Racism

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Khethil
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:08 am
@Solace,
Gentle Caution: We seem to be mixing the two concepts of Racism, Racial Profiling and Affirmative Action. For the sake of clarity, racism is the view that ones' own race (or a race) is superior in some way.

Yes, they all have overlapping themes. But to use them synonymously; in my humbly opinion, is unnecessarily confusing.

Thanks
 
Khethil
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:17 am
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
I am going to ask a few questions and I want honest answers from everyone.


I'll chime in.

Icon wrote:
1: What race are you?


Caucasian

Icon wrote:
2: Have you ever lived, grown up in or spent a good deal of time (at least 6 months) in a community of a race other than your own?


Yes; 7 different states within the continental United States and 4 homes in 2 other countries.

Icon wrote:
3: What region of the world do you live?


Midwest - Continental U.S.

Icon wrote:
4: How often do you interact with someone of a different race who does not like you?


Daily

Icon wrote:
5: What sort of cultural studies have you participated in?


Nothing special, except some within the framework of Sociology while in college.

Icon wrote:
6: What salary range do you fall into? (middle class, lower class, upper class)


At the present, definitely lower. But throughout my adult life, I've spanned the whole gamut.

Icon wrote:
7: How many different countries and/or states have you been to for extended periods of time?


Woops, jumped the gun there. See answer to Question 2

Icon wrote:
8: What countries or states?


Oh geez, for living for an extended period of time. States would be Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Michigan, Alaska, Washington, Kansas and Missouri. Countries: Turkey and Germany.

Icon wrote:
9: Through out your life, how often have you seen racism as a major factor in the job force of today?


Yes, very often - both subtle and otherwise. It's almost ubiquitous everywhere; more pervasive in the U.S.

Icon wrote:
10: Would you be willing to admit that someone with the determination to succeed, regardless of race, has just as much chance as anyone else?


No, I'd like to. But experience says otherwise Sad

Icon wrote:
But what I have never seen is someone with determination fail because of race. Instead of arguing the necessity of affirmative action, why not try to develop a better system?


Interesting opinion, and I don't necessarily differ (because I think that even in the face of great adversity, most people can succeed), but my experience shows that subtle discrimination is still very profuse. This leads to a subtle, yet undeniable, lack of opportunities. This isn't to say it guarantees failure, but it sure makes it more likely.

Icon wrote:
You can't change the world with rules but you CAN change the world with actions.


Well said.

Thanks
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:32 am
@Icon,
1. Caucasian

2. No, not really. I have lived in apartment complexes that were fairly diverse, though.

3. I live in the Southeastern US.

4. I can't remember any time that I have interacted with a member of another race who plainly did not like me. I cannot remember a time that I have interacted with anyone who plainly didn't like me.

5. I don't think I have engaged in any.

6. I imagine I am in a lower class bracket, but as I am young, single, and fairly unconcerned with that sort of thing, it is just as much my decision as my environment.

7. I have lived in the Midwest and the Southeast in the US for extended periods of time.

8. Primarily Illinois and Georgia.

9. An applicable story:

When I was a student worker for a University, the center I worked for received a government grant to start a rural healthcare program. 9 in 10 comers were eliminated without consideration because the job was only open to minority candidates.

Not quite the same but still applicable: The company I work for was founded by the owner's father and passed on to and ran by the present owner. His slightly estranged wife (its a long story) has majority ownership, however, only because of the tax breaks given to a company who has minority or female ownership.

Those are the only situations I have seen of discriminatory hiring practices. The only color that has really mattered to any business I have been associated with is green.

10. I admit that there is residual systematic disadvantage to minority and female workers. I can see the justification behind affirmative action in hiring practices.

However, I don't see government action as the answer. First off, I don't think government can really change perception. Secondly, I think that government social programs only generate dependency on government programs. They simply don't lead to change.

Minorities and women, ultimately, are quite able and ready to keep pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and force others to accept their equality, and the government can best facilitate their attempts by allowing for free competition in the labor markets.
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:32 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
I can demonstrably show the racist that his opinions are untrue. To hold that blacks are subhuman would require a person to suspend nearly all rational thought.
In the same way an atheist can demonstrably show a theist that gods make no sense Smile

I am not defending racism, I am defending freedom of thought. And no, it doesnt matters if it is an stupid an vile belief because thats is your opinion on it. Off course you can still try to convince the guy.

