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post #31 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by Novichok View Post
Jews are overrepresented but whites are not. Imagine there's a country with a 90% white population and 10% black population. 100 seats that need to be filled. 90% of those seats are filled by whites and 10% are filled by blacks. So no overrepresentation of whites. But of those 90 seats filled by whites, 80% are Jewish (let's say that they are 5% of the white population). So there is overrepresentation of Jews but not of whites. White people can have more than one identity, right?
Yeah, whites can have more than one social identity, but they can only have one racial identity. The nature of whiteness is very prescriptive in most Western societies -- you can't be both "white" and "black" for example, you are either/or. So if Jews are white, 80% of the seats being filled by Jews is a meaningless distinction, until we imbue social meaning into what that overrepresentation means.


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post #32 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Racism?

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Yeah, whites can have more than one social identity, but they can only have one racial identity. The nature of whiteness is very prescriptive in most Western societies -- you can't be both "white" and "black" for example, you are either/or. So if Jews are white, 80% of the seats being filled by Jews is a meaningless distinction, until we imbue social meaning into what that overrepresentation means.
It's not meaningless. Many people identify as Jewish. By overrepresentation all I mean is that the percentage of Jews in the institution is higher than the percentage of Jews in the total population.
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post #33 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Re: Racism?

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So? There is a socio-cultural category and those in that category are overrepresented.

Would you also disagree that blacks are not underrepresented because race is not a discrete, natural category?
But a fact is an indisputable truth though, right? All socio-cultural categories are not "facts", they are historically contingent and very tenuous. Right now, Jewish religious authorities could decide to revise their cultural distinctions on what it means to be Jewish, and instantly that over-representation would be erased. But would that still change the fact that the same people who were in power before are still in power after this new classification? Nope.


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post #34 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Racism?

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But a fact is an indisputable truth though, right? All socio-cultural categories are not "facts", they are historically contingent and very tenuous. Right now, Jewish religious authorities could decide to revise their cultural distinctions on what it means to be Jewish, and instantly that over-representation would be erased. But would that still change the fact that the same people who were in power before are still in power after this new classification? Nope.
But there are ethnic Jews.

And I don't get your point. The cultural distinctions on what it means to be black could be erased too. And then blacks wouldn't be underrepresented. Or is race a natural category? I don't know what you're arguing for.
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post #35 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Re: Racism?

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But there are ethnic Jews.

And I don't get your point. The cultural distinctions on what it means to be black could be erased too. And then blacks wouldn't be underrepresented. Or is race a natural category? I don't know what you're arguing for.
But even ethnicity is a social category as well.

And yes, if we lived in a historical vacuum, the cultural distinction on what it means to be black could be erased too, and then blacks might not be underrepresented. But thats not the realpolitik of white racist society. Whiteness is not an indisputable scientific fact, but it is a powerful social circumstance. Whiteness is an exclusive form of property, in a sense - some people (like Jews) have it and can leverage it to varying degrees, but Blacks and other non-whites cannot access or leverage it at all. It is this exclusivity of "whiteness" that reinforces white supremacy, and makes sure that Black and brown people do not have equitable representation in those institutions, while simultaneously provides spaces for many Jews to enter those positions of power.

But why were we talking about Jews in the first place?


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post #36 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by Novichok View Post
Well, I don't believe that any such racist actions exist.

But here is one many thought to be racist: A white person calling a black person a "gorilla" without disliking blacks, believing that they are inferior, or essentializing characteristics to them. Said white person claimed that there was no intent of the kind I mentioned.
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I find that hard to believe. If I don't like a black person, I wouldn't call them a gorilla. If I think she's a really bitch, nasty person, I will call her just that.

You don't have to be racist to all people in that race to be a racist towards a particular person.

Some people may be fine with other races as long as they still in their place etc... There's different kinds of racism.
On a micro level, that's entirely possible. Calling large, clumsy people "apes" or "gorillas" is not uncommon. (You can find old films from the '30s and '40s where white "heavies" are called gorillas or big apes routinely). So it is possible a person could refer to a large, clumsy black person as a "big ape" without being aware of the history, esp. in the U.S., of cartoons and racist propaganda comparing blacks to apes, claiming that blacks are less evolved and literally more apelike than whites, etc.

In discourse on this forum, and maybe because of my background and position, I am always more prepared to ascribe perceived prejudice or racism regardless of whom it is targeted at as the product of ignorance and misunderstanding than of ill-intent. Sadly, I am sometimes proven wrong. But there have been times when I think I've been proven right as well.

On the macro level, I think LBV is doing a pretty good job of explaining it, although I would argue that in certain conditions racism can break down along other lines--certainly, the bias against Jews, or the bias against the Han under the Manchus, etc. are historic examples of ethnically based "racism" that closely parallel the situation he is describing.

