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nighttimer
01-07-2012, 03:31 PM
One of the absolute worst cop-outs I've ever heard is this one:

"Black people can't be racist!"

This is usually followed by the caveat that Black people can be prejudiced (because we're all prejudiced, right?), but they can't be racist because racism is manifested through power and control and Blacks have never held that kind of authority over the lives of White people.

I think it's a crock.

I know Black people can be racist because they can be sexist, homophobic, ageist, xenophobic, religiously intolerant and every other thing the worst White bigot can be.

Plus, I've been Black all my life and I'm racist. Not a whole lot. Only a little bit. About this much...see?...barely a smidgen.

There are many communities where Blacks are racist as hell against Latinos, Asians, Indians, Arabs, Jews, and any and every other non-Black demographic. Yes, that definitely includes you honky Whitey cracker trailer trash blue-eyed devils too.

Blacks are frequently racist toward other Blacks. In my city there's no love lost between African-Americans and Africans living in America. The relationship between darker and lighter-skinned Blacks can really get contentious.

I don't recall my mother having a bad word to say about anyone, but my dad? Whew! He could out Archie Bunker, Archie Bunker himself. He wasn't a bad man, but he did not like gay men ("punks" and "queers") or my high school lesbian friend ("butch" "dyke") and went out of his way to make his dislike widely known.

The odd thing was once when he caught me doing that homophobic thing he put me in check. I was a teenager and watching something on TV where a gay man was speaking. I started going off about fags this and fags that and he just sat there quietly not saying anything. I probably thought I was relating to him.

Turns out I wasn't. He led me run my mouth and said, "You know it's the ones who talk about homosexuals the worse who are afraid they might be one."

That didn't slow my roll. It stopped it dead. Maybe he was trying to tell me something else? Naaaaaahhhh....

I just wanted to throw this out there since White people so often feel as if it's only their racism that comes up for discussion.

They shouldn't always have to be the only one whom are forced to pull out their "I Am Not A Racist" Card.

missesdash
01-07-2012, 03:49 PM
I know Black people can be racist because they can be sexist, homophobic, ageist, xenophobic, religiously intolerant and every other thing the worst White bigot can be.

This doesn't make any sense. The definition of racism you're objecting to only applies to racism. People who prefer the "power + prejudice" definition have never argued that POC can't be any of those things. I don't see how knowing a POC can be sexist *proves* that this definition is incorrect or even unfair.

I see what you're saying, but the reasoning you've given, as long winded as it is, doesn't really debate the issue. Rather you set up strawmen and attack those instead.

It really comes down to two entirely different (but not exactly opposing) philosophies when it comes to racism. I've seen people on each side argue at length and nothing ever comes from it.

But I think in the end, both sides agree that any prejudicial or discriminatory behavior is disrespectful and hurtful.

Lhipenwhe
01-07-2012, 06:45 PM
I believe the issue that nighttimer is referring to is the 'tolerance' of racism among some minorities that's excused away due to being PoC. I've seen examples of racism in academia - implied, subtle, and allegedly unintentional - yet the bigot is still respected in circles. As a PoC myself (who's had problems with being prejudiced), I find it irritatingly ironic that I can rail against certain ethnic groups because of my heritage, and barely raise an eyebrow from some quarters.

In a (slightly) related topic, I've gotten sick of people saying Arabs can't be antisemitic because Arabs are 'Semites'. This line is followed up from a range of idiocies from 'Jews stole our heritage' to 'Jews aren't really Semites'. My irritation at the defense is rivaled by the fact that 'Semite' isn't a race/ethnicity/heritage, whatever, and it was formulated by a Jew hater; it's a inaccurate and stupid word.

(I apologize if I misinterpreted your view/words, nighttimer)

Jcomp
01-07-2012, 08:14 PM
There are many communities where Blacks are racist as hell against Latinos, Asians, Indians, Arabs, Jews, and any and every other non-Black demographic.

This is why I think it's bizarre when people argue that racism, by definition, only applies to people in a position of power. Supremacism, I could see, but not racism. Racism is simply about racial prejudice and discrimination, which isn't limited to white people any more than the entire planet is. In short, of course a person of color can be racist, often times against other persons of color.

kdesanges
01-07-2012, 10:02 PM
This is a heavily debated topic and opnions have always varied, rightfully so. Though I suspect it will never happen in my lifetime, it is my sincere hope that there will come a time in human history where we have evolved enough as a society/people and this will be a mute topic; we will all be treated equally.

I know this is rose colored glasses talk, but a person can dream.....

Until such time, carry on. It may be open conversations such as these that eventually lead us to this path.

Snitchcat
01-07-2012, 11:13 PM
It may be open conversations such as these that eventually lead us to this path.

Hoping for the same, too. (^_^)

Kitty27
01-08-2012, 12:57 AM
Very true. I have relatives who detest anyone non Black. My aunt is openly racist and gives less than a damn about who knows it. I have relatives who think gay people are going to hell and if they pray hard enough,the gay will go away.

I've had drama with folks from India and encountered racism from Asians that would make the KKK proud. Hell,I've experienced intra racism because Black people are STILL stuck on skin color in the 21st century. Black people can be extremely racist towards other folks. I've heard every racial epithet known to man.


Every race has a segment that is quite awful. POC aren't exempt from displaying such behavior even though we are often recipients of it.

CheG
01-08-2012, 09:08 PM
Hate and intolerance is part of the human condition. If you're a human being being you will at some point feel hate for someone. It's part of what we are. But we do have the choice to try harder and learn more, and change our minds.

Rufus Coppertop
01-09-2012, 06:16 AM
I see what you're saying, but the reasoning you've given, as long winded as it is, doesn't really debate the issue. Rather you set up strawmen and attack those instead.


I thought it was a bloody good post.

missesdash
01-09-2012, 07:25 AM
I thought it was a bloody good post.

I didn't say it was a bad post.

Medievalist
01-09-2012, 08:10 AM
Every race has a segment that is quite awful. POC aren't exempt from displaying such behavior even though we are often recipients of it.

The human condition is such that we seem to be driven to create false hierarchies.

We truly are like chickens with opposable thumbs.

Snitchcat
01-09-2012, 09:08 AM
In my own experience and from my own observation, it appears that the most racist of people are those who are racist or discriminatory against their own people within their/our own cultural segments. Perhaps it's that 'familiarity breeds contempt' concept. Sad, really.

Bartholomew
01-09-2012, 09:47 AM
I appreciate this thread, Nighttimer.

Racism is... strange. I've been spending a lot of time with a handful of Chinese exchange students lately, and I had to check myself. They will, on occasion, make fun of Japanese culture and what they see an an American obsession with it. And by "make fun," I mean violently ridicule. I'd just been taking it in stride because, well, they're my friends and there aren't any Japanese people around to hear, so whatever, right?

And then I was with my non Chinese exchange student friends, and the topic of Pokemon came up, and something terrible that I didn't mean, and that I'm certainly not proud of came out of my mouth. I know where I got it, of course, but as a fully grown adult, I just assumed that I was better capable of filtering my influences.

Moral: if someone says something fuck-all stupid, don't let it slide. Peculating in bigotry is a fantastic way to become a bigot.

aruna
01-09-2012, 11:37 AM
I remember when I was a little girl, one of my uncles -- the one who was actually quite famous in the country, an icon -- married a black woman. I mean really black, whereas WE (rest of the family, superior :sarcasm) were coloured middle class; you were supposed to marry UP if you were CMC, not down! It was quite a big thing in the family. Especially because that uncle (the youngest of his eight brothers) was the best educated of them (he was an architect). Aunt Daphne was very black and very intelligent and a very nice woman; but they were always different and taught everyone a lesson.
My father (and mother) was most definitely not one of the ones who criticised his choice, however. I just remember that there was a scandal.

One of my light-coloured cousins (my own generation) married a very black man. Her mother didn't go to the wedding and wouldn't speak to her for many years. IN the meantime they are reconciled.

Iin Guyana, for many years, and even today, there was intense racism black vs Indian. Those two groups hated each other so much there was riot, arson and bloodshed. It was, however, all politically instigated (divide and rule: a colonial maxim).

A friend of mine who was a businessman in Hong Kong says that the Chinese were so despicably, openly racist towards blacks they could not employ any at all over there, to save them the humiliation.

So yes, PoC can be very racist.

