Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Wouldn't the willingness (and in time broader social acceptance) of 'giving up (white) privilege' be a "Good Thing"?
I don't know if it answers your question, but I will say that before they knew the full extent of her appropriation and dishonesty, a number of my black friends who thought it was nice that she would prefer to be black or feel more comfortable around black people.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tirian » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
No, it's not the same as transgender. But it is similar in that you need to weave a web of small lies to reveal a larger truth.
What small lies do you need to weave to be transgender?


Like Dolezol, you need to change your appearance and mannerisms so that people's perception of you matches your self-image. In all liklihood, you will present yourself with a name that is not your legal name for the initial phases of your transition (and I'm sure that more than a few transgender people have used that false name on written documents before they were legally entitled to do so). You're going to lie about your childhood and family so that people who aren't your close friends don't suspect that your history is more complex than theirs. Nearly every moment of your life in public is sending the message "Nothing to see here, just an ordinary cisgender person just like you!"

And if you're a male transitioning to female, I suppose you think that you need to lie about having surrendered your male privilege.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Dauric » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:27 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:You're going to lie about your childhood and family so that people who aren't your close friends don't suspect that your history is more complex than theirs.


Somewhat tangential: I think this is just what we (humans) do in society on a regular basis. Abuse, depression, stress, esoteric hobbies, exotic fashion sense... for the most part we all engage in little deceptions, even deceptions of omission, to make ourselves look less complex and more conformist to the casual observer. "Go along to get along" as the adage goes.

I find it.. systemically tragic, but I don't think we as a species have evolved enough to accept each other's unmasked individuality as a general practice. We're getting better about it (in some places anyway), but still have a long way to go.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:01 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:You're going to lie about your childhood and family so that people who aren't your close friends don't suspect that your history is more complex than theirs. Nearly every moment of your life in public is sending the message "Nothing to see here, just an ordinary cisgender person just like you!"
If trans people lie about their pasts, it's so they don't suffer transphobic actions like getting murdered.

Trans people I know, who know that among my close friends they are safe, have never lied to me about what gender they were assigned at birth. They may not like to talk about it in detail, which is totally fine and understandable, but they don't need to actively lie to non-transphobic people around them.

Dolezal had to lie to everyone about pretty much everything from her early life, and thinking that's on par with what transgendered people do for personal safety reasons is ignorant and transphobic to the extreme.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:17 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
elasto wrote:The privilege factor
- If a poor person claims they are rich, it's a bit of a laugh; It's aspirational really. If a rich person claims to be poor, and starts taking advantage of the few counterbalancing benefits there are from being poor (eg. social security, tax credits etc.), it goes from amusing to annoying (or likely fraudulent)


With this one point, I disagree. It's more like a rich person giving away their fortune, and choosing to live poor.


Not exactly. Now, fighting for rights and such, sure, great. You can do that white or black. Giving away money actually helps other folks, and thus it's well regarded. Pretending to be black, not so much. It's much more like pretending to be poor to get a welfare check, which is straight up fraud.

Dauric wrote:"Race" is almost entirely social in construct, and physical markers for heritage are not even remotely as well defined as gender. The example I routinely point to is Mariah Carey, who despite having significant 'black' ancestry is 'whiter' in appearance than I am, and I have almost entirely European ancestry with a dabbling of Sioux (Irish, English and German with < 1/16'th Sioux if I recall my genealogy correctly).


Sure. Edge cases totally exist. She does not, however, appear to be one of them. I don't much care if someone with one parent of each color identifies as one or the other, but this is something else.

leady wrote:The question isn't really one of self identification really, its wider social acceptance of that choice as valid and moreover whether acceptance is legally mandated.


I can think of no reason why we should require legally mandated acceptance of whatever anyone wants to identify as. If you disagree, note that I self-identify as Grand Emperor Thrawn, and require that you submit immediately.

sam_i_am wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:*shrug* Trump identifies as a viable presidential candidate, too...

Self identification doesn't trump reality.


was that intentional?


Hah, sadly, no. Amusing, but unintentional.

Dauric wrote:So, wild question:

Even with the understanding that the ability to choose to have privilege highlights having that privilege, and with the understanding that someone like Ms. Dolezal can't -entirely- give up white privilege (ie: is unlikely to be treated less well by the police for her racial identity)...

