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Santa’s Race? Most Americans Don’t Care, But Most Republicans Think He’s White

merry-christmas

More evidence that the “War On Christmas” is mostly a conservative fantasy:

Most Americans don’t care about Santa’s race, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, but nearly half of the Republicans surveyed think Santa should be portrayed as white.

(…)

Although Democrats (by a 68 percent to 20 percent margin) and independents (by a 61 percent to 31 percent margin) said that they don’t think it matters what race Santa is, Republicans were slightly more likely to say that Santa should be portrayed as white than that it doesn’t matter. Forty-nine percent said they think Santa should be white, while 45 percent said it doesn’t matter.

Frequent viewers of Fox News were more likely to prefer a white Santa than those who watch less frequently. Forty-one percent of those who said they often watch Fox News said they think Santa should be portrayed as white, while 47 percent said it doesn’t matter. By contrast, 61 percent of those who said they only watch the channel sometimes said it doesn’t matter, as did more than 60 percent of those who watch it rarely or never.

And thus we end the newest addition to the “War On Christmas” meme. At least for this year. Expect this one to return in 2014.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Peter says:

    One claim I’ve been hearing is that Santa cannot be white because he’s based on the real-life St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas lived in what is now Turkey, and as Turks are nonwhite,* it therefore follows that it is racist to portray Santa Claus as a white man.

    What this line of reasoning does not take into account is the fact that while St. Nicholas may have lived in Turkey, he was entirely of Greek origin. No one in their right mind is going to argue that Greeks are anything except white. It’s similar to the claims that Cleopatra was black because she lived in Egypt. She did, but she also was completely Greek.

    * = Turks are of course Caucasian, many of them are physically indistinguishable from northern Europeans, but there does seem to be a common understanding that Muslims are nonwhite regardless of physical appearance

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  2. john personna says:

    Nothing demonstrates insanity better than an argument about the race of a “person” everyone accepts is not real.

    I mean, double insanity.

    (Santa has historical roots, but Santa with Reindeer is what we are talking about here, people.)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  3. rodney dill says:

    This information yields a plethora of new Christmas carols.


    I hand out gifts and slide on ice.
    Living in a Gangsters paradise.
    Saying “Ho Ho” and tellin’ you, “Be Nice.”
    Living in a Gangsters paradise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  4. john personna says:

    (Not forgetting that “race” is a BS reduction of human diversity. Racists in various times and places have made all kinds of groupings. The modern American’s three (white, black, Hispanic) is particularly sad, because it groups Jews as white. People being subjected to genocide a generation ago are now in the good bucket. Morons.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  5. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    Everybody knows Santa is green, with a badly sewn red suit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    I’m completely confused, and I could care less.

    Help me out here:

    (1) Isn’t this really the “War on Santa”?
    (2) Or is it the “Race War on Santa”?
    (3) Or is this just another battle in the “War on Christmas” – the “Battle of Santa”?

    Finally

    (4) Are Credit Cards white?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. rodney dill says:

    @al-Ameda:

    (4) Are Credit Cards white?

    Mine’s black….. no wonder it gets rejected in so many places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. john personna says:

    @Peter:

    To say Greeks are white is one of those stupid reductions.

    They are only 28% Northern European, if that is where you are hanging your hat. Of course, Northern Europeans are not all Northern European.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. KM says:

    @Peter:

    No one in their right mind is going to argue that Greeks are anything except white.

    Clearly you are unaware of the history of “whiteness”. There was a time, my friend, when the Irish weren’t considered white and the majority of them are pale, pale, pale. Greek-as-white is not really classical but more a modern adaptation as the definition expanded.

