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uziq
Member
+487|2934
the fact is races do not exist. there is literally no scientific coherency or agreement as to what constitutes a 'race'.

a diversity of homo sapiens exists, yes, which can be adduced descriptively through phenotypes and genetic variation. but 'race'? what's the 'black' race? or the 'african' race? there's more genetic diversity in 1/2 the continent of africa than there is between any other 'race'. but they're all the same 'race', are they? tell me more, dilbert, genetics PhD.

which 'race' is your 'indian' coworkers? there is no 'indian' race, you know? the indian identity and collective nation-state was only formed very recently in human evolutionary history, dilbert. are your coworkers dravidian? iranic? indo-aryan? andaman? do you even know? 'indian' is not a race.

wait until i tell you ... that one of the most nonsensical racial categories of all, in the way its used today, is 'semitic'. in fact, the 'semitic' peoples basically didn't exist as a category until someone in the 19th century, that hotbed of erroneous racialist thinking, coined the term 'anti-semitism'. the term caught on because it 'supplied an existing demand', shall we say, in the all-so-scientific european imagination.

and again you with this defensive 'white civilization' tripe. 'whites are the victims after all when we are made to reflect on racism in schools and policing'. grow up

racism and tribalism are completely instinctive and normal.
eating meat is completely instinctive and normal. in fact, i can identify its lineage back through 2.6 million years of archeological records. i don't know how you can argue against that. meat-eating is unignorable instinct: therefore it is beyond ethical scrutiny, beyond behavioural modification, and therefore i shall continue.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-10 04:11:22)

Larssen
Member
+97|1369

uziq wrote:

the point is about underlying cognitive biases and potential perceptions, not about people being actively racist.

if we can recognise the formation of these ideas and the sway they have over our thinking, it's possible to un-think them.

there's nothing 'instinctual' about keeping an eye on the black kid at a table of 4. there's nothing 'natural' about a 5-year-old african-american girl choosing the blonde barbie because she finds it 'more beautiful'. this stuff is learned in an environment, consciously or unconsciously.

as larssen alluded to above, but rather only got half-way there, yes 'race' is an invented category with a material and constructivist basis. of course it still operates as a 'fact' in social life on a day-to-day basis, despite having no logical coherency or scientific, empirical basis. but there is a lot of work that can be done, in a similar constructivist paradigm, of unlearning and unthinking racism. people having different hues of skin or different phenotypes is always going to be a 'fact of reality', but the idea we have to 'fear' one another because they're 'outside of our tribal group' is complete, pseudo-scientific bullshit. 'evolutionary psychology' is not a credited field anymore; may as well pursue phrenology and justify our differences based on the curve of our craniums.

there was a time when the swarthy romans found celtic gingers alien, or when the angles and saxons viewed the blonde nordics beaching a ship on the pebbled shore with terror. are we still jumping boo at each other's differing ethnicities today in society? shall we continue caesar's genocide of the ginger gauls? the world became a smaller place and we learned to cohabit within shared legal and civic frameworks, as equal citizens. and wasn't that the promise of the new american republic?

if dilbert can put aside his timeless and essential (as opposed to material and constructed) 'instincts' to eat meat, acquired through long millenia on the savannah and plains, then i'm sure he can learn to play nice with his indian co-workers.
We're not living in a time in which people are lynching eachother for belonging to different races. The open season for racism has ended. There's only some crackpots in the fringes of the internet and at the edges of the bell curve that is humanity who still espouse deeply racist ideology or who fear and persecute others for having different racial identities.

The fight in this has shifted to more nebulous and complicated topics like equality of opportunities, the hidden or under the surface racism in our culture, and most tangibly but also still hotly debated; overpolicing / selective policing etc. Now even the gaze of teachers on their students.

I don't think 'race is just a construct' applies to the real experience of people who are very dark skinned africans in white majority countries (or vice versa), regardless of what academia thinks (in my memory often focusing inordinately on multiracial people to expose the social dynamics of race or pointing to other cultures i.e. brazilian or french banlieues as 'examples' ..). Anyone who enters a country as a phenotypically very different minority can't help but be subject to assumptions and extra attention, positive and more often negative, based on their physical appearance. You're probably experiencing some of this in Korea. Academia has spent some 70 years deconstructing race with many valuable insights, but it's also led to the notion that we can as you say 'unthink' and 'unlearn' any racist behaviours. As though at some point there were some first movers who constructed our culture in a way that they embedded racism in our unconscious and we're now nobly reverting that process. Are we going to have to 're-educate' literally every individual? Hold special seminars for teachers on their hidden racial bias - maybe a compulsory course on racial sensitivity starting preschool to teach people the right ways?

