"The 13th article of faith: a recipe for dating success. The ladies seek after these things *kisses biceps *" -Foreman
Question #90078 posted on 07/19/2017 1:38 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

As Auto Surf said in a recent answer:

...perhaps, if the "white" population continues to dwindle, then maybe we'll stop being afraid of things that are different. Or better yet realize we're not that different.
Is the implication that "white" populations are the cause of contention in the world, and that less of them would mean more unity? Would this worldview not be contradicted by the obvious conflicts in Africa between tribes of identical skin color and similar heritage? Or of any other two groups throughout all of the history of the world that have had conflict or warfare despite their similarities? Why are "white" populations blamed for the world's ills, when conflicts occur without them the world over? And if "white" populations, as Auto Surf says later in her answer are responsible for much of how the modern world has developed, wouldn't the decline of the "white" population be an unfortunate loss rather than something to be celebrated as something that's about "dang time"?

And further, if a Board Writer wrote about a hypothetical dwindling of black populations, would the editors let an answer though that said it was "dang time" that their numbers were shrinking? I think it wouldn't.

--Rationalist

A:

Dear you,

Auto is white and was speaking to a reader who specifically mentioned he was white. It makes sense for her to address issues white people have caused, instead of talking about cultures that have nothing to do with herself or the audience.

Currently, I'm pretty sure all of our writers are white, so I doubt the Editors would let a writer say it was "about dang time" for the black population to dwindle. This is because white people saying they think there should be fewer black people has a very long history of racism and violence attached to it, whereas white people making a somewhat flippant critique of white people doesn't have the same history. If we had a black writer talking to a black reader, maybe the Editors would let a comment like that through, if the black writer were inclined to make such a comment in the first place. It's kind of like how Chris Rock can criticize the black community and he's a comedian, but when Michael Scott does a Chris Rock impression, he just comes across as a racist.

Obviously, violence and conflict can occur because of any race, and for reasons completely unconnected to the race or ethnicity of the group perpetuating violence. However, I do think it's fair to say that white people have had a disproportionate impact on violence throughout the world in the last 500 years or so.

This map shows every country that Britain has ever invaded - and that's just one European country! Most of the countries outside of Europe are countries that Britain colonized at some point or other. Many of these countries were also colonized by France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, etc.

britain.jpg

When colonialism happened, the main goal was typically to extract as many natural resources as cheaply as possible, without much regard to the well-being of the original inhabitants of the land, who were typically regarded as subhuman, or at least less human than the white colonizers. I'm not going to get into a history of colonialism here, but in every country that was colonized by Europe, you can still see lasting negative effects today.

Yes, white people also made a lot of scientific and technological progress, and disseminated that throughout the world. However, I've talked to the native inhabitants of colonized lands across multiple continents, and most of them are of the opinion that the net effect of colonialism in their country was negative, not positive. This makes sense to me; there's no particular reason that white people couldn't have traded their technology for natural resources in a fair, equitable way that respected the other nation's equal humanity and sovereign rights. But they didn't, and it's caused a ton of problems.

That's not to say that anyone who's white today is responsible for the sins of their fathers. However, if you're white, you have been born into a society where you have tons of advantages as a result of this history. Because of this, it is our responsibility to own up to that, and to try to avoid perpetuating the problems our ancestors have caused. Most of us do a poor job of this.

-Zedability

A:

Dear Rationalist,

You ask if the implication of Auto's statement is that white people are the cause for all world contention, and less white people equates to more world unity. The answer to that question is no. Let's look at the rest of Auto's response to back this up. First, does she ever say white people are intrinsically bad? No. In fact, she explicitly states she never meant to express any anti-white sentiment. Blaming one race for all the world's ails coupled with saying eliminating that race promotes world unity is pretty anti-whatever race that happens to be, so you can rest assured that was not her intent.

Now, to get to the real implications of that statement, let's look at context. This is because taking quotes out of context and then saying what they must mean is a logical fallacy. Earlier in the answer, Auto was saying she believes that when people don't just "exist at a default level" are forced to become better, while conversely, comfort leads to complacency, i.e. not becoming better. She then goes on to say that white people as a race have been able to be comfortable since the construction of hierarchies of race. Her next point is found in the quote you selected. Hmmm... let's analyze these statements carefully: being forced out of a comfort zone promotes growth, while always remaining comfortable engenders complacency, or stagnation. Thus if the white race doesn't wish to be complacent, they need to be forced out of the comfort zone, which would be achieved by dwindling. This same principle would apply to any race that had never been forced outside their comfort zone. However, the only race that fits that criteria is white, thus Auto's comments are directed towards white people.

When Auto says that if white people continue to dwindle, we'll hopefully realize we're not that different, the implication is that, really, none of the races are that different from each other. White, black, brown--we all belong to the human race. Perhaps being at the top has prevented white people from having as clear a view of that fundamental truth, and if we get more experience on other sides of the spectrum, we'll begin to realize that race never mattered after all.

Finally, if you think that getting rid of the white race would hamper world developments, you're completely missing Auto's point: each race is just as capable of spurring developments as any other. This is because different races aren't actually different; we're all people.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Rationalist,

I can't pretend to be very knowledgeable about racial relations, but dating a man of a different race has given me a very different perspective on racial issues.

Auto wasn't suggesting that white people are the source of all the world's problems, but she was right to suggest that fear and ignorance play a role in a huge proportion of conflicts, especially racially based conflicts. So any social trends that would eliminate such things ought to be cause for celebration, and that includes interracial marriages.

My family is just about as white as you can possibly be, genetically speaking, and I grew up in an area that isn't particularly diverse. My knowledge of cultures besides white Mormonism was extremely lacking until I moved to a place where many different cultures collide, and that was an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. Getting to know people of other races, cultures, and religions has made me a better person, and would make everyone a better person. Therefore yes, it is "about dang time" that people stop clinging to cultural familiarity and learn to embrace people that are different, including in marriage.

Love,

Luciana