It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Why is race such a taboo subject?

page: 17
1
<< 14  15  16    18  19  20 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 31 2006 @ 12:25 PM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by infinite
If a black person stands and says "i am proud to be black" in the UK, he is praised as a hero, if i stand up and say "i am proud to be white" i am a racist.


I have often wondered about this point. Firstly, I am not proud to be white. I'm certainly not ashamed, but I don't really know what it means when people say they're proud to be a certain color...
I didn't work hard to be white, I didn't put in any effort to reach a goal of being white, I was simply born this way. I could have been born any color. A roll of the dice. To me, saying I'm proud of being white (or black or whatever) is the same as saying I'm proud I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Perhaps I should make a flag...

[edit on 31-5-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]


Again, another example of different backgrounds.

No offense, BH, but you seem to have no clue to where the "black pride" thing comes from. From what I can tell, it started with the Black Power movement of the late 60s.

Before then, being black in America was a bad thing. It was a shameful thing. You were property, hell, you were barely human. After slavery ended, it was still a shameful thing to be black. Despite working your entire life and being paid SQUAT, you were lazy. Despite having education withheld from you, you were dumb. Despite being a grown ass man, other white men were "Suh" to you and you were "Boay" to them.

In the cartoons and movies from the early 20th century, you were reminded of how shameful it was to be black. You had big, wide, frightful eyes (because "ghosts" who hung you from trees, tortured you, castrated you, etc., scared you for some reason
), giant pink lips, a penchant for watermelon and shooting dice, and were constantly on the run from Mammy (who was big, loud, and dressed in house slave clothes, basically not feminine at all) and her rolling pin.

But, the Panthers and the other "militant" civil rights groups changed all that. They embraced being black. It became a badge of honor. And, at least IMO, that's where the idea of black pride being a good thing came from.

This is also my opinion, but white pride seems to have been tied to racism for quite a while. Of course, the Klan embraced this, later the Nazis, then later the Neo-Nazis. As with Black Power, white pride became linked to White Power. So, that's why being proud to be white is often seen as racist.

Hey, don't blame me, this thing has to cut both ways unevenly; it always has.




posted on May, 31 2006 @ 01:04 PM
link   
riley,

I will say one thing more. While you are complaining about me and my views, the posts after yours started a discussion about race being taboo. I suggest you read those posts and decide if the discussion is "anti-White" or not, because nothing else will get through to you.

Otherwise:


Originally quoted by riley

Ceci. Despite your assumptions that I am 'probably' ignorant of the racial issues in your country.. I am aware of them. Lynchings, segregation, church bombings, trying to go to school, problems in the military etc.


No. I don't assume anything about you at this point of the debate, riley. Actually, I am glad you are "aware". But being "aware" conveys a sense that you have swept over the surface...unless you've actually studied in depth of what happened in the South during WWII. Then, I'll be truly impressed.

The funny thing however is you don't even notice that I gave you the floor to convey your "white experiences" for other people to learn from. But since you didn't answer, I will assume that it is business as usual and we can go back to other issues--which infinite, BH and truthseeka has already done.



The civil rights issues of your country however do not negate your resentful comments about whites and the holocaust.. you have just changed the subject to shirk responsibilty.


Resentful? The adjectives keep on getting better and better. My, how we can place our biased assumptions of others, but not follow our own advice. Too bad. I've answered your question three times. Read my previous posts and figure it out.



I'm sorry but these problems pale in comparison to what was happening in Europe so your drawing a comparison and backtracking trying to say you were merely being 'ironic' doesn't make any sense.


Genocide, no matter how big or small, riley, is genocide--whether it's 100 people or six million. People were still murdered. Jews as well as Blacks were "terrorized" and "segregated" by forces larger by themselves. Laws were both passed against them to restrict their movements in society. Both groups of people were subject to threats and "lynchings"(pogroms) to keep the majority silent. And the dominant cultures in both societies savagely murdered the people of both races relentlessly.

Why do you think so many Jews helped Blacks during the Civil Rights era during and after the 1950's?

It never ceases to amaze me with your own bold pronouncements how little you truly do understand any other view outside of your own.


