Race: April 2005 Archives

Laurence Thomas points out a piece of evidence for one element of victimology. His main thesis is that vocal black media types (he mentions no names, but I imagine he has Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at the front of his mind) will justifiably complain and urge change when white people's behavior toward black people is quite atrocious. Yet the same people will be up in arms at any relatively minor slight by white people, and they'll say little to nothing about such gross offenses against black people as the recent case of four black teenagers raping a disabled black girl. This displays a misplaced sense of moral outrage. Laurence says it better than I could:

Bad Colorblindness

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Sam points out one counter-productive and truly discriminatory consequence of the absolute colorblindness view that most pundits won't notice because they're mostly men. The view that it's immoral to recognize racial differences requires that we don't pay attention to skin color when dealing with things like makeup or hair care. It's a completely unworkable view in the light of basic biological realities, never mind in light of harmful social processes that need to be talked about and can only be talked about in terms of the racial categories that gave rise to those social problems.

Voting Felons

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New member of The Conservative Brotherhood Joseph C. Phillips writes about the ban on felons' being allowed to vote. The following quote stood out to me as showing genuine insight into something I think it's easy to ignore if you don't look at it from the proper perspective:

Confronting a party that is suffering due to its own lack of vision is discouraging enough, but it is truly disheartening to witness a party so cynical that it would look to criminals to shore up its base, particularly when the overwhelming majority of the victims of this new interest group were other black people.

Now that's the kind of argument you won't see from most white conservatives, who tend to give general arguments that they expect most people to follow. What distinguishes black conservatives is that they will tend to argue for what's best for black people, from the perspective of black people, since they are themselves black. If you want to convince white people of conservative views on this issue, tell them to read George Will. Black conservatives tend to come up with arguments that black people will hear, at least if they're not tuning someone out from the outset as an Uncle Tom merely for being conservative. Joseph has provided just such an argument here.

The Conservative Brotherhood recently accepted some new members, and apparently this has drawn some attention to them. Wizbang highlights the group (mistakenly calling it a blog), and a commenter decided to make the impossible to defend claim that it's immoral to form such a group. I first thought that he was claiming it was racist to make these distinctions, but he doesn't go quite that far. It's a dangerous enough attitude anyway. Chapomatic expresses a pretty similar worry, but he's not as firm about it and considers it a more minor issue among people he greatly respects. You can see other responses to this at Conservative Brotherhood members Baldilocks, Cobb, Michael King, Sam, Ambra Nykola, and Booker Rising. I've left comments on a few of the sites so far, but I'd like to organize all of what I've been thinking and writing together in one post.

The primary issue that keeps coming up is colorblindness. I've addressed this issue before. There's a kind of colorblindness that's good. When you get to know someone, you see them in terms of being a person and not in terms of being a person defined by color. At the same time, there's something very insulting when a white person says to a black person, "Well I don't really think of you as black." It's as if you're saying "You don't fit my picture of what black people are supposed to be like." This kind of colorblindness is just plain racist, albeit a kind of residual and unintentional racism that you might not blame someone for.

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