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So when CAN you call someone a racist?

SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
edited June 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
This one has been bugging me for a while. The latest case example seems to come from Ron Paul.

It seems that post OJ-trial, people have been quick to accuse others of playing "the race card" whenever they try to bring up the fact that, yes, racism really does still occur in this country. Basically, all you need to do to avoid being called a racist is to insist that you aren't one. The phrase, "I'm not a racist, but _______" is supposed to magically excuse any comment that follows, no matter how racist it may be. Ron Paul, Don Imus, Michael Richards, etc., will all claim that they aren't racist, regardless of what they actually say.

In the Ron Paul example, you have a history of him saying blatantly racist things, like insisting that only 5% of black people have "sensible" politics (re: extreme libertarian politics), and that the other 95% are criminals. And then you have a libertarian supporters who are wiling to excuse this, because it seems "out of character" for him, and because they don't usually see him come off as very racist in normal circumstance. Which simply begs the question: How does an racist person come accross in normal circumstances, especially considering that most racism isn't overt, and overt racism is highly unpopular? Even the KKK can come accross as being non-racist if you interview them at the right time of day. It seems like basically what people are saying is, "Yes, he might have said something racist back then. But I've never seen him personally lynch black people or light any crosses on fire, so he doesn't strike me as a racist person."

I also dealt with another libertarian physics major recently who claimed that there was actually no such thing as discrimination against black people in America these days, and that any gaps and social standing was the result of the fact that white people simply had more evolved brain capacity. Not surprisingly, this person took great offense when I accused him of being racist. After all, it's not like he hated black people for being black. That would be racist! He just thought that black people were genetically inferior and therefore less likely to be qualified for work. What's so racist about that?

My thoughts are that racism is still a problem in this country, to the extent that it can be measured with emprical data. But people are too quick to find excuses to deny it. I can post a study showing that white people who served in prison for selling cocaine had a better chance of finding a job than black people with similar resumes but no criminal record, and the response I get is, "Gee, maybe the employer went to the same school as the white kid, or disliked the school the black kid went to." I post studies from linguistic experts showing that "black" sounding voices are told that there are no apartments available and "white" sounding voices get responses from the same landlord immeadiately, even when identical grammar is used, and the response I get is that it must be some oversight. Basically, anything to skid around the most obvious answer of, "Well, maybe it really is because the guy is black." Moreover, when you try to point out that such discrimination happens, the conservative response always seems to be, "Well gee, you're the REAL racist, for insisting that black people need an extra hand in order to compete." Which I never understood at all.

Does this bother anyone else? It seems that (mostly white) conservatives have tried to take the control of the term racism, in order to further an agenda that hurts minorities, rather than helping them. For instance, Ron Paul tries to the left by saying that "Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist." In other words, by allowing black people to have their own sense of culture, you are being a racist. The non-racists should uphold the status quo culture, which just so happens to predominantly benefit WASPs. How convenient.

Schrodinger on
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Posts

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Whenever the hell I want you racist.

    Shinto on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You make it sound like calling people racsits is hard. Really msot people are petified of saying anything that could remotely be construed as racist in nature.

    nexuscrawler on
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You make it sound like calling people racsits is hard. Really msot people are petified of saying anything that could remotely be construed as racist in nature.

    Apparently not so petrified:

    paul2.jpg

    Schrodinger on
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I wonder if you've ever written a post without the word libertarian in it. Jesus Christ man, now I think I know how Christians feel when Loren makes a thread.

    God on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You make it sound like calling people racsits is hard. Really msot people are petified of saying anything that could remotely be construed as racist in nature.

    Not really, and especially not in "conservative" circles. There calling somebody a racist is often looked at as being worse that actually being a racist. Even breaking out the R-word is sure to get you branded as a PC Liberal Commie Idiot, or some such.

    mcdermott on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I live in a very liberal area.

    nexuscrawler on
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    God wrote: »
    I wonder if you've ever written a post without the word libertarian in it. Jesus Christ man, now I think I know how Christians feel when Loren makes a thread.

    Libertarians are the new hippies, only with a lot more money, think tanks, and non-elected political influence.

    Schrodinger on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I live in a very liberal area.

    I do not. ;-)

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Actually, now that I think of it in "conservative" circles "politically correct" is their version of "racist"...an accusation so grave that you're unlikely to be taken seriously after receiving it. And calling somebody a racist is pretty much the easist way to invite such an accusation.

    mcdermott on
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Actually, now that I think of it in "conservative" circles "politically correct" is their version of "racist"...an accusation so grave that you're unlikely to be taken seriously after receiving it. And calling somebody a racist is pretty much the easist way to invite such an accusation.

    Pretty much. And not just in conservative circles either, since no one wants to be labeled "politically correct." (For the record, when was the last time you even SAW someone push political correctness?).

    Like I said, it seems to be post-OJ burnout. As a result of the OJ trial, people tend to exagerrate the types of actions that will get you accused of being a racist, and are therefore quick to dismiss the label in all but the most extreme cases.

