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When I was watching Boyhood I assumed that some moron would point out that the protagonist’s social milieu was overwhelmingly white. And it’s out: Not Everyone’s Boyhood. Many of my friends have a hard time accepting I identify as conservative, but reading stuff like this makes it clear why I’m conservative, I feel like puking over this sort of critique because I think it’s totally dishonest. I feel confident that most of the white writers at The Atlantic, where the piece was published, had white childhoods, with white friends. If you look at the General Social Survey, and I have, around 50 percent of white liberals haven’t had a black person over for dinner in the last few years. And there was the media buzz recently about the fact that white people have white social networks. A clear case of “no shit” social science.

That is all fine. The writer of the piece on Boyhood is someone named Imran Siddequee, who is I’m sure working hard to make a career as a race hustler. And that’s good as far as it goes. If you majored in the humanities you have to make a living somehow. Not to be racist, but what really bothers me is the amen chorus of white liberals who deconstruct and denounce all manner of cultural production for its lack of “diversity”, but who live lives as populated by white people as the protagonist of Boyhood. As it happens I have a lot of white friends, and sometimes on Facebook you see wedding photos. Most of my friends are liberal, though not all, and one thing that is salient is that these wedding parties and attendees are mighty white. Even in California, where half the population is non-Hispanic white, good white liberals seem to be inviting only white people to their seminal life events.

So I’m proposing the “wedding test” to see if you really walk the walk on diversity and all that. You don’t have to marry someone of another race, I know that’s going too far for most people (recalling the Reihan Salam column in Slate where comments analogized same race preference to sexual orientation). But if diversity is really something you value, presumably that will be reflected in the few hundred people you invite to your wedding party. Change starts at home, if you can’t diversify your personal life, perhaps you should get off your high horse about how we need “more diversity in field X.”

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Race 
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  1. you’re a nicer guy than me, i guess. I’d show them the race maps from the census and make them point to where they live!
    anyway, your “revealed vs. avowed preferences” seems to trump most people’s debate points on issues like this. i find that ignoring people’s academic argument and moving straight to their own actual behavior is the only technique that even has a chance of cracking their armor. modern debate is just one Michael Scroggins after the next:)

  2. While this does irritate me as well, this is quite common across all aspects of the political spectrum. For example, it is still de rigeur for an evangelical protestant to publicly denounce premarital and extramarital sex. But there is no evidence that evangelicals are significantly more chaste in their private lives than the general population.

    When it comes down to it, morality is mostly about appearing to say the right things, and have the appropriate behavior, in front of your peer group. Clearly that’s not all it’s about, or people wouldn’t feel guilt or shame when no one else is around. But people have no problem internalizing two completely contradictory norms from their peers. Most people are simply too unaware of their own mental processes to even know that a conflict exists between their stated moral ideals and their lived reality. Sadly, in my experience, even most people of high intelligence display startlingly little self-awareness.

  3. OK, I’ll defend the white liberals against the charge of hypocrisy and your “wedding test.” I don’t like their race stuff any more than you do, but I don’t think it’s necessarily hypocritical.

    First of all, art isn’t life. Making a movie is different from making friends. Writing and casting a movie is more artificial and more controlled: you control the roles you create and the pool of actors you cast from, you don’t have to like the people you cast, it’s only for a short time, etc.

    Social networks are a lot more constrained. Your friends are drawn from coworkers, neighbors, etc. So even if you want a racially diverse social network, it’s not always possible without sacrificing job, standard of living, etc. Liberals might be – are, I think – sincerely committed to racial diversity and inclusion, but not at the cost of giving up their career or whatever. If they do tell other whites to make that sacrifice, then they’re being hypocritical. But I don’t know of any like that.

