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Author Topic: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?  (Read 3915 times)

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Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #100 on: June 16, 2018, 02:40:33 PM »
I am not sure how relevant this is. Little Norway, up here in Scandinavia, have had quite an refugee influx especially the last decade along with the rest of Europe. I'm not wasting time on explaining European or Norwegian politics on this; the fact is none the less that we get a lot of newcomers from the Middle East and Africa. When I was a kid, seeing a foreign skin color in my own rural town was downright exotic. That is not the case any more.

Here is the strange thing though. We actually have LESS racism now than back when I was a kid. Even hard line semi-lunatic rabid right wingers don't throw around racist slurs, and you could round up every last of those guys in the whole country and fit them into two schoolbuses and there would still be empty seats. We have black and other non-white guys in the national soccer team, in the sprinting team, as international boxing champions, and so on.

What we have gotten instead is religious-ism. People who will be hard pressed to even call Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama black, will get into heated arguments about islam without blinking. Lines have been drawn in every European country by now and the liberal social left wing, long the dominant factor of politics in the entire EU, is wilting away as population after population takes a sharper and sharper right turn. The socio-economic effect of massive immigration under pretense of political asylum is getting heavy but your average European isn't really hurting under it. Not yet. But people who can hardly tell which parties are involved in their own parliament is discussing islam; moderate versus Wahhabism, who is funding the mosques, terror of course - but skin color is not part of the discussion. We may look down at other cultures, just like other cultures look down at us, but nobody are saying that the faults of the 'other' are something caused by breeding and that this or that color is 'superior'. This is a conflict which is not racial. Maybe we have all developed a little after all.

I don't think that Islamophobia and not saying slurs in public is a good means of measuring progress. I can just as easily point to the USA Southern states today with this same logic. Beyond a few news-worthy headlines, you will almost never hear a white person say the n-word in public, and especially not when they think a black person may be present. But they'll be more than happy to say all sorts of other things short of slurs if they feel that they're in good company.

Also racism, especially European racism from what I've heard from friends from that continent, still manifests even with groups who look physically identical to the majority population. Milosevic's Serbian ethnostate and Nazi Germany were violently racist towards groups who in the present-day US would be seen as white.

Another thing to note is that many anti-Muslim groups aren't keen enough to differentiate or bother learning differences to ensure that they're not discriminating against a Sikh, an Arab Christian, etc. The Nelson Mandela/Obama argument is not exactly strong, as many racist groups have a tendency to be most hateful towards minority groups who who are both more numerous and present in their home countries than ones whose population is far-off and negligible. I recall hearing that in Paris many citizens are respectful towards sub-Saharan Africans, but lord help you if you have an Arab or Roma name.

Offline RedRose

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #101 on: June 16, 2018, 03:08:40 PM »
Roma people are discriminated upon in every European country I know of, and they do not have representatives that could help disspell this… It's very problematic.
I won't deny that racism in Paris and France in general, Arabs wise, has increased a lot since "migrants". I also won't deny that there have been changes leading to that, on top of course of plain racism. What you may hear in the fake news isn't "normal" or "everywhere", but it is happening, and for people who live there… OY. Thinking of course of Calais, but also of some Parisian neighbourhoods.

I do remember a time when discrimination both ways wasn't just as common. You didn't hear of getting stabbed for a short, you also didn't have 'normal' people openly saying they will vote for Le Pen in order to get rid of the Muslims. People also seemed to find it easier to drop a topic. It's like being hardcore militant about ANYTHING is getting normal. I'm still not really seeing people breaking up friendships of decades over what would be the equivalent of Hilary vs Trump, but perhaps it will become a thing.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2018, 03:11:17 PM »
Also racism, especially European racism from what I've heard from friends from that continent, still manifests even with groups who look physically identical to the majority population. Milosevic's Serbian ethnostate and Nazi Germany were violently racist towards groups who in the present-day US would be seen as white.

I've heard this in several places before. Once was from this discussion of how the Nazi Reich openly saw those of different countries as different races. French were something like the Franco race, the English were the Anglo race, etc.

There is also that scene in American Gods that touches on it.


Its sadly just a part of human nature. Even if we don't have any differences, we will find one, or invent one, to make one better than the other and give us a reason to fight. We haven't risen above the primal part of ourselves yet. We technically still have tribes, we just call them Countries now.

Offline RedRose

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #103 on: June 16, 2018, 03:21:45 PM »
Yeah, the Nazis saw various races, though not necessarily by country - Dutch people might well have been Aryan if they had the right characteristics, say. They also didn't recognize Alsace as being part of France at all.
Obviously it doesn't work as you can be German and very dark, just as some Jews and Romas are blond/blue (I did check for the last one on Google just to make sure, but yup!). French generally are more light Brown to dark Brown hair. Complexion varies wildly between South and North.

Offline Captain Maltese

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #104 on: June 16, 2018, 03:28:51 PM »
Skynet, my point isn't that there are not a lot of conflicts any more. But I like to think that they are mostly cultural. The dividing lines go between cultures, of which religions are one. Yes, bad things are said about this people group and that - and you should hear how Scandinavians are talked about in Spanish territories - but my point is that it is the cultures of our groups that are clashing. We single out the groups we disagree with, but not based on assumptions of biological superiority or inferiority.  I realize that 'we' is a pretty big word within the diversity of an entire global population, but it is the trend I see. And we were talking about racism.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #105 on: June 16, 2018, 03:55:22 PM »
Skynet, my point isn't that there are not a lot of conflicts any more. But I like to think that they are mostly cultural. The dividing lines go between cultures, of which religions are one. Yes, bad things are said about this people group and that - and you should hear how Scandinavians are talked about in Spanish territories - but my point is that it is the cultures of our groups that are clashing. We single out the groups we disagree with, but not based on assumptions of biological superiority or inferiority.  I realize that 'we' is a pretty big word within the diversity of an entire global population, but it is the trend I see. And we were talking about racism.

