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Are You A Racist?

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by Q2U, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    My question to you is do you believe that you are a "Covert Racist" or a "Implicit Racist?"

    Below I've supplied some Wikipedia Quotes to help with the definition of these afflictions...

    What Is Racism?

    Covert Racism
    Aversive Racism
    Implicit Versus Explicit Racism
     

  2. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    When I was a younger man I used to tell "****** jokes" because, being rather shallow and self-centered, I never considered the impact these words might have on other human beings. I went to all-white public schools and lived in an area where extreme "Redlining" was the norm. As a result I never had the opportunity to socialize or interact with anyone other than affluent white people. I never felt comfortable in the presence of black people and it took me a long time to understand that African-Americans are just like white people, in so much as they love and want the best for their children and they simply want to be treated the same as everyone else. And then I realized that I was implicitly racist, and in fact I consider myself a "recovering racist".

    The Man in the Road Story
    Driving down a rural road yesterday I came upon a car stopped in the middle of the road. There was a black man standing in the road and his family (or what looked to me like his family) had their heads hanging out the window looking at something lying in the road. There was a black woman (the man's wife?) and two young black girls (the man's children perhaps?). I immediately thought that something had been run over. "Perhaps a cat or a raccoon" I thought, but as I slowed and drove past I saw it was a rather large (25lb.?) snapping turtle which was unhurt. I pulled my car off the road and helped the man remove the turtle from the road and we released it near the river bank which was nearby. I thanked him for caring about the turtle, got into my vehicle, and went on my.

    So what's wrong with this story? Well, if the man and the family had been white I would not have described him as "a white man standing in the road". For some reason I have a need to differentiate the man as "not white".

    The truth is, I still don't feel comfortable around black Americans and it's going to take a lot of work for me to see them as simply "Americans" and nothing more.
     
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  3. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'd like to say no. I grew up on an overseas military base and had friends from all backgrounds as a child. But probably it's impossible to completely avoid racism.

    Like in the last line you quoted: "minorities, on the other hand, still recognize or feel the implicit racism behind certain interracial interactions".

    I just hope I don't hurt anybody without meaning to, and that if I did they'd tell me about it so I could self-correct.
     
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  4. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Yesterday a customer told me that she felt that I was bullying her. I carefully listened to what she said and then I carefully considered her complaint. Then I told her that -- while I regretted that she felt that way -- she was mistaken, and that I was simply advising her of her only option, and if I was forceful in the manner in which I spoke it was simply because she needed to clearly understand that she had no other alternative.

    Sometimes the simple matter of the fact is that the other persons perception is mistaken.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

  5. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    @Q2U Thanks for this thread!

    It sort of narrowed the one I'd done on "PC" to a smaller part of the overall concern.

    And, except for the "n-word" jokes, I'm in your situation, more or less. "Lily White" suburban upbringing. I suppose I could have been one of the white people who locked their car doors when the young Barack Obama happened by, as he so memorably described in one of his speeches.
     
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  6. surya

    surya TCS Member Top Cat

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    I remember an Oprah Winfrey show I saw along time ago. They explained that racism is part of our biology. For example if you are robbed by a person of a particular race different from your own, you may fear people of that race for awhile afterwards. And everybody is racist to a small extent, whether the realize it or not. Of course most of us try not to be.
     
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  7. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I recently read that a majority population, which had held a minority population in SLAVERY for hundreds of years, would be unable to resist developing the prejudice that the slave-holding majority was superior to the enslaved minority. And furthermore, once this enslaved minority had been freed, that the ingrained superiority/inferiority complex would persist throughout the culture.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

  8. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I grew up in a lily white area. When I went to college the vast majority of students were white and a lot of the graduate assistants in the Chemistry department were from India. I only took one Chemistry course so I didn't have a lot of contact with them. I then went into the Army and everything changed for me.

    I think that it is human nature to think of people from any ethnicity or national origin in general terms when we have very little or no contact with people from that group which is a form of bigotry. It is impossible for someone to have personal contact with every possible ethnicity or national origin that are in the U.S. I was 50 when I met my first immigrant from Poland, I have since worked with three people that immigrated from Poland. I recently met the first Russian immigrant that I have had the opportunity to meet and I am 62.
     

