Racism

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Racism

Unread postby Jimayo » Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:58 am

I was watching Down to Earth the other day, and the scene where Chris Rock as a white billionaire gets punched in the face for enjoying a rap song really offends me. That was racist plain and simple. It's alright for a black guy to enjoy the song, but not a white guy. Why is this sort of racism tolerable?
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Unread postby Lightsyde » Fri Feb 28, 2003 4:59 am

because the cultural revolution here in the states has effectively demonized the white man.
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Unread postby Cao Zhi » Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:28 am

One sees it everyday in my state (Texas). Organizations like the MALDF and the NAACP are allowed to thrive and grow, while if a comparable white organization tries to grow, it is shot down as being 'racist' or comparable to the Klan or the Knights of the White Camilla or some other criminal group. The same with all-minority media like Jet and Ebony magazines, and BET. Rest assured that if there was a white-only media, it would be shot down by our good freinds Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and other such goons as being 'racist.' Minorities can make jokes or comments about "Whitey" in public with impunity, while if whites make "racially insensitive" jokes or comments, they are scorned. And do not even get me started on 'minority-only' scholarships and crap like affirmative action.

There is a double standard here, methinks. Political correctness has gone way out of control. I don't go around saying that I am entitled to services and because I am "Austrian-American", "European-American", "White" or whatever. I take pride in just being an American. Why cannot some people just ignore the skin color factor and take pride in their country? We all live here as neighbors and buisness partners, so why don't we just cut the childish antics and make our land a better place?
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Unread postby CK » Fri Feb 28, 2003 9:44 am

posted by cao zhi

That is so true in what you spoke but it is still evident that racism remains in America. The point is, since the institution still inhibits the marginalised groups more than what they offered, the somewhat white supremacist tone which you adopted in your message should be reconsidered. While you mentioned the unfair nature of double standards, it remains a fact that the Afro-Americans were to put it simply, not being treated as an American. Lynching only died out in the 1960s and till now, there is no federal laws against lynching. The Afro-American male remains more likely to get the death penalty than the white male. Also, more afro-american males are in jails etc which only attest to some flaws within the American society. I do acknowledge that this could be due to the fact that Afro-American males were more interested in Athletics and entertainment pursuits since it proved as the easiest way to climb the social ladder etc.

Yet, you have gracefully and accurately pointed out the fact that such racial distinctions should be eliminated. The problem with such a utopian society however is that it can never be achieved since most of us are not ready for it. Race is to put it simply a social construct and its hard for us social beings to throw away our association with the society. In the end, while I concur with what you are propagating, it is simply too difficult. Yet, things are nonetheless in a much more brighter picture, at least according to this article, The Black Gender Gap
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Unread postby James » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:34 am

The issue sickens me too for all the reasons Cao Zhi mentioned. There is nothing equal about the system, it is so minority biased that I am ashamed to say American produced it.

Here are some thoughts for you CK. :)

I think the reason why we have Reverend Jacksons and other African Americans who seem to spend every waking hour of their lives trying to win more support for their minority is because we provide special privilege to them in the first place. If an African American called a white person a “cracker” (a very derogatory term, at least from their perspective) and there were witnesses, the white person would not be able to do anything at all. He couldn’t press charges or anything (not that he should). But if the white person called the African American “nigger” in a derogatory way with witnesses (and in some cases without) the African American would be able to crucify the white in court.

This racial bias in the legal system teaches African Americans to expect privileges and legal impunity beyond what the white person can receive. There is nothing holding them back in society anymore, either. It is all a load of crap.

I think it is this very thing that is creating the bias today. The white American feels cheated in the system now, they don’t like seeing such bias in law enforcement. On the other end we have people like the Reverend Jackson sending out the message that the black person is still being stomped on, so they eat up every bit of it, which leads to more hate and prejudice.

