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Are you a racist or do you just "talk" like one?

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posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Recently, we have seen some celebrities whose careers have "imploded" because of racist epithets hurled during moments when they have been in the public eye. First it was Mel Gibson. In a drunken rage, he made racist statements concerning Jews. Now it's "Cosmo Kramer " (I'll always associate Richard's with the Kramer character) throwing the "N" word around at a live performance at a comedy club.

On the boards here at ATS, I have noted posts which both attack and defend these celebrities. Regardless, as public figures, these people are certainly open to public scrutiny and comment or criticism but their actions raise new questions.

Is racism alive and well in Hollywood and the public forums? I would garner that the answer is yes. But the question I'd like to ask is a simple one....

Is racism alive among the members of ATS? Have you ever made anti semitic statements . Have you ever used the "N" word?

I don't think that many ATS members will come out and clearly admit that they are racist but, at the same time, is it possible to hold anti-semitic or anti black or anti anyone beliefs and not be a racist?

Have you ever laughed at a joke where the brunt of the joke was black, a jew, a gay or any other minority. I know that I have. I also admit that I have told such jokes to my friends. Yet, I don't consider myself racist. I have used the "N" word -- never in anger -- but it has, nevertheless, been said. Still, I don't consider myself racist. In hindsight, I regret ever using racist terms. I have talked with my friends about this. In spite of assurances that they "weren't racist", almost everyone I have spoken to have admitted to using the "N" word, for example, in a joke or even as a label to pin on an individual or group.

I'd like to add that, as I have grown older and more mature, I have simply stopped uttering racist epithets. I firmly believe that using such terms, even jokingly, simply helps to maintain the differences that help racism continue to thrive in our society. Now I try not to even listen to jokes which might be racist but, alas, I will admit that I have heard -- and laughed at-- such "jokes". Does this make me a racist? Even though I try not to participate in the racial lexicon of society and the humor of our culture and times? I hope not. I try not to. But, nevertheless, I admit to, at least, inactive participation (listening and laughing) to jokes which highlight stereotypical aspects of one minority group or another.

Should blacks stop using the "N" word amongst themselves? Do blacks help maintain the term ''n-word'' in today's lexicon? Is the term ''n-word'' only reserved for use by blacks and only among blacks?

Are you a racist? Do you use racist terms? Have you spoken the "N" word? Why would you say that you are or aren't a racist even though you use terms which might belie these statements?

Can you be honest enough to admit that you have made racist statements?




posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 02:11 PM
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Oh my, what an awful lot of questions.


Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Can you be honest enough to admit that you have made racist statements?

Yes, I can but I haven't for a very long time.

I've never in my entire life used the 'N' word. Just because some black people use it doesn't mean I should. I believe that the reason some black people use the word is in an attempt to 'take it back'. It has a lot to do with the intent of the speaker. There is no reason a white person would use that term other than to demean or hurt them.

It's like homosexuals calling themselves gay, which started off as a derogatory term by used straight people. Or when I call myself a broad or a chick and refer to my friends as my bitches, all of which were/are terms used by men to demean women. When words are used in a negative connotation to describe a group of people, often that offended group will appropriate the word to take control and lessen the impact.

I'm pretty sure I'm not racist, and I haven't used any such terms for at least a decade. That and there is at least one member of every ethnic group on the planet that I can admire and say 'I'd hit it'.

There are people on this board that I personally consider racists and others that I just think are extremely insenstive but not racist (I differentiate between the two and it's all about intent). I can safely say that I have never thought either of them about you, bt.



posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 04:33 PM
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honestly no i havent
i had people call me paki and so forth and
even 4 jews that was about to help out with directions give me racist remarks.

the only thing i am guilty of is being homophobic and i have openly said alot of anti homo jokes and so forth

[edit on 25-11-2006 by bodrul]



posted on Nov, 25 2006 @ 04:38 PM
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Thanks for the comments Duzey.

I raise these questions because I do have questions. I know that racism is a topic that can raise certain "problem issues" for people. I know people who educated, erudite and certainly, what one would believe to be, liberal-minded individuals regularly say derogatory comments about one race or another. If you confronted them, they would never admit to being racist. Their comments would be passed off as a "figure of speech".

Are derogatory statements or, more properly, epithets really so common-place that they are nothing more than "figures of speech"? What is a racist statement? If called someone -- even in jest, between friends -- a ''n-word'' (and I am not black), I'm "in trouble", yet the same epithet is bandied about between blacks. Doesn't this simply keep a word that represents a stereotype and a state of human subjugation? Or does using the 'N' word , making it a figure of common speech, diminish the power of that word?

