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[flagged] Discussing Blackness on Reddit? Photograph Your Forearm First (nytimes.com)
16 points by paul7986 35 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

I actually thought the White/Black PeopleReddits were supposed to be some degree of comedy or trolling. At least that’s the impression I got from posts that would hit the front page.

The fact that historically that actually was the case but now it’s turned literally into Black People’s Reddit is I guess life imitating art?

I have no problem whatsoever with exclusive social clubs of any kind, as long as they are not promoting hate speech. The problem is they tend to devolve into “hating the outgroup” clubs.

You may find you end up further from your goal by becoming more insular.

Why was there was a perceived need for this and why does it exist in the first place?

This can’t be the only way to have a subreddit without racist posts or “trolling”?

> This can’t be the only way to have a subreddit without racist posts or “trolling”?

OK, what's your suggestion?

Sounds like discrimination by race. Try this with white instead of black and watch all hell breaking loose.

Non-paywall AMP link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/r...

"If you did this differently people would react differently".

Is racism wrong in principle, or only for certain skin colors?

I have a friend whose family is Swedish and is a fan of Sven and Ollie jokes. It's not very charged when he tells them, even though they are technically jokes about nationalities.

I've often wondered, why is it harder to muster outrage over those?

Best I can figure, racism has more salience when you are magnifying harms to historically marginalized groups.

Not saying it's ever noble, but situations vary, so impacts vary.

I don't know that it's racist to have universal jokes with two stock characters and to choose common names for them? I'm sure some of those same jokes showed up on a McKenzie Brothers skit or Sanford and Son or Flight of the Conchords or Rahmens or Alternatino without loss of generality.

It's because the context is always "these characters are stupid" not "people like these characters are stupid."

And thinking about it more, I think the key difference is they have a name. That alone makes them a unique person. It's not "black guys do this, white guys do that" or even "an Irishman walks into a bar." Giving them a name means you can distance yourself from them and not feel offended that Sven is stupid, whereas if it was "A dumb Swede" you'd be offended.

My Swedish and Norwegian friends see the characters as stand-ins for nationalities, but sure, happy to ditch that hypo if you don't find it compelling. It was just one possible illustration of the broader point: the salience of racism seems at least somewhat related to the extent of the harm, and the harms from racism aren't evenly distributed.

I could see someone endorsing the view that racism is always wrong and yet still worse in some situations. Like, stealing a loaf of bread from a baker is wrong, but stealing a loaf of bread from a starving family is especially cruel.

I'm not an expert here or anything. I don't want to come off like I have it all figured out, I don't.

A name doesn't mean people are considering them as individuals. Famous examples of named 'stereotype representatives' include Paddy for the Irish (https://thomasnastcartoons.com/irish-catholic-cartoons/irish...), and Jerry for the Germans.


Isn't a rule that says people of one skin color are not allowed to have a voice in and of itself such a power structure?

It doesn't dominate the other, it makes room so that one side can be heard.

Look at it like kids on a playground. If there are a bunch of bullies picking on little kids, and you tell the bullies that for an hour a day, they aren't allowed to go near the little kids, is that a power structure set up to dominate the bullies? No; the little kids just needed a break! The bullies still have their power the rest of the time (and you haven't actually taken away anything from the bullies but their ability to bully; they can go about their lives as normal everywhere else)

Everyone keeps getting hung up on "there's a rule about skin color!" Yeah, there is, as a response to constant systemic racism forcing marginalized people to find a safe space. Turns out the world is complex.

> Turns out the world is complex.

Indeed it is.

Can you make a solid case that your claim that "constant systemic racism forcing marginalized people to find a safe space" is as conclusively true in the real world as your simplistic imaginary playground example?

If your case is indeed valid, facts should suffice should they not?

I will take the downvote without reply as a "no" to both my questions.

The interesting thing about such interactions is I suspect your mind remains as ever confident as before....you can't articulate a logical defense of your beliefs, yet this fact has absolutely no bearing on the strength of the belief.

> when it creates or reproduces structures of domination based on essentialist categories of race

How do you know, with certainty, when this is happening, and when it isn't?

Do you ever consider the possibility that you might be causing harm to your cause when you are trying to promote it? For example, when you offload judgement to hyper-efficient but highly error prone subconscious heuristics, with no review for correctness and prudence at the conscious level.

There's a difference between "discrimination" as in "consideration based on a particular class or category, such as gender, race, sexual identity, etc", and "discrimination" as in "acting upon unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions". The former is distinguishing differences, the latter is using them in a prejudicial way.

Dunno what you talk about with "race", the problem with racism is race is a flawed concept. The arguments' premisses might be true nevertheless despite drawing invalid conclusions. But they might be one sided on both sides, while those with the real motives just don't participate in these discussions

It's certainly prejudicial. Perhaps it just goes to show that prejudice can be a two-way street.

It's the (mostly white) trolls that ruin these things but you blame the people trying to salvage something.

So, the only way to salvage something is to assume white people must be trolling, unless they write the right things about their 'white privilege' to the mod team? That's quite insane. This is the sort of stuff you get when people start treating "racism", "prejudice", etc. as pure thought-terminating cliches, with no real understanding of what these terms actually mean. We knew that this was going on somehow, but I don't think we've been aware of just how ingrained this has become.

Fact is black people can't have a fun public conversation about living as a black person in America without a bunch of racists showing up and ruining it. How would you propose that be fixed?

I'm afraid a segregationist would argue the same way: it's those people who ruin our society, but you blame the people trying to salvage something.

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