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Is it possible to define Racism?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
    Yes - 400,000 Rumanian's in the UK
    Are you sure English is your native tongue?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ATSzmrots View Post

      Are you sure English is your native tongue?
      possibly not - as I am half jock

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      • #33
        The root is "race", the suffix "-ism" denotes a doctrine. The doctrine of race-ism stipulates some races would be superior to others. Not to mention there is only one race, the human species, actual racism would be an attitude of perceived superiority over people from a different ethnic or geographic origin, or the act of disparaging such people on the grounds of one's own origin alone.

        In other words, in public debate the word is almost invariably used in too broad a fashion. A weaponized fashion, I hasten to add. In most cases the word which should be used in lieu of racism is culturalism, for this is what is actually meant. The racist feels superior to a group of people because of what they (allegedly) are, the culturalist feels superior to a group of people because of what they (allegedly) do. A vast difference; and arguably, to a certain degree, culturalism is not only defensible but also inevitable really:

        We in the developed world value human rights and democracy as universal truths i.e. so highly that we devote a good part of our attention and our ressources to their preservation; as a consequence, we can't just pretend cultures who do not cherish or outright despise these things are our peers.
        Likewise we marvel at and benefit from the great achievements of the modern era, for example in the field of medicine. As a consquence, we can't just pretend a shaman who treats an infection through hands-on healing is a peer of Alexander Fleming.
        If all those achievements established not a superiority of the developed world over, say, a central-African nomadic tribe, why would we insist on deriving benefit from said achievements? If democracy is not culturally superior to dictatorship, why are we vigilant in guarding our right to vote? Why do we not seek to live as central-African nomads do?

        The political left believes if we tore down all the categories which distinguish one group from another, all the causes for human infighting would be gone and the whole world would live merrily ever after. That's why they want to prevent us from using categories at all. That's why they want us to pretend building the Empire State Building was no greater an achievement than building a clay hut. And that's why they constantly seek to question the notion of cultural superiority through drawing on bygone times as a means of relativization. They're distinctly wrong, though:

        Yes, a couple of hundred years ago Europeans (and Americans!) burnt witches at the stakes. Does this fact really make a point against criticising Saudi Arabia for its habit of putting alleged witches to death today? No, it does not, and here's why: In the 1600s not a single place on this earth existed where people didn't believe in witchcraft. Not a single universally-accessible shred of proof existed to teach men that there is no such thing as witchcraft.

        Today, they do exist in abundance. There is no excuse anymore.

        My point is, I'd rather we encouraged and helped other cultures to advance for the benefit of all instead of entrenching the status quo or even making matters worse by pretending there'd be no need for advancement anywhere on this earth. And now for closure let me point out the crux of the matter in case I failed to establish it earlier, and because the definition I gave above outlines an attitude but not how the attitude manifests itself. The racist believes the African shaman does as he does due to the alleged "natural" intellectual inferiority of his ethnicity. The culturalist believes the African shaman does as he does out of refusal to see the error in his ways. Has the culturalist failed to understand or paid no heed to the possibility that the shaman does as he does out of poverty, i.e. due to a lack of other options, they might very well be a racist.
        If, however, tribe xyz actually refuses academic medicine thus the possibility to save lives and unburden the ill, then the culturalist (if from a culture which cherishes academic medicine) would be very right to consider their culture superior.

        Myself, I'd hate the idea of being reproached with what I am, for which I'm not responsible; that's why I'm never going to do the same to anyone. It'd be vile, simply vile. At the same time however I firmly believe that we must be critical of deliberate actions which instill suffering or deterioriation into this world and not grant them "protection" as a cultural quality. And I do believe so because I'm the opposite of an racist: I do not see a meaningful distinction between myself and, say, a Papuan and therefore I do not see a reason not to expect from a Papuan the same things I expect from my next-door neighbor.

