Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

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Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:04 pm UTC

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To be clear, I mean globally. Obviously many countries are extremely dominated by White people.

But on a lot of social justice sites I've seen (usually White) people describe White dominance to the point where it almost sounds like apologetic bragging - claiming that we (I'm White) essentially control every significant cultural and social resource on the planet.

Am I just underestimating the global cultural influence of powerful western nations? Breaking it down by race, it certainly seems like White people as a group have a plurality of the influence in the world, but it also seems fair to say that Han Chinese as a group control a pretty substantial chunk as well.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:20 pm UTC

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:37 pm UTC

I'd suggest that American and European culture are vastly more pervasive globally than any other culture. That 'white culture', to blanketly and inaccurately lump a large group of peoples together, enjoy a global cultural supremacy that is not equivalent to many other cultures.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:39 pm UTC

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:49 pm UTC

If we lumped together "Asian culture", that would still be extremely prominant globally, right?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby lorb » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:53 pm UTC

I think the question is the wrong way round. "White" is a label that can apply to a lot of different groups of people. Imho the best way to answer the question is to first identify who the dominant group on planet earth is, and than see of the label "white" can be applied to it.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:57 pm UTC

And see, it's not even the question of one group having a majority (or plurality) of influence and power, it's people who talk about one group having an overwhelming level of dominance.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:37 pm UTC

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Cleverbeans » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:55 pm UTC

Do whites have majority control in wealth? Are they the richest? If so I think that would play a significant role in this perception.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:01 am UTC

It's interesting that we have to repeatedly prove why overrepresentation of a dominant group is bad.

Basically it boils down to how that becomes an environmental factor of culture; and entrenches institutional, rather than intentional, disparity.

Unintentional bias is real, it's hard to root out, and does damage to the opportunity of out groups.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:07 am UTC

This thread will be unintelligible without everyone having consistent, similar definitions of race. And we won't.

As in, if Germans and Frenchmen are white, are Spaniards? What about the mestizo Hispanics? (Remember when George Zimmerman was a 'white hispanic'? Don't most Americans now have some Native American blood?) Are Asians -- who are so successful in America that colleges discriminate against Asian applicants. Jews are variously considered white or minorities, generally depending on who they're being compared to. Someone is black in the US with a drop of black blood -- not so in Brazil and elsewhere.


http://www.unz.com/isteve/genetics-of-brazil/

The idea that Brazil is majority non-white, that is black, is one I’ve seen elsewhere. Using the American model of hypodescent, where children inherit the racial status of their most stigmatized ancestral component, no matter its magnitude, well over half of Brazilians are “black.” On the other hand, there’s the persistent trend in the recent analyses which show that black Brazilians have a much higher load of European ancestry than black Americans, while white Brazilians have a much higher load of Amerindian and African, than white Americans.

In all regions studied, the European ancestry was predominant, with proportions ranging from 60.6% in the Northeast to 77.7% in the South.
We propose that the immigration of six million Europeans to Brazil in the 19th and 20th centuries – a phenomenon described and intended as the “whitening of Brazil” – is in large part responsible for dissipating previous ancestry dissimilarities that reflected region-specific population histories.


That large caveat aside, I have a few thoughts:

1) White Dominance is exaggerated because it is politically useful. There are many interests (college applicants, political office seekers, businessmen, artists, etc.) who get special attention, money, or prestige for not being white. It is politically expedient to be a minority; and while talking about white dominance, we probably mean something closer to white, male, heterosexual dominance. There are benefits that come with proving yourself to be a minority.

2) Most Asia, Arabia, and Africa are not white dominated. If Latins are not white, then most Latin America is not white dominated. It's mainly in Europe, America, Australia, and Canada that are considered white dominated -- the parts of the world that are predominately white.

3) No one racial group controls everything, in the sense that many groups have enough nuclear firepower to obliterate the world, enough wealth to influence the world's economy, and enough chutzpah to assume that everything in the world concerns them.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby elasto » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:16 am UTC

American and European companies dominate the world market - either literally or they are the highly aspirational choice. The latter being true in China, for example. Everything from clothing to baby milk is more prized and trusted than the local alternatives.

