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Author Topic: Being discriminated against  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2014, 07:16:44 PM »
Prejudice, no matter what the form, hurts someone, the one discriminated against and the bigot as well.

Online AndyZ

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2014, 07:58:21 PM »
La Dame en Noir, I've been thinking a lot on this one.

It has been known that white males are more likely to get out of heinous crimes before a black male would. Why is that? could someone please explain that to me?

I've spent a lot of time in places like Philadelphia, and I've thus had firsthand experience that it's not the color of the skin of the person but the locale.  I'm curious, though, whether that statistic puts in consideration for that kind of issue.

This is only a hypothesis on my part.  I don't know if it's accurate, but I would like to know, and you're obviously very educated on this issue.

Crime is pretty nasty in Philadelphia, not because of any race stuff but because it's not a good area.  So when you isolate a particular area like Philadelphia and apples-to-apples compare the races and crimes, is there a notable difference?


Offline consortium11

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2014, 12:15:18 AM »
I disagree with though.  They are using it wrongly within a given context, that's not the same as using it wrong.  A meaning has grown up around it - deliberately or otherwise, I don't know the history - within "social justice" type conversation that isn't the same as the everyday meaning.  That's fine.  You likely mean something very different when you say "the bar" at work as opposed to when you say it after a long day at work.  That's fine, neither usage is wrong, the word just means different things in different situations.  We, as a species, are smart enough to deal with that.  By and large.  The confusion for want of a better word here is solely because the fact that "racism" has two linked but different meanings in two different contexts isn't as well known as the fact that "bar" does.  The issue is education and expectation-setting.

But the change in the definition of racism isn't limited to ivory tower/academic discussions about social justice. Take the first section of this article (from everydaysexism which is intended to be the exact opposite of ivory tower/academic discussion... the inspiration for that article was a facebook discussion) for example; it goes all out with the "racism is prejudice + power" definition and attempts to explain why people who disagree (again in an everyday context) are wrong and just don't understand. The article actually does some good work in pointing out that just because something isn't racist under the new definition it can still be prejudicial or bigoted... but that runs into the "so what's the point/difference?" issue. Or this article from the same source which sticks to the same "racism is prejudice + power and if you're not saying that then you're using the word incorrectly" position and was inspired by discussion and posts outside of social justice circles (I actually agree with certain parts of the article; history means that racial terms against non-whites have far more power then those used against whites, but how and why it gets there is still wrong).

I clearly confused the issue by using "institutional".  "Racism by institutions" is institutional racism, yes.  But that's not what people mean when they use P+P racism.  The difference is that an individual can be bigoted without that falling in to a wider (and I hate myself for saying it) meta-narrative.  P+P racism refers to that meta-narrative, not to what you and I agree is correctly called institutional racism.  Sorry for the poor word choice there.

But the meta-narrative is that you have the backing of institutions and thus have power. An unemployed white "redneck" (to go with a stereotype) living on a trailer park has far less power in every meaningful sense I can think of then say Jay-Z or Barrack Obama or Aliko Dangote or Mike Adenuga or Robert L. Johnson. For the P+P definition to lead to said unnamed "unemployed white "redneck" (to go with a stereotype) living on a trailer park" being able to be racist against those figures and them not to be racist to him it can only be because he has the support of institutions. The "power" part of P+P refers to institutional power.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 03:24:02 AM by consortium11 »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2014, 05:13:33 AM »

But the meta-narrative is that you have the backing of institutions and thus have power. An unemployed white "redneck" (to go with a stereotype) living on a trailer park has far less power in every meaningful sense I can think of then say Jay-Z or Barrack Obama or Aliko Dangote or Mike Adenuga or Robert L. Johnson. For the P+P definition to lead to said unnamed "unemployed white "redneck" (to go with a stereotype) living on a trailer park" being able to be racist against those figures and them not to be racist to him it can only be because he has the support of institutions. The "power" part of P+P refers to institutional power.

Do you then disagree with the concept of petty-scale racism, as I asked about in an unanswered post upthread?

