RE: "New Age Racists"? (was Re: leftist bullies)

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From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Mon Nov 27 2000 - 14:29:18 PST

On Mon, 27 Nov 2000, Zhang, Yangkun wrote:

> It is racist because the "living wage standard" simply allows American
> industries more excuses for protectionism, and ends up hurting the exact
> people it's supposed to help. It is racist because the negative impact of
> such policies end up hurting the non-whites in the third world.

That is your opinion. Most of the people advocating these standards have
a different opinion, that it will make third world lives better. But
whoever is right (if anyone), it is not racism. It is people acting on
good intentions, based on information that has come to them. Just as I
presume you act, although your sources of information probably differ from

>They may be well-meaning, but it makes it no less racist.

No, it absolutely makes it less racist. The article called the protesters
racists because they intended to keep the poor poor, to make their own
vacations more picturesque, etc. If you concede that most protesters had
good intentions, that claim of racism dissolves. What you're left with
is this:

> These assumptions, that you know
> better than they do, even if well-meaning--is EXTREMELY RACIST.

But that's really a straw man argument. I think most protesters thought
that third world workers agreed with them. So they didn't think the
workers were stupid, inferior, or corporate dupes for disagreeing with
them, because they thought the workers were with them.

Most people tend to stick to news sources that lean as they themselves do.
So the protesters were likely to get their information from
anti-globalization media who would highlight stories of third world
workers who were against globalization. Meanwhile, pro-globalizers were
likely to get their information from pro-globalization media. Does that
mean everyone was racist because they didn't fly to Malaysia and interview
workers themselves?

-Matt Jensen


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