Just a little bit racy

Sex on Tuesday

nadia.new.web

A recurring subject among my housemates is the racial categorization of sexual preferences. My housemate once complained to me that people call her “exotic” because she is a black woman and that they often want to get with her only because she has curves. My other housemate told me he feels fetishized by women for being an Asian man, as women like to mess around with him because they don’t expect him to be sexually assertive. My blond friend also once told me some people aren’t attracted to blondes because they don’t think blondes are exotic enough.

This conception of exotic beauty is a Western ideology that is assigned to people of color. As explained in a blog on PsychologyToday.com, the conception assumes white phenotypes as the standard and defines exotic beauty as deviant from the norm. From this notion springs widespread stereotypes about people’s sexuality based on their race, like subservient geisha Asian girls, passive Asian boys, feisty Latinos and exotic, domineering black people.

In a lecture on racial inequality, UC Berkeley sociology professor Szonja Ivester defined racism as “a set of beliefs and social practices in which people are accorded advantages and disadvantages on the basis of culturally defined racial classifications,” which often involves “linking evaluative judgments to these classifications.” So even when someone claims he or she like the aggressiveness of black males or the passive nature of Asian males, that person is still being racist because he or she is attributing personal traits on the basis of race and treating those people differently.

Racialized sexualization is perpetuated by people of all races. There are many white guys with yellow fever and white girls with jungle fever. There are Asian girls who are only down to date white guys and people who refuse to date members of their own race. There is also a stigma against those who choose to date people outside of their own racial groups. The issue with racial labeling of sexual preferences is that it makes individuals feel like people aren’t attracted to them for whom they are but rather what color they are.

Our society needs to be rid of racial stereotypes about sexuality, but one effect of race that should be taken into account is privilege. All people grow up with different types of racial privilege. Many of us care about the colonization and oppression of our ancestors from around the world and don’t wish to perpetuate racial hierarchies. Those of us who enter intimate spaces with partners of different races must take such historical factors into account, acknowledge societal power dynamics and try not to uphold racist standpoints in our relationships.

For example, I dated a damn good-looking white boy recently. We got along fine and had great conversations and debates. But there were instances in which he would express privileged positions, such as calling something distasteful “gay” or blaming affirmative action for why a person of color was chosen as the winner of a beauty pageant. By saying things like that as a straight white male to a queer woman of color, he made me uncomfortable, and it kept me from developing deep feelings for him. Needless to say, we aren’t together anymore. But this experience did show me that my future partners need to acknowledge and understand their positions and privileges relative to mine and that I should do the same in order for us to feel completely comfortable around each other.

Individual experiences make us who we are. Race is something that influences our experiences, but we can’t assume anyone’s experiences based on race. This also goes for sexual experience, in which someone’s race won’t make him or her freakier in bed, have a bigger dick or just be better at sex in general.

There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to particular physical traits, like dark hair, tan skin or almond-shaped eyes. But claiming to be attracted to people of just one particular race is not only discriminatory but also shallow. Your choice in sexual and romantic partners is a personal matter, and your individual preferences should be respected; but race isn’t the only trait you should base your preferences on, because that’s inherently racist.

If we truly want to be a society that claims to look beyond race and physical appearance, race cannot affect our views of sex and, of course, individual people. Upholding sexual stereotypes defeats the objective of finding individuals attractive for whom they really are.

So next time anyone expects me to be some cute, passive Asian schoolgirl, I will whip you hard enough to cure you of your misogynistic yellow fever.

Contact Nadia Cho at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter: @nadiiacho.

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  • Deesasaurus

    I love you and your column is sexy, on point and amazing :)

  • Nunya Beeswax

    Also : your black roomie is upset because men “want to get with her only because she has curves”? In other words, because she’s a sexually attractive woman?

    Someone’s going to have to explain that one to me. Perhaps “get with” means something more than “go on dates with” or “have sex with”?

  • Sam

    Right, as if the Asian dominiatrix isn’t a tired out stereotype as well.

    • Samv.2.0

      Sigh, dominatrix

  • dr. iced waka flocka khalifa

    PPSHHHH this anOski and iposit need to work on summarizing cause they take up this whole dammed page! Ey but that was a good piece Nadia. A topic like this is hard to handle and you did your justice. One hiccup tho; the beginning was kinda wack and definitely confusing because from the way I see it you didn’t get real until the later half of the piece. But hey your a busy good looking girl so you could’ve been busy getting laid and not gave the piece the attention it deserves: Only god knows. My 2cents- Fuck the poof poof fancy doo doo elegant shit they taught you in high school. Concise and nice rhyme for a reason ya feel me? Just say what you gotta say and you’ll find your writing way. Most importantly, stay true and through all your life (and in your writing). MAY THIS POST BE EVIDENCE.

  • ThinkBig

    People don’t control to whom (or even to what) they are attracted.

    If you find Asian or black people sexier that is perfectly fine. People’s sexual preferences are quite diverse. Expecting everyone to go after different races equally is equivalent to expecting them to be equally attracted to both sexes. It is not racism and discrimination to find asians sexy.

    Your critique of others for what race they are attracted too is similar to a critique of you for your sexual orientation.
    That is bigotry and discrimination.

    At times sexual attraction can be influenced by racial stereotypes, but that is not the primary motivation. A guy will rarely chase after every asian he sees because he expects her to be submissive, or a girl after every black guy because she expects him to have a big dick. That type of racism accounts for a minority of interracial sexual relations (though somewhat disproportionate at drunken frat and co-op parties). What is a much more common form of racial profiling is marrying only your own race, religion, or cultural background—although I would hesitate to call this racism without further examination.

    Race exists; culture exists, and our differences and cultures should be celebrated, not ignored. Ignoring our cultural differences is the first step toward eliminating them and erasing the incredible diversity of the human race.

    In applying a double standard between sexual orientation and sexual attraction to different races, you seem to misunderstand not just sexuality and racism, but also human nature.

  • adsahdj

    tl;dr–If you express politically incorrect views about race and sexuality, you won’t be able to date Nadia.

    Sounds good!

  • yet another guest

    Isn’t it funny how so-called liberals and progressives are more obsessed with race than conservatives?

    • iPosit

      Conservatives just know to stick to their own. Liberals are challenging others to remove barriers, and are hence more ‘obsessed’ with race.

      • Calipenguin

        Conservatives don’t obsess about race because we want everyone to work hard and compete on an even playing field. We reject the idea that any race is superior to any other race. If one race receives unfair government preferences or commits most of the crime in a community then we don’t hesitate to bring that up though. Liberals don’t care about an even playing field, they want equal results regardless of effort because they too believe no race is inherently superior, so why are some races doing better than others? It must be the “system”, so they have to tinker with the system until every race is equally happy or equally unhappy.

        • Guest

          Conservatives always obsess about race, like those assholes who encourage racial profiling because most crimes are committed by blacks.

          Just today: http://www.dailycal.org/2012/11/14/strong-arm-robbery-near-south-side-of-unit-3/

          • Stan De San Diego

            Pointing out that a critical piece of information was left out of a news article is NOT the same as posting long diatribes expounding on when race should or should not be a factor in a given issue. As far as I can tell, you believe that race SHOULD be an issue when it advances your own particular agenda. Thanks for reminding us that neither intellectual honesty nor consistency are the hallmarks of progressive thinking.

          • Guest

            What was left out of that article? It mentioned the races of the perpetrators, if you didn’t notice.

        • iPosit

          It is ignoring race in the way that both people do which is the problem. Racism nowadays is done in secret, there is no more smoking gun.

          The desire for equal results comes from the idea that those results are in flux, so they always count as the basis for the capacity of input, and hence can frame the nature of unequal input. Honestly, you try working at Wal-Mart and getting your 4 extra work hours in a week so you can claim benefits. You can’t most of the times – 36 hours at different hours every week or Wal-Mart will find someone else because someone else definitely needs that job because Wal-Mart destroyed their Mom & Pop store. You would probably have to tinker with that system in some respect – whether it is competition of big box stores against smaller ones, the inability for enough income to acquire health services, the cost of those health services, or that your income, health, and place of work impact your ability to contribute at all to society.

          Fairness is an issue of what is due, which depends on what is done, which is therefore couched in history. Crime is rarely done for its own sake, often out of need, even if that need can be satiated by doing other things. Race’s relevance is almost always seen as a detail for correlation instead of representative of a storied past of racial relationships.

      • Tony M

        Liberals stick to their own as well. You won’t find your typical sheltered Berkeley denizen consorting with anyone who doesn’t share their particular social or political views, nor will you find them spending time around racial or ethnic minorities any more than needed to maintain their PC credentials. I say that because as a kid I lived in primarily black or hispanic neighborhoods in southern California, yet many of the so-called “progressives” I meet come from upper-middle-class backgrounds and nearly all-white neighborhoods. I’m also amazed at how many of these assumedly “worldly” liberals are not very well-traveled or even knowledgeable about other places outside the US. As a USAF veteran who served for 6 years before going back to school, I had traveled to 16 countries, was reasonably fluent in 3 languages, and had a solid knowledge of geography as well as a fundamental grasp of European, Asian and Latin American history, music and culture. Meanwhile, I find that other than the occasional drunken excursion to some Mexican border town (or the obligatory European “vacation” where a large number of college students spend most of their time smoking dope and perusing the window shops in A’dam) many of these oh-so-enlightened liberals weren’t interested in any type of foreign travel that didn’t involve the pursuit of some type of illicit intoxicant. The liberal obsession with “diversity” is merely a way of projecting their own guilt trips on others. Having dealt with the good, the bad, and the ugly among many different racial and ethnic groups, I prefer to deal with people as individuals and not members of some “group”, so I feel no need to play PC games in my personal relations with other human beings.

        • iPosit

          You can’t call those people liberal so much as you can call them fashion show friends who speak on issues but hold no power to change other than personal choices and interactions. What do you expect them to do? Seek out Harlem and move in, demonstrate their love and acceptance, and suddenly raise the median income of the neighborhood, which hopefully results in a trend towards areas not being segregated racially? What about the Conservatives who vacation on the vineyards and speak fluent English butchering cultures from their veranda cove? You’re describing the trouble with general affluence not being coupled with the ability to truly help others in simple ways. Plus, the help people need are getting out of poverty, is not always based in race, but in access to a more wholesome life.

  • nadia u b slippin

    This has gone from SEX on tuesday to LOL on Tuesday. C’mon Nadia, we’re not here for the politics of consent and racism! Did you read what the previous writer talked about? I think I speak for the men who read this when I say get back to what Sex on Tuesday used to be about!

    • dr. iced waka flocka khalifa

      BUMB

    • iPosit

      Damn dude. She’s speaking about her experiences and beliefs. Those things are still relevant to her views on Sex. Appreciate that Nadia is writing it, not that it’s a column about sex and this author isn’t doing it right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001742073940 Daniel Genseric

    I keep hearing about this mythical “white privilege” over and over again. Especially in academia where Mommy Professor rules the roost.

    You mean the ‘privilege’ of TENS MILLIONS of non-white immigrants arriving in every white country and ONLY in white countries?

    You mean the ‘privilege’ of having the DEMAND made that we assimilate with all those non-whites?

    You mean the ‘privilege’ of being called “racist”, “nazi”, etc… should we object to their Morality & Diversity?

    You mean the ‘privilege’ of having a crime like genocide being called what it truly is until it happens to whites?

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white

  • Undergrad

    What made your boyfriend privileged? Just the fact that he was a white male? Isn’t that just as racist to presume that, as a white male, he is privileged?

  • horndog

    i like asian girls, white girls, black girls, indian chicks, i mean you find me a good looking girl and im dtf

    • DTR

      climb out of your parents basement and go get laid

      • horndog

        okay

  • Guest

    asian girls are so horny, you know it Nadia

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one who notices how deficient and awkward her writing style is? I realize Sex on Tuesday is an informal column, but this girl does not even have basic skills to articulate her ideas with clarity–this entire piece is bogged down with awkward word choices and rudimentary sentence structure. Has she even taken an R1A class before? Doesn’t the Daily Cal have editors for this?

