May 23, 2011

American exceptionalism "is infused with racialized hierarchies — normative whiteness and masculinity still marking the 'worthiest' inheritors of the American dream."

Writes lawprof Patricia J. Williams, in a collection of essays in the NYT responding to a new study indicating that white people think discrimination against white people is more of a problem than discrimination against black people.
Through much of American history, blacks have been viewed as low on the competence index (negative feelings), but warm enough to be pitied (which is usually felt not as a negative but a protective, “pro-black” fuzzy emotion). As blacks have made greater symbolic strides in the last few decades, that ranking seems to have shifted: there is envy, suspicion, resentment — despite numbers, despite empirical documentation to the contrary — that blacks are “taking over” as the recipients not of due process but of undue “favoritism.”

This projected fear is a danger to the nation.
ADDED: Williams is applying this template:
1. Those stereotyped as high competence and high warmth are met with pride and admiration (like most white people).
2. Groups who rank as high warmth and low competence are treated with pity, sympathy, paternalism (like the elderly).
3. Those stereotyped as high competence and low warmth are met with envy (like Jews and Asians).
4. Those perceived as low competence and low warmth are greeted with contempt, anger and resentment (like the homeless).
You've got to admit that's provocative. Think deeply about it before you comment.

292 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 292 of 292
Hoosier Daddy said...

For some folks it will always be Selma, 1965.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No Cook, we are light years better than others now or in the past. The day you recognize humans as imperfect beings you might understand.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For some folks it will always be Selma, 1965.

And for others it will always be 1968, the summer of love and hippies.

Sadly......Some of us never grow up.

gary said...

"As blacks have made greater symbolic strides in the last few decades...

What are these "symbolic strides"?
A rhetorical device to avoid addressing whether the author believes real and verifiable strides have been made?

A way to bail out of calling folks racist by saying "Oh, they only react this way to symbolic/perceived/non-existent strides, but they react appropriately to the genuine strides?"

A way to conceal the author's belief that no objective strides have been made?

Sloppy thinking/writing?

Pogo said...

In lieu of actual exercise, I have been taking symbolic strides these past few months.

One evening, I symbolically ran 20 miles in under an hour.

My best time so far.

Milwaukee said...


chickenlittle has left a new comment on the post "American exceptionalism "is infused with racialize...":

African Americans make up some 20% of the Federal work force. link.

I think Williams has some 'splainin' to do if she wants to be taken seriously regarding job discrimination.


Didn't that Sheryl Shirod person recommend government work because 'they never fire anybody'? Is she an example of a racist? Or was the point that all the NAACP in attendance understood her racist behavior against a White Man.

ricpic said...

One stereotype is the Jewish comedian. Is that profession associated with lacking in warmth?

Henny Youngman: Take my wife. Please.

What a cold bastard.

E.M. Davis said...

Milwaukee must be new here to waste so many pixels on Mr. Cook.

ricpic said...

I tried to eat symbolic meals in order to lose weight. Lasted one day.

Chip S. said...

OK, prof, I've thought deeply about this, and I've found so much total bullshit in Williams's piece that I can only hit a couple of highlights here.

She wrote: data show that white Americans remain the most privileged human beings on the planet.

I couldn't find any international data on "privilege," and Prof. Williams didn't cite her source. But in terms of material well-being, you'd have to go to Lichtenstein, where GDP per capita is about three times that of the US, to find the world's foremost enclave of privilege. The US also trails Luxembourg, Norway, Bermuda, and that bastion of white privilege, Singapore, in terms of per-capita GDP. Hell, whites aren't even the highest income earning race inside the US--in 2008 they earned 94% as much as Asians, according to Census figures.

Prof. Williams's summary of Susan Fiske's (et al.) "template" is a gross mischaracterization. Either she fundamentally doesn't understand it or she's being utterly dishonest in summarizing it. For one thing, Fiske's "template" says nothing about "prejudice," subtle or otherwise. It simply shows that certain socioeconomic categories tend to cluster in terms of perceptions by outsiders of their "warmth" and "competence." I don't find it particularly prejudiced to believe, for example, that the"rich" are highly competent. Yet that is the sort of finding Fiske reports.

Also, Jews and Asians are not viewed as "low-warmth" groups. They rank right in the middle of the scatterplot in terms of "warmth." It just happens that they rate very highly in terms of "competence," which again illustrates pretty clearly the difference between stereotyping, which Fiske studied, and prejudice, which has nothing per se to do with Fiske's study.