Snitchcat
01-09-2012, 05:02 PM
I have to say that I haven't noticed racism against Blacks in the workplace, but I haven't encountered any situation like that. However, I'm certain it exists: I see the racism on the streets towards Black residents and tourists.

To be fair, I do also see the reverse. And I can't blame either side for their reactions, but neither do I condone them. Unfortunately, the problem with speaking out here is the 'group bandwagon': 'how dare you betray your own nationality' and 'what the Hell do you know about our nationality, we don't need your support!'

A no-win situation with the majority of neither side willing to talk or push aside their preconceptions and try to further understand the other side.

Tourists... wow... I could go on about that all night! I'll spare you my rant, but suffice to say: What the devil! Yo! Hongkongers, don't even talk to me about 'equality' when you can't even be fair to tourists! Seriously: they're visiting and they're actually bringing income! Would it hurt you to be fair for a little while?! Grr.

Anyhow. Carry on. :)

backslashbaby
01-09-2012, 06:19 PM
This doesn't make any sense. The definition of racism you're objecting to only applies to racism. People who prefer the "power + prejudice" definition have never argued that POC can't be any of those things. I don't see how knowing a POC can be sexist *proves* that this definition is incorrect or even unfair.

...

I've been thinking about this, and I don't think I understand it. The biggie on the bigot scale that I've been exposed to is sexism, as you might imagine since I'm white. [I was marginalized to a certain extent because I hung with 'the gay crowd' and a lot of folks thought I was a lesbian, but those folks tended to be such idiots that I totally ignored them, and could do that in my main social group.]

Now, is sexism one where power+bigotry matters?

I could easily be missing something as I've never studied any of this stuff formally, but I think so. It matters that my employers being sexist is something I can't ignore -- that's my way of earning a living, you know? It matters when I'm choosing home protection for being a woman living alone. The fact that the 'other side' is so quick to physically kill me is not something that is just a difference of opinion or background.

It matters when folks who really do have power over you are the ones on the other side. How is that not pertinent in sexism and LBGT issues, at least?

If I'm misunderstanding what you meant, I totally apologize. I'm truly not sure that I understand what you mean; I'm not being snarky at all.

missesdash
01-09-2012, 06:46 PM
I've been thinking about this, and I don't think I understand it. The biggie on the bigot scale that I've been exposed to is sexism, as you might imagine since I'm white. [I was marginalized to a certain extent because I hung with 'the gay crowd' and a lot of folks thought I was a lesbian, but those folks tended to be such idiots that I totally ignored them, and could do that in my main social group.]

Now, is sexism one where power+bigotry matters?

I could easily be missing something as I've never studied any of this stuff formally, but I think so. It matters that my employers being sexist is something I can't ignore -- that's my way of earning a living, you know? It matters when I'm choosing home protection for being a woman living alone. The fact that the 'other side' is so quick to physically kill me is not something that is just a difference of opinion or background.

It matters when folks who really do have power over you are the ones on the other side. How is that not pertinent in sexism and LBGT issues, at least?

If I'm misunderstanding what you meant, I totally apologize. I'm truly not sure that I understand what you mean; I'm not being snarky at all.

I had to read this a few times. I was only talking about racism. Well, actually I'm still not sure what you mean as it pertains to my post, but I don't disagree with anything you stated.

I only meant it was silly that the OP seemed to be arguing that the "power+prejudice" definition of *racism* isn't correct because POC can be homophobic and sexist. It was a complete non sequitur. The post entire post is a strawman because people who say "POC can't be racist" don't say "POC can't practice prejudicial behavior."

Someone else said the OP means there is a higher tolerance when it comes to racism from POC, but that's clearly not what the post says at all.

backslashbaby
01-09-2012, 07:00 PM
...

I only meant it was silly that the OP seemed to be arguing that the "power+prejudice" definition of *racism* isn't correct because POC can be homophobic and sexist. It was a complete non sequitur. The post entire post is a strawman because people who say "POC can't be racist" don't say "POC can't practice prejudicial behavior."

Someone else said the OP means there is a higher tolerance when it comes to racism from POC, but that's clearly not what the post says at all.

Oh, OK! Good. I'd been thinking about that the whole time since those posts. But it's good to think about these things :D

nighttimer
01-09-2012, 09:38 PM
This doesn't make any sense. The definition of racism you're objecting to only applies to racism. People who prefer the "power + prejudice" definition have never argued that POC can't be any of those things. I don't see how knowing a POC can be sexist *proves* that this definition is incorrect or even unfair.

I see what you're saying, but the reasoning you've given, as long winded as it is, doesn't really debate the issue. Rather you set up strawmen and attack those instead.

It really comes down to two entirely different (but not exactly opposing) philosophies when it comes to racism. I've seen people on each side argue at length and nothing ever comes from it.

But I think in the end, both sides agree that any prejudicial or discriminatory behavior is disrespectful and hurtful.

Well, I thought I was establishing my premise, missesdash, and I wasn't going for being "long-winded." Actually, I thought it was a rather economical use of words.

I can't say what anyone else has experienced regarding people of color treading in racism, but my experience is the "we can't be racist because we don't have power" line is used as an excuse and it is invalid.


I had to read this a few times. I was only talking about racism. Well, actually I'm still not sure what you mean as it pertains to my post, but I don't disagree with anything you stated.

I only meant it was silly that the OP seemed to be arguing that the "power+prejudice" definition of *racism* isn't correct because POC can be homophobic and sexist. It was a complete non sequitur. The post entire post is a strawman because people who say "POC can't be racist" don't say "POC can't practice prejudicial behavior."

Someone else said the OP means there is a higher tolerance when it comes to racism from POC, but that's clearly not what the post says at all.

There is no "strawman" in the OP and I could not disagree more with your suggestion there is.

Medievalist
01-09-2012, 09:42 PM
One of the absolute worst cop-outs I've ever heard is this one:

"Black people can't be racist!"

This is usually followed by the caveat that Black people can be prejudiced (because we're all prejudiced, right?), but they can't be racist because racism is manifested through power and control and Blacks have never held that kind of authority over the lives of White people.

I think it's a crock.

I've heard the same argument regarding women; women can't be sexist because we aren't empowered.

That's nonsense. All humans have an incredible ability to irrationally attempt to force stupid and inappropriate and bullshit hierarchies at the drop of a hat in terms of entire groups of people, based on appearance, language, ethnicity, religion or class.

If there is intelligent life in the universe, I fear we will be found somewhat lacking.

Rufus Coppertop
01-10-2012, 01:57 PM
If there's intelligent life in the universe, I'll bet it's just as fucked up as we are.

missesdash
01-10-2012, 03:02 PM
Well, I thought I was establishing my premise, missesdash, and I wasn't going for being "long-winded." Actually, I thought it was a rather economical use of words.

I can't say what anyone else has experienced regarding people of color treading in racism, but my experience is the "we can't be racist because we don't have power" line is used as an excuse and it is invalid.
There is no "strawman" in the OP and I could not disagree more with your suggestion there is.


Anyone who says "but I've seen racism from POC" is making an illogical argument because they haven't addressed the real issue: Both parties have observed the same behavior in POC but some call it racism, others don't. This disagreement is one of semantics. Entirely semantics.

Just to make it easier to understand: let's say there are 12 apples in front of me. You say "a dozen is 12, so that's a dozen" someone else says "a dozen is 14, so that's not a dozen." You can't counter their position by repeatedly counting and saying "but it's 12!" because they arent arguing whether or not it's 12, they're only arguing whether or not it's considered "a dozen."

So I think you misunderstand the argument you're trying to counter. Your definition of racism is prejudicial behavior based on race. Your post is showing that POC are capable of this. The side you disagree with also agrees that POC are capable of this. The only thing they disagree about is whether or not it should be *called* racism. Not whether it's worse or somehow more acceptable. Only what it should be called.

That is why your entire OP is a strawman. No one is arguing that PoC don't do any of the things you brought up. It's hard for most people to view this from an unbiased point of view because "racist" is a loaded word. That's why I gave the apple example.


ETA: a logical argument for or against the "power +prejudice" stance should seek to explain why one definition is superior or less effective than the other.

Jcomp
01-10-2012, 06:23 PM
I'm going to disagree that the argument is entirely semantics. There are certainly people out there who do think that it's "somehow more acceptable" for a person of color to be racist. We've seen some people suggest that on this very board, still in its infancy, in fact. That certain people should just deal with it when a PoC is racist. The implication being that it's not so bad when a PoC exhibits racially based prejudice. And that's not an attempt to call anyone out, I'm just trying to make a point.

