harmful to call that passive racism? Or if racism is passive, it isn't really racism?

I see I have been unclear. Yes, passive racism absolutely is racism. You have taken an (in)action based on race.

However, look at your point on homophobia. If someone is "grossed out", but doesn't allow that to change their behavior in interactions, then I would say that is NOT homophobia.

Just as, if you get twitchy at a black man and a white woman (every notice how it is rarely if ever raised a problem if the genders are reversed?**), but do not allow that to impact your behavior, it isn't racism. You have a bias, certainly. But you manage to keep it from impacting your behavior -- you neither do nor fail to do things that you would if it was not an interracial couple.

And that's were, IMHO, the threshold lies: behavior.

** Kind of like people worrying loudly about transgender individuals in the girls bathroom, but not if they are using the boys bathroom. I suppose what we are seeing there is sexism.... ;-)

Maybe the line is whether someone is actually harmed?

I'm kind of on the fence on this one. As I think about it, I'm inclined towards "impacted" rather than "harmed." But it's very fuzzy in my mind right now.

For example, if you are a straight man, and you behave differently towards a woman based on whether or not she is a lesbian, is that homophobia? Or just acceptance of the fact that, for some kinds of behavior, it would be unwelcome? Gonna have to wrestle with this for a while.

sebastian, i think you have captured the sense of the room. and true to form have done so succinctly, eloquently, and in a moderate (in the best way!) tone.

***

OK, I also agree with everything in LJ's last couple of comments.

So, I remain confused. Nothing new in my world.

Agreed, on both counts. This is such an interesting thread, even for somebody who currently doesn't have the time or mental space to click on most of the links, and can only do drive-by comments....

Who is a racist? Who is a liar? Everyone lies sometimes about something. Do we call everyone a liar? Being racist in some way or another at some time or another - is that the same as being A racist (in the noun form)?

You want real confusion? Look up the Joy-Reid-is-homophobic brouhaha. For example

For those who don't know, Joy Reid is the thoughtful and ebullient black woman who hosts AM Joy on MSNBC.

--TP

All here decry racism. All well and good.

Most acknowledge the racism of and by the collective community known as "white people", their collective actions, mores, superstitions, and social and political structures are in some actually existing ways detrimental to the community known as "black people".

Again....that is good.

So it would seem that this particular type of 'racism' of the US variety should be mitigated to the point that "black people" no longer collectively or individually suffer due to one, and only one thing....their skin color.

Agree?

If this is the goal, then the battle must continue until such time as we can declare some kind "victory", and if the use of this word is a cudgel in that struggle, then please don't ask me to put it down.

Perhaps white people need to unilaterally disarm, eh?

If you get called a racist by somebody for doing something they apparently don't approve of, then maybe it's time to check your anger at the door and ask why they pounded you with that epithet.

There have been actual documented cases of people doing that and actually changing their ways. I know this is hard to believe, but trust me on this.

Or call me a liar :)

because it is a societal pressure to make people believe that doing certain things with a man is gross, but doing the precise same things with a woman is the way things should be.

I am not sure this is entirely accurate, some people find the thought of some sex acts repulsive. There is a spectrum of behaviors that may fall into this category. However, I think it was said upthread that the imagining, mostly subconsciously, being in a sexual encounter you fervently do not desire is really the crux. Perhaps that is societal, but some forms of hetero sex are considered equally undesirable, beyond even kinky.

The difference is that encountering, for example, gay PDA leaves a short list of options for your subconscious and that creates a reaction. Your mind doesn't subconsciously go to those same acts as the short list for hetero PDA. So, if the thought of those occurs for hetero sex it is a conscious consideration that has more chance to be evaluated rationally, "why would anyone enjoy that?", than emotionally ewww/shiver.

I think that, in this case, the homophobic label should be mostly limited to those people who act on that emotional reaction. It certainly should include actions of aggression and separation. These cause harm in different ways, but both are worthy of the label.

Obviously anyone who simply rejects the concept as being evil, sick or dangerous certainly deserves the label, even though it is a clearer category.

Kind of rambles but I will leave it for discussion.

I was born a ramblin' man

Thanks, Marty.

I think the reaction to whatever aspect of homosexuality one (a heterosexual one) is presented with is some combination of nature and nurture. The more extreme the negative reaction to less-extreme presentations, the more nurture than nature. If you're really bothered by two guys holding hands, you've probably been conditioned to be that way.

But we do have innate sexual preferences to some degree, and I think they do come into play. Depending on the culture one is raised in, those preferences can either be amplified or attenuated, particularly is it concerns how those preferences drive reactions to exposure to the sexuality of others.

Here's a question I don't know the answer to. Do homosexuals tend to be as grossed out by hetero sex as vice versa? My guess would be no, similar to the statistics about black people being far more likely to have white friends than vice versa. If you're gay, you have no choice but to get used to straight people, given both the numbers and the societal norms you're subject to.

