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Thread: Is it only rascism if it's derogatory

  1. #1 Is it only rascism if it's derogatory 
    Forum Sophomore GrowlingDog's Avatar
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    I was just wondering if i say that i like blacks, muslims, asians and so on because they are great, awesome, sexy and a lot of other complimentary things is that racism? Or, do i have to be critical. If i say that i went to say, Turkey and i found the people to be rude, ugly and mean, that's racism right?
    this leaves me with a problem. I can comfortably say that "The people of South America are wonderful and friendly" but what if i dont think that, what if i think they were horrible? If i say so, i'm a racist. This would mean that anything said about any group of people in a negative manner is wrong but anything said about them in a positive light is perfectly acceptable. Can anyone else see the problem with this?


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    I never thought of it that way. Now you mention it yeah I can see the incongruency. So is it that we can only as a 'civilised society' like people and not be able to not like them? It seems daft, I mean granted, people are free to not like Muslims or blacks, whites, Christians, short people tall people etc, but I think the line arrives when you start hurting people because of it, like calling them names, or treating them differently. For instance in the work place if one did not like a disabled person and treated them unfairly it would be an equal injustice to have a favourite say a blonde office type and give her special treatment.

    As I say I think the line arrives when it comes to people being hurt, physically or mentally.


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    If I were to say "Whites are great, friendly, loving people" in a room of black people I will have significantly shortened my life expectancy. So yes I think it is racism in a sense because you're "bigging up" one race above another.
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    I only have to describe a person as black for my 13 year old son to gasp and say,

    'Oh you're being racist mum!'

    That's political correctness gone mad!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    I only have to describe a person as black for my 13 year old son to gasp and say,

    'Oh you're being racist mum!'

    That's political correctness gone mad!
    Well, even worse than that, in this country (Australia) if i use the word black to describe someone, they are told, usually by lawyers and counsel workers that that is offensive and that they should be offended. Why? They were born black and can never change that, is there something wrong with being black? After all if someone told me that i should be offended that someone called me white, i would want to know why, what is wrong with being white that if i am called it i should be offended.
    By saying that calling someone black is derogatory, are you not also saying that being black is not good. To me it is never the words that are racist but the intonation behind them. Said in certain way, "Come on you black bastard" can be a term of endearment to a friend. Like calling a good mate a "bloody wanker" with a smile on your face.
    I often used to say, "The bigger the insult, the closer the mate"
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    I only have to describe a person as black for my 13 year old son to gasp and say,

    'Oh you're being racist mum!'

    That's political correctness gone mad!
    Well, even worse than that, in this country (Australia) if i use the word black to describe someone, they are told, usually by lawyers and counsel workers that that is offensive and that they should be offended. Why? They were born black and can never change that, is there something wrong with being black? After all if someone told me that i should be offended that someone called me white, i would want to know why, what is wrong with being white that if i am called it i should be offended.
    By saying that calling someone black is derogatory, are you not also saying that being black is not good. To me it is never the words that are racist but the intonation behind them. Said in certain way, "Come on you black bastard" can be a term of endearment to a friend. Like calling a good mate a "bloody wanker" with a smile on your face.
    I often used to say, "The bigger the insult, the closer the mate"
    How else are we meant to describe one another?

    We say a persons hair is black or blonde or white or red!

    In the newspaper, for example if they are looking for a suspect and issue a description, it will describe the physical appearance of the person including the colour of their skin and will say either black or white.

    They can't use the description of Caribbean or African etc because that may be wrong, so they just have to say black.

    It's bloody stupid if you ask me.

    I wouldn't bat an eyelid if somebody called me white, because that's what i am!

    When you fill in those ethnic equality forms for jobs etc and you tick the box, the descriptions are white/British etc.