Er.. but you keep saying anti-white things. If you like.. I don't know.. DIDN'T say anti-white things I might believe you. Don't keep trying to blame me for your racism. AGAIN I haven't misinterprited your statements.


And you keep on saying Anti-"people of color things". What's your point?

Btw, after this post, I am going to answer other comments. I have answered your question. I'm sorry that it runs contrary to your view. But you'll just have to read my past comments and work it out until you see what I mean. I'm not going to repeat myself anymore.






[edit on 31-5-2006 by ceci2006]

[edit on 31-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 01:26 PM
link   
Thanks, truthseeka. I can kind of understand that.

I do understand gay pride because of the same sort of thing. They have been and still are discriminated against, shamed, hated and ridiculed. They have broken out to say, "Hey! Not only am I not ashamed of being gay, I'm proud of it"! So I get that.

I do wonder why I, as a woman (women having suffered oppression) don't feel 'proud' to be a woman... Like I said, I'm glad to be a woman, but I hold no pride in how I was born.

It also may be a matter of definition of the word 'pride'. I'm understanding how me being proud to be an American is really the same thing as people being proud to be a certain race.

I still don't think it's right that a white person who is proud to be white is branded a racist. Must one have oppression in their ancestry to hold pride in who they are?

Why can't white people be proud of being white? That's my question.

Edit: Anyone???

[edit on 31-5-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 02:51 PM
link   


Ceci2006 posted

Riley, genocide, no matter how big or small, is genocide whether it's 100 people or six million. [People were murdered because of who they were, not what they had done.] Jews as well as Blacks were "terrorized" and "segregated" by forces larger by themselves.

Laws were passed against both of them to restrict their movements in society. Both groups of people were subject to threats and "lynching" (pogroms) to keep the majority silent. [Note: In a lynching, strangulation is the cause of death, not breaking of the neck.] The dominant cultures in both societies savagely murdered the people of both races [ethnicity] relentlessly. [Edited by Don W]


Around 1490, Ferdinand and Isabella’s armies conquered the Muslim Moors - Moroccans - who had ruled most of the Iberian peninsula for 600 years putting all of today’s Spain under their control. Pope Alexander VI (I think) issued a Papal Bull saying that the Muslims and Jews were to be given three choices. 1. Convert to Catholicism. 2. Leave the country with only the clothes they could wear. 3. Die. Proselytizing 15th century style! Under six centuries of Muslim Moorish rule Jews and Christians had enjoyed a period of prosperity and toleration unknown to Europe before or since. Indeed, some Jewish historians call this period in Iberia the Golden Age of Judaism.

This same Bull instituted the wearing of a distinctive mark on their clothes by Jews and ordered that pogroms should be instituted against them. I believe this Bull includes the first written reference in Catholic documents to Jews as “Christ Killers.”



Why do you think many Jews helped Blacks during the Civil Rights era of the 1950s-1960s? I never cease to be amazed with your bold pronouncements showing how little you really understand any other view outside of your own.


The first Jewish ghettos were said to have begun in Russia under Catherine the Great. The idea spread quickly through Eastern Europe and ultimately over all of Europe. Save England. And Bohemia. I am not aware of legal discrimination against Jewish people with the force of law in England. Indeed, one of England’s outstanding Prime Ministers of the 19th century was Disraeli. The famous Rothschild bankers were also located in England. Lord Balfour was a Jewish person. And etc. OTOH, under the first Queen Elizabeth, Catholic priests when caught were hanged.



[edit on 5/31/2006 by donwhite]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I still don't think it's right that a white person who is proud to be white is branded a racist. Must one have oppression in their ancestry to hold pride in who they are?


Here's a guess: No, one does not have to have oppression in their ancestry to hold pride in who they are. I think it might be a connotation thing - this is just conjecture, mind, but it may be the case that white people who are extroverted in their pride are in fact racists: "I'm proud to be white, and I'll kick some black/brown/yellow/red butt to prove it!"

Kind of like your "proud" religous zealots, who are so proud of being Christian/Muslim/Jewish/whatever that they'll happily kill anybody who isn't.