    Finally, what you’re suggesting as a proof of liberal sincerity sounds an awful lot like the old Take a Negro To Lunch Day. That had already turned into a bad joke way back in the 1950s. Even white liberals have already come to believe, half a century ago, that it’s patronizing to seek out someone’s friendship just because he’s a Negro. All in the Family was mocking white liberal Michael for doing just that. But again, it would be a very different thing to consider race in a work of art, when that work of art is already consciously addressing other social issues. So that’s why I think your Invite a Negro To Your Wedding test is misguided.

  4. Karl, they’re afraid, just that. Solzhenitsyn once related the anecdote (?!) of a party meeting in the 50ies Soviet Union. Stalin was praised and ritual applause ensued, but the ritual went awry (shit happened) and folks suddenly realised they were clapping already too long. All felt awkward and didn’t know how to stop, so they went on and on til it hurt. At last on of the elders dared to stop and all did too, immediately. They guy was arrested a couple of days later. Imran Siddequee is a mad house cheer leader, and he’s afraid, too. Plus, he’s likely an asshole. Today we don’t get shot, but social death is terrible, too:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm
    Democracy In America, Volume 1, Alexis de Toqueville

    …but such is not the course adopted by tyranny in democratic republics; there the body is left free, and the soul is enslaved. The sovereign can no longer say, “You shall think as I do on pain of death;” but he says, “You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people. You may retain your civil rights, but they will be useless to you, for you will never be chosen by your fellow-citizens if you solicit their suffrages, and they will affect to scorn you if you solicit their esteem. You will remain among men, but you will be deprived of the rights of mankind. Your fellow-creatures will shun you like an impure being, and those who are most persuaded of your innocence will abandon you too, lest they should be shunned in their turn. Go in peace! I have given you your life, but it is an existence in comparably worse than death.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I agree with Aaron's comment and would add this - when white liberals bemoan the lack of diversity, they are not hypocritically complaining that "other" white people are prejudiced, rather, they are dissapointed that our social structures make it difficult to establish friendships across racial & cultural lines. They value diversity and are disappointed that diversity is lacking in their lives. Diversity is easily available only for a relatively small number of people who have unusual lives. I grew up in rural Michigan in a small, virtually all white town, and was complete unaware that we were deeply segregated until my car broke down in a small, black town 30 miles away. If I'd stayed in that town I would very likely never have had the opportunity to get to know non-white people. Peace Corps service and academic pursuits made it very easy for me to build an extremely diverse network of friends and family. My life would be much less rich without that diversity. But not everyone has those opportunities, and my complaint is that we need to create societal changes that make it easier for everyone to experience cultural diversity in their lives.
  5. The sort of critique you propose doesn’t really work because hypocrisy in behavior isn’t, by itself, a refutation of the moral principle involved.

    Suppose there is a liberal who preaches diversity but lives in a white neighborhood and has all white friends. You call him a hypocritical. But he will say “Yes I have racist tendencies deep in my heart. But I recognize they are wrong, and believe they are a product of the white supremacist society I was raised in. By preaching diversity and supporting liberal social policies I am helping to undermine white supremacism, which will allow the next generation to grow up without racist social conditioning, and everyone will live happily ever after.”

    In other words moral hypocrisy can be blamed on either a failing in the moral ideal, or a failing in the person holding it (e.g. irrational bigotry or weakness of will.) If it is merely the latter, the ideal has not been refuted.

    To attack the pro-diversity position you have to refute it as a moral ideal, not simply make ad hominem attacks against those who promote it.

    You could do this in many ways, by arguing that each culture deserves a space of its own to flourish on its own terms, or that human nature is such that diversity will always undermine trust and social cohesion. You could note that the pro-diversity policies are peculiarly aimed at white countries specifically, and that in contrast when African countries were subjected to policies that increased their diversity (such as the arbitrary borders drawn up during decolonization) they were correctly seen as a major problem. This leads to the “diversity is a codeword for anti-white bigotry” position.

