Seth - I never said that personal experience should be disregarded. What I did say is that personal experience should never be taken to encompass an entire category of people - isn't that racism after all?
no, not actually. Simply making distinctions between the experiences, thought patterns, or beliefs of groups of people is not racism. Personally or systematically discriminating *against* groups of people (or individuals according to their membership in a group or category) is racism.
You said when anyone uses a race/special category whatever tag, whatever they're saying is total BS. That seems to disregard it in toto. Or do you have a high regard for total BS that I somehow missed?
Just because people tend to overgeneralize doesn't mean their statements have no meaning. Also, multiple viewpoints can be correct if you recognize they come out of different experience. It's a postmodern or post-normal science attitude that I can see bothers you but is one I'm quite comfortable with.
Since the part of my friend's statement I was trying to connect to was why he as a black man was having trouble understanding why white people seem to feel attacked when someone says they are racist or being racist, the comment that in his (black) community/people are more open about their own racism spoke truth to me and helped me understand. I felt I was able to say things from a different/liberal white perspective that helped him understand as well. To me, the goal of talking about things is understanding so we can talk more and better about these things, and so change them. It isn't to vilify people or try to make one group come out better than another.
When I read about things like aversive racism, I come to appreciate a sense that all people act out subconcious negative attitudes in ways they don't appreciate and I would agree that white people are more likely to be in denial about the effects of racism
[I have a default username and pssword combination I use for all sites I don't care about security on so that learning one more doesn't act as a barrier to me. I recommend it. Or LJ also supports OpenID, which you might look into - there's a link to info about it in the LJ comment posting form.]