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View Full Version : Can you be a Racist, and not know it????


Staticbeef
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:38 PM
I have heard so many people claim that they are NOT racist, yet they do racist things:confused: :confused: :confused:

griffin
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:46 PM
Sure. Lots of people think they're smarter than they are, too.

No Name Face
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:51 PM
to answer your question in a word, yes.

i don't think that being a racist is who i am, but i have done and said things that could be construed as racist.

TennisSTUD
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:52 PM
Hmm, I think you know if you are or not. I don't think people are that stupid, even if they are brought up with it.

venus_rulez
Nov 21st, 2006, 06:59 PM
The truth is everyone has at least some prejudice in them, the point is realizing that it is ignorant to act on those feelings or beliefs or whatever and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:07 PM
Yes.

We all discriminate on a daily basis. Of course we do. It's what our eyes are for. And we probably don't even think about it. That does not mean I approve of racism; rather, I'm merely saying that racism is one of many ways of discriminating.

But I think most people have different interpretations of what constitutes "racist". I often hear anti-Islamic or anti-Jew being construed as racism. Being opposed to the teachings of a religion is not racist. It may in some cases be bigoted, if one religion is targetted. And it often overlaps with racism, because Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Rastafarians and Muslims, etc, are often conspicuous by their appearance. But, in itself, being opposed to the teachings of a religion, and to those who follow those teachings, is not racist. We must be clear on that because many contort the debate so that it is racist to have an opinion.

I know white people who claim to not be racist because they have black friends, or likewise for black people who have white friends. But they will make exceptions at the level of the individual, because that friend will confound their expectations of what a person of a particular appearance represents. It's always "the rest" which they remain hostile to. That is very common. Such people are often not the most virulent racists because they can, at least sometimes, recognise individuality. So there are different levels of severity of racism.

How many people dislike black people (or white people) crudely because of the colour of their skin? Or is it what people of a certain skin colour are thought to represent (i.e, change, political radicalism, opposite values, etc)?

In most cases I would say it's the latter. Most people aren't bothered, "...as long as they live like us". Only those on the farthest reaches of the political Right would crudely discriminate by genetics or skin colour. But as I've said, there are overlaps. One who is the same colour, but of a different creed or persuasion, is often accepted, while one of a different hue's conflicting values are conspicuous because of their appearance.

Wigglytuff
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:07 PM
nah, i think people know they just lie to themselves. denial whatever you call it. but its always there and they know it.

mandy7
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:18 PM
I never thought i was one.
But since wigglytuff told me i am.....
I guess i am one.

Cause wigglytuff is always right
and i can't read, and i am stupid.

so yes. you can be racist and not know it.

thank you wigglytuff, for opening my eyes
you rock :rocker2:

The Crow
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:21 PM
Everyone's more or less prejudiced, so there's a bit of a racist in each of us.

Selah
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:25 PM
Everyone's more or less prejudiced, so there's a bit of a racist in each of us.

I don't agree with that. Being prejudice and being racist are two different things imo. Yes, i hold some stereotypical and prejudice views against certain groups but i in no way hate anyone for who they are.

I am not so sure that you can be racist and not know it but I am under the belief that some people behave in ways affected by unconscious attitudes related to race that are just kinda passed on from the environment they might be brought up in.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:31 PM
I don't agree with that. Being prejudice and being racist are two different things imo. Yes, i hold some stereotypical and prejudice views against certain groups but i in no way hate anyone for who they are.

I am not so sure that you can be racist and not know it but I am under the belief that some people behave in ways affected by unconscious attitudes related to race that are just kinda passed on from the environment they might be brought up in.

If you go into a club and a person you find extremely unattractive asks you to dance, do you dance with them? All they want is a dance.

While this is not racism, it is the same kind of thinking, which can take the form of racism. So you may not be racist, how would I know, but of course the potential is there.

As a generalisation, I would say that those who discriminate the most are those who are not aware of their potential to do so. Treating everybody equally requires constant self-criticism.

Selah
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:35 PM
Treating everybody equally requires constant self-criticism.