    • dr. iced waka flocka khalifa

      That’s called a budget cut son! GET WITH THE PROGRAM AND WAKE UP.

    • anon

      I like it actually. And she even got a great discussion going…

  • Dumbledore

    why you UMB?
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=umb
    (please refer to No. 4_)

  • Harry James Potter

    i dont think you fit the parameters of “yellow fever.” i like cho-chang from harry potter though, shes more suitable to my yellow fever. ;)

    • Ronald Weasely

      Oh, I feel the same way, but you always take first precedence bro

      • Cho-Chang

        Please do not objectify me. I am not an object. I am not yellow.

        • Cedric Diggory

          I see you, Harry.

          • Lord Voldemort

            you’re dead lol

          • Hermione Granger

            You too bro.

      • Hermione Granger

        Ronnykins, why do you spell your name wrong?

  • Guest

    Being attracted to a certain race isn’t racist. I’m not attracted to Asian men. So what? Everyone has their preferences. If I met an Asian man I really liked and was attracted to.. sure I would date him but so far has not happened. Doesn’t make me racist to say that. I’m sure you have some sort of personal preference.
    Stereotypes exist because there is some sort of truth in them. People need to get over calling EVERYTHING racist. Asians can’t drive. White people can’t dance. Black people can. Are these statements always true? No. Are they sometimes true yes. Who cares? Why waste your time caring about what other people think. Yes I’d love a society that looked beyond physical appearance, that isn’t judgmental but that will never happen. It’s part of our nature to identify people who are different than ourselves.
    You also totally contradict yourself when talking about your white boy’s privilege…BECAUSE HES WHITE??? Hah. Affirmative action exists and can possibly influence a beauty pageant. So what. Being ridiculously PC is so pointless. I’m multiethnic. I really do not care what anyone says about the way I look or act according to my race. Maybe its true maybe not and I could care less.

    • Nico

      Your interpretation of the term “racist” is pretty narrow, e.g., you don’t have to hate a race to exhibit racist views about that race.

      “Being attracted to a certain race isn’t racist”

      Wrong – that’s exactly what it is… because one’s attraction explicit to a certain race, whether anyone will admit it or not, is based on societal and media based forces (Hollywood perpetuates racism on a subliminal level) that have shaped one’s ideas and related notions of what traits they deem to be aesthetically pleasing and attractive – both physically and personality wise. No one likes to admit that they’re influenced by anything, but everyone is influenced by society, friends, media, etc. You aren’t inherently racist by nature, rather it’s been indoctrinated on you by society/media.

      “I’m not attracted to Asian men. So what?”

      That’s a big surprise… and A LOT of women share the same view… do you think that’s a coincidence? So many men pursue ONLY asian women… do you think that’s a coincidence as well? Of course it’s not, but it’s always disguised as what you and these two groups (wm/aw) will take to their graves as just a “Preference” It’s so easy to discount and scoff at these relationship dynamics (get over it, stereotypes exists for a reason, etc., etc.) when you’re most likely not affected by them, or in some instances, even benefited by them.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        Everybody’s attraction to whatever they’re attracted to is shaped by societal forces (and media is not, by the way, separate from other societal forces). So what?

        Desire ain’t PC. People want what they want. And sitting in judgment of someone who’s attracted to Asian women is in no way different to any other kind of discrimination.

        • Nico

          “Everybody’s attraction to whatever they’re attracted to is shaped by societal forces (and media is not, by the way, separate from other societal forces). So what?”

          So, a lot of the societal forces are rooted in racism… a big example being stereotypical roles/references to certain races on television and theatrical releases – we all know they exist.

          So a lot of people try to disguise it as a “preference” or in your case “discrimination” (which is why I like to call people out on it every now and then). I agree with you – people want what they want and isn’t any different from other forms of discrimination, but WHY do you want what you want… and more importantly, why do you want (or not want) a specific race?? There’s no genetic disposition to desire of a certain race (unless you wanna try and make the case akin to sexual orientation)… most people don’t want to own up to it, i.e., your exclusive preference for a particular RACE is primarily based on racist connotations.

          • Nunya Beeswax

            No, there’s no genetic disposition to it that I’m aware of. It’s psychological, like any other form of sexual desire. I think psychologically re-training yourself to be attracted to something other than Asian women, or black men, or whatever it might be, is about as likely to be effective as psychologically re-training yourself to not be homosexual.

          • Nico

            Agreed – it is psychological and very difficult to overcome because it’s ultimately a fetish.

            You also agreed that this type of mindset isn’t genetically hardwired. Your psychological issues, propensities, preferences, discrimination, sexual desire, or whatever PC terms/phrases you want to use to temper one’s fetishism of a specific race had to come from somewhere… they are to a large extent, rooted in racist elements.

            You made an interesting comment comparing this to the difficulty of retraining oneself to not be homosexual… kindav an extreme assertion I think, but can attest to that somewhat based on a couple of non-asian male friends I know that exclusively date asian. They’ve just gotten into such a devout comfort zone when approaching and being in relationships w/ asian women. But understand that they’re confident and alpha w/ these women for a reason – they have expectations and generalizations based on racist notions of being in a relationship w/ ANY asian woman. Some of their comments for example, “they’re easier, hornier, more easy-going,” etc. etc. A caucasian female friend of mine has only been with latin and persian men for the past 10 years… a common dark/euro fetish w/ most women, obviously, but hers is a little more extreme. In other words, i would say that my friends have some serious psychological issues wouldn’t you say?

          • DTR

            Naw, you started off good when you said “They’ve just gotten into such a devout comfort zone when approaching a…”, but then you lost when on the next part…preferences aren’t always rooted in racist notions LOL.

      • DTR

        You’re an idiot lol. Seriously?? You can like whoever you want, nothing wrong with that!

        • Nico

          i’m the idiot? such an insightful reply from you LOL! yea – and there’s nothing wrong with being a racist as it relates to who you pursue for relationships, right???

          • DTR Amigo

            Go get a life. You go to college and the two things you own are: 1) a cardboard box and 2) a computer.

          • DTR

            Yes, you are truly an idiot, sir. PREFERENCES are not racism. I’m assuming you didn’t even graduate for Berkeley Middle School

      • Guest

        You prove my point exactly. “Racism” needs to stop being over-exaggerated and overused. Being PC is seriously not the end of the world. Like I said stereotypes exist because there is TRUTH in them. Racist is thinking that all people of a race are the same, have the same characteristics, same habits, etc. Sexual attraction is way more than just someones’ race. Obviously as I pointed out, I said if I happened to find an Asian guy I was attracted to beyond just being handsome I would totally date him. Just usually, so far, this has not happened. So in short, I am not attracted to Asians. That does not make me racist to say that because in general, usually I am not. I don’t meet Asian guys and say oh yep your Asian never going to ever consider you. I am part Asian. My FATHER is Asian and my mother is white. Is that not contradictory to your theory? Also, I know tons of women who date Asian men.
        Yes society and media influences but is not the only absolute factor. If that were true I’d be attracted to tall, muscly, blonde men which I ALSO am not attracted to. Maybe I’m body-ist too right?
        And to answer your question no it is not a coincidence that typically people aren’t attracted to Asian men. Typically (stressing typically here) that are less masculine in phenotype. And typically women like really masculine men. Just like its not a coincidence that (if you are a straight male?) you probably like big breasts. More than likely if you are a straight male you like big breasts. Now yes that too is influenced by society but also biologically.
        Babies sometimes get freaked out when people of a different phenotype are introduced to them. My sister would cry when she first got handed to my mother (blonde blue eyed) because she was cared for by Asian nurses and doctors for a month before she went home. I’ve heard a lot of kids who are confused the first time they see a black person if the are always around whites, or vice versa. Story goes that this goes back genetically even from back in the cave man days when humans would use the way people looked to distinguish which people were a part of our group.
        Just trying to say we live in a world (especially in Berkeley) where people are so caught up on words and definitions and pc-ness etc. I am Asian and White. If you come up to me and tell me some stupid stereotype about a b or c I really won’t care. You shouldn’t either. If you like Black girls, Latinos guys, both of them. Who cares? If you like girls with straight teeth, guys who are in a band…who cares!!!! All we need to do as a society is treat each other with respect and never talk down a race or a group of people. Sexual preferences are so irrelevant. Obviously this author was offended because she felt victim to feeling like a sexualized Asian girl which in itself continues to point out the race factor. The more you acknowledge it, the more relevant it becomes to you and to everyone around you.

        • Guest

          You sound like a Republican. Am I correct?

  • I_h8_disqus

    This was easily Nadia’s best piece. It addressed something important that could help people to understand each other better, and it was useful to any type of relationship instead of just the just the very sexually adventurous.

    Personally, I have not thought about women being different sexually because of their race. When Nadia first started writing, I wasn’t surprised that she was Asian. I have found that women and sex can’t be placed into categories based on race. They are all individuals.

  • Guest Again

    More proof that excessive exposure to Politically Correct thinking inhibits one’s ability to reason.

  • Nadia’s self-admitted racism

    “Our society needs to be rid of racial stereotypes about sexuality, but one effect of race that should be taken into account is privilege.

    “my future partners need to acknowledge and understand their positions and privileges relative to mine and that I should do the same in order for us to feel completely comfortable around each other.”

    “Race is something that influences our experiences, but we can’t assume anyone’s experiences based on race.”

    “If we truly want to be a society that claims to look beyond race and
    physical appearance, race cannot affect our views of sex and, of course,
    individual people.”

    You first say that we need to get rid of racial stereotypes about sexuality. But then you say you need to take privilege into account and you whine about your white boyfriend’s privileges.

    Then you contradict yourself by saying that we need to be a society that looks beyond race and that race shouldn’t affect our views of individual people and that doing otherwise is racist.

    You just admitted you’re at best a hypocrite and at worst a racist!

    • iPosit

      What? Privilege is not a stereotype, it actually exists, instead of stereotypes which are at best guesses about the nature of other people. Privilege is historically created.

      We need to then account for race, not become colorblind. Being aware of race is not moving beyond it, it is being with the historical narrative each person lives.

      She is perfectly consistent – awareness of race means not stereotyping but learning, choosing to view people as more than their socially imposed stereotypes.

      • Guest

        “Being aware of race is not moving beyond it, it is being with the historical narrative each person lives.”

        versus what Nadia said:

        “If we truly want to be a society that claims to look beyond race and
        physical appearance, race cannot affect our views of sex and, of course,
        individual people.”

        • AnOski

          The article and above quotes ultimately seem to suggest that one should take into account the effects that race particularities have (generally) on people and relationships, — and that one should not reach a generalized conclusion based on those observations. The trouble arises in that she does make some generalized comments about the stereotypically privileged white males and race in general.

          In saying that “Race is something that influences our experiences,” Nadia implies that certain races of people are going to experience life differently based solely upon their genetic makeup. While part of a progressive movement, statements like this are inherently racist, in a fashion similar to affirmative action. One cannot make racism “right” by attempting to undo what may be (or may not be for the individual) its downstream effects. Either people are equal, or they aren’t.

          Nadia mentions that white males preferentially assume “privileged positions, such as calling something distasteful “gay” or blaming affirmative action for why a person of color was chosen as the winner of a beauty pageant.”

          I’d like to point out the obvious. Sexuality is not a “race,” and calling something “gay” in such a manner is not something that comes with money, power, or “privilege.” If affirmative action were taken into account in deciding the winner of the beauty pageant, then, yes, the woman of color in question may well have triumphed over better-qualified competitors due to the color of her skin.

          Pointing out this example as she does, Nadia appears to be…yes, racist. She suggests that white folks are more likely to be racist. That may or may not be true, but it’s one heck of a generalization. Just as it may or may not be true that certain races of people tend to have certain personality types. It is logical for one to conclude that people who grow up in different societies would develop a different culture with different attitudes towards a variety of subjects. But if Nadia says that making such assumptions about minorities is wrong, she should eat her words.