And yes, there are more blacks, by percentage, in prison than whites, but stop and think about that for a moment. Maybe it isn’t because of a prejudice in the system, maybe it is because they are committing more crimes? I know, I just said something seriously taboo, but I don’t care. The legal system in most cases is very careful about putting minority groups away because of things like lawsuits. They can get away with many crimes much more frequently than majority members of community. Perhaps maybe this is the result of a generally lower standard in family life and neighborhood life, which may be the result of the prejudice and bias generated by our “solution” to the problem?
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Unread postby CK » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:58 am

I never said that such a system which favoured the minority is equal so it is simply unequal in nature. What I was against and I think I had make myself most clear however subtle it may be is that I deem it unthinkable that the whites are now complaining about these issues when evidently the blacks and other racial groups remains a "Separate" race in many instances.

There is no doubt there is legal bias as you had corrected me but in reality does such a legal bias arm the Afro-African community and others in general in their fight for better jobs, better payments etc. One thing which you cannot deny is that discrimination is still present within the American society. Frankly, I do not think that a mere 40+ years since the civil rights movement would change people's attitude and as long as your skin colour is different, certain people would discriminate the other, disregard of whether they are whites or blacks. While I acknowledge your viewpoint and that in some ways, supporting the minority would at times take away the rights of the capable majority. However, I disagree with your hypothesis that the bias against the Afro-americans were developed from legal bias. People are bias towards others when they feel threatened and as an outsider, I feel that the whites are threatened by how the law seems to be protecting the minority. Indeed, in a conventional white society, they would be faced with less challenges unlike in a multi-ethnic salad bowl, where they would face competitions with all other races. It is such an attitude which I believe had contributed more to the bias.

While Jesse Jackson etc may have possibly exaggerated the plights of the Afro-American society, it remains a fact that this community remains a more marginalised group. You cannot fault them for constantly refering to history since until the 1960s, the blacks were a subjected race for more than 300 years. Using their political and civil rights were still something new and its entirely possible they are still learning how to use this tool to combat their cause of racial equality. This does not however means that I support a black superiority society. Indeed, I wonder if that is the aims of the blacks now.

In the end, you would probably realise by now that all I can provide is a very sketchy and weak argument simply because you are not wrong. What I hope to achieve in all this is that while you are not wrong in your stand, I do not agree with the somewhat aggressive, definitely offensive to me and more importantly insensitive remarks made during the entire course of debate. Please do not see this as a personal attack for I never intended it to be but like you said, its better if there is none of these talks about the majority/minority paradigm which I agree whole-heartedly. The problem is that both you and Cao Zhi tended to give me the impression that you are criticising the minorities fight for equal or better rights. Its just an impression and I may be wrong but I just feel that its necessary for me to involve myself in this debate.
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Unread postby James » Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:19 am

Don’t worry about offending me CK, you won’t do it. I am used to debating on strong issues with people who, from time to time, strongly disagree with my views. I actually prefer blunt speech in reply to my thoughts and views, even if the presented arguments would offend and anger most people. :)

That said, lets look at a few of the things you mentioned. The job issue has gotten out of hand, in my opinion. Aside from things mentioned before, we are also now requiring employers in many fields to hire a certain amount of minorities from different ethnic groups (e.g. 20% Mexican, 20% African American, 35% Female, whatever). More than five times in my life I have lost a job because an under skilled uneducated member of a minority came along, and simply because of his racial background took the job from me. I am not bitter about this personally, I know how to go with the flow, but this situation is springing up all around America.

After the events on September 11th of last year, people noticed that most firefighters were white males. They started pushing for more female firefighters and more minorities. This makes me furious, up until this point the job was given to the most educated and physically fit person available. It only takes simple math to see that this would be white (there are more of them) males (they are physically stronger than females in many cases, and they are more fit for the line of work). Now we are passing down a strong male for an uneducated female of questionable physical strength. You don’t put a 5-foot fat person on the basketball court, you don’t have a 5-foot skinny woman toting around a hose through a burning home potentially putting others’ lives at risk.

