A homeland for white people
May 31, 2013 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Fears of white extinction and calls for a white homeland. In pockets throughout the Western world, a race-based nationalist ideology is on the rise. In Britain, there is the British National Party. In Greece, there's Golden Dawn. In Hungary, the gypsy-fearing, anti-Semitic Magyar Nemzeti Gárda. There's a growing conservatism of this sort in many other European countries too.

America has its own homegrown movement, the Northwest Front being one of several groups, whose ideology is prominently on display at sites like Stormfront.org. Most of these groups espouse an ideology of racial realism, which is a milder form of older, more virulent ideologies, perhaps as a political strategy to avoid the "racism" tag.
posted by ChuckRamone (112 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Race or culture? I'm curious as to which is more important.
posted by JJ86 at 2:01 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Britain, there is the British National Party.

We've got the super fun English Defense League as well.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


How about we dump them all here? I'm sure they'll be very happy together.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


May I stop being white? Will another race please accept me as an adjunct member?
posted by jb at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [26 favorites]


How about we dump them all here? I'm sure they'll be very happy together.

Antarctica is very white...
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Celsius1414: "How about we dump them all here? I'm sure they'll be very happy together."

Antarctica's whiter and I'd be happier with them there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:04 PM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Clearly these people have never been and know nothing about Springfield MO.
There's nothing to worry about, nothing but white people here. We will keep the dream alive.
(meaning-Drop it you Dumb Motha..)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:04 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, I was thinking less the color of the countryside and more the likelihood of being swallowed alive in one of those cool volcanic lahar debris flows.

Freezing to death seems too kind a fate.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:09 PM on May 31, 2013


Wait, they might know about Springfield. Stephen Fry in America was in my neighborhood during filming. The reason was because Ozark MO has one of the largest, whitest churches in the world. It's Assemblies of God. It's so large, I once convinced my mother that they built a roller coaster indoors, and her response was "I don't doubt it!"
Stephen compared it to the Mall of America. Priceless.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:10 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Antarctica's whiter and I'd be happier with them there.

Sure, and then the poor penguins have to put up with their bullshit: "Can't be black and white, Pingu; time to pick a side or get your miscegenist ass offa our continent."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:11 PM on May 31, 2013 [21 favorites]


Race or culture? I'm curious as to which is more important.

It's one-and-the-same for these people, I'm afraid. And, if you don't share their culture, you're a traitor to the race.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:12 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


White people don't exist.
posted by 256 at 2:12 PM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can I get a list of countries and ethnicities my ancestry can be a mix of while I'd still be considered "white?" Just wondering, because I am not sure if I qualify.
posted by mikeh at 2:16 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's one-and-the-same for these people

Except when they are splitting hairs to be "not racist".
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on May 31, 2013


How about they all go live in Israel?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:21 PM on May 31, 2013


If they hurry, there's an asteroid giving Earth a buzzcut right now. They can have it all to themselves, and a moon for target practice!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:22 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's really silly, but I started feeling a lot better about myself when I switched from checking the "White" box on the census form to checking the "Other" box.
posted by 256 at 2:24 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


mikeh: you can look at my profile picture. I'm practically translucent. But neither of my parents would have been considered white 100 years ago.
posted by 256 at 2:29 PM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


The closest I come to being non-white goes back to wherever the "black Irish" genes originated from, and I've somehow never felt like I was lacking for a homeland or even really a welcome wherever I've gone. Is it possible these people are really just seeking an echo chamber?
posted by Navelgazer at 2:32 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, as one of my Members of the European Parliament.

Having a fascist MEP was rather the nail in the coffin of my support for proportional representation, I must say...
posted by alasdair at 2:35 PM on May 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is it possible these people are really just seeking an echo chamber?

Well, they ARE Nazis.
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Vice on HBO segment on this from a few weeks back was chilling. My correspondent in Austria also informs me that there has been a rise in reactionary politics there as well.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:40 PM on May 31, 2013


So, The British National Party is for the Norse, Normans, Saxons, Romans, Celts, or are they restricting it to the Picts?
posted by Foam Pants at 2:42 PM on May 31, 2013 [21 favorites]


Are these "movements" honestly on the rise overall in terms of growing membership and/or power, though, when you look at the last 50 years or so? Or am I just hallucinating as usual? The BNP has been around a long time, Roma-hating has never been unpopular, and those lunatic Russian nationalists etc. seem to wax in times of economic difficulty and wane without a net gain. In the US, same deal -- a bunch of racist fringe groups that just seem to change their names and preferred deafening bands every decade and come up with a new bone-stupid "scientific theory" or grievance now and then.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Earth is going to Hell in a handbasket, and these clowns are fighting over the handbasket.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


So, The British National Party is for the Norse, Normans, Saxons, Romans, Celts, or are they restricting it to the Picts?

