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Racism: Inevitable?


Leper Messiah
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An interesting thought from a friend of mine today which I do kind of agree with. Basically the thought is that everyone has a negative initial reaction to a person of another color/culture instinctively. You might be more distrusting of someone who is different. Where not being a racist comes in is the ability to easily overcome this "automatic" reaction and take people for who they are. Racists are people who do not listen to what is reasonable and stick with this first impression.

 

As I say I knid of agree, but not completely. I would say I have a distrusting reaction to Chavs (British reference, it basically means lower middle class thugs who were wish they were gangster rappers) and Goths so I do see how people have such an instant reaction, and indeed the key is in overcoming it with basic human behaviour. However I don't think I've had such a reaction on racial lines. When I put this to my friend he came back with the idea that in todays society its so beaten into us that we must not be racist or prejudiced against different cultures that if we do have such a reaction we may not even acknowledge it to ourselves let alone others, because nobody wants to admit racism in any form because its the short road to being labelled in any number of unpleasant ways.

 

I should point out neither my friend nor I in any way condone racism in any way, shape or form. I just thought my friends point was worthy of discussion which is that rather than racism being just something we strive to prevent some people from promoting, it is also something which the decent person has learnt to supress in themselves as opposed to it never having been present at all.

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I probably agree with your "friend". :D

 

It s only natural to have a distrustful/cautious approach to new people/experiences. However the best approach is usually to have an open mind and give something a try... you usually find it isn't as different, weird or scary as you may have thought.

 

There is also the issue of stereotypes or limited information. When i see groups of chavs in caps having fights on tv all the time and then walk home and see a group of chavs, it is only natural to associate the two images. The same with gangs of kids, or the images of black gang members that we see. Of course, as soon as you have contact with a number of people from any group you usually find that they are all very diverse and not all like the sterotype.

 

Of course, often you don't have any chance to experience such wider contact, so it is understandable that you wouldn't find it easy to overcome the stereotype.

 

I went around china a few years back and i stood out as much as a black guy in exeter (my home town). Everyone looked at me all the time, treated me with caution, etc... Which is because they never see white people. But go to hong kong where therear loads of white people and they don't even notice.

 

Add to that that it is often very easy and conveinient to have someone to hate/blame/look down on and it is easy to see why some people never overcome their initial trepidation, and sometime even work it up in their own head to total hatred.

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Three points:

 

1. It's good strategy to distrust people who are lower class. They're statistically more likely to want your wallet and/or to molest you sexually. Thus, I watch chavs like a hawk... but I also watch lower class black people, lower class chinese people, hell, all peasants, like a hawk. I've had trouble with poor white people, and poor black people. So I've learned to discriminate against goddamn peasants.

 

No, I'm not joking.

 

2. People from 15-35 years of age are more likely to give you hassle, especially in roving gangs. So yes, I look askance on groups of youths, whatever their racial extraction.

 

But:

 

3. I distrust any group of people that separate themselves from society at large in any way. America separates itself from the international community, so does Israel. That's why I distrust them. And segregationist elements in all of the ethnic minority groups in my country do the same. These elements have a "them or us" mentality. It's a sad fact that I've seen more racism in schools and on the street being perpetrated by black people first hand than I've ever seen perpetrated by white people first hand.

 

Anyone can be racist. Remember that. And down with segregation and segregationists.

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America separates itself from the international community

But Americans travel abroad more than any other nationality. Americans have more citizens living abroad than any other nationality. Americans conduct more international business than any other nationality. Americans accept more foreign immigrants than any other country. Americans are more tolerant of foreigners than any other nationality. And Americans are more outgoing than any other nationality. Have you even met an American in person? If racism is predetermination of someone's value based on their appearance, then what is predetermination of someone's value based on their nationality?

 

Spider Al wrote:

And down with segregation and segregationists.
And yet he also posted the following:

I don't want Americans in my neighborhood.

How can both ideas come from the same person? How should we respond? Should we say 'down with Spider AL?'

 

I don't view racism as inevitable. It can be suppressed through years of education. My general perception is that Americans are less racist than in the past, at least outwardly, as expressed through public laws (such as voting rights, rights of assembly, integration of schools, etc.) But there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of equal opportunity for people of all races.