And just like there are plenty of religous people of all faiths who are quietly proud to be Christian/Muslim/Jewish/whatever, there are plenty of white people who are quitely and peacefully proud to be white.

So I think it may not be denotative so much as connotative. Maybe...



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:47 PM
link   

Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
it may be the case that white people who are extroverted in their pride are in fact racists: "I'm proud to be white, and I'll kick some black/brown/yellow/red butt to prove it!"


Then, are black people who are extroverted in their pride also racist? "I'm prioud to be black and I'll kick some white ass to prove it."

It seems really that it's ok for just about anyone to be proud of their race except white people. Why doesn't this pride=racist thing also apply to blacks, hispanics, etc?



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 09:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Then, are black people who are extroverted in their pride also racist? "I'm prioud to be black and I'll kick some white ass to prove it."


In my opinion, yes. Some black people who are extroverted in their pride are quite likely racist. Just as many black people who are proud to be black are not racist. Same as with whites or any other color.

Just being proud of one's ancestory does not make one a racist. Being proud (or rather, perhaps, insecure?) in it to the point of having to decry someone else does. In my opinion.

[edit on 31-5-2006 by Open_Minded Skeptic]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 11:30 PM
link   
First of all, I would like to apologize to all of you for the tenor of my discussion with riley. I would like you all to know at first, vigorous debate should be welcomed. However, I must admit that my debate with riley had taken a tone of anger. That is something that runs contrary to the principles of this thread. I have prided myself on the civil tone of this thread especially with sensitive topics such as these.

I would still like to keep our discussions within this thread civil. Despite reports of my "controlling" nature, that is all I will enforce here. Just kindness and respect of others.

Although, I would like to point out that our debate, despite its acrimony, does have points to it. Like truthseeka said on another thread, that sometimes different experiences on the treatment of a subject allows for diverse points of view. So, it is legitimate to question the content sometimes related to experiences, but not down to the point that it describes or demeans the behavior of another poster. This is where I went wrong.

When thinking about it, I would like to propose that of course race and its diversity in all its parameters needs to be explored. I encourage such investigations into ethnicity, race and culture despite what some might think. Above all, this is not a thread that solely belongs to one race. This thread belongs to all races of people and the treatment of their experiences.

However, one must remember that when considering the experiences of others, one must also be tolerant of self-expression in the different opinions expressed.

As you can see, I am not immune to making off-handed remarks. Nearly everybody does them. But what is more important is the understanding of the entirety of topical matter--not just one side. So I hope that everyone remembers to think outside of the box and push yourselves further when dealing with this topic.

It is easy to accuse someone regarding their beliefs. Here too, I am not immune. But, I am not so single-minded to not see the other side of the story, and to ask questions and do a little leg work in order to see the other side no matter what I say.

On-line it is easy to point out the flaws of someone because they project themselves in one fashion opposed to how they are in the "real world". And I am saying that this is not the total summation of a person's character nor is it simple to typify how one truly is.

But in an intellectual debate, the personality of the poster often comes up because that tempers the remarks he or she makes.

So, we must be more open-minded and rather forgiving of remarks sometimes. And instead of criticizing, ask questions.

riley supports her side of the story and strongly takes a position. She is a tough interrogator. And that I laud her for. However, even when we take a definite position on a topic, we should make allowances for other points of view, no matter how vile or benign they might be. And for that, I hope that takes the tone of future questions here. That we not only support our positions, but don't shut the door on other positions of an issue.

For what it is worth, I apologize. Although this apology is too late for some, I will still do it. I will try to be more careful and explanatory when I say something. However, if I have to do it, you all must do it as well.

As I said before in a previous post: equal answers deserve equal respect.



[edit on 1-6-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 11:58 PM
link   
Now, I will answer some questions in the past day that I've wanted to address.


Originally quoted by Open_Minded Skeptic

Just being proud of one's ancestory does not make one a racist. Being proud (or rather, perhaps, insecure?) in it to the point of having to decry someone else does. In my opinion.


