links for 2011-07-03

  • Of course, this begs the question of *why* don't people have practice in seeing "other-race" faces.–AJP

    "As for why unique features are harder to recognize in other-race faces, the researchers theorize that many people simply have less practice seeing and remembering other-race faces. Their brains may be less practiced at seeking out the facial information that distinguishes other-race faces from one another.

    "Another possibility is 'social categorization,' or the tendency to group others into social categories by race, according to the researchers."

  • "Most Indian people who are under fifty years of age cannot recall a time when our indigenous sacred ceremonies were illegal, but I can. Let me repeat, our ceremonies were illegal—people went to jail for dancing the Sun Dance, for constructing and using the purification lodge, for practicing the Peyote Way, and for many other of our traditional ways."
  • "With its unassuming facade, dollar deals, and classy entertainment offerings, Michael's International in Houston is the perfect hang-out spot not only for discriminating gentlemen, but also for gentlemen who discriminate—as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

    "The EEOC filed its suit on behalf of a group of African-American waitresses who were told back in 2007 that they couldn't work at Michael's anymore because Bert Stair, vice president and secretary of Michael's parent company Burch Management, reportedly 'did not like African-American waitresses and dancers in his club.' The allegations against him are pretty appalling…"

  • So, the "what about the children" reasoning is the new anti-immigration rhetoric? Really?–AJP

    "He says only immigrants with 'something to offer' should be allowed into the country and that too often foreign workers purporting to be skilled take low-skilled jobs that could be occupied by British school leavers. He warns David Cameron that a 'slack' attitude to immigration will result in the Coalition repeating the mistakes made under Labour, when the vast majority of new jobs generated before the recession were taken by immigrants."

  • "The Alte Breslauer Burschenschaft der Raczeks zu Bonn had applied for the Burschenschaft Hansea zu Mannheim to be kicked out of the DB because Kai Ming Au, spokesman for the Mannheim fraternity, was ethnically Chinese even though he was born in Mannheim and considers himself fully German.

    "The row brought to the surface all the stereotypes surrounding the conservative, nationalist pro-German groups and revealed what many see as a power struggle within the association between its ultra-traditionalist rump with racist tendencies and its more liberal majority." 

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  • Anonymous

    “this begs the question of *why* don’t people have practice in seeing “other-race” faces”

    Here is my totally unscientific opinion. The first people you see in your life are your family. Starting with your mother. You learn to read your mother’s face very early. (Actual Fact)
    You learn to differentiate first among persons who almost always are of the same racial/ethnic group. The next group you learn to recognize facially are extended family, friends, and neighbors.  Most families are not multi-racial. Most families have friends and neighbors that look like them. Unless you know people who don’t look like your family, and EARLY too, you have to learn this later in life.

    If any one of those women in study had ever had a black friend — I mean a friend close enough that she knew their family — she’d never have trouble recognizing black faces. You have to have experience with racial groupings other than your own.

    In a highly segregated society, groups other than your own can appear to be a blur.

    • Emily Belanger

      CanadaGoose, I agreed with you right up until you said that if any of those women had ever has a close black friend she would never have trouble recognizing black faces. That statement just generalizes way too far. While having such a friendship helps, the age at which you have that kind of friendship is key.

      I grew up in a town where maybe 1% of the population was black, and while I was good enough friends with a black girl that I knew her family, the side of her family she lived with were white. In college, I later roomed with two black sisters (for a few years), and I was good enough friends with them that I got to know their family. During that time period, I dated a black man too. But it’s still much easier for me to see differences between white people than between black people. Even having a close friend of another race isn’t always enough, if you’re in college by the time it happens.

      I think it’s also important to remember the hair issue that so many white people (including myself) struggle with. For white people who are used to remembering people based on their hair color, it can even be difficult to remember other white people with the same hair color. I mix up blond men and women all the time, even though I’m the only brunette in a family of blonds.

    • Ike

      Pretty sure non-white Americans (maybe Canadians too) have no trouble distinguishing white faces, since it’s basically required for watching television and movies. (I’m really bad at faces, and watching a movie with a lot of characters involves me constantly asking who’s who.)

    • nicthommi

      @CanadaGoose, I’m black, and people who know me well will tell me that I look like black people who look nothing like me ALL OF  THE TIME.
      For whatever reason, our faces do seem to kind of melt away to the eyes of some people of other races. 
      They don’t see the differences in our noses, our hair, our lips, and sometimes even our skin color.
      And for non-black people who notice the color variations, they’ll still say that you “look” like someone who is the same color as you even when the person does not have the same features.  It’s as if the people I know are incapable of seeing my features at all. 
      It’s really odd. 
      And like the commenter below, I think that as a minority, you are pretty good at recognizing the faces of the majority, because you see them all of the time, so I really do look at people’s noses, eyes, etc. when comparing them. I’m not going to say that someone with a Gallic nose looks like someone with a pug nose just because they have the same skin and hair color.
      This works in a lot of different ways.  A friend just thought that she saw another friend’s boyfriend on a dating site.  The boyfriend in question is a dark-skinned Indian, and the person who thought she “recognized” him was not.  I saw the pictures and it was not the same person and the only thing that was the same was the color of their skin.  Weird.
      I’ve also had Asian friends who described part-Asian people as white, when to my eyes, those people looked quite Asian.  But the people who did this were directly from China.  Perhaps this comes from rarely seeing people who are anything but “100% Asian”?
      And another friend of mine, who is part African and part white (but in this country is never seen as anything other than black and blends into any crowd of black people), visited an African village and heard people talking about the white lady who was visiting.  She was quite curious to find her, and then to her shock, found out that the white lady who was causing the stir was in fact her.  Her skin is not white, not even close. It’s caramel colored.  So we both found that hilarious. But I think that where she was visiting, that color was just not found (although plenty of Africans are her color).
      The area of course there these identifications have been pretty problematic come when people are identifying people who have allegedly committed crimes.  Scary indeed.