        And the reason why I brought my own example into this is because I'd be dubbed a racist by many acolytes of the anti-culturalist mainstream regardless. It did it because I believe that actual racism is really quite a rare thing among actual Caucasians --- a term I only use in response to the modern notion of "the Caucasians" as an inherently racist "race" ---, and that my stance explains the mindset which the left unknowingly or willingly misreads as racism.


        Originally posted by Mordoror View Post

        The funniest part is when some white supremacists/skin heads were shown to not been pure strain (dont remember if in USA or UK). God the shitstorm it trigered on stormfront with some long time and influential members kicked out ... for mixed blood....
        Joseph Goebbels had Jewish ancestors and was disabled; according to the Nazis he should've been killed twice over in 1942. Hitler himself looked not an ounce like the image of the "pure-bred Aryan" he always invoked. Racism is vile, and it is the height of folly.

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        • #34
          Posted by muck:

          The doctrine of race-ism stipulates some races would be superior to others. Not to mention there is only one race, the human species, actual racism would be an attitude of perceived superiority over people from a different ethnic or geographic origin, or the act of disparaging such people on the grounds of one's own origin alone.




          I agree with that definition. But also how much is caused by Political differences, religious differences, and cultural differences??

          only one example:

          Under this theory, the Hutu and Tutsi distinction arose later and was not a racial one, but principally a class or caste distinction in which the Tutsi herded cattle while the Hutu farmed the land.[14][15] The Hutu, Tutsi and Twa of Rwanda share a common language and are collectively known as the Banyarwand
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide

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          • #35
            IMHO, racism is a extension of tribalism. Completely meaning less and divisive. It has been mentioned earlier in the thread, Language, culture, society and.. is what shapes us as people. There is a standard definition of racism. Also racism comes in degrees, Basically it is where a person thinks of a person's appearance first and not the person under the skin.

            Racism is real, because many people allows it to shape how they see and treat other people, or themselves. It is bigotry of a different color. (Damn Yankees)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Mokordo View Post
              To see the differences between humans is not racism, racism is to see differences and feel hate.
              If not hate, then contempt and condenscension (at which, yes, a lot of the left is racist as we poor colored folk are supposed to be oh-so-grateful at their help).

              If you stop a PoC, and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is "Do you speak English?", that is pretty damn racist.
              There is no overt hostility, but there is an other-ing without basis. Same goes for things like fetishizing.

              And the idea that it's impossible for a PoC to be racist against a White, just because they don't get anything out if the belittling, is bullshit.
              It may not be systemic racism, but it's still racism.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by IraGlacialis View Post
                If you stop a PoC, and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is "Do you speak English?", that is pretty damn racist.
                There is no overt hostility, but there is an other-ing without basis. Same goes for things like fetishizing.
                Not necessarily.

                In my town we have a lot of foreigners, be them students or migrants, from various countries (Eritrea, Somalia, Soudan for the migrants, China, Japan, Sweden for the students). Very few among them speak french, that's a fact.
                How do I know that fact you may ask?
                For the students, I studied with them for some years and now I am tutoring them. Most don't speak french and some, sometimes, barely speak english.
                For the migrants, my mother works as a home/liberal-nurse and has to take care of a lot of migrants. They do not speak french or english at all. *well, she does not speak english either anyway*

                Unless the "do you speak english" question is asked on a douchy, snarky, condescending way, it is not racism.
                You may recognize someone as a foreigner via external factors, telling you they are not from around here, therefore for the sake of communication you need to be able a common ground on which you will able to exchange ideas and communicate.
                Asking a person if he can understands you is not racist.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Hollis View Post
                  IMHO, racism is a extension of tribalism. Completely meaning less and divisive. It has been mentioned earlier in the thread, Language, culture, society and.. is what shapes us as people. There is a standard definition of racism. Also racism comes in degrees, Basically it is where a person thinks of a person's appearance first and not the person under the skin.

                  Racism is real, because many people allows it to shape how they see and treat other people, or themselves. It is bigotry of a different color. (Damn Yankees)
                  The bold part is spot on

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                  • #39
                    muck I do not think we need to apologize for believing certain parts of our (Western) European culture are better than others. I will be the first to say that. As long as we can reflect on our own shortcomings. A typical sign of lack of self-relfection, imo, is people who will point at other cultures as a way to avoid being critical of their own.