This is what I talked about before earlier in the thread. It does not bother me when one talks about their heritage and ethnicity. It is only when people take these notions to the extreme that it becomes problematic. There are some people who constant repeat their lineage as if to lord over others, such as the "My ancestors come from the Mayflower." arguement. Although it is nice to know that a debator is related to Goody So-and-so, it becomes obnoxious if this is the most singular point of a political, cultural or societal debate.

With that being said, people can be proud without being racist. It has to do with character. And if one is both humble while telling others of family history, then the tenor of this tale becomes more accepted rather than mean-spirited.




Originally quoted by infinite

I do question multiculturalism. Does it make us feel equal or does it deny another of his culture?


Welcome to the board and thank you for your comments. Your question is thought-provoking in many ways. I think there is two ways to deal with multi-culturalism. One, it allows for people to fully integrate into society with their culture in tact. That means despite national idenity, one also has their cultural identity. With a cultural identity, one can find common kinships with others in terms of language, customs, special events, locations. But at the same time, one does also help others outside of a cultural group to embrace and understand the complex identities which formulate a country. With globalism, not everyone is going to be from the same place in a country. It would be better for everyone to understand each other in order for the country to progress smoothly through a contributions made by all parts of a populace--not just one segment of people.


Originally quoted by seagull
Therefore it stands to reason that I am somehow automatically a racist? How does this reasoning work?


I guess you've already read what has happened to me. I have been accused of being "racist" because of some remarks. So, seeing it from your side, no. You are not a racist. I am learning, however, one must be more conscientious of their views when in discussions like these. You have to understand the other side of the issue and you have to acknowledge the other's experiences. And even if you don't understand where they are coming from, ask questions and become knowledgable. In that way, you are able to frame your position on such sensitive topics better.

That is one of the most valuable things I have learned from the entire episode of the past days.


Originally quoted by jsobecky

He still hasn't pointed the racist insinuations out. Neither have you, despite trying to sidetrack the issue with comments about Charles Stuart and Trent Lott.

As far as I can tell, the ad is called racist because it showed a picture of Willie Horton, and he is black. That is racist? Please.


I have, if you read the articles--especially from the APA. It isn't side-tracking the issue with Charles Stuart and Trent Lott. Both, like Lee Atwater, have participated in using race as an issue to divide the country. Charles Stuart did it in Boston by blaming a false Black Perpetrator. Trent Lott does so by his affiliations alone. Lee Atwater admitted before he was dying that he racially geared the Willie Horton Ads. This is the point of the article in the Kentucky newspaper.

donwhite is not a hypocrite.

Besides, I am much more interested how you define real racism. I see you couldn't define it in the last post. But please, I'm sure that others would know the type of criteria you set up when defining an event reflects racism or not.

Or do you see racism at all?



Originally quoted by wang
Cuci, I do totaly agree with your comment on diversity. Culture is a bueatiful thing that should be appreciated, and preserved. Although when we start to define people as a particular race, other people start to compare races to one another, normaly creating dominance of one race over the other. But if we simply define different people by their particular culture, not as biologicaly different i think it brings more peace, and prosperity.


I agree with you here, wang. Culture is indeed beautiful. I love to learn about different people and aspects of life, despite what others might think. That love for knowing about diversity is pretty much involved in my constant learning of languages, participation in going to different festivals and walking in various neighborhoods. Not to mention talking with other people. The only thing here is not to be afraid. Fear of the unknown contributes to the denial of the beautiful aspects of culture.

Btw, thanks to all of you for getting things back on track. I much appreciated it. And extra kudos go out to HarlemHottie for putting her foot down when it was needed. As I mentioned before, the only thing I would like the most is that we are civil and kind to each other. I will try, for my part--even if I have to look at Skippy to do it. But, I want us to simply hash out these issues calmly and with consideration.

And I also appreciate donwhite for his historical elaboration on the Moors and the Jews. He proves that history still provides contemporary lessons in order to better understand our societal influences. They are much welcomed here and most informative.

Thanks for asking questions! Keep those inquiries rolling!








[edit on 1-6-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 01:10 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
it may be the case that white people who are extroverted in their pride are in fact racists: "I'm proud to be white, and I'll kick some black/brown/yellow/red butt to prove it!"