And then we don't touch on the negative assumptions and behaviours people exhibit with any other physically evident differences in groups. Some changeable, like clothing (see: hijab), some not, like physical deformities. The point is that our physical characteristics inevitably seem to trigger something in people's minds and influence group dynamics as a result. Those who have not been recipient to the 'right upbringing' or awareness training are less sensitive in that regard, in any culture anywhere. No, I don't think racist behaviour is just the result of culture and I don't think we can eliminate it entirely.
uziq
Member
+487|2934
sorry, but that's ahistorical nonsense. you are arguing that trying to counteract acquired or subconscious biases is 'silly'. erm, what has been happening with gender relations and feminism in the last century and a half or so? there was a 'first mover' and a 'first constructor' of patriarchal systems at one point, no? which we are busy trying to 'unlearn' and deconstruct?

i'm not coming at this from an academic deconstructionist view where i want to play games and throw every concept into artful ambiguity. i just mean, quite literally: as part of 'civics' classes in modern, multicultural democracies, some historical examination and 'sensitivity training' wouldn't go amiss. i would happily recommend any system that tries to improve people's awareness, empathy, basic respect? what's wrong with promoting civility, etc? everyone benefits? taboos are dispelled?

too often in these discussions you kind of shade into the 'the liberal academics have gone too far! i'm too burdened with their guilt tripping!' stuff. like your life is being ruined by this discourse or corrective. it really isn't. we can generally just tweak our institutional processes and 'bake-in' better thinking on topics like race and gender. nobody is being 'forcefully re-educated' or 'sent for reprogramming'. why would anyone refuse so angrily to just treat their fellow students, fellow coworkers, etc, with the basic respect that every human being – in a liberal democracy, anyway – is promised?

the ideal future is one in which people can do away with the topic at all. i look forward to it being of no moment. but we're not going to get there by practicing effortful ignorance of the past and by denying the present ills. we have to work through it.

you and dilbert love pointing towards 'instincts' and claiming that it has universal and deep, irrational foundations. 'racism arises from the group mentality'. well, fine (citation needed).* but we generally tame our baser impulses and learn to conduct ourselves as civil adults in all other respects of our lives, don't we? do you grope yourself uncontrollably when looking at your female colleagues? do you shit your pants when nature calls? part of human maturation out of the childhood of 'impulses and instincts' is towards a self-controlled, self-individuated person. we can exercise a little superego and rational thought, here. this is literally basic textbook freud, lol, in 'civilization and its discontents'.

* and i just don't agree with the premise that every group, in the first encounter with an 'Other', reacts badly or with fear or racism or ostracism. there are any number of studies that show kindergartners of all races getting along fine. before they've gained something like that constructed, society-imposed 'awareness' of difference. most kids don't see colour in this way that you and dilbert make out, as if we react to a change of skin tone by reaching for our clubs and spears.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-10 11:05:48)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+2,012|6253|USA

This is pretty on the nose.

I get a lot of comments from the red corner that "people are tired of being badgered and harangued." Once when I praised an actually OK History Channel documentary someone was watching for the nth time (having seen it before myself) and expressing sadness that the channel steered away from that content. "Well people are tired of being harangued." What?

People are tired of being harangued? Well, maybe that's the case. Tired of feeling like you're being "harangued," but not tired of haranguing other people. Not long ago this same person was bemoaning the "breakdown" of civility in society. Interesting, why so hostile against programs designed to improve civility?

"Governments and businesses need to stay out of my private life, but here's a list of the other people they should interfere with."

Last edited by unnamednewbie13 (2022-08-10 12:11:57)

SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+605|3201

uziq wrote:

eating meat is completely instinctive and normal. in fact, i can identify its lineage back through 2.6 million years of archeological records. i don't know how you can argue against that. meat-eating is unignorable instinct: therefore it is beyond ethical scrutiny, beyond behavioural modification, and therefore i shall continue.
Not eating meat is a flavor of autism. Strong links to poor mental health. Every vegetarian I know also had panic attacks.
https://i.imgur.com/xsoGn9X.jpg
uziq
Member
+487|2934
i guess it really doesn’t bode well for the future of human life on this planet if we are all indeed on autopilot, guided by instincts that cannot be corrected or cultivated by culture and reason.

