One of my core beliefs is that the question of human equality between groups is ultimately faith-based: that you cannot perform the necessary experiments to really test the hypothesis. So that what is happening is people FEEL a reality then accept or reject information in alignment with what they wanted to believe in the first place. It might be unconscious, but it is there.
One evidence: unless they are deeply depressive, almost no one believes their own group is the inferior one. It is the most natural thing in the world to believe “we rule, you drool.” By the time people have their intellectual and political positions formed (adulthood) it requires MASSIVE pattern interrupts to shift them. Usually, what will happen is that some event or conversation will change their minds temporarily, but they’ll snap right back to the prior belief. It takes something close to an ego-shattering epiphany to really change them.
With that assumption, I choose equality for a variety of reasons:
- It matches my personal experience of the world.
- It matches my research into the nature of history and humanity
- It requires the minimum epicycling to explain current events: there is no aspect of human life as I know it that is not explained within that position.
- It isn’t self-congratulatory, or self-denigrating. It is just “human beings are like this…”
- It explains all human behavior more clearly than any other theory.
- The people who believe in inequality, without exception, strike me as ignorant of some basic social facts. In terms of racism, they rarely know many people of the Other group, and therefore have little data to extrapolate from. They are mostly depending upon head-down intellectual models, usually provided by members of their own groups to explain why they are superior. Often with crocodile tears, of course.
- Beliefs in inequality often are buttressed by advantage. If you would lose privilege, resources, self-concept, a sense of an heroic history, self-justification for failure, lose political alliances, be force to acknowledge that your group has inflicted horror on others beyond your current belief patterns…you are looking at something which would bring more pain than pleasure into their lives. Animals don’t voluntarily increase the net amount of pain in their lives.
- It explains the past and present, and offers clear paths to the future. I have zero fear that “we’ll never work this out.” People who believe in inequality often strike me as despairing, seeing no answers.
- If I DIDN’T believe in equality, my conclusion wouldn’t be blacks are inferior. It would be that whites were evil and weak. I don’t like that guy. I won’t be him.
- If I’m wrong…then the consequences might well be unpleasant. Resources might be allotted that might otherwise be used better elsewhere. But if the racist is wrong…if he has supported a doctrine of differential worth when it wasn’t true? He has been a handmaiden to horror. At the LEAST an ally to monsters responsible directly and indirectly for death and pain and fear on an almost unimaginable level. If I had to make a mistake…I know which mistake I’d rather make.
So…if you can think of something in anything I say that is inconsistent with a belief in human equality of capacity and worth across racial and ethnic groups, I’d love to hear it. That would actually be doing me a favor.
If you think you know of facts in society that cannot be explained by that model, I’d be interested in one I hadn’t heard. The chance you have one of any major significance are almost nil. I’ve been chewing at this a LONG time. On this subject, unless you have more information than I have (and yeah, I’ll look at your FB photos and laugh if you don’t actually know many black folks), or can convince me you’re smarter than me (which you’d have to be to draw better conclusions from less data) I wouldn’t even bother trying.
Remember my first comment: all you’re doing is telling me what your faith is. I remember reading The Bell Curve, where a reductionist theory was promoted that criminal behavior (untrustworthiness) was deeply influenced by I.Q., which was deeply influenced by genetics with a trivial environmental component. How was this known? Because of the I.Q. tests given to members of different groups.
So…let me understand this. I am supposed to believe black people are less trustworthy, because of tests conceptualized, created, largely administered, and then interpreted by white people. I am also to believe that these white people correctly interpreted the genetic components as opposed to the environmental ones. Correct?
So…I am supposed to believe that at every step in this process their intents and perceptions were clean and without significant bias? When when simply distributing human imprecision, prejudice, self-justification, lack of wisdom, fear and simple lack of global knowledge spread evenly across both groups would imply errors and deletions of information even if the intent was totally positive? I am, in other words, to trust white people that I cannot trust black people? When these same people will, if they hold that belief, ALWAYS tell me I should also doubt my own direct experiences in favor of their theoretical projections and self-serving interpretations?
Really? Can you say “gaslighting”? Really. Please. If you don’t see why I laugh at that, you don’t understand me at all. And if you don’t see how you are traveling in the company of snakes and monsters…you are truly Asleep. That is why if you have those beliefs, I won’t let you comment on threads about what we need to do next to bring social justice to the world.
And if you use that mealy-mouthed bullshit about “It’s not race, it’s culture!” which is the last step, the last desperate attempt to believe you aren’t promoting a racist position…?
Well, unless you follow that with “And 250 years of slavery Jim Crow and Segregation stripped away culture, language, religion, philosophy, mythology, names and social ties while imprinting a bastardized and brainwashed horror-show that people are still recovering from 50 years after the Voting Rights Act”, you are just kicking the conceptual can down the road. You are, from the side of your mouth and without taking responsibility for what you’re saying, implying that white people would have done better and suffered less.
In other words, you are a racist who isn’t honest enough, perhaps even to yourself, to admit that’s what you are.
You have an odd faith. And kneeling in the pew right next to you? David Duke.
If that’s your view of the ethical structure of the universe, if that’s how you think God or the powers of nature work…good luck with that. Let me see that you are healthier, happier, and more successful than I am and I might believe you have a better mind.
Otherwise…I’m gonna laugh in your face.