I guess we need an "are we a racist country" thread.

STANV said:

What is this penchant for destroying the language?

I know people who feel (or felt) the same way about this verbal use of “target,” which is younger than I am.

Racists, antisemites and all kinds of bigots will find any excuse to target the people they hate.


STANV said:

When did "woke" go from being a verb "He woke up" to being an adjective?

 What is this penchant for destroying the language?

I'm more bothered by right-wingers' penchant for destroying the meaning of words in order to take away their original meaning and power.  I'm old enough to remember people using "politically correct" as a term of admiration. For example, a musician who supported causes that helped people, like Farm Aid or food banks would be called "politically correct" as a compliment.  Those kind of terms of respect seem to have a very short shelf life before the wing nuts appropriate them for the opposite purpose.


stuff like this just scares the crap out of me. as the story details, it's not just Texas.

Texas Pushes to Obscure the State’s History of Slavery and Racism

Texas is awash in bills aimed at fending off critical examinations of the state’s past.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/20/us/texas-history-1836-project.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


DaveSchmidt said:

STANV said:

What is this penchant for destroying the language?

I know people who feel (or felt) the same way about this verbal use of “target,” which is younger than I am…

Surprised by this one. “Targeting” the enemy or targeting prey seems like an appropriate use of the word. Are you saying it was only a noun in the past?


jimmurphy said:

Surprised by this one. “Targeting” the enemy or targeting prey seems like an appropriate use of the word. Are you saying it was only a noun in the past?

The earliest instance of “target” as a verb meaning “to mark out or identify (a place, a person, etc.) as a target” that the Oxford English Dictionary cites is from 1966. Just two years earlier it appeared in the form of targeting with weapons, usually with “on”: “The Soviet presence ... comprises ... a force of about 100 MRBMs targeted on Japan.” Other verbal uses go further back, but mostly with obsolete meanings that most of us wouldn’t recognize.

I’ve worked with people who well into the 21st century wondered if it was OK now to use “target” as a verb in formal writing. They had been around long enough to be told at one time by superiors that it wasn’t. As far as I know, all those superiors retired, so nobody is saying “no” any more.


DaveSchmidt said:

The earliest instance of “target” as a verb meaning “to mark out or identify (a place, a person, etc.) as a target” that the Oxford English Dictionary cites is from 1966. Just two years earlier it appeared in the form of targeting with weapons, usually with “on”: “The Soviet presence ... comprises ... a force of about 100 MRBMs targeted on Japan.” Other verbal uses go further back, but mostly with obsolete meanings that most of us wouldn’t recognize.

I’ve worked with people who well into the 21st century wondered if it was OK now to use “target” as a verb in formal writing. They had been around long enough to be told at one time by superiors that it wasn’t. As far as I know, all those superiors retired, so nobody is saying “no” any more.

 Interesting. Thanks.


My wife uses it only to refer to a place where she occasionally buys things.


STANV said:

My wife uses it only to refer to a place where she occasionally buys things.

 only occasionally?


If anyone was paying attention to Biden's Tulsa speech, he perhaps made the strongest case that we are a racist country than any President I can remember.


drummerboy said:

If anyone was paying attention to Biden's Tulsa speech, he perhaps made the strongest case that we are a racist country than any President I can remember.

 If anyone was really paying attention, his point wasn't as simplistic as "we are a racist country".


nohero said:

 If anyone was really paying attention, his point wasn't as simplistic as "we are a racist country".

 well, that wasn't my point either.


drummerboy said:

nohero said:

 If anyone was really paying attention, his point wasn't as simplistic as "we are a racist country".

 well, that wasn't my point either.

I can only comment on the words in the posts. 

drummerboy said:

If anyone was paying attention to Biden's Tulsa speech, he perhaps made the strongest case that we are a racist country than any President I can remember.

 


nohero said:

drummerboy said:

nohero said:

 If anyone was really paying attention, his point wasn't as simplistic as "we are a racist country".

 well, that wasn't my point either.

