Demystifying the Catch Phrases In Race-Related Talks

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posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Again, to follow your lead, who are these people?


Here's one! I'm sick and tired of the divisions of Race!




Well, again, to follow your lead, are you trying to speak for white people? Or non-white people?


Yes, phoenix. Please pick a side, will you?


I like to talk about race, but I like to do it when something positive comes out of it... And as I look around, nothing positive ever seems to come from it. Only hard feelings so far.

I don't see any "mystery" in these phrases used when discussing race. They come from people's opinions. Sometimes they're valid, sometimes they're not. Let's move on.




posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Beats me. Harassing me about it doesn't help, though.

Once again disagreement is not harassment.



Would you like to teach? And you can throw in a special class on bromide, personal attacks and derailment as well.

Nah, I am more the outside type. Bromide though, now that was good. Can I say pot kettle black... or is that racist?



Again, to follow your lead, who are these people?

Take a look at most of the race related discussions that have popped up as of late and I am sure you can find them.


Well, you know what you can do. Start your own race threads and demonstrate this.

Focusing on race, and starting threads that do wouldn't be moving forward now would it?



Well, again, to follow your lead, are you trying to speak for white people? Or non-white people?


I never specified, I said people. Sorry, I don't share the same fascination with colour.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
Once again disagreement is not harassment.


That's what you think.



Nah, I am more the outside type. Bromide though, now that was good. Can I say pot kettle black... or is that racist?


Why are you asking me? You seem to know more than I do. I respectfully defer to you.


Take a look at most of the race related discussions that have popped up as of late and I am sure you can find them.


Let's cut to the chase. You can't find any.


Focusing on race, and starting threads that do wouldn't be moving forward now would it?


Burying your head in the sand while institutional racism occurs doesn't do the trick either.



I never specified, I said people. Sorry, I don't share the same fascination with colour.


I'm sorry you don't.


[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
That's what you think.

No, that's what the dictionary tells me.



Why are you asking me? You seem to know more than I do.

Because you are the one with the problem with commonly used terms, especially when used in the context of a discussion centering around race..



You can't find any.

I can find plenty of people who are sick of the divisions of race, many on this board and through their posts to you. Let's cut to the chase though, I am too lazy to do so.



Burying your head in the sand while institutional racism occurs doesn't do the trick either.

Neither will starting inane threads centering around race on a board that is overwhelmingly white.



I'm sorry you don't

Don't be sorry, after all, people like you are what make me thankful that I don't share that fascination. So, in a sense, you complete me Ceci.



[edit on 20-3-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin

No, that's what the dictionary tells me.


So you're delusional?



Because you are the one with the problem with commonly used terms, especially when used in the context of a discussion centering around race..


Okay.



I can find plenty of people who are sick of the divisions of race, many on this board and through their posts to you. Let's cut to the chase though, I am too lazy to do so.


Okay.


Neither will starting inane threads centering around race on a board that is overwhelmingly white.


But at least you will say what the white people of the board will not. Kudos for doing so.



Don't be sorry, after all, people like you are what make me thankful that I don't share that fascination. So, in a sense, you complete me Ceci.


Believe me, it is not the same with me.


And now, I prefer to be left alone to stay on topic without your attempts at derailing it. Thank you very much.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
So you're delusional?

Perhaps, but that doesn't mean that I don't have a talking dictionary.




But at least you will say what the white people of the board will not. Kudos for doing so.

Ahh, yes, the intermediary power of the high yellow strikes again.




Believe me, it is not the same with me.

You're breaking my heart Cec...


And now, I prefer to be left alone to stay on topic without your attempts at derailing it. Thank you very much.


I have not attempted to derail your thread Ceci, and we both know it, just like I never harassed you. Sad thing is...I think you do believe that to be the case.

Back on topic then, huh?

None of the terms described are exclusive to discussions concerning race, and neither are the contexts in which they are used.

[edit on 20-3-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 12:48 PM
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Whatever you say. Do what you have to do. I'm going to keep my thread on an even keel with or without you. That means staying on topic and going back to my sources.

You've entertained me enough. And now I'm bored with you. And I'm not going to go to the low road in bickering with you.







[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Whatever you say. Do what you have to do. I'm going to keep my thread on an even keel with or without you.