You've got a lot of Gaul!
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:44 PM on May 31, 2013 [42 favorites]


In one of Greg Egan's SF novels pretty much everyone in Australia has had a melanin boost treatment to help deal with UV due to ozone loss. The only people crazy enough to remain white and risk various cancers are fringe racists, which makes them easy to spot. I always liked this idea.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:45 PM on May 31, 2013 [29 favorites]


There's a growing conservatism of this sort in many other European countries too.

It seems somewhat imprecise to describe this kind of reactionary nativism as conservative, and I'm dismayed that the OP conflates those. Conservatives tend to favor the assiduous retention of certain values and social orders that are lost, in decline, or simply no longer endemic and unquestioned; revolutionaries who want establish or re-establish regimes of harsh domination and formalize informal oppression in law are clearly in a different political category. Violent, xenophobic, nativist radicals whose political ideology is predicated upon and largely constituted by an inviolable, paramount right to domination by the powerful and pure are fascist (pre)revolutionaries, not conservatives.
posted by clockzero at 2:46 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


In Britain, there is the British National Party.
Cor, there's a blast from the past! The BNP has collapsed in the past couple of years. All the cool young racists are now in the EDL. Nobody would be seen dead setting fire to a mosque wearing anything but an England flag.
posted by Jehan at 2:49 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


You've got a lot of Gaul!

I knew I forgot somebody. Great, I just started a race riot.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:50 PM on May 31, 2013


May I stop being white?

Yes, you can. Become a race traitor.

The name is clearly meant to be provocative, but I really do like their ideas, even if they're a bit pie in the sky:
The white race is a historically constructed social formation. It consists of all those who partake of the privileges of the white skin in this society. ... The existence of the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above class, gender, or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it unreliable as a predictor of behavior will lead to its collapse.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:51 PM on May 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


You've got a lot of Gaul!

I knew I forgot somebody.


Too bad you can't add an Asterix to your original comment.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2013 [32 favorites]


By the way, I fundamentally disagree that a "race based ideology is one the rise". The English Defence League, for one, has shaped themselves around cultural and religious ideology and specifically repudiated racism. Whether you believe them or not, the issue is more complicated than race alone.
posted by Jehan at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The English Defence League, for one, has shaped themselves around cultural and religious ideology and specifically repudiated racism.

LOL
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is it possible these people are really just seeking an echo chamber?

Ah. Then their new homeland should be the old disused municipal water tower.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:00 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered why those who espouse white supramacism always seem not to be good examples of something supreme.
posted by njohnson23 at 3:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


The English Defence League, for one, has [...] specifically repudiated racism.

I think I saw that in one of their rallies!
"I am not a racialist, but, und this is a big but, we in the National Bocialist Party believe das Überleben muss gestammen sein mit der schneaky Armstrong-Jones. Historische Taunton ist Volkermeinig von Minehead!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:05 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only people crazy enough to remain white and risk various cancers are fringe racists, which makes them easy to spot.

I see what you did there.
posted by jamaro at 3:05 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


People are hurting; the future isn't really the one they thought they were getting. Not at all to excuse this egregious behavior-- my butt would be one of the first against the wall if these clowns launched their little racial holy war-- but we have to give people alternatives or else demagogues will fill in the gaps. Neoliberalism and austerity are proving most ineffective at feeding regular people's stomachs and spirits.
posted by threeants at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2013 [12 favorites]


Neoliberalism and austerity are proving most ineffective at feeding regular people's stomachs and spirits.

BUT THOSE LAZY GREEKS NEED TO BE PUNISHED! THEY NEED TO PAY PENANCE TO THE ECONOMIC GODS OF CONSUMPTION!
posted by Talez at 3:12 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


LOL
I don't believe they're not racist either. But I do believe that "race based ideology" is now so unthinkable that they're going out of their way to both deny it and seek to explain themselves in other words. Maybe they believe it, maybe they don't, but it is an interesting development.
posted by Jehan at 3:19 PM on May 31, 2013


The EDL aren't racist in that they hate all Muslims whatever race they are. Their actual racism is kind of a free bonus.
posted by w0mbat at 3:24 PM on May 31, 2013


Venn diagram of people prejudiced against Muslims "which is not a race" and racists:

O
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on May 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Violent, xenophobic, nativist radicals whose political ideology is predicated upon and largely constituted by an inviolable, paramount right to domination by the powerful and pure are fascist (pre)revolutionaries, not conservatives."

