What is racism?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by french4beth, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    A previous thread on bigotry inspired this thread (original thread here).

    What is racism to you?

    I think that it is racist to automatically assume that any black person that lives in America is from Africa. People of color live in countries all over the world, many of which are not part of the African continent.

    Here are two definitions (from thefreedictionary.com):
    Is this a racist statement (from an article here)?
    And, this morning I heard on the radio that the US tv show Survivor will be grouping teams according to 'race' in the next season (article here)...
     
  2. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    There are different types of racism which vary in severity.

    But what unifies them is the belief that people should be judged based where some of their ancestors were from, despite having no control over this.

    Believing that a certain race should be killed is racism.
    Believing that races are equal but people of each race should remain separate and segregated is racism (this is called racialism).
    Believing that certain countries are/should be homelands for genetically-determined ethnic groups is racism.
    Believing that certain races are better suited for physical work while others are better suited for scientific work is also racism.
    Believing that people are more aggressive or patient based on their race is also racism.
    Believing that people have the responsibility to adopt a certain culture and language based on their genes is also racism.

    My objection to racism, from its mildest forms (the "enlightened racism" of multiculturalism) to the most severe (Nazism), is that it believes that a person's personality and culture are by nature linked to their genetics. Sometimes people need to classify others, but the problem with racism is that membership into these groups is not determined by free-will, but by physical features that cannot be changed and have nothing to do with culture and personality.

    More examples of mild racism (but it's still racism):
    - A Canadian wants to learn about other cultures. He sees another Canadian who is culturally the same as him but proceeds to ask him, "What do they eat in your country?" since his friend "looks Indian".

    - An American disproves of another American because he "speaks like a White person" while having a dark skin tone.

    - A Chinese chastises her Canadian son for learning Spanish, because he has "not even bothered to learn his own language". In public, he may be accused of "abandoning and being ashamed of his Chinese identity"

    - An American interested in East Asian culture is called an egg because he has a light skin tone, blue eyes and blond hair.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2013
  3. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    I think the U.N. definition is a pretty good one (copy/pasted by Wikipedia's article on racism)


    P.S. I thought "egg" was the opposite of "banana" (white/yellow, yellow/white)
     
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In these matters, I think it's best to ask an expert. :)

    I don't think so, but we should be careful not to read too much into such results (such as, for example, that Asians have genes in their DNA which make them more studious).

    Anything to boost their ratings, hey? ;)
     
  5. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    For me, racism is not a set of behaviors or words, as your examples show, but a set of beliefs, which are actually based on typical human traits.

    prejudgement ----->
    As a self-preservation strategy, humans pre-judge each other and the social situations they are in. In order to survive, humans often must make an instant evaluation of the other person and decide whether he is friend or foe, based on the most limited of information. Hence the exaggerated importance of "the first impression".

    prejudgement -----> assumption
    Humans construct patterns to better understand each other, based on their experience. If most smiling people they meet tend to be friendly, then the next smiling person they meet, they will be more likely to be open to that person. If most (insert skin color here) people they meet smell different than they do, then their mental pattern -- their paradigm -- is that (skin color) people are smelly. The next (skin color) person they meet, they are more likely to assume that the person will stink.

    In reality, what we call "prejudice" and "racism" are just a set of behaviors that are based on innate human traits. When you add these traits with the fear/ignorance/intolerance of differences that is so common to humans, you end up with behavior that we label "racist".
     
  6. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Oh dear! I hadn't seen the one about Survivor. Well, I don't know if it was actually aired but I remember that for the longest time, the local Suvivor geniouses were advertising a new set of episodes with ... "GREECE vs TURKEY" trying as hard as they could to make it seem as if we were still at each other's throat (evidently one team would be formed by Greeks and the other from Turks). I wouldn't take anything that Survivor does seriously. It doesn't deserve to be commented upon is what I mean :)
     
  7. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
     
  8. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    banana = Person of Asian race who self-identifies with White culture
    egg = Person of White race who self-identifies with Asian culture
    Oreo = Person of Black race who self-identifies with White culture

    The problem I have with these terms:
    a.) That these cultures "belong" to people of certain skin colors and ancestries. e.g. eating with chopsticks = that's yellow
    rap music = that's black, it's of dark-skinned people

    b.) That people of these skin colors ought to "belong" to these cultures. e.g. you're chinese, you should be using chopsticks!


    c.) That there is something wrong with adopting a culture that doesn't correspond to the skin color as determined by point a.).