Of course there is still prejudice and bias in America, as with every other place on the Earth, and this will never change. There will always be people who are blind by color, sex, or background. All we can do is focus laws toward the goal of equality and punish those who break them.

Here is the problem. Right now our solution, apparently, to prejudice against a minority is to create a counter prejudice to even the score. To me this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. How can you expect bias to go away when the minority group is basically being reminded every day that it is indeed a minority with a heavy bias set against it (even though they can’t see it with their own eyes) while at the same time you are punishing the majority group with unequal laws and telling them it is because they are bigots when they can’t see the problem that apparently exists? Animosity will come of such an action. You cannot bring about equality by preserving inequality.

I think the only true solution to our problem is to set laws of absolute equality and to enforce them equally against everyone while providing practical punishments to anyone that breaks from the basic central balance. If this is to happen, we also have to get rid of the fact that it is currently acceptable for a minority to offend a majority (e.g. an African American using a racial slur against a white or a female verbally abusing her husband) and replace them with equal enforcement (e.g if we are to enforce punishment for racial slurs go after the African American that calls goes around calling whites “cra*kers” in offensive terms, and give the man and woman equal legal grounds for child custody and child support).

I am not one of the people who feel a race deserves special treatment simply because of crimes committed against their ancestors, and those groups certainly do not deserve legal impunity while abusing the descendants of those who once harmed their ancestors. I do not believe in an eye-for-an-eye. The past has happened, and now we can learn from it or we can dwell in it.

In less words, I believe in equality too, but I want to see it on both ends. Justice [and the law] should be blind, as it claims to be.
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Unread postby Lu Baihu » Sat Mar 01, 2003 6:37 am

Speaking of which, has anyone ever heard of black-on-Asian racism? I hear it's a lot more prevalent than anyone thinks, but I'd like to know more and where it comes from ...
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Unread postby James » Sat Mar 01, 2003 6:56 am

Lu Baihu wrote:Speaking of which, has anyone ever heard of black-on-Asian racism? I hear it's a lot more prevalent than anyone thinks, but I'd like to know more and where it comes from ...

The Asians where I live actually get along very well with the other ethnic groups. Here the primary enemies are some African Americans and some Mexicans. It gets way out of hand.
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Unread postby CK » Sat Mar 01, 2003 7:02 am

I share your concern and idea of absolute equality and indeed I would like it very much to see it happen too. The problem is, I would tend to believe, none of the mainstream elites are prepared for such a thing. Indeed one of the problem of the majority/minority rhetoric is that I quote from Henry Thoreau, "A majority is permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest." The problem with the mainstream society is that the standards were laid down by the elitist white male society.

Which brings me to the firemen issue. We know that gender and racial discrimination remains but there used to discrimination against other nationalities as well, in particular the Greeks, Irish and other East European nationalities. Most of them were to take up jobs in the fire department for instance and other "physical/menial" works which the Anglo-saxon people never take up. Even till now, when we look at the list of firemen honoured in Sept 11, I believe a lot of them were also descendents from these very nationalities when we look at their last name. The point is, while these "whites" can assimilate into the "white" American society, Afro-Americans and on broader implications, Hispanics and Asian-Americans can't simply because they looked different.

The problem with all the posts I made however was that, as you accurately pointed out, I focused a lot of my arguments based on historical discrimination etc. The thing is I am a history student and when I hear during lectures and read the books how the Great US of A remains this "barbaric" society even at the later half of the 20th century, I really wonder how much things had changed now. Yet, I concede that I have this contradiction: by propogating such an "unequal" status, ie, whenever I see an Afro-American lady on campus, I always "marvel" at how they broke off from the societal resrictions, true equality can never be achieved which is precisely what you had argued for. Indeed we need to break away from the past, but we must never forget about the past...

In my honest opinion, social institutions like affirmative action is essentially required since its a protective agency for the minorities against the "ills of capitalism", however cliche this statement remains.

EDIT: Let me just say, James, that I love debating with you on this issue. :wink:
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