... Wouldn't the willingness (and in time broader social acceptance) of 'giving up (white) privilege' be a "Good Thing"?


No. White "privilege" is sort of misnamed. It's not so much that white people are treated too well, and given too many rights, but that others are sometimes not treated well enough. We should not strive for equality by dragging people down, but by helping each other out. In other words, you solve racial issues by treating minorities like you would anyone else.

So, in a certain sense, you're giving up the "being treated different", but it's not something that any amount of identifying as a minority can accomplish. Even making yourself look indistinguishable from a minority, while sure, it probably will affect how you get treated....it doesn't really FIX anything.

gmalivuk wrote:
Dauric wrote:Wouldn't the willingness (and in time broader social acceptance) of 'giving up (white) privilege' be a "Good Thing"?
I don't know if it answers your question, but I will say that before they knew the full extent of her appropriation and dishonesty, a number of my black friends who thought it was nice that she would prefer to be black or feel more comfortable around black people.


My friends were of a similar mind until her full on crazy became more apparent. It was just "hey, this is mildly unusual, but nobody is really bothered about it".

There's nothing wrong with being more comfortable in a given group, regardless of color, genetic similarity, etc. It's something very different to pretend to be something you are not, especially for personal gain.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:55 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Trans people I know, who know that among my close friends they are safe, have never lied to me about what gender they were assigned at birth. They may not like to talk about it in detail, which is totally fine and understandable, but they don't need to actively lie to non-transphobic people around them.

Who are the analogs of the "non-transphobic people" in Dolezal's case? Since her actions have been pretty widely condemned, it doesn't seem like we can say "Well, she at least should have been honest with the people who were OK with what she was doing."

-------------

One difference between race and gender that seems pretty salient is the nature of gender dysphoria. Forgive me if I'm wrong about this, but it's my understanding that gender identity runs pretty deep - for example, that there's dimorphism in brain scans of infants that correspond strongly to gender identity later on, and that intersex people who are forcibly assigned to one gender can nevertheless grow up identifying with a different gender in spite of all this socialization. (N.b. this is different from the question of whether gender is socially constructed.) It's not exactly plausible that racial identity works the same way.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tirian » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:03 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Dolezal had to lie to everyone about pretty much everything from her early life, and thinking that's on par with what transgendered people do for personal safety reasons is ignorant and transphobic to the extreme.


Christ almighty, that escalated quickly.

This has stopped being a reasonable discussion and I'll leave you to it then. But I truly do not appreciate being called ignorant and transphobic to the extreme by a moderator. Especially when what I have been saying is that the reasonable and just accommodations we make for the transgender people to allow them to live their lives fully could be extended to other people whose self-image does not agree with the perception of others. Some in this thread seem to disingenuously claim that they are extremely wealthy or aliens and pass that off for wit. But I think that we might consider taking Rachel Dolezal at her word instead of thinking that this has all been a cunning scheme to rise to the top of the NAACP in the second largest city in Washington.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:23 pm UTC

This case is really rich. She had a student come out to condemn her because she had excluded said Hispanic student from participating in a discussion about minority experiences since she didn't "look Hispanic".

It's so nice when identity politics peddlers fall to the very industry they make profit out of.

P.S. That bit about genetics test revealing transgender people as lying is such a stupid thing to say. For one, gender is NOT A CONSTRUCT. Hormonal differences and brain structure DO affect the experience of male and female. What is a construct are gender roles and stereotypes. This is not remotely equivalent. Chances are if you slice up a transgender brain or test their hormonal make up, they will be different from a cis person of the same biological sex.

For the same reason, race is not merely a social construct. Medical procedures and recommendations use race all the time. Japan has different weight recommendations because for their racial grouping, they are at larger Diabetes risks and other health complications at lower BMI than say, Caucasians.

You don't get to claim what race you are. It is one thing to identify with a group, but to cut out your own parents so you can pretend to be a black person to have a career as an activist in NAACP is outright deranged.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Dolezal had to lie to everyone about pretty much everything from her early life, and thinking that's on par with what transgendered people do for personal safety reasons is ignorant and transphobic to the extreme.


Christ almighty, that escalated quickly.

