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Author Topic: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?  (Read 3914 times)

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Online HairyHeretic

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2018, 06:23:14 PM »
My understanding was that racism was the belief in the superiority/inferiority of one race compared to another, which then manifests itself in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. If it is being done through an official or social system, wouldn't that make it institutional racism? Racism at the personal level is still racism, if A is reacting badly towards B as a result of their perceived ethnicity.

Racism is a form of prejudice, but humanity has never had a shortage of ways of dividing the world into us and them, and treating them badly as a result of it.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2018, 08:26:39 PM »
Racism and prejudice are not the same thing. Racism is institutional; the suffix -ism is used to denote a system (which, at least in the west, is a system of white supremacy). Prejudice is individual; anyone can be prejudiced towards anyone else, with or without factoring in their skin colour. POC can certainly be prejudiced towards white people, but that is not racism because there is no system in place that oppresses white people.

I've honestly never been a fan of this push to redefine racism as the word has none of these conditions attached that people are pushing for. There is no, "You're only racist if..." attach power, privilege, majority, and so on as needed. If you discriminate against someone because of their skin colour, you're racist, end of story.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2018, 12:07:18 AM »
Coincidentally, I made a very topic about this issue: The Different Definitions of Racism.

Throwing my two cents in, racism as defined as an institution is a legit definition in sociology, but sociologists also separate by both the individual and systemic levels. Overall, white people in the United States do not suffer from institutional racism, being the numeric and political dominant group. But they can suffer systemic discrimination in other countries. Many white Slavic immigrants in Turkey (and blonde women in general) often suffer discrimination at the hands of police based on the perception that they're prostitutes. Prostitution is legal in Turkey, and there are many Eastern European women in sex work there, but a combination of factors (less legal representation, police harassment, etc) result in discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and race beyond an individual level.

As for my two cents, debates of this nature should settle on a common definition, otherwise everyone talks over everyone else. I should also warn people to be very wary of people who use a definition to deflect someone's faults and prejudices. "I can't be racist, I'm X" or "this person can't be racist, he doesn't believe in a Master Race!"

Online la dame en noir

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2018, 02:20:30 AM »
Coincidentally, I made a very topic about this issue: The Different Definitions of Racism.

Throwing my two cents in, racism as defined as an institution is a legit definition in sociology, but sociologists also separate by both the individual and systemic levels. Overall, white people in the United States do not suffer from institutional racism, being the numeric and political dominant group. But they can suffer systemic discrimination in other countries. Many white Slavic immigrants in Turkey (and blonde women in general) often suffer discrimination at the hands of police based on the perception that they're prostitutes. Prostitution is legal in Turkey, and there are many Eastern European women in sex work there, but a combination of factors (less legal representation, police harassment, etc) result in discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and race beyond an individual level.

As for my two cents, debates of this nature should settle on a common definition, otherwise everyone talks over everyone else. I should also warn people to be very wary of people who use a definition to deflect someone's faults and prejudices. "I can't be racist, I'm X" or "this person can't be racist, he doesn't believe in a Master Race!"
Thank you! You took the words right out of my mouth.

Being that I"m one of the few vocal POC/WOC in this forum, I haven't said much in a while because this forum "seems" too be more white than anything else. If I say anything about how I feel, how the world works for me, and how I've experienced things, I have often been told to shut up - that I'm angry(angry black woman stereotype) and been "educated"

So It's nice when others get it.

Offline blue bunny sparkle

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2018, 08:50:36 PM »
Thought you all might be interested in this:

The vandalism of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas.


It is a small Chapel dedicated to all faiths and inclusive of all. It also includes 14 paintings by Mark Rothko as well as many books and spiritual texts from different religions. Outside there is a reflecting pool and a large sculpture dedicated to Rev. Martin Luther King.

Website for those interested: http://www.rothkochapel.org/learn/about/


Yesterday it was vandalized with paint and littered with the "It's okay to be white" tag.

Link for those interested: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Houston-s-Rothko-Chapel-vandalized-with-paint-12931429.php

I personally find it terribly sad that such an inclusive space was targeted with something that brings about separatism.




Offline Scribbles

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #80 on: May 23, 2018, 02:04:27 AM »
I personally find it terribly sad that such an inclusive space was targeted with something that brings about separatism.

Unfortunately, that's probably why it was targeted, these people aren't exactly fans of inclusivity...

Offline Captain Maltese

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #81 on: May 28, 2018, 03:15:27 PM »
Thought you all might be interested in this:

The vandalism of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas.