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post #37 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
On a micro level, that's entirely possible. Calling large, clumsy people "apes" or "gorillas" is not uncommon. (You can find old films from the '30s and '40s where white "heavies" are called gorillas or big apes routinely). So it is possible a person could refer to a large, clumsy black person as a "big ape" without being aware of the history, esp. in the U.S., of cartoons and racist propaganda comparing blacks to apes, claiming that blacks are less evolved and literally more apelike than whites, etc.

In discourse on this forum, and maybe because of my background and position, I am always more prepared to ascribe perceived prejudice or racism regardless of whom it is targeted at as the product of ignorance and misunderstanding than of ill-intent. Sadly, I am sometimes proven wrong. But there have been times when I think I've been proven right as well.

On the macro level, I think LBV is doing a pretty good job of explaining it, although I would argue that in certain conditions racism can break down along other lines--certainly, the bias against Jews, or the bias against the Han under the Manchus, etc. are historic examples of ethnically based "racism" that closely parallel the situation he is describing.
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post #38 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
In layman's terms, racism is a system of oppressive strategies employed by white people to preserve their cultural, political, and economic supremacy. Is that still too technical?
is this satire?
do you think blacks, hispanics, indians, native americans, chinese, etc. aren't racist?

a (non-racist) definition:
racism is actions employed to assert cultural, political, and economic supremacy over persons of another race.
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post #39 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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Re: Racism?

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is this satire?
do you think blacks, hispanics, indians, native americans, chinese, etc. aren't racist?

a (non-racist) definition:
racism is actions employed to assert cultural, political, and economic supremacy over persons of another race.
In a Euro-American context, no. Non-white people can be racially prejudiced and they can definitely be oppressive, but they can't be racist. You have to be able to back up your racial prejudice with institutional power to be a racist.

Now with the demographic changes occurring in the US, that may change in the future. But at the moment, no.


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post #40 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Re: Racism?

LOL. Who says non whites within America can't be racist. In the Greater LA area where I live the most racism that occurs is black on Hispanic or hispanic on black. Whites are nowhere in the picture.

And racism will always occur. Its a survival technique given to us by mother nature. When food is plenty we can all sing kumbaya but when times are tough racism rises. Ever notice why anti-jewish sentiment always rises in times of economic turmoil.

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post #41 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Re: Racism?

I agree that non-whites can be racist. I see it all the time.

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post #42 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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Re: Racism?

I don't have much to say I just knew this was going to become a white vs black issue. Shame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
In a Euro-American context, no. Non-white people can be racially prejudiced and they can definitely be oppressive, but they can't be racist. You have to be able to back up your racial prejudice with institutional power to be a racist.

Now with the demographic changes occurring in the US, that may change in the future. But at the moment, no.
Non sense. The most powerful and influential person in the world isn't even white and is an american, he wouldn't be called a racist if he fit the criteria?

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post #43 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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Re: Racism?

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White racism is a system of white supremacy that sustains cultural, political and economic domination of whites over all other races, and justifies the diverting of material and symbolic resources towards whites to preserve this inequality.
Yet you can read on this board that there's a rampant racism in Serbia. When someone says such an absurd thing, is it a prejudice too or something else?

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post #44 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
I find that hard to believe. If I don't like a black person, I wouldn't call them a gorilla. If I think she's a really bitch, nasty person, I will call her just that.

You don't have to be racist to all people in that race to be a racist towards a particular person.

Some people may be fine with other races as long as they still in their place etc... There's different kinds of racism.
But an important context to this is that poster wasn't just calling a black person a "gorilla" for the sake of it, he was saying she looked like a gorilla. And the poster said they had never heard black people being stereotyped as gorillas before. I have to admit that personally, even if I had never heard of that stereotype before, I would've thought it would be commonsense that it would be seen as offensive, but I can't see how the poster was anything more than insensitive, rather than racist.

Anyway, without wanting to start a war (genuinely), I do think a lot of posters here are guilty of applying Americanized standards to non-American posters when it comes to race. I'm not saying I don't understand why American black people would be way oversensitive to race matters given what happened in the USA's relatively recent history, but the fact is that most other Western countries just don't have that level of racism.
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post #45 of 673 (permalink) Old Nov 30th, 2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Racism?

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Originally Posted by LBV. View Post
In a Euro-American context, no. Non-white people can be racially prejudiced and they can definitely be oppressive, but they can't be racist. You have to be able to back up your racial prejudice with institutional power to be a racist.

Now with the demographic changes occurring in the US, that may change in the future. But at the moment, no.
I don't think most people would agree with this. And if there's a definition that most people don't agree with, why should we accept it? Why is institutional power necessary to be a racist? Why can't we just call those people institutional racists?
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