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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I'm going to stop calling you a 'white man', and I'm going to ask that you stop calling me a 'black man'. I don't say -leans to the side- Hey, I know this white man Mike Wallace..."

"Hey, I know this white man Mike Wallace..." When you offer it like THAT, it's pretty clear that racism hasn't progressed in the United States in 100 years. And in other countries it has a touch of presence as well. The government in charge of making laws about racism is out of touch with the reality of the citizens. People are bound together by skills, by income, by location, by profession, by employment, or by religion/creed/belief/etc. Classification based on someone's skin color is as ridiculous today as it was 150 years ago. It's ignorant of the reality of our generation, and that is that people of all skin colors, ethnicities, and ancestries are in low income situations. There are whites on food stamps. There are whites on welfare. There isn't a "privileged skin color". Families who have had money maintain their wealth. We're never taught how to make and save money in school.

People in the grocery store I work at think that putting $5 in the lottery every time they go grocery shopping is a viable savings plan.

Education is the key to any culture's success, and right now the United States is happy to turn a blind eye to the low income citizens. Instead of educating our children on the importance of placing their money in savings - even at the expense of fun in the moment, we're tied up in court cases about the legality of teaching science versus religion in science class. Instead of teaching our youth that the glamour of a Hollywood antihero ends when they die at the end of the movie, we have an entire industry marginalizing women and talking about carrying around guns - or at least wearing designer clothes and ten thousand dollars in jewelry.

Race? The only race that exists is the rat race, and everybody's in it. Whites, blacks, latinos, native americans, every single person in this country is bound up by the same false idea. The same idea that if they keep throwing money at impossible odds, someday they'll hit it big. I know a man who spends $25 per week on the lottery. Go over that math.

$25 * 52 = $1300/yr.

If he had stopped playing the lottery when his first child was born, he could have paid $25,000 of their college tuition without considering any annual yields on savings accounts. And he is by no means unintelligent, but he is the first generation in his family (and as yet the only person in his family) to graduate college. He was raised thinking the payoff would come.

If we, collectively, stopped trying to see the differences in people based on race, then I think we'd quickly see that there weren't very many to begin with. I've never, not once, seen any study indicating that the baseline for a person's capability to succeed in the modern world is in any way related to their skin color. And certainly none of those baselines based on race would compare in even the slightest way to people afflicted with mental deficits, handicaps, or injuries. No racial background would inhibit a person as greatly as would a person with one limb missing, or having lost oxygen to the brain for even five minutes. Race is a ridiculous notion.

*fumes off in some other direction*

Entitlement mentality. *grumble mumble*

*wanders off with soap box in tow*
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh race isn't related to anything at all biological. However, people coin the term and turn it into a social factor. Are people of different skin colors any different from others? No. However, ethnic groups tend to form enclaves, and to separate themselves from other ethnic groups--thereby creating a lack of understanding between groups. Many ethnic minorities end up, for one reason or another, with low socioeconomic standing; which reinforces the racist viewpoints. And thus the cycle begins again. Societal opinion reinforces itself and therefore prevents people from impoverished backgrounds from ever getting OUT of their environment, and so they never do. It's just like opinions on the homeless population. People are reluctant to hire someone who's homeless, so they never get a job, so they stay on the street corner with a sign, trying to scrape together enough money to survive.

Usa, you should consider a career in Sociology. Wink

Also? Morgan Freeman is amazing.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody wants me to take a job in which it IS my job to go on these rants. Razz

The biological definition of race is thus: Any two organisms which can be defined by being reproductively isolated.

In layman's terms, that means they can't interbreed, or the resulting offspring are not viable. Mules are the foremost example of this. The offspring of a female horse and a male donkey is a mule, and the vast, vast majority of these are infertile. There are, to date, no recorded cases of fertile male mules, and a sparse few fertile females. Thus the horse and donkey are species.

Another case comes from the Grand Canyon, in the United States. There are two populations of ground mammal, rather mouse like creatures. They don't differ from one another significantly in appearance. However, habit and diet are different. They live on opposing sides of the Canyon, after all. While it is possible that these two species could interbreed, they do not. Thusly, they are classified as separate species.

