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  1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    10 ways white people are more racist than they realize

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Hubardo, Jun 20, 2015.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/04/10_ways_white_people_are_more_racist_than_they_realize_partner/

    The article is basing its claim on research. I've never jumped into this much on WF, so I'm curious to see which kinds of camps people around here fall into... :D

    This may apply more to the US than, say, the UK, but my hunch is that lighter skin = better person biases are global.

    If anyone finds the research conclusions about measurable racial implicit biases to be problematic, I'd be interested in why.
     
  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    At uni, back in 1991, my Indian comp sci professor set the same second assignment 2 years running. When I alerted him to this fact, having failed the year before, he asked, "Are you certain? I am not sure I can trust you Australian students."

    So I have an idea of what racism feels like. It's not nice.
     
  3. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    The article reminds me of a book, The Race Trap, it's non-fiction but deals with how to speak intelligently about race and what blacks and whites think they think of each other.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I know none of us is completely free of ethnic biases, but that article paints with a much broader brush than the evidence they cite supports.

    Take #7, for example,
    The evidence they cite does not support this conclusion.

    Just looking at one of the cited studies, it's clearly not more than a pilot study of a limited, non-random population. That's the problem with these so-called science news reports, the reporters don't understand the limitations of the studies they are looking at.
    First off, it's 62 people. That is not enough. Second only people who would stop and watch a video would be included. I wouldn't participate in a study like that and neither would a lot of people. So the sample isn't random by any means. Third, the actual study is behind a paywall so we can't see if the 'white female researcher' was trained in objectivity and in how to not influence the subjects.

    But most importantly, that study does not support the conclusion. It shows people who see a slew of male black inmates worry more about crime (I assume temporarily). Those are the biases we have to one degree or another, I'm not saying people don't have them. I do try to recognize and minimize my own biases but I wouldn't say I'm completely free of them.

    The researchers are going from a limited experiment to concluding the people in that study support a justice system that disproportionately incarcerates blacks. Put those same people in a lecture hall with an ACLU lawyer explaining exactly how the school to prison pipeline discriminates and you might get a different answer from them.

    Many of us are concerned about the school to prison pipeline for blacks and the disparity race inflicts on incarceration and the death penalty. That article makes it sound like all of us rationalize it has to do with where the crime is. That's simply not the case.

    White kids get in a fight at school. They get sent to the principal and get suspended. Black kids get in a fight at school and the cops are called. Assault charges are filed and they end up in court and/or jail.

    If you explained that to those 62 people and asked them if that was fair, a few might rationalize, imagining the black kids must have used weapons, but most people would understand how the system was unfair.

    But tell people more blacks are likely to go to jail for crimes whites would not get a sentence for and don't explain how the system is flawed, and you'll have many more white people rationalizing there is more crime in black neighborhoods so more of them get arrested, ergo more end up in jail.

    Re #8 from the Salon article:
    We know that, and it's wrong, and some people are trying to address the problem. It's not a bias whites I know are unaware of. I hear about it all the time.

    This one I think fits the headline of the article:
    This kind of result is found in many studies from applying positive or negative words to pictures of faces to black kids preferring white dolls. Culture takes a long time to change.

    Had the article been about these kinds of studies it wouldn't have annoyed me nearly as much.
     
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  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Many of those studies (which I have not perused) seem to be based on the actions of people in power vs your average joe?

    1. College professors
    2. Average Joe
    3. Police / judges
    4. Judges
    5. Police
    6. Judge
    7. Average Joe
    8. Judges
    9. Average Joe
    10. Managers

    not sure if that has any relevance, but do see it as skewed data.

    But hey, if it's a study it must be true, right?
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Erm, sorry to be pedantic and nosey, but that's not racism, that's xenophobia. Racism would be if he had said, "I am not sure I can trust you black/white/Asian/whatever students."

    Still sucks, I know. :(
     
  7. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Aren't they pretty much the same thing, though?

    Edit: What is a race but a culture or nationality with a few distinguishing physical characteristics?
     
  8. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you think that the amount of influence a person has over society is a determining factor in how much racial bias they have?
     
  9. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I was under the impression singling out an ethnic group (Australians) was exactly racism?
     
  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    How much is enough? I remember a research methods professor saying last quarter that for a study to be "clinically significant" (whatever that means), there is a certain minimum number of subjects required. My shitty memory says this is more than 20 and less than 100, but that's why I'm a psych master's and not a doctorate. I'm shitty with numbers.
     