I can only comment on the words in the posts. 

drummerboy said:

If anyone was paying attention to Biden's Tulsa speech, he perhaps made the strongest case that we are a racist country than any President I can remember.

 

 you're not getting it. when he listed all of the problems Blacks still face in this country, he was describing a racist country. I never said that was the intent of his speech.


meanwhile


meanwhile, redux


Wow…

drummerboy said:

meanwhile, redux

 


He was silenced for saying this. Wow indeed.


Jaytee said:

He was silenced for saying this. Wow indeed.

 the next time anyone tries to claim "cancel culture" is primarily of the "left", we should just tell them to shut the **** up. 


ml1 said:

Jaytee said:

He was silenced for saying this. Wow indeed.

 the next time anyone tries to claim "cancel culture" is primarily of the "left", we should just tell them to shut the **** up. 

 have you seen this out of Stanford?

https://maplewood.worldwebs.com/forums/discussion/subforum/cancel-culture/politics-plus?page=next&limit=660#discussion-replies-3548105


Jaytee said:

He was silenced for saying this. Wow indeed.

In case anyone else was curious (I was): That photo is unrelated to the described event.


What is the photo of?


PVW said:

What is the photo of?

Children giving the Bellamy salute, presumably for the Pledge of Allegiance, both of which originated with Francis Bellamy in 1892. (The barely visible line of stars on the flag are another clue that it was later than 1865.) A couple of sources that I can’t vouch for said the photo was from a segregated school in Hampton, Va., in 1899.


I'm gonna paste this whole post from Erik Loomis, as an example of how deeply our racism runs. It is truly absurd.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/07/racism-and-medicine

In a racist society, science and technology and medicine automatically becomes racist in practice. It’s not just the Tuskegee Experiments either. Here is a grotesque and horrifying example of this right now.

Jordan Crowley was born with only one shrunken kidney to clean his blood. As he gets older, his one kidney gets sicker.

Jordan is now 18, loves dogs, and is more interested in telling me about his college classes than the fact that he was recently hospitalized for seizures, a complication of his illness. He’ll need a kidney transplant soon. He would be closer to getting that kidney transplant, if only he were categorized as white.

A patient’s level of kidney disease is judged by an estimation of glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR, which normally sits between 90 and 120 in a patient with two healthy kidneys. In the United States, patients can’t be listed for a kidney transplant until they’re deemed sick enough—until their eGFR dips below a threshold of 20.

Jordan is biracial, with one Black grandparent and three white ones. His estimated GFR depends on how you interpret this fact: A white Jordan has a GFR of 17—low enough to secure him a spot on the organ waitlist. A Black Jordan has a GFR of 21.

Jordan’s doctors decided he is Black, meaning he doesn’t qualify. So now, he has to wait.

Huh?

Knowing how well a patient’s kidneys can clean their blood is important for countless medical decisions, from diagnosis of kidney disease to proper medication dosing. It’s difficult to calculate kidney function quickly—doing so once required patients to store a full day’s worth of urine in their refrigerators so physicians could look at what the kidneys had successfully filtered out of the body. In 1999, a major study in the Annals of Internal Medicinepainstakingly measured the GFR of more than 1,500 patients to develop a model that could more easily predict how well the kidneys were working using just a rapid blood test and some math; the resulting number is known as the estimated GFR, or eGFR. The equation—which has been formally cited more than 15,000 times in the literature—was quickly folded into medical practice and remains a standard of care today.

The formula focuses on creatinine, a byproduct of muscle activity and one of the many things that the kidney is supposed to remove from blood. Generally, when creatinine levels in a patient’s blood are high, it signals that the kidneys are struggling to do their job of filtering toxins; this makes creatinine levels something of a proxy for overall kidney health. But things get more complicated when you consider that people vary in shape and size, have different muscle mass in their bodies, and therefore have different amounts of creatinine in their blood to start with.