    Schrodinger on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    God wrote: »
    I wonder if you've ever written a post without the word libertarian in it. Jesus Christ man, now I think I know how Christians feel when Loren makes a thread.

    BOOGABOOGABOOGA!

    Loren Michael on
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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    Schrodinger, I'm very upset that you're wasting our time talking about "racism" instead of the obviously much more important issues that I, a white guy, am interested in.

    Jacobkosh on
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Wow, way to misuse the term "playing the race card".

    Apothe0sis on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    God wrote: »
    I wonder if you've ever written a post without the word libertarian in it. Jesus Christ man, now I think I know how Christians feel when Loren makes a thread.

    Libertarians are the new hippies, only with a lot more money, think tanks, and non-elected political influence.
    The two best descriptions of libertarians I've heard are:
    "Libertarians are anarchists who want police protections from their slaves" and
    "Libertarians are conservatives who want to smoke pot."

    AngelHedgie on
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  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    well, for your physics major friend I would first quote Websters;
    Main Entry: rac·ism
    Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
    Function: noun
    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

    So you can tell him that yes, by definition he is a racist.

    Also, I would further point out that he is making a gross generalization regarding intelligance and that even if it were true that blacks are less intelligent than whites (which it isn't) there still exist very stupid white people and very smart black people and the generalization provides absolutely no useful information whatsoever for dealing with individual people. That is to say that even if the average IQ of blacks was lower than whites (don't anybody bother citing "The Bell Curve" here, that POS has been thoughouly debunked for flawed methodology years ago) the person sitting across from you still might have an IQ of 200, or 130, or whatever, as even in the wildest estimates the varience within a population HUGELY trumps the varience between populations.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    Wow, way to misuse the term "playing the race card".

    its pretty difficult to do, i can never gather enough mana to tap it

    dlinfiniti on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    To be fair, I would want to know the specifics of a study like that work hiring ratio one you cited. Because something like that, one just has to wonder about the specificities of the study.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ALocksly wrote: »
    well, for your physics major friend I would first quote Websters;

    Yeah, that's what I tried. :(

    Unfortunately, for most people, the implications of superiority is more implied than overt. e.g., if you acknowledge that there's a measurable discrepency between white people and black people in this country, which is backed up by studies, and you deny that it's the result of discrimination, which many people do, then you have to wonder what causes the discrepency. And if it's not the environment, then it must be something inherent within the person, and therefore within the group.

    Similarily, if you want to argue that "Well, it's okay to engage in racial profiling, because black people are more likely to commit crimes than white people!", then you're implying a sort of moral superiority. And as you said, even if this applies to the group, it doesn't really apply to the individual.
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    To be fair, I would want to know the specifics of a study like that work hiring ratio one you cited. Because something like that, one just has to wonder about the specificities of the study.

    http://www.college.wsj.com/successwork/workplacediversity/20030910-wessel.html

    From The Wall Street Journal Online

    Two young high-school graduates with similar job histories and demeanors apply in person for jobs as waiters, warehousemen or other low-skilled positions advertised in a Milwaukee newspaper. One man is white and admits to having served 18 months in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to sell. The other is black and hasn't any criminal record.

    Which man is more likely to get called back?

    It is surprisingly close. In a carefully crafted experiment in which college students posing as job applicants visited 350 employers, the white ex-con was called back 17% of the time and the crime-free black applicant 14%. The disadvantage carried by a young black man applying for a job as a dishwasher or a driver is equivalent to forcing a white man to carry an 18-month prison record on his back.


    20030910-wessel.gif

    Schrodinger on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So like, wow.

    electricitylikesme on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    That's a rather depressing study.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    See, studies like that show why it is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to do a controlled intelligece study where race is the ONLY variable,

    short of raising several thousand babies (gotta have a good sample size) of various races in isolated seclusion for eighteen years or so.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ALocksly wrote: »
    See, studies like that show why it is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to do a controlled intelligece study where race is the ONLY variable,

    short of raising several thousand babies (gotta have a good sample size) of various races in isolated seclusion for eighteen years or so.

    The real tragedy is the fact that while it's blatantly obvious that racism took place, it's next to impossible to identify the actual victims. e.g., 20% of black applicants would have gotten a response (but didn't) if they were white. Unfortunately, you can't really say which 20% it was. So that none of the victims can even realize that they were victims. If they cried "racism" in this situation, chances are that they would be swiftly dismissed for "playing the race card."

    Psychologically, this could also perpetuate a feeling of learned helplessness. e.g., black people feel that there's nothing they can do to increase their social standing due to factors beyond their control, give up, and therefore widen the gap further. Or as I call it, "Stop getting so uppity, and learn your goddamned place!"

    "Strangely", the reverse of this trend seems to be met with far more acceptance, from white people who are absolutely certain that they would be getting college admissions and scholarship if it weren't for affirmative action, even though the college acceptence rate would only go up by a measely .5% if AA was removed (From 23.8 to 24.3).

