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[P]
Mere presence of black face makes white people see weapons

By streetlawyer in MLP
Sat May 19, 2001 at 09:19:12 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

Washington University at St Louis is touting a study which provides another piece of evidence of the obstacles black people face in everyday life. White (at least, non-black) college students aged 19-24 are quicker to identify weapons and more likely to misidentify tools as weapons if they are looking at a black face than if they are looking at a white face.

What was that which somebody said about a non-racist society? And would anybody care to guess the proportion of self-styled white "liberals" among the unconsciously racist subjects?


Because this is kuro5hin, I'll add the words "What do you think? Is there anything that the scientific/technical community can do about this?", because otherwise it wouldn't "stimulate discussion". Spell-checked it too, natch.

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Display: Sort:
Mere presence of black face makes white people see weapons | 189 comments (176 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Would the same have been true (4.50 / 6) (#2)
by hulver on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:20:22 AM EST

The article states that no black people took part in the study. Would the same results have been obtained from black people. E.G. Would black people have been quicker to identify tools as guns if they had seen a black face first or a white face first. I don't think any conclusions about "racial biases" can be obtained without that information.

--
HuSi!
Jesse Jackson (none / 0) (#11)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:50:28 AM EST

Jesse Jackson made comments to this effect, once. If I have time, I'll try to dig them up.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Jesse Jackson's comment (4.81 / 11) (#25)
by FlightTest on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:34:34 PM EST

"There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life," Jesse Jackson said several years ago, "than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."

From The New York Times Magazine, published 20 June 1999, in an article entitled "THE COLOR OF SUSPICION" by Jeffrey Goldberg. Link is here.



Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.
[ Parent ]
Thanks (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:59:13 PM EST

Yeah, that was it.

A great example of exactly how deep the roots of racism can dig.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Not at all unexpected (none / 0) (#149)
by KWillets on Fri May 18, 2001 at 06:44:45 PM EST

There's a huge amount of bias in the "black community", which the last time I heard the term meant poor urban blacks. Being one color or another does not make one immune to racism, and victims of racism do not necessarily renounce it. If anything they become more entrenched in it.

I've watched the varying behavior of different groups in my neighborhood, which once had one of the worst housing projects in the country (now it's perhaps second worst), and still gets a significant number of black-on-black shootings and other crimes. Black criminals prey the most upon other poor blacks, who often feel powerless to act against them. They take over the housing and property which belongs to blacks, while leaving white-owned houses alone. The criminals know the "black community" is small enough that they can easily control its members. For instance, no black person *ever* calls the police. This control even extends into the political arena. Many black leaders are afraid even to acknowledge the gang and drug activity. They accuse people of racism just for mentioning it.

The same goes on in every ethnic community. People don't seem to realize that this is one of the most damaging forms of bias. The views of middle class suburban couch potatoes have an effect, but the mindset of some guy with a gun outside your window is much more significant, IMHO.

"Better lock the windows so the N-----s don't get in there and steal everything" - My next door neighbor, African-American.



[ Parent ]
More FUD Fodder (3.50 / 6) (#3)
by farmgeek on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:23:37 AM EST

I can't wait to see how this one gets misinterpretated by the press.

This study raises some interesting questions though. Why do non-black people have this reaction? Do blacks have the same reaction as well?

My initial hypothesis is that it's a response that's been conditioned into us by our environment. How often do you see postive and non-violent images of blacks in our media?

Assuming that my hypothesis is correct (big assumption), then the other question I have to ask is whether this conditioning has any basis in reality.


yeh (4.66 / 3) (#12)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:51:23 AM EST

The really interesting study would be on black policemen, to see if they have materially different reactions from the black population as a whole. If it's an evolutionary psychology explanation, then we'd be postulating some sort of "If people look different from you, be on the lookout" mechanism (of course, we'd be eliding the begging the question of how people of different races came to meet each other during the environment of adaptation, but since we're assuming that we're evolutionary psychologists, we're already assuming that we're intellectually dishonest).

If, on the other hand, it's a learned behaviour, then you would imagine that black cops are more inculcated into a particularly oppressive part of white culture, and would demonstrate the behaviour to a significant degree.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I Think there has been studies (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by nobbystyles on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:01:51 PM EST

That Black cops stop and search black people disproportionately more than white as well. This would indicate it's a cultural phenomenum rather than evolutionary behaviour.

Would be interesting to also see white people's reaction to other racial groups apart from blacks. If it is truly evolutionary behaviour based on diference to one's racial group, then the stats would be the same as for black people. I bet you any money that they would differ...

[ Parent ]
Please enter a subject for your comment. (none / 0) (#161)
by eudas on Sun May 20, 2001 at 01:18:13 PM EST

"That Black cops stop and search black people disproportionately more than white as well. This would indicate it's a cultural phenomenum rather than evolutionary behaviour."

That reminds me of something I once read (and this might be slightly incorrect, my memory isn't perfect): that there are three kinds of people in the world to cops: cops, citizens, and perps.

Comments welcome.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]
bah (none / 0) (#19)
by alprazolam on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:09:31 PM EST

i don't think thats the interesting thing. i think what would be interesting to know how much more people would assume the person is a threat if they were arabic. and whether anybody would even give a shit.

[ Parent ]
Speaking of intellectually dishonest.... (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:27:24 PM EST

"If it's an evolutionary psychology explanation, then we'd be postulating some sort of "If people look different from you, be on the lookout" mechanism (of course, we'd be eliding the begging the question of how people of different races came to meet each other during the environment of adaptation, but since we're assuming that we're evolutionary psychologists, we're already assuming that we're intellectually dishonest)."

There are ways that people can look/act different from me without being of another race. For instance, hair color, size, body decoration, language, posture, etc all of which could plausibly have been encountered over an evolutionarily significant timescale. If (if!) we have a built-in general rule to mistrust "the different", it will be triggered by racial differences whether or not racial differences were encountered in the past.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Examples... (4.33 / 3) (#67)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:39:50 PM EST

So what you are saying, is that even within the "races" there are categories of people that are stereotyped. For example, if you see a white guy with dreadlocks and a mangy beard, wearing a tie-dye t-shirt, baggy pants, and birkenstocks, would you think he smoked pot? How about if there was also a white man with his hair cut neatly in a suit and tie next to him? Which one would you guess smokes pot? It's almost more of a statistics question. The statistics show that black people commit more crimes than whites. This is not due to anything genetic and most people recognize this, but still since a higher proportion of crimes are committed by this group, and the group is already a minority group, then the knowledge of that fact would make you fear them more. This can apply to racism, sexism, and any -ism you want. That is where it starts at least. What happens later is when you start to think they are less of a person than you because a certain demographic they fit commits more crimes than the demographic you fit in. It is really a complicated mess, and the easiest solution for me is to just try to not take things like skin color into consideration, and instead decide if I like someone or not on an individual basis. However, there are certain groups that we will always stereotype, whether it's racism or not, just because it's human nature.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

One little nit. (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by misterluke on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:16:17 PM EST

The statistics show that black people commit more crimes than whites.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that blacks are convicted of a disproportionately large number of crimes? I wouldn't normally take issue with it, but part of what's being explored here is that the law might not be equally enforced with respect to race in the USA, and that calls those statistics in to question.

[ Parent ]
Good point (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:21:16 PM EST

However, I am not really an expert on this (just like everyone else on K5) but from what I have seen in the past, it really is a higher percentage that get caught, not just convicted. Plenty of white and other "races" get caught as well. Perhaps what should be observed more closely is the incarcerations of various groups. If it shows that non-whites get punished more severely for similar crimes as whites then there is a huge problem. I dunno though, I haven't seen anything that detailed before.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Drugs (4.50 / 2) (#105)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:11:21 PM EST

Black people are convicted of more crimes than whites. However, this needs to be considered along with the following facts:

  • Blacks are convicted of more drug crimes than whites, per capita.
  • 1/4th of all prison inmates were convicted of drug crimes and nothing more
  • Studies nearly always show that blacks and whites use drugs at about the same rate.
So whites use drugs as often as blacks yet get convicted of drug offenses far less.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Wow. (none / 0) (#145)
by misterluke on Fri May 18, 2001 at 05:01:43 PM EST

Now that is a creepy set of statistics. I'm gonna have to look closer at those results, if I can find them.

[ Parent ]
the stats (none / 0) (#157)
by samth on Sun May 20, 2001 at 10:18:13 AM EST

The stats are available here. And they're even scarier than that. To quote:
According to the federal Household Survey, "most current illicit drug users are white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites (72 percent of all users), 2.0 million blacks (15 percent), and 1.4 million Hispanics (10 percent) who were current illicit drug users in 1998." And yet, blacks constitute 36.8% of those arrested for drug violations, over 42% of those in federal prisons for drug violations. African-Americans comprise almost 60% of those in state prisons for drug felonies; Hispanics account for 22.5%.
If that doesn't make you worry about our justice system, I don't know what will.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
you do realise (none / 0) (#120)
by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 02:59:24 AM EST

that this point of view would commit you to the prediction that people would be more likely to misidentify weapons when shown pictures of a kaftan than a nice suit and tie? Are you happy with that prediction?

And "act different ... language ... posture" are all clearly irrelevant here, as a glance at the still used will show (link in a post above).

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

"sure" and "nice try" (none / 0) (#127)
by DesiredUsername on Fri May 18, 2001 at 09:09:23 AM EST

"...this point of view would commit you to the prediction that people would be more likely to misidentify weapons when shown pictures of a kaftan than a nice suit and tie? Are you happy with that prediction?"

It sounds reasonable enough to test. Are you suggesting it should be rejected out of hand?

"And "act different ... language ... posture" are all clearly irrelevant here, as a glance at the still used will show (link in a post above)."

Nice try, but no dice. I didn't say language/posture were the explanation for people misidentifying weapons. I agreed (for the purposes of this thread) that skin color explained it and followed someone else's theory that the *reason* skin color explained it was that it triggered a "difference detection function" in the brain. A function that was created in the presence of differences other than (or maybe in addition to) skin color.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
that can't be right (none / 0) (#128)
by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 09:12:51 AM EST

One of the things we know about the brain is that motion and colour are processed in separate regions, and behaviour and speech are dealt with in a totally different (slower) way. If evolutionary psychology is going to have any hope of establishing any sort of point here, it can't start off by ignoring the few neurophysiological facts we do know which are relevant to the case.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Troll (none / 0) (#108)
by sigwinch on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:43:29 PM EST

If it's an evolutionary psychology explanation, then we'd be postulating some sort of "If people look different from you, be on the lookout" mechanism (of course, we'd be eliding the begging the question of how people of different races came to meet each other during the environment of adaptation, we're already assuming that we're intellectually dishonest).
Races are not the only difference. There's nearby villages and tribes that use different clothing, body paint, or jewelry; different hominids and primates that existed contemporaneously with homo sapiens for evolutionarily significant periods of time; and people whose faces and bodies are simply unfamiliar. Duh. Talk about intellectual dishonesty.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

fine, but... (1.00 / 13) (#5)
by 2400n81 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:26:34 AM EST

...written by the biggest wannabe whiteboy on Earth. Montoya.: claims to be from Harvard, hangs out on Wall street, some sort of Lawyer. i shed a tear for thee, O streetlawyer. O persecuted you.

what happened to your limerick? (3.50 / 2) (#8)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:43:34 AM EST

Unless the last bit of your post is some sort of blank verse.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
'tis an artistic statement (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by 2400n81 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:49:26 PM EST

my signature is empty as an artistic statement of the blankness of the world. :)

[ Parent ]
I'd be interested to know a few things (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by pookieballs on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:26:46 AM EST

The story wasn't very specific about the socio-economic backgrounds of the subjects. Are we talking mostly upper or upper-middle class people, or what?

Also, it would be very interesting to perform the same study using comparable black students. I don't know what it would demonstrate, exactly, but it would be interesting. I wonder if we'd see an equal and opposite reaction, with whites being more likely to be misidentified as hostile, or if we'd see the same result.

More data required (4.62 / 8) (#7)
by WinPimp2K on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:27:23 AM EST

I'll call the results "interesting"

The study also mentioned that most of the participants were white. More data is required with much larger samples and a more varied group. Results should also be categorized by the race of the person being tested.

Only a complete flaming idiot would claim that they have no prejudices - oh wait, you did ask about "self-styled white liberals".

I suspect (but remember I want more data!) that a study using blacks would give similar results. If so, would they then also be guilty of "unconscious racism", or would some other terminology come into play? After all, it is a "known fact" that it is impossible for blacks to be racist.

re: Only flaming idiots claim no prejudices (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by starman42 on Mon May 21, 2001 at 12:18:26 PM EST

I can say, unequivocally, that I am not prejudiced--I hate everyone equally, until they show me that I should act otherwise. While growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I used to hang out with a large group of kids (no gangs) that, when taken together, literally made up all of the colors of the rainbow. We were just a bunch of people who shared the same interest, goals and dreams (this was during the 70's) and had a great time together. After moving to Florida in 1979, things changed, however. Not because I was suddenly turned off by people from other races and religions, but because I started going to college and it must have been 80% white. I was studying computer science and there was only one non-white student in the entire class. Since I also play golf, enjoy deep-sea fishing, playing chess and many other stereotypical "white" pasttimes, I had very little contact with non-whites. Am I a racist because I did not make an extra effort to seek out friends from other races and nationalities? I think not. Jump to today. I am living in Germany and there are not many black people here. At the company that I work at, there is a programmer from Cameroon and there is a girl who is director of human resources with a Nigerian background. Am I a racist if I do not spend all of my free time with them? I think not. The music that I like, the interests that I have, the place where I live dictate the friends that I have. I will state that I am not a racist. Everyone has an equal chance to be my friend, or enemy.

[ Parent ]
Fire Extinguisher For Sale :-) (none / 0) (#176)
by WinPimp2K on Mon May 21, 2001 at 01:31:32 PM EST

Cause you look like you need one!

only flaming idiots claim no prejudices

I hate everyone equally until they show me that I should act otherwise
It sure sounds like you have pre-judged people - just that your general misanthropy is strong enough that you don't need to worry about the subtle racist tendencies the study was claimed to demonstrate.

or in psuedocode
prejudiced != racist

[ Parent ]

Not narrow enough. (4.00 / 4) (#9)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:49:17 AM EST

It wasn't clear if the study tested this, but I'd lay big money that the truth is more "The mere presence of a black male face...".

I also strongly suspect that you can leave the "white" part out of the sentence and get the same results. (We remember the reactions of asian market owners in the LA riots, right?)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

The questions (4.09 / 11) (#10)
by trhurler on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:49:46 AM EST

First, since this is the kind of study in which the participants, if they aren't told in advance, ARE going to figure out what's going on, does it actually show anything?

Second, even if it does, is it racism to acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of violent crimes in the US are committed by young black males? This isn't some false stereotype; it is a fact. I'm in considerably more danger near a young black male I don't know than around ANYONE else I don't know. I don't think it is because of some racial inferiority or anything like that; clearly there are other factors at work. Nevertheless, it would be foolish of me not to notice such things and be more cautious because of them.

