Originally Posted by HANDSOME MARXIST-LENINIST
Yes, but "Merit of logic" doesn't appear out of thin air, the decision making processes that lead us to draw conclusions based on a set of facts are very much based in personal experience. A person of color in the US will invariably have more experience as the butt of racism than a white person will, hence their opinion should be weighted heavier in discussions about American racism. It would be wonderful to live in a society where all opinions could be judged with context-less objectivity, but the United States is not that society, and to ignore the fact that we are still a deeply, deeply, racist culture is to hand control over to those with a vested interest in keeping it that way.
I really think it depends on the type of "opinion" you're talking about. If we're talking about general impressions, anecdotes, personal experiences, or anything else related to a claim of authority then yes I agree with you that a circumstantial ad hominem is relevant to the weight of the opinion.
If we're talking about a logical argument, then I don't think racial background is relevant to the argument,
unless you're pegging all racists as stupid or unable to construct coherent logic. Which I think is a hasty generalization, but don't quote me.
Actually, if I interpret what you're saying as just that - racially bigoted people tend not to have good logical arguments for their beliefs - I think I could get behind that. It's just that their faulty logic can be easily attacked without resorting to the identification of their skin color. Maybe that isn't what you mean, though, I don't want to put words in your mouth.
EDIT: It just hit me that we might be discussing different things here, semantically. You're saying "opinions" which would be basically, what? A stance on what makes something racist or not? I guess I can see where you're coming from there. If the person has reasons based on logic for those opinions, wouldn't we still treat that logic the same as any other, even if the opinion was weighted? Or am I totally misunderstanding something here?