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 Post subject: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:05 am 
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This is about definitions and how they mess with discussions.

Take "racist". Originally it had to do with believing that certain races were "superior" to others, that there were some sorts of ingrained and innate differences between the races, and that they were more than superficial. Blacks were animalistic; Caucasians were naturally gifted and rational and geniuses; Native Americans were "noble" and one step below whites; whatever.

Recently, that has become so 19th century. Now, all races are created equal. Yet we still have "racism", lets say "soft racism", but with some still "hard racists", the old-schoolers, the ones who draw pictures of Obama as a monkey. Those guys. They're still around, but mostly people nowadays look down on that. Yet soft racism abounds.

You know, it's not ALL blacks that are X, not ALL Latinos that are Y, but most, or at least a large minority. We've all met the exceptions, so have the soft racists, they don't believe racial stereotypes are always true, just true enough to be held.

But now we have divisions in races. There are the "good Latinos" and the bad ones. The "good (white culture) blacks" and "the N*s". The "white trash" and the "proper whites" and the "white elites". And suddenly we're "racist" for saying "those (specific subculture of) blacks are all violent/loud/ignorant". But when we turn it on our own race, saying "those redneck whites all love their guns and their bibles and their racism", it's not? It's acceptable? Seems so. So "soft racism" only applies when you talk about a different race now.

But we still use the epithet of "racist" for this latter, soft racism, even when it's clearly not purely based on race, but rather on more general prejudice against different groups in society. The same people disparaging someone for being a racist will just as quickly turn around and show blatant prejudice against their own in-race subcultures.

Where I'm going with all this: At what point does stereotyping cross the line, and at what point is it something that actually should be frowned upon? Is it always a bad thing? Are we just not allowed to have any discussions or thoughts about groups of people as a whole?

Is it wrong for a white who lives around a bad black neighborhood to make decisions and comments based on a stereotype of the local culture, because they're black? At all?

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:12 am 
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I think where I stand on this is pretty clear, in that I view racism as affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations. In terms of the history of the concept of race, that is its origins. I think the thread is good, but after the last one I'm really not sure I have the energy to go into it in depth lol.

Suffice to say I am a student of critical race theory, but it isn't, to be honest, my speciality. I have been lucky enough to go to a few seminars with race theorists, and I live with one, so most of this is osmosis.


I think in your OP you are talking about two things, racism and classism. I think that when we talk about in-group slurs or whatever, we are often talking as much about class as about race.

If I talk about 'bogans' (the Aussie version of redneck) I am making a classist judgement far more than a racist one. The interactions between these trends are complicated.

Also this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw_mRaIHb-M

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:28 am 
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My favorite "new racism", is this new definition being pushed by social justice warriors. They say that racism = prejudice + power, and basically say that there is no racism without power, so anyone who isn't white cannot be racist.

You can try to explain that there's a difference between systemic racism, and personal racism/bigotry, but they wont hear a word of it. After all, there is no such thing as "reverse racism" (amusingly correct, it's just called racism).


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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:31 am 
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OttomanScribe wrote:
I think where I stand on this is pretty clear, in that I view racism as affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations. In terms of the history of the concept of race, that is its origins. I think the thread is good, but after the last one I'm really not sure I have the energy to go into it in depth lol.

Suffice to say I am a student of critical race theory, but it isn't, to be honest, my speciality. I have been lucky enough to go to a few seminars with race theorists, and I live with one, so most of this is osmosis.
A CRT student eh? This should make for an interesting discussion. Why do you consider racism to be affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations? Is Asian, Arab, Jewish, Black or Latino Supremacy not as racist in your view because they have historically held less power than the White Supremacists? Racism = Prejudice + Power?

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Last edited by StCapps on Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:37 am 
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@Ottoman
It's more than classism, though. You can have a variety of subcultures at any class level. At lower levels for whites, you can have "white trash", "redneck", "hipster", and a variety of others depending on region and where they live within it. You can somewhat easily distinguish between the groups. I guess there's fine lines of income between some of those, but I don't think that's what really separates them. Background, values, culture, language, those are the deciding factors. I mean, Hipsters (which isn't actually race-specific) might be quite disdainful of Rednecks despite similar earnings and socio-economic status, and visa-versa.