Please do so, and while you are at it show how the terms described are unique to discussions centering on race. Furthermore, show how the terms used take on different meanings in said discussions.

The terms are not exclusive, and are not used in any different way when applied to race,there is nothing to "demystify" because they are commonly accepted terms. Basically, your original argument is flawed, and no amount of sources will change that, continue as you must though...

[edit on 20-3-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 01:07 PM
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Okay. Thank you for your input. I will take that into consideration as I keep my thread on an even keel.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 01:52 PM
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As I was reading this afternoon, I came across an article which discusses the parameters of race-relations. Ashley Doane writes about some specific things that are very important in considering why language is very important here. I'd like to post a brief excerpt:


What is Racism?Racial Discourse and Racial Politics

This political struggle is played out via racial discourse, which I define as the collective text and talk of society with respect to issues of race. If racial ideologies can be viewed as global systems of thought, then racial discourse is the arena in which political/ideological struggle occurs.

On one hand, discourses shape the mental models, or “common sense” beliefs, through which individuals interpret social reality; on the other hand, they collectively reinforce or transform ideologies. Through racial discourse, individuals and groups “frame” racial issues as they strive for ideological and political advantage. In essence, racial discourse is a form of propaganda (Fields 1990:110–112) in which social actors employ rhetorical strategies in order to make “claims” and promote a particular interpretation of a social issue. Successful “claims making” enables practitioners to mobilize supporters, attract adherents, and neutralize or discredit political opponents. Discourse is not merely communication or “debate,” it is an attempt to influence both the rules of the game and others’ perceptions of social reality.

Racial politics is not a pluralistic process, for discourse is inextricably intertwined with issues of power. Dominant groups enjoy disproportionate access to the vehicles of transmission for discourse, including government, educational institutions, and the media (van Dijk 1997). Over the past few decades, well-funded conservative think tanks and foundations have played key roles in shaping public discourse on issues ranging from affirmative action to global warming (Alterman 1999; Cokorinos 2003; McRight and Dunlap 2003; Stefancic and Delgado 1996). Discourses of dominant groups work to legitimize and reproduce dominance by minimizing the extent of inequality, marginalizing claims of subordinate groups, and moving to make dominant group understandings normative for the larger society (Doane 1997). Yet this work does not go unchal-
lenged. Subordinate groups may have a lesser (or even deliberately restricted) ability to influence public discourse, but they can nevertheless create “counterdiscourses” (van Dijk 1997:20) in an attempt to challenge existing racial structures.


[...]

Racial discourse does not occur in a vacuum: it is shaped by the changing structure of racial conflict and racial ideologies in the larger society.


[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 02:12 PM
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Paul Gorski's article is quite interesting in its own right, but I would like to outline some key points that will help explain why studying the language afforded to race-related talks is important:


Language of Closet Racism: An Illustration

Three language indicators of closet racism are evident across the continuum. These are what I refer to as "strands" because, when woven together, they form the language web of closet racists. Again, strength of language and degree of racist attitudes change dramatically across the continuum, and as a result, these strands, or indicators are more readily observable in certain individuals and groups than in others. They include fear, unaware-ness, and dis-ownership.

[...]

1. fear: "I have felt like I was stepping on egg shells as to not offend blacks in my classes..."
2. unaware-ness: "I found it extremely interesting that some blacks in our class prefer to be called African American."
3. dis-ownership: "I am honestly glad it is not that big of an issue to my fellow classmates."

[...]

The attractiveness--even if it exists at a subconscious level--of closet racism to those who retain it is that if one never labels himself or herself a racist, then (s)he is free from the obligation of doing something about it. For Jen and many others, closet racism becomes routine, easy, and comfortable. With blinders on their eyes, and the shield of manipulated language in their repertoire, closet racists can live a full life never confronting their own prejudices.

[...]
So how, then, is the study of the language of closet racism useful? Sometimes people I've labeled as closet racists want to change themselves. Jen was one such person. The study of the language she used when discussing race (and other multicultural) issues, and how this language changed, helped me understand the stages she experienced on her trek toward race awareness and appreciation.

Valuable further study concerning the language of closet racism would include the metamorphosis of the language as an individual becomes more aware, thus working toward the lower end of the closet racism continuum. Also, further study is necessary in addressing the meshing of the strands, and the meanings that derive from such meshing.