    The only way to make hypocrisy itself evidence of a failing in a moral ideal is if the contradicting behavior somehow represents – or indirectly expresses – a deeper and truer understanding of human morality. Usually hypocrisy can explained away by weakness of will, but what if the reason white liberals avoid associating with minorities isn’t due to weakness of will, nor prejudice? What if it is because on some deep unspoken level, they know that associating with their own kind is actually the right thing to do. That by each associating with others like themselves is the best way to build the kind of communities that embody liberal ideals like solidarity and egalitarianism. That the pro-diversity rhetoric is mere words commanded by a reigning ideology, but behavior represents a deeper and truer engagement with reality of the world.

    If hypocrisy isn’t just human weakness paying tribute to virtue, if instead it is the only expression of a hidden conscience warring against ideals it knows to be false idols, then and only then does hypocrisy stand as evidence against the moral ideal in question.

    So you can use hypocrisy as part of an argument against diversity, but it’s only a part, and there are a lot of intermediate steps (some fairly philosophical) that go into making the argument work.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    This is great and all I agree at the Academy you would have been more than right, but our nation has undergone a profound shift in sexual morality the impetus for which was almost entirely the hypocrisy of the old regime. Hypocrisy is now a polemical political tactic not a way of side stepping a logical inquiry. This post wasn't presented in logical terms and logic was never meant to resolve all questions.
  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I live in an über-liberal, upper-middle class enclave in the Boston suburbs. Deval Patrick and Elizabeth Warren bumper stickers on every Audi A6 and Volvo SUV at Whole Foods. You do see SWPL diversity, i.e., a lot of East Asians. Few blacks. You see a lot of WM/AF and AM/WF couples. Or white couples with adopted East Asian kids. You rarely see blacks and you rarely if ever see whites with adopted black kids.

    So, wedding photos in these areas will be SWPL-ish. Quite a few East Asian/Indian, mixed white/Asian couples, and few, if any, NAMs.

  7. since some people aren’t totally clear, there’s a lot of sacrasm involved in my post. i don’t really care too much if people want, or don’t want, diversity in their own lives. not a big deal for me, i live my life how i want to live it.

  8. Presumably people who live in areas like mine where only 1.64 percent of the population is black would be exempt from your test. Unless we’re supposed to post on Craigslist an ad that reads, “Wanted: Token black friend to attend wedding.” Though I think that would be pretty racist.

    Sarcasm aside, I get your point. Is that really the way things are in the United States? It hasn’t been my experience in Canada, but my view of Canada may be biased by having grown up in Vancouver and educated in Toronto. Presumably most white Canadians didn’t grow up watching the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Still, I don’t think I’ve attended a wedding of any of my friends where the wedding party was all of a single ethnicity.

    I don’t know if this phrase is in use outside of Canada, but up here people like to complain about “champagne socialists.” IE the type of person who likes to lament the plight of the poor while sipping on Moet & Chandon in their million dollar home. This seems like a reasonable analogy to what you describe, albeit in the economic sphere rather than ethnicity. I loathe champagne socialists.

  9. If most of my friends are white but I read Razib, dose that count as diversity?

  10. To be fair, the article was written by someone named Imran Siddiquee who lives in the SFBay Area, where stuff actually is kind of “diverse.” While I generally agree that white liberals are often big fat hypocrites about race in their personal lives, an awful lot of such diversity kvetching is done by not-white liberals. That doesn’t make it any more or less stupid, but it comes from a different emotional place.

    To make a concrete example: a girl I used to run around with was complaining that there wasn’t a single female character in the movie “Master and Commander,” so she couldn’t possibly enjoy the movie. I actually felt kind of bad about the movie thing, until I mentioned it to another (also excruciatingly liberal) girl who was all, “who cares?” Festering ressentiment is a different motivation than flinging poo on a fellow honkey for being “insufficiently white” (in the SWPL sense). FWIIW, the resentful one was a dilettante acupuncturist and an heiress, and the not-resentful one was a self-made nuclear chemist who works for a living. Draw your own conclusions from that.

