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Thread: Racism

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaunward View Post
    Universality is an illusion.
    Only if understood in an abstract sense.

  2. #122
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Well with regards to the OP, I don't think racism is the same as prejudice. the idea that "we're all a bit racist" is really just one that real racists use in order to muddy the waters. In fact, prejudices are based on a slice of truth - you can make assumptions about people based on their ethnicity.

    "Race" is indeed a social construction, but the whole point about a social construction is that it does have real effects in the real world, otherwise, the term would be meaningless.

    Racism, I would say, is when those differences are essentialized, rather than being understood as social constructs which we should strive to break down.

    Racism is also a social system whereby non-white minorities in the west systematically suffer higher unemployment rates, poverty rates, imprisonment, worse education opportunities, worse incomes, and social discrimination (as do women). All of this is emprically shown. And it is not something that can be overcome by us becoming "colour blind", but rather something historically ingrained and built into our social and economic structures, which has to be stamped out by radical, conscious social change of said structures.
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  3. #123
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaunward View Post
    I discussed beauty as being largely defined by the majority. I asked what was wrong about that. That is my question.

    I accept the idea that there are physical traits that are attractive and physical traits that are unattractive. I accept that people (persons) will generally have things in common and they will group with such people that have things in common (bonded social capital). They might have a shared interest in automobile aesthetics, moral views or ideas that appeal to them, mutual understanding of concepts and duties, et cetera. A set of views or beliefs a group of people may also hold is roughly what is physically attractive and what is unattractive.

    To me, having the majority largely determine that just makes sense logically. The majority has a lot in common and likely has the same reasons they find X attractive in common. X being attractive is probably accomplished more often in the entire group when it's common to a majority, rather than a minority.

    Let's put it this way. Let's say features that only 1% of a population are capable of are considered attractive. That's 99% of a population that may do all sorts of messed up things to try to be like that 1%. What you describe about fake boobs and people bleaching themselves? Imagine if the major consensus was that completely dark was attractive - you'd have even more people doing crazy things to make themselves completely dark. At least with the majority holding the sense of beauty, less people will be hurting themselves. Even from your argument you cannot dispute my question.

    Your beef isn't with my question. Your beef is with the notion that people find some physical traits attractive and others unattractive. Your beef is with the fact that majorities and minorities co-exist in a society. Your beef is with stupid people willing to hurt themselves for social capital.

    My beef is with the fact that the majority of our culture holds pristine an extreme minority. Do you see the imbalance?

    I believe this imbalance comes from being bombarded and sold, even subconsciously, on the idea that a certain type of beauty, as it's defined by popular culture, will make you feel better or be better than you are normally.

    I can buy that a majority of a particular culture might find wide hips on a woman seductive, for example, but the majority of the culture will probably indeed have wide hips! It's when there is a skew between what the majority reveres and what the reality is, that you wonder what is going wrong.

    This then leads to the Majority expending much energy and money trying to change themselves so that they might fit into the nearly unobtainable margin.
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  4. #124
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm attracted to mixed black and white women, but I think I'm generally attracted to mixing, period. I think countries with a lot of history of mixing have some of the most beautiful people. Argentina/Brazil, Ethiopia/North Africa, Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan have a long history of Caucasian and Asian mixing (maybe even Hungary has a great deal of Asian mixing too.. seems like it), and US regions like Hawaii. The one type of blonde I find just as beautiful are the ones with darker/brownish eyes -- but they are actually pretty rare themselves - that may not be a feature of pure "Caucasian-ness" either. Lastly I like the look of white women with obvious Native American features too.

    Anyhow, I don't know if that's my own form of personal bias, or whether I'm a product of a media influence. Or maybe it's just the truth that most people's beauty standards would swing towards an "average", and I'm just one of them.

    Also, I don't mean to dumb this down and turn the discussion into something about beauty. Just my 2c. There's probably some deep point in here somewhere :P

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    This is true, but universality is what underlies all the assumptions in a sense of privilege. It extends the contextualized preferences, advantages, and traits of one group as the point of reference for all groups.
    I don't think I agree. I don't think all assumptions have an underlying sense of universality - I'm sure some go off the sense of majority. It would, I imagine, require a very minute definition for privilege (to the point of detracting from your argument on its presense) in order to say all assumptions of this privilege are based on universality. As an example, assumptions would fall in line with that people in Japanese culture dislike their "Japanese'ness" would wish they were white. Such an assumption, in my opinion is clearly incorrect. If all assumptions of privilege must be as such this argument, this privilege seems it would be negligible. Such is the problem of painting with such a broad brush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Only if understood in an abstract sense.
    I'm inclined to believe universality, in the contex we're using it, is completely abstract. I keep an open mind, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by aphrodite-gone-awry View Post
    My beef is with the fact that the majority of our culture holds pristine an extreme minority. Do you see the imbalance?