You're coming from the point that social perceptions of race and the mindset of racism is mostly/entirely biological axis, and that culture and nationality are separate issues. Racism and bigotry are not limited to just thinking that say, there's an "Arab gene" which makes middle easterners violent or a "Latino gene" which makes people from Mexico capable of having many children. The "it's not genetics, it's their culture" can just as easily be used to argue in favor of discrimination, segregation, and otherwise poor treatment of a group. When it comes down to it, a lot of people freaking out about the Syrian refugees aren't just Neo-Nazis glued to biological determinism, but also people who say that the environments and circumstances said refugees grew up in necessitates sending them out of Europe in the belief that they will never integrate into society.

Also going back to the discussion on Jews and other European groups with physically identical features, what we think of as "race" is not set in stone but in fact the definition has changed based on societal perceptions. Italians and Greeks were not considered members of the white race in the USA until the mid-50s, and Irish were seen as their own race until the early 1900s. Latinos in the USA are actually a good example of this: they come in all skin tones and have diverse genetics, but mainstream America groups them as a racial monologue and in the case of many Trump supporters view them all as not-white. That doesn't make anti-Latino attitudes any less racist when they can look like all sorts of people.

Offline MisledBloodshed

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #106 on: June 24, 2018, 10:06:20 PM »
Thing i've noticed is the issue isn't so much with the question as the reasons behind the questions. There shouldn't be a question that its 'ok' to be white. There shouldn't be a question that it's 'ok' to be any colour, really. People are people.

The problem is, there's a whole lot of people out there that do think it's not ok to be something other than white, and those people tend to be white themselves. There's people out there that'd kill someone for being black. So there's a lot more need to push into general acceptance that it's ok to be black.

It reminds me a lot of people asking why there's no straight pride parades. The answer is because people aren't getting kicked onto the street for being straight. Whether or not it's 'ok' to be straight isn't an issue when everyone assumes its just the default. I would look into the motives of anyone who demanded straight pride in the same way i would look into the motives of people asking if it's ok to be white, and similar questions.

Sometimes it's just because there has been a degree of hostility towards the group that person is a part of and they don't feel like they individually deserve that hostility. They probably don't. But that is generally the best case scenario. The end result of the question often involves deflecting from the issues that group is causing by claiming themselves to be just as much of a victim as everyone else. Some people 100% use that intentionally and to their own advantage.

And please, do not assume I am accusing anyone here of doing that. I'm just trying to point out that it is a tactic that has been used to silence conversations on bigotry for a very long time.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2018, 08:30:27 AM »
“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.”

― Terry Pratchett, Jingo

People will always find ways to divide up. Country. Ethnicity. Religion. Who you love. Region. Sports team. What street you live on. I'd like to hope we're slowly evolving past that, but I don't see it going away any time soon.

Offline KatieBower

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #108 on: July 10, 2018, 08:51:58 PM »
Seems to be there's a suggestion white people never face harassment or discrimination. I wonder if these people don't live in places where they represent the dominant culture. Step outside that world for a moment, and see how things work. Yo't have to go far. Even if whites are dominant at the macro-level in your country (certainly not a global phenomena!) you will find places where other cultures dominate at the micro-level.

I live in one such place.

As a tall blonde girl I stand out quite a lot. I get cat-called and harassed so often I lose count most weeks, and no my Muslim girlfriends don't get the same, even when we're out together, but I'm not blind to the fact that when we go to Broadway to shop at Sephora then the shoe is on the other foot. They're the ones being treated like outsiders. Shop girls ignore them (like they do me in my area) people say mean comments, one girl had her head-scarf ripped off by someone passing on an escalator for no reason. It's bullshit from either end.

I won't even get into stuff like finding work or other things which are all impacted as well (I'd get a job at said Sephora easier, they'd get a job at the local Myer easier for example) and before anyone says this is just because I'm a woman tell it to my house-mate who has among other things been put in hospital having a beer bottle thrown at his head from a moving car by a group telling him to get the hell out of "their" suburb.

And yes of course there are more places in this city where non-whites face this sort of treatment. Absolutely, and they are usually the nicer places with more wealth and opportunity, and this makes things tough. Totally, there are more places where non-whites are the outsiders (though I'll point out again globally speaking this isn't the case) but whether or not you can live and work in those places isn't guaranteed by white skin alone.

And sure I get it. I understand where that bottle came from, metaphorically, and Jesus I can sympathise with people who must generally feel like outsiders lashing out at people they view as having unfair advantages but many of those people aren't aren't especially advantaged (I know my house-mate certainly isn't) and do nothing to perpetuate those advantages that do exist (because they usually serve the wealthy, who we have little in common with) and we would eliminate them tomorrow if we could. Call me naive for thinking that way, but from what I see most people want basically the same things and are happy to  work with others to get it.

There are zealots on either side who don't make that an easy job. If you're posting, "it's OK to be white," signs, knowing the shit they will stir you're part of that problem, but if you'd respond to them with angry declarations about how no white person ever has faced discrimination or could benefit from such a message I'd say you might be part of the problem too. But our culture lionises people they perceive as "punching up," (even if that often means rich whites sticking it to poor whites) just as it demonises those seen as "punching down," so many are used to being congratulated for it.