Society/Culture When is racism really racism?

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Brunswick Trap King

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Today, out of boredom, I was reading an article from the Daily Mississippian which appears to have drawn some controversy.

I'll shorten the article for those who can't be bothered reading it: Old Miss Greek (I think a university group?) cancelled an event due to potential racism. Apparently, there had been a breakfast prior to a forum on racism. A student threw a banana peel in the tree, which was promptly spotted by a traditionally African-American sorority. This was perceived to be racist, as bananas are obviously associated with apes. Following this, a white male student admitted pretty quickly that it was him, and he threw it into the tree as he couldn't find a bin nearby.

His apology reads as: “I want to sincerely apologize for the events that took place this past weekend,” Swanson said in a statement to The DM on Tuesday night. “Although unintentional, there is no excuse for the pain that was caused to members of our community.

I would think that should be enough to quell the concerns as it sounds like he was pretty transparent. However, one of the complainants countered with the following:
McNeil said that if the banana peel incident was an accident, people need to consider the effects of their actions versus their intent.

“You see how much fear and how much anger you insight in black people just from an unintentional image,” she said.

To me, this seems pretty excessive. I agree that racism is a huge issue in society, and one that we should be trying to prevent. But is this being too precious? I tend to agree that we should also avoid something that offends people eg. the Adam Goodes booing. Another similar issue is the use of black face in Australia, while we might not have the same black face history, it is obviously insulting to certain groups.

But sometimes perceived racism is not racist at all. For example, the word niggardly has drawn controversy in the United States for obvious negative connotations. However, the word itself has nothing to do with race, it simply means stingy, and has done so since the middle ages.

I sometimes worry that certain sections of society are going too far to find offence. I think that we collectively find it hard to draw a line where bigotry is concerned. I guess racism is ultimately subjective. But when people lose jobs, lose opportunities and face public ridicule over something where there was no racial undertones, I think we have gone too far.

Now, to avoid debate on what I'm scared this thread is going to devolve into, let's all assume that the boy threw the banana into the tree because he had nowhere else to put it. Given this, do you think he should be publicly sorry for offence he caused? Or do you think he's ethically correct in assuming no blame?
 

Thats Wright

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I think we are stuffed. Social media allows the 5% of opinionated and loose types a misrepresentation on public opinion.

Most decent family orientated people shouldn't really be posting so much on technology unless paid.

Of course family and community are going to breakdown when you've got ultra minorities taking up excessive bandwidth. Not the vulnerable types with legitimate causes but the middle class social snipers/araonist's we see posting here.

It's just gravitational pull. There was never a guarantee that the good life would last for ever. Social media is doing to democracy what the heavens did to the dinosaurs. The rocks will be turned and the only winner longterm is Islam.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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I think we are stuffed. Social media allows the 5% of opinionated and loose types a misrepresentation on public opinion.

Most decent family orientated people shouldn't really be posting so much on technology unless paid.

Of course family and community are going to breakdown when you've got ultra minorities taking up excessive bandwidth. Not the vulnerable types with legitimate causes but the middle class social snipers/araonist's we see posting here.

It's just gravitational pull. There was never a guarantee that the good life would last for ever. Social media is doing to democracy what the heavens did to the dinosaurs. The rocks will be turned and the only winner longterm is Islam.
That's gotta be a record for the quickest implementation of Islam into a thread.

I can't help but worry that people are being conditioned to look for 'microaggressions' by today's clicktivism. People are looking to explain things by attributing anything they can to malice.

Not everybody in society spends their time thinking about race and culture. Hell, I know that I've thrown banana peels in random locations to dispose of them without thinking about the implications to another race.

Perhaps, as a society, we are too concerned that people are full of evil intentions. From the article above, it sounds like the affronted were willing to accept the offender's apology and reason at face value. I think some people are just too quick to jump into victim mode, and that applies to the whole of society, whether it's racial, cultural or religious.
 

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Thats Wright

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That's gotta be a record for the quickest implementation of Islam into a thread.

I can't help but worry that people are being conditioned to look for 'microaggressions' by today's clicktivism. People are looking to explain things by attributing anything they can to malice.

Not everybody in society spends their time thinking about race and culture. Hell, I know that I've thrown banana peels in random locations to dispose of them without thinking about the implications to another race.

Perhaps, as a society, we are too concerned that people are full of evil intentions. From the article above, it sounds like the affronted were willing to accept the offender's apology and reason at face value. I think some people are just too quick to jump into victim mode, and that applies to the whole of society, whether it's racial, cultural or religious.
The squeaky wheel getting the oil has been hijacked by attention seekers.