American and European tv and movies also dominate in the same way. English is also the lingua franca of the net.

So I'd say that yes, 'whites' do dominate more than any other grouping.

Is it 'total'? No. If anyone claims that then they are indeed exaggerating. But US/EU does have a plurality of cultural dominance for sure.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:48 am UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:Do whites have majority control in wealth? Are they the richest? If so I think that would play a significant role in this perception.


Richest man in the world is Mexican. China has a larger GDP than the US. So... no. Shift happens.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:27 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:China has a larger GDP than the US. So... no. Shift happens.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=china+gdp Their GDP is 60% of the US. Their GDP per capita is 11% of the US.

So no. Should we count the media impact of US products, since GDP doesn't measure that? It'd even be more disparate.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:18 am UTC

I think your definition of Dominance gets mangled beyond saving when it depends on which country has the biggest GDP. China may have a bigger economy than the US in a few years; does that mean white dominance is over? In a situation where the US and China are equal for a long time, who wins? And why is the US a stand-in for white dominance when it's only about 60% white?

If nothing is stopping China from surpassing the US, Dominance means as much as a trophy given to the fastest species.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Belial » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:33 am UTC

So if you're wondering how white people can still wield disproportionate societal power in countries where they are not, in fact, a numerical majority (which is, let's be real, most of them):

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:17 am UTC

Belial wrote:So if you're wondering how white people can still wield disproportionate societal power in countries where they are not, in fact, a numerical majority (which is, let's be real, most of them):

I like how there is an exception for Alexander the Great. :D Ethiopia was also only controlled (by Italy) relatively briefly, and that control was never widely recognized by other powers. I also question how they are counting Liberia. It was never controlled by a European power, but was controlled by former/descendants of African-American slaves.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Diadem » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:00 am UTC

mobiusstripsearch wrote:If Latins are not white

I'm hijacking this topic a bit.

Why aren't Latin Americans considered white in the US? I never understood that. Here in Europe we call them "Mediterranean", and they are considered white. And why not. They look white, they are culturally European (or European-descended in case of South-America). What is the reason that they aren't counted as white in the USA?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:28 am UTC

Slightly more intermingling and we all know that even a drop tips the scales - wierdly something that the far left and right both agree on but for different reasons.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:51 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
mobiusstripsearch wrote:If Latins are not white

I'm hijacking this topic a bit.

Why aren't Latin Americans considered white in the US? I never understood that. Here in Europe we call them "Mediterranean", and they are considered white. And why not. They look white, they are culturally European (or European-descended in case of South-America). What is the reason that they aren't counted as white in the USA?
What makes you think they aren't? How many people look at Charlie Sheen and think Hispanic? Having said that, a significant portion of that population is native American of some type or another.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby peregrine_crow » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:56 am UTC

Belial wrote:So if you're wondering how white people can still wield disproportionate societal power in countries where they are not, in fact, a numerical majority (which is, let's be real, most of them):


That's a really neat map and it really drives home how absurdly powerful Europe was during the colonial era. Few points though:

- This map talks about Europeans rather than white people. Depending on whether you count hispanic as white that might make a difference in south America.
- It appears that Russia qualifies as a a European country on this map (at least I think no other European country ever colonized Siberia), which is somewhat dubious, though not really relevant to the topic at hand as they do definitely count as white.
- I wonder if making a third exception for the Roman empire would make a significant change. I guess not, as most of the Roman territories will overlap with the colonial era/Alexanders empire.

To the topic at hand: I'm not sure if white people are overrepresented in positions of power in Asia and the Middle East, but I imagine Africa, north America and south America more than make up for those continents (I expect that this holds true even if you don't count hispanics as white). So white people definitely hold a plurality of the worlds power and influence and most like a majority as well. This balance of power is slowly changing, but that itself won't help as long as people attach physical properties to their stereotypes. As soon as we (both consciously and unconsciously) stop considering skin color to be relevant it won't matter what the current division of power is*, but that is obviously easier said than done. Humanity is slowly getting better at this sort of thing, but changing your subconscious isn't easy and people tend to reflexively resist changing status quos that benefit them.