Anyone with forebrain deficiencies sufficient to prohibit distinguishing between self interest based on government crime data and racism can lick my pasty white ass; I've been called worse things for less reason before, and unlike the whiny losers you see in public life, I'm not afraid of false accusations:)

--
And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
But this isn't a matter of calculation (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:59:29 AM EST

This isn't a study in which people were led out onto something like the FBI firing range and asked to separate "threats" from "non-threats", in which case your suspicion would have been more justified. If I didn't typically have graphics turned off, I'd have recognised the importance of this link sooner. As you can see, it's not a problem of the sort "Is this black guy going for a gun or pulling out his wallet". You see a picture which is either a face, or a manufactured object. If it's an object, you say "gun" or "tool". The images of guns or tools are clearly distinguishable. The only way the subjects could get them wrong would be by reacting too quickly, instinctively, before they'd had time to have any conscious thoughts about the FBI crime statistics. The experiment, I think, proves that the presence of a photograph of a black face creates a mood in white people where they start to perceive threats which don't exist. I would further conjecture that this may be a material cause of inter-racial violence.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Mugshot vs. Toolshot (4.83 / 6) (#20)
by Afty on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:10:39 PM EST

Unless of course, people were using colour association when making their lightning-fast judgements, and during the test their brains adjusted to see light colours as 'faces' and dark colours as 'tools'

In the example the gun has an overall darker hue than the tool. I'd like to see the full test set, but if they used workbench-type tools which are often silver in colour and typical guns which are usualy black or dark grey, this type of association is possible, the brain retrains itself to react to consistent stimuli *very* quickly.

I'd like to see the test redone with a significant number of participants but using black/dark cars and white/light cars instead of peoples faces, and see if this trend is still present.

+1 Section though, should generate good discussion.

[ Parent ]
colors (none / 0) (#133)
by greycat on Fri May 18, 2001 at 10:47:51 AM EST

Excellent point. I'd also like to see the experiment repeated with full-color photographs, rather than line drawings. Crude sketches like the ones pictured were difficult for me to process quickly, and I wasn't even under time pressure!

[ Parent ]
The subconcious (none / 0) (#35)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:22:33 PM EST

While instinctive responses certainly reduce the influence of wanting to please (or perhaps subvert) the experimenter, they don't necessarily gaurantee that they are done away with entirely. Unfortunately, there's no ethical way to do any better.

I think you are being a little too quick with your flippant comment about FBI crime statistics. There's no reason to believe that people don't incorporate learned biases into "instinctive" responses. Not from crime statistics, but from what they've seen in the media, in conversation, and elsewhere. There's reams of data showing that instinctive response can differ according to learning. All you have to do to see that is to look at the changing images of female beauty that provoke instinctive responses in men.

Anyway, the reason that's important is that it makes a difference when deciding if this is a material cause of inter-racial violence (I'm assuming you really mean white on black violence here), or merely an effect of racism itself irrespective of that.

Somewhere around the web (I lost the link in a job change, unfortunately), there's a site that uses the same sort of instinctive reaction to measure biases. You are presented pictures followed by words and have to categorize things as good vs. bad and black vs. white. The reaction time is tracked as reaction time is an indication of how easy a task is. The tests are illuminating, and I which I had the link because everyone should try it. I know the results surprised me. I will admit that I went in taking the test sure that it would exonerate me. I suspect there are a lot of people like that here.

For many people, the task is significantly harder when "black" things are presented with "good" things and "white" things are presented with "bad" things than the reverse.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

black on white (4.66 / 3) (#36)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:25:31 PM EST

(I'm assuming you really mean white on black violence here),

Absolutely not; I have enough personal experience, let alone the psychological evidence, to be aware that people who are afraid of violence tend to end up in violent situations. Fear screws up your body language.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Please defend this (none / 0) (#38)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:30:22 PM EST

Prima facie, your statement appears false. I would appreciate your producing the evidence to back up this statement.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Stepping in here (5.00 / 4) (#75)
by rawthorne on Thu May 17, 2001 at 05:20:16 PM EST

I have to go with streetlawyer on this one. Whether it be a dark ghetto street or a bar full of drunken louts, if you walk around with hunched shoulders looking like you expect to be beaten up at any moment, you will stand out and you will attract attention, most of it unwanted.

It's amazing, but humans are like dogs: they can smell fear. It's like that in other situations too. If you are in a building where you really have no right to be, walk around like you know where you're going and no-one will say a thing. Creep around furtively and before you know it it's "Can-I-help-you-mister, do-you-have-some-ID" time.

Way back when, when my company was a startup and we had no offices of our own, we would set shop in a nearby corporation's building. Totally without them knowing a thing. When we needed an office for a day we would march fully suited into their building, pick an empty conference room, and settle in. Security never said a word. Once a harried secretary came in to say she had reserved our room for another group. We barely looked up from our meeting, barked something along the lines of "we-clearly-made-a-reservation-you-must-have-fucked-up-it's-your-problem-fix-it". She left, and came back later with apologies and a trolley of coffee and refreshments.

Body language is everything.

[ Parent ]

I agree mostly (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 06:45:04 PM EST

I guess I have no problem with the concept that those who are not prepared for violence run a better chance of being abused. This is obviously so. However, her statement read <i>Absolutely not; I have enough personal experience, let alone the psychological evidence, to be aware that people who are afraid of violence tend to end up in violent situations. Fear screws up your body language.</i>, which I disagree with. People afraid of violence will avoid situations where violence is likely, imo, so will not likely wander into a bar in which they might be beat up. A more correct statement might be, <i>people who fear violence, when faced with violence, are more likely to be preyed upon than those who do not fear violence</i>. However, I still doubt that people who fear violence are significantly more likely to face such situations than society at large, which is largely my beef with the statement.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
the mind of a bully (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by cory on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:05:55 PM EST

Why is it so hard to believe that bullies, muggers, rapists, and other assorted lowlifes, are more likely to pick on someone who's body language shouts "I'm afraid"? These people actively look for any and every weakness (as they define it, which would include fear), and exploit it.

Cory


[ Parent ]
I'm not disagreeing with that (none / 0) (#84)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:09:52 PM EST

If you read the post, you'll see that I think there is a serious mitigating effect; to wit: people afraid of violence will avoid such a bully, preferring to stay in areas patrolled well or travelling with a friendly thug. Being rather large myself, I have often had several people afraid of violence in tow because they know people won't mess with me. This way, they won't be messed with, either.
My point is that I don't think that overall those afraid of violence suffer more violence than those not afraid of violence precisely because of their violence-avoiding strategies. However, in situations where violence is likely or violent persons are known to be, those afraid of violence are far more likely to be abused.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
ah, i see, that makes sense (nt) (none / 0) (#138)
by cory on Fri May 18, 2001 at 12:49:06 PM EST




[ Parent ]
Fear (none / 0) (#41)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:36:48 PM EST

Ah yes, I see what you mean about that.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Test (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by shirobara on Thu May 17, 2001 at 04:34:25 PM EST

I'm not sure if this is it (reading your post again, I'm pretty sure it's not) but here's a site that looks pretty similar to what you're talking about: http://buster.cs.yale.edu/implicit/

I gave it a shot (the gender/fields one), but I have some pretty ridiculous problems with telling my left from my right without conscious thought or putting my hands up and telling which one makes the L, and the test requires you to do that quickly. So I'm not sure how accurate it was for me.



[ Parent ]
Thanks! (3.83 / 6) (#73)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 05:03:34 PM EST

So far I have a strong preference for young people, little or no preference between black or white, and I have yet to do more tests than that.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Zero? (none / 0) (#77)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 05:48:24 PM EST

Why the hell was that rated zero?
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Good question (none / 0) (#79)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 06:38:54 PM EST

I sent kmself an email asking him to explain himself. I have no idea what his problem is, other than looking like Bill Gates on doughnuts.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Sig is out of line (none / 0) (#85)
by kmself on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:22:37 PM EST

Literally. I'd posted a comment elsewhere and sent mail to theboz. More at his diary.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Yep (none / 0) (#76)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 05:47:32 PM EST

Yeah, that was it. Thanks.

For some reason I had it in my head that it was Harvard, and so couldn't find it.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Figuring out the study (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by dylansnow on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:56:07 PM EST

I participated in a similar study to this one at Wash U. Yes, I did figure out what was going on after the first couple tests. I know, for me at least, that having conscious knowledge of what the study was trying to prove influenced my decision-making. I became worried that I would portray a racist image and therefore I over-compensated. I think this factor of discovering the nature of the study and then over-compensating was probably overlooked.

[ Parent ]
you are a victim of racism, not crime stats (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by eLuddite on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:38:02 PM EST

Clearly a case of the tail wagging dog.

I'm in considerably more danger near a young black male I don't know than around ANYONE else I don't know. I don't think it is because of some racial inferiority or anything like that;

If you were black you would have considerably more justification in saying "stay away from white people, they're going to find a way to put you in a world of pain." Since you are white, compare figures of white on white violence vs. black on white violence in light of the racial bias in arrest and conviction rates. As a point of interest, if you imagine armed black people, black people are going to end up before white judges sooner rather than later.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Reread what I wrote... (4.80 / 5) (#68)
by trhurler on Thu May 17, 2001 at 04:04:48 PM EST

I specifically limited my statement to regard only people I do not know. The reason is simple: I know and care about many people of many genetic histories. I don't think it matters much; the saddest thing to me is that so many of them define themselves according to their skin color or where they came from or whatever. (I don't define myself in terms of much of anything, as it happens, and I don't feel a need to "define" myself in general. I think it is a mistake.)

That said, the bias you're looking for in conviction rates applies equally when the judges and juries are the same race as the defendants - the problem is that their socioeconomic position combined with the "culture" they grow up in cause many young black males to commit crimes. It is not a "bias" to convict them of this, and there are not hordes of white guys getting away with offing convenience store clerks on account of not being black! Unfortunately, the only alternative we can provide culturally is normally known to young black kids(though often NOT to their parents,) as "selling out."

I'm not against black people, or even much of their culture, but if you go into a poor inner city neighborhood and see five year olds imitating gang graffiti on their sidewalks in chalk, you will begin to see where the real (not a product of some imaginary systemic bias, though some bad decisions are certainly made in any human endeavor,) problem of violence in those cities is coming from. When white kids live there, or any other race, they do the same thing(see LA as an example.) The problem is not race or the perception thereof - the problem is culture. It's like a less justifiable more fucked up version of being a Palestinian kid - you go out and throw rocks at soldiers and end up dead on TV. Stupid, but what the hell do you know better? THAT has to change if you want to solve anything. How? I'm not quite sure, but somehow.

--
And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
[ Parent ]
The answer... (1.25 / 8) (#71)
by beergut on Thu May 17, 2001 at 04:41:50 PM EST

Stupid, but what the hell do you know better? THAT has to change if you want to solve anything. How? I'm not quite sure, but somehow.

Release a kill-bot with a TV camera. That way, they'll end up dead on TV, but it will amuse me.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Why does this statement not surprise me? (none / 0) (#155)
by ZanThrax on Sun May 20, 2001 at 05:34:57 AM EST

I'm in considerably more danger near a young black male I don't know than around ANYONE else I don't know.

Hell. I was well into my third paragraph of arguement when I realised I wasn't being clear. So I'm simply going to raise two middling points and ignore the larger issue that such an idiotic statement raises.

  • That's a rather sensationalistic non-statement there trhurler. Danger of what? Being hit by lightning? Being shot for no reason? Being called out as a rascist piece of shit? Some other non-specific threat? That's a comment worthy of a segregationist politician. Lots of noise, no actual information.
  • Since the only thing you've mentioned about this situation is that the person you don't know whom you are near is a young black male, I'm forced to assume that you consider either youth, dark skin, maleness, or some combination of these to be dangerous.
Now, if you said that this random person you don't know is more likely to have commited a violent crime than some other random person (who doesn't fit those three criteria), then you'd have a leg to stand on. But, ignoring for the moment the attribution of a group tendancy to a specific (if random) individual, you can't really say this person is more dangerous than any other person you don't know. Assuming for a moment, that, like me, you don't know every violent person that you may happen to stand near for a brief moment, there are plenty of people who are not young black males who are very dangerous (in whatever way you meant it).

Anyhow, I think I can finally get this main point out straight now. You've just done what a great many rasicsts before you have done. You've taken an argueably true aspect of a large group of people, and assumed that every member of that group therefore can be considered to have that aspect, and should be treated as though they do without having any reason to. Perhaps if you had said "a young black male with a gun pointed at my head demanding my wallet" you'd have been justified in saying that you would be in danger in that situation. (Not that they'd be any more dangerous than a young white male with a gun pointed at your head demanding your wallet.) But that isn't what you said. You said that proximity to a person whose only known traits are age, colour, and gender is somehow inherently dangerous. Its no fucking wonder so many young black males hate white people.


You sir, duckspeak double-plusgood.


[ Parent ]
Not quite (none / 0) (#178)
by trhurler on Mon May 21, 2001 at 01:35:46 PM EST

but thanks for playing. You and Jesse Jackson can keep running around screaming about racists. Meanwhile, I've got almost as many black friends as white, and they're nice people, very much unlike the violent hood rats that Jesse insists I should respect and even admire.

When you're on some street alone at night, and you're not quite sure if that guy behind you is following you or just going along his way, you're no different from me, but you're too cowardly to admit it, and so I'm the racist and you're a hero of multiculturalism. Whatever.

--
And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
[ Parent ]
I never claimed to not get nervous about (none / 0) (#183)
by ZanThrax on Mon May 21, 2001 at 07:34:57 PM EST

someone possibly following me on a street at night. But that's not what you said. You said an unknown young black man is more dangerous than an unknown person who isn't a young black man. You said nothing about apparent gang colours, weapons, or menacing behaviour.


You sir, duckspeak double-plusgood.


[ Parent ]
Don't need to... (none / 0) (#186)
by trhurler on Tue May 22, 2001 at 11:17:14 AM EST

He might be unarmed, wearing ordinary clothing, and just following me. So what? Maybe he ISN'T following me, but just happens to be going the same way I am. Now, in point of fact, he is not "more dangerous" if he's black - but since I don't know him, and since a larger percentage of young black males commit crimes than anyone else, there is no doubt that I have more concern if the guy is black, unless there's some reason not to do so. If the stats showed that white women with big hair were more dangerous, I'd be more concerned about them; this isn't about race or gender or appearance, but simply about a statistic.

And yes, if you're following me and you've got gang markings, I'm either going to get away from you as quickly as possible or find something handy to beat you with, because at that point, regardless of your race, the odds that you aren't out to get me approach zero. However, I don't normally walk in places where I'd meet such people, because concealed carry is illegal in my state - which of course means that gang punk has a gun and I don't - and he knows that.

--
And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
[ Parent ]
"Mistake" tools for weapons? (3.81 / 11) (#13)
by Signal seven 11 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:55:03 AM EST

Are you sure it's really a mistake? Personally, I'd be inclined to see a pipe-wrench in the hands of a wannabe gangsta as a weapon, while I'd see a firearm in the hands of a civilized person as a tool.

I'm most disturbed by the fact that no black students were involved in the study. Had they been, I suspect they would have reacted the same way as whites. Other studies have shown that both blacks and whites get more on edge when a black person enters the same room as them, versus when a white person enters. So, this makes whites "racist", I guess it makes blacks "racist" in some self-loathing way.

I am troubled by your language. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:03:22 PM EST

First, forget about "in the hands of". The photographs of guns and tools were line drawings, shown separately from the pictures of faces.

Second, the reason that no black students were involved is quite likely to be tied up with the fact that the students were "attending a private college in the Midwest"; not a fertile ground for finding black people other than janitors.

Having corrected your factual errors, I will end this conversation; I do not care to talk to people who think of black people as "wannabe gangsters" and white people as "civilised persons".

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

janitors (4.50 / 2) (#21)
by alprazolam on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:11:35 PM EST

wash u is a fairly diverse school, there are plenty of black students on campus. no black faculty maybe, but there are definately black students.

[ Parent ]
"Factual errors"? (4.25 / 8) (#23)
by Signal seven 11 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:15:57 PM EST

First, forget about "in the hands of". The photographs of guns and tools were line drawings, shown separately from the pictures of faces.

And this has exactly shit to do with what? The study is supposed to show that cops are more likely to shoot a black person holding something resembling a weapon than a white person; etc.

the reason that no black students were involved is quite likely to be tied up with the fact that the students were "attending a private college in the Midwest"

Ummm, Washington University. I happen to know black people who attend their. And there are certainly enough blacks on campus to take part in the study, had the study's organizers wanted them to. What was that about "factual errors"? Perhaps it's not the best idea to comment on a country you haven't even set foot in.