7 billion people who are instinctively threatened and want to be mean and violent when they see someone with a different shaped nose. 5 billion meat-eaters with appetites sharpened on the pre-historic veldt. oh dear! nuclear war or climate change is inevitable. evolutionary psychology has wrapped this set of problems up!

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-10 15:55:23)

uziq
Member
+487|2934

Dilbert_X wrote:

uziq wrote:

unions are relevant and are effective now. we're in the age of amazon and starbucks precariat-class workers unionizing for the first time.
And in a few short years they'll be in bed with the management raking in a nice salary from members dues in return for nothing.
https://twitter.com/jmillerlewis/status … fZMlp32PfQ

you really don’t understand gen-z and tiktok zoomers. my generation were reasonably political but i think the younger generations are even more active.

ironically you accuse me of not protesting enough in my time (because you protested the iraq war and put flowers in the barrel of the national guardman’s gun of course). and yet when this lot display any idealism - with conviction! - you’re just the same old, cynical moany cunt.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-10 15:55:59)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+2,012|6253|USA

SuperJail Warden wrote:

uziq wrote:

eating meat is completely instinctive and normal. in fact, i can identify its lineage back through 2.6 million years of archeological records. i don't know how you can argue against that. meat-eating is unignorable instinct: therefore it is beyond ethical scrutiny, beyond behavioural modification, and therefore i shall continue.
Not eating meat is a flavor of autism. Strong links to poor mental health. Every vegetarian I know also had panic attacks.
Do you think if you ate a vegetable you could learn how to wash a dish?
uziq
Member
+487|2934

SuperJail Warden wrote:

uziq wrote:

eating meat is completely instinctive and normal. in fact, i can identify its lineage back through 2.6 million years of archeological records. i don't know how you can argue against that. meat-eating is unignorable instinct: therefore it is beyond ethical scrutiny, beyond behavioural modification, and therefore i shall continue.
Not eating meat is a flavor of autism. Strong links to poor mental health. Every vegetarian I know also had panic attacks.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/202 … one-health

vegetarian women more likely to fracture hips late in life.

can you imagine this shit? we are being told by a guy who purposefully engages in counter-instinctual behaviour that LESSENS evolutionary advantage, that is deleterious to health and long-term survival … that he can’t help being racist, because it’s his unrefutable ‘instinct’?

amazing how perverse this evolutionary psychology logic is, isn’t it. it’s almost like … it’s … a load of fucking cobblers!
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,789|5587|eXtreme to the maX
There are no races

Racism is learned behaviour

Both are patently untrue.
Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй!
uziq
Member
+487|2934
erm yes, right? let’s make a claim about genetics and then ignore … the entire field of genetics.

there are no such thing as clearly identifiable races. definitely not the categories you use every day of your life to judge and demean people.

is xenophobia a social fact? is fear or conflict with other groups a historical constant? yes, that’s hard to deny, though conditions have changed and thus seem to be highly contingent on material factors.

but you’re claiming a basis that is beyond historical, almost pre-historical (“instinct”), based in some vague and misty evolutionary past. this is just plain dumb. we aren’t xenophobic because it’s ‘hard wired into our brains’. eating meat is just as ‘pre-historical’ and yet your brain can short-circuit that ancestral instinct, can’t it?

the attempt to separate and thus subjugate people using scientific categories was a product of a very specific two centuries of european thought. in which, funnily enough, our economies and expanding empires relied on slave classes and second-class citizens. how convenient that we devised an ‘objective’ system of ‘scientific’ races.

in modern genetics there is no empirical basis, fact, or proof of any ‘races’.

that’s the patent truth. i can’t make it any simpler for you.

you know we are truly living in topsy-turvy land when the guy with an MSc in sciences tries to make out like the humanities lot are engaging in wishful thinking and denial of reality. when, actually, it’s his need to stick to racist ways of thinking that means he IGNORES an entire scientific field of knowledge.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 03:58:47)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+2,012|6253|USA

Dilbert_X wrote:

There are no races

Racism is learned behaviour

Both are patently untrue.
Wrong.

Race as a "scientific" concept has been thoroughly debunked at this point. Racism (like homophobia) is with certainty a learned behavior; a result of social conditioning and role expectations.

Do you think humans evolved long ago with an instinctive disdain for men with hair exceeding 1950s length, or for women who show ankle?

