The Richard Hanania Race-Science Side-Step
That is fair, and I don't disagree with it either. And if one wanted to be optimistic, it's true that most conversions to the better involve some amount of bad faith reasoning in the intermediate stages.
The idea that having a different interpretation of scientific data than one in which all differences are environmentally caused, makes someone racist, is completely absurd.
Also, he's 38. He wasn't in junior high 15 years ago.
This is great, but I worry it’s too generous to Hanania. It seems to me a full-throated call for more facial recognition policing, paired with a total rejection of the intellectual approaches required to make sure it isn’t discriminatory, is the same as endorsing discriminatory state policies, that, frankly, are already harming people.
Am I the only one who gets mad at folks who renounce earlier beliefs / attitudes only *after* they get caught?
‘Cause I sure do.
Related, getting caught isn’t atonement.
The argument "I'm not racist because my belief is backed by science*" is akin to saying "I'm not religious because my God ACTUALLY exists". It saddens me that we live in a world where such a claim can be uttered and not immediately mark the speaker as a liar or an idiot.
* And of course: no, it is not actually backed by science. Turns out not even the concept of race is.
My takeaway is that any step, however small, toward apologizing for past racist and homophobic views is a positive and I hope creates a precedent for a future apology about inappropriate beliefs currently held.
That said, I don't disagree with anything you wrote.