Lynda Callicotte (
5 Feb 1995 13:29:34 GMT (Bearcat) wrote:

> - Racism abounds in this country (and elsewhere, but I live
> in the US).
> - It has caused enormous damage to countless innocent human
> beings.

I'm aware of these facts; however, I don't think that preaching
right speech and behavior helps matters, it simply hides
undercurrents of unresolved hatred. Consider the case of
Yugoslavia, which was held up at one time as a success story in
ending inter-ethnic strife. Indeed, a professor of mine who grew
up there told me that the one good thing that his government
did was to promote a degree of ethnic harmony that the U.S.,
for all its other successes, had failed to approach. Well,
we know what happened. A far greater problem, in my mind,
than the crude behavior of many individuals, is the ghettoization
of vast numbers of people, who have been effectively cut off
by their poverty from the rest of society, and to a great extent
even from the protection of law enforcement. Many American
blacks have escaped this hellhole, and I don't think that *they*
need much more help than many other economically successful
minorities. It is the people trapped into the underclass that
need help, regardless of their ethnicity. The fact that a large
proportion of them happen to be black (which fact is due to many
historical factors, among them past racism) I think does much more
to fuel distrust and hostility between groups (and not just between
"whites" and "blacks") than do even the worst racial slurs
whoever utters them. Slurs are more a symptom of an
underlying disease, than its cause. End of lecture.

> - The Bell Curve is a glaring example of the most despicable,
> psuedoscience: eugenics. It's sole purpose is to encourage
> people in their intrinsically racist inclinations.

I do not believe that the authors are eugenicists. I have
met eugenicists, even eugenicists who do not realize that
that is what they are. For example, one social worker whom I've
known for many years told me that she believed that girls from
the ghetto should have that five-year contraceptive implanted
into their arms, on account of their promiscuity. The book
does not seem to suggest such horrifying solutions.

> When you make statements that can be construed as support
> for racist agendas, you set yourself up to be attacked by
> the many people who have observed the effects of racism down
> through history (eg, the Holocaust) and take these issues
> very seriously.

I believe in open debate. I don't fear the consequences of
open debate; I do fear the consequences of thinking that we
are solving problems when we are just sweeping them under the
rug. I think that labelling people "racist" because they
suggest approaches which do not coincide with one's own ideology,
whatever that may be, is foolish.