Impression of Questions about Race

Online comments give a good impression of questions that people have about race. I have been interacting with commenters on Disqus for a while now. I have learned a lot about how they think about race. There are some lingering questions in the West about race.

My views on race are often misunderstood, while few Westerners have carefully studied different views on race. At the same time, my Chinese perspective is often misunderstood due to unfamiliarity with Chinese traditional culture. What I want to do is to create more understanding and to clear up misunderstandings.

People have a tendency, while interacting with me, to zoom in on my person. It appears that while they recognise my views are different from their own, they feel the need to put me in some sort of psychological category in an attempt to discredit my views. I have observed that this is a strong tendency among liberals in the West to discredit people who hold views that are fundamentally different from those of liberals. What liberals say about persons who hold certain views can be safely ignored.

What I want to create is an environment where we can listen to ideas instead of making things so personal. I have been called a Japanese fascist, a Chinese supremacist, an anti-Semite, an Asian racist, a narcissist, a psychopath, and the list goes on and on. Hasty categorisation appears to be the main source of misunderstandings about my views.

I want to emphasise my ideas, because I am interested in acquiring more knowledge. For the same reason, I want to post screenshots of  replies by a Disqus commenter to me below for the purpose of study. My main interest is to study radical ideas, because I want to challenge liberal myths, biases and stereotypes.

Debate is welcome in the comment section below.

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9 thoughts on “Impression of Questions about Race”

  1. Hi Ms, I am curious about your real name, but for now, Chinese Nationalist Maiden will do.
    Thank you for sharing so much about your personal intellectual discoveries and for your suggestions. I hope I can find the time, being a teacher, husband and father, to read the books you recommended, but for now abstracts and summaries will do.
    I have a feeling that our initial disagreements will on many parts dissolve if we learn more about each others real views. On “paper” we often have foggy ideas and make wrong projections but with patience and an open mind this can be abridged.

    I agree that “the West” – although that does not apply to all western gtoups and people, mainly the dominant elite – has tendencies that you might call liberal and dangerous, but we need to be careful how we define “liberal”.
    I believe a capitalist elite is dominating most of the world and is responsible for the recent wars and even the acceleration of climate change. Communism in its current application does not seem to answer the needs, however. I experience these effects also in Indonesia. A capitalist elite,(on behalf of American influence perhaps?) a few decades ago, once killed most of the communist Indonesians so it seems that they seesocialism in all its forms as a threat – to them, not to humanity, although they proclaim it as such.
    The truth is still out there.

    As for the views on race, I am starting to understand your concerns if I look at the book you suggested. There might be some truth in it, I guess it is fair to say that if we as a people were honest in the search of truth, we would explore ALL possibilities, but we are discouraged by the ethical code that we should consider all races equal and everything said about racial inequalities is deemed unforgivable racism.
    But I am not sure about IQ. IQ as a measure is too skewed towards limited types of achievement, intelligence may well be still beyond our grasp as it involves so much more. I think you also questioned IQ.
    That certain races seem to score may also have to do with the lesser conditions in which they live and their confidence – which affect outcomes as I have seen and experienced.
    So if its all genetics… but it has been said that genes can be influenced by our life styles and activities by means of encoding molecules. So genes are not the only predictors.
    This could explain racial differences as well.
    And many problems like in developing countries have more complex causes like the effects of colonization, climate change, drought and scarcity and neocolonization by developed countries that hinder development for the sake of exploiting them.

    As for scientific articles on race. It is best to compare the articles from various authors and as wide as possible, to rule out studies with bad methodology, statistical insignificant results, unjustified deductions based on more humble findings, and our own biases and inclinations.

    Hopefully we will uncover the truth on our walks in life and I am happy that you contributed to the expansion of my perspective.
    Thank you for that and as I said before, you are a fascinated, yet anonymous person, I am happy to share ideas and learn from each other.

    Like

    1. Hello Marcel,

      Thank you for contacting me here. Now it is easier for me to stay in touch with you. You are always welcome to comment here, whether we agree or not. I am open to different perspectives, and I do believe we can learn a lot from each other. I have to say that traditional Chinese are not very ideological, we just focus on personality and virtues. We care more about people than ideas.

