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Deep in the (dark) Heart of Texas
February 1, 2005 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Deep in the (dark) Heart of Texas Is it a bar? a restaurant? a newsradio listening hub? a republican hangout? Is everything political these days? even your beer and chicken wings?
posted by chris0495 (158 comments total)

 
Not very smart marketing...even in TX you're eliminating a little (10% if you go by pres. election results) less than half of the eating/drinking population. BTW: I hear tell that Democrats make better chicken wings and drink more beer.

JMO
posted by laurenbove at 7:32 AM on February 1, 2005


"The home of capitalism and freedom."

Even oxymorons need a place to get a cheap, watery American brewski.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:32 AM on February 1, 2005


I hear if you get a little too rowdy here they don't throw you out, but detain you indefinitely.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:34 AM on February 1, 2005


"I have also had a very hard time working with web-designers. So I built this one."

No shit?
1.5MB image on the front page and you say it wasn't made by a designer. What were the chances?
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:36 AM on February 1, 2005


I think we found the place for a Houston meetup...
posted by Cyrano at 7:37 AM on February 1, 2005


Albert Speer would be proud of the restaurant's bland, corporate, oppressive design.

Food, fun, and fascism!(tm)
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:43 AM on February 1, 2005


Not very smart marketing...even in TX you're eliminating a little (10% if you go by pres. election results) less than half of the eating/drinking population.

As opposed to the non-eating/non-drinking population?
posted by jonmc at 7:44 AM on February 1, 2005


oh look, there's crazy/ugly people with web sites... darn.. i didn't know that...
posted by HuronBob at 7:45 AM on February 1, 2005


Finally! An alternative to the corrosive liberal bias of TGI Fridays.

(Watch out Mr. Bennigan -- We brought down Dan Rather, we can pull you down too.)
posted by PlusDistance at 7:52 AM on February 1, 2005


This is where good 'ol toadies hang out, and maybe if they say the right things, enough times, about the right people, then maybe, just maybe, some of that right money will jump all over them, and the wings will jump on their plates. I hope they actually know how to cook them, and the chickens don't poop on their tables, too much. They will get their indoor plumbing in the next year or two, and they hope that women with the large breasties will also come to swill at the trough of righteousness...
posted by Oyéah at 7:53 AM on February 1, 2005


Ahmed???? Wow. "Come for the wings, stay for the racist rants!"
posted by stonerose at 7:54 AM on February 1, 2005


Ah, yes...Texas....the entire state is certifiably insane...and I can say this, having lived there 30 years. I don't call myself a Texan, tho...I've been in Wyoming the last 3 years and that's what I consider myself.

*Apologies to any Texans I may have offended. Keep in mind I spent all 30 years in Waco. Now, even die-hard Texans have to admit that Waco is nuts.*
posted by Sharktattoo at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2005


The bartender, laughing, asks him, "Why are you laughing? I just won fifty bucks from you?" And the man says, "Well, I bet the guy in the back of the bar $500.00 that I could piss all over you and all over your bar and you'd laugh about it."
posted by three blind mice at 7:56 AM on February 1, 2005


Forums: What I would like to have is a forum where people know who they are talking to...

So please, no typing with your hoods on.
posted by missbossy at 7:58 AM on February 1, 2005


Ugh! I will be passing this dump on my daily commute.

Emphasis on "passing".
posted by Blubble at 8:01 AM on February 1, 2005


It is coming around but we are going to have to come together as a community in order to make this thing work.

sounds like commie pinko talk to me.

or maybe that's why he's having such trouble getting the place and the website put up since people don't want to work for cheap to help support the capitalism community.
posted by destro at 8:03 AM on February 1, 2005


Blubble, I nominate you as a representative of those of us who are liberal on this site, and want to be the first to advocate the throwing of a brick through their front window.
posted by Yellowbeard at 8:04 AM on February 1, 2005


Not very smart marketing...even in TX you're eliminating a little (10% if you go by pres. election results) less than half of the eating/drinking population.

Albert Speer would be proud of the restaurant's bland, corporate, oppressive design.

I have some rather *ahem* extensive experience with bars in Houston. The farther you get from the trendy areas (Rice Village with its college kids, Downtown and its People With More Money Than Me) the bars start to look more and more like this one. And the ones in my rotation would probably have a pretty similar clientele politics-wise, it just wouldn't be so overt. Still doesn't mean you can't talk to them when you stop in to grab a beer, though.

It's just going to be another dive bar. Nothing to get exicited about.
posted by Cyrano at 8:05 AM on February 1, 2005



the first to advocate the throwing of a brick through their front window.
See, you too can be a Texan.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2005


Uh, nice one Yellow.

Ok, I just read the thing on the bottom, and, er, I will at least condone a light littering of slightly-mean pamphlets, or a gentle, frustrated shoving of parked cars.

Back when I was a conservative, I'd read things like this and it would really, really bother me that the people who won us our elections were people who I would have separated and force-educated were I leader. Seriously, guys....does it bother you that most of the good bands, nobel prize winners, authors are on the left (room for argument there) and Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas are on the right? I don't really know how to politely say it, and I'm not saying it's a clear concise argument, but man, it must be annoying.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:18 AM on February 1, 2005


This is so depressing.

"Thank goodness the democrats suck as much as they do."
"...none of my employees will ever be able to say anything political at all. There will never be a link from myself or any employee of mine to any political statement."

"If you have ever wanted to have a place where you could get real-time news facts then this will be it. "
"Restaurant: Too much good news to mention."

"The Freedom Tavern"
"People who are loud...will be asked to leave."
posted by nylon at 8:22 AM on February 1, 2005


I will drive by and check this place out. I probably won't go inside since I drive a Toyota and don't have pale enough skin. I would hate to disrupt the klan meeting.
posted by Blubble at 8:22 AM on February 1, 2005


If I remember correctly from my years growing up in Houston, this is in a real shitheel part of town (no offense Blubble).

Boy, that letter from "Don Rumsfeld" sure is hilarious! I can't wait to hear the commercials that will soon air on 950 KPRC!

But seriously folks, can't "conservatives" come up with anything better than these same tired-ass cliches? Liberals take yoga classes and home-school! My sides are splitting!

I particularly enjoy the comments about how "Ahmed" hates women.
"Damn them Ay-rabs and thar women-hatin' ways! Forcin' a woman to wear a burka is wrong! But gettin' drunk on Pabst Blue Ribbon and slappin' the shit out of 'em is soooooo right."
posted by papakwanz at 8:28 AM on February 1, 2005


(Yes I know I made a cliched joke about southern conservatives in my last post while decrying cliches. Hypocrisy happens to the best of us.)

I just noticed this: "This is not a place that individuals stand up, yell out, and take over, like they do in Europe."

Way to stand up for freedom!

Dear lord, the spelling and grammar in the "About" section is just horrible.

"There will never be a link from myself or any employee of mine to any political statement."
Meanwhile, on the left is a (broken) link called "Democrat failures."

OK, I should just stop now. I could go on for days with this.
posted by papakwanz at 8:34 AM on February 1, 2005


"Damn them Ay-rabs and thar women-hatin' ways! Forcin' a woman to wear a burka is wrong! But gettin' drunk on Pabst Blue Ribbon and slappin' the shit out of 'em is soooooo right."

"Damn them rednecks and the way they rely on cheap stereotypes. Imititang an Arab accent and joking about camels is wrong! But imitating a southern accent and joking about drunken wife-beating is soooo right."

I wouldn't hang out, nor be welcome in this bar probably, but.......glass houses, man.

On preview: fair enough.
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on February 1, 2005


Nothing to worry about.
Just another little Bier Hall Putsch...
posted by cows of industry at 8:37 AM on February 1, 2005


I don't see much of a difference between this place and Drinking Liberally. The website is particularly bad for a commercial establishment though and especially one that so desperately wants to be taken seriously.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:40 AM on February 1, 2005


Ah, yes...Texas....the entire state is certifiably insane...and I can say this, having lived there 30 years.

As a 33-year lifelong Texan (mixed-race athiest liberal stoner) I take offense at that.

Keep in mind I spent all 30 years in Waco.

Well that explains quite a bit.....
posted by melt away at 8:43 AM on February 1, 2005


Freedoms Tavern? What's the other one?

This tidbit from the "Business Plan" (and I use that term lightly) intrigues me: "While a talk radio restaurant concept has been very successful in the cities of Dallas , Austin and San Francisco".

Can anyone elaborate?
posted by mkultra at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2005


Freedoms from apostrophes Tavern.

Liberals take yoga classes and home-school!
I thought it was the conservatives who home-schooled.

posted by me3dia at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2005


Can't "conservatives" come up with anything better than these same tired-ass cliches? Liberals take yoga classes and home-school!

I thought it was the conservatives that home-schooled because the public school system doesn't allow prayer and is a breeding ground for atheists. I think you're right about yogo though.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:45 AM on February 1, 2005


I think you're right about yogo though

yogo? Liberals love that yogurt-in-a-tube stuff? The conspiracy goes deeper than I thought....
posted by jonmc at 8:48 AM on February 1, 2005


Damn them rednecks and the way they rely on cheap stereotypes. Imititang an Arab accent and joking about camels is wrong! But imitating a southern accent and joking about drunken wife-beating is soooo right.

