It’s Not About Race!
John Metta

There’s a lot in here to think about, but one point has me perplexed:

You suggest that a discussion which is ‘using logic so we could “really get to heart of the matter” without getting “derailed by emotions.”’ is a ‘white’ approach, while an inherently black approach is ‘emotional’ because it is not in the norm.

Isn’t that suggesting that blacks are not capable of rational thought, or are more easily swayed by emotion? If I were black, I’d take offense at such a notion.

Indeed, this is the same kind of language people used to use about women; Women were incapable of leading or making good decisions because they were ruled by their emotions. Back in the 1950s and 60s, Women weren’t expected to be able to work for a family (other than as a housewife), they weren’t supposed to drive well, or have views on anything besides fashion or gossip. Those sorts of assumptions now seem silly, although we are sometimes reminded of them in echoes that now express themselves in terms of a vague sense of misogyny for the female candidate in the current election. (Isn’t it fascinating that Clinton is ‘the rational one’ in terms of choices in the election because Trump has taken the part of traditional female role, continually uttering outrageous things mainly for their emotional punch ? It may very well be a kind of overcompensation, the same way that many commented that Obama was constrained from showing anger, because that would play into the stereotype from the same historic period as the ‘angry black man’. There was even a comedic sketch demonstrating an Obama ‘Anger Translator’, where another man expressed what the President was really feeling. )

While it is certainly within someone’s rights to be upset and have a personal stake in the inequities and biases of a white-dominated society, I don’t think this means that giving in to those emotions is something any group can claim as a right as ‘the outsider’. Rational discussion is not something that is tied to authority. Many of the arguments of the Civil Rights movement were not only emotional but appealed to a sense of fairness.

It seems that your example of emotion vs. logic due to lack of equal status undercuts your argument that the biases are based in (historically based) attitudes. Saying that the discussion must be emotional is lowering the bar, and for no good reason. Isn’t there a better example that does not demean the capacities of either group toward logic because emotion is the lowest common denominator?

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