Tag Archives: racism

Socialism and Racism, together under Obama

Obama is reversing one of the old land policies of the federal government, and will begin nationalizing land to transfer administrative control to Indian Reservations

In addition, officials said, the government will spend $2 billion to unravel the legendarily complex trust system, in which hundreds or thousands of people can own tiny fractions of a single plot of land. The government will try to buy back these fractions until it has sole ownership of the parcels, and then allow them to be used in ways chosen by tribal governments.

With racist-socialist policies like this, no wonder Obama is the least popular President in American history.

Wise is relative

Sonia Sotomayer:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

“Wise” is not the only relative term here. So is competence..

Comment Upgrade: Patriotism and the Iraq War

My good friend Aaron wrote this for a post on 5th Generation War. However, the question is broad enough, and well thought out enough, to demand a thread of its own (emphasis mine)”

“I’m afraid I don’t find patriotism some quality to aspire to. It’s racism minus the pigmentary convenience. If anything, I’d say the Democratic Party is currently beholden to their electorate, who inarguably saw this election as a referendum on the war. I guess I’m curious why Herb and his type think what the Democrats are trying to do (the will of the people) is counter-intuitive to our country’s goals. If terrorism had stopped on the eve Iraq fell, I’d have to eat my words. Alas, it has not.”


Malaysia against the Mixed-Blooded

Malaysia is a country in the Gap, one of the regions that Tom Barnett describes as “largely disconnected from the global economy and the rule sets that define its stability” (that is, the country is Muslim and/or African). Gap countries tend to be pretty bad places — bad governments, crazy laws, and all the violent bigotry that characterizes the bottom fifth of the world, it’s perhaps not surprising that the racist Malaysian government has decided to free her citiznes from the like of Mark-Paul Gosselaar

and Sara Brinsfield

Courtesy carandmodel.com, somewhat sfw

Both Sara and Mark-Paul are “pan-asian,” the current term for miscegenated East-, Southeast- or South- Asian, often with Caucasian ancestry thrown in. Panasians are particularly attractive for advertisers, because they are recognizably Far-Eastern without being particular to any one group.

In the words of the Asia Sentinel:

Beauty now has joined that parade, particularly as a rising tide of mixed marriages, not only in Malaysia but across much of Asia, seems to be creating a new super race of beautiful women. Over the past couple of decades they have taken Asia’s modeling world by storm and changed the very definition of international beauty. They largely dominate magazine advertisements, fashion shows and catwalks from Singapore to Manila to Hong Kong. Some modeling agencies, like Elite Model Management of Hong Kong, have built their business on the faces of mixed-blood models.

But the racist and Gap Malaysian government is dedicated to putting a stop to this glorification of miscegenation:

The Malaysian modeling and advertising industries are in shock after the government announced it was reviving a ban on the multiracial Asian faces that dominate billboards and magazines.

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said yesterday that models with so-called “pan-Asian” features were not representative of Malaysian demographics.

“Using pan-Asian faces means downgrading local faces,” he said. “We have to give priority to models with local looks.”

Pan-Asians are popular in ethnically diverse Malaysia, where advertisers tend to use their neutral features to avoid alienating any customers. A prime example is model and actress Maya Karim, 27, who is of Malay-Chinese-German parentage and is the latest poster girl for L’Oreal Malaysia.

A ban on pan-Asian faces is already in force at two government-owned television stations that cater mainly for majority Malays, who form 60 per cent of the population.

The announcement on Sunday extended the ban to advertising carried by private television stations, the print media and billboards.

The minister said the ban would eventually cover all media, but it was unclear when it would take effect.

However, love triumphs over hate, and beauty triumphs over bias.

Joshua over at One Free Korea already has placed his bet on the eventual victor:

I, for one, welcome our new fembot overlords, and I’d like to remind them that as a trusted blogger, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Pan-Asian Beauties: work with them now, or for them later.

