Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Racism got on me. :(

I was reading a sort of racist article online about Leonard Jeffries and one of the ideas described as bigotry was his theory of sun people (from Africa) and ice people (from europe). I thought the article was being too critical of Jeffries so I googled "sun people africa ice people europe" to find out who thought that was wrong and who thought it was reasonable and why, but instead I found the racistest website I have ever seen, excluding forums. It was so racist. It made me angry. It was sooooo racist. It had an article, about ethics and where ethics come from and stages of ethics, used to show white people are the best, and black people are the worst.

And I kind of felt like it was making me racist, because even though I thought it was wrong, I was not telling the author that, I did not want to talk on facebook to my friends about it because I did not want them to be upset, and I did not even make a blog about it because it was so obviously wrong, so I was not actively disagreeing with it in any way. Parts of it got filed into my brain as facts ("did you know that average IQ is 95*? I didn't, because I thought 100 was developed as the average.")

So, after reading one or two articles on the site I did the implicit.harvard test- they are pretty neat, basic tests of your preference between 2 categories, like fat and thin, or in this case I did the black and white. It would definitely be totally possible to skew results, it is not like reading your brain to see if you are racist; you just press keys to sort: good/bad, black/white, good&white/bad&black, good&black/bad&white. But in this case I did not deliberately skew my result. It showed "a moderate automatic preference to European American compared to African American." Alright. I want to defensively consider that not a real baseline because I already read an article. I might not be racist! Or okay, it might be close enough to a real baseline. Something to work on. Anyway, then I read like 6 more articles (kind of, I scrolled past a lot of parts incredulously but I also reread a lot of parts to see if there was a disclaimer like "i am totally lying", like one part said that no one knew slavery was wrong until white people taught them it was wrong.) So I read this racist stuff, by a white guy, and I kind of thought it was making me racister because reading is a passive activity but I also thought it was making me horrified with white people because it had a white author so I thought it might change my score in either direction. And it changed my score in the direction of being racist.

So, the guy who wrote those articles got closer to his weird goal by me reading them. There's a bit more net racism in the world. I don't know what to do, but I am starting with not linking to the articles in this post, and I guess I will google for "how to stop being racist."

*actually the article said 95 as the average for white people, with lower numbers for black and hispanic people, but my brain rejected that part and stored the first part. Thanks, brain. Racism

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