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Zandrick t1_j9ifdl1 wrote

I agree entirely, you should recognize it as a symptom rather than a root cause, that’s actually my point.


ASpaceOstrich t1_j9ijkg8 wrote

That's what people who are discussing systemic racism and sexism are doing. Sure there'll be the obnoxious twitter types who just learnt a new buzzword to justify their own bigotry, but anyone who's opinion actually matters is referring to symptoms not a cause.

Don't let the twitter people drive you away from the actual progressive values. I did for way too long, but fuck those people. I'm not letting them dictate how I think any more.

Being aware of the systemic issues is a big deal because it let's you start thinking about useful changes. How can we solve the root cause? Can we even? Failing that, how can we patch the symptoms up, which in the long term may very well be the most practical way to solve the root cause?

We can't go back and undo racism, but we can attempt to negate its symptoms for long enough that it's no longer leaving scars behind. That's the point behind things like affirmative action.

Or in the case of the road salting example in the OP. They look at practices that people would just assume are put in place for the right reasons and discover that, due to prejudice at the time they were implemented, they aren't actually ideal. On a gut level "road salting practices were sexist" sounds absurd but then when you look at data and the goals and values of society when those practices were implemented suddenly it makes sense. Imagine if they were only salting roads in white neighbourhoods? That's the sort of issue the study has found.


Zandrick t1_j9ilygi wrote

If a person can come away from a discussion with a statement “the way they salt the roads is sexist”. The discussion was a waste of time, because that statement is foolish.

Never get so high minded that you need to re-explain a simple statement with five paragraphs and a thesis statement in order to make that statement make sense. Just make the original statement make sense. The way they salt the roads is not sexist, that’s absurd.

“We should salt the roads differently because the way we do it now is not optimal.” Easy, truthful, means the same thing without accidentally calling into question anyone’s moral character.