Pigmentation Pigeonholes

Pigmentation Pigeonholes May 3, 2015

Skin and eye pigmentation

The quote is based on something I wrote in a comment discussing racism.

The photo comes from a website which quite bizarrely asks whether dark skin with blue eyes has a “natural explanation” or is due to genetic mutation!

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  • Do you have any evidence South Indians are discriminated against in America today any more than non-Balkan, non-Middle Eastern White people are?
    Edit: My comment four days ago was true when I wrote it.
    And I think it will be difficult, if not impossible, to move toward this future, as long as skin color remains able to predict many other features, such as political affiliation, with even moderate accuracy. Stereotypes are not always true for everyone, but they’re always based on something.

    • Horseman Bree

      BUT enabling stereotypes to dominate our whole political discussion is the way to destroy what is left of the idea of “society” as a mix of more than one “kind” of people. Once you allow details like the specific colour of skin or thechoice of clothing or the specific religious denomination to determine whether one is even allowed to take part in your society, there will be no USofA left – just a bunch of warring tribes.

      But the political imperative is the attempt to define voting blocs which alienate one group from another. The politicians, and their rich backers, are leading us to a broken-up (and therefore more controllable) union, or lack of it.

      It has been mentioned on other blogs that allowing some of these things to happen, or not, is still an individual’s choice. If you care at all, you should not just shrug and say “That’s the way it is”. That way, the bullies rule and we are back to feudalism, at best – armed thugs paid for by you “protecting” you from all those other bad guys.

      Oh, sorry, forgot. That’s Baltimore or Ferguson. Forget it. You’ve lost already. Enjoy there being no USofA!

    • Correlation is not causation. Skin color correlating with political affiliation could be because our voting is actually genetically determined, or it could be because there is racism in a society and one party has closer connections with racism’s representatives and institutions than another.

      I am not aware of any statistics related to how much South Indians are discriminated against. I do know that Sikhs from northern India have been subjected to attacks by people who don’t know enough about religion to know that they are not Muslims – not that they should be attacking Muslims. I doubt that most racists look at someone and say “You look like your ancestors are Tamil rather than Ethiopian, and so I won’t discriminate against you.”

      • “Correlation is not causation.”
        -Maybe so. But simply glancing at the Black percentage of an area’s population (in the U.S.) is a good indicator of poverty, economic devastation, and crime in that area, even if the area would be poor, economically devastated, and crime-ridden if it was 100% non-Balkan, non-Middle Eastern, non-Hispanic White.
        “Skin color correlating with political affiliation could be because our voting is actually genetically determined”
        -Perhaps, to some extent it is. Excluding this hypothesis from consideration by default would be a mistake.
        “it could be because there is racism in a society and one party has
        closer connections with racism’s representatives and institutions than
        another”
        -Since, as you pointed out in a previous post, on average, Blacks are much less likely to be upwardly mobile than Whites, it’s very likely mostly an issue of government transfers. The upwardly mobile are far more likely to worry about taxes than transfers. The amounts of racism in both parties are so insignificant, they are almost certainly non-issues in elections. The Democratic Party, for example, was more closely connected to racism’s representatives and institutions than the Republican in 1968, yet, U.S. Blacks voted overwhelmingly against Nixon. Even though he’d create affirmative action.

        • The fact that you have to exclude significant numbers of “whites” in order to get your statement to work is telling. I take it you have never lived in the Balkans, either?

          Your comments read like the views of someone who will make any argument or claim in order to deny the obvious and simple explanation to what we see in society today, namely that we are still living with the long-term impacts of the practices of slavery, segregation, and discrimination – and of course, in the latter case, there is no need to talk of the longer term, for reasons that are obvious.

          • “The fact that you have to exclude significant numbers of “whites” in order to get your statement to work is telling.”
            -No. I could exclude the qualification and the statement would work almost equally well.
            “I take it you have never lived in the Balkans, either?”
            -Yup. Never visited a Balkan country. I do know the countries there are much poorer than they should be (especially Serbia and Macedonia). Also, Greece has had no consistent track record of steady economic growth since the early 1970s.
            Your comments read like the views of someone who will make any argument or claim in order to deny the obvious and simple explanation to what we see in society today, namely, that inter-ethnic differences in the U.S. have hardly anything to do with the long-term impacts of the practices of slavery, segregation, and discrimination and are most likely mostly genetic. Again, experiments in self-government are very, very, very instructive!