Treating everyone at face value seems rather easy to me :shrug:

Wigglytuff
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:35 PM
I don't agree with that. Being prejudice and being racist are two different things imo.
i completely agree.

one definition that has been around for a while is : "Race Prejudice + Power = Racism"

there are problems with definition, particularly without a clear definition of "power", that is too long and drawn out to go into it within this context (suffice to say that if you seek a full definition of "power" as it appears in this equation "the People's Institute" is a great place to contact). but i point it out to show that prejudice is part of racism but prejudice and racism are not interchangeable terms.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:38 PM
Treating everyone at face value seems rather easy to me :shrug:

Exactly. And we do it all the time in one shape or form -- because it's easiest. That doesn't make it right.

So you agree with me.

Kart
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:45 PM
I have heard so many people claim that they are NOT racist, yet they do racist things:confused: :confused: :confused:

IMHO the answer to your question is: yes.

People will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid facing up to the truth of reality.

Selah
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:46 PM
Exactly. And we do it all the time in one shape or form -- because it's easiest. That doesn't make it right.

So you agree with me.

I don't know that I agree with you. A racist person does not take people at face value, they hold certain assupmtions/prejudices about certain people, and then they choose to either engage in hateful behaviors (i.e. make policies that affect certain groups negatively, or act in individual hateful ways, including hateful negative, language) or discriminate because of those assumptions.

Stamp Paid
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:46 PM
Most racists dont even know that they are racists.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 07:53 PM
Most racists dont even know that they are racists.:clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

Very succintly put.

And a lot of strident anti-racist campaigners are homophobes, sexists and just as bigoted in other ways as those they condemn.

Bottom line: we all have prejudices. The most important thing is to be aware of them -- all of them -- so that they influence your behaviour as little as possible.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:00 PM
I don't know that I agree with you. .

No, no. You DO agree with me. It's just that I've just made you uncomfortable because I've made you ask yourself whether you have prejudices which could develop into racism if you didn't keep them checked. So, in other words, you've realised you weren't born perfect. Don't worry -- you're no worse than the rest of us.

I'll tell you one thing that really is "easier". It's to stand on a soap box preaching rather than positioning yourself on the ground looking around you.

A racist person does not take people at face value

Is not, "hold(ing) certain assupmtions/prejudices about certain people, and then choos(ing) to either engage in hateful behaviors (i.e. make policies that affect certain groups negatively, or act in individual hateful ways, including hateful negative, language) or discriminate because of those assumptions," to take people at face value?

The Crow
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:04 PM
Bottom line: we all have prejudices. The most important thing is to be aware of them -- all of them -- so that they influence your behaviour as little as possible.

Indeed!

azdaja
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:06 PM
erm, i do not think that being prejudiced can be considered racism. but otherwise i agree with everyone who says that you can be racist without knowing it, but that's not surprising. few people will admit openly that they are doing something wrong.

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:07 PM
Indeed!

Hehe. I remember that line in your signature! Had to think for a second. It was great! Hehe.:lol:

MisterQ
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:14 PM
It's hard when defined as an either-or issue, as though one is either racist or not racist. One could harbor no overt hatred, and yet be uncomfortable with difference, and thus influenced by race (consciously or subconsciously) in one's decisions.

I have never been racist in the sense that I had hatred for any race. In fact, as a child of baby boomers, I was raised to revere the goals of the civil rights movement and its leaders. I've always felt very strongly about this, and certainly considered myself one of the "good guys".

There have been times, however, when had epiphanies and realized that I was making assumptions about people that were unfair, based entirely on their appearance or background. It rather shocked me... yet this self-examination and willingness to be self-critical is what will move us forward. It's not enough to just say "I'm not a racist" and be done with it. It's impossible to grow up in modern society without race impacting our worldview to some extent.

Selah
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:15 PM
No, no. You DO agree with me. It's just that I've just made you uncomfortable because I've made you ask yourself whether you have prejudices which could develop into racism if you didn't keep them checked. So, in other words, you've realised you weren't born perfect. Don't worry -- you're no worse than the rest of us.

I'll tell you one thing that really is "easier". It's to stand on a soap box preaching rather than positioning yourself on the ground looking around you.