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Originally posted by Leper Messiah

Basically the thought is that everyone has a negative initial reaction to a person of another color/culture instinctively. You might be more distrusting of someone who is different.

 

This hypothesis is easily dismissed as invalid. Racist tendencies are culturally learned not innate. You can observe this in toddlers at play areas. They will not typically discriminate based on ethnicities or "race." Often, they won't even discriminate who they chose to play with based on gender.

 

Race is a concept created by those that wish to find reasons to exclude those that aren't close in resemblance to their own perceived group. It really doesn't exist as a discrete method of classification for H. sapiens. Particularly not one that is usable.

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But Americans travel abroad more than any other nationality.
And take no understanding home.

Americans have more citizens living abroad than any other nationality.
If so, it says something about the desirability of life within your great nation. :rolleyes:
Americans conduct more international business than any other nationality.
Slapping branches of your offensive multinational corporations in other countries can hardly be deemed a service to mankind.
Americans accept more foreign immigrants than any other country.
Cheap labour is always welcomed in an inherently exploitative society.
And Americans are more outgoing than any other nationality.
Loud and uncouth, would be my terminology. :)
Have you even met an American in person?
Yes, the Bush-supporting Americans I've met have been variously ignorant, loud and uncouth or all three at once.
If racism is predetermination of someone's value based on their appearance
Appearance? It's based on race, sonny. Hence "racism".
then what is predetermination of someone's value based on their nationality?
In the case of a dumbed-down, warmongering nation, It's called common sense. Can you guess where we're going with this? :p

 

How can both ideas come from the same person? How should we respond? Should we say 'down with Spider AL?'
Discriminating against someone on the basis of their race is, I think you'll find, quite a different than judging someone by their political orientation. I dislike Bush supporters because they're all either ignorant, fascists, or both. I say this because there is no other reason for voting for an obviously ignorant, obvious fascist, that I can see.

 

 

Skin:

Racist tendencies are culturally learned not innate.
This is somewhat misleading as a statement. Discrimination seems to be closer to the surface of man than most people would like to admit. The famous Zimbardo's prison experiment showed that humans are predisposed to attach themselves to cliques, and to consider their clique superior to all other, inferior cliques. It showed that this discriminatory tendency lowers barriers of self-control in people, causing them to be more willing to commit violence against others. The behaviour can be observed in other higher primates. It's inbuilt, to my mind.

 

As for happy kids of all races playing together, toddlers do a lot of things that adults don't do. Learned behaviour is also inevitable, in some cases. And schoolkids as soon as they get older, start to discriminate against WHOEVER they can.

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Discriminating against someone on the basis of their race is, I think you'll find, quite a different than judging someone by their political orientation.

But you said you didn't want any Americans in your neighboorhood. Based on your sadly paranoid anti-American postings, you're a culturally prejudiced segregationist, plain and simple. You should condemn yourself, if you stand by your 'principle' of 'down with segregation.'

 

I also forgot to mention above that more foreign students come to participate in the American univeristy/college system than to any other country. This reflects well the internationally recognized value of an American multicultural higher education.

 

No, by all measures, America has not 'separated itself from the international community.' To the contrary the US has extensive, deep and long-lasting international ties.

 

Here is a beautiful map that quite literally and dramatically illustrates the concept :

 

trans_7a.jpg

Global map showing world international air traffic flow statistical data and relative traffic densities for the year 2002, courtesy

Environmental Systems Research Institute. One of the best maps I've seen ever. You can't miss the extensive air transport links from the US to the rest of the world.

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But you said you didn't want any Americans in your neighboorhood.
Of course I don't. The odds are that they would be a loud, uncouth, ignorant neoconservative Bush supporter, like the majority of Americans. After all, you voted him in.

 

you're a culturally prejudiced segregationist
The only people I want to be segregated from are neoconservatives (nazis) and their stooges.

