Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

What Makes a Person White vs. Non-White/Multi

rockwater
Posts: 273
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 3:03:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I believe that Race is a social construct and not related to biology in any significant way. The definitions of white, black, Asian, etc, depend on the country and the culture. I am mainly talking about the US here, but even that is complex since in this one country we have at least two race systems: the Anglo-Saxon One-Drop Theory and the Latin American concept (which actually varies from country to country) of mestizaje or the vestiges of colonial castas. As the society becomes more and more diverse, the old racial categories will correspond less and less to reality (while racism will always remain in one form or another).

That said, I feel like it is wrong to call myself multiracial although my autosomal DNA is 8% Sub-Saharan African and my paternal grandmother was mulata. I did not find out those aspects of my heritage until recently and was raised to believe that I was a half-Hispanic white with a white Anglo mother and a white Hispanic (Cuban) father. I pass as white in appearance. Only in places where there are many Caribbean Latino people, like NYC or Miami, do people even think I look partly Hispanic! I have never experienced any racial discrimination (although I once heard someone day something about sinking the boats Cubans were coming in without realizing whom he was talking to) and I basically enjoy all the trappings of white privilege and the guilt that comes with it.

Does a person have to be raised with the knowledge the s/he is multiracial in order to to be able to legitimately claim that identity and share at least in part in the heritage of an oppressed group? Or, if someone has basically lived their entire life passing as white and thinking that s/he is white, and if his/her racial admixture is small to begin with, is it offensive to members if races who experience discrimination today to claim membership even as a multiracial person?

Yes, I am fully aware that I am a whiny spoiled white boy wanting to feel cool or better about himself or something. Let's try and discuss this in a mature manner.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 3:22:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Is the colour of the coat of a rabbit just a social construct?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
inferno
Posts: 10,556
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 3:27:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 3:03:46 PM, rockwater wrote:
I believe that Race is a social construct and not related to biology in any significant way. The definitions of white, black, Asian, etc, depend on the country and the culture. I am mainly talking about the US here, but even that is complex since in this one country we have at least two race systems: the Anglo-Saxon One-Drop Theory and the Latin American concept (which actually varies from country to country) of mestizaje or the vestiges of colonial castas. As the society becomes more and more diverse, the old racial categories will correspond less and less to reality (while racism will always remain in one form or another).

That said, I feel like it is wrong to call myself multiracial although my autosomal DNA is 8% Sub-Saharan African and my paternal grandmother was mulata. I did not find out those aspects of my heritage until recently and was raised to believe that I was a half-Hispanic white with a white Anglo mother and a white Hispanic (Cuban) father. I pass as white in appearance. Only in places where there are many Caribbean Latino people, like NYC or Miami, do people even think I look partly Hispanic! I have never experienced any racial discrimination (although I once heard someone day something about sinking the boats Cubans were coming in without realizing whom he was talking to) and I basically enjoy all the trappings of white privilege and the guilt that comes with it.

Does a person have to be raised with the knowledge the s/he is multiracial in order to to be able to legitimately claim that identity and share at least in part in the heritage of an oppressed group? Or, if someone has basically lived their entire life passing as white and thinking that s/he is white, and if his/her racial admixture is small to begin with, is it offensive to members if races who experience discrimination today to claim membership even as a multiracial person?

Yes, I am fully aware that I am a whiny spoiled white boy wanting to feel cool or better about himself or something. Let's try and discuss this in a mature manner.

Yes, it is a social construct that is used to divide the human species.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 3:34:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It depends on what someone means when they say "race". I think some people obviously have different skin tones than others but I'm skeptical of the idea that we can coherently classify people in one race or another without discounting mixed race people or people on the fringes (i.e., those where physical classification is ambiguous). So, skin tones vary but the concept of a class or group that we can consistently call "black" or "white" or whatever seems intellectually untenable. More so it just seems like an idea useless for all intensive purposes other than to highlight differences and open the possibiliy to stereotyping and group denigration.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
inferno
Posts: 10,556
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 5:19:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 3:34:33 PM, Noumena wrote:
It depends on what someone means when they say "race". I think some people obviously have different skin tones than others but I'm skeptical of the idea that we can coherently classify people in one race or another without discounting mixed race people or people on the fringes (i.e., those where physical classification is ambiguous). So, skin tones vary but the concept of a class or group that we can consistently call "black" or "white" or whatever seems intellectually untenable. More so it just seems like an idea useless for all intensive purposes other than to highlight differences and open the possibiliy to stereotyping and group denigration.

