Monday, October 12, 2009

derail dialogues on race with the arab trader argument

This guest post (which originally appeared here) is by Abagond, who writes of himself, "I have lived most my life in or near New York City. Although I tend to think of myself more individually, I am in fact part of the wave of middle-class West Indians who left the city in the 1990s to bring up their children. . . . My parents were writers, which meant we did not always have enough to eat. I have been writing 'articles' since I was six. I would look at the insides of worms and write about it."

The Arab trader argument is my name for an argument white Americans often use to defend the evil they do in the world. It goes like this: if white Americans do something evil and terrible it is all right – or at least not all that bad – so long as they can find at least one example from world history of someone else doing the same thing. Thus the Atlantic slave trade was not so bad because Arabs traders sold slaves too!

See how it works? Pretty cool trick.


The thing is utterly morally bankrupt. It is the everyone-does-it argument that we tried when we were eight. Our mothers did not buy it then and it does not work now – except maybe for the morally blind.

But that is just what many white Americans seem to be: morally blind. They know the evil that is done in their name, not just in the past but even now, but they do not want to see it. And when they are faced with it, they try to excuse it with stuff like this.

Maybe moral blindness leads to morally broken thinking – or is it the other way round?

It would be like if I robbed a bank and then said, “People rob banks all the time, what is the big deal?” Or if I slept with someone’s wife and I said, “Your wife had an affair two years ago. See! I am not that bad. Why are you angry at me?”

Do you see how shameless this kind of argument is?

It amazes me that anyone even tries it, for two reasons:
  1. That anyone would waste more than two seconds trying to excuse something so clearly evil, like the slave trade, the Japanese American prison camps, racism, etc.
  2. That they would try to use such a bad argument with a straight face and not see just how bad it is.
But they do it.

It seems to bring comfort to them, but that comfort is completely one-sided. It brings no comfort to those who have to suffer their evil. Like when the Jews were being sent to the death camps, did it bring any comfort to them to know that the Turks killed over a million Armenians?

Forms of this argument:
  • This is the way we have always done it
  • Blacks do it too
  • Blacks are racist too
  • There will always be racists
Right and wrong are not determined or proved by what everyone does, much less by what some people do, like Arab traders. That would just excuse everyone to sink to the lowest, meanest, most evil levels of behaviour.

A simple and far better way to determine right and wrong, without getting deep into religion or philosophy, is the Golden Rule, which is not “Do unto others as some others have done,” as the Arab trader argument would have it, but “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Acts of racism fail this test by their very nature.


  1. Oh, bravo!
    Finally, someone gave this a name.
    I've heard this argument more than once, and not only is it stupid on its face, it drives me especially crazy because it's based on militant ignorance and denial. Basically, these people are 100% unaware that the Atlantic slave trade was an entirely new in every way. It brought the concept of slavery to a completely new low. There has never been anything like it.

    And it's not like it's hard to figure that out. Read a little bit about how slavery worked within Africa before Europeans. Or within Eurasia. Look at how slavery worked in say, the Bible. Now compare that to the Atlantic slave trade. There is no comparison! Consider that according to the Bible, you were supposed to let your slaves go after 7 years. Whereas (for example) slaves who were sent to the West Indies barely lived for 7 years, max. That's how brutal it was! Consider that generally, these slaves weren't POWs or convicts (as was traditional) they were kidnapped. Which was a crime at the time. Consider—
    Aargh! I should stop now.

    Suffice it to say, not only is the Arab Trader Argument morally bankrupt, it's embarrassingly wrong. Why do they not even brush the surface of this until college?? So much for all those African slaves who, against all odds, managed to a) learn European languages and b) live long enough to write/publish their memoirs and thereby c) tell it like it was. Guess they did all that in vain.

  2. My first thought was - well, duh! But then it sunk in, yet again, that there are masses of people out there, possibly even a majority, for whom that post would be enlightening.

    Sometimes the world just makes me sad. No point at all to this comment but to share that sadness - hopefully with others who understand.

  3. Excellent post. My one problem with it is your use of "moral blindness", which is an ableist term.

  4. Nice to name this argument as such. I often find myself arguing with my conservative boss who thinks he is fair and just all the time and he is always always using this tactic. The other night he asked me when I thought this country was going downhill and I explained that it started to go downhill when it was founded as a settler society first committing genocide against Indigenous peoples and than completely enslaving another group of people. His response was exactly this... "well... people have had slaves all of history... and, countries are always founded by a colonial/genocidal effort." Its ridiculous and for him that's a total excuse for what this country has done.

    I think being call out this tactic for what it is will be helpful in getting past this stage in any discussion about US imperial/racist history.

  5. Seconding M., my intention is not to derail the conversation, but to call out the ableist nature of a term like "moral blindness." More like "willful moral ignorance."

    The post was, however, very enlightening. I'm a little shocked - but more like depressed - that anybod would even try that argument after they reached twenty ... or ever, when trying to excuse such disgusting acts. (I had a paper assignment in high school which was to argue, basically, whether or not Japan "deserved" to be bombed because of their "bushido code" and the Bataan Death March (no mention of the Nanking Massacre). In retrospect, I think it was the most freakishly racist assignment I've ever had.)

  6. @ fangirl

    "I had a paper assignment in high school which was to argue, basically, whether or not Japan "deserved" to be bombed because of their "bushido code" and the Bataan Death March"

    You know, this would be a really, really interesting topic to give to a sociology of race class (or something like that) today. But not alone.

    I mean, this topic is an (especially brutal) example of, "To what extent do we harm civilians/non-combatants for things their military has done, and in what circumstances can we do this?" (but, um, worded better). I think it would be *fascinating* to give half of the class the topic you had, and half the class an example where the targets were white people. Then see if there are any general trends in how the two groups respond.

    And then see who uses the Arab trader argument to justify their own paper.

  7. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS. as a Muslim, I've been attacked by white Americans who would scream at me about how those "evil Arabs" traded Africans whenever I'd bring up U.S politics and criticize Americans.

  8. Oh yes, such a common and oddly childish tactic, so good to have a name for it. I'll use that name, hope it catches on! Oh, and it's pretty good timing to read this here now, considering how the exact same derailment happened in the comments for the previous post. Wonder if Ana the Shrill read this new post; if so, her silence is deafening.

  9. Yes!!!! Great post, so glad to have a name for this, it drives me bonkers!

    If I had a dollar for everytime that I have heard the argument put forth that Muslims in this country don't deserve/aren't entitled to civil/human rights in this country because of how the speaker presumes they would be treated in someplace like Saudi Arabia, well, I would have at least paid off my student loans by now (which are substantial, sigh).

    I think there are various permutations on this basic concept as well that could probably fall under the same general name. Like the, "America is not as racist of a country as ___, so you should stop complaining about racism here and be grateful that you don't live in ___." Because somehow if someone somewhere else in the world is doing something ostensibly worse, that makes it ok to do bad things here.

  10. Like I said on the other post, this kind of derailment just smacks of being the exact same thing as "well, once a black person was mean to me so black people are racist too!" or "sometimes black people are mean to each other!" or "well, Japanese people are mean to Koreans!" in debates where a PoC has talked about a single personal instance of racism against them, just taken to a systemic level.

    Yeah, people all over the world do awful things to each other regardless of skin color or ethnicity, but that doesn't soften the truth of centuries of systemic abuse and even genocide. The bottom line is that European traders considered Africans to be chattel and not people. A worldwide history of slavery in many cultures can help explain why the slave trade existed and how we may have gotten to that point, but it does not excuse it in any way. It does not make the people involved in the slave trade any less cruel or less inhumane. It does not subvert the status quo in modern society where people of color are often treated as somehow less than whites. It doesn't matter what horrible things other people might have done, white people still have widespread institutional power that they use to oppress other people that was in part gained and certainly sustained through these atrocities.

    I think Willow's idea is a great one-- give the same essay to two groups of white students and see how they respond differently when the example given is a white culture or nation versus a nation or culture of people of color.

  11. It's part of the expected playbook! I can't fathom the vast number of incidents I've dealt with in this form of derailment.

    It's a constant wall-banger.

  12. I don't think white people are trying to absolve guilt when they say this, or at least not always.

    I think this is a response to sentiments like Susan Sontag's "The white race is the cancer of human history." Namely, while evil has and continues to be done by white people in the name of whiteness this is not a uniquely white thing. It's a human thing. Whites just did it 'better' more recently.

    Furthermore, I think the whole arab trader/african complicity in the slave trade aspect is important to bring up because if overlooked, the transatlantic slave trade is the narrative of evil europeans wholly overpowering africans. And which would you rather your racial heritage be, that of evil or that of weakness that couldn't stop the evil? By bringing up the internal african slave trade the narrative is not simply white people coming in and doing whatever they want because no one can stop them but instead that of white people cruelly profitting from internal divisions and the evils that have a long history.

    To focus wholly on the evils of white people without context is to make them into something beyond human, impossibly evil and impossibly strong. Neither of those ways of thinking are helpfull.

    Context matters. And just as it is wrong to celebrate the 'discovery' of America without explaining the theft and genocide it birthed, it is wrong to explain the transatlantic slave trade without explaining how it was done. Because you need to explain beyond 'white people are demons' which -without context- is the narrative of any atrocity whites committed.

    There is no way to justify the evils men do. And there is a time and a place for ever country, every society to face up to the evils that birthed it, the evils that sustained it and the evils that are still preformed.

    @karinova It was only hebrew slaves that the jews were supposed to release after 7 years. All others could be kept indefinitely.

  13. JM Perkins, I do think it is extremely common for white people to bring up this argument to assuage guilt. But aside from that, thank you for so beautifully stating some niggling doubts I had about this post.

    "To focus wholly on the evils of white people without context is to make them into something beyond human, impossibly evil and impossibly strong."

    That's exactly it. Sometimes in anti-racist discourse there seems to be an assumption that anything bad that happens is the fault of whites (particularly American ones) either because we caused it or because we haven't fixed it yet. To an extent it's true, but it's also very simplistic.

    The "Arab trader" argument is not the noblest way to respond to one's complicity, accidental or otherwise, with oppression. For sure. But I do think that most of those who use it are not saying that slavery etc. were "all right" because other people did it too. I think they're reacting to the sense of being blamed for everything.

    And white people, particularly Americans, feel that blame quite acutely. We've been blamed for pretty much everything, and understandably so, as we have relatively great influence over the circumstances that constrain other people's lives. Yet our lives are just as constrained as anyone else's. And the psychological pressure of "You have the power, you should fix X! That you have not means you are evil!" can be a bit overwhelming.

  14. Right on. Not only is the Arab trader argument poor in the sense that it doesn't excuse Western slave ownership, but also because Arab slavery was a different being altogether (I like to point out that Moulay Ismail of Morocco had white Christian slaves, so there! - only half-kidding).

  15. JM Perkins and Bluey--

    I think the issue is not recognizing historicity in context, but using these things as a tactic to soften the blow. If white people were willing to openly agree that the things our people have done to other people are atrocities instead of trying to play them off by pointing out other types of atrocities committed by other people, I think a lot of people would feel a lot less like modern white people are harboring the same othering sentiments that led to these kinds of atrocities.

    It's not that people intend to derail. And maybe people bringing these things up have the best intentions, but we have all discussed or listened to discussions of unintentional racism, aversive racism, and derailment before. Just because you don't mean to belittle someone's honest description of their own hurt doesn't mean that you didn't. (I mean this as the proverbial you, of course)

    There are definitely conversations where discussing PoC-on-PoC or PoC-on-white violence or exploitation matter as far as context and historicity. Those, though, are not necessarily conversations where someone is talking about how slavery or white colonialism led to the status quo we have today. Whether Africans sold rivals to white slavers does not let us explore how white attitudes about Africans during the era of the slave trade led to attitudes we see from white people today. It is a different subject entirely and is a digression from the topic, and an attempt to shift blame, when blame is not necessarily even part of the equation of the topic of discussion. That's why it's a form of derailment.

  16. Pistolina, what you're saying would make perfect sense if the topic of discussion were the hurts suffered by oppressed people. But from what I can infer about the OP, it was written in response to a hypothetical conversation about the evil things white Americans do, which is a slightly different topic. I don't know, I could be wrong. But it seems to me that if I'm correct, then the Arab trader argument isn't even a derail.

    Certainly I think it's worth noting that when people bring up either subject, white people are likely to hear it as a condemnation of their own personal moral failings.

  17. Generally, I use the rule of "but." Kind of like how "I'm sorry I hurt you, but..." isn't a real apology.

    "But Arabs and Africans had slaves, too!"
    "But remember, Christians were killed during the Holocaust, too."
    "But black people call each other --."
    "But that happens to me, too, so it's actually a sexism thing."

    The "but" isn't always spoken; in fact, it more often goes unsaid. Saying "but" makes it a little too obvious, I think, that you (generic; here, white people) are protesting the implications of the statement (e.g. "'white people did something pretty damn evil' is not true!"), rather than simply pointing out historical context ("white people did an evil thing, and this is how they were able to exploit intra-African rivalries in order to do it").

    Certainly I think it's worth noting that when people bring up either subject, white people are likely to hear it as a condemnation of their own personal moral failings.

    I am going to do some thinking about this. I agree, but my thoughts haven't quite sorted themselves out yet.

  18. That is not how I read the original post, Bluey. The way I read the original post is that the Arab Trader bit is just a stand-in for any PoC-on-PoC or PoC-on-white exploitation or violence that someone might use to counter a complaint about something white people do or have done.

    For example, people often do it in more modern contexts with things like, say, white police officers' attitudes toward innocent black people. If a black person is talking about how they got pulled over by a white cop when they weren't doing anything, and how often it happens to black people they know, and how frustrating it is, and the white person they are complaining to cites the one case they know of where a black cop pulled a white driver over and was clearly acting on prejudice, and acts like that means it's all right to do, or points out how black cops sometimes racially profile black drivers, too, as if that makes it all right, then that is a modern version of the Arab Trader argument.

    And I'm white, but I don't really have sympathy for white people who derail conversations because they feel bad. For every time a PoC brings up a racial issue that makes a white person feel bad, that PoC has experienced that racial issue probably a dozen times-- enough times that they feel like they need to air their grievances about it. The sum total of times PoCs face oppression is far greater than the number of times white people feel bad about it. I know I've felt bad about things I've said or done or been implicated in as a white person. But feeling bad is necessary for me to move on and unpack my own race issues and learn how to fight racism instead of complying with it unknowingly. It doesn't give me the right to deflect or derail when PoCs talk about what they face every day.

  19. bluey512 on this thread:
    "Certainly I think it's worth noting that when people bring up either subject, white people are likely to hear it as a condemnation of their own personal moral failings."

    Pistolina on the race/gender thread:
    "Why is the onus on RVCBard and the millions of non-crazy black women to prove that they're not like the minority when white people always assume that other white people are not like our nastiest white counterparts?"
    (Note: she is pointing out someone else's fallacy, not being unaware of the answer)

    I've been trying to figure out *why* I agree with bluey's comment, or rather, why that observation holds true. I had some idea that it was about the whole white-people-as-individuals, POC-as-a-group thing, but the thought was still kind of messy. Pistolina, I think you just cleared it up.

    In my experience, if no POC are around, white people can talk about racial issues without getting defensive. In fact, we can get pretty damn snarky about our race ("dead British dudes marauding across Africa" and so forth)(this is, by the way, the reason I agree with a statement I read a zillion years ago that was "a 'safe space' for white people to talk about race is not safe for people of color"). But that is because, of course, we tend to see each other not as part of a people, but as individual, separate persons. We're not actually connected to those evils, not really.

    Well, let a few POC come into the discussion, and the (white) mindset totally shifts. Suddenly, the situation becomes (again, to white people) a bunch of individuals facing off against a Group (TM). In moments like this, we perceive our whiteness because of what we are *not*, i.e. part of the Group. But we still don't see ourselves as a second Group, for the most part. Suddenly, we have a racial identity, and the connection with the past that that entails, but in the present that identity seems to stop with us. So whatever is said about white people of the past applies to us directly and, more importantly, individually. We are not used to this, and hence get defensive very, very quickly.

    The alternate explanation, of course, is simply that the discussion has dragged up our own racist attitudes and memories of past actions. But where's the fun in deconstructing *that*?

  20. "Well, let a few POC come into the discussion, and the (white) mindset totally shifts. Suddenly, the situation becomes (again, to white people) a bunch of individuals facing off against a Group (TM)."

    Um, please speak for your self. I don't, as a white person, feel challenged discussing race amongst non-white friends. In fact, it's quite empowering to be able to listen with open ears, because when you do that, people are far more willing to listen to you.

    And why exactly do you think of white people as individuals but PoC as a "Group"?

  21. @ Jillian

    Okay, I'll clarify my statement by sticking a "some" in front of all of them, so as not to insult you. I'm working off the same basis as that this site is called "stuff white people do" and not "stuff some white people do." The "we" is intended to denote that I am white. It seems dishonest to use "they," whether or not I consciously engage in a practice.

    The notion that white people view other white people as individual persons and POC as a group, as the nameless Other, is standard sociological theory.

    The fact that you value "listening with open ears" in discussions primarily because it means people will listen to you, worries me very, very much.

  22. Willow,

    A) I said nothing about that being the primary reason for my listening. It's simply a truism: if you listen, others will listen.


    B) Standard sociological theory? For whom? Cite please.

  23. Also, Willow, you seem to be implying that your racism is okay, because you feel bullied by PoC. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    And to further elaborate on my earlier comment: I'm not saying AT ALL that I listen so others will listen. I'm saying that more openness, more honesty, and more willingness to listen is imperative when discussing race. I have been a part of (both silently and verbosely) wonderful conversations about race - albeit in mostly academic environments - that involved both white people and PoC.

    I'm not saying either that simply talking (or listening) is the answer, or that there's no blame to be placed on white people.

    I'm just saying there's a whole lot of inability to have an honest conversation and yeah, most of it IS coming from white people's assumptions.

  24. For basic alterity theory, Levinas. Postcolonial developments thereof, probably Said or Bhabha. You can also look through the archives of this site.

    lack racial self-awareness
    [W]hiteness has in a sense gone underground. Most white people no longer see themselves as white; they see themselves and other whites as individuals instead."
    This post includes a quote from Ruth Frankenburg; since you mentioned that your conversations have taken place in academic settings, I'm assuming you're familiar with her work.

    Also see:
    forget the names of non-white people
    express amazement when non-white people see them as "white"
    assume that birds of a darker feather naturally stick together, and birds of a white feather don't

    Just a couple of examples.

    You said:
    I'm just saying there's a whole lot of inability to have an honest conversation and yeah, most of it IS coming from white people's assumptions.

    ...And what I've been trying to do is pick apart those assumptions, so we (generic) can have honest conversations.

    You (generic, of course) can't fix something unless you understand what's wrong. That applies to your own internal attitudes and prejudices, but if you've got a grip on those or honestly believe you don't have them, it's equally important to understand the sources so you can then explain to other people in your group (in this case, white people) what is actually underlying their attitude.

    Oh, hell. I'll just put it this way: my use of the corporate "we" is intended to mean "some white people" (cf the quote at the top of the page, right?). Sometimes I'm including myself, sometimes I'm not. My point is to generalize so as not to attack any one person in particular. If you read any of my comments here you will probably grasp fairly quickly that I do not feel "bullied" by, well, anyone.

    Racism is not okay. My racism is not okay; I am not okay with it. And yes, I am racist. In this society I cannot help but be racist, even though I do not want to be; figuring out *why* things are the way they are is an important step in changing the situation. (There. Did you like my use of "I"?)

    I want to change things. Hopefully you do, too.

  25. Willow, my sincere apologies. Having gone back and read your other comments, I do realize that you're not coming from the place I thought you were. So we're clear, it was this para that threw me off:

    "In my experience, if no POC are around, white people can talk about racial issues without getting defensive. In fact, we can get pretty damn snarky about our race ("dead British dudes marauding across Africa" and so forth)(this is, by the way, the reason I agree with a statement I read a zillion years ago that was "a 'safe space' for white people to talk about race is not safe for people of color"). But that is because, of course, we tend to see each other not as part of a people, but as individual, separate persons. We're not actually connected to those evils, not really."

    I guess I genuinely just read that wrong.

  26. No prob. I can see how that paragraph might get...mashy, hehe.

  27. In Australia recently, as some of you may have been aware, we have had a lot of news about attacks on Indian students in the streets and on trains. There was plenty of publicity about this. When Indians rose up and complained about Australian racism, an "Arab trader"-type argument was an exceedingly common response.

    Eg. "India is the most racist country in the world - have you heard about the untouchables?"

    Therefore, they have no right, ever, to criticise anyone else, or so the logic goes. So Indians in Australia should endure bashings in dignified silence, all because of what Indians in India do.

  28. I think JM Perkins really nailed it. I'm often amazed at the vitriol that gets leveled at white people and some actually think that white people should just stand there and take it. In the same sense, a black person is not going to stand idly by while whites talk about high black crime rates. If he brings up historical injustices of black people is he then guilty of derailing the conversation? This is a moral double standard placed on whites, that we should expect white people to want to be insulted and demeaned while all other races should be protected from this.

    No one wants to hear their group denigrated. They take it personally and try to shift the subject. I don't think that anyone can be faulted for this. It's simple human nature.

  29. Your own dismissal of an argument outside its context shuts down dialogue.

  30. "Tu quoque" is used by everyone, everywhere, including people who are arguing with Americans.

  31. You really broke this argument down. I'm highly impressed.

  32. It boils down to:

    "But, Mooooooom! They do it too!"

  33. I usually respond with "And this is something I have to do something about now or can I wait until after lunch?"
    Or: "Tell me how you respond to these facts. Inspire me with the praxis of celebrating our diversity."
    Or: "You're right. We don't deserve to have all these people of color. They're too good for us. We should just take a few states and be shut off from the rest of the world forever, except for occasional liturgies of atonement."

  34. It's nice to know that I haven't been hallucinating this stuff. I'm new at this anti-racism thing and my husband and I typically give the talk to white Jews. We get the "arab trader argument" all the time!!!

  35. Could we avoid using ableist terms like "morally blind"? It's a bit inconsiderate to people who actually are blind, yet not inherently immoral.

  36. Yeah, I know I'm coming in awfully late on this. I just have to ask if anyone else ever tried this argument with their mother, ala RVCBard's example.

    My Mom's response to the Arab trader argument was always, "If they jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?"

  37. While I understand that it is not good to use ableist language...

    1. Thanks to you handful of folks for proving the point in the original post. I believe derailment-by-crying-ableism was one of the behaviors mentioned. (Or maybe I'm thinking of another post at this blog that links to this one.)

    2. There's a difference between seeing a condition as a negative thing in some contexts, and seeing the people with the condition as bad (or lesser, or subhuman) people.

    I hate to be the one to break this to you, but if I lost my vision tomorrow, I wouldn't respond by saying "wow, gee, I get to be unique now! I have special abilities! Yay!" Number one, there's nothing unique about being vision-impaired. A large percentage of the population is, if you factor in everyone who needs glasses. Number two, we happen to be a highly visual species and it is very DIFFICULT to get along without your eyes working properly. Yes, we are now making allowances to make that easier. Yes, blind people have had to fight tooth and nail to obtain said allowances. YES, blind people are still human beings and deserve to be treated with respect and to have social and cultural equality.

    It still sucks to be blind.

    I'm glad blind people learn to live with it. I'm pretty sure I would, if I ever went blind.

    I would still hate it. Given the choice between sightedness and blindness I would probably never want to be blind, unless I was looking at something particularly awful or scarring and it was impossible to look away or close my eyes. Maybe then. But not any other time.

    I realize what-if arguments are pointless but IF a blind person were given the choice I don't think they'd stay blind either. If there were some way to restore sight that wasn't too risky, they'd take it. And there is nothing wrong with that. You are not your condition. Your condition is just something you have.

    I'm borderline diabetic. I'd give anything not to be. But if someone joked about going into insulin shock because a friend of theirs was being overly sappy, I wouldn't take personal offense. It sucks to go into insulin shock. (I don't know about that one personally but I've heard from people who do.) It sucks to have your mental functions get frigged up because your blood sugar's too high. It sucks to put on a hundred pounds and become socially invisible and have everyone assume you're lazy and good-for-nothing. It sucks to not be able to eat what so many other people can eat without consequence.

    But I can distinguish between being looked down upon because of my condition, and people calling the condition itself negative or bad. I AGREE with them. It IS bad. Knock yourself out, use it in all the metaphors you like, as long as you aren't slamming me too. It is just something I have. It does not define me.

    There is such a dearth of logical analysis in discussions of -isms, it drives me crazy. People need to do a little bit better job of figuring out where the actual problems lie. It's like people deciding that the solution for racism is to pretend everyone is alike and that there are no differences. The bullshit, trumped-up invented "differences" aside (such as supposedly innate lower IQ in some races), the whole point of why racism sucks is you're taking someone's physical characteristics as a reason to devalue that person. The differences are not the problem. The response to those differences IS the problem.

    But some people have trouble with the concept. I'm at a loss as to why.

  38. [Wordy Me, you're right -- this blog isn't the place for your second rant; ironically enough, it's a perfect example of the Arab Trader Argument. ~macon]


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