                    I do believe you underestimate the amount of racism among Europeans a little bit. As I said my cousin - who is completely black - has had to deal with a lot of racism in his life, even violence. He is completely Western in behavior and mindset, grew up in a middle class suburb has a white girlfriend, finished college and works full time. A racist will never forgive him for being born black though.

                    In fact I would argue that the most tribal of racists consider a man like my cousin even more disgusting than an unsuccesful black person because a succesful minority person with above average achievements in life is a threat and competition.

                    -

                    As for the central africans. I will be the first to say that reason and critical thinking triumphs superstition and blind faith. That said, some regions do have a handicap. For example AFAIK I know much of the central west African coast has few natural harbors and their rivers are poorly navigeable. That is just one factor out of a million but the place where we are born does bring about certain benefits or challenges.

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                    • #40
                      Ivan le Fou

                      ​Just because someone feels offended doesn't mean they should. Asking politely if someone speaks the predominant language shouldn't be regarded as giving offense, unless the person already communicated in some form or another that they do or don't speak it.

                      My last name is difficult to spell out and I'm always, like always asked by people I do business with to spell it out for them. Should I take offense at that? Of course not. Why should they know how it's spelled?

                      And how am I supposed to know if the next Somalian I somehow bump into speaks my language, especially so if the last couple of them didn't?

                      Anyway, I'm not sure if racism is just another form of tribalism as some of you seem to suggest. Sure, we're a species of herd mammals but strictly speaking there's no automatic disparagament, no hostility towards a third party in the mere act of banding together with people whose features resemble our own. I'm perfectly able of listening only to post rock without hating people who prefer rap.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Ivan le Fou View Post
                        Unless the "do you speak english" question is asked on a douchy, snarky, condescending way, it is not racism.
                        You may recognize someone as a foreigner via external factors, telling you they are not from around here, therefore for the sake of communication you need to be able a common ground on which you will able to exchange ideas and communicate.
                        Asking a person if he can understands you is not racist.
                        Yeah, there are always contextual exceptions.
                        But in areas where there is low foreign influence, and that's the *very* first thing that is asked of a citizen, let's say an Asian, who hasn't even spoken yet... You can't tell that person that they have no right to raise their eyebrows at the very least.
                        Especially if a White foreigner in the same situation isn't asked the same thing.
                        Same goes for if the setting is someplace like a school, where at least basic proficiency of the local tongue is a given.

                        That's what othering is. When someone who is a native-born citizen is treated as a foreigner by default.
                        Last edited by IraGlacialis; 13-10-2017, 12:57 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by PeacefulNeighbour View Post
                          Is the slogan "Africa for Africans" racist?
                          Depends on the context...

                          "France for Frenchpeople" : OK, my passport says I'm French, so I guess France is for me, a son of ex-YU immigrants. I guess France is for my lady, who's black and descendant of slaves imported in the French Antillas 200-300 years ago. I guess France was also for the 2 french soldiers killed by Merah in 2012 and that were 100% sons of Maghreban immigrants.

                          If one considers the white folks of SA, Namibia, Angola, other places white people have been for ages in Africa as Africans, then yes, Africa is for them too.

                          But I understand the origin of the question. The way it's used ? It's racist 95% of the time, because it often comes from the mouth of racist. The sentence itself doesn't mean as much as what the person saying it wants it to be perceived...

                          Also, the "do you speak my language ?" question is often candid... You're not sure the person in front of you is from your country if they look like they're not "local", or even if they do, something can make one doubt (facial features, or hearing them speak in tongues with someone else...)
                          I mean, people spontanously speak in English to my step-dad because he looks British or German, but he's white. And from Bosnia. Weird, huh ?