If racism requires prejudice + power, what degree of relative power do you need for it to qualify? If, just to pick two minorities at random, a black person hates Native Americans, that is prejudice. But if that person, say, owns a small restaurant and intentionally overcooks/undercooks/otherwise ruins the meals of any Native American who orders one, is that racism? It's definitely on a petty scale, rather than the societal level, but in that moment the chef does have a small bit of power over the customer, the power to make their meal enjoyable or unpleasant. Substitute white cook and black customer, Asian cook and white customer, or whatever you prefer - the concept remains the same.

Offline consortium11

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2014, 07:42:42 AM »
Do you then disagree with the concept of petty-scale racism, as I asked about in an unanswered post upthread?

My apologies; missed it above.

For me the example you give is clearly racism and is one of the issues with the P+P way of looking at things; individuals can (and do) have power completely separated from their race and how their race is doing overall. To go to the most basic level we'd all probably admit that an extremely rich white man has more power than an unemployed, bankrupt black man... but if the pair are about to have a fight and the white man is Stephen Hawking while the black man is Mike Tyson (even the old, broken down Tyson of today) then I think the power dynamic is very different.

It's why for the "it's not racism against whites/only white people can be racist" thing when looked at through P+P almost always means power in an institutional sense; the individual power dynamic between the two in a given situation is ignored for favour of the wider dynamic between the two races. It doesn't matter that Aliko Dangote is the richest person in Africa, the 43rd richest person in the world (at least in 2013) and absolutely dominates West Africa in general... because he's black and as a general rule blacks have less institutional power than white people, he can't be racist against whites. He can be prejudiced, bigotted etc etc (I should stress I'm simply using him as an example; I have no idea about Dangote's views on race) but not racist, whatever difference that makes.

Online Kythia

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Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #55 on: December 31, 2014, 08:13:35 AM »
On my phone so forgive brevity. I'll expand later. I think the issue is that individuals within an institution can be racist without the institution being institutionally racist. Imagine if that chef wasn't the owner and the owner would in fact be horrified by his behaviour. Institutional power supporting racism but not institutional racism.

Online Silk

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #56 on: December 31, 2014, 10:13:18 AM »
I don't really care for subjective views on the word racism, we have a professions set up that gives words their official meanings as far as language is concerned. With most of the results stored within Dictionaries. Here is the one from Oxford in particular: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/racism

The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races: theories of racism

It is this sort of example that matters only, if professional consensus view of the word ends up being altered then so be it. But saying Racism outside of that/ means something else is about as useful as saying a Burger is a type of drink.

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Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2014, 10:21:20 AM »
Hi Silk,

I go in to this in a little more depth in the first post of page 2, but to briefly recap:

No, you're mistaken.  We don't have "professions set up that gives words their official meanings as far as language is concerned" - that's pure and simple not a thing that exists.  Or not in English at least, some languages - French for example - do.  But in English there's no professions who define precisely what words officially mean.  Whether there should be or not is a different matter, I say no, some would say yes, but as it stands you're mistaken.  We don't.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
My apologies; missed it above.

For me the example you give is clearly racism and is one of the issues with the P+P way of looking at things; individuals can (and do) have power completely separated from their race and how their race is doing overall. To go to the most basic level we'd all probably admit that an extremely rich white man has more power than an unemployed, bankrupt black man... but if the pair are about to have a fight and the white man is Stephen Hawking while the black man is Mike Tyson (even the old, broken down Tyson of today) then I think the power dynamic is very different.

It's why for the "it's not racism against whites/only white people can be racist" thing when looked at through P+P almost always means power in an institutional sense; the individual power dynamic between the two in a given situation is ignored for favour of the wider dynamic between the two races. It doesn't matter that Aliko Dangote is the richest person in Africa, the 43rd richest person in the world (at least in 2013) and absolutely dominates West Africa in general... because he's black and as a general rule blacks have less institutional power than white people, he can't be racist against whites. He can be prejudiced, bigotted etc etc (I should stress I'm simply using him as an example; I have no idea about Dangote's views on race) but not racist, whatever difference that makes.

