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Can "Racism" be clearly defined?....or is it subjective?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Rembrandt, Apr 4, 2006.

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  1. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    This Cynthia McKinney story has me fumeing.....I'm certainly not for more laws regulating the public....but maybe it's time to nip some of these wild claims in the bud.....perhaps a law making false claims of racism a felony. Or opening the people crying "racism" up to civil lawsuits.

    My question is, can racism be clearly defined and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.....or would it be subject to interpretation depending on who's point of view is taken?
     
  2. DevLcL

    DevLcL Member

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    I'd say its up to the individual. At the same time, most normal folks (B or W) can see the line pretty clearly.

    -Dev
     
  3. Kim

    Kim Member

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    Well according to Lefty ethic study departments it is now institutional.. We can't actually see it but we know it is there. It has to be cause we say so. Otherwise we can not be oppressed anymore and if that is the case we would have to consider ourselves free and not a special class that needs special government help by which I really mean is we want to stick it to those white european imperalistic capitalist patriarchial racist evil devils. That is the left post modern definition of racism. Haven't any of you guys been on a college campus lately espically one of the elite oneszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz? :D
     
  4. American By Blood

    American By Blood Member

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    Racism: a term to be avoided

    From my perspective, "racism" (and "racist") are less adjectives and more epithets. The definitions are far too diverse and subjective for the term(s) to actually have meaning.

    For example, calling a member of a non-white minority by some sort of recognized slur is generally considered racist. Makes enough sense. It's aggressive, intentionally offensive, and surely pertaining to the subject of race. But what about when the tables are turned and it's the Euro-descended person having aspersions cast upon his ancestry? How about we further complicate the situation and make it two whites of different nations having an ethnically charged confrontation?

    Many people would say that anti-white ethnic/racial slurs are, in fact, not racist. The sort of fuzzy logic behind that thinking likely wouldn't go over well on THR, but the "post-modern" cultural lefties who largely dominate Western racial discourse are all for it.

    But what if we move from the realm of outright insult to the (hopefully) more civil territory of politics? There are those who argue that opposing affirmative action is inherently racist because it potentially denies opportunites that level the playing field in a society that some see as naturally favorable to whites. Of course, on the other side there are those who maintain that supporting affirmative action is undeniably racist because wanting to put in place those sorts of rules must mean that you either believe that certain minorities are unable to compete in a fair contests or that you're conspiring to keep them dependent on (and therefore faithfully voting for) you.

    And what about the (at least theoretically) ultimately neutral realm of study, both amateur and academic? There are those in the academy who fanatically campaign for any mention of race (aside from critiquing the very concept) to be removed from textbooks and curricula. This lot is also generally the first to cry "RACISM" whenever a MD, biologist, etc makes public his or her beliefs that different groups of human beings have physical differences. Sadly, folks often seek to get good scholars' tenures revoked, reputations sullied, publications taken out of print, and a employ a whole host of other speech-supressing tactics. Conversely, the above alluded to MDs and biologists may not have a malicious bone in their bodies when it comes to race and just want to study human differences because they and their colleagues keep finding that different medications and therapies effect identifiable human groups in divergent ways and they simply want to be able to better treat patients. Which group is right? Is the basic recognition of human phyiscal diversity inherently racist because race is merely a social construct or is it fundamental to understanding our species as a whole?

    Like I said earlier, I see the term(s) as definitely undefined and likely undefinable so I generally avoid using it/them altogether. Slippery words like that are signs of speech based on emotional reactions instead of thought and reason.

    Furthermore (and in keeping with THR's general interest in civil liberties) I see the social taboos surrounding the mere discussion of race, gender, sexuality, etc that have come into being out of fear of offending anyone as being severely damaging to freedom. In polite company a person will be frowned at and cause a room-wide silence if he or she says something that differs from the orthodoxy on those topics. Not the worst thing that can happen to someone, but it's a bad omen for our intellectual climate when potentially erroneous opinions are met with disapproval instead of counter-arguments. It means that the foudations for a creeping authoritarianism are being laid. Look at it this way: when was the last time you saw the freedom-loving THR users argue against gun control with social coercion? People who value liberty respect the right to disagree and base their debates in fact instead of convention. The importance of this distinction is impossible to to over-estimate.