  11. Aaron, how is that any different from “diversity for thee, but not for me” that Steve Sailer is always on about? It’s not a matter of “telling other whites to make that sacrifice;” it’s the Nicholas Kristof-esque hypocrisy of verbally supporting and voting for policies that destroy neighborhoods you and your family are never going to live in. It’s Jeremiah Wright retiring to Tinley Park, rather than the South Side of Chicago. I just want people who push diversity as a given virtue to admit what happens to communities like Reading, PA after they are gifted with the diversity that gentrified city neighborhoods jettisoned.

    Cup of Soup, they have that phrase in England, too. The American version is “limousine liberals.” Almost any successful Hollywood writer, producer, or director is Exhibit A of the breed.

  12. Exactly right. I lived, for a time, in a minority majority part of Queens when I was a kid and although whites and blacks played sports together, we rarely hung out together. There were times, after a game, when I’d find myself one of the only whites at a party and many of the blacks would make comments about me, or be ready to fight me. Once in a while, I’d have to fight, that ended my association with blacks. We might work together, but you won’t see any at my social affairs.

  13. “. But there is no evidence that evangelicals are significantly more chaste in their private lives than the general population.”

    White evangelicals who attend church weekly are much more chaste in their private lives. They’re also much, much less likely to divorce. This isn’t well known because it’s in both the interests of evangelicals and the anti-religious to not segment by race and practice when it comes to statistics.

  14. He seems like more of a gender hustler than a race hustler, overall, but sometimes he’s able to hit the idiot two-fer:

    http://imransiddiquee.com/post/95803738332/next-years-emmys-should-pay-attention-to-this-years

    LOL @ whitelady Sofia Vergara being a “woman of color” kept down by the white male gaze of The Man.

    Incidentally, I’m really well connected with the young south-Asian community in the Bay Area (I’m sure I’m no more than one-degree separated from Siddiquee). I’ve heared a lot of this “person of color” talk out of those quarters recently due to the Michael Brown shooting, eg “as a man of color, I am fed up with the way the police in this country target our community”, as though the cops are sending Indian kids home in bodybags. Are people really that stupid, or am I missing something?

    • Replies: @Mister
    "I’ve heared a lot of this “person of color” talk out of those quarters recently due to the Michael Brown shooting, eg “as a man of color, I am fed up with the way the police in this country target our community”

    Are you serious?! Desis are saying that?!
  15. @Drake
    The sort of critique you propose doesn't really work because hypocrisy in behavior isn't, by itself, a refutation of the moral principle involved.

    Suppose there is a liberal who preaches diversity but lives in a white neighborhood and has all white friends. You call him a hypocritical. But he will say "Yes I have racist tendencies deep in my heart. But I recognize they are wrong, and believe they are a product of the white supremacist society I was raised in. By preaching diversity and supporting liberal social policies I am helping to undermine white supremacism, which will allow the next generation to grow up without racist social conditioning, and everyone will live happily ever after."

    In other words moral hypocrisy can be blamed on either a failing in the moral ideal, or a failing in the person holding it (e.g. irrational bigotry or weakness of will.) If it is merely the latter, the ideal has not been refuted.

    To attack the pro-diversity position you have to refute it as a moral ideal, not simply make ad hominem attacks against those who promote it.

    You could do this in many ways, by arguing that each culture deserves a space of its own to flourish on its own terms, or that human nature is such that diversity will always undermine trust and social cohesion. You could note that the pro-diversity policies are peculiarly aimed at white countries specifically, and that in contrast when African countries were subjected to policies that increased their diversity (such as the arbitrary borders drawn up during decolonization) they were correctly seen as a major problem. This leads to the "diversity is a codeword for anti-white bigotry" position.

    The only way to make hypocrisy itself evidence of a failing in a moral ideal is if the contradicting behavior somehow represents - or indirectly expresses - a deeper and truer understanding of human morality. Usually hypocrisy can explained away by weakness of will, but what if the reason white liberals avoid associating with minorities isn't due to weakness of will, nor prejudice? What if it is because on some deep unspoken level, they know that associating with their own kind is actually the right thing to do. That by each associating with others like themselves is the best way to build the kind of communities that embody liberal ideals like solidarity and egalitarianism. That the pro-diversity rhetoric is mere words commanded by a reigning ideology, but behavior represents a deeper and truer engagement with reality of the world.