*: I'm sure either blue eyed, brown eyed or green eyed people are overrepresented in positions of power right now, but nobody cares because they're probably in those positions not because of their eye colour, but because of other merits.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:45 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
mobiusstripsearch wrote:If Latins are not white

I'm hijacking this topic a bit.

Why aren't Latin Americans considered white in the US? I never understood that. Here in Europe we call them "Mediterranean", and they are considered white. And why not. They look white, they are culturally European (or European-descended in case of South-America). What is the reason that they aren't counted as white in the USA?

"Hispanic" and "white" are treated as independent designations in US Census data. People can be Hispanic, white, neither, or both.

And yes, of course race is socially constructed, and constructed differently in different countries, it's not surprising that most of the discussions Americans have about it would be based on the usual American constructions rather than the various different ways race is constructed in other places. Sure, American social justice advocates would do well to remember that not everyone divides up social constructs the same way they do, and it would be especially nice if more of them realized that some serious problems in the world today have nothing to do with white people. So to the extent that anyone thinks *all* problems can be traced ultimately back to white people, yes, it's exaggerated.

But I think some of you are also seriously exaggerating the number of folks who would ever say such an absurd thing.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:15 pm UTC

the edges are vague, but social constructs ?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:32 pm UTC

Absolutely. Especially the big two in the US, "white" and "black". Are Irish prople and Jews white? Depends on where and when you ask, and who. How much African ancestry makes someone "black"? Historically it's been a "one drop" approach, where any recognizably "black" beatures make a person Black.

Note that "social construct" isn't the same as "not real". Individual languages are also social constructs, but that doesn't stop English from being a real identifiable thing.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:37 pm UTC

Irish were at one point "not white", or "not the right type of white". But enough of them became part of society that they "became" white; it's kinda hard to stay pissed at the Irish when half the EMTs and Firefighters and Police are Irish. Same for Italians. And French. And German. And Polish. And so forth.

Once Hispanics become critical members of society besides "crop picker" and "cleaning lady", theoretically the racism will be virtually nonexistent. The issue with black people is more complicated, as long as The Lost Cause of the South still runs rampant, to say nothing of all the flags of treason being displayed everywhere.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:44 pm UTC

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:46 pm UTC

See also WWII internment-camp-related propaganda on how the US made a strict racial distinction between the two (though in essentially the opposite direction).
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:55 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:But I think some of you are also seriously exaggerating the number of folks who would ever say such an absurd thing.


Hm, maybe? I don't think many people are saying that literally *all* problems are traced back to White people. But a lot of people talk as if the balance of power between western nations and the rest of the world is 99:1 when it seems closer to 60:40 or 70:30. I feel like a lot of people underestimate the global significance of (for example) China, Japan, and India. But perhaps I'm overestimating it.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:04 pm UTC

Perhaps it helos if you give some examples of people who, in your opinion, are exaggerating the impact of white people.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:14 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:To be clear, I mean globally. Obviously many countries are extremely dominated by White people.

But on a lot of social justice sites I've seen (usually White) people describe White dominance to the point where it almost sounds like apologetic bragging - claiming that we (I'm White) essentially control every significant cultural and social resource on the planet.

Am I just underestimating the global cultural influence of powerful western nations? Breaking it down by race, it certainly seems like White people as a group have a plurality of the influence in the world, but it also seems fair to say that Han Chinese as a group control a pretty substantial chunk as well.


Uh, some people overestimate, sure. It's hard to say as a concrete, absolute truth, because opinons vary substantially.

That said..."white" is not a monolithic block. I think a lot of people get caught up in Euro-American history and forget the rest of the world exists. I'm sure one could make scare statements about, say "asians" having a plurality of the power. And yeah...a LOT of people live there, so...they kind of do, from a certain perspective. But that's not really a unified group either.

*reads thread*

Dammit, most of this is already posted.

Cleverbeans wrote:Do whites have majority control in wealth? Are they the richest? If so I think that would play a significant role in this perception.


