Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Nation of Cowards?

I excerpt below an article from the NYT by a black writer in response to the much criticized speech by Attorney General Holder. The article is generally reasonable but I nonetheless add some comments at the foot of the excerpt
"Then came Attorney General Eric Holder's scathing comments about America being "a nation of cowards" because we don't have "frank" conversations about race. That got a lot of attention. I take exception to Holder's language, but not his line of reasoning. Calling people cowards is counterproductive. It turns the conversation into a confrontation - moving it beyond the breach of true dialogue and the pale of real understanding. That said, frank conversations are always welcomed. But, before we start, it might be helpful to have a better understanding of the breadth and nature of racial bias.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last month, twice as many blacks as whites thought racism was a big problem in this country, while twice as many whites as blacks thought that blacks had achieved racial equality...

What explains this wide discrepancy? One factor could be that most whites harbor a hidden racial bias that many are unaware of and don't consciously agree with. Project Implicit, a virtual laboratory maintained by Harvard, the University of Washington and the University of Virginia, has administered hundreds of thousands of online tests designed to detect hidden racial biases. In tests taken from 2000 to 2006, they found that three-quarters of whites have an implicit pro-white/anti-black bias. (Blacks showed racial biases, too, but unlike whites, they split about evenly between pro-black and pro-white. And, blacks were the most likely of all races to exhibit no bias at all.) In addition, a 2006 study by Harvard researchers published in the journal Psychological Science used these tests to show how this implicit bias is present in white children as young as 6 years old, and how it stays constant into adulthood.

So why do so many people have this anti-black bias? I called Brian Nosek, an associate professor in psychology at the University of Virginia and the director of Project Implicit, to find out. According to him, our brains automatically make associations based on our experiences and the information we receive, whether we consciously agree with those associations or not. He said that many egalitarian test-takers were shown to have an implicit anti-black bias, much to their chagrin. Professor Nosek took the test himself, and even he showed a pro-white/anti-black bias. Basically, our brains have a mind of their own.

Now that we know this, are we ready to talk? Maybe not yet. Talking frankly about race is still hard because it's confusing and uncomfortable. First, white people don't want to be labeled as prejudiced, so they work hard around blacks not to appear so. A study conducted by researchers at Tufts University and Harvard Business School and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that many whites - including those as young as 10 years old - are so worried about appearing prejudiced that they act colorblind around blacks, avoiding "talking about race, or even acknowledging racial difference," even when race is germane. Interestingly, blacks thought that whites who did this were more prejudiced than those who didn't. Second, that work is exhausting. A 2007 study by researchers at Northwestern and Princeton that was published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science found that interracial interactions leave whites both "cognitively and emotionally" drained because they are trying not to be perceived as prejudiced.

More here

The major omission above is an assumption that perceived racism is due to actual racism. He omits to consider that blacks perceive prejudice against them because the Left, for their own political ends, are constantly TELLING blacks that whites are prejudiced against them and discriminate against them. Given the way whites work hard to avoid the appearance of racism, I would be inclined to say that the prejudice that blacks perceive is almost entirely a product, not of real experience but of believing what they are told.

Nonetheless the writer is certainly correct to say that negative thoughts and feelings about race ("hidden racial bias") do exist among both blacks and whites and he is also correct to say that such thoughts and feelings are the fruits of experience ("associations based on our experiences"). They are postjudice rather than prejudice. Even Jesse Jackson famously recognized that when he said: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."




We're watching a very small nation
That's decided to take a stand
They're tired of their enemy's rockets
Daily blasting across their land
Though man are against them
God's the captain of their band.
And the truth is marching on.

The Jews don't realize why many hate them
Somehow their eyes are blind
But, they are the chosen nation
That brought a saviour to all mankind.
And though the world may turn against them
God in Heaven says "They're mine."
And the truth is marching on.

So pray for the peace of Jerusalem
God will bles s you when you do
For his eye is always on them
And his word is forever true.
He will never forsake his people
Remember, Jesus is a Jew
And the truth is marching on.




Collective rituals spur support for suicide attacks: researchers: "Religion plays a role in suicide bombings -- but it's collective worship, rather than level of devotion, that fosters support for such deeds, a new study concludes. The analysis found that among Muslims and Jews surveyed in the Middle East, how often people attended a house of worship better predicted their backing for suicide attacks than did prayer frequency. Suicide attacks -- today most often associated with acts against Americans or Israelis by Muslims -- seem to be one aspect of a wider phenomenon in which collective religious ritual fosters a mindset known as parochial altruism, according to psychologists. Parochial altruism is a combination of negative attitudes toward another social group and sacrifice for one's own. Suicide attacks would be an extreme form of parochial altruism, said the psychologists who conducted the study, from the New School for Social Research in New York and the University of British Columbia. And when forms of parochial altruism other than suicide attacks were considered, the researchers found many cultures and religions followed the pattern identified in the Middle East. The scientists proposed that collective religious rituals and services create a sense of community among participants and thus enhance admiration for parochially altruistic acts. But "only in particular geopolitical contexts" do suicide attacks arise from this, the scientists wrote in the study, which appears in the journal Psychological Science."

One Brit has the right idea: "Plans to axe new laws that would increase costs for businesses, including enhanced maternity leave and tougher equality legislation, are threatening to blow open a Cabinet rift over how Labour should respond to the economic downturn, The Times has learnt. The proposals, outlined in the Queen's Speech just two months ago, and championed by Harriet Harman, the deputy Labour leader, are at risk after Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and the Chancellor called for a moratorium on any measures that would add to the current financial pressure on businesses. Right-to-roam legislation and powers to allow councils to ban alcohol promotions are also under threat as the Government prepares to gut its legislative programme in the face of the recession. Lord Mandelson's attempt to purge antibusiness measures comes after a meeting of the Economic Development ministerial committee last week. In a confidential memo ministers have been asked to "advise on a moratorium on legislation and legislative announcements made but not yet implemented that will entail additional costs for businesses".

Obama promises magic: "President Obama will this week make an enormously ambitious and high-risk promise to the American people that he can not only spend the US out of recession but also push ahead with expensive campaign promises while simultaneously slashing the budget deficit. In a key prime-time address to Congress tomorrow, followed by the outline of his first budget on Thursday, Mr Obama will lay out an agenda to cut the ballooning national deficit in half within four years, while pressing ahead with plans to tackle healthcare, education and climate change. The pledges come amid a financial crisis that one of Mr Obama's top advisers said could be even worse than the Great Depression, and after his Administration has already outlined plans to line up an extraordinary $3trillion to stabilise the stricken banking sector and revive the economy. About $2 trillion of that will come from borrowing."

Europe says all markets must be regulated: "Europe said on Sunday it was time to get tough with tax havens and strictly oversee all financial markets as part of sweeping reforms to avoid future meltdowns. European Union leaders met in Berlin to forge a common approach to the global economic downturn that they can take to a meeting in April of the G20, a group of rich and big emerging economies charged with reforming the rules of world finance."

Housing secretary defends Obama foreclosure plan: "The Obama administration's efforts to help struggling homeowners will aid `responsible' borrowers, not deadbeats or speculators, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said Sunday. President Barack Obama announced the plan Wednesday, saying it will help up to 9 million people keep their homes in a housing market ravaged by foreclosures. But critics, including several leading Republicans and some commentators, said the $75 billion proposal will unfairly help some people at the expense of others."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always remember the USS Liberty. With friends like these.