Some people want to feel the brand of race so they can feel a sense of belonging.........
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
thett3
Posts: 14,334
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 9:41:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Superiority
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 9:49:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.

If that is relevant to distinction, why have sub-saharan and northern african uniformly been labeled "black" (unless their civilization built something big)?
RyuuKyuzo
Posts: 3,074
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 10:06:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 9:41:06 PM, thett3 wrote:
Superiority

I lol'd
If you're reading this, you're awesome and you should feel awesome.
rockwater
Posts: 273
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 10:20:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 9:49:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.

If that is relevant to distinction, why have sub-saharan and northern african uniformly been labeled "black" (unless their civilization built something big)?

First, as dark skinned as many North Africans may be, because they have been separated by the Sahara from Sub Saharan Africa they have been in the European-Middle Eastern-Indian intermixture area up until the advent of large scale transportation across previously impenetrable barriers.

I repeat my earlier question - is it wrong to call oneself multiracial when one was raised to believe one was completely white, one passes as completely white in appearance, and one's degree of racial admixture is small (8 percent, in my case)?
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/19/2013 11:56:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 9:49:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.

If that is relevant to distinction, why have sub-saharan and northern african uniformly been labeled "black" (unless their civilization built something big)?

cause they all look black. But if you looking at race based upon geographical separation, I think a distinction between subsaharan africa and northern africa is warranted.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2013 1:39:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 11:56:28 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:49:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.

If that is relevant to distinction, why have sub-saharan and northern african uniformly been labeled "black" (unless their civilization built something big)?

cause they all look black. But if you looking at race based upon geographical separation, I think a distinction between subsaharan africa and northern africa is warranted.

The problem is that ultimately you can come up with any criteria under which to decide where the "circle" lies. If, as you argue, we should take environmentally important natural population boundaries, it results in one set of "races." If you go by certain race realists, we should look to the temperature and climate change between africa and europe/asia as where race is lined up.

I provided the "map and sharpie" example not to say races are necessarily based in geographical proximity but to comment on how we can "create" race in such a way that it is biologically true.

In such a way, a sentence like "He is a black person" can be true because of how we differentiate races EVEN THOUGH we actively made up these categories.

So it's not quite right to say "there is ultimately no such thing as race" but it's not quite right to say "race is inherent to a population." If you were born in Africa or your recent ancestors are from it, then the chances of you being susceptible to certain diseases is higher than those we call "caucasian."

So it's not quite right to say "there is no difference between races" even though ultimately race is an arbitrary categorization.

So what "makes" a person white or non-white, really, is that particular societies' most popular conception of how we should draw sharpie circles around parts of the map. The Irish were considered a different race from white people, different in mannerism (more violent, stupid, and sexual) and anatomy (more like apes) as well as more prone to crime (according to phrenologists).

Sounds pretty "inherently biological" when you listen to the rhetoric at the time.

Race doesn't exist outside of a particular social construct, so there is nothing outside of social constructs to "make" someone a member of any race.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2013 4:57:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/21/2013 1:39:13 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/19/2013 11:56:28 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:49:04 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/19/2013 9:39:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/19/2013 7:44:40 PM, Wnope wrote:
1. Find a map.

2. Take a sharpie.

3. Draw several circles around various geographic areas whose populations contain some set of shared or similar traits.

4. Give inhabitants of each circle their own signifier. The signifier should refer to a characteristic distinguished inhabitants of one circle from another.

5. Label one circle "white people" and another "black people" and another "asian people," etc.

6. If your descendants come from a particular circle, that signifier is inherited through generations as long as the offspring share the traits originally identified with that circle.