Term of art is generally "reactionaries." Or "revanchist."
posted by klangklangston at 3:30 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


we have to give people alternatives or else demagogues will fill in the gaps. Neoliberalism and austerity are proving most ineffective at feeding regular people's stomachs and spirits

It's easier to convince a hungry person that a political party or some other organization isn't so bad if they're giving away food and promise more to come. In fact, the organization's stances might even be ignored.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:31 PM on May 31, 2013


Venn diagram of people prejudiced against Muslims "which is not a race" and racists:

O


What about racist Muslims?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:34 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


What these guys who live in colonized countries are essentially asking for is a place with no colored inhabitants, where whites have total political and demographic representation. The "homeland" is Europe. That's where the "white race," as they see it, originated.

This kind of fiery nationalism with a racial tinge is by no means monopolized by white people. East Asians as of late are on a streak with it too.
posted by ChuckRamone at 3:35 PM on May 31, 2013


Wait, they might know about Springfield. Stephen Fry in America was in my neighborhood during filming. The reason was because Ozark MO has one of the largest, whitest churches in the world. It's Assemblies of God. It's so large, I once convinced my mother that they built a roller coaster indoors, and her response was "I don't doubt it!"
Stephen compared it to the Mall of America. Priceless.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:10 PM on May 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


This isn't the one right across from Lambert's (yeah, I know, Eastern Missouri tourist, sorry), is it? Because if so, I had a friend that lived next door to them. They couldn't sleep at night because of the violently bright security lights.
posted by gc at 3:35 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah your Venn diagram is a little broken. There are plenty of racists who aren't prejudiced against Muslims.
posted by 256 at 3:39 PM on May 31, 2013


Celsius1414: How about we dump them all here? I'm sure they'll be very happy together.

"Whakaari/White Island is an active andesite stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty."
posted by cobra libre at 3:43 PM on May 31, 2013


I had some witty-ish things and some insightful-ish things to say and then I watched as much of the first video as I could stomach and I have a couple of feelings which I will list here:

1) nausea
2)incredulity
3)derision and disdain (oh that smug self-satisfaction! Oh that lousy rhetoric! Damn kids!)
4)shaky- afraid. Very much so.

5)outrage. I have never called anyone this before, it's never come into my mind before, my parents and many of my friends are athiests &etc- but that man is a blasphemer. A low-down, filthy blasphemer. How dare he invoke the god of love, as reperesented by a Jewish man, for his little hate- fest? how dare he? I am furious.


However, I'm not much surprised, I've been expecting something like this since Obama gained power, it's awful but not unexpected.
posted by windykites at 3:47 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seeing some EDL protests that were not dwarfed by counter-protests in the wake of Woolwich was certainly sobering.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on May 31, 2013


Also this reminds me a little bit of a thread from a few days ago where the topic came up of how obnoxious it is when Americans claim to be "Irish" or "Italian" or what have you.

A middle-aged aunt of mine reports sitting in a cafe in Italy with her package tour group, one of them says "I'm Italian, yknow" during the course of conversation, and a young local woman at the next table says, in almost unaccented English, while barely turning her head, "no you're not, you're American". Of course the ladies were terribly offended by this.

One has to wonder how the same Italian locals would respond to a third generation Congolese-Italian simply said "I'm Italian, yknow."
posted by 256 at 3:53 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah your Venn diagram is a little broken. There are plenty of racists who aren't prejudiced against Muslims.

Yeah, it's a circle within a circle really.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on May 31, 2013


All the cool young racists are now in the EDL.
Whereas the shit boring ones have gone to UKIP.
I do think the oh-so-convincing denials of racism from the EDL are significant in one way though - it's a mark of social progress that nationalists now go to some lengths to avoid the racist tag, so far is it beyond the pale now for the mainstream (and there genuinely are a fair few confused individuals tagging along with the EDL who aren't crude racists in that sense). Ties in with a speech Griffin of the BNP made to some Nazi gathering in the US a few years back where he said explicitly just that - that natural ideas of fairness, the experience of living together and the fact that it's bollocks have pretty much done for crude racism so they have to shift to talking about culture/lifestyle/values etc.
posted by Abiezer at 4:00 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]




Abiezer: Exactly. And when you look at those groups still openly spouting a specific race based ideology, they're nowhere. The National Front--who believe in whites-only immigration and repatriation--seldom even retain their deposit. Heck, even the BNP hardly has any elected members now.