    Unfortunately, even more extreme methods for enforcing conformity are on the way. Take a look at university campuses today. Skepticism about any of the sacred cows can get a person written up, thrown into mandatory sensitivity classes, and even expelled or denied graduation. The people on the receiving end of these policies aren't arm-band wearing goose-steppers, either. They're regular folks like you or me. (links for those who like to get their blood-pressure elevated: here and here). Our future leaders are being taught to accept and even participate in this sort of blatant dragooning. This does not bode well for freedom in our nation.

    "Racism" is an intellectual truncheon used to beat dissenters into line. Avoid its use and do what you can to rob it of its power.

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

    Sorry for the long first post. I'm new here and you'll be seeing more of me. On the gun-related threads, too! :p

    I'll likely be talking about ComBloc military weapons or asking questions about guns that I'm in the market for. Hope to see all of you around!
     
  5. horge

    horge Member

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    :)

    Like it or not, there ARE physical attributes that can apply themselves towards
    classifying human populations according to 'race'... if one is so inclined to classify.

    If such classification (which is necessarily arbitrary, as all classification is)
    is intended towards a productive sort of data organization, say, to simplify
    personal registration data collection/storage/processing, then it's no different
    from classifying people according to location/nationality, gender, age, etc.

    Now... whether the use of race terminology (the fruit of classification) is offensive,
    is a determination for those who hear/read/see the term(s), particularly the
    recipient or person alluded to.

    Today's technical term is often tomorrow's racial slur, and today's racial slur
    is often reissued as acceptable --or chic, or even affectionate-- slang, so
    the 'problem' evades a permanent definition.


    JM2Pesos
    horge
     
  6. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Leftist definition:
    Racism is a belief system that is despicable in a white person and laudable in a non-white person.
     
  7. AK-74me

    AK-74me Member

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  8. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I use this standard: if people do not give me money, then they are racist.:D

    (disclaimer: the above is satire to illustrate a political point)
     
  9. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    Understand that this woman has a long history of being a left wing loon and she will blame everything in the world for her lot in lot in life, never once taking responsibility... Over this past weekend Mr. Bill Cosby put things in perspective when he spoke in New Orleans: Blacks refuse to take responsibility for things in life and instead blame everything for their shortcomings and personal weaknesses, thus making themselves a permanent underderclass. Ms. McKinney didn't follow security protocol and struck a Capitol Police member; she should be arrested and jailed like anyone else that committed such a crime.

    Absolutely it can be measured. But Ms. McKinney has never known racism and instead she makes of herself the martyr with "perceived" claims of racism against everyone whom she meets. This is her method of compensating for her lack of responsibility. Such is popular within her race in my opinion. Others who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, worked hard, and achieved greatness; i.e., General Colin Powell, Dr. Connie Rice, Mr. Bill Cosby, et al. deserve our respect and honor. Ms. McKinney, in my opinion, desreves only our contempt and scorn for being a race baiter who does a disservice to society.
     
  10. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    'Racism' is a excuse for anytime something doesn't go your way.

    Kevin
     
  11. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    "Racism" is an overused term. If a person is a racist, it means they believe one ethnicity is inherently superior to other ethnicities in terms of intelligence.

    Most of the time, when a person is labeled a "racist," we do not mean the person is literally a racist. (See definition above.) The word "bigot" is usually more appropriate.
     
  12. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I learned a reasonable functional definition of racism from my first grade teacher, who was trying to get across a lesson in tolerance.

    The quote is approximate, based on a 30+ year old memory, filtered through 30+ years of experience and refinement:

    "At the heart of racism is prejudice. Prejudice means to PRE judge. That means, to judge before you know the full story. Judgements form the basis for subsequent decisions regarding a person. Judgements made before you know the whole story can often based on factors that are irrelevant to the situation at hand, such as the color of a person's skin, or what country they come from. It is best to try to form judgements not on what people look like, but on what they actually do and say. Try to form judgements based on the content of people's character, not on the color of their skin."

    At the time, I did not recognize the teacher quoting MLK.

    The definition is interesting and workable, because it points to three important factors:

    * The making of snap judgements on incomplete information.
    * The impact of irrelevant factors on such judgements
    * The implementation of decisions regarding a person based on those flawed judgements.

    It leaves room for discernment. Race, creed, national origin and so forth _might_ be relevant under some circumstances, depending on the question at hand, but usually they are not. Accordingly, the key to avoiding racism was to have an open, fair mind.
     
  13. Just_a_dude_with_a_gun

    Just_a_dude_with_a_gun Member

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    The real, literal meaning of "Racism", is to believe that race accounts for differences between two people, or that race warrants how one is treated.
    I believe affirmative action, and the constant need to be separate, be identified separately, to start tv networks separately, to form community activist groups separately, for a separate group of people helped kill any inkling of real equality years ago.