There exists no such physical boundary nor reproductive difficulty in humans. Ergo, biologically, racism is at best a baseless classification, and at worst an attempt at societal control.
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Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not trying to be a meticulous person with the details here (except that I am, it it annoy just about everyone who knows me at some point and time), but not being able to produce viable offspring is the definition of the separation between species. Race is generally understood to be made up of skin color; and you're right, it has no biological basis whatsoever, aside from ethnic phenotypes--which are purely skin deep. No one ever, that I'm aware, declared that people of different ethnic backgrounds couldn't intermarry and have viable children--they just make then out to be somewhat less than human in intelligence, usually.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well ancient people did, and in fact in the slavery days there were opinions - 'scientifically proven' - to that effect.

But it's not actually true. Makes you wonder what other cultural assumptions we have which are equally unfounded, but we're convinced are true.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:

But it's not actually true. Makes you wonder what other cultural assumptions we have which are equally unfounded, but we're convinced are true.


Quite a few, if ethnocentricity is any type of marker. Granted, a lot of that is just lingering prejudice, plain and simple--but a lot of people still take it for fact.

And then there are misconceptions. Particularly psychologically speaking. It's not necessarily that those with misconceptions are wrong about something psychological; it's just that there's not really any empirical evidence to support . . . well, anything, actually.

I know that commercials for anti-depressants spread misconceptions, certainly. "Depression" is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain--that's more of a result. Depression also isn't an actual diagnosis--just a symptom. That's more of an omission of certain facts and theories, though, than anything else.

>>;;; *hider her soap box in a corner before she can stand on it*
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Nem



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Species is more a rule of thumb system than anything else. Ring species: Creatures of type B (a breeding group among themselves) can breed with creatures of type C and A (also breeding groups among themselves) which can't breed with their opposing type.

What do you do? Define them all as separate species - despite the fact they're not reproductively issolated? OR define them all as one species - despite the fact that if enough of type B dies off C and A will be different species all of a sudden.

Species is not really a coherent definition. Not unless you stop at the top of the paper to go 'And by species I mean....' You can do the same with time too. When does a species stop being similar enough to its past state in order to constitute a new species? When they stop being able to breed together? Well that doesn't happen all of a sudden....

The world doesn't actually break down into isolated breeding groups. Neither temporally or in terms of physical location. Provided the egg and the sperm have compatible acrosome and zona pellucida enzymes fertilisation will occur. It doesn't mean the foetus will be viable, that depends on whether there are a similar enough size, number, homology of chromosomes, but it will happen.

Personally I don't find the concept useful anyway. Does it have big teeth? Yes. Does it swim the same as that thing over there? No. Well it's something else then. You just group by the feature relevant to your inquiry.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you could always just refer to the genus, instead of the species--which is probably a little bit more accurate in defining boundaries, anyways, since it includes all animals of a similar genetic pattern.
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to the original rant; I applied. In the section where it asked about a disability I put down my social anxiety problem. It's been holding me back for years, now I might be able to get something good out of it.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that was smart! Good thinking.

Devil's advocate: What will you say if they ask, "How can you work in a museum if you're socially anxious?"
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Now that was smart! Good thinking.

Devil's advocate: What will you say if they ask, "How can you work in a museum if you're socially anxious?"


I've thought about that and so far I have three responses.

1) If they're going to aim this internship at disabled people then they have to be prepared to allow for special circumstances.

2) My one-to-one interactions have improved a lot, it's group speaking that I have most issues with now.

3) I think the job could actually help me work through some of these issues.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you give an example of a time you had to face your social anxiety, what you did then, and what you would do if you have to give a group tour in the museum?

You don't really have to answer if it's something private, but it does strike me as a question they might ask. Also, out of curiosity, does pretending you're only speaking to one person help when you're in a group?
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
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Wren



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This...is going to become a rant, I fear.

Affirmative action may or may not be outdated. I am addressing this point here in an attempt to divorce my following argument from affirmative action, because that's an argument on its own. As in, I'm sure I could write a book on it.

