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Old 05-25-2017   #31
Trau
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Re: Idpol

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
The statement I gave there was meant as a succinct explanation of why racialism is wrong. As to what I meant by 'status', whether one is a good or a bad person. Our position in society is definitely not determined by our moral status (whether we should seek to remedy to that or whether it would even be possible is a whole other debate).
Alright then, I definitely agree with that.

Quote Originally Posted by Trau View Post
I agree with everything here save for the first sentence. Not taking into account a person's race doesn't mean ignoring others hostile actions towards them. Of course 'difference blindness' is the term associated with not taking race and such into consideration when weighing a person's worth - it doesn't literally mean ignoring cosmetic features i.e. if they have African features.
I guess, from a theoretical perspective, we're in agreement. But your use of a term like Difference Blind Liberalism makes me think of political philosophy and therefore policy prescriptions. I don't think that our institutions and laws can be completely "color-blind," so to speak, and at the same time be just. I'm open to just how much race is taken into account by laws and institutions, however.

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Could explain what you mean by categorization from external sources?
By external sources I just mean "other people." In other words, it was Europeans who decided that Africans were inferior and then created cultural narratives to reinforce that categorization of them as such. This, more than self-categorization, is to my mind what has given rise to identity politics.

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Notice I used the term 'black supremacy' rather than 'black power' - may be the term 'black nationalism' would have been even better. I wouldn't claim that an organization or action group that highlights persecution or injustice towards members of a certain group based on racial prejudice is wrong - only that this persecution is a problem for all moral persons to deal with (for instance if black people are unfairly victimized by US law enforcement then black people have no special moratorium on fixing it as all involved are obliged too).
I'm not exactly sure what your point is here. Are you saying that it doesn't make sense for these advocacy groups to be based around relevant identities?

We're all obliged to fix these problems, but people on the whole aren't even paying attention to the problems, much less honoring their moral obligations to fix them. They say All Lives Matter and criticize all manner of protest, whether its disruptive or not. American athlete Colin Kaepernick protested in a way that should have been acceptable based on what white America has always said—it's okay to protest as long as you don't cause too much trouble. So he protested by doing nothing, and the treatment he received was disgusting.

So if you're not black, you may not even be aware of the marginalization, etc. So black people have to make others aware. It's happenstance that many organizations are overwhelmingly this or that race/ethnicity/whatever. I know of very few organizations that refuse help from "allies."

As far as black nationalists and black separatists and like groups go—they're really not a relevant part of the national conversation. They're pretty fringe.

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Where I will draw a parallel with the errors of White Nationalism is in situations where black thinkers or action groups claim that it's possible to 'act black' or 'not act black' (which is where we get accusations of 'race treachery' - pejoratives like 'Uncle Tom' violate the anti-racialism maxim just as much as the 'N' word does).
It sucks that many black Americans feel a pressure to conform to a certain in-group standards of speech and artistic preferences, etc. I'm not sure why you're raising this point, though.

I'm a white American, so I don't really have the inside take on this, but whenever I see one person labeling another an Uncle Tom, it's not because a person doesn't "act black" (whatever that means) as much as it is because a person is perceived to work against the well-being of black people. In any case, I'm not aware of this being a major part of political organizing, etc.
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Old 05-25-2017   #32
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Re: Idpol

Note that I started writing this post two hours ago.

Liam- those genocides are hardly the result of egalitarianism gone mad. Just because there will always be hierarchies doesn't mean we can't have a healthy minimizing of them.

Evans- is Difference Blind Liberalism the same sort of thing as the Colour Blind approach?

If so, I don't think it's sufficient to treat everyone as if they were white. I think you have to acknowledge that some people face additional challenges.

For example... I really like complimenting people on their appearance but I'm more wary of how I compliment women because they're more likely to be preyed on than men and if they're a creator or professional, it could be seen as belittling them, as if I think their looks are all they really have to offer.