Last edited by unnamednewbie13 (2022-08-11 03:54:14)

uziq
Member
+487|2934
dilbert thinks that the way african-americans in the southside of chicago act, and the way that british kenyans in south london act, and the way that somali migrant groups in some suburb of some australian city act ... is all because they are 'black', like it's some essential part of their make-up. it's 'hardcoded' in their DNA or 'hardwired' into their brains. but, genetically, these groups are MORE diverse than most european population groups. there is no definitive genetic commonality that makes them all identifiably 'Black'.

african-americans and black british folk are socialized and acculturated in entirely different ways. anyone would know this, just on a social level, by hanging out and speaking with them. they are not the same culture at all. but dilbert thinks that it's all the same beneath the skin, because they're the same race. ah, yes, the Black race.

do people identify and self-identify with racial categories, as a social fact? well, yes, of course, but people identify as all sorts of things without it having a hard scientific basis: religious affiliations don't have a genetic basis. dilbert over-identifies people with their undergraduate degree but there's nothing essential in them, at a genetic level, working away based on that premise.

there is no genetic basis for race, no 'it's their nature' explanation for why your arbitrary categories of "blacks", "indians", etc, behave. it's total cod-science. simple as that.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 04:07:33)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,789|5587|eXtreme to the maX

uziq wrote:

in modern genetics there is no empirical basis, fact, or proof of any ‘races’.
There clearly are different races.

If an african and a south american have a child will it be asian? Of course not, its a genetic impossibility.
Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй!
uziq
Member
+487|2934
i told you there are genetic differences. who would fucking deny that you plonker? but they don't correspond to 'essential' behaviours or 'traits', as you want to paint them with. the genes that express skin colour or hair curliness or the flatness of your nose don't also convey some 'genius of the race' shit like you go on about. 'oh, indians, they are lazy and shirkers'. which one of the 120 ethnicities and 5-6 major genetic groups of the subcontinent do you think have that gene allele, moron?

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 04:09:52)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,789|5587|eXtreme to the maX
Yes, people all over the world have significant differences, apart from that they're exactly the same
Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй!
uziq
Member
+487|2934
this is just why you're laughably wrong. every 'race' you talk about has just as much diversity of appearance and character as you could identify amongst you and your white friends or australian compatriots.

your desire to flatten entire groups, nevermind groups that are genetically and geographically unrelated (africa is a big place, dilbert), into simple categories ... is unscientific nonsense.

your concept of 'race' is laden with so much social judgment and ideological baggage, none of which has any correlate with actual genetics or science. it's unscientific nonsense.

pointing out that 'people look different around the world' isn't good enough. because, when you're not being a reductive ass, you're trying to couch all of your racist judgments in pseudo-scientific language, to try and legitimate your antiquated worldview.

i can't make it any simpler for you.

for a person with an MSc who likes to brag on a weekly basis about 'STEM's proof-based better way of thinking', i'm amazed that you're so shy of scientific journals and the body of literature on this subject. odd, isn't it?

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 04:29:12)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+2,012|6253|USA

I refuse to believe that dilbert is being 100% up front with this. It seems more likely to be a very long running troll here on BF2S. The most dedicated maybe. Mac, eat your heart out.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,789|5587|eXtreme to the maX

uziq wrote:

this is just why you're laughably wrong. every 'race' you talk about has just as much diversity of appearance and character as you could identify amongst you and your white friends or australian compatriots.

your desire to flatten entire groups, nevermind groups that are genetically and geographically unrelated (africa is a big place, dilbert), into simple categories ... is unscientific nonsense.

your concept of 'race' is laden with so much social judgment and ideological baggage, none of which has any correlate with actual genetics or science. it's unscientific nonsense.

pointing out that 'people look different around the world' isn't good enough. because, when you're not being a reductive ass, you're trying to couch all of your racist judgments in pseudo-scientific language, to try and legitimate your antiquated worldview.

i can't make it any simpler for you.

for a person with an MSc who likes to brag on a weekly basis about 'STEM's proof-based better way of thinking', i'm amazed that you're so shy of scientific journals and the body of literature on this subject. odd, isn't it?
Mendel would take one look at this and tell you you're an idiot.
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uziq
Member
+487|2934
do you have any idea how discredited Mendel's thinking on race is in the current field of genetics?

laughing my fucking ass off. as i say, time and time again, with your Malthus and your Mendel: you're a victorian.

sorry but science moves on.

you have an MSc and consider yourself a serious scientist, but you're seriously citing research on race at me that was published in 1866? do you have any idea how fast research moves, dilbert? most biology and chemistry research published in the 1960s is badly out of date.

mendel? that guy who had no knowledge or notion of what a gene or DNA even were or how they actually worked?

mendel? that guy who thought he could extrapolate his findings from pea-growing and horse-breeding to create 'better' humans? i am not doubting his contributions to the history of genetics, but ... that isn't how human genetics works, my guy. i don't know if you missed the memo, but the eugenicist's aims to breed better humans selectively kind of failed. turned out the Nazis couldn't transpose their theories about auroch and cattle to the human genome.

ok, i'm the idiot. you're a genius.