As for whenever actions from the govern against racism are good or not, I believe they are not, as they are making racial distictions and will not end racism. Some claim that winhout these actions the said racial minority would never get opportunities to improve... and why this minority deserves special attention, just because it is visible? There are lots of minorities not so obvious all over the society, such as people considered ugly who will not be able to get certain kinds of jobs, and people from the racial majority who are in similar situation than the racial minority.

As an example, the fact that black people were slaves in the USA 150 years ago. How that makes then different from white poor people? The government should act aiming at the poverty.
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:44 am
@OctoberMist,
1: Caucasian
2: Was raised in a poor, predominantly african american community
3: Currently southern USA and Western Russia (Duel citizenship)
4: Daily
5: Apart from studies that were performed by community groups, I have done my own studies in various fields of sociology and studies of dicrimination
6: Middle Class
7: 13
8: California, New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Russia, Ireland, Germany and Brazil
9: A great deal actually in the lower class of jobs but rarely in the corporate or professional level. Generally these jobs are given to those most qualified regardless of race as it is what is best for profit.
10: Of course. As someone with no college degree and no training in my field, I have had to put a great deal of work into getting where I am at today. Through my experience, your level of determination has everything to do with your level of success regardless of who you are. When you decide to do something, make sure you do it better than everyone else.

As much as I can agree that subtle dicrimination still exists, I cannot agree that affirmative action is actually fixing anything currently. It seems evident to me through conversation with people from all over the country that a person who truly wants something and is charismatic and dedicated to achieving what they want, is going to succeed. It may take some time but they will do it. Being that I have no formal education and that I am considered very young in my field, I have faced discrimination constantly through out my career. That hasn't stopped me from doing my best and achieving all that I set forth to achieve. most of my evidence comes from personal experience because I can't trust someone else to provide the information that I am looking for. I talk to people, discuss taboo issues and come to conclusions when I have enough data.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 11:04 am
@manored,
manored wrote:
In the same way an atheist can demonstrably show a theist that gods make no sense Smile


Not even close. There is a huge difference between studying and documenting the difference between races and studying and documenting the existence of God.

Quote:
As an example, the fact that black people were slaves in the USA 150 years ago. How that makes then different from white poor people? The government should act aiming at the poverty.


Doesn't this example shoot your own argument down?
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 12:05 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Not even close. There is a huge difference between studying and documenting the difference between races and studying and documenting the existence of God.

Exactly. Atleast with the study of African Americans you have an actual subject to study. One cannot study something that cannot be seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted. This is like writing on a plant that may have been in my apartment at one time, possibly.

Quote:

Doesn't this example shoot your own argument down?

I don't see how this shoots down his argument. It actually enforces it by saying that racism, as a thought process, should not be governed. Instead of enforcing things which mean very little, we should be looking at more important factors.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 01:27 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:

I don't see how this shoots down his argument. It actually enforces it by saying that racism, as a thought process, should not be governed. Instead of enforcing things which mean very little, we should be looking at more important factors.


He originally countered my stated opinion that we have a moral obligation to form informed and reasonable opinions about those we interact with. Therefore any racism that goes beyond this, such as saying that blacks are subhuman, would be morally wrong because requires that one be negligent of the moral duty.

To say that the government should not legislate by race and instead tackle the real problem, poverty, is an affirmation of my stated moral obligation.

Also, it must be noted that those things that I consider legal obligations and those things I consider moral obligations are not necessarily the same.
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 01:29 pm
@OctoberMist,
Ah. I see. I missed that post in the confusion of the others.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 01:37 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
Ah. I see. I missed that post in the confusion of the others.


What's really funny is that I had to look back at his post after reading yours cause I was completely oblivious to his point about why government action was not preferable. I had originally skipped that part because it veered away from my train of thought.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 03:14 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
1: What race are you?
Caucasian; I'm a first generation American Ashkenazy Jew; my parents were both born in Eastern Europe after the war and immigrated as children.

Quote:
2: Have you ever lived, grown up in or spent a good deal of time (at least 6 months) in a community of a race other than your own?
I've lived in sub-Saharan Africa (in Ghana, Gambia, and Sengal) for a total of 5 months on three separate trips, I lived in the Peruvian Amazon for a month, I spent a month working with native Alaskans at a clinic in Juneau, I spent 5 months of college in New Zealand (which has many Maori and Polynesian people), and a good half of my patients during my 11 years of med school, residency, and fellowship were black or hispanic.