Is not, "hold(ing) certain assupmtions/prejudices about certain people, and then choos(ing) to either engage in hateful behaviors (i.e. make policies that affect certain groups negatively, or act in individual hateful ways, including hateful negative, language) or discriminate because of those assumptions," to take people at face value?

hahaha, you didn't make me uncomfortable. I believe that my first post said that I have prejudices like everyone else, you didn't make me ask myself this question. I stated it :confused: I believe my second statement was but I in no way allow those prejudices to make me dislike a person or act in any hateful way towards them. I can assure you I have never discriminated against anyone in regards to their race, gender or sexuality, mental abilities etc. Perhaps you know something about me that I don't. And I still don't agree with you that racist people take people at face value. To me, taking someone at face value is judging them by what you see, what they present to you (of course ones perceptions hold all kinds of assumptions, yes) and not by what you believe them to be without even getting to know them because of their race etc. I guess I see where you are coming from with that argument but that is all semantics or whatever you call that. I am now done going back and forth with you, as i just got at your motivation, and assumption about me which was all wrong. ;)

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:22 PM
hahaha, you didn't make me uncomfortable. I believe that my first post said that I have prejudices like everyone else, you didn't make me ask myself this question. I stated it :confused: I believe my second statement was but I in no way allow those prejudices to make me dislike a person or act in any hateful way towards them. I can assure you I have never discriminated against anyone in regards to their race, gender or sexuality, mental abilities etc. Perhaps you know something about me that I don't. And I still don't agree with you that racist people take people at face value. To me, taking someone at face value is judging them by what you see, what they present to you (of course ones perceptions hold all kinds of assumptions, yes) and not by what you believe them to be without even getting to know them because of their race etc. I guess I see where you are coming from with that argument but that is all semantics or whatever you call that. I am now done going back and forth with you, as i just got at your motivation, and assumption about me which was all wrong. ;)

Well I'm glad we're not going back and forth. Especially with you inherently contradicting yourself as you have just done again ;)

But no worries :)

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:32 PM
It's hard when defined as an either-or issue, as though one is either racist or not racist. One could harbor no overt hatred, and yet be uncomfortable with difference, and thus influenced by race (consciously or subconsciously) in one's decisions.

I have never been racist in the sense that I had hatred for any race. In fact, as a child of baby boomers, I was raised to revere the goals of the civil rights movement and its leaders. I've always felt very strongly about this, and certainly considered myself one of the "good guys".

There have been times, however, when had epiphanies and realized that I was making assumptions about people that were unfair, based entirely on their appearance or background. It rather shocked me... yet this self-examination and willingness to be self-critical is what will move us forward. It's not enough to just say "I'm not a racist" and be done with it. It's impossible to grow up in modern society without race impacting our worldview to some extent.

:worship:

A mature and engaging read. Rare for this board.

I too have discriminated. When I was a child I racially discriminated in my mind, even though I had black friends (hence the distinction between thoughts and actions). Luckily I had the self-critical and empathetical abilities to see what I was doing when I became a teenager.

But I've also grown up in the 1990s listening to anti-racism from macho, abrasive men (like Bob Geldof, imo) who shout women down whenever they try to get their word in, or others who overtly revile homosexuals. I've also heard feminist rants from women who refuse to listen to my ideas because I'm a man, even though I'm now a man who is primarily a feminist himself. And, of course, all or most white people have at some time felt discriminated against by black people.

So I've always known it's very complicated and there are so many double standards.

Martian Willow
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:39 PM
i completely agree.

one definition that has been around for a while is : "Race Prejudice + Power = Racism"

there are problems with definition,

Its a definition for people who want to accuse white people of racism but excuse their own. :)

The Guilty
Nov 21st, 2006, 08:47 PM
I have heard so many people claim that they are NOT racist, yet they do racist things:confused: :confused: :confused:

I think most know, they just don't admit it.

Marcus1979
Nov 21st, 2006, 09:30 PM
what about when u ring up a call center for help on a product and the person on the other end speaks little english. Is that considered racist if u complain about it?

Steffica Greles
Nov 21st, 2006, 09:45 PM
what about when u ring up a call center for help on a product and the person on the other end speaks little english. Is that considered racist if u complain about it?

