How much of a racist are you?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Toby
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How much of a racist are you?

Postby Toby » 18 Aug 2016, 10:47

I had an intriguing conversation with a few friends recently in the aftermath of Brexit. The topic turned quickly to the matter of immigration and the problems of assimilation in the UK, which was seen as the dominant issue that produced the result. One person said "it's not about whether you are a racist or not, it's just a matter of how much of a racist you are".

This raised a few hackles, but after some further deliberation, I began to see his point. If we think of "racism" not only being the notion of one race exhibiting "superior" qualities to another, but our tendency to make general assumptions about a race or nationality, then I think the lines become very fuzzy and not binary. I suspect all of us have made particular assumptions about a people or race (i.e the Japanese are racist or the British are sexually inhibited) at some point or another, whether consciously or unconsciously.

When I worked in the dating business, it was intriguing to see just how many people would load their profiles so that they had a strong preference for someone of a similar ethnicity - and this wasn't just in more right wing papers like the Telegraph, but also in the Guardian as well. The dating market perhaps reflects the fact that many (not all obviously) people of a distinct culture or ethnicity are more comfortable meeting people like themselves rather than bridging the gap.

I realise that this is a difficult subject to discuss, but the conversation I had has stuck in my mind since and I think it's an interesting perspective.

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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby The Prof » 18 Aug 2016, 10:57

People like people that are like themselves, so it's not really surprising that people with similar interests,outlooks and behaviours flock together

Here we are on a board full of music fans for example. Facebook pushes out articles to you that you will mostly agree with.

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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Diamond Dog » 18 Aug 2016, 11:04

Everyone has inbuilt prejudice - it's overcoming those and seeing them for the irrational set of values they are, that determine whether you are still a racist.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Rayge » 18 Aug 2016, 11:05

Toby wrote: If we think of "racism" not only being the notion of one race exhibiting "superior" qualities to another, but our tendency to make general assumptions about a race or nationality, then I think the lines become very fuzzy and not binary.


Things may have changed in the last 40-odd years – in fact there's no 'may' about it – but when I was doing my doctorate (on race and literature in the USA, very broadly), racISM was about using racial origins in defining a power structure (i.e. one race being "superior" to another), rather than simply assuming personal characteristics on the basis of perceived race or nationality, which to some extent at least is part of the way humans, as animals, learn and perceive the world: I'm not sure any of us is free of this.

A brave thread to start, Toby. Let's hope it stays civilized.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Toby » 18 Aug 2016, 11:09

Rayge wrote: I'm not sure any of us is free of this.



This is what I'm getting at really. I think it's very difficult, nay impossible, to say that I am not racist. I certainly don't believe that my race is superior to others, but in terms of making generalized assumptions about people from other countries, well then I'm guilty of that.

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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Goat Boy » 18 Aug 2016, 11:25

I don't see that as racism though unless you are saying every member of that particular group exhibits these characteristics/beliefs etc

I think it's ok to point out characteristics/behaviours/beliefs etc which are prevalent enough in group to be distinguishable and commented on
without that being racist. Of course such comments are sometimes expressed as a generalisation but they shouldn't be taken literally.

The idea that everybody is a little bit racist is something that I agree with. I think we are all culturally conditioned to a degree in this respect and
unconscious racism is programmed into us at a young age. Certainly I have a voice in my head that says stupid, awful shit but I know that it's stupid awful shit because I have another voice that shuts that nonsense down. With some people they never learn that this voice is actually talking shite and therein lies the problem.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 13:36

Racism has far too many factors to take in to consideration to what EXACTLY is racism. For every example you can give, there's another that nullifies it, no matter how small or big.

EDIT: It doesn't make it right, it just happens.
Last edited by Dr Markus on 18 Aug 2016, 14:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 13:56

K wrote:
Dr Markus wrote:Racism has far too many factors to take in to consideration to what EXACTLY is racism. For every example you can give, there's another that nullifies it, no matter how small or big.

Hmm. What if I don't employ someone because of the colour of their skin? What nullifies that?



People get hired all the time because they are of the same ethnicity as the employer. It happens all the time.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 14:02

K wrote:
What the fuck are you on about? "I didn't employ that man because he is a wog. Not to worry , wogs employ other wogs all the time."


