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

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posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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Wow! I must thank you all for very concise and candid comments. Clearly, it is important to discuss such matters. Understanding the roots of racism is a key to one day making racism a concept as difficult to comprehend as the idea that people once believed that the earth was flat.

I have always been told that 'ignorance' was the element that made up racism. That is, being unfamiliar with another race or culture. The idea was that we would ridicule what we did not know or understand. But, then, why does racism still exist? Surely most Americans have, at least, met a black person? I would, I believe, be hard-pressed to find one American who has not met an Asian, a Mexican, a Black and, similarly, a White. Don't we "know" each other now? Don't we "know" more and more about each other?
Is ignorance still to be considered as an element of racism?

Language is no different. Once the word ''n-word'' was a word that one clear, concise meaning. It was a word that was meant if anything, to 'put down' the Negro -- the Black Man. I have heard it used in hatred, in anger and I have heard it used in humor, familiarity and, among Blacks, to convey varying levels of acceptance. I am certain that Blacks have similar words to express their own prejudices and racist feelings towards Whites but, to be frank, I don't believe that any such 'epithets' carry such weight or is felt as deeply as the 'N' word. Nevertheless, it is confusing.

-------------------------------------------------------

I have to add that Chissler makes a very good observation that, frankly, I have often thought of as being odd. Rather than say that you saw someone driving a cool car or something, if the driver happened to be Black, then that would be something that invariably gets mentioned. If it's a white guy, then you simply say you saw a cool car.




posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
If you weren't white you might list skin colour for the white guy, too.


I was not clear about it, but my intention of the post was that a different color of skin is normally the first thing we notice. Hence, a black man would quickly note the color of a white mans skin. Rereading I can see where I was too vague.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant

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.


your entire first post is racist. you ask if people consider themselves racist by using examples of comments or actions made to minorities. that is racist in and of itself. you dont think people can be racist against whites too?

some of the absolute worst racists i have ever met were black.....and their form of racism is perfectly ok with the american people. sharpton comes to mind, as does jackson.

putting one race or group of people on a pedestal above another is racist. period. it makes no difference which race/religious group/etc is being raised above the other.

and by the way, i'm going to deny ignorance real quick....the word "anti-semitic" does not mean "anti-jew", because the word "semitic" does not mean jewish. its an all emcompassing description of all the decendants of noah's son shem, which include hebrews and arabs. i'm sick of seeing it used to mean "anti-jew"...epecially when it's muslims doing it, since they are usually calling themselves against themselves.

stepping down off of my soapbox now.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
your entire first post is racist. you ask if people consider themselves racist by using examples of comments or actions made to minorities. that is racist in and of itself. you dont think people can be racist against whites too?


I fail to see how anything BT has said is racist. The creation of a thought provoking thread, in and of itself, is not racism.


Originally posted by snafu7700
some of the absolute worst racists i have ever met were black.....and their form of racism is perfectly ok with the american people.


Racism does exist on both sides of the coin. Blacks do hold prejudicial thoughts against the white population, as does whites towards black. I'm not sure why either deems one acceptable, and the other not.


Originally posted by snafu7700
sharpton comes to mind, as does jackson.


Elaborate?



Originally posted by snafu7700
putting one race or group of people on a pedestal above another is racist. period. it makes no difference which race/religious group/etc is being raised above the other.


Somehow I get the impression your shots at Jackson & Sharpton, two prominent black men, is nothing more than placing whites on a pedestal. But, until you elaborate I will refrain from assuming anything.



Originally posted by snafu7700
and by the way, i'm going to deny ignorance real quick....the word "anti-semitic" does not mean "anti-jew", because the word "semitic" does not mean jewish. its an all emcompassing description of all the decendants of noah's son shem, which include hebrews and arabs. i'm sick of seeing it used to mean "anti-jew"...epecially when it's muslims doing it, since they are usually calling themselves against themselves.


The fact that semitic incorporates Arabs as well, does not mean it does not mean Jewish. Some have a narrow perception on the term and believe it is only anti-jewish, but that would be wrong. But your statement:


Originally posted by snafu7700
the word "anti-semitic" does not mean "anti-jew"


is flawed, in my opinion.



Semitic

A language group in the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew and Arabic. 2) description of Middle East peoples that trace their origin from the biblical Noah and his son Shem; these include Jews and Arabs.

www.afsc.org/israel-palestine/learn/glossary.htm


So it does mean anti-jewish, however it is not restricted to this.

[edit on 26-11-2006 by chissler]



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by chissler

I fail to see how anything BT has said is racist. The creation of a thought provoking thread, in and of itself, is not racism.


which shows that you have completely missed the point.....but i doubt BT will.