At the same time, I think about some terms have been, literally, excised from our daily lexicon. At one time, if you were able to, say, purchase a car at a good price from the dealer, you might have said that you "jew"-ed the man down. How did we eliminate this derogatory use of the word Jew?

Then, I look at the term 'niggardly' , meaning to be sparing or miserly, being frowned upon and thought of as being racist. I seem to recall an incident where during Clinton's presidency, one of his aides was forced to retire because he used the word 'niggardly'.....yet the word has nothing to do with any sort of racial slur or epithet! It simply 'sounded' like the 'N' word.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 01:45 AM
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This may sound really bad tto some, but I do say racist, homophobic, sexist coments alot. Howewer the joke is based on irony and is nothing to do with my true character. Of course I am neither racist, homophobic or sexist, but with close friends I will use these topics as a joke because they understand me and my sense of humor well enough not to hold it against me. I have very close gay and black friends, but they know me and my sense of humor well enough to not care. It's not just me though my friends are just as bad, but we are open and comfortable enough with ourselves not to mind. It would not be funny if I was truly an ass.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 05:16 AM
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during my life I have cracked on every race and creed.


no regrets, to hell with being a PC n00btr0n I mean wtf rly?


never really truly said something could be racist to someone to try and degrade them just general bsing ya know?


and sexuality? ha hahahahaha. haaaaaaa.

don't get near me irl if you are easily butt hurt.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Is racism alive and well in Hollywood and the public forums?


I would say Yes. Racism exists in our society, so any group of people can, and probably does, hold racists. For the most part, racism that I have dealt with, happens behind closed doors. It is not the face-to-face interactions we hear of from the 60's and before. It is basically shots fired at minorities behind closed doors, where the ignorant thoughts are not tested.


Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Is racism alive among the members of ATS?


ATS has a huge membership. A few weeks ago we topped 70,000 members. With this figure, does anything think it is possible for our site to not hold a few racists? I say, without a doubt, that there are racists who log on to this site daily.



Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Have you ever made anti semitic statements .


No. When I was younger I could never comprehend exactly what Jewish people were. I had a girl who I went to grade school with, and I knew she was Jewish. I was aware she did not celebrate Christmas as I did, and was confused. But from the time I was a child, to today, I have never used derogatory terms against this population.



Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Have you ever used the "N" word?


Yes. When I did not know better, I had used the term on occasion. Was it used to degrade black people? No. Did I understand the historical content of the word? No. Once it became clear to me what the word actually stood for, I was embarrassed that I had ever heard the word spoke by people around me.



Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
is it possible to hold anti-semitic or anti black or anti anyone beliefs and not be a racist?


I've typed and retyped this a few times and still not sure where to come down. I'm going to go with No though. If anyone has serious anti-semitic, black, or anyone beliefs, I would consider them a racist. Emphasis on serious, backhanded jokes of ethnicity, color of skin, gender, etc., are not serious. Are they right? Nope, but someone else lead the troops on this one. I'll be glad to support the cause, but it is a losing battle.


Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Have you ever laughed at a joke where the brunt of the joke was black, a jew, a gay or any other minority.


There is the gray area that we all know and love. How can you consider yourself to be not a racist, while telling or laughing at jokes where a specific population takes the brunt of the joke? Not sure what to say on it really. Often after letting a snicker or two out, I am disappointed that I found it humorous. So I'll leave this one for someone else to answer, I'm interested to hear some thoughts on this one.


I know that I have. I also admit that I have told such jokes to my friends. Yet, I don't consider myself racist. I have used the "N" word -- never in anger -- but it has, nevertheless, been said. Still, I don't consider myself racist. In hindsight, I regret ever using racist terms. I have talked with my friends about this. In spite of assurances that they "weren't racist", almost everyone I have spoken to have admitted to using the "N" word, for example, in a joke or even as a label to pin on an individual or group.

I think we would have to take a look at the individual joke itself. Some are poking fun that everyone would probably have a chuckle. But if the joke is poking fun at actual suffering of a group, and your watching people just crack up over it, something is wrong with that. Maybe the person is not aware of the true suffering, but it is tough to measure.

I'll leave this one for now. The grayness on this subject has me scratching my head.



Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Should blacks stop using the "N" word amongst themselves? Do blacks help maintain the term ''n-word'' in today's lexicon? Is the term ''n-word'' only reserved for use by blacks and only among blacks?


I believe this to be a question, we as whites, are not permitted to answer. Whites oppressed blacks for years and years, and berated them with these racial slurs. As Duzey said, their efforts to take the word back should not be viewed in such a negative way. Do I support the use of the word? No, but I do not criticize those who do. But the population of blacks that do use the term openly to refer to one another, should not represent 100% of the black population.



Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Are you a racist? Do you use racist terms? Have you spoken the "N" word? Why would you say that you are or aren't a racist even though you use terms which might belie these statements?


No, I have, Not in a long time, and because when I was younger and had used the term, it was due to ignorance and was not aware of the message I was portraying. When I became educated on the message, I refrained from using the term. I know people who use the term who I would not consider a racist, and if you were to ask me to explain how, I would not have an answer.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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The word 'n-word' is perfectly valid to use in conversation. Americans have been brainwashed into thinking its unacceptable.

For example.

"What did Richards say to cause this uproar?"

"He called a couple of black guys "'n-word's"

Now thats not being racist, that simply reporting facts.

Another example is when John Vanbiesbrouck called his team captain a 'n-word'. No US website reported the facts, they all used the term "racial insult". It was left to the Canadian websites to report what was actually said. Pathetic.

And no, Ive never used the term to insult a black person but I use it in its proper context.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by bodrul
the only thing i am guilty of is being homophobic and i have openly said alot of anti homo jokes and so forth
I believe in the South Park way of jokes, take the piss out of everyone and then you cannot be accused of being an *ist.

If anyone gets offended, its usually some middle class white person trying to get upset on behalf of someone else, the people the jokes aimed at usually laugh more then anyone else. For example when Timmy and Jimmy were introduced, the PC people got upset and said we were laughing at disabled people. The disabled people loved it because they were accepted and treated like everyone else.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
The word 'n-word' is perfectly valid to use in conversation. Americans have been brainwashed into thinking its unacceptable.

For example.

"What did Richards say to cause this uproar?"
"He called a couple of black guys "'n-word's"
Now thats not being racist, that simply reporting facts.
Another example is when John Vanbiesbrouck called his team captain a 'n-word'. No US website reported the facts, they all used the term "racial insult". It was left to the Canadian websites to report what was actually said. Pathetic.
And no, Ive never used the term to insult a black person but I use it in its proper context.


The word Nigger was created to be degrading, demeaning and so on, look it up in the old dictionary.


No black man is a 'n-word'. no person for that matter. FACT


And its how its meant which is the problem Sienfied was not joking.

Personally i have made racially sensitive joke sexist jokes and so on, but only in good fun



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer

Another example is when John Vanbiesbrouck called his team captain a 'n-word'. No US website reported the facts, they all used the term "racial insult". It was left to the Canadian websites to report what was actually said. Pathetic.



Welcome to the United State of the Offended. We obviously have all our needs met and can now turn our creativity and resources toward more noble tasks such as tricking, leading or provolking someone into saying something that we can construe as being offensive to us so we can go home at night assured we are victims of some sort of vast conspiracy or plot.

Its our reasoning for why our neigbor might have a better car, bigger television or a more modern cell phone. It takes our minds off the fact that 70 percent of the world is in true poverty and starvation...but because someone made a comment, we are distraught and cannot get a fair shake in life.

Nevermind the fact that most of those who claim they are discriminated against are not even putting forth an effort unless they can begin at the top. If they are asked to start at the bottom and work their way up, they are being victimized and might as well stay home and demand that the govenment take from the working class and send it to them in the mail.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by reaper2
The word Nigger was created to be degrading, demeaning and so on, look it up in the old dictionary.


No black man is a 'n-word'. no person for that matter. FACT


And its how its meant which is the problem Sienfied was not joking.

Personally i have made racially sensitive joke sexist jokes and so on, but only in good fun

Yes and clearly theres a difference in reporting facts as I stated and being so PC that you cannot even say the word in its right context.

You totally contradict yourself when you say how its meant is the problem and then go off when I say its ok to use it in its right context. As in media outlet reporting facts rather than censoring stories.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:20 AM
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What is the right ontext huh ?????



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:23 AM
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I gave two examples in my previous posts.

For example.

"What did Richards say to cause this uproar?"

"He called a couple of black guys "'n-word's"

Now thats not being racist, that simply reporting facts.

and

Another example is when John Vanbiesbrouck called his team captain a 'n-word'. No US website reported the facts, they all used the term "racial insult". It was left to the Canadian websites to report what was actually said. Pathetic.

Are those two examples of insulting black people.

Another example would be "Why do black people call other black people 'n-word's?"

Am I insulting black people or merely asking a question?



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:32 AM
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I've never used the word 'Nigger' in any other context than this sort, nor have I ever told racist/sexist jokes. I've heard plenty of them but I don't find them funny.

That aside, I have assumptions, some based on race, that I am still working to overcome. Am I racist? In some ways, and I think it's naive and ignorant to think otherwise for any of us. Racism isn't just the negative, though it's certainly the larger part of it. Just remember, to have disadvantage there must be someone/a group who is advantaged by the situation. I have both negative and positive assumptions about my own race. Racial stereotyping of my own people lives in my brain, though I know it doesn't exist in my heart, and when I catch myself I need to remind myself of this. As a result I'm breaking down walls and the need is less frequent.

