The ugly side of wonderful

Michael Forstadt (forstadt@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Sat, 22 Oct 1994 20:06:16 -0400

Golden writes:

}Racism is a form of oppression, which means that it is that is
}structural. That is, it is a set of beliefs and practices **backed
}up by societal institutions.** Given that,Sherwin's message isn't
}racism. This "reverse discrimination" thing really gets under my skin,
}not only because it's off-base, but because it demonstrates a total
}lack of understanding of what oppression is

Although this portion of M. Golden's sermon has been reposted numerous
times, I feel very strongly that this sort of pathetic wriggling needs a
further (brief) response. By now, most of us do not need to participate
in delicate semantic arguments concerning the relative merits of
Rushton's and Sherwin's similar (though opposing) contributions. I
suspect that a red flag went up for most of us the moment we saw their
first postings. Golden's agenda is less immediately obvious, but it may
or may not be as ugly as that of Sherwin and Rushton. Although I feel
that there is a difference between simple racism and structural racism, I
don't understand the need to defend the practitioner of one form of
racism over the practitioner of another form. I see two possible
explanatory scenarios:

1) M. Golden feels the patronizing need to defend the members of the
group to which Sherwin belongs, presumably because she feels that they
cannot defend themselves. or,

2) M. Golden shares the general worldview of Sherwin.

While I hope that neither scenario fits the reality, I fear that it is so.
M. S. Forstadt
H. University