Priscilla Williams has penned a screed, not an essay. It's as short on logic and facts as it is long on emotion. If she's truly brilliant, perhaps she should up her game.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Crack Emcee said... "'The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant.' But still trapped in a dated mindset. "

I didn't say she wasn't. I didn't present myself as agreeing with her. I thought it was good material for discussion, and I didn't want people taking cheap shots.

Palladian said...

"I thought it was good material for discussion, and I didn't want people taking cheap shots."

...like the author did.

Bruce Hayden said...

I believe big tits are a part of American exceptionalism.

The problem there is that American women, apparently, do not have, on average, the largest breasts. Maybe it is because our white gene pool has been diluted by so many other races. At least if you go by bra sizes, apparently British women have huge breasts. Which is somewhat surprising as French women right across the channel tend to be much smaller chested.

I don't think that the study that I was reading controlled by body weight, BMI, etc., or likely even by whether the majority of the breasts were natural or man made.

I do find it interesting though that Titus, an ostensibly gay male, can talk about this subject, and those of us who are not gay, most often feel somewhat constrained to do so, despite probably spending more of our lives reviewing and appreciating women's attributes than he does.

JAL said...

@ EM Davis 10:25 AM

And here I always thought American exceptionalism was due to the architecture of our freedom.

Yeah. That.

I am really annoyed when supposedly well educated super smart people who have waaaayy more edjucation than I mischaracterize American exceptionalism.

Maybe it's because they only see through their astigmatic lenses.

There might be something to think deeply and both reflexively about it, but from the get go all I can see if some one who has been to the Right Schools and fails the test.

So why bother to read it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... If she's truly brilliant, perhaps she should up her game...."

Brilliant doesn't mean what it used to. Take President Teutonic Shift for example.

madAsHell said...

Professor,

Did you find any deep thinkers here??

I'm sure we never fail to disappoint!

Michael said...

This article was much needed thirty years ago. Now not so much. Hopefully this does not pass as deep thinking on anyone's part, especially a woman who is said to be brilliant. I think she is a lap or two behind what is happening in the real world where fewer and fewer people think this way and more and more people are resigned to dealing with incompetent peoples of color on the government end of many transactions. Blacks who are with it have long known this and have hustled over to the real world to get ahead using their brains and skills and not so much their skin.

Chip S. said...

I have to say, as malapropisms go, "Teutonic shift" isn't a bad way to describe an increase in anti-Israel sentiment.

No offense intended to any of the many fine, upstanding members of the Teutonic-American community.

Shouting Thomas said...

Cookie, you're an awful little monster.

I think you must know it, too.

Lionheart said...

Althouse shoots: Throws some lefty gibberish on the website.

Althouse scores: 200+ comments. She raises her arms and trots around the sofa making that fake crowd noise sound.

Milwaukee said...

Lionhart: too funny.

JAL said...

Make that "not reflexively" about ...

ricpic said...

Titus's fascination with tits is on a par with his fellow Republicans shtick. Fooling all those gross bitter clinging breeders by fooling with them. Such a brilliant child it is.

J said...

You like Klansmen, crack?

I doubt yr homies would approve of you hanging out with dixie trash.

THere's no racism. I have dissed Joey Kissinger, and the ...baptist sorts of hicks, ie AA regs who say sh*t like "thank whitey for your freedom" (from one of the AA yokels in this comment-belch session).

Reason tends to frighten zealots of the right..and left.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

I didn't present myself as agreeing with her.

O.K., now I'm confused. How can someone advance a completely bullshit argument and still be considered "brilliant"? I see the same thing with Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama - they spout crap and people line up for autographs.

I sincerely don't understand how that happens.

Scott M said...

they spout crap and people line up for autographs

It worked for Carrot Top (pre-massive guns obviously).

Chip S. said...

I think I've figured it out.

1. Call the author of a piece of sheer crap "brilliant," thereby getting your readers fixated on that word.

2. Readers start thinking about illumination, which makes them remember to stock up on light bulbs, which gets them to click through to Amazon via Althouse.

3. Profit!

Shouting Thomas said...

You like Klansmen, crack?

J, as usual you've got your dick in one hand and the crack pipe in the other.

Not much to do in your neck of the woods but beat off and get stoned, right?

Does pussy do anything for you, or do you only come while insulting?

Or, has the crack completely killed your dick?

ricpic said...

Reason tends to frighten zealots of the right...and left.

So say something reasonable, J. Surprise us.

J said...