    I thought Britain was extreme politically correct to an irrational degree, but it sounds like Australia has its own P.C madness too!
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  8. #7 Re: Is it only rascism if it's derogatory 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    I was just wondering if i say that i like blacks, muslims, asians and so on because they are great, awesome, sexy and a lot of other complimentary things is that racism? Or, do i have to be critical. If i say that i went to say, Turkey and i found the people to be rude, ugly and mean, that's racism right?
    this leaves me with a problem. I can comfortably say that "The people of South America are wonderful and friendly" but what if i dont think that, what if i think they were horrible? If i say so, i'm a racist. This would mean that anything said about any group of people in a negative manner is wrong but anything said about them in a positive light is perfectly acceptable. Can anyone else see the problem with this?
    Saying nice things about races doesn't result in their not getting jobs, being enslaved or killed.

    Hence saying nice things is not discouraged.

    Being racist, like being sexist, homophobic etc etc, is all about doing or saying things that can result in harm or negative discrimination to the people of those groups.

    Thus it is ok to generalise in a nice way as it is not harmful, it is irrelevant and inconsequential.

    Being generally negative may also be harmless but generally as history has shown us, that is not the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacity
    If I were to say "Whites are great, friendly, loving people" in a room of black people I will have significantly shortened my life expectancy. So yes I think it is racism in a sense because you're "bigging up" one race above another.
    Context is everything, so despite my earlier comment, yes this type of positive comment could be harmful too, not to all white people in general though but to the single person making this comment!
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    The problem with the group compliment (or the group criticism) is that it is a form of stereotyping. Such generalisation rarely apply to all members of the group. Acting as if they did will lead to bad decisions and inappropriate behaviour. This can have negative consequences either for the group members (as per ToR's earlier post) or for the person making those ill founded decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The problem with the group compliment (or the group criticism) is that it is a form of stereotyping. Such generalisation rarely apply to all members of the group. Acting as if they did will lead to bad decisions and inappropriate behaviour. This can have negative consequences either for the group members (as per ToR's earlier post) or for the person making those ill founded decisions.
    Bravo, you've expressed my thoughts better.

    Suppose someone routinely drops the handedness of others, as in "This lefty I met the other day..." or, "I really do like lefties, we should give them a fair chance."? Something ain't right there, you just know it.
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  12. #11 Re: Is it only rascism if it's derogatory 
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    One is a racist for pointing out negative traits, habbits, etc.. *IF* there is no reason for pointing it out other than to make (insert race in question here) to feel inferior.
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  13. #12 Re: Is it only rascism if it's derogatory 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paterae
    One is a racist for pointing out negative traits, habbits, etc.. *IF* there is no reason for pointing it out other than to make (insert race in question here) to feel inferior.
    So if i get back from a holiday in say, France and someone asks me how i found the french and i say they were rude and arrogant, i'm stereotyping but i'm not being racist. If i say they were friendly and easy to talk to, i'm still stereotyping.
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    Simply stating that you found a culture to be rude and arrogant is not “racist” in this situation you are not commenting on their race, but their mannerisms. Stereotyping and racism is NOT the same thing. What it all boils down to is your perception and your intentions. What you might think to be a minuscule comical statement might be viewed as malicious racism to another.

    Try this article:

    Go to: https://www.ideals.uiuc.edu/handle/2142/3658 > Click the link on the bottom. > Ethnography_on_Tacos_and_Tequila[1].doc (71Kb)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paterae
    Simply stating that you found a culture to be rude and arrogant is not “racist” in this situation you are not commenting on their race, but their mannerisms. Stereotyping and racism is NOT the same thing. What it all boils down to is your perception and your intentions. What you might think to be a minuscule comical statement might be viewed as malicious racism to another.

    Try this article:

    Go to: https://www.ideals.uiuc.edu/handle/2142/3658 > Click the link on the bottom. > Ethnography_on_Tacos_and_Tequila[1].doc (71Kb)
    But hang on, if said that i thought the Aboriginal people were filthy and lazy, surely that is racist, yet they are both mannerisms.
    Anyway, my point was that it can only be racism if it is a negative comment and that seems to be confirmed by everyone here.
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    Well, let us keep in mind that
    a) the French are not a race, so comments about them might be stereotyped or prejudiced, but they would not be racist.
    b) the definition of race is questionable at the best of times - and when people are being critical, it is not the best of times.
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    A "race" of people are on a path that distinguishes them from the rest.

