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Race- Privilege, Relations, Racism, etc.:

 1 Wulf, Mon, 30th May '11 7:47:29 PM from Louisiana
Gotta trope, dood!
First thing's first: KEEP. THIS. SHIT. CIVIL. If you can't talk about race without resorting to childish insults and rude generalizations or getting angry at people who don't see it your way, leave the thread.

With that said, I bring you to what can hopefully be the general thread about race.

First, a few starter questions.
  • How, if at all, do you feel your race affects your everyday life?
  • Do you believe that white people (or whatever the majority race in your area is) receive privileges simply because of the color of their skin. How much?
    • Do you believe minorities are discriminated against for the same reason? How much?
  • Do you believe that assimilation of cultures is better than people trying to keep their own?
  • Affirmative Action. Yea, Nay? Why or why not?

Also, a personal question from me.
  • Why (in my experience, not trying to generalize) do white people often try to insist that they aren't white? I can't count the number of times I've heard "I'm not white, I'm 1/4th English, 1/4th German, 1/4th Scandinavian 1/8th Cherokee, and 1/8th Russian, " as though 4 of 5 of those things aren't considered "white" by the masses. Is it because you have pride for your ancestry, or an attempt to try and differentiate yourself from all those "other" white people? Or something else altogether?

edited 30th May '11 9:16:04 PM by Wulf

They lost me. Forgot me. Made you from parts of me. If you're the One, my father's son, what am I supposed to be?
 2 Hungry Joe, Mon, 30th May '11 7:55:47 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
For your personal question, where do you ask, and what exactly do you ask?
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
 3 Wulf, Mon, 30th May '11 8:00:42 PM from Louisiana
Gotta trope, dood!
It usually doesn't come up as a question. Usually I'll be talking to a friend on campus or at one of our hangouts and refer to them as white, at which point I get the "I'm not white, I'm X" speech. The question here is based on that observation.
They lost me. Forgot me. Made you from parts of me. If you're the One, my father's son, what am I supposed to be?
 4 Mousa The 14, Mon, 30th May '11 8:10:54 PM from Northern Virginia Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Artist, Writer, Ignored
  • Not much has far as I know .It just means I have to apply for certain scholarships that work "becuase I'm black" which is silly. It does keep me on my toes becuase I know that the negative stereotypes and perceptions will creep into people's minds if I show any inkling that I'm anything but myself (Myself being different from typical African American male of negative traits I can easily be conflated with.)
  • Yes though this is more an issue of history and things changing very slowly. If it was black people who had screwed white people over over the years same thing would be happening with a different color dynamic. The issue is that the majority don't see their privilege, they see it as natural and inherent and not a result of privilege.
    • How much I can't be certain but basically yeah people are going to be more inclined to relate to someone of their same gender, orientation, and skin tone unless they are trained to see people as only people and nothing else.
    • Neither, do what makes you happy.
  • I don't know. It's a mixed bag I have mixed feelings about and it's difficult to have a straight "yea or nay" answer becuase the issue is very multifaceted and hard to pin down.

edited 30th May '11 8:28:06 PM by MousaThe14

My Art |Bloggening

When All Else Fails, worry, that's the 14 way.
In Riastrad
How, if at all, do you feel your race affect your everyday life?
  • Being Irish affects me everyday. It is, after all, directly linked to my physical features. :P

More seriously, I take a lot of inspiration religiously from the old myths, or what remains of them, of my people. However, And I really cannot stress this enough, I don't think that they were more "correct" than any other group, just that they resonate with me on a personal level. Spirituality has to be personal or it is meaningless!

Do you believe that white people (or whatever the majority race in your area is) receive privileges simply because of the color of their skin. How much?
  • In this area there are few minorities to speak of. I'd say it really depends on the area.

Do you believe minorities are discriminated against for the same reason? How much?
  • See above.

Do you believe that assimilation of cultures is better than people trying to keep their own?
  • A bit of yes and a dash of no. Culture should become less a thing you're born with and more a thing you choose. Being born Greek shouldn't mean you can't be Scandinavian in culture. As someone born in America that really, really wants to go back Home (Ireland or, to a lesser extent, England) I feel this on a very personal level.

Affirmative Action. Yea, Nay? Why or why not?

  • A bit of yes and no, as above. Yes, for now, but preferably it should be abolished ASAP.