There's some very interesting far right stuff going on in the UK right now, but mixing it up with out and out white nationalism is to miss a lot of the subtleties.
posted by Jehan at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2013


Did you really have to link to the BNP's site? It's link padding and why give them the traffic? At least you didn't find GD's site.
posted by ersatz at 4:20 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Matthew Heimbach insists he’s not a racist. This comes as a surprise to his fellow students at Towson University, in the suburbs of Baltimore, where Matthew has formed a group called the White Student Union that advocates for “persons of European heritage”

Would such persons include the likes of Barack Obama? How about Enrique Peña Nieto? If not: Racist.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2013


a group called the White Student Union that advocates for “persons of European heritage”

Countless people identified as African-American, Native American and Hispanic qualify perfectly under this description.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:50 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry to be obtuse, but who the hell would say that Enrique Pena Nieto isn't of "European heritage"? There must be some really stupid racists out there.
posted by Jehan at 4:52 PM on May 31, 2013


So, The British National Party is for the Norse, Normans, Saxons, Romans, Celts, or are they restricting it to the Picts?
posted by Foam Pants at 2:42 PM on May 31
[6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Sorry, Picts and Celts are insufficiantly White!

,,,,,,,,,¿<°{{{{}< ,,,,,,
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:55 PM on May 31, 2013


Are they by any chance planning to name this white homeland Melniboné?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:18 PM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Artw : Venn diagram of people prejudiced against Muslims "which is not a race" and racists

Hmm, I wonder if perhaps a better term exists than "Muslims" in that case. Something that refers to the historical regional/cultural/genetic mix the racists really mean by that. Anti... Middle-Eastern? Too awkward. Anti... Arabic? No, that doesn't quite fit either.

Think think think...
posted by pla at 6:03 PM on May 31, 2013


Race ideology is on the rise? Dude, have you heard about the 18th century?
posted by deathpanels at 6:09 PM on May 31, 2013


Foam Pants: "So, The British National Party is for the Norse, Normans, Saxons, Romans, Celts, or are they restricting it to the Picts?"

They called the Picts, but they couldn't make it...something about grooving in a cave with a passel of small furry animals. Your guess is as good as mine.
posted by jquinby at 6:38 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Picts were white? From what I've heard, the last Pict any Roman saw before he died was a vivid blue.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:44 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the video in the first link those jackasses were applauding Lincoln's assassination. What. The. Fuck. I'm surprised that my computer doesn't stink from the amount of shit in that video.

I'm gonna go snuggle a kitty now.
posted by Silly Ashles at 6:55 PM on May 31, 2013


Whitey go home!
posted by Eideteker at 7:19 PM on May 31, 2013


Can I get a list of countries and ethnicities my ancestry can be a mix of while I'd still be considered "white?" Just wondering, because I am not sure if I qualify.

The finnish are white. Now. They weren't, I guess, but a court decision fixed it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:20 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


In theory, this sounds great. All the haters in some enclave means the rest of us can enjoy our multicultural lives without all of their crap. Everybody wins! Don't let the door hit you, etc etc.

The problem is, putting them anywhere on Earth is still too close for comfort. I'm sure there are some suitable Kuiper Belt objects that'd do nicely.
posted by cmyk at 7:33 PM on May 31, 2013


Perhaps we're evolutionarily and even genetically disposed to detecting then either fearing or exploiting the differences in each other. We are all still visceral animals when it comes down to it.
A little more beige in our complexions and little more tolerance in our relations should be signs of our evolution but evolution takes time and we ain't there yet.
We've become adept at finding ways to culturally, racially and religiously ostracize, hate and ultimately kill each other but we're still not very good at tolerating each other.
Maybe it's a race against time.
posted by islander at 7:35 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't worry so much about people wanting their own national clubhouse and not letting "inferiors" in. What I DO worry about is that they probably aren't being completely honest about their intentions. Go form Liberia2 and build your wall. As long as we get to keep them locked in once they close the door.

Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone and donate a man-made island to these idiots and watch them self destruct in a libertarian paradise.
posted by gjc at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2013


I'm sure there are some suitable Kuiper Belt objects that'd do nicely.

Isaac Newton and I would like to respectfully vote against this proposal.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:10 PM on May 31, 2013


I am circumspect about making judgments about these subjects around race and identity and it could be that I come to this reticence because I was inoculated with what I would call "multicultural ambivalence" by the Australian education system of the 80's and 90's. The word multicultural was thrown around with such abandon in these years and I'm sure there was a lot of rabid talk back radio about it, but our teachers just said "migrants do things differently but in Australia you are free to live how you want to live, and that's what multiculturalism is."

In Australia we do have many enclaves of migrants which hold on strongly to their cultural identity. Many of these enclaves and cultural communities are very self-selecting and exclusionary but in Australia it really is quite simple; follow the laws of the land, stay away from the hate speech and pay your tax and your enclave will be fine. At times self-selecting and exclusionary practices can clash with the Australian ideal of equal opportunity and non-discrimination and in those instances a good Aussie high court will decide what is "Australian" and what is "UnAustralian" behavior; most of the time it will come down to a "fair go" and "the vibe".

If you are white and want to form your own little enclave of white people with weird man on cross religion and funny fish and chip smells coming from unit down the hall, the same rules apply: follow the laws of the land, stay away from the hate speech and pay your tax. and don't be "UnAustralian"
posted by vicx at 8:19 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


At times self-selecting and exclusionary practices can clash with the Australian ideal of equal opportunity and non-discrimination and in those instances a good Aussie high court will decide what is "Australian" and what is "UnAustralian" behavior; most of the time it will come down to a "fair go" and "the vibe".

You know, we (Australia, that is) do have actual laws prohibiting discrimination and hate speech. It's slightly more detailed than the 'vibe'; in fact, it's very clearly defined. Don't get all your information about how laws work from The Castle.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:51 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


maybe it's a race against time
I see what you did there.
posted by windykites at 9:31 PM on May 31, 2013


From what I've heard, the last Pict any Roman saw before he died was a vivid blue.

I think that was Mel Gibson and he's already a party member.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:03 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a white guy, the part I don’t get is; what’s so freakin great about white people? Apparently I’m lacking that gene.
posted by bongo_x at 10:56 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cheese.
posted by rosswald at 11:26 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


As far as white student unions are concerned, my kneejerk reaction is to just fucking give it to them, allow them to go legit. Here, is your room, that says white student union on it. Just like everyone else. Here, here now it is white history month. The month is April. There will be an announcement for your White Pride march in the campus newspaper and noone will bat an eyelash. Sick tartan!

Here is my extremely optimistic take: were these organizations to be granted a shred of legitimacy, the lack of which they so thrive upon, they might be drawn out in their full cryptoracist splendor, with no clear claims of institutional suppression to fall back upon. From there, the mission statement of their charters fulfilled, they would scramble desperately for new causes, each of which would be unambiguously racist as shit. And then they would just die.

Not going to happen, but it's nice to have dreams, no?
posted by passerby at 1:39 AM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


As far as white student unions are concerned, my kneejerk reaction is to just fucking give it to them, allow them to go legit. Here, is your room, that says white student union on it. Just like everyone else. Here, here now it is white history month. The month is April. There will be an announcement for your White Pride march in the campus newspaper and noone will bat an eyelash. Sick tartan!

As the saying goes, every month is already white history month.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:19 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a white guy, the part I don’t get is; what’s so freakin great about white people? Apparently I’m lacking that gene.

Seriously. As someone who has to bathe in sunscreen to go outdoors, I'd love to have more melanin.

Some of the genetic fun in my family contains both Scots and Cherokee. So my aunt and firstborn cousin both get deep tans in the summer while myself and second born cousin are both redheads.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:42 AM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey PSA darker skin or "more melanin" doesn't mean one doesn't need to wear sunscreen or isn't at risk for burns or skin cancer. Different level of risk sure but it's still there. It's just so weird when people assume you can skip sunscreen because you're not super pale.
posted by sweetkid at 7:40 AM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm going to throw UKIP into the "basically just Nazis" category along with the EDL after this.
posted by Artw at 7:47 AM on June 1, 2013


Jeez, that "RationalWiki" entry on "racial realism" is awful. I clicked hoping for a dispassionate explanation of what that view is supposed to be. I do think that derision is appropriate in some cases, but I left not being sure what was really at issue.