No. But if you said "bloody Indians" then you are implicitly casting aspersions on the telephonist because of their race/nationality. We all might think it for a second before we've corrected ourselves, but it's best not to say it.

But of course you have a right to get frustrated if somebody on the end of a service line cannot understand you, just as a third-generation British-Indian who spoke English as their first language would do, or as we all would do if a white, English person on the other end of the line could not understand us.

Andy_
Nov 21st, 2006, 09:47 PM
There's this lovely and smart musical which has been running on Broadway for a few years now and has recently opened in London, too, called 'Avenue Q'. One of the songs is about racism, and it goes like:

Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes
Doesn't mean we go around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
No one's really color blind.
Maybe it's a fact we all should face
Everyone makes judgments based on race

It's an intentionally simple and direct way to put it, but I think it holds some truth... we all have had the temptation to give in to a prejudice, in life... the important thing is realizing how stupid that is and trying to avoid it.
I mean... being a racist and not knowing it? I think you can be a racist and not be 'aware' of it only if inside yourself you're firmly convinced your opinion is based on facts, not on a bias... yet the moment you really think about, or as soon as you try and compare your view with that of other people, you're doomed to realize you were somewhat racist!

RVD
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:06 PM
I have heard so many people claim that they are NOT racist, yet they do racist things:confused: :confused: :confused:I suppose anything is possible. So the quick answer would be "YES", however...

I'm inclined to believe that someone who doesn't know that they are a racist is someone you can label as ignorant or in extreme denial. It's just too hard to not know that you hate a group enough to believe and or enforce the belief that "... biological differences make you inherently and / or biologically superior, with a corollary that you have the right to rule others..."[ How can someone not know with the very beliefs that they hold, AND go as far as to enforce upon others? :scared: That would be one sick puppy to say the least.

So my answer is an unequivocal NO!

Staticbeef
Nov 21st, 2006, 10:11 PM
I think most know, they just don't admit it.

Treating Annas back, probably gives you the serenity and self confidence to answer the question honestly. In my opinion, we are all well aware when we are being racist, weather the behavior stems from our upbringing or peer pressure or some wrong done to us by a particular group, I feel we are well aware of our behavior and do it anyway. The confusion comes from the people who move back and fort with impunity, in other words people who are racist by convenience, to impress, show solidarity, or to just plain hurt someone, and then just as easily move comfortably in the mist of the group that they have previously exhibited racist tendencies against, all the time claiming not to be racist. Kramer comes to mind, never would I have figured him to explode in that ugly a manner, and I honestly feel he was surprised by his own behavior, lets face it, if we get angry at somebody, there are no rules that bind us, we go for the jugler. I feel this is very different than the card carrying NEO-NATZY KKK type, who try and incorporate false scientific and social evidence to back up their insanity. Yet it hurts the same, because what it does is separate us, and that separation caused more racism and the circle begins.:help: :sad:

*JR*
Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:06 AM
Everyone's more or less prejudiced, so there's a bit of a racist in each of us.
I'm very tolerant. :angel: I don't even dislike all the fucking Belgians here. :p

Sam L
Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:49 AM
Its a definition for people who want to accuse white people of racism but excuse their own. :)

Well said, catherine, as usual. :)

I can see their bitterness and hatred, it's sad. It's like some of them have not come to terms with the past with things like slavery and imperialism and wants to blame white people for their racism. A kind of victim mentality. You can even see it on this board every day from certain posters.

controlfreak
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:02 AM
The simple fact is, some of us are racists, and it would be nice if for once in a while the victims of our racism would accept that fact and tolerate our racism a little better! Sometimes the world just seems so prejudiced against those of us with racist tendencies. Why can't they just realise that we can't help the way we are?

:armed: (<---- NOT an asian chinkyman smiley...)

controlfreak
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:07 AM
lets face it, if we get angry at somebody, there are no rules that bind us, we go for the juggler.

You are so right! GOD, I hate jugglers! Always standing there on the street corner, looking so smarmy with their seventeen flaming balls in mid-air. What a bunch of show-offs. Mimes too, they annoy the hell out of me...