Well...yeah. Basically. But that's probably because I'm from Texas, so making fun of Texas was pretty much part of my upbringing.
posted by Bugbread at 8:50 AM on February 1, 2005


jonmc- I also just want to say as a Pabst Blue Ribbon drinker and lifelong Texan (no doubt with somewhat of an accent), I do feel a little entitled to poke fun at the kinds of people who are, quite literally, my neighbors. But yes, you're right, stereotyping is stereotyping, and I'll try a bit harder to stay above it.

By the way, is it just me or does the storefront look like shit? I've always hated the "Bar in a strip-center" concept. The places look totally anonymous and all fail within a year or two.
posted by papakwanz at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2005


This place is screaming for a WolfDaddy meetup.

Welcome to Freedoms Tavern

Rules:

No Whiners Allowed!

No Fighting!

No Yelling!

No Nazis!

posted by planetkyoto at 8:56 AM on February 1, 2005


Looks like Ann Coulter will have a new place to drink chardonnay and smoke cigarettes and have sex with a different man every night.
posted by nofundy at 8:58 AM on February 1, 2005


I don't see much of a difference between this place and Drinking Liberally.

Neither do I. I'm really sick of the "liberal vs. conservative" mindset. Can I open a "Freedom from False Dichotomies Tavern"? Or a "Drinking Rationally" meetup?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2005


jonmc- I also just want to say as a Pabst Blue Ribbon drinker and lifelong Texan (no doubt with somewhat of an accent), I do feel a little entitled to poke fun at the kinds of people who are, quite literally, my neighbors. But yes, you're right, stereotyping is stereotyping, and I'll try a bit harder to stay above it.

Agreed. I think everybody should be allowed to poke fun at whomever. And you caught it and owned up, so no harm done. And the idea that American Left needs to find a way to reach out to the type of guy who would drink in a joint like this is a pet concept of mine.

But one thing I do not forgive...PBR? If you're gonna drink cheap suds, switch to Schlitz, better taste and the hipsters here in NYC haven't co-opted it yet. ;>
posted by jonmc at 9:00 AM on February 1, 2005


I don't know about other places, but in the Twin Cities, KFAN - The Restaurant has been extremely successful since it opened a year ago. It's your generic sports bar scene tied in with the Clear Channel-owned sports talk station.

And papakwanz, I always assumed conservatives liked strip malls, isn't that what the suburbs are full of? As long as they put some old trinkets on the walls, like old Nixon buttons, pictures of Reagan, and white hoods, it'll look like home.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:01 AM on February 1, 2005


That's what I'm saying, melt away....Waco is insane. So, understandably, my concept of Texas is skewed.

Still, they did elect Dubya as govenor....but Wyoming and America chose him as president...twice!

Oh....head hurts....need to lie down.
posted by Sharktattoo at 9:06 AM on February 1, 2005


As long as they put some old trinkets on the walls

Standard decor for Texas shithole bars is (ta-dah!) the always-creative collection of license plates.
posted by MiHail at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2005


Also stuff like this.
posted by MiHail at 9:18 AM on February 1, 2005


this is in a real shitheel part of town (no offense Blubble)

None taken. It's smack dab in the middle of Stafford, TX. I pass this dump on the way to work. My commute is a little weird. I live in the city and commute to the burbs(Sugar Land) to work.
posted by Blubble at 9:23 AM on February 1, 2005


FREEDOMS TAVERN

Under new management!
(Previously French's Tavern)

Brightening up the Southwest Freeway strip mall with the light of democracy and freedom sints 2005!

We are located across the Southwest Freeway from the Deauville Fashion Mall. Serving fine daily specials every week day of the week! (Note: Monday's "Crawfish Etoufee" is Louisianan, NOT French!)
posted by sninky-chan at 9:26 AM on February 1, 2005


Having ".com" on the bar's sign is very '90s.

According to the News Facts page, "The Web site does not stink as bad as it did but still needs lots of help."
"...none of my employees will ever be able to say anything political at all. There will never be a link from myself or any employee of mine to any political statement."
I guess that doesn't apply to the phony letter from "your buddy, Don Rumsfeld" or the "democrat [sic*] failures" link he has in the navigation, since that points to the Ten Commandments: "I just want to have one place where if anyone complains about The Ten Commandments being posted I can say screw you..."

* Conservatives often use "Democrat" as a deliberately distorting abbreviation of "Democratic."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:27 AM on February 1, 2005


"Hmm, we need a picture of a storefront for the front page. Make it a gigapixel! No? Oh well, this'll have to do."
I can't wait to check back to see his reaction for getting mefi'd, assuming he notices. Pretty ambitious though, planning to update with his own righty news and sports highlights, since Fox and ESPN do such a shoddy job. Oh well, best of luck - maybe he'll be up for a Darwin Award soon. The menu is still pretty open... Salmonella?

"I couldn't get along with any cooks, so I just decided to do it myself."
posted by hypersloth at 9:29 AM on February 1, 2005


"...use 'Democrat' as an adjective"...
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2005


*the storefront
posted by hypersloth at 9:31 AM on February 1, 2005


"If you have ever wanted to have a place where you could get real-time news facts then this will be it. "
posted by hypersloth at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2005


Looks like Ann Coulter will have a new place to drink chardonnay and smoke cigarettes and have sex with a different man every night.

Your Ann Coulter thing is coming off a bit, welll, priggish.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2005


Oh dear lord. A fellow gradual student just now walked by and she had a pic of the "Freedoms Tavern" on her binder.

Must...get...out...of...Texas...
posted by MiHail at 9:43 AM on February 1, 2005


The handy "Knowledge Base" link is wonderful:

This is a page that we use to explain to people who do not understand the internet or how we will post their wealth of knowledge on the internet

The menu sounds good though.

I remember some bars here in Atlanta having "Rush Rooms" in the 90s, where yuppie-looking white guys met for lunch and listened to Rush Limbaugh. They're all gone now, as far as I can tell. (The rooms, not, sadly, the guys.)
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:43 AM on February 1, 2005


A fellow gradual student just now walked by and she had a pic of the "Freedoms Tavern" on her binder.

You mean like from the "slow group?"
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2005


Good lord. I live maybe 20 minutes from this place. How many Houston MeFites do we have? Do we have enough to stage a coup?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2005


Also, the sad thing is that Houston is hardly the heart of Texas. If a major metropolitan area can be so conservative, just imagine what rural Texas is like.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2005


gradual student

Smarmy joke from "The World According to Garp." I classify myself as one in my profile, FWIW.

However, knowing this particular person, I would say yes, she is part of the slow group.
posted by MiHail at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2005


Also, the sad thing is that Houston is hardly the heart of Texas. If a major metropolitan area can be so conservative, just imagine what rural Texas is like.

A lot of San Antonians think Houston is a crazy liberal mecca (read: larger African American population).

And a lot of people in small towns outside S.A. think this place is some kind of crazy liberal mecca (read: larger Hispanic population).
posted by MiHail at 10:01 AM on February 1, 2005


I would like to combine a HINT of a certain flavor throughout the whole meal from entree to dessert. I want to include that flavor subtly in the beer also.

Crawfish Etouffee beer? Um...I will pass.

monju_bosatsu - According to the "In Depth" section This is not a place that individuals stand up, yell out, and take over, like they do in Europe.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2005


The "democrat failures" link is here.

The Epoch Failures of the Modern Democratic Party
posted by jefbla at 10:15 AM on February 1, 2005


I miss Austin, but I'm so happy to be out of Texas.

This line says it all:

"The second is because it is Tom DeLays district and Tom is the coolest."
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:16 AM on February 1, 2005


I half suspect that the reason why some people are making a big deal of this is that it validates a stereotype.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:16 AM on February 1, 2005


^ we have a winner!
posted by jonmc at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2005


I'm with Arch. I thought homeschooling was the conservative cliche. When I homeschooled, I only knew one family that even considered Clinton as passable. We were all blood-thirsty cross-hammerin' cons.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 10:18 AM on February 1, 2005


The "democrat failures" link is here.

The Epoch Failures of the Modern Democratic Party
posted by jefbla at 10:15 AM PST on February 1


"Epoch Failures"? Does he mean "epic" or is this really a term that makes sense?
posted by BoringPostcards at 10:19 AM on February 1, 2005


But, KirkJobSluder, a lot of the ones posting are southerners and Texans. We need to have a laugh now and then as the boot is being ground into our collective face.
posted by BoringPostcards at 10:21 AM on February 1, 2005


Deep in the Heart of Texas - it's a song.

Heart of Darkness - it's a book.

Deep in the (dark) Heart of Texas - it's a jokey post title that was supposed to evoke the culture war between rightwingers and left wingers.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Houston - Home of G.H.W. Bush, Corporate headquarters for Halliburton, numerous oil companies and Enron - a liberal paradise.


MiHail - I assume you're white because you sound like a know it all and you talk about African American and Hispanic populations, instead of Black and Mexican people.


Hispania is not a country I've heard of.

Black Americans and African-Americans (1st or 2nd generation immigrants) by and large - do not get along and neither side would want to be identified with the other.
posted by chris0495 at 10:21 AM on February 1, 2005


Sigh.

And people wonder why I don't want to call myself a Texan, even though it looks like I'm here to stay.
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:25 AM on February 1, 2005


chris0495: MiHail - I assume you're white because you sound like a know it all

It's because us white folks are uppity.