    The "rat" race is what we are all on, generally, vermon on an otherwise natural wonderland, scavernging for whatever we can get our hands on based on who is king rat and who is not.

    Ultimately, if king rat gets the higher ground of space, learning about gravitational systems of propulsion and life in the sky, he or it would hardly any more consider himself to be a rat............he would be above the vermon below and leave them, obviously, to their own devices.

    I doubt that will happen.

    A "race" of people run a course ideally that makes them distingusihed and useful, if not necessary............to the point of demonstrating to all else that there are those who can "race" and there are those who just go with the flow.

    The only "race" on this planet, well, the only race I thought that was useful if not necessary was one for the quest of the ultimate understanding of space-time, to live proerly above the planet, as though looking after it, but, but............people have other plans, as I have found.



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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The problem with the group compliment (or the group criticism) is that it is a form of stereotyping. Such generalisation rarely apply to all members of the group. Acting as if they did will lead to bad decisions and inappropriate behaviour. This can have negative consequences either for the group members (as per ToR's earlier post) or for the person making those ill founded decisions.
    Bravo, you've expressed my thoughts better.

    Suppose someone routinely drops the handedness of others, as in "This lefty I met the other day..." or, "I really do like lefties, we should give them a fair chance."? Something ain't right there, you just know it.
    An interesting Irony that you should mention this. The word "sinister" actually derives from the Latin word for the left hand. It seems that left handed people were actually seen as "sinister" at one time.

    I don't know when we started trying to put laws on speech. We start arguing that saying this or that about someone can lead to this or that consequence and all of a sudden it's considered a "verbal assault" if you're angry at someone and call them a "nigger" in your rage.

    How can we outlaw saying things merely on the basis of their offensiveness, and still believe we have the freedom of speech? Offending someone is supposed to be the least credible reason to outlaw saying something, because people are supposed to be able to handle being offended without getting violent.

    How far a step is it from allowing this to allowing government officials to suppress criticism of their policies? Doesn't it hurt their feelings too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The problem with the group compliment (or the group criticism) is that it is a form of stereotyping. Such generalisation rarely apply to all members of the group. Acting as if they did will lead to bad decisions and inappropriate behaviour. This can have negative consequences either for the group members (as per ToR's earlier post) or for the person making those ill founded decisions.
    Well, it's important not to take this concern too far. Not every driver with 4 speeding tickets on their record goes on to get in an accident either, but we understand if the insurance company wants to charge them more money for insurance.

    If you know that, in a given area, a certain ethnicity is statistically more likely to rob you, and especially if there are other factors like their dress or mannerisms, or they're acting suspicious, then being a little defensive or avoiding them is self preservation.

    This doesn't make racial profiling a good idea for the police. They do catch more criminals that way, mind you, but the goal of the law is to give people a reason not to commit crimes. You fail at the goal if they think they're going to be prosecuted no matter what they do.
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  19. #18  
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    In a social scientific context, to be racist is to make an assumption about someone--about their attitudes, preferences, intelligence, experiences, etc.-- based on their race. (Sometimes the definition is extended to include having the attitude that historically oppressed racial groups now experience equal opportunity or that racism is no longer a problem.)
    Consider the following: you ask the new Asian student to help you with your calculus because you think, "she Asian, and Asians are good at math." Although you did not ascribe her a negative characteristic based on her race but instead made a positive assumption, your line of thinking was still racist, at least in a sociological sense.

    On the other hand, in an everyday context, making a benign or positive assumption based on race, ethnicity, or national origin is typically not regarded as racist, though it may still offend some people.