          Generally speaking, Nadia seems to be saying that white people occupy a racial position of power, and that they tend to abuse it. Which is why she is guilty of the aforementioned racism. She goes on to say that “claiming to be attracted to people of just one particular race is not only discriminatory but also shallow,” which is in theory a good idea, but I don’t understand why she has the right to pass judgement on what anyone else finds aesthetically pleasing. Taking it to the point of ‘you’re not allowed to be physically attracted to a black woman because she is black’ seems a bit much to me.

          • iPosit

            She makes comments about one white male in particular, and hints at their likelihood to have lived (or been born into) a life which makes them lay claim to White privilege.

            Race influences our experiences because of how others treat you based on your race. That is not racist to say, it is something to notice. Affirmative action, similar to Nadia’s point of awareness but not judgment, attempts to correct for historical biases against particular peoples. If your people spent hundreds of years in bondage, the descendants of those in bondage are less likely to be on a level playing field. A few systemic changes here and there is not reverse racism, it is an agreed upon (or corporatistly constructed) method to account for histories. Inequality exists because of the past structures of human organization, current structures seek to correct inequality (except for the ones that try to entrench them..).

            She is talking about one White male in particular, and then abstracting his statements into general examples. Read more carefully.

            Likelihoods are by nature generalizations. Do you contest the likelihood of Whites being racist? Does that matter? It is true that they have White privilege, and it seems she is implying just that – White people have White privilege. She is criticizing speaking uncritically from a position of White privilege – the whole idea is that those different views are exactly what perpetuates inequality. You should read her words.

            Nadia only claims those with White privilege do such things, not all White people.

            I get what you’re saying with the last point. Her problem is with expecting attributes to follow from being Black. She gets all upset about people assuming she is a passive Asian woman when in reality she is not. It is not being attracted to Asians that is wrong. It is wrong to conflate timidness with Asian and to be attracted to Asians for that reason.

        • iPosit

          I think she means look beyond race as less of fetishizing the foreign and the aesthetic and more about what it means for a person to be white. In this transition from a society that has imposed racial dynamics as constraints on action to a symbol of one’s past, it gets a little messy.

          Move beyond race and physical appearance, but still let them affect our views of understanding individual people, while the individual people themselves should not be judged for being whatever race they are / appearance they have.

          So, I cannot judge you for being White alone, but I can be aware of you having White privilege. Do you understand the difference? One is based in stereotypes where you do not need to know or be even the slightest bit familiar with a person, the other is an understanding of an individual that can gleaned through conversation or sometimes appearance alone. That is to say, there can be rich Black people, but by looking at them you cannot assume being Black is what gave them the opportunity to be rich. The assumed stereotype here is that they deal drugs or play basketball. Then there are poor White people. You may assume that they are poor because they messed up the general (relative) ease White people have in society when in reality there are plenty of Whites without all of White privilege.

          I feel that this may be unclear. Stereotypes that are the backdrop for fetishizing other races are bad, and as such make the fetishization bad. Moving beyond race as merely stereotype to an understand of an individual in a historical context is good.

          • AnOski

            >I think she means look beyond race as less of fetishizing the foreign and the aesthetic and more about what it means for a person to be white. In this transition from a society that has imposed racial dynamics as constraints on action to a symbol of one’s past, it gets a little messy.

            Your first sentence contains two very different ideas. 1) Don’t fettish-ize different races. 2) You make a generalization about a race of people.

            It’s about as well-organized as the article itself, to be frank. Two conflicting ideas combined to make….something. Not sure what.

            >Move beyond race and physical appearance, but still let them affect our views of understanding individual people,

            Don’t be racist — just….be racist? I’m confused. If you’re letting those generalizations guide how you interact with people, you’re being plain racist.

            >while the individual people themselves should not be judged for being whatever race they are / appearance they have.

            Right, you should just try to ‘understand a person’s race’ to guide how you interact with him/her. Not getting how that’s not racism.

            >So, I cannot judge you for being White alone, but I can be aware of you having White privilege.

            Racist.

            Just like how I can look at black people and not judge them for being black, but instead judge them for their…apparent skill at dealing drugs and playing basketball, per your statement below.

            >Do you understand the difference? One is based in stereotypes where you do not need to know or be even the slightest bit familiar with a person, the other is an understanding of an individual that can gleaned through conversation or sometimes appearance alone.

            So I shouldn’t judge a person for being black or asian, but I should let my knowledge of how black and asian people act (generally) help to guide how I interact with them?

            If you’re talking about understanding a person on an individual basis, then you shouldn’t bring race to the table. At all. It’s just another physical trait that can have an effect on someone’s life — like being ugly/pretty, rich/poor, lazy/productive, or anything like that.

            Why bring race into it? It’s only a defining feature of a person if….you make it that way. And if it is a defining feature, then it must be important. Wonder why that would be.

            >That is to say, there can be rich Black people, but by looking at them you cannot assume being Black is what gave them the opportunity to be rich.

            Being black can make you rich? Or are you trying to say that being white could be the reason I am presumably rich? I don’t get what you’re trying to get at. You seem to be saying that everyone should be aware that affirmative action or “white privilege” *might* be the cause of…success? — But that people shouldn’t let that guide their actions?

            Drawing those lines of difference is what creates racism. Letting “knowledge” of those differences guide your actions is pure racism. If you’re trying to use it for “good,” it’s still misguided racism.

            >The assumed stereotype here is that they deal drugs or play basketball.

            So, you plan to use that knowledge how, exactly?

            >Then there are poor White people. You may assume that they are poor because they messed up the general (relative) ease White people have in society when in reality there are plenty of Whites without all of White privilege.

            Without all of it? So they have just some of it? In your book, whites are “privileged” regardless of wealth. You sound decidedly racist.

            >I feel that this may be unclear. Stereotypes that are the backdrop for fetishizing other races are bad, and as such make the fetishization bad. Moving beyond race as merely stereotype to an understand of an individual in a historical context is good.

            So what you’re saying is that if a “privileged” white guy likes dating black women (in particular) for any reason, it’s due to the fact that there’s a stereotype of black people typically dealing drugs and/or playing basketball — and that such a preference is wrong…..?

            Aesthetics and personal preference come into play, and a fetish is a fetish. So long as physical differences exist, people are going to have particular preferences — for countless reasons. It’s only when you objectify potential mates that such interests come into play, racially speaking.

          • iPosit

            >It’s about as well-organized as the article itself, to be frank. Two conflicting ideas combined to make….something. Not sure what.

            This is the major synthesis of ideas that you’re missing. Attributing ideas based on one’s race falsely is different than getting to know that person and understand their relationship to their race that way. The first is done without getting to know the person, the second is done only with getting to know the person. Stereotypes can serve as assumptions that MUST be questioned, at least personally. Ignoring race altogether repaints society as a colorblind society which is particularly problematic as it encourages the belief in amends having been made for historical injustices grounded in race.

            > Don’t be racist — just….be racist? I’m confused. If you’re letting those generalizations guide how you interact with people, you’re being plain racist.

            You’re not understanding me. Race is still important, it is a major part of someone’s identity, just as important as class, religion, and ethnicity. You cannot ignore it honestly, just as you cannot ignore anything else about a person honestly if you truly want to know them.

            > Right, you should just try to ‘understand a person’s race’ to guide how you interact with him/her. Not getting how that’s not racism.

            What do you think racism is? Do you think it is the belief in race? What the hell man… you understand a person’s race by talking to them about it – that is what guides your interaction with them.

            We’re not too far off here. You do believe in understanding individuals on an individual basis. I do too. I just believe that race is important in that discussion because of historical grievances and the necessary correction it still requires in some instances. In particular, if in meeting someone you find race to be a critical part of their identity, then you must understand them as that. But you are correct in such a belief that race is only important if people make it important, at least in interpersonal interaction, but in systemic structures it is entirely important as per past structures that were explicitly meant to disadvantage.

            I’m saying that if a privileged member of the Pan-Hellenic races likes dating black woman, then it can be for his personal reasons. You’re misrepresenting what I’m saying here. As I said before “[Nadia's] problem is with expecting attributes to follow from being Black.” The heavily stereotyped example I used was dealin’ drugs and ballin’, but only to serve a point. Do not uncritically attribute an understanding to another person without really being sure.

          • AnOski

            >>It’s about as well-organized as the article itself, to be frank. Two conflicting ideas combined to make….something. Not sure what.

            >This is the major synthesis of ideas that you’re missing.

            You’re ignoring the fact that one of those two ideas was a generalization regarding white people. Nadia’s boyfriend was a “privileged” white person (apparently all white people are) who carelessly uses colloquial, but sometimes offensive language. She read into his behavior and attributed it to his racial affiliation. “Privileged whites.”

            Sure, call it a synthesis of ideas. It’s still racism.

            >Attributing ideas based on one’s race falsely is different than getting to know that person and understand their relationship to their race that way.

            Oh. So what you’re really saying is that it’s not racism if it’s true. That’s a very slippery slope.

            >The first is done without getting to know the person, the second is done only with getting to know the person. Stereotypes can serve as assumptions that MUST be questioned, at least personally.

            Ahhh, I get it. So I should just keep the notion in the back of my mind — that a black person is more likely to be a drug dealer or a basketball player — and only let it come forth once I know for sure that the black person in question is indeed a drug-slinging b-ball player.

            I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Racist people assume that these stereotypical traits are true. You seem to advocate acknowledging that they might be true, but getting to know the person before letting that assumption guide your actions. It’s still racism.

            >Ignoring race altogether repaints society as a colorblind society which is particularly problematic as it encourages the belief in amends having been made for historical injustices grounded in race.

            Historical injustices are just that. No one owes any race of people anything for historical injustices. Black folks’ relatives were slaves? Mine were serfs and slaves to a feudal system for upwards of a few thousand years. Various racial and ethnic groups have since immigrated to the US — the Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Russians, Jews, etc. All were demeaned, ghettoized, and greatly prejudiced against.

            Members from every group have worked their way into mainstream society. They’re not geniuses overcoming some great obstacle. They’re just people.

            >> Don’t be racist — just….be racist? I’m confused. If you’re letting those generalizations guide how you interact with people, you’re being plain racist.

            >You’re not understanding me. Race is still important, it is a major part of someone’s identity, just as important as class, religion, and ethnicity. You cannot ignore it honestly, just as you cannot ignore anything else about a person honestly if you truly want to know them.

            By making note of the difference, you are being racist. You are letting your knowledge of someone’s race determine how you think of them and interact with them. Racism.

            >> Right, you should just try to ‘understand a person’s race’ to guide how you interact with him/her. Not getting how that’s not racism.

            >What do you think racism is? Do you think it is the belief in race? What the hell man… you understand a person’s race by talking to them about it – that is what guides your interaction with them.

            rac·ism/ˈrāˌsizəm/

            Noun:The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as…
            Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.
            >We’re not too far off here. You do believe in understanding individuals on an individual basis. I do too.

            That’s fine, but 1) you’ve greatly deviated from Nadia’s expressed perspective in the above article, and 2) you’re toeing the line with definition #1 above.

            >I just believe that race is important in that discussion because of historical grievances and the necessary correction it still requires in some instances.

            Such as….what? Reverse racism (affirmative action)? When I look at various ethnic and racial groups (e.g. above) who all immigrated here in the past ~200 years, and faced great obstacles to overcome nothing but racism and prejudice, I can’t help but wonder why you think some groups of people should get more help than they received.

            Stating such desires based on racial preference would be….racism.

            >In particular, if in meeting someone you find race to be a critical part of their identity, then you must understand them as that. But you are correct in such a belief that race is only important if people make it important, at least in interpersonal interaction, but in systemic structures it is entirely important as per past structures that were explicitly meant to disadvantage.

            So it’s only as important as you make it now, but it used to be more important. Right. Why are *you* making it so darn important today? When I look at my friends, I don’t want to have to consider one to be black, one latino, one white. To be frank, I consider those definitions to be as contrived as touting one’s country of origin. Race isn’t something one can choose, and it has no inherent bearing on what one does with his or her life. It’s a point of origin, and perhaps an increased risk of certain diseases, nothing else. Anything else you assume would be just that — a racially based, generalized assumption.

            >I’m saying that if a privileged member of the Pan-Hellenic races likes dating black woman, then it can be for his personal reasons. You’re misrepresenting what I’m saying here. As I said before “[Nadia's] problem is with expecting attributes to follow from being Black.”