Hispania is not a country I've heard of.

That's because it isn't one. What's your point?

African-Americans (1st or 2nd generation immigrants)

When did the definition change? It's so confusing. The people who define words should really circulate a memo or something.
posted by Bugbread at 10:29 AM on February 1, 2005


MiHail - I assume you're white because you sound like a know it all and you talk about African American and Hispanic populations, instead of Black and Mexican people.

Chris, talk to the 53% Hispanic population here. "Hispanic" encompasses many Spanish-speaking countries. Not every "Hispanic" person is from Mexico. And then there's the various persons who prefer "Chicana/Chicano" or "Latina/Latino."

"Black" isn't a country. Neither is "white" or for that matter, Africa, Latin, or Chican.

The point about Houston is not that Houston is a "liberal city." San Antonio residents perceive Houston as liberal.

you sound like a know it all

Why, thank you.
posted by MiHail at 10:30 AM on February 1, 2005


When did the definition change? It's so confusing. The people who define words should really circulate a memo or something.

Although I suspect the initail comment was half a troll, I'll admit that in certain areas of the country there is a divide between African-born black people, West Indians, and American born blacks. And the friction can be loud and vocal. And when I lived in Miami, I found out real quick that Latin people are somewhat resentful of being lumped together as one group.

And, it's generally true that it's whites who say "hispanic," and Latinos who say "Latino."

As George Lopez put it "I am an American of Mexican descent, not a Hispanic. I don't want to be called anything with the word 'panic' in it."
posted by jonmc at 10:37 AM on February 1, 2005


"If you have ever wanted to have a place where you could get real-time news facts then this will be it.

I hear the NYT toyed with this as a tagline before settling on "All the news that's fit to print."
posted by mkultra at 10:37 AM on February 1, 2005


Exactly. If someone is mexican call them mexican. if they're gautamalan, then that. Bolivian, o.k. What is this lump everyone from central and south american into one group? It's bullshit.

Same with Oriental. There are japanese, korean, chinese, etc. If you've got to mention someone's ethnicity, get it right. If you can't get it right, then how important could it be to the conversation you're having.

Save the "It's supposed to be Asian" drill. Then Western Russians, Pakistanis and Indians would be Asian too but no one calls them that. "Asian" is only used with what used to be called Oriental people. Both of those terms suck; people should just learn the different countries. Christ Almighty - when was the last time you heard european-american?
posted by chris0495 at 10:41 AM on February 1, 2005


In the interests of accuracy, I've modified MiHail's original post:

And a lot of people in small towns outside S.A. think this place is some kind of crazy liberal mecca (read: larger Hispanic population).

Corrected version:

And a lot of people in small towns outside S.A. think this place is some kind of crazy liberal mecca (read: larger Argentinian, Belizian, Bolivian, Brazillian, Chilean, Colombian, Costa Rican, Cuban, Ecuadorian, El Salvadorian, French Guianian, Guatemalan, Guyanian, Honduran, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Panamanian, Paraguayan, Preuvian, Surinamean, Uraguayan, and Venezuelan population).

Let me know if there are still problems.
posted by Bugbread at 10:44 AM on February 1, 2005


why wouldn't you just say mexican people? 90% of the latino population in texas is mexcian. mexican, mexican, mexican. it is not a bad word.
posted by chris0495 at 10:49 AM on February 1, 2005


Same with Oriental.
Dude, oriental is a style like a rug. Where is this thread going…it is getting personal, what is your origin? Also, this bar is not even open and the only person who views we know is the owner as the patrons have yet to come. What are we going to do next with this thread, tell people they can’t go in there or if the do; They must be branded X by their views?
posted by thomcatspike at 10:53 AM on February 1, 2005


chris0495: You're annoying.

The difference between "oriental" ethnic groups and "Latino" ethnic groups is...wait for it...the Latinos mostly share a common language and the orientals don't. Latinos are far, far more culturally similar than are Asians or Africans or even Europeans.

Latinos throughout the US make common cause, and for good reason.

"Mexican", by the way, is a term referring to Latinos used in Texas by mostly white bigots. "Latino" is the term preferred by most activists, but for that very reason it's disliked by many others. The Hispanic population of northern New Mexico is essentially indigenous, having settled there directly from Spain. Many in that group prefer "Spanish".

So fuck off.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2005


Jonmc: Yes, I understand the friction. And I am personally against the term "African-American", because it doesn't really mean what it says (a friend of my family got turned down for an African-American scholarship because he's white. His dad is from Algiers, his mom from Houston. That's about as African-American as you can get. Of course, everybody knew he would get turned down, so it was just good for a chuckle). But I don't see how that applies to what MiHail said. People look at Houston, see lots of blacks, and figure it's liberal. MiHail's just pointing that out. If a distinction between African born blacks, West Indian blacks, and American born blacks should be made, then so be it, but since MiHail is talking about what other folks think, that distinction won't come up unless other folks are making that distinction.

Same thing goes for you, Chris0495. If MiHail wants to talk about Mexicans, he will. If he wants to talk about Bolivians, he will. If he wants to talk about that whole big list above, he could either write each damn one, or use the handy terms "hispanics" or "Latinos". And if other people look at the whole big list above, and think "hispanics", and he's writing about what other people think, then it's the best word to use. Language is a good thing.

I use the word "Europeans", instead of saying "Spaniards, Brits, Irish, French, Italians, Germans, the Dutch, Finns, Swedes, etc. etc. etc." all the time. It's not so damn unusual to use a word that encompasses multiple individual words.
posted by Bugbread at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2005


"Entree's"

...shouldn't that be "Entree'r?"
posted by Griffins_posse at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2005


Chris0495: why wouldn't you just say mexican people? 90% of the latino population in texas is mexcian. mexican, mexican, mexican. it is not a bad word.

And the other 10% can just fuck off?
posted by Bugbread at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2005


90% of the latino population in texas is mexcian
They're are not American? the continent they were born on.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2005


Latinos are far, far more culturally similar than are Asians or Africans or even Europeans.

Just don't say that to a Mexican and a Cuban. They'll tell you otherwise real quick.

Ultimately, the name game is silly. Figuring out the correct word is one of those wrong-fork-at-a-formal-dinner type of problems that bogs down any real productivity.
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on February 1, 2005


Latinos mostly share a common language and the orientals don't. Latinos are far, far more culturally similar than are Asians or Africans or even Europeans.

No, sorry, that's just wrong. Even within Mexico, the Aztec and Mayan peoples are very different, certainly as different as the Chinese and Japanese are from each other. Then there's the Dominicans, the Boricua...
posted by mkultra at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2005


And the other 10% can just fuck off?

why are the two groups related? how does saying something about mexican people equate to telling non-mexican people to fuck off?
posted by chris0495 at 11:08 AM on February 1, 2005


"No, sorry, that's just wrong. Even within Mexico, the Aztec and Mayan peoples are very different."

and

"Just don't say that to a Mexican and a Cuban. They'll tell you otherwise real quick."

By definition, "Hispanic" refers to the ethnic groups that share Spanish as their native language. I wouldn't expect the indigenous populations of Central and South America to be included in "Hispanic". Mexican and Cuban culture are quite distinct from each other, but that doesn't diminsh the simple truth that they share a language and are recent offshoots of Spanish culture that have incorporated some indigenous characteristics. They are 500 years old, at the most. Most of Asian cultures diverged long, long before that.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:11 AM on February 1, 2005


True, EB, but ultimately "Hispanic," is one of those words reserved for official documents and white people who are worried they're going to offend someone. People generally like to be referred to as well, what they are, and "Latino," is the favored term, although most Puerto Ricans I know would chafe at being referred to, or lumped in with say, Mexicans or Colombians. This is not unique to our Latin brethren. It's not like us white folk are famous for getting along amongst our different ethnic groups, either.
posted by jonmc at 11:16 AM on February 1, 2005


chris0495: why are the two groups related? how does saying something about mexican people equate to telling non-mexican people to fuck off?

I dunno. You're the one who asked "why wouldn't you just say mexican people?" I assumed your implication was, "You should just say Mexican people" when referring to all hispanics. It looks like I misinterpreted what you were saying, then. But if you aren't advocating just using the word "Mexican" to refer to all hispanics, just because the majority are, and you're also opposed to using the terms "hispanic" and "latino", are you seriously advocating that people say "Argentinian, Belizian, Bolivian, Brazillian, Chilean, Colombian, Costa Rican, Cuban, Ecuadorian, El Salvadorian, French Guianian, Guatemalan, Guyanian, Honduran, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Panamanian, Paraguayan, Preuvian, Surinamean, Uraguayan, and Venezuelan" instead?

Just doublechecked: As of 2000, 76% of the Hispanic population of Texas is Mexican. So about 1 in 4 hispanics/Latinos are not.

And, while I am definitely not opposed to using the word "latino" (or "black", or "white", or "European", or "Asian", or "Central American", or "Houstonian", or "East Texan", or "drama", or "game", or "ingredient", or any other word that can be used to sum up a much longer list of more specific words), I certainly don't think that Latinos are as similar as some people are proposing, nor are they as different as some people are proposing. A Mexican and a Peruvian are pretty damn different, but a Japanese and a Pakistani are very different. Still, the game of "who is more different" is a pretty silly game, so it's probably best to leave it at "there are similarities in any group, but there are differences as well, and don't ever forget that".
posted by Bugbread at 11:18 AM on February 1, 2005


Can I call you "English", then?