    If hypocrisy isn't just human weakness paying tribute to virtue, if instead it is the only expression of a hidden conscience warring against ideals it knows to be false idols, then and only then does hypocrisy stand as evidence against the moral ideal in question.

    So you can use hypocrisy as part of an argument against diversity, but it's only a part, and there are a lot of intermediate steps (some fairly philosophical) that go into making the argument work.

    This is great and all I agree at the Academy you would have been more than right, but our nation has undergone a profound shift in sexual morality the impetus for which was almost entirely the hypocrisy of the old regime. Hypocrisy is now a polemical political tactic not a way of side stepping a logical inquiry. This post wasn’t presented in logical terms and logic was never meant to resolve all questions.

  16. (recalling the Reihan Salam column in Slate where comments analogized same race preference to sexual orientation

    Speaking of the race preference in dating, that nugget seems to be making the rounds again as one OKCupid founder Christian Rudder is releasing a book about big data. Here’s an updated post from OKcupid on race and dating:

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/race-attraction-2009-2014/

    On a personal note: I’m left of center, but I’m increasingly tired of mainstream liberalism’s obsession w/symbolism and representation particularly in the media.

  17. I’m white and at various times in my life I’ve had black friends that would be of “wedding party” caliber even though I think the whole concept of diversity is a total crock. The interesting thing, though, is that my black friends tend to be whiter than I am in the SWPL sense. For instance, my best friend in college was black but his musical tastes were more along the lines of Radiohead and he loved soccer.

    Hollywood is great at making movies shaming the flyover states for having slavery 150 years ago but as Sailer has repeatedly pointed out the movie industry is not particularly diverse to begin with (think of all the nonwhite A-list actors under 40 with crossover appeal). Not sure why Boyhood got singled out.

  18. It’s clear to me the wedding test is meant to be an observational test, not a challenge to be issued. The point is that a true believer would already have enough genuine black friends to diversify their wedding without begging a bunch of minor acquaintances to show up. Just like a man pulling his weight in his relationship would be able to get his lady an appropriate birthday present without asking her what she wants (“Oh it’s okay, you don’t need to get me a present, a nice dinner with you is all I could ask for!”) Of course if you ask someone to prove their love for you or for black people or for anybody they’ll Goodhart’s Law you, they’ll Take a Negro to Lunch and patronize him, they’ll show up to your damn kid’s sports game and look at their phone the whole time. But if you’re not a self-serving phony, it will already show in enough ways that nobody would think they need to test you.

  19. Tangentially related, the race of the person you marry affects who shows up in group pictures later. I married a nice East Asian lady, and now, living in a very white town, seem to spend my social time with all the other white guys in town with Asian wives. Oddly, the ‘Asian guy married to White woman’ couples are a separate group, and those couples are not included in our social meetings.

  20. The real shame is that in the humanities more often than not becoming some obnoxious pundit seems to be one of the few career advancement options or ways to stand out professionally. Even some writers like Andrew Sullivan at some point have had to resort to questionable statements to drive the traffic.

    I mean, you look at Wentworth Miller or Michelle Pfeiffer or Jodie Foster, highly educated and productive people who majored in the humanities, and wonder why something needed to change for the worse. The humanities programs can work, but they are going to have to extricate a lot of crap that’s been nesting that should not have been allowed to thrive to begin with.

  21. Incidentally, I’m really well connected with the young south-Asian community in the Bay Area (I’m sure I’m no more than one-degree separated from Siddiquee). I’ve heared a lot of this “person of color” talk out of those quarters recently due to the Michael Brown shooting, eg “as a man of color, I am fed up with the way the police in this country target our community”, as though the cops are sending Indian kids home in bodybags. Are people really that stupid, or am I missing something?