I do not care to talk to people who think of black people as "wannabe gangsters" and white people as "civilised persons".

Maybe you ought to take a look at your own biases. Nowhere did I call black people "gangstas" or whites "civilized". Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

[ Parent ]

Well... (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by ODiV on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:22:24 PM EST

Nowhere did I call black people "gangstas" or whites "civilized".

That's true, but you implied it pretty strongly.

Are you sure it's really a mistake? Personally, I'd be inclined to see a pipe-wrench in the hands of a wannabe gangsta as a weapon, while I'd see a firearm in the hands of a civilized person as a tool.

The results of the experiments found that the weapons are more strongly associated with black people. Your comment above implies that you consider the blacks to be wannabe gangstas and the whites to be civilized, because it includes "Are you sure it's a mistake?" The fact that only faces were shown in the experiment counts against you here as well. So technically you're not saying it imho, but it's a pretty strong implication, and one that you should definately avoid if you don't want to be misunderstood.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Which is his point, the study is flawed (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:15:15 PM EST

"...the reason that no black students were involved is quite likely to be tied up with the fact that the students were "attending a private college in the Midwest"; not a fertile ground for finding black people other than janitors."

So, not only did they NOT perform a control experiment, they also, according to you, chose their subjects non-randomly.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
You're misunderstanding the experiment (5.00 / 1) (#81)
by jacob on Thu May 17, 2001 at 06:58:27 PM EST

Though I haven't read the actual paper, only the news report that streetlawyer links to, it's pretty clear that the experiment's hypothesis was not "non-blacks will misidentify tools as weapons in the presence of black faces more than black people will," but rather that "non-blacks will misidentify tools as weapons more in the presence of black faces than in the presence of non-black faces." The first hypothesis would require using black subjects as a control; the second does not.

Also, virtually no university psychology experiment in the US has truly random samples of subjects: though that would be nice, the fact is that you can't bonk people over the head and make them take your psychology experiments after you select them for your random sample. You can, on the other hand, require that your undergraduate psychology students be subjects in x number of experiments to graduate, and that's what most experimenters do. Certainly that method isn't perfect, but it's the best anybody can do. If you want to reject this experiment for that flaw, you basically have to reject every experimental finding in psychology ever.

--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
No, I'm not (none / 0) (#88)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 17, 2001 at 08:04:40 PM EST

"...the experiment's hypothesis was not "non-blacks will misidentify tools as weapons in the presence of black faces more than black people will," but rather that "non-blacks will misidentify tools as weapons more in the presence of black faces than in the presence of non-black faces." The first hypothesis would require using black subjects as a control; the second does not."

If you want to eliminate the possibility of perceptual error (like color similarities, etc) you need to get a baseline of human perception on the problem. Absent any perfectly neutral humans, use blacks who presumably will be less biased.

"Also, virtually no university psychology experiment in the US has truly random samples of subjects..."

Using students as subjects is fine as long as it's reasonable to suppose that they represent an arbitrary sample with respect to the hypothesis being testing. But as streetlawyer points out, levels of racism vary widely by geographic area so using students from only one school isn't really valid.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Re: no, I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by jacob on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:10:41 PM EST

[Ooh, I like your way of citing. I'll borrow it if you don't mind...]

"If you want to eliminate the possibility of perceptual error (like color similarities, etc) you need to get a baseline of human perception on the problem. Absent any perfectly neutral humans, use blacks who presumably will be less biased."

Oddly enough, I happen to know something about this subject (a psych grad student friend of mine sent me a paper about they actually do it and discussed with me a while back). In this case, it wouldn't be appropriate to measure blacks and assume that's the baseline of perceptual error -- how do we know they're less biased? how do we know their base perceptual error is the same as the subjects' base perceptual error? how do we know that the standard deviation in perceptual error is a) the same between blacks and non-blacks and b) low enough that we don't have to measure a huge sample to generalize? et cetera.

The experimenters could have corrected, however, by measuring each subject's base perceptual error by testing it either before or during the experiment. For example, they might have thrown in extra pictures that didn't have any faces at all, just the tool or weapon, and measured how often the subject misidentified those before moving on to the sets with face x [tool|weapon] pairs. They've almost certainly documented what they did to measure baseline error in their paper. If they didn't do anything, that's certainly a valid technical argument against the finding, but the assertion "no blacks --> no baseline measurement" just doesn't hold.

(Incidentally, there's a whole lot of work done on how to measure this stuff. There's even mathematical models and statistical processes and really cool math for measuring misidentification errors and how to attribute them. I'll dig up references if you really care, though I warn you it's very very technical.)

"Using students as subjects is fine as long as it's reasonable to suppose that they represent an arbitrary sample with respect to the hypothesis being testing. But as streetlawyer points out, levels of racism vary widely by geographic area so using students from only one school isn't really valid."

Two points: first, as you point out, what is reasonable to do in an experiment depends on one's hypothesis, and since neither of us know what these researchers' hypotheses were, we're both just making stuff up. (Naturally, that doesn't stop me.) Second, I would guess that they probably do suggest that their results generalize to more than the Wash U student body and that such a suggestion is risky. So what? It's not really a flaw with their study -- everybody knows they only studied college students from one college and that their results shouldn't be blindly trusted everywhere. They probably say that very thing (or the equivalent in psychologese) right at the front of their methodology section. If the research community finds it a worthwhile study, they can do more extensive tests to explore that regional variation and find out more.



--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
References (none / 0) (#168)
by cafeman on Sun May 20, 2001 at 07:54:15 PM EST

I'll just jump in here quickly - do you have any links to online references about the math behind measuring misidentification errors? Thanks in advance.



--------------------
"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"


[ Parent ]
Janitors (none / 0) (#135)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri May 18, 2001 at 11:47:31 AM EST

Most janitors in the midwest are white.

[ Parent ]
ahem (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by ODiV on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:08:40 PM EST

It wasn't weapon vs. tool... it was gun vs. tool.

Personally, I'd be inclined to see a pipe-wrench in the hands of a wannabe gangsta as a weapon, while I'd see a firearm in the hands of a civilized person as a tool.

And how would you know, just by looking at his face? I'm really hoping this wasn't intended as a racist comment.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Intent. (3.00 / 1) (#121)
by Eric Henry on Fri May 18, 2001 at 03:11:20 AM EST

And how would you know, just by looking at his face? I'm really hoping this wasn't intended as a racist comment.

No, it was just a very revealing comment that demonstrated the exactly the kind of unconcious racism this study was focused on.

Eric Henry

[ Parent ]

Your bias... (none / 0) (#177)
by beergut on Mon May 21, 2001 at 01:35:10 PM EST

No, it was just a very revealing comment that demonstrated the exactly the kind of unconcious racism this study was focused on.

It is clear to me that you assume that, because he is ostensibly white, he means "black" when he says "wannabe gangsta", and "white" when he says "civilized person."

Could you be wrong, and he actually meant these classifications as he stated them? "Wannabe gangsta" meaning "wannabe gangsta" rather than "black", and "civilized person" meaning "civilized person" rather than "white"?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Read what he said. (none / 0) (#188)
by Eric Henry on Wed May 23, 2001 at 02:15:17 AM EST

Could you be wrong, and he actually meant these classifications as he stated them? "Wannabe gangsta" meaning "wannabe gangsta" rather than "black", and "civilized person" meaning "civilized person" rather than "white"?

He wrote "Are you sure it's really a mistake? Personally, I'd be inclined to see a pipe-wrench in the hands of a wannabe gangsta as a weapon, while I'd see a firearm in the hands of a civilized person as a tool." in a message titled: "Mistake" tools for weapons?

The mistake in question is the students mistaking tools for guns when looking at black faces. He then says "I'd be inclined to see a pipe-wrench in the hands of a wannabe gangsta as a weapon..." The students are thinking tool+black=weapon, and he's saying tool+gangster=weapon. He's not changing the subject along the way. His comment about gangsters wasn't just tossed in the middle of that paragraph as an aside, it was meant to defend and rationalize the students choices.

Eric Henry

[ Parent ]

you are disturbing (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by eLuddite on Fri May 18, 2001 at 03:54:57 AM EST

I'm most disturbed by the fact that no black students were involved in the study. Had they been, I suspect they would have reacted the same way as whites. Other studies have shown that both blacks and whites get more on edge when a black person enters the same room as them, versus when a white person enters.

In other words, systemic racism has devalued blacks in their own eyes as well as in the eyes of whites. The fact that many people have made the same objection as you is extremely discouraging for it suggests either (1) they believe blacks are ugly in a dangerous way or (2) they fail to understand how this objection makes them racist.

So, this makes whites "racist", I guess it makes blacks "racist" in some self-loathing way.

Looks like its a race between your edification and a black man's revolt. But wait! There's a 3rd alternative: statistics prove that you are safer if you evade any manifestation of a culture of black resistance. Stay away from rap music.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I have no idea what you're trying to say (5.00 / 4) (#141)
by Signal seven 11 on Fri May 18, 2001 at 03:26:48 PM EST

Looks like its a race between your edification and a black man's revolt. But wait! There's a 3rd alternative: statistics prove that you are safer if you evade any manifestation of a culture of black resistance. Stay away from rap music.

Okay? Try rewriting that, with clarity this time.

What I do know is, you shouldn't call it "rap". You've got to call it "hip-hop" if you want to be mad-MTV-cool.

[ Parent ]

What do I think? (4.50 / 8) (#17)
by Anonymous 6522 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:07:17 PM EST

Is there anything that the scientific/technical community can do about this?

Yes, there are several technical solutions to this problem. My first proposal is that the brilliant minds of k5, with possible help from those at slashdot, design a cybernetic implant that will interface with the visual cortex. This implant will cause the subject to percieve all people as having a dull gray color with no distinguishing racial characteristics. If the problem continues to persist, another implant can be designed that will ether make everyone talk in a dull monotone or cause all speech to sound as if it was spoken in a monotone.

If current technology is not up to the task, and my previous proposal proves unworkable. I suggest a machine be built that will poke out your eyes and render you deaf. This type of machine would be very easy to build, even if only medieval technology is available.

If ether of these proposals is carried out, I predict that racism will vanish soon thereafter, resulting in a nicely non-racist society.

That was the dork solution. Now the fun one. (4.83 / 6) (#37)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:25:57 PM EST

It's quite simple really, and anyone who's seen the movie "Bullworth" will know what it is.

Everyone fucks everyone else with the goal of impregnation, and a few generations down the line, there will be only one race. It may not work as quickly, but it's a whole lot more fun than getting your eyes poked out. Besides, as a (at least mostly) caucasian male I've always had a thing for latinas and asian women. I've dated the latter and plan to marry the former. I'm doing my part, how about you?

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, but... (5.00 / 3) (#140)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri May 18, 2001 at 01:54:45 PM EST

...how is the scientific/technical community going to do that?

[ Parent ]
Man, you crack me up (3.00 / 12) (#22)
by kostya on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:14:10 PM EST

You are just too darn funny, man.

It's like you don't know when to stop--or you do and you choose to ignore it ;-)

People call you a troll, and you claim you are NOT a troll, and you issue challenges but then you go out of your way to talk down to people and be a jerk :-)

I don't take it personally, but it still makes me smile. Not sure why, but your tenacity just kills me! It's like a Monty Python skit or something.

Polic officer: "Aw right, I've chosen to overlook your spitting on me."

Pedestrian: [spits again, this time in his face] "I'm not disrespecting you or anything, just expressing my opinion ..."

Police Officer: "Now see here!"

Pedestrian: [spits again] "Nothing personal, mind yuu."

Police Officer: "Okaaay. Off we go to jail with you ..."

Pedestrian: "But why? We were just having a conversation! Police Brutality! Police Brutality! I'm being oppressed!"

Police Officer: "Oh do shut up, will you!"
One post you refuse that you are a troll, and then your next opportunity you do everything you can to sound like one, as if to prove your point that you aren't ... somehow?

:-) Hey, rock on and be you. I for one still enjoy reading your posts--I suppose proving your point.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
clarification (none / 0) (#26)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:42:32 PM EST

I have never claimed not to be a troll, and it would be pretty pointless of me to do so. For a time, I claimed that I did not troll on kuro5hin; I dropped this claim when I started to do so.

I made the specific challenge in that article for someone to catch me out making a factually false statement; I do not do this, as the truth is so much more trollish. Glad you enjoy the act.

Oh yeh, if anyone wanted to win the challenge, I have actually told precisely one outright factual lie on kuro5hin, when I claimed to be innocent of posting under the one-joke identity "tired_of_communista". It was actually me -- sorry, but I was irritated, it was that or murder.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Your right (none / 0) (#28)
by kostya on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:54:35 PM EST

My bad. You did claim to be one, but argued that just because you were a troll doesn't mean you aren't factual correct or even right.

Still, your fine art of pissing people off is just amazing for me to watch. I guess I care too much what people think, but I don't think I could post like you do. It just ain't in me.

Although, I can be one sarcastic pain in the ass when I want to. But I consider that more of a response to being provoked, rather than the Camus' holy grail of "unmotivated action" you have going on. It's like a fluid motion for you. It is pretty fun to watch.

And your right, despite your caustic wording, you are factual correct. It just is such a foreign way to go about things for me--thus the finding it interesting and fun to watch ;-)



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Enough ass kissing. (4.20 / 5) (#43)
by Khalad on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:46:40 PM EST

What is this, jerk off streetlawyer time? Don't inflate his already overinflated ego! He gets enough rise out of people already—the last thing he needs is some positive feedback. My God, all we need is a giant streetlawyer-zilla trampling all over the dignity of Kuro5hin.

You remind me why I still, deep in my bitter crusty broken heart, love K5. —rusty


[ Parent ]
what I don't understand (none / 0) (#72)
by mami on Thu May 17, 2001 at 04:53:39 PM EST

If someone personally judges a story as a trollish attempt and a newbie votes -1 on it, because that newbie is just sick and tired of the same subject being abused for such purposes, the newbie is still publicly bullied around for misusing the rating system and attacked.

Where is the line between the positive side of a troll's comment or story (triggering emotional responses which have value, because any honest emotional reaction IS of value and should be considered as a method to find truths) and the negative side effect of faking emotional responses or comments or triggering them from others, which is basically mind manipulation ?

The polygamy story for example is one, which caught me as an example. Because (contrary to abusing the race, porn and freedom of speech subject areas for trolling attempts), the polygamy story was a subject, espcecially suitable to mix gender issues and religious freedom issues for the sake of trolling out emotional responses from women.

Of course being a non-trolling woman on this forum, one is in a minority. The trollish abuse of that subject went unrecognized or unmentioned, because of the scarcity of non-trolling women's reactions to it (I would guess that the number of active non trolling women on this forum is one percent).

The fact that men can't understand women and women can't understand men and the fact that it's a relatively difficult subject to get hard data on polygamy from women (not being able to make them without repercussions) that story's discussion is a good example of the negative effect of trolling (even if the author might not have wanted to troll and it was just a naive attempt to discuss a difficult issue).

Clearly polygamy is a subject which would trigger strong emotional responses from women, clearly the majority of posters is neither well informed, nor has lived in a polygamous society or has experienced a polygamous marriage.

Men could abuse the issue as an religious freedom issue and consider it from the islamic point of view, others are muddling around with science fiction szenarios, which is an insult to the intelligence of any woman, who knows how polygamy in the real world is lived, and just don't like to argue with kiddie's phantasy world arguments.

Let's say I try to find ways to express my opposition to the mediocre way this subject was dealt with (in my personal opinion), either through sarcasm, exaggeration, poking fun, ignoring comments or rating comments down. Then I recognize that the majority of readers can't or don't want to understand my attempts to make my point clear. Why would I conclude that the troll attempt in this context has still any value ? Answers and truths are not found.