Racism does exist on both sides of the coin. Blacks do hold prejudicial thoughts against the white population, as does whites towards black. I'm not sure why either deems one acceptable, and the other not.


which was the point of the first part you quoted. you got the concept here, but not there....whatever.




Elaborate?


oh wow....you picked the wrong person for that. the two people who do more harm for equality in this country than any other. the only difference between them and the grand dragon of the KKK is their skin color. do you remember that little black boy two years ago who committed suicide by hanging himself? both jackson and sharpton immediately jumped on the "lynching" bandwagon before any of the facts were out. turns out they were way off base. did we get an apology? nope. the only thing they care about is lining their pockets. if the rev. king knew what this slimeballs have been trying to do with his dream, he would be turning over in his grave.





Somehow I get the impression your shots at Jackson & Sharpton, two prominent black men, is nothing more than placing whites on a pedestal. But, until you elaborate I will refrain from assuming anything.


you know what "assume" does, right?





The fact that semitic incorporates Arabs as well, does not mean it does not mean Jewish. Some have a narrow perception on the term and believe it is only anti-jewish, but that would be wrong. But your statement:


Originally posted by snafu7700
the word "anti-semitic" does not mean "anti-jew"


is flawed, in my opinion.


merriam webster:



1 : of, relating to, or constituting a subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Amharic


so what you are saying is that when arab muslims are described as anti-semitic, the term is being used correctly? LMAO.

it's what i call the "semantics of semitic".....kind of catchy, huh? anyway, the word has been twisted by ignorant people. when you say someone is "anti-semitic", it is a complete twisting of the truth, because usually it is being used to describe someone who is anti-jewish when in fact, it includes jews and arabs....of course arabs dont want to point that out, because then they would have to admit that yes, they are of the same bloodline as the jews.







[edit on 26-11-2006 by snafu7700]



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
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.


How is what Gibson said racist? Jews are not a race besides most of them are white like he is.

Richards attacked other people of a different race and identified them as such and said if he had his way they may even be dead.

I'm getting tired of the obvious illogical and erroneous comparison made between what Gibson said and what Richards said.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by denythestatusquo

How is what Gibson said racist? Jews are not a race besides most of them are white like he is.


youre wrong here....jews are a race of people, or a portion thereof. the problem (and the ugly secret that nobody wants to mention) is, they belong the the semitic race of people, which includes arabs....the true jewish people that is, not the converts.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700

your entire first post is racist. you ask if people consider themselves racist by using examples of comments or actions made to minorities. that is racist in and of itself. you dont think people can be racist against whites too?

some of the absolute worst racists i have ever met were black.....and their form of racism is perfectly ok with the american people. sharpton comes to mind, as does jackson.


First, to clarify things, I started this post to discuss a difficult topic -- racism. I really believe that in order to stop racism, we have to understand it. We need to understand how racism manifests itself in society and within ourselves.

As far as my initial post 'being racist', perhaps it might be perceived that way. It certainly was not my intent to be racist or to express racist feelings towards.....well, anyone. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note one more element of racism that being perception. Is something racist if it merely perceived as being racist even though racist intent was missing?

Whites are racist towards Blacks (I quantify this, of course, I'd like to think that this is not an all inclusive statement. I'm just pointing out that White racism towards Blacks exists) . I don't think that anyone can disagree there there is a bit of historical racism that is self evident. Just because I did not give an example of Black racism towards Whites does not mean that this sort of racial reciprocity does not exist. Of course it does. Whites certainly don't have a monopoly on hatred. Blacks hate Whites, Mexicans, Asians, Jews and even other Black Men. For that matter, people or all racial and cultural origins seem to find "reasons" to hate each other with practiced ease because this is what we, as a species, seem to do very well. But is this racial hatred "natural"? Is this what "we" do .... as a species?

How do we even begin to hate one another not as individuals but as a collective group? Why don't we hate just one, particular, "Black Man" (for some injustice) but, instead we hate "all Black Men" (for sake of argument, and to avoid any misperception of my intent, please substitute "we" to read "any one racial" group. As far as making the "Black Men" the foil in my examples, I hope that it can be accepted that "any" other racial group could just as easily be substituted as the object of racism). Racism is not the exclusive domain of Whites or any other group. I fully accept that "we", collectively, are racist.



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:33 PM
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which was the point of my post, BT. even you, who obviously feel strongly about racism having gone to the trouble of writing this thread, have inadvertently excluded one group from the others in your initial post.....the very definition of the word "racism."



posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
which was the point of my post, BT. even you, who obviously feel strongly about racism having gone to the trouble of writing this thread, have inadvertently excluded one group from the others in your initial post.....the very definition of the word "racism."


