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April 10, 2006

Comments

odocoileus

"In the same same breath, she said she probably wouldn’t date a black guy but would love to date a white one."

Doesn't pretty much everybody say that, world wide? Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Latina, Arab, Hindu? In practice, though, it never works. It would be more accurate for her to say, "I wouldn't mind being seeen with a white guy in public." What goes on in private is another matter entirely.

Abiola

"Doesn't pretty much everybody say that, world wide?"

Uh, no, especially not in the context of a discussion about racism. Most educated people would have enough of a sense of shame not to say such a thing out loud whatever their true feelings on the subject, and as a factual matter getting a date isn't a problem for a black guy in Tokyo.

Oh, and while we're at it, let me add that you've clearly been moving in the wrong circles if you're so accustomed to this sort of thing that you find nothing at all remarkable in young Koreans openly confessing to suffering from Pinkerton Syndrome.

PS: Read the following discussion and tell me what we see in Korea is just one of those things that go on all around the world ...

http://tinyurl.com/qur9w

Chuckles

Interesting. Never having bothered to study early 20th century ideological currents in Korea as deeply as I did Japan, I am a bit suprised. I am aware of Nazi fascinations in Korea - and to a certain extent, they parrallel their Japanese counterparts: Regalia, Memorabilia, "It was good but they went too far" - and the attraction that displays of strength and discipline - as well as the illusion of "oneness" bring. Years ago, there was furor over some Nazi themed Cafes in Seoul, as well as the trendiness of Nazi fashion in some quarters - and kind of guessed that it was again, "kids stuff" - a bunch of yuppie SNU kids looking for ideological rocks to anchor themselves on etc. Much like the anti-semitism one encounters now and then in Japan. I am suprised that there is actually a tradition of literary articulation of these notions in Korea - great links!!!
Its interesting isnt it, how the Nazis turn up everywhere people become fixated on blood and purity? They've turned up in Uganda, in Japan, among Native Americans, Muslim communities, among Christians etc.

ogunsiron

Chuckles :
I've heard about idi Amin's anti-semitism but what are you refering to when you speak of an interest in nazism in Uganda ?

Chuckles

This is what I said:

[...the Nazis turn up everywhere people become fixated on blood and purity...]

Not:

[...[There is] an interest in nazism in Uganda...]

More to the point, Amin and his colleagues were quite clearly influenced by Nazi narratives from various streams. These streams seem to coalesce in one particular variant of early 20th century Islamo-fascism.

dsquared

[as a factual matter getting a date isn't a problem for a black guy in Tokyo]

but this is supply- rather than demand-driven? Most women I know aren't kinky for dwarves, but the only dwarf I know gets laid all the time.

Abiola

Nice analogy there - didn't know finding black men attractive was a "kink" like being into dwarves. In any case your offensive analogy doesn't hold - there are plenty of black people who have been to Korea and Japan and who will readily tell you just how different the environment in the two countries is.

dsquared

Oh don't be so touchy. (and for that matter, so judgemental; appreciating the aesthetic qualities of dwarves isn't necessarily a "kink" either). I was thinking of illustrating this with the example of gingers, but thought it might look like bragging.

Abiola

Dwarfism is a genetic disorder which generally lowers reproductive fitness, blackness isn't.

dsquared

So what? (I realise this is somewhat offtopic in the context of Korean Nazism, for which, sorry).

Abiola

What do you mean "So what?" Are you really so dense as to be unable to get it? Likening an aversion against black people to one against people suffering from a genetic disease is just plain insulting: if you see nothing wrong with it, stick to using redheads for such comparisons.

In any case, yes, this discussion is indeed a diversion from the real issue of interest, which is the origin of racist attitudes in Korean society.

dsquared

[Likening an aversion against black people to one against people suffering from a genetic disease is just plain insulting]

I think I'm going to take the disability rights position on this; no it isn't, unless you have attitudes to the disabled which are themselves insulting.

Being black is a genetically determined condition which has all sorts of unpleasant consequences; statistically, it makes you much more likely to die young, much more likely to have a low income and (notoriously) much more likely to have a low IQ. It happens that these things are the result of the way that society is organised, but society is not changing particularly fast so for the foreseeable future, these are just as much facts as the fact that dwarfs are prone to joint pain and respiratory complaints.

If we reorganised society in various ways, then there would be a lot fewer adverse effects of being a dwarf, but even as things are, I am not at all sure that, with the state of things as they are, the average white person with dwarfism has worse life chances than the average black person without.