Indeed, during development of the mathematical model, authors found that overall, the population of Black patients in their study had higher levels of creatinine in their blood compared with the group of white patients. The authors reasoned this was likely because “on average, black persons have higher muscle mass than white persons.” They added a race-based coefficient to correct for what they assumed must be naturally high levels of creatinine in Black patients, recommending that doctors inflate the eGFR of patients by 21 percent “if Black.”

This eGFR multiplier can make Black patients with kidney disease appear healthier than they are. It means that Black patients have to reach higher levels of kidney disease before they are considered sick enough to qualify for certain treatments or interventions. The adjustment is the reason Jordan wasn’t able to register on the kidney waitlist after his first transplant evaluation years ago.

And what does Black in America mean?

Jordan’s grandmother Joyce Kaufman is a white woman who has spent her life as a nursery school teacher and mother to biracial foster children, including Jordan’s mom, Jessica. Jordan is her buddy. Because his health issues made it impossible to enroll him in day care, Jordan has been at Joyce’s side since the day he was born.

Joyce remembers finding out about the GFR race adjustment at a transplant evaluation appointment in 2016. After asking about her grandson’s lab results, a nurse practitioner told her the computer was having a “difficult time” because it didn’t know whether to evaluate Jordan as Black or white.

Kidneys are not white or Black; there are, in fact, no genes, physiologic traits, or biological characteristics that distinguish one race from another. “If you know anything about human genetic diversity and the commonality of human physiology, it just doesn’t make any sense that the simple equation could involve a binary race variable,” says Jay Kaufman. “It’s so illogical that it has to be false.”

Yet, race-based adjustments alter reality for patients like Jordan. A patient’s eGFR determines not just whether he is allowed on the transplant list, but what stage of care he can get: Medicare-covered nutritional therapy and reimbursed kidney disease education kick in at an eGFR of 50; referral to a doctor that specializes in kidney disease is guarded by an eGFR threshold of 30, as is referral to formal transplant evaluation, with the threshold of 20. Again and again, the race-based inflation can delay when Black patients meet cutoffs for resources that offer real survival benefits: Kidney disease patients who have been cared for by kidney specialists, for example, have lower rates of hospitalization and death.

If the race adjustment were eliminated from medical practice, a third of Black patients with kidney disease would be reclassified to a more severe stage, and thousands of Black Americans would receive a diagnosis of kidney disease for the first time, according to a study completed by researchers at Harvard University published in the Journal of General Internal Medicinein October. This increases opportunity for preventive medicine and early treatment, which is important because kidney disease is often silent until the damage is already done.

Because he was born sick, Jordan has been monitored with monthly blood tests for years. But those who don’t receive diagnosis of kidney injury in a timely manner lose out on this extra care, which can increase the risk of “crash” dialysis, wherein patients with no previous preparation suffer severe kidney failure complications like heart arrhythmias, bleeding issues, strokes, or seizures and are urgently placed on dialysis for survival. I’ve seen this done in the emergency department several times. It’s shocking to everyone involved when a patient first learns about their kidney disease the day they are rushed to the hospital for kidney failure.

Now, an old assumption about Black bodies is preventing Black people from receiving timely diagnosis and access to treatment. When authors of the 1999 study added the race adjustment, they didn’t prove the idea that Black patients have higher levels of creatinine due to higher muscle mass. In fact, they never actually measured muscle mass. What’s more, they made this conclusion about fundamental racial difference without controlling for socioeconomic status, education, geography, or other diseases that affect kidney function, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Our country has been filled with racial inequality from the start, and it’s unsurprising that racism gets under the skin to jeopardize the health and well-being of Black bodies. Racial inequities that limit where people of color live, eat, pray, and breathe can all influence how effectively the kidneys churn urine, producing health disparities in kidney disease and beyond. Other factors, like the amount of protein in a patient’s diet, athletic activity, and dehydration can all directly affect the level of creatinine in someone’s blood. But the authors didn’t look into any of those things and assumed the heightened creatinine had a simple explanation, in increased muscle mass. The authors stopped their inquiry and conclusions short.