      We are just practical-minded people who care about relations with other human beings, and it is naturally considered important to keep contact with people who show a good personality or human virtues to us. I believe in empathy, patience and kindness, and I am very thankful that you are a very empathic, patient and kind person. These are qualities that are very valuable to have as a teacher, and I feel that you must be an amazing teacher. There are a few teachers who made a great impression on me, and they all had these three qualities in common: empathy, patience and kindness.

      Some people think Asians are somewhat clingy because they cannot let go of human contacts/relationships, but I think that it is important to look at this with more understanding. Chinese really value social relations, and they take social relations very seriously. Once I have established contact with a person that I consider good or virtuous to me, I do not want to let go of that contact because I value it. I hope that you will understand this tendency in me not as mere clinginess, but as my Chinese way of showing that I value the contact deeply and that I enjoy interacting with you. I just wanted to tell you this openly so as to help you understand my cultural background more. Not many Chinese speak so openly about what they think, I am somewhat Westernised so I am a bit more open.

      Chinese people have a very indirect communication style, and they feel it is improper to say directly what they think because they value human relationships above all, and thoughts are only secondary. After all, we depend on people for our survival, and it is not always wise just to say whatever you think. This does not mean that we do not talk about ideas, but we just communicate our ideas in another way. Since I want you to understand me, I will do my best to communicate clearly (well, at least in a way that is very clear from a Western perspective). Sometimes you may still find that I communicate in an Asian way, because my culture also affects me subconsciously even when I am communicating with Westerners. I am not always aware of how I communicate, because I am very focused on the person.

      While doing so, I may be very aware of your emotions and my own emotions, and I may not be so focused on anything else because it is hard work to process all those emotions properly and to understand them and to express them properly, through written words. I find it vital to be open about emotions so that you know what is going on between us in our interaction and so you can relate to me on a human level (of course, open communication about our human nature may help to prevent cultural misunderstandings). I know this can be confronting, while I also think it is vital for building up our mutual understanding.

      It is Chinese philosophy that we first have to cultivate virtues (i.e. build good character) before we can move on to properly acquire wisdom or exchange knowledge. In other words, developing a proper attitude towards each other (note this: Chinese see ‘a proper attitude’ as something you acquire through personal evolution) must necessarily precede the communication of ideas. After all, it is difficult to communicate properly when there is no safe environment. Chinese traditionally find it important first to create that safe environment and then to move on to talking about ideas, which can, therefore, traditionally be perceived as something that is very intimate. I do not believe in convincing people because I do not believe ideas can be properly communicated between people people unless they have built up mutual understanding, and this takes time, and it requires regular interaction.

      We only scratch the surface when we have no deeper human bond. In order to reach a deeper essence of our knowledge, we need to achieve a deeper connection. As a Chinese, I do not mind whether I agree with a person I meet or not. What matters to me is that we can build up mutual understanding so that we can pave the way for proper communication of ideas. Communication can never be perfect, but we can keep on trying to evolve towards a more perfect state, and by doing so, we can learn more and more about ourselves and the world around us. Traditional Chinese do not think in absolutes, and we see the world as constantly evolving. There is no absolute good, pure, beautiful, perfect, safe, etc. We just feel we can evolve towards those qualities, and that this personal evolution can make us virtuous in the eyes of others around us. I have faith that you can sympathise with my Chinese philosophical sentiments.

      So let me move from philosophy to other topics now. Philosophy serves as a good introduction to the thing that I want to talk about next. There are people who have taken an entire lifetime to reach certain conclusions, and that is why it takes time to digest them. Therefore, I think it is good to take things slowly and to digest information at your own pace. When I read the authors I also suggested to you, I tried to read one or two chapters per day or just a few pages and then I would put down the book to think about what the author had said. I do not want to judge what people say, I just want to try to understand.