Racialicious' Carmen Van Kerckhove points out some of the deflecting language in popular culture when it comes to famous people accused of racism:


Celebrity Big Brother teaches us how to deflect accusations of racism in 3 easy steps

1. Deny that you are a racist, no matter what.

2. Invoke your non-white relative or romantic partner as proof that you’re not a racist.

3. Point to a non-white person (preferably the focus of your remarks) who was not offended by your behavior as proof that you’re not a racist.




And this is an example of the results of a sociological study in which the measured intent of racist speech on sociological in-groups and out-groups were measured. Here are some key excerpts of note:


Scarred By Words


Researchers Schnake and Ruscher (1998) examined the relationship between modern racism and the linguistic intergroup bias, originally described by Maass, Salvi, Arcuri, and Semin (1989). The linguistic intergroup bias states that people use A) less abstraction when responding to positive behaviors of out-group members (individuals who are not considered part of your group affiliation) or negative behaviors of in-group members (individuals considered part of your group affiliation), and B) more abstraction when reacting to negative behaviors of out-group members or positive behaviors of in-group members (Maass et al., 1989).

[...]

The researchers used McConahay, Hardee, and Batt's (1981, cited in Schnake & Ruscher, 1998) definition of modern racism, which describes "certain European Americans' conflict between egalitarian beliefs on one hand and residual negative affect toward African Americans on the other hand."

[...]


The communication literature focuses mainly on the issue of verbal aggression to describe the concept of racist speech. Infante and Wigley (1986, as cited in Leets & Giles, 1997) define verbal aggression as speech that attacks the self-concept of the receiver to deliver psychological pain. The linguistic intergroup bias model (Fiedler & Semin, as cited in Leets & Giles, 1997) suggests that language constitutes a "subtle way of maintaining and transmitting positive in-group and negative out-group perceptions."[...]The researchers defined direct speech as "utterances in which the propositional content (sentence meaning) of the utterance is consistent with what the speaker intends to accomplish (speaker meaning)." Indirect speech refers to "utterances in which sentence meaning and the speaker meaning are not necessarily identical...[these acts] convey multiple speaker meanings, which lessen the speaker's accountability."


Lastly, Dr. Nancy DiTomaso from Rutgers University writes of of a study that researched the language behind the egalitarian belief system that whites hold. This belief system especially paints the manner of their speech:


The American Non-Dilemma


My interviews suggest that whites treat themselves as normative and they believe that their own life experiences are generalizable to everyone else. Because structural advantages are not consciously salient to most of the interviewees, then indeed, this is how they experience their lives, and hence, it forms the ideological lens through which they see issues of inequality. Hence, while categorical inequality may underlie the basis of durable inequality, a key process that Tilly only touches on is the need in a democracy for dominant groups to treat their own categories as the only categories, i.e., as normative and "taken for granted." This implies that those from other groups are treated as if they are members of the normative category, who have failed to meet the expectations, the conditions, and the moral responsibilities of legitimate group membership. Those from other groups, thus, are both in and out at the same time. They are held up to the responsibilities of group membership, but are prevented from having the structural access to meet those responsibilities. They are, therefore, morally condemned as being irresponsible, unmotivated, and as willfully violating the rules that the dominant group members believe they themselves follow. Because of this reasoning, the white interviewees feel morally justified in what they have attained in life. They believe that the outcomes in their lives came about because of their own hard work and effort. Because they believe that the poor--and specifically racial minorities--did not work hard or try like they did, they see no moral dilemma in their advantage and the disadvantage of the poor.

The evidence for these "taken for granted" assumptions in my interviews are that many of the interviewees talked about the need to be "colorblind," they said that "color shouldn't matter," or they declared that "everyone should have the same opportunity." As noted, there was no recognition or acknowledgement that this normative pronouncement is inconsistent with the stories they had just told me about the unearned structural advantages that came to them both from processes of affirmative inclusion and from access to family resources.