    The problem is not with classification of people, but the classification of people based on race. Why must it be race that is most important? Despite the fact that it is so arbitrary (e.g. many people considered Black in the U.S. would not be so in Latin America).

    Is it the most obvious visible trait? No, but I believe we are raised to look at race first when we see people. Clothes, mannerisms, etiquette, accent, and culture are also obvious visible traits for first impressions but they often take a back seat to race.
     
  9. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Vince,
    That reminds me that it bothers me so much when black people do well in school or speak with a "crisp" voice (aside from using proper grammar) they get accused by certain people of "acting white." The reason it upsets me is that doing well in school and speaking properly are GOOD things--so it's like you insult the person on two different levels by telling them such a thing. 1.) You aren't a good enough black person. 2.) Academic achievement and correct speech aren't charactestic of black people. (insinuated by the insult, of course.)
     
  10. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    I would disagree with the "group" nature of this definition. Many a solo censored has been a racist.


    Agreed, KateNicole. I think that malice is essential — good humoured banter between people who respect each other must be tolerated.
     
  11. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Vince, just to make sure there's no misunderstanding, I didn't mean it isn't racist (by the way there's always "coconut" you should add on your list) I was merely confused by your reference to blues eyes and blond hair.
     
  12. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Individuals can be nasty, but without the support of a posse they won't do a terrible amount of damage to others, typically.
     
  13. Kräuter_Fee

    Kräuter_Fee Senior Member

    Spain
    Portuguese&Spanish (native)/ (English&German - foreign)
    That's a good question. I think everyone is a little bit racist, everyone makes comments about other races. But there are many types of racism...

    By the way:
    Is this racism? Or is it a fact? It's proven that black men have much more testosterone than Asian men, which makes them more aggressive.

    I don't know if it's a cultural thing, or if it depends on the race, but you can see differences among the races.

    How about gypsies? They are kind of different, is it because of their culture? Or does it have something to do with genetics?
     
  14. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Not really, Kräuter. Spend some time in the website I linked to above, when you have time to spare. It's a very nice site, and you will learn lots of fascinating stuff about race, genetics, and history. :)
     
  15. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    This is the 2nd component of Black-White racism in the U.S.: The first is the oppression by Whites on Blacks, the second is the oppression of Blacks on Blacks, both of which act to prevent Black people from gaining political and economic power.

    This 2nd component is unfortunately often overlooked. What has happened is, since the majority of the ruling class is White, the culture of being upper-class well-educated and refined is viewed by racists (most of who do not know they are being racist) as a "White" culture. But when Black people aspire to become part of the ruling class, they have to integrate into this culture to survive. Racists perceive this as Black people abandoning Black culture and identity and joining the Whites, the oppressors. Do you want to be a real Black, or an Oreo?
     
  16. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    So would you say that you can be racist against your own race? I see how it's psychologically possible if you have a lot of latent self-hatred, although the concept seems counterintuitive.
     
  17. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    Yes you can be racist against your own race. But it is very hard to do so.

    If you are of "Asian race" and avoid talking to other people of your race because you think they have bad manners then you are racist. You should also start hating yourself because if you believe Asian people have bad manners, then you also have bad manners.

    But this is different from avoiding people of Asian culture. For example, I primarily identify with Canadian culture, so I don't tend to associate with people of Asian or European cultures that are too different from my own. Society considers me of the "Asian" race but it would be incorrect to say that I hate my own race because people of (by society's definition) Asian race who are of Canadian culture are not grouped by me as "Asian" and therefore I may associate with them as I would with any other Canadian. And people of the "White" race who are of European cultures that are too different from my own are grouped by me as "foreign" and hence I don't tend to associate with them.