Mendel instead hypothesized that each parent contributes some particulate matter to the offspring. He called this heritable substance "elementen."
i think we can see the source of your erroneous thinking, here, and why you still seem to think that 'races' carry 'essential' traits.

mendel and the scientific racist legacy were entirely of their time. sorry, but a guy who didn't know how genetics worked beyond the laws of inheritance cannot be effortlessly translated to observations, and more so vile racist judgments, on human society as a whole. you're missing a fucking pretty big empirical link there, dilbert.

i sincerely suggest you read some actual contemporary scientific research. not those dusty books from the 19th century in the pre-history of genetics as a field. i thought you weren't interested in looking back at history, anyway?

dilbert: gets cutting-edge mRNA vaccines, relying on contemporary understanding of biology.
also dilbert: bases his racial views on a guy who didn't even know what DNA was.

quite possibly one of the stupidest posts you have made in years. VERY revealing.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 05:27:25)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+2,012|6253|USA

The question remains: how much of Mendel's work has dilbert actually read, or is he just name-dropping.
uziq
Member
+487|2934
mendel is still big in the eugenicist circles, or 'sociobiology' or 'evolutionary psychology' or whatever euphemistic rock they're hiding under these days.

there's a reactionary crank group, mostly non-working and non-researching scientists, of course, who cling to all this dusty old cobblers.

they're anti- modern science and genetics in the same way that trumpers are anti-'deep state'. all of the findings and research published since 1860 which contradicts mendel is a big conspiracy, you see. one big effort on behalf of (largely still white male, privileged, western) science to, uhm, dispel the racial hierarchies of the 19th century. because that makes total sense.

i think it's pretty telling that they have to cite a guy from the prehistory of the discipline to prop up their racialised worldviews. a guy who didn't know how the human genome works or is actually inherited. sorry but spare me with that 'races have essential and identifiable behaviours' shit, from a guy who had no notion even of DNA.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 05:38:27)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,789|5587|eXtreme to the maX

uziq wrote:

a guy who didn't even know what DNA was.
He predicted the existence of DNA.
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uziq
Member
+487|2934
that's like saying that leucippus and democritus 'predicted the existence of the atom' in 500 BCE greece.

yes, they had a great insight and, yes, they helped achieve progress in their way.

in many other ways, which are telling, their thinking ended up in unscientific and unproductive dead-ends. like eugenics, for instance. it doesn't work ... because it's based on a faulty understanding of genetics and race.

to be clear, here, after giving credit where it is due: mendel had absolutely no notion of the mechanics of inheritance; he didn't actually know what traits can be passed down; he had no idea of the real genetic diversity of humanity, WITHIN the so-called 'races' that make such sense to you and no actual geneticist or biologist.

you do know how modern science works, right? you need empirical proof. observation. data. you can't give anything of that to back up your nonsense about races or the 'essential' traits of blacks, whites, indians, asians, etc. the actual science disagrees with you and rubbishes your concept of 'race' entirely. mendel had an insight that an 'elementum' was passed down between generations. well, that's great, but it's about as empirical as the concept of the Force in star wars being contained in 'midi-chlorians'. there is literally no way to empirically observe and categorise 'race' in modern-day genetics, and no proof that all the traits you ascribe to so-called 'blacks', i.e. their violence or whatnot, have corresponding genetic bases.

the 'man of science' on this forum! having empiricism explained to him!

citing mendel makes you look like a crank and a fool. you really are beneath comment.

