CDZ They cannot both be correct...

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Xelor, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Black folks and white folks, for the most part, have very different views of the nature and extent of equality in the U.S. The thing is that while black individuals and white individuals can be correct in evaluating and attesting to one's own situation, and perhaps those of a small few others' situations, it's not possible that on the group level the widely held and broadly asserted states of things as averred by blacks and whites are both correct.

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    At least young blacks and whites agree on something. Maybe their agreement can lead to things getting better.
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    It's no surprise that the folks on the "short end of the race stick" think not enough attention is paid to it. Ditto that folks on the upside of the matter think race gets too much attention. (I included the chart, but I didn't need a study to tell me the below aspect of how the groups generally perceive the matter. LOL)
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    Given how often I see conservatives on USMB (I don't know if they are Republicans) remark on how the Democratic party is the party of racists, I'd have expected to see a smaller percentage of Republicans attesting to the belief shown below.
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    The charts above were taken from a Pew study, "On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart." Greater detail on selected questions from the study can be found at "How blacks and whites view the state of race in America."


    Why extant is the disconnect between the reality and the perception of equality in the U.S? Part of it has to do with differences in perception of what "equality" means.
    • Among the blacks with whom I regularly speak, equality means equality of opportunity, but not necessarily equality of all outcomes. That is, in some genres, congruity of outcomes should exist across races and genders, whereas for other genres congruity of outcomes need not be existential.

      For example, my black colleagues would say that when selecting and or interviewing candidates for a job in the firm:
      • The firm should make the job availability known to potentially qualified candidates of any and all races, which is particularly relevant for our campus (grad and undergrad) recruiting initiatives as that's where most of our "career track" recruiting happens.

        Accordingly, in addition to holding recruitment/interviewing events at "the usual suspects" of schools, we also hold them at HBUs that have strong programs in the disciplines we seek as well as liaising with minority student groups, like Alpha Kappa Mu and Onyx, at "mainstream" colleges and universities.

        The example above constitutes what my black associates consider examples of providing comparable opportunity. I'm okay with this notion of comparability of opportunity because all I really want is high performing employees who, with regard to our performance matrix, consistently meet and exceed expectations.
      • The individuals who interview should be asked comparable questions and have the merit of their responses weighed with a high degree of parity.

        The firm achieves that by using a "team" interview process whereby all our interview teams have multiple minorities and women on them. A typical team, five or six people, has two or three women and minority representation of black, Latino and Asian. (Obviously, certain interviewers "kill two birds.")

        My black associates would say that as for who gets offers, the outcome, the candidates who performed best should get the offers. That may or may not result in minorities receiving offers, and if it doesn't, that's okay so long as when the minorities do interview well, their being minorities doesn't become a reason they don't get offers. While the minority partners in the firm would like to see more minorities join the firm, they are well aware that, absent huge changes beyond the firm's control, there will always be more whites in the firm.

        This example illustrates what my black peers would consider a situation in which an observed difference in outcome is not necessarily a concern they or the firm need to alter. They'd say it may be or may not be, and that more information is needed to know which is so. I don't see their position as unreasonable.
    • Among the whites I routinely talk to, equality of opportunity, in their minds, is substantively consistent across races and genders, but equality of outcomes is not. Some whites I've talked to -- not members of the firm -- see equality of outcomes the same way as my black associates do, and some of them see it as "if a white person is qualified and doesn't get an offer yet a minority person does, something unfair happened."

      I don't know why they think that. (I truly don't because when folks head down that road with me, I just say "okay" and extricate myself from the conversation.) It's as though they imagine that we might give an offer to a minority who isn't qualified and withhold an offer from the white person because they're white. I guess they just can't fathom that the firm's objective is to hire the best people it can-- as opposed to achieving some sort of predefined racial distribution among it workforce -- because that's what advances its profit motive.