    Literally, many blacks (sadly, many with power and public personality) are more racist, more overtly, more now, than ever...

    Bill Cosby is onto something. Sadly, people don't want to hear it.
     
  14. crazed_ss

    crazed_ss Member

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    The reason we (black people) were have things like BET, NAACP, Negro College Fund, etc is because historically we've been treated like second class citizens. None of that stuff would have been required if blacks hadn't been forceably segrated and excluded from American culture in the first place.

    You may argue that things are different now and you'd be right, but it's highly doubtful that people are just going to forget what happened and "move on".. My dad is from Lousiana and he can tell me all kinds of stories of growing up as a kid in LA.. being subjected to Jim Crow Laws, terrorized by the KKK, etc. All that stuff happened in his lifetime.. it's NOT ancient history like some people try to make it out to be. History does have some bearing on the present and the deep racial wounds in this country arent gonna heal in a few decades.

    I'm not trying to make an excuse for anything.. though instutional racism still exists in this country, it's not at the level that my dad had to deal with. Blacks have just about the same oppurtunities as everyone else. I fully support what Cosby says. Back in the Civil Rights days, blacks stood up in the face of crushing racism and discrimination and demanded our rights. It seems that many have become complacent as of late. If blacks had the drive these days like we had back then, we'd be doing a lot better for ourselves.


    ok.. that was a rant.. dont know if it even made since..
     
  15. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Racism: The inability to see, really see, an individual standing there in front of you. Just one more form of stereotyping and prejudging.
     
  16. RevDisk

    RevDisk Member

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    There are already libel and slander laws on the book for intentionally making false statements. An interesting question is, what is your motivation for these suggestions you quote?

    From what I understand, McKinney walked through a checkpoint that she's likely passed through many times. Her crime was not wearing a lapel pin, which is about the dumbest security measure I've ever heard of. I personally have seen Congresscritters passing the security checkpoints without such pins, also. (I don't care what the Capital Police say, I've seen it.) I cannot understand why they don't just issue manditory ID badges to be worn at the capital at all times. It's the law that anyone on the street must provide identification to LEO's, why not apply it to Congress? Anyways. Only this time, she's grabbed by a guy, and she decks the guy who grabbed her. Perhaps not the polite thing to do when it's a cop.

    However, that cop's lucky he didn't try to do that with some of my lady friends. The cop got back all of his fingers and his arm in one piece, if you're going to go down for hitting an officer, might as well make it count.


    Congresscritters are privileged from arrest and detaining on their way to and from session. One could argue that the stop itself was a violation of the Constitution, but it's sufficiently muddled. All and all, this is all pretty much making a mountain out of a mole hill. Congress needs better security procedures, the cop could have used better tact, and McKinney shouldn't have hit the officer. Both parties involved should issue something akin to an apology and move on. But it seems like they're both going to be stubborn.

    I fail to see why more than a few people are very upset over this incident. It's not very important in the long run, and definitely not related to RKBA.

    Lessons learned? Capital Police and Congress need to update their security procedures. A pin is incredibly stupid. CP could work on their questioning techniques. Congresscritters are generally annoying and stupid.
     
  17. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    Every time the thread comes up over "what is racisim"? I have a canned answer:

    The biggest problem in "the debate" is that what is often decried as "racisim" is really "culturalisim".

    There's a big difference, and it is being ignored.

    Racisim is utterly indefensible on religious, scientific, logical, or moral grounds.

    However, culturalisim is another matter, and depending on application, it is defensible.

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban was "a culture". Monotheistic, mysoginistic, intolerant, and brutal. We went to war to destroy that culture, and disagree or not, unlike Iraq we did so with a fair amount of the world's blessing. We did much the same to destroy the Nazi culture during WWII. Extreme examples to be sure, but ones that illustrate that there are ways of life that a majority can agree that they find are reprehensible.

    Therefore, unlike racisim where it's indefensible, you can postulate "Some cultures are better than others." This is something most people can agree on.

    Which cultures are bad, and which are good is obviously open for a great deal debate, and I'm sure that we all have our ideas. :)

    It's a product of the colectivist left mindset that no one can judge anyone on anything anywhere at any time that works to keep "culturalisim" wrapped under the blanket term "racisim" to keep it off the table of acceptable debate.

    I believe that this is where the American "silent majority" that finds the inner-