Being American makes you wildly more likely to be a millionare or billionare. Yeah, some of the very richest folks are not white, but America skews the curve on wealth hugely.

CorruptUser wrote:Irish were at one point "not white", or "not the right type of white". But enough of them became part of society that they "became" white; it's kinda hard to stay pissed at the Irish when half the EMTs and Firefighters and Police are Irish. Same for Italians. And French. And German. And Polish. And so forth.

Once Hispanics become critical members of society besides "crop picker" and "cleaning lady", theoretically the racism will be virtually nonexistent. The issue with black people is more complicated, as long as The Lost Cause of the South still runs rampant, to say nothing of all the flags of treason being displayed everywhere.


Already, the Hispanic thing varies widely on locality. You're going to see a lot more racism in areas where they ARE relegated to field work, etc(because migrant workers, etc), and not so much in areas where they hold more prestigeous jobs. Of course, this is something of a catch 22.

Of course, somehow the social justice crowd thinks internet statements of outrage will matter for this, and that part is pretty questionable indeed.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:36 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Perhaps it helos if you give some examples of people who, in your opinion, are exaggerating the impact of white people.


To be honest, it's mostly random comments on meaniehead blogs and the like, so it's probably stupid for me to read too much into it anyway. One example is the argument (in a conversation that's clearly not about America in particular) that it's impossible for systematic racism against White people to exist.

Though perhaps the very platform of discussion implies that we're talking about the English-speaking world.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:41 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Perhaps it helos if you give some examples of people who, in your opinion, are exaggerating the impact of white people.


To be honest, it's mostly random comments on meaniehead blogs and the like, so it's probably stupid for me to read too much into it anyway. One example is the argument (in a conversation that's clearly not about America in particular) that it's impossible for systematic racism against White people to exist.

Though perhaps the very platform of discussion implies that we're talking about the English-speaking world.


Yeah, comment sections tend to be somewhat lower quality, and need to be taken with a grain of salt. You often simply get attention seeking types who are not overly worried about accuracy or anything else.

Youtube comments in particular will make you lose faith in humanity...but even many news articles that allow comments are terrible. It's a rare venue where the comments meet or exceed the quality of the article.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:43 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:that it's impossible for systematic racism against White people to exist.

WIthout examples, I'm skeptical that this is an argument people make with any frequency.

What I have seen is that you can't be racist against white people (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world) because systematic oppression of white people *doesn't* in fact exist (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world), but never that it *couldn't possibly* exist.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:53 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
setzer777 wrote:that it's impossible for systematic racism against White people to exist.

WIthout examples, I'm skeptical that this is an argument people make with any frequency.

What I have seen is that you can't be racist against white people (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world) because systematic oppression of white people *doesn't* in fact exist (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world), but never that it *couldn't possibly* exist.


Sorry, I worded that poorly. They meant systematic oppression against White people can't be enacted because the power structure doesn't currently exist to do so.

And yeah, maybe there is an implicit "in the US an Europe" addendum. It does seem like a lot of people do unintentionally act like the US and Europe are the world when having international social discussions. Though again, that's likely skewed since I can only read English websites.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Azrael » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:15 pm UTC

Let's keep this on topic, and shit-slinging free. Also, see first post.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:27 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
setzer777 wrote:that it's impossible for systematic racism against White people to exist.

WIthout examples, I'm skeptical that this is an argument people make with any frequency.

What I have seen is that you can't be racist against white people (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world) because systematic oppression of white people *doesn't* in fact exist (in the US or perhaps English-speaking world), but never that it *couldn't possibly* exist.


Sorry, I worded that poorly. They meant systematic oppression against White people can't be enacted because the power structure doesn't currently exist to do so.

And yeah, maybe there is an implicit "in the US an Europe" addendum. It does seem like a lot of people do unintentionally act like the US and Europe are the world when having international social discussions. Though again, that's likely skewed since I can only read English websites.


Oh sure. I am particularly amused by how often there is a list of countries, and then "Africa". Because to most Americans, it's just an amorphous glob of terrible. And South America is never really mentioned unless we're talking about drugs or soccer.