If you've been job searching or looking up submission guidelines for fiction in the past few years, you may have noticed sites saying things like "we encourage people from all races, genders and sexual orientations to submit to us" or some variation. Apparently some appreciate this encouragement and are more likely to submit.
I had difficulty understanding why some people wouldn't just try their luck without such encouragement but I don't write fiction and I don't really know about how people submit to multiple places and what the waiting times are like and I don't know what it's like to feel like I might be excluded based on my race, gender, sexuality or those of my fictional characters.

Think of anthologies of elegant ghost stories and think how an African writer telling African ghost stories might wonder what the chances of fitting in are. Are people buying these anthologies just hoping for some MR James pastiche? What happens if/when stories set in atypical places stop being a small minority in such anthologies?

I'd guess most (?) people have an awareness that the way we think about almost everything has a long, incredibly complex history and that the way we think about many things is unfair. Maybe the explanations for the way we think about certain things will sound absurd at first, maybe we won't be able to understand or accept the reasons.
I've long thought all these things about inequality yet I'm still filled with panic and indignation when some of my assumptions are challenged (only a few days ago I read someone claiming a film I liked was deeply sexist and I was pissed off at first but they ended up partially convincing me) but I generally calm down and consider it more seriously.

Trying your best to treat everyone equally will not necessarily unravel your false assumptions about certain cultures and what certain people create. You have to examine your attitudes to these things. Why some genres and tropes have more cultural capital than others.

You don't need to be particularly sexist to inherit sexist ideas about what women create and consume. They run deep and last for centuries.

If our deeply ingrained received attitudes are so flawed then why would our current social etiquette be adequate to deal with the problems?

This crosses over into the thread about authors attacking reviewers and the various McCalmont pieces I've linked recently: some of you may have heard about young people, particularly women, being belittled at conventions and online for their differences in taste and opinions. People are excluded by conservative identity politics.

The parts of identity politics I still find dubious are the rigid hierarchies and permissions for what groups can do and say.

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Old 05-25-2017   #33
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Re: Idpol

There is a lot of sexism in the online horror/weird fiction community, but there is a creeping amount of patronising inclusivity which comes across as sleazy and at times predatory and also rids better authors of opportunities.

Mostly I do think female fans are taken less seriously than male fans.

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Old 05-25-2017   #34
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Re: Idpol

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
If so, I don't think it's sufficient to treat everyone as if they were white. I think you have to acknowledge that some people face additional challenges.
Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
For example... I really like complimenting people on their appearance but I'm more wary of how I compliment women because they're more likely to be preyed on than men and if they're a creator or professional, it could be seen as belittling them, as if I think their looks are all they really have to offer.

If you've been job searching or looking up submission guidelines for fiction in the past few years, you may have noticed sites saying things like "we encourage people from all races, genders and sexual orientations to submit to us" or some variation. Apparently some appreciate this encouragement and are more likely to submit.
I had difficulty understanding why some people wouldn't just try their luck without such encouragement but I don't write fiction and I don't really know about how people submit to multiple places and what the waiting times are like and I don't know what it's like to feel like I might be excluded based on my race, gender, sexuality or those of my fictional characters.
I understand why yourself and others would feel that way, and recognize that it's based on not wanting to unintentionally hurt people, but ultimately I'm not convinced treating someone to be inherently prone to victimization is ultimately the right thing, as it risks leading the people themselves to believe their race or gender makes a moral difference. Practically if one knows that another person has been subject to bullying based on these yes avoiding certain things is tactful but the ultimate goal has to be equal treatment.

(To give another take on your appearance example I used to feel the same but instead decided to make a deliberate effort to compliment anyone on their dress/appearance if appropriate. A compliment is ultimately positive until proven otherwise. It's an ingrained prejudice in Anglo-Saxon society that men do not/are not encouraged to compliment one another on appearance)

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Think of anthologies of elegant ghost stories and think how an African writer telling African ghost stories might wonder what the chances of fitting in are. Are people buying these anthologies just hoping for some MR James pastiche? What happens if/when stories set in atypical places stop being a small minority in such anthologies?
The same difficulties would have an Anglo-Saxon writer producing a story in the vein of a classical African ghost story though. This says more about reading tastes than views on ethnicity though. There are demographic preference based on ethnic heritage certainly, but I don't think these things are necessarily bad unless they exclude a person based on race. That Jamesian ghost stories tend to follow a certain pattern is no more problematic than, say, Westerns featuring a preponderance of Anglo-Saxon and Native American characters.