I'm not trying to exclude any group from being racist. By the very nature of racism it is almost always one group being racist towards another (and, of course, the hatred begins it's cycle and reciprocal racism begins). I just happen to be white and, with the recent stories of the 'N' word used by "Kramer" (aka Michael Richards) towards black members of his audience, it was obvious that I might focus on this.

If I had made my initial focus Black against White racism, then I might be in the same position -- that of being called a racist for focusing on this form of racism.

What I am trying to say, without getting caught up in semantics, is that WE, as human beings, all seem to practice one form of racism or another. Hell, I have even seen programs on Oprah where racism and discrimination between "dark blacks" and "lighter skinned blacks" exists in that community. The focus of this thread should not be racism between any two groups in particular. Just that it exists.

I note that language often seems to be the vehicle for racism. Language, more than action, keeps racism alive. I could list a variety of epithets that we all might know from the "N" word to derogatory terms for Jews, East Indians, Native Americans, Asians to, well you name it. And the separations are even more precise than simply hatred for one race or another; we have religious sects hating other sects of the same body of faith; i.e., Christian sects hating Catholicism, for example. We have nationalistic "racism" where members of one country hate members of another. I admit that I laughed at some pretty ugly humor directed at the French. In hindsight, even though I laughed, viewed in a different light, I find myself ashamed.

Nevertheless, I still have questions......

Parrhesia mentioned "stereotypes" in an earlier post. I would have to agree that stereotypes are a definite element in racism. But how are such stereotypes formed? What sort of stereotypes do we hold about others, other groups, other races, other cultures and even other nationalities?



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 01:33 AM
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I don't consider myself to be a racist. But then again I hang around with people who aren't really bothered about race. I have pakistani friends who call me whitey and who I call paki.

Personally, I don't care about race. Its just one of those things that are given too much importance. We are all people, and race labels are just one way of keeping our people from uniting.
We talk of acceptance all the time, but when it comes down to it creating labels for people form different countries, or of skin colour, is more segregational than anything - regardless of how respectfully you say them.

Some of my (as politicians would say) afro-caribbean friends don't even like being called black. They insist on me saying the all-offending 'N' word whn I'm describing them.

The only thing any of my friends don't like is any kind of religious slander. My pakistani friends are muslim, and they don't mind if I make a lighthearted joke about Islam (example: we all call one of our group a terrorist - its so funny )because they know I don't mean it in a bad way. I respect their religion (an dany religion) I just don't agree to them.

Colour isn't important to me. I don't care what colour someone is, as long as they make me laugh I like them, if not....well, lets just say they aren't usually seen again



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by JackofBlades
I don't consider myself to be a racist. But then again I hang around with people who aren't really bothered about race. I have pakistani friends who call me whitey and who I call paki.

Thats another thing I've never understood, you can call an Australian an Aussie or a British person a Brit but call a Pakistani person a paki and you're racist.

The only difference is they have a different coloured skin.

I know what you mean, when I was at school, one of my best friends was black and wed use racial terms on each other all the time, people now would think that was racist but to us, it was no different to calling someone with bad skin "Pizza face" or taking the piss because someone was tall or short, fat or thin, calling someone with long hair a hippy etc.

To us, race wasn't an issue at all. Wed probably both be suspended if that happened in school today.



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
If anyone gets offended, its usually some middle class white person trying to get upset on behalf of someone else


Couldn't be said better , IMO. This is a perfect example of PC in action.
:shk: Whatever happened to the 1st Amendment, anyway? Which, by the way, protects free speech, but not the consequences of free speech.

[edit on 11/27/2006 by centurion1211]



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 01:16 PM
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Exactly Flyer. Me and my friends aren't bothered about race because we know whenever we use a term that a 'middle class white person' (excellent phrase BTW) would find offensive we don't mean it in a sinister way. I
f I called my Asian friend a Paki and meant it in a seriously derogatory way (which I never have), it would be different. But because I mean it in a joking way they couldn't care less.



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 01:23 PM
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Interesting thread - nice job.
I can see where this is where I'll probably agitate some people, but I always tell the truth, even if it hurts.

First let me say something. I hate when people say "I don't see color, or ethnicities." To this I say BS! When I see a person the first thing I see is their color, or ethnic features. How can you not, unless you are blind - which is a pretty good excuse. I just don't care. In my book, you're either cool, or your not. The color of ones skin, the god they worship, their sexual preference, or if their eyes have an epicanthic fold means absolutley nothing to me. I really don't care. I grew up on Army bases. My neighbors, classmates, and friends were made up of every single ethnicity there is. My parents who are both 1st generation Americans, raised me to not judge one by their color. "Peel off everyones skin, and we would all look exactly the same." It's true.
I was at a party a year or two ago, and we were watching a nice card of boxing matches. There was an interview on, and one of the guys was black, and the other was white. Someone asked which one was Terry. I said "The White Guy."
There was a black man who took offense at that. He was a gentleman about it, but he said, "How come you said the white guy, why didn't you say the guy on the right?"
I was taken aback. I hadn't even thought about it like that. I would have used other descriptors like "The redhead", "The guy with the big nose", "The fat guy", or a plethora of other things that immediately identify an individual in a group.