I'm sure other countries are also focused on their issues, their neighbors and trade partners, and places they are less involved with are treated similarly. It's the nature of humanity. Can't worry equally about everything....just got to keep this limitation in mind, and avoid generalizing from a small sample to a large group. That way lies hilarious error.

To get back to if white people can be/are discriminated against, well, it depends. There's nothing magical about being white that intrinsicly prevents it, obviously. Depending on locality, sample set, you can likely find examples of pretty much any sort of discrimination somewhere. Meh. It could happen, but it's not a particularly likely or looming danger. All discrimination on skin color is equally bad, obviously. Not really a lot more to get into here....

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

I think a fun measure of dominance is how easy it is for a foreign man to get laid based on ethnicity/national origin. WARNING: ANECTDATA. It's easier as a white guy, especially a blond white guy, in nearly every country. For some reason, Asians really love redheads. As a black guy though? You are SOL everywhere but the West, and even then it ain't easy (and oddly, Africa hates African-Americans more than the US does). Native Americans have it incredibly easy in Europe, but it varies in the US. Asian men are SOL nearly everywhere.

leady
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:52 pm UTC

on the original question - a slightly different perspective would put it as

"Does white dominance exist? or is it that "white" countries are just countries and cultures run on a successful and controlled set of social precepts that just happen to be majority white". The exact same discussion I think is interesting at the personal level

Derek
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:That's a really neat map and it really drives home how absurdly powerful Europe was during the colonial era. Few points though:

- This map talks about Europeans rather than white people. Depending on whether you count hispanic as white that might make a difference in south America.
- It appears that Russia qualifies as a a European country on this map (at least I think no other European country ever colonized Siberia), which is somewhat dubious, though not really relevant to the topic at hand as they do definitely count as white.
- I wonder if making a third exception for the Roman empire would make a significant change. I guess not, as most of the Roman territories will overlap with the colonial era/Alexanders empire.

Turkey should probably just be colored white ("no exception"), because in addition to being conquered by the Romans it was itself a white European power for about a thousand years.

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mobiusstripsearch
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:56 pm UTC

Belial wrote:So if you're wondering how white people can still wield disproportionate societal power in countries where they are not, in fact, a numerical majority (which is, let's be real, most of them):


(What happened to the Philippines?)

If military dominance implies racial dominance, then why should whites still dominate countries they don't dominate militarily? I spent a semester in China where I was revered for my white skin (no racism on my part) -- a land where 30 years ago white people were "Western Devils". China, certainly, was colonized by the West, but that left China only enraged and ashamed -- disinclined to give whites societal power now that they decides who gets it.

Diadem wrote:
mobiusstripsearch wrote:If Latins are not white

I'm hijacking this topic a bit.

Why aren't Latin Americans considered white in the US? I never understood that. Here in Europe we call them "Mediterranean", and they are considered white. And why not. They look white, they are culturally European (or European-descended in case of South-America). What is the reason that they aren't counted as white in the USA?


Part politics (many new immigrants are Hispanic), part practical (Hispanics have more Native American blood than average*), part impractical (most Americans know nothing about Latin America, especially its European history).

*This is probably overstated, as the source I posted earlier shows. Latin America operates on a color continuum broader than America's one-drop rule. Most Latin Americans would not be called white stateside, even though many (most?) of them are mostly European. In the same way, Barack Obama's considered black/African-American, even though his mother was English/German, and his Kenyan father was not African-American.

My opinion is that, in America, if you can prove yourself to be a minority of any sort, you're considered to be part of a minority (and therefore chic).

[HR][/HR}

I find it really odd that people classify America as white on a global stage. ~40% of our population is not white (as we define it). It reminds me of a museum sign I saw when I was in China: "China is 93% ethnic Han, making China the world's largest multi-ethnic nation." I laughed. Imagine Ireland being 93% Irish and calling itself multi-ethnic.
"The inward skies of man will accompany him across any void upon which he ventures and will be with him to the end of time." -- Loren Eiseley


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