This has stopped being a reasonable discussion and I'll leave you to it then. But I truly do not appreciate being called ignorant and transphobic to the extreme by a moderator. Especially when what I have been saying is that the reasonable and just accommodations we make for the transgender people to allow them to live their lives fully could be extended to other people whose self-image does not agree with the perception of others. Some in this thread seem to disingenuously claim that they are extremely wealthy or aliens and pass that off for wit. But I think that we might consider taking Rachel Dolezal at her word instead of thinking that this has all been a cunning scheme to rise to the top of the NAACP in the second largest city in Washington.


I don't think she's THAT cunning. I think she's a little nuts. I also don't think you're transphobic for advocating taking her at her word...I just think your basis for believing her seems fairly weak. Just because accommodations are justified in one circumstance does not mean they are in all, and if we have no basis in reality or truth required for accepting a statement, then yes, you're literally opening the doors to any claim.

I think folks are touchy because that sort of reinforces the strawman argument that transphobic people DO put forth. That's different than being one yourself, of course, but it's still slightly dangerous. We want people who genuinely feel like they grew up in the wrong body to be put at ease, sure. Someone acting as whatever is more advantageous in a given circumstance, and lying, etc is something different. Either they're a terrible 90s comedy, or it's straight out fraud.

Lucrece wrote:This case is really rich. She had a student come out to condemn her because she had excluded said Hispanic student from participating in a discussion about minority experiences since she didn't "look Hispanic".

It's so nice when identity politics peddlers fall to the very industry they make profit out of.


That's...ugh. Yeah, not feeling a lot of sympathy for her.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby morriswalters » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:43 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:Christ almighty, that escalated quickly.
Talking about transgenderism here is,....difficult.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:57 pm UTC

Being trans on most of the internet (and off it) is far more difficult than facing some criticism and having your feelings hurt.

I therefore don't care even a little bit about whether it's "difficult" for you to talk about "transgenderism".
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

I do not disagree that being trans is quite difficult. However, I do not think that making it difficult to talk about really helps much. We can talk about it, have different viewpoints and so on, and that's...probably a necessary part of improving things in general.

A difference in opinion should be the beginning to a conversation, not the end of it.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

How hard is it to start out by keeping your mouth shut and listening to people with relevant experiences at least until you know a little bit of what you're talking about, though?
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Derek » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:11 pm UTC

Here's what Tirian said:

Like Dolezol, you need to change your appearance and mannerisms so that people's perception of you matches your self-image. In all liklihood, you will present yourself with a name that is not your legal name for the initial phases of your transition (and I'm sure that more than a few transgender people have used that false name on written documents before they were legally entitled to do so). You're going to lie about your childhood and family so that people who aren't your close friends don't suspect that your history is more complex than theirs. Nearly every moment of your life in public is sending the message "Nothing to see here, just an ordinary cisgender person just like you!"

And if you're a male transitioning to female, I suppose you think that you need to lie about having surrendered your male privilege.


Is he wrong to draw a comparison between transgendered people and Dolezal? Maybe. Is this transphobic? No. Nowhere in his post does he express any hatred, dislike, disapproval, etc. of transgendered people. He is using their plight to suggest sympathy for Dolezal, which implies that he has at least some understanding of the difficulties that transgendered people go through.

Even if you disagree with him, calling this transphobic is very dishonest.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:13 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:How hard is it to start out by keeping your mouth shut and listening to people with relevant experiences at least until you know a little bit of what you're talking about, though?


I don't think anyone has advocated not listening to folks with relevant experience. I also don't see any actual transphobia here. Just a different opinon, due to a different comparison. It's something we can talk reasonably about, I think, and I'm not sure why you seem to feel differently.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:20 pm UTC

Derek wrote:Even if you disagree with him, calling this transphobic is very dishonest.
gmalivuk wrote:Dolezal had to lie to everyone about pretty much everything from her early life, and thinking that's on par with what transgendered people do for personal safety reasons is ignorant and transphobic to the extreme.
What's transphobic is declaring that what trans people do for personal safety is on par with lying to everyone about everything.

I stand by that.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Vahir » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:24 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Derek wrote:Even if you disagree with him, calling this transphobic is very dishonest.
gmalivuk wrote:Dolezal had to lie to everyone about pretty much everything from her early life, and thinking that's on par with what transgendered people do for personal safety reasons is ignorant and transphobic to the extreme.
What's transphobic is declaring that what trans people do for personal safety is on par with lying to everyone about everything.

