The Future of Racism

Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 12:43:48 MDT

I can't say that I agree that 90% of the problem is solved. It's just a
whole lot harder to see. People know racist jokes aren't acceptable, so
that don't tell them. Do they still discriminate? Yes, they just never
admit why. I live in Cincinnati (maybe you've heard of it), and this is a
very big deal here now. Most whites here don't want to talk about this, and
most blacks do. Problems abound.

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
>But, given that ninety percent of the problem has been solved, especially
>in the younger generations, the best way to finally damp the problem out
>of nonexistence is to avoid saying or doing anything that gives the
>impression that you are mentally keeping track of what race a person is.

I agree here, and think it may just be the people I choose to associate
with, too. I do know (from my own reading) that there are still certain
segments of every group who only want to deal with members of their own
groups. Segregated seating in lunch rooms being one example.

>From: Lee Corbin <>
>Subject: The Future of Racism

>but I'm afraid that this may be true only of the people that
>I associate with. I fear that the media is ignoring a certain amount
>of racism that is alive and well among everyone, not just the young.

But it's going to happen whether or not you acknowledge the differences.
Maybe, just maybe, if people can see what they're doing, they'll realize
how to stop. I don't think this is, largely, a rational well-thought out
way of living, and to expect people to just "change" is not going to work.
Unlike Anders, most people are going to identify with whatever group
they're around and feel comfortable with, then think anyone outside that
group is somehow suspect.
     I do wonder, though, whether things like "narrowcasting", magazines
devoted to special-interests, cable-tv, the internet, etc. which allow
people to communicate without really knowing what the other person looks
like, might be making racial issues obsolete, and replacing them with other
identifiers, at least in some cases. Then again, I might be applying what
I've seen too broadly.

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
>*Yes*. That's *right*. Which is why any attempt to track which race a
>person is carries its own discrimination-propagating overhead. It is why
>"distinguishing between races in order to stamp out racism has ceased to
>be a good tradeoff". Let people think of their tribe as "Democratic" or
>"Republican" or "Presbyterian" or "Extropian" or something else that's a
>free choice of beliefs.


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