Also, a personal question from me. Why (in my experience) do white people often try to insist that they aren't white? I can't count the number of times I've heard "I'm not white, I'm 1/4th English, 1/4th German, 1/4th Scandinavian 1/8th Cherokee, and 1/8th Russian, " as though 4 of 5 of those things aren't considered "white" by the masses. Is it because you have pride for your ancestry, or an attempt to try and differentiate yourself from all those "other" white people? Or something else altogether.

  • Because the term "white" is as meaningless as the terms "Asian" and "Hispanic." "Black" is also not accurate at all, but unfortunately a lot of records are lost and many people of African descent cannot effectively trace their ancestry. If you can be specific about your ancestry, do so.
    • In addition, I do take pride in my (Irish) blood for above mentioned reasons.

My name is Cu Chulainn.
Beside the raging sea I am left to moan.
Sorrow I am, for I brought down my only son.

Over 10,000 dead.:<
Oh God no, I knew it was coming.

Not tonight. I have more pleasant things to think about. I am to play video games for several hours with a friend tonight. And I want that to be on my mind instead of this.D:
Genkidama for Japan, even if you don't have money, you can help![1]
 7 Mousa The 14, Mon, 30th May '11 8:36:26 PM from Northern Virginia Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Artist, Writer, Ignored
Then why in the name of the Lord's prayer did you post here if you don't want to think about this? If you're so adamant about not thinking about race why in the name of the good God did you even click on this?
My Art |Bloggening

When All Else Fails, worry, that's the 14 way.
 8 KCK, Mon, 30th May '11 8:38:53 PM from In your closet
Can I KCK it?
@Ukonkivi But race relations are so much fun!
There's no justice in the world and there never was~
 9 Wulf, Mon, 30th May '11 8:40:51 PM from Louisiana
Gotta trope, dood!
Because the term "white" is as meaningless as the terms "Asian" and "Hispanic." "Black" is also not accurate at all, but unfortunately a lot of records are lost and many people of African descent cannot effectively trace their ancestry. If you can be specific about your ancestry, do so.[...] In addition, I do take pride in my (Irish) blood for above mentioned reasons.

Oho, an answer. Here's the thing- Those terms aren't meaningless. They're fairly vague, yeah, but they do still provide information about the person's ancestry and culture. Simply by being knowing someone's Asian or Hispanic, you know a little about their culture. If you know more, like whether they're Mexican or Cuban, or Vietnamese or Korean, that's certainly more meaningful, just saying "Latino" or "Asian" is still accurate.

edited 30th May '11 8:42:18 PM by Wulf

They lost me. Forgot me. Made you from parts of me. If you're the One, my father's son, what am I supposed to be?
Moar and Moar and Moar
I'm a white-ass in a mostly white-ass place. Minorities tend to be pretty small minorities. Do I get privilege because of it? For sure. To me that's a fact. Does that make me a bad person? No, it doesn't. It's systematic. I also do whatever I can to push back against the systematic privileges.

Re:Assimilation, If something is truly benign, I'm happy, even ecstatic for people to maintain their own culture. It's when it infringes on other people (even individuals inside the culture) unreasonably is where I begin to push back. So the answer is, it depends.

I'm pro-affirmative action, at least until the systematic privilege is gone.

And as for the privilege, all I expect is for people to acknowledge it. That's all. Because we do have privilege doesn't make us a bad person. It's why we actively try and take advantage, and maintain it...that's when there's a problem.

Here's the key to the question however. Own your privilege. Understand what it does for you. This doesn't mean that you're a bad person for having privilege thrust upon you. That's what people need to understand.

edited 30th May '11 8:55:34 PM by Karmakin

Democracy is the process in which we determine the government that we deserve
 11 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 9:06:01 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
^^ Depends what you mean by accurate. The terms are by no means precise; in fact, they're vague by definition.