As for an accurate definition, I don't see how "power + prejudice" can be a better suited definition since it completely discounts racism between other PoC's, at least in America and other predominantly white countries, and would lead to racism being re-categorized depending on what country you're in. If a black person says something racist to an Asian person, or a Hispanic person says something racist to a black person... that's gotdamn racist. What else would it be? The "power" element really has no bearing. I've never understood the argument to re-define the word. Sometimes a more "simplistic" and direct definition of a word is the best.

missesdash
01-10-2012, 08:27 PM
You're right. I discuss it as two seperate issues but there is certainly a lot of overlap. And there are people who wave around the academic definition and use it to excuse the behavior of PoC. That's never acceptable.

If anyone is interested: There are two separate lines of thinking when it comes to PoC practicing prejudicial behavior towards each other. One states that in a system where the PoC does exhibit significant "power" (an all black neighborhood or historically black college, for example) that it is racism, regardless of the other individuals ethnicity.

Another argues that PoC who practice prejudicial behavior against each other are, essentially, pawns of the white supremacy if that they are all basically competing for the "second seat" in the racial hierarchy. That each time one PoC knocks another down, they're acting as a mechanism of the current system and the "racism" is still that of the majority.

The second requires a lot of dismissal as far as individual autonomy is concerned, and puts most of the blame on the system. The first is obviously more moderate.

backslashbaby
01-11-2012, 03:07 AM
Looking at it in sexism, I think the pawn definition certainly makes a lot of sense, at least in many situations. I don't believe that other women were born thinking I need to have a tiny waist to be a worthwhile woman, for example. That's coming from an outside source. It may play on natural competitiveness, but the specific details chosen come from greater society, which means men in that case.

I think groups of people take what's considered 'good' and run with it in a competitive way, and that's natural. I think in racism, etc, somebody else too often chooses what's considered good, even if it's really detrimental to the group.

In the end, people just try to gain more power, no? So it does go back to who chooses what makes someone powerful, imho.

nighttimer
01-11-2012, 10:40 AM
Anyone who says "but I've seen racism from POC" is making an illogical argument because they haven't addressed the real issue: Both parties have observed the same behavior in POC but some call it racism, others don't. This disagreement is one of semantics. Entirely semantics.

There's nothing "illogical" in stating one has observed racism from people of color. Racism is a reality, no one is exempt from being racist, and regardless of what someone wants to call it, doesn't invalidate the behavior as being racist and particularly not to the party on the receiving end of the racism.

Don't tell me I haven't addressed "the real issue." The issue is you disagree with the OP. That's fine with me, but I decline to play your pedantic game of nit-picking where I have to now adjust the OP to fit your contention that it's "entirely semantics."

aruna
01-11-2012, 03:12 PM
Well, I'm not much of an intellectual so I have't been able to follow the argumentation on this thread.
For me it's quite simple. I find it far easier to understand, and excuse, say, a poor black woman who has known nothing but abuse and discrimination at the hands of whites all her life, and as a result is suspicious and wary of ANY white person, even those of good intention, and is racist in that she avoids contact with whites and encourages her children to do the same, than to understand and excuse, say, a neo-nazi who hates blacks just because they are black, and thus by definition inferior, and stays away from blacks for that reason.

Kitty27
01-11-2012, 08:34 PM
You're right. I discuss it as two seperate issues but there is certainly a lot of overlap. And there are people who wave around the academic definition and use it to excuse the behavior of PoC. That's never acceptable.

If anyone is interested: There are two separate lines of thinking when it comes to PoC practicing prejudicial behavior towards each other. One states that in a system where the PoC does exhibit significant "power" (an all black neighborhood or historically black college, for example) that it is racism, regardless of the other individuals ethnicity.

Another argues that PoC who practice prejudicial behavior against each other are, essentially, pawns of the white supremacy if that they are all basically competing for the "second seat" in the racial hierarchy. That each time one PoC knocks another down, they're acting as a mechanism of the current system and the "racism" is still that of the majority.

The second requires a lot of dismissal as far as individual autonomy is concerned, and puts most of the blame on the system. The first is obviously more moderate.

I posted this before but I have a friend who is Mexican. She feels that White and Black people are the top dogs in American society and have zero interest in anything or anyone than our long running drama. Woe be to any other group that dares to speak up about anything. We'll drop our mess and quickly chastise said group and go right back to our bickering.

She said being Hispanic,Asian,Native American is a different existence in America because Blacks and Whites have no interest in these minorities issues at all.

I was surprised to hear her say this because I never thought of it that way. She is a POC just like I am so I thought we had some sort of common ground when it came to racism. She said that was true but being from neither dominant race in America,her view of the situation was completely different.

She even went so far as to say Blacks are the top minority because we've been here so long, our cultural contributions, Black president,musical presence,etc. Basically,we molly wop the other minorities into submission. I've heard this before and that plays into what you said about "second seat" minority.

I told her that we are probably the most hated as well. She admitted that the hatred towards us was and still is epic,but also said the position of Blacks as the dominant minority will never change.

I wonder why it has to be a competition in the first place.

Medievalist
01-11-2012, 09:28 PM
I wonder why it has to be a competition in the first place.

Because like chickens, we enforce useless, harmful and nonsensical hierarchies at every turn.

nighttimer
01-11-2012, 09:51 PM
Well, I'm not much of an intellectual so I have't been able to follow the argumentation on this thread.

For me it's quite simple. I find it far easier to understand, and excuse, say, a poor black woman who has known nothing but abuse and discrimination at the hands of whites all her life, and as a result is suspicious and wary of ANY white person, even those of good intention, and is racist in that she avoids contact with whites and encourages her children to do the same, than to understand and excuse, say, a neo-nazi who hates blacks just because they are black, and thus by definition inferior, and stays away from blacks for that reason.

Aruna, not to invalidate your example, but even if your poor Black woman has suffered abuse and discrimination at the hands of Whites all her life, is even that a "justification" to be racist against ALL Whites and to pass that hatred down to the next generation?

Because if that's the case, what's to stop a poor White woman who has suffered abuse and discrimination at the hands of Blacks all her life from passing on her own hatred to her kids?

We can't continue this endless cycle of my grievance entitles me to be a racist, while yours does not. This game of tit-for-tat is one where there are nothing but losers and no winners.

The cycle must end and the only way it does is to teach the children to resolve to treat people as individuals they can love or hate and not whatever group they are a part of.

I could be totally wrong. I'm open to suggestions beyond the same old same old.


I posted this before but I have a friend who is Mexican. She feels that White and Black people are the top dogs in American society and have zero interest in anything or anyone than our long running drama. Woe be to any other group that dares to speak up about anything. We'll drop our mess and quickly chastise said group and go right back to our bickering.

She said being Hispanic,Asian,Native American is a different existence in America because Blacks and Whites have no interest in these minorities issues at all.

I was surprised to hear her say this because I never thought of it that way. She is a POC just like I am so I thought we had some sort of common ground when it came to racism. She said that was true but being from neither dominant race in America,her view of the situation was completely different.

She even went so far as to say Blacks are the top minority because we've been here so long, our cultural contributions, Black president,musical presence,etc. Basically,we molly wop the other minorities into submission. I've heard this before and that plays into what you said about "second seat" minority.

I told her that we are probably the most hated as well. She admitted that the hatred towards us was and still is epic,but also said the position of Blacks as the dominant minority will never change.

I wonder why it has to be a competition in the first place.

Because everyone thinks their own particular grievance is more important than the problems of anyone else. Why should a Native American be concerned about Blacks or Asians or Latinos? Doesn't he have enough problems already.

Secondly, there is no natural unity between People of Color because each one experiences racism and prejudice far differently than others. If you're a Mexican living in L.A. whose kid is getting beat up at school by Black kids, how does White racism factor into your problem? The problem isn't coming from the Caucasians at all.

I could tell you some horror stories about the UNITY Journalists of Color organization and how much hell they had to go through to get the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian-American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Associations to agree to meet and hold their annual conventions together. It took years to get this off the ground.

I have attended the UNITY conventions in Atlanta in 1994 and Chicago in 2008. When UNITY met in Seattle in 1998, there were complaints by Black journalists (whose largest numbers are east of the Mississippi) about holding the convention in Seattle. The Asian and Native American groups complained there was nothing for them to do in Atlanta and Chicago.