On the other hand the system doesn't make sense, because as soon as you recognize the mechanism it offers for abuse, the whole participation in rating and commenting becomes questionable and basically irrelevant.

The logical consequence would be just to stay away from any further participation on the forum. I just can't seem to believe that that is in the intention of K5 forum providers.

So, I come to the conclusion, that arguments brought forward on the story about "Truth, Trolls and Big Lies" in favour for the positive sides of trolling are outweighted by the negative sides.

If the K5 wants to be inclusive and not exclusive and not elitist, but is in there for the purpose of finding truth and answers, then 80 percent of trolling attempts here have a negative influence.

So, I vote you down. Your story and the comments bore me and I have all the rights to vote however I please without any further justification.

If you have mentioned before that you never said you wouldn't troll, why would I care about that statement ? It's irrelevant. It doesn't make your troll a more positive thing for finding answers, it is not amusing, because of constant repetition, the only emotional response you might get is getting people to take time to tell you that your trolling IS boring. That is boring. Case closed.





[ Parent ]
Not surprising at all. (3.87 / 8) (#24)
by Kiss the Blade on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:31:47 PM EST

In my opinion, everyone is a racist. People who say 'I'm not a racist' as though it is some sort of achievement are either liars or lack all insight.

Human Beings are invariably scared of people that are different to them, at some level. This is an entirely natural reaction. However similar black people may be to white people, the fact is that from a superficial inspection they look very different indeed. This triggers all sorts of nasty little fears in anyone, even if only at an unconscious level - which is what this expirement appears to be investigating.

Thankfully, however, most of us are capable of overiding our natural impulses and judgements to at least some degree, when making considered actions. This is the polished veneer we call civilisation. The problem with this sort of thing is in unconsidered actions and responses (like policemen upholding the law by shooting black men armed with a Mars Bar).

I just get fed up of all the moaning about this. Frankly, there is nothing we can do to stop people having these reactions, it is something that no amount of discussion on kuro5hin or earnest comments in liberal journals will change.

We just have to work out how to live with the unpalatable truth that all people tend towards racism for natural and understandable reasons, and do what we can to mitigate effects.

KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.
There is no contradiction.

Pessismistic But Probably Right (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by nobbystyles on Thu May 17, 2001 at 12:51:31 PM EST

Can we ever overcome deep seated prejeudices instilled in us by society since childhood. Probably on a rational level yes but not at the instinctive, gut level. So despite 30 years of civil rights and affirmative action in the USA and similar policies in Europe, we still have deeply racist societies...

What's the answer. Probably brainwashing but that cure is probably worse than the disease....

[ Parent ]
Completely illogical (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:16:50 PM EST

Racism is learned, not something we are born with. I remember when I was a child I didn't know that race was a big deal. I have friends and family from ethnic groups and countries that are foreign to me. In fact, I would say that I was not aware of racism until I was about 10 years old.

Racism has to be a learned trait. People are not born with the irrational fear of someone for their skin color any more than people are born to fear those with blue eyes, or people that have blonde hair.

Where I will agree with you is that people tend to categorize things by making up their own list of classifications, and they will be fearful towards those that are not like them or they do not understand. This transcends racism though; it is also caused by different religions, languages, nationality, etc. I would say that the bigger problem is not judging things out of ignorance and fear. Instead, people can be cautious of the unknown, but curious enough to be willing to find more information before making their decision on whether or not something is good. What I mean is that how can a racist know black people are all bad, when they don't know any? What if doctors were like this? Who would want a surgeon to perform open heart surgery on them because they have heartburn? Sure it sounds right if you know nothing about the functions of the pulmonary and digestive systems, but a doctor should. If a racist wants to hate a group of people, he should first study that group to get to know how they really are. It reminds me of when I used to help my grandparents feed and take care of their cattle. My grandmother said the first time she had cows she went and named all of them and treated them like pets more than anything. When it was time for them to go off to be slaughtered, she cried. After that, she did not name them and then when it was time for them to go off to be slaughtered she was ok. Racists are the same, they don't know the names and lives of those they hate, otherwise they would not act so coldly to them.

It all goes back to fear and ignorance being the real problems, and in most cases these are picked up from the environment and other people. Racist parents raise racist children, and multicultural parents raise multicultural children. Not everyone is a racist, and if you can't help but think racist thoughts then that is your choice.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Agree and disagree (none / 0) (#53)
by Kiss the Blade on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:24:25 PM EST

Racism is learned, not something we are born with. I remember when I was a child I didn't know that race was a big deal. I have friends and family from ethnic groups and countries that are foreign to me. In fact, I would say that I was not aware of racism until I was about 10 years old.

You may have been unfamiliar with the concept of racism in the textbook sense, but that does not mean that you did not come across it. I agree with you that racism is a subset of something larger. Where I said that racism is natural because people are scared of that which is different to them, I should perhaps have added the caveat that they also do not understand or are unfamiliar with that thing. I suppose it was implicit in my comment; people of different races are pretty much identical, so if members of those races consider each other hugely different then that must surely be born of ignorance.

We could argue all night whether racism is a learned trait or not, noone really knows as knowledge in this area is lacking. However, it is pretty damned clear to me that people are dealing in it at extremely young ages. Peer pressure could be said to be extremely close to racism; it is imposing confirmity, smashing the different. This is utterly fundamental to how humans behave, you will find children doing this almost as soon as they can socialise with other children.

Instead, people can be cautious of the unknown, but curious enough to be willing to find more information before making their decision on whether or not something is good.

Indeed, but this is an extremely rare state. Most people seem to lose all sense of curiosity as soon as they hit puberty. And of course, curiosity and fear are not incompatible - usually they go hand in hand, especially in adults. People tend do be scared of what they do not understand and of people who are different to them, and yes racism is a subset of this most understandable of emotions.

Not everyone is a racist, and if you can't help but think racist thoughts then that is your choice.

Have you become some sort of super evolved human being, able to completely master your every thought and emotion and approach the Godhead? I think this is what it would take to 'not be a racist' - in the sense of being completely 100% equivocal in ones treatment of others. Have you mastered your subconscious too? Undone the work of millions of years of evolution? I believe that you are not consciously a racist, but I wonder how you would fair in the test the students took?

KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.
There is no contradiction.
[ Parent ]

I might be more of an anomaly (none / 0) (#58)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:47:45 PM EST

By no means do I consider myself to be a super evolved human being, but I think I do a good job of controlling my thoughts and emotions. I disagree with you as to what is required to not be a racist, and since it seems to be more of a learned trait, and I have learned the opposite, I would say that it doesn't reall affect me.

I will agree with you that things like fear and peer pressure are instinctive though. And, you stated that peer pressure is imposing conformity and smashing the different, which I would like to say that I don't really see people as different from me based on things like skin color and such. My point of view is that "race" is as insignificant as something like eye color. I can pick a famous person that you have seen all over TV, news, and the internet and I bet you honestly don't know what color their eyes are. Let's tak George W. Bush. Sure, you remember that he is white and some of his facial features and such, but you probably don't remember what color his eyes are. Skin color is similar to me. It's not that I forget the color, but that to me it's unimportant and does not define anything about the person. I've been exposed to too many different people all of my life to think there is a real difference between the mind of a black person and the mind of a white person if they both were raised in similar situations.

Also, as far as the test these students took, I have some problems with the methods used that many others here have expressed. And, even though I can't take the test, I did look at the page streetlawyer provided with two sample pictures, one of a black face with a gun, the other of a white face with plyers or something. I had the opposite result of what should have happened. First I looked at the black face and saw the eyes. The eyes of that person did not look mean, and instead appeared to be content and calm. Afterwards I saw the very clear gun below that. Then, I looked at the picture of the white person. His eyes looked cold and mean. I looked below that picture, and saw what I thought was a switchblade. After a closer look (the pictures were pretty tiny) I saw that it was a tool instead. I know that it is no substitute for actually participating in the test, but hopefully that helps explain the way I looked at the people to make my decision if they are "good" or "bad" people, and that the part of the weapons was seperate. However I never claimed to be normal or the average.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Almost half right (3.50 / 2) (#40)
by Komodo321 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:32:24 PM EST

If you grow up in a community where people are of various skin colors, you won't seem them as different from you. And I do mean community, not just an 'integrated' town or city. Different cultures sharing a space does not necessarily lead to a real community. That is one of the failed promises of integration - that cultural differences between groups would dissappear if people shared the same subdivsion or school. It is a prerequisite to ending racism, but it is not nearly enough.

If you look at the history of racism in the United States, there were some major distinctions made from what part of Europe a person came from. The Irish, the Greeks and the Slavs were all considered seperate races - they were segregated and group stereotypes were applied to all members of the group. That particular racist belief has pretty much dissappeared from the US. Eye color has lost significance, and someday our culture will ackowledge that skin color is no more significant than eye color.

Maybe it is natural that people generalize and make faulty generalizations, but I cannot agree that racism is innevitable, or that all people are racists. There is a culutral chasm in the US, and skin color is sometimes a maker for the different cultures. Our society will learn that the negatives of using skin as a marker of culture outweigh the benefits, and that behavior will become far less prevalent.

[ Parent ]
I'm not a racist (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by Bob Abooey on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:39:42 PM EST

I am a realist though. I think we are taught racism, it's not something that we are born with. Look at little kids, they will usually interact with any other little kid regardless of race or sex or apperance, etc., if they have something in common. We aren't born afraid of the differences, it's something that is taught to us by our peers or by society, either through spoken words or by actions. Racism is nothing more than ignorance which is why it will always exist to some degree or another. Most people aren't driven enough to question their "road-map" of life once they reach a certain stage of their lives - unless they are driven by some form of crises to do so. At least that's my take on it.

I will have to say that it's also been my experience that whenever someone starts a conversation by saying "I'm not a racist, but..." that they most certainly are a racist and they are going to tell you in no uncertain terms why that is. Like the disclaimer should make what they are about to say alright...


-------
Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
Doesn't really hold up. (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:40:22 PM EST

If that were true, you'd expect whites to hold anti-black, anti-asian, anti-whatever attitudes at the same rate. (And you'd expect asians to hold anti-white and anti-black attitudes at about the same rate, etc, etc.)

But you don't see this at all, and in fact if you probe white male attitudes, you often find that attitudes towards black men are worse than towards black women. There's a lot more complicated stuff going on.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

I fail to see the controversy (3.60 / 5) (#31)
by DesiredUsername on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:05:07 PM EST

(+1, BTW, because it's an interesting topic)

1) Who is honestly surprised about this?
2) A more interesting study would be running this experiment over the course of a decade or two to find trends.
3) "What was that which somebody said about a non-racist society?" I dunno, what?
4) "And would anybody care to guess the proportion of self-styled white "liberals" among the unconsciously racist subjects?" Probably the same as the population at large--unless you are implying that a "self-styled white 'liberal'" is MORE likely to be unconsciously racist than a self-styled white non-liberal.

What you probably meant to snidely ask was this: Would anybody care to guess the proportion of unconsciously racist subjects among self-styled white "liberals"?

Play 囲碁
A true story (4.00 / 5) (#39)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:31:59 PM EST

About a month ago, my wife and I walking towards a Mexican restaurant when suddenly we saw two teenagers tearing down the sidewalk towards us. The one in front was black, the one behind was white.

Despite the fact that both were smiling and both seemed to be wearing nametags, my first instinct was that I was seeing the result of some crime. I even briefly considered interjecting myself in their path in that brief half-second before reason stepped in.

They were both valets in competition to get a car. We were surprised when we saw the guy drive back around the corner in a Hyundai (we were thinking "Ferrari") until we saw the woman whose car it was.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

This kind of study scares me (3.88 / 9) (#42)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:39:32 PM EST

Half-baked studies like this are often used to bolster given ideas. There have been several posters who pointed out the problems with the study: no black subjects, questions as to whether people were simply color-matching dark gun to dark face, light tool to light face, and the fact that such a subject would be nearly impossible to study without the study subjects having some idea of what the study intended to find out.
So, in the end, it proves nothing; however, people trumpet it far and wide as conclusive proof that white people are instinctually racist.
No, my answer to that: so? Black people are also instinctually racist. Many of them are convinced whites conspire to keep them down. Mexicans will invariably defend their kind against white *even if wrong*. The reason whites are not supposed to do this is precisely because *everyone else* believes them to be superior.
I have often wondered how come there are practically no programmers who aren't white or asian, and very few women. It certainly isn't because there is an inherent racism. I know of exactly one hispanic programmer. He's odd because he was raised by a midwestern family who adopted him, and he's quite Republican. His family dislikes his political leanings.
Anyway, I doubt any serious objectivity will ever leak into this debate, as the white liberals engaged in it are just as surely propagating the idea that these demographics are inferior as anybody else is, as they insist that we take it easy on them and help them, which, in my book, is a tacit admission that they aren't up to competing with white people on an even footing, which I find personally repugnant. Oh, well, I guess I'm just paranoid: when someone offers to help me I quickly try to figure out what they can gain by it.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
You contradicted yourself (3.75 / 4) (#44)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 01:55:18 PM EST

You started with: Black people are also instinctually racist. and Mexicans will invariably defend their kind against white *even if wrong*., then mentioned I know of exactly one hispanic programmer. He's odd because he was raised by a midwestern family who adopted him, and he's quite Republican.

So basically what you are saying is that people have instincts that make them racist, except somehow their brains mutate when they are adupted and their genes become more like the people that adopted them?

I guess I mostly have a big problem with the seperation of "races" when no such thing really exists. The whole "Mexicans...defend their kind against white..." is purely laughable when you consider how many caucasian Mexicans there are, and how many people of different countries and backgrounds that are hispanic, yet everyone in the U.S. thinks they are all Mexicans. It reminds me of the PC term "African-Americans" I have met very few African-Americans, most of them came from countries like Nigeria or Zaire (whatever that country is being called this week.) The Indians I know and am related to have not come from the country India, but rather their relatives are from the U.S., and aren't all of us born in North or South America to be called Native Americans by now?

The whole notion of race and categorization of people on something as silly as skin tone or the shape of their eyes is stupid. When I get a tan does that suddenly make me a black person or a "Mexican" or what? If a person of mostly african ancestors is born albino, does that make them caucasian? It's a huge mess we could easily do without, and if people would work hard to prevent themselves from being racist, it could be wiped out easily in their children. It's a taught thing, not instinct.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

hyphenated Americans (none / 0) (#46)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:04:00 PM EST

It reminds me of the PC term "African-Americans" I have met very few African-Americans, most of them came from countries like Nigeria or Zaire (whatever that country is being called this week.) The Indians I know and am related to have not come from the country India, but rather their relatives are from the U.S., and aren't all of us born in North or South America to be called Native Americans by now?

I'll buy this one when the Irish-Americans cancel the Saint Patrick's day parade.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

How many generations can be hyphenated? (none / 0) (#50)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:19:15 PM EST

I agree with you except that St. Patrick's day is celebrated by more than just the Irish for some reason. I can't really explain it, it's much like the battle of puebla celebration (May 5) in the U.S. that doesn't even mean much to Mexicans who originated the day.

What I have the questions about is how long can someone claim a hyphenated status? Sure, it is ok to call someone with a dual citizenship and in my opinion those who immigrate here by a hyphenated word, but what about their children? Wouldn't they be full citizens of the U.S. and thus simply "Americans" then? Even then, they might have family in their former country and go back and visit sometimes, so I could see some cases where they are still using hyphenated names. However, when you get a group of people that can not trace their ancestry back to someone in Africa, or they can not go to visit those that they know are their family, and when they haven't grown up in the culture of the people in Africa but something that is very much original to the country they live in, I don't see the point in calling them African-Americans. This problem is in two parts - non-black people need to admit that these people are Americans just like them, and the black people should call themselves Americans since that is what they are.