Quote:
3: What region of the world do you live?
North Carolina, but I'm from Connecticut.

Quote:
4: How often do you interact with someone of a different race who does not like you?
Seldom; but I interact with people of a different race every single day

Quote:
5: What sort of cultural studies have you participated in?
See #2, which were all academic or professional trips

Quote:
6: What salary range do you fall into? (middle class, lower class, upper class)
Upper middle

Quote:
7: How many different countries and/or states have you been to for extended periods of time?
Lots. I've listed most above (I didn't mention a month in Spain). I've travelled to 30 states, 6 continents, and around 17 countries, including 4 in Africa, 1 in Central America, 1 in South America, 1 in the south Pacific, a bunch in Europe (incl Russia), and Japan.

Quote:
8: What countries or states?
Answered

Quote:
9: Through out your life, how often have you seen racism as a major factor in the job force of today?
Hard to know, because I work in a profession that actively tries to integrate. But I've certainly seen a disproportionate number of socially disadvantaged people of other races. This is probably less due to racial selection in the job market, and more due to latent ghettoization as a sort of passive social racism.

Quote:
10: Would you be willing to admit that someone with the determination to succeed, regardless of race, has just as much chance as anyone else?
An inappropriate question. It assumes that all else is equal. Irrespective of race, it takes a lot more determination and drive to go to college if you are the oldest of 6 kids with a single parent living in the inner city and going to a crappy school. It so happens that minorities disproportionately live in this setting.

So the answer is that in the real world we live in, minorities need to work harder to achieve the same thing. But this is a population phenomenon, there are many individual exceptions.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 11:00 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Icon wrote:
I am going to ask a few questions and I want honest answers from everyone.

1: What race are you?


Scottish and German, mostly.

Icon wrote:
2: Have you ever lived, grown up in or spent a good deal of time (at least 6 months) in a community of a race other than your own?
3: What region of the world do you live?


Yeah; I've lived in the south all of my life, and most of the places were pretty well diverse. I went to majority black schools and all that.

Icon wrote:
4: How often do you interact with someone of a different race who does not like you?


Every day.

Icon wrote:
5: What sort of cultural studies have you participated in?


I read books, take classes.

Icon wrote:
6: What salary range do you fall into? (middle class, lower class, upper class)


No income; broke college student. I sleep on a couch.

Icon wrote:
7: How many different countries and/or states have you been to for extended periods of time?


Ten states. Spent a brief time in Europe, which was great.

Icon wrote:
8: What countries or states?


Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Florida

Icon wrote:
9: Through out your life, how often have you seen racism as a major factor in the job force of today?


I don't work much, but from hearing accounts of racial discrimination from victims and perpetrators, I've heard too much. It's not the '50's, but we still have some real problems.

Icon wrote:
10: Would you be willing to admit that someone with the determination to succeed, regardless of race, has just as much chance as anyone else?


No. Race isn't the underlying issue, poverty is the real problem. It just happens to be that poverty is especially acute in minority communities.

Icon wrote:
The reason I ask these questions is simple. My information does not come from a book or from the internet (save that one BS statistic which was requested). I have spent time out in the world in both poor and rich neighborhoods. I have seen racism in many forms. But what I have never seen is someone with determination fail because of race. Instead of arguing the necessity of affirmative action, why not try to develop a better system? The one trap of philosophy is getting so caught up in being right that you ignore the chance to do something about it. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps it is still necessary but I have yet to see why. Racism is not a business issue, it is a moral and emotional issue. Regulations rarely change morals and emotions. My point is merely that we should stop attacking the policy and start attacking the personal morality on a personal level. You can't change the world with rules but you CAN change the world with actions.


Have you considered that affirmative action is a way to develop a better system? Sure, the programs are not perfect, but they do work towards the larger goal, and the programs seem to be successful.
Affirmative action isn't just rules, the programs increase diversity. Increasing diversity forces people to interact and build personal relationships with people of different races. By increasing interaction and by building relationships, racism will naturally be reduced. Affirmative action is not a legalistic approach to the problem. Affirmative action does work on a personal level.
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 03:54 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Not even close. There is a huge difference between studying and documenting the difference between races and studying and documenting the existence of God.



Doesn't this example shoot your own argument down?
That was an example to show that what seens absurd to you may be truth for others. The fact that we cannot fathom how something is believed doesnt serves as proof against the said belief.