    I am afraid many of them are really that stupid. Liberals like Stewart/Colbert have convinced many S. Asians that the Democrats are the cool party, and as a result many of them take positions often contrary to their own interests. For example, many support affirmative action in college admissions, even though it hurts Asians. Many have expressed sympathy for Michael Brown, but have shown little empathy for the poor S. Asian-looking shop clerk manhandled by Brown, even though he is our fellow ethnic likely working 14 hour days in a bad neighborhood to support his family.

  22. I am 100 percent certain that Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin had very Black childhoods in the sense that they have never had a single White friend who came over to their house for dinner. Especially since they were part of the Black underclass and rarely does anybody from the Black underclass have a United Nations type racially diverse group of friends.

    Blacks who have A LOT of White friends are usually part of “The Talented Tenth”.

  23. Me being a very ethnocentric Italian American, my circle of friends is way more Guinea than that of the average American.

    Especially when you factor in that the vast majority of Americans in fly over country have no Italian American friends. But that should be expected because the percentage of Italians in the U.S is similar to the percentage of Asians in the U.S, so we are not a very large segment of the U.S population outside of the Northeast states. Just like Asians are not a very large segment of the U.S population outside of California, Hawaii, and New York.

  24. Well, hmmm. If I had ever married my Cherokee girlfriend (Yeah with bunches of white mixed in, I know), I would have had to invite my brother and sisters along with their spouses and children, so we would start with whites, Native Americans, Chinese and Arabs. Then I would probably invite a couple from my neighborhood, who is about 70% Hispanic, and a couple of the people I have worked with for a long time (various races). So it would be a reasonably diverse wedding fest.

  25. @Jokah

    “his musical tastes were more along the lines of Radiohead and he loved soccer.”

    Both of which are thoroughly plebeian.

  26. If you are a White liberal who is going to preach about how great DIEVersity is, don’t be a hypocrite about it and not practice it in your personal life.

    If Iggy Azalea for example was preaching about how great DIEversity is, I would have less of a problem with it because she practices what she preaches. Her circle of friends is Black as hell. She hangs out with Blacks more than she does with Whites. Iggy is not a hypocrite.

    But how many Whites at The New York Times have as many Black friends as Iggy Azalea does ? Few if any.

    The typical circle of friends for the average White employee at The New York Times resembles the cast of Seinfeld and Frasier.

  27. Even more hypocritical are the blacks and pretend-blacks who denounce intermarriage and/or want their whitest descendants to identify as “black” and not white. Then the same idiots whine that they are excluded from white social networks.

    http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/content/view/3764/32/

  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Jefferson said:

    Me being a very ethnocentric Italian American, my circle of friends is way more Guinea than that of the average American.

    Especially when you factor in that the vast majority of Americans in fly over country have no Italian American friends. But that should be expected because the percentage of Italians in the U.S is similar to the percentage of Asians in the U.S, so we are not a very large segment of the U.S population outside of the Northeast states.

    The U.S. Gov’t spends a lot of money relocating Italian-Americans to flyover country.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86hwvNWwSL4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tncd84NYJ1Y

  29. In fairness, the 50% of white liberals who haven’t had a black person over for dinner in the last few years probably includes people who haven’t had anyone over for dinner in the last few years. (Dinner gatherings tend to take place more often in the homes of people with houses than in the homes of people with apartments and condos, and more often in the homes of people whose children are grown than in the homes of people whose children are small.) So the set of white liberals who don’t have dinner party level black friends, even if significant, will always be smaller than the set of people who didn’t have the dinner party in their own home, since the latter includes people who don’t think they have dinner party suitable homes.

    Also, wedding photos might under represent racial diversity among wedding guests to a degree, since some people will be mostly posting the staged photos of the bride and groom with their immediate families, who will tend to include more people of their own race than people of other races. (That said, since I live in California, I can’t imagine having a wedding in which the guests are all white without having a bias toward associating with white people. Maybe less so if you live in Maine.)