Williams' essay is not as much bullshit as you think it is, Chippie. There may be some generalizations--and questionable inferences (ie, about what white people think), but by and large the wealthy of the world are caucasian. There's ample data/evidence to confirm that. You don't sound any different than the other Republo-Gumps at the A-house bait shop

chickenlittle said...

How can someone advance a completely bullshit argument and still be considered "brilliant"?

Maybe Althouse wrote Williams a glowing recommendation and she (Althouse) is just hoping that Williams lives up to it.

Scott M said...

but by and large the wealthy of the world are caucasian.

Hysterical given that American poor live better than locally-considered wealthy in great swathes of the world. Equally hysterical, if in a different way, if you look at the size of the data set she used.

J said...

3:15 You going to shut yr byatch mouth soon, Shouting GUmpster


Boot 'em Annie. It's your duty! I'll give you the list of the loudest Gumps. Starting with Shouting T, Edu, Hoosier D, JAL, pogo, Maguro, Alex, Lynch, and Crack, their Uncle Tom . And a few others.

Hasta la buh bye, Gumpsters

The Crack Emcee said...

J,

You like Klansmen, crack?

Introduce me to one, let's see how we get on, and I'll let you know. I've made friends in some pretty strange places, with people that would probably blow your (extremely-limited) mind.

I doubt yr homies would approve of you hanging out with dixie trash.

Well, thank goodness they don't run my life, huh?

THere's no racism. I have dissed Joey Kissinger, and the ...baptist sorts of hicks, ie AA regs who say sh*t like "thank whitey for your freedom" (from one of the AA yokels in this comment-belch session).

I do thank white racists - for keeping this place so pristine for us. I also thank whites who don't treat me special, whether it's in my favor or against me, and all of those who have chosen to be my friend because they think I'm a decent guy with values they can count on. (A white guy just told me yesterday, in person, "you're a really great guy - and don't let anyone tell you different.") I like any white person who is decent to me, and willing to extend themselves for me, as I am them, because we're Americans in this together. That's how I roll, and any of my black friends who don't get that will not be my friends for long.

Reason tends to frighten zealots of the right..and left.

Then look in the mirror and be very afraid.

Shouting Thomas said...

Time to bait our resident crackhead, J, into the usual foaming at the mouth diatribes, right?

He's always good for a few laughs at the end of the comments.

Do your wanker routine, J!

Seeing Red said...

We are not history's good guys, just the latest (and not last) among societies that have arisen to dominate their place and era, and our time of dominance will end.



Who r we being compared to?


Actually no, India will continue English dominance.

Anglosphere rules.

ricpic said...

A wealthy white is an evil white, right J? you horrible marxist scum.

J said...

Time to clean out the....Gumphouse!

GOLDANGIT

J said...

3:26. No, riccy. Yr typical bogus inference. IM opposed to naive ..."entitlement". Nonetheless, the USA is controlled mainly by WASPs (not entirely, of course). Mitt Romneyoid's not exactly directing his political rants to hispanic people or blacks.

Shouting Thomas said...

One more time, J!

Take another toke on that crack pipe!

Diddle yourself!

Let loose with your best insults!!

J said...

3: 23. Upset about something like logic, you white trash bag of garbage? Hasta la buh bye, terrorist. Thats all you need to know Shouting Gump.

Crack--Believe me, most of the blowhard hicks at Ahouse.com would have the cops or klan or angels roll you at the drop of a dime, or dimebag.

J said...

3: 30. Buh bye perp. Already got yr IP noted, yr name, your rez. HAsta la buh bye, shouting insane bag of hick shit

Seeing Red said...

Nonetheless, the USA is controlled mainly by WASPs


Since whites are still around 78% if population, wouldn't they have more representation or control?

Shouting Thomas said...

3: 30. Buh bye perp. Already got yr IP noted, yr name, your rez. HAsta la buh bye, shouting insane bag of hick shit

Come on, J, you can do better than that!

Take a really big hit. Maybe another swig of the malt liquor. Come on, you can get a hard on! Keep trying!

Let it rip, J! Last chance! They're coming to take you away! Oh no!

DADvocate said...

A lot of fodder in Williams essay.

Through much of American history, blacks have been viewed as low on the competence index (negative feelings), but warm enough to be pitied (which is usually felt not as a negative but a protective, “pro-black” fuzzy emotion).

Is that the reason for the formation of the KKK and lynchings? Nothing like those warm fuzzy feelings.

Zero-sum formulations of prejudice tend to emerge in lean economic times, fueling cultural or historical rivalries of all sorts.