Last edited by uziq (2022-08-11 07:02:23)

Larssen
Member
+97|1369

uziq wrote:

sorry, but that's ahistorical nonsense. you are arguing that trying to counteract acquired or subconscious biases is 'silly'. erm, what has been happening with gender relations and feminism in the last century and a half or so? there was a 'first mover' and a 'first constructor' of patriarchal systems at one point, no? which we are busy trying to 'unlearn' and deconstruct?

i'm not coming at this from an academic deconstructionist view where i want to play games and throw every concept into artful ambiguity. i just mean, quite literally: as part of 'civics' classes in modern, multicultural democracies, some historical examination and 'sensitivity training' wouldn't go amiss. i would happily recommend any system that tries to improve people's awareness, empathy, basic respect? what's wrong with promoting civility, etc? everyone benefits? taboos are dispelled?

too often in these discussions you kind of shade into the 'the liberal academics have gone too far! i'm too burdened with their guilt tripping!' stuff. like your life is being ruined by this discourse or corrective. it really isn't. we can generally just tweak our institutional processes and 'bake-in' better thinking on topics like race and gender. nobody is being 'forcefully re-educated' or 'sent for reprogramming'. why would anyone refuse so angrily to just treat their fellow students, fellow coworkers, etc, with the basic respect that every human being – in a liberal democracy, anyway – is promised?

the ideal future is one in which people can do away with the topic at all. i look forward to it being of no moment. but we're not going to get there by practicing effortful ignorance of the past and by denying the present ills. we have to work through it.

you and dilbert love pointing towards 'instincts' and claiming that it has universal and deep, irrational foundations. 'racism arises from the group mentality'. well, fine (citation needed).* but we generally tame our baser impulses and learn to conduct ourselves as civil adults in all other respects of our lives, don't we? do you grope yourself uncontrollably when looking at your female colleagues? do you shit your pants when nature calls? part of human maturation out of the childhood of 'impulses and instincts' is towards a self-controlled, self-individuated person. we can exercise a little superego and rational thought, here. this is literally basic textbook freud, lol, in 'civilization and its discontents'.

* and i just don't agree with the premise that every group, in the first encounter with an 'Other', reacts badly or with fear or racism or ostracism. there are any number of studies that show kindergartners of all races getting along fine. before they've gained something like that constructed, society-imposed 'awareness' of difference. most kids don't see colour in this way that you and dilbert make out, as if we react to a change of skin tone by reaching for our clubs and spears.
I never understood how the kindergartners argument ever passed academic scrutiny. So a group of little kids with barely developed brains who for all intents and purposes act like little drunkards can get along, ergo that is the 'natural state' and our tendencies for conflict and tribalism in later life are simply culturally imposed? Come on now.

Uziq, if anything, your reference to the early romans bludgeoning the ginger gauls and celts reminds me of another basic freudian phrase which I dropped here before: the "Narzissmus der kleinen Differenzen“. Even the smallest differences among us can be magnified and exploited to foment hatred between groups and this has happened countless times in history and is still happening all over the globe. Yes, of course, it's a socially constructed reality with often identifiable material issues that contribute to this process, but for some reason many people like to entirely separate these facts from the humans who produce these constructs, i.e. it's all just externalised or artificial behaviour. That's frankly a naive point of view, and there's my issue.

That is just when speaking of the minor differences too, what if we move to the "große differenzen" that seem to dominate political discourse of late? I do not mean to imply that we're all destined to be violently in conflict, we are not, and I'm happy as anyone to see that in most western countries overt racism and sexism has mostly disappeared (in middle-upper class circles really). But there's a certain hubris to the notion that we can eliminate these processes and all other conflicts between groups entirely and live happily ever after. Othering, symbolisms, the construction of grand nationalist, tribalist, racial or what have you narratives, geographic delineations, group-norms etc. - all this will continue and inevitably cause friction as various groups new and established end up mired in competition for (political and social) power in the name of equality. And importantly, those of us who have never read about any of this or are dimwittedly unable to wrap their heads around these concepts are often fully committed to maintaining the 'social constructs' that govern their reality, unconsciously or purposefully, perhaps both, overtly or covertly. Maybe I think a little too dimly of my fellow man but I don't expect a future generation to be any less susceptible to these dynamics or more aware of them, whether or not you create compulsory civic classes for preschoolers with lecture segments on racism and sexism (because after all that's when the culture taints these poor children).

Recognising who and what we are not is fundamental to the creation of our own sense of self. We can't help but notice and identify difference, between us and others, or in other groups among themselves. And then a whole host of (un)conscious actions can follow that at worst are discriminatory in their effect. I'm all for preventing that - pushing back against overt racism, sexism or other -isms and asking people to play nice, but christ alive when the topic shifts to the fixation of the teacher's gaze or a topic like microaggressions, can we not at least admit that some very basic and probably wholly unconscious human behaviours are taking place here? Not necessarily all that harmful ones, too?

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