But in any case, no matter how bad it was to be a dwarf, would it still be OK view dwarfs as so disgusting that any comparison with them was a terribly offensive insult? It's not dwarves' fault that they're dwarves. Your point of view appears to depend on a probably implict assumption that deep down, there is something sick and wrong about having sex with dwarfs (and other congenitally disabled people?) That seems rather wrong to me; I was using the word "kinky" in a fun and non-judgemental sense, whereas you seem to be considering that the fact that an aversion to dwarves is more common than an aversion to black people (which is itself more common than an aversion to white people, so we are vaguely back on topic) means that it's more valid. I don't accept this at all; popularity is no basis to accept such things.

(PS: I have no consistent spelling policy on "dwarfs/dwarves"; the Wikipedia entry seems to suggest that "dwarves" is considered insulting but I have long since given up trying to navigate the linguistic infighting of the disabled rights movement).

Abiola

"Being black is a genetically determined condition which has all sorts of unpleasant consequences; statistically, it makes you much more likely to die young, much more likely to have a low income and (notoriously) much more likely to have a low IQ."

This is just so fucking stupid I'm at a loss for words. Who knew all those things stemmed from having more melanin in one's skin? I think this utterly retarded and even more insulting line of argument says volumes about the ugly thinking in your own skull.

"It happens that these things are the result of the way that society is organised, but society is not changing particularly fast so for the foreseeable future, these are just as much facts as the fact that dwarfs are prone to joint pain and respiratory complaints."

Even more blatantly racist rubbish. Scratch a liberal hypocrite, reveal a condescending bigot - that's what you are for likening a distaste for all blacks, even ones who are successful and affluent enough to make their way half-way across the world to teach in a foreign country, to avoiding sexual contact with people with congenital disorders.

"would it still be OK view dwarfs as so disgusting that any comparison with them was a terribly offensive insult?"

You're a pathetic excuse for a human being, trying to hide your own racism behind a supposed "defense" of dwarves. It is *perfectly* rational not to wish to reproduce with someone suffering from a genetic disease, and all your blather about "disgust" can't make that go away. I don't have to be "disgusted" by Huntington's disease sufferers not to want to mate with them.

"I am not at all sure that, with the state of things as they are, the average white person with dwarfism has worse life chances than the average black person without."

The average white dwarf could be a millionaire and it still wouldn't obscure the fact that dwarfism is a heritable genetic *disease*, while blackness is not. I also love the way you chose to elide the difference between "the average black person" and a black person working in Korea, as if all black people everywhere were indistinguishable and interchangeable, demographically, economically and in every other way. It says everything one needs to know about you. I wonder if you let those black people who are unfortunate enough to be personally acquainted with you that you believe their life expectancy is so much less than yours, that their propensity to crime is many times greater, and that they're lucky to be able to walk and talk at the same time given their low IQs, what with "blackness" having such terrible consequences, just like dwarfism.

"Your point of view appears to depend on a probably implict assumption that deep down, there is something sick and wrong about having sex with dwarfs (and other congenitally disabled people?)"

No, this is just your own nauseating attempt at defending an insulting racist analogy. Next thing you'll be comparing having sex with blacks to seeking out Down's syndrome sufferers and spastics to sleep with - oh wait, you already have ...

You've made false accusations of me threatening to "ban" you before, but for the first time I really *am* an inch away from doing so after seeing you spill this offal. You love to claim that I'm "angry" about this, that or the other when I'm poking fun at you, but let me tell you right now I'm steaming; if you were in physical proximity you'd probably be missing a few teeth by now for compounding your blatantly offensive analogy with idiotic insinuations about my mental life.

dsquared

[Who knew all those things stemmed from having more melanin in one's skin? ]

The word "statistically" in that sentence was not purely ornamental; it was meant to indicate that the connections described were correlations, not causations. I think I specifically said that the actual reasons for all these correlations was social prejudice against black people, but apparently not clearly enough, sorry.

[It is *perfectly* rational not to wish to reproduce with someone carrying a recessive genetic disease]

I thought we were talking about sex, not reproduction? Your original comment was about "getting dates" and mine was about "getting laid". I would actually defend the right of someone with a genetic condition to have children if they wanted to, without third parties saying they were irrational, but this is tangential.

[I also love the way you chose to elide the difference between "the average black person" and a black person working in Korea]

That's actually a pretty fair enough point; I didn't think that this distinction was central to the argument but maybe it is. I don't really see why though.

[dwarfism is a heritable genetic *disease*, while blackness is not]

The asterisks around "disease" are trying to do the work of a proper argument here as to why there's something rational about an aesthetic aversion to dwarfs. I can see why a lot of people might choose not to have children if they were in a relationship with a dwarf but that's not what we're talking about here. I say chacun a son gout, and that there is nothing either rational or irrational about anyone's sexual preferences.