I think you think that then I speak racism I mean hating another race. Well then we had a misurestanding because my notion of racism is atribuiting characteristics to people based on their race. The governments duty is to mantain the well-fare of as many people as possible, so there would be no reason to make a racial distinction even if it was racist.

I still dont understand the point of affirmative action. In teory it would make it so that instead of 20% of X being poor and 80% of X being rich, with the oposite for Y, 50% of each being poor and 50% of each rich. How about using that time and effort to make there be less poor people?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 12:53 am
@manored,
manored;34619 wrote:
my notion of racism is atribuiting characteristics to people based on their race.
That's only racism if the characteristics are pejorative! For me to say that black people generally have darker skin than white people is not racism. But to say that black people are savages would be racism.

When it's neutral it's a generalization; when it's overapplied to the point that it becomes an assumption, it's a stereotype. And when it's pejorative, demeaning, negative, then it's racism. Of course racism can be active, too -- I mean categorically refusing to hire people because of their race is racism, whether or not there is a generalization behind it.

Do you understand?

Quote:
I still dont understand the point of affirmative action. In teory it would make it so that instead of 20% of X being poor and 80% of X being rich, with the oposite for Y, 50% of each being poor and 50% of each rich.
That's not correct even in theory. If (to simplify) 65% of the country is white, but 95% of "desirable job x" is filled by white people, then whites are overrepresented and minorities underrepresented in this job relative to their proportion in the general population. So affirmative action seeks to incentivize hiring of minorities such that they're represented in proportion to their fraction of the total population.

Quote:
How about using that time and effort to make there be less poor people?
We'd love to. Any suggestions?
 
Solace
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 08:35 am
@OctoberMist,
Quote:
Quote:
How about using that time and effort to make there be less poor people?

We'd love to. Any suggestions?


Socialism. :poke-eye:
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 08:57 am
@Solace,
Solace;34748 wrote:
Socialism. :poke-eye:
Ok, show me one example where that has worked for a nation of 300 million people. I'm with you for effective social programs; but in the end social programs mainly prevent people from hitting rock bottom -- they don't get people out of poverty en masse.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 09:13 am
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
Socialism. :poke-eye:




Yeah, anti-socialism is the ticket? Human global cooperation is the ticket and if you want to call that socialism, so be it. IMO, nothing else will suffice. Nothing. It has never worked in the past because it cannot stand alone, it must be global. This does not mean we all live in grass huts, on the contrary it will for the most part create a living standard by which the majority will find more meaning to life rather than that experienced by an extreme minority. Didymos Thomas nailed it:

"No. Race isn't the underlying issue, poverty is the real problem. It just happens to be that poverty is especially acute in minority communities"

....and through out the world. Now that the world is communicating like it has never done before, more and more people are coming out of the dark in which they have been forced to live. We can fix all our problems, but in order to do so we need to greatly alter the economic structure that is responsible that has prevented any attempt to create a workable social paradigm. Anti-socialism will just get us all killed or institute a genocide in order to create a balance this obscene economic structure can accommodate.
William
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 09:23 am
@OctoberMist,
I'm not sure exactly what "anti-socialism" is, but I doubt it's really the problem. Social interventions may be the solution, but that's not because anti-socialism is the problem.

The problems of poverty, both globally and locally, are due to marginalization, neglect, and exploitative opportunism. Coffee and cocoa companies who blindly fund child slavery in Cote d'Ivoire are just opportunists who are unconcerned with the marginalized people. It's not that they have any kind of active anti-socialist philosophy.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 10:01 am
@William,
William;34754 wrote:
Yeah, anti-socialism is the ticket? Human global cooperation is the ticket and if you want to call that socialism, so be it. IMO, nothing else will suffice. Nothing. It has never worked in the past because it cannot stand alone, it must be global. This does not mean we all live in grass huts, on the contrary it will for the most part create a living standard by which the majority will find more meaning to life rather than that experienced by an extreme minority.


Hey William...nice idea in theory, but doubt this will ever come to light. Is this really a desirable thing, to have global rule? And I say rule, because, there is always someone ruling. Cooperation sounds nice, but we know that in all cases of socialism (or any form of economy or political system), there is a clear distinction between the wealthy/"ruling class", and the poor, politically powerless class. And if you compare countries around the world, standards of living are better, and disparity between classes is lower, in those countries which tend to be more capitalist than socialist.