Again, this is why there is no “pure science” or “pure medicine.” It’s all impacted by race, even the unquestioned racial assumptions of doctors or scientists or tech guys who may even be well-meaning. So you create ridiculous standards that might make sense to the researchers, but in fact are complete nonsense, combine them with the one-drop rule of race going back to American slavery (the question of what “Black” means of course not relevant to the researchers who probably never took a history course or anything else about race since they were college freshmen when they were “wasting their time in classes that don’t matter to my career”), and then mix them all up in the racist reality of contemporary America.

What does that equation lead to? A lot of dead Black people.

Welcome to America, where race matters for every single question we ask.



Two of my grandchildren are half white and half black as my son married a black African American woman from West Orange.   So, we are a biracial family now.   I love my grandchildren very much and I hope that America and the world will be a better place for them in terms of overt racism and systemic racism than it was for their black grandparents (our in-laws.) and the black generations before them.   I am trying to keep this short, but we all know that the world and society are very complicated.   We need to learn all of our histories, the good, and the bad, and with this knowledge, look to improve our land.   Hate and hateful ways of thinking can be strong.  But the Biblical injunctions of do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God, and love your neighbor as yourself should be guiding principles.  Sorry if this sounds too preachy.   By the way, I love the family histories as done by professor Louis Gates.  He is really good at helping us understand in a personal and often amazing way our collective past.  


in the year (almost) since I started this thread, I'd have to say that the needle has moved pretty significantly to the "racist country" side.

The evidence for this is all of the states basically banning (or trying to anyway), in one way or another, the teaching of racism.

From the above piece:

In language and intent, Alabama’s resolution is similar to the more than
90 bills that have recently been introduced in at least 34 states
attempting to restrict what teachers can say about race, gender, and
religion and to combat the idea that any person or institution is
inherently racist


then there was this news from my hometown, a 15 minute drive from SOMA:

New Jersey Town Accused of Paying Off Cop to Bury Mayor’s Racial Slurs

A New Jersey town allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to silence a whistleblower who came forward with secret recordings of local officials, including the mayor and police chief, using racial slurs.

specifically:

In seven recordings obtained and published by NJ.com, Manata captured the mayor and two top police officials referring to Black people as “spooks,” “shines,” and “n—s.”

Growing up in that town, I learned a lot about racism, and more specifically about systemic racism.  As a little kid, you don't question certain things because you don't know any better.  But by the time I was middle school aged, my friends and I already understood driving while black.  As a little kid I never questioned why I never saw Black people in our grocery stores or fast food joints (even though there were Black people living in all the surrounding towns).  Our police force and our residents just made it too uncomfortable for Black people to make the trip.  They didn't need to beat anyone up, or have a sundown siren, or put up any signs.  But they kept Black people out to such a degree I didn't personally know a Black person until I was a senior in HS, and met a guy at my job.  Not a good way to grow up, for a person of any race.


ml1 said:

Growing up in that town, I learned a lot about racism, and more specifically about systemic racism.  As a little kid, you don't question certain things because you don't know any better.  But by the time I was middle school aged, my friends and I already understood driving while black.  As a little kid I never questioned why I never saw Black people in our grocery stores or fast food joints (even though there were Black people living in all the surrounding towns).  Our police force and our residents just made it too uncomfortable for Black people to make the trip.  They didn't need to beat anyone up, or have a sundown siren, or put up any signs.  But they kept Black people out to such a degree I didn't personally know a Black person until I was a senior in HS, and met a guy at my job.  Not a good way to grow up, for a person of any race.

I spent some time in Clark about 15 years ago. I could sense the racism in the few people I met. My friend who lives there is from New York, she married a guy from Clark. She is cool, he is not. The cops are always pulling people over. Republicans run that town.


I drive up and down Rt 10 a lot, the Livingston/East Hanover section, just west of the circle.

Things have changed a lot now, but I remember some years ago, Livingston police were constantly stopping people on RT 10, usually in the easterly direction for some reason, and I swear to god, every time I rubbernecked to see what was going on, the driver was black.

It's not like that now, as I rarely see stops anymore. Makes you wonder what was going on back then though.


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