[Next thing you'll be comparing having sex with blacks to seeking out Down's syndrome carriers and spastics.]

I don't want to offend you any more, but I do really ahve to defend the right of people with cerebral palsy (there is a lot more consensus on the offensiveness of the word "spastic" than "dwarf") to pursue a fulfilling sex life. There is a somewhat more difficult issue with respect to Down's syndrome sufferers, except for the uncommon (but by no means unknown) cases when they are able to give meaningful consent, in which case I say good luck to them.

[You've made false accusations of me threatening to "ban" you before, but for the first time I really *am* an inch away from doing so after seeing you spill this offal]

I will apologise sincerely for any offence caused; I maintain that if this is making you angry then you have misunderstood it, because it was not my intention to do so. Obviously, though, a misunderstanding is my fault too and I apologise for not making this clearer. So sorry.

However, just to clarify this small matter, I am not scared of losing teeth and I know how to have a fight myself, so if you are ever in "physical proximity" to me, please don't make threats.

Abiola

"I thought we were talking about sex, not reproduction? Your original comment was about "getting dates" and mine was about "getting laid"."

Yes, of course, sexual desires have no relation whatsoever to what people seek in their mates, which is why all societies bow before the allure of old women with lots of warts.

"can see why a lot of people might choose not to have children if they were in a relationship with a dwarf but that's not what we're talking about here."

Human sexual desires have *always* been closely linked to reproductive fitness, otherwise we wouldn't be here, so *yes*, that *is* what we're talking about. People value certain things and not others as "beautiful" and "sexy" precisely *because* those traits are reliable markers of reproductive fitness.

"The asterisks around "disease" are trying to do the work of a proper argument here as to why there's something rational about an aesthetic aversion to dwarfs."

Spare me the bullshit. Any doctor will tell you in as much detail as you please just why dwarfism is a disease rather than a neutral genetic variation like having curly black hair.

"I don't want to offend you any more, but I do really ahve to defend the right of people with cerebral palsy (there is a lot more consensus on the offensiveness of the word "spastic" than "dwarf") to pursue a fulfilling sex life."

When have I said they can't pursue what they want? They can lust after whomever they please, as can lepers, AIDS victims and penniless old men in wheelchairs - what they can't expect is that their attempts at pursuit should be as successful as those of healthy young people with money, nor do they have a right to make accusations of "irrational" disgust when others act in accordance with desires honed by evolution. There's nothing "irrational" about not being turned on by cerebral palsy, dwarfism or wrinkled old flesh.

"However, just to clarify this small matter, I am not scared of losing teeth and I know how to have a fight myself, so if you are ever in "physical proximity" to me, please don't make threats."

Should you choose to make racially insulting remarks at me if I ever am in proximity to you, I'll be more than willing to take my chances even if you're the Incredible Hulk himself. I'm not the sort of "good negro" who sits back and allows himself to be degraded by anyone whatever his physique or pocketbook.

dsquared

[People value certain things and not others as "beautiful" and "sexy" precisely *because* those traits are reliable markers of reproductive fitness.]

Tell that to Verne Troyer (or to complicate things further, the rapper Bushwick Bill, who also gets plenty). Most people value the same things, but plenty don't and mere popularity doesn't make something rational or otherwise.

[nor do they have a right to make accusations of "irrational" disgust when others act in accordance with desires honed by evolution. There's nothing "irrational" about not being turned on by cerebral palsy, dwarfism or wrinkled old flesh.]

Fine as far as it goes, but nor do any of the rest of us have the right to make accusations of irrationality when other people don't wanna have sex with us (and the desire to conform with the rest of society is as "honed by evolution" as anything else). And for that matter, they do have the right to ask that if someone does want to have sex with them, the rest of society doesn't try to put them off their stroke.

This is like that thing on the FHM 100 Hottest Women survey when you got all condemnatory of FHM readers for having such pedestrian conventional tastes and then said that what they should obviously be lusting after was an identikit Japanese starlet instead of an identikit white starlet.

Abiola

"nor do any of the rest of us have the right to make accusations of irrationality when other people don't wanna have sex with us"

Rubbish. If you're young, fit, highly symmetrical, have excellent clear skin and yet are treated like a leper because you're black while paunchy old white farts with no more money than you and worse career prospects are lionized, you have every right to say there's something fucked up going on.

"and the desire to conform with the rest of society is as "honed by evolution" as anything else"

No it isn't. There are no genes telling one "society" extends thus far and no further.