Egalitarianism for these white respondents, then, means not to see, recognize, or acknowledge categorical inequality. Egalitarianism is to refuse to recognize categorical boundaries, to deny that they matter or that they exist, and to chastise those who call attention to categorical differences. It is important to understand, however, when thinking about these processes, that this is an ideology in the original sense of the word. It is not a trick as such but is believed to be true.The self serving aspect of it is not visible either. Because the interviewees do not see the structural dynamics of their own lives, then their everyday experiences are what are salient to them, and these confirm for them the ideology that they espouse. As Jackman argues, these whites, for the most part, have not themselves had to tell a black person that he or she couldn't have a job. They haven't themselves stood in the schoolhouse door to keep blacks out of their schools--in Nashville, they hoarded opportunities by creating their own "Christian" schools, which just happen to be almost all white. They haven't themselves had to refuse a mortgage to a black person or be the one to refuse to sell him or her their homes. If any such incidents occur, the interviewees would undoubtedly have explanations that rely on moral interpretations, not on race per se. This is not, therefore, just another form of racism. The point is that most whites live lives that are structured in a way that they do not have to be racists. They do not have to experience themselves in that way, and they can, therefore, attribute any problems that may still exist to other, unnamed people, who are the racists. In their understanding, and in their everyday experience, it is not them.


More food for thought.





[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 10:36 PM
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I believe these terms and catch phrases should be addressed at least as deeply as the OP's terms...

1. Uncle Tom

2. Dominant Culture

3. Oreo

4. Sell Out

5. Whitey

These are terms at least as interesting...

Semper



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
I believe these terms and catch phrases should be addressed at least as deeply as the OP's terms...

1. Uncle Tom

2. Dominant Culture

3. Oreo

4. Sell Out

5. Whitey

These are terms at least as interesting...

Semper



I'm sorry I can't. That would be repeating your thread on "Successful Black Prejudice". Don't you remember?



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 05:07 AM
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Well that says it all doesn't it?

We may only discuss one side of this issue with you..

Interesting...

Semper



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 08:44 AM
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Actually, your inquiry into "successful Black prejudice" takes care of the list of names. That's where they belong. Or else, I'd be repeating the work discussing what Blacks call each other, on that thread.

After all, you should be proud for your work into uncovering the meaning behind those names since they interest you so much.

It has nothing to do with whether anyone agrees with me. It does have to do with a repetition of the topic. I don't want to repeat the work you've already done in this area. Believe me, I most certainly don't.

I think there are plenty of phrases used in this area so that this thread remains independent from yours.



[edit on 21-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 04:56 PM
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Yet all of the phrases you have listed are one sided...

How can you possibly purport to examine any issue, only seeing one side?

Oh Sorry, I forgot .....

My fault


Semper



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
I believe these terms and catch phrases should be addressed at least as deeply as the OP's terms...

1. Uncle Tom


It seems to me that this is a racial slur given from one black person to another, based on the perception that they're being too nice or subserviant to a white person. If a black person spends a lot of time with whites or lives in what is determined to be the "white man's world", he's called "uncle Tom".

I think it's sad that this term is spat at people simply for spending time with white people. And I believe that even if they're aren't "sucking up" to white people, the phrase is still used. The very definition of "sucking up" implies that whites are at a higher station than blacks. Ugh!




Blacks who suck up to white people. In reference to the Uncle Tom character in the famous 1852 book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe.




2. Dominant Culture


I think this is used in racial discussions as a synonym for "white people". It's a way to generalize and stereotype whites without using the term "whites". It's pretty transparent, IMO.

In other discussions, it means the culture that dominates in a country, regardless of race.



3. Oreo


A sickening slur, for sure. A black person "acting white" (whatever that means)



A black person who acts white. Black on the outside, white on the inside.. or a person who is of both black and white descent. Thus, they are both black and white e.g. an Oreo.




4. Sell Out


(In racial discussions) I think a sell-out is a black person who becomes successful, and then doesn't use their success to further the needs of other black people to their satisfaction. Oprah is considered a sell-out, even though she does help black people. I think because she helps people without regard to race, she is considered a sell out.



5. Whitey


I think Whitey is another way to say Dominant Culture. It just means a white person or the plural - white people, perhaps a white person who is seen as having some power.

Racial Slur Database

Some other phrases I've seen used in racial discussions are:

1. A discussion of class is a cop-out in race-related discussions.

2. Scholarly Resources mean more than Personal Experience

3. Assimilation

4. Lack of Empathy and Conscience

5. Semantic Disconnect

6. Finger wagging

Anyone want to help demystify these?



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
Well that says it all doesn't it?

We may only discuss one side of this issue with you..

Interesting...