Then, are black people who are extroverted in their pride also racist? "I'm prioud to be black and I'll kick some white ass to prove it."

It seems really that it's ok for just about anyone to be proud of their race except white people. Why doesn't this pride=racist thing also apply to blacks, hispanics, etc?


Like I said,

The white racists ruined it for the other proud whites who are not racist. Have you ever seen footage of Neo-Nazis or the Klan talking about their respective groups? White pride is one of the first things they mention.

Luckily for the Christians, the clan hasn't tarnished the entire religion's image as racist. (Though quite a few Christians do a fine job by themselves
).



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 05:43 AM
link   
Well, I was laying around thinking about this when I should have been sleeping...


Moving back for a moment to the original question:
"Why is race such a taboo subject?"

It clearly is at least a very sensitive subject. I wonder if at least part of the reason might not be the connotations behind the term 'racist'.

That word has a fairly high negative emotional context, but really all it means is that someone does not like other people based on their race.

Now, I am making a careful and conscious separation between not liking some group based on race, and doing anything about it.

And therein lies the rub, I believe. And it touches on individual freedoms. To merely not like other races is in itself, benign. I may not feel comfortable with someone who holds those attitudes, but the mere existence of dislike does not do any harm.

And yes, it is a tricky, fuzzy gray line. But I happen to know a guy who is racist. And he's pretty up front about it. He simply does not like people who are not white. He will often leave the area, if he can manage it, if a non-white person comes along, and he talks trash about them behind their backs. This goes for all non-white people, not just black people.

But I worked with this fella for several years on a daily basis, in a profession with lots of non-white people around. He never, not one time advocated violence against non-whites, and he certainly never engaged in any hostile behavior. Rude, yes perhaps; the leaving the area thing, and I personally don't agree with his position. But it's really none of my business how he feels. It's what he does that matters. It is one of the aspects of a truly free society (which we do not live in, but that's for another topic) that people have the freedom to not like anyone they want, for whatever reason seems valid to them.

So, I think maybe the energy around race discussions might stem from the well-earned fear of what behavior may come of the attitude. Clearly, there have been far too many acts of violence where racism is a contributing factor. But racist feelings and racist behavior are two different things.

Well, this makes sense at 3:30am... we'll see how it sounds later...



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 06:21 AM
link   

from ceci
Besides, I am much more interested how you define real racism. I see you couldn't define it in the last post. But please, I'm sure that others would know the type of criteria you set up when defining an event reflects racism or not.

Or do you see racism at all?

Say what? I couldn't define it? I just chose to ignore you and the question.

And I do see racism. Every time I read one of your posts.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 06:25 AM
link   

Originally posted by truthseeka
Like I said,

The white racists ruined it for the other proud whites who are not racist. Have you ever seen footage of Neo-Nazis or the Klan talking about their respective groups? White pride is one of the first things they mention.

What do you mean, "ruined it for the other proud whites... "? Ruined it in whose eyes and mind? Yours?

It would be too easy to point out incidents where some black men have "ruined it" for all other black men, so I don't think you want to go there.

Edit typo

[edit on 1-6-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 06:35 AM
link   
Open_Minded Skeptic,

I will answer your comments a little later. You have written some interesting things I would like to address.



[edit on 1-6-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 05:26 PM
link   
Open_Minded Skeptic,

I given a lot of thought about what you have said above. Whether it was made at high noon or three in the morning, it makes sense to me. As you can see from the comments we make towards one another, race is a very sensitive subject--to some more than others.


Originally quoted by Open_Minded Skeptic
I wonder if at least part of the reason might not be the connotations behind the term 'racist'.

That word has a fairly high negative emotional context, but really all it means is that someone does not like other people based on their race.


Part of it is. There are some segments in society that are used to a vision of what America used to be: a point of view which solely rests on the dominant culture. When other groups of the populace begin to assert their views of culture, race or ethnicity, then this first group feels beseiged. The first group, if they speak about these new assertions, feel as if they are not being heard. Otherwise, they express comments that might genuinely reflect their awe at a changing world that isn't defined by what it was anymore.

