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|ZTP: The issue is a technical one with the textop wiki. The cites work properly when you load them on the pilot wiki. This is because the textop wiki is missing an extension ("cite.php"). You can read more at [[WP:FOOT]], but the long and short of it is that those citations will all work when we get the pilot up. --[[User:ZachPruckowski|ZachPruckowski]] 20:24, 25 October 2006 (PDT)||ZTP: The issue is a technical one with the textop wiki. The cites work properly when you load them on the pilot wiki. This is because the textop wiki is missing an extension ("cite.php"). You can read more at [[WP:FOOT]], but the long and short of it is that those citations will all work when we get the pilot up. --[[User:ZachPruckowski|ZachPruckowski]] 20:24, 25 October 2006 (PDT)|
|+||JA: Zach, What I'm saying is that the citations the way they are on the Wikipedia original are very bad on scholarly grounds, and the automated footnoting only serves to hide that fact with blue smoke and mirrors. [[User:Jon Awbrey|Jon Awbrey]] 20:40, 25 October 2006 (PDT)|
Revision as of 20:40, 25 October 2006
I moved this page over "as-is" from Wikipedia and would like to tackle it as a case study for the correction and development of articles on highly controversial subjects -- particularly those in which the definition of a term itself is in question, and in which differing definitions support different agendas and ideologies. I am trained in race and ethnic studies, so I qualify as an "expert," but there are a great many experts with varying opinions; I have no claim to authority of interpretation. The point of the exercise is to see how well we can accommodate NPOV to such contested topics, and fairly and accurately represent various, often contradictory, views.
The following sections outline the issues involved in creating an NPOV article on "Racism." I hope that editors and authors will use the sections to discuss underlying issues and problems, and add sections as new problems arise. --Kalital 07:54, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Racism is variously defined by different groups with competing interests and POVs. Understanding the struggle over definition is a crucial part of contextualizing the concepts related to Racism, and necessary for any reader who wishes to make an informed and independent judgement about the subject area. Different definitions lead to completely different interpretations over whether a particular entity or event illustrates Racism, and even whether or not some aspects of Racism (for example, "reverse racism") can legitimately be said to exist. An overview of competing definitions is an important part of any article on Racism. --Kalital 07:54, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Historiography of the Concept
Racism as a concept is quite modern. It came into usage in the 1930s primarily to describe the policies behind Nazi persecution of the Jews, and is a product of an intellectual tradition in the social sciences that sees large-scale social problems as structural (institutional), rather than individualistic and idiosyncratic. In the majority of expert definitions of Racism, this structural analysis is key, and arguments over the nature of such structures persist in lively fashion, from radical Marxist "oppression" critiques, to liberal "civil rights" critiques, to conservative "culture of poverty" critiques.
Proponents of structural critique believe that they can use contemporary concepts to analyze historical events and cultures that predate the invention of the term. For them, the use of the term "Racism" is descriptive of an objective situation (variously defined.)
The popular interpretations of the term Racism quickly diverged from the expert interpretations, as naive users appropriated the word to describe their perception of incidents and trends in their daily life. For popular users (of many different political persuasions), Racism has become a synonym for both discrimination and prejudice. (The overwhelming majority of experts see racism, discrimination, and prejudice as three separate and clearly definable terms.) Experts and laypersons often see Racism in completely different situations and contexts, judge Racism based on entirely different standards of measurement and evidence, and have very different goals and agendas. --Kalital 07:54, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Analysis of Arguments and Evidence
Because definitions of Racism are so different, and because even among those who share definitions, goals and agendas are so different, each POV weighs and measures arguments and evidence on different bases. This leads to the "apples and oranges" problem: If one group is using the presence of discrimination alone to create an argument that Racism exists, and another group requires a structural component before it will acknowledge Racism exists, they are never going to agree on what the evidence "proves."
To properly represent these varying POVs, we will need to measure arguments and evidence on their own terms, rather than by some nonexistant objective standard. --Kalital 07:54, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
The Players: Competing Interests
It is important to understand that use of the term Racism (as with other controversial terms) cannot be separated from the agendas of the people who employ it. The terminology is employed as much (and often more) for rhetorical purposes as it is for purpose of objective description of a phenomenon about which people can agree on standards of measurement. What can often be objectively described, however, is the association of particular interpretations of the term with particular ideological, religious,and political biases.
Descriptions of players should take place on the level of their perspective and goals, without imposing outside value judgements on whether those perspectives or goals are legitimate. We can strive here for clarity without prejudice. --Kalital 07:54, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Job One : Stop Pretending To Be Neutral
JA: It's time to lose the name of NPOV, because we do not have the fact of it, and we never will. I think that most folks understand the value of equamimity and the virtue of fairness -- but those are human values and human virtues and subject to all the ills and all the imperfections that flesh is heir to. No one is neutral about vital human issues, and every one knows that no one else is either. Pretending otherwise will only generate suspicion. We have seen Wikipedia fatten the Underbelly Of The Elightenment (UOTE) for a half-dozen years now, and it's time to stop and reflect -- and try to critique what went wrong. Jon Awbrey 08:24, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Discussion of Wikipedia (25 Oct 2006), "Racism : Racist Quotes"
JA: I am moving this section here for discussion, as I don't see the point of collecting a budget of isolated quotes ripped out of context. Jon Awbrey 10:34, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
Racist quotes, from Wikipedia (25 Oct 2006), "Racism : Racist Quotes"
- "I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilised nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or in speculation. No ingenious manufacture among them, no arts, no sciences".- David Hume
- "…At some future period, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world." Charles Darwin, Descent of Man
- "Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites." Kant wrote in his book Physical Geography
- "The yellow Indians do have a meagre talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people."- Immanual Kant
- "The educated Negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a Negro. His brain is not fitted for the higher forms of mental effort; his ideals, no matter how laboriously he is trained and sheltered, remain those of a clown." - H.L. Mencken
- "In most if not all of the newly independent Black nations of Africa, little if anything during the past 5000 or more years can be pointed to as having made a contribution that in any way enhances the life of man." - Walter Arnold, The Evolution of Man in Relation to That of the Earth
- Indeed, I would be inclined to suggest that however great may be the physical differences between such races as the European and the Negro, the mental and psychological differences are greater still." - L.S.B. Leakey, in The Progress And Evolution Of Man In Africa (Oxford University Press), 1961
- "As regards southern countries, all their inhabitants are black on account of the heat of their climate... Most of them go naked... In all their lands and provinces, gold is found.... They are people distant from the standards of humanity." - Hudud al-`Alam_, Persian geography, 982 AD
- “…I am not nor ever have been in favour of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with White people… Abraham Lincoln
State of the Article
JA: I did a first pass card and comb of the article, for what it's worth, but that'll be all I can take of that for today. The next pass would involve doing triage on all those links, and converting the reliable ones to honest citations a la mode. I will try to do a few of them later, but I have other promises to keep right now. Jon Awbrey 11:18, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
JA: Well, I get the feeling that I'm probably wasting my time here, so I'll put off further work until next week. Jon Awbrey 20:06, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
ZTP: The issue is a technical one with the textop wiki. The cites work properly when you load them on the pilot wiki. This is because the textop wiki is missing an extension ("cite.php"). You can read more at WP:FOOT, but the long and short of it is that those citations will all work when we get the pilot up. --ZachPruckowski 20:24, 25 October 2006 (PDT)
JA: Zach, What I'm saying is that the citations the way they are on the Wikipedia original are very bad on scholarly grounds, and the automated footnoting only serves to hide that fact with blue smoke and mirrors. Jon Awbrey 20:40, 25 October 2006 (PDT)