      There're, however, no two ways about it: the firm exists to make money, not to hire women, minorities, or whatever. Every decision comes down to whether it is this the "optimal business decision" that we can make given the information we have at the time. That's hiring, firing, promotions, training and career development initiatives, client/engagement selection, where to locate our offices, etc. It's not about anybody feeling good because we have X-many women or minorities. We feel good when we and our people do our jobs well, get well paid, and in our time off, enjoy the fruits of having been well paid.
    Part of the difference in the economic status of whites and blacks certainly accrues from real differences in how long blacks and whites have had in the U.S. to achieve the modern status called "middle class." It took a long time for literally millions of people to reach what we consider "middle class." What constitutes "the middle class" in minds of modern Americans didn't exist as a large plurality or majority of the U.S. population until after WWII. [1]



    For the 1939 World's Fair in New York, the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co. commissions a one-hour film telling the story of an upper middle class family called the Middletons. The Indiana family visits the fair and is won over by the Westinghouse exhibit's futuristic display of middle-class lifestyle and leisure.

    What that means is that whites, as a segment of society in America, took from the early 1600s to about 1950 for the majority of the white population to achieve what is today considered middle class status/lifestyle. In contrast, blacks technically have since the end of segregation (that's the point I specify because separate wasn't ever equal and bigotry and its effects didn't disappear overnight with the passage of the Civil Rights Bill) to the present to, as a segment of society in America, do the same thing. To my mind, it's no wonder that blacks have not "caught up" to whites. That blacks, again as a segment of society, have had to try doing so in the face of greater and lesser degrees of ongoing oppression and disdain for their very being did not ameliorate or expedite their achieving that end. [2]

    Causes for the discrepancy in perceptions and reality notwithstanding, the fact is that everyone cannot be correct. Some thoughts that come to mind include:
    • It's hard to imagine that people who have 200+ years of history being the objects of discrimination (and worse) are also unable to accurately tell when they are a current object of it. They for sure have far more practice being able to tell than do I. By the same token, whites have had a lot of practice at obfuscating the discriminatory nature of their behavior. (There's also the "PC" thing, which, to my mind serves mostly as a "how to" guide for "pricks" who do not want to seem bigoted, sexist, etc.)
    • When an individual says they were discriminated against and I wasn't present to see it, unless I have good reason to think they lie and fabricate things at the rate and extent Trump does, I don't have any basis by which to tell them they are wrong. I think one must give people credit for knowing when they've been personally discriminated against. At some point, information may come about that shows the error of their interpretation of the matter, but until that data becomes evident, they deserve to be believed.
    • When an individual says they didn't do/say what they said because of their awareness of another's minority status, absent my being there to see the events, I have to believe them. At some point, information may come about that shows the error of their depiction of the matter, but until that data becomes evident, they deserve to be believed.
    Now no matter one's race and feelings about the views of other races, one cannot credibly assert that "they're all wrong" or "they don't they're talking about." Even if one does think that, the whole situation is better served by people keeping those thoughts to themselves. Doing otherwise manifests grossly ineffective conflict resolution skills. Quite simply, it will not advance us toward "a more perfect union."



    Notes:
    1. Of course, there were and are always people with incomes "in the middle." That's a fact of how a range of number work. .
      -- The Great Compression
      -- Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com
      -- American Incomes 1774-1860
      -- Family Life, 19th-Century Families
      -- Poverty
    2. I know someone will myopically feel obliged to bring up Asians. (I swear, sometimes I wonder what bigots would do without Asians.) I'd buy that to a point, but what folks who mention the Asian phenomenon ignore is that racial disdain in the U.S. has largely been skin-color-based, and Asians, for the most part, don't have brown skin. They're largely fair skinned like white folks are.

      In light of my having included a wage chart that includes Latinos, it's worth noting that the preponderance of non-white Latinos entering the U.S. came after enactment of the Civil Rights Act. That should come as no surprise. Prior to that, quite simply, it wasn't good to be "brown" in America. It should come as no great shock that Latino wages and black wages are about the same. They've, as "brown" people, substantively had about the same period of time to "catch up."
     
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  2. Billy_Kinetta
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    Billy_Kinetta Paladin of the Lost Hour Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Too much text for a message board. Thank Gawd for Evelyn Woods.