 

And prejudiced on the basis of culture? You bet I am. If by "culture", you mean "the practice of running around insulting everyone else's culture, butchering helpless civilians in the pursuit of power and blaming it all on some phantom terrorist organisation." ie: the current American doctrine. ;)

 

No, by all measures, America has not 'separated itself from the international community.'
Of course it has, it believes itself to be superior to the entire planet. The dream nation, with dreamy ideals and dreamier Presidents.

 

Newsflash: Your country is abysmal. Fear, violence and racial tensions abound. Your ignorance level is high when compared to your world-power level, your economy is tenuous at best.

 

To the contrary the US has extensive, deep and long-lasting international ties.
"Ties"? The only "Ties" America has to the rest of the planet are its reams of military installations that brood over the innocents of other nations like ticking time bombs of neoconservative ire... and branches of McDonalds and Starbucks. We're all living in Amerika.

 

Your oversized map has pretty colours. No relevance to the point, but plenty of pretty colours. What exactly do you believe that it proves, other than your Fox-News-esque reliance on irrelevant trivia?

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Of course I don't.

So by your own admission, you're a segregationist. Down with you!

 

How long have you lived abroad, away from your own nation? Were you educated abroad in a foreign institution? In a foreign language?

 

I lived in a foreign country for a quarter of my life, became fluent in the host nation's language, and attended their schools. I have social ties to my foreign friends which last to this day. And I'm an American citizen. And I know many more Americans who have done the same.

 

Your deliberate perception of what it is to be an American doesn't match reality in the slightest. Your statements reflect common anti-American biases. I've heard all of them before. Tell me, is it simple jealousy, or hate for hate's sake. What is it that fuels these biases?

 

As to the map, your geographic illiteracy would not be tolerated here in the US. Well, at least not in my household. :) The map shows (as I've said) there are literally thousands of connecting links between the US and the countries of the world. Yet more evidence of the truly international American character. And, most importantly, proof that you're opinion that the US is 'isolated' is wrong.

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So by your own admission, you're a segregationist.
Fie, you're being childish. As stated before, we're talking about an issue on the one hand of race, NOT nationality, and on the other hand, we are talking about nationality and national allegiance, not race. The fact that you merely persist in your wilful ignorance of this point is faintly pathetic and bordering on mania.

 

I lived in a foreign country for a quarter of my life, became fluent in the host nation's language, and attended their schools. I have social ties to my foreign friends which last to this day.
And despite any experience of exotic climes you've gained in your lifetime (if any), you're still a neoconservative mouthpiece. Where did you visit, some other fundamentalist country? Israel? Iraq? North Korea? I said earlier that Americans travel, but: "take no understanding home." You've proven me right.

 

Your deliberate perception of what it is to be an American doesn't match reality in the slightest.
You don't get it. YOU match my perception of what it is to be an American, Wilhuf, YOU match my perception.

 

Every little snippet of Neocon propaganda you've spurted matches my perception. Every little snide aside screams that you reasonlessly opine that America is leet, from the rooftops.

 

Your statements reflect common anti-American biases. I've heard all of them before. Tell me, is it simple jealousy
Ahahah. Ohohoho!

 

"You're just jealous. </sulk>"

 

As to the map, your geographic illiteracy would not be tolerated here in the US.
What? Are you certifiable? What gave you the impression that I didn't know WHAT the map depicted? I asked you what it PROVED. Do pay attention son.

 

What does the fact that Americans poke their noses everywhere without learning anything PROVE? What does the fact that you absorb cheap labour from poorer nations at a massive rate PROVE? What does the fact that America is large and prominent on the world stage PROVE?

 

Other than the superficial points in the paragraph above this one, It only proves one thing: That America is a central nexus of world-focus at this time for many reasons, mostly ill. Why else would I bother discussing the place with you? I certainly don't pine for your company. We discuss America BECAUSE it's gargantuan, shambolic, busy, weighty on the international stage... And evil.

 

And, most importantly, proof that you're opinion that the US is 'isolated' is wrong.
Don't be silly. America's isolated alright, isolated politically and intellectually. Ideologically. That's what people mean when they discuss America's isolationism, my friendly friend, they don't mean that America has erected a thousand foot steel wall around their coastline now, do they? :p
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Whoa, whoa, whoa, now. Goodness. No need to start bashing other nationalities; it makes you sound stupid, opinionated, and well racist. It's totally wrong to say so many rude things about America. You are making an extremely inappropriate generalization.