    It is actually racist to say that hating a culture = hating a race because this is implying that Asian culture = yellow or Black culture = dark-skinned
     
  18. zena168 Junior Member

    US
    ROC Mandarin
    "Those who assume you’re not really an American just because you’re not from European descent." I can’t stand those people who think they’re in the exclusive club of being American by talking to Asians in “Your Country…” talks. By saying that it’s assuming that Asians can’t be Americans and that they must be aliens from another country. And that they must care more about their country than what’s going on in the U.S. I don’t have any accent and I’ve stayed in America since childhood. Do these people just generally assume that only Europeans can be considered as Americans? Or do they think by making the distinction themselves they can all send Asians packing back to where they belong?
     
  19. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    What proof, Bernik? Can you give me a concrete example of someone being racist against his or her own race?

    I'm not challenging you--I just want some concrete examples (like a situation--I don't need a link to a specific thread or anything).
     
  20. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    I think he (or she??) meant that originally (millions of years ago) blacks covered Africa and whites covered Europe, not that every single black person that is alive today was born in Africa.
    . . . At least I hope he didn't mean that!
     
  21. Everness Senior Member

    Kazakhstan
  22. bernik Senior Member

    Brittany - french
    "Can you give me a concrete example of someone being racist against his or her own race? "

    What you are really defending, not only in this thread but on this forum, is the current policy of massive immigration. I think this is madness. We have the same thing in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Countries where the population was until very recently overwhelmingly European. But the governments are in the process of replacing the European population with third-world people. This is an anti-European policy carried out by Europeans (although most people do not agree at all with this policy).

    You would not dream of having a massive European immigration to Third world countries. Why is it OK to have the European population replaced with other people, but not OK to replace other people with Europeans ?

    Also the idea that Europeans are oppressing other people has nothing to do with reality.

    "I think he (or she??) meant that originally (millions of years ago) blacks covered Africa and whites covered Europe, not that every single black person that is alive today was born in Africa. . . . At least I hope he didn't mean that!"

    You are being ridiculous.

    PS: and I am not a girl !
     
  23. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Who is "you"???
    And what did I say that was "ridiculous" when I tried to clarify your post? Or did you really mean what someone else thought you said?
     
  24. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    There is no problem with mass immigration of Third-World people to European countries

    if the Third-World people become European after their arrival.

    btw, you seem ignorant to the fact that:
    Moldova and Albania are European but they aren't exactly "First-World".
    Australia, Canada, and the U.S. are not European, even if their cultures were originally derived from European ones. The first is Oceanic, and the latter two are North American.
     
  25. bernik Senior Member

    Brittany - french
    "There is no problem with mass immigration of Third-World people to European countries"

    Except that Europeans do NOT want to be replaced by other people.
    Besides, I think France is headed for civil war.
     
  26. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    You neglected to quote the second part of my post:
    " if the Third-World people become European after their arrival."

    This is the problem France is facing. The immigrants from North Africa are not becoming European after their arrival, they often remain segregated into ghettos and live lives of violence and crime, endangering French people.

    But this is not a problem of too much immigration, as you may think. It is a matter of the attitude of the French toward immigrants. Even if many want to integrate and become French, French society has many racist elements that refuse to accept them. To them, they aren't French, they are "bougnouls" even if they are born in France. How can they get out of the cycle of poverty and crime if they are branded as criminals at birth?

    Vince
    -- Proud to have taken to the streets of Châlons to protest against Jean-Marie Le Pen in April 2002
     
  27. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    For me, something is racist if it assumes something about an individual because of that person's "racial" characteristics (e.g. skin colour). Any such assumption is racist to me, whether it's malicious or not. If you think that race X is really good at math or race Y is really good in bed and then simply assume that any individual member of those races you meet shares those qualities, I would still see that as racist. More generally, anything is racist which automatically assigns something to someone because of their race, so barring all members of some race from a government position would be racist, to take an obvious example.

    I'm not sure if the stereotypes are racist in and of themselves, although it's the nature of stereotypes for people who believe them to think they apply by default in individual cases, so I'd say stereotyping without some accompanying racism is rare.

    But general statements on groups of humans defined by genetic similarity (whether these groups would have any resemblance to the usual races people refer to is a different question) are either true or false, and may be the result of the genetic similarity. There are diseases that only affect certain groups because of genetics but I wouldn't call this kind of research racist.