It is a small Chapel dedicated to all faiths and inclusive of all. It also includes 14 paintings by Mark Rothko as well as many books and spiritual texts from different religions. Outside there is a reflecting pool and a large sculpture dedicated to Rev. Martin Luther King.

Website for those interested: http://www.rothkochapel.org/learn/about/


Yesterday it was vandalized with paint and littered with the "It's okay to be white" tag.

Link for those interested: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Houston-s-Rothko-Chapel-vandalized-with-paint-12931429.php

I personally find it terribly sad that such an inclusive space was targeted with something that brings about separatism.

Allow me to be a little dubious. In the near past a number of other cultural places have been vandalized. It is my distinct impression that this is some times counterprovocation; acts done by one side with the intent to put the blame on the other political side of the spectrum. Yes some people are really so blind to the consequences and counterproductivity of their actions that they would do stuff like this and think they make a statement, but this is the 21st century and trolling isn't just an online thing any more.

I hope there were security cameras and that the guys who made this 'art' get to make a statement before court. I HATE vandalism.

Online Oniya

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #82 on: May 28, 2018, 03:50:46 PM »
I read some of the articles, and it implied that security cameras were not in place at the time of the incident - possibly due to the 'it can't possibly happen here' mindset.  (Honestly, I can't recall ever seeing security cameras in any type of chapel in my life.)

There was mention of pamphlets being scattered, though.  Fingerprints would be my first instinct.

Offline elone

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #83 on: May 28, 2018, 04:50:28 PM »
Fortunately no permanent damage.Mentioned they may put security cameras there.  Some more information here:

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/rothko-chapel-vandalised-with-white-supremacist-messages

Offline Prosak

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #84 on: June 15, 2018, 01:49:22 PM »
It is ok to be white, or any other race. I think the reason people would feel the need to put signs up like this is because there is this feeling of animosity towards whites these days. A justified feeling, as there are groups right now which hold open animosity towards whites. And other groups can easily be perceived as having animosity over whites, such as modern feminism. It is undeniable, that most white americans, mostly males feel like they are under attack. Im certain people may feel they are not actually being attacked but as I stated, the notion and feeling is undeniable. The problem is not, is it racist to say it is ok to be white. The problem is, they feel the need to say it! So I personally implore those reading this comment to look into themselves, modern political landscape, as well as what these people may be going through. And ask. Why do they feel attacked for being white? And what can I DO, to make a difference and remind everyone, we all have a place in the conversation. We are all ok to be human.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #85 on: June 15, 2018, 04:10:34 PM »
It is ok to be white, or any other race. I think the reason people would feel the need to put signs up like this is because there is this feeling of animosity towards whites these days. A justified feeling, as there are groups right now which hold open animosity towards whites. And other groups can easily be perceived as having animosity over whites, such as modern feminism. It is undeniable, that most white americans, mostly males feel like they are under attack. Im certain people may feel they are not actually being attacked but as I stated, the notion and feeling is undeniable. The problem is not, is it racist to say it is ok to be white. The problem is, they feel the need to say it! So I personally implore those reading this comment to look into themselves, modern political landscape, as well as what these people may be going through. And ask. Why do they feel attacked for being white? And what can I DO, to make a difference and remind everyone, we all have a place in the conversation. We are all ok to be human.

Or it's just a smokescreen for hate groups, as has been demonstrated earlier in this thread. I get the fact that there are dumb identity politics types who phrase things very poorly or outright do hate white people in general, but those who go far right and aligning oneself with bigoted groups makes me lose all sympathy for those people.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #86 on: June 15, 2018, 04:14:49 PM »
Or it's just a smokescreen for hate groups, as has been demonstrated earlier in this thread. I get the fact that there are dumb identity politics types who phrase things very poorly or outright do hate white people in general, but those who go far right and aligning oneself with bigoted groups makes me lose all sympathy for those people.

+1

Offline Prosak

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2018, 05:39:32 PM »
A smoke screen? A lot of white people out there feel like their race is being vilianized right now. Look all over the internet past the trolls and the bigoted, lots of people feel like white people are being vilianized. And if it is a smokescreen, then it was a smokescreen voted for our president. Because Trump is only a radical result of people not knowing how to retaliate against radical leftism.

Offline Prosak

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2018, 05:45:10 PM »
Upon reading the rest of the thread I've seen the links you describe, my comment was a response to the Initial post. However I stand by the opinion that white Americans feel vilianized by the left.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #89 on: June 15, 2018, 05:52:46 PM »
A smoke screen? A lot of white people out there feel like their race is being vilianized right now. Look all over the internet past the trolls and the bigoted, lots of people feel like white people are being vilianized. And if it is a smokescreen, then it was a smokescreen voted for our president. Because Trump is only a radical result of people not knowing how to retaliate against radical leftism.