In answer to your questions:

  • I don't feel much impact on my everyday life as a result of my race. That suggests me that I'm privileged in that regard; when most people see me, the fact that I'm white likely doesn't even cross their minds, as it is the norm here.
  • It depends what you mean by privileges. I do feel that we are socially privileged, meaning that a lot of the things we take for granted as the norm are not, in fact, the norm. In that sense it's a kind of confirmation bias - white people are never singled out as, for example, being likely to commit a crime, and therefore see that lack of suspicion as normal (rather than a privilege afforded to whites) and the level of suspicion often directed at Afro-Caribbean or Arabic people as being somehow a failing on the part of said minorities, rather than a lack of privilege being afforded them. It's also a form of confirmation bias in that the behaviour of a minority individual is often, I believe, perceived as demonstrative of the behaviour of people of that minority - this cartoon is a good example. As to the severity of the privilege, I'd say that it's fairly severe, but still much less so than in many previous eras and other regions. And like Karmakin said, it doesn't mean white people are bad, because it's not even something many white people are aware of. It's just something that happens, unfortunately, which is why it's necessary to educate people and try to be aware of it ourselves.
  • I believe in cultural diversity, at least to an extent; I think many cultures are compatible, and I'm not generally in favour of separatism. On the other hand, ignorant cultural appropriation tends to look rather silly and can cause offence, and I believe that it would be a shame if all cultures blurred into one hegemonic mass, even if some shared cultural elements might be necessary for the functioning of society.
  • Affirmative action... tentative yea, on the basis that privilege needs to be counteracted, but I'm not entirely sure about that and it should probably be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • In answer to the personal question: I have never had a problem identifying as white when asked, but in general, I don't like to be thought of as a white person because it's one more category I can be pigeonholed into, and which people may judge me for. Actually, due to the aforementioned privilege, that probably doesn't happen all that often, but I'm not comfortable receiving privilege for something like this, either.

edited 30th May '11 9:06:13 PM by BobbyG

Over 10,000 dead.:<
Then why in the name of the Lord's prayer did you post here if you don't want to think about this? If you're so adamant about not thinking about race why in the name of the good God did you even click on this?
Because it was begging to be said and it is tempting. And I know if I get into this thread now, it'll be on my mind for days.

This is my mind's way of comprising and putting it on my checklist like the gender thread when I was obsessed with donations for Sendai Japan. I can satisfy my mind's temptation without actually pushing mind taxing subject matter on the brain.

edited 30th May '11 9:17:21 PM by Ukonkivi

Genkidama for Japan, even if you don't have money, you can help![1]
In Riastrad
Wulf: Except it IS meaningless. There is about as much difference between, say, Germany and Wales as there is between China and Wales.

People coming from a vaguely similar genetic background doesn't in any way mean their cultures are at all alike.

My name is Cu Chulainn.
Beside the raging sea I am left to moan.
Sorrow I am, for I brought down my only son.

 14 Bobby G, Mon, 30th May '11 9:16:21 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
There is about as much difference between, say, Germany and Wales as there is between China and Wales.

I find that highly unlikely; Germany and Wales are both Indo-European, both European, and both Western. China is none of those things.
 15 Wulf, Mon, 30th May '11 9:27:32 PM from Louisiana
Gotta trope, dood!
@Bobby G (11)-Interesting perspective on privilege. That makes a lot of sense, seeing things as the default rather than something they get.

@Diamoness- I'm not so sure I believe that. While I agree there are some big differences between German and Welsh cultures, simply as a result of them both being European, they'll have more things in common than a European and a Western culture.
They lost me. Forgot me. Made you from parts of me. If you're the One, my father's son, what am I supposed to be?
 16 wuggles, Mon, 30th May '11 9:32:52 PM from Miami, FL Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
  • How, if at all, do you feel your race affects your everyday life?

I suppose it does (I'm black, btw). I live in Georgia, so everything is segregated. People will go to school and work with other races but go home and only see people of their race.

  • Do you believe that white people (or whatever the majority race in your area is) receive privileges simply because of the color of their skin. How much?

Yeah, just in terms of wealth and assumptions (they are the default, there are no stereotypes about them really).

  • Do you believe minorities are discriminated against for the same reason? How much?

Of course. People even started a separate city (Sandy Springs)to be away from the rest of the black people in Atlanta.

  • Do you believe that assimilation of cultures is better than people trying to keep their own?

I don't know. It really depends. Like my family, we are black so it's easy for us to assimilate because there are a lot of African-Americans, however an Asian family may have a harder time.

  • Affirmative Action. Yea, Nay? Why or why not?
I really don't know enough about the subject. Also, a personal question from me.