                          And I've been "victim" (brackets because I was never attacked or anything. it was just weird) of racist things... Once, a black guy, certainly African, come up to my GF and I in the street to ask for a coin, we'd spent all our cash so we couldn't help him, and he said in an angry voice at my GF "You're with a white boy ! He must have money so don't lie to me !" Back off, dude ! That's racist !
                          Or "Oh look, a jew !" by 2 maghrebans looking at me as I was going home from the train station, dressed in a suit after work... Or even more funnily ! A jewish homeless (yes, they exist, it's racist to think all jews are rich and covering each other), a friday night, in Paris, coming up to me "Shabbat Shalom, brother. Can you spare me a coin for tonight ?" (I didn't have cash or coins, so I gave him a "Ticket Resto", it's something you get from your employer to pay less for lunch, and you can use it in restaurants too. You only pay 50% of the face amount, the rest is "offered" by the employer)

                          ... I think I must have Ashkenaz blood, lulz, oy vey

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by muck View Post
                            Ivan le Fou

                            ​Just because someone feels offended doesn't mean they should. Asking politely if someone speaks the predominant language shouldn't be regarded as giving offense, unless the person already communicated in some form or another that they do or don't speak it.

                            My last name is difficult to spell out and I'm always, like always asked by people I do business with to spell it out for them. Should I take offense at that? Of course not. Why should they know how it's spelled?

                            And how am I supposed to know if the next Somalian I somehow bump into speaks my language, especially so if the last couple of them didn't?

                            Anyway, I'm not sure if racism is just another form of tribalism as some of you seem to suggest. Sure, we're a species of herd mammals but strictly speaking there's no automatic disparagament, no hostility towards a third party in the mere act of banding together with people whose features resemble our own. I'm perfectly able of listening only to post rock without hating people who prefer rap.
                            Hostility is not automatic but mistrust may be. Our brains are biologically wired to evaluate a person in the first 30 sec and link the picture with pre-registered stereotypes including symbolic ones
                            (like color of your dresses or how the hair is trimmed)
                            A very muscular person is often associated with lack of brain, glasses are often associated with intelectualism, etc etc
                            Of course stereotypes evolve with the society
                            But given how quickly we are judging another person by its look (again, it's biologically programmed as such) people tend to gather among the same standard circles and be careful of those not up to their standards. It take sometimes a bit of time to bypass that.
                            If i take again the example of Papua tribes, when two foreign tribes not knowing each other meet, the first moves are move of prudence and wariness (up to have weapons almost raised)
                            There is however (according to anthropologists at least) a universal way to defuse the tension : a smile

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Mordoror View Post
                              There is however (according to anthropologists at least) a universal way to defuse the tension : a smile
                              Oi, the last time I smiled "to defuse the tension" they'd snapped at me all like "What the fuck are you smiling at, dipshit?"
                              A couple of weeks ago I read a curious interview with Alice Weidel, a German right-wing politician who's a lesbian. She spoke of some sort of road feud she'd been engaged in with a neighbor of hers. The recklessness of BMW drivers is a popular stereotype in these parts, and that's the very stereotype that neighbour was said to have used in an insult against her. Eventually though the neighbor must have had learnt who and what Weidel was and suddenly began making crude remarks on her sexuality when next they clashed on the road. In either case Weidel's way of driving was the real reason for their quarrel.
                              Is this what you (and hollis) hinted at? You know, racist behavior as a vehicle of sorts, like clutching at every straw to insult someone or to dissociate oneself from them, without paying heed to the actual nature of the distinctive feature?

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                              • #45
                                Oi, the last time I smiled "to defuse the tension" they'd snapped at me all like "What the fuck are you smiling at, dipshit?"
                                You mean it works among cannibal head hunting tribes and not anymore among civilized people ? Make you guess who is the primitive sometimes

                                Is this what you (and hollis) hinted at? You know, racist behavior as a vehicle of sorts, like clutching at every straw to insult someone or to dissociate oneself from them, without paying heed to the actual nature of the distinctive feature?
                                Yes
                                Like you know every muslim is a terrorist, every white man is a colonialist pig, every man is a misogynist rapist, every blonde is stupid and every gay is a queer

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