            But most, if not all, white people are “privileged,” and (implied) insensitive towards gay folks. That can be assumed per the article.

            That’s where the dichotomy emerges, and where I have a real problem with the article. Well, that and the fact that she doesn’t clarify the point you make above. She doesn’t address it at all, in fact. She draws no line between physical personal preference and racism.

            >The heavily stereotyped example I used was dealin’ drugs and ballin’, but only to serve a point. Do not uncritically attribute an understanding to another person without really being sure.

            It’s a useful example of a stereotype in the context of the article and what we’re talking about.

          • iPosit

            This may have been editted in but:

            There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to particular physical
            traits, like dark hair, tan skin or almond-shaped eyes. (She draws no line between physical personal preference…)

            But claiming to
            be attracted to people of just one particular race is not only
            discriminatory but also shallow. (… and racism).

            Your choice in sexual and romantic
            partners is a personal matter, (That can be assumed per the article. )

            and your individual preferences should be
            respected; but race isn’t the only trait you should base your
            preferences on, because that’s inherently racist. (

            Structures that were difficult are different than structures that are explicitly racist. There is a huge difference between only hiring natives and lynching Black folk.

          • AnOski

            You ignore most of the points from my previous post, and these snippets were not edited in.

            >There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to particular physical traits, like dark hair, tan skin or almond-shaped eyes. (She draws no line between physical personal preference…)
            But claiming to be attracted to people of just one particular race is not only discriminatory but also shallow. (… and racism).

            This is simply unclear. Being attracted to distinct physical traits is fine. Different races possess distinct physical traits. But being attracted to a particular race is not fine.

            Do you see the disconnect?

            >Your choice in sexual and romantic partners is a personal matter, (That can be assumed per the article. )

            Unless I prefer having going out with or having sex with women of a particular race. Then it’s racism, per above.

            >and your individual preferences should be respected; but race isn’t the only trait you should base your preferences on, because that’s inherently racist. (

            So…if those physical things I like are associated with one race, how would that work out? What if the stereotypical aspects of a race’s culture appeal? I like different personality traits, and they’re more common in women of a particular race. In order to more efficiently select a mate, I should concentrate my efforts on dating women of that race, no?

            >Structures that were difficult are different than structures that are explicitly racist. There is a huge difference between only hiring natives and lynching Black folk.

            Kind of. What about hiring only white people? When do you decide to get the different water fountains put in?

          • iPosit

            Most of your points are calling me a racist. Here is a simple way to clear this up.

            I think racism and prejudice are different, and this is a major point where we differ. Prejudice is holding beliefs about people based in stereotypes and clinging to those beliefs in your interactions with them. Prejudice combined with power creates racism, which is a structural alignment against people based on their race.

            From this:This is simply unclear. Being attracted to distinct physical traits is fine. Different races possess distinct physical traits. But being attracted to a particular race is not fine. (I am not saying it is not fine, I am saying it is not fine to do this uncritically. Nadia makes this clear when she likens this to shallowness. You see a disconnect when you’re just trying to move backwards in the chain of logic. You can be attracted to traits and features, and you can be a attracted to a race because of those features, but your attraction isn’t to the race. When you say you’re attracted to a race, you’re claiming to be attracted to a set of ideas that you believe can be summed up in a racial term. That is, as per your definition, racist). This should clear up what I believe to be your misconception in the next line. You may like fucking curvy women, but that doesn’t mean you can say you like having sex with Black women because of it.

            What you’re claiming to do, assuming that a particular race is more likely to have a particular personality, is what Nadia wrote this article about. Targeting Nadia because she’s a cute Asian and is therefore more likely to have whatever personality traits you’re interested in is the racial presupposition you use to impose particular beliefs about her character without having really met her. You just arrived at the whole thesis of her article.

            I think it’s weird you talk about focusing your efforts. You should just see how they smile and then talk to people. I know a lot of Black girls who are into the Asian culture – plus there is the Wu-Tang Clan. They bring the Ruckus.

            The difference I’m pointing out is still based in racial preferences. Being hated for immigrating into a land once made by the Pilgrims and now populated by the Irish or what have you, is still a form of racism. Since deconstructing Jim Crow and clearing out the excess cancer of the New Jim Crow, there is still exactly what you have – colorblind racism of targeting one race as opposed to another. Hiring only White people is a form of that. In particular, there are housing suburbs who consider race first and then credit second as criteria for purchasing homes, but this is only known because of intentional e-mails seen to check why certain suburbs were more populated by Whites. Even though the two imaginary families were alike in almost every way, their race is what made the White family more likely to receive an e-mail than the Black family.

            - So it is not WHEN you decide to put the fountains in, it is WHO gets to. For a lot of history, this has been White people. Now, it’s looking like only the RICH White people can decide things.

          • AnOski

            >Most of your points are calling me a racist. Here is a simple way to clear this up.

            Well, they’re based on what you’ve said, so unless you change your perspective, I don’t see what’s going to change. We should probably give up on this.

            >I think racism and prejudice are different, and this is a major point where we differ. Prejudice is holding beliefs about people based in stereotypes and clinging to those beliefs in your interactions with them. Prejudice combined with power creates racism, which is a structural alignment against people based on their race.

            So what you’re saying is that racism does not exist without “power.” The trouble is that “power” is a meaningless term. Why? Because if two people are interacting, all it takes for one to gain “power” is one’s ability to make someone else feel bad or prejudiced against. One can gain or possess power even unintentionally.

            “Prejudice combined with power creates racism, which is a structural alignment against people based on their race.”

            A structural alignment against people based on their race. Interesting idea. The trouble is that your initial statement regarding power insinuates that if a group does not possess the majority of the “power,” they cannot perpetuate racism.

            And that’s where your wrong, especially with regards to modern society.

            >From this:This is simply unclear. Being attracted to distinct physical traits is fine. Different races possess distinct physical traits. But being attracted to a particular race is not fine. (I am not saying it is not fine, I am saying it is not fine to do this uncritically.

            What if someone does it critically? It’s fine, right? Lol.

            >Nadia makes this clear when she likens this to shallowness.

            Is it shallow to prefer one form of art over another? I personally find most modern art shallow, pointless, and a waste of time in general. Other people like it. One could argue that this makes me shallow, but it is ultimately simply a personal preference.

            If I or anyone else is not physically attracted to people of a particular phenotype, I don’t see how that’s shallow. Just as some people prefer mates with particular personalities, some probably prefer mates who look a certain way. In fact….I’m pretty certain that everyone has a particular ‘type’ that they find particularly attractive.

            The simple fact of the matter is that different races of people look different. If people do have physical preferences for mates, it makes perfect sense for people to prefer mates from particular genetic backgrounds.

            >You see a disconnect when you’re just trying to move backwards in the chain of logic. You can be attracted to traits and features, and you can be a attracted to a race because of those features, but your attraction isn’t to the race.

            Except…many physical features are just about unique to particular races, and at some point, fettishiz-ing the race is bound to happen on a psychological level.

            I guess it might be a good thing to keep this in mind, but it won’t change the fact that it happens. I don’t think there’s any way to keep that from happening.

            As a mushroom aficionado, I’d like to propose an analogy. I like mushrooms. I like hunting for wild ones. In particular, I like finding and eating wild mushrooms. But, many of the mushrooms I find are poisonous. That doesn’t stop me from becoming excited when I come across what appears to be a deadly amanita. All wild mushrooms now elicit something of an emotional response in me, despite the fact that 95% of the ones I find seem to be inedible and are, for my intents and purposes, worthless.

            In a sense, I think we agree (on this, at least). The trouble is you seem to call the fetishization of race a bad thing. I can’t see how it would be bad.

            >When you say you’re attracted to a race, you’re claiming to be attracted to a set of ideas that you believe can be summed up in a racial term. That is, as per your definition, racist).

            Or physical attributes. If you value the entirety of a person once you get to know them, physical appearance is an easy way to sort through potential suitors. If you’ve ever tried dating, you know this to be true.

            >This should clear up what I believe to be your misconception in the next line. You may like fucking curvy women, but that doesn’t mean you can say you like having sex with Black women because of it.

            “I like having sex with black women because they’re so darn curvy.”

            What’s wrong with that? If I applied a positive stereotype to any race, I doubt anyone would complain.

            >What you’re claiming to do, assuming that a particular race is more likely to have a particular personality, is what Nadia wrote this article about. Targeting Nadia because she’s a cute Asian and is therefore more likely to have whatever personality traits you’re interested in is the racial presupposition you use to impose particular beliefs about her character without having really met her. You just arrived at the whole thesis of her article.

            Your point relies on circular reasoning. Of course I’m less likely to disagree with someone of my race or other affiliation; a white person would probably have been less likely to write such racist comments about white people.

            Furthermore, you say, “Targeting Nadia because she’s a cute Asian and is therefore more likely to have whatever personality traits you’re interested in is the racial presupposition you use to impose particular beliefs about her character without having really met her.”

            So….you’re assuming that I’m disagreeing with her because she’s an asian girl — not because I disagree with the meat of what she’s saying. Sounds like you’re attacking me because of my race and sex. If I were an asian girl, you would give credence to my views. Instead, you disregard them because of my race and sex.

            Sounds like you are indeed a bigot. Since sex seems to play a role in your prejudice, the more general term makes more sense. (bigot versus racist)

            >I think it’s weird you talk about focusing your efforts. You should just see how they smile and then talk to people. I know a lot of Black girls who are into the Asian culture – plus there is the Wu-Tang Clan. They bring the Ruckus.

            Same. Well, kind of. A good friend of mine since sophomore year is black and is very into Japanese culture. He’s a guy, though, and that doesn’t quite work for me. But that wouldn’t have anything to do with his physical attributes being appealing (e.g. having curves), so…you’re kind of changing the point again.

            >The difference I’m pointing out is still based in racial preferences. Being hated for immigrating into a land once made by the Pilgrims and now populated by the Irish or what have you, is still a form of racism.

            My point in bringing up other groups is that the Irish were persecuted as much as any other unwanted minority for the better part of a century. They were put down, refused work, and forced into insular communities. Just like the Chinese, Japanese, and a wide variety of other Asian and European minorities. Same goes for latinos, etc. — and many of these groups are easily discriminated via last name or physical attributes, pun intended.

            >Since deconstructing Jim Crow and clearing out the excess cancer of the New Jim Crow, there is still exactly what you have – colorblind racism of targeting one race as opposed to another. Hiring only White people is a form of that. In particular, there are housing suburbs who consider race first and then credit second as criteria for purchasing homes, but this is only known because of intentional e-mails seen to check why certain suburbs were more populated by Whites. Even though the two imaginary families were alike in almost every way, their race is what made the White family more likely to receive an e-mail than the Black family.

            I don’t get why you bring up individual instances of racism today. While walking on the Santa Monica Pier some months ago, I heard an older veteran shout some grossly offensive things at/to some “Japs.” Racism does still exist, and we should fight for equality in the workplace, housing, etc. It’s something else to enact policies that are prejudiced against other groups because you wish to solve the problem of racism in other spheres, though, because that’s taking a generalization and applying it to people in the same manner that racism does.

            >So it is not WHEN you decide to put the fountains in, it is WHO gets to. For a lot of history, this has been White people. Now, it’s looking like only the RICH White people can decide things.

            The feeling I’m coming away with is that you believe that it is impossible to be racist against (rich) white people because of the advantages that they have.

            An asian girl (as well as yourself) have just been prejudiced against a white guy (or white guys in general — not sure), and you don’t seem to see it because of my race and sex.

            I get it. Some white people have money, power, and are racist. That doesn’t give you or Nadia the right to make generalizations about me, or to use someone like me as an example of someone catering to the racial assumptions that you might make about a white male in our society.

            Until you address her (and now your) comments about white males, I don’t have much else to say to you. You’ve avoided those aspects of my posts nearly every time.

          • iPosit

            I think I’m trying to explain general, given my definition of racism, the construction of White privilege as an allowance of creating the criticism of what is presumably the average White Male.