Those expressions, made by the first group, could be seen as "biased". Others, more sensitive to the expressions made by the first group, may even go further and say what their speaking about is racist.

But, I think there is a lot of room to cover before using the term "racist". Let's face it. There are some people who do express themselves against the other assemblies of the populace any way they please. Part of that is honesty. Part of that is expressed bias. Then a third part is frustration.

But, you're right. As long as they aren't burning crosses on someone's lawn or lynching someone then, those thoughts stay in the realm of "attitudes".

The problem here is whether those who espouse the view of the dominant culture are willing to be more open-minded towards the new expressions of diversity in a globalist society. And if others, who belong to groups other than those associated with dominant culture, are willing to accept or refute their comments in order to reach understanding. If not, these second groups must also overcome their fear and confront history by actively challenging the old system while making way for the new.

Again, I say that calling someone "racist" is too easy. For some people of the TV generation of the 1970's who have seen "Archie Bunker", this is the softened image of a bigot who feels free to express himself about the changes he or she sees in the world but for progress' sake, are unwilling to stop. I think the term of "racist" is much uglier opposed to just complaining about another race for any reason.

A racist, imho, is someone who is unrepentant in their views against others of another race. He/She expresses that view without wanting to see the other side of diversity. He/She is unable to listen to other arguments about race and in fact refutes them by saying that the speaker "doesn't know what they are saying".

He/she blatantly resists talking about the suffering by terrorism or intimidation of others belonging to another race and constantly denies that the practice of prejudice happens. He/She might not think about acting upon his/her racism, but harbors resentment about being "forced" to accept diversity. They do not make restitution to others if they say anything derogatory about another race. And, most unrepentantly, he/she supports quietly the acts that others of his/her ilk do to prevent diversity from happening--whether it's building a wall to keep a minority group out or voting in an amendment which restricts the movement of a group of people belonging to another race.

Racism, at that point, is destructive because it blocks understanding of diversity because of the refusal to change crystallized views. That why so much importance is paid to the experiences of others.

A person who is not racist at least understands all views of history, politics and society afforded by race. He/she acknowledges the experiences of other people without putting up that wall of resistance against another race. They educate themselves on other races and understand the pitfalls and promises of diversity. They might not be awake to everything that goes on regarding race, but they are willing understand and make bridges between themselves and others.

They feel empathy toward others of different races. They express that compassion when need be. They allow others to tell their stories so that they might be enlightened. And they are not quick to accuse others of racism without making a litmus test of actions that define a person as such. Of course, they are willing to express their biases and to account for their failings in understanding the other side. They are not ashamed in asking others for help understanding the other person's point of view.

By allowing the door to open toward understanding between races softens the meaning of race being taboo. But, there are few people who actually want to reach this level because this is a hard step. There are so many people who keep the door shut and want it bolted down because they are afraid of the changes that might take place when considering other people's experiences. Those people who are comfortable not wanting to encounter issues of race do so because it might modify their entire outlook--one settling on the appropriation of power and influence based on the levels set up by "dominant" culture.

However, one must note the sole recognition of race requires someone with strong humanistic principles and a vital constitution. If not, anyone else might be easily intimidated when others--who do not want to understand another point of view--call them a "racist" for simply espousing a different set of values than what has been accepted.

I want to revisit this a little more later in a future post. You put forth great ideas!
















[edit on 1-6-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 05:34 PM
link   
After thinking about it, I am going to break my vow not to ask questions only once because this inquiry deserves to be asked:

What defines "real racism"? This is something that I have wanted to know since I've been accused of not bringing up issues of the like in other threads. Since this hasn't been defined yet, I am going to open the question up to anyone who likes to take a stab.

What will it take before people espousing a specific view afforded by dominant culture to recognize racism?


Otherwise, keep those comments and questions coming! I've enjoyed them all so far. I also would like to explore the issue of "pride" and "race" a bit more. And perhaps, it would be helpful if we all come together and work on a definition of a "racist", since this term has been used as of late.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 09:34 PM
link   
Well, our good friend Merriam-Webster defines racism:



Function: noun
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination


Merriam-Webster

I'm wondering, though, if a definition of 'real' racism is really what we are after, here? Is it that, or is it 'malignant' racism?