I agree that looking at it from the power perspective is important, in its own right, but I don't think that's a necessary condition at all. What I think really needs to be asked, to see whether a comment/thought is bigoted or not is simple:
- is this an unfair characterization?
By which we really are asking:
- Does this apply to a large enough percentage of the target group to be reasonably assumed, or is it reliable enough in your daily life to be a useful assumption?
- Is it a relatively unbiased appraisal, or is it only accurate through heavily pre-disposed beliefs?

Even then, is it ever truly appropriate? Should it ever be accepted? I tend to feel that any sort of stereotyping of a group just leads to members trying to fit or fighting to reverse said stereotype. It sort of calcifies individuals and simplifies the complexity, even at the group level. But do I do this myself sometimes? Yup. It does grant a certain sense of personal/ingroup superiority, doesn't it? But that's not a good thing on the whole...

I disagree with the comedian, specifically because his comments were very vaguely applied and very broad stroke. It's just a way to hate on a different group, it's backwards. As funny as the "reverse racism" bit was, he was otherwise flawed.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:42 am 
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StCapps wrote:
A CRT student eh? This should make for an interesting discussion. Why do you consider racism to be affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations. Is Asian, Arab, Jewish, Black or Latino Supremacy not as racist in your view because they have historically held less power than the White Supremacists? Racism = Prejudice + Power?


It doesn't fall under the category 'racism', without the power relations behind it. It does of course have the potential to do so, where there situations where that power situation was different (we do not need hypotheticals for that, it exists in various places).

What I find is that these discussions usually get muddied with hypotheticals, I prefer to ground the discussion in realities rather than the edges of the theory.
Quote:
My favorite "new racism", is this new definition being pushed by social justice warriors. They say that racism = prejudice + power, and basically say that there is no racism without power, so anyone who isn't white cannot be racist.

You can try to explain that there's a difference between systemic racism, and personal racism/bigotry, but they wont hear a word of it. After all, there is no such thing as "reverse racism" (amusingly correct, it's just called racism).


That isn't 'new racism', it is just racism. Most people I know will say that personal bigotry or 'race hate' (for lack of a better term) exists, but it is fundamentally different in nature because of the way power relations work.

When my wife was spat on and called a 'f***** black dog', it was an affirmation of systems which place her, a woman of colour, visibly Muslim, as subservient.

When I got told by an Aboriginal man that I was a 'white c***', he was still living in the Mish near my house, and I maintained all the positive social indicators that come with a system that actively favours me. You could call that 'racial hate', but I think that 'racism' as a concept has a specific theoretical meaning that doesn't apply without the power dynamics. There was no strength to his words. Even when I got bashed, the same insult hurled, all I got was bruises, no power structure was deployed against me.



People often get caught up in the deployment of dictionary definitions. I personally dislike this because it is about the theory more than a dictionary. As my wife says 'anyone who isn't in a year 6 debating team that talks about dictionary definitions when it comes to theoretical discussions needs to re-evaluate how much they learnt in school'.


Anyway, ya'll have kept me up til suhoor (the meal consumed before I start fasting for the day). It is 2.44 am here and I should really have spent all this time working on a research plan that is due in two days. So I bid you farewell for now!

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:50 am 
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@Ottoman

I sort of have to agree with Capps that a different term is in order. I would definitely see the Aboriginal man as a racist, and his racism fuels the "reverse racism" that disempowers him right back (and is fueled by it of course). It's a general society-wide approach to people/groups which involves lots of race-based hatred, slurs, and bad stereotypes. Vicious cycles and such.

I get why power is important for the severity of the offense, but not why we should just ignore impotent racism, or downplay it significantly. It should also be condemned. It should also be "not PC". I think you're going to lose a lot of white sympathy with this approach, because nobody likes to be treated unfairly, and whites are going to generally say, "I can't say a thing racist, but everyone else can call me whatever cracker ass whitey shit they like, that's bs". It doesn't solve racism (inasmuch as it can ever be), it just seeks to limit its institutional injury (which is a noble goal, but why are we just leaving the social issue aside exactly?).