 

Some Americans are proud, loud, and maybe even overly outspoken, but you shouldn't base your view of an entire nationality on those people. It would be just as ridiculous as me saying that everyone from the U.K. is pompous, rude, ignorant, and, in their own eyes, far superior to all others. But I know that to not be true of all people from the U.K. Having such a dislike for the U.S. president, is no reason to assume that all Americans are to be likened to him and his opinions.

 

It is completely inappropriate to say that America accepts more immigrants than other countries for the cheap labor. I consider that to be a rather racist comment. So many other nations choose America, because of the many freedoms offered. I.E. freedom of speech and freedom of religion, just to name a couple.

 

Now, back to the original comment on racism: I was raised to never treat someone differently simply because they look different. I have stayed true to that all of my life and any sort of prejudice that I see disgusts me. That's not to say that I don't have initial feelings about certain people, or that I don't feel guarded about others, but I won't base any of these feelings on a person's color or nationality; it will be based on this person's actions towards me, as well as I can typically tell a lot by someone's eyes. It may sound odd, but it's true. At least for me. :)

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So AL, you've never lived or studied abroad? I bet you're monoliguistic. I guess you're intellectually isolated, certainly, in addition to your blatant cultural bigotry. Plus you overgeneralize and use nonsense words such as 'shambolic' and 'leet.'

 

America's isolated alright, isolated politically and intellectually. Ideologically.

But the US has more international political conferences than any other country. More international students than any other nation. And more international academc conferences than any other country. Your wishes for an isolated US are just that: imaginary half-baked conclusions, clearly borne of jealous bigotry. Were you bullied at some point?

 

All you have are labels and generalizations. No facts. Just segregationist opinion. In short, you've got nothin!

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Originally posted by Wilhuf

But the US has more international political conferences than any other country.

 

Where they say:"Me bully you. You obey me."

It's not accurate, but the USA politically and economically bullying smaller nations in those conferences are nothing new or unknown.

 

 

Originally posted by Wilhuf

More international students than any other nation.

 

Can we have a percentage? Many factors come into play here. First, you're rich, your students are rich. They have programs, money and everything they need in order to go study oversea, a luxury some other countries do not have.

 

 

 

Originally posted by Wilhuf

Your wishes for an isolated US are just that: imaginary half-baked conclusions, clearly borne of jealous bigotry. Were you bullied at some point?

 

The simple fact that you called him "jealous" makes your entire arguments fall into the typical stereotypical American, thinking that anti-americanism is born from jealousy.

 

If life was so simple....

 

Anti-americanism isn't born from jealousy. Nobody, nobody, living in a western country, other then America(Canada, UK, France, Germany...) has anything to envy America. NOTHING. Period.

 

I'm getting tired of people throwing around that reply.

 

Many things lead to anti-americanism. I won't go deep but such simple things as economical imperialism, political bullying or false promises can lead to such.

People can find american culture invasive. Of course, how could an american feel that?

But as a non-american, I can say that it really is sometimes. McDonalds, Coke, Britney Spears, etc. Some of our kids are taken away by those, thinking it is a part of them.

Yet, this is not America's fault but rather its huge corporations.

The biggest reason for anyone in a western country to resent America is that. Economical Imperialism. American corporations are known for their ruthlesness in business, crushing everything on their way. One can only look at how Wal-Mart can murder small bussinesses.

 

Many think that Americans are only KFC eating, Nascar watching rednecks.

That certainly isn't true(though those who actually are...they don't help your reputation).

I've met many good and friendly Americans but I've also met some who were less then bad.

 

I'm not defending SpiderAL but let's not try to defend ourselves from an extreme by being extremists.

If they say:"America sucks!!!", replying by:"America is the greatest country in the world! You're jealous of our freedom!", just makes you sound like an obnoxious American.

 

So instead of trying to change SpiderAL's opinion about America, you've only reinforced his conviction that America is populated by obnoxious jerks.