Nobody knows who the victims are anymore because the nerds of yesterday are now screaming it to attract the opposite sex or through boredom.

It's a mess and there's no escaping historical events and peoples need to belong to a group.

There's a lot of pressure on perceived victims to dance to the beat of each other and pressure isn't really effective unless it's constant.

Erosion of values, community, family, humour, honour and respect are only the beginning of our spiral into pandering to every ******* with too much time on his hands or an axe to grind.

There are and should definitely be sensitivities involved with racial harmony but we're heading down a disturbing trend of self inflicted anarchy and division.

We have lost our patience which is often the key to conflict resolution and cohesion.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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The squeaky wheel getting the oil has been hijacked by attention seekers.

Nobody knows who the victims are anymore because the nerds of yesterday are now screaming it to attract the opposite sex or through boredom.

It's a mess and there's no escaping historical events and peoples need to belong to a group.

There's a lot of pressure on perceived victims to dance to the beat of each other and pressure isn't really effective unless it's constant.

Erosion of values, community, family, humour, honour and respect are only the beginning of our spiral into pandering to every ******* with too much time on his hands or an axe to grind.

There are and should definitely be sensitivities involved with racial harmony but we're heading down a disturbing trend of self inflicted anarchy and division.

We have lost our patience which is often the key to conflict resolution and cohesion.
I think you're right about people need to belong to a group. I'm starting to think that when people derive their identity purely through their racial heritage, it creates a situation where they are so much more prone to taking offence, and spending more time looking for things that relate to their identity. This can even be seen to a minor extent on Bigfooty. People form cliques of sorts based on the teams they support on the Main Board. It never takes long for people to start snapping back at someone else based on their teams.

I think this creates further problems. I can understand why people choose to be proud of their heritage, their culture and their family. But maybe it's best that we, as a society, try to move away from identifying with things that are outside of our control. Is spending a large percentage of our time thinking about being white/black/Indian a good thing? I don't think so. I think it creates further division because it quite quickly leads to people forming groups and isolating others who don't belong.

Society needs to come together to and embrace what holds us together: our humanity, rather than look for reasons to offend and be offended.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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All white people benefit from racism


Even if you think you're not a racist, if you're white then you are.
I read about that as well today. I'm glad that Lancombe (was it Lancombe) did the ethically right thing and fired her. All views like hers do is promote further racial disharmony. Any company that fires somebody for expressing overtly racist sentiment publicly is justified in doing so.
 

Jobe Watson

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I can kind of see why these students were upset. In the article it says: "She said the image was especially disturbing in light of an incident on American University’s campus in May of this year. The morning Taylor Dumpson was to take over as the school’s first female black student government president, students found bananas hanging from nooses across campus."

So they obviously (wrongly) assumed that this was another racist message aimed at black students. The guy shouldn't have had to apologise, because it's quite clear that his actions did not have racist intent, but it's just the required thing to do if you want to avoid a shitstorm.

There are definitely a lot of people these days who are just looking to get offended at any small thing, though. We're now at a stage where if you're a white person who posts .gifs featuring black people on the internet, you can be accused of engaging in "digital blackface" (srs). So, yeah... we'e officially at the point of ridiculousness now.
 
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Thats Wright

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I think you're right about people need to belong to a group. I'm starting to think that when people derive their identity purely through their racial heritage, it creates a situation where they are so much more prone to taking offence, and spending more time looking for things that relate to their identity. This can even be seen to a minor extent on Bigfooty. People form cliques of sorts based on the teams they support on the Main Board. It never takes long for people to start snapping back at someone else based on their teams.

I think this creates further problems. I can understand why people choose to be proud of their heritage, their culture and their family. But maybe it's best that we, as a society, try to move away from identifying with things that are outside of our control. Is spending a large percentage of our time thinking about being white/black/Indian a good thing? I don't think so. I think it creates further division because it quite quickly leads to people forming groups and isolating others who don't belong.

Society needs to come together to and embrace what holds us together: our humanity, rather than look for reasons to offend and be offended.
Well said. The divisive agenda shouldn't be our aim. Helping people become professional victims isn't in anyone's interest.

It makes you wonder if respect and patience can make a comeback in this environment.
 