At a guess, I'd expect that gay people think about sex no more and no less than not-gay people. ("Straight" is kinda judgemental, even if conventional.) Judging by my own experience, thinking about sex correlates with age, not preference.

I am reminded of a bit from Groucho Marx. A woman guest on You Bet Your Life told him she had eight(?) children. When Groucho's eyebrows shot up at that, the woman eplained with a giggle: "I love my husband." Groucho remarked: "Well, I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."

--TP

At a guess, I'd expect that gay people think about sex no more and no less than not-gay people.

But it's not a question, or at least not the one I raised, of how much people think about sex. It's about how they react to sex other than the kind they wish to engage in.

At least one study has found evidence that homophobia is linked with arousal. It may be that it's not a matter of nature or nurture, but rather one of cognitive dissonance when nature and nurture are at odds with each other in a person's value structures:

Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?

The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992 ). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

I understand that the results and conclusions are still a matter of debate amongst psychologists, but, again, grist for the mill.

"Do homosexuals tend to be as grossed out by hetero sex as vice versa?"

This one isn't. My reaction is more like "Oh" and once, "No, thank you."

("Straight" is kinda judgemental, even if conventional.)

Hey! Tell that to the straight-acting gay guy in the singles ad! ;^)

Late to this thread, as is my pattern these days evidently.

Russell and I should both be alarmed at how much I agree with practically everything he's written in his main post and ensuing comments, but I can't bring myself to an appreciable level of concern.

As for gay sex, well, I think that I am squicked out by gay (male) sex to maybe the same degree that gay men are squicked out at the thought of sex with a woman.

But I could be wrong.

I think it's wrong to automatically ascribe some kind of disorder to that kind of thing. Not everyone is into everything. I'm not into swinging. Have at it, though, if that pleases you. It is, still, if notionally, a free country.

And that's all I have to say about that.

There have been studies on bodily reactions to pörn with clips of hetero, gay and lesbian sex shown to hetero and homo men and women.
Iirc there was positive reaction by all groups to all except male-on-male, which bodily appealed only to homosexual males. So even male homosexuals had a positive body reaction to lesbian sex scenes.
Measured bodily reaction could differ significantly from conscious statements by the test subjects.
This is a bit of a tricky topic since it was also found out that women have some lubrication reaction even in case of rape, i.e. in a totally involontary situation (possibly a biological self-protection mechanism, not, as often is claimed, a proof that women secretly desire to get raped).

I think it's wrong to automatically ascribe some kind of disorder to that kind of thing.

Did I miss where someone automatically ascribed a disorder to something?

It is, still, if notionally, a free country.

Except for the federal mandatory-swinging law that was recently enacted. (I need to move to a sexier neighborhood, post-haste.)

On a side note Rosie O'Donnell had a hilarious bit about men's fascination with lesbian porn, based on her view that nothing could be less appealing than watching two men have sex. It was hilarious.

(every notice how it is rarely if ever raised a problem if the genders are reversed?**)

That's a good call out on me. Though is it calling me out cause I'm sexist rather than racist? (hence the need to study intersectionality)

I believe it is pretty common in the AA community (and here, Janie's observation of our lack of AA commenters starts sounding a klaxon) for black women to be upset at the number of black men with white girlfriends. Which points to the fact that lots of factors conspire to make all the isms very difficult to eliminate or even reduce even as it gives some idiots with rudimentary grasp of logic the talking point of 'ha!, it can't be racist cause black people feel the same way!' (and to get in a parenthetical elbow here, this is why the claim that various groups are more conservative, so the Republicans screwed up in alienating them is the wrong reading, the Republican conservatism is the flavor du jour relies on peeling off dissatisfied white people, and a Republican conservatism that gave up the race war idea would no longer be Republican conservatism)

Japanese-Americans had and continue to have the highest rate of out-marriage. Here in Japan, there is this discussion

https://futurealisreal.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/international-marriage-in-japan-a-few-facts-and-a-few-opinions/

which is good, but I'm not positive about some of the conclusions the author draws.

I have much to add to this thread but the shifting from the rationality or not of the Holocaust to race to the squickedness or not of gay sex has me unable to collect my thoughts on any one item.

Somehow the picture of Slart possibly pursuing both swinging AND hog splitting presses a squicked indelibleness on the mind.

However, the term "squicked out" is going to find its way into most of my near-term conversations, regardless of subject.

Let us ... by whom I mean wj ... fall back on the latter Victorians, always good for some passive-aggressive frankness when it comes to country matters for what might be bothering us when we talk about what we talk about. It's a game of inches and of compartmentalization:

Crazy Jane Talks With The Bishop by William Butler Yeats

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
'Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'

'Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.

'A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'

Let me add, probably unfortunately, that years ago, when my son was a toddler, we hired this wonderful day care person (in her home, along with her kids) to look after the kid one day a week to give stay-at-home Dad here a break.

We got along swimmingly because, out of earshot of the kids, she possessed a bawdy sense of humor so what's not for me to like?