  9. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I don't deny racism exists and I don't deny there is an engrained "other" that is nearly impossible to escape. I do make an effort to limit what could be seen as racism in my own behavior. My degree is in anthropology and I am mindful of things that matter, like speaking with the male first in some cultures or not smiling with teeth in others, that can lead to problems in communication. I can honestly say I've made a few inappropriate jokes with friends, like a Vietnamese friend and I joking to be safe when driving in an Asian neighborhood because of the Asian drivers. Although, to be fair my friend has totalled five cars in four years and we saw three accidents in that same area within the last two weeks. I would never make a joke like that in a spiteful way and it was a lighthearted joke that she started by asking if I realized where we were.

    The thing that bugs me though is I have been called racist more times then I can count. I am white and it's not in an ambiguous "might be mixed with something" way. When I've been in positions of authority and someone of a minority, mostly African American, got told no the knee jerk reaction has been "that's racist!"

    I worked at Disneyland for five years the last two at the gates managing problems. Non stop 8-10 hours straight of solving problems. I one time ended up with a about twenty people with the same situation so I circled them up and talked to them as a group because I had two other calls to get to. I confiscated knives, liquor, weapons of other sorts, glasswear, etc. I told at least 100 people a day they had bad tickets or they were scammed. I told at least 20 people a day they did have to go back to get their tickets in the hotel room. White, black, Hispanic, Asian, middle eastern, every religion, ethnicity and color you can imagine. There were some generalizations I could make that might be seen as racist; most Hispanics paid with cash so if a window needed cash we'd route the Hispanic family to the window. Asian groups usually didn't speak much English so point out bilingual maps. White Americans are more likely to try to save money buying bad tickets or lying about their kids age. African Americans will tell me I am racist if they don't like what I say. I tend to think of them as more generalizations but I know someone could make a case for racism.

    I wish I was joking when it came to African American guests calling me racist if I said something they didn't like. I was threatened. I was told I was a racist b**ch. I was screamed at. All because I told someone who happened to be African American that the ticket they bought on the corner was bad or they couldn't take their knife into the park. Something I did to countless others all day long from all backgrounds.

    One that stands out was a kid came to the turnstile without a ticket. No ticket is a problem. I could make an exception if they had a hand stamp and a photo of themselves in the park that day. The kid had nothing, not even a room key. Said he left everything in his hotel room and was meeting his mom in the park. I told him he'd have to get the room key. Five minutes later the kid comes back from the hotel with an older woman in tow. Older woman tells me that my "Lily white racist @**" needs to let in her son because he just forgot his ticket in the room..... The room I just sent him back to get his ticket so he could meet his mom in the park... The mom who isn't in the park.....(And real quick, common con is to get a kid to cry their parents inside Park pointing at random adult. Cast member let's the kid go in. Then Mom or Dad approach a different cast member saying that their kid is inside with their tickets so please let me in then wave to kid to prove which is theirs with the kid visibly crying for effect)... I tell her I am sorry but he has no hand stamp and no photos of himself in the park from the day. I would need a ticket to let him in, if they could please go back to the hotel and get their tickets. The Mom goes off on me again that she paid good money, blah blah, ending with "I want a manager". I called a manager but it's usually a 10 minute wait because it's the monorail entrance. While waiting the woman keep's calling me racist so I walk away at which she tells me she's going to jump the turnstile and teach me a lesson. I call security and she grabbed her kid to run off before security got there. Moral of the story, my being white makes it so I get called a racist anytime someone feels I am acting unfavorably. There are behaviors on both sides that contribute to racism continuing.
     
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  10. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    What you're describing makes it sound like THEY are prejudiced (as in "all white people are racists")...but this topic is not meant to explore racism in others, but rather implicit racism within ourselves.
     
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  11. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Sorry about the off track commentary. :oops:
     
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  12. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Oh no...no worries!...no worries at all. smiley1.gif
     

  13. micknsnicks2mom

    micknsnicks2mom TCS Member Top Cat

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    while i'm aware of persons of various ethnicities in the places i go and the things i do, i always try to be...respectful to others and sensitive to their feelings, all others. i try to talk with, treat others all the same.

    i'm not more concerned, or scared of, others of any race. i'm always cautious, careful around anyone or in any area i don't know or don't know well.

    i have neighbors who happen to be African American, very nice family and we chat occasionally -- usually during the warm weather months, since we're all outdoors more. they've always called me 'Miss ___'. i've felt like they really don't need to call me 'Miss', my first name is fine, but haven't said anything. i suppose i'm not sure how i'd say that politely, and wouldn't want to offend.
     