Joseph Graves “The Emperor’s New Clothes”: Applications and Misapplications of Darwinism

With the determination of a naked emperor walking down the street, Graves continues his confused attack on the concept of race (a largely factual division of humanity into localized breeding population) and the concept of racism (a normative argument that membership in a certain historical breeding population should determine one’s lot in life). The third section of his presentation of Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, entitled “Applications and Misapplications of Darwinism,” runs from page 105 to page 154.

However, I wish to begin by stepping up from Graves-style rhetoric and present a testable hypothesis. Describing an early racist named Fritz Lenz, Graves writes that “Lenz considered liberal politics, money-making, and sexual proclivities as racial and genetic characteristics of the Jews” (132). Stripping down this statement to that which most interests me, Lenz is saying there is some Jewish genotype whose presence correlates with support for liberal policies. Both of these can be measured. One might measure Jewish blood through mitochondrial (female-line) allelles that tend to predominate in self-reported Jews, Y-chromosome (male-line) allelles that tend to predominate in the send, or perhaps some combination thereof. If you wanted sacrifice some scope for precision, you could measure the genetic Cohenim population that is spread throughout the world (Behar, et al., 2003, etc.). Then measure political persuasion through standard scales. Once you’ve defined your independent and dependent variables, such a statement becomes factually testable and loses much of its emotionality. It is known that politics that genetic background explains much of the variation in political persuasion (Alford, Funk, & Hibbing 2005; Alford & Hibbing 2006), so I would not be surprised if it is true. And if it is false, it is false.

Should there be any outrage, or horror, or distaste, or any emotional reaction at all to an experiment like the proposed mentioned above? I don’t think so. To do so implies that there are some questions that are morally wrong to ask. However, if we are confident of the answer, then they should be asked and answered with abandon. If we are confident that the median political orientation of Jews is not atypically liberal, or that the median political orientation of Germans for that matter (at least before 1933, see below) is not atypically authoritarian, then we can confidently predict exactly what answers a well designed experiment will not give. Indeed, scientific taboos only make sense when we are not sure of the answer. When we are afraid of the truth.

Another such factual question is found a few pages later in Graves’ book on page 139. He describes how Germany lost a greater percentage of her citizenry in the Second World War than did the Russian and Slavic Nations. Certainly it would be fair to describe this as selection, whether natural or artificial, as not all citizens were equally at risk of dying. It would be determine how the German nation was changed by this tragedy. If one would test a random sample of living Germans, and a random sample of buried bodies, for instance, could one establish that the selection was on some meaningful genetic basis? For instance, did those who tend to be bravery, or more political, die at a greater risk than others. It seems logical that Dopamine, which correlates with risky behavior — “too much gambling, too much sex, too much drinking… How would one define ‘too much politics’?” (Carmen, 2006, 21) – was selected against. So perhaps there was a reduction in high-Dopamine Germans. Are we to believe this has no impact on Germany’s policies, domestic and international?

However, I enjoyed Graves’ discussion of the “ostensibly scientific” tests that were at the heart of the Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka decision, among others, which ended segregation. Reflecting on Graves’ description, it occurred to me exam amounted to an Implicit Association Test. Implicit Association Tests attempt to get at internal beliefs that are not accurately reported through standard questionnaires. IATs can be powerful, and similar technology has been used to predict vote choice (Todorov, Mandisodza, Goren, & Hall, 2005). However, as measured by IATs, half of blacks have negative attitutes toward blacks (Bower, 2006). If changing IAT performance was the purpose of Brown, has this happened? Alternatively, if IAT performance is not a purpose of school integration (and so academic achievement, income equality, etc, are), then why the focus on IATs in the first place?

Alford, J., Funk, C., & Hibbing, J. (2005) Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted? American Political Science Review, 99(2), 154-168.
Alford, J., & Hibbing, J. (2006). Could Political Attitudes Be Shaped by Evolution Working Through Genes? Tidsskriftet Politik: August 2006 edition.
Behar, D.M., Thomas, M.G., Skorecki, K., Hammer, M.F., Bulygina, E., Rosengarten. D., Jones, A.L., Held K., Moses, V., Goldstein, D., Bradman, N., & Weale, M.E. (2003). Multiple origins of Ashkenazi levites. American Journal of Human Genetics 73: 768-779.
Bower, B. (2006). The Bias Finders: A Test of Unconscious Attitudes Polarizes Psychologists. Science News, 169(16), 250.
Carmen, I. (2006). Genetic Configurations of Political Phenomena: New Theories, New Methods. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.
Graves, J. L., Jr. (2001). The emperor’s new clothes: Biological theories of race at the millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Todorov, A., Mandisodza, A.N., Goren, A., & Hall, C.C. (2005). Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes. Science 208(5728): 1623-1626.