    And kojax raises a good point:
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If you know that, in a given area, a certain ethnicity is statistically more likely to rob you, and especially if there are other factors like their dress or mannerisms, or they're acting suspicious, then being a little defensive or avoiding them is self preservation.
    Here, the 'racism threshold' can become blurry; that is, when race/ethnicity is a strong indicator of the likelihood of someone having a certain characteristic. Consider a somewhat different scenario that involves drawing a specific conclusion: you are walking a sidewalk in a large city and you make eye contact with a black male, who appears to be approaching you. Without noticing his clothing or anything else about his appearance you assume he is homeless and is going to ask you for money. To jump to such a conclusion appears racist. However, what if you know that in this particular city blacks are significantly overrepresented among the unhoused? Even though it is based on an empirical, recorded data, is it still racist to make such an assumption?

    I would say that, if anything, assuming that the man is homeless is a logical mistake, a mistake that may be a result of racism, a misunderstanding of probability theory, or both.

    Perhaps in such a situation the least racist thing to do would to take a scientifically informed path: Simply knowing that blacks are more likely in that city to be unhoused is not enough to make an informed, objective decision about the black man you saw. To make an informed assumption you wood need to know how much more likely blacks are to be unhoused, the proportion of black to white residents, the proportion of black to white tourists, the demographic makeup of the neighborhood, gender differences in the city's housed and unhoused populations, etc.

    So even when you are positive that an individual of a particular race is more or less likely to have a certain attribute, the least racist thing to do would be to not make an assumption, acknowledging that there are many unknown potential variables and that statistics only allow for probabilistic inferences.
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    If i went to a bar full of bikies, would it not be foolish to treat it as i would i bar full of ladies from the local lawn bowls club?
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    @GrowlingDog. Immigrants applying to my country (Canada) must meet certain requirements, including a test of social values. We don't explicitly reject white Australians.
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    I am really sick and tired of this whole racism thing. Quite apart from a proper scholastic definition of racism is the public view of it, the one we are all judged by. In South Africa when a white guy and a black guy have some sort of row the white guy is automatically dubbed a racist. How absurd! Granted, there is a long and horrible history of racism in this country, but isn't the mere fact that people generalize whites as racist, racist in itself? Surely! We were subject to a bout of xenophobia recently where a bunch of people died, but is xenophobia not a synonim of racism? But it is not called that. Blatant and obvious racism anger me like few other things and we still see it everywhere, but jumping to conclusions seems to be the norm, both here and elsewhere. Willl we ever be free of it? Unlikely
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I am really sick and tired of this whole racism thing. Quite apart from a proper scholastic definition of racism is the public view of it, the one we are all judged by. In South Africa when a white guy and a black guy have some sort of row the white guy is automatically dubbed a racist. How absurd! Granted, there is a long and horrible history of racism in this country, but isn't the mere fact that people generalize whites as racist, racist in itself? Surely! We were subject to a bout of xenophobia recently where a bunch of people died, but is xenophobia not a synonim of racism? But it is not called that. Blatant and obvious racism anger me like few other things and we still see it everywhere, but jumping to conclusions seems to be the norm, both here and elsewhere. Willl we ever be free of it? Unlikely
    Xenophobia may be national. For example Canadians must disparage our large cousins to the south... or we'd probably vanish existentially, or become protectorate of the UN, for want of national identity. Or look at the sometimes vicious sentiments between South Americans - no racism there to be sure.

    I watched a SA documentary of a white gal and black guy, newlyweds and not exactly living in riches. It wasn't working out. Because the black guy, was such a stereotypical guy. And the female of the species... am I allowed to say?

    But this is how we will be free of racism. We're all out of our fjords and valleys now and it's inevitable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenthemay
    ...
    I would say that, if anything, assuming that the man is homeless is a logical mistake, a mistake that may be a result of racism, a misunderstanding of probability theory, or both.