Also, there is no "Mexican" culture. There's Aztec, and there's Mayan, and there's very little Spanish about either other than the language. Probably 1 or 2 more I'm forgetting. "Mexico" is a modern invention.

Oh, and I don't know about the islands, but the mainland cultures are MUCH older than 500 years. I don't know about northern Mexico, but people in the Yucatan are much more Mayan than Mexican.
posted by mkultra at 11:21 AM on February 1, 2005


Fortunately for all of us, it appears that Freedoms Tavern will offer a dish for every ethnic background.
posted by Fndtn Gfther at 11:22 AM on February 1, 2005


So you're saying that the majority of the population of Mexico is ethnically indigenous? That's news to me. Not that I wouldn't be happy to hear it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:23 AM on February 1, 2005


funny thing - most white people have little or no ethnic identity so they begrudge people theirs. Or worse, any kind of white identity is marred by the history of slavery and the KKK and that makes EVERYONE uncomfortable.

I'm a mongrel (mexican-irish-french-commanche) so I don't have any holidays made especially for me nor do my people have a distinct type of dress or way of talking.

I was having this conversation with my stepbrother last week. He's the most non-racist, non-judgemental person in the world but he's white, white, white. He can't understand why people talk about black, white, mexican, vietnamese - he says people should just drop the labels.


Talking about people without the context of their race or nationality or sex or sexual orientation is like talking about the weather without mentioning hot, cold, rain, snow, or sunshine.
posted by chris0495 at 11:23 AM on February 1, 2005


Either they were thinking that multiple freedoms are better than one when they named the place or they were thinking of Freebirds. And before you snark about the lack of apostrophe be advised that those who fuck with Freebirds have strayed from the path of wisdom.
posted by furiousthought at 11:25 AM on February 1, 2005


funny thing - most white people have little or no ethnic identity so they begrudge people theirs.

What??

any kind of white identity is marred by the history of slavery and the KKK

Which is why most people who at first glance one would consider "white," tend to ethnically identify by nationality rather than race, which a lot Hispanics would like to do as well. Plus, an awful large chunk of us melanin-deprived folk came through Ellis Island and suffered a lot of discrimination ourselves, so slow down with the generalizations.
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on February 1, 2005


MiHail

You're welcome over here in Arkansas.
posted by Yellowbeard at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2005


Plus, an awful large chunk of us melanin-deprived folk came through Ellis Island and suffered a lot of discrimination ourselves, so slow down with the generalizations.

Yeah. You might try looking up the history of the phrase "No Irish Need Apply".
posted by unreason at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2005


mkultra: Also, there is no "Mexican" culture. There's Aztec, and there's Mayan, and there's very little Spanish about either other than the language.

First, I must confess to not knowing a whole lot about Mexican culture. Latino culture in America, I know (not a lot, but a bit), but Mexican culture (i.e. the culture(s) in Mexico) are a whole other ballgame. So what I'm about to say probably doesn't relate to the very strongly Aztec or Mayan, but whatever group(s) make up another significant portion of Mexico.

My mom is Spanish, and I've visited Spain quite a bit. Whenever I go to Mexico, I'm amazed by the amount of Spanish culture that exists there. And going to a church in Mexico is just like stepping into some weird Star Trek teleporter. I seriously think you're underestimating the amount of Spanish influence in Mexico in general (i.e. all the parts that are not strongly tied to their native Indian backgrounds). Specifically, I'm talking about central Mexico, so the same might not be true in other areas.

Chris0495: He's the most non-racist, non-judgemental person in the world but he's white, white, white. He can't understand why people talk about black, white, mexican, vietnamese - he says people should just drop the labels.

Heehee. Sounds like the kind of guy who says "Americans don't have an accent."
posted by Bugbread at 11:34 AM on February 1, 2005


Okay. I demand to be called Swedish-American. Even though my ancestors came here in the 1860s. My fair complexion, high forehead and sqaure-shaped eyes should be sufficient to differentiate me from, for instance, French-Americans. If you get confused, though, and call me white, or euro-american, I'll kick you in the nuts.
posted by u2604ab at 11:35 AM on February 1, 2005


any kind of white identity is marred by the history of slavery and the KKK
US census counts people from Spain as white.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:35 AM on February 1, 2005


Yeah. You might try looking up the history of the phrase "No Irish Need Apply".

Or an actual quote from a Wisconsin newspaper in the mid-1800's, "There are no white men in these woods, just a bunch of Swedes."

No kidding.

Heehee. Sounds like the kind of guy who says "Americans don't have an accent."

Haw. Can I take him to the Bronx? Or Boston? Or North Carolina?
posted by jonmc at 11:37 AM on February 1, 2005


Damn, crackas, chill. Seriously, the argument over what to call whom will never go anywhere. Just respect the people you're talking about and think about what they may call themselves. No one expects you to be perfect - and don't expect others to be.

On the topic of this thread, while some have made fun of the Freedoms Tavern it's a little ironic that a discussion on Kos is about this very subject - except it's on the flipside: gathering places for like-minded liberals to drink and discuss politics.

Xeno: I wasn't really offended, my relationship with Texas is one of love/hate. I've lived in rural, metro, east, west, north, central and south Texas - each area is crazy in it's own special way. Waco is just easy to make fun of.
posted by melt away at 11:38 AM on February 1, 2005


So you're saying that the majority of the population of Mexico is ethnically indigenous?

I'm going to defer to any resident anthopologists on this one, but my general understanding is that they're all mestizo to some extent, but yeah, they're more indigenous than Spanish. Moreso in the South, where the Mayan people have a very distinct look.
posted by mkultra at 11:40 AM on February 1, 2005


From the US Library of Congress "Country Studies" info:
Ethnicity is an important yet highly imprecise concept in contemporary Mexico. Students of Mexican society, as well as Mexicans themselves, identify two broad ethnic groups based on cultural rather than racial differences: mestizos and Indians. Each group has a distinct cultural viewpoint and perceives itself as different from the other. At the same time, however, group allegiances may change, making measurement of ethnic composition problematic at best.

Originally racial designators, the terms mestizo and Indian have lost almost all of their previous racial connotation and are now used entirely to designate cultural groups.

[...]

In contemporary usage, however, the word mestizo refers to anyone who has adopted Mexican Hispanic culture. Seen in this cultural context, both those with a solely European background and those with a mixed European-indigenous background are automatically referred to as mestizos. Mestizo , then, has become a synonym for culturally Mexican, much as ladino is used in many Latin American countries for those who are culturally Hispanic. Members of indigenous groups also may be called (and may call themselves) mestizos if they have the dominant Hispanic societal cultural values.

[...]

Enormous statewide differences exist in familiarity with indigenous languages (see fig. 6). Roughly speaking, familiarity with indigenous languages increases from north to south. The latest census showed that almost no native speakers lived in a band of eight contiguous states stretching from Coahuila in the northeast to Jalisco and Colima along the north-central Pacific coast. Speakers of indigenous languages constituted less than 5 percent of the population in states in the far northwest and along a central belt of states from Michoacán in the west to Tlaxcala in the east. The percentage climbed to between 10 and 20 percent in another contiguous grouping of states from San Luis Potosí to Guerrero, to 26 percent in Oaxaca, to 32 and 39 percent, respectively, in Quintana Roo and Chiapas, and to 44 percent in Yucatán. Only 63 percent of users of indigenous languages in Chiapas also knew Spanish.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:44 AM on February 1, 2005


I hadn't read that bit about etnically indigenous to refer to genetic background (as opposed to culture), but if that's indeed what you meant, EB, then, yes, the majority of the population of Mexico is more-indigenous-than-Spanish.

On preview: Ah, I see you didn't mean genetic, but cultural, with an emphasis on language. Never mind.
posted by Bugbread at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2005


I've never once heard a black person say 'I don't see color" in reference to social interaction with those outside of their race.
I've heard this kind of thing from lots of white people.

It is a funny way of saying, "hey, i'm not a racist". It's also a funny way of saying "all my non-white friends are from the television" and "i'm cool with everyone and everything as long as they don't do or say anything to disrupt the image I have of myself."

in short, only people without an ethnic identity would count doing away with ethnic identities as a way to social cohesion and a better America.
posted by chris0495 at 11:58 AM on February 1, 2005


You had me at "I've never once heard a black person".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2005


Metafilter: Come for the wings, stay for the racist rants.
posted by jonp72 at 12:03 PM on February 1, 2005



As opposed to the non-eating/non-drinking population?


Exactly the point, my dear Watson!
posted by laurenbove at 12:08 PM on February 1, 2005


It is a funny way of saying, "hey, i'm not a racist". It's also a funny way of saying "all my non-white friends are from the television" and "i'm cool with everyone and everything as long as they don't do or say anything to disrupt the image I have of myself."

It's also a very funny way of saying, "My kitchen is out of food but it's raining outside".

I mean, as long as we're assigning random hidden meanings to simple sentences.