King Brown

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I read about that as well today. I'm glad that Lancombe (was it Lancombe) did the ethically right thing and fired her. All views like hers do is promote further racial disharmony. Any company that fires somebody for expressing overtly racist sentiment publicly is justified in doing so.
I'm not sure what that view, and she is not alone, is meant to accomplish in white majority countries.

If the left gives succour to these views, they'll remain powerless in democracies.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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I can kind of see why these students were upset. In the article it says: "She said the image was especially disturbing in light of an incident on American University’s campus in May of this year. The morning Taylor Dumpson was to take over as the school’s first female black student government president, students found bananas hanging from nooses across campus."

So they obviously (wrongly) assumed that this was another racist message aimed at black students. The guy shouldn't have had to apologise, because it's quite clear that his actions did not have racist intent, but it's just the required thing to do if you want to avoid a shitstorm.

There are definitely a lot of people these days who are just looking to get offended at any small thing, though. We're now at a stage where if you're a white person who posts .gifs featuring black people on the internet, you can be accused of engaging in "digital blackface" (srs). So, yeah... we'e officially at the point of ridiculousness now.
I agree. If I was in the guy's situation, I would immediately apologise. There is nothing to be gained by taking a stance (however noble it may be) when confronted with the spectre of racism.

The fact that it's easier to apologise for something so innocent than it is to say 'hang on, no, that's an unfair characterisation of my littering' is what bothers me. In a way, he has enabled people to continue demanding apologies for everyday, mundane activities like throwing a banana peel away.

But then, I can also see the other side. It would be frustrating to see something that looks eerily similar to something that has recently transpired with racist intentions.

I think we all need to stop assuming others have the worst intentions, when if we did something like that ourselves, we probably wouldn't give it a second thought.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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I'm not sure what that view, and she is not alone, is meant to accomplish in white majority countries.

If the left gives succour to these views, they'll remain powerless in democracies.
Taking extremist positions such as declaring an entire skin colour to be racist is just ludicrous. Not all racism is equal, but all racism is stupid and unnecessary.

I'm satisfied with the outcome of her dismissal. A large number of people think that as soon as they get a public platform, they need to start spouting their pseudointellectual rubbish. The truth is that getting a job as a model does not mean that people want to hear your view on racial issues.
 

twotooto

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Interesting OP. Just a few thoughts -

I think discrimination and racism, whilst being similar, are different things.

Discrimination is not always racism, but racism is always a form of discrimination.

I think often times discrimination based on something other than race, gets mislabelled as racist. Just because someone may feel aggrieved because someone else may, or may not, have discriminated against them, it doesn't automatically make it racist if the two people were different races. Discrimination is a broad, generic term, but it encapsulates much more than just 'racism'.

And so I agree that we are a little too hasty to label something as racist when perhaps it wasn't at all.

In the example with the banana, if we take the guy on his word, it most certainly was not racist.

I think we should be focusing on all forms of discrimination. Every human, irrespective of race, colour, gender, sexual identity, age etc should have the same rights.
 

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Jobe Watson

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I agree. If I was in the guy's situation, I would immediately apologise. There is nothing to be gained by taking a stance (however noble it may be) when confronted with the spectre of racism.

The fact that it's easier to apologise for something so innocent than it is to say 'hang on, no, that's an unfair characterisation of my littering' is what bothers me. In a way, he has enabled people to continue demanding apologies for everyday, mundane activities like throwing a banana peel away.
Absolutely. Unfortunately, he didn't really have the power to do much other than explain himself and apologise (sincerely or not). His name was most likely going to be made public, he's a student at the school (and the institution would obviously side with the "victim" in a situation like this). It was really a no-win situation for him. If I was in his place I would've liked nothing more than to tell this female student how ridiculous she was being, but it's not worth the grief.

It is quite sad that some people continue to view the world purely through a racial lens. Reminds me of when Sarah Silverman assumed that some construction markings on a sidewalk was actually a Swastika. Too many people just looking to get triggered so they can reaffirm their belief that society is against them.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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Interesting OP. Just a few thoughts -

I think discrimination and racism, whilst being similar, are different things.

Discrimination is not always racism, but racism is always a form of discrimination.

I think often times discrimination based on something other than race, gets mislabelled as racist. Just because someone may feel aggrieved because someone else may, or may not, have discriminated against them, it doesn't automatically make it racist if the two people were different races. Discrimination is a broad, generic term, but it encapsulates much more than just 'racism'.

And so I agree that we are a little too hasty to label something as racist when perhaps it wasn't at all.

In the example with the banana, if we take the guy on his word, it most certainly was not racist.