    Schrodinger on
  • arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    The most upsetting thing to me is that assclowns like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get away with their bias', but then are seemingly invulnerable to counterattack due to their race.

    arod_77 on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The most upsetting thing to me is that assclowns like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get away with their bias', but then are seemingly invulnerable to counterattack due to their race.

    I discovered an amazing power a year or two ago.

    I was arguing with that one preacher, and made some comment about jalepenos.

    He decided to declare, "That's racist! I'm part Mexican!"

    I rebuffed him with, "Oh yeah? I'm Native American, bitch."

    And he acted like I had just slapped his mouth shut.

    Incenjucar on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The most upsetting thing to me is that assclowns like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get away with their bias', but then are seemingly invulnerable to counterattack due to their race.
    You're right, that's much worse than people being unable to get jobs or rent rooms.

    WHAT WERE WE THINKING

    Jacobkosh on
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The most upsetting thing to me is that assclowns like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get away with their bias', but then are seemingly invulnerable to counterattack due to their race.
    You're right, that's much worse than people being unable to get jobs or rent rooms.

    WHAT WERE WE THINKING

    Some notes:

    1) Please define what is meant by "get away with." I'm sure that in the olden days they might have been taken out back and lynched for their words, but that's not how we play things today.

    3) Please define their "bias." Where is the line between having an opinion, and having a "bias."

    3) If black people enslaved white people and ran the country for 200 years, I doubt anyone would care about having the white equivalent of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in churches and on the radio. Hell, we already have guys like Bill O Reilly and Rush Limbaugh right now. And it's not like Al Sharpton has started a fourth tier law school that now accounts for 10% of the white house administration, including the Director of Public Affairs for the United States Department of Justice.

    Schrodinger on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    That's a rather depressing study.

    I'm white with no criminal record.

    Everything's comin' up roses!

    Loren Michael on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    That's a rather depressing study.

    I'm white with no criminal record.

    Everything's comin' up roses!

    But you're atheist.

    The least trusted minority in the United States.

    So perhaps things are not as rosy as you would think them to be.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    That's a rather depressing study.

    I'm white with no criminal record.

    Everything's comin' up roses!

    But you're atheist.

    The least trusted minority in the United States.

    So perhaps things are not as rosy as you would think them to be.

    I have the smug confidence that I'm almost certainly not as wrong as most other people in the world to carry me through.

    Loren Michael on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'm a white Christian with no criminal record.

    Ya'll are fucked.

    mcdermott on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'm a white Christian with no criminal record.

    Ya'll are fucked.

    Ah, but what denomination?

    DarkPrimus on
    wpyz0Y5.png
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  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'm a white Christian with no criminal record.

    Ya'll are fucked.

    Ah, but what denomination?

    Christian Bale.

    29.jpg

    Schrodinger on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    YES.

    mcdermott on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    But you're atheist.

    The least trusted minority in the United States.

    So perhaps things are not as rosy as you would think them to be.

    Depends on the situation.

    People tend to treat atheists like wizards. Some fear and hate them, others are in dreading awe of them.

    Incenjucar on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    But you're atheist.

    The least trusted minority in the United States.

    So perhaps things are not as rosy as you would think them to be.

    Depends on the situation.

    People tend to treat atheists like wizards. Some fear and hate them, others are in dreading awe of them.

    I have never encountered a situation where bringing up that I think god is a fairy tale and monotheism is a load of horseshit was a good thing, outside of the internet and with certain friends.

    Certainly not in a job setting, unless you were applying for some secular magazine or whatever.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You have to keep in mind that atheism tends to be associated with education and science and cold-hearted logic, which is very valuable in many settings.

    Incenjucar on
  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    You have to keep in mind that atheism tends to be associated with education and science and cold-hearted logic, which is very valuable in many settings.

    I think the difficulty comes in with uniformed folks who think that the reason one becomes an athiest is because you want to misbehave without fear of divine retribution.

    Which is of course the same kind of thinking that leads folks to assert the American native tribes are all casino parisites and that all black men are after white women.

    The insulting bit there is of course that they assume these things because that is what they think they would do in the same situation.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • CyberpumpkinCyberpumpkin Registered User
    edited May 2007
    It's too bad that only white people can be called racist.

    It's also too bad that only white people can be assholes. If you call out a non-caucasian on a behavior that would get a whitey pegged as a Grade-A asshole, and suddenly you're a racist.

    Cyberpumpkin on
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  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    It's too bad that only white people can be called racist.

    It's also too bad that only white people can be assholes. If you call out a non-caucasian on a behavior that would get a whitey pegged as a Grade-A asshole, and suddenly you're a racist.

    I don't live in this world you have described.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It's too bad that only white people can be called racist.

    It's also too bad that only white people can be assholes. If you call out a non-caucasian on a behavior that would get a whitey pegged as a Grade-A asshole, and suddenly you're a racist.

    What? No.

    MrMister on
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