Re: Made in China

From: KPJ (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 04:10:49 MDT

It appears as if <> wrote:

|> Discuss....
|I was particularly struck by the passage where the author scorns the
|notion of racial equality:
| Blacks do less well than whites and Asians in school, perform less
| well on standardized tests, earn less, and are more prone to crime,
| illegitimacy, and welfare dependency, so they must be as intelligent
| and achievement-oriented as whites and Asians.
|I would not want to cast my lot with someone who holds such racist views.

I find Michael Levin's point on reification well taken, though.

As to the mumblage on ``race'', since there exists no well defined meaning
of the word, depending on how one defines it, one can imagine a group which
will prove one's point, whichever one wishes to prove.

Generally speaking, there exists various differences between humans in
various imagined population groups. For example, humans part of some
immigrant groups have barely landed in their new country before they start a
thriving business, while humans part of some other group almost never do that.
This does not necessarily follow from genetic differences between the humans.
One can as easily explain the differences as differences in culture.

Those who belong to a group in which the members share an idea X, then members
of that group will behave as if X holds more often than members of other

Instantiate with e.g. any of

  o X="we must work hard or we are bad person"
  o X="we have always been victims of oppression"
  o X="we cannot change our situation"

So the mumblage on ``race'' simply boils down to cultural values.

                                - - - -

On a related issue, I find it interesting that most Americans use the
Negro/black/African-American/whatever term as an _inclusive_ term.

Why define an offspring between a N/b/A-A/w human and a human from any
other ``race'' also as N/b/A-A/w? Why not the other way around? Or why
not define subgroups if one finds ``race'' so relevant? Simply a obsolete
remnant of the old U.S. race laws?

Footnote: The old U.S. race laws defined a human as a Negro if at least
          1/64 "of Negro blood". (1/1 = Negro, 1/2 = mulatto, etc.)

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