Going back to your (Ceci) excellent reply to my mid-morning ramblings, someone who hates persons of a different race, and does nothing but mutter under their breath and get heartburn is really not harming anyone but themselves. They may be a consumate horse's back end, or not, but they are essentially harmless.

You bring up some really good points, and I may need to think on them a bit longer. For example, while restitution for derogatory remarks may be nice and all, remarks are just words. On the other hand, such remarks do tear at the fabric of goodwill in the world. Hmmm... gonna have to think on it.

Regarding feelings of empathy towards people of other races, that reminds me of a bit more about my friend: He also talked all the time about how much he hates cats - wants to shoot them, they taste like chicken, the usual stuff. But then one day he came into work talking about how a stray kitten had landed at his door. He took it in, gave it food, milk, water, a nice bed. And was keeping it until someone who wanted a cat would come get it. AND he was talking about how he'd rather have shot it.

I've never seen him in a situation where he was faced with a non-white person who needed help. But based on his kitty experience, I find myself wondering if he's as hard-nosed as he lets on.

So, is this guy a 'real' racist? I'm not sure.
Is he a malignant racist? I think not.

More later, most likely...



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 10:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
I'm wondering, though, if a definition of 'real' racism is really what we are after, here? Is it that, or is it 'malignant' racism?


I think when jsobecky originally mentioned 'real racism' (I think it was him - no matter) I think they were trying to make the distinction between situations where racism is actualy taking place and situations where the 'race card' is being played.

For example, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was stopped by a Capitol Police officer entering the House office building because she didn't sport her ID and just passed by the cop. The cop apparently called for her and was ignored. He proceeded to physically stop her and she socked him in the gut.

(I know I probably don't have the exact details of the story right, but that's the gist of the thing.)

Anyway, she got in trouble for assaulting this cop and people claimed that he stopped her because she was black. In other words, an accusation of 'racism' was leveled against the cop.

This, according to some isn't 'real racism', but using race or playing the dreaded race card.

The other example is the Tony Snow fiasco, where he used the term "Tar Baby" to mean a sticky situation. Many people called him 'racist' because he used the term, which also can be used as a derogatory term for a black person..

Again, according to some, Tony Snow was not practicing 'real racism'.

"Real racism" (I think) would be something like my parents telling me that I can't come to their house for Easter as long as I'm dating a black man.

"Real racism" would be a qualified black person being turned away from a job in favor of a white person who is less qualified.

"Real racism" would be some of the stuff Strom Thurmond was known to have said.

I think the problem lies in the more subtle practices of racism that are somewhere in between 'playing the race card' and the overt racism of the 3 examples above. There is a middle ground that's very hard to define.

Personally, I think trying to define it is a waste of time. I mean, even if it is defined, what are people going to do about it? What's the next step? Try to stop people from practicing it? If it's so subtle that it's hard to define, how would we know whether it's really 'real racism' or not?



So, is this guy a 'real' racist? I'm not sure.
Is he a malignant racist? I think not.


I think he's a real racist, but I don't fault him for having opinions. We were all pretty much raised to be racist and some of us move out of it easier than others.

Just as a side note, I can't believe how much I've learned about how I feel about things having the comparison of this thread and the feminism thread. Being a woman and working towards full equal rights gives me some insight into what it must be like being a black person working toward equal rights in the US.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 01:01 AM
link   
I have more to say about this later, but I wanted to answer a few points:


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic

I think when jsobecky originally mentioned 'real racism' (I think it was him - no matter) I think they were trying to make the distinction between situations where racism is actualy taking place and situations where the 'race card' is being played.


Actually, it was FlyersFan who mentioned "real racism" first on the "Tony Snow" thread. And then, it was echoed by jsobecky and a few others. I think what you said is true when trying to make a distinction between what exactly qualifies as a "racist" event and what isn't. However, at the same time, the mere mention of "real racism" also has its negative connotations too.

For the complainant who used his/her experience in describing an event that offended him/her, bringing up the notion of "real racism" might leave the impression the experiences and knowledge the complainant shared is rendered null and void by other people. "Real racism" is one of those phrases such as "crying wolf": it is a discursive tactic that silences the opposition in order to influence others that the issue being brought up won't be believed.