    Thanks for that link. That was very interesting, especially since I had no real idea what they were testing while I did the first one -- your "don't lie" comment made me expect some kind of questionnaire which I wouldn't give much credence to. It did tell me I have no automatic preference with the racism test, but I can't really trust a test that says I have "moderate automatic preference for the United States compared to Canada." :mad:
     
  28. well, this is a difficult question really. On the one hand, we all encounter disgusting examples of ill treatment of people on the grounds of their belonging to a different group. This is shameful. On the other, there are complications, just as the author noted. As a population expert, I have to encounter these issues all the time. For instance, people of different races and even nationalities have notable differences in genetics, absolutely different health problems, needs, etc. People of some ethnic groups are likely to contract certain illnesses which other ethnic groups hardly ever will. BUT!! It is enormously hard to publish reports on that because there are always some fringe racism fighters who will accuse you of being a racist. I had witnessed major complications in the development of medication, treatment programmes etc as well as revealing the facts about the state of things due to "political correctness", which eventually only harms those whom the well-wishers only mean to help.
    I have absolutely no quarrel with the fact of difference in intellectual levels either. What do you expect if historically some parts of the world were not given equal possibilities and encouragement in developing their intellectual capabilities as well as simply adequate nourishment. e
    The important thing to understand, I think, is that this is NOT their fault, neither the likelihood to contract any illnesses, nor the absence of education or ability to study as swiftly as somebody else! It doesn`t make them worse people , it doesn`t make them less deserving but it has to be recognised that some differences exist only in order to be objective in certain fields, like science.
    The repulsive thing in racism is violence and animosity, so I think the key approach should be that we should all recognise that we are all to be loved, respected and are all endowed with dignity. And that makes us valuable just as beings despite all our differences which just make us more interesting.
     

  29. Vince, I disagree with you here. The problem is exactly the scale of immigration. Each society is built upon certain principles, the shared notions of what is right and what is wrong, what is "done" and what is not, what is th e way to behave. It is extremely dangerous to ruin those and modifications such as modernisation and introduction of a different culture should be handled with extreme care. The 'reserve" of the French to accept newcomers as fully members of their society is quite understandable, it is that natural instinct of preserving tha canvas of their society. For this reason, having seen many conflicts, I am becoming more and more convinced that a truly Multicultural society is impossible. People need to have similar standards. I cannot blame the French though I recognise that this has indeed to a great extent served as a reason for the slow integration.

    I have loads of Algerian friends in France, as well friends of other nationalities, and many of them , esp, those who are born in France are 100% French, but mostly those who live in a neighbourhood where very few others of their original community live. The problem is the creation of "ghettos" where not only the original culture receives no influence of the new one, but also the very specific unhealthy culture of ghettos develops. And with large scale immigration, it will inevitably lead to clashes of civilisations, no understanding and integration and, at worst, to civil wars really.
    So I am against mass immigration because it does ruin the society, both communitites. The locals quite naturally want to preserve their morals, as well as the newcomers feel unwelcome, rejected and that pushes them back into hanging on by all possible means to the set of morals and perceptions to which they are accustomed. I understand that perfectly as well - have been living in foreign lands all my life:) So in the final analysis it never really works well.
     
  30. Everness Senior Member

    Kazakhstan
    I'm trying to put together a survey/test to help people reflect on their racism or lack of racism. There will be 10 questions. I'd appreciate your feedback. I'm planning to apply it to different races (not ethnicities) and to keep it simple I'll use the categories: white, black, yellow, brown, and red. I'll use white as default just to pilot the questions but the racial categories can be changed accordingly.

    Question #1. If your 17-year-old daughter shows up at your home with her new black boyfriend and states that she wants to marry him, how would you react? Pick only one response.

    a) You'll blurt something that will contain the expression "over my dead body."

    b) You'll embrace your daughter and tell her that you are proud of her for being an inclusive and non-racist individual.

    c) You'll have a drink after 15 years of sobriety.

    d) You'll pass out.

    e) There will no response (fatal heart attack).

    d) You'll call your mother immediately to share the news while crying out of joy.

    e) You'll call your mother immediately to share the news while crying out of desperation.

    f) After doing a), c), d) and/or e), you'll go to the bathroom look at yourself in the mirror and say, "You are a f*cking racist (your name here). Get your act together right now and let your daughter live her life."

    f) You'll give your daughter and her black boyfriend a short unbiased lecture on the pros and cons of mixed marriages.

    g) You'll wait until your daughter falls asleep, drug her up, and move to Costa Rica the next day.

    h) Other (please specify)


    So people, what do you think? Is it user-friendly? Any changes before I move to question #2? Items that I left out or should leave out?
     