And, er, sorry, but I've lost the trail of your conversation, chris0495. You seem to be very intent on pointing out that different races/nationalities/ethnicities have differences other than skin color. And we all know that. So who are you discussing this with?
posted by Bugbread at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2005


And on some consideration of chris0495's point of view:

He's right and wrong. He's right in pointing out that a) it's important to recognize that Mexicans and Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Domicans etc. are different ethnic groups and are not comfortable with being lumped together; and, b) the tendency to lump all black people together, all "brown" (meaning: Latinos) people together, all Asians together is a symptom of the European invention of "race" and reflects both an enthnocentrism and a willful ignorance of others.

However, chris0495 neglects to consider that so-called "Latinos" have named themselves such, have made common cause in the US, and activists may be just as likely to be offended by a denial of a common heritage (and interests) and a focus on national-centric ethnic groups as they would be by the lumping together. First, a great many Latinos prefer that term precisely because it does not refer to a nationality. "Mexican" or "Mexican-American", for them, are oppressive labels that underscore the dominant American cultural sense that they are "other", they're from somewhere else. The first term is identical to the term describing Mexican nationals. Second, because Latinos share a great many common concerns in the context of American culture, the division of them into nationally-oriented groups might be a "divide-and-conquer" strategy, intentional or not.

If chris0495 prefers to be referred to as "Mexican", then by all means, that's how we should refer to him. But he should not pretend to speak for anyone else. And his psychoanalysing of someone's motives in using "Hispanic" is deeply presumptious and, in any event, likely wrong. Where I'm at, northern New Mexico, "Hispanic" is probably the least-offensive term to use because "Mexican" is just plain wrong; "Spanish", though preferred by many old families here, can also be wrong; and "Latino" is thought by many to be too political. I've long been uncertain about whether I prefer to use "Hispanic" or "Latino" because, as an anglo, my use of "Latino" is too earnest: like the white boy who shows up at College Latino Association meeting because "he's concerned about their plight". "Hispanic", I think, is the most neutral term. Furthermore, chris0495's objection that "Hispania is not a country" is just plain stupid because ethnicity is not necessarly nationality and, in fact, is more essential than nationality. Ethnographers tend to demarcate ethnicities partly by language. They do so for good reason. "Hispanic" is not about a nation, it refers to a common language.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:19 PM on February 1, 2005


Quick! Someone should register freedomtavern.com (no "s") and point it at a porn site!
posted by scalz at 12:22 PM on February 1, 2005


What most people don't realize is that Aleister Crowley was the one who mangled 'Hispanic' into 'Hispanick' to make his gematria come out right.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:23 PM on February 1, 2005


Let's get back on topic here.

LOOK AT THE STUPID FREEPERS! THEY'RE OPENING A RESTAURANT!
posted by Arch Stanton at 12:28 PM on February 1, 2005


I've long been uncertain about whether I prefer to use "Hispanic" or "Latino" because, as an anglo, my use of "Latino" is too earnest: like the white boy who shows up at College Latino Association meeting because "he's concerned about their plight". "Hispanic", I think, is the most neutral term.

I always felt "hispanic," sounded vaguely clinical. YMMV. Oddly, in the northeast, I've noticed that non-Latin whites and blacks tend to use "Spanish," or less often "Puerto Rican," as generic terms for all Latins. Though just the other day at lunch a Puerto Rican co-worker said to me at lunch "We're gonna get some Spanish food, wanna come?" and took me to the Puerto Rican bodega up the street where they served Cuban sandwiches, and Menudo. And my girlfreinds students refer to eachother as "PR's" and "DR's" respectively.

It's a welter of confusion, best to not think about it too hard.
posted by jonmc at 12:29 PM on February 1, 2005


I would like to be referred to as an "Insane-American", please. Or "Her Royal Poobah".

Or maybe "Snookums".
posted by Sharktattoo at 12:38 PM on February 1, 2005


"Spanish" used in the southwest US is usually greatly disliked. That's why I mentioned that northern New Mexican Hispanics often prefer it—it's very unusual. They dislike "Mexican" because their ancestors were never Mexican as far as they were concerned, having settled in this region directly from Spain.

It's probably best to be precise when possible, using the sorts of nomenclature that chris0495 prefers. But that's not always possible and it's just plain wrong to deny that there's some commonality among "Hispanics". There are going to be times when you'll need to refer to that broadly associated group. "Hispanic" or "Latino" are the best choices.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:38 PM on February 1, 2005


Or, alternately, we can make a mountain out of a molehill.
posted by Sharktattoo at 12:39 PM on February 1, 2005


Regarding Race: I hate to be repetitive but (if you've seen my profile) .... geneticists discovered that about 60,000 years ago a handful of the first human beings left the African continent and went forth to populate the Earth. Science and technology have now proven that there is only one race, the human race. The Journey of Man is very interesting. Check it out.

Please do not mistake the above to devalue cultural diversity. By no means is that my intention, just the opposite. We are all one race and each one of us beautifully different.

I say "vive la difference!"
posted by laurenbove at 12:48 PM on February 1, 2005


the European invention of "race"

I would argue that this "invention" is much like the "discovery" of America by Columbus: It happened in so many places, from years back, that using the word "invention" is kinda silly. I know that Japan had words for different races (not just nationalities) from way back before it had contact with Europe.

EB, I'm a bit curious about the Spanish in New Mexico: do they all speak Spanish? And, how can people tell they're different from all the "white" folks? Just by name?

Science and technology have now proven that there is only one race, the human race.


To my knowledge (and just my knowledge, being a layman), science and technology have done nothing of the sort. Rather, they have identified many of the different genetic differences that cause things like dark irises, light irises, flat noses, arched noses, etc. They have also mapped these genes to some degree, determining where they started, where they spread to, etc. At best, we could say that they have determined that the word "race" is not a scientific term, but a normal term (like ice cream), which is defined in an organic way, in different ways, by different people. That is, scientists and race don't have all that much to do with eachother. Unless you count psychologists as "scientists".
posted by Bugbread at 1:28 PM on February 1, 2005


Allright, Bomb Time. (although, I'm sure it's not a surprise to some)

I just wanted to see what kind of a conversation we'd have. What would be said, who would say it. Didn't mean to troll, was trying to start a discussion of identity, ethnicity and how they're related.

I really don't care what people are called and whether it's based on nationality or ethnicity.
posted by chris0495 at 1:28 PM on February 1, 2005


funny thing - most white people have little or no ethnic identity so they begrudge people theirs.

You have clearly never been to New York City or its working-class suburbs.
posted by scratch at 1:34 PM on February 1, 2005


You have clearly never been to New York City or its working-class suburbs.

Or South Boston, South Philadelphia, various French-Canadian and Italian Quarry Towns in Vermont or a million other places of all classes and locales. The original statement is just wrong on it's face. Yes, most of us have assimilated, or outmarried or whatever, but when my nonna visits I'm reminded of my heritage with a bang. I suspect something similar is true of most people of any ethnic background.
posted by jonmc at 1:52 PM on February 1, 2005


Just for the record, are Portuguese/Brazilian people black, white or hispanic?

Miguel, are you out there?

I always thought that the term 'hispanic' was used by Americans to refer to anyone with a dark complexion from a home where someone spoke spanish - meaning fair skinned folks from Spain were not hispanic, but dark, non-spanish speaking friends of mine were.

As a person with a fair amount of latino blood, I find the whole discussion stupid, and I fill in government paperwork with 'white,' (unless there's any money in it for me, of course).
posted by bashos_frog at 2:13 PM on February 1, 2005


You have clearly never been to New York City or its working-class suburbs.

Or - on the north side of 49 - to Newfoundland or Nova Scotia or Quebec. Or Toronto, especially during the World Cup. Or Kitchener, Ontario (formerly Berlin, Ontario), during Octoberfest. Or Vegreville, Alberta, home of the world's largest Ukranian Easter egg. Or my Uncle Ron's - as a Highland Scot, he has very few nice things to say about the English (historically, that is).

In other words, chris0495, the way you "start a discussion" about a topic is to know something about it and volunteer that information, or admit your ignorance and ask questions about it, not make broad ill-informed generalizations about the topic in order to provoke a reaction. This last is, in fact, what's known in these parts as a "troll."
posted by gompa at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2005


Nature abhors a vacuum and the internet loves a naysayer.

To my knowledge (and just my knowledge, being a layman), science and technology have done nothing of the sort. Rather, they have identified many of the different genetic differences that cause things like dark irises

I've cited my source. It's not opinion.

Genetic discoveries have indeed made such a claim. The research is supported and substantiated. For example: Bergman's and Allen's rules explain the physical variations that are expressed after an action upon the DNA such as the extreme environment of harsh cold. Traits like short round bodys and short appendages would be a result of such a harsh environment and would explain/describe the attributes of the Chukchi people of northeastern Russia.

These descriptions and rules are besides the point. The genetic marker or mutation on the Y chromosome has been investigated thoroughly through global populations. The unique markers can be traced all the way back about 60 thousand years ago to the location of the San bushmen in Western Africa. We are all connected and the popular notion of "race" as it has been thought of is wrong. I'm paraphrasing here. Aren't you glad? ;)

I don't want to argue genetic research and how technology has facilitated new discoveries, but rather to invite a feeling of connection among the groups of people here and to suggest that the struggle to differentiate and label is perhaps moot.
posted by laurenbove at 2:25 PM on February 1, 2005


'hispanic' was used by Americans to refer to
a dark complexion from a home where someone spoke Spanish
dark, non-spanish speaking friends of mine were.