I stand by that.


That's a wonderful strawman you're building there.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Derek » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:25 pm UTC

What you're saying is that the comparison is bad, because transgendered people have valid reasons for their behavior that Dolezal does not. Transphobic would be "Transgendered people are liars and deceivers who can't be trusted."

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:29 pm UTC

What do you mean by "on a par"? Nowhere did Tirian suggest that Dolezal was protecting her own personal safety, or that trans people aren't protecting their own personal safety. He specifically denied that it was "the same" thing, although that's admittedly vague in the same way that "on a par" is. There's nothing in Tirian's post that makes me think that he doesn't realize that trans people can be murdered if they're outed. That only came up in the post where you decided he was "ignorant and transphobic to the extreme."
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

Derek wrote:What you're saying is that the comparison is bad, because transgendered people have valid reasons for their behavior that Dolezal does not. Transphobic would be "Transgendered people are liars and deceivers who can't be trusted."
Rachel Dolezal is a liar and a deceiver who can't be trusted. Saying that's basically the same as what trans people do is saying that.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:36 pm UTC

No, it isn't. You're making the same sort of argument as "Hesperus is Phosphorus. Saying that Hesperus appears in the morning is saying that Phosphorus appears in the morning."

If Tirian thought that Dolezal was a liar and deceiver who can't be trusted, then, sure, he would be saying that trans people are the same. But it's evident that he doesn't think that of Dolezal.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:59 am UTC

Yes, Tirian was perhaps mistaken about what Dolezal did. And, it seems, about what many trans people do and why. And so saying "in the extreme" was unwarranted, I suppose.

However, given the correct information, treating the two as basically the same would be transphobic.

Being ignorant of the facts doesn't magically make a statement non-transphobic. It might mean it's unintentionally so, just like "The Confederacy had the right idea" is unintentionally racist if it comes from someone who thinks the American Civil War was about tariffs or whatever and not slavery, but it's still racist in its effects.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:25 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Being ignorant of the facts doesn't magically make a statement non-transphobic.

There's nothing "magic" about it, and I haven't said that every sort of ignorance makes something non-transphobic. What I did say is a well-known fact: you can't substitute inside intensional contexts. Your case that Tirian said something transphobic relies on making that kind of substitution: you note what he said, you substitute "what Dolezal did" for "being an untrustworthy liar," and thereby attribute some further, transphobic content to what Tirian actually said. That would be magic, but fortunately we know that things don't work that way.

gmalivuk wrote:It might mean it's unintentionally so, just like "The Confederacy had the right idea" is unintentionally racist if it comes from someone who thinks the American Civil War was about tariffs or whatever and not slavery, but it's still racist in its effects.

The unintentional racism in that statement presumably comes from the assumption that people know that the Confederacy was defending a system of slavery. (Even if you believed that the Civil War was "really about States' rights," you'd have to be uncommonly ignorant not to realize that the Confederacy also tolerated slavery and fought a war against people who wanted to stop it.) If the assumption is mistaken, then unintentional content is conveyed. But nobody here seems to be under the impression that Tirian thinks that "Dolezal is a liar and a deceiver who can't be trusted."
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:00 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:The unintentional racism in that statement presumably comes from the assumption that people know that the Confederacy was defending a system of slavery.
No, it comes from the assumption that the Confederacy was in fact defending a system of slavery.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that racism is based on intent, your use of the phrase "unintentional racism" notwithstanding.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:19 am UTC

I don't think that racism is about intent, so I'm glad I could clear up that false seeming.

I do think that, in order to say that a statement is transphobic because it expressed content P and content P is transphobic, P actually has to be expressed in the statement. According to you, Tirian said that trans people are liars and deceivers who can't be trusted. This doesn't pass the sniff test.

And none of this would bear out the claim that what Tirian said was ignorant, either. Ignorance is a personal quality. You can't very well say "You might not have had any ignorant content in mind when you said that, but it had ignorant effects."
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:25 am UTC

Enough on this tangent, everybody please move on

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:15 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Who are the analogs of the "non-transphobic people" in Dolezal's case?
Literally everyone.

