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Racism, or Ignorance?

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posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 02:45 AM
I think there are two forms of racism, hateful and ignorant. Am I right?

So I've been watching the Paula Dean scandal (is it really a scandal?) and I have some questions.

Here's what I know about her. She was born in Georgia (Deep South) and is 66. She would have been around 20 during the '65 civil rights issues. She has bi-racial nieces. She used the n-word and laughed at a "plantation theme" wedding with an all black staff.

This is what I know from my own experience growing up in the south around older folks, and why I think she falls in the "ignorant" category of racism. The folks I grew up around freely used the n-word, but made it clear that it was for degenerate low class blacks. As Chris Rock explained it, "you have blacks, and you have n******". They weren't hateful, and thought the klan was stupid. They lived through Jim Crow, and thought blacks were equal. They told racist jokes. Thing is, there was never any hatred or ill will involved, except for the low-class blacks, yet they had the same reaction to low-class whites. They would call them "red neck" and "cracker" just as fast. It was just a casual thing they were brought with, I suppose.

I grew up around that, but being of a much younger generation, I knew that they were wrong so I didn't imitate them. I can excuse an older person being an "ignorant racist", but not any one under 45.

The above I call "ignorant" racist, cause they just don't know any better. They grew up that way, but there's not malice or hatred behind it. A black in their social/economic circle is equal. They see the person, not the color.

I contrast this with groups like Stormfront and the Klan. Those guys are just hateful. They see the color, not the person.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. What do you think?

p.s. Growing up, gays were closeted and demeaned. You told jokes and ridiculed others (dont be a sissy, gay, faggot, etc) Those of us that grew up at this time will probably make those jokes in the future. However, our children wont. They will be raised that gays are equal and not to be demeaned, made fun of, or used as a demeaning remark to others. In this way, we are the "ignorant racist" simply because of the times we were born in. We say the words and jokes, because we don't really see anything wrong in it (even though it probably is). We have gay friends and support gay rights. Yet, we still engage in bad behavior.

posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 02:52 AM
Great point. There is indeed a difference.

My grandmother, for instance, is terrible for describing non-white people in highly unpolitically incorrect ways. Does she hate them? I don't believe so, but being 90 years old she is simply using the lexicon of terms she grew up with.

Doesn't make it right, of course, but I 100% believe she's ignorant rather than hateful.

It can lead to the odd uncomfortable moment though.

posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by stormson

I think you make an excellent point and I agree with you completely.

I don't think ignorant racists should be given a free "pass", but I feel very sorry for Paula Deen because so many are judging her as a hateful racist and it's clear to me that she isn't. I do think she needs a real education and she's getting that, for sure. It's a hard lesson.

Overall, it's a difficult lesson for the country, but I think it's teaching people a lot.

posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 08:40 AM

Originally posted by stormson

The above I call "ignorant" racist, cause they just don't know any better. They grew up that way, but there's not malice or hatred behind it. A black in their social/economic circle is equal. They see the person, not the color.

I dont think it's ignorance. They just dont care. I should clarify, I mean the young people.

Racism is old, tired, dead and a word is just a word.

There are real, concrete ways to identify a bigot and use a word is not one of them.

Pussyfooting around hyper-sensative mental patients less we o-fend makes us all fragile.

Grandma still using the word "colored" would classify as ignorant without malice.

Young people can use it without malice and without ignorance.
edit on 28-6-2013 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2013 @ 09:10 AM
While I agree that there is a distinct difference between hateful racism and ignorant racism, I do not believe for one second that Paula Dean is a "ignorant" racist. You see, ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge, education, or awareness. I can see some uneducated, isolated, backwoods hick falling into the category of ignorant racism, as that is how they were raised and how others around them also act and they are void of any outside education on the issue. However, Paula Dean is a multinational icon in the food industry. She is well versed in the difference between right and wrong. She knows the issues of racism in America and she certainly knows the taboo associated with using racial slurs and the "plantation" attitude.

In my mind, Paula Dean is absolutely deserving of all the backlash she is getting...she knew better, but chose to make the statements she did. Granted, it is her constitutional right to speak her mind, but she is not immune from suffering the social consequences that go along with her choice of words.

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