Has there been some outbreak of anti-black racism that I'm not aware of? What's her foundation for this statement? If it's the study, it's rather naive to believe that many people are so altruistic as to put the needs of others ahead of themselves and their families. Maybe people don't think anti-black bias is that great a problem. As has been noted already in these comments, there's definitely no anti-black bias in federal jobs.

I have a hunch that if the study had included questions about whether whites feel threatened by “reverse racism” among Asians, Latinos and immigrants, the results would be much the same. Those perceptions notwithstanding, data show that white Americans remain the most privileged human beings on the planet.

Williams decides to introduce her own bias regarding whites and how they think. And, just what does she mean by privileged?

Moreover, the downturn in all our fortunes has been relentlessly and poisonously exploited by certain segments of the media. The language of “us” versus “them” dominates far too much of our radio and television discourse.

More vague, unsubstantiated claims (straw man) to bolster her arguments.

...normative whiteness and masculinity still marking the “worthiest” inheritors of the American dream.

In my experience the message I hear the most is urging everyone to join in pursuing the American dream. But, that requires a lot of work. The left wants you to believe that some of us are "privileged" and it all falls into our laps.

Once again, here's a person whose racial biases are set "generations into the past." This is where the left has to go to find the ammo to fire at others. Recognizing where we're at now is out of the question.

Seeing Red said...

Has there been some outbreak of anti-black racism that I'm not aware of?

If you oppose the bamster you're racist?

Scott M said...

If you oppose the bamster you're racist?

Worked out well for Hillary, didn't it? Speaking...why is the party that supposedly neck-deep in egalitarianism also neck-deep in aristocratic mechanisms like "super delegates"?

J said...

bark away, Shouting Gump-Tard, dimwit. Soon the muzzle will be put on, and yll be back in your box.


Asking the bait-shop GOP (ie AA regs) to assess sociology-like writing such as Williams' essay is about like asking
Sarah Klondike her opinion on the latest data from the CERN supercollider.

Ann Althouse said...

Crack: "'I didn't present myself as agreeing with her.' O.K., now I'm confused. How can someone advance a completely bullshit argument and still be considered "brilliant"? I see the same thing with Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama - they spout crap and people line up for autographs."

It's the norm in academia. In fact the worst bullshit often comes from the smartest people. Don't you think Noam Chomsky is brilliant, for example? It takes brilliance to think of really different new things and present them so that people want to think about them... often to say why it's wrong.

What's the most brilliant idea that you ever heard that was also quite wrong? I've heard plenty!

The Crack Emcee said...

J,

Crack--Believe me, most of the blowhard hicks at Ahouse.com would have the cops or klan or angels roll you at the drop of a dime, or dimebag.

You lost me at "believe me".

Pogo said...

"Don't you think Noam Chomsky is brilliant, for example?"

I do not think brilliant is the word to describe elegant, voluminous, or tortuous reasoning that is completely wrong.

'Intellectual sophistry' is more accurate. Performance art by and for professors.

Scott M said...

What's the most brilliant idea that you ever heard that was also quite wrong? I've heard plenty!

Back in school, we got a couple of older alumni to pose as FBI/INS agents (fake ID and everything) who went to the apartment of one of our friends who was about to pop the question. They convinced her, with blurry photos and everything, that he was, in fact, an on Earth for an alien race that the government had known about for decades. They grilled her for about an hour and left without letting her in on it. We camcorded the whole thing and played it back at the next big party.

Brilliant...and quite wrong.

Scott M said...

Make that...one of our friends girlfriend's apartment. She was the jokee, not the friend. He was in on it.

chickenlittle said...

Performance art by and for professors.

Isn't that Althouse in a nutshell?

*claps*

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

It's the norm in academia.

O.K., now I've learned something.

In fact the worst bullshit often comes from the smartest people.

Like brilliance comes from people who never made it to college? Amazing.

Don't you think Noam Chomsky is brilliant, for example?

No. I find him embarrassing in that kind of peek-through-your-fingers way.

It takes brilliance to think of really different new things and present them so that people want to think about them... often to say why it's wrong.

If you say so - I run with a different crowd.

What's the most brilliant idea that you ever heard that was also quite wrong?

Oh, anything having to do with religion and/or spirituality. I get blown away at the matrix believers live with/under - which can explain anything they get wrong ("May 21st is the end of the world!") but not cause them to lose faith. It's the most complex example of ignorance I've ever seen. And it's willful.

Nothing in this world, to me, is wilder - or more wrong - than belief systems.

