DEI opponents?

Just say racists.

@queermunist@lemmy.ml avatar

To be fair, some of them are sexist and queerphobic and jingoistic rather than racist.


That’s a lot of variations on the word asshole.


Would give multiple upvotes if I could, truer words…

@xhieron@lemmy.world avatar

It’s a lot more complicated than that. The people pursuing these lawsuits are opportunists, to be sure, and may well be racists, but “Those who oppose affirmative action are racists” is far too broad a net. Targeting anything, whether a college application, job, housing, or grant, based on race and ethnicity as a sole or principal criterion–whether the outcome or intent is good or bad–is a problematic undertaking, and these lawsuits demonstrate why: If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. If a white person is disadvantaged in a program or process because they’re white, that’s a problem.

We have better criteria. People who are actually advancing the cause of DEI are going to use this as an opportunity to articulate what the real issues are, and they absolutely should: you shouldn’t get a grant for being black. You should get a grant for serving a historically disadvantaged community. Maybe that community is black–but maybe it’s LGBTQ, or Hispanic American, or even just poor. You shouldn’t need to target race, because if race is actually an indicator of qualification, you can just target the qualification and get the same pool of beneficiaries. If there is no underlying qualification? Well then maybe the grant is racist.

All of that said, on the actual merits here, I’m inclined to agree that a grant is qualitatively different than an employment or enrollment agreement. You should be able to give your money to whomever you want for any reason or no reason. Nevertheless, the broader issue of DEI isn’t just a matter of racists vs minority groups. It necessarily demands a confrontation of why it matters that black entrepreneurs, for example, might need redress for harm that their ancestors–real people–suffered at the hands of an inequitable and unjust state. We can talk about that without racist language and policy, and we must.


What? An actual thoughtful and nuanced response that addresses the issues? That’s a rarity among these kinds of posts. Just let me upvote the first person to scream racist.


It is not a problem to disadvantage people who are otherwise advantaged in order to level the playing field.

@xhieron@lemmy.world avatar

I agree. How do you identify otherwise advantaged people? Is skin color always a good indicator of privilege?


In the United States, there is quite a lot of data showing that race is a predictor of wealth, education, and (for lack of a better term) ‘having your life fucked around with by the system’ (e.g. stop and frisk, POC being arrested more frequently for the same crimes with longer sentences, etc).

So, barring a fairly detailed analysis about where and how every individual grew up, yes. Skin color is a good indicator.

I see you slipped the word ‘always’ in there. This is silly. You can’t have indicators be ‘always’. The whole point of an indicator is that it’s not always. If something were always, it wouldn’t be an indicator.

@xhieron@lemmy.world avatar

I didn’t “slip” the word always in there. That’s the point.

In the past we did not have good methods or even good understanding of what kinds of indicators we should look at or how. The idea of privilege as a concept wasn’t even being studied until the late 1980s. So it was reasonable to use less precise predictive measures (like skin color) when looking at data in aggregate in order to remediate prior harm. But we’re not talking about anthropology here. We’re talking about policies that affect individual living persons, and if we want to know whether those persons experienced disadvantages, we can just ask them. This isn’t a matter of “Are you more likely to have suffered x disadvantage if you’re black in America?” It’s “Did you personally suffer x?” or at the very least “Did one of your ancestors personally suffer x?” If institutions are deciding they don’t need to ask that question because they can instead just screen all applicants of a particular skin color instead, they’re doing the exact racial stereotyping that we’re attempting to correct. That exact kind of screening is how the FHA and lenders prevented black people from owning homes historically: They decided that all black applicants were more likely to have certain bad qualities, and they categorically excluded them. Now, some well-intentioned but misguided liberals (and occasionally racists) are instead deciding that all black applicants have certain good qualities, and they categorically exclude everyone other than them. It shouldn’t take a huge logical leap to understand how that’s not better.


Can you help me form a question to a candidate that would objectively measure how much their parents were financially impacted by red lining or over policing, and how that impacted the candidate’s opportunity? I’m not sure how to phrase that in a way that won’t just have everyone gaming the system.

Let me ask another question so I understand your thought process a bit better. Would you say it’s good or bad or neutral if we disadvantage (-1) exactly 100 white people in order to advantage (+1) exactly 200 black people?

xhieron, (edited )
@xhieron@lemmy.world avatar

Can I? Probably. Will I? No. I’m also frankly a little offended that you’re willing to devolve into explicitly racist utility hypotheticals. If that’s the tool upon which you need to depend for your argument, I don’t think there’s anything further to discuss. If you want to debate how many black people are worth one white person, you can have that conversation with someone else. Happy MLK Day.


You thought that was a racist hypothetical? That says a lot. That question was, literally, “Do you think it’s good if I can increase all of humanity’s benefit by +100?” The answer is yes, unless you hate people, or unless you care a lot about race.


If a white person is disadvantaged in a program or process because they’re white, that’s a problem

Boo hoo. They still have so many more advantages.

I think the racist intent is obvious.

@xhieron@lemmy.world avatar

Maybe someone else will tell you. I’ve said my part.

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