There have always been factions within all four minority journalism groups that never wanted to be part of UNITY, disliked the idea in the first place and wanted to leave the coalition as soon as possible.

This all came to a head in 2010 when NABJ quit the UNITY group and announced they would be holding their own convention in New Orleans while UNITY would hold theirs in Las Vegas. The issue was over money and power and who should get the lion's share of it. NABJ is larger than the other three groups combined, but they wanted more control over the UNITY convention.

Things got ugly and things have gotten even uglier with the organization the remaining UNITY partners invited to join and replace NABJ: The National Association of Lesbian and Gay Journalists.

Yipes.

There is no natural alliance between people of color. There is a lot of competition for the same small slices of the pie. Oppression and being victims of White racism is not enough to overcome the significant differences between the races.

It takes the building of a coalition and it starts with the one-on-one efforts folks like Kitty27 are doing.

Jcomp
01-11-2012, 11:47 PM
I posted this before but I have a friend who is Mexican. She feels that White and Black people are the top dogs in American society and have zero interest in anything or anyone than our long running drama. Woe be to any other group that dares to speak up about anything. We'll drop our mess and quickly chastise said group and go right back to our bickering.

She said being Hispanic,Asian,Native American is a different existence in America because Blacks and Whites have no interest in these minorities issues at all.

I was surprised to hear her say this because I never thought of it that way. She is a POC just like I am so I thought we had some sort of common ground when it came to racism. She said that was true but being from neither dominant race in America,her view of the situation was completely different.

She even went so far as to say Blacks are the top minority because we've been here so long, our cultural contributions, Black president,musical presence,etc. Basically,we molly wop the other minorities into submission. I've heard this before and that plays into what you said about "second seat" minority.

I told her that we are probably the most hated as well. She admitted that the hatred towards us was and still is epic,but also said the position of Blacks as the dominant minority will never change.

I wonder why it has to be a competition in the first place.

Well it doesn't help that a lot of plublic race-related discussions in America still immediately reduce the topic to black people and white people. I was friends with / semi-dated a girl some years back whose father was a somewhat prominent and published Mexican-American activist and author. We had many discussions about this matter and she and her father shared the view of your friend, that black and white people tend to exclude other races from the conversation and act as the "dominant" racial factions of the nation. When arguments arise that appear to indeed exclude other races, it makes it more challenging to argue that viewpoint. It's one of the things I find most annoying in these discussions: the tendency to pretend like black people are white people are the only races that exist.

missesdash
01-12-2012, 12:20 AM
There's nothing "illogical" in stating one has observed racism from people of color. Racism is a reality, no one is exempt from being racist, and regardless of what someone wants to call it, doesn't invalidate the behavior as being racist and particularly not to the party on the receiving end of the racism.

Don't tell me I haven't addressed "the real issue." The issue is you disagree with the OP. That's fine with me, but I decline to play your pedantic game of nit-picking where I have to now adjust the OP to fit your contention that it's "entirely semantics."

Lol. Read my post again. I don't disagree with the OP, actually. I don't agree with it either. I never said it invalidated the behavior or blah blah. I only said your argument makes no sense because it says:

"I know this definition is wrong because this definition is right."

You really don't see how that's illogical? I think Jcomp understands, as he responded to the points I made. You're (again) arguing against points I *haven't* made. I don't think you quite understand the definition of racism you disagree with because you haven't presented a reason why it's wrong or immoral. You haven't addressed it at all. Really take the time to think about the discussion we've had. It's important to understand, even if you disagree. Especially if you disagree.

missesdash
01-12-2012, 12:27 AM
Looking at it in sexism, I think the pawn definition certainly makes a lot of sense, at least in many situations. I don't believe that other women were born thinking I need to have a tiny waist to be a worthwhile woman, for example. That's coming from an outside source. It may play on natural competitiveness, but the specific details chosen come from greater society, which means men in that case.

I think groups of people take what's considered 'good' and run with it in a competitive way, and that's natural. I think in racism, etc, somebody else too often chooses what's considered good, even if it's really detrimental to the group.

In the end, people just try to gain more power, no? So it does go back to who chooses what makes someone powerful, imho.

It's definitely more egregious in sexism because a lot of times women flat out compete for male attention. Even women who aren't interested in men tend to do it. And women's magazines appeal to the male gaze as much as men's magazines. It's unfortunate we really have shaped our interactions with each other around the standards and expectations of the patriarchy.

It took me a long time to stop parroting that "women are carry, I hate women" nonsense. I now have a real appreciation for the relationships, friend, family or otherwise, that women have with other women.

Blah blah let's love each other hugs and kisses etc etc <3

kuwisdelu
01-12-2012, 12:33 AM
I posted this before but I have a friend who is Mexican. She feels that White and Black people are the top dogs in American society and have zero interest in anything or anyone than our long running drama. Woe be to any other group that dares to speak up about anything. We'll drop our mess and quickly chastise said group and go right back to our bickering.

I can see exactly where she's coming from. Because, basically,


Well it doesn't help that a lot of plublic race-related discussions in America still immediately reduce the topic to black people and white people.

Race discussions tend to focus on blacks, to the extent that other PoC's tend to get forgotten when it comes to discrimination and other racial issues. I don't like the "my minority has it worse than your minority game" either, because that's stupid and unproductive, but I think it is important to remember that we all face important but different challenges and carry unique baggage.

As you mentioned, blacks still face a lot of hatred. As a Native American, the racism is often of a subtly different variety. Most of the racists never get the chance to be racist against us, because they tend to forget we even exist. Our issues are rarely talked about, because 1% of the vote just isn't worth it. When they are, we may get treated with reverence and respect, but of the kind one might show to an endangered species of wild animal, and it all ends with lip service.

nighttimer
01-12-2012, 12:46 AM
Lol. Read my post again. I don't disagree with the OP, actually. I don't agree with it either. I never said it invalidated the behavior or blah blah. I only said your argument makes no sense because it says:

"I know this definition is wrong because this definition is right."

Lady, if you're going to misinterpret what I said, you could at least put the effort in to quote me accurately.

You don't disagree with the OP. You don't agree with the OP. So what are you doing here besides talkin' trash and runnin' smack? Repeatedly.

Make your point if you have one and then let it go. Nobody else seems to have the problem you do of grasping the intent of the original post. I'm not going back to change the OP because it doesn't rise to your standard of excellence.


You really don't see how that's illogical? I think Jcomp understands, as he responded to the points I made. You're (again) arguing against points I *haven't* made. I don't think you quite understand the definition of racism you disagree with because you haven't presented a reason why it's wrong or immoral. You haven't addressed it at all. Really take the time to think about the discussion we've had. It's important to understand, even if you disagree. Especially if you disagree.

Great. Then you and Jcomp should have a beer and chat about it. You haven't made a point. You're just telling me you don't like the way I phrased mine.

And whatever this serve-and-volley is, what it is not is anything remotely resembling a "discussion."

Personally, I'm done arguing with you and your condescending bullshit.

Unimportant
01-12-2012, 01:00 AM
Because like chickens, we enforce useless, harmful and nonsensical hierarchies at every turn.
It's not so useless or nonsensical with chickens: the top hen gets first crack at the food, and the top rooster gets first crack at the hens.

And with humans, I reckon that in the long run it's also for personal gain -- retaining your privileged position in society benefits you socially, physically, and economically, and if you can only retain your privilege by ensuring the competition becomes or remains underprivileged, then creating and retaining bigotry against the competition is an effective strategy. (An unfair, unethical, repellent strategy, but an effective one nonetheless.)

missesdash
01-12-2012, 01:46 AM
@night

Sorry if I came across as condescending. It was probably the "lol"
Anyway I don't expect you to change your post and sorry if this seems like one long exercise in "smack/shit talkin'" etc etc. None of it was aimed at you personally.

Didn't mean to get you worked up. I was just addressing what I thought was a fundamental misunderstanding of the topic and several loical fallacies in the OP.

But I've made my point so I don't have much else to say. No hard feelings—on this side anyway.

Jcomp
01-12-2012, 01:53 AM
I think Jcomp understands, as he responded to the points I made.


Great. Then you and Jcomp should have a beer and chat about it.

I think I should advise everyone that if other posters independently type my name 5 times or more in any given thread I start showing up in people's mirrors, spontaneously engaging in ghostly activity and practicing stand-up material. So... you know... forewarning and all...

missesdash
01-12-2012, 01:53 AM
Because like chickens, we enforce useless, harmful and nonsensical hierarchies at every turn.