The best way to end racism would be for everyone to stop talking about race. However, there are prejudiced people in our immediate environment. Pretending they are not racist--or acting as if they don't exist, which is pretty much the same thing on a large scale--is not going to help anything.

Additionally, humans tend to look for patterns. A person might be racist and still be a perfectly good person--as long as that person recognizes and adjusts for the irrationality racism introduces. I literally have trouble recognizing race and so will use a tangentially related example. For instance, I feel uncomfortable around overweight people, and tend to find them more annoying than underweight/healthy people. I recognize this about myself, and so can adjust for it when making any decision.

Is racism bad? Yes. But I don't think it's ever going to simply go away. I make snap judgments based on eye-color, hair-styling, choice in clothing, voice, etc. The only way for me to not be prejudiced in my actions is to accept that I can have these feelings and still make my own choices independently.

</soapbox>
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't going to post this here, despite being fairly proud of the writing, but now it seems apt. I've recently been involved in a few threads on Facebook that pit Religion and Sexuality against one another. Specifically, Christianity against the LGBT community. While this isn't exactly the topic of racism, the core argument itself remains fundamentally the same, and the points made remain as valid for any topic.

In essence, if you don't care to read, by affirming "race" as a difference, and by accepting that "race" is a difference, we are making it a difference. To buy in to a stereotype that a given set of [eople act a certain way because other, completely separate people that share base physical traits act a certain way does a disservice to the group, as well as the individual. Additionally it could be argued that putting these traits from the group onto the individual does a disservice to one's self.

Skin color was one of the things I was most proud to overcome my prejudice against, and now base more of my snap judgment on how a person conducts themselves than anything else. What sort of posture they have, eye contact, facial expression, clothing style and condition, and so on. Then again, I've never been mugged, robbed, beaten, or stabbed by a black. Only by whites. I've never been cheated on by a black. Again, only whites. I suppose I had to, at some point, realize my prejudice was only supported by what I saw on television. And that seemed a poor support for condemning an entire group of people based on one physical trait alone.

-----

Why is making fun if Christians more acceptable than making fun of Homosexuals, or Jews, or anyone? Because there are more of them? That seems a rather disturbing argument, to me. The only way that seems valid is if you anticipate so deeply wounding one that you would need another, and that means that larger groups would have more "another"s to provide you with. That's the argument at its most base, that there are enough people to "soak" the damage you're causing.

You're not actually causing any less damage. You're just causing damage to more people.

To touch on the argument that it's "okay" to make "light jokes" about a certain group, or that people in those groups are accepting of those jokes, let me say that this does a disservice to that group, and that person. By telling these jokes, you reinforce stereotypes. "Oh, I have no fashion sense, but it's okay because I have gay friends!" Yes, let's all have a laugh. Gay people obviously have more fashion sense, everyone knows this, don't they? So, what about the gay who has no fashion sense? Are they somehow 'less' gay? Or are they less of a gay? Are they more acceptable in society? No, certainly not, they're still gay. Only they're now not a part of "the gay" as a stereotype. You've created not only one minority, but two. You've attacked not one group, but every individual in it who may be unique.

I think that handles both the "larger groups" and "balance of rudeness" ideas to my satisfaction. Now, on to the "Why do liberals feel this way?" (as the most liberal guy my uncle knows, I guess I'm qualified).

The truth? Christianity is the opposing side, it epitomizes all of the things that most liberals are taught (notice: TAUGHT) to believe are wrong with the world. Closed minded, bigoted, hate-filled, and totally unwilling to see any change that does not agree with their narrow minded view of how the world should be.

Closed minded, bigoted, hate-filled, and totally unwilling to see any change that does not agree with their narrow minded view of how the world should be.

...you know what is so jarringly familiar about that statement? I've heard it used to describe two groups. Liberals, and Conservatives. Conservatives, and Liberals. And it's generally true and false in equal measure.

Most Christians I know have no problem with gay people, specifically. They are cordial to them, they can communicate with them peacefully, they can even share work space with them. Some may try and explain their view that homosexuality is wrong, but most who do are actually trying to help the person.