    Perhaps in such a situation the least racist thing to do would to take a scientifically informed path: Simply knowing that blacks are more likely in that city to be unhoused is not enough to make an informed, objective decision about the black man you saw. To make an informed assumption you wood need to know how much more likely blacks are to be unhoused, the proportion of black to white residents, the proportion of black to white tourists, the demographic makeup of the neighborhood, gender differences in the city's housed and unhoused populations, etc.

    So even when you are positive that an individual of a particular race is more or less likely to have a certain attribute, the least racist thing to do would be to not make an assumption, acknowledging that there are many unknown potential variables and that statistics only allow for probabilistic inferences.
    Perhaps the racism of it depends on how strong an assumption we make just going off of race alone. If all you were in a position to know is the man's race, then it's like any other kind of bet or gamble we make in life.

    If I bet on an NBA game based on my understanding of the two teams' likely performances, I'm doing a similar kind of thing. I'm running a risk that I might be wrong and incur a loss. I also might be right and make some money.

    It would be foolish to bet my whole life savings, or go to a loan shark to get a huge loan to put into the bet, even if I thought I had some really great insights into the game, but making a small wager might be a good idea in some cases.

    Maybe the reason we allow positive racism more openly than negative racism is because it has such a small potential to do harm.
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    What really bugs me is that the word negro or Black person is almost scertently taken as negative, so your suppose to use african-.

    But every black person is not african-american so wtf
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    How about you just call them "people"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpicojr
    How about you just call them "people"?
    My own theory is that we should start using albedo ratings in case we need it for identification purposes - at least it seems (for now) to be a neutral scale. I say, for now, of course, because bigots can always turn a technical term into a euphemism for their prejudices.
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    Saying "black" is totally appropriate in certain contexts. For example, most of the hair salons in my city are Chinese operated, specialized in cheap dispatch of the straight strands. Then there's a cluster of "black" salons - a very different industry!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Saying "black" is totally appropriate in certain contexts. For example, most of the hair salons in my city are Chinese operated, specialized in cheap dispatch of the straight strands. Then there's a cluster of "black" salons - a very different industry!
    O'k, so going back to my initial question. If i said "there are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they seem to be really popular", would that be racist? or would i have to say something more like, "There are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they are filthy". Now, to me the second comment sounds racist but what if they were filthy, how would one make a negative comment about them without being racist?
    Also, what if i replace the word "black" with "white", "Italian", "Muslim", "Aussie", "Irish" or "Asian. Does it bring out an equally emotive response? I mean all things being equal, it should but does it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Saying "black" is totally appropriate in certain contexts. For example, most of the hair salons in my city are Chinese operated, specialized in cheap dispatch of the straight strands. Then there's a cluster of "black" salons - a very different industry!
    O'k, so going back to my initial question. If i said "there are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they seem to be really popular", would that be racist? or would i have to say something more like, "There are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they are filthy". Now, to me the second comment sounds racist but what if they were filthy, how would one make a negative comment about them without being racist?
    Also, what if i replace the word "black" with "white", "Italian", "Muslim", "Aussie", "Irish" or "Asian. Does it bring out an equally emotive response? I mean all things being equal, it should but does it?
    Hard cases make for bad law.

    In any case, saying 'for blacks' sounds racist to me. If you said: "There are a number of 'black/Afro' hair salons in x area and, unfortunately, most of them are filthy", you might get away with it.

