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Thread: Racism

  1. #41
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
    I find that poor whites in racially mixed worker communities aren't prejudice against blacks or blacks against whites, but that they are united in their prejudice against illegal, non-english speaking south/central americans. What do you make of that?
    Inteligentaindigena Novajoservo: TUM: "Illegal" is the new "N****r"

    It might seem like a triviality but I'd also like to hear what people think about quoting/using the word (as well as other slurs) I censored in my link above. Part of me feels like an ass for censoring it (someone recently told me that "the N word" is such a cop-out because it absolves the speaker of the responsibility of saying the word, but shifts it onto the listener who hears it just the same) but since it's in a grey area of what's allowed on the site I decided to stay on the safe side. "Safe" being a loaded concept in and of itself.
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  2. #42
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Regarding your dilemma, Ivy, I usually weigh the individual situation. I've always felt like taking a giant stand on things usually does little more than make you look self-righteous. Nobody likes to be preached to. I try to see if I can do it subtly or with humor, and if it's not natural in the moment, then I look for an opening in a conversation with an individual to let them know how I feel. That way, we're just people talking, and they're more open to hearing opinions. I grew up in a similar environment to yours, and that's how I learned to handle it.

    Your husband might also privately email the sender and say, "Hey, would you mind not sending those forwards to me?" Then if the sender asks why, he can explain why he doesn't like that kind of humor. Then no one has put anyone on the defensive, and it's possible that the sender will start to wonder if anyone else isn't digging his forwards, either.

    I do think racism is rampant among a segment of poor whites because they do understand that there is a bit of power in society that comes just from being white, even if you're poor and uneducated. And that pretty much goes back to Reconstruction. That racism is basically motivated by fear of the loss of privilege.
    Something Witty

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Open racism is easier to confront and judge, but that doesn't mean that all kinds of subtle prejudice don't exist, even in those claiming moral superiority. That doesn't make confronting racism (and other prejudice) a worthless endeavor, even if we go about it lopsidedly and imperfectly.
    Obsessions over subtle forms of "prejudice" can all too easily turn into a farce, which is certainly my view of most calls for "dialogues on race"(I'm speaking in general, not against you personally Ivy).

    Not only that, the simple fact still remains that we all have prejudices of some sort, and if assuming we need to address those prejudices then the rational conclusion one should draw is that if we need to address them with considerable humility. Same mentality as "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Inteligentaindigena Novajoservo: TUM: "Illegal" is the new "N****r"

    It might seem like a triviality but I'd also like to hear what people think about quoting/using the word (as well as other slurs) I censored in my link above. Part of me feels like an ass for censoring it (someone recently told me that "the N word" is such a cop-out because it absolves the speaker of the responsibility of saying the word, but shifts it onto the listener who hears it just the same) but since it's in a grey area of what's allowed on the site I decided to stay on the safe side. "Safe" being a loaded concept in and of itself.
    It's a word, nothing more. Yeah it's used in offensive contexts, but so are so many other words. Sure many can hair-split all they want about how it's worse than other words, but such sophistry actually gives it more negative power.

    The context and intention behind the use of the word is what determines whether it's really offensive or not. If it's used in an sarcastic/light hearted manner it should largely be seen in that light, and thus not a big deal. In this particular context, it's being used to help drive home a point. Thus you don't have much to worry about using it.

    Of course it should used tacfully, out of respect for many issues Blacks do have with it.

  5. #45
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    Depends. Is he white or black?


    Racism=the belief that some races are genetically inferior or superior to others.

    Bigotry=antipathy towards a racial group

    racial prejudice=assumption that a person of a particular race will have certain non-physical attributes.

    Also, the definition given for "white privilege" (a term that is more than a little prejudicial in itself, but we've debated that before) is much too broad, basically including any practical consequence of having a majority population that happens to be white.

  6. #46
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    It's a word, nothing more.
    I have to disagree there, for two reasons:

    1.) Like you anticipated, the first reason has to do with the historical usage of the word and the associated degree of its negative connotations; I simply don't think its possible for many people (white or black) to avoid having such culturally entrenched connotations influencing their thoughts or perceptions when referring to themselves or others through that word.

