A multivariate analysis of racism:
the monetary value of denouncing oppression.
Most time when we look at facts we look for their validity as if facts alone would give validation to the claims of those who present them. We often neglect the full scope of motivations behind the facts of those who present them on behalf of those affected. Those who denounce on behalf of the affected, being affected themselves, should clearly state who are funding them and how do they manage to continuously finance their denunciation.
Some researchers can be geared to find out to which extent an initially agreed premise is valid. Such researchers might have little biases to prove whether the validity of their premise is high or low, but such unbiased approach is the exception rather than the norm.
When we deal with politics and ideologies, which need fundings and ways to subside themselves on a daily bases, premises to prove anything tend to be biased towards the outcomes which give more fundings.
In politics, usually, researchers find out that the more outrageously immoral are their findings the more funds and support they can get. Armed with such knowledge, they try to maximise the outrageousness of their findings, but not without coupling them with an “expert” and “rigorous” research to virtually minimise to zero the chances of appearing biased.
This is done usually through quick video vignettes of facts and research or fast, confident and very articulate presenters who hide cleverly cherry picking methodologies.
When the news get to their targets, those directly affected, their vulnerabilities is so high that they are willing and ready to see and accept 100% the validity of such news even if only 70% is true.
Such news, in fact, cannot be below 70% true for them to be taken as 100% true by his vulnerable victims. Meanwhile, those researching have their own local political business going as they prey on political vulnerabilities.
Victims will fight and even bleed on the streets to support undercover political “startups”. On the positive side of it, it actually generates an income for a sector of those victims who proactively have taken the initiative to make a business out of their own political oppression at the price of outraging those other passive victims who haven’t been able to capitalised on their own oppression.
Most people are so busy smelling the color of their own suffering and discrimination that they will never have time to properly get inside of the complex matrix that keeps them subjugated and slaved to the system they so vigorously oppose.
What those victims called Capitalism is simultaneously sweet for some of them and painfully bitter for others. Surely, they cannot help it but use the very mechanisms of the system they call oppressive to actually oppose that system.
The reality? They are not really opposing the system and its “institutional” and “systemic” oppression. They are just opposing some sides of it while feeding, using and profiting on other sides of it. They exploit different side of the system, while speak and rally against the general exploitation of the system against minorities.
We are witnessing privileged minorities leeching on other minorities which really represent the underdogs of society because without money or funding they wouldn’t be able to fight the “system” at all.
Most people, specially the ones who feel oppressed and exploited, fail to see that by nature all partisan ideology, be it based on anti-racist, fight for equality, anti-capitalist, pro capitalist or racist manifestos, tends to be totalitarian and dialectical in nature.
An ideology is meant to look at the fact and search for truth, but most ideologies ultimately have to default to their party hardliners. It means that once they have committed to an idea they have to resiliently and stubbornly stand by it through all sort of dialectical means even if it meant to overlook facts and ignore the truth for the sake of their cause highest truth.
Once they fully reach “partisan-mode”, they will find the facts, they will persuade, convince, ignore and even force their ways in order to make their truths prevail by all means if necessary.
This applies as much to one party as to its opponents. The video above is just part of such practices and even when racism is one of the cruelest realities we are still facing today, I refuse to align with relentless partisan and ideological anti-racism that has a vicious and almost religious interest in seeing racism everywhere so that those denouncing can keep the flow of cash from funding coming in to be able to financially survive by their own denunciation.
Why this kind of binary simplistic analysis are fostered particularly by video media outlets?
We live in an economy of attention and we are too busy either suffering or enjoying life to put any proper attention to anything that might be too multilayered to understand.
We want information sweet and short.
Thus, we are forced to think with the attention span of a hyperactive toddler. When data is spoon fed to us from the comfort of our screen in a clear way and it also nicely confirms our own biases we are as happy as a labrador catching any “balls” thrown at us by news outlets.
The delivery format of this video is easier to take on board because it pulls its target audience attention with a fast pace sermonic blaming on government. It is based on a binary and forcefully non multivariate analysis.