Huh?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:31 PM on February 1, 2005


"EB, I'm a bit curious about the Spanish in New Mexico: do they all speak Spanish? And, how can people tell they're different from all the 'white' folks? Just by name?"

The ones that prefer to call themselves "Spanish" certainly do speak Spanish. But New Mexico is Hispanic majority, and certainly large areas of northern New Mexico are. There's a good number of villages that are very old and entirely Hispanic. Spanish is their native language, although pretty much everyone speaks English.

How do people tell each other apart? Name, of course. Appearance, to varying degrees. Like anywhere else.

You should read Milagro Beanfield War for some insight into the culture here. (I like the movie, too, but it's flawed. It shows off the gorgeous lanscape, though.) The book focuses on anglo/Hispanic conflict, and the roots of that are that these are descendents of people that were granted large tracts of land by the Spanish royalty 400+ years ago. And it was theirs, too, right up until the US claimed New Mexico and refused to recognize most of the lanf grants. However, anglos and Hispanics get along here much better than I've seen elsewhere. Certainly better than Texas. Austin, a supposedly liberal city, was extremely segregated. Most of New Mexico is pretty integrated with regard to Hispanics. And I think a lot of we anglos here in N. New Mexico, certainly natives like myself, have always been aware that we're the minority and, in fact, we quite like the Hispanic culture and do our best to integrate into it. That's probably overstating it. But in relative terms (say, relative to Texas), it's true.

About "race": I used the word "invention" because race as we know it today is, in fact, an invention of Europeans. The term and equivalents have always been used, but they corresponded quite well with ethnicity. But this modern notion of "race" asserts that there are broadly genetically divergent human populations that correspond closely to a variety of superficial features, primarily skin color. This was a new idea. It also happens to be false.

It's not clear from your comment whether you understand that the genes you assume (incorrectly, in most cases, I believe) have been identified that lead to the superficial characteristics we call "race" are neither simple, nor constant, and, most importantly, do not correspond with genetically divergent populations. The central idea of "race" is that, for example, all black people share many inherent characteristics that are the product of genetic population divergence and are distinct from, say, those of white people. This is false. The thing we call "race" is not a reliable marker for genetic relatedness. It's very important to understand this.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:32 PM on February 1, 2005


"Just for the record, are Portuguese/Brazilian people black, white or hispanic?"

The Brazilians are oft-discussed because the supposedly have no notion of race. They see a continuum. Now, as to how the Portuguese think of them, I don't know.

"...meaning fair skinned folks from Spain were not hispanic, but dark, non-spanish speaking friends of mine were."

I don't know anyone that thinks this way and the Census Bureau certainly doesn't. But I wouldn't be surprised that a lot of people would, since there's a notion that being Hispanic is a "race" and is non-white and therefore would correspond to skin color, not ethnicity.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:37 PM on February 1, 2005


"For example: Bergman's and Allen's rules explain the physical variations that are expressed after an action upon the DNA such as the extreme environment of harsh cold. Traits like short round bodys and short appendages would be a result of such a harsh environment and would explain/describe the attributes of the Chukchi people of northeastern Russia."

It's my experience that this is hotly contested. Not that environmental factors couldn't be directly related to genetic differentiation in theory, or even in some populations, but the generalized European racist notion of hot/cold climates and the various distinct "races" that are suppsedly causally related to them is false. You oughtn't give the impression that it's true.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 PM on February 1, 2005


It's my experience that this is hotly contested. Not that environmental factors couldn't be directly related to genetic differentiation in theory, or even in some populations, but the generalized European racist notion of hot/cold climates and the various distinct "races" that are suppsedly causally related to them is false. You oughtn't give the impression that it's true.

It's also known as natural selection. It's true darn it! And you oughtn't give the impression that it is not. It isn't contested that outside factors effect genetic expressions of the physical. Jeeze I feel like I'm in a twilight zone. Besides...I think we're sort of agreeing about the race thing Mr. Bligh.

It's very hard to change long time notions. I remain steadfast in my assertions that we are all genetically linked to Africa. Check out Dr. Spencer Wells and population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford University. It's a good thing.

My husband is Puerto Rican by birth, Italian by adoption and our kid is Spanish, Mayan, English, Irish, French, German, Native American and more importantly human, as we all are. Perhaps instead of focusing on the things that differentiate each of us, it would be more life affirming to focus and the many more things that are the same.

The sooner we loose the labels the closer we will all be to the true connection that binds us all together.

Now I must go cook dinner. I'm serving spaghetti. Chinese supposedly made the first noodles the sauce is based on an Italian recipe and bread a la Francaise. I've also got an Australian Red to go with it. Yum!
posted by laurenbove at 2:58 PM on February 1, 2005


I've cited my source.

True. I just saw the Flash and closed the browser again. Do you have any primarily text-based sources to look at?

We are all connected

Well, of course. I seriously doubt anyone here thinks that their ethnic group and another ethnic group evolved independently from different preapes.

and the popular notion of "race" as it has been thought of is wrong.

There, I agree entirely.

I don't want to argue genetic research and how technology has facilitated new discoveries, but rather to invite a feeling of connection among the groups of people here and to suggest that the struggle to differentiate and label is perhaps moot.

Er, then perhaps you should have just said that, instead of bringing science into the issue.

And I'm not sure that the struggle to differentiate and label is so moot. Taking it to extremes (i.e. putting more weight on the label than what it's describing) is definitely a bad thing, though.

Appearance, to varying degrees.

I'm curious about this. Do they look all that different? I don't think my relatives or their friends in Spain look all that different from other random brown-haired white folks, but I may be too close to see the whole picture.

It's not clear from your comment whether you understand that the genes you assume (incorrectly, in most cases, I believe) have been identified that lead to the superficial characteristics we call "race" are neither simple, nor constant, and, most importantly, do not correspond with genetically divergent populations. The central idea of "race" is that, for example, all black people share many inherent characteristics that are the product of genetic population divergence and are distinct from, say, those of white people. This is false. The thing we call "race" is not a reliable marker for genetic relatedness. It's very important to understand this.

Well, let's tackle that a bit at a time. I don't think they're simple. I'm not sure what you mean by constant. And I don't see how you can argue that they don't correspond with genetically divergent populations. Take, for example, the gene or genes that cause the epicanthic fold. How can you not argue that there is a greater prevalence of this gene in Japanese populations than there is in German populations? Am I reading you wrong, or are you reading me wrong? As for whether I believe that "all black people share many inherent characteristics that are the product of genetic population divergence and are distinct from, say, those of white people", first, obviously, I wouldn't say "all". But there is a range of characteristics that we use in determining whether a person is black (note, I am emphatically not saying there is a black gene). Dawkins discusses it a bit in The Ancestor's Tale, discussing how we can recognize Colin Powell as black even though he has lighter skin than George Bush in some photos. There is skin color, nose shape, etc., and we define some part of the spectrum as "black", even though that's an arbitrary division of the spectrum (in much the way that the color spectrum is continuous but we arbitrarily divide it). I can identify certain people as being "black", even if I haven't read anything about them. And genetics indicates that the child of two black parents looking like me is pretty much zero. So I do think that many black people share certain physical characteristics, which is why we can identify them as black, and that these are not overall shared by whites, which is why I don't accidentally think George Bush is black or Eddie Murphy is white. If not genetics, what is it that makes the "races" of those two people so easily identifiable? I certainly don't think it's anything post-natal.

I strongly suspect, though, that either I'm misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding me, or both.

The thing we call "race" is not a reliable marker for genetic relatedness.

Here, I suspect, may be where there's a bit of misunderstanding going on. I do think that race is a reliable marker for genetic relatedness, but only for those genes involved in the traits by which we define race. I may be wrong about this, but I would be pretty darned surprised. The obvious one is that the gene for darker skin in any random black person is probably more related to the gene for darker skin in any other random black person than the same gene on any random white person. But I don't think this applies to all genes, just that particular gene. The gene for blood type O in a random black person, for example, is probably more related to any random white guy's blood type O gene than a random black guy's blood type A gene. Each gene winds its own path through humanity. The genes that define certain physical characteristics are the ones that get used to label race (in an indirect way, of course). Other genes, which define other features (allergies, blood type, what-have-you) trace completely different paths, which don't line up with race.
posted by Bugbread at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2005


Perhaps instead of focusing on the things that differentiate each of us, it would be more life affirming to focus and the many more things that are the same.

What do you mean, "life affirming"? As far as I can tell, neither focusing on or avoiding differentiation has much to do with the affirmation of life. What exactly is the affirmation of life?

And I just can't see how much life would be improved by ignoring the cultural milieu in this world. Pretending that different cultures don't exist, that humanity is all one undivided Walmart McDonalds generic gray seems incredibly boring and stultifying to me.
posted by Bugbread at 3:04 PM on February 1, 2005


Christ Almighty - when was the last time you heard european-american?

Actually, I enjoy referring to white people as "Euro-mutts" for their common descriptions of personal ethnicity as "A little French, a little German, some X and Y." I hope it catches on.
posted by dame at 3:25 PM on February 1, 2005


Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in!

Okay one more then I have to serve up.

I never said ignore the cultural miliue (nice word) I said in an ealier post: 'Please do not mistake the above to devalue cultural diversity. By no means is that my intention, just the opposite.'