    2.) Another problem is that casual usage of the word in mixed company (this time referring to usage by black people specifically) perpetuates cultural and social segregation; non-black kids can't bond with black peers by engaging in the same behaiviors or mannerism and following the same trends as their black friends, while the black kids essentially exclude themselves from the mainstream, leading to unnecessary cultural marginalization.

  7. #47
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post


    Racism=the belief that some races are genetically inferior or superior to others.

    Bigotry=antipathy towards a racial group

    racial prejudice=assumption that a person of a particular race will have certain non-physical attributes.

    Also, the definition given for "white privilege" (a term that is more than a little prejudicial in itself, but we've debated that before) is much too broad, basically including any practical consequence of having a majority population that happens to be white.

    stuff white people do: think they get to decide what's racist



    And to Peguy. What you said was true - although a slight derail from the point of the OP. Everyone has their prejudices; however, wouldn't that type of attitude inhibit progression? Prevent people from wanting to correct some irrational hang-ups that continue to oppress others? I don't really see that as justification (and that might not have been your intention, I'll point out).

  8. #48
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I have to disagree there, for two reasons:

    1.) Like you anticipated, the first reason has to do with the historical usage of the word and the associated degree of its negative connotations; I simply don't think its possible for many people (white or black) to avoid having such culturally entrenched connotations influencing their thoughts or perceptions when referring to themselves or others through that word.

    2.) Another problem is that casual usage of the word in mixed company (this time referring to usage by black people specifically) perpetuates cultural and social segregation; non-black kids can't bond with black peers by engaging in the same behaiviors or mannerism and following the same trends as their black friends, while the black kids essentially exclude themselves from the mainstream, leading to unnecessary cultural marginalization.
    IMO there's something to be said for sanctuary, and I don't believe it's the same as segregation. I don't need to be a part of every black gathering and it doesn't bother me that there are things black people can say to each other that I can't (or shouldn't) say back to them or anyone else. Holding a marginalized group's behavior in sanctuary responsible for the behavior and attitudes of the privileged group seems like more blame-the-victim to me. That V-word has become another hot-button word but I hope my use of it is clear.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    2.) Another problem is that casual usage of the word in mixed company (this time referring to usage by black people specifically) perpetuates cultural and social segregation
    Actually quite the opposite is true. If a white person can actually tell a black joke or say the n word light-heartedly to a black colleague without it being automatically taken as some expression of bigotry(overt or covert) is actually a far clearer sign of overcoming racism than it being be an ever-present taboo hanging over everybodys' heads; which actually perpetuates segregation.

    Not least of which it shows that blacks and whites can approach each other as mature adults, rather than with the assumption that one party is some child that needs to be shielded from negative words and emotions. That's not fair to either party. As I said, it should be used tactfully, and with a general mutual understanding on the part of both parties. Yes, whites need to understand that the word has negative connotations with Blacks; but Blacks should need to realise that a white peson may not necessarily be malicious when using the word.

    That's an element I commonly find missing from many of these "dialogues on race"; the fact they're usually one-sided. Whites are supposed to understand where Blacks are coming from, but not vice versa. Unless both parties are committed to geniunely understanding each other(and themselves btw), you're not going to get anywhere in race relations.

    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    And to Peguy. What you said was true - although a slight derail from the point of the OP. Everyone has their prejudices; however, wouldn't that type of attitude inhibit progression? Prevent people from wanting to correct some irrational hang-ups that continue to oppress others? I don't really see that as justification (and that might not have been your intention, I'll point out).
    As I see it; the best approach to addressing your own prejudices is to simply acknowledge and accept them and move on with life. Does that mean one can or should be able to indiscriminately hate or oppress other people based upon those prejudices? No. However beating yourself up over it isn't going to get you anywhere either, if anything it makes things worse. If you're a decent person overall(as Ivy is here for example), then there is not much of a problem here as I see it.

  10. #50
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Peguy, I see what you're saying. And in part, I do agree. Acknowledge, I get. We all have prejudices, and pretending we don't is counterproductive. Move on with my life, I'm totally on board for that, and in fact it's one of the reasons I started this thread, as an exercise in exorcism so that I can get closer to the person I want to be. But accept? Why would I accept my prejudices? I want to get rid of them, not accept them. I accept that I may not ever be totally without prejudice, but that doesn't preclude me from working on the ones I can identify.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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