All that being said - yes I have used the N word. DO NOT TAKE THIS OUT OF CONTEXT. I do not use the N word to identify an entire race of people. Nope. I have used it to identify an individual. Martin Luther King is no N word. He was an extremely brave man who stood up for what he believed in, and never encouraged violence. He was a peaceful, smart, brave man. To many he is a true hero, and frankly I don't disagree. The vast majority of people of color are good solid citizens, and good friends. Then you have the gang banger who beats his girlfriend, abandons his kids, and kills a child playing in the school playground because he doesn't care enough to not have a shootout in a public place - this is an N word.

I am American and damn proud of it, but my heritage is 100% Italian. I'll use my Italian heritage as an example. As a whole we are stereotyped as organized criminals, and we all have an uncle "Tony Soprano". The vast majority of us are called "Italian Americans." Then you have the individual scumbag who rapes or kills somebody - I call this person a "DAGO". He is a disgrace to humanity, and his people.

Call a spade a spade. I apologize if I offended anyone, but it is how I feel.



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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There need sto be some clarification. It may be true that a person is not racist,but no one can claim to be without prejudice. Everyone is prejudiced.



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by lombozo
Iar or two ago, and we were watching a nice card of boxing matches. There was an interview on, and one of the guys was black, and the other was white. Someone asked which one was Terry. I said "The White Guy."
There was a black man who took offense at that. He was a gentleman about it, but he said, "How come you said the white guy, why didn't you say the guy on the right?"
I was taken aback. I hadn't even thought about it like that. I would have used other descriptors like "The redhead", "The guy with the big nose", "The fat guy", or a plethora of other things that immediately identify an individual in a group.
Thats why its stupid, do you think redheads, guys with big noses or fat blokes would have got offended if you used those terms?

If they did, Id find it just as pathetic as the way he reacted and its pretty obvious he himself has racial issues.



posted on Nov, 27 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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i'm pretty fly for a white guy





posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 06:49 AM
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I've talked 'racist' but I don't consider myself one, in my life I've had friends from all backgrounds and beliefs. One thing that I'll admit to and that I know a lot of people won't because they're too self-absorbed in their holier than thou mentality is that I generalize quite often. I don't consider generalizing a bad thing, although it can be a source of ignorance at times. Another thing that I'm tired of seeing though is political correctness driven to the extreme.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
There needs to be some clarification.... Everyone is prejudiced.

Precisely.

I grew up in a country where several different languages are spoken and different ethnic groups coexist side by side, not always peacefully. I learnt about ethnic differences on my first day at school. I have a vivid memory of coming home from school and thinking about the different language groups into which we were sorted for instruction, and deciding that the kids who spoke the same language as I were the 'good' ones and the ones that spoke other languages were 'bad'. I distinctly remember creating a hierarchy of 'badness' based on familiarity -- the ones that seemed most 'foreign' to me were the worst.

I was five years old.

As an adult, my work took me to many parts of the world. Everywhere I went, I encountered prejudice -- people hating other people who were physically or culturally different from themselves. I conclude that prejudice is, as SpeakerofTruth says, universal.

Racism is, I believe, one manifestation of a more generalized, instinctive antipathy we all have toward those who are not like us. Other manifestations include sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and so on.

Why does it exist? Perhaps because it has, or rather had, some kind of survival value. It's easy to make the case for that; we know that members of the same species are in direct competition for resources and mates, so it makes sense to see strangers as potentially threatening and nasty. When you look at some of the most visceral racist arguments -- they're taking our jobs, they're copulating with our daughters, they spread disease, etc. -- they seem to hark directly back to this sort of Darwinian competition.

Of course, competition is not the whole story. We're also social animals; we cooperate as well as compete. As human culture grows more complex, both its vulnerability and its destructive potential increase. We can't allow our prejudices, our dislike of the Other, free reign: the results would be catastrophic. So we play one instinct off against the other, placing a premium on cooperation and teaching ourselves to get along with each other, stifling or reasoning away our antipathy towards those who are not like us and teaching ourselves to see what we have in common with others rather than how we differ.

All of us are born racists. Some of us get over it.

The sad thing is, many don't.



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