  • Why (in my experience, not trying to generalize) do white people often try to insist that they aren't white? I can't count the number of times I've heard "I'm not white, I'm 1/4th English, 1/4th German, 1/4th Scandinavian 1/8th Cherokee, and 1/8th Russian, " as though 4 of 5 of those things aren't considered "white" by the masses. Is it because you have pride for your ancestry, or an attempt to try and differentiate yourself from all those "other" white people? Or something else altogether?

I think it's cause they want to be seen as "exotic". Being seen as white is just boring to a lot of people, they don't see themselves as having culture, and those places have culture. Side note: The only time I consider these legitimate is when they can name a living relative that is the non-white race. For example, I knew a kid who was almost all white except for his Cherokee great-grandmother, who still was alive. At least he can say he got exposed to the culture and he's not just making it up.
 17 feotakahari, Tue, 31st May '11 1:14:20 AM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I haven't personally seen racism, but I might not be associating with the sort of people who engage in it.

I do have two responses to the "personal question, " though. One is this, and the other is this.
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
1. It doesn't. In Poland the whites are a vast majority. We don't have many immigrants and most of them are from the Eastern Europe or Western Asia.

2. Not really.

2a. Discrimination: People are equal by law so no official discrimination. Workplace discrimination doesn't seem to be a problem for minorities (more for women nowadays) from what I know. Blacks are not discriminated against because if they go to Poland, they go to study here so there isn't much of 'lazy criminal ghetto dweller stereotype'. Asians (Mongoidal) are not discriminated against because... damn, I haven't seen any Asian who isn't a tourist. Arabs - similarly to blacks. Jews are also not discriminated. Gypsies might be but not for racial reasons - most of them live in enclosed societies with very strict code that, for example, allows them to treat non-Gypsies as if they weren't humans, allows stealing from them and cheating on them and forbids cooperation with police. Generally, those groups are very small and it's mostly hard to tell. If the minorities are liked is a whole different story though: there are still people who dislike them, although it's mostly non-violent (except of nazi skins and some football hooligans). Also, regardless of what we think of the minorities, we in Poland seem to like racist jokes or nation-themed jokes.

3. I think people should try to keep their culture but respect the others. I don't fully reject assimilation though, certain things need to be dropped in order to peacefully coexist (e.g. Gypsies should drop the aforementioned code, or at least the parts of it that allow them to treat non-Gypsies badly).

4. No. Workers should be hired based on their ability to do the job, not because of their race. If the employer is racist and doesn't want to hire members of the minorities he is mostly harming himself because he looses a good worker (and qualified workers are really needed in Poland as we lack specialists - there is a lot of uneducated physical workers and there is a lot of people with impractical degrees like sociology). Intelligent employer knows it and even if he dislikes those people, he will hire them. Stupid one will fail because of his stupidity.

5. Because there is a lot of Reverse Discrimination and white guilt. We don't object to people saying things like 'white man is the devil' or 'white men can only destroy the other cultures' etc. We treat 'whiteness studies' as science, even though it's extremely biased (it is based on the theory that 'whiteness' is not a color of skin but 'racism and priviledge'). We create the false idea that being white is something to be ashamed of and become ashamed of it, desperately searching for non-white ancestors not to look like oppressors in our own eyes. The truth is we shouldn't be ashamed - crimes of our ancestors are not our crimes. And if we are to judge our culture - yes, white people have done bad things historically. But they've also created beautiful and good things. We have great art, great science, great civilization - know it and be proud of it. Not proud like racists who use it as a euphemism for hating others but proud like, for example, black people proud of their history.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 19 Carciofus, Tue, 31st May '11 2:16:00 AM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
1. I have to pay more attention to sunburns than a Black person should. That's about it.

2. Black or Asian people here tend to be recent immigrants — sometimes, though definitely not always, relatively unskilled and undereducated ones. People sometimes tend to expect that, and I can see how this would be very annoying — but in the circles I hang out with, people know better than to make this sort of assumption anyway.

3. I think that mixing of cultures is a good thing. I don't see it as "assimilation", really — it's just that if someone else has a cool idea, I'll try to adopt it and adapt it to my needs, and other people will do the same.

4. Cautious yea. It should not be used as an excuse to hire incompetent people: but attempting to give some small advantages to people who do face disadvantages because of their heritage does not strike me as a bad idea.

