AnacharsisIV t1_jebhhx0 wrote

>Are there seminars on the evils of economics? The evils of ethics? The evils of Business? (maybe at the risible Young Socialists Club, but nowhere else).

I mean, yeah? You basically described three 100 level philosophy classes. Do you think that the concepts of ethics, business or economics are in and of themselves unassailable or above critique?

>Setting aside that I doubt that any French speaking Canadians (including Quebecois, who are different from Acadians or Metis) identify as "Latino"...If Quebecois are in fact "Latino", there are a lot of people in Upstate New York and New England of Quebecois ancestry who should be getting "diversity points" or at least changing their census designation.

>And while we're at it...since I agree with you that "Hispanic" is an ethnolinguistic designation, why are there diversity points being added to a purely Gallego (pure European ancestry) person from Mexico, Argentina or Cuba? Turn on Univision and see- these people are not mestizo, Indio, or anything. They might be of a fairer complexion than a Greek/Latino such as yourself.

I don't understand your point here. New Yorkers of Quebecois or Acadian ancestry absolutely should self-identify as Latino if they want. I don't know if you're aware of this, but most government forms and other information based on them like college applications these days ask you your "race" and then "ethnicity", so it's a two part question. So you can tick something like "White, black, Asian, Native american, Pacific Islander" and then the next question is "Are ethnically Hispanic yes/no"? So that way you can have a white guy like Charlie Sheen or Cameron Diaz count as Hispanic, there's no problem with that and we've been doing it that way for decades.

> Why make a designation of "Latino" at all?

The designation of "Latino" was not made in the Americas nor by Americans. During the French Empire's conquest of Mexico, they created the concept of "Latinoamerica" as an attempt to gain allies among the former colonies of Spain and Portugal, a piece of propaganda that the colonial descendants of France, Spain and Portugal had a shared cultural heritage stretching back to ancient Rome to contrast them against the Anglo-Americans of Canada and the United States. It's all political, and it's all arbitrary, as referenced above.


AnacharsisIV t1_je7izcs wrote

>If race is a social construct as you say, then having a seminar on a racial construct ("whiteness") is absurd;

Economics is a social construct. Ethics are a social construct. Business is a social construct. If all of these justify seminars, then why shouldn't the construct of whiteness? How else shall it be deconstructed?

>having a woman of hispanic heritage (which in itself defies racial categorization, as Mark Texiera,A/Rod and Big Papa Ortiz are all "Latin")

In addition to being of Greek heritage I'm also of Hispanic heritage, so let me say it bluntly; "Hispanic" is not a race. It's an ethnolinguistic group. There are Hispanic people across the globe with ancestry from Europe, Africa, the Americas, East Asia, the Middle East, and countless others. And Hispanic and Latino are also different concepts; A Spaniard is Hispanic without being Latino, a Brazilian is Latino without being Hispanic. Someone is Hispanic if they have ancestry in a Spanish-speaking country, someone is Latino if they have ancestry that includes a Romance language speaking population of the Americas (yes, that includes the Quebecois and Haitians; it's not about race). Saying someone is "Hispanic" says about as much about their ancestry as saying someone is "Anglophone."

>Suggesting that "whiteness" is somehow pernicious is an absurdity.

Whiteness is, itself, an absurdity; it has no basis in reality, but exists solely as a meme. But you and I both know memes can be pernicious.


AnacharsisIV t1_je7enmf wrote

> You haven't explained anything. The answer to your question is No. I'm really not understanding you. That was a confusing explanation.

Could you please tell me what you're having trouble understanding, then?

>Moreover, a casual study of the history of the North African Barbary Pirates and their enslavement of Europeans (which prompted a fledging US Naval response by Thomas Jefferson) shows that if religion is justification for enslavement, people will use it. If race is, they'll use it. People will make up justifications.

So, two points.

  1. I never said white people weren't enslaved. I'm part Greek, trust me, you're not pulling some "gotcha" on me by pointing out a time when a dark-skinned people enslaved a fairer skinned population. However, the European slaves of the Barbary Pirates were pretty much all used in a naval capacity and never became a significant minority in North Africa, unlike the African slaves of the Americas. In fact, very few of the people captured by Barbary pirates were enslaved, most were ransomed back to their communities. The Barbary pirates didn't want slaves, they wanted ransom, slavery is just what they did with the few no one was willing to pay for.

  2. The whole reason Africans were enslaved was also based on religion. At first they were not enslaved based on race or skin color, but because they were "pagans" or "Muslims" (they didn't enslave other Muslim populations like the Turks or Arabs because they had armies and guns and could defend themselves, and the Native Americans were dying too fast to diseases that came from first contact with Europeans). It was only later, after both captured slaves and natives in Africa were Christianized, did race become the justification for their continued slavery.

>Moreover, even with a 99.8% similarity, there are subtle differences between races. That's a scientific fact. For example, there are hereditary conditions (e.g Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis) that exist in some races but not others.