I do worry that liberalism has somehow hung all its hopes on races being unreal. It would certainly be a big win against racists if races are unreal... And, to the layperson, it looks like the judgment of biology is that they aren't important/respectable biological categories.

But it's odd and dangerous to hang our moral and political hopes on this kind of hoped-for scientific outcome. Because even if races are real, that has no implications for the egalitarian project. People are morally equal even if "white" or "black" or WTF ever turn out to be biologically respectable categories. And even if individuals in those categories have different abilities. "Male" and "female" are real categories, and male and female humans, according to our best current evidence, have some different average abilities--physical and cognitive. But that means nothing for the thesis that male and female humans are morally equal and should be politically equal.

The question to consider is this: suppose race had turned out to be a really important biological category, underwritten by clear genetic differences. Would that have counted at all against the thesis that we all deserve to be treated equally before the law?

[edited for stray 'r' removal]
posted by Fists O'Fury at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Rational" is kind of a code word for "beligerant asshole" most of the time these days.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


The sexism entry has slightly less MRA nonsense in it than I'd expect, though.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2013


The EDL are essential for the prevention of muslamic ray guns.
posted by walrus at 8:34 AM on June 1, 2013


I do worry that liberalism has somehow hung all its hopes on races being unreal. It would certainly be a big win against racists if races are unreal... And, to the layperson, it looks like the judgment of biology is that they aren't important/respectable biological categories.

You're talking about race as though it's an unexplored concept. It's not. Race is real only as a social category. It makes as much sense to talk about Catholics and Protestants as different races as it does to talk about Asians and Africans as different races, especially because the way we group people into races changes over time. I mean, when you say that you "worry" that race might be real, it comes across as not understanding the social and political history of racial categorization or the complete lack of scientific basis for racial grouping. That doesn't mean that people will stop regarding race as real, but you're really uninformed and misunderstanding the situation if you think race "might be real".

But it's odd and dangerous to hang our moral and political hopes on this kind of hoped-for scientific outcome.

I hope you understand that scientists in the current era are not working to answer this question, because it was settled a very long time ago. I think you should do some reading on this topic before you talk about it any more, because the things you're saying are completely out of touch with reality.
posted by clockzero at 8:43 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a white guy, the part I don’t get is; what’s so freakin great about white people?

Do the Romans count as white?

May I stop being white? Will another race please accept me as an adjunct member?

You think nonsense is limited a the fringes of the white population? It isn't.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:21 AM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mitch Benn raises a good question or two for the EDL in this song from the Now Show on Radio 4 last night.
posted by Devonian at 9:48 AM on June 1, 2013


"male" and "female" are real categories

Well, real -ish anyways.
posted by windykites at 11:31 AM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here's some happy news, at least - Far-Right Extremists Chased Through London by Women Dressed as Badgers
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Golden Dawn: 'Greece belongs to Greeks. Long live victory!'
posted by adamvasco at 2:12 PM on June 1, 2013


As a white guy, the part I don’t get is; what’s so freakin great about white people? Apparently I’m lacking that gene.
posted by bongo_x at 3:56 PM on June 1

Racism is the last resort for those with nothing else to be proud of.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


DoctorFedora: "Racism is the last resort for those with nothing else to be proud of."

With all due respect to my enlightened fellow MeFite, I beg to submit that it is the first.
posted by jquinby at 4:11 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Artw that link made my day. Doubleplusfavourites.

Anyway, I think the takeaway here is not to mess with animal rights activists.
posted by windykites at 6:24 PM on June 1, 2013


clockzero : You're talking about race as though it's an unexplored concept. It's not. Race is real only as a social category.

Tell that to all the blacks with a higher incidence of colon cancer, myeloma and MS (though a lower rate of breast cancer and, unsurprisingly, melanoma); to all the Jews with Tay-Sachs, CF, or Gaucher (not to mention the BRCA variant that Angelina made famous recently); to all the Asians with glaucoma or diabetes (though they get lucky with a lower rate of MS, and again with low rates of melanoma, so hey, all good, right?).


Race is real only as a social category.

"Blue" amount to nothing but a social convention for describing a particular visual experience. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist as something "real".


By denying the very existence of race, you've missed a chance to ask the right question: "Does race predict stereotypical-behavior X?"; in particular, "Does race in the absence of culture Y predict stereotypical-behavior X?" There, we can have a meaningful discussion. But to deny that race even exists? Denying reality as a premise doesn't put you on very solid ground for getting to your intended point (namely, that race doesn't predict behavior).