You do have to admit though there are geographical boundaries though that make gene flow more difficult. Subsaharan Africa was separated by a giant desert, Australia, and the Americas were separated by large water masses.

If that is relevant to distinction, why have sub-saharan and northern african uniformly been labeled "black" (unless their civilization built something big)?

cause they all look black. But if you looking at race based upon geographical separation, I think a distinction between subsaharan africa and northern africa is warranted.

The problem is that ultimately you can come up with any criteria under which to decide where the "circle" lies. If, as you argue, we should take environmentally important natural population boundaries, it results in one set of "races." If you go by certain race realists, we should look to the temperature and climate change between africa and europe/asia as where race is lined up.

I am a race realist of some sorts. And yes, natural population boundaries are the best method, since what it ultimately comes down to is how much gene flow over length of time, which is based on natural population boundaries. Just like speciation occurs due to natural population boundaries. Native Americans, for example, were completely separated, with no way of gene flow to actually occur, from Europeans for tens of thousands of years.

I provided the "map and sharpie" example not to say races are necessarily based in geographical proximity but to comment on how we can "create" race in such a way that it is biologically true.

In such a way, a sentence like "He is a black person" can be true because of how we differentiate races EVEN THOUGH we actively made up these categories.

So it's not quite right to say "there is ultimately no such thing as race" but it's not quite right to say "race is inherent to a population." If you were born in Africa or your recent ancestors are from it, then the chances of you being susceptible to certain diseases is higher than those we call "caucasian."

So it's not quite right to say "there is no difference between races" even though ultimately race is an arbitrary categorization.

So what "makes" a person white or non-white, really, is that particular societies' most popular conception of how we should draw sharpie circles around parts of the map. The Irish were considered a different race from white people, different in mannerism (more violent, stupid, and sexual) and anatomy (more like apes) as well as more prone to crime (according to phrenologists).

Sounds pretty "inherently biological" when you listen to the rhetoric at the time.

Race doesn't exist outside of a particular social construct, so there is nothing outside of social constructs to "make" someone a member of any race.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
rockwater
Posts: 273
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/21/2013 9:24:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I should clarify why I asked about the definition if being white versus being non-white or multiracial. Whiteness, in Anglo usage at least, means the absence of any other race's ancestry. Of course, groups like the Irish, Italians, Jews, etc., have been co-opted into the definition of whiteness, and some have even went from being white to being brown as new racial sensitivities have developed (such as non-black Hispanics who do not identify as Indian, Middle Easterners, etc.). Some people remain caught between two racial categories because of this, like Lebanese Christians. I am focusing on whiteness because it is basically a term associated with power and purity (in Anglo usage at least), and that is why "white pride" is, in my opinion and many others', a racist term.

Think it this way: in Western European Early Modern society, men used to be seen as the untainted ideal of human-ness, while women were seen as rendered weak and emotionally unstable by their gendered-ness. Sex and gender was thus a spectrum with men at the pure end and women at the gendered, inhibited end. You can make an analogous claim with the Anglo traditional view of race. Being white meant having an absence of racial impurity, while being "colored" or any other race meant having non-whiteness that made you less of an ideal human being. Although society today claims to have moved beyond these ideas, much of the influence of these concepts can be seen in gender and racial discrimination today.

If someone with a questionable claim to non-whiteness, like myself, adopts a Multi-racial identity, what standard should judge whether I am right or wrong? Social constructs are real and highly influential, and crossing the white/non-white barrier is an act of power politics, so this is an important question.
frankprisb
Posts: 3
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/1/2013 7:20:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You have to decide who you are. Sometimes mixed people only identify with one side of their heritage which is the problem. I would hope that mixed people would want to learn about both sides of their heritage instead of embracing only one side regardless of negative stereotypes which may be associated with one side. If someone is half black and half white, but their skin is brown, society is going to look at them as a black person and thus treat them like one which is why some people prefer to deny one side of their heritage but it is still important to tell people who you are. Don't let people define who you are.