Pogo said...

One of my psychiatry teachers in med school seemed really smart until he told us "If you still have friends from grade school, something's very wrong. You have to move on." He bloviated for several minutes further on that, but I quit listening. Something about 'new friends at each stage of life' or some such.

What a dumb idea.
I had to discard everything else he'd told us, too.

Michael said...

J. Just over the ridge and down the 405 you can swing east and then hop off at Crenshaw blvd. Park and engage some of the locals in your racial theorizing. Call us when you get back.

Mickey said...

It's provocative only insofar as it's bizarre and false.

Right now the most competent person recognized at my work is a black female lesbian. We all agree. Everybody loves her. I'm a white straight male raised Catholic, but why would that stop me from recognizing someone who's good at what they do, and who could teach and help me be better at what I do?

Think deeply about that before you comment.

Jose_K said...

While she attacks the USA, see what a guinean has to say:
http://www.elmundo.es/america/2011/05/23/estados_unidos/1306173568.html

Fen said...

J: 3: 30. Buh bye perp. Already got yr IP noted, yr name, your rez.

J Loughner is making threats on the net. Time for Althouse to turn him over to FBI.

Jose_K said...

Don't you think Noam Chomsky is brilliant, for example
At pajamsmedia.com there is an article about him and his supposed merits

Oligonicella said...

Well, apparently no one else thinks this is a class room either.

Cedarford said...

Althouse - The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant. Feel free to disagree with her, but read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here.

I think her competency/warmth measurement template has some value, but with one big caveat. That is Prof Williams is locked 40 years in the past in evaluating groups by the perceptions of then, vs. now - even as she herself says white perceptions are changing.

The Asian perception is one of competence, but for other groups - the lack of warmth is mitigated by a wide perception of honesty. Asians don't predate on others.

The blacks are no longer the largest minority group and feelings of solicitude towards them on warmth or perceived downtroddeness(outside academia and government) have mitigated substantially due to 1. Affirmative action, eternal victimhood, and a belligerant sense of entitlement. 2. Underclass Black predation on whites and other ethnic groups. Throwing off 'attitude', arrogance, and confrontational behaviors in school, workplace and public.

White warmth perception is splitting between Red and Blue white perceptions, not to mention the progressive Jew/Euroleft narrative of whites as the privileged oppressor class of noble minorities..
1. Smug arrogant elitists selling America out to China who look down their noses at others (blue)
2. Angry ignorant yahoos clinging to their guns, religions, and dead American industrial base.

Hispanics get pluses in competency (they work hard! if not intellectual superstars that will join the WASP and Jew Blue Elites) and warmth. (save a bit of crime, but not like the inner city blacks).

Jews suffer the high competency, low warmth measure. Their status as downtrodden is disappating as war memories disappear and wealth and power is more evident. And when Jews try to show warmth towards others - it is warmth wrapped in pushiness, lawsuits to force warmth from others towards progressive Jewish causes.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Noam Chomsky is brilliant. That doesn't preclude his being wrong; in my experience, you can't be spectacularly wrong unless you're very smart.

(When I was at UC/Berkeley, Chomsky did the most elegant pwning I've ever heard of, though of course the word didn't exist then. He was booked for Zellerbach Auditorium, much the largest hall on campus, and the lecture sold out. Everyone seems to have been expecting some red meat about Kissinger, Cambodia, East Timor; what they actually got was a highly technical lecture on linguistics, and by the time most of the audience had figured this out, it was far too late to leave decorously.)

Shanna said...

Also, Jews and Asians are not viewed as "low-warmth" groups. They rank right in the middle of the scatterplot in terms of "warmth."

I'm a little weirded out by the idea that any racial group is thought of, on the whole, as "warm" or "cold". That's just such a mass generalization. Is there really some normal, accepted idea that blacks as a group are "warm" or asians as a group are "cold" and so on and so forth?

It is interesting to me as well that they singled out the white respondents for thinking racism against whites was worse than against blacks. I'm assuming the black respondents thought the same thing. To me, that just says that we as humans are all more apt to be self-absorbed, and rate our own problems higher.

Meade said...

From Wikipedia:

Most common ancestries in each U.S. state, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.
  German
  African American
  Mexican
  Italian
  American
  English
  Irish
  Japanese
  Puerto Rican

A large number of individuals (7.2% of the U.S. population) listed their ancestry as American on the 2000 census (see American ethnicity). According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of people in the U.S. who reported American and no other ancestry increased from 12.4 million in 1990 to 20.2 million in 2000. This increase represents the largest numerical growth of any ethnic group in the United States during the 1990s


It seems to me the sooner the ethnic category "American" gets to the top of that list, the better for all of us.

