If Wilso didn't want to move in because they were Aboriginals, even though the neighborhood was clean and well-kempt = racism.
If Wilso didn't want to move in because the neighborhood was messy, no matter the race of inhabitants = not racism.
The actuality seems to be somewhere in between, hence the range of responses.
Interesting to hear what peoples opinions are. Thanks Soz.
For Your Info
Ferrous is the masculine declension of the word. If I were female, I would be inclined to use Ferrea.
I choose not to get into a "flame war" with you. Your attacks have reach the point of hostility and name calling.
You have refused to answer any direct questions, so continuance of this discussion is pointless.
As for not living in the same country, unfortunately, we share the same planet and we must endure all kinds of bigotry (including my own.)
Okay, so racism was likely originally intended to describe attitudes which held that race alone was a determinant. I think the way the word has evolved, though, it's more about having an attitude about cultural superiority, which seems pretty easy to figure out.
But when you look at behaviors that seem to be an offshoot of a particular cultural heritage that are clearly, from "our" point of view, abominable -- cannibalism (of Pygmies and others in the Congo, which has recently come to my attention), stoning of "adulteresses," the binding of feet, and any other you care to list -- the waters become muddier. One must either resort to relativism or risk being branded (by somebody, somewhere) a racist.
Those are extreme examples, of course, but less pronounced analogs of them pop up all the time. Like this thread, for instance. I don't mean to suggest that theft is inherent to Aboriginal culture (whatever that means on a continent as vast and as disparate as Australia), but certainly the events of the past couple of hundred years have created a racially stratified society in which the motivators for theft (poverty, disrespect for authority) are more prominent in a particular part of the population. To me, this shouldn't color one's interactions with any individual, black or white, but I can certainly understand Wilso's reaction to such a street. I've been conditioned to register (and condemn, by those who either don't or don't want to really understand human nature) that gut reaction, but I certainly know where it comes from, and it seems common to more people than not. I've both lived in neighborhoods where people responded, "Why do you live there? Such and such live there," and I've written off potential neighborhoods that, for whatever reasons I might tell myself I've written them off, were full of those same "such and such" people.
Life is full of confusing attitudes about race issues. For instance, the current call up of Arabs/Muslims to register with the INS is a case in point. Is this racism if one supports it? I don't think there's an easy answer. c.i.
I've read only half, the first half, of this very interesting thread and have been impressed by the clarity of thought and honesty (Wilso) of most. I myself do not consider myself a racist primarily on the technical ground that I do not believe in the existence of races. Race is a faulty notion finally rejected by its original proponents, anthropologists. In fact the American Association of Anthropologists petitioned the U.S. government a couple of years ago to eliminate the notion of racial categories in the U.S. Census, arguing that it has no scientific or empirical basis. Genes exist but races do not. This should be the basis for a different discussion. But I DO believe in the existence of ethnicty insofar as this denotes the way people identify themselves to others, the claims they make about their origins and distinctiveness. Sometimes they claim a unity based on physical similarities--which might, I suppose, be called a kind of positive racism. But it is racism nevertheless. So race is a model of the human species broken into non-existing sub-species groups, despite the fact that the "typical members" of two different "races" may have more in common with each other (when one considers everything about their physical profile, as opposed to just complexion, hair texture, and all those ingredients of stereotypes) than they do with many of the members within their respective "races."
I DO believe in the empirical realilty of social and economic classes, however--and that is also for another discussion--and I would not like to live in a neighbor consisting of mostly lower (economically poor and uneducated) class people. My neighborhood has hispanics, whites, asians, islanders, east european jews and a couple of so-called inter-racial couples. It's a wonderful neighborhood and this is in part because of its consistently middle class character. No cars in the front yard, no kids running around without parental supervision and almost no propensity to settle disputes violently. I know this marks me as a "classist." So be it. I consider that to have at least some basis in factual reality, whereas racism has none. The fact that some minority ethnic groups (e.g., blacks and hispanics) are overrepresented in the lower class is one reason ethnic minorities are automatically presumed to be lower class. I've spent some of my life among so-called "white trash," and did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did my experience with middle class minorities. But let me emphasize as a disclaimer, that poor people can be wonderful individuals. It's their culture of poverty, as one anthropologist called it, that I try to avoid and this culture is the lifestyle of their social class.
JLN, I need to give it some thought before I respond to your post. c.i.