Regarding text citations, I really don't have time. Just put those geneticts names in Google and up will pop text references.

I thought the term life affirming was rather self defining but I understand your wish to probe further... I mean that instead of spending so much energy on labels (which I don't care for as they are limiting and life detracting) how about thinking for a moment, if you will, about the things that connect us and are pro humanity and life on this planet.

It's a positive statement meant in a truly positive way. You cannot see me sitting here nor hear my inflection or tone. If you did you would understand that it is my mission to provoke good feelings never bad.

I don't wish to be overly argumentative and if I've given that impression, I am duly sorry.

I reiterate: I am for the human race. I was hoping to give way to some topics on that which binds us.

When I look at my child and I see the spanishlatinpuertorican whatever mixed in with what my genes had to offer, it provokes tender feelings in me toward the entire globe. It also breaks my heart in how seperate we all still are.

I hope my child grows up in a world where people stop asking me, " What is he??? I mean he looks different that you." or stops telling my husband, "those freakin' spicks: uh, I don't mean YOU, Joe...." I hope he and all of our kids grow up in a world where he's accepted for how he treats people, what he offers the community and his family.

So, please, so I don't have to get all mushy again, take me for what I am saying which means no harm only good things... Yes, life affirming things, that make us all glad to be human and in this thing together.

Now, can you make THAT controversial?
posted by laurenbove at 3:32 PM on February 1, 2005


Mexicans don't have their own culture? WTF kind of thread is this?
posted by First Post at 3:39 PM on February 1, 2005


Actually, I enjoy referring to white people as "Euro-mutts"

woof!
posted by jonmc at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2005


I never said ignore the cultural miliue (nice word)

My bad.

Just put those geneticts names in Google and up will pop text references.

Will do.

If you did you would understand that it is my mission to provoke good feelings never bad...I don't wish to be overly argumentative and if I've given that impression, I am duly sorry.

That I do understand, and you certainly haven't given the impression of argumentativeness. I am an anal person, though, and general, vaguish exhortations (expressions like "life-affirming", etc.) come off as content-less. It's not so much that I think you're wrong for saying them, or that I'm wrong for taking issue with them, just that with expressions like this, there's bound to be conflict.

So, no, no special conflict here, just a disagreement on the details, matched with a very detail oriented person (me) making an awkward mix. But I'm in a good mood too, so don't mistake my counterarguments with anger or bad feelings.

And I understand what you're saying. I personally think we should look at cultures and races like scientists look at the spectrum: an undivided band, of which certain parts are given labels (blue, green, red), but understood to be largely arbitrary, and certainly not restrictive. Just as a scientist can say that blue or green are different, but will have no problem with the fact that there are blue-green shades which cannot be assigned to one or the other, people should be able to identify largely similar groups with handy terms, but understand that those terms are arbitrary terms of convenience, and that they do not define or compartmentalize reality, but just make it easier to speak of.
posted by Bugbread at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2005


Sorry I had to bail on this thread so long ago...sometimes actual work interfers with my MiFi time (the outrage!).

Interestingly, I had a student come in with a paper (actually a personal statement for a scholarship) she needed help with. She is applying for financial aid to study abroad; she is of Mexican descent (her choice of words--both her parents came from Mexico). She wants to travel to Spain to explore the culture that has had such an impact on her own. (again her words--I'm paraphrasing slightly). She identified herself variously as "Mexican," "of Mexican descent" and "Hispanic" in her application.

I don't know that this has any particular significance other than indicating that not only are terms that identify race somewhat arbitrary and fluid, but that any given person may choose to identify themselves with a variety of terms.

Therefore, I think I'll choose anglo, white, honkey, and, of course, "know it all."

Meanwhile I've been contemplating what kind of "unifying flavor" Freedoms Tavern is planning to implement in their menu. Perhaps they will simply pump "eau de sanctimony" through their ventilation system.
posted by MiHail at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2005


Therefore, I think I'll choose anglo, white, honkey, and, of course, "know it all."

Y'know, I don't ever think I've heard the word "honky" used unironically. I've heard whiteboy, white devil, whitefolk and peckerwood used both as epithets and pridefully, but not the h-word, yet everybody always holds that up as the reverse slur.

Has anyone under 50 ever ben on the recieving end of a "honky." Probably not, since even as slurs go, it sounds dumb.
posted by jonmc at 4:51 PM on February 1, 2005


Thanks bugbread. I love this place and the intellegent dialogue found therein. Thanks Ethan. You brought me to a good place.

I feel what you're saying. We do need a name for things in order to have collective discussion. I agree on that completely. You make a very intelligent point.

If you were wondering, the spaghetti was delightful. I think it's my favorite food. I never get sick of it. Mmmm...I love the sauce once it's sat a bit and get's really sweet and concentrated around the edges of the pan. Damn, is it good to stick a noodle in that!

love and good feelings and sweet dreams to all...
posted by laurenbove at 5:02 PM on February 1, 2005


I've never been honked. However, I've honked myself.

(and it was good)

Actually, come to think of it jonmc, I think you're right. The only instances I can think of were from TV shows and the like. It was kind of a '70s thing, no? I've always thought "honky" was kinda dumb as an example of reverse discrimination. Like, ooo, it's soooo derogatory.
posted by MiHail at 5:04 PM on February 1, 2005


Not to mention, what the hell does it mean? That we white folk honk? This is supposed to bother me, this suggestion?
posted by jonmc at 5:13 PM on February 1, 2005


Maybe it means we honk at others as we drive around in our primer-covered Firebirds.
posted by MiHail at 5:15 PM on February 1, 2005


I heard that explanation once, that it was a reference to white johns who honked their car horns to hail prostitutes. I don't know if I buy it.
posted by jonmc at 5:20 PM on February 1, 2005


Seriously? Wow.

Here's another theory.
posted by MiHail at 5:36 PM on February 1, 2005


Here, I suspect, may be where there's a bit of misunderstanding going on. I do think that race is a reliable marker for genetic relatedness, but only for those genes involved in the traits by which we define race. I may be wrong about this, but I would be pretty darned surprised.

That may or may not be true. We characterize black people by the color of their skin yet I bet there's a variety of ways in which a phenotype has higher melanin. So I bet you there's not a "black skin" gene.

But that's beside the point. The fundamental fact here is that "race" doesn't reliably correspond to genetic relatedness across all human populations. That's an empirical determined fact. Even if we assume that all black people have a "back skin" gene, that this is the case does not mean that they are more closely genetically related to each other than they are to someone who doesn't share that gene.

You're describing a notion of race that is incidental. Just one step more persistant than, say, race determined by eye color.

But that's not the modern notion of "race". The modern notion of "race" is that these superficial traits represent endemic traits that result from genetic differentiation of long-isolated populations. That is, all black people are more closely related to each other (barring intermixing) than they are to white people. This is false. It's not true. Black African populations are in fact the most divergent in the world, with some being much more closely related to Europeans than they are to other black populations in Africa.

As to laurenbove's assertion: again, of course what you're describing is natural selection. What is simply not true is that, in general, the superficial characteristics we associate with "race" and which seem to vary regularly from the higher latitudes to the lower latitudes are the product of natural selection and respresent divergent populations. This is not true. No human population has been isolated from another long enough for this type of evolutionary divergence to have taken place. The idea that various human populations are specially adapted to their climatological environment is a nineteenth-century idea that has long been disproven. You misunderstood something you've read.

But this indicates why the notion of "race" is so hard to dispell. It could be true. Human populations could have been isolated from each other long enough to diverge from each other genetically in such a way that the superficial characteristics we associate with race represent endemic differences and distinc genetic populations. However, this isn't the case.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:39 PM on February 1, 2005


Metafilter: good to stick a noodle in that!
posted by Dick Paris at 7:27 PM on February 1, 2005


I would just like to say that we need terms like "Hispanic."

Otherwise, what nickname would boxer Juan "The Hispanic causing Panic" Lazcano use?!

Back on subject: couldn't they have waited until the guy was off the ladder before taking the picture?
posted by papakwanz at 8:29 PM on February 1, 2005


Otherwise, what nickname would boxer Juan "The Hispanic causing Panic" Lazcano use?!

He stole that from Kid Frost, papakwanz.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 PM on February 1, 2005


The idea that various human populations are specially adapted to their climatological environment is a nineteenth-century idea that has long been disproven. You misunderstood something you've read.

So wait, are you arguing that the fact that we find people in say, Scandinavia, to have blonde hair and fair skin... doesn't mean that that population has developed a special adaptation to their climatological environment?

I don't get it. So you are saying that it's completely random that people in northern latitudes are fairer? That it doesn't represent an adaptation?

Er, what do you think it comes from, then?

Random chance?
posted by beth at 9:02 PM on February 1, 2005


Speaking of themed restaurants in Houston, a high school friend of mine used to run a bar called "The Fountainhead" named after, you guessed it, Ayn Rand's novel. (He's a really smart guy, not at all an objectivist nutto. Just likes Rand's books).

I told him he should have called it "Atlas Chugged."
posted by papakwanz at 9:08 PM on February 1, 2005


I told him he should have called it "Atlas Chugged."

I see a theme developing. Perhaps I'll open Catcher In The Rye And Coke, next door.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 PM on February 1, 2005


"So wait, are you arguing that the fact that we find people in say, Scandinavia, to have blonde hair and fair skin... doesn't mean that that population has developed a special adaptation to their climatological environment?