    There are no absolute rules here (none that are 'totally' right or 'totally' wrong) and a lot of it needs to be taken in context. Alas, a lot of it is often taken out of context!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    O'k, so going back to my initial question. If i said "there are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they seem to be really popular", would that be racist? or would i have to say something more like, "There are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they are filthy". Now, to me the second comment sounds racist but what if they were filthy, how would one make a negative comment about them without being racist?
    If the point is to reinforce a bias, it's racist/sexist/etc. What's the point? We aren't idiots, and can tell. If I say "Muslim drivers always cut people off" my purpose clearly is to get others actively discriminating when they see a Muslim driving. It's not helping. Likewise if I say the black hair salons are filthy. The point taken is "Don't go to black salons" ... "Here's another mark against blacks". Contrast if I say the black salons could get more customers by sprucing up. You can tell my aim's a little higher than pushing discrimination for discrimination's sake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    O'k, so going back to my initial question. If i said "there are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they seem to be really popular", would that be racist? or would i have to say something more like, "There are some hair salons for blacks in my neighborhood and they are filthy". Now, to me the second comment sounds racist but what if they were filthy, how would one make a negative comment about them without being racist?
    If the point is to reinforce a bias, it's racist/sexist/etc. What's the point? We aren't idiots, and can tell. If I say "Muslim drivers always cut people off" my purpose clearly is to get others actively discriminating when they see a Muslim driving. It's not helping. Likewise if I say the black hair salons are filthy. The point taken is "Don't go to black salons" ... "Here's another mark against blacks". Contrast if I say the black salons could get more customers by sprucing up. You can tell my aim's a little higher than pushing discrimination for discrimination's sake.
    So it would seem that while you may still think that the black/afro salons are filthy, you would need to be careful how you voiced that otherwise you could be seen as just being racist. Would the same level of sensitivity be needed if you were talking about filthy salons of your own race.
    "I gotta say, there have been some black/afro type hair salons opened up in my area and they look great, it would be good if the whites salons i go to were like that, they are all filthy".
    Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    So it would seem that while you may still think that the black/afro salons are filthy, you would need to be careful how you voiced that otherwise you could be seen as just being racist.
    Not my experience. The way one thinks is induced from the words - it can't be helped. People are smarter than their talk. They wonder, "Why is this person saying this?"

    Finally, it's not how you voice; it's what your message is. What's the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrowlingDog
    Would the same level of sensitivity be needed if you were talking about filthy salons of your own race.
    "I gotta say, there have been some black/afro type hair salons opened up in my area and they look great, it would be good if the whites salons i go to were like that, they are all filthy".
    That's complicating the issue with things we can't change. Useless information.
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    O'k Pong, forget it.
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    Pong's perspective just sounds like he's saying what the OP is saying. It's only racism if it's negative. In this case, it's only racism is you don't dress it up so it sounds nicer.

    I'm not saying I agree with that, however. I make a strong difference between culture and race, culturally black people are different from merely skin black people.

    Black hair salons are probably more culturally black than skin black, so I wouldn't see anything wrong with sowing prejudice there. People choose their culture, and the choice they make actually *does* say a lot about them.

    If you can make assumptions on the basis of a white person's choice to wear their hair long and grow a beard, then you can make assumptions on the basis of black person's choice to go to a culturally black hair salon.
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    People choose their culture, and the choice they make actually *does* say a lot about them.

    This is just wrong. You cannot choose a culture to agree with or to live in. You are born into one. You will adhere to the rules within the culture, find your place in it. Even if you are a non-conformist, you pertain to the culture as everybody else does.

    In short terms, you cannot choose your culture since you cannot choose who you are. You cannot say, "Hey, I will belong to this culture now."
    You just ARE in this culture.

    To the problem of racism:
    If it's your subjective attitude towards somebody and you acknowledge that, then it's no racism. It's only racism if you see your own culture as something superior.
    If you don't like a person, then it's not because you think you are superior to it, but it's because you just don't like it, you are different.
    The same is with cultures.
    Only if you see yourself superior, then it's racism.
    I am.
    You can't deny it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Pong's perspective just sounds like he's saying what the OP is saying. It's only racism if it's negative. In this case, it's only racism is you don't dress it up so it sounds nicer.
    I thought this was clear enough:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    it's not how you voice; it's what your message is. What's the point.

    In my view racism is rating people and their works by those things they can't change, apart from the objective merit. The grossest racism prejudicially applies plus/minus value ahead of inquiry. This is bias, just like forming expectations about a book after noting the author male or female. It can be dismissive or "affirmative" - either way it's wrong.

