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Define racism

 
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:23 pm
Well, I wrestle with that one too, au, but for now, I am still young enough to have faith that it is true. We are human, we are also animals. Finding the balance is the key.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 05:48 pm
It is interesting that there are so many people of mixed races that they are rebelling against the usual white/black/asian question on those ubiquitous forms we all have to fill in.
I look forward to the day when we are all a beautiful cafe au lait color and the question of race is moot.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 06:14 pm
Diane
Human nature being what it is I am sure there will be many other things, as there is today, to tickle our juices of discrimination.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 06:19 pm
Very true Au! Before the world bagn focusing on skin color there were things like "Citzenship" (Greece and Rome), Free/slave status, religion, etc..

As skin color fades into history as a determining factor something else will arise in it's place.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 10:12 pm
Power does indeed corrupt....what laws would you make given the chance, and who would they exclude?
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Vivien
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 12:45 am
what annoys me is that anyone of mixed race is automatically 'black' - as though white must be pure and uncontaminated????? Shocked

cafe au lait sounds good.

Why define colour at all on these forms? - I object to answering and don't unless it is compulsory.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 02:10 am
Diane wrote:
It is interesting that there are so many people of mixed races that they are rebelling against the usual white/black/asian question on those ubiquitous forms we all have to fill in.

I like the way Peter Ustinov handles this. Whenever he has to enter his "color" into one of those forms, he writes "rosy". It's nice to see civil courage combined with charm like this!
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Vivien
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 05:29 am
'rosy' - love it! Very Happy
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 06:06 am
"I write about race in hope of undermining the notion of race in America," notes Rodriguez (Hunger of Memory) in this provocative and challenging meditation on identity, racial and otherwise, in American culture. Relishing the contradictions of his own life as a "queer Catholic Indian Spaniard at home in a temperate Chinese city in a fading blond state in a post-Protestant nation," Rodriguez uses the color "brown" as a metaphor for in-between states of being ("brown bleeds through the straight line unstaunchable the line separating black from white") and as a symbol of the nonlinear and the unexpected: "all paradox is brown." Beautifully written in a literary style accessible and lyrical, this book draws upon a far-reaching range of cultural figures and artifacts e.g., Milton, James Baldwin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Lauren advertisements, Leontyne Price in the opera Cleopatra, Edith Sitwell, Showboat, Carlos Fuentes, Francis Parkman's Oregon Trail to make his case that our historical and contemporary conceptualization of race is rudimentary and psychologically and culturally damaging. He isn't afraid to challenge recent left orthodoxy, finding, for example, that he "trusted white literature, because I was able to attribute universality to white literature, because it did not seem to be written for me." This book is written for anyone looking for a way out of limiting self-conceptions.
Brown: The Last Discovery of America
by Richard Rodriguez
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the prince
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2003 08:24 am
How abt this ???


UK politician's racist remark panned

Shyam Bhatia in London | August 08, 2003 18:07 IST


A British politician from the provinces has come under fire for suggesting that native English families are leaving their ancestral homes to avoid being swamped by Indians and Pakistanis.

Dafydd Iwan, who is running for the presidency of the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru (pronounced Plide Cumri), is the UK equivalent of an aspiring J Jayalalithaa.

On Thursday he said at a public meeting in Wales that people were moving to Wales to 'avoid all the Pakistanis and all these Indians who have moved to English towns'.

"That is the truth of it, ask them. They are coming to Wales to avoid immigration. The situation has got worse."

In London the ruling Labour Party said Iwan's comments had touches of the far-right British National Party and called on him to pull out of the race for the Plaid presidency.

A Labour spokesman said, "This is a pretty crass attempt to brand English people moving into rural Wales as racists, hiding behind the fig leaf that this is what people say.

"Dafydd Iwan's comments are alarmingly reminiscent of Nick Griffin's 'White Flight' remarks a couple of years ago. Plaid Cymru condemned those remarks then... they should do so now."

Iwan has insisted he is not a racist, saying, "We must be open about this. I refute any form of racism, but we have got to accept people have a right to maintain their communities and live and work in them."
0 Replies
 
Heliotrope
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2003 08:46 am
How can anyone be a racist anyway ?
We're all human beings so basically racism is a misnomer.
Any feelings a person may have towards any groups or individuals that look/sound/act/smell/speak etc... in a different manner to themselves are irrational and irrelevant.

Quote:
Bill Hicks :
I hate racism man. It was a round world the last time I looked.


He said the same thing about patriotism, which I also view with the same incomprehension as racism.
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fancytickler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2003 12:21 pm
THANKS AU1929, that was the most interesting, informative and believable essay on the evolution of slight, ofen insignificant and generally unimportant humanoid differences !

What I would add is that we are dealing, IMO, on the valid or invalid use of stereotypes in human interactions. It almost boils down, in part, to a semantic problem.

Human beings need to rely on past experience when encountering new situations: we know that fire was 'hot' and so we are forewarned. We could be said to be stereotyping 'Fire,' but this is useful. This is also a useful practice in identifying plants such as 'poison ivy.'

While 'stereotyping,' or, 'remembering' helps in recognizing friends, it is less useful in making predictable judgments about other human beings, such as 'strangers.' Even the word, 'Stranger,' contains an element of the unknown and evokes some fear.

But one can get an 'idea' about others, such as what language to use in speaking to somebody by their dress, for example. We tend to treat women slightly differently from men, young people differently from the elderly, and so on. This difference may imply respect, or lack of respect. This is normal, useful and not necessarily pernicious. It is very human and necessary.

BUT THE PROBLEM with 'racial' judgments is that, although of some limited value, they frequently tend to have negative associations attached. Associations which are not realistic in terms of the individual you may meet on the street or at work or at a party. Xenophobia seems to be instinctive among us, and overcoming it a mark of intelligence, experience and sophistication.

I met a 'person' recently who denied the use of 'racial' designations at all ! We are all of the same species, 'they' insisted.. . This person teaches a class in sociology at a community college. While the contention has merit, of course, there are some visual [and some buried] differences, such as type of hair [or, frequency of certain blood types].

Perhaps a better word [because, under the hoopla, in which the word 'racial' has become ill-used] should be found because there are some easily noticeable differences, generally speaking, that can help. A non-threatening word.

For example, all dogs may interbreed, although the variety between Chihuahuas and St. Bernards, for an example, lead one to speculate "HOW ?" But we do NOT speak of different 'races' of dogs: we use the term 'breed.' Which word is taboo if applied to human beings.

IS THERE A BETTER word to explain these superficial, physical differences, which often have ancestral, atavistic social associations attached ?

BTW, recognizing my own stereotypes, I did NOT strenuously continue my discussion with the 'Person' mentioned above, when they became rather insistent. I was influenced by the obserable facts that 'the person' was 1] elderly 2] female 3] an academician and [pick one] 4] Negro, colored, Black, Afro-American or, African-American. These factors, I must admit, influenced my reticent behavior.
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