When Isabelle Niu, the journalist in the video, examines wealth inequality between white and black in USA she is eager to tell us that:
“it is the direct result of centuries of racist banking policies and practices that systematically kept black Americans from prospering.”
Niu blames solely and exclusively the government and then she goes onto detailing such blame. She talk about the failure of Lincoln’s reparations after slaves emancipation, the failures of the Freedman’s Saving Bank, the racist success of Jim Crow Laws, Roosevelt’s New Deal creation of two separate credit markets: Affluent white suburbs and black ghettos.
So far, Niu built a profile with her data to validate that government is not only the main responsible for black discrimination in USA, but also that government should be the one to fix it. It feels almost as if Niu is trying to apply some Chinese political recipes for American black discrimination.
The crucial point from which Niu univariate analysis starts falling apart is when she mentioned Law Professor, Mehrsa Baradaran book, The Color of money.
Baradaran tells us:
“The segregation was a partnership between banks and homeowners who didn’t want to live in black areas… It was the market deciding that the white neighbourhood was worth more than the black neighbourhood.”
Then, Baradaran carries on:
“It was the regulators not stepping in. You know, it was not just a clan that did this. It was the whole American society.”
Baradaran analysis evidently gears our understanding of the racial problem in the right direction, away from Niu univariate binary opposition between black people and the government. We find blames not only in the government, but also in bankers, in the market and in general in ordinary white citizens who don’t want to live in black neighbourhoods.
Racism in USA is then not only the result of direct agents (government) influencing and setting racist policies as Niu is trying to make us believe, but additionally the result of a large percentage of American society being racist.
This multivariate analysis just hinted by Baradaran, and I have to emphasise, just hinted, is the kind of approach that can give us better understanding as to how to address and find solutions to racism in USA.
Niu carries on explaining that the Civil Rights leaders came in to recognise economic injustice and proposed bold solutions including integration, reparations and land rent. But once again, for Niu, the nation took the wrong path by accepting Nixon’s Black Capitalism, but it did nothing to fix the underlying problems.
Niu doesn’t go into explaining why Nixon’s Black Capitalism got it wrong apart from saying that it neglected other more relevant things concerning racism. Baradaran comes to the rescue and tells us:
“We never fixed our legacy of Jim Crow laws white supremacy, credit discrimination and all the systemic problems.”
I would say that USA have not fixed ENTIRELY their legacy of Jim Crow Laws, but some fundamental progress has been made even when there is still credit discrimination and systemic problems.
USA don’t have any longer segregation in the way it used to before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We no longer see big public banner segregating people. We don’t have designated room and hotels, restaurant or buses for black and white people even when we still have black ghettos and white suburbs.
We, however, have in USA something called the Tocqueville effect. In 1835 Alexis De Tocqueville in his book, Democracy in America wrote:
“The hatred that men bear to privilege increases in proportion as privileges become fewer and less considerable, so that democratic passions would seem to burn most fiercely just when they have least fuel. I have already given the reason for this phenomenon. When all conditions are unequal, no inequality is so great as to offend the eye, whereas the slightest dissimilarity is odious in the midst of general uniformity; the more complete this uniformity is, the more insupportable the sight of such a difference becomes. Hence it is natural that the love of equality should constantly increase together with equality itself, and that it should grow by what it feeds on.”
The underlying idea in Tocqueville is that once we become used to the freedom we have already accomplished we become desensitised to such accomplishments when new ways of oppression are in place.
Niu in the video insists:
“Subprime loans were purposely pedalled to black neighbourhood. Subprime loans are still being sold as non subprime loans in many communities of color.”
Subprime loans were purposely pedalled to black neighbourhood not necessarily or primarily because they were black, but primarily because they were poor. Black people have been originally and primarily discriminated not because their skin color but because their skin color was initially associated with slavery and poverty.
There is not scientific evidence that skin color alone causes racism. Once the association of the skin color with slavery and poverty has been stablished through centuries then the rejection of the skin color alone gain relative independence.
This point to the fundamental issue Niu’s narrative is neglecting. Even when the racial problem is the relevant problem here, the fundamental problem is that of most black people still being viewed, treated and living almost as slaves and in poverty.