Staticbeef
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:12 AM
:lol: :lol: :lol: You are so right! GOD, I hate jugglers! Always standing there on the street corner, looking so smarmy with their seventeen flaming balls in mid-air. What a bunch of show-offs. Mimes too, they annoy the hell out of me...:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Ok, ya got that one:lol: :lol: :lol:

Number19
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:13 AM
I think everyone is suspectible to "rascist" words, but not so much "racism" in and of itself. It's in every culture and society. There are words you hear from a very young age, and when under stress, duress, laziness whatever may use them.

But, as far as being an actually "racist" as an idea of separating, and to the extreme, annihilating a group of people, its different.

I hate hearing people I know use racist remarks, but when no one of those races is around its nothing, because I know somewhere other people are using racist remarks about them. Neither sides are really truly racists. But when they are face to face then whatever happens happens, like when one friend I know punched another friend for using a racist word. The one using the word deserved it. (Unless guns or whatever come out. Because that's really stupid.)

Rollo
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:46 AM
Venus Rulez The truth is everyone has at least some prejudice in them, the point is realizing that it is ignorant to act on those feelings or beliefs or whatever and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

A powerful and true quote IMO-great post!

Parsley
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:50 AM
I don't like pokomen, digimon, Wigglytuff etc.

Does that mean I have racists ideas about strange Japanese creatures?

moby
Nov 22nd, 2006, 01:52 AM
Most racists dont even know that they are racists.Exactly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11DyUMgvz0Y (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11DyUMgvz0Y)

meyerpl
Nov 22nd, 2006, 03:54 AM
Whenever anyone begins a statement by saying, "I'm not a racist, but......" I know what usually follows is, "........there are black people and there are ******s." Then, I pull out a gun and shoot the speaker.

Wigglytuff
Nov 22nd, 2006, 04:29 AM
Whenever anyone begins a statement by saying, "I'm not a racist, but......" I know what usually follows is, "........there are black people and there are ******s." Then, I pull out a gun and shoot the speaker.

:worship: :worship: :worship:

in my experience if you need to begin a begin a sentence with "i'm not a racist but...", you are a racist who is about to say something racist.


edit, just for fun i went to yahoo and searched "I'm not a racist, but" one of the first hits was this gem:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060823060258AAW9oUH

I'm not a racist, but what can i do to get my daughter from dating black men?

:tape: :tape:

Marcus1979
Nov 22nd, 2006, 04:33 AM
:worship: :worship: :worship:

in my exprience if you need to begin a begin a sentence with "i'm not a racist but...", you are a racist who is about to say something racist.


sometimes I use the term in case people mis-interpret what I say and assume I am racist when I am not.

Selah
Nov 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM
Steffica Grales, I did not contradict myself. Your example of seeing an unattractive person, who asks you to dance, and then you don't give them a dance is far from racism. It isn't even close. Obviously prejudice can lead to racism, that isn't the argument at hand. I see from your post and many of you, I dare say white people have no clue what racism is because you have been fortunate enough to never feel the pain of racism either up close or afar (family etc). So you can post here that mere prejudice is racism etc. There is no sense arguing with any of you when your meaning of racism is so far from reality. Your reality.

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2006, 10:20 AM
Well racism is tough. It's hard to point your finger at it. I am not racist, but occasionally I realize that my attitude, not necessarily specific to race or ethnicity though, is not right. It means i just make a generalization, but if i make one about one thing, i might make it about another. I also believe young people are usually more racist than older people. Plus some people might have racist thoughts but never do anything racist so nobody including themselves, ever knows. It is challenging if you have been hurt by people of one kind numerous times not to have bitter feelings towards that group. It's also challenge to differentiate between liking yourself, and not disliking what is not yourself. I'll leave that for you to translate.

Kunal
Nov 22nd, 2006, 11:07 AM
yea probably.....comes down to u never having been exposed to that aspect in real life.....

controlfreak
Nov 22nd, 2006, 11:46 AM
Whenever anyone begins a statement by saying, "I'm not a racist, but......" I know what usually follows is, "........there are black people and there are ******s." Then, I pull out a gun and shoot the speaker.

But what if they were about to say "I'm not a racist, butthole!"?

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:59 PM
You got it wrong, usually they say "Im not racist But .... I CANT STAND JEWISH PEOPLE". That is just my opinion of course.