  11. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are a lot of different definitions of racism. There's individual, structural/institutional, internalized, subtle, covert, overt, etc. I know, I know. But the distinctions, to me, are important.
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Quoting me out of context is really yuck. Do I need to erase what I have written to prevent further incidents?
     
  13. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    One, it limits their experience so one cannot then generalize about the larger population, and two, when it comes to police and judges, the racism stands out in those professions (#notallofthem) as evidenced by the recent current events in Baltimore and St Louis, and by the disproportionate representation of blacks in the justice system.
     
  15. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    How are Australians an ethnic group?
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I recall reading something recently about people eating 2-3 ounces of chocolate a day losing weight and right away I said, no way. That's like a kingsize or several chocolate bars and you would not lose weight eating that much chocolate.

    But I wanted to believe. :-D

    You don't need to see every study as possibly fraudulent. You do need to keep it in mind, especially when the findings are unusual.

    But what one does need to do is consider the elements that need to be there to support a conclusion.

    How large was the study? So many reports come from pilot studies and those are just tentative findings.

    Was the methodology sound? You need to learn a bit about methodology to judge this one.

    Is the conclusion supported? Or is it like the study I discussed above where they look at one thing then claim something much much broader was found.

    And, has the study been repeated? That's an important thing to look for.
     
  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's kind of what I thought. By this logic, I'm ethnically an American. Except I'm not. My ethnicity is Caucasian, but my nationality is American.

    The professor who hated Australians sounded xenophobic. It's possible to hate someone from another country yet have no problem with the individual's specific ethnicity.

    Now, it is possible that maybe Aaron is an Australian-Aboriginal, but from what I've read, the professor was slamming Australians as a collective whole, as a nation, not a specific ethnicity of Australians.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It depends on what one is looking at. If you are looking for the effect of aspirin on heart attack prevention you need thousands of subjects and many years of observation. And you need to control for other variables like gender and genetics and lifestyle.

    If you want to see the effect of leptin on mice, you probably only need a couple test subjects and a couple of controls.
     
  19. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    It's interesting to consider what the prof meant by the comment though. Does Australia have a political reputation of being dishonest? Couldn't tell you, for sure, but more difficult things have been read between the lines. Remember, these are the prof's words, and we can only infer what was meant.
     
  20. Link the Writer
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    I think he was just being a dick, to be honest. He basically insulted Aaron by inferring that Australians are deceitful.

    But yeah, he wasn't being racist. Now if he had said something like, "I don't believe Australian-Aboriginals are capable of telling the truth," then yes, he would've been racist. Insulting someone's nationality and insulting someone's ethnicity/race are two different things. Both are very hurtful and offensive, to be sure, but categorically, one of them is xenophobia and the other one is racism.
     
  21. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    You're absolutely right, but how many of us have the background (or Jesus, the time) to vet the details of every study that concerns a subject we have an interest in? I think your last point, repeatability, is the key, but again, the follow-up study may occur years after the original. We also all know that studies whose findings contradict each other are common. The way to bet, I think, is to take every popularized scientific study with a large grain of salt.
     
  22. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Ethnicity is itself a type of cultural orientation. And, in some cases, a nationality.
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    More people would if critical thinking skills were emphasized in primary education, or if they were actually taught at all.
     
  24. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah, good points for sure.

    I mean... anybody can google "implicit racial bias test" and take it for themselves. The latest national studies based on those tests say something like 70% of white-identified people in the US have positive white and negative black biases. When I took them and learned that I had racial biases I was pretty shattered. I thought I saw everyone equally! I'm glad I realized that I might have some of those biases, though. Makes sense. First step in realizing you have a problem is, like, admitting you have one.

    My theory on the white people in power being highly biased isn't that they became powerful then became biased. They probably had a pretty average amount of bias then those biases came out because they were in positions where they were having to make judgment calls across racial lines all the time. And then, oh no, lookit, they're racists. My hunch is no, we're all basically racists and we get these little glimpses from these kinds of studies into how that operates. You read into the experiences of people of color in the US (and elsewhere) and you find that the subjective experiences are pretty similar as well. But they get gaslighted by angry, defensive, emotionally immature white people all the time. "Stop playing the race card" etc. A little empathy goes a long way, and it's technically less physiological work than getting angry.

    The book Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? pretty much turned my brains into mush when I read it a few years ago. I wish every white person in the US would read it... :p
     
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  25. Link the Writer
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    But how could I be ethnically American? It doesn't really ring a bell with me. :/
     
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