That said, I'd have a hard time defending "white" as a race. Caucasian, perhaps, but ironically enough, most whites don't count as Caucasians (for reference, the Boston Marathon bombers literally count as Caucasian; most of the Irish- and Italian-descended residents of Boston, not so much).
posted by pla at 7:57 PM on June 1, 2013


>>Race is real only as a social category.

>Tell that to all the blacks with a higher incidence of colon cancer, myeloma and MS (though a lower rate of breast cancer and, unsurprisingly, melanoma); to all the Jews with Tay-Sachs, CF, or Gaucher (not to mention the BRCA variant that Angelina made famous recently); to all the Asians with glaucoma or diabetes (though they get lucky with a lower rate of MS, and again with low rates of melanoma, so hey, all good, right?).


Isolated gene pools are isolated. Why? Ask a sociologist.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


These groups have one thing in common: They hate each other as well. this is just one reason why their plan is completely stuffed from the start. another one is that, as the parties are usually very small, the organisation quickly turns into a money making scheme for the leadership.

No matter how stunningly dense their followers are, eventually they grasp this fact and the group splinters into several competing groups, all of whom are sworn enemies of each other.
posted by quarsan at 11:27 PM on June 1, 2013


the changing face of “caucasian”
But additionally, this overlooks the history of the term “Caucasian,” and how the racial history of anthropology brought this term into common parlance. To a person from the United States, where “Caucasian” is a synonym for racial Whiteness, there is an etymological connection that would allow you to say this, and think you are correct. But “Whiteness” has always only ever been exactly what “White people” want it to be. What part of the world a person is from has little to no affect on whether anyone thinks s/he is actually “White”, because “White” is a social class, not a place.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:34 AM on June 2, 2013


Sys Rq : Isolated gene pools are isolated. Why? Ask a sociologist.

Why would I ask a sociologist a science question?

Offhand, though, I think you've begged the question here - You have asserted that race doesn't exist because you define it in a way that doesn't exist. If not as sufficiently "isolated gene pools", how the hell do you define it?
posted by pla at 8:53 AM on June 2, 2013


""Does race in the absence of culture Y predict stereotypical-behavior X?" There, we can have a meaningful discussion."

The answer is largely, "No." Which isn't a very meaningful discussion.

"Why would I ask a sociologist a science question?"

Because you're not a moron and know that sociology is pretty good at describing the forces that isolate gene pools.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


If not as sufficiently "isolated gene pools", how the hell do you define it?

Well, I would define it like that. But they got that way because of deliberate human activity. Segregation isn't a force of nature.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on June 2, 2013




Why race as a biological construct matters

"So there you have it. An underlying biological reality which is a reflection of deep history. It may not be real or factual, but it is consistent and coherent."


What? How could an underlying biological reality not be real?

I'm no biologist but the way this Khan guy separated Africans into hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist categories seems a bit weird. Reading more from him, it seems like he does value the use of racial categories and is very interested in the way human attributes vary based on race in a way that seems a little disgusting to me, but it's hard to tell what he really thinks because he never seems to fully articulate it (or I guess I just don't understand him).

I like what Chomsky has to say about this.

Chomsky on IQ and Inequality
[Moreover], the question of the relation, if any, between race and intelligence has very little scientific importance (as it has no social importance, except under the assumptions of a racist society) … As to social importance, a correlation between race and mean I.Q. (were this shown to exist) entails no social consequences except in a racist society in which each individual is assigned to a racial category and dealt with not as an individual in his own right, but as a representative of this category … In a non-racist society, the category of race would be of no greater significance [than height]. The mean I.Q. of individuals of a certain racial background is irrelevant to the situation of a particular individual, who is what he is. Recognizing this perfectly obvious fact, we are left with little, if any, plausible justification for an interest in the relation between mean I.Q. and race, apart from the ‘justification’ provided by the existence of racial discrimination.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:28 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]








Native American Man Tells Anti-Illegal Immigration Protesters Who 'The Real Illegal Immigrants Are'

Interestingly, even hard-right parties in Italy are taking this tack - this poster says "They couldn't regulate immigration - now they live in reserves".
posted by MILNEWSca at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2013


Hitler was pretty big on that argument, too.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:12 AM on June 4, 2013


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