Speaking of animal metaphors, I've heard of bigotry among oppressed people described as "crabs in a barrel"

For anyone not familiar with the phrase: when you put tons of crabs in a barrel of water, they could (conceivably) escape if the were to work together. Instead, the ones at the bottom repeatedly pull at and sometimes even maul those at the top in an effort to move up themselves. Only they never make it because as soon as they near the top, the new bottom crabs begin to pull. The same happens if you set them in barely a few inches of water. They're all so desperate to get out, they end up trapping each other in.

The thing is that we are much more social animals. Unlike other primates, we exhibit altruism to those outside of our group and family when it won't necessarily benefit us. If you put us in literal situation like the ones the crabs are in, we'd escape in no time, we'd work together.

But oppression isn't something we can physically touch or feel and some of us don't even realize it's there. It's a shame we can't work against societal barriers the way we work against physical ones.

KaiaSonderby
01-12-2012, 02:58 PM
Well it doesn't help that a lot of plublic race-related discussions in America still immediately reduce the topic to black people and white people. I was friends with / semi-dated a girl some years back whose father was a somewhat prominent and published Mexican-American activist and author. We had many discussions about this matter and she and her father shared the view of your friend, that black and white people tend to exclude other races from the conversation and act as the "dominant" racial factions of the nation. When arguments arise that appear to indeed exclude other races, it makes it more challenging to argue that viewpoint. It's one of the things I find most annoying in these discussions: the tendency to pretend like black people are white people are the only races that exist.

I think there's also a fair bit of evidence of this behavior, if you look around. Maybe I shouldn't be talking at all, but I've seen it so often.

Have any of you ever heard of the baseball team the Cleveland Indians? Take a look at their logo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cleveland_Indians_logo.svg

Why is this still going on? Why is this still considered acceptable? I have never, ever encountered discussion of this, or of teams like the Washington Redskins. Would this really be accepted if they were the Cleveland N-words and their logo was a stereotypical blackface representation of a black man? I don't think so.

That's just one example (there's more, but I don't want to make this a novel). I can really see where your friends are coming from. And I think one of the big challenges to wiping out racism is just this problem. Like with misogyny, if you make exceptions, you can't stop it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the attitude that POC can't be racist is harmful to the fight against racism overall. And I think discussions like this are important to figuring out how to solve the problem, which I guess is why I dared to speak up at all. (I'm part Native American, so I do actually have a vested interest in this, even if I'm roughly the shade of school glue from living in this land forsaken by God and Sun.)

shaldna
01-12-2012, 05:24 PM
I think everyone has it in them to be racist, and, honestly, I think pretty much everyone is a little racist, be that because of the way we were brought up, social perceptions etc.

And I think people do, whether they want to admit it or not, make judgements or opinions based on sterotypes, or colour or accent or whatever.

The difference is that some folks realise that's wrong and try not to do it. Sadly, not everyone does.

And you can be racist against your own race too, it's not limited to others who are 'different'.



It's not so useless or nonsensical with chickens: the top hen gets first crack at the food, and the top rooster gets first crack at the hens.

Our rooster picked a fight with our sheepdog the other day. The rooster won.

Jcomp
01-12-2012, 06:55 PM
I think there's also a fair bit of evidence of this behavior, if you look around. Maybe I shouldn't be talking at all, but I've seen it so often.

Have any of you ever heard of the baseball team the Cleveland Indians? Take a look at their logo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cleveland_Indians_logo.svg

Why is this still going on? Why is this still considered acceptable? I have never, ever encountered discussion of this, or of teams like the Washington Redskins. Would this really be accepted if they were the Cleveland N-words and their logo was a stereotypical blackface representation of a black man? I don't think so.

That's just one example (there's more, but I don't want to make this a novel). I can really see where your friends are coming from. And I think one of the big challenges to wiping out racism is just this problem. Like with misogyny, if you make exceptions, you can't stop it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the attitude that POC can't be racist is harmful to the fight against racism overall. And I think discussions like this are important to figuring out how to solve the problem, which I guess is why I dared to speak up at all. (I'm part Native American, so I do actually have a vested interest in this, even if I'm roughly the shade of school glue from living in this land forsaken by God and Sun.)

There have been challenges to the Cleveland Indians logo and the Washington Redskins name and logo, but you're right in that they don't get a ton of support and there's no way that teams named the Cleveland Coloreds or Washington Coons, depicting minstrel show style caricatures of black folks, would be permitted. It's gotdamn shameful, really.

Medievalist
01-12-2012, 08:53 PM
The thing is that we are much more social animals. Unlike other primates, we exhibit altruism to those outside of our group and family when it won't necessarily benefit us. If you put us in literal situation like the ones the crabs are in, we'd escape in no time, we'd work together.

This is not historically accurate, but it's a nice thought.

missesdash
01-12-2012, 09:03 PM
This is not historically accurate, but it's a nice thought.

Really? Which part? There are endless examples of human altruism that goes against any evolutionary reasoning. Unless you're of the belief that all of our altruism ultimately benefits us because we are one species.

But if I stop at the corner and give my lunch to a homeless man, that's altruism.

escritora
01-12-2012, 09:16 PM
Really? Which part? There are endless examples of human altruism that goes against any evolutionary reasoning. Unless you're of the belief that all of our altruism ultimately benefits us because we are one species.

The crab analogy. I don't think we'd work together. When there's a fire in a building, concert, or what have you, no one seems to be working together to get out. It's every person for him/herself. I doubt we'd act differently if we were stuck in a barrel.

For arguments sake, let's say you are correct. Where does altruism come into play in the crab analogy?


But if I stop at the corner and give my lunch to a homeless man, that's altruism.I wouldn't classify that as altruism. If it is, then the altruism bar is set very low. I'd say the act is charitable.

missesdash
01-12-2012, 09:32 PM
The crab analogy. I don't think we'd work together. When there's a fire in a building, concert, or what have you, no one seems to be working together to get out. It's every person for him/herself. I doubt we'd act differently if we were stuck in a barrel.

I wouldn't classify that as altruism. If it is, then the altruism bar is set very low. I'd say the act is charitable.

Ah, that's a good point about the concerts. But I don't think it's quite the same. In the barrel scenario, the crabs can *only* get out if they work together. I think in that situation, we tend to do so. We'd probably stomp on each other and fight for a while, but once it was clear there was only one way out, cooperation would follow.

Altruism, as far as I've seen it defined, is an act that benefits someone else at any cost to the person acting. Whether the cost is energy in terms of calories or money or time, it's giving something. This is from an evolutionary standpoint, though. In the study of animal behavior, one animal doing anything for another is considered altruism.

In the case of the crabs it would be considered reciprocal altruism since the favor would be done on the assumption that it would soon be returned.

Jcomp
01-12-2012, 09:58 PM
And even in a scenario where there's a fire in a building or at a concert, there are numerous historical examples of at least a few people going out of their way and jeopardizing their own safety in an effort to help others.

escritora
01-12-2012, 10:07 PM
Ah, that's a good point about the concerts. But I don't think it's quite the same. In the barrel scenario, the crabs can *only* get out if they work together. I think in that situation, we tend to do so. We'd probably stomp on each other and fight for a while, but once it was clear there was only one way out, cooperation would follow.


I agree.

I thought your initial post suggested there wouldn't be any stomping and fighting before cooperation. My bad.


Altruism, as far as I've seen it defined, is an act that benefits someone else at any cost to the person acting. Whether the cost is energy in terms of calories or money or time, it's giving something.

If I give a homeless man my lunch knowing I can buy another or will just wait till dinner time to eat, I would feel embarrassed to call that an act of altruism. The act "cost" me very little. Next to nothing, actually. So for me, cost does come into play when defining altruism. I consider an act altruistic when the act is in some way harmful to me or has the potential to be harmful. All other acts fall under "nice" or "charitable" or "unselfish" and so on.

missesdash
01-12-2012, 10:25 PM
If I give a homeless man my lunch knowing I can buy another or will just wait till dinner time to eat, I would feel embarrassed to call that an act of altruism. The act "cost" me very little. Next to nothing, actually. So for me, cost does come into play when defining altruism. I consider an act altruistic when the act is in some way harmful to me or has the potential to be harmful. All other acts fall under "nice" or "charitable" or "unselfish" and so on.