    European=/= automatically white for a majority of history because there was an additional tag of culture attached. White=”civilized or an acceptable social group in additional to actual skin color” is a better definition. History books and literature are replete with other examples.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  10. rodney dill says:

    @KM: I think we can agree (at least I hope so) that the discussion changes if you are talking about a scientific definition, such as caucasoid, negroid, or sinoid, versus what are thought of as ethnic differences (either through historical or common use). The term “race” gets used to jump back and forth between to the two here quite frequently,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. gVOR08 says:

    There is a scene in Catch 22 (the book, I don’t recall it in the movie) in which Yossarian and Lt. Scheisskoff’s wife, both atheists, are in bed arguing about what sort of god they don’t believe in. Lt. Scheisskoff’s wife doesn’t believe in a kindly god, while the god Yossarian doesn’t believe in is angry and vindictive. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve been reminded of this scene in the last year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    I’m pretty sure there is not now believed to be any “scientific definition, such as caucasoid, negroid, or sinoid.”

    Those were all course groupings of phenotype, without benefit of genetic analysis.

    What we now know is that human diversity is much more fine grained, and there is no scientific basis for race, much less political justification.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. john personna says:

    (What we have is a sadly enduring system, where people are asked to self-identify into a few racial buckets, and having self-identified, to think that has some significance.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. gVOR08 says:

    Every now and again some conservative goes off on how come if liberals are so scientific they don’t accept The Bell Curve. This Santa Claus discussion should be making it clear we don’t have any very good idea what “race” is. We also have a very poor understanding of what IQ really is beyond a number on a piece of paper. Put the two together, you’re just completely off in the ozone.

    And I’m of Norwegian descent. You all look pretty swarthy to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  15. Peter says:

    @KM:
    Things may have been different in the 1800′s with the anti-Irish prejudice, but what matters to the present discussion is the modern portrayal of Santa Claus. Today race is (mostly) defined in physical terms rather than in cultural terms. Given those circumstances, it is completely illogical to claim that Santa should be nonwhite because he was based on a real-life Greek person, as in physical terms – again, ignoring culture – Greeks are part of the white race.

    I hasten to point out that there are a few situations in which we stray from the strict equating of race with physical appearance. First and foremost is the way that all Hispanics are classified as a separate, nonwhite race regardless of appearance. I would attribute this practice (which, by the way, exists nowhere in the world outside the United States) to the fact that the considerable majority of Hispanics do look different from whites, most of them being mestizo, Indio or mulatto. If most Hispanic immigrants came from Uruguay rather than Mexico we probably wouldn’t automatically consider Hispanics nonwhite. Then of course there’s the One Drop Rule, another US “exclusive,” under which a person of completely white appearance is legally and culturally classified as black if he or she had a dark-skinned great-great-great grandfather. This rule is mostly a historical relic, dating back to slavery, and like the treatment of Hispanics is not in any way relevant to the racial classification of Santa Claus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  16. john personna says:

    @gVOR08:

    Ha! I’m Icelandic, you darky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. Nikki says:

    Just more evidence that not all Republicans are racist, but most racists are Republicans. And, apparently, Fox News viewers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  18. Peter says:

    @john personna: Limiting the definition of “white” to Northern European is ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  19. john personna says:

    @Peter:

    I hasten to point out that there are a few situations in which we stray from the strict equating of race with physical appearance.

    Who is we (paleface)?

    I, and I think most scientifically informed people of my generation, simply reject race as a useful concept.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  20. KM says:

    @Peter:
    Since Santa isn’t real, what were the prevalent attitudes at the time he was created (ie born)? Shouldn’t that come into play – I mean, from a historical point of view seeing as how that’s the basis for this damn argument? The current image was created by Thomas Nast – what was the racial prevailing thought back then?

    You want modern but want to base him off a historical figure. Make up your mind, he is either the product of his times or something that can be reinvented to suit modern tastes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. john personna says:

    @john personna:

    Seriously? Some coward down-voted a rejection of race? Did you follow the link above and read about the genographic project, or did you just stick with what your lizard-brain tells you about “the other?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  22. KM says:

    @Peter:

    Limiting the definition of “white” to Northern European is ridiculous.

    And yet so very many do. Perhaps you should take this up with the Fox viewership that holds these views?

    Everyone wants to be in the InGroup so the their definition becomes flexible so Hey-It-Means-Me! This reminds me of the old argument of what constitutes Upstate in New York.