Be back in 10hr.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:12 am 
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Talksintext wrote:

Where I'm going with all this: At what point does stereotyping cross the line, and at what point is it something that actually should be frowned upon? Is it always a bad thing? Are we just not allowed to have any discussions or thoughts about groups of people as a whole?

Is it wrong for a white who lives around a bad black neighborhood to make decisions and comments based on a stereotype of the local culture, because they're black? At all?


If it's black people from that particular neighbourhood that's bad, then your stereotype won't be very helpful outside that neighbourhood. If a black guy in a suit and tie in a fancy part of town, wearing glasses and holding a briefcase walked past you, I'm guessing you wouldn't automatically make the same sort decisions and comments as you would the black people in your neighbourhood, after all.

And if that's the case, then your stereotype really is social, not racial. Crime amongst the Irish in late 19th century America, Italians in the early 20th century, etc. wasn't proof of that particular group of people being any more susceptible to crime because of their ethnic (or "racial") background than black people or latinos are today in the US.

So, the simple answer to "when does stereotyping cross the line" would be: Usually when you're stereotyping based on flawed associations and bad deductive logic.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:46 am 
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OttomanScribe wrote:
StCapps wrote:
A CRT student eh? This should make for an interesting discussion. Why do you consider racism to be affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations. Is Asian, Arab, Jewish, Black or Latino Supremacy not as racist in your view because they have historically held less power than the White Supremacists? Racism = Prejudice + Power?


It doesn't fall under the category 'racism', without the power relations behind it.
You can choose to label it something else but most people call that racism.
OttomanScribe wrote:
Quote:
My favorite "new racism", is this new definition being pushed by social justice warriors. They say that racism = prejudice + power, and basically say that there is no racism without power, so anyone who isn't white cannot be racist.

You can try to explain that there's a difference between systemic racism, and personal racism/bigotry, but they wont hear a word of it. After all, there is no such thing as "reverse racism" (amusingly correct, it's just called racism).


That isn't 'new racism', it is just racism. Most people I know will say that personal bigotry or 'race hate' (for lack of a better term) exists, but it is fundamentally different in nature because of the way power relations work.

When my wife was spat on and called a 'f***** black dog', it was an affirmation of systems which place her, a woman of colour, visibly Muslim, as subservient.

When I got told by an Aboriginal man that I was a 'white c***', he was still living in the Mish near my house, and I maintained all the positive social indicators that come with a system that actively favours me. You could call that 'racial hate', but I think that 'racism' as a concept has a specific theoretical meaning that doesn't apply without the power dynamics. There was no strength to his words. Even when I got bashed, the same insult hurled, all I got was bruises, no power structure was deployed against me.
You can choose to differentiate between systemic racism and personal bigotry/race hate but systemic racism is the result of personal bigotry being prevalent amongst a society empowered ethnic group who use those prejudices to justify that systemic racism. Therefore it is import to condemn the root cause that leads to the existence of systemic racism instead of making statements implying it is entirely separate from personal bigotry.

As for your example let's tweak it a little. If a white woman spat on your wife and called her a fucking black dog and some black dude spat on you and called a fucking white dog which would be a worse offense? It's my opinion that both are equally offensive regardless of the race and gender cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:57 am 
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Maybe the difference is that when those in power deploy racism it is fuelled by the fear of losing power, in addition to the usual fear of the "other" and disgust with the disenfranchised...

While those without power who deploy racism are fuelled by the injustice of the situation or the historical injustice that preceded the situation.

That all being said, both are less than constructive...

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:05 am 
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DrYouth wrote:
Maybe the difference is that when those in power deploy racism it is fuelled by the fear of losing power, in addition to the usual fear of the "other" and disgust with the disenfranchised...

While those without power who deploy racism are fuelled by the injustice of the situation or the historical injustice that preceded the situation.