Ultimately, the people who suffers the harshest of discrimination are those poor, associated with poverty or carrying the symbols and the marks of poverty and slavery in their body via their skin color.
Yet, the underlying problem is not our skin color, but the fact that we repudiate and abhor slavery and poverty and yet we not only tolerate it, but perpetuate it in ways that makes us repudiate it and discriminate it.
We have to find ways not to discriminate poverty, but neither ways to praise it. We should look at poverty with respect even if it were the direct result of our laziness. No human is born with a lazy gene. We are all born to excel. We are not all given equal opportunities according to what we would like to excel in. That is the problem of society for black and for white and in many cases for blacks in USA.
It is inaccurate and ideological driven to use the general blanket of privileged for all whites as the general blanket of discriminated for all blacks.
Niu wants to convey the message that nothing has improved for black peoples in the USA, and that if anything has changed is that it has worsened and that it is all to blame and be fixed by the government.
The reality, however, is that if we fail to use a multivariate analysis when trying to understand and resolve issues of racism, every anti-racist movement will keep either burning out in endless ideological battles of hatred or be absorbed silently by the general laws of the market once it finally gives new financial privileges to those fighting against privileges.
A multivariate analysis of racism would not only hold government responsible for racism, but also certain sectors of the white population and certain sector of the black population.
The majority of a society can be racist in ways which are not directly offensive, but still nonetheless morally unacceptable. Yet, what is morally unacceptable cannot be dealt with hatred and sickening bitterness. Everyone has the right to dislike us for whatever reason, including the color of our skin. No one should have the right to discredit us or put our future or our life in jeopardy because of the color of our skin.
A multivariate analysis does not aim to dissolve the cause of racism in the undifferentiated whole of society. It doesn’t aim either to minimise the relevance of some factors. A multivariate analysis creates a balance sheet of different degrees of factors and influencers. A multivariate analysis acknowledges that within any discriminated group there is internal discrimination too and not one single factor can be taken in isolation even when it can be made relevant.
I wouldn’t choose an “intersectional” analysis over a multivariate one since intersectionality (as practiced by feminist trends) operates with rigid structures of hierarchies, fixings the most privileged at one end and the most oppressed at the other and going back in that way to a binary and polarised approach away from the initial matrix approach it started with.
A matrix, multivariate analysis is alway learning from new data entries and never making absolute assumptions or conclusions out of such approaches. It approximate, every time better, tendencies and recommend partial and continuously improving solutions.
Unfortunately, for Niu her whole video is about blaming the government and expecting that it will fix racism.
Being against racism doesn’t per se justify or validate any anti-racist cause. Being against racism doesn’t mean that you fail to be critical of yourself because that “favours” the enemy, downplay and distract from what really matter. Being against racism doesn’t mean you don’t recognise when your opponents are right because that would sabotage your cause.
I disagree with racism, but I also disagree with certain type of “anti-racism” which has made of the fight against racism an ideological, dialectical and partisan battle to demonstrate that all opponents are crazy people who have lost common sense and in which any disagreement is de facto an agreement with their enemy and any objection can be proven wrong, a misinformation or a misunderstanding. I disagree with certain type of “anti-racism” that financially feeds on the denunciation of racism, while those it “speaks for” rush, desperately, into believing it represent them.
This type of “anti-racist” has a vested interest not only in denouncing racism, but also in squeezing as much money as possible for the cause so that some of those affected by it can get a financial relief from the very oppression they denounce and are affected by. Capitalism might not be so bad after all for those oppressed by it, but who proactively know how to take advantages of it with the very means by which it oppresses them.
Opponents of certain forms of anti-racism are not opponents to all form of anti-racism and to assume that any form of anti-racism should be valid just by the slogan of being anti-racist is to either completely debase the fight against racism of any measurable moral value or to assume its absolute valid moral value just on the bases of it being anti-racist. The dogma feeds the business in which certain type of “anti-racism’ is based on.
I disagree with ideologically and financially driven anti-racism.