Of course, this is my opinion and sounds like it's from an ivory tower and not realistic. People won't fully accept each other in the U.S. for a long time I think.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Two Words: Party Time (none / 0) (#160)
by eudas on Sun May 20, 2001 at 01:09:48 PM EST

"I agree with you except that St. Patrick's day is celebrated by more than just the Irish for some reason. I can't really explain it, it's much like the battle of puebla celebration (May 5) in the U.S. that doesn't even mean much to Mexicans who originated the day."

People will accept any excuse to get off work early and go eat/get drunk/get high/get laid. New Years, St Patrick's, Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta, etc.

I'm of two minds on the issue, myself; one is "eh, *shrug*" and the other is "woohoo! party!". :)

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]
St. Patrick's Day (none / 0) (#55)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:31:40 PM EST

Lots of people I know get plastered on green beer on March 17th and then get plastered on margeritas on May 5th despite having neither Irish nor Mexican ancestory.

St. Patrick's day is nearly separated from ethnicity in this country. (What the hey, a guy worth celebrating, though unfortunately few here know a damn thing about him.) I've watched people of all ethnicities where green that day. It doesn't hurt that the Irish immigration here was long enough ago that something like 1/3rd of the residents of this country can (like me) point to at least one distant Irish ancestor.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

You have pointed out a big problem (none / 0) (#51)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:21:17 PM EST

Racial discussions inevitably turn on what group people *associate* themselves with, not the group that they *are*, which is why I prefer the term 'demographic' to race. However, the instinctual behavior is a learned behavior that is acquired through exposure to the culture that is prevalent in the demographic. So, since this particular hispanic had not been exposed to that culture, rather to the midwestern culture, he really does not belong to that demographic.
The problem is also with the word 'instinctual', which is not necessarily something from genetics; it is often in the human learned behavior. Children don't associate glowing red with hot stove-tops, but after being burned again, they will instinctually pull away from any such glowing metal.
Anyway, I have heard people who are minor-fraction African in derivation expound at great length about their life as 'black people' and have also heard of people who simply assumed themselves white suffering persecution only *after* finding out they were partially African in descent.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
ROC (none / 0) (#64)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:09:47 PM EST

...Zaire (whatever that country is being called this week.)

The Republic Of Congo.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Thanks (3.75 / 4) (#65)
by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:14:05 PM EST

For some reason I tend to not remember "new" things, even if they have been that way for a long time. I actually started out putting "The Congo" but then thought of the movie and decided that wasn't right. Oh well, I still call that stuff in thermometers "quicksilver" and forget that it's really called mercury all the time.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Fix sig (1.00 / 1) (#74)
by kmself on Thu May 17, 2001 at 05:19:34 PM EST

Your sig line is breaking forum display with the long unbroken "---" string. This should be considered a Scoop bug. I'll unzero your posts when they've been fixed -- hope you're using retro sigs ;-)

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Hitler! (3.33 / 3) (#86)
by Godwin Man on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:36:13 PM EST

This has gone on long enough. Why, in the name of all that is good and republican, must you continue to espouse these attitudes of censorship and jingoism? Here you are, in an article discussing racism, and you are demonstrating the most extreme case of prejudice and hate. Everyone knows that you hate theboz because you think he's Jewish. Do you not realize how transparent you're being? Do you not realize how foolish? Your Naziistic methods of oppresion are disgusting to me, to theboz, the entirety of the trusted users, and, in fact, all the participants of this site. Karsten M. Self, you have a long history of being a grammar... (dare I say it) NAZI. But this sig prejudice makes it all too obvious that your true intentions are purely those of repression and hate.

You, sir, are a nazi. You have always been a nazi, and hanging for crimes against humanity is too good for you. The day the Allies win, you shall pay. Oh yes, you shall pay...

This conversation is over

[ Parent ]
You got me so good (none / 0) (#87)
by kmself on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:37:58 PM EST

;-)

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

interesting racial biology there (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:01:47 PM EST

Mexicans will invariably defend their kind against white *even if wrong*.

errr .... yeh, sure. Mexico is a country, not a race, and Mexicans are white.

Half-baked studies like this are often used to bolster given ideas. There have been several posters who pointed out the problems with the study: no black subjects, questions as to whether people were simply color-matching dark gun to dark face, light tool to light face, and the fact that such a subject would be nearly impossible to study without the study subjects having some idea of what the study intended to find out.

This isn't a half-baked study, and all the points made are more in the nature of suggestions for further work rather than methodological flaws. The fact that there were no black people tested doesn't destroy the conclusion about white people. The comments about colour-matching are interesting, but do not fit in with a close analysis of the test. The white subjects were *quicker* to identify weapons than tools; the pattern was found in the speed of the match as well as the error rate. And any bias introduced by people realising it was a study into racism would be in the opposite direction

It's hard to escape the conclusion that you're looking for /any/ justification to ignore this important result. You seem confused over whether you want to make the point that white people are not racist or the point that black people are racist as well (note: you do not provide any evidence for your own assertions, while demanding an extremely high standard of proof elsewhere in your post).

The study, of course, had nothing to do with the computer industry, except in so far as it may be circumstantial evidence that white people who do not regard themselves as bigoted are nonetheless inclined to be suspicious of black people.

You seem scared of something; I don't know what, but your reference to "white liberals" suggests that you are scared of losing your job through affirmative action. Given the fact that someone has gone to the trouble of making an attempt at objective study of the phenomenon of unconscious racism, and your reaction was to first rubbish the study on pretty thin grounds and second to make all sorts of scattergun accusations of racism at other groups (including at least one group which is not a race), I'd say that objectivity is indeed highly unlikely to make its way into any debate on this subject which includes you, although it is not the fault of white liberals.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Re: Mexicans (none / 0) (#47)
by Phaser777 on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:12:37 PM EST

Mexico is a country, not a race, and Mexicans are white.

I think he meant Hispanics instead of Mexicans.

---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait u
[ Parent ]
That doesn't matter. (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:24:05 PM EST

Hispanics can be of european descent, they can be of american indian descent, they can even be of african descent, or they can be any combination of those ancestries.

The word "hispanic" does not refer to a race, or even an ethnicity. One reason why the US census department has categories like "White, of non-hispanic descent".
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Golly, you are speculative (none / 0) (#48)
by weirdling on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:14:49 PM EST

I'm afraid of losing my job through affirmative action? It's amazing what people will just assume.
First, I never intended to prove that white people weren't racist. They are. It's a fact of life. Homogenity is a tendency of the species and the idea of fighting it is relatively recent.
Second, I did intend to suggest that other races are plenty racist themselves. As to the use of the term 'Mexican', it refers to those recently immigrated from Mexico in this context, a thing that shouldn't be hard to deduce. There are *many* kinds of hispanics. My experience has been that their attitudes vary *widely*, and the point I was making applies to Mexicans in my experience.
Now, this is all perfectly normal and a result of sociological behavior that will take generations to remove.
As to the voracity of the study, no it does not prove that white people are racist. It doesn't prove *anything* due to the large problems with the study. Your post is exactly what I'm ranting about. Those suggestions may be used for more study, but until such study is done, this thing proves *nothing*.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Inherent ape racism (5.00 / 6) (#49)
by dennis on Thu May 17, 2001 at 02:17:01 PM EST

A long time ago I read an interview with Charleton Heston. He said on the Planet of the Apes set, the costumes took so long to put on that everyone ate lunch in full ape costume. One day he looked around and realized: all the humans were sitting together, all the orangutans were sitting together, all the gorillas were sitting together....

[ Parent ]
hispanic Republicans (none / 0) (#60)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:01:15 PM EST

Actualy, a lot of hispanics are republican. Probably a slight majority of the middle class ones, actualy. They jive with the whole 'family values' thing.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Source? (none / 0) (#116)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri May 18, 2001 at 01:39:18 AM EST

Actualy, a lot of hispanics are republican. Probably a slight majority of the middle class ones, actualy.

All I know here is that about 30% of hispanic voters in the US voted for Bush.

The interesting question is not whether hispanics are more likely to be Republican as their income rises, since this is true IIRC of the whole US population. The interesting question is how quickly it goes up in comparison to the rest of the US population. Also, one would want to factor in the Cuban exile factor-- Cubans in the US vote mostly Republican, and they are the richest hispanic group, actually richer in average than non-hispanic whites.

--em
[ Parent ]

Source? (none / 0) (#180)
by BurntHombre on Mon May 21, 2001 at 03:52:27 PM EST

So both of you cite figures, but neither of you claim a source. For the curious, check out this link.

For the record, hispanics are not particularly Republican- or Democrat-leaning

[ Parent ]

One more thing (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:07:10 PM EST

and the fact that such a subject would be nearly impossible to study without the study subjects having some idea of what the study intended to find out.

Actually, quite the opposite is true. Almost no Social Psychology experiments involve telling the participant what the experiment is about, unless your testing to see what effects foreknowledge has on the test. That's basically the way Social Psychology works, and it's been proven empirically to be the best way.

I'm almost certain that if you had told these people what you were testing for, they would have taken longer to find the weapons.

People who are subliminally racist are very, very likely to favor black people in almost any circumstance when they know they are being 'tested', or when it's obvious that race is somehow related to what they are doing

(given a paper to grade, white people are more likely to give higher marks to a person who they believe is black then they are to a person who they believe is white)
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Look again (none / 0) (#179)
by BurntHombre on Mon May 21, 2001 at 03:46:35 PM EST

I think you're misunderstanding him. He's saying that the volunteers in this experiment would have gradually grasped the purpose of the experiment while they participating, and thus the results would be biased, *not* that the results are invalid because the volunteers weren't briefed on the purpose of the experiment beforehand.

[ Parent ]
snide comments aside, i take offense... (2.66 / 6) (#61)
by Justinfinity on Thu May 17, 2001 at 03:04:09 PM EST

to the results of the survey. I know that I don't intentionally hold race-relegion-etc against anyone. studies like this are useless. everyone knows that bigots exist, and just because this study found a bunch of them and surveyed them means nothing.

i also hate the term "black people". it's the same as saying "them". black, afro-american, etc, is a physical description. it's not like a gang sign: "we're the white people and in order to be one of us you have to dislike anyone in that other group, the black people". physical description based on skin color and other physical characteristics, nothing more!!

i know that even some people in this "opressed group" continue to enforce the stereotype. i recall hearing music stars at the Source Music Awards, after the rioting started, saying "this is not what our music is about", etc. enforcing the segregation between "us" and "them", whatever the difference may be is not good for the cause of equality!!!

BTW, same thing goes for everyone out there who says shit like "the other site" etc. gee, thanks for builfing the wall up even bigger and thicker :-/

-Justin

if this is all a dream, please, don't wake me
Got Water?
Money sucks
:wq
Groove


Unconsious vs consious (none / 0) (#78)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 06:38:26 PM EST

I really doubt that 'this survey found a bunch' of bigots, most likely, these people wouldn't hold anything a black person in most circumstances, and would probably claim up and down (and belive) that they were as unbiased as you
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Hidden bias in language. (3.25 / 4) (#69)
by tiamat on Thu May 17, 2001 at 04:24:32 PM EST

Do you hate gypsies?
Do you use the word "gyped" to describe what happens when the coke machine steals your money?

There are lots of similar words and phrases that exist in the english language. I don't think they are evil plots against minorities, merely left over from a time when different standards applied.

Like the rule of thumb, which now mostly refers to using good common sense, which used to be the a law in many places. The law being that you couldn't beat your wife with a stick larger than your thumb.

huh. (none / 0) (#158)
by jcs on Sun May 20, 2001 at 10:26:54 AM EST

I remember seeing something on Fox news where they were asking people these very same questions and one was about the term "jewed", like, "he jewed me out of the deal". One guy said "Gee, that's where the word came from? I had no idea and I've been using it forever!"

[ Parent ]
Yawn (2.50 / 2) (#82)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 07:05:30 PM EST

I think it was a little short sighted for the researchers to only test white people. I'd be willing to bet that these reactions showed up in most people as well. The sad thing is, black people have gotten a bad rap in the media, and people -- not just white people -- make unconscious generalizations about what they see.

That said, I don't think this is really that big of a problem. People, in our current culture, who harbor subconscious biases tend to actually overcompensate for them.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
You can't yawn real problems away. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by Estanislao Martínez on Thu May 17, 2001 at 08:21:52 PM EST

I think it was a little short sighted for the researchers to only test white people. I'd be willing to bet that these reactions showed up in most people as well.

No, it was not short sighted at all. If they made a study with "most people" (gee, I didn't know whites were a minority in the US already), and whites tested the same, it would still follow that white people were primed to expect guns when they saw black people.

If the same thing held of blacks, this would not make it look "better" in any way, as you seem to imply, but *worse*-- it would mean that blacks have internalized the same negative expectations.

That said, I don't think this is really that big of a problem. People, in our current culture, who harbor subconscious biases tend to actually overcompensate for them.

When do they overcompensate, and how? More importantly, in which situations do they *not* overcompensate? What is the relative importance of both kind of situations for the social advancement of blacks?

--em
[ Parent ]

response...... (none / 0) (#97)
by delmoi on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:33:12 PM EST

If the same thing held of blacks, this would not make it look "better" in any way, as you seem to imply, but *worse*-- it would mean that blacks have internalized the same negative expectations.

Well, I'm not sure if it would have been better or worse. It would be worse in that more people would correlate weapons with black people, but better in that it wasn't a 'racist' reaction in the sense that white people have opinions of black people that are different from black people.

Of course, the best situation would be no correlation in anyone's mind.

When do they overcompensate, and how? More importantly, in which situations do they *not* overcompensate? What is the relative importance of both kind of situations for the social advancement of blacks?

Ok, well this is the stuff we went over in my introductory Social Psychology class. Tests were done where a paper was given to a subject to grade and review. I'm not sure of all of the specifics, but when subjects believed the author of the paper was black, they were more likely to give higher grades then when they didn't.

In another test, people were shown images of black people (and other things/people in control groups) for something like a 60th of a second. To short an amount of time to consciously process the image. The subjects were then shown something else, and asked how much they 'liked' it, or something. People who had been shown a flash of a black face usually reacted more negatively then those who did not.

Other tests like this where the subject was shown the image long enough for their conscious mind to process it would show opposite responses.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Bzzzt, wrong answer. (none / 0) (#113)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri May 18, 2001 at 12:55:34 AM EST

Well, I'm not sure if it would have been better or worse. It would be worse in that more people would correlate weapons with black people, but better in that it wasn't a 'racist' reaction in the sense that white people have opinions of black people that are different from black people.

Explain to me how if whites unconsciously associate blacks with guns, this is somehow not racist if blacks do it too.

(And while you're at it, you could explain to me how killing somebody who's going to commit suicide is not murder...)

--em
[ Parent ]

Re: Bzzzt, wrong answer. (none / 0) (#130)
by greycat on Fri May 18, 2001 at 09:47:55 AM EST

Explain to me how if whites unconsciously associate blacks with guns, this is somehow not racist if blacks do it too.

First, define racism.

This is not as trivial as it may sound, especially when you consider who submitted this story.



[ Parent ]
And? (none / 0) (#142)
by Estanislao Martínez on Fri May 18, 2001 at 03:48:13 PM EST

Explain to me how if whites unconsciously associate blacks with guns, this is somehow not racist if blacks do it too.
First, define racism.

No need to for this particular case. First of all, it was delmoi who introduced the term, so I was just using his own terminology to argue with him.

And more importantly, my statement there is disputing an implicit condition upon racism which delmoi brought up, independent of the rest of the content of any reasonable definition of racism.

So, let's see *you* tackle the question: whatever you take racism precisely to be, how could it be so that if a potentially racist attitude or predisposition were shown to be present both in whites and blacks, then that thing wouldn't be a manifestation of racism?

This is not as trivial as it may sound, especially when you consider who submitted this story.