"This is like that thing on the FHM 100 Hottest Women survey when you got all condemnatory of FHM readers for having such pedestrian conventional tastes and then said that what they should obviously be lusting after was an identikit Japanese starlet instead of an identikit white starlet."

Typical of you to miss the point, which was that one can easily find plenty of Asian women just as appealing as the very best looking ones on that list of the most beautiful women in the "World" [sic], and yet not a *single one* made it unto the list, despite the presence on it of at best cute mediocrities like Scarlett Johansson and Kiera Knightley, as clearcut an example of racism affecting good judgment as one could wish. Giving extra beauty points to a woman because of her European origin and blonde hair is a stupid as taking points away from an attractive person simply for being black, and "identikit" has nothing to do with it.

dsquared

[If you're young, fit, highly symmetrical, have excellent clear skin and yet are treated like a leper because you're black while paunchy old white farts with no more money than you and worse career prospects are lionized, you have every right to say there's something fucked up going on]

the right to speak, but not the right to be listened to, I would say. This is the Naomi Campbell argument; although Naomi Campbell is clearly the victim of irrational discrimination within the category of supermodels, she is also the beneficiary of irrational discrimination because of the existence of the category of supermodels. If you're a wonderful, witty, kind, morally upstanding guy who is treated like a leper because you're three feet tall, you can say that something's fucked up too if you like.

[Giving extra beauty points to a woman because of her European origin and blonde hair is a stupid as taking points away from an attractive person simply for being black, and "identikit" has nothing to do with it. ]

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it's neither more nor less stupid than taking points away from an attractive person because they've got thalidomide arms (which are of course not inheritable). When you're making statements about what's desirable then you're either describing your own preferences, or you've decided that it's OK to judge people on their looks and you can't put that cat back into the bag.

Bronzeky Lee-Ozwald

Dsquared,

"Being black is a genetically determined condition which has all sorts of unpleasant consequences; statistically, it makes you much more likely to die young, much more likely to have a low income and (notoriously) much more likely to have a low IQ."

You are such a go-with-the-flow dick-head! Does being white make you more likely to be paranoid and a blind racist?

odocoileus

Naomi Campbell is HOT!

Anyone who says otherwise is out of his mind.

And Lauren Hill is drop dead gorgeous.

Blonde chicks are cool too, but lots of them are big and scary. Rebecca Romijn is almost a guy. A good looking guy, but almost a guy just the same.

dsquared

[Does being white make you more likely to be paranoid and a blind racist?]

statistically you are more likely to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia if you are black but more likely to be a racist if you are white. In the UK, that is; quite obviously in other societies things are not necessarily going to be the same.

This episode of Sesame Street was brought to you by the truism "correlation is not causation" and the tautology "correlation is correlation".

odcocoileus

When you say "it makes you", you yourself confuse correlation with causation. Pot, meet kettle.

I assume you meant "visible sub Saharan ancestry is associated with".

dsquared

I think "statistically, it makes you" is a perfectly comprehensible way of saying "is associated with", but apparently this did cause confusion.

I would not use "visible sub Saharan ancestry" as a synonym for "black" though, as I don't think they mean the same thing, and the social statistics use the category "black" rather than anything about ancestry.

Abiola

"although Naomi Campbell is clearly the victim of irrational discrimination within the category of supermodels, she is also the beneficiary of irrational discrimination because of the existence of the category of supermodels."

No. There's nothing "irrational" about beautiful people commanding more attention than the rest of us. "Life is unfair" is not a synonym for "irrational."

"If you're a wonderful, witty, kind, morally upstanding guy who is treated like a leper because you're three feet tall, you can say that something's fucked up too if you like."

The difference which you keep attempting to pretend to ignore is that one is a heritable *disease*, while the other is not, and insinuating that the two situations are analogous is simply out and out racism which I will not stand for.

"When you're making statements about what's desirable then you're either describing your own preferences, or you've decided that it's OK to judge people on their looks and you can't put that cat back into the bag."

You're so full of shit it's unbelievable. This is the final straw as far as I'm concerned, I've had it with your rubbish - take your "blackness is comparable to dwarfism" bullshit somewhere it'll be tolerated: I'm not going to put up with idiocy asserting that finding blacks repulsive is the same as having a distaste for dwarves. From now on you are persona non grata here.

Absolutely incredible: no one in his right mind would think to liken homosexuality to a disease, and yet here is a person who really expects a black person to be open to having his features treated in such a manner. The sheer gall of some people.

dsquared

Fair enough; I don't agree with you but I will respect this because it is your site. I just ask that in that case, you don't mention me by name or recognisable description in future posts.

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