            >So….you’re assuming that I’m disagreeing with her because she’s an
            asian girl — not because I disagree with the meat of what she’s saying.
            Sounds like you’re attacking me because of my race and sex. If I were
            an asian girl, you would give credence to my views. Instead, you
            disregard them because of my race and sex.

            I am being critical of your views because you are part of a race that has historically wielded privilege over most other peoples – some of that power has been codified into economic classes that, while aren’t necessarily based in race, are ultimately highly positively correlated with race (Whites are indeed more likely to be employed in high paying jobs).

            I am not outright disagreeing with you. I am saying (and Nadia is saying) that coupling attributes with race is essentially racist, not in terms of bastions of power(my definition of racist) but assumptions based on attempting to seek a person out in a hope to validate stereotypes. This is more similar to your definition of racist, and hopefully you believe that I am not a bigot when I say I am more likely to criticize your beliefs almost entirely on the basis of you being a White male. You are born with historical advantages you had no hand in personally, and other people aren’t. Ignoring it isn’t the solution, it is being aware of how race has played into a person’s past that is useful in guiding an individual actions as they relate to people and structures.

            So, yes, as per my definition of racist (as manifest in bastions of power in interpersonal relationships and structural settings), I believe that it is allowable to generalize about White males on the whole. The idea of generalizing is addressed thoroughly in my previous posts about using that knowledge to understand where the individual is within their understanding of their historical context. Sadly, you see me as a bigot for reading history in a way that makes me skeptical of the belief you have in the legitimacy in a color-blind society that can casually use racial terms to describe personality traits.

            On that last note, it seems that you understand that physical traits are indeed more likely to be coupled with racial terms by nature of phenotypes being carried by particular races. In a way, that is fine, it is logical to expect curves to fall with some races more than others. So in short, racially describing physical features is on balance more likely to be empirically correct, but doing the same with personality traits is an outright gesture of prejudice (or what you would call racism).

            This will be my last comment (I enjoyed this discussion, btw). I want to make a few things clear.

            Nadia’s thesis is that “If we truly want to be a society that claims to look beyond race and
            physical appearance, race cannot affect our views of sex and, of course,
            individual people. Upholding sexual stereotypes defeats the objective
            of finding individuals attractive for whom they really are.”

            I understand this to mean we learn about individuals and then organize our beliefs about them according to a racial divide, and that this is problematic as it assumes a necessary relationship between those traits and race while the fact of the matter is that it may, on occasion, be likely to be true.

            So, when Nadia makes a point about her one White friend holding stereotypical beliefs and then saying he feels comfortable making those comments because of his social position as a product of White privilege, I agree.

            You claim that to criticize White people generally is racist, as it likens takes a personal belief about another person’s culture and says that they must be that way (what I would call prejudice). Indeed, I do believe that it is allowable to generally criticize White people as they collectively make up the bloc of people who exercise White privilege. My point here is that Nadia’s friend is indeed a person of privilege who has bigoted thoughts made sedentary by his personal refusal to reflect on the implications of his action.

            We had a discussion about the nature of this analysis as it relates to sexual encounters in relationships. You claim I am a bigot for generalizing about White people this way, when that may only seem to be true because of my reading of history (as written, controlled, edited, and distributed by White people).

            We both find that it is okay to be attracted to particular physical traits, and sometimes even make the connection that a race is likely to be attractive to a person because of the physical features that they have. That is fine. But creating a racial description of personality traits is imposing of those personalities on people who are only of that race and may not necessarily be in that way. This is our major disagreement on whether the latter is actually racist or not. You say that, psychologically, an exposure of personalities coupled with race will cement that type of connection in a person. I believe that that is the racist thought – a cemented understanding of a race as a collection of personality types because it is common.

            I cite examples of racism today as that is the problem that, as seen as a microcosm in interpersonal relationships between people in sexual encounters and expectations, is reflected in societal structures that are currently present. These beliefs about people not being examined critically, and to be taken for granted when learning or hearing about others, is what forms the basis of opinion races have about each other. The immediate belief about one another is generalized and then used to form the media-based stereotypes structures are built around and expectations are created from. There is no sense of color-blinded seeing of others until structures truly reflect that. Race is invariably a part of a person’s life because of that, and while it may be great to find that you can meet and know a person without race affecting that encounter, the fact is that race will affect that person’s life greatly and so your beliefs about race (even if not relevant to the situation at hand) are still incredibly important.

            So yes, it is fine to be attracted (but more likely appreciative) of a particular race if done critically, because that person is living their ingrained historical narrative, unable to escape from their past but intentionally creating their present and future, beaten back by the beliefs and actions of others (who may or may not use race as a factor in deciding what to do with or to those people). You “Lol.” quite casually at this when it is the point I am trying to make here. Positive or not, stereotypes are expectations that you have for people that need to be changed to be more accurate and less likely to constrict your views of other races.

            While it is all individuals who hold the power to create beliefs, they need to be weary of those in society who have the power to constrict action, place of residence, employment, company, etc. on the basis of those beliefs. I do say that White males are one of the few groups of people more likely to be able to make those decisions, but that it is mostly the rich, those saddled with political connections, or those who are in control of precious resources, that can do this. In a way, we should be weary of Oil Lobbyist, Energy Moguls, and Saudi Oil Sheiks on this particular description of racism as a codified form of power against those of a particular race.

            I am not a bigot or a racist, I see (and study) structures of the world around me and notice that the correlation between race and access, race and employment, race and health, is a problem of arbitrary suffering administered to others driven by the fear of scarcity. You see my criticism of the White male as racist because I generalize the White male. It is not, it is merely data that represents historical facts and present conditions, operating as the impetus for action meant to correct such problems and bringing true equality to the world.

            I think I might’ve taken Politics of Piracy with you – I only know of two mushroom aficionados. I wish your picking outings well and free from confusing the edibles with the poisonous.

            Also, I think redheads are pretty, so if you have a sister…

          • AnOski

            >I think I’m trying to explain general, given my definition of racism, the construction of White privilege as an allowance of creating the criticism of what is presumably the average White Male.

            I’d like to point out right off the bat that your criticism of a group of people based on stereotypical traits is bigotry, plain and simple.

            >>So….you’re assuming that I’m disagreeing with her because she’s an
            asian girl — not because I disagree with the meat of what she’s saying.
            Sounds like you’re attacking me because of my race and sex. If I were
            an asian girl, you would give credence to my views. Instead, you
            disregard them because of my race and sex.

            >I am being critical of your views because you are part of a race that has historically wielded privilege over most other peoples – some of that power has been codified into economic classes that, while aren’t necessarily based in race, are ultimately highly positively correlated with race (Whites are indeed more likely to be employed in high paying jobs).

            Historically, “whites” have done better, and there are some left-over socioeconomic benefits from that?

            You’re taking a very narrow view of race, ethnicity, and our society. I brought up groups like the irish and jews before because they started out on the same economic footing (generally) as most blacks in this country. They came to this country in third-class/steerage with nothing, and made a living of it, first getting out of the ghettos, and eventually joining the rest of america as a whole. They, by and large, were not aided by outside ethnic groups. These people valued hard work and education and overcame the adversity the earlier immigrants to this country provided them.

            Some individuals accomplished this, and some didn’t.

            Some ethnic or racial groups aren’t doing as well as others in our society. We know this from census data. Socioeconomically, asians and whites are on the top, followed by a slew of other racial and ethnic groups, with blacks at or near the bottom of most data representing socioeconomic success.

            Why this is, is ultimately unclear. The data is all correlational.

            However, attributing current socioeconomic status to past racial prejudice does not make sense. The fact that you can lump various groups of “white” people together into one is proof of the fact that historical oppression has little (or nothing) to do with a race or ethnicity’s later socioeconomic success.

            What matters is how a particular group deals with the stress. Folks like the jews took their past and turned it into a driving force for success. After times like WW2, when many were stripped of all wealth and property (and kept from getting educations), folks came here and, despite the racism afforded eastern european immigrants and jews, managed to become successful.

            Some individuals accomplished this, and some didn’t.

            But the point is the same. This wasn’t due to “white privilege.” They were prejudiced against and still overcame the barriers of mainstream “white” society. You could argue that it was due to the color of their skin, but that wasn’t good enough for them in Europe during the war. I would argue that it is because of a cultural attitude towards education and economic success, which has less to do with racism, than it does with (cultural?) methods of coping with stress.

            >I am not outright disagreeing with you. I am saying (and Nadia is saying) that coupling attributes with race is essentially racist, not in terms of bastions of power(my definition of racist) but assumptions based on attempting to seek a person out in a hope to validate stereotypes.

            “coupling attributes with race is essentially racist” I’ll get to this later, as well as the rest of what you say.

            >This is more similar to your definition of racist, and hopefully you believe that I am not a bigot when I say I am more likely to criticize your beliefs almost entirely on the basis of you being a White male.

            “coupling attributes with race is essentially racist”

            >You are born with historical advantages you had no hand in personally, and other people aren’t.

            A historical advantage for whites is not an necessarily advantage for me. By saying that it is, you are being racist.

            >Ignoring it isn’t the solution, it is being aware of how race has played into a person’s past that is useful in guiding an individual actions as they relate to people and structures.

            Attributing an entire race’s past to a single person is racist. You don’t know the history of my family, whether it was privileged, or whether half of my family was stripped of their wealth, tortured, and nearly gassed only fifty years ago. The reason my grandmother survived to give birth to my mother is because her family fled their homeland to avoid pogroms, and wound up in concentration camps with nothing only a few years later. They came to the US with nothing, and, regardless of whatever history their race had, they made things work for themselves as well as they could, despite the fact that they couldn’t work in prestigious jobs due to a lack of education — and the fact that they were ethnically eastern european and jewish kept them from many areas with regards to jobs and housing.

            >So, yes, as per my definition of racist (as manifest in bastions of power in interpersonal relationships and structural settings), I believe that it is allowable to generalize about White males on the whole.

            Despite the fact that making generalizations about people based on race is, basically, racist, as you say above.

            >The idea of generalizing is addressed thoroughly in my previous posts about using that knowledge to understand where the individual is within their understanding of their historical context. Sadly, you see me as a bigot for reading history in a way that makes me skeptical of the belief you have in the legitimacy in a color-blind society that can casually use racial terms to describe personality traits.

            I see you as a bigot for attributing a blanket of historical generalizations upon me, as in individual, today. Just as Obama is not an oppressed black man, at the hands of our society, I may or may not be a silver-spoon-fed white child.

            And if I were, history would do have nothing to do with it. Knowing such things might give you a statistical likelihood of being correct when you call be a privileged white bigot, but….that’s still racism. Using historical generalizations is no better than using current cultural generalizations for determining who someone is.

            >On that last note, it seems that you understand that physical traits are indeed more likely to be coupled with racial terms by nature of phenotypes being carried by particular races.

            It seems? I said that.

            >In a way, that is fine,

            Well, it *is* a fact, so I hope it sits well with you.

            >it is logical to expect curves to fall with some races more than others. So in short, racially describing physical features is on balance more likely to be empirically correct, but doing the same with personality traits is an outright gesture of prejudice (or what you would call racism).

            So it’s fine for you to attribute personality traits to me based on my race’s historical…success(?), but you’re going to argue with the fact that phenotype is passed on genetically (and that someone can have a personal preference as to their mate’s phenotype)? History is a much more tenable cause of determining who as person is (personality-wise or socioeconomically) than phenotype is for determining physical traits.

            I find the fact — that you would assume that the history of my race (despite ethnic differences) necessarily plays a large role in my being the person who I am — preposterous. Especially if you’re going to deny ideals of aestheticism when paired with the irrefutable correspondence of phenotype with race/genetic background.

            >This will be my last comment (I enjoyed this discussion, btw). I want to make a few things clear.

            >Nadia’s thesis is that “If we truly want to be a society that claims to look beyond race and
            physical appearance, race cannot affect our views of sex and, of course,
            individual people. Upholding sexual stereotypes defeats the objective
            of finding individuals attractive for whom they really are.”

            No argument there. The trouble is that she offered a number of directly contradictory statements.