I think this POV actually speaks to our immense altruistic (again, the more formal definition) nature. Being able to stratify the acts. "Nice" is a human construct haha :D

But yeah, I don't go around telling people they better be grateful I'm giving them a 20 cent croissant despite the loss of calories I'll suffer. Okay well I do if it's someone who is annoying me. But I agree using "altruistic" in casual conversation can seem really lofty and obnoxious.

Like "Here's a nickel. That's altruism."

Medievalist
01-12-2012, 11:18 PM
Really? Which part? There are endless examples of human altruism that goes against any evolutionary reasoning. Unless you're of the belief that all of our altruism ultimately benefits us because we are one species.

But if I stop at the corner and give my lunch to a homeless man, that's altruism.

No, actually, it's not. It doesn't actually affect you in any major way. You'll have another meal.

Altruism is an act that costs you in real terms, but that benefits others. An animal that alerts others of its species to a predator by issuing a warning cry--and thus attracts the predator and is consumed is altruistic. A wolf that does not meet but which feeds other wolves offspring is altruistic.

People in fires, in concentration camps, and in the Stanford Prison Experiments pretty clearly demonstrate that such behavior among humans is exceedingly rare--especially when contrasted with that of other mammals.

We kinda suck, frankly. We have enormous potential, but we rarely follow through.

rugcat
01-12-2012, 11:39 PM
Aruna, not to invalidate your example, but even if your poor Black woman has suffered abuse and discrimination at the hands of Whites all her life, is even that a "justification" to be racist against ALL Whites and to pass that hatred down to the next generation?
I don't think Aruna is arguing that some racism is all right, depending on circumstance. What she's saying, I believe, is that not all racism is equal. Racism that comes results from bad experiences and lack of power is not identical to racism that comes from ideology and positions of power.

In her example, I can certainly understand the racist feelings of the poor black woman. I cannot for the life of me understand the mindset of the neo-Nazi. One can label term them both as "racism" but I do see a large difference.

missesdash
01-13-2012, 12:54 AM
No, actually, it's not. It doesn't actually affect you in any major way. You'll have another meal.

Altruism is an act that costs you in real terms, but that benefits others. An animal that alerts others of its species to a predator by issuing a warning cry--and thus attracts the predator and is consumed is altruistic. A wolf that does not meet but which feeds other wolves offspring is altruistic.

People in fires, in concentration camps, and in the Stanford Prison Experiments pretty clearly demonstrate that such behavior among humans is exceedingly rare--especially when contrasted with that of other mammals.

We kinda suck, frankly. We have enormous potential, but we rarely follow through.

There's definitely no measure of how much it has to cost me to be considered altruism. If I give my lunch away, I either absorb less calories for the day or have to spend money to buy another. Anything that isn't beneficial to me comes at a cost, even if it is slight. That's why your wolf example is still altruism even if the animal will eat the next day. That's why animals (especially non-kin) sharing food is considered altruism even when they aren't starving.

The rest of your view is rather misanthropic, but I understand where you're coming from. I still think arguments can be made for both stances. As I said above, our behavior changes drastically when we're under social stress. But I think there are countless examples of individuals acting altruistically. It happens every day. But enough of my "the world is a great place" nonsense.

escritora
01-13-2012, 01:08 AM
I think this POV actually speaks to our immense altruistic (again, the more formal definition) nature. Being able to stratify the acts. "Nice" is a human construct haha :D

But yeah, I don't go around telling people they better be grateful I'm giving them a 20 cent croissant despite the loss of calories I'll suffer. Okay well I do if it's someone who is annoying me. But I agree using "altruistic" in casual conversation can seem really lofty and obnoxious.

Like "Here's a nickel. That's altruism."

Where are you getting this 'formal definition?' I don't have a dictionary in front of me, but I have never heard someone describe altruism the way you do.

The reason using altruistic in casual conversation can seem lofty and obnoxious is because the cost does matter.

missesdash
01-13-2012, 01:22 AM
Where are you getting this 'formal definition?' I don't have a dictionary in front of me, but I have never heard someone describe altruism the way you do.

The reason using altruistic in casual conversation can seem lofty and obnoxious is because the cost does matter.

I don't think we disagree on the definition. Only what counts as "cost." I'm too lazy to go on about it for too long, but when vampire bats throw up a bit of blood to give to the other bats who didn't get as much, that's biological altruism. It's one of the examples I've seen given many times. I'm not going to regurgitate my sandwich, because that's gross, but I'd still be giving away my food and not getting anything in return.

escritora
01-13-2012, 01:36 AM
I don't think we disagree on the definition. Only what counts as "cost." I'm too lazy to go on about it for too long, but when vampire bats throw up a bit of blood to give to the other bats who didn't get as much, that's biological altruism. It's one of the examples I've seen given many times. I'm not going to regurgitate my sandwich, because that's gross, but I'd still be giving away my food and not getting anything in return.

If we disagree on cost, then we disagree on the definition of altruism. The two go hand in hand.

Biological altruism and the bat example is something completely different.

The sandwich scenario doesn't fit under the umbrella of altruism or biological altruism.

missesdash
01-13-2012, 02:14 AM
If we disagree on cost, then we disagree on the definition of altruism. The two go hand in hand.

Biological altruism and the bat example is something completely different.

The sandwich scenario doesn't fit under the umbrella of altruism or biological altruism.

I think cost is cost. You describe other acts as "charitable" or "nice." But there's no such thing as a "biologically charitable act." Those degrees don't exist in nature. Either the act benefits the individual animal or it comes at a cost. It's always altruism if one animal give its own food to another.

Nexus
01-13-2012, 03:23 AM
I just wish there was no racism at all.

Since there is, and that's hoping for too much out of humanity (and sometimes myself because of my own shortcomings), then I hope people are equal about it.

I have watched groups of white people just take racist diatribe from unprovoked black folk. It's happened surprisingly more than I'd ever expect it to.

No one says a word... except for me. I let them have it. Not because they are black and racist - because they are an ignorant and degenerate person with nothing but malice in their hearts.

escritora
01-13-2012, 03:33 AM
Some acts are charitable and nice. Others, where giving costs the giver in a significant way, fall under the category of regular altruism -- social (?).

As I understand biological altruism the cost is very specific, it's measured. It's about reproduction. If I give a sandwich to a homeless man, that does not decrease my chances of having children.

Reciprocal altruism, as you already defined: "the favor would be done on the assumption that it would soon be returned." The vampire bats scenario probably falls under this category.

ETA: Nexus has the right idea. Back to racism. Missesdash gets the last word on altruism.

Nexus
01-13-2012, 05:02 AM
That thing that confuses me the most about racism...

is why does it even exist?

Because the light rays from the sun reflect off our skin differently from each and every person to the next - of course in varying degrees.

It's insane. It's like finding someone to be wholly different because their hair color is different. Sure there are prejudices (blondes for example) - but it is mind numbly baffling that this was ever an issue.

aruna
01-14-2012, 12:45 AM
Aruna, not to invalidate your example, but even if your poor Black woman has suffered abuse and discrimination at the hands of Whites all her life, is even that a "justification" to be racist against ALL Whites and to pass that hatred down to the next generation?
**************



I don't think Aruna is arguing that some racism is all right, depending on circumstance. What she's saying, I believe, is that not all racism is equal. Racism that comes results from bad experiences and lack of power is not identical to racism that comes from ideology and positions of power.

In her example, I can certainly understand the racist feelings of the poor black woman. I cannot for the life of me understand the mindset of the neo-Nazi. One can label term them both as "racism" but I do see a large difference.

NT, rugcat explained me better than I did. Someone who has directly and consistently experienced mistreatment at the hands of people of another race/culture/religion/whatever is bound to create a barrier towards other people of that category, and it is understandable. That barrier can't be removed by wagging a finger and preaching "Racism is WRONG"! It can only be removed by the direct experience in the opposite direction -- in my example, when that black lady meets more and more white people who are kind, respectful and so on. This is racism that is founded on hurt.

Whereas racism that is founded on the conviction of inherent superiority -- that's pretty hard, if not impossible, to uproot.

William Haskins
01-20-2012, 03:20 AM
If there is intelligent life in the universe, I fear we will be found somewhat lacking.

possibly, but it will depend on their level of self-awareness and honesty. it's almost certain that any life form that survived long enough to possess (and be able to act on) rational intellect has passed through a phase of tribalism, complete with an evolutionary benefit of conceptualizing "otherness."

our challenge is to recognize that this instinct is largely antiquated at this stage of our evolution and move beyond it.