5. Never saw that phenomenon, so I would not care to guess about its causes.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 20 Grain, Tue, 31st May '11 4:19:40 AM from South Northwest Earth
Only One Avatar
Wulf: Except it IS meaningless. There is about as much difference between, say, Germany and Wales as there is between China and Wales.

Racial terms are loose in terms of culture virtually meaningless genetically, but they are extremely meaningful from a sociological perspective. I've met people who'd rather be called Italian than White. I kind of like that idea, because we're always going to have racial issues as long as people believe that race is a valid way to describe people. But I also kind of don't like it, because it seems like ignoring a big part of reality that affects everybody.
  • It allows me to ignore it, for the most part.
  • Yeah, definitely. The definition of white is practically "receives white privilege".
    • By corollary to the above yes, but I've never actually asked them so I dunno.
  • I've been exposed to cultures that were frantically trying not to assimilate and I have to say it wasn't pretty, but on the other hand as a white guy I don't feel right saying other cultures should assimilate. So, uh, space monkeys.
  • Yea; though it's not very comfortable for me I gotta acknowledge that white people almost always have more opportunities than other races and it'd be nice if we could level the playing field some.

  • I've never seen that, but to play Devil's Advocate, white really isn't an ethnic group, it's a marker for "receives white privilege". The Irish weren't always white; the Arabs used to be. As such "white" really doesn't even mean "European"; that's just a coincidence.
    • As an adenddum to this, don't even get me started about "black". All black means is "has black skin". Any grouping that can group North Africans, South Africans, and Australians together is pretty much entirely meaningless.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 22 Carciofus, Tue, 31st May '11 5:27:14 AM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
Except it IS meaningless. There is about as much difference between, say, Germany and Wales as there is between China and Wales.
No, not really. Germany are Wales share much of their heritage. Their cultures are both Indo-European ones, and present a mixture of Roman, Germanic and Celtic aspects — in somewhat different proportions, true, but nonetheless. The most popular religion in both Germany and Wales has been the same for more than one thousand years. Until relatively recently, the learned elites of both nations used Latin to communicate, and valued the same literature, and listened to the same music.

Nowadays, both of these lands belong to the European Union, and people in them generally watch the same shows, listen to the same music and read the same books. And they have similar ideas with respect to personal rights and freedoms, and with respect to gender roles, and so on. A person could move to Wales to Germany, or vice versa, and not face much in terms of cultural shock — I made a bigger move* myself, and, while there were some aspects that took some time getting used to, the differences were much, much less than the ones I noticed when I spent two weeks in China.

If someday I was offered a job in Wales or in Germany, I'd have no problems accepting; but if it was, let's say, in Japan or in China or even in India, I would have to think carefully about what I am getting into.

edited 31st May '11 5:33:49 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 23 Usht, Tue, 31st May '11 6:15:00 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
  • Well, I'm technically Hispanic but due to lineage, I'm pale enough to be whiter than most Caucasians. As such, I tend to fall into the area of being "White" while showing up on statistical radars as Hispanic.
  • Not really. Where I live it's a heavy mix of Caucasian and Hispanic with a little of everything else thrown in. At this point, it's so mixed that no one really gets out on top.
  • Other than the usual Jew jokes that go about, all the groups get their own fair amount of lashing. If there was any group that did get an extra amount of lashing, it'd again be the Hispanics due to the number of stereotypes they seem to embody. I'd probably hear a lot more racism against white people if I didn't look white.
  • Assimilation pretty much already happened around here. It just sort of occurred over time. We've got white people doing the tango and eating Cuban cuisine on a daily basis while the latinos have found the great taste of fried chicken and enjoy the waltz.
  • Torn about Affirmative Action. On one hand, it's a good thing, but on another, it may have gone too far. I honestly can't decide.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 24 Carciofus, Tue, 31st May '11 6:25:40 AM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
Aren't Hispanics Caucasians anyway, in the same sense in which Germanic or Slavic peoples are also so?

I am not very up-to-date with the terminology, but I thought that "caucasians" = "whites" = "people with significant European/West Asian heritage"...

edited 31st May '11 6:27:00 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 25 Usht, Tue, 31st May '11 6:27:59 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Hispanic is a weird term but it's technically different from Caucasian. Hispanic denotes origin from Central America, South America, Spain, Portugal, and few other weird places.

Think "Spanish" and "Portuguese", places where those are big languages are typically places where Hispanic shows up a lot.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
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