            >I understand this to mean we learn about individuals and then organize our beliefs about them according to a racial divide, and that this is problematic as it assumes a necessary relationship between those traits and race while the fact of the matter is that it may, on occasion, be likely to be true.

            Right. You also seem to be doing this, per above.

            >So, when Nadia makes a point about her one White friend holding stereotypical beliefs and then saying he feels comfortable making those comments because of his social position as a product of White privilege, I agree.

            “I am saying (and Nadia is saying) that coupling attributes with race is essentially racist, not in terms of bastions of power(my definition of racist) but assumptions based on attempting to seek a person out in a hope to validate stereotypes.”

            You keep insisting on my being who I am because of white privilege and historical/racial generalizations. That is racist.

            >You claim that to criticize White people generally is racist, as it likens takes a personal belief about another person’s culture and says that they must be that way (what I would call prejudice). Indeed, I do believe that it is allowable to generally criticize White people as they collectively make up the bloc of people who exercise White privilege. My point here is that Nadia’s friend is indeed a person of privilege who has bigoted thoughts made sedentary by his personal refusal to reflect on the implications of his action.

            “coupling attributes with race is essentially racist”

            So it’s fine to be racist so long as you’re fighting against the folks who are socioeconomically more successful and/or have historically been racist as a group, generally speaking? That’s pretty f*ed up, if I do say so myself. You’re bigoted against me because some idiot white guys in the south were racist and did horrible things. You’re willing to say it’s fine to be racist against me because, historically, people I didn’t know and have nothing to do with, and from whom I have not benefited in any tangible way — you’re fine with being racist against *me* because those people were prejudiced.

            You, whoever you are, are one confused person.

            >We had a discussion about the nature of this analysis as it relates to sexual encounters in relationships. You claim I am a bigot for generalizing about White people this way, when that may only seem to be true because of my reading of history (as written, controlled, edited, and distributed by White people).

            Your generalization of white people is racist, just as any literature’s use of a similar argument structure would be racist. Just because you/Nadia are part of a minority does not exclude you/her from being racist, just as it wouldn’t exclude me.

            You’re the one setting double standards here, not me.

            >We both find that it is okay to be attracted to particular physical traits, and sometimes even make the connection that a race is likely to be attractive to a person because of the physical features that they have. That is fine. But creating a racial description of personality traits is imposing of those personalities on people who are only of that race and may not necessarily be in that way. This is our major disagreement on whether the latter is actually racist or not. You say that, psychologically, an exposure of personalities coupled with race will cement that type of connection in a person.

            No, and I never said that. I limited my argument of personal preference purely to physical traits and aesthetics. I used the word “aesthetic” several times in my above arguments (ctrl-f if curious) to make that clear.

            You and Nadia are the only ones attributing personality traits to a race in such a manner. Nadia’s white, “privileged” boyfriend was used as an example of how the traits of a single person can be stereotypical of a race. Nadia suggests that the reason that her boyfriend was a non-PC fellow was that he was white and grew up white and privileged, as, she suggests, most white people do.

            Whether or not that is true (same goes for black folks and dealing drugs/playing basketball), in doing so, she is perpetuating a racial generalization of white folks’ personalities based on non-individual-specific, historical evidence. In looking to understand her ex-boyfriend on such a level, she is actively trying to fit him into a box — a box that reads “privileged white male,” along with the other boys she’s met who fit into that category.

            This is racism, pure and simple. I don’t walk around fitting black people in to the “druggie/basketball player box” consciously. And if I saw a black fellow smoking pot and playing basketball, I wouldn’t think along those lines. I’d simply take into account the fact that I don’t particularly like doing either of those things, and walk on. She’s the one making such distinctions based on race, not me.

            >I believe that that is the racist thought – a cemented understanding of a race as a collection of personality types because it is common.

            I agree. The concept of white privilege as you apply it to individuals in today’s world is racist.

            >I cite examples of racism today as that is the problem that, as seen as a microcosm in interpersonal relationships between people in sexual encounters and expectations, is reflected in societal structures that are currently present. These beliefs about people not being examined critically, and to be taken for granted when learning or hearing about others, is what forms the basis of opinion races have about each other. The immediate belief about one another is generalized and then used to form the media-based stereotypes structures are built around and expectations are created from. There is no sense of color-blinded seeing of others until structures truly reflect that. Race is invariably a part of a person’s life because of that, and while it may be great to find that you can meet and know a person without race affecting that encounter, the fact is that race will affect that person’s life greatly and so your beliefs about race (even if not relevant to the situation at hand) are still incredibly important.

            It might or might not be so important. Someone like Obama made it to become the leader of this country. The effects of race and racism must thus be experienced differentially on an individual basis. Just as applying a personality trait to a person based on race is racist, the same goes for attributing life experiences.

            >So yes, it is fine to be attracted (but more likely appreciative) of a particular race if done critically, because that person is living their ingrained historical narrative, unable to escape from their past but intentionally creating their present and future, beaten back by the beliefs and actions of others (who may or may not use race as a factor in deciding what to do with or to those people).

            Historical racism does not reflect an individual’s past. There is no need to escape from the past for a child born in the past thirty or forty years, and even if racism were the cause of adults’ scars today, society has repeatedly shown with various ethnic groups that persistence is the key of becoming accepted into what I’m betting you would deem “mainstream white society.” Asian folks managed it. Why? How? I could say work ethic, but that would be racist, right?

            >You “Lol.” quite casually at this when it is the point I am trying to make here. Positive or not, stereotypes are expectations that you have for people that need to be changed to be more accurate and less likely to constrict your views of other races.

            I “Lol” because you are being hypocritical. You claim that making these racist comments is only fine so long as you are in a minority. That strikes me as ridiculous. Not really funny, but ridiculous.

            You acknowledge that you’re criticizing white people because they are historically advantaged, call me racist for being white and criticizing a minority who is being racist — by trying to justify it with the argument that we are arguing within an inherently biased framework of “white” literature (which has nothing to do with the dictionary definition of racism that comprises the sole literary reference either one of us has used) and history, which paints various races as having been horrifically oppressed by whites, ranging from the native americans, to blacks, to asians, to latinos, as well as ethnic minorities such as jews, the irish, etc.

            I mean…most of this post has been you trying to justify why you can be racist against/towards me based on historical context.

            What if I were to do that for a group of people? What if I chose to criticize, say, indian people, for their historical oppression and use of the caste system. What if I made generalized statements about them based on that?

            It would be racist. That’s what.

            >While it is all individuals who hold the power to create beliefs, they need to be weary of those in society who have the power to constrict action, place of residence, employment, company, etc. on the basis of those beliefs. I do say that White males are one of the few groups of people more likely to be able to make those decisions, but that it is mostly the rich, those saddled with political connections, or those who are in control of precious resources, that can do this. In a way, we should be weary of Oil Lobbyist, Energy Moguls, and Saudi Oil Sheiks on this particular description of racism as a codified form of power against those of a particular race.

            So it’s not racism you have a problem with. It’s the idea of any person having power over another. You’re fine with making racist comments about white folks because you see them as being in a position of power. Gotchya.

            >I am not a bigot or a racist,

            Well, that’s debatable.

            >I see (and study) structures of the world around me and notice that the correlation between race and access, race and employment, race and health, is a problem of arbitrary suffering administered to others driven by the fear of scarcity.

            And you unilaterally attribute these differences to historical advantages vis a vis race and the disparate amounts of power held by different groups of people.

            That is where your reasoning is flawed. There are other causes for these past (and present) disparities in wealth and power.

            >You see my criticism of the White male as racist because I generalize the White male. It is not, it is merely data that represents historical facts and present conditions, operating as the impetus for action meant to correct such problems and bringing true equality to the world.

            So you use data to justify your racism. Again, I would suggest that such data is purely correlational, and attributing causal reasons for observed effects in such a manner is not based on factual evidence. It is based on hypothetical reasoning offered to explain observed trends.

            >I think I might’ve taken Politics of Piracy with you – I only know of two mushroom aficionados. I wish your picking outings well and free from confusing the edibles with the poisonous.

            Never took it. Only taken a few classes in this realm – sociology 3ac, and anthro 1. That’s as close as I’ve come to this sort of debate in school here.

            >Also, I think redheads are pretty, so if you have a sister…

            Sorry. Brown hair, brown eyes, no sister. My phenotype is why my grandparents nearly died/were scarred for life and half of my family was exterminated or started here with nothing fifty years ago.

            But I am a privileged white.

          • Guest

            >The fact that you can lump various groups of “white” people together
            into one is proof of the fact that historical oppression has little (or nothing) to do with a race or ethnicity’s later socioeconomic success.

            Exactly! After several generations in the U.S., oppressed groups like Jews and the Irish “assimilated.” They didn’t speak or dress differently than the whites in power. In other words, they were indistinguishable from other whites.

            On the other hand, blacks can never be indistinguishable from whites because of their skin color. No matter how they speak or dress, they will always look black.

            Discriminating in job hiring practices and discrimination in redlining occurs too often in the U.S. The latter ensures that blacks primarily live in poor neighborhoods with poorly funded schools and are unable to get the education they need to rise above the slums.

            Blacks are associated with crime and poverty and stupidity by the people in power, while Asians (even those from poor backgrounds) are associated with a strong work ethic and smarts.

            That’s why blacks in poverty are unable to improve their lives, while whites and Asians in poverty can. That’s white/Asian privilege.

          • AnOski

            >>The fact that you can lump various groups of “white” people together
            into one is proof of the fact that historical oppression has little (or nothing) to do with a race or ethnicity’s later socioeconomic success.

            >Exactly! After several generations in the U.S., oppressed groups like Jews and the Irish “assimilated.” They didn’t speak or dress differently than the whites in power. In other words, they were indistinguishable from other whites.

            Except….asians, latinos, and indians are all doing better (and with regards to asians, they’re surpassing whites). So your visual discrimination theory doesn’t quite make sense.

            >On the other hand, blacks can never be indistinguishable from whites because of their skin color. No matter how they speak or dress, they will always look black.

            Asians.

            >Discriminating in job hiring practices and discrimination in redlining occurs too often in the U.S. The latter ensures that blacks primarily live in poor neighborhoods with poorly funded schools and are unable to get the education they need to rise above the slums.

            If it happens at all, it happens too often. The trouble is that you have no evidence to support the idea that blacks are being held back in this country primarily because of racism. The indisputable fact that asians are socioeconomically overtaking whites in this country despite their distinctive appearance flies directly in the face of the idea that racism is perpetuated on a primarily visual discriminatory basis.

            >Blacks are associated with crime and poverty and stupidity by the people in power, while Asians (even those from poor backgrounds) are associated with a strong work ethic and smarts.

            Part of the problem with statements like the above is that they mix both facts and generalizations.

            Blacks are more likely to be incarcerated for a number of reasons, and one of them is likely racism.

            http://books.google.com/books?id=JTiJK0D18OoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

            See pages 272 & 273 for relevant topics.

            >That’s why blacks in poverty are unable to improve their lives, while whites and Asians in poverty can. That’s white/Asian privilege.

            I would argue that culture is the primary culprit, but that’s just based on my personal observations. Things like Obama’s having become president. He’s black, but he’s not culturally an african american. He’s black, but has assimilated into mainstream culture in this country. That said, I would never approach a random black person as such, nor would I let such a fact guide my interactions with him/her. I would also put forth the notion that many minorities’ cultures fall more closely in line with those of mainstream society in this country — than does african american culture.

            I would also ponder the implications of all possible causes before claiming that racism is the culprit. It may well be, but adequate evidence has not been provided by you or any other source I’ve read.

          • iPosit

            I know I said that’d be my last post but..

            I see you at least agree that there is a sense of White Privilege, that some people have it, and that White Privilege is bad. That is all I was trying to say. It is okay for Nadia to criticize her one White friend for having thoughts uncritically stemming from a position of White privilege because what he is doing is solidifying the structural deficits that exist in our expectations of others.

            How do you know that I am a minority? I could be White too.

            > No, and I never said that. I limited my argument of personal preference purely to physical traits and aesthetics. I used the word “aesthetic” several times in my above arguments (ctrl-f if curious) to make that clear.