    I believe this imbalance comes from being bombarded and sold, even subconsciously, on the idea that a certain type of beauty, as it's defined by popular culture, will make you feel better or be better than you are normally.

    I can buy that a majority of a particular culture might find wide hips on a woman seductive, for example, but the majority of the culture will probably indeed have wide hips! It's when there is a skew between what the majority reveres and what the reality is, that you wonder what is going wrong.

    This then leads to the Majority expending much energy and money trying to change themselves so that they might fit into the nearly unobtainable margin.
    This has nothing to do with my argument or root of my question. Really, you're arguing something else altogether and using my questioning as a platform.

    You're arguing that people shouldn't be so quick to idolise physical beauty, from what I see. This wouldn't change whether the majority chose what was beautiful, whether a minority chose what was beautiful or if God almighty descended from the heavens to say he liked big butts and he cannot lie. I'm arguing that if this is inevitable, then what is wrong with the majority, rather than a minority, determining it.

  6. #126
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "majority" anyways? Just in terms of North America, or the world as a whole? Because whites are not the majority in the world, yet some of these "standards" of beauty are still regarded rather well. I wouldn't appropriate it all to white influence. Beautiful is just Beautiful sometimes.

    I think the "majority" in North America does a play a part in how they "present" certain stereotypes though. And no, that doesn't make it right. If someone attempted to justify a mischaracterization or some injustice because of majority rule, that's an instant call for an assbeating. Best way to prove to someone that they do not "rule" and to make their point moot is to make them submit to me right then and there.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphrodite-gone-awry View Post
    My beef is with the fact that the majority of our culture holds pristine an extreme minority. Do you see the imbalance?

    I believe this imbalance comes from being bombarded and sold, even subconsciously, on the idea that a certain type of beauty, as it's defined by popular culture, will make you feel better or be better than you are normally.

    I can buy that a majority of a particular culture might find wide hips on a woman seductive, for example, but the majority of the culture will probably indeed have wide hips! It's when there is a skew between what the majority reveres and what the reality is, that you wonder what is going wrong.

    This then leads to the Majority expending much energy and money trying to change themselves so that they might fit into the nearly unobtainable margin.

    Why is it necessarily "wrong" if the majority finds a minority type of physical beauty to be seductive?
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  8. #128
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    Look, redneck. If you disagree with me, fine, but I sense a little bit of negativity in your posts here and in other threads where we've had a similar discussion (Race and Dating, was it?). It feels akin to bitterness at times, although I could be wrong.
    My reference to PCU was actually an (apparently unsuccessful) attempt to make my point without unnecessary negativity.

    I simply view the perspective and worldview that you are espousing to be more than a little hostile and antagonistic (as well as erroneous), demonstrating a zero-sum attitude towards social structures and social interactions and seemingly calculated to put one party in a debate on the defensive and at a disadvantage rather than having both parties participate on equal footing (and what was REALLY ironic was your complaint about white people allegedly viewing your input as heavily biased due to your race, while you have explicitly stated that such is the case when white people-at least in the context of North America-volunteer opinions on this issue).

    Anyway, I don't have anything against you personally, I just strongly object to the paradigm you have presented.

  9. #129
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    This is exactly the concept of privilege.
    No, THIS is the concept of privilege:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privilege

    What you are describing is majority-group ethnocentrism (a fluid dynamic that is essentially unavoidable in any society, but which has been to some degree expanded by institutional and culturally entrenched racism) which has the effect of reinforcing a member of said majority group's sense of identification with the norms and preferences of the society he lives in (not at all the same thing as a "sense of entitlement"), and introducing some degree of alienation on the part of minority groups.

  10. #130
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    My own life experience, and that of many other black women I know rather intimately, discussions with "white" people who spend lots of time considering the topic of racialism, and a large number of literature that supports that reality.

    I can't tell you how many times a "white" associate has awkwardly said to me in casual conversation, "Don't beat me up for saying this", or "I bet you could kick my ass", or "Black people can really fight, I wouldn't want to mess with you". I've never had a "black" person assume me to be capable of physically endangering them.
    This is not what I was talking about, at all. Do you come from a family of recent immigrants? If not, I doubt you have extremely dark skin.
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