People get criticized for blackface, but when's the last time you heard about someone getting murdered for it, or even "just" assaulted? How many states allow" blackface panic" as a murder defense?

Yes, she's facing a fair amount of criticism now (along with a fair amount of defense, mind you--if you think the condemnation is universal you aren't paying attention), but liars and con artists always face criticism when their dishonesty comes to light.

She lied far more to protect herself from far less, so the situation is still nothing like analogous.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby leady » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:11 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Not at all. It isn't arbitrary, it just depends entirely on what classification you're talking about.

Different classifications are socially constructed to different degrees. Socially constructed classifications are constructed in different ways. You can't just lump all classifications together and act as though your question will have a single answer for all of them.

I'm "Greg" simply by saying I'm Greg. Self-identity is sufficient for my social name (even if there's more hoops to jump through for legal names).
I'm vegetarian if I stop eating meat. There's an objective question about whether my diet really includes meat, but I only have to change my own behavior to become part of that category.
I'm an English-speaker if I speak English. The objective question about what sounds come from my mouth is heavily influenced by how other English-speakers assess my speech. I can utter sounds that at one time wouldn't be considered English but at another time or in another speech community would be perfectly acceptable.

You asked a question about all three of these classifications together, along with hundreds more, and then decided it was "arbitrary" when I explained to you that your question doesn't have a single answer across the board.


Fair enough - but in riposte

"Greg" is individual label not a category
"vegetarian" is a good classification, now the question becomes one of "does fish count?" and if I decide fish doesn't count is the objective, personal or social definition the one that is true
"English speaker" is the same as vegetarian in this manner.

So I ask again, by what standards are valid categorisations created and rules around who belongs in these categories and how that is logically determined? It looks like you have a strong determination from somewhere

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

leady wrote:"Greg" is individual label not a category
Fine, then consider the category of people named 'Greg'.

So I ask again, by what standards are valid categorisations created and rules around who belongs in these categories and how that is logically determined? It looks like you have a strong determination from somewhere
These are socially constructed categorizations, but they are constructed differently. Other categories might be arbitrarily chosen but have completely objective, empirically testable standards (the category of people who mass more than 100kg, the category of people born before 1990, etc.). Membership in a category, and the validity of different determinations of membership, depends on the category being considered.

Asking your question again isn't going to get you a different answer.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby leady » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:22 pm UTC

But you have already expressed a strongly held opinion, so whilst you can decline to answer the broad question you have intrinsically answered it for yourself already. What I'm genuinely curious about is how?

To my self admittedly reductionist view it all just looks like social normalisation, which is then rationalised away (which is practically how all of society is organised). A good answer to this question would be somewhat mindblowing

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:09 pm UTC

leady wrote:But you have already expressed a strongly held opinion, so whilst you can decline to answer the broad question you have intrinsically answered it for yourself already. What I'm genuinely curious about is how?

To my self admittedly reductionist view it all just looks like social normalisation, which is then rationalised away (which is practically how all of society is organised). A good answer to this question would be somewhat mindblowing


I suspect my answer is quite different from gmalivuks. However, mine rests on the categories being useful descriptors based on observable fact. Describing people as male or female is usually fairly distinct. We have scientific data that informs us trans folks are identifiable on a physiological basis. It isn't simply a passing whim or the like, it's still good categorization, just one that requires a little more data than going purely off external appearance does. More data, but more accuracy. I don't *care*, per se, about their preferences. If scientific data did not support the accuracy of identifying as trans, my opinion would be different.

In Rachel's example, this ends up being very different. Sure, we acknowledge that there are edge cases where appearances may not be sufficient. This isn't one of those. There's no apparent reason we should identify her as black other than her own preference. And labeling everyone based on preference alone is unwieldy, arbitrary and impractical.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

leady wrote:But you have already expressed a strongly held opinion, so whilst you can decline to answer the broad question you have intrinsically answered it for yourself already. What I'm genuinely curious about is how?

To my self admittedly reductionist view it all just looks like social normalisation, which is then rationalised away (which is practically how all of society is organised). A good answer to this question would be somewhat mindblowing
Of course all social constructs are to some extent socially normalized. But they're still different from each other.

I have explicitly answered the question for you, too, it's just not the answer you wanted. But you're not going to get the answer you want until you acknowledge that there isn't a concise one-size-fits-all answer to begin with.