            After this became clear, I no longer accused you of racism but merely misunderstanding my criticism of your belief that race has little to do with interpersonal interactions. What I began to say is that race is important because it is invariably and inextricably linked to a person’s life, and should be accounted for critically in getting to know a person. I am not a racist or a bigot, I only know that there has been a history of advantaging some people on the basis of race, and that Whites were some of the most advantaged because of it. Do not call me that.

            I think you could stand to reread my last point as a whole idea as opposed to separate paragraphs. Reading the points you are making is making me think that you are missing my point.

            > So it’s not racism you have a problem with. It’s the idea of any person having power over another. You’re fine with making racist comments about white folks because you see them as being in a position of power. Gotchya.

            I mean, generally, yes. If that is racist, then I’m probably racist (according to you). There are people who have and often times abuse power. They are more likely White than colored people. They are more likely to benefit White people than colored people. I am not saying YOU – ANOSKI – are a racist person by the single quality of being White. I am saying your particular type of racial privilege, White privilege, is something that you either have, or have the ability to get. You, just by being White, will be given favors, rewards, and opportunities that others will not get just because you are the way you are and they are not you – not by any relative sense of merit or anything your family has done. It will be because you are White. This is what is said and what White people choose to ignore. Yes, White people can be in desperate situations, be screwed, or suffer disadvantage in the peculiar situations where people of color can wield power of them (I guess, say, wanted to work in a Japanese bar that is owned by the Yakuza, or a Street Gang). That is more often an exception than the norm. You are very lucky, while you in particular may not abuse the luck you were born with. Other people do, and other people around those people accept it.

            This is what I want to leave you with. You have poor reading comprehension – read my posts as ideas together instead of paragraphs to be taken apart. You’ll probably understand them better. I am not a bigot – I believe in a version of history that few people contest and arrive at conclusions which allow me to say White people are more likely to have it easier than people of color, or that White privilege exists. What you choose to do about it is up to you, but that much is the case. Getting to know people involves race, even if not explicitly. Operating with unfounded assumptions about other people is bad in a quiet way that slowly lets racist and cemented thoughts creep into interactions, social portrayals, and expectations. Hence, racial labels may be useful in describing an aesthete, but not in describing the way a person is.

            That’s about it, my unknowingly privileged White friend.

          • AnOski

            >I know I said that’d be my last post but..

            It’s the way these things go…

            >I see you at least agree that there is a sense of White Privilege, that some people have it, and that White Privilege is bad.

            It doesn’t apply to an entire race of people and you suck at sarcasm.

            I can’t see how you can seriously go on about racism being bad, and yet claim that some benefit applies to a race as a whole. It’s ridiculously hypocritical.

            >That is all I was trying to say. It is okay for Nadia to criticize her one White friend for having thoughts uncritically stemming from a position of White privilege because what he is doing is solidifying the structural deficits that exist in our expectations of others.

            Right. He had those thoughts because most white people are like that. I hear you. It’s still blatant racism on your part.

            >How do you know that I am a minority? I could be White too.

            Thought you said something about your being similar to Nadia in a previous post. If you are a white male, you’re apparently one of those self-hating ones. Odd.

            >> No, and I never said that. I limited my argument of personal preference purely to physical traits and aesthetics. I used the word “aesthetic” several times in my above arguments (ctrl-f if curious) to make that clear.

            >After this became clear, I no longer accused you of racism but merely misunderstanding my criticism of your belief that race has little to do with interpersonal interactions. What I began to say is that race is important because it is invariably and inextricably linked to a person’s life, and should be accounted for critically in getting to know a person.

            If it affects each person differently on an individual basis, this is an irrelevant claim to make. What becomes important is understanding the individual in his or her own setting. Not determined by their race. In looking at the issue and attempting to adjust for racial preconceptions, you are still being racist.

            >I am not a racist or a bigot, I only know that there has been a history of advantaging some people on the basis of race, and that Whites were some of the most advantaged because of it. Do not call me that.

            You are that. You are attempting to place individuals within some sort of a framework in which you believe (or at least seem to be saying) that all minorities are disadvantaged — at the hands of/due to the racism and privileged status of all white people.

            Which is a preposterous claim. Even if the majority of white folks were racist and/or the majority of folks who are members of minorities suffered at their hands, you would be wrong to lay the claim of “white privilege” on all whites.

            >I think you could stand to reread my last point as a whole idea as opposed to separate paragraphs. Reading the points you are making is making me think that you are missing my point.

            No, I see what you’re trying to say. I just disagree with it — for a number of reasons.

            >> So it’s not racism you have a problem with. It’s the idea of any person having power over another. You’re fine with making racist comments about white folks because you see them as being in a position of power. Gotchya.

            >I mean, generally, yes. If that is racist, then I’m probably racist (according to you).

            Well, you’d also be racist according to the definition you included in your last post. You have double standards, it seems.

            Groups of people are allowed to be bigoted/racist because they have less power than others, and when they do, you claim that it’s not bigotry or racism.

            >There are people who have and often times abuse power. They are more likely White than colored people. They are more likely to benefit White people than colored people. I am not saying YOU – ANOSKI – are a racist person by the single quality of being White. I am saying your particular type of racial privilege, White privilege, is something that you either have, or have the ability to get. You, just by being White, will be given favors, rewards, and opportunities that others will not get just because you are the way you are and they are not you – not by any relative sense of merit or anything your family has done. It will be because you are White.

            Presumptuous. It seems a damning statement, and yet you have nothing to back it up.

            ‘Some white people are racist; therefore, you will benefit from racism at some point in your life.’

            Your claim is basely flawed due to its structure. Some people are racist (true) and most racist people are white (you claim this — may or may not be true), therefore, I, a white person, will benefit from racism (your final claim).

            Maybe, maybe not.

            >This is what is said and what White people choose to ignore. Yes, White people can be in desperate situations, be screwed, or suffer disadvantage in the peculiar situations where people of color can wield power of them (I guess, say, wanted to work in a Japanese bar that is owned by the Yakuza, or a Street Gang). That is more often an exception than the norm.

            Or work in the local government in a place like Detroit. See pages 272 & 273.

            http://books.google.com/books?id=JTiJK0D18OoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

            >You are very lucky, while you in particular may not abuse the luck you were born with. Other people do, and other people around those people accept it.

            Which doesn’t mean I benefit from it in any tangible way. You’re saying that “some white people are racist, therefore you all benefit from their racism.”

            It’s just poor logic. You’re making gross generalizations about a race of people. It’s racism.

            >This is what I want to leave you with. You have poor reading comprehension – read my posts as ideas together instead of paragraphs to be taken apart. You’ll probably understand them better.

            If you support your argument with a series of points, and I systematically take each one apart for being poorly reasoned, the overarching argument, which I have also addressed, is not likely to hold much water.

            >I am not a bigot – I believe in a version of history that few people contest and arrive at conclusions which allow me to say White people are more likely to have it easier than people of color,

            Yes.

            >or that White privilege exists.

            No.

            The former is true. The latter is racist.

            >What you choose to do about it is up to you, but that much is the case. Getting to know people involves race, even if not explicitly.

            Getting to know someone involves getting to know them. If someone gets to know me, race has nothing to do with it. I don’t “identify with whites” any more than I identify with anyone else, and assuming that such a thing might be true for anyone else according to their race is…racism. I identify the most culturally with people who are near my own socioeconomic status, regardless of race.

            >Operating with unfounded assumptions about other people is bad in a quiet way that slowly lets racist and cemented thoughts creep into interactions, social portrayals, and expectations.

            “White privilege” is a perfect example of such an unfounded assumption on the individual level.

            >Hence, racial labels may be useful in describing an aesthete, but not in describing the way a person is.

            Except with white people, apparently. At least in your eyes.

            >That’s about it, my unknowingly privileged White friend.

            Same here, you racist.

          • iPosit

            White privilege isn’t a description of an entire peoples. It is a description of a particular type of advantage that only White people can get. This undermines your reasoning about me being a racist on the basis of generalizing about White people. It is an accurate generalization about a group of people who can get White privilege.

            We differ on a definition of racism, one that involves power and the other that relies purely on having thoughts that generalize about others. You choose the latter definition, and while I find that is more accurately described as prejudiced I can see why you might call me racist because of it.

            Being called a racist doesn’t sit well with me. My problem with that is that you can’t even rightfully call me prejudiced against Whites. I understand White privilege as something that some White people can get, but not all White people have, and that White privilege is starting to look more like the benefits of the 1% of people who own a disproportionate amount of wealth globally. These people own the means of production and have influence over people who compose legislatures, and this creates a grim alliance between capital and the government. Whites are more likely to be among the moneyed peoples.

            >I don’t “identify with whites” any more than I identify with anyone else, and assuming that such a thing might be true for anyone else according to their race is…racism

            It isn’t that people inherently identify with people of their color more, but it is that they share something that they are bound to except in cases of god damn arsenic treatment. To be aware of race isn’t…. racism (I like how you have an ellipse every time).

            >I identify the most culturally with people who are near my own socioeconomic status, regardless of race.

            Socioeconomic status is pretty closely related to race, and for people who are more affected by their race than you, is almost coincidental (not to mean random, but to mean, coincides, maybe interchangeable was a better word choice but whatever).

            What do you think racism is? We have moved far beyond the days where White people would lynch Black people publicly. Today, racism is more often manifest in harder to notice interactions between people or found in quiet stings. It is much harder to find the smoking gun, but it still occurs today. Do you think it is anything more than being presumptuous about someone based on how they look? If not, then you need to refrain from calling me a racist, then (or anything at all, really).

            You are White. You will be offered things no other race will. People will not expect negative things of you other THAN being racist or sharing interests from the list of Things White People Like. What are other stereotypes about White people? You like Asians? You, as a White person, are in a better position others are than many other races, even if not socioeconomically, then for your opportunities to advance.

            > Which doesn’t mean I benefit from it in any tangible way. You’re saying that “some white people are racist, therefore you all benefit from their racism.”

            There is no free endless pancake coupon on Thursdays you get for being White while everyone else gets an egg tossed at them. It is the structures you have access to. It isn’t explicitly tangible anymore.

            > It’s just poor logic. You’re making gross generalizations about a race of people. It’s racism.

            I know people like to purport that accurately describing one of the few races who benefited from racism as something that is racist. I think White privilege is an accurate term.

            >The former is true. The latter is racist.

            The latter is the term of art used to describe the former.

            I’m sorry if this is starting to be a bit more acerbic. You just annoy me a little. How can I be a racist for saying that White people benefited from racism and are still benefiting from that racism today?

  • Guest

    “Many of us care about the colonization and oppression of our ancestors
    from around the world and don’t wish to perpetuate racial hierarchies.”

    This happened several generations ago. Why are you still whining about it today?

    • iPosit

      The past affects the present – ignoring it damns the future to repeat the past. That’s some of the major pretense to studying history at all…

      • AnOski

        Kind of.

        Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Russians, Jews, etc. All immigrated here, formed ghettos, were oppressed and confined, and all of these groups were finally accepted into mainstream society. Colonies? Put in place purely for primarily political and financial reasons by people who were probably as racist as everyone else at the time, including the people being colonized.

        That said, I don’t get why various cultures keep going on about their past here. My family is of very mixed European decent. I come from generations of serfs and, for lack of a better term, feudal slaves. Until ~a hundred years ago, they worked as field laborers and in hellish industrial settings to scrape a meagre lower to middle class existence, depending on which branch of the family you backtrace.

        I don’t hold that against anyone. People weren’t socially aware back then, and they’re generally getting better. There’s really not much you can do about it except live your life fairly. Or do things like affirmative action, which are racist, but in the opposite direction.

        Of you can’s complain about some unpleasantness that happened decades or centuries ago — and that you can only empathize with.

        I get it. You feel sad for the people who suffered. I do, too. But they’re not suffering anymore. Learn from it, remember it, and move on.

