My experience of the problem.
There are some arguments that I have seen involving racism that I think need addressing. I’ve specifically seen people, usually white people like myself, try to control how racism is used at a social level. While there are several stereotyped examples they seem to center on fear based reactions.
It’s reasonable to be afraid of how racism gets used, it’s supposed to feel bad. But it just has to be accepted that if racism is to be overtly and publically dealt with there are some words that have to be used as openly and commonly as needed: racism, racist, overt/covert, implicit/explicit, conscious/unconscious.
Since I have a personality that tends to the aggressive (a neutral) I commonly also use things like direct/indirect, object/context, dominant/subordinate, aggressive/defensive as well. What racism does makes it a legitimate thing to objectify for social purposes and to do that you have to look for racists.
This is the internet. Our experience of other people is objectified by its very nature. Like it or not we have to accept that we treat people as objects as a result of how the internet is used. I try to be moral and ethical about it because I accept that there is an inherent amount of dehumanization to our experience of other human beings on the internet and actively adapt accordingly. I actively shape my empathy.
I also actively strategize against racists. Empathy actually attaches to that, and you have to accept that parts of empathy are supposed to feel bad.
Racism is a characteristic. Anyone who considers going to a dictionary has to keep in mind that it’s a thing that has to be detected over a period of time. Anyone thinking about pointing at a dictionary better be able to use it in contexts involving current real-world use. Words only represent things and they are not the things. If you want to limit the usage of the words you have to know about the things they actually attach to.
That gets us to reputation. This is the experience of racism over time. I’ve seen rumblings about avoiding the word racist. Fuck that, a racist is a person with a demonstrated pattern of behavior over time. How can it be anything else? That is our target on the internet.
Racists as a collection of symbols attached to an object-person and progressing through time.
This gets us to bias. Racism is a form of bias based on race. Don’t worry my fellow melanin-challenged apes, racism comes in many forms when attached to racists. You get to defend yourself. But if you don’t take the opportunity to understand the shapes you will have no idea what racism looks like. Then you become one of the people I see on the internet that act like they were insulted but have no idea what the insult is shaped like.
This is important shit and I can even describe how my overt anti-racist aggression searches for implicit/explicit objects when it comes to objects that constitute racism on the internet. I define my targets like any socially responsible person with socially aggressive instincts should, so I take the conscious/unconscious range into account as much as I can (I still want to change society).
This is how your personality is shaped and operates over time. Those are neutral things and to know them is to learn how to control yourself on a level that gives you skills. If you stay ignorant it will always be painful for you because of all of the parts of the biases that generate racism. That fucks with your ability to detect real social threats. I see you, you fellow white people who had actual characteristics applied to you. Not just insult. What racism is suggests much deeper ways that your reasoning and logic processes are legitimately damaged. You want this.
Bias is a neutral.
Bias mucks with a bunch of things that are observable in culture, that means objective in a functional sense. Like bias that takes place in comment boxes on the internet. Bias on the issue of race as a part of reputation is a contextual element indispensable to any discussion. And indispensable to actually change society. And bias is representative of how our moral and ethical minds work. Good and proper reasoning and logic is biased by nature. You want to be in control of yourself.
So how you do you apply bias to yourself when ruminating about your life? You accept that bias comes in good and bad forms and that it represents how our reasoning processes work. You actually spend time thinking about why you make the decisions that you do and you make sure that they have connections to the people you interact with.
That is legitimately scary shit. But it does get easier over time. You see the value in accepting the experiences of others on a provisional basis and in many forms, that only includes criticism. “Provisional basis” is not wiggling or waffling. You get to choose how you feel and believe about what other people tell you. I’m saying that there is value in being able to recognize other people saying that you understood what they said, and to actively work to carry that knowledge into the future. It’s how you look for flaws, mental preening.
It’s honestly why I enjoy questioning rude people so much. I like understanding the experiences of others. I enjoy watching everyone discuss how they experience the world in feeling as well as content, my experience of the world includes an excess of feeling. I like thinking about social morals in both general and situational forms. But I also accept that if I want to change society I have to make decisions about how I interact with others, including how I shape my social criticism. Or how I react to and use criticism when among people I want to help. Bias is not always bad and you should be ready to think about how yours work. For your own skills and ability if other human beings are not good enough.
But either way you better accept that fixing racism and it’s cousins sexsim, mysogyny, the phobias associated with LGBT+ people, ablism and more will require public criticism of racists in general and specific language. I want that gone, in myself and in others.