It's like you asked, "How long should food cook and how can we know when it's reached that point?" and you're expecting an answer like, "Food should cook for 45 minutes and you can know it's reached that point when a 45-minute timer dings."

@Tyndmyr: Sure, categories should be useful, but even then "usefulness" is often socially constructed itself. Why is it more useful to categorize me based on how many dollars I have than on how many pounds of salt I have? Because the way money is socially constructed in 21st-century America, salt isn't a currency.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:59 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:@Tyndmyr: Sure, categories should be useful, but even then "usefulness" is often socially constructed itself. Why is it more useful to categorize me based on how many dollars I have than on how many pounds of salt I have? Because the way money is socially constructed in 21st-century America, salt isn't a currency.


Either is a valid categorization based on data. Which one is used depends on context, sure. But it's not wrong to categorize people based on volume of salt stored or whatever. It's still real data.

Usefulness should be construed to mean in a linguistic sense.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Derek » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:How many states allow" blackface panic" as a murder defense?

All of them. Provocation is the general term for this type of defense. But just because you're allowed to claim a defense doesn't mean it's going to work. Despite all the controversy around it, gay and trans panic defenses rarely work. Bans on it are essentially symbolic only.

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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Cradarc » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:22 am UTC

Is Dolezal obligated to tell the truth about her biological ethnicity? Sure, she lied, but how is that intrinsically going to hurt anyone? Her litigious actions should be considered independently from her race.

It would be incorrect to directly compare gender orientation to racial orientation, but I think the fundamental questions are pretty similar. We have a person who holds a particular mindset and leads a particular life style which appears to conflict with their biological reality. After discovering this, some people are upset, including some of the very people she was supporting.
I think the main reason people are against her is because there has been very few cases like this. Who knows, maybe 50 years from now, racial identity will become mainstream, and people will look back and think of how ignorant and prejudice we are.

Social progressivism in the U.S is more about "celebrating" different social groups rather than "ignoring" differences. IMO, this is why progress is so slow. It's really hard to cure prejudice when we are still forcing people to look at differences and make distinctions. The human brain has a tendency to generalize differences, and those generalizations become stereotypes which lead to prejudice.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:48 am UTC

Of course her lying about everything is important. For one thing, it means she's not like a real trans woman, but rather she's more like the Mike Huckabee sort of man who'd say he's a woman in order to look in the women's bathroom.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Cradarc » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:she's more like the Mike Huckabee sort of man who'd say he's a woman in order to look in the women's bathroom.

If Mike Huckabee is someone fighting for women's rights, then yes. It's more like a person who acts and dresses so much like a female that women accepted him until his parents came out and told them he was a man. Then it became such a big deal that he went into a women's bathroom.

Also, why is "genderless" bathrooms a bad thing? I guess that's a tangent to another thread, but there's a parallel to race on this thread.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:44 pm UTC

No, Mike Huckabee is a cis male GOP presidential candidate who, around the time Caitlyn Jenner shared her new name, commented to the effect that he would have liked to "identify as a girl" when he was younger so he could go into girl's bathrooms.

He happens to be the opposite of fighting for women's rights, but even if he were, it wouldn't suddenly excuse the behavior he glibly wished he could engage in.

A nominally feminist sexual predator is still a sexual predator, and a racist appropriative dishonest civil rights activist is still racist, appropriative, and dishonest.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Prefanity » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:40 pm UTC

Cradarc wrote:Also, why is "genderless" bathrooms a bad thing? I guess that's a tangent to another thread, but there's a parallel to race on this thread.


Freeing all bathrooms from gender-based patronage might be problematic because it removes safe zones for women or men who don't want the opposite sex around when they're doing bathroom stuff. The idea isn't intrinsically problematic; the problem is that we live in a society with sexual predators in it.
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Re: Racial Identity (Rachel Dolezal's resignation)

Postby Euphonium » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

Derek wrote:Is he wrong to draw a comparison between transgendered people and Dolezal? Maybe. Is this transphobic? No. Nowhere in his post does he express any hatred, dislike, disapproval, etc. of transgendered people


But it's not about a given individual's personal feelings! What matters is the broader systemic structures of oppression that those ideas and thoughts expressed feed into, regardless of what those ideas are motivated by. That's what makes them trans-phobic.


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