    Unfortunately our speech is saturated with discrimination because we naturally want to better identify the subject. For example I haven't tried that black hair salon at 3rd Avenue yet. My point is not what it is or where it is, just this particular shop I've yet to get a haircut at. We can treat the superfluous info as a necessary evil of communication and grow somewhat oblivious to it... mentally discard the pointers once we isolate the subject. Some people talk inverted though: they'd construct the same sentence but their chief intent is to associate one thing with another. Such people keep reminding us the salon is "black" even when we know which salon they're referring to. In this mind, the "black" is more important than the "salon". "Black" is the point.

    Racists inevitably betray a pattern where for example "black" is persistently associated negatively, or positively. So we infer racism from a lot of evidence - it is rare to find unmistakable racism in a single statement or deed. I can say "that incompetent black hair salon" in contrast to the professional one across the street because the former is actually a hairdressing school.

    Some people are just plain surly and seem negatively biased if we sample them in one particular. But it balances out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    People choose their culture, and the choice they make actually *does* say a lot about them.

    This is just wrong. You cannot choose a culture to agree with or to live in. You are born into one. You will adhere to the rules within the culture, find your place in it. Even if you are a non-conformist, you pertain to the culture as everybody else does.
    So what about all those Polish immigrants from the early 1900's who made their children speak english, and generally culturally conform to the Americans around them. Nowadays you only know them because they have last names like "Kowalski" and such. They're otherwise indistinguishable.

    Every parent has the option to raise their children in another culture than the one they grew up in, if they want to.


    In short terms, you cannot choose your culture since you cannot choose who you are. You cannot say, "Hey, I will belong to this culture now."
    You just ARE in this culture.
    You can't choose where you'll grow up, but that's even true of bad families within a culture. Once you're an adult you're free to abandon your roots if they're not working out for you.

    It's a tough price to pay, but anyone who cares at all about their own offspring will do it if its necessary.

    It always bugs me when people complain about "growing up in the ghetto" and then turn around and raise their own kids there. Is it really because they couldn't afford to leave, or is it just that parents in the ghetto don't love their children the same as people in the suburbs? (I'd say that's quite a flaw to have in one's culture, wouldn't you?)

    To the problem of racism:
    If it's your subjective attitude towards somebody and you acknowledge that, then it's no racism. It's only racism if you see your own culture as something superior.
    If you don't like a person, then it's not because you think you are superior to it, but it's because you just don't like it, you are different.
    The same is with cultures.
    Only if you see yourself superior, then it's racism.
    Some cultures clearly are superior to others. Arguing differently would be like arguing that no automobile engine is better than any other automobile engine.

    Some cultures are well designed, and have their roots in education. Others are very poorly designed, or designed by illiterate, uneducated people. In a more prosperous culture, you're going to see a lot more education, because they can afford it.

    So, having a better or worse culture is not a reflection of one's genes at all. It's more a matter of who's been prosperous enough to send their children to school for longer, which is a lot to do with chance.

    However: just because a situation is caused by something as random as who has been wealthy the longest............. doesn't mean it isn't a fact.

    This simple fact remains: better educated == better culture now. There's no way around that. (By "better culture" I mean more capable of doing worth while things that will benefit their children, which should be the true measure of what "better means.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Some cultures clearly are superior to others. Arguing differently would be like arguing that no automobile engine is better than any other automobile engine.
    Um yeah. Like engines, each have strengths and weaknesses. Trade-offs. We can say a particular culture excels at putting kids through university... in that it is superior, sure.

    Laying on yer values rather thickly doncha think?
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    Well, both things are true. Engines do have strengths and weaknesses, but there exist some engines that have all the strengths of another, plus more strengths, and without any trade offs.

    That's why automotive companies spend so many millions per year on their engineering departments.

    The advantage of education is the ability to compare notes with a wider group of people, so the probability of arriving at the right conclusion are higher than if you're uneducated, and have to consult a smaller group. This doesn't absolutely guarantee that the educated group will always be right, and the uneducated group will always be wrong, but you get the "casino effect" going on, where the house wins more often than it loses.
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