See, here's where you're wrong, again. "Race" is made up, it's merely a conflation of culture and phenotype. Things like Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia or the "Asian Flush" are rampant in certain populations, but those say nothing about "races", which are a category that pretty much popped into existence in the 17th century, reached their apex in the 19th, and have returned to obscurity just like other bunk science theories like Phlogiston or Geocentrism because we have other, better attested theories to explain the extant phenomena.


AnacharsisIV t1_je5txmk wrote

Because whiteness is not an ethnicity and it's not a culture, that's the point.

The only reason the concept of "whiteness" exists is to put it atop other groups, be they black or "yellow" or "red". If you don't believe that "white people" are inherently superior to any other group, there's literally no reason to identify as white and no reason to cling to a white "identity" as opposed to whatever ethnic groups you actually come from. This is contrasted with, say, black identity, which have a few shared narratives and experiences irrespective of where those ethnic groups called home (one of those narratives of course, being "we were taken from our urheimat against our will").

Let's pretend for a second we're not talking about ethnicity and talking about something like music. There are jazz fans, metal fans, rock fans, rap fans, country fans, pop fans, etc. It's absolutely fine to like heavy metal, it's no better or worse than jazz or pop! But let's say someone arbitrarily took pop, rap and rock music and grouped it together as "Super Music" and said those genres are inherently better than other kinds of music.

If you ran into someone who called themselves a "super music fan" instead of a "pop fan", would you not surmise that they identify as such because of a perceived superiority? That's basically "whiteness", the idea of "whiteness" emerged from racism and it has no meaning or no currency outside of the context of racism, and within the context of racism, whiteness is placed "at the top" for, again, arbitrary reasons.

Does that make any more sense?

EDIT: Also, whiteness did not begin with enslavement. It began with the ideas of scientific racism, which was used to justify slavery, but existed independently of it. For most of human history, we were fine enslaving others who looked like us, it was only in modernity that we needed justification for why it was ok to enslave people, and we came up with the psuedoscience of race and how some races were "better" than others.


AnacharsisIV t1_je58b2z wrote

So, here's my interpretation.

"White" as a concept and as a group didn't really exist until the 19th century. You would be Irish or German or Greek or Albanian or whatever. But as legal systems begin to deny rights to say, black or Chinese people, we needed a word to effectively refer to people who maintained their full enfanchisement.

As such, the "harm" of whiteness is because it was created relatively recently with the express purpose of denying others rights. You're not bad for being pale skinned, but if you self identify as "white" that's because you do so because of a history of racism.

You may have heard someone say "there's no such thing as white culture" which kind of ties into this. Because "white" as a group was basically invented as a catch all for "the pale skinned people we don't enslave", there really is no culture that binds these disparate groups; there may be French or Italian culture or even a pan European culture, but those are not "whiteness".


AnacharsisIV t1_je571nl wrote

Sort of, yes.

See, "Latinx" was created in the US by English speakers. It is practically unpronounceable in Spanish or Portuguese. But it was created because there are nonbinary Latin people who do feel they are not represented by the grammar and gender inherent to their languages.

So while "Latinx" was made outside of Latin America, within it, the term "Latine" has been taking precedence. It's a word actually made by Latin people in Latin America to reflect their experiences, and it fits much more easily into the languages than "Latinx" does.

In my opinion, in English, we can just use "Latin" to describe a nonbinary or nongendered person or concept (in the same way we refer to "Latin America"), but in Spanish or Portuguese "Latine" would be more appropriate.


AnacharsisIV t1_je55jrj wrote

Not to mention the fact that housing prices in California are insane (much like NY) that over the last decade or so plenty of middle class homeowners who were able to get in when houses were affordable became millionaires simply because their house shot up hundreds of thousands of dollars in value.


AnacharsisIV t1_jdikm5g wrote

Yes? I literally said that in my last post.

EDIT: To restate the thesis of my first post; I have no issue with the existence of charter schools, my issue is specifically them being landlords to public schools, because I would rather they dedicate their attention to educating students rather than split their attention between education and real estate.


AnacharsisIV t1_jdijt5e wrote

If the government isn't going to make public schools better, that's what's going to happen regardless of whether or not I want it.

What I do believe is that it's entirely just and fair for parents and students to choose who they learn with, as long as the state curriculum is followed (IE, don't just put your kids in a religious school and refuse to teach science and math). Unfortunately, too many American families and students don't have that choice.


AnacharsisIV t1_jdijh8t wrote

Where did I say anything that disagrees with what you're saying?

I never said charter admission wasn't based on lotteries. I never said they were substantively white, nor that they weren't full of black and Hispanic students. I never said I was against charter schools or that parents were wrong for sending their children there.

You seem like you're so used to arguing with anti-charter posters you just regurgitate the same facts irrespective of whether or not they prove your point.