Yes, a smokescreen. It isnt exactly as bad as 4chan and other online places make it look. Sure, there are moments where people seem to jump on the hate wagon (epsecially on tumblr) but there isnt some shadowy war on white people. The main source of this feeling is the sensationalist and overblown reporting by people on the extreme right making every little act of racism or bigotry against Caucasians look far bigger and more grandiose than it is. Or they take something that looks like it might be based on that, and spin a yarn to make it so. Though there are also extremists on the left who make every little thing seem as if it is a racist act even when its done out of ignorance or really not that offensive. The two sides are feeding into eachother and cooler heads fail to prevail.

Don't forget that we also have more Nazis and white supremacists proudly walking the streets than in the past decade, and its only further enflaming feelings on both sides. People on the left are moving to sniff out any sign of racism and people on the right feel like they are being lumped in with the racists and some are possibly joining them as a result of that and its all becoming one big clusterfuck.

Trump's election has something to do with this, but its not the sole reason for why he was elected. It had a fair bit to do with many Americans fed up with the establishment and feeling that this was the greatest middle finger they could ever give to the government. (And possibly some Russian involvement.) And we are all now suffering for it. *crying inside at the mockery he has made of the US*

Offline Dallas

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #90 on: June 15, 2018, 06:57:11 PM »
I feel that it is dangerously ignorant to presume intent behind a message like this. The same might be said for overly critical speculation. The statement is too open-ended and it does not display an attack a target, nor does it declare any tone of superiority. All that can be gathered from what is written is perhaps enabling or perhaps consolation. To transpose the sentence like this into "White Power!" or something similar is... well, just remarkably ignorant, even if that is the intention. The point is, we don't truly know the intention behind the word. We might have racists say it, we might have others say it. All we have for options is speculation in this given equation.

If I were to say "Racism hurts our country", there is really no harm in it, as people might generally agree that we have problems with it, right now. However, were I to make an addendum to it, selecting a given party as the problem's root cause, however...

"Racism is hurting this country, white people need to wake up."

"Racism is hurting this country, black people need to quit making excuses."

... then I might see where one might make an argument on intention (vis-a-vi attacking a race or projecting, etc.). In this case I would be a hypocrite, declaring a problem I take issue with and perpetuating it. Anything else without more to work with is essentially presuming one's guilt before even considering their innocence.

I would like some of you to keep this in mind. Agree, be mad at me... either is fine. But please... think on this. That is all I ask.

Offline Skynet

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #91 on: June 15, 2018, 07:06:31 PM »
I feel that it is dangerously ignorant to presume intent behind a message like this. The same might be said for overly critical speculation. The statement is too open-ended and it does not display an attack a target, nor does it declare any tone of superiority. All that can be gathered from what is written is perhaps enabling or perhaps consolation. To transpose the sentence like this into "White Power!" or something similar is... well, just remarkably ignorant, even if that is the intention. The point is, we don't truly know the intention behind the word. We might have racists say it, we might have others say it. All we have for options is speculation in this given equation.

If I were to say "Racism hurts our country", there is really no harm in it, as people might generally agree that we have problems with it, right now. However, were I to make an addendum to it, selecting a given party as the problem's root cause, however...

"Racism is hurting this country, white people need to wake up."

"Racism is hurting this country, black people need to quit making excuses."

... then I might see where one might make an argument on intention (vis-a-vi attacking a race or projecting, etc.). In this case I would be a hypocrite, declaring a problem I take issue with and perpetuating it. Anything else without more to work with is essentially presuming one's guilt before even considering their innocence.

I would like some of you to keep this in mind. Agree, be mad at me... either is fine. But please... think on this. That is all I ask.

At risk of repeating myself...

Also another article, a church which Martin Luther King dedicated was vandalized by flyers, some of which contained that slogan. They were littered in the outdoor pond and elsewhere.

Not hard to find intent when it's this loud a dog whistle.

Staff edit: I have changed the word 'managed' to 'dedicated' at user request to prevent a triple-post. -Bly
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 07:37:07 PM by Blythe »

Offline Skynet


Offline Dallas

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2018, 07:36:49 PM »
At risk of repeating myself...

Also another article, a church which Martin Luther King managed was vandalized by flyers, some of which contained that slogan. They were littered in the outdoor pond and elsewhere.