Semper


Actually it doesn't. It is being cognizant of the board's need not to repeat issues again. But, I see that it does not matter because BH went ahead and did it anyway. So, your complaint is not accurate.

Another thing is the fact that these phrases mentioned in the first post are not attributed to a specific race. So, unfortunately, you are also way off the mark as well. I am only finding out the origin of the phrases. I'm sorry that you read more into this. But, I'm not surprised.

However, what you did was rather racially charged.


You posted "words" instead of "phrases". That, in turn, makes a difference. Furthermore, those words that you posted are rather race-specific because these are words that have been solely attributed to Black people. There is the difference. You could have done the same thing over at your thread. It would have fit into the themes right there, since it has been your interest to deconstruct the lexicon that Blacks use against each other in "Successful Black Prejudice".

But, unfortunately, what you are doing is an act out of intellectual laziness on your part solely to cause discord. There is also the revelation you are also too lackidasial to revive your old thread and continue to entertain the issues there. It's not closed, is it?

Let's cut to the chase. Your threads have never treated subjects equally or fair. Not even in your rants against those who are uncovering the wrongdoing of cops.


Fascinating.






[edit on 22-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
It is being cognizant of the board's need not to repeat issues again.


How nice of you to be so conscientious as to not want to repeat the same issues over and over in different threads...




Originally posted by ceci2006
Another thing is the fact that these phrases mentioned in the first post are not attributed to a specific race.


Who are you trying to kid? Those are phrases you don't like because they've been said to you. All your sources in the previous pages talk about these phrases used "against" black people. You talked about them "frequently targeting African Americans".

This latest attempt at showing this to be an equal opportunity thread is totally transparent.

Now, anyone have anything on my phrases and words?



posted on Mar, 22 2007 @ 09:36 AM
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I want to apologize for the nasty tone of my last post. There really is no excuse for that and I feel really bad today for being such a jerk. I'm sorry, Ceci.

And now, I will give my opinion on the phrases I posted yesterday. I hope to spark some interesting discussion. If anyone is interested, that is.
If not, that's fine, too.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
1. A discussion of class is a cop-out in race-related discussions.


I don't understand this point of view and would really like some input on it... In my view, it seems to me that class and race go hand in hand in this country. It's better to be poor and white than to be poor and black, but it's better still to be rich and black than poor of any color.



2. Scholarly Resources mean more than Personal Experience


I concede that outside sources play an important role in discussing race. But without personal experience and opinion, we may as well just all go out and buy books and NOT discuss them with each other. I don't know where the idea that personal experience isn't important comes from, but it's really all we have. If not for our personal experiences, we wouldn't be "discussing", but rather playing some kind of "source wars".




3. Assimilation


When I hear this term, I think of the Borg. I think of the 'sickness' of the loss of individuality. I really don't like the thought of anyone being "absorbed" into a culture and I don't understand how anyone could think that's a good thing. It's one thing to integrate (if one wishes to) or adjust (which is probably necessary for a happy, healthy existence in a different culture), but assimilation is only good for nutrients into the body and Borg.




4. Lack of Empathy and Conscience


I have seen this phrase (and the general idea) as an accusation against white people who don't fully buy into the idea that people of color deserve some special consideration in society. I know there are white people who DO feel that people of color deserve something special because of the history of slave ownership, and that's fine. But in my opinion, a person's color does not make them "special".

I don't believe in racial essentialism -- the theory that racial identity is very important and tells us something very significant about a person. To me, race is as telling as a person's age, gender, or profession. There are probably some generalizations you can make about a person if you know their age, their gender, their profession or their race, but you might very well be wrong. And race doesn't automatically mean a person deserves empathy any more than a person's age means they automatically deserve respect or that they're automatically wise.



Conscience
1 a : the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good...


This is the definition I've been using when I've heard the accusation of "Lack of conscience". I'm not sure that's what Ceci has meant when she said it, but that's what I think of. Notice in the definition the phrase "blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character". This is why I resist the accusation that I have no conscience. Because if I conduct myself in a way that is not of "moral goodness", I most definitely have a conscience. Someone saying a hundred times that I don't, doesn't change the fact. It's just an attempt to make a person look bad for "not having empathy and conscience" for the poor black people. And in fact, I do have empathy for poor people of any race. But I don't carry a guilty (blameworthiness) conscience about it because it wasn not my behavior that made them poor.

More on the last 2 later.





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