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Thread: Language and racism

  1. #1 Language and racism 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    How large a role do you feel the language barrier plays in contributing to racism and things of that sort? I feel that differences in language impede our ability to accept others, especially, perhaps, academically, and that is really my main interest here.

    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I figure the only way we even get cultural diversity in the first place is when people are out of communication or isolated from each other long enough to start diverging from one another.

    I tend to make a difference in my mind between "ethnicity" and "race". I like to think of race as being purely genetic. It just so happens that the tendency of our ancestors to segregate by racial lines has lead to an odd situation where a culture can be so predominant among members of a given race that we see the culture as part of what the race is.

    That kind of bothers me, because it implies a behavioral difference rather than just a purely genetic one.

    The thing about cultures, is that they have different systems of rules. The rule systems are often not perfectly compatible with each other. Taking a rule from one system and trying to apply it in another is rather like taking a part from one kind of automobile engine, say a Chevy Blazer, and trying to install it in another automobile engine, say a Toyota Camry.

    I'm happy trying to live and let live as long as the other culture doesn't try to take its rules and place them into my system. My system probably won't work with those rules very well. I guess.... in some sense.... cultures really *shouldn't* be all that accepting of each other.

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