        • iPosit

          What you’re talking about is a structural disadvantage your family had. Based on your last name, your family was destined to live in Serfdom until they managed to accrue enough money to purchase a title that allowed them to be feudal lords. That is similar to today’s system of a vanishing middle class and an increasingly mobile and unaligned group of transnational corporate elite. If you do not marry into the Rockefellers, you will not have Rockefeller money. You cannot just work your way into having billions of dollars unless you’re either incredibly talented inside of an already structured and privately owned entertainment/ talent churning industry, or you cure something huge and also own the intellectual property to it (crazy unlikely, if you’re working in the lab then some grant money funds you and your research belongs to them).

          The reason people remember it is not always because they currently suffer from it. Californian public schools must learn about the Armenian genocide because Armenians, who do pretty well for themselves, lobby the State Board of Education to necessitate it as a teaching requirement. Do you understand that? They have enough money to demand, even as US citizens, that their people’s ethnic tragedies are taught. I’m not saying it isn’t important enough on its own to warrant studying, Hitler did note “After all, who remembers the Armenian genocide?” before committing his own. The point is that they wield more than enough influence to make this happen.

          I see you’re talking about complaint as being different than remembering. What Nadia pinpoints are racial hierarchies – that necessarily denotes a situation of structural and therefore current oppression as opposed to remembering historical grievances as something whose impacts are completely separate from the present day. Historical grievances, if severe enough, can still have ramifications through to this day. You say affirmative action is ground for reverse racism, but it is merely an attempt to correct old historical biases.

          Something must have happened for your family to become more well-off than they were in the Industrial Age. Is it that your people had more of an opportunity offered to them during an American golden age that in part coincided with the destruction of an African homeland and Jim Crow Laws then coupled with The New Jim Crow (systemically ‘color-blind’ racism in America). Without correcting for historical biases by providing new or more opportunities, like the ones that helped your family succeed, you cannot suddenly claim that people should merely remember and move on, when the present that they are moving on to is built entirely on the past they suffered. If you did not fix that suffering then, it is likely that the suffering is still ongoing.

          http://www.prb.org/Publications/PopulationBulletins/2011/us-economicsocialtrends-update1.aspx?p=1

          • Tony M

            [Something must have happened for your family to become more well-off than they were in the Industrial Age.]

            In my family, it was the fact that they valued education. I can trace my own family’s history back more than 40 generations because regardless of the lingua franca of their particular time or place in history (English, Norman French, German, Latin) a sufficient number of my ancestors understood the importance and power of being able to read and write. As a young kid, my parents weren’t that well off, but even in our small house we had a library with several hundred books on various topics, and my parents encouraged us kids to not only apply ourselves in school, but brought us and encouraged us to visit libraries, museums and other places as kids in the hopes that some form of knowledge or learning would sink into our thick skulls along the way. Meanwhile, in an age where we have free public libraries and the Internet in most households, there’s still a sizable percent of the population that is largely antipathetic to education and think that doing well in school and reading books is “acting white”, and in their warped minds is some type of sin against their own people. So dumb, illiterate, uneducated people don’t do as well as those of us who made the effort, and it’s somehow because those of us who have some modicum of economic success have somehow committed some injustice in the world? Screw you.

          • iPosit

            So dumb, illiterate, uneducated people don’t do as well as those of us
            who made the effort, and it’s somehow because those of us who have some
            modicum of economic success have somehow committed some injustice in the
            world?

            Well, not you in particular, maybe, but people like you. You still have opportunity, and were not denied any on the basis of your race. You make it seem like these people choose to be lazy, they do not. Instead, they are more likely to be poorly educated because there are no good schools in their area, that their school has issues with gangs, or cannot afford to spend time reading because they have to work while going to school to help pay the rent. These are people who are impoverished, and while not necessarily minorities, are less likely to be as smart because of what they NEED to do to survive.

            You are right, people who have opportunity and waste it are in for a difficult time claiming that it was the actions of others that caused their predicament. You believe that I am saying that is your fault that those people are not doing well. It is clearly their fault. But there are more than enough instances of people who, despite being educated and ambitious, are denied access to living a successful life because of how they appear. They are in conditions as a product of historical disadvantages that means time at the library is better spent stocking shelves at the Food Lion. The people who believe acting smart is bad are just fed that through machinated existences fed to them by media franchises aimed at pointing the dreams of young people to an essentially unachievable goal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKj0Y-HaWEM

            It is great that your family has focused on education. I am not saying it is your fault for the problems of others. I am saying that your ignorance of their life, and your conflation of those who squander opportunity with those who have no opportunity to squander is what makes people like you feel okay with the suffering of others who are not as well off as you.

            You have to believe that no one really wants to be dumb, poor, or uneducated, to understand that in general it is the fault of a system that severely limits the desire of an individual to succeed. This is less likely today than it was 20 years ago, but those people complaining today were probably born around 20 years ago.

          • Stan De San Diego

            > You still have
            opportunity, and were not

            > denied any on the basis of your race.

            I see you try hard to miss the point. Simply put, you want special favors for minorities at the expense of the majority simply because some of the majority wronged the minority at some point in the past, regardless of whether any person living today had any control over the situation. Oh well, I guess it beats trying to solve any real problems.

          • iPosit

            I think there should be some systems that advantage minorities because of their histories, yes. Not all in a blanket, but maybe particular instances like reparations. Some form of historical forgiveness as a sign of real faith that race is no longer an arbitrary division that creates hatred and arbitrary suffering. It doesn’t have to be a penalty placed on someone, it could be considered as the whole coming together making a current sacrifice to fix an old mistake. This is the Enlightenment Logic behind taxes and the creation of social programs like Welfare. This is why Reagan eliminated tax for the very poor and Johnson created Medicare which helped create Medicaid for the poor and elderly. We all work together to help everyone out. Sometimes the uniqueness of a person’s situation isn’t that they are poor, but of a minority group that is underexposed to opportunity. Regardless, if we all strove to eliminate poverty and created an economy that created enough demand for all people to work so that there would be no poverty, then that’d be enough to deal with most racial problems.

            What are the real world problems we are not fixing? Poverty? The Environment? The Economy? Wars? These are all so closely related to race. Impoverished groups are likely to be minorities in almost every country – either religiously or ethnically. The environment has disasters whose effects cause more damage in terms of lives lost to the poor than any other economic class (see how the US text charity gave 30 million to Haiti’s largest Earthquake but 30000 to Pakistan after their largest flood). The jobless numbers reflect that minorities are unemployed in higher proportion than Whites. The jobless numbers also reflect that the poor are less likely to be as highly educated as well. Wars (or MOOTW) started in America are more likely to be fought by those of lower socioeconomic classes which are populated with rural Whites, Blacks, and Latinos. It is their lives on the line, not necessarily in greater proportion, but in a large one nonetheless.

            I don’t miss the point. I’m trying to explain one. This man is lucky because he is White. People nowadays find it hard enough to tell apart members of the Pan-Hellenic community, because it is done through some vague general facial features, and last names, than skin color alone. He can assimilate into a culture that benefits Whites to a greater degree than it does people of color. And regardless, this culture is reductionist enough anyway to make it only matter of your place on a hue and saturation chart of melanin to determine your “race” as opposed to your ethnicity. It’s lame enough man. If you think Affirmative Action won’t solve any problems, why not point out what the problems with race are and how it can be solved by anything other than people not being racist anymore. Now that the deed is done, that history has happened, racism can just be color-blind or done in secret. Technology will always let you hide the smoking gun, making it hard to seek hate-crime enhancements in anything other than Racial riots or Gang violence. Not for housing, jobs, education, or whether a jury will convict with caution.

            Personally, I find that race is mostly an indicator of the real problems that come from socioeconomic divides and the accumulation of power and social capital. There are still rich, and abusive, people of color everywhere.

      • Tony M

        [The past affects the present - ignoring it damns the future to repeat the past.]

        Dwelling on the past with the idea of imposing some type of guilt trip on those who weren’t old enough to be part of it doesn’t help anyone either. The reason that certain racial and ethnic minorities don’t do as well as others has a lot less to do with what happened to their great-great-grandfather 100 years ago than their own self-destructive habits today.

        • iPosit

          That is part of it. There is also the other part of not being given opportunity because you are poor or a minority. You assume that it is more often self-destructive habits than lack of opportunity. I am not imposing a guilt trip – you unknowingly have benefits your ancestors gave to you by nature of being bad people themselves (operating and promoting systems that advantaged them because they are not people of color or not poor).

          Today isn’t much different than the past. If we talk about loopholes and special exceptions for the rich (in financial law, opportunity, whatever else) instead of for Whites and tried to map old historical events onto the day’s events, you could see the same thing. Apple gets away with using Child Labor, and increasing its Child Labor rates in the same year it said it would actively try to keep them low. Why aren’t we all shitting bricks? Because no one cares enough, we’re passively letting it happen.

  • iPosit

    Eventually we will run out of distinct races because of views like this. Did you know red heads, as a recessive allele, are going extinct? How sad.. how truly sad. They should make surrogate mother robots for the sake of having more redheads.

  • Calipenguin

    A very interesting read. One quibble I have with Nadia is that she starts talking about racial privilege, and automatically brings up a white heterosexual male partner as an example. The implication is that white males are more likely to be homophobic or racist because of white privilege. This mantra is drilled into Ethnic Studies majors. However, as 2008′s California election proved, the racial group most likely to ban homosexual marriage is Black (70%), followed by Latinos (50%). So whites are the most tolerant group towards homosexual marriage.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/11/70-of-african-a.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/06/AR2008110603880.html

    Another quibble I have is that Nadia claims people who are attracted to mates of a particular race are racists. Does that mean a Shanghainese who only dates other Shanghainese is racist? Or is he just more comfortable dating members of his own ethnicity? Many guys at Cal are also certifiable Asiaphiles and can’t help falling for Asian women. They can’t control their sexual preferences any more than homosexuals can control their preferences, so why are Asiaphiles derided as racists while homosexuals are beyond scrutiny? What if someone develops a crush on a TV celebrity such as Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, or Chris Hemsworth and then only wants to date people who resemble those celebrities? Is that racism? Nadia of all people should not judge other people’s sexual preferences. She does deserve credit for warning young women to question whether their partners are in love with them or their race though.

    • iPosit

      I think she is saying something along the lines of it is okay to have preferences but not okay to impose attributes on others based purely on their appearance. Being black does not necessitate being exotic, while it may increase the likelihood. Being white does not necessitate the chance of holding racist beliefs, while it does make it more likely. Being race X does not NECESSARILY mean attribute Y, despite whatever stereotypes are had about race X and attribute Y. I know plenty of timid Asians, aggressive Blacks, and Yellow fever Whites.

      Also, the reason why Ethnic Studies majors are taught that white men are more likely to be racist or hold improper beliefs is because they are the ones who wrote history. We read the majority of human history from their perspective and as such as listening to their sides of all events. Ethnic Studies promotes multiple interpretations of the same narratives often stemming from being critical of the storyteller and not only the story.

      Not controlling sexual preferences is an odd thing to liken to genetic predisposition for particular gender attraction. Homosexuals must question their identity as it is something that is, as of late, considered atypical. The whole culturally constructed ordeal of coming out is first being sure with oneself, and then finding people to confide in, before representing yourself as such (if you choose, I guess). It may be difficult to be attracted to someone who isn’t Asian, but to not think about it more than just aesthetics is seemingly liking others only for their complexion.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      “Exoticization” is one of those terms that makes it sound as though someone is doing something purposely demeaning (going along with “sexualization”–as if every human being isn’t already inherently sexual, and liable to appeal to another person sexually). The fact of the matter is that, in a culture which until recently has been very predominantly white, a person of another color or ethnicity is going to seem exotic. That doesn’t excuse treating other people as objects whose sole purpose is to satisfy your desires, and I suggest that perhaps what’s really obnoxious about the guys who call Nadia’s black roommate “exotic” is that they are treating her in exactly that way.

      Also, it would be interesting to see Nadia address the Asian Boy’s Lament (“How come no Asian women like Asian men, boo hoo hoo”).

    • A shy Asian guy on YouTube

      Nadia must be calling this shy Asian guy who wants white girls but is too shy to get them a racist:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4a4ZYPAVg8