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Old 02-01-2022, 11:22 AM   #23391 (permalink)
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In fairness to Whoopi, it wasn't like she was saying the Holocaust never happened. In fact she called it absolute evil. I think she missed the point that the Jews consider themselves to be a race; that's where she really messed up.
She missed the point that the Nazis considered Jews a race.

Race essentialism means you regard racial categories as set in stone and immutable, as opposed to constituted historically by different forces, according to a different ideological matrices, reflecting and creating different divides between groups of people, informed by different bodies of knowledge and traditions etc. According to late 19th century race science, Jews were a biologically (zoologically, even) distinct race. The Slavs were another distinct race, inferior in their own way. The French were seen as a motley racial hodgepodge etc etc. Hence, the American discursive category of "white people" is worse than useless when you're trying to understand European history of that era.

Having said that, I think I ought to be more patients with our American brethren on this forum. It's their world we're all living in after all!
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Old 02-01-2022, 11:41 AM   #23392 (permalink)
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Yeah but that still doesn't make sense. You provided no substantive critique of how American discourse is particularly race essentialist, how we are becoming more essentialist, and Whoopi Goldberg's comments relate to that. You just sort of implied that America dumb and blurted out some smart sounding jargon to make a dumb American being dumb mean more than just America dumb. As far as I can tell all this story illustrates is that Whoopi Goldberg has a bargain basement understanding of racial history.
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There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:19 PM   #23393 (permalink)
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Let me try to dot the i's. Saying that the Holocaust wasn't about race because it was between white people reveals an understanding of race defined by a division of people into whites and non-whites. That this division is the basis for a lot of the US discourse on race seems too obvious to require any further discussion. When applied to realities that have nothing to do with the US, it produces monstrous distortions. We've all seen this discourse aggressively proliferate over the years in the academe as well as outside, taking over histories that have nothing to do with American obsessions; but her statement was probably the most blunt and egregious I've seen in a while, despite a general crescendo in the volume of bs in the era of social media.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:45 PM   #23394 (permalink)
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Well thanks! That's certainly more clear. (:
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Old 02-01-2022, 03:08 PM   #23395 (permalink)
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Scientific racism is absolutely not simply an American thing, even if it did take hold especially deeply here for obvious reasons, but do you think Whoopi's ignorance of it means phrenology will make a come back? Stop gesturing at your point and actually make it.
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Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 02-01-2022, 03:22 PM   #23396 (permalink)
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Scientific racism is absolutely not simply an American thing, even if it did take hold especially deeply here for obvious reasons, but do you think Whoopi's ignorance of it means phrenology will make a come back? Stop gesturing at your point and actually make it.
My point, repeatedly stated, is that the US race discourse of the 2020s offers a worse than useless grid of intelligibility for Nazism.

I don't even want to know the chain of inferences that led you to assume I somehow implied that scientific racism was "simply an American thing."
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Old 02-01-2022, 03:42 PM   #23397 (permalink)
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My point, repeatedly stated, is that the US race discourse of the 2020s offers a worse than useless grid of intelligibility for Nazism.

I don't even want to know the chain of inferences that led you to assume I somehow implied that scientific racism was "simply an American thing."
You did not repeatedly state that. You said that US race discourse was essentialist and then posted an example of someone simply not understanding the Nazis' views on race, which doesn't even sound like essentialism unless you see something I don't. Your point is incoherent and weird.
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Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 02-01-2022, 04:03 PM   #23398 (permalink)
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You did not repeatedly state that. You said that US race discourse was essentialist and then posted an example of someone simply not understanding the Nazis' views on race, which doesn't even sound like essentialism unless you see something I don't. Your point is incoherent and weird.
The point that the US race discourse is noted for imposing rigid, reified, essentialist categories on the wider world - and that WG's statement is a prime example of just that - is not remotely controversial for anyone NOT swimming in the cesspit of activist talk regurgitated on podcasts and gaming streams by some of the least intelligent people in America.

Everything I say should be incoherent and weird to you. Had there been a frictionless understanding between us, notwithstanding differences in background and education levels, then... it would be an illusion promoted by me because I want to have sex with you. That would've been the only explanation.
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Old 02-01-2022, 04:08 PM   #23399 (permalink)
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Ethnicity is real, race isn't real so it's whatever racists decide it is.

At least in America discrimination against the Irish, the Italians, the Slavs and other ethnic groups we now identify as white ceased because in order to keep black people and other minority groups in the margins we had to make sure white people remained the majority so we made whiteness more inclusive. Jews have always been an outlier, in modern times they have become somewhat accepted by the mainstream as white but enough people continue to see them as outsiders, they exist in this grey area and it's part of what makes them such a popular scapegoat for extremists and conspiracy whackjobs of all kinds.

If Neo-Nazis got their precious white ethnostate there would immediately be a civil war over who is really white, whiteness is something that was simply made up to exclude others and when people's identity hinge entirely on excluding others they will move the goalposts so they can keep doing that.
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Old 02-01-2022, 05:04 PM   #23400 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jadis View Post
The point that the US race discourse is noted for imposing rigid, reified, essentialist categories on the wider world - and that WG's statement is a prime example of just that - is not remotely controversial for anyone NOT swimming in the cesspit of activist talk regurgitated on podcasts and gaming streams by some of the least intelligent people in America.
Argumentum ad populism or appeal to authority depending on whomever you're appealing to. Maybe make an actual argument and you won't need to bloviate about how clearly correct you are for "reasons".

I mean you talk about essentialism and then show someone not essentialising race. Maybe explain why saying Jews are white people is essentialising? Saying that Jews are inherently greedy or black people are inherently criminal or Asians are inherently good at math is essentialising.

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Everything I say should be incoherent and weird to you. Had there been a frictionless understanding between us, notwithstanding differences in background and education levels, then... it would be an illusion promoted by me because I want to have sex with you. That would've been the only explanation.
Perhaps cohere an actual argument and there would be less friction. I mean do you go through academia vaguely gesturing at a point until someone assumes what you mean so that you can disagree with THEIR point?
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Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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