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Old 10-21-2009, 04:20 PM   #1
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Racism

So a lot of threads in here and a lot of issues out in the real world are being side tracked or derailed by a single word:

racism

but there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the word means. So without saying who is or who isn't racist, why don't we simply define the term? Maybe even give a general example, no names or specifics.

So what does the word mean?
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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Black people?
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:41 PM   #3
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it's a terrible thing that black people and all minorities accuse white people of when black people and all minorities and their guilty white liberal enablers don't get their way.

the accusation of it is far, far worse than the actual thing itself, but the worst thing of all is reverse racism.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Black people?
I think your avatar is racist.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
it's a terrible thing that black people and all minorities accuse white people of when black people and all minorities and their guilty white liberal enablers don't get their way.

the accusation of it is far, far worse than the actual thing itself, but the worst thing of all is reverse racism.
*sigh* That didn't take long. That's your contribution?

Anyway...

I remember a lecture from my sociology professor- a self-professed liberal, for what it's worth- from freshman year. He gave us this hypothetical scenario on race, and I found it quite interesting. He said something roughly like this:

"Let's say I show you a group of 5 African-American males on one side of the room. Then I show you a group of 5 Caucasian males on the other side of the room. Then I tell you that one of these 10 people has been convicted of homicide, and I'll give you five bucks if you correctly guess which group he is in. Which group do you guess?"

I would, likely with little hesitation, pick the group of African-Americans. Now, is that being racist, or is that making a racial observation and estimate based on statistics? I'd pick them not because I believe most African-Americans are criminals or because I hate black people, but because the statistics tell me to pick them. And I bet there would be people who still call me racist for picking the group of African-American males, and if so I'd certainly like to know why.

Another hypothetical. Let's say it's a year ago. You're driving down the street and the car in front of you has a McCain/Palin sticker on it. You change lanes and pull up beside it, and prepare to glance over at the driver. Now, what race do you expect to see when you look in the driver's seat? If you think "Hmm, there's probably an equal chance that I'll see a white person or a black person in the car," then bravo, good for you. But tell me that you wouldn't be 99.9% sure that there would be a white person in the car. Now, I could say that you would be racist for assuming that. But I wouldn't, because that's not being racist, but rather making a racial observation and estimate based on statistics.

I was walking on the quad last year wearing my McCain shirt and an African-American stopped me and starting questioning me. His first question? "Why don't you like Obama?" His second question? Something like "Is it because he's black?" or "Are you a racist?" Are we really at that point in America in 2009? I sure hope not.

Also, one morning last winter I stepped outside of my apartment building to head to my car. I noticed that overnight half of my McCain/Palin bumper sticker had been ripped off and faintly written in dust on the back of my car was "racist." Again, is this the world we live in?

I don't know if I answered the original question, and I don't really care. Point is, I don't care who you are, we need to stop throwing "racist!" around so damn easily. 95% of the people who use it probably use it incorrectly, and that is unbelievably aggravating.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #6
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Having been a member of this forum for several years I can say that five of the above five posters have had racist thoughts and even made racist statements.



There are defintions of racism that would be easy enough to cut and paste.

But, why bother?


I don't believe having a racist thought makes one a racist.

Does having a communist thought make one a communist?


Every now and then I have a religious thought and may even make a religious statement.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
I was walking on the quad last year wearing my McCain shirt and an African-American stopped me and starting questioning me. His first question? "Why don't you like Obama?" His second question? Something like "Is it because he's black?" or "Are you a racist?" Are we really at that point in America in 2009? I sure hope not.

Also, one morning last winter I stepped outside of my apartment building to head to my car. I noticed that overnight half of my McCain/Palin bumper sticker had been ripped off and faintly written in dust on the back of my car was "racist." Again, is this the world we live in?
To be honest, with making a big thing of anecdotes like this, you just come across as prissy. Unless one of these guys physically threatened you or vandalised your car, frankly, big deal.

