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Re: [bostonatheists] "No real rational basis to opposing benefits of family planning..."

From: Zachary B.
Sent on: Friday, August 16, 2013 7:50 AM
Bye then.

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 15, 2013, at 11:43 PM, Derek Scholl <[address removed]> wrote:

used to disempower black males? get me the fuck out of this thread.

of course not all sharks will bite. does that mean i want to swim with them? no

On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM, Barry <[address removed]> wrote:

While I agree that racism is a huge problem, I think you're engaging in confirmation bias.  Nobel Prizes are so difficult to get that they're hardly a good measure of whether any particular segment of the population is facing barriers.  Even among extremely talented people, of any race, exceedingly few receive Nobel Prizes.  Rather than diagnosing racism in that case, I think it's far more productive to focus on nurturing talent and interest among black people - as well as among any underrepresented group - and on providing opportunities for education and advancement.  I'm not saying that there aren't talented black physicists and chemists now, but if you want to see more of them, I think focusing on racism is only going to do so much to make that happen.

In general, I question the productiveness of focusing on racism, rather on the flip side, which is tolerance and acceptance.  I'm not saying that people should ignore racism, I'm just saying that it's more productive to focus on how to get people from where they are now, both the racists and the unempowered blacks, to where you want them to be, namely less racist and more empowered.  I'm also not singling out racism as a form of oppression to ignore.  I'm just mentioning my strategy for dealing with the issues I've been involved with, such as activism for gay people and people with mental illness.  I hope that this is where you're putting most of your effort..You may still need time to deal with your apparent and understandable anger about racism, but you'll do more good by actually supporting a black people's advancement and building bridges between black and white people than by pointing out that racism exists.

Best wishes,

On 8/15/2013 5:13 PM, kenneth a. thomas wrote:
I'm a Black African American, born in Trenton N.J., the second of 5 males, and one female. To a father who was a master sergeant in the US army, a WWII vet., and a senior corrections officer. My mother was a psychiatric nurse.
I'm 58 now. and years ago I started asking why are their no Black males who have won Nobel prizes in physics, and chemistry. Especially since some people believe their is little racism in the USA. And since there is a Black man who is the president of the USA. I sometimes am tempted to use the success of Black African American males in physics as a measure of the absence, or presence of racism in the USA. Notice the word "a", measure,not the measure, or the only measure of black males status in the USA. According to the book, " The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics", by Paul Bracken, copyright 2012. When Blacks in South Africa were fighting racist Whites there. Israel was collaborating with the Racist Whites in South Africa to get them the atom bomb. The French had collaborated with Israel, to help them get the atom bomb. And the US remained quiet about that. Today the US is still quiet about Israel having nuclear weapons. Who dismisses this use of science for racist power? For Black males in the US attempting to go to school and study physics, and have a career in physics. It may easily occur to them that their exists an international tendency toward racism in physics, and other areas of science. That evidence can seem overwhelmingly clear, however, few people speak about it, making it seem conspiratorial.
So that you get a better idea of what I'm hinting at. I recommend the book " Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America, by Devon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati. I believe that you can find it at your local library. Both of the authors are law professors, not physicists, or chemists. However I suspect similar experiences, across those academic lines. To add to that I'll refer you to the work of Dr. Lloyd Sheldon Johnson, " Spirituality as a Viable Resource in Responding to Racial Micro-aggressions. Link below;_ylu=X3oDMTEzaDVqaTR0BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1NNRTE5Nl8x/SIG=13jpl5ubu/EXP=1376628772/**http%3a//
I'm an atheist, however realize that the micro-aggressions, micro-insults, micro-invalidations, and micro-assults, are real phenomena, used to dis-empower Black males, in the classrooms of the USA. With dire outcomes for those Black males.
To be continued.
Best regards Ken.

From: Paul G. Brown <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, August 15,[masked]:50 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] "No real rational basis to opposing benefits of family planning..."

 Kenneth - 

  To be honest, I'm pretty ignorant of the everyday lives of black men in the US, so I would take mild issue with your reading into my words the notion that "magical thinking" is somehow a characteristic of that community. I just can't say that: you're in a better position to judge. Seems to me it's more associated with religion than race. Most of the (so-white-and-privileged-its-ridiculous) Republican Party is as much enthralled to it as the weirdest of California's "New Age Seekers" or the most poverty bound immigrant farm worker. 

   What effect does empowering women have on men? None at all, so far as I can tell. Liberty isn't a zero sum game. Increasing one person's freedom by giving them more options doesn't diminish anyone else's. (An idea I got from Orlando Patterson's _Freedom_in_the_Making_of_Western_Culture_). Unless, of course, you hold to the idea that one person's freedoms extend to the control of another's … an idea I think we all find repugnant. 

   I didn't know of Dr. Frances Wellsing - but having made her brief acquaintance via Wikipedia I have to say … her ideas are very, very …. provincial. Visit almost any country in the world outside Europe and the US, and you're very quickly struck by how limiting it is to view the world through a frame defined by the last 200 years of US history. Visit China, or India, or Indonesia, or Africa … finding yourself suddenly the sole representative of "your race" is very humbling.

  Working with colleagues from Brazil gave me another, slightly uncomfortable moment, but one with a rather wonderful lesson. A Brazilian sales rep. was describing her husband to me (I was to pick him up at the airport). Without a pause or a second thought, she told me he was of average height, and his skin was lighter than "his" (she pointed to her boss) but darker than "hers" (she pointed to an indian colleague of mine). Skin color, for her, was merely a physical feature like one's hair (or lack of it) or eyes. 

  Places like the Caribbean and Brazil were wracked by historical slavery. They're not utopias. But it seems to me that they're closer to it, in terms of race relations, than the US. Which leads me to suspect that historical racism in the US has a lot to do with conflict within the white power structure (would value your insight on this). In the US, for years, poor whites were encouraged to respond to their powerlessness by inflicting violence on neighbors who, in every other way, should have been their allies. Poverty and racism are connected in many subtle and complex ways. Why are so many young black men in jail? I suspect the answer is connected to how this cements tribal bonds among low-information white voters. The good news? Demographics being what they are, it's a demagoguery that's not going to work much longer. 

   I'm also a little concerned with the rationality of some of Dr Wellsing's claims about genes and survival. If there was an underlying biological imperative, we would see very little if any merging of the gene pools of different racial groups anywhere. Yet we do. That's what modern genetics shows. I have *no* idea how my steppes ancestry got there, but there it is! I can recommend getting the family history in your genes read to anyone.

 I'd also recommend letting your heart and hopes be warmed by watching the mixing and matching that goes on on any college campus. My father once quipped that in his opinion, Tina Turner's legs, and Diana Ross's breasts, had done as much to reduce racial prejudice as anything else in his life time. Poor white boys must find it very confusing when they're told they should hate on Beyonce. Or Selena Gomez. ;) All the more reason for carefully weighing questions of population, and self control. 

   And one final thing … please carefully re-read what I wrote about China, US eugenics and so on. I was trying very hard *not* to erect a hierarchy of suffering. It seems to me that there's plenty to go around. And disappointingly, religion is often used as a justification for it. 

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