Er, what do you think it comes from, then?

Random chance?"


It's not an environmental adaptation. It's not an adaptation at all. So, yes, it's random.

Look, the indigenous population of far northern Europe—those that would presumably be "most adapted" in the way that you suppose light-skinned Scandinvians are adapated—are not light-skinned and blonde-headed.

There are indigenous Asian populations that are as far north as northern Europeans that don't share the same physical characteristics. And there are indigenous Asian populations that live as near the equator as many African populations that are not black-skinned. You can see, can't you, that this idea that cold-climate peoples are light-skinned and hot-climate peoples are dark-skinned doesn't hold up to scrutiny?

Furthermore, as I said, there haven't been any human populations that have been isolated from each other and in a particular environment long enough for these traits to be selected for.

That certain traits may look a lot like environmental adapatations may well be because they were...for all early humans. Certain kinds of variations are in the genome, in potential. They're expressed randomly, not selected for or against.

This north-south idea (along with speculation about temperment: reserved northerners, "hot blooded southerners") is ancient but one that gained supposed scientific credibility in the late nineteenth century and later. It's still a cornerstone of racism. But it's long been proved to be untrue. Simple observation proves it untrue.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:13 PM on February 1, 2005


So, wait. Does this mean this Texan missed out on the Texas bashing? Man, I always miss out on the fun.

And those who think Houston is liberal would probaby shit their pants if they came to Austin.I know, comparatively liberal...I'm just sayin'
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 10:28 PM on February 1, 2005


Austin is liberal enough to feel liberal. Not so much as Boulder, and certainly not so much as Berkeley, but enough so that a conservative often feels besieged. That may be true for some neighborhoods of Houston—and Dallas—but the cities as a whole? Not even close. These are bastions of conservatism, probably the most conservative cities in the top ten. I bet Cincinnati is the only other city that comes close.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:12 PM on February 1, 2005


bugbread: Here, I suspect, may be where there's a bit of misunderstanding going on. I do think that race is a reliable marker for genetic relatedness, but only for those genes involved in the traits by which we define race. I may be wrong about this, but I would be pretty darned surprised.

Etherial Bligh: That may or may not be true. We characterize black people by the color of their skin yet I bet there's a variety of ways in which a phenotype has higher melanin. So I bet you there's not a "black skin" gene.


We agree, mostly. As Dawkin's example about Colin Powell points out, skin color is neither necessary nor sufficient for identifying someone as black: most people recognize Colin Powell as black, even though he is a lot lighter skinned than many white people. However, there is a large correlation between people we call black and people with darker skin. And I agree about there being a variety of genetic points at which higher melanin production can be increased. I do suspect, though, that there is a closer genetic relationship (less distance on the individual gene's family tree) between a higher melanin producing gene in any given black person being related to a higher melanin producing gene in any other given black person than to a lower melanin producing gene in any given white person.

But that's beside the point. The fundamental fact here is that "race" doesn't reliably correspond to genetic relatedness across all human populations. That's an empirical determined fact. Even if we assume that all black people have a "back skin" gene, that this is the case does not mean that they are more closely genetically related to each other than they are to someone who doesn't share that gene.

Ok, I think we've found the root disagreement, and, as I suspected, it looks like we are actually basically in agreement. You're using "genetic relatedness" to refer to overall genetic relatedness. I am using "genetic relatedness" to refer to the genetic relatedness of the genes that are involved in our decisions of race. For example, you say, "this...does not mean that they are more closely genetically related to each other than they are to someone who doesn't share that gene", with which of course I totally agree. I believe that the specific gene in question is more closely genetically related to someone who has the gene than someone who doesn't, but other genes can easily be more related to people in other races than the person's own race.

You're describing a notion of race that is incidental. Just one step more persistant than, say, race determined by eye color.

Er, well, yeah. My original statement was just that, to be accurate, science has not "disproven" or "proven" race, just pointed out that it is an irrelevant human construct, largely but not at all entirely based on physical appearance, and that this physical appearance is caused by certain individual/families/groups/patterns of genes, which may be related to eachother, but aren't necessarily related to any other genes within a "race". In essence, science hasn't proven that we're all "one race", but that the term "race" is a nonscientific term, largely but not entirely characterized by one small part of our entire genetic makeup. Science has proven that race is incidental, just one step more persistant than eye color.

You then took issue that I was misunderstanding genetics (which I may be, but I haven't heard any direct counterarguments, as it seems we spent much of our time misunderstanding and thus talking past eachother), and hence the discussion.

I realize that you're talking about the human construct of race that includes things like intelligence or honesty or all the other things we use to paint people of a certain race as inferior. But that's not what I was talking about when I made my initial statements that you disagreed with.

So, in the end, people thought folks who looked a certain way were all highly genetically related, in most ways, not just specific features. This belief was based in ignorance and reinforced by racism. It was a scientific belief, in some circles, but based on bad science. Further, less prejudiced scientific inquiry showed that those assumptions about overall genetic resemblance within people who looked alike was negligible, and that race is in fact no more than a descriptor applied to a few genes that determine appearance, unrelated to other genes within the same race. Some folks choose to ignore science and believe that the presence of certain appearance genes indicates the presence of other traits / beliefs / morals / capabilities as well.

Are we in agreement?

But that's not the modern notion of "race". The modern notion of "race" is that these superficial traits represent endemic traits that result from genetic differentiation of long-isolated populations.

It is?
posted by Bugbread at 5:08 AM on February 2, 2005


Are we in agreement?

Yep. Sorry that I misunderstood you.

It is?

Yeah, that's just a more precise and concise way of saying what we've both been saying and what you summarized. Although, I guess I'm being generous with racists. Some of them are creationists. Some of them probably imagine some other way that these divisions could arise. But the important point is that they think that, say, "black" is a signifier for a particular group of people that are related and share a bunch of characteristics—not just superficial, but endemic.

I do think we disagree about a "black" gene. (And in the Dawkins context, we'll define "gene" as the ecological "gene", not the molecular biology "gene".) I do not doubt that there other characteristics that are associated with race that are all the descendents of one ancestral gene. And maybe "black" is one of them. But it, particularly, seems to me to something that can arise various ways and, also, the mutations which allow it commonly (in evolutionary timescales) spontaneously arise (I bet). So, I'm not prepared to agree that "blacks" all share a related gene.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:01 AM on February 2, 2005


EB:

First, good thing. I was very surprised that we were disagreeing, judging from your post history. This has cleared stuff up a lot.

Second, you're right, there is a lot of leeway regarding the "black gene". Note that I'm using that as an expression of convenience (and because you said it first :). I don't think it's a single gene, but a collection of genes, each affecting some individual phenotype (one might be nose width, another might be nose arch, another might be nostril width, etc.), which, when all appearing in a person, makes them look "black" to people, and, as the number and type of individual genes varies (i.e. a person has the flat nose gene but the thin lips gene, or whathaveyou) moves along the spectrum of appearances, to the point where people "aren't sure" if the person is black. Kinda like color: folks can recognize a certain color as blue, and another as purple, but when it gets between them, they aren't sure "which it is", when in reality there is no "blue" or "purple", but an undivided spectrum to which they've attached labels in certain parts.

Anyway, point is that certain genes may have evolved independently a few times in history. Wouldn't be the first time. And any person with blue eyes, for example (to take this away from the race issue so we can just concentrate on the genes) (on preview: let's pretend that the blue eyed gene is not recessive for the purpose of this example. Sorry) might not share the same blue gene as another blue-eyed person. Instead, it might be that the brown eyed gene was owned by Person 0. He had two kids, Person A and Person B. Person A had brown eyes, Person B had a genetic mutation, resulting in blue eyes. Then Person A had two kids, Person A1 and Person A2. Person A1 had brown eyes, and A2 had another weird mutation, turning into blue. Years down, take any two random blue eyed folks. They might both be decended from Person B. Or both from A2. In which case they're more related to eachother than some random browneye. But if they're from different branches, they're more related (in terms of that gene) to people on the same branch, even with different eye colors, than eachother.

So, yeah, as long as these independent appearance genes have evolved more than once in history, there's no guarantee that any individual gene (wide nose) is shared by all other blacks. They could be from several different gene threads. But I do think that they're more statistically likely to be related than they would be to any random white guy. But that's just an issue of probability. As long as the probability is not 0 or 100, the conclusion is not that "the gene for any appearance factor is shared by all blacks", but that "the gene for any appearance factor being the same in any two given blacks exists". Past that, it's pretty much impossible to tell how great that factor is, unless one of us quits our day jobs and becomes a researcher.

Does that all seem right?
posted by Bugbread at 10:24 AM on February 2, 2005


Pretty much, but you're grouping "black" things together that are more than melanin. That's misleading because, as you have said, they aren't just a single, unitary thing and the distribution of these indivudal characteristics is pretty even across the whole human population. In other words, "black" is a gestalt, and culturally varying, judgment that assumes a "black" qauality that doesn't exist biologically. I think we need to be very clear about that, since most people believe otherwise.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:12 PM on February 2, 2005


Ok, now I think we're in perfect, crystal clear agreement. I'm sorry if my phrasing was misleading, but what you said is pretty much exactly what I think.

Closure is nice.
posted by Bugbread at 1:24 PM on February 2, 2005


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