    “It’s often said that people in the City think upstate starts at Yonkers, people in Yonkers think it starts at White Plains, people in White Plains think it starts at Stony Point, people in Stony Point think it starts at Newburgh, people in Newburgh think it starts at Poughkeepsie, and people in Poughkeepsie will say that north of them is the Capital District. Basically, wherever you live is NOT upstate, and everything north of you is. Unless “everything north of you” is Canada.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. Scott says:

    @john personna: Of course, Northern Europeans are up to 5% Neanderthal (or something like that).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. john personna says:

    @Scott:

    Neanderthals, now there’s a “race” ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. gtleviathan says:

    @john personna: Albino. *Drops the mike*

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Peter: Erm…I can point you to times in American history where Greeks were definitely not considered “one of us.” Ditto for Italians and Irish. Care to look up the history of discrimination against the Irish?

    Why do you think the terms “dago” “wop” and “spic” were invented? (The only term I vaguely remember being used for Irish was “mick”–other commentators may be better informed.)

    Needless to say, none of the above terms were used in an affectionate or inclusive matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Upstate New York starts wherever you have to start worrying about how to keep the damn deer out of your garden…..

    (Was brought up in Upstate New York and am damn proud of it.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: Mackerel snappers? Though that may be for Catholics in general.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @john personna: Yassah Marse John

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. john personna says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m funnin’ not least because Iceland might actually have been settled by Norwegians … and possibly Irish slave girls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. john personna says:

    (History, one damn thing after another.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (Was brought up in Upstate New York and am damn proud of it.)

    Totally! Did you get the whole “Can you see the Statue of Liberty from your house” bit too? I swear, it’s like people don’t understand there’s a whole State inbetween!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. michael reynolds says:

    Clearly we need system for grading degree of whiteness, from, let’s say, Swedish Bikini Team on the one hand, to Galilean Carpenter on the other.

    Let’s get our best minds working on this. In fact, let’s get NASA on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  34. george says:

    @Peter:

    Limiting the definition of “white” to Northern European is ridiculous.

    Well, given that no one is white if you do a spectral analysis, any definition of “white” in terms of human is arbitrary – so no, there’s nothing ridiculous about it.

    In fact, I’d argue limiting it to Northern European doesn’t go far enough. My vote is that it should only apply to people with a noticeable element of white surface – which would be people with white hair.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: I just felt annoyed that the definition of “New England” doesn’t officially include Upstate New York.

    Hell, we made maple syrup every spring tapping our own trees! How much more New England can you get?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. KM says:

    @Peter:

    Then of course there’s the One Drop Rule, another US “exclusive,”

    is not in any way relevant to the racial classification of Santa Claus.

    I would argue its the centerpiece of this whole mess (actually at a lot of messes).

    If Santa can be anything other then 100% white/Caucasian, then what the hell has the Internet been discussing for the last week? If Santa can be whatever he damn well pleases, then what’s it to you? Is he somehow less for not meeting your visual needs?

    You know where else we’ve recently seen people loosing their minds over an imaginary character’s skin tone? The Hunger Games. That cute little girl they cast for Rue caused Twitter to light up with some truly ugly thoughts. I’ll leave off with something from the original article, which sums up that and this little bit of stupidity far better then I can:

    So now they’re angry. Wasted tears, wasted emotions. It’s sad to think that had they known that she was black all along, there would have been [no] sorrow or sadness over her death.

    There are MAJOR TIE-INS to these reactions and the injustices that we see around the world today. I don’t even need to spell it out because I know that you’re all a smart bunch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. Rafer Janders says:

    @Peter:

    One claim I’ve been hearing is that Santa cannot be white because he’s based on the real-life St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas lived in what is now Turkey, and as Turks are nonwhite,* it therefore follows that it is racist to portray Santa Claus as a white man.

    Also, too, the present-day Turks didn’t enter what is now Turkey until around the battle of Manzikert in 1070, about 700 years after the historical St. Nicholas existed. They lived in Central Asia before then, and are historically relative newcomers to the region.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @KM:

    Upstate starts at 14th Street. Everyone knows that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Upstate New York starts wherever you have to start worrying about how to keep the damn deer out of your garden…..

    That can’t be right, or Long Island would be upstate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Gustopher says:

    We’ll never be sure until we get a DNA sample.