      I have noticed that trying to achieve understanding aids me more in my personal development than judging things without having made a real effort to understand them. I know that trying to understand is hard work, and that is why people may be inclined towards judging. So I am careful to emphasise that more understanding is needed, while there is already enough judging going on. William Gayley Simpson’s work ‘Which Way Western Men’ is the story of a religious man who was trying to find the truth. Whatever we may think of him, his story is an intriguing one, and certainly very philosophical.

      His intended audience seems to be Westerners, while his ideas are in reality also interesting for Easterners. As I am not a judging personality, I can easily read works and learn from them. I see books as things that are meant to inspire us, provoke new thoughts and feelings in our minds. Chinese are eager to adopt new ‘Western ideas’ because we are diligent students. At the same time, we strive to remain part of our culture and we try not to abandon our fundamental cultural principles. We are trying hard not to lose ourselves in the process as we are learning about the West. Just as the East is a fascination for the West, the West is a fascination for the East. This mutual sentiment of fascination is bound to stay even as we learn more about each other. I will give you the link to read Simpson’s work online, and you can read it at your own pace, perhaps a chapter or a few pages per day.

      You are welcome to discuss anything with me that you encounter in the book. At least we can try to understand the author together if confusion or doubt arises. In Communist China there is real suppression of ideas, and that is why I think I am very eager to explore ideas that are different. I do not care whether people call ideas ‘controversial’ or not, because I want to explore them for myself. I can judge for myself whether they have value or truth, and others do not need to tell me that. Marxists can tell me what to think, but I will think for myself regardless of what they tell me to think.

      I am someone who wants to understand while I am looking for truth; I want to explore the complex realities of this world for as long as I am here, and I want to absorb as much of it as I reasonably can. I know that I am merely a human being, and so I will never claim that I know everything. It is potentially possible that I am wrong about certain things, and that is why I am receptive and open to others’ feelings and ideas. William Gayley Simpson also appears to have realised this, and that is probably why he shares his philosophical insights in the context of his personal evolution.

      https://archive.org/stream/WhichWayWesternMan/Which_Way_Western_Man#page/n1/mode/2up

      I will share more links with you later if you are interested.

      I am grateful that you are such an amazing and fascinating person, Marcel. I feel you have a highly developed ability to balance being a teacher, father and husband – social relations which are very important to a Chinese heart and mind.

      Like

      1. Hi Ms, I am really grateful for your kind words! I do know some of the students really love me, especially the little cute ones in Kindergarten, but I think I still have much to learn before the term great would even remotely apply.

        You are absolutely right! We only talk about tips of icebergs and do often fight needless battles if we focus on ideas without getting to know the layered person behind the words, or better, the true self behind the veils of the presented personality. That takes time, love and patience.
        That’s why most discussions fail. Sometimes, however, I do experience that not all wonderful people can fullfill all my intellectual or spiritual needs – or I simply was not ready to really get to know the right persons behind the persons – and then I focus on idea platforms and media, or better: just extend my inter-personal horizon to those more alligned with my wavelength, instead of just aiming for ideas.

        Modern social media therefore often fail to provide meaning, we rarely get to know the real person. But some seem to work better, like Quora.

        I willtry to read it in my own pace – the book – and let you know as soon as it triggers some ideas worth discussing.

        Have a wonderful day, mysterious Maiden!

        Like

  2. I am now reading the part of the book where the author discusses his idea of Jesus versus how “the Church” portrays Him. Very interesting discourse!

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        1. I feel the book serves as a good philosophical introduction to certain topics, while other books may offer a scientific explanation. Philosophy has its place, and it can inspire us. Philosophy leaves you thinking, it should challenge you, and perhaps leave you shocked. From this kind of philosophy should come a desire to know more – a feeling that leads to scientific inquiry. There is also the kind of philosophy that is meant just to be lived – such as Chinese philosophy. Different types of philosophy have their purposes and they can aid us as human beings. That is all I can say for now. Good luck with reading!

          Like

          1. Yes indeed! Philosophy fils in the gaps in our otherwise meaningless scientific understanding.
            I only read something about I Ching, Taoism and Confusius, and Sun Tzu’s the art of war. So my understanding of Chinese philosophy is limited.
            I will, thank you.
            You too and have a wonderful day!

            Like

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