What is racism?

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

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AgnosticBoy
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What is racism?

Post #1

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Last week, I had a discussion with a liberal friend regarding if Trump was a racist. I said no, but my liberal friend said yes. I asked her for a definition of racism and she stated that it meant any form of discrimination against someone based on their race. She also added that it involves holding a negative view about a race. I did not question her more but I figured I'd bring the topic here.

In my view, racism only means hatred, dislike, or intolerance towards a race. Anything less than that should not be called racism otherwise most of us would fit right in the category.

For instance, don't most people have stereotypes, good and bad, about a race? Can't someone have negative stereotypes about a race without hating them?

Don't some of us date certain races? Is it discrimination that a girl only wants to date White guys? Does it make her racist?

FOr debate:
What does racism mean? Also take a shot at answering the other questions.

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Re: What is racism?

Post #2

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #1]

Here is what google says racism is, "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized."

I mostly agree with that definition, holding negative stereotypes about a race fits the bill on the prejudice part of that definition, but I don't think merely holding certain opinion counts as racism unless it leads to negative actions. Stereotypes are cognitive short cuts wired into our brain, it's a useful tool that cannot be turned off. We just need to turn on another part of our brains to stop treating people different based on race.

As for dating only certain races, it depends on the specifics. In general, I would say no, it's not racism.

koko

Re: What is racism?

Post #3

Post by koko »

AgnosticBoy,


In my view, racism only means hatred, dislike, or intolerance towards a race.




By your definition, despite your defense of him, Trump is a racist since he called Third World peoples from Haiti, Central America, and Africa as "s....t hole" nations. His intolerance so great that he puts up a wall to impede people from those parts of the world into the USA but leaves the airports and seaports open to white illegal immigrants from Europe, Russia, and Israel. He also condemns MS-13 as a foreign gang even though they originated in Los Angeles. Yet, he remains silent about the Russian and Italian mafias that are of foreign origin and who spread drugs and violence in our society. Remember his line about "Mexicans are rapists"? Not very flattering at all - obviously, the ravings of a hate filled racist.

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AgnosticBoy
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Re: What is racism?

Post #4

Post by AgnosticBoy »

koko wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:18 am
AgnosticBoy,


In my view, racism only means hatred, dislike, or intolerance towards a race.




By your definition, despite your defense of him, Trump is a racist since he called Third World peoples from Haiti, Central America, and Africa as "s....t hole" nations.
I don't think we can say it's definitely racism because classism fits better. He dislikes those countries because they are very poor.

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Re: What is racism?

Post #5

Post by bjs1 »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:30 pm Last week, I had a discussion with a liberal friend regarding if Trump was a racist. I said no, but my liberal friend said yes. I asked her for a definition of racism and she stated that it meant any form of discrimination against someone based on their race. She also added that it involves holding a negative view about a race. I did not question her more but I figured I'd bring the topic here.

In my view, racism only means hatred, dislike, or intolerance towards a race. Anything less than that should not be called racism otherwise most of us would fit right in the category.

For instance, don't most people have stereotypes, good and bad, about a race? Can't someone have negative stereotypes about a race without hating them?

Don't some of us date certain races? Is it discrimination that a girl only wants to date White guys? Does it make her racist?

FOr debate:
What does racism mean? Also take a shot at answering the other questions.
Accepting a negative stereotype based on the color of a person’s skin would be a clear example of racism.

Think of it this way: Imagine that someone saw you and said, “You are white, which means you a racist who hates black people and want to make sure that people who like different than you stay poor.”

You would consider that racist, would you not? Yet the speaker does not hate you. He just made negative assumptions about you because of the color of your skin.

(If you don’t consider that racism, I am curious what category you would put it in.)
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-Charles Darwin

koko

Re: What is racism?

Post #6

Post by koko »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:52 pm
I don't think we can say it's definitely racism because classism fits better. He dislikes those countries because they are very poor.



Trump claims to be a good Christian:


Image


Does the Bible tolerate hate in any form?

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Re: What is racism?

Post #7

Post by AgnosticBoy »

bjs1 wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:40 pm Accepting a negative stereotype based on the color of a person’s skin would be a clear example of racism.