Cedarford said...

MarkG said...
To demonstrate brilliance, she can explain why Asian Indians are the most prosperous ethnic group, per capita, in the US.
=======================
15 years ago I heard it was Irish Catholics, according to some other liberal social scientist that were the most prosperous and powerful per capita ethnic group in the country.


I'll buy into that once I see evidence that Indian-Americans (like the Mick Papists) have 30 times their proprtion of the population as billionaires, 13 times their pop percentage as Senators, 33 times their population share as Supreme Court Justices, or make 50 times their population share to the DNC or activist front groups. Or 12 times their population share in businesses making over 5 million a year.

Of course, for the last so-called most prosperous group offcially claimed by social scientists of a liberal and Hebraic (perhaps) persuasion, it would be a mathematical impossibility for the larger Irish Catholic population to have achieved such measures of disproportionate wealth and power.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Cedarford,

I don't know where to begin with your last. Oh, yes I do: Just because the adjective is "predatory," it doesn't follow that the verb is "predate." Try "prey."

RuyDiaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip S. said...

I'm a little weirded out by the idea that any racial group is thought of, on the whole, as "warm" or "cold".

Contrary to what the quite brilliant Patricia Williams would have you believe, the respondents to the study in question seem share your opinion. There is very little apparent variation in the perceived "warmth" of any racial group in the actual data.

There doesn't seem to be a single empirical assertion in the entire NYT article that is factually correct. Patricia Williams's brilliance appears to lie entirely within the realm of fiction.

RuyDiaz said...

It is a sham. My problem is not so much with Williams, but with Susan Fiske, on whose work Williams bases her article.

Fiske uses a 2X2 matrix, which should be reason enough to expect shoddy work. But let us concentrate on one of the ranked groups:

3. Those stereotyped as high competence and low warmth are met with envy (like Jews and Asians).

Fiske has reasoning backward. Jews and Asians are envied first, then they are stereotyped. It is the envy that is the problem, not the stereotypes.

In addition, I find it odd she uses that work in a critique of American exceptionalism. As if those feelings were particular to Americans. If anything, we are one of the least envious peoples on earth.

Let's reduce our scope further, not to 'Jews and Asians', but to Asians alone. 'Asians' are a diverse bunch, not all of them worthy of envy. As luck would have it, Asians do a lot of envying themselves:

* Filipinos envy their Chinese minority; the Chinese are greedy, conniving, and kept to themselves. They make their fortunes on the back of the Filipino workers. Anti-Chinese violence is common.

* Malays envy and hate their Chinese minority, in the way Filipinos do. For decades, one of the most invasive affirmatie action systems on earth was designed to equalize things; the Chinese left in large numbers AND they still dominate the professions.

* Indonesia... roughly the same story as in Malaysia and the Philipines.

* Northern China... here it gets interesting: the Chinese envied the Korean minority.

* Ceylon/Sri Lanka: the Sinhalese majority envied the Tamil minority, and, once again, tried affirmative action to level the playing field.

I'll stop here, though the list goes on and on.

Susan Fiske does not know it, but she has made a startling discovery; relatively backward majorities tend to envy and resent minorities living among them. This has nothing to do with stereotypes, but with human nature at its near-worst.

Finally, back to Patricia Williams, and to our own Althouse: using common human failings to castigate America is not provocative, but ignorant and infantile. Even if it gets you published in the New York Times.

RuyDiaz said...

@ ChipS;

1) Do you have a link to the study.

If 'no' to '1';

2) Does the study have proper statistical analysis?

Cedarford said...

Shanna - The perception on "warmth" has bearing. Another way of putting it is do certain high competency groups that gain wealth and power well above the mean population they reside in use that for overall benefit of the society - or only unto themselves. Is it tribal - and the gain comes at others expense.

One such group is the Chinese. Who like a few other ethnic groups was perceived as greedy, rapacious, in it only for themselves, and prone to using every measure to get further gain. Hard work, drive to education - yes. But also manipulation, bribery, using clannishness to tilt the rules and keep all the gains within the "chinese community".

That led to the Chinese being booted out of communities, nations, or greatly restricted so they would not dominate industries, whole economic sectors, or control professions.

So Chinese in SE Asia are booted out or liquidated by locals (Vietnam, Indonesia) restricted by law on what percent of an industry is in Chinese ethnic hands or percent of university admits, professions.(Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines).