:lol:

That is the point I'm making, it can be barefaced racism or casual racism that you don't even realize you're doing. It happens all the time, no matter how angry you want to get.

EDIT: It doesn't make it right, it just happens.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 14:10

K wrote:
Dr Markus wrote:
K wrote:
What the fuck are you on about? "I didn't employ that man because he is a wog. Not to worry , wogs employ other wogs all the time."


:lol:

That is the point I'm making, it can be barefaced racism or casual racism that you don't even realize you're doing. It happens all the time, no matter how angry you want to get.

I have no idea what you are on about.


Don't worry about it.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby hippopotamus » 18 Aug 2016, 14:18

Dr Markus wrote:Racism has far too many factors to take in to consideration to what EXACTLY is racism. For every example you can give, there's another that nullifies it, no matter how small or big.



No, that's not true. Racism is racism. It's within the bounds of prejudice, but prejudice is closer to bias. People confuse all these things, and it's all very funny until there's an apartheid. It's important to get right and important to fight against.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 14:22

hippopotamus wrote:
Dr Markus wrote:Racism has far too many factors to take in to consideration to what EXACTLY is racism. For every example you can give, there's another that nullifies it, no matter how small or big.



No, that's not true. Racism is racism. It's within the bounds of prejudice, but prejudice is closer to bias. People confuse all these things, and it's all very funny until there's an apartheid. It's important to get right and important to fight against.



The n word is obviously racist.

So does that make this white guy a racist?

Image


Or does that fact that his black friend seems ok with it nullify it in this instance?

I full understand the difference between bias and racism, but looking out for your own in the example I gave above can be classed as racism too. Intentional or passive.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Goat Boy » 18 Aug 2016, 15:15

Are we all racists now then Markus?
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 15:26

Goat Boy wrote:Are we all racists now then Markus?




Goat Boy wrote:The idea that everybody is a little bit racist is something that I agree with. I think we are all culturally conditioned to a degree in this respect and
unconscious racism is programmed into us at a young age. Certainly I have a voice in my head that says stupid, awful shit but I know that it's stupid awful shit because I have another voice that shuts that nonsense down. With some people they never learn that this voice is actually talking shite and therein lies the problem.



I agree.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Goat Boy » 18 Aug 2016, 15:37

Feckin Greeks!
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Dr Markus » 18 Aug 2016, 15:42

K wrote:
Dr Markus wrote:I full understand the difference between bias and racism.


Evidence would suggest otherwise.



Ok.
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Foxhound » 18 Aug 2016, 15:43

Yet another example of this board's ongoing obsession with questions of race.

:roll:

Toby wrote:When I worked in the dating business, it was intriguing to see just how many people would load their profiles so that they had a strong preference for someone of a similar ethnicity... The dating market perhaps reflects the fact that many (not all obviously) people of a distinct culture or ethnicity are more comfortable meeting people like themselves rather than bridging the gap.


Okay, I'll bite. It's perfectly natural for people to look for a mate of similar ethnicity. Easier to fit into family gatherings and the like, and of course anything that eliminates/reduces potential areas of stress in a long-term relationship is a very good thing.

If you want to call that "racism", fine. So be it. What then is wrong with racism?

:?:
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby WG Kaspar » 18 Aug 2016, 15:46

Goat Boy wrote:Feckin Greeks!

OUTRAGEOUS!!!
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Polishgirl » 18 Aug 2016, 16:02

Foxhound wrote: Easier to fit into family gatherings and the like


Why so?
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Re: How much of a racist are you?

Postby Foxhound » 18 Aug 2016, 16:15

Similar upbringings, shared experiences, etc.

Perhaps I should have said "It's perfectly natural for people to look for a mate of similar ethnicity because their similar upbringings might eliminate/reduce potential areas of stress in a long-term relationship which is a very good thing."

I really have very little interest in questions of race, however (other than hearing the term "racist" tossed about to browbeat people on political issues can/will act to get my back up). I would have completely ignored this thread if I wasn't really furious with Toby for having gone out of his way to be a dick to me in another thread a couple of days ago.

So carry on with your navel gazing. Like I say, it's of limited interest to me.
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