Of course it is good for people to step outside their zone of familiarity and be introduced to other cultural ideas/aesthetics. It would be better for this to be done by encouraging people to explore other settings regardless of background though - say for instance by putting together an anthology of African themed ghost stories from writers regardless of background.

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Trying your best to treat everyone equally will not necessarily unravel your false assumptions about certain cultures and what certain people create. You have to examine your attitudes to these things.
Perhaps not, but ultimately the only way to do that is to engage with them just as one would with other people people and take on board the differences and corrected information they provide.

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Why some genres and tropes have more cultural capital than others.
Again demographic preference. That X percentage of white people happen to like Jamesian ghost stories or Y percentage of famous Jazz musicians were black is not something we need to shy away from, only the assumption that there is some necessary connection between race and these things which excludes others.

(For instance would you consider it wrong if an anthology of ghosts stories published in an African country, in that language, by an editor from that background, had a preponderance of Africanian influenced ghosts stories even if some of the writers were white and foreign?)

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
You don't need to be particularly sexist to inherit sexist ideas about what women create and consume. They run deep and last for centuries.
Likewise for many ideas about men (which, ironically, are almost never examined because men themselves carry them). Again some of that comes down to demographic preference again - it's not wrong to operate on assumptions as long as they don't place the person in a position of inferiority where they have to abide by them.

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
This crosses over into the thread about authors attacking reviewers and the various McCalmont pieces I've linked recently: some of you may have heard about young people, particularly women, being belittled at conventions and online for their differences in taste and opinions. People are excluded by conservative identity politics.
What are conservative identity politics? I agree that people of certain backgrounds are often adversely affected by negative stereotypes but that's different from identity politics proper. Vox Day and co represent actual Right-Wing Identity politics (more accurately they encourage it for everyone and claim that since all other groups do it 'Whites'/Anglo-Saxons' should to).
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Old 05-25-2017   #35
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Re: Idpol

People should be aware of differences while respecting them. This requires at least Wiki'ing a nation before making blanket claims of its culture.

Call a Japanese a Chinese, or vice versa, while insisting there is miniscule difference between their cultures, and see what happens. Likewise, call a Persian an Arab, or vice versa, while insisting there is miniscule difference between their cultures, and see what happens.

When people think Iran's landscape is mostly desert, which it isn't, and the artistic tradition is identical to Arabia, which it isn't, I figure out they're idiots, since they can't be assed to do some research (eg, Google images "Mahmoud Farshchian" and "Manzadaran Province")

The USA is largely a culture of rednecks and ditsy libertines brainwashed by a reprehensible media and trashy pop music. America exports such degenerate media to fuel tension and spread misinformation about various ethnicities. For this reason I respect all cultures but Salafism/Wahhabism (regular Sunni is okay) and the USA, the Great Satan imo. Soon there will be films styled like the propaganda 300 depicting the USA as monsters, giving a taste to these people how it feels to truly be denigrated such as how I was for large portions of my life.

You literally have these fools eating at Persian restaurants and not knowing Persia = Iran. The Saudis and Americans were meant for each other.

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Old 05-25-2017   #36
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Re: Idpol

Evans- thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I'm not sure encouraging different groups to submit stories is treating them prone to being a victim.

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A compliment is ultimately positive until proven otherwise
I dunno about that. It's not unusual for me to want to tell a stranger that they are gorgeous. This could be very uncomfortable for people. Surely women would be more wary of people saying things like this.

Quote
This says more about reading tastes than views on ethnicity though. There are demographic preference based on ethnic heritage certainly, but I don't think these things are necessarily bad unless they exclude a person based on race.
Do you not think these comfort zones can be based on very subtle unconscious racism? Personally, I do wonder if I've generally not been attracted to certain music genres associated with black people because of racism on some level.