If there's intelligent life in the universe, I'll bet it's just as fucked up as we are.

i'd bet they'd still want to do us.

kuwisdelu
01-20-2012, 04:55 AM
i'd bet they'd still want to do us.

I'm in.

Medievalist
01-20-2012, 05:00 AM
i'd bet they'd still want to do us.

I note in passing that "do" as verb has an equally long history of meaning either a sexual connection or murder.

I suspect the latter is the meaning that is most appropriate.

kuwisdelu
01-20-2012, 05:11 AM
Damn. And I was looking forward to it, too...

evilrooster
01-20-2012, 12:42 PM
I have watched groups of white people just take racist diatribe from unprovoked black folk. It's happened surprisingly more than I'd ever expect it to.

No one says a word... except for me. I let them have it. Not because they are black and racist - because they are an ignorant and degenerate person with nothing but malice in their hearts.

I've rarely dealt with racism from PoC's, but I've had similar experiences in other situations where I'm a member of a more powerful group, and members of a less powerful group get into diatribe mode. And I've done a lot of thinking about the matter.

My conclusion is...I can take it. I've got the emotional resources, and the cultural backup, to withstand the frustration and anger that someone in a less privileged group may want to direct at me. Maybe listening to them politely and sympathetically will help. Maybe letting them vent will improve matters. Maybe I'll counteract, with my goodwill, at least some of their impressions of my larger group as being universally prejudiced against them.

And in any case, I've rarely found that I can argue someone who's already convinced I'm a bad person out of that position, you know?

On the other hand, guys, the whole speciesism thing against chickens in this thread? It's gotta stop. I'm looking at you, Medievalist. :D

Kitty27
01-22-2012, 02:44 AM
I've rarely dealt with racism from PoC's, but I've had similar experiences in other situations where I'm a member of a more powerful group, and members of a less powerful group get into diatribe mode. And I've done a lot of thinking about the matter.

My conclusion is...I can take it. I've got the emotional resources, and the cultural backup, to withstand the frustration and anger that someone in a less privileged group may want to direct at me. Maybe listening to them politely and sympathetically will help. Maybe letting them vent will improve matters. Maybe I'll counteract, with my goodwill, at least some of their impressions of my larger group as being universally prejudiced against them.

And in any case, I've rarely found that I can argue someone who's already convinced I'm a bad person out of that position, you know?

On the other hand, guys, the whole speciesism thing against chickens in this thread? It's gotta stop. I'm looking at you, Medievalist. :D

Crap,I hit edit instead of quote!

It is never right for folks to go around like they have no home training. Completely unacceptable. Yes,racism is real.

But not every person who is part of the group someone has issues with is guilty of that behavior. It is wrong to act out whatever issue they have on folks who've done nothing to them.

You are a kind soul. Because I would let them have it.

I like chicken. Roasted and fried,of course.

aruna
05-13-2012, 12:28 PM
This is an incident that happened to me while I was in Guyana.



I had an appointment with two German guys -- they represent an organisation that is working to protect the rainforest, and I was meeting them for the first time. We arranged to meet at midday in a small restaurant that is very popular with tourists, ex-pats and so on; ie, mainly white customers. The waitresses are all black; the owner is (East) Indian married to a white guy.


I came about 20 minutes early, and sat down at a table near the bar. Nobody came to serve me. Finally, I got up and took a bottle of water out of the fridge, as I saw other people doing that. I wondered if I was just supposed to go and serve myself at the buffet, as other people were doing that too. But anyway, I was going to wait for the guys to arrive. They were 10 minutes late. So I had been waiting half an hour in total.


The moment the guys sat down, a waitress appeared at their side. She explained to them immediately what was on offer, what specials were available, what was in today's buffet, and waited while they made their decision; her back was turned towards me all this time. When she had taken their orders she finally turned to me. By that time I had lost my appetite so I said I only wanted some water.

Five minutes later she brought their food and the water. I decided that I was hungry after all, so I ordered a cheese croissant.

Twenty minutes later, my croissant had not been served. The guys finished eating. The same waitress was immediately at the table asking if they wanted dessert; they did. I asked for my croissant: oh, yes, I’ll get it, she said.

I watched as she went behind the bar and picked up a plate that had apparently been sitting there for ages. I assume the cheese had once been warm and melting; now it was just a hard blob of wax.

I ordered a brownie for dessert. Again, it did not arrive; I had to prompt them to bring it after another age had passed.

All this time I was watching for the proprietor, the Indian lady; I saw her standing near the cashier so I walked over and told her what had happened. A couple of the waitresses were standing around near the cashier and I made sure they heard. The proprietor was all apologies and "they know they should not do that" and "that is inexcusable! I'm so sorry!" and "I will tell them off -- do you hear that ladies?" and "I do hope we will see you again here!" and when I went to pay she said it was on the house.

The German guys did not notice that I had made a fuss. It had not even occurred to them that anything wrong had happened; well, they could not have known that I had been waiting 30 minutes without being served, but they DID see that they had been served first and immediately, even though I had been there before them. I also know that in Germany at least, in restaurants women are served before men, and older people before younger. Maybe that is antiquated in this day and age.

Later on when I told a couple of people what had happened nobody was surprised. All over the Caribbean it's taken for granted that white people are served before black, and nobody protests. In most official buildings, such as banks, there is a strict dress code, but it only applies to locals; white tourists can wear shorts.

And the people who are making these decisions—serving POC last, using a double standard in favour of whites – are POC themselves. Nuff said.

areteus
05-13-2012, 02:24 PM
I have a friend who is PoC and his opinion is that yes they can be because he has a relative who is incredibly racist in his opinion...

As for the 'in power' definition of racism. I consider this to be a defeatist attitude. It makes the assumption that no one of colour can be in power in the present time when there is evidence that this is not the case. Ok, maybe in the early part of the 20th century there may have been an argument that PoC were unable to gain power but in the 21st century the only reason a PoC cannot gain power is because they deny it to themselves by not trying and merely assuming it is impossible. There's a PoC currently fulfilling the role of most powerful man in the world, ffs. That, more than anything, makes a strong argument about current attitudes to inequality.

aruna
05-13-2012, 03:02 PM
For me, having power was never the criteria, but having respect.

Kitty27
05-14-2012, 01:42 AM
I have a friend who is PoC and his opinion is that yes they can be because he has a relative who is incredibly racist in his opinion...

As for the 'in power' definition of racism. I consider this to be a defeatist attitude. It makes the assumption that no one of colour can be in power in the present time when there is evidence that this is not the case. Ok, maybe in the early part of the 20th century there may have been an argument that PoC were unable to gain power but in the 21st century the only reason a PoC cannot gain power is because they deny it to themselves by not trying and merely assuming it is impossible. There's a PoC currently fulfilling the role of most powerful man in the world, ffs. That, more than anything, makes a strong argument about current attitudes to inequality.

I firmly disagree.

As a person of color,African-American to be exact,I know what we endure as a people. Just because a POC is President of the United States does not and never will change racist attitudes towards us as a people.

To assume otherwise is to have a cavalier attitude towards what we endure on a near daily basis and frankly,seems to say we are overreacting. It also speaks to the irritating fantasy that we are living in a post racial USA since Obama's election. Which is extremely insulting as we know what we go through. The Trayvon Martin case is a prime example.Going by your example,black men and boys should be seen as equals and not subject to attack because a Black man is in the White House.

This isn't so.

We aren't talking about Obama's lifestyle. We are talking about the average Black man. From the NYPD conducting more searches on Black men to the point that the searches outnumbered the entire Black male population of New York City to the hatred directed at Michelle Obama to THG fans pitching a fit because a Black actress was cast in the movie, racism is alive and thriving. Obama changed some minds. He didn't change all and that is what we live with on a daily basis.

I understand you are from the UK. Maybe racial attitudes are different there. But here in the USA,it is deadly serious and to say we are lazy and don't want to try is very insulting. That is thisclose to the white supremacist idea that Blacks want a handout for everything and refuse to work to gain anything. We do try but you must come away from the privilege in which you reside and understand there is a very real wall of both institutional and public racism entrenched in this society for centuries that POC must battle against.