 I've mostly stayed quiet in this thread, I've just been reading and thinking about it, but your example made me want to post. If Dangote's views are prejudiced and he is anti-white (or at least anti anyone not African -his- type of African), I would consider that racist as well as prejudiced. The power one has as an individual is NOT a requirement to make ones views racist. All that affects is how many people your racist views (meaning a general 'you', not anyone here) impact on a daily basis. Joe Redneck from Trailortown USA could be just as racist and prejudiced as Mr. Refined and Cultured in charge of a multi-billion dollar company. Their impact in who they affect is obviously different, but they can still be both as racist as the other.

 For me at least, it doesn't matter what race/gender you are, anyone can be prejudiced and racist by their actions and views. The power/influence the person might have is irrelevant to that. It's the person themselves that is racist.

Offline roleplaying dave

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2014, 10:57:10 AM »
I've mostly stayed quiet in this thread, I've just been reading and thinking about it, but your example made me want to post. If Dangote's views are prejudiced and he is anti-white (or at least anti anyone not African -his- type of African), I would consider that racist as well as prejudiced. The power one has as an individual is NOT a requirement to make ones views racist. All that affects is how many people your racist views (meaning a general 'you', not anyone here) impact on a daily basis. Joe Redneck from Trailortown USA could be just as racist and prejudiced as Mr. Refined and Cultured in charge of a multi-billion dollar company. Their impact in who they affect is obviously different, but they can still be both as racist as the other.

 For me at least, it doesn't matter what race/gender you are, anyone can be prejudiced and racist by their actions and views. The power/influence the person might have is irrelevant to that. It's the person themselves that is racist.

I agree with you. I grew up with a racist father who was a truck driver with no real social standing who admitted his position. I held the same thoughts until I actually met those of color and found they were just normal people. Experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately some people never have or take the opportunity to get to know others.

I do believe being discriminated against is different than racism. I work in education and there are groups of people who are institutionally discriminated against, not based on race, but rather based on their economic status and where they live. There are some places where kids go to schools which are 40 to 60 years old while brand new schools are built in the same city. While it is true many of those neglected areas are were minorities live, usually black and Hispanic, there are many rural areas which are predominately or all white which get the same treatment. This type of neglect is as damaging as the isolated occurrences of racism which are highlighted in the news.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Being discriminated against
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2015, 02:26:01 PM »
And when is the last time anyone has seen a black Miss South Africa?

Ziphozakhe Zokufa would be the most recent (2014) but there's also Jacqui, Basetsana, Peggy-Sue, and so on and so forth...

Oh, it pains me to think that an entire year might pass before another black South African might be chosen to hold the title, curse those "stupid" settlers! ;)

I don't believe it's intentional or racist and I certainly don't mean to offend La Dame en Noir but your words do convey a more slanted view rather than a neutral one, so I can understand Valthazar's confusion.

I'm sad this line of thought was so promptly quashed, I would really enjoy more talk of places outside the popular Western world. I've tried working up the courage to post on areas such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Italy, Portugal, India but I always fear that it would end up an unanswered topic, quick to sink to the bottom of the board.

Back on topic...

What is happening in our school system now, that younger kids don't seem to comprehend this fact? I'm just confused, and felt the need to vent. I mean, surely not every younger person thinks like this...do they? I'd like to think that humanity is moving forward, not backward...

I actually feel the young have the best view on race and culture, there is none...

I know that's not the "young" you meant but a sight which has always left me unnerved was when I looked upon a kindergarten class and saw children mingling freely while a class pushing on their final year had a shockingly apparent line, cut right down the middle. Mind you, this may have been a unique circumstance of the schools I visited, or at least I hope so.

As for how I feel power affects racism, I prefer the simpler meaning. I'm not fond of attempts by people to create exemptions for races and cultures by applying subtle requirements to established definitions. I suppose you can argue that the English language is ever-changing and that people are free to pick and choose their own meanings but I feel that such attempts have a disturbing ripple effect, especially on the young. We're all human, we're all capable of nasty thoughts and deeds, better to embrace this fact and teach it than attempt to manipulate languages to suit your own ends...