That is why "real racism" to me really is a misnomer in many ways. I think that there isn't a definition of "real racism". "Racism" is "racism", in any way shape or form.




I think the problem lies in the more subtle practices of racism that are somewhere in between 'playing the race card' and the overt racism of the 3 examples above. There is a middle ground that's very hard to define.


This is what I was trying to convey on the "Tony Snow" thread. Who defines that middle ground? Who determines what is "real racism" or not? And who is the ultimate judge on whether the person who makes the claim is to be believed or not?

It has to do with experiences, here as well. For people who cannot break their crystallized view of how they see race, they would only see Tony Snow as not making a racial slur. In actuality, he didn't. However, they would not accept the experiences of others who have a double view of the term "tar baby" and would not see how it would offend people who share this alternative view.

That is the problem. It is easier to apply a misnomer to negate one's experience than to actually consider the other sides of the issue. And that's exactly what happened when trying to explain the other connotation of "tar baby". An alternative view was waved down in order to justify one way to think about it without asking questions or being fair about the issue.

That could be implied as "racist thinking".



Personally, I think trying to define it is a waste of time. I mean, even if it is defined, what are people going to do about it? What's the next step? Try to stop people from practicing it? If it's so subtle that it's hard to define, how would we know whether it's really 'real racism' or not?


Actually, I respectfully disagree with you here. It's not a waste of time to define it. Because before you know it there is going to be another thread somewhere else in which people will be demanding another poster to show them "real racism" in capital letters. And that poster who is sharing the experience, will be shouted down as "playing the race card"--for good or for ill. It conveys to me that there are people who just don't want to deal with issues of race and they use such terms as this as a way to cut the dialogue off.

So, it is fair to ask the people who strive to cut the issue of race off in a topic to define real racism. Because perhaps, when another case is mentioned, they would have criteria of their own to use for the next time--if they take the time to consider what this definition to them means. In my most pessimistic mood, this would not be the case because it would be a waste of effort to people who don't want to be concerned with race.

And that's why I wanted to know earlier in the thread whether there are people who exist that are "woefully" blind about racial issues. By this, I mean are there actually people who exist who you could put post after post of evidence showing them the sky is blue, but in their opinion the sky would remain green.

I think what you said is reasonable, Benevolent Heretic. It's just that here too, we need to get to that middle ground. I thank you and Open_Minded Skeptic very much for trying to define it. I don't know if I could really apply a meaning to it myself. It is one of those terms we have to navigate in terms of understanding each other as well as the people around us.

P.S. I will get back to Open_Minded Skeptic's comments after I think about this a bit more.












[edit on 2-6-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 02:18 AM
link   

Originally posted by ceci2006
It has to do with experiences, here as well. For people who cannot break their crystallized view of how they see race, they would see that Tony Snow did not make a racial slur. In actuality, he didn't. However, they would not accept the experiences of others who have a double view of the term "tar baby" and would not see how it would offend people who share this alternative view.

That is the problem. It is easier to apply a misnomer to negate one's experience than to actually consider the other sides of the issue. And that's exactly what happened when trying to explain the other connotation of "tar baby". An alternative view was waved down in order to justify one way to think about it without asking questions or being fair about the issue.

That could be implied as "racist thinking".

And this is where you are wrong. You think that others will not accept your interpretation of Tony Snow's remark. They do. But they don't think it is such a big deal as you are trying to make it out to be. What are you looking for? A pity party or commiseration circle?

I think BH had it right when she said

Personally, I think trying to define it is a waste of time. I mean, even if it is defined, what are people going to do about it? What's the next step? Try to stop people from practicing it? If it's so subtle that it's hard to define, how would we know whether it's really 'real racism' or not?

What are we supposed to do, walk around giving people little yellow post-it tickets when they say something you think is racist?

Or might it be a better idea for you to grow a thicker skin and realize that you cannot change most people to fit your world?



new topics

top topics



 
1
<< 14  15  16    18  19  20 >>

log in

join