Reactions to The Emperor’s New Clothes, part of Biopsychological Development
1. The Origin of the Race Concept
2. Darwin and the Survival of Scientific Racism
3. Applications and Misapplications of Darwinism
4. Biological Theories of Race At the Millennium

Joseph Graves “The Emperor’s New Clothes”: The Origin of the Race Concept

Graves’s The Emperor’s New Clothes has so many things wrong with it, so many untruths, half-truths, and examples of naivety, that it is difficult to know how to begin critiquing it. Nonetheless, such must be done, so I will begin at the beginning (page 1) and continue until the end of the first section (page 52).

First, Graves dances around with the definition of race. His first approximation seems reasonable, “The term ‘race’ implies the existence of some nontrivial underlying hereditary features shared by a group of people and not present in other groups” (5) but his thoughts go down-hill from there. Latter in the page he notes that “None of the physical features by which we have historically defined human races… unambiguously corresponds to the racial groups we have constructed.” First, Graves’ look for unambiguous markers is misguided. Not all human beings are born with a brain, but possession of the brain is nonetheless typical for the human race. Secondly, Graves attempts to jump between a physical definition of race and a socially constructed definition. Our concepts of race imprecisely but accurately describe real genetic populations (Parra, et al., 2003; Pimenta, et al., 2006) in spite of what graves later claims (36).. Ultimately, the definition Graves takes from the dictionary may be best: “A population of organisms differing from others of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits; a subspecies” (6). Graves’ question, “How much genetic difference must there be before a subspecies can be said to exist?” is best answered with “a statistically significant amount.” If this implies races and sub-races, and sub races within those, so be it. In some cases, it may be that it is easiest to speak about those who left Africa and those who stayed (Underhill, P.A., et al., 2000), as Africans, Asians, and Europeans (Bamshad, et al., 2003), or even smaller groups. (Lindh, Andersson, & Gusdal, 1997).

Graves historicism confuses him as to the nature of those he disagrees with. Believing that genes vary in significant ways among breeding populations – that races exist – does not imply that “inequalities cannot be fundamentally altered by environmental interventions such as social programs.” Indeed, almost the reverse is true: if we are born with differing genetic propensities, identical environmental factors will lead to unequal environments. The conclusion then is that if we are born differently genetically, we can create unequal outcomes to lead to equal outcomes. As Stephen Pinker writes, “the more equal we make society, the higher heritability will be, and the more genes will matter” (Pinker, 2002, 77).

Going back to Graves’ definition, he claims that the “Jews were a cultural group rather than a biologically distinct population (to say nothing of a race)” (20). Again, the Jewish population appears to be an interaction between real genetic links and socially constructed ones. As Behar et al. 2003) summarize the evidence, “the Cohanim, a paternally inherited Jewish priestly caste, predominantly share a recent common ancestor irrespective of the geographically defiend post-Diaspora community to which they belong, a finding consistent with common Jewish origins in the Near East” (768). His social construction leads him to confuse anti-Judaic acts of Catholics with anti-Semitism, where he lists anti-Jewish attitudes (21) that were based on belief, not parernity.

Graves also suffers from his apparent ignorance of the tools of social science. He approvingly quotes Frederick Douglass’s thoughts on “the impossibility of legitimately comparing the innate abilities of different races in a society that maintained such disparity in the physical conditions in which the races lived.” Dougglass believing that was understandable, as John Dewer’s revolution of the social science had not happened when he wrote such words. But for the last century scientific examination of humans has relied on correlation and regression two tools that do not only require similar conditions but often spurn them (so that more variables may be examined). Social science does not work by naively comparing two groups identical in one category and different in two others, but by explaining the variance of dependent variables in terms of independent variables.