  31. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    I think there's too many answer choices.
     
  32. Tsoman Senior Member

    New York
    English -- US
    I think that racism is believing in the inequality of races. I think that it is an ideology.

    I don't think it includes all those minor things stupid things that people get hung up about all the time.
     
  33. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Tsoman, I think you did a great job of summing up something extremely complex!
     
  34. Tsoman Senior Member

    New York
    English -- US
    were you being sarcastic or serious?
     
  35. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    No, I'm not being sarcastic at all! I think it can be so hard to define because it manifests in different ways, depending on a person's intentions and mindset. Innocent yet distasteful ignorance and racism are two different things, in my opinion, and this makes it very hard to define racism. But if I had to sum it up, I'd say what you said. It's very simply put, and hits the nail on the head.
     
  36. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    Hi, there!
    In Mexico we have a situation that has been named after the woman "Malintzin" (Malinche) and it's refered to as "Malinchismo". I wonder if this is some form of self-inflicted racism...

    Anyway, I thought it'd be appropriate to mention in this thread that, as far as I can see, the people in this forum are some of the most open-minded people I've ever come across in my life.
    Sure, there are some situations in which each one of us wishes to hold on to a particular point of view tooth and nail, as it were, but for the most part everybody here shows signs of adapting their perspective on life one little bit at a time by learning to appreciate all the diversity presented in this forum.
    For example, where else could you actually discuss calmly and intelligently such a thorny topic as the one in this thread?

    I think I'm sticking to the definition given in #3 by ireney.
     
  37. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    How many human races do we have or have I missed something?

    .,,
     
  38. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    That is a bit too simplistic

    You have to define equality: what does it mean to be "equal"?

    Here are some possible opinions:
    - "Black people are stronger but less intelligent. Asian people are weaker but more intelligent. All races have their strengths and weaknesses. No race is better than any other, as a whole. Each race has a different role in this world, the Blacks do the hard physical jobs while the Asians do the skilled professions. They are equally important because the removal of any of these races would cause the collapse of our economy and society." - Is this person racist? No, according to your above summary. (This type of argument is the argument many anti-feminists bring up: that men and women are already equal, they just have different roles)

    "All races are equal. But I don't want you to be marrying a Black person. Not because I think they're bad or anything. The goal of each race is to preserve itself. And as White people, we must preserve the White race." - Is this person racist? No, according to your above summary.

    Just a few thoughts.
     
  39. zena168 Junior Member

    US
    ROC Mandarin
    I think it’s human nature that makes people stereotype others. We are born to learn and name things all around us. We are by nature curious to find out things and then box them up (classify) as we see fit. This quick boxing (stereotyping) of things makes learning things much faster and easier. We’re also by nature political animals that seek to bond with others for safety, protection or increase of power. Alliances are established more easily by finding those who share common physical traits with one another. (People also bond by class, gender, age and other things. But that’s not the topic of this thread. )
    I do believe a multicultural society is possible. I have worked with many people of various ethnicity and background. But it does require both parties to be very open to accept other’s values and criticisms about one’s own culture. It takes a lot of work for people to see things more neutral and I think U.S. is doing a pretty good job. Not that it can ever be perfect but it’s not an easy task to accommodate everyone when you really think about it.
    I don’t know much about France’s situation, but I do agree that people need to establish a neutral culture between the different races and ethnicity. You can’t expect to bond with others with your own values. That would be forcing people to adopt your beliefs.
     
  40. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    No, but seriously, folks...

    I often wondered why the genes that dictate color of eyes other-than-brown, color of hair other-than-brown, etc., are recessive genes.

    Hmmm...

    Could it be...
    ...
    ... that the dominant genes are the ones that dictate brown eyes, brown hair, brown everything, and are so deep down in everyone's DNA that no matter how many recent divergences (caused by migration or mutation) appear, they still cannot be overcome because they are... just... superficial... changes?