What should I say? YHBT. YHL. HAND.

--em
[ Parent ]

racism, trolling (none / 0) (#156)
by greycat on Sun May 20, 2001 at 09:48:02 AM EST

I don't have anything insightful to add to the main discussion, which is why I'm just hanging out here in this little side branch. ;-)

I posted my previous comment because when I saw the words "somehow not racist if blacks do it", all I could think of was that horrible flame war I linked to. It was streetlawyer (as Astrid Leuer) who started twisting words around; if I understand the argument correctly, he/she insisted that it was not possible for a non-white person to be racist, by definition. This led to several hundred comments....

So anyway, be careful with words like "racist"; apparently not everyone defines them the same way. That's all I'm saying.

What should I say? YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Heh.... Actually, I wasn't one of the participants in that one. I didn't see it until it was around 150 comments long, and by that time I wouldn't have touched it with a 25-foot cat5 cable.



[ Parent ]
You have no point. (none / 0) (#162)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun May 20, 2001 at 04:14:27 PM EST

It was streetlawyer (as Astrid Leuer) who started twisting words around; if I understand the argument correctly, he/she insisted that it was not possible for a non-white person to be racist, by definition. This led to several hundred comments....

Does anything I said imply that black people are racist? Read my posts again. All I did was counter delmoi's statement that the association that the study establishes wouldn't constitute racism if blacks had it too. The whole discussion is about, to put it redundantly, white racism. Hell, if blacks were shown to have the same association as the whites, its explanation would have to make reference to the whites' racist hold on power in the US and its effect on the black population. You just couldn't explain such a reaction on the blacks' part without ultimately invoking the institutional white racism of USian society.

--em
[ Parent ]

Hating whitey... (none / 0) (#165)
by Vermifax on Sun May 20, 2001 at 05:30:46 PM EST

Ah yes, if blacks were to hold the same racist beliefs that white people did, it would have to be whitey's fault.
- Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
[ Parent ]
You haven't understood a single thing, right? (none / 0) (#166)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun May 20, 2001 at 07:05:33 PM EST

Ah yes, if blacks were to hold the same racist beliefs that white people did, it would have to be whitey's fault.

Who's talking about beliefs and individual responsibility? This whole discussion is about unconscious predispositions and institutional racism, not about conscious racist beliefs by part of bigots and racial supremacists.

Go try get a clue.

--em
[ Parent ]

Can't help it if you don't read your own posts.,,, (none / 0) (#167)
by Vermifax on Sun May 20, 2001 at 07:14:23 PM EST

"Hell, if blacks were shown to have the same association as the whites, its explanation would have to make reference to the whites' racist hold on power in the US and its effect on the black population. You just couldn't explain such a reaction on the blacks' part without ultimately invoking the institutional white racism of USian society."
- Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
[ Parent ]
What part of `institutional' don't you understand? (none / 0) (#169)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun May 20, 2001 at 08:20:03 PM EST

I explicitly mention institutional racism in that post. Which proves me right, you don't understand what the discussion is.

--em
[ Parent ]

And I suppose you don't attribute.... (none / 0) (#170)
by Vermifax on Sun May 20, 2001 at 08:43:05 PM EST

institutional racism, to whites do you?
- Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
[ Parent ]
Slightly OT rambling (3.00 / 2) (#90)
by regeya on Thu May 17, 2001 at 08:56:48 PM EST

The bad thing about this article is that there's no good way to react to it without ruffling feathers.

  • If I vote it down for being crap, I'll get accused of voting it down 'cause it's streetlawyer. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that Streetlawyer blatantly ignored the FAQ. Meta comments in a non-meta story? Editorial comments in the story? Nuke it. If it ain't your site, follow the site maintainers' rules, bro.

  • If I call this story crap because of the flawed logic in the story, the do-gooders will be all over me like vultures on roadkill. You know, "Man, you're just a stereotypical snot-nosed upper-middle-class white male reader that k5 is infected with," and equally offensive, yet content-free, comments. On the other hand, if I lie and hail the study for its blinding insight, the logical thinkers will rip me to shreds...who will be ripped apart by the do-gooders for using their logic to rip the study apart instead of hailing the study for stating what we should obviously have known already. All that aside, I voted it down because I just couldn't see discussion going anywhere but towards name-calling and two groups of people posting their barely-veiled racist rants against each other. Really, do we want k5 to degenerate into 14-year-olds screaming at each other?

  • And of course, to be completely offtopic, you can expect to find an immature comment from Streetlawyer below this one. Perhaps he'll be original and come up with something other than "regeya is a cunt." ;-)

    And listen, if you're tempted to post a knee-jerk "you're just saying this because you don't like streetlawyer," consider for a moment that I'm being honest and truthful in the first two bulleted items. The third? Heh, I posted that to amuse myself.

    Okay, enlightened kuro5hin readers, feel free to rate this down because you disagree. Or will you have to rate it down because I was so obviously going for a pity rate-up?

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

  • Um... (none / 0) (#91)
    by elenchos on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:11:04 PM EST

    I only read the first couple lines of your comment before I got bored, but I think I can see where you're going. The answer to your dilemma is to just go ahead and do whatever you want. I don't think there is anyone here who cares that much about whether you vote a story up or down, and I don't think there is anything you can do at this point that will change anyone's opinion of you one way or another. So you're completely free to do as you will. Congradulations. Use that freedom wisely. Or not. Same either way.

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
    [ Parent ]

    Whoops. (none / 0) (#93)
    by regeya on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:15:52 PM EST

    That was totally not the point I was trying to make. The point I was trying to make is that, no matter what I or anyone else said, someone would get righteously indignant. I know it's wrong to call streetlawyer a troll *grin* but this is a near-perfect troll in which it's possible royally piss people off by either agreeing or disagreeing with the subject matter. But whatever.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    MLP not as strict regarding meta/editorial in body (none / 0) (#101)
    by cp on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:46:19 PM EST

    Meta comments in a non-meta story? Editorial comments in the story?
    Yes, that's the general rule. MLP, however, doesn't quite follow it as much as other categories, because MLP is supposed to be read only from the intro paragraph (where the link is). If you're reading the body of an MLP, then you've already committed yourself to reading the comments, so there's not much difference.

    I wouldn't recommend adopting the practice of putting meta/editorial comments in MLP bodies, but it doesn't quite rise to the same level of offense as in other kinds of submissions, imho. Rusty's & co's mileage may vary.

    [ Parent ]

    actually, I quite like regeya (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 02:35:41 AM EST

    I'd like you more if you could say what the flaws in the study actually were, rather than just ominously indicating that you *could*. And given the hell you've gone through with me, I think you cn stand anything the cream-puff liberals can dish out :-)

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    I have a question. (3.00 / 3) (#96)
    by elenchos on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:27:50 PM EST

    I realize that this is a preliminary study and that it has flaws, but it does constitute some evidence that racial bias exists. But numerous people here have jumped to deny that bias exists, or have argued that if it does exist it has no effect, or that blacks are biased too, and therefore (I guess) racism doesn't have any effect, or isn't a problem for whites to face.

    So just what would it take to convince you that there is racism inherent in American white culture, and that it does have a real effect on the lives of minorities? It seems like no matter what kind of evidence is presented, it gets belittled and explained away in support of this certain belief that there is no racism problem. So tell me, what would it take to convince you?

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have

    My take on things (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by theboz on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:39:58 PM EST

    It's not so much people saying that racism doesn't exist, it's more of a matter of saying that it won't get better if people keep pouring salt in the wounds. I do not doubt there is racism in the U.S. I argue and fight against this myself sometimes, and have seen first hand how ugly of a thing racism can be. I don't think anyone here will deny the existance of racism.

    The problem is, what good does it do to have yet another study showing that racism exists? Are these people so bored they have to do a study like this, when they could have easily saved time and money to go to Georgia and look up the KKK? Things like this don't provide any solutions, and that is what I am tired of. Yes, there are people in this country (though I think less than before) that are racist. So what can we do about it? I think everyone has whined about it enough and accomplished very little since the days of people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Racism has diminished quite a bit, we should be proud that little black and white kids can go to the same school, grow up, get married, and have babies together. Racism hasn't been eliminated, but it has been cut back a lot. However, nobody is visibly working to end what is left. It's like everything came to a standstill and we are left with a generation of whiners, both black and white. Even racist groups like the KKK are giving way for the CCC, which is targeting hispanics more than blacks. Racism is evolving and becoming more subtle, and definitely occurs on all sides. I have met plenty of racist black people if anyone wants to say that it's all the fault of white people. The problem is that we are all in this together as the human race, and nobody is taking responsibility for themselves and their actions, and instead just complains that they are being opressed.

    So...the point is...we already knew racism exists, but what do people that make these time-wasting studies intend to *DO* about it? Cry to their mamas? Or are they going to find ways to change things? Somehow I doubt they will do anything useful with this information and just use it as another tool to blame someone else for the problems of everybody.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Some examples... (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by elenchos on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:32:09 PM EST

    From the always predictable trhurler:
      if you go into a poor inner city neighborhood and see five year olds imitating gang graffiti on their sidewalks in chalk, you will begin to see where the real (not a product of some imaginary systemic bias, though some bad decisions are certainly made in any human endeavor,) problem of violence in those cities is coming from. ...The problem is not race or the perception thereof - the problem is culture.
    He is saying that blacks don't suffer because of the prejudice of whites, but because of their own (inferior, I suppose) culture. Which is not as bad as blaming it on genetic inferiority, at least.

    Here's cheerful news from delmoi:

      That said, I don't think this is really that big of a problem. People, in our current culture, who harbor subconscious biases tend to actually overcompensate for them.
    Dang! I wish I was black! That would be the life, eh?

    Justinfinity agrees with you that there are bigots out there, but I guess they don't matter very much:

      everyone knows that bigots exist, and just because this study found a bunch of them and surveyed them means nothing.
    I suspect it means that if you are black you will suffer worse treatment at the hands of whites than if you were not black, but he says it "means nothing."

    Prior to having streetlawyer wipe up the floor with him (and getting whipped by a few others as well), the palooka weirdling ventured this claim:

      So, in the end, it proves nothing; however, people trumpet it far and wide as conclusive proof that white people are instinctually racist... No, my answer to that: so? Black people are also instinctually racist... white liberals engaged in it are just as surely propagating the idea that these demographics are inferior as anybody else is, as they insist that we take it easy on them and help them, which, in my book, is a tacit admission that they aren't up to competing with white people on an even footing.
    See, it is not that racial discrimination is holding anyone back. Even if whites are racist, everyone else is too, which proves that there is nothing for whites to remedy. Well, like I said he lost rounds 1 through 4, tied in 5, and the ref had to stop the bout in 6. But still, he is yet another denier of the existence of the problem of white racism.

    That is just some of the more blatant statments. When you look at the double standard of proof (anecdotal personal experience with a single person vs. some nitpick with the science in the study) and read between the lines, I think my assesment is valid. There are plenty of people who think there is no racism problem, and that certainly nothing should be done about it. Which is why this kind of study is not a waste of time. You can't get people to try to solve a problem if they insist on believing the problem doesn't exist.

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
    [ Parent ]

    bizarrely, I find myself defending trhurler (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 02:32:39 AM EST

    He is saying that blacks don't suffer because of the prejudice of whites, but because of their own (inferior, I suppose) culture.

    Frankly, this is true. However, the question we have to ask is, who's fault is this culture? Any culture is shaped by its history, and the history of the Africans in America (and in the UK; this isn't a USian flame) is mainly about what white people have done. "Native Son" by Richard Wright expresses this point of view far more eloquently than I can.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]

    Well, then, you must also know... (none / 0) (#124)
    by elenchos on Fri May 18, 2001 at 04:31:08 AM EST

    ...that Richard Wright wrote Native Son at almost exactly the time he was breaking with the Communist Party, both because its goals were "rigid and simply drawn" allowing him insufficient room to create the "complex and wide schemes" Wright intened with the novel, but also specifically because the party focused too much on class and economic injustice as the sole problem, rather than include plain and simple white racism as a proximate cause of African-American suffering. As Bigger Thomas says, "They don't let us do nothin." Wright's picture is indeed complex and nuanced, taking into account the failures of his own culture but also spreading the blame to include oppression of the working classes in general, superficial Christianity, and misguided white liberalism, to name a few.

    So sure, there are centuries of oppression to distort and poison black culture in white society, making it a less than ideal environment to come out of, but I have to agree with Wright and others who point the finger at racist whites as at least part of the problem, perhaps most of the problem. And that part is the one that white society ought to be most interested in doing something about. Maybe after whites can truly say they no longer practice widespread discrimination can they then go and criticize black culture for its flaws.

    So I guess that (once one get's it throught one's head that racism does exist and does matter) it is a question of putting the emphasis on damage to black culture, caused by whites, or on discrimination against blacks, practiced by whites. Should we whites be more focused on what is wrong with blacks, then? Or what we ourselves are doing?

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
    [ Parent ]

    yes indeed (none / 0) (#125)
    by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 05:14:04 AM EST

    the biog in the front of my copy has Wright leaving the CP in 1944 and "Native Son" published in 1940, but I get your meaning. I think what I was trying to say is that to blame something on "black culture" doesn't actually work as a way of shifting either the blame or the responsibility, or the requirement to solve the problem, off of white people.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    Let me get this straight... (3.50 / 2) (#136)
    by trhurler on Fri May 18, 2001 at 12:07:23 PM EST

    You're saying that because I'm white I have no right to criticize black culture as long as other white people are racists.

    I think the problem here, if you read the emphasized parts of the above statement carefully, is that YOU are a racist. You are telling me what I should and shouldn't say or think based on my skin color and the skin color of those about whom I'm speaking. This sort of "grade school multiculturalism" you're spouting is no more enlightened than the most pigheaded hatemonger's deranged ranting, and considerably less internally consistent; at least the loony doesn't make some pretense of not being a bigot.

    I do not deny that racism is a problem, but you do not solve it by attacking people who honestly look at the problems and call what they see; yes, proper solutions involve white people - and black people - and everyone else, because the solutions are about people rather than skin colors. However, that does not mean that the existing problem, no matter where it came from or what we need to do about it, is not rooted as it stands in the culture that happens to be common to some of those people.

    --
    And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
    [ Parent ]
    Skipping the noise part of your post... (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by elenchos on Fri May 18, 2001 at 09:39:19 PM EST

    ...I'll pretend that I can only see the first and last paragraphs and not bother with the second one.

    You have a right to say whatever you want, that isn't at issue. The question is, what ought you do if your intent is to improve the situation?

    Since you now admit that racism is a problem, is it productive for a member of white culture to respond to evidence like this little study by immediately criticizing African-Americans and their culture? Sure, we may acknowledge the existence of these problems, because we have no obligation to delude ourselves, but they are not our problems to solve, and it is extremely counterproductive for whites to focus on them, especially if that means excluding any work to end our own racist activities. Beam, mote, etc. It means that our task is to put an end to police persecution of blacks, a biased judicial system, an educational system that feeds the cycle of poverty, job discrimination, and general social exclusion. To name just a few; we have a lot of work to do, and with that much discrimination to occupy our efforts we ought not to be able to find the time to sit back and tell African-Americans that they realy ought to get their act together. They already know it, but they also know that white culture is at least as fucked up, and has infinitely greater crimes to answer for, and so don't need whites nagging them to deal with it.

    But if pointing out what is wrong with black society it what you'd most like to be doing, I have to wonder what your motivation is. Do you think blacks hear trhurler's charges and take them to heart? Or do they cause more resentment, and give other whites all the more excuse to do nothing?