Think of it this way: Imagine that someone saw you and said, “You are white, which means you a racist who hates black people and want to make sure that people who like different than you stay poor.”

You would consider that racist, would you not? Yet the speaker does not hate you. He just made negative assumptions about you because of the color of your skin.

(If you don’t consider that racism, I am curious what category you would put it in.)
Well here's the problem. As Bust Nak alluded to earlier, it may actually be "natural" for the human mind to stereotype. I have a stereotype for Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, and virtually every other race that I've experienced and worked with. Some are positive and some are negative. Does that mean I hate all of these races, especially when these stereotypes may occur beyond my complete control? I don't think so.

However, I do think we should make sure that we don't use our stereotypes as some definitive truth. Nor should we act on our stereotypes unless there is reasonable or probable cause.

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Re: What is racism?

Post #8

Post by bjs1 »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:25 pm
bjs1 wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:40 pm Accepting a negative stereotype based on the color of a person’s skin would be a clear example of racism.

Think of it this way: Imagine that someone saw you and said, “You are white, which means you a racist who hates black people and want to make sure that people who like different than you stay poor.”

You would consider that racist, would you not? Yet the speaker does not hate you. He just made negative assumptions about you because of the color of your skin.

(If you don’t consider that racism, I am curious what category you would put it in.)
Well here's the problem. As Bust Nak alluded to earlier, it may actually be "natural" for the human mind to stereotype. I have a stereotype for Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, and virtually every other race that I've experienced and worked with. Some are positive and some are negative. Does that mean I hate all of these races, especially when these stereotypes may occur beyond my complete control? I don't think so.

However, I do think we should make sure that we don't use our stereotypes as some definitive truth. Nor should we act on our stereotypes unless there is reasonable or probable cause.
The hypothetical speaker in my original post doesn’t hate white people. He just has a negative stereotype about white people based on race. Do you consider his statement racist? If not, what word beyond the general term “stereotype” would you use to describe it?

Also, if we should not view our stereotypes as definitive truth then that seems to mean that we should assume that they are at least in part false. If they are false, aren’t we under moral obligation to rid ourselves of them?
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-Charles Darwin

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Re: What is racism?

Post #9

Post by AgnosticBoy »

bjs1 wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:40 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:25 pm
bjs1 wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:40 pm Accepting a negative stereotype based on the color of a person’s skin would be a clear example of racism.

Think of it this way: Imagine that someone saw you and said, “You are white, which means you a racist who hates black people and want to make sure that people who like different than you stay poor.”

You would consider that racist, would you not? Yet the speaker does not hate you. He just made negative assumptions about you because of the color of your skin.

(If you don’t consider that racism, I am curious what category you would put it in.)
Well here's the problem. As Bust Nak alluded to earlier, it may actually be "natural" for the human mind to stereotype. I have a stereotype for Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, and virtually every other race that I've experienced and worked with. Some are positive and some are negative. Does that mean I hate all of these races, especially when these stereotypes may occur beyond my complete control? I don't think so.

However, I do think we should make sure that we don't use our stereotypes as some definitive truth. Nor should we act on our stereotypes unless there is reasonable or probable cause.
The hypothetical speaker in my original post doesn’t hate white people. He just has a negative stereotype about white people based on race. Do you consider his statement racist? If not, what word beyond the general term “stereotype” would you use to describe it?
Based on my definition, the person in your example is not racist since he does not hate White people. It would certainly be consistent with someone who hated Whites so I'd have to press for more details. I suppose a distinguishing line for me would be if the stereotype is based on hate or leads to it.

Racial stereotypes are based on our experience of a group. If I have a lot of experiences seeing Blacks in poor neighborhoods, then my mind will likely want to associate Blacks with poverty. Would you see this as being racist when it's a natural mental process and no hate is involved? What if most Blacks were poor anyways then how far off from reality must the stereotype be in order for it to be considered racist?

Jewish people having long noses can be considered a negative stereotype. Would you call that racist?
Last edited by AgnosticBoy on Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is racism?

Post #10

Post by Miles »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:30 pm What is Racism?

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