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  14. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    As I have gotten older I have noticed the 'Miss' thing among some African Americans. It isn't used just with whites it is also with other older African Americans. It seems to be a respect thing for older women. It's kind of like the ma'am thing among some young white men in the deep south.
     
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  15. aliceneko

    aliceneko TCS Member Super Cat

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    I've always lived in very diverse areas, and over the time have mixed with people of many different races and ethnicities. For me; race, religion, ethnicity and sexuality shouldn't define a person, what matters is who they are inside - if you're nice to me, I'm going to be nice to you back, no matter where you come from or what religion you practice, etc. We're all human so deserve to all be treated with respect and the fact that one of us has a different skin colour from another doesn't make us any less or more worthy than each other.
    I always try to educate myself on issues that come with racism and other prejudices against minorities, but being white, I'm not aware of some of them as they haven't affected me personally, and there have been a couple of times where friends and people I know have taken some things I've said the wrong way, though in these situations I always ask the person to educate me so I know that this is a sensitive topic in the future. I'd like to think that I'm a very open minded and accepting person.
     
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  16. Boris Diamond

    Boris Diamond Cat Valet Top Cat

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    I try not to base my actions on race. But raised in the south with my only contact with black folks being a maid or gardener, I had misconceptions. My father went to a very liberal school and he had the liberal idea about racism. But my parents were racist in their own way. They would treat you as an equal no matter how much beneath them you were. But that was a big improvement on the racial hatred that was so common. If I had used the 'N' word I would have gotten a terrible beating. I do remember asking my parents if they would take me to "colored town." I thought it would be beautiful with all the colors. I really did not understand. As a child, I thought black folks were happy with the situation.

    Some of my relatives had strong racist feelings, but their hatred seemed so wrong to me. It took coming in contact with black folks before I started to really understand the situation. I was blessed to go to an integrated parochial school -one quarter black - for my first two years of high school. Most schools were segregated at that time. When I got to public schools, they were just starting to be integrated. We could choose our own lab partners and the first black lady at that school and I decided to be partners. She was sharp and we had fun, but the racist chemistry teacher hated us. Being a rebel type, I took pride in this. Maybe I did it more to be a rebel, but I was very curious about black folks.

    For me it has been a journey from racist misconceptions to the truth of racism. I have strong anti-racist feelings. But my mind still reacts in a somewhat racist way every once in a while.
     
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  17. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    That was a very common misconception in the deep south. A lot of people who didn't live in urban areas during the civil rights movement would say that 'their 'fill in the blank' were happy.' They saw what people of color in their community wanted them to see, they 'seemed' happy.
     
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  18. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well, yeah. If you're going to be penalized in some way for not seeming happy, you're going to get to be very good at pretending to be happy. How many marriages end with one person saying "I didn't know he/she was unhappy!"? But if their spouse had tried to talk to them and said they were unhappy, they would have gotten angry. Same with race/gender/class divisions.

    And that's probably why it seems like there are so many problems now, even though the situation is objectively better; because people are talking about it instead of hiding their true feelings the way they used to.
     
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  19. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Here where I live real estate agents (and for many decades, even the federal government) practiced "Redlining". As a result, black Americans were herded by real estate agents to live in specific "black areas." These areas had (and still have) the lowest property values and, hands down, the absolute worst school districts. A lot of Americans argued "that's where they want to live...with their own kind"...as if any family wants their house to have the least value, to appreciate the least, and to have their children attend the very worst schools?

    To make matters worse, I heard many Americans say "see how they live...see how bad their schools are?" as if this proved black Americans were inferior.

    It is a shameful story smiley28.gif

    To make matters worse, Redlining was hushed up...I never had heard of it until 20-years or so ago.
     
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  20. Q2U

    Q2U Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Here is a link to a superb radio broadcast of Terry Gross interviewing Richard Rothstein, the author of "The Color Of Law: A Forgotten History Of How Our Government Segregated America" where Mr. Rothstein is speaking about the effect which the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) legalized discrimination had on African Americans...

    A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

    And here is a small quote...

     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018

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