Not hard to find intent when it's this loud a dog whistle.

I think you may have missed my point. I am not talking about a group of people that might use the phrase... I am talking about the phrase itself and the dangers of canning everyone that uses these words with that group of people that might also use this phrase to bad ends.

You have BLM supporters preaching their cause, some declaring that their movement is something different than a small group of people under the guise of "BLM" openly assaulting people on the streets and subways and what not. That doesn't automatically mean that all people that say "Black Lives Matter" believe or support these actions. But presuming intent before even attempting to communicate breeds this exact problem.

Let us say a percentage of people are tagging buildings with "It's okay to be white". Let's say this percentage belongs  to white supremecy groups. Hell, let's say one white supremacist tagged it. I do not like vandalism. I don't care for the phrase itself, either. The equalist in me would dilute the message on a more human level.

But if a "group" tags this phrase with intent as some sort of attack or social breach (in this case, "race")... this does not mean that everyone uttering the phrase is magically racist, or generally malign of intention by association. That is generally my point.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #94 on: June 15, 2018, 07:40:18 PM »

But if a "group" tags this phrase with intent as some sort of attack or social breach (in this case, "race")... this does not mean that everyone uttering the phrase is magically racist, or generally malign of intention by association. That is generally my point.


eehhh to an extent. Its sort of like how the swastika existed long before the Nazis used it, and in placed like India it can actually mean Peace. But after it has been appropriated by a hate group, at a certain point it cannot be saved. The phrase 'its okay to be white' is so bland its designed to cause the controversy and arguments we are having now. And since white supremacists are appropriating it for their own uses, its best to abandon the phrase like a cancerous tumor because the cancer of hate already has it. Save your battles for another day and for something that requires this level of energy.

Offline Dallas

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #95 on: June 15, 2018, 07:59:49 PM »
That is generally why I don't like the phrase. Heh, I had a similar discussion with some in our 'cerebral peers' group. Comparing a phrase to a symbol, however... is somewhat different. A crucifix might suggest that one is a hardcore Christian that hates gays and abortion. It can also mean that you have a polite God-fearing neighbor that minds his or her own business, and maybe not even be a bible thumper. It is just... dangerous to be overly hasty. But I generally agree with you.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #96 on: June 15, 2018, 08:06:27 PM »
That is generally why I don't like the phrase. Heh, I had a similar discussion with some in our 'cerebral peers' group. Comparing a phrase to a symbol, however... is somewhat different. A crucifix might suggest that one is a hardcore Christian that hates gays and abortion. It can also mean that you have a polite God-fearing neighbor that minds his or her own business, and maybe not even be a bible thumper. It is just... dangerous to be overly hasty. But I generally agree with you.

It is dangerous to be overly hasty and we must try to get all of the facts first, but certain symbols, when paired together with context clues and usage, have very clear meaning.

It does remind me of something that happened on Tumblr where someone posted image of Spain celebrating Semana Santa, the holy week being celebrated in Spain, and there are people known as Nazarenos, who dress in robes that sadly have a much different meaning on our side of the pond.

But tumblr lost its mind because they thought that it was images of the KKK, even after people started pointing out that this was from Spain and other cultures also dress in hooded robes and it means different things in different parts of the world.

Offline Dallas

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Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #97 on: June 15, 2018, 09:51:50 PM »
It is dangerous to be overly hasty and we must try to get all of the facts first, but certain symbols, when paired together with context clues and usage, have very clear meaning.

Heh, dammit Bride, I can't be mad at you.  :-) But it doesn't really feel like we are at odds. You have always been civil with me, even so. But yes, I very much agree woth your point. It is important to look at the details that are there and acknowledge what is clear when all of the variables in the equation point to that outcome.

I have always been a man about the details, often disappointed by the people that take what is what is at face value. Or worse; pre-emptively choosing a conclusion that one likes based on what facts they prefer to consider without paying mind of other elements in the equation that don't readily comply with it.

Because my peers are mostly younger, I often get upset at how quick people can be to presume or draw grandiose conclusions that might overshadow the scope of whatever the real issue might be.

Offline Mera1506

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #98 on: June 16, 2018, 03:56:12 AM »
Considering many companies these days do diversity hiring and not just for more women, the BBC in Great Brittain had an add out saying: Whites need not apply... Now that is racist... And as a brittisch tax payer you're forced to fund the BBC.

Offline Captain Maltese

Re: Is it racist to say "It's ok to be white"?
« Reply #99 on: June 16, 2018, 07:07:13 AM »
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.