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
    [ Parent ]

    Ah... (none / 0) (#173)
    by trhurler on Mon May 21, 2001 at 11:57:43 AM EST

    So when you tell me that I'm guilty because I'm white, that's ok, but when I tell you that this is racism, that's an unwarranted personal attack. Gotcha.
    our own racist activities
    Speak for yourself, oh great white oppressor; I don't engage in racist activities.
    police persecution of blacks,
    For an interesting study in just how white a problem this is not, look at who the police officers are that are doing it. Hint: they're not white most of the time. You probably won't find one, but you might also look at a study of the way cops treat poor white people and those of any race who "look different."
    a biased judicial system
    If you can point me at a study that shows that this exists, I'm all ears. Every one I've seen merely shows that the arrest, conviction, and punishments are more frequent per capita among blacks - but this is consistent with two interpretations, only one of which is that the system is biased. The bias interpretation is argued against by data showing that black cops, judges, prosecutors, and juries are just as hard on blacks as white ones. This myth can only live on because of the soundbite nature of our culture; Jesse and the NAACP don't HAVE to defend their claims - they just have to make them, and then leftie airheads everywhere run around screaming about oppression.
    an educational system that feeds the cycle of poverty
    Maybe if the black kids would actually attend classes, take notes, all that stuff white kids have to do... I knew white kids who didn't, and they failed too. Then again, I knew blacks who did all the right stuff - and got great grades. Damnest thing. Yeah, education is fucked - you actually have to try in order to succeed!
    job discrimination
    Where it exists, I'm all for this. As it happens, I'm in one of the most racially integrated companies imaginable, and everyone gets along well, save for one woman everyone's afraid to speak to for fear of being sued. She's got a persecution complex as big as my ego, and she also happens to be totally incompetent. The combination is really charming, let me tell you. I suspect they'd fire her if they could, but instead, she goes on pissing off customers and creating extra work for everyone else in a position she's not qualified for, blabbering about how she thinks she should be promoted...
    general social exclusion.
    I'm sure this happens somewhere. I, however, do not see it. There's only one black person I shun, and that's because of a massive personality problem, general ineptitude, and the fact that she spent several months hitting on me. Frankly, with that combination, you would be shunned no matter WHO you were.
    Do you think blacks hear trhurler's charges and take them to heart?
    Be serious. If more than two or three black people even read these words, I'd be shocked. Kuro5hin is almost entirely white male college students, and the rest are mostly white male high school students and white male techies working in industry. There's maybe 10% claiming to be female, and maybe 10% of those really are, and there's maybe 1% claiming to be various nonwhite ethicities, and maybe half of those really are. Further, the thing I like best about k5 is that I can say what I think, instead of what will be politically adriot or well received. Well, this is what I think: black culture(which includes many nonblack people, by the way - it IS a culture, rather than a race,) is fucked, and as long as that persists, the people who belong to it are also fucked. The black success stories have one thing in common - they dumped that culture. They may pretend to belong to it(especially true of celebrities,) but they don't live it.

    --
    And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
    [ Parent ]
    Yikes. Follow the moving target... (none / 0) (#184)
    by elenchos on Tue May 22, 2001 at 06:09:20 AM EST

    Where did I accuse you of racism? Way back when I first quoted you, I accused you of being among those who were either denying that racism exists, or denying that it is a problem. But then you come in and say "No, I do think racism exists, and it is a problem."

    Fine. In that case my criticism is that being white you aren't helping matters by obsessing over what you see as wrong with black culture, and it would be much more helpful to work on your end: white culture. Given the the nature of the K5 audiance, as you say, your words here can influence white attitudes. What you are promoting is that whites can just say "deal with it" to blacks and go on about their business. Not helpful. You are telling male geek yuppies that complacency is the way to go. OTOH, maybe with how ham-fisted these guys are on any social issue, it might be better if they just left well enough alone. That argument might fly, but not an argument that white people in general don't have any work to do to end racism.

    But now you want to again deny that racism is a problem. At least you went to work to shoot down my examples of the problem of racism. So do you or don't you think racism is a problem? If it is a problem, but not in the ways I described, then just where do you think it has its effect? If you do not think that racism is causing harm to blacks, then that would mean that racism is not a problem, wouldn't it?

    Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
    [ Parent ]

    Clarification (none / 0) (#185)
    by trhurler on Tue May 22, 2001 at 10:52:53 AM EST

    Just so that you can quit wondering, yes, I do believe racism is "a problem." I think it is a far lesser problem than many people make it out to be, but it is a problem. That said, I do not think most of the people who are reading this will or can do anything about it.

    Furthermore, this suggestion that rather than say what I think, I should say things calculated to make readers of what I write act in certain ways is actually offensive to me. The notion that certain people's inherent superiority should therefore entitle them to trick, coerce, cajole, or embarass others into doing what those few think is right is one of the most hideous manifestations of liberalism; "man is perfectible, therefore I am perfect!" I'm an arrogant, condescending asshole, but I don't deliberately manipulate people; if you find yourself manipulated "by my words," you did it to yourself.

    --
    And when you consider that Siggy is second only to trhurler as far as posters whose name at the top of a comment fill me with forboding, that's sayin
    [ Parent ]
    Racism isn't just the KKK... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Fri May 18, 2001 at 01:23:03 AM EST

    The problem is, what good does it do to have yet another study showing that racism exists? Are these people so bored they have to do a study like this, when they could have easily saved time and money to go to Georgia and look up the KKK?

    The KKK and such groups are only a small part of the problem of racism in the US. The big part is precisely what the study attacks-- that people, even many good-meaning ones, harbor all sorts of unconscious and not immediately evident racial prejudices, the collective effects of which have a quite possibly large negative effect on the status of blacks.

    So your "alternative" merely consists in sticking to the popular prejudices about racial prejudice...

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#129)
    by theboz on Fri May 18, 2001 at 09:45:27 AM EST

    The KKK is the stereotypical example of racism in the U.S. I know there are plenty of other examples, organized groups, and many more individuals, but a lot of the racism is started with propaganda from groups like this.

    Of the organized racist groups, the CCC (I think it stands for Concerned Citizens Coalition or something) is the one that scares me the most. They claim not to be racist, and try to act like their goal is to "defend America" rather than white supremecy. They seem to be racists in an almost libertarian sort of way, which I think gets people to be a lot more comfortable in agreeing with them.

    The way I see it, if you can eliminate the biggest problems first, the smaller ones will be easier to take care of later. For example, if you are worried about cleaning up air pollution, you would want to go after the big factories that release the most smoke and chemicals into the air before you go after people's lawnmowers. In the example of racism, I think the groups that are more hardcore with it should be the ones we stop. I think most of the people that were in this study do not want to decide black people are bad or anything like that. They learn it from their environment and peers. Ultimately, it's the racist groups that actively spread lies about other people to get the white people to be afraid.

    Another thing that needs to change is the "gangsta" image that is portrayed on TV, movies, and especially music. People like Dr. Dre and Sean Combs are to blame in the music industry especially. It was worse in the early and mid 90's I think when half of the rap music was talking about killing police and committing crimes, but these people need to work on more positive things. You see someone like Sean Combs talking about being a role model, then gets in trouble for shooting at a bar. Dr. Dre may not be actively rapping about beating women or killing police anymore, but his employee Eminem does. Bad things are a part of life, and a lot of rap is made to show the ugly part of life as well, but it should not be glorified to the point where children grow up wanting to become thugs. I know this isn't a uniquely black thing either, but I am focusing on it right now.

    Actually, now that I am thinking about it I would say the parents of children are more to blame. First, parents already have their predjudices which they teach their children. Sometimes the kids ignore it though, and become better people than their parents. However, the peer pressure from the kids at school can cause a major backlash too. I have seen the children of white racists grow up having more black friends than white ones. It pisses their parents off, but it can be a good thing. However, at the same time, if these white kids think that Snoop Doggy Dog is a good example of a black person, that shows a problem in the perception of blacks in the media. There are not enough positive images of black people that make music or on TV and movies. All you can find are comedian and action movies that have black people for the most part. Why aren't there many positive images that show black people as something other than retarded goofballs and criminals? At the same time, I don't believe in government censorship or filling any quotas, but I would think entertainers and other role models would be decent enough human beings to do something to provide this.

    So I think that if we could eliminate groups like the KKK, a lot of the racist FUD would go away, and it would be easier then to eliminate the smaller occurances of racism in people that are otherwise reasonable. However, for that to happen, parents have to do a better job raising their children to let them make their own ideas rather than the parents' predjudices, and that the media should do something to help and police itself too.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    you don't get it (none / 0) (#143)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Fri May 18, 2001 at 04:05:23 PM EST

    In the example of racism, I think the groups that are more hardcore with it should be the ones we stop. I think most of the people that were in this study do not want to decide black people are bad or anything like that. They learn it from their environment and peers. Ultimately, it's the racist groups that actively spread lies about other people to get the white people to be afraid.

    So people are racist because the KKK exists? I think you are terribly overestimating the contribution of the KKK to racism in the US.

    Consider racism in Latin America, for instance. Organized racist/white supremacist groups like the KKK have never been a problem in most of the racially mixed Latin American cultures-- yet there is still plenty of racism in these cultures.

    Removing the KKK and such groups simply won't change all that much, because ultimately racism has less to do with the propaganda of organized groups but with unconscious associations like the one brought up by this experiment.

    Another thing that needs to change is the "gangsta" image that is portrayed on TV, movies, and especially music. People like Dr. Dre and Sean Combs are to blame in the music industry especially.

    Why are you shielding the people running the big record companies by defecting the blame into their employees?

    So I think that if we could eliminate groups like the KKK, a lot of the racist FUD would go away, and it would be easier then to eliminate the smaller occurances of racism in people that are otherwise reasonable.

    Which suggests that you neither understand the point I made nor the nature of racism.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Another issue (4.50 / 2) (#126)
    by strumco on Fri May 18, 2001 at 08:01:16 AM EST

    The problem is, what good does it do to have yet another study showing that racism exists?
    It seems to me that the most important issue addressed by this study (and which ought to be followed up by further work), is that of the safety of eye-witness evidence.

    Not too long ago, "we have an eye-witness" made a police case open-and shut. Now, we know a lot more about perception, and know that, often, an eye-witness, however honest, is the worst kind of evidence.

    We have had many instances where police have fired on unarmed targets. They say "I saw a gun", and when one isn't found, we say "Yeah, right". But it may (sometimes) be that they did see a gun, even if it wasn't physically there.

    This study should require us to look even deeper into what witnesses (think they) saw.

    DC
    http://www.strum.co.uk
    [ Parent ]

    *Cough* Biased *Ahem* (4.00 / 5) (#98)
    by Sheepdot on Thu May 17, 2001 at 09:39:52 PM EST

    From the link:

    Participants in the study were all students ages 19-24 attending a private university in the Midwest. Most of the study participants were white; none were black.

    Did they try enough private universities till they found one that supported their cause? Did they goto a place like Bob Jones?

    I live in the Midwest, there are various types of folks here that react differently, most can be categorized in the following 3 ways:

    Racist: Uses the 'n' term regularly when referring to anyone and everything, moreso with African-Americans.

    Bigot: Doesn't associate with others of different races, doesn't commonly use racial slurs, but laughs at racist jokes.

    Semi-Bigoted: Takes offense at racist actions, commonly defends those of different color but never associates himself with those of another race. (These folks were the target of the study most likely)

    Regular: Interacts with people of a multitude of races, often on a daily basis, and will not tolerate racial jokes, slurs, or the like.

    Myself? Well, let's just say this quote sums up my opinion:

    "There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is the condition of a free society, the second means as DeTocqueville describes it, 'a new form of servitude.'" --F.A. Hayek


    Subconscious (none / 0) (#103)
    by ucblockhead on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:03:58 PM EST

    The point of the thing is that how you react consciously and how you react subconsciously are two entirely different things. You may well consciously treat people in a completely colorblind fasion and still subconsciously take racist actions without realizing it.


    -----------------------
    This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
    [ Parent ]

    Myself or the targets of the study? (none / 0) (#110)
    by Sheepdot on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:09:36 PM EST

    Here again, this might have something to do with the kids brought up in racist families that do not necessarily believe in such a fashion, but through the actions of their parents, react irrationally when giving a particular situation.

    I, for one, would like to see more information about the study. Especially about specific numbers. I also have high suspicions regarding Mr. Payne's intent on doing this study, especially since no control was used when he makes his claims that the results are "disturbing".


    [ Parent ]
    What do you mean, "no control"? (none / 0) (#117)
    by streetlawyer on Fri May 18, 2001 at 02:21:29 AM EST

    You're making a specific accusation here, that a professional has failed to observe professional standards. I'm a statistician of sorts, among other things, and I don't see what the problem might be. WHat kind of "control" might have been used, and how does its absence invalidate the results? I think it would be useful to have a few more specifics here.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    One way.. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Sheepdot on Fri May 18, 2001 at 05:27:18 PM EST

    Since the focus of the study is racial in nature, why not do a study of equivalent numbers of blacks and whites from the same college and same walks of life?

    My belief here is that this man's intention was to goto a private college where little to no African Americans existed, and come up with some great revelation regarding subconcious racist beliefs.

    What is to say these people weren't conciously racist as well? I'm a college student in the Midwest, I have had roommates that use the 'n' word that obviously should not be (they are in higher education for christ's sake).

    I guess there are problems that I have with studies that don't release numbers, don't state control subjects or equality in testing. I'm also interested in who helped with the project.

    I'm not saying this is the case, but wouldn't it be a shock to everyone on K5 if African-Americans misidentified tools as weapons when presented with a picture of a black face just as often as the "whites" (mixed) in this study did?

    *That* is my example of a control.

    If he's going to argue that the results show subconcious racism, he should at least have reasoning to base it from.


    [ Parent ]
    There is a control. (none / 0) (#164)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Sun May 20, 2001 at 04:51:18 PM EST

    Since the focus of the study is racial in nature, why not do a study of equivalent numbers of blacks and whites from the same college and same walks of life?

    Assuming that the whites tested the same, how would that change anything?

    As it happens, the experiment does have a control-- the hypothesis is about the reaction of white people to black faces, so they included white faces in the data.

    You don't seem to understand statistics yourself.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Ahh but this is a study with a purpose (none / 0) (#187)
    by Sheepdot on Tue May 22, 2001 at 12:13:12 PM EST

    The intended purpose of this study was to show that whites have subconcious reactions when confronted with a black face.

    Since no blacks were tested, the conclusion that the creator of the study comes to is invalid. He needed to have African-Americans also do the study to see how they reacted when confronted with a black face and a tool.

    To state that there is subconcious racism when you've only tested one race without considering the results of the test, is highly uncalled for. No doubt this guy will get some serious trouble if he tries to call this study groundbreaking.

    It isn't even a professor that did the study, which gives more reason for me to believe it was done with a clear agenda. I'm not saying he didn't want black participants, but I *am* saying he needs to have them in order to determine if this is a white-only thing or if it happens across both races.

    There is also the possibility that both whites and blacks did this study and he only reported on the whites reactions. If so, I question his professional integrity.


    [ Parent ]
    OMG I just realized you don't know.. (1.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Sheepdot on Fri May 18, 2001 at 05:39:36 PM EST

    ..what a control is. You are believing I think he did a reckless study when "control" actually stands for something in research.

    Man, I used to respect streetlawyer comments as the educated kind.

    Here's a site that explains what a "control" is when doing testing and experimenting:

    http://www.twinkiesproject.com/

    The graphics are designed for kids your age.



    [ Parent ]
    Both (none / 0) (#132)
    by ucblockhead on Fri May 18, 2001 at 10:35:37 AM EST

    Or it might just be that subconcious racism is more prevalent than you are willing to believe.


    -----------------------
    This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
    [ Parent ]

    3 ways? (none / 0) (#106)
    by nickco on Thu May 17, 2001 at 10:13:08 PM EST

    That's 4, my friend.

    [ Parent ]
    You're right (none / 0) (#109)
    by Sheepdot on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:00:10 PM EST

    I cannot count sometimes.

