The category of race as we know it today, especially in the American context, was established historically in order to denigrate other groups of people based on otherwise meaningless criteria for the purpose of domination and colonialism. As an ideology, it emerged as a reaction to Columbus’ arrival in America. It served the effective othering… Continue reading #127: We Cannot Overcome Racism If We Talk About “Race” all the Time
As Democrats are (hopefully) reflecting on their election loss in Virginia, they should understand that it is not about Trump, it has never been about Trump – and that even Trump has not been about Trump (well, maybe a little bit). It is about the issues. First, Bill Clinton knew that it is about the… Continue reading #117: It’s Not About Trump. It’s About the Issues
Hatred against people who may be identified as “Asian” has come into the focus in the recent days. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon, but the attacks seem to have increased in the recent years. This surely may be influenced by the role China’s government has played in enabling the pandemic. But we need… Continue reading #85: Anti-Asian Hate and the Human Capacity for Divisiveness
Human beings are tribal. As described poignantly by Aristotle, we are animals that form political units, societies, towns, or in the Greek understanding, poleis. We are political animals in the sense that we are animals creating political structures – polis is the political aspect of the city, not the physical one (which would be (ástu).… Continue reading #56: Disentangling Race and Ethnicity
This is not a time of extremes. This is not a time of extreme crisis. The world is not ending. We are not at the end of goodness. We are not at the end of democracy. We are not living in the most racist / sexist / ageist / classist / divisive / time ever.… Continue reading #48: Moderation is Strength; Radicality is Weakness
When we promote diversity, what does that mean? As laid out previously, the support for diversity is a matter of equity, of justice. We are already a diverse society qua populace and history, but how this maps onto some domains of life can be seen as not as equitable as it should. If some individuals… Continue reading #36: Diversity Is Democracy, and It Is Not a Zero-Sum Game
The key to understanding the idea that there may be no such thing as human “races,” but that there is racism, is the concept of social constructivism. Human beings do not access reality directly, but through mental concepts about what we perceive. These concepts are usually transmitted through various means of communication. There is a… Continue reading #35: What Is Social Constructivism?
Racism is the belief in essential differences between human beings based on a set of superficial characteristics. While race is not real, racism is, and it centers on the idea of who has relative privilege in specific contexts. “Whiteness” is a category of assumed neutrality, which brings with it the unearned advantage of less discrimination.… Continue reading #34: What is White Privilege?
A dangerous side effect of the discussion of racism is that such discussion can keep the idea of thinking in different human “races” alive as something that is real. But it is not. Dividing people up into different races is deeply unscientific, deeply unhistorical, and deeply inhumane. We are all one. We are all part… Continue reading #33: Race Does Not Exist. But Racism Does
Every country on the planet has probably had at least one moment in their history that does not quite inspire pride. This is what humans do: while aspiring for the best, we frequently succumb to our worst instincts. We do this on an individual and on a group level. We are fallible. We are not… Continue reading #32: Guilt vs. (Historical) Responsibility