One day, and I forget how the conversation ended up where it did, she said (funny, in context) that she "can never look at a lesbian's mouth without thinking where it's been".

I'm not the guy to say things like that to, because I shot back, "Well, give it a moment's thought and you'll realize we could think that about EVERYONE, and now that you mention it, I am!", my attitude being "Hooray for all of it!", but in the ordinary course of a day, none of this really bears thinking about, though believe me, I can bear it.

On top of that, not five minutes before this repartee, she had bent over and exchanged kisses and licks on the mouth with her dog, which happens to bring out a little Santorum squickieness in my loins.

I'm a cat person. I'm bent that way.

Janie, upthread, mentions the Church Lady. I don't believe that woman when she said she doesn't think about heterosexual matters of the flesh as she goes about her day, especially in church.

I was so bored in church when I was 13 years old that my mind was a veritable decameron. It couldn't have been worse if I had been John Cleese. The Virgin Birth (and who is this Mary Magdelene with the seven demons person) gets a guy thinking.

And THAT was a Protestant Church, where SEX is, or was back then, spelled SHUTUP.

I couldn't wait to get out of there and make out with my Catholic girlfriend and discuss doctrine.


Count.....that was exceptionally fine. It's fun to be supplied with such a belly laugh at the end of the day. Or any time, really. :-)

sorry, hidden window with this unsent.

What they say is irrashaimase (or shortened irrashai). Honorific form of the verb 'to come' so, translating it like a Charlie Chan dialogue
'enter honorable guest'
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E3%81%84%E3%82%89%E3%81%A3%E3%81%97%E3%82%83%E3%82%8B

at 1:39 in this video (Simpsons)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyhZYQpMK4Y

lj, believe me, I wasn't trying to call out anyone. Just pointing out that some recognitions of differences seem, objectively, very similar. But rarely get viewed that way.

It rather looks like the article on Japanese nationals' out-marriage misses one significant point. The rather obvious reason that Japanese women who marry internationally overwhelmingly marry American man, while Japanese men marry Asians, could simply be that thete are lots of (single) American military men in Japan; far fewer American militrary women. Mere opportunity seems likely to be, at the very least, a major factor in the statistics.

Weren’t Lenny and Squicky the dopey neighbors on “Laverne and Squirrelly”?

No need to apologize wj, I didn't take it as insult, it was a great observation highlighting my own blind spots.

As far as the military connection goes, that's a good point, though I think another problem is that marriage statistics don't really pick up couples that are living together, etc, so any argument constructed on those stats is always going to lag behind, perhaps way behind.

Did I miss where someone automatically ascribed a disorder to something?

Maybe automatically was a poor choice of words. This is what I was referring to, not to single out lj for what may be an unremarkable POV:

Sorry to weigh in twice, but if I am squicked out by that, why is that the case? I'd suggest it is because society makes it so that men are constrained to act in particular ways, and other ways of acting are not available to them. In that case, it is a lot more enlightening to view it as 'homophobia', because it is a societal pressure to make people believe that doing certain things with a man is gross, but doing the precise same things with a woman is the way things should be. 'don't worry, it is not homophobic if you get grossed out' is a way of assuring people they are not wrong, but if you think about it, they have been conditioned by society to think one way that really is, at its heart, wrong.

I used disorder in the sense of an abnormal physical or mental condition, not some sort of mental illness. Think eating disorder if that helps.

And, sure, there may be a disparity in the aversions to various heterodox sexual activities. I'm not claiming it's an absolute equality. Just similar in nature. Do not want.

IFAICT, society wants to condition everybody to love mayonnaise. but i have resisted because it squicks me.

that's kindof how i feel about some sexual practices: i guess i'm fine if you like it, but i don't want any. and don't try to sneak it in if you think i'm not paying attention!

I think we are approximately in agreement, cleek.

IFAICT, society wants to condition everybody to love mayonnaise. but i have resisted because it squicks me.

Mayo is not good, but at least not intolerable. Ketchup, on the other hand, has nothing to recommend it. And Thousand Island dressing is an abomination -- although the various "special sauce" offerings are worse.

Thousand Island has both mayonnaise and ketchup in it, which may be the source of your revulsion.

mayo is intolerable. one drop (bloblet?) is too much.

ketchup is just badly-made salsa, so i can almost forgive it.

As with sexual practices, just so with mayo.

Speak French.

Call it aioli.

If I have a GPS in my car, I set it on the female French voice. I don't know what it is saying, but I'll follow it off a cliff.

Thousand Island has both mayonnaise and ketchup in it, which may be the source of your revulsion.

Miscegenation of course, which renders it particularly relevant for this thread. I vaguely remember that there may be a prohibition against mixing fish and meat in more detailed kashruth (the rules governing kosher food), which suggests some kind of more generalised taboo against "inappropriate mixing". wj, I think you are (among other things) an anthropologist. Does this kind of taboo ring any bells for you?

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