    Actually I thought of three types immediately and then realized there is another, the bigot. (one who doesn't use racial slurs themselves, to appear politically correct)

    My bad, thanks for pointing it out though.


    [ Parent ]
    A different type... (none / 0) (#175)
    by beergut on Mon May 21, 2001 at 12:57:29 PM EST

    I don't know how you'd classify this type:

    • Laughs at racist jokes, even when his own race is the butt of said jokes.
    • Makes racist and other associated tasteless jokes regularly, and has thought up a few plays on words to highlight racial differences and the ironies associated with them.
    • Delights in these observations, and is saddened by them.
    • Associates with people of other races regularly, invites them to his house, barbecues with them, attends meetings and events with them, doesn't give a shit what color they are.
    • Would just as soon marry a person from a different race as one of his own.
    • Disregards prejudiced views of some family members, because love is colorblind.
    • Thinks that, though racism does exist, racial disparity is not any kind of excuse for stupid behavior.
    • Thinks people of all races would do better for themselves if they'd just fucking work on making their own lives better, rather than trying to make someone else's life more miserable.
    • Feels no guilt at all for being black.

    Got a name for someone like this?

    i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
    i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

    -- indubitable
    [ Parent ]

    Oh well. (none / 0) (#154)
    by vectro on Sat May 19, 2001 at 11:37:33 PM EST

    Two things I hate: People that can't count.

    “The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
    [ Parent ]
    Not enough data here to form any judgement at all (4.95 / 24) (#111)
    by johnny on Thu May 17, 2001 at 11:10:44 PM EST

    Here we have a press release about a study, but not the study itself. Many questions suggest themselves:
  • how were subjects selected?
  • why were no blacks included in the study?
  • what prior experiences, if any, may have contributed to the reaction of the students?

    It would be interesting to note, for example, whether black people also detected weapons in the when presented with black faces. But there were no black subjects.

    I wrote about a related subject in my k5 diary entry a few days ago . One of the things I mentioned was my reaction to black faces.

    When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer living in the village of Fanaye Dieri along the Senegal River, virtually every face I saw every day was black. There were no other white people who lived within a 50-mile radius, and unless someody was passing through, I was the only toubab. I went months at a time without seeing a non-black face. In my dreams my mother, father, brothers, sisters became black. I didn't have a mirror in my village, and I used to go weeks without seeing my own face. When I did see it, I was always startled by its whiteness. It looked like it was missing something.

    After I got out of the Peace Corps I went back to Senegal as a graduate student and spent 8 months there. I used to be (long ago) relatively competent in Wolof and relatively fluent in Pulaar. I love Senegal.

    Moreover it wasn't simply a question of my "getting used to" black faces. I found the people there incredibly beautiful to look at. OK, I admit it. I find some people better looking than others. In general, I find women better looking than men. I find the average Senegalese person better looking than the average white American person. And I find the women in Senegal, in general, astoundingly beautiful. So shoot me.

    In the United States, however, I often have a visceral feeling of terror upon unexpectly encountering a black face, unless I know that the person is African. This is called "post truamatic syndrome" and there is very little I can do about it. Once you've had somebody try to kill you (see my diary entry), your body reacts defensively when presented with data that evoke that original episode. In Africa I had almost exclusively positive reactions with black people. In this country I have had several instances where black people have done me harm, and one case where I had to fight for my life.

    So now my body is primed. It's a blessing and a curse. On the one hand my wariness is a bother and intellectually troubling--am I a racist?--and on the other hand this is "the gift of fear" that evolution has provided to keep me alive.

    My buddy Steve has a similar problem. He loves Vietnamese people, food, culture-- everything Vietnamese. Yet everytime he unexpectly encounters a Vietnamese person he experiences a momentary panic. Steve, you see, was drafted in late 67 and spent all of 68 and 1 month of 69 in 'Nam, "in the shit", as the combat guys say. He was basically in combat for 13 months and has two purple hearts, one for the near-fatal wound he got when ambushed on the day he was to leave his unit and start the trip home.

    1969 was a long time ago.

    It's a simple fact that in the USA young black men commit violent crime all out of proportion to their numbers. Many of the victims of this crime are other blacks, but many of the victims are white. Were there victims of violent crime among the subjects of this study? It doesn't say.

    If you had put me among the subjects I'm sure I would have reacted as the other whites did. But one the other hand, no white person has ever knifed me. If that had happened, and if I *still* were more wary of black people, then that would be a telling datum. As it is, all we know is that I tend to react more warily when presented with faces that resemble the faces of people who have tried to kill me. Duh. So I think this study provides a whole lot more questions than conclusions.

    Do I wish my reactions were different? How the hell should I answer this question? What I wish is that we could all just get along.

    Am I afraid of black people? I don't think so. Am I afraid of young black American men in cities, especially in poorer neighborhoods at night? Damn fucking straight. You bet I am. Does this make me a racist? Who gives a fuck. I'm not walking home after 10PM, no way.

    I know two women who to my knowledge have been raped. (That is, I probably know other women who have been raped, but I am not aware of it.) One of the cruelties of the crime of rape is the way it lingers, the way that people who have been raped cannot will themselves not to dread sexual interest from men. Are they "correct" to have the responses that they do? I don't even know how to think about the question. Traumatic stuff has a very long half-life, and that's just an evolutionary fact.

    While I am not proposing that white kids in this study all have had experiences like mine that would make them tend to see weapons that weren't there, I am saying we simply cannot tell from this study.

    Two things are certain:

  • I wish my relations with my fellow countrymen who are black were more like my relations with my dear friends in Senegal. The racial divide in this country breaks my heart. I wish I could be free of my fear. I wish there were more love all around.
  • I have no apologies to make for my visceral reactions to black faces.

    Does this mean that I think there is no such thing as racism? Of course not. Does this mean that I condone racism? I don't think so. Depending on how one defines Afirmative Action, I'm actually a prety Afrimative Action kind of guy. I wish I had more interaction with black people; much more. But I'm not willing to get knifed to prove I'm not a racist.



    yr frn,
    jrs
    Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.

  • About the location of the research (4.66 / 3) (#112)
    by dylansnow on Fri May 18, 2001 at 12:29:43 AM EST

    I just finished my freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis, and after seeing some of the questions about biases in the research I feel compelled to respond.

    Wash U has about 4000 undergrads and 4000 grads. It is a fairly diverse school. St. Louis is pretty divided along racial lines, but it doesn't really affect the school. Geographically, Wash U is located in an upper-middle class suburb of St. Louis. If you are curious, the school's website is here. The researcher's website is here.

    Wash U is also a very liberal student body. Nader got about 15% of the votes, in fact when the presidential debates were held here Nader came and spoke. Gore got about another 80% and Bush maybe got 10%. Students of different races interact quite a bit, at least in my crowd.

    As far as the studies go, they are conducted on a purely volunteer basis. Psychology students are required to participate in a certain number of hours of research. However, a student has alternatives to participating in studies, such as writing papers. As an intro to psych student, I was required to do six hours of research. A study such as this would count as one hour. Students register through a website where they see a brief synopsis of what the study would cover. This study would say something like, "Students will make computer based decisions." The reason no black students participated in this study was based on chance.

    I participated in a study very similar to this one if it was not this exact one. I would come in and sit at a computer. There would be an instructor that would guide me through the steps. The computer based part consisted of a series of pictures flashed quickly on the screen. I would press keys either on a yes/no type response or a scale of 1-10. I could quickly figure out that the studies were about racism. I don't consider my self a racist, but when I figured out what the study was about, I would become nervous about portraying myself as racist. I believe this altered my results. As far as the implications to this study, I don't know.

    Clothing (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by KWillets on Fri May 18, 2001 at 06:02:24 PM EST

    One factor that hasn't been explained is clothing. Are the white people wearing business suits, and the black people wearing FuBu? It would be very easy to bias the test with a few visual cues. Even things like posture are significant.



    [ Parent ]
    re: Clothing (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by dylansnow on Fri May 18, 2001 at 08:21:12 PM EST

    If I remember correctly, and if what is shown on the website linked in the article is correct, the particpant only shows a face, clothing is not shown at all.

    [ Parent ]
    IAT's (4.33 / 3) (#139)
    by fvw on Fri May 18, 2001 at 01:16:32 PM EST

    Have a look at these very interesting Implicit Asociation Tests to do yourself... The basic idea is, do you asociate {black|white,young|old,male|female} with good or bad? Nothing quite shocking, but it's good to be able to determine your biased...

    Personal experience (4.00 / 3) (#144)
    by dzimmerm on Fri May 18, 2001 at 04:30:32 PM EST

    The black people I talk to make it clear that they are subjected to a dailey barrage of racism from the people they work with, the police that are supposed to protect them, the store owners who are supposed to want their money, and the realtors who should want them to buy a house.

    The other side of the coin is that I was woken up from sleep by a short black man going through the contents of my house, uninvited.

    I have to deal with the way the world is, the way I want the world to be, and my fallable nature.

    The brain see's what it is expecting to see. This has been shown to be true over and over again. I believe this study points out that white people in america are afraid of young black men in america.

    Do I have any solutions for the way things are right now? There is only one. Time. More and more mixed race couples are marrying. Eventially we will have the race problem licked by all of us being so mixed up that it does not matter. Until that time we have a hell on earth for some people of both races.

    dzimmerm

    probably already said but... oh and... (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by V1ct0r Ch4rl3y on Sun May 20, 2001 at 11:05:01 AM EST

    I just don't have time to go through all the comments, but here is my $0.02.

    Did they ask black people what they associate white people with? Racism is colour blind, and it is a universal constant.

    'Life is what you make it.' That is so true. If you see white folk and think they won't help you because they are white, you are no better then the white person who associates young black males with guns. Of course lets thank popular media for re-enforcing the stereotypes... music videos, slanted over-hyped news reports, unreported statistics, over-emphasized statistics on racism...

    You know the fear of the poor is nothing new. Look up 'poverty cycle' on google. I cam across this article from the World Health Organization. I have come across other reports that associate racism with poverty or percieved poverty. I don't think this particular WHO document does but... The Irish faced this when they came across to North America, the Italians, the Jews, the Asians, and the Blacks as well.

    I think what makes the issue with the black population sting more is that the majority of them didn't come to North America on their own accord, they where slaves. But anyone who has studied world history knows that all races have been treated as slaves, the similarity is that slaves have no wealth (ie. are in poverty) therefore are worthless.

    People are over-simplifying the problem and are looking at US only situations. I agree with the one post that says time is the only solution, yes time and education should resovle this. Of course the white trash trailer folk will still be associated with alcholism and abuse....

    __________________________
    'Me love you long time GI...'

    Why? (none / 0) (#163)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Sun May 20, 2001 at 04:30:43 PM EST

    If you see white folk and think they won't help you because they are white, you are no better then the white person who associates young black males with guns.

    How come? I'd rather have other people think I wouldn't help them than think that I would kill them.

    Anyway, here's what you are doing: you are morally equating two prejudices, one held by the dominant class and the other by a historically enslaved minority. But, (a) one of these prejudices has a negative effect on the minority population both because of its content (guns, violence, crime) and because of who holds it (the group with economic power), (b) the other has no negative effects on the dominant group, because it's content is not as negative, and they are the dominant group anyway.

    Thus, this is as lame a rationalization of racism as they come.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    who's rationalizing? (none / 0) (#171)
    by V1ct0r Ch4rl3y on Sun May 20, 2001 at 11:59:34 PM EST

    What is rational about racism? It is instinctive. All animals are racist, they are instinctively protecting themselves are their group from something/someone different. Until we can accept that there is nothing rational in racism we can never try to overcome it.

    And how far back does your history go? Every race has been enslaved at some point. Slavery isn't based on race.

    Africa is a poor continent, most tropical areas are poor. That made it easy to kidnap people. It wasn't because they where black. It was because they where poor and no one would miss them.

    __________________________
    'Me love you long time GI...'
    [ Parent ]

    Almost (none / 0) (#172)
    by strumco on Mon May 21, 2001 at 09:04:34 AM EST

    Slavery isn't based on race.
    I agree with what (I think) you mean, but you haven't quite said it.

    The reality is that, for most of human history, slavery has been regarded as normal. It was a bad thing to be enslaved, but slavery, as an institution, wasn't regarded as a universal wrong.

    This belief was made much easier because one people generally enslaved another people (not "race" per se - just "them"). For instance, the Vikings enslaved Slavs and gave that people the name, because they reckoned they made good slaves.

    Africa is a poor continent, most tropical areas are poor. That made it easy to kidnap people. It wasn't because they where black. It was because they where poor and no one would miss them.
    West African slavery pre-dated the Atlantic Trade by several centuries. Black people enslaved black people. Of course, they didn't (generally) enslave their own black people, but those of another "inferior" tribe.

    When the ships arrived from Liverpool and Bristol, their crews didn't head off into the jungle and "kidnap" a few bucks - no, they bought them off the dock, ready-manacled.

    At this point, race (in the sense of colour) mattered quite a lot. If the black slave-traders had tried to sell white men to an Atlantic captain, he'd have been horrified; the skipper was only capable of doing his job if he could equate "black" with "sub-human".

    But, having said all that, we do need to remind ourselves that slavery isn't essentially a "colour" issue.

    DC
    http://www.strum.co.uk
    [ Parent ]

    Your etymology is dead wrong. (none / 0) (#182)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Mon May 21, 2001 at 07:13:41 PM EST

    For instance, the Vikings enslaved Slavs and gave that people the name, because they reckoned they made good slaves.

    Nope. It's the other way around. The european words for "slave" come from the words for "Slav".

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Fairy Nuff (none / 0) (#189)
    by strumco on Thu May 24, 2001 at 05:26:48 AM EST

    Nope. It's the other way around. The european words for "slave" come from the words for "Slav".
    I always get those mixed up. Words like "cognate" should probably be thrown in somewhere.

    DC
    http://www.strum.co.uk
    [ Parent ]

    strawman (none / 0) (#181)
    by Estanislao Martínez on Mon May 21, 2001 at 06:56:50 PM EST

    What is rational about racism?

    Strawman. Why would I claim it was being rationalized if it were rational to start with?

    It is instinctive. All animals are racist, they are instinctively protecting themselves are their group from something/someone different.

    I await your proof that unconsciously associating blacks with guns is an "instinct". Gee, the "fact" the content of our "instincts" explicitly refers to guns shall please gun defenders greatly, eh? "Guns are natural. We are programmed by our genes to have gun instincts."

    And how far back does your history go? Every race has been enslaved at some point. Slavery isn't based on race.

    Then why was the state of law in all the colonial powers in this hemisphere such that it was legally to enslave dark-skinned people whose ancestors were from Africa, while it was illegal to do the same with white-skinned people whose ancestors were from Europe?

    While you ponder this question, I'm busting my brain trying to think of a historical period of several centuries during which white europeans where massively abducted and then shipped off to another continent as slaves...

    Africa is a poor continent, most tropical areas are poor. That made it easy to kidnap people. It wasn't because they where black. It was because they where poor and no one would miss them.

    BS. If you believe that, you have to explain then how come people from other poor places were not massively enslaved during the last millenium. For example, there have always been poor people in Europe itself-- why weren't they enslaved? The European powers barely enslaved any Native Americans, either. I do know for a fact that the colonial powers in the Americas prohibited enslaving anybody but black Africans. Even the pope agreed-- the natives were people, and taking away their freedom was a grave sin, but blacks, uh, they were an "inferior race".

    Also, your assumption that Africa was poor back then (not to mention your suggestion that poor people don't care for each other) is shaky. Much of Africa's current problems are due to Western intervention, after all-- first in the form of trade in guns and slaves, which made preexisting rivalries much costlier, and later in the form of direct colonial control.

    --em
    [ Parent ]

    Mere presence of black face makes white people see weapons | 189 comments (176 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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