    Which begs the question of why Santa does not merely provide this sample, and what is he hiding?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hmmmm…

    “Santa’s Race? Most Americans Don’t Care, But Most Republicans Think He’s White”

    let’s see…

    Santa’s Race? Most Americans Don’t Care , But Most What Republicans Think He’s White

    Fixed that for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  42. Grewgills says:

    @rodney dill:

    I think we can agree (at least I hope so) that the discussion changes if you are talking about a scientific definition

    The problem is, any scientific definition now would be based on genetics and there is more genetic diversity within the groupings you listed than there is between them. There is no clear concise and scientific definition of race. All we have are largely subjective ethnic groupings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. rodney dill says:

    @Grewgills: Pretty much my point. Most of the claims of or discussion of racism seem to pivot on treating the subjective ethnic groupings as races. As Johnny Personna pointed ot the three major ‘races’ that were once taught in public education don’t appear to be in vogue any more. To the people it makes a difference to it seems that they make a distinction as to who looks different or is culturally different more than making science based difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Scott O says:

    Most Americans Don’t Care, But Most Republicans Think …….

    Seems to be a recurring theme in the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. Ron Beasley says:

    Just some red meat to throw to the knuckle dragging Republican base.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. angelfoot says:

    @rodney dill: I now realize why I so seldom laugh at the “winners” in the caption contests. And please don’t tell me to lighten up, Francis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. superdestroyer says:

    @Peter:

    If you follow the FBI guidance for filling out finger print card forms then Turks are white. Of course, most people born in northern African and the middle east would be classified as white.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fingerprints_biometrics/guidelines-for-preparation-of-fingerprint-cards-and-association-criminal-history-information on page 39.

    If the Department of Justice considers Santa white, then why should everyone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. superdestroyer says:

    @Peter:

    Most Hispanics wold be considered white by the criminal justice system which Hispanic is not used to describe people in the criminal justice system. When having employees fill out fnger print cards for DHS background checks, I laughed to everyone from central and south american that today, they were all white people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    If you reject race as a concept then why do all progressive support the idea of racial set asides, quotas, and separate and unequal treatment. It was not Republicans in front of the Supreme Court Fisher case arguing that the government should treat whites differently than Hispanics or blacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. rodney dill says:

    @angelfoot: All you’ve done is indicate that your sense of humor is other than mine. There is nothing to tell you to lighten up about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It is false that all progressives support racial quotas. Many agree with me (the moderate) that we should move to income based rules & etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    To the people it makes a difference to it seems that they make a distinction as to who looks different or is culturally different more than making science based difference.

    Yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. Matt Bernius says:

    @superdestroyer:

    If you reject race as a concept then why do all progressive support the idea of racial set asides, quotas, and separate and unequal treatment.

    Simply put, modern science rejects a *scientific* basis for discrete racial classifications. Simply isn’t there.

    However, racial classification still remains a cultural reality. And will remain so, for better or worse, for the foreseeable future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. john personna says:

    On the subject of racism though, when you see someone grouping people (as in “blacks” or “Hispanics”) and denigrating them, you can criticize them on two levels.

    It’s wrong to thus group people.

    It’s wrong to thus denigrate people.

    I have actually seen an attempted push back, maybe in these pages, that “you can’t criticize my racism, because that means you too see race.”

    No, we can see what you are doing there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. john personna says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Or to put another way, while race isn’t really a thing, racism sure and sadly is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  56. Matt Bernius says:

    @john personna:

    Or to put another way, while race isn’t really a thing, racism sure and sadly is.

    No. I disagree with this. Race is “a thing.” It’s just not a scientific thing.

    Cultural constructs are *very* real in that they have real world implications and effects.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Peter says:

    @superdestroyer: One example should suffice to show that Turks are unquestionably white. I live in one of the relatively few parts of the country with a significant Turkish population. A couple of years ago I went into a nearby Turkish store to buy some spices, and the woman* at the register addressed me in what presumably was Turkish. As there is nothing whatsoever non-white about my appearance, her use of the language is evidence that a clearly non-minority person can be Turkish.

    * = who had blonde hair

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  58. john personna says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    First of all, I think it gives the racists too much to agree that race is a thing, but second I think it is too bizarre and self-contradictory to be a real thing.

    Do you remember the absurd discussions on whether Barack Obama was black or not?

    It was all nutty. Someone who is exactly half European and half African can’t be classified as one or the other. Either you have to go back to deep racism (Mullato, Quadroons, Octoroons, Sacatra, and Griffe) or give it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. john personna says:

    @Peter:

    As rodney says, this is about people who think it makes a difference, making their own rules.

    You think you get to decide “white,” we get that.

    Never mind the absurdities, as in Greeks being white, but perhaps the Palestinians, or Egyptians, sharing much the same gene pool, not being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. john personna says:

    To answer both Peter and Matt differently, in order to have races, “you have do draw the line somewhere,”

    except no, you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Matt Bernius says:

    @Peter:

    One example should suffice to show that Turks are unquestionably white. I live in one of the relatively few parts of the country with a significant Turkish population.

    Peter, all this proves is how “race” as a cultural construct, is locally defined.

    The mistake you make here is projecting your experience out to the rest of the world. As you put it yourself, you live in a unique section of the country and were going into a store that from the sounds of it serves a very specific community — so there were already countless assumptions framing that interaction.

    The question is whether or not you would have the same experience if you went into a store in Turkey for example.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Peter says:

    @john personna:
    Most Egyptians have some degree of sub-Saharan African ancestry and therefore aren’t really from the same “gene pool” as Greeks. Look at a number of uncaptioned pictures of Greeks and Egyptians mixed together and you should have little trouble determining which ones are which. As I understand it, Egyptians do not like being racially classified; they consider themselves their own distinct race.
    Palestinians are a more difficult case. People from the eastern Mediterranean can be quite light, pretty much European in appearance, but then we run into the cultural issue of treating Muslims as non-white. Lebanese Christians, who are very similar physically to Palestinians, are generally classified as white in the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. Matt Bernius says:

    @john personna:

    except no, you don’t.

    Correct. But the fact-in-the-world is that people *still do*. And as long as people still continue to create characterizations based on a cultural category called “race”, then “race” exists.

    To put it a different way, “race” is as real as any “law.” Arguably, the moment a law stops being enforced it ceases to exist. But for every moment that law is enforced, it’s continually being recreated and turned into something “real.”

    Wishing “race” away is as impractical as wishing any “law” away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. john personna says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I think that outlook leaves us somewhat stuck.

    Better to say that black is a look (like blond), one that suffers discrimination, but not because black is a race (and blond isn’t).

    Black people are certainly discriminated against, That is all the sadder because there is no such race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. Peter says:

    @Matt Bernius: I’m not sure I follow. A Turkish store clerk thought that I was Turkish, even when there’s nothing remotely non-white about my appearance. Whether the store was here or in Turkey wouldn’t matter. In fact, because the store probably gets many non-Turkish customers (it has excellent spices and a good deli section), the clerk’s mistake as to my background actually reinforces the fact that a white person could indeed “pass” as Turkish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. john personna says:

    @Peter:

    Man you are a racist if you are going for the “one drop” definition.

    But I’m afraid your Greeks would lose on that one. They’ve been trading with and sailing ships between Egypt for a few thousand years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    I have never found a progressive that will agree that the decision in the Supreme Court case of Gratz v Bollinger was correct and proper. Progressives always want income-based affirmative action in addition to race-based affirmative action. Progressives always go to supporting the government having more goodies to pass out to their favored blocks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  68. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    If race is not real, then why does the federal government and the courts recognize race and support the idea that the government can hand out benefits using race as the basis. If progressives want to discredit the idea of race, they must stop support separate and unequal standards based upon race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  69. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Why does government classify by “race?”

    History. Loads of terrible, terrible, history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Seriously?

    End race-based affirmative action? Yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  71. Matt Bernius says:

    @Peter:

    I’m not sure I follow. A Turkish store clerk thought that I was Turkish, even when there’s nothing remotely non-white about my appearance.

    First of all, the shaky ground you are already on is the idea that “Turkish” is a *race* versus a *national* or *ethnic* group.

    Second, as I said above, you are using a single interaction to try and make a very broad statement about *race.*

    BTW, I’m curious, did the clerk ever switch to English?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. Peter says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    No I’m not saying that Turks are a race. All I’m using this interaction to show is that a Turkish person mistook 100% white me for Turkish, which undercuts the claim that Santa can’t be white because he is based on a historical person who lived in Turkey (never minding the fact that St. Nicholas was Greek, or that the ancestors of modern Turks did not live there at the time.
    By the way, when the clerk saw my confusion she switched to (perfect) English.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. Peter says:

    @john personna:
    I hate the One Drop Rule and would be ecstatic if it goes away.

    While Greeks may have some black African ancestry it is usually trival. That is why Greeks are physically indistinguishable from other Europeans. Egyptians have a significantly greater degree of black African ancestry in most cases, and that’s why Egyptians do not look much like Europeans.

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  74. Grewgills says:

    @Peter:
    That doesn’t mean you look like a typical Turk. It means you were in an area where she assumed most people would be Turkish. It is quite possible that if a black or asian man walked in she would also address them in Turkish. Did you hang around and see how she addressed everyone that came in?

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  75. Grewgills says:

    @Peter:
    Actually people here were saying St Nikolas was likely Northern European in appearance not only because of where he was born and lived, but based on reconstructions of his appearance based on his skeletal structure.
    What most argued wasn’t so much that he wasn’t white (as that has very little meaning). What was argued by me and others is that he very likely looked different than what the people making the claim that he is obviously white consider white. Thus my comment that he was as white as Yassar Arafat. He was a Middle Eastern man and from the reconstructions apparently looked like a Middle Eastern man. The crowd that is running in to classify Jesus and St Nik as white are broadening their typical definitions of white to include them, but when it comes to say airport security they will go back to locking down that definition of white.

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  76. john personna says:

    @Peter:

    So the Egyptians are 14% sub-Saharan African. That’s not “a drop” to you, but enough to say that they “aren’t white?”

    Doesn’t this demonstrate the arbitrary nature of race and racists?

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  77. superdestroyer says:

    @Grewgills:

    If a middle eastern man was arrested at the airport, the finger print card and the rest of the criminal justice forms would list the man as white. Also, the middle eastern man would not quality for a minority set aside program that blacks are eligible for.

    People should try to look up how the government actually applies the terms black, white, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American instead of believing what others say.

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  78. Grewgills says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Keep clutching at those straws.

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  79. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    Since the federal government does not give set asides to Egyptians, since universities do not have lower admission requirements for Egyptians, and since the government does not have a program to hire Egyptians will fewer qualifications, then NO, Egyptians are not black in the eyes of the government.

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  80. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What are you really saying, that you don’t want to give up race, and that you’re glad the government supports you with it’s old thinking on this?

    (I think government has actually moved to “ethnicity” which is a finer-grained concept, and one more bound to culture.)

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  81. Peter says:

    @john personna:
    So the Egyptians are 14% sub-Saharan African. That’s not “a drop” to you, but enough to say that they “aren’t white?”
    Doesn’t this demonstrate the arbitrary nature of race and racists?

    Until you just mentioned it I didn’t know that it was 14% and not some other figure. Nor am I expressing any opinions as to what the proper racial classification for Egyptians would be, except that maybe the Egyptians are onto something when they reject other categories and say that they’re their own group.
    My point is that Egyptians by and large look less European than most other Arabs. That’s it. Nothing more.

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  82. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    Once again, it is not conservatives who have been in front of the Supreme Court arguing that racial dvisions, racial data, and ethnicity-based government are good things. It is the left who has been in front of the Supreme Court arguign that not only should blacks be treated differently by the government but that there is nothing that whites can do about it. http://www.civilrights.org/archives/2013/october/1153-scotus-schuette-cantrell.html

    When progressives are in front of the Supreme Court arguing for discrimination today, discrimination tomorrow, and discrimination forever, then stop blaming conservatives.

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