They were booted out in straighforward cleansing from many Brit post-colonial nations along with Indians, Pakis (Africa. S Pacific, Canada in the 1920s).

Prof Williams matrix is a useful one. The long-term tenancy of a high competency group that is thought to succeed at the cost of others is tenuous.

It historically holds true for Jews, pure Spanish kleptocratic oligarchies in Latin America, Lebanese, Chinese, snotty Brits. Recently, and amusingly, for the Palestinians - who were able to make it fairly well in host Arab countries and then tried grabbing too much wealth or power.
Ethnic Idians got in huge trouble on Fiji, when they got so powerful and arrogant they tried taking over control of the island - forgetting, they had focused so much on law, the gain of wealth, and politics as foundations for taking over Fiji they neglected the military and who utimately had power (it flows from the barrels of guns, as one famous Chinese once said).

It seems the competency-warmth scale Prof Williams has may just be a more useful metric than "they booted us out because of mental sickness, they just hate and envy their betters".

Chip S. said...

Ruy, If you have access to JSTOR, you can find what I'm citing here. It's meant to offer an overview of Fiske's research in the area. I couldn't find an accessible version of the main study, even on Fiske's own website.

As you've already surmised, the ridiculous two-way classification scheme means the whole thing is pretty weak. There's no indication that she's wondered about correlation among her variables. Also, not much description of the nature of the survey or how it was administered.

RuyDiaz said...

From Chip S;

I couldn't find any international data on "privilege," and Prof. Williams didn't cite her source.

Ah, yes, 'privilege'.

This is a gross error of logic on Williams' part. Being wealthier doesn't imply privilege. Japan is not privileged; there are almost no natural resources, land is scarce, and natural disasters are common. And yet the Japanese are among the wealthiest people on earth. The Japanese earned their wealth.

Chip S. said...

Ruy, Don't forget Botswana--the place is 70% desert and yet it's now one of the most prosperous nations in Africa. It does have diamond deposits, but plenty of countries have managed to perform badly despite such deposits.

RuyDiaz said...

Cedardford;

In the 19th century, Germans were hated across Eastern Europe due to their 'clannishness and selfishness'. In Germany, Jews were hated due to their 'clanishness and selfishness'.

So, Germans are victims in Germany and victimizers outside of Germany, right?


ChipS;

In the other direction--resource-rich countries that are not wealthy--think of all the oil-rich countries that still manage it to blow their unearned wealth. Venezuela, Iran, and Libya immediately come to mind.

Chip S. said...

Ruy, Yes, it's a striking phenomenon. The latest research I'm aware of lays the blame at the ability of autocrats to use nationalized resources to keep themselves in power. Sort of like Obamacare waivers, I suppose.

RuyDiaz said...

In the specific case of oil producing countries, they tend to do a number of destructive things:

1) White-elephant projects. (Saddam's oil-for-palaces, for example.)

2) Lack of investment, both in the oil industry and other industries. Since they have the oil, there is little incentive to curb corruption, or to let international investors set up shop in your country.

3) Subsidize things to keep people happy. In both Venezuela and Iran, for example, gasoline is very cheap. Young men that can afford a car, any car, love to drive all night as a form of entertainment.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The only way this could be considered brilliant is if the author was playing devil's advocate. If so, it was, but she'll never be able to admit it, because she'll be made an outcast by her "groups."

Chip S. said...

Ruy, I just noticed that my reply to your request for a link to Fiske disappeared. If you have access to JSTOR, you can find a version there, published in 2002. There's a very unhelpful summary on Fiske's web page.

I think you'll find that the article is as bad as you anticipated.

roesch-voltaire said...

I love this quote form one of the posters on Althouse along with the many others who have been abused by the rise of the blacks, suggesting number 4 describes a good number of folk- maybe she is on to something.:
Barack Obama is a token black president. Just like he was a token admit at Harvard. He should just enjoy his rides on Air Force One and hope he makes it to four years.

TMink said...

American exceptionalism is not about people, it is about the benefits of small government capitalism with freedom of expression and property ownership as the best way to govern. It is about our constitution.

Anyone who does not understand that is unable to comment upon it cogently. Otherwise, they are just an Emily Littela wannabe.

Trey

RuyDiaz said...

ChipS:

Thanks. I have access to JSTOR. Will try to read the article in the right frame of mind--looking for laughs, not for self-righteous anger.

Best;

Fernandinande said...

The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant. Feel free to disagree with her, but read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here.

