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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
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IEET > Rights > Personhood > Life > Vision > Technoprogressivism

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Fatal Invention: The New Biopolitics of Race



Dorothy E. Roberts

Vanderbilt University

Posted: Nov 28, 2012


“Dorothy E. Roberts - recently named Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor at the University of Pennsylvania—presenting “Fatal Invention: The New Biopolitics of Race” based on her latest book Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century.

An acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law, Roberts examines contemporary issues in health, bioethics, and social justice with a particular focus on how they affect the lives of women, children, and African-Americans. Synthesizing a range of disciplines, she sheds light on some of humanity’s most challenging issues to bring hope and awareness to under-served members our society.”


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COMMENTS


Republicans are some of the most disappointing people of the 21st century to dialogue (monologue) with on race. What's worse is the underlying reason: nostalgia and the related reason of how the old-fashioned (not conservative) want the ambiance of the past.. which makes it rather poignant; they think we are cultural imperialists ruining their trek to a New Jerusalem.
Tom Sowell is the worst of the lot, an octogenarian full of wisdom from the past yet lacking any vision for the future; that is what discourages me, having to attempt to communicate with the old-fashioned (you cannot avoid them any day of the week in Middle America) albeit knowing there is little reason to try as you do not convince them and it becomes wasted motion for the interlocutor.
In fairness, they are practical-minded, if life was all about sports stats it would be acceptable; if life was about hunting and fishing.... life was about hunting and fishing hundreds of years ago. Thousands.
You see the anachronism? they mean well but unless you want your mind in the past and your body in the future-- we are all time- traveling into the future-- there's no connection, only really talking past them, agreeing to disagree.
So unless such changes, I don't see the hope in it. I sense it will be talking at cross purposes for decades and getting involved appears unappetising; no wonder libertarian transhumanists are often so exercised; sure wouldn't want to be them.
At any rate, some tiny good has come from the monologuing: now we can see blaming illiberalism exclusively was a race-card the Right was using. True, they did believe what they were saying, and race-hustlers and poverty-pimps do in fact exist, they're not Unicorns. However now it is coming out into the open: in pursuit of the past, the Right will sacrifice the future; now they co-opt ancient blacks such as Uncle Tom Sowell.
Sad for them, Bad for us.

Too bad we can't use Buddhist Right Speech to attempt to communicate with them: they are Christian soldiers marching as to war.



What do you think the implications of these ideas are on government policy? Specifically, the concept of "multiculturalism"? If the traditional categories for ethnicity and race have been debunked, then should we focus on more distributed, ground-up versions of diversity such as "pluralism"?

Pluralism seems to be more respectful of the fact that race and ethnicity have extremely pours boundaries and our dynamic, squishy concepts. Not every distinct group that forms may have an official history, founders or even a name! I believe government policies that reference diversity - including the treatment of the subject of diversity in public schools and how arts and culture funding are allocated - may no longer be legitimate if they are based on the old categories. I suggest that we need to pursue more dynamic, objective ways to foster and respect diversity as it actually is and not as we wish it to be.



"I believe government policies that reference diversity - including the treatment of the subject of diversity in public schools and how arts and culture funding are allocated - may no longer be legitimate if they are based on the old categories."


Yes, you summed it up well, naturally on both 'sides', multiculturalists who overemphasize differences, and the 'Right' (admittedly shorthand for everyone from rightist libertarians to totalists) who ignore oppression-- or at least overt hostility directed at certain minorities-- who say minorities are merely whining.
Have noticed during the past five decades a large percentage of the population consistently wants or needs scapegoats: in certain locales, not merely the Deep South, blacks could be blamed for one's own/collective difficulties; during the Bicentennial celebrations in '76 I was present at a restaurant in Delaware when a black was disingenuously told no seats were available; since that time such has rapidly declined to the point a 'mulatto' (a little-known fact is the quaint designation mulatto indicates outmodedness of the term "miscegenation") is now POTUS. What got me interested in gay issues was a suspicion blacks will be replaced as scapegoats by gays: in other words the want-need for scapegoats has declined yet not nearly at the rate racism has declined.



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