Sunday, November 7, 2010

Look at that Zebra! [Improved]

No, I am not about to post about zebras! Nor am I about to discuss the importance of working together across races and ethnicities to create a just society. I just figured for fun, why not throw up a pic! (May start using pics more often. Kinda like having a pic.)

But I do have a point. And it this: are you familiar with the law of parsimony or Occam's razor. Maybe you've heard the saying, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras?" What it boils down to is that the simplest answer is the right answer.

I bring this up because I've heard people respond to a description of the impact of racism by saying something to the effect, "Have you considered any other explanation?" I find that response insulting, as though I'm so intellectually lazy or even so stupid that despite the obviousness of other explanations, I choose race for the hell of it. In fact:

. . . contrary to popular belief, research indicates that people of color are actually reluctant to allege racism, be it on the job, or in schools, or anywhere else.
Far from "playing the race card" at the drop of a hat, it is actually the case (again, according to scholarly investigation, as opposed to the conventional wisdom of the white public), that black and brown folks typically "stuff" their experiences with discrimination and racism, only making an allegation of such treatment after many, many incidents have transpired, about which they said nothing for fear of being ignored or attacked (10) [refers to an in-article footnote]. Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias, rather than exaggerate them.
So when you're wondering about all the disparities throughout American society, "think horses, not zebras." Now, if "horses" for you means that African Americans maybe aren't as intelligent or just don't have enough self-initiative, something like that - that's the racism we're pointing out to you.


  1. But White Privilege will only be satisfied when the number of allegations of racism brought by people of color is Zero.

    Of course, White Privilege is free to exaggerate any cases of racism BY people of color as they see fit (ie ACORN, "New Black Panthers," anything Obama says, etc).

  2. On the other hand, white racism is never satisfied, so there will always be allegations until there is no longer racism.

    You're right about white privilege, which reminds me of another point I meant to make but forgot - so I'll just add it to the end. THNX!

    By the by, I got another response to my open question for tea partyists. Feel free to check it out and leave your own thoughts.


This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis