I collect thoughtful pieces on a wide range of topics to educate myself, to change my mind, and to see the world in a new and better way. Pieces like those below that revolve around race, racism, anti-semitism, and related topics. They are not easy reads, but worthwhile ones, I thought.
On the topic of Critical Race Theory and educating students on race and racism, this was good: Inside Mississippi’s only class on critical race theory – Mississippi Today, as was this Teaching about racism. More on CRT, here: What CRT is.
You may not think too much about this incident, but this essay on it is very good: Whoopi Goldberg’s American Idea of Race in The Atlantic.
This was insightful: Slavery and the Rise of the Nineteenth-Century American Economy. As was this: Why Southern white women vote against feminism in The Washington Post.
Speaking of race and education, this was informative to me: Segregated schools in Ontario.
There was a discussion earlier this year on whether or not Darwin was racist. On the surface, he may seem so. But to me it doesn’t seem to be the case when you dig down deeper. You can read this and judge for yourself: Was Darwin a racist and does evolution promote racism? – #DarwinDay, and Quote-mining Darwin to forward a political agenda?
Here were two pieces on anti-semitism I found worthwhile: Art and anti-semitism and Socialism without anti-semitism.
Finally, this piece got me thinking about racism within art: Tate’s “unequivocally offensive” mural to have new work alongside it. I don’t have a problem removing public statues. For art, I think it is better to put it in context. That seems to be what the Tate is doing.
(Image: link to the image in the piece on the Tate).
This is a link to a powerful essay on the remnants of segregation in the United States. You can see these remnants faintly in the essay’s photographs, like this one above. Off to the left is the entrance to the balcony where the “coloreds” had to go while the “whites” entered through the door on the right and sat separately on the main level closer to the stage. There are many such images in this essay.
It’s good that such images are captured. Soon enough these buildings will all be gone, and the remnants too. That’s why things like this essay are good, because they call our attention to and remind us of what occurred.
The essay is not just filled with moving images, but the words themselves are worth taking the time to take in. I hope you can find the time to take it in and linger over it.
That’s what this piece argues: Of course technology perpetuates racism. It was designed that way. | MIT Technology Review.
I disagree. Technology sometimes perpetuates racism, but it is often due to the fact it is NOT designed to account for racism. Sometimes machine learning software cannot perceive non-white faces correctly because they are trained with only white faces and cannot account for non-white faces. Sometimes search engines result in racist results, based on racist queries. AI systems can be made racist by engaging with a multitude of racists. If you feed systematic racist data based on redlining into your banking system or prison data into your justice software system, then those systems will make racist decisions. In all these cases, the fact that the systems are not designed to account for racism (or sexism or any form of discrimintation) is the problem. They need to be designed to account for these things.
Only when technology is designed to account for racism will it stop perpetuating racism.