That all being said, both are less than constructive...

Since both are grounded in fear; why not drop the word racist and call it cowardice? Seems to fit better.


Last edited by Sitri on Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:08 am 
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DrYouth wrote:
Maybe the difference is that when those in power deploy racism it is fuelled by the fear of losing power, in addition to the usual fear of the "other" and disgust with the disenfranchised...

While those without power who deploy racism are fuelled by the injustice of the situation or the historical injustice that preceded the situation. In addition to the usual fear of the "other and disgust with the enfranchised.

That all being said, both are less than constructive...
Fixed that for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:11 am 
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Isn't weighing the egregiousness of ones racism by considering their race kinda . . . racist?

:shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:16 am 
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DBTrek wrote:
Isn't weighing the egregiousness of ones racism by considering their race kinda . . . racist?

:shock:
:ohsnapsign: :goteam:

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 Post subject: Re: Racists Everywhere
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:09 pm 
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StCapps wrote:
OttomanScribe wrote:
StCapps wrote:
A CRT student eh? This should make for an interesting discussion. Why do you consider racism to be affirmations of white supremacy, related to power relations. Is Asian, Arab, Jewish, Black or Latino Supremacy not as racist in your view because they have historically held less power than the White Supremacists? Racism = Prejudice + Power?


It doesn't fall under the category 'racism', without the power relations behind it.
You can choose to label it something else but most people call that racism.
OttomanScribe wrote:
Quote:
My favorite "new racism", is this new definition being pushed by social justice warriors. They say that racism = prejudice + power, and basically say that there is no racism without power, so anyone who isn't white cannot be racist.

You can try to explain that there's a difference between systemic racism, and personal racism/bigotry, but they wont hear a word of it. After all, there is no such thing as "reverse racism" (amusingly correct, it's just called racism).


That isn't 'new racism', it is just racism. Most people I know will say that personal bigotry or 'race hate' (for lack of a better term) exists, but it is fundamentally different in nature because of the way power relations work.

When my wife was spat on and called a 'f***** black dog', it was an affirmation of systems which place her, a woman of colour, visibly Muslim, as subservient.

When I got told by an Aboriginal man that I was a 'white c***', he was still living in the Mish near my house, and I maintained all the positive social indicators that come with a system that actively favours me. You could call that 'racial hate', but I think that 'racism' as a concept has a specific theoretical meaning that doesn't apply without the power dynamics. There was no strength to his words. Even when I got bashed, the same insult hurled, all I got was bruises, no power structure was deployed against me.
You can choose to differentiate between systemic racism and personal bigotry/race hate but systemic racism is the result of personal bigotry being prevalent amongst a society empowered ethnic group who use those prejudices to justify that systemic racism. Therefore it is import to condemn the root cause that leads to the existence of systemic racism instead of making statements implying it is entirely separate from personal bigotry.

As for your example let's tweak it a little. If a white woman spat on your wife and called her a fucking black dog and some black dude spat on you and called a fucking white dog which would be a worse offense? It's my opinion that both are equally offensive regardless of the race and gender cards.


I agree, if I understand you correctly. Soft racism is just racism. Symptomatic of a system that is still at it's foundation racist in terms of the power struggle.

Stereotypes exist because they are often to some degree true. Black people do like fried chicken... but so do a lot of people of other ethnicities.

Calling someone a hipster, or redneck isn't inherently racist, but if as the OP stated you referred to a group as redneck whites, it becomes racist by the arbitrary classification. In fact the assigning of race to most of these examples are arbitrary. "There's a lot of crime in my neighborhood, which is majority latino..." The second part of the sentence is arbitrary, in that it provides no real distinct contextualizing information. If I choose to move out of my neighborhood, it should be because of the crime, not the ethnic make up. If my reason is the latter, I am a racist.

Yes the aborigine in OP's example is acting in a racist manor, from a racist impulse.
Yes the person (who I'm supposing is white but even if they're not) who spit in the OP's face is acting in a racist manor, from a racist impulse.


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