  30. @Polearm
    He seems like more of a gender hustler than a race hustler, overall, but sometimes he's able to hit the idiot two-fer:

    http://imransiddiquee.com/post/95803738332/next-years-emmys-should-pay-attention-to-this-years

    LOL @ whitelady Sofia Vergara being a "woman of color" kept down by the white male gaze of The Man.

    Incidentally, I'm really well connected with the young south-Asian community in the Bay Area (I'm sure I'm no more than one-degree separated from Siddiquee). I've heared a lot of this "person of color" talk out of those quarters recently due to the Michael Brown shooting, eg "as a man of color, I am fed up with the way the police in this country target our community", as though the cops are sending Indian kids home in bodybags. Are people really that stupid, or am I missing something?

    “I’ve heared a lot of this “person of color” talk out of those quarters recently due to the Michael Brown shooting, eg “as a man of color, I am fed up with the way the police in this country target our community”

    Are you serious?! Desis are saying that?!

  31. I’m an 80-year-old mostly-conservative white guy. Always been rebellious against group-think.

    My social circle has generally been among folk music afficianados and sports car racers. Color’s irrelevant. Straight/gay is irrelevant. It’s all about a mutual interest thing for subjects to talk about. Add in hunting and fishing; and I’m quite comfortable with farmers/ranchers from a BTDT standpoint.

    After wandering around some twenty countries, I just don’t get excited about social stuff. People are just people, and for me it’s the mutual interest thing as the primary facet. A minority is a six-foot white guy in downtown Manila, Hong Kong, Inchon or Tokyo. Or Ojinaga, Chihuahua, for that matter.

    My perspective on a lot of this is that some people spend entirely too much time in the Office of Navel Contemplation, and make a profession of picking fly poop out of pepper.

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @theo the kraut
    Karl, they're afraid, just that. Solzhenitsyn once related the anecdote (?!) of a party meeting in the 50ies Soviet Union. Stalin was praised and ritual applause ensued, but the ritual went awry (shit happened) and folks suddenly realised they were clapping already too long. All felt awkward and didn't know how to stop, so they went on and on til it hurt. At last on of the elders dared to stop and all did too, immediately. They guy was arrested a couple of days later. Imran Siddequee is a mad house cheer leader, and he's afraid, too. Plus, he's likely an asshole. Today we don't get shot, but social death is terrible, too:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm
    Democracy In America, Volume 1, Alexis de Toqueville

    ...but such is not the course adopted by tyranny in democratic republics; there the body is left free, and the soul is enslaved. The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people. You may retain your civil rights, but they will be useless to you, for you will never be chosen by your fellow-citizens if you solicit their suffrages, and they will affect to scorn you if you solicit their esteem. You will remain among men, but you will be deprived of the rights of mankind. Your fellow-creatures will shun you like an impure being, and those who are most persuaded of your innocence will abandon you too, lest they should be shunned in their turn. Go in peace! I have given you your life, but it is an existence in comparably worse than death."

    I agree with Aaron’s comment and would add this – when white liberals bemoan the lack of diversity, they are not hypocritically complaining that “other” white people are prejudiced, rather, they are dissapointed that our social structures make it difficult to establish friendships across racial & cultural lines. They value diversity and are disappointed that diversity is lacking in their lives. Diversity is easily available only for a relatively small number of people who have unusual lives. I grew up in rural Michigan in a small, virtually all white town, and was complete unaware that we were deeply segregated until my car broke down in a small, black town 30 miles away. If I’d stayed in that town I would very likely never have had the opportunity to get to know non-white people. Peace Corps service and academic pursuits made it very easy for me to build an extremely diverse network of friends and family. My life would be much less rich without that diversity. But not everyone has those opportunities, and my complaint is that we need to create societal changes that make it easier for everyone to experience cultural diversity in their lives.

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