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Enough of the off-topic. Want to debate Nationalism and nationalistic superiority complexes, make another thread.

 

 

Anyway, bigotry is pretty much human nature, looking for someone or something else to place blame on and create a them or us view. Racism is most definitely inevitable. There will always be someone that lays blame for their actions on someone else because it's easy, and allows for free targets.

 

"I can't get my way because the black/white/beige/yellow/etc man is keeping me down."

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I echo InsaneSith's sentiment about moving the discussion of Nationalism to another thread. And I ask Wilhuf and Spider to ease up a little bit. This kind of bickering has a way of scaring off other potential posters to the forum.

 

By the way, Lady Jedi, Welcome to the Senate Chambers! I hope you will post often! And don't mind the Peter Cushing twins... like the poles of a magnet, these two are so alike they naturally push each other :D

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Originally posted by SkinWalker

By the way, Lady Jedi, Welcome to the Senate Chambers! I hope you will post often! And don't mind the Peter Cushing twins... like the poles of a magnet, these two are so alike they naturally push each other :D [/b]

I don't mean to go off topic, but thanks! I'll be sure to check in now and again. I'm always slightly concerned that I'm pi**ing people off, but it's nice to know that my comments are welcome. Thanks again. :)

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Originally posted by SkinWalker

And don't mind the Peter Cushing twins... like the poles of a magnet, these two are so alike they naturally push each other :D

 

The weird thing is, i always get the two of them confused due to their avatars... :D

 

If nothing else, both sides of that argument go to show that a lack of contact with other types leads to a broad generalisation of those types and then a lack of symapthy and understanding with them.

 

I'm of the firm opinion that everyone should have to travel around the world and meet people from other countries before they get too old. Broadening your range of experiences and contact is the best way to overcome racism/fear.

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My only problem with some people travelling abroad is they have this ignorant notion that because they are the all wonderous being traveling to this lowly country, that the natives should speak their (the travelers) language. I went to Mexico on a travels group. Most of the people were yelling at the mexicans to "speak properly", as in speak english and not mexican spanish. And yet should they come to our country they must speak our language, perfectly and immediately. I've seen other countries do it too so it's not just an American thing.

 

Sadly there are always idiots that insist on making others look bad because they can't bother to be polite.

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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~Mark Twain

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Originally posted by ET Warrior

If you're not pissing somebody off, you're not debating correctly :D

 

 

;)

Well, I think you have a point, but maybe your just bigoted against my way of debating. :xp: J/k Anyway, I like to clearly state my views without trying to offend anyone, or take cheap shots at their views or nationality :)

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No need to start bashing other nationalities; it makes you sound stupid, opinionated, and well racist.
Nationality has nothing to do with race. Racism is discrimination on the basis of race. Disliking someone because of their national affiliations is justified in many cases, however. The two are separate and I'm insulted you'd even try to equate the two.

 

So AL, you've never lived or studied abroad?
Once again, assume makes a donkey of "u" and me. ;) Your assumptions make you ignorant. In point of fact I've travelled to many European nations and have indeed visited your own, faaaabulous country.

 

Plus you overgeneralize and use nonsense words such as 'shambolic'
dictionary.com:

 

sham·bol·ic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (shm-blk)

adj. Chiefly British Slang

Disorderly or chaotic: “ [The country's] transportation system is in a shambolic state” (London Sunday Times).

 

Once again you prove your lack of knowledge of other cultures. Most depressing.

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Travel is of course no use if you go there with a closed mind, or only hang out in your hotel with other tourists. But any travel where you get to actually have a tiny bit of contact with the locals and their culture is well worthwhile as far as undermining bigotry goes.

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You need to be able to go around town, talk to people, speak the same language as them, be one of them to actually understand their culture.
Bit extreme. I was in Holland last year. I didn't have to speak fluent Dutch to enjoy my time in their country and appreciate the good things about their culture. Having an open mind is the only important thing. I'm in Germany this year, and though I will brush up on my deutsche, in the end, if I gained no insight into German culture from the trip, the language barrier wouldn't be to blame. I would.
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