AnacharsisIV t1_jdi9ta8 wrote

I didn't go to a charter, but I went to a SHSAT school that also didn't have to have ESL or special ed classes or students and my experience going from middle to high school was night and day. Do you understand how much a boon it is to your mental health to no longer worry about being bitten by your fellow student, or to go to a class and everyone is there to actually learn instead of acting out in class? If charter schools are the only way other students can get the experience I had, fucking let them.

Children who need special resources and care are entitled to them, and I hope public schools continue to be able to give that to them, but there is absolutely no reason why other students have to be subjected to them and have their quality of education be attenuated.


AnacharsisIV t1_jdi8p7z wrote

I actually, broadly, am in favor of charter schools. The problem I have is that, well, charter schools are a quasi-business and there are market forces at play for them that public schools have no control over, but still effect them.

When a charter school in an area does well, parents pull their kids out of local public schools and put them in the charter. I don't have a problem with that, though I also acknowledge that it quickly creates a stratified system where the only kids in charter schools speak fluent English and have no developmental disorders, and would also come from more moneyed families, leaving the public school in the area to basically be nothing but ESL, Special Ed and desperately poor students (who often fall into one of the other two categories, either). This creates a feedback loop; no parents want to put their kids in the public schools, the schools' funding dries up, and the schools start being closed down or downsized such as having to share buildings with charter schools.

Now, we have a new dynamic; the charter schools aren't renting space from the BoE to share a building with a public school anymore, they're now profiting from the public schools becoming shittier. It creates a perverse incentive, in my opinion, where the charter schools can now make money by diminishing the local public school to the point where they have to rent from the charter.


AnacharsisIV t1_jcnuat7 wrote

Maintenance has to be a huge part of it. There are parts of the system still using parts designed (if not manufactured) a century ago. In many cases there are no companies manufacturing replacement parts, so they have to be machined in-house by the MTA. I'm pretty sure there are literal blacksmiths employed by the MTA because that was still state of the art technology when the subways were constructed.

Years of deferred maintenance are catching up.


AnacharsisIV t1_jchplun wrote

>This isn't Tokyo. Neighborhoods change demographically but architecturally less so.

Really? How much 18th century architecture can you find in NYC? 19th century? Go to Williamsburg or Flushing and tell me with a straight face that architecture doesn't change.

>Let people who want to live in high rises be free to do so. Let those who like a more bucolic setting be able to as well. It's called choice; something you don't seem to like. Rather, you prefer nameless bureaucratic outsiders wielding power. It worked great for the Bronx when they put a road through the middle of it. Why learn from that? Why stop there? /s

You're literally preventing that. As it stands, we cannot build more high rises because large swaths of the city are zoned solely for low-density housing. Simply opening up the zoning for mixed-use and mixed-densities doesn't mean that single-family housing would disappear, either in NYC or America as a whole. Furthermore, "bucolic" living is literally the opposite of what is offered in a city. Do you also expect to raise cattle in Queens?


AnacharsisIV t1_jchib06 wrote

> Or in Richmond Hill with the Punjabi Sikhs?

Yeah? I went to high school with a few of them. I'd probably have done so with the Hassids if they didn't segregate their kids into religious schools, too. Why are you so perturbed by someone being from the globe's capital being... a globalist? Why live in the most diverse city on the planet if you're not going to engage with that diversity? I'd rather go to Richmond Hill to experience Sikh culture than fly out to Punjab.

>Dudes I knew from the Heights were into being from the Heights. Just like Bensonhurst guys are into being from B'hurst, Harlem guys are into being from Harlem, Bronx guys are into being from the Boogie down, etc.

My family has been in washington heights for over a century. I am proud of my origins. I also acknowledge that my neighborhood changes; I am a descendant of successive waves of immigration to the neighborhood. My bloodline literally communicates the notion that times change. Expecting the city to stay the same just because that's what I got comfortable with in my youth is ridiculous.

>Who wants to live in a city of sameness? I like it that Forest Hills has nice big houses, that Rockaway has a different climate and housing style, that Ditmas Park has those old Victorians. Celebrate diversity, man!

You're not celebrating diversity. You're advocating for a single style of house to be built under penalty of law. Simply because zoning for other types of residences can be opened up in your neighborhood doesn't mean they will all be the same, and other cities with lots of mixed-use zoning are still architecturally diverse, like Tokyo. Different wards of Tokyo look entirely different while still having dense multifamily housing.


AnacharsisIV t1_jcfsp8s wrote

That's the thing; single family housing zoning doesn't "let live." Single family zoning says "there's only one way to live, and fuck you if you try to do it any other way." If your way of life is so self-evidently better, then developers would be falling over themselves to build suburban houses when they have other options for the lots.


AnacharsisIV t1_jcfn42q wrote

I grew up in an apartment complex with thousands of residents. I'd see them every day in the elevator, in the lobby, and in our shared spaces like the gym or mail room. We weren't strangers, hell, it had the feeling of a small town within the city. I find it very strange why you think that apartments somehow ruin social bonds.