Likewise, most LGBT I know don't have any problem with Christians. Some ARE Christians. They tend to treat them with respect, they're easily able to talk to them, and likewise are more than able, and willing, to share work space with them. Some may make offers to hang out or include the Christian in activities they enjoy, much as the Christian tries to share their beliefs in kind.

So what's the issue? What, I wonder, is the problem? IS there a problem? Yes, there is. The "right or wrong" mentality that seems to permeate the United States these days. On BOTH sides of the political spectrum, moral standing, and so on. The idea that one side MUST be right, and one side MUST be wrong. It is patently ridiculous, and intellectually degrading to be told that something is fully and wholly evil. There are no such things, just as there are no fully and wholly good things in the world.

The truth is that everything lies on a gradient. What is offensive to some (Zombie Jesus Day, Gay Fashion jokes) is completely okay to others. But every time a person makes that joke, they cement a bit further that it's okay to marginalize and make slight of a group of people. The only solution, the only way to make the world "okay", is to understand that people are going to be different from you. Even the person next to you in your FAVORITE group of people in the WHOLE WORLD is different from you. They have different taste in music, in cars, in clothes, in people, in weather, in television channels, whether they like a hard or soft bed, loose or tight shoes, t-shirts or button-up shirts, boxers or briefs, jeans or khakis, books or ebooks, water or tea.

The list goes on. Marginalizing someone because of one of these differences makes about as much sense as yelling at the sky for being blue. People are they way they are. Making fun of that? You may as well call the planet lumpy, the ocean wet, and space cold.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jokes mostly seem to be about information. Information shared, information not shared, and drawing attention to what we know that we don't know; acknowledging a lack of understanding. To me, they seem to be a way for people to talk about information and society without making it incredibly serious - they leave people with a way to withdraw and save face if the discussion goes wrong, because you don't have to acknowledge that's what you were doing.

So much of it depends on context and body language that you can claim, in essence, that someone just misread you.

Now obviously you can do this in a negative way - some incredibly off-colour joke - I don't know and I don't want to know because it's all disgusting the joke as an attack; but equally you can do it in a good way. Jokes as a far more complex signal:

'I'm uncomfortable with this, I don't quite understand this, I may be amenable to learning more about this, I kind of like you but don't want to come out and signal it in public, I think some third party representation we're talking about is silly.'

Or whatever.

You can talk about illegal activities as a joke, feel people out to see where and when or if they laugh and where they look before and afterwards and.... whether if you include a bit of information that's slightly out of kilter and laugh at it others pause the right amount of time before laughing too or whether they know enough to get it right away or....

You've got to model what you think other people know in order to make sense of jokes and a lot of that depends on stuff they're not going to be saying aloud.

'Gay people obviously have more fashion sense, everyone knows this, don't they?'
(Emphasis added.)

But in a way that last bit is the joke. If you honestly DID think that gay people all had good fashion sense, 'Oh, I have no fashion sense, but it's okay because I have gay friends!' wouldn't be funny. It's like when you go, 'You shouldn't do that, because it's wrong.' And everyone breaks down laughing, but the joke is that you're aware of the fact that right and wrong are not simple criteria, that you don't just reduce them to little 'X is wrong' sentences.

Just as telling someone to get lost with a laugh is utterly different from hissing at someone to get lost! the exploration of humour's interaction with stereotypes is, I think, far more complex than simply making fun of someone or the written expression of a joke. Written language can be an incredibly shallow medium in some ways.

Tl/dr: Language games are very complex requiring you to make guesses at the intentions and knowledge of others, and you can't assume it's an attack just because it's in the form of a stereotype referencing joke. Sometimes people are doing it because they're nervous and the stereotype is something they can hide behind, sometimes they're doing it because they're feeling you out for something, sometimes they just think that the stereotype is ridiculous....

----------------------------------------

Do I think not talking about race will make it go away? Kinda. I think not obsessing about it will make it go away. You've still got to have them involved in contexts that communicate they're equals. Certainly all this parades and days and so on is a bit silly - draws attention to the idea that they're not equal. You don't need to do that sort of stuff with people who you think are equals. =p
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