Posts tagged Jim Crow

Re: Rand Paul….won’t approve of lunch counters being desegregated. Here’s his appearance on Rachel Maddow, which includes his Lexington Courier interview where he says it

Rand Paul is a liar and a politician. (But I repeat myself.) However, in the interest of fairness, I watched that interview, and he didn’t say that he was against “lunch counters being desegregated.” What he said is that he’s against the use of federal antidiscrimination laws to desegregate lunch counters.

The second position implies the first only if there’s no other way to desegregate lunch counters except for getting a federal law so you can go hire a lawyer and file a Title II lawsuit against the department store in federal court. But of course there are other ways besides that kind of bureaucratic bullshit. Nothing that Rand Paul said about Title II or Title VII would rule out the use of grassroots organization and nonviolent direct action, of exactly the sort that was already being used effectively to dismantle Jim Crow in towns throughout the South, when the a bunch of grandstanding white Democrats decided to rush in and take all the credit.

Re: No I don’t understand why

Arthur B.:

Racism is at best stupid not immoral.

So you say. But why do you say this? I can think of lots of examples where racism has led people to do incredibly violent things, which I think that you would clearly agree to be vicious. I can also think of lots of examples where racism has led people to do things that, while not violent, were extremely cruel. Do you mean to claim that that’s not immoral? Or to claim that the cruelty is immoral but not the racism which produced and justified it? Or something else again?

The only reason there are historical problems with racism in the US is because of forced integration through slavery (forced for the slaves that is) and then forced integration through the end of segregation (for the rest).

Your account of the history of racism and the law in the United States has an interesting lacuna. Specifically, the period from roughly 1865 – 1965.

For a hundred years of U.S. history black people and white people were forcibly segregated, partly through the use of contractual exclusions made on the market, but mostly as the result of government segregation laws. The connection between the existence of those laws and the prevalence of white supremacism among white people, especially among politically powerful and well-connected white people, was probably not entirely accidental.

However, I might also note that, as an account of “racism” in general, your explanation is somewhat lacking. There are more races of people in the U.S. who have been subject to racism, in its various forms (especially white supremacism) than just black people. The history of white prejudice and oppression against black people is a very important part of the story about American racism, but people of American Indian, Irish, Polish, Italian, Chinese, Filipin@, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Central American, Arab, etc. etc. etc. descent have all suffered from racist prejudices, racist exclusion, and at times racist violence, whether at the hands of mobs or at the hands of state, local, or federal government agencies. But it’s very rarely the case that any of these histories involved “forced integration” of any kind prior to the mid-1960s. Therefore, I conclude that American racism and the “historical problems” associated with it probably have at least some explanatory conditions other than what you call “forced integration.”

No I don’t understand why women might want to be treated “equally” with men. Women and men are not “equal”, in fact they are not even commensurate, the whole concept of equality is meaningless here. The closest thing to what you describe would be : treated without regard for the gender… I don’t see why.

Semantically speaking, “equality” is not just used to refer to position within a quantitative range (as in “equal portions”). It’s also often also used to refer to the lack of a particular difference or distinction (as in “treat me like an equal,” or “equal opportunity,” neither of which makes any claim about comparative quantities of treatment or opportunity). So if a woman or a group of women demand equal treatment to men, then what they’re likely talking about, in perfectly good English, is treatment which doesn’t make a distinction based solely on her or their sex.

As for why a woman or a group of women would want that, well, honestly, who cares whether you “see why” or not? Presumably those who are making it have their own reasons, which many of them have explained at length in conversation, in articles, in films, in music, in books, etc. If you have some specific case against those reasons as they have been presented, it would help to explain what you’re taking issue with and why, by engaging with those arguments rather than just playing dumb. If you acknowledge those positions, but have some specific reason to go on insisting on making sex-based distinctions in how you treat other people, whether or not they want you not to make those distinctions, then it would help to explain what are your own reasons for insisting on making those distinctions nevertheless.