There's nothing to understand if you're already familiar with the standard emissions from very privileged professional victims.

Hah - my "word verification" was "snerah", which sounds about right.

On the same subject, here's an article that isn't pure tripe:

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004socialconsequences.pdf

Paco Wové said...

"It's the norm in academia. In fact the worst bullshit often comes from the smartest people. Don't you think Noam Chomsky is brilliant, for example?"

This is how academia is shooting itself in its various metaphorical body parts with regards to the greater society it is embedded in. Is something good, or true, or useful? Who cares -- it's sooooo darned clever!! And transgressive!!

Ralph L said...

Those stereotyped as high competence and high warmth are met with pride and admiration (like most white people).
She's obviously never worked in retail.

Synova said...

"Maybe white people feel discriminated against because anti-white discrimination is both overt and legal, whereas anti-black discrimination is covert and illegal?"

This was my thought.

If I were to be polled I would conclude (after serious thought) that anti-white discrimination is more of a "problem" because it is promoted and approved of. It isn't recognized as an evil the way that discrimination against racial minorities is recognized as evil.

Which is more dangerous? The cancer you know about and are fighting or the cancer you've decided is good for you?

Cedarford said...

RuyDiaz said...
Cedardford;

In the 19th century, Germans were hated across Eastern Europe due to their 'clannishness and selfishness'. In Germany, Jews were hated due to their 'clanishness and selfishness'.

So, Germans are victims in Germany and victimizers outside of Germany, right?

======================

I thought the Germans put an end to that 19th Century hatred with the 3 major cultural outreach initiatives they had in 1870, 1914, and 1945 with other European nations..

Synova said...

Some of the short essay was interesting. People do become more exclusive when times are hard. But there are assumptions big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through.

The biggest, and undefined, is "American exceptionalism."

If I were to define it, or at least list the CAUSE of it, I'd say it's on the basis of meritocracy. That comes in a couple of flavors... free market capitalism and the religious notion of personal salvation that both promote individualism and individual industriousness and individual reward.

So how can it be "inherited" or "infused with...hierarchies?"

I never did go read it, but another brilliant person, Mark Steyn, wrote an essay claiming that the French-socialist maid-abuser heralded a new age of class based privilege. Some people are more equal than others. She is a maid. He is *important*.

Now, John Ringo might be hard for a liberal sort to get through, but his recent book "Hot Gate" is almost entirely an examination of cultural differences, expectations and values. (I'm betting the author did some time training foreign officers in the real world.) He takes the whole book, practically, to argue that Americans pride themselves on not having "class" and thus do not conceive of the notion that some particular task is *lowly*.

It's complicated and portrayed as complicated, but the big concept-reveal of the whole book is that the lowly enlisted person (Parker) and the richest man in the solar system (Taylor) belong to the same "clan" or "tribe" or "culture." It is one where merit is valued over birth. Period. Full stop.

Now, I imagine that Prof. Williams would have a time of it slogging through this book (or the ones preceding it) but done with an open mind, or at least an anthropological one, if one does not get hung up on the trappings, it would be an excellent starting place for the concept of "how do those people think."

American, North American, exceptionalism. Protestant, WASP - if you insist, rugged individualism, free markets, antagonistic to government and valued on MERIT.

In the book, the "coalition" forces are So.American upper-crust, born for better things, insulted by having to do what is essentially scut work, which if they do well reduces rather than increases their status. Is Ringo right about that?

I just know that he's right about the inverse, about what the primary characters value most. Status is increased by doing the unglamorous job accurately and well. And the richest guy in the solar system is rich BECAUSE the ONLY thing he cares about is merit, no matter where he finds it.

Synova said...

Oh, I should say that I sort of suspected that the South Americans in "Hot Gate" were stand ins, of a sort, with Arabs... because I've heard similar stories from military people about how impossible it is to get across the concept of NCO. But perhaps that is excessively common.

The NCO seems to be an almost uniquely American concept. Yes, yes, the British and others... but...

The concept of respecting an NCO, of seeing the NCO as a truly worthy ambition, fundamentally more important and worthy than the officers, when it comes right down to it... that is unique. Take away the officers and the military could fight effectively for some time. Take away the NCOs and it's instantly over.

If Prof. Williams wants to understand American exceptionalism she needs to understand that applying "hierarchies" and "inheritors" are contrary to that, not the definition of it. We are exceptional IN SPITE OF those things she assumes represent the American Dream.

Michael said...

Don't you think COrnell West is brilliant, for example?

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