It just isn't overt as it used to be. But trust and believe that it does exist and is a serious obstacle.

areteus
05-14-2012, 04:02 AM
It is very different in the UK from my experience because the sort of attitudes you describe are not present here. At least not to the extent you describe.

Now, my intention was not to offend and I apologise for having done so, however I disagree about what you say because legally, and under international law at that, all human beings share the same basic rights. This means that everyone should have the same opportunities regardless of gender, race or any other aspect of themselves.

Also, at no point did I say 'lazy'. I talked about a defeatist attitude which is the cause of many of the problems - the fundamental assumption that something cannot be achieved because of race. This is why figureheads like Obama are important because, simply by existing, they show the world that it is possible to achieve no matter what your background.

As for privilege... I do not consider my upbringing to have been privileged. I have come from one of the most deprived areas in the UK during a time which was worse in terms of economics and political strife than now. I have known PoC from the same background but also as many (if not more) from a far more privileged one. Here privilege is not so much linked to race but purely to economics. Gender is often a more contested issue, especially in the workplace.

ButI accept that things are worse over in America mainly because while we have had hundreds of years of gentle acceptance, you have had a very turbulent history with race relations and many who still do not see PoC as being equal. Which saddens me. You also still have people who do not think women are equal or that poor people should have access to health care.

And yes, both sides need to let it go and racist whites are more to blame for perpetuating these attitudes than PoC are for reacting to them negatively. Police here also have a tendency to be racist, though the occasions I have seen it they usually get slapped down for it as soon as it is made public.

Kitty Pryde
05-14-2012, 05:26 AM
Now, my intention was not to offend and I apologise for having done so, however I disagree about what you say because legally, and under international law at that, all human beings share the same basic rights. This means that everyone should have the same opportunities regardless of gender, race or any other aspect of themselves.


Key word you used here is SHOULD. We SHOULD all have the opportunities. Back in the real world, it's really not the case. For instance, Job Searching While Having A Black Name (http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/does-your-name-matter-when.php). If a resume attached to a "white name" is 50% more likely to be contacted for an interview than a resume attached to a "black name", then how can "black people not trying" be the reason for that?

Please don't try to deny the very real experiences of racism, just because they don't seem logical or in line with your second-hand observations.

benbradley
05-14-2012, 05:56 AM
I'm wondering what exactly is this international law referenced to in the part I've bolded below, and how it is enforced:

Now, my intention was not to offend and I apologise for having done so, however I disagree about what you say because legally, and under international law at that, all human beings share the same basic rights.

DancingMaenid
05-14-2012, 06:25 AM
As for the 'in power' definition of racism. I consider this to be a defeatist attitude. It makes the assumption that no one of colour can be in power in the present time when there is evidence that this is not the case. Ok, maybe in the early part of the 20th century there may have been an argument that PoC were unable to gain power but in the 21st century the only reason a PoC cannot gain power is because they deny it to themselves by not trying and merely assuming it is impossible. There's a PoC currently fulfilling the role of most powerful man in the world, ffs. That, more than anything, makes a strong argument about current attitudes to inequality.

I've never interpreted the "power" thing as referring to the ability of individuals to be successful. I see it more as referring to the dominate structure of power in the culture when it comes to which groups have traditionally been more privileged.



Now, my intention was not to offend and I apologise for having done so, however I disagree about what you say because legally, and under international law at that, all human beings share the same basic rights. This means that everyone should have the same opportunities regardless of gender, race or any other aspect of themselves.

Unfortunately, just because we should all have the same opportunities doesn't mean that we do. Racism can operate in a very insidious way, and I think a lot of people who perpetuate it aren't even consciously aware that they are.


As for privilege... I do not consider my upbringing to have been privileged. I have come from one of the most deprived areas in the UK during a time which was worse in terms of economics and political strife than now. I have known PoC from the same background but also as many (if not more) from a far more privileged one. Here privilege is not so much linked to race but purely to economics. Gender is often a more contested issue, especially in the workplace.

"Privilege" in this sense isn't really a measure of how easy your life has been, or how easy it's been for you, as an individual, to get ahead. It has to do with how certain characteristics, such as your race, have been an advantage for you -- or at least not a disadvantage. I still have white privilege even though I lack privilege in other areas, such as sexuality, because the chances of my race being used against me in a meaningful way are very small. I've never had to be particularly aware of my race, but some POC don't have as much choice.

On the other hand, a straight black person has straight privilege, which I lack. In that regard, they may have it easier than me, even if their lives aren't easier in general.

I'm pretty sure that's what's meant by "privilege" here. It's not a judgement on how how easy or hard someone's life is in general, just in terms of one area.

aruna
05-14-2012, 11:13 AM
I'm pretty sure that's what's meant by "privilege" here. It's not a judgement on how how easy or hard someone's life is in general, just in terms of one area.

Absolutely true. It's a sense of entitlement so subtle the people who have it aren't even aware of it. As your previous post shows.

areteus
05-14-2012, 11:50 AM
I do not deny racism, not at all (and I even say that in my post above). It is a very real thing. However, there is also the very real opposite issue which is based on the assumption of racism. This concept of there being a concept of 'black names' and 'white names' is indicative of that. There are some companies here who actually have application forms which are designed to strip all personal information from the application before it gets passed to the decision maker. Everything that could identify the origin of an applicant or potentially be subject to prejudice (name and age) is on the front page which is removed, leaving only an ID number and ethnic information is always held seperate.

And you are right, it shouldn't be like this at all.

As for privilege... I do not deny that there is a concept of white privilege but in some places this is outweighed by other issues. I had to fight against an assumption first of all that I would end up in some heavy industry because that was all there was in my area and later that I would instead simply be on the dole because that is all there was then. There is prejudice based on your accent and hometown which are no less real (though admitedly far less overt and severe).

ScienceOfFiction
05-14-2012, 09:25 PM
areteus, make no mistake about it, there is no comparison between someone being prejudiced against your accent or hometown, and the oppression and experiences of POC. The fact that you draw this comparison, as with your previous comments about international law somehow preventing oppression on the basis of race, show how completely out of touch with reality and your own privilege you are. Pretty much everything you've said here is a denial of the existence or impact of racism, and/or an attempt to erase or diminish the experiences of POC in this forum--whether you realize it or not. You need to stop talking and start listening to POC, and when you've finally done more listening than talking, you may have a chance at understanding these issues. Maybe.

backslashbaby
05-14-2012, 11:47 PM
I don't think the idea of various forms of privilege are meant to be compared one-on-one. That's not the point. The point is that when talking about racism, you have privilege. When talking about a different form of privilege, you may well be affected heavily.

If anything, you should understand better what privilege means if you are on the wrong side of any of it. Use your experiences to really listen and think about different ones; I bet you will see what PoC face better if you look at it that way.

FoamyRules
05-15-2012, 03:59 AM
I can actually understand areteus. My father is white and from the UK as well and pretty much what he's said is true but only in certain parts of the UK and the same can easily be said about America. Not all POC's experience racism, hell you even have some that denounce the issue entirely.

My father has told me, he didn't think racism still existed until he moved to the states and met my mother who just so happened to be a POC who has experienced it. He had a huge wake up call when he had children and we experienced it first hand for ourselves.

Back to the original topic.

My understanding of the word racism has been the power definition of it. But my understanding was this; anyone regardless of their race who was in power or had some sort of power can be racist but someone regardless of their race who wasn't in power or didn't have any power what so ever can be prejudiced. So in other words, I don't know. That's just the way the word was taught to me. There are two definitions to consider here; prejudice and racism.

aruna
05-15-2012, 09:34 AM
I can actually understand areteus. My father is white and from the UK as well and pretty much what he's said is true but only in certain parts of the UK and the same can easily be said about America. Not all POC's experience racism, hell you even have some that denounce the issue entirely.

I lived in the UK as a POC for 10 years (recently) and I can't say I experienced a single incident of racism. It would have been easy to forget that racism exists, to deny it. I lived in a predominantly white, middle-class town and my children went to a private school precisely because it was multi-racial. My kids, too did not experience racism in those years. There was no poor, black, crime-ridden underbelly people could point to.

But later on my son went to stay with his best friend, whom he had met in that school, who just happened to be a black Nigerian with a multi-millionaire as father. This guy lived in a very exclusive part of Surrey. My son said he couldn't count the times when, walking along the street with his friend, people would move to other side of the street. A couple of times people called the police and they were searched. For no other reason than they were POC walking in an area that is "reserved" for rich white people.