    I understand we all want to discuss how precisely to define "racism", but could we not start by entertaining the concept that the term itself is a malapropism of sorts? Or a term that "does not apply" to the human race?

    I mean, sure, there's the fact we all have to face discrimination and prejudice, but there are much more appropriate words for that.
    I would like to propose "bigotry", instead of "racism".
     
  41. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    bernik,
    You might want to take a colour chart with you the next time you go to Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Micronesia and several other places besides.
    You might like to compare the whiteness of say the Greeks or Italians with Boers in South Africa, or people in the Levant (wonderful French word!).
    (we won't go into Michael Jackson's case just yet.) ;)
     
  42. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    In response to the nature of the responses:
    You need to change your options if you wish to receive objective responses.
    It would be obvious to any person participating in such a survey that the responses are incredibly biased towards negativity and bigotry and judgemental behaviour.
    The closest to a positive response is e) but this indicates when taken into consideration with other choices that you have not responded to your daughter.
    The next one down the scale of negativity is f) but this answer infers that there is a problem where no such problem exists except in the mind of a bigot.
    In response to the question:
    h) "Congratulations georgeous. We are so happy for you both. Welcome to the family mate."

    .,,
     
  43. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    "Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between Black People and White People."

    So, what does that tell anyone - about me, about you, or about Harvard and its test?
     
  44. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    "Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between Black People and White People."
    'twould seem that maxiogee is the same as me

    .,,
     
  45. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    I think this is where we've arrived from the posts so far:

    Racism: the assumption of an inherent link between certain traits or characteristics and race.

    I like this definition, because it covers both positive and negative perceptions of that link, and both positive and negative perceptions about one's own race.


    The poll reminds me of a wedding in Toronto in the nineties. The groom's black relatives felt that he was letting down the side and refused to attend, as did the bride's white relatives. Their wedding was celebrated and supported by friends and colleagues, not by family members.
     
  46. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    What? Am I not Greek just because I am of extra light skin? ;)
     
  47. don maico

    don maico Senior Member

    UK
    UK English /Spanish
    actually people make negative comments about "the other" ie different race, ethnic group ,religion, class , part of a country, nationality.In fact any group of people who are percieved to be different are generally scapegoated for something or other. Man would appear to be tribal by nature.Overhere we dislike Chavs. Not a race or ethnic group or religious sect but people from a particular social class who behave, have a lifestyle and dress in a manner which is considered inferior and sometimes threatening:
    http://www.chavscum.co.uk/
    if you see one run a mile fast!
     
  48. Everness Senior Member

    Kazakhstan
    There's nothing redeemable in racism, maybe in race. But we shouldn't confuse those terms. I subscribe to the idea that race is a social construct that was originally devised and thereafter used with great success for almost exclusively oppressive purposes. Slavery of black folks, for instance, was based on race, a classification of human beings based on skin color, hair texture, and facial structure. Whites amassed wealth based on the exploitation of fellow human beings that were viewed as sub-human.

    But race is hard to die despite the fact that the rejection of race in science is now almost complete. Here's a great summary of the current status of this debate. http://academic.udayton.edu/race/01race/race.htm

    I like the definition of racism that otherwise unreliable Wikipedia offers:

    Racism refers to various belief systems maintaining that the essential value of an individual person can be determined according to a perceived or ascribed racial category and that social discrimination by race is therefore justifiable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism
     
  49. stephyjh Junior Member

    US/English
    h) "Congratulations, happy for you, etc, but I hope you're going to get a degree before you get married." But then, in my family, all 5 of your "color" groupings are represented, so it's no big deal.

    Actually, in the US there were also black slave owners. Admittedly they were a small percentage, but when you consider how few actual slaveholders in the antebellum South *were* amassing a significant amount of wealth based on slave labor, rather than having one or two slaves to help bring in enough of a crop to help the family survive (the major plantation owners were fewer and farther between than most people realize), it's something to consider.
     
  50. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    So is racism OK as long as you only hold positive perceptions?

    How is is possible to hold positive perceptions of one race without inferring negative perceptions of another race?

    .,,
     

Share This Page