            What would be the minimum amount of evidence needed to convince you of my above “obvious and simple explanation”? For me, it would be four to six large adoption studies which don’t show the Black-White IQ gap to be 100% visible by age 5, but, if they show it at all, show it to be a result of gradual immersion into “black culture” from outside the home, beginning at around ages 8-10 and being fully manifest at around ages 14-18.

            Also, a case of Black refugees as impressive as the case of Vietnamese ones. Or evidence that at least two high-performing groups of Black Americans (e.g., Nigerians and Kenyans) remain high-performing in the fourth generation and don’t descend into disproportionate crime and poverty by that generation.

            Also, what would the world look like if most of the Black-White IQ an criminality gap really was genetic?

          • Just replacing words in my comment isn’t an argument. You seem to think that your views are self-evident. And yet from the perspective of someone else who doesn’t take them for granted, they are not only NOT self-evident, it is not clear that they are defensible in any way, shape, or form.

          • “Just replacing words in my comment isn’t an argument.”
            Your comments read like the views of someone who will make any argument or claim in order to deny the obvious and simple explanation to what we see in society today, namely, that inter-ethnic differences in the U.S. have hardly anything to do with the long-term impacts of the practices of slavery, segregation, and discrimination an are most likely mostly genetic.
            For example:
            Number of James’s responses to my points on Black self-government: 0
            Number of James’s responses to my “minimum amount of evidence” points: 0
            Number of James’s responses to my final question above: 0
            Reasons James gave for ignoring my above points and saying “it is not clear that they are defensible in any way, shape, or form”: 0

            If this is how you argued with Godfrey, no wonder he became so disenchanted with you.

          • The problem is that there is no such thing as “black self-governance” in the abstract. Of you mean president Obama, then we are doing very well. But if you mean postcolonial situations, then it is not unique to blacks. There have been issues among the Irish and the Iraqis and the Israelis. It is noteworthy that the postcolonial success stories are places where the local populace was exterminates, incarcerated, or exiled by arriving Europeans. And so presumably the message is that they key to economic success is murder and theft. But that doesn’t make such acts right in any meaningful sense.

            Some of your claims are quite outlandish, and so it would be helpful if you would show some awareness of this and say, “believe it or not, I mean this and am not being at all facetious,” that would be helpful.

          • “The problem is that there is no such thing as “black self-governance” in the abstract.”
            -But there is in the concrete, as I repeatedly cited numerous specific examples of it.
            “Of you mean president Obama, then we are doing very well.”
            -No we are not. And not a lot of domestic policy can be attributed to Obama. In foreign policy, where Obama has the most control, he has been a worse disaster than George W. Bush.
            “There have been issues among the Irish and the Iraqis and the Israelis.”
            -Israel and Ireland are both first-world countries (unlike Russia or Barbados). Jews in the U.S. are very successful, and Irish about as much as Whites in general. Ireland, however, has superior economic policies to Israel, and Israel has a larger Arab population. Iraq has performed poorly partly due to poorly thought out Arab Socialist policies, partly due to genetics, partly due to Muslim culture in general.
            “It is noteworthy that the postcolonial success stories are places where
            the local populace was exterminates, incarcerated, or exiled by arriving
            Europeans.”
            -Well, there’s also Botswana (which still remains weak in many development and educational outcomes and relies heavily on diamond exports). And Lesotho (which suffers from similar development and greater institutional problems). Maybe Somaliland.
            “And so presumably the message is that they key to economic success is murder and theft.”
            -Which should tell you a lot about the success of Black self-government without White intervention.
            “Some of your claims are quite outlandish”
            -Which ones?

  • Robert Fisher

    If you were not already aware, James, I thought you might find this interesting. Blue eyes are an object of discrimination in Tékumel, M.A.R. Barker’s fictional world made famous by The Empire of the Petal Throne RPGs. In the first Tékumel novel, The Man of Gold, one character wears a veil to obscure her “deformity” of blue eyes.