    Equality of opportunity now exists, based upon what you have to offer.

    Equality of outcome for its own sake will never, ever happen. Never.
     
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  3. Indeependent
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    Indeependent Gold Member

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    Solution...Education, Profession, Marriage, Sex.
     
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  4. Not2BSubjugated
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    Not2BSubjugated Callous Individualist

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    I love articles like this. They start with the foregone conclusion that these differences in wealth, education, happiness, etc, are the results of systemic racism, and that they need to be corrected via "societal" (read: government) action. Then they spend the rest of the article pointing out all the differences between groups.

    What they don't do, fucking EVER, is substantiate the systemic racism claim. In fact, every time I ask some proponent of this sorta shit to substantiate that claim, I get ridicule in stead of an attempt at a logical answer.

    Here's the thing: results don't, in and of themselves, prove causality. Until you can point out where these problems are created at the systemic level, and thus are problems that are rightly solved by systemic modifications to our system of governance, I'm calling bullshit. Period.
     
  5. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    I made no such claim. What I did make is a deliberate point of not making the claim that there is systemic racism in the U.S. I didn't make the claim of there being systemic racism because it's not the topic I designed the thread to discuss.

    My OP begins:
    The OP, following that opening paragraph, provides many examples of whites and blacks having very different impressions about the nature of race, race relations, and race-related status.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  6. Not2BSubjugated
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    Not2BSubjugated Callous Individualist

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    Another thing. . . Someone's membership in a particular racial group doesn't guarantee, or even come CLOSE to guaranteeing, that their perception of "the experience of their group" is accurately reflective of the aggregate reality. I can't believe how often I need to explain this concept, these days. People's perceptions aren't shaped by and only by reality, and this applies to non-whites as well as whites. As human beings, we're far more likely to have our perceptions shaped by the words and opinions of the people we trust and admire than we are to have those perceptions shaped accurately by reality itself. Thus, when large sections of various demographics believe in a narrative that JUST HAPPENS to be the dominant narrative in our pop culture, I remain unconvinced, to put it lightly.
     
  7. Luddly Neddite
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    Luddly Neddite Diamond Member

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    Whites have always used people of color as a scapegoat and I'm sure they always will. Remembering the first time I heard that undocumented farm workers were taking US jobs. I laughed because I knew no one is stupid enough to believe that but next thing I know, the right is saying exactly that. Go figure.

    If Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics had stuck together instead of fighting with each other, the world would look much different. Whites have never stuck together either - remember the hate for Italians, Irish and so forth.

    Look at what the Amish and Mennonites have accomplished though. They held themselves apart and, for the most part, have successful communities.

    There is still no equality in the US or elsewhere. White privilege is very real and permeates our society.

    Being white, it never occurred to me to be afraid of police and, yes, I have crossed paths with cops a few times. If I were Black, it would be completely different.

    Its simply true that doors open for Whites much more easily than for those of color. Its wrong and I don't blame them for their anger and for fighting back. My question is, what took them so long?

    Jews tried being reasonable and we know what that got them. Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans need to learn that lesson - while not getting themselves killed.
     
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  8. Luddly Neddite
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    One's experience and perception IS their reality.
    One's reality is all there is.

    No matter what you and I have in common, it would never ever be possible for me to share your reality.
     
  9. Not2BSubjugated
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    Not2BSubjugated Callous Individualist

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    Sorry I wasn't more clear, I know you weren't making that claim. That said, the very first graph was regarding whether or not society will ever make the necessary changes for there to be racial equality. That suggests that these graphed gaps between the living conditions of various ethnic groups can be solved by societal action, which further implies that these problems are largely the result of societal policies.

    It's to that unaddressed set of assumptions in the study that I'm responding.
     
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  10. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    ??? Hugh? I can understand how education (or at least becoming very well informed on the matter of race and race-related "stuff") will help narrow the perception gap. As for the other three, you're going to have to explain to me how they will contribute to that end.
     

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