Why is this stuff even in my head? Because it's what I grew up being told. I grew up being told that my people we fat, jobless, lazy drunks. I grew up hearing things like the "Indian List" and even at one point being called a dirty effing indian. I grew up being told one thing at home about my history and having that negated or completely ignored in my schools. How is that for promoting self-worth when your history is not validated. This still happens with astounding frequency and I know kids of all races and ethnicites are growing up with similar things in their head regarding a variety of other groups. And when you grow up hearing these things about other groups constantly (you'll find a lot of this in history curriculum, by the way - western histories interpretations have no always been particularly kind, and in some cases have been selective of the histories included. A HUGE problem is that for many schools there's a lack of money and the resources the teachers are left with are utterly racist and apalling and the kids have to learn from this).


There will always be groups with which we are unfamiliar. As a result we will make assumptions about them and we will have stereotypes that we may use to categorize them. Only when we actively work to break these down or are forced to (moving to an area where we face certain populations, etc) will our assumptions be challenged. Oftentimes, if one is part of the dominant group, they may not be aware these assumptions even exist.

Another thing to remember is that racism exists on different levels, only one of which is the individual level. I would argue that telling racist jokes is indeed racist. They serve to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and do nothing to address the reality and causes of real situations they may be making fun of.

A friend of mine, from Barbados, has only been in Canada approcimately 4 months. The population of Barbados is about 90-95% black, the majority group. These people have shaped her view on what it is like to be black. Since coming to Canada she has encountered a huge diaspora and given that they are different than the group which she is used to living with, she has many racist assumptions about this group, racial stereotypes, assumptions, etc. She is actively working to move beyond this, but she is being racist towards this group of black people, even though she is black and lived in a predominantly black society.

I'm going to go away and think about this more...



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:38 AM
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At the time of the Atlantic slave trade, 'n-word' was a casual English language term for black people. The word later became associated with an overt contempt, a racist assumption of inherent black inferiority, making it extremely pejorative.


Wiki



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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When i was younger i used to think that i was racist, whenever i went to say for instance a fast food restaurant I would be greeted by a young black person and i would feel uneasy about the food i was receiving. So i thought hmm maybe i am racist and don't know it then one day i went to a fast food restaurant and was greeted by a well groomed black man who wore a shirt and tie and i felt safe in receiving this food. It was then that i realised that what i have been feeling wasn't racism but was infact my hatred of young punks. I realized that i felt uncomfortable taking food from young white people just as much as young black people and that i don't trust or like young punks that represent themselves poorly.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 02:23 PM
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Telling stories is something that we do countless times every day. What happened on the trip to the grocery store, how cold it was when we were pumping the gas, etc., all random points of our day. Stories like this are told everywhere. Now it is these minor details that I turn our attention to.

If a white man had walked past us in the grocery store and looked rugged, then we later told the story to a family member, it would probably begin with this rugged man. Emphasis, rugged ---- man.

Now if it were a rugged man who happened to have a dark complexion, too often the story would begin, this black rugged man. Black -- Rugged -- man. Why the emphasis on color of skin when the individual happens to be black?

Is this racism? No. But it always strikes me as odd.

If we took two people, one being white, one being black. We had to describe five things about them in a few seconds. Would the fact that the white man is white be listed? Personally, I don't think so. But I am guessing the color of the black man's skin would be at the top of the list. Why?

It would be interesting to experiment this enigma in a social setting.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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One problem i think is these are just words and when someone uses the word 'n-word' it things tends to get blown out of proportion. For example if someone uses words like chink, nip, gook, honkey, caker, spick, paki, kraut, faggot and the list goes on why don't these get as much attention? why is the word 'n-word' special and gets different treatment then all the others which are racist all the same. People need to toughen up a little and move on, these words are not of any difference in my opinion because they all do the same thing an attack on someones race or backround but one certain word is worse then the other? Oh no this guy to my right just called another guy a 'n-word' but the guy on my left called another dude a honkey thats alright though cause the guy on the right is more racist! and im not gonna make that big of a deal for the dude on the left just because its not what everyone else does, ya makes plenty of sense.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
If we took two people, one being white, one being black. We had to describe five things about them in a few seconds. Would the fact that the white man is white be listed? Personally, I don't think so. But I am guessing the color of the black man's skin would be at the top of the list. Why?


If you weren't white you might list skin colour for the white guy, too.

Vantage point matters and I rhink you might want to be more thoughtful about who your "we" actually is.

[edit on 26-11-2006 by parrhesia]



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