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Racism - a different perspective

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posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 12:58 PM
A person I know (I hesitate to call them a friend) recently told me something which made me think a little about different perspectives.
This is not my view, but I would be interested to know what othe members made of it.
First, lets start with the wikipedia definition of racism
When racism is applied in practice, it takes forms such as prejudice, segregation or subordination. Racism can more narrowly refer to a system of oppression, such as institutional racism.

Organizations and institutions that put racism into action discriminate against and marginalize a class of people who share a common racial designation. The term racism is usually applied to the dominant group in a society, because it is that group which has the means to oppress others. The term can also apply to any individual or group, regardless of social status or dominance.

Racism can be both overt and covert. Individual racism sometimes consists of overt acts by individuals, which can result in violence or the destruction of property. Institutional racism is often more covert and subtle. It often appears within the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and frequently receives less public condemnation than the overt type.

W.E.B. DuBois argued that racialism is the belief that differences between the races exist, be they biological, social, psychological, or in the realm of the soul. He argued that racism is using this belief to promote the idea that one's race is superior to the others.[4]

A 1963 essay by Ayn Rand denounced racism as a crude form of collectivism.[7] Rand said racism "is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage — the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors."

This person I know, argued that all societies are guilty of racism to a greater or lesser extent, dependant on the dominant culture and that we should accept that as a fact, rather than treating it as a "white only crime".
He pointed out as an example, the problems in Zimbabwe, where white farmers were being forcibly removed from their farms.

Now personally, I am of the opinion that a decent person is a decent person and an arsehole is an arsehole, regardless of race, colour or creed, but I am curious to find out if other members can shed any light on what, to me, seems a rather fantastic claim.
I do agree with his point that racism exists in every culture and that it is not a "white only crime", but a lot of what he says makes very little sense to me.

posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:27 PM
well I would say that all cultures are xenophobic... the old fear of the other problem.... and we all have our likes and prejudices; Racism however is totally different. Racism is the instiuitionalizing of prejudice... Jim Crow and Aparthid come to mind. The thing about being prejudiced about some other being racist is that it is a private flaw.... when it becomes instituitionalized as racism, it becomes a social flaw and it effects everybody... not just the victims but the prepetuators as well.

[edit on 5-2-2007 by grover]

[edit on 5-2-2007 by grover]

posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:35 PM

Originally posted by budski
The term racism is usually applied to the dominant group in a society,

I know ... :shk:

The fact is that there are racists of every group in every society. There black people who hate whites, without even getting to know them, just because they are white. There are Asians who hate blacks, without getting to know them, just because they are black. etc etc

There are many racist 'minorities' just as there are many racist in the 'majority' group. (some call it the dominant culture or dominant group - but that's many times just loaded language that's really out of date IMHO).

posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:35 PM
I understand your point grover, but would argue that with apartheid there was also a religious aspect (again..). The boers believed that they were the beloved of god and were his "chosen" people, they further believed that coloured people were descended from the canaanites and had lived in darkness because they didn't believe in "god" and that they had a moral duty to protect themselves by "apartness" in order that the 2 bloodlines did not mix.
However an excellent perspective on institutional racism and xenophobia


[edit on 5-2-2007 by budski]

[edit on 5-2-2007 by budski]

posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:46 PM
God was invoked to support slavery in this country but the south and afterwards to support Jim Crow, I know I grew up in the south, I have heard it used.

PS besides what do you expect from a people called the boors?

[edit on 5-2-2007 by grover]

posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:59 PM
I agree with everything in your first post. I don't see this as a "different perspective". It's how I've thought of racism for many years.

posted on Mar, 29 2007 @ 05:05 PM
I've been speaking to a couple of friends about this, and the prevailing attitude seems to be that there is an attempt to use the "white guilt" theory in this country, this being politically driven by the left wing.
I have to say that I don't really agree with this, but it's usefull input all the same

posted on Mar, 29 2007 @ 11:27 PM
The white guilt syndrome is prevalent all over this board and more so as time progresses it seems..

Your assertion and definition of racism appears to be spot on. Grover's additional defining of the term , is merely indicating ONE single form of racism, hence the need to preface the word with "Institutional."

One could argue there are numerous forms of racism...

Private racism
Institutional Racism
Historical Racism

On and ON

Most of which have been practiced throughout history and, of course, continue today in every country one may name.

I am not sure that "white guilt" is so much a political tool as it is a cultural phenomenon and prevailing attitude connected to the current generation of individuals that refuse to take responsibility for their individual actions. They expect others to atone for their mistakes and shortcomings and "white guilt" is the politically correct term of the day, so to speak...

It garners the most reaction from the populace (See the Threads) and allows the user to definitively reject any other points of view. It also allows the user to limit any discussion within boundaries set only by the user of the term, and if those boundaries are exceeded, the user can proclaim it is "white privilege" "white guilt" or "dominant culture" that is causing you to deviate from their limits..

Catch 22 for those truly seeking the truth...


posted on Mar, 29 2007 @ 11:39 PM
I would like to broaden the term racism a bit. I don't think racism actually exist, I think the correct term is "gayism." Think about, a person who loves people who look like him or herself, who hates others who don't look like them.

posted on Mar, 29 2007 @ 11:42 PM
I am kind of flattered that a white guy would want to act, think and speak like a Vietnamese guy like myself. I don't see it as racism. I am kind of flattered, the guy has definitely great taste in suits.

posted on Mar, 30 2007 @ 01:35 AM
If a white guy acts like a Vietnamese guy, he get's knighted!!!

Silly, crazy world.

posted on Mar, 31 2007 @ 09:11 AM

Originally posted by FlyersFan
The fact is that there are racists of every group in every society. There black people who hate whites, without even getting to know them, just because they are white.

There is racism within races! For a great example of what I mean, Google - Chris Rock Racism - And watch the YouTube video. I don't want to link directly to it because he says some some things that could be deemed as pretty offensive to some people. But besides showing a great example of black-on-black racism, it's freaking hilarious!

I don't really like Chris Rock as a person, but sometimes his comedy is right on.

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