The problem is that there will always be someone ruling...in a global system, this ruling class would have absolute power across the world, which would be inviting the tyrant to seize power and lay waste to all those who oppose him. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely". Right now we do have wars, injustice, and numerous problems. But there is a balance of global political power in this world because we do not have one all-powerful global system of governing. A global government would would be the biggest risk yet in the history of this world, if its power were to be corrupted; and this corruption happens in any system you can find. If corruption is inevitable, do we really want a global police force keeping us all in line and becoming more and more corrupt by the day, since they would realize there is no one to challenge it?
 
William
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 11:52 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Hey William...nice idea in theory, but doubt this will ever come to light. Is this really a desirable thing, to have global rule? And I say rule, because, there is always someone ruling. Cooperation sounds nice, but we know that in all cases of socialism (or any form of economy or political system), there is a clear distinction between the wealthy/"ruling class", and the poor, politically powerless class. And if you compare countries around the world, standards of living are better, and disparity between classes is lower, in those countries which tend to be more capitalist than socialist.

The problem is that there will always be someone ruling...in a global system, this ruling class would have absolute power across the world, which would be inviting the tyrant to seize power and lay waste to all those who oppose him. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely". Right now we do have wars, injustice, and numerous problems. But there is a balance of global political power in this world because we do not have one all-powerful global system of governing. A global government would would be the biggest risk yet in the history of this world, if its power were to be corrupted; and this corruption happens in any system you can find. If corruption is inevitable, do we really want a global police force keeping us all in line and becoming more and more corrupt by the day, since they would realize there is no one to challenge it?


The only reason I mentioned "anti-socialism" was to emphasize the opposite affect of "socialism". I only use the word socialism because what we will, hopefully, establish will be akin to a world cooperation. What I am alluding to is a total global system that has eliminated the cause of such power and that is the value we apply to idiotic materialistic rarity that has "justified and supports" that power since our being. Yes it has never occurred because of the corruption of that very power that is sustained from the amassing of that very rarity. The amassing of anything material in a finite eco-system is asking for trouble and that is just what we have and have always had. Time to create a different system. Of course those who have amassed those "resources" will just as soon see the world destroyed that give up that "godly status" they are addicted to. This is a "New World" mind set. A rebirth, so to speak totally different from that for which is responsible for the situation we find ourselves. The real kicker, if it is don't right with the proper planning it can be introduced with little sacrifice. We will eliminate the ability to amass anything and put more emphasis on that which money can buy. After all that is what it is all about in the first place. To have access to what "money" will buy that will make our existence more enjoyable. That is the "new" thing. Rather than the accumulation of wealth, what money will buy will be the incentive as we eliminate "competition" and create a more harmonic cooperation among nations utilizing the resources we have in a much more equitable manner. As I have said, I don't have all the answers, but I guarantee you they exist.

It is hard to imagine "well managed" world in that it has never existed. I assure you man is not a "greedy" creature. Most just want what they need to insure a peaceful existence. If anyone has more than they need, they are forcing another to sacrifice and such things war and bloodshed are the only measure to maintain equity. As it has alwasy been. The only thing is we are not fighting with slingshots anymore. Considering many are resolved to seek there reward in the "next life" we have more than to cause alarm.

Yes, there will be the necessity for such power to insure the necessary transition. There is no sensible argument to defend "opulence". None. This is not to say we all must be condemned to live identical lives, on the contrary, I think it will offer mankind more freedom that he has ever experience to be the unique human being he is rewarded for those contributions he has to offer as those whom he helps, willing agree to those rewards. Idealistic. You bet it is. Life is an entitlement not to be based on one's unfortunate lot in life such as we have now. This planet is our's to share and to be owned by no one. When we begin to look beyond that limited time we a lot ourselves and really, seriously plan for a better future, then and only then will be begin to know what life is about. Please forgive me, for I know my post offer a redundancy as I have a tendency to repeat myself.

Again, these are my thoughts and if one is to seek answers from the past, as we have always done, I afraid we can only look forward to a "hell on Earth". IMO. Perhaps it is time for a "new beginning", he one we had doesn't seem to be working very well. See list. IMO. I know what I am saying is hard to grasp, but once it does begin to gel, it will amaze you have deep seeded it can get as one begins to see for the first time. No longer blind to that which he has been programmed to see. It took me years. Hopefully it will not take that long for others.

William
 
 

 
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