Related to this is Graves’ frustratingly simplistic statements on genetics. He expects us to believe that, somehow, the fact that there “is more genetic variability in one tribe of East African chimpanzees than in the entire human species!” means anything at all. What is his point? Is he claiming a consistent cross-species relationships between “genetic variability” (however he defines it) and phenotypic and extended phenotpyic variability? Such a statement could easily be read to imply that races matter, as when fewer things change they may matter more. Ultimately, Graves is silent on the meaning of this rhetorically nifty but substantively empty statement.

Bamshad, M.J., Wooding, S., Walkins, W.S., Ostler, C.T., Batzer, M.A., Jorde, L.B. (2003). Human population genetic structures and inference of group membership. American Journal of Human Genetics 72: 578-589.
Behar, D.M., Thomas, M.G., Skorecki, K., Hammer, M.F., Bulygina, E., Rosengarten. D., Jones, A.L., Held K., Moses, V., Goldstein, D., Bradman, N., & Weale, M.E. (2003). American Journal of Human Genetics 73: 768-779.
Graves, J. L., Jr. (2001). The emperor’s new clothes: Biological theories of race at the millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Lindh, M., Andersson, A.S., & Gusdal, A. (1997). Genotypes, nt 1858 variants, and geographic origin of hepatitis B virus–large-scale analysis using a new genotyping method. Journal of Infectious Diseases 175(6): 1285-1293.
Parra, F.C., Amado, R.C., Lambertucci, J.R., Rocha, J., Antunes, C.M., & Pena, S.D.J. (2003). Color and genomic ancestry in Brazilians. PNAS 100(1): 177-182..
Pimenta, J.R., Zuccherato, L.W., Debes, A.A., Maselli, L., Soares, R.P., Moura-Neto, R.S., Rocha, J., Bydlowski, S.P.k, & Pena, S.D. (2006). Color and Genomic Ancestry in Brazillians: A Study with Forensic Microsatellites. Human Heredity 62(4): 190-195.
Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Viking Adult: New York, NY.
Underhill, P.A., Shen, P., Lin, A.A., Passarino, G., Yang, W.H., Kauffman, E., Bonne-Tamir, B., Bertranpetit, J., Francalacci, P., Ibrahim, M., Jenkins, T., Kidd, J.R., Mehdi, S.Q., Seielstad, M.T., Wells, R.S., Piazza, A., David, R.W., Feldman, M.W., Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., & Oefner, P.J. (2000). Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations. Nature Genetics 26: 358-361.

Reactions to The Emperor’s New Clothes,part of Biopsychological Development
1. The Origin of the Race Concept
2. Darwin and the Survival of Scientific Racism
3. Applications and Misapplications of Darwinism
4. Biological Theories of Race At the Millennium

Say Yes! to Michigan!

Michigan Votes to Ban Affirmative Action,” Feminist Daily News Wire, 9 November 2006, http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=9999.

In one of the few pieces of unambiguously good news, the people of Michigan voted to end Affirmative Action in state government.

Michigan voters approved a state-wide ban on affirmative action in public education, public employment, and state contracts on Tuesday

The vote was a symptom fo wider problems, as the Republican candidate opposed the measure and was on the side of racism

The referendum was opposed by many prominent leaders in the political, business, and academic worlds, including both major gubernatorial candidates, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) – who was reelected on Tuesday – and Dick DeVos (R).

This is why the Republicans had to lose and the Democrats had to win. The GOP had abandoned the Right, and abandoned the People:

Roughly 58 percent of voters across the state, however, came out in favor of the ban

Predictably, the Left seeks to overturn democracy through the courts:

Hours after Michigan voters eliminated affirmative action in college admissions and government hiring, the lawsuits hit the courts. While most educators remain unsure what the ban will do, some students are worried.

The measure does little to stop informal affirmative racism and its quiet racism by hiring boards, tenure boards, etc., but is a good step forward.

Thank you Michigan!