Monday, January 30, 2023

on different types of "racism" and discrimination

Kudos to Van Jones for saying something outside the box and trying to get to something more nuanced. But in the end, his ideas don't satisfy for other reasons. 
I suspect the underlying problem is a.) using the same word (racism) to describe two dissimilar things: the universal, generally helpful, but potentially damaging/mistaken practice of stereotyping (in this case, by race) and a preference for/against people of a certain race (bigotry/animus or favoritism); or b.) assuming that bigotry toward someone who happens to be in group X is simply and mostly/completely explained by bigotry toward group X.

The possibility of "animus" against someone in my own group simply for being in my group is self-contradictory. Seeing it in five people at once is incoherent. (So, the five cops also hate each other?) And even if it's somehow true, then it ends up explaining everything and nothing. Instead, I gotta go with a more "nuanced" theory as per Jones: the list you provided above, stereotyping, or maybe closest to what Jones is trying to get at-- a more-focused bigotry toward miscreants who represent groups to which I belong (a cousin of the 3rd Commandment!), etc.
For those who are interested, links to my two most recent essays on stereotyping here and here...


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