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For instance would you consider it wrong if an anthology of ghosts stories published in an African country, in that language, by an editor from that background, had a preponderance of Africanian influenced ghosts stories even if some of the writers were white and foreign?
I certainly wouldn't have anything against it but these anthologies do tend to be about raising the profile of a specific group.

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Likewise for many ideas about men (which, ironically, are almost never examined because men themselves carry them).
I was going to mention things like that. I'm not the New Yorker/Booker Prize type but I think there's been a backlash against the stereotypical middlebrow great white male novelist? I do wonder if there will be a reappraisal of those guys someday that will rearrange them in their own canon if a very different order from when they were famous.

Maybe there's inverted snobbery to classical, opera and ballet based on class resentment?

Quote
What are conservative identity politics?
I'll admit I was being lazy there but I was talking about how there is often exclusion partially based on opinions and a criteria of who is worthy to join a group but also I think sometimes older genre fiction fans have a harder time taking controversial opinions from young women and certain people who are a bit unusual within the community.

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Old 05-25-2017   #37
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Re: Idpol

Any female writer nominated for an award is generally met with accusations of tokenism over merit, which can and does happen, but in some cases it's a plain refusal to take women writers seriously.

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
It's not unusual for me to want to tell a stranger that they are gorgeous. This could be very uncomfortable for people. Surely women would be more wary of people saying things like this.
Depends on what you say, really. 'I like what you have done with your hair!' is likely to go down better than 'Hey, nice tits!', but any sort of compliment to a female stranger just walking past or whatever is probably going to be seen as an unwanted display of sexual interest.

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Old 05-25-2017   #38
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Re: Idpol

I worry about the political consequences of identity politics: just for one major example, the way the media and the Clinton campaign used race and gender against Sanders was one of the most Orwellian aspects of a thoroughly Orwellian campaign. Here you had a political dynasty whose policy positions disproportionately harmed blacks on multiple fronts - deep cuts to welfare based on welfare queen stereotypes, draconian "zero tolerance" policies in public housing that would evict whole families if a teenager committed a misdemeanor, support for three strikes laws, prison privatization, school privatization, opposition to drug decriminalization and, initially, hiking minimum wage, and so on - that seems to have induced amnesia on all these issues by mostly just repeating that Sanders was an old white guy who wasn't in touch with blacks.

I also think identity politics has had a corrosive effect in academia. I fall into bitter ex-humanities student category myself, but rather then pulling up my own anecdotes I can just note incidents like the recent controversy with Hypatia. Yes, the conservative media ignores backlash and dissent from other corners of the academic left to make academia more ideologically monolithic than it really is, but at the same time too much of the academic left tries to downplay this level of political correctness as a tiny fringe when it's been both widespread and continually growing for decades now.

On the other hand, where I'm definitely not worried about identity politics is art, fiction, and video games. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the worst accusations of Gamer Gate, Sad Puppies, and other such movements are true, at this point in time the internet is still too much of a free market to constrict content and recognition. Kotaku and the WSFS simply can't function as the sort cultural gatekeepers that major publications and literary societies might have been before the internet (I say might have been because I always personally enjoyed zines like Not One of US or The Brutarian far more and far more often than large publications like Analog or Realms of Fantasy ). The biggest irony about these controversies is that you have right wingers fretting about imaginary monopolies.
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Old 05-26-2017   #39
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Re: Idpol

Great to see everyone is being thoughtful & considerate here so far.

I daresay Evans' Blind Liberal Indifference, while admirable in its abstract truth, is neither blind, nor liberal, nor indifferent, when exercised in any way that takes seriously (or as reality/fact) the notion of Nation States. You can't expect people to have that indifference, then later in the day express their nationalist affiliations at the top of their lungs at a football match/war simulacrum.

A corrective/counterbalance to a way of thinking very deeply ingrained in society is needed and welcome- if Identity Politics, as practiced, is that corrective, i sincerely doubt.

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Old 05-26-2017   #40
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Re: Idpol

Had to look up Not One Of Us and Brutarian. I thought the second would be some sort of violent sword and sorcery magazine.

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