I think a vibrant political culture of discussion and cut-and-thrust debate - as America has, much as I criticise its foreign policy - is a good thing.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #8
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i broke down the world in a way that it is not commonly associated in a previous thread, but i think i only got 1 response saying "i disagree", so im not going to type all that again
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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To be honest, with making a big thing of anecdotes like this, you just come across as prissy. Unless one of these guys physically threatened you or vandalised your car, frankly, big deal.

I think a vibrant political culture of discussion and cut-and-thrust debate - as America has, much as I criticise its foreign policy - is a good thing.
Whatever. Those two anecdotes of mine you cited- that's "debate?" That's "discussion?" Far from it.

And considering ripping off my bumper sticker is both theft and vandalism, then yes, I don't mind making a big deal of it...
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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I do think racism CAN be overblown in certain situations. I do, howevr understand that those who belong to minority groups can feel outcast and overpowered based on certain past occurances and situations can cause history to repeat.

A lot of confusion comes because most don't understand the distinction between a stereotype, racism and a valid trait. Stereotyping isn't racism, however it does lead to it. Some, if not most stereotypes are based on valid traits, and pointing out physical characteristics that are true is not a racist action, although it can be an insensitive one.

I think Stereotyping relates to peoples opinions and their preconceptions.

Racism is general the physical manifestation of harmful stereotyping. IE stereotyping becomes racism when it causes a negative physical, social or any other form or repercussion to the subject.

I think, however, a lot of white people these days whinge about reverse racism or being quickly quietened by black, hispanic, latin, asian people because the people who belong to those groups expect the white person to act in a racist way. In the end I think this is fair enough because if whitey thinks being expected to have an opinion is bad, they dont quite understand what the real adverse effects of racism are. Either way, those situations are quickly diffused if you in fact aren't a person with racist inclinations.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
And considering ripping off my bumper sticker is both theft and vandalism, then yes, I don't mind making a big deal of it...
How does it compare to, say, slavery or apartheid or colonialism?
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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How does it compare to, say, slavery or apartheid or colonialism?
or more recently police brutality, and the subtler forms of racism, economic spearation, social disclusion, lowered expectations etc

I lost a bumper sticker the other day. Fucking sun and rain combined to peel the fucked right off. I feel the right to whinge about the weather DAMN YOU SUN!!!!!
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post

I don't know if I answered the original question, and I don't really care. Point is, I don't care who you are, we need to stop throwing "racist!" around so damn easily. 95% of the people who use it probably use it incorrectly, and that is unbelievably aggravating.

I think your anecdotes miss the point and also I don't understand ^^^ this type of anger. Are you more aggravated by those that use the word than the fact that it still exist today, and very prevalent?

I do think one misconception about the definition of racism showed up in your post though, racism does not always equal hate, and I do think that's one misconception or reason that some do not recognise racism.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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How does it compare to, say, slavery or apartheid or colonialism?

What?! What the heck are you talking about?

But I'll play along. No, financeguy, having my bumper sticker ripped off and "racist" written on my car is not- repeat, NOT- as bad as being an African-American slave. Good job.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:09 PM   #15
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ok i broke down and found that post:

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well if you look at the word racism, it kind of is.

race - a classification of humans baised on certain physical traits
ism - a distinctive doctrine, system, or theory

anytime you bring up race in an issue, it is racism. even if it is harmless discussion. it's not wearing a white hood and calling people names, but if you look at the word, it is still racism, just not racism in the negative way that we usually associate the word.

same with the word racist. we love to call people that in a negative way all the time. but if you look at the language and break down the word, racist means anyone who uses race in an issue, not just in a negative way. you say "Obama is our 1st black president." totally harmless statement, but you are using race in that statement. therefore, technically speaking you are being a racist.

You are ALL racists!
i guess my point was racism is anytime race is used in a discussion, action etc, harmless or in a negative way.
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