Supremacy vs altruism, reshaping race & gender conversations
Lately I’ve been rethinking how I navigate the landscape of prejudice etc. The mention of racism puts people on the defensive, where the proof often rests with the victim in a system that inherently treats women and people of color as inferior. The fact that “everyone does it” only supports such behavior as socially acceptable.
Returning to buddhism and altruism, I began instead to rethink the problem of prejudice, realizing that it is the learned idea of supremacy — over others, as much as over nature—that perpetuates such anti-social behavior. It is easier to observe a person’s supremacist thoughts than implicit attitudes of the inferiority of others. While proving that women are equal programmers is hard, proving that men are better programmers is even harder — debating equal virtue over statistics of prevailing attitudes might be the only effective way to tackle bias.
Eg. Do Asian women deserve the same executive opportunities?
Do Black men deserve to live? Do Indians deserve equal pay?
While experiences and supremacy are subjective, altruism and equality are universal traits we should aspire to. Rather than focus on people’s perceptions of women and minorities as inferior, I’ve begun to condition myself to observe and challenge the language of supremacy, arguing that:
All beings are deserving of equal opportunity,
they are of equal virtue by nature of their sentience.
Today I read the news about firms bypassing Asian workers for exec jobs. I made the mistake of reading the comments but it offers a glimpse into the language of white male supremacy.
Commenter: Look at tech and all the ideas and innovations were by white guys even to this day. Indians are more like assembly workers.
It has been shown that tech ideas and innovations have emerged from the contributions of many races, while there also exist American assembly workers. There is no proof or reason that one race is better capable of ideas and innovation than another, or equally assembly work.
White anglo saxons have dominated the world power since day 1.
Anglo saxon economies only led the global economy in a substantive way after the 1800s. There is little to suggest that Caucasians have a natural superiority in world domination over say Ottomans or Chinese.
Asians are very methodical in their work performance, but when it comes to ascending to a leadership position, let’s face it, you have to know how to relate to people…all people and not just your own.
Are certain races more inclined to intermingle than others, are cliques unique to Asians? People just tend to stick to their own, whether its location or race, the social network of Caucasians is largely 90% other Caucasians. There are methodical Caucasians as much as there are Asians with diverse networks. Caucasians do not have superiority in diverse networks.
Maybe Asians should be a little more gregarious and risk taking.
Are Asians meek, risk avoidant, do Asians laugh less or is this a lens of laughter superiority? If you’ve ever been to Kuala Lampur, you’d think that Americans could be a little more gregarious and risk taking. There is also plenty of risk associated with immigration. Gregariousness and risk taking are personal traits, qualities not solely associated with Caucasians.
This is a new framework I’ve begun to personally use around such conversations, as projections of inferiority were both damaging and unproductive. This writing is dedicated to my Mom and I hope you find it somehow useful.