I think we should be focusing on all forms of discrimination. Every human, irrespective of race, colour, gender, sexual identity, age etc should have the same rights.
Yes, that's a very good point. Many times it's easier to throw the label 'racist' on something than delve into the underlying issues.

There have been times when I've been walking late at night toward a group of black people wearing hood rat clothing and been nervous that I'm going to get jumped. But I've experienced the same feeling the times I've had to walk past a group of white dudes wearing that same type of clothing.

If I was to tell people about the first scenario, it makes me sound racist. If I told people about the second situation, I'm a survivalist and there's no real offence caused.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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Absolutely. Unfortunately, he didn't really have the power to do much other than explain himself and apologise (sincerely or not). His name was most likely going to be made public, he's a student at the school (and the institution would obviously side with the "victim" in a situation like this). It was really a no-win situation for him. If I was in his place I would've liked nothing more than to tell this female student how ridiculous she was being, but it's not worth the grief.

It is quite sad that some people continue to view the world purely through a racial lens. Reminds me of when Sarah Silverman assumed that some construction markings on a sidewalk was actually a Swastika. Too many people just looking to get triggered so they can reaffirm their belief that society is against them.
That's certainly another issue. In the absence of a better word, many learning institutions appear be undergoing a 'pussification' of sorts. If we can't expect once revered learning institutes to be able to rationalise racism, we're going to continue seeing more and more cases of people taking offence. I think it's time that universities start to take a stand on what is truly discrimination, and to stop allowing people to posture via social media outrage.

Your last point is another concern. If you see yourself as a victim of oppression, which undoubtedly many people are, you're inevitably going to continue to look for reasons why you're oppressed.
 

Brunswick Trap King

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Are you really surprised? I'm blaming Islam for the toe I stubbed.
I have to admit, there are certain aspects of Islam that I'm beginning to like. I've recently started eating meat again, and tonight I made myself kangaroo. However, kangaroo isn't halal, so I didn't have to bother saving any for my girlfriend.
 

smokingjacket

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I'm not sure what that view, and she is not alone, is meant to accomplish in white majority countries.

If the left gives succour to these views, they'll remain powerless in democracies.
That's the problem isn't it? There may be more than a grain of truth in what she says but to implement it would require the end of democracy.

Further, all people of all races are racist to some degree, so saying that white people gain from racism in white majority countries is really just saying white majority countries are white majority countries.
 

Thats Wright

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That's the problem isn't it? There may be more than a grain of truth in what she says but to implement it would require the end of democracy.

Further, all people of all races are racist to some degree, so saying that white people gain from racism in white majority countries is really just saying white majority countries are white majority countries.
The game has changed since we've been held over the barrel by Isis and its affiliates.

As a nation we've publicly waved the white flag to mass murder/fear and it's festered an opportunistic growth in instant gratification, deception, cowardice and victimhood which is replacing values such as courage, hard work, cooperation, inclusion and respect.

As much as we pretend terrorism won't win, it's already eating away at any real chance we had at unity as our community fabric is destroyed from within.

Using the victim card has never been easier with plenty of people on social media (0.1%) of the population itching to burn down social bridges at the drop of a hat.

The pattern of certain white privilege/guilt playing out as enabling/victim cementing may have started with good intentions but is heading down a dangerous path.

Like any leaderless mass of matter (antifa, Isis, victim cementers) they are human wrecking balls that need to 'eat' to survive.
 

smokingjacket

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The game has changed since we've been held over the barrel by Isis and its affiliates.

As a nation we've publicly waved the white flag to mass murder/fear and it's festered an opportunistic growth in instant gratification, deception, cowardice and victimhood which is replacing values such as courage, hard work, cooperation, inclusion and respect.

As much as we pretend terrorism won't win, it's already eating away at any real chance we had at unity as our community fabric is destroyed from within.

Using the victim card has never been easier with plenty of people on social media (0.1%) of the population itching to burn down social bridges at the drop of a hat.

The pattern of certain white privilege/guilt playing out as enabling/victim cementing may have started with good intentions but is heading down a dangerous path.

Like any leaderless mass of matter (antifa, Isis, victim cementers) they are human wrecking balls that need to 'eat' to survive.
You seem to analyse all events through a "where does Islamic radicalism fit in to this" prism, but I doubt that Daesh, Al-Qaeda or any other outside group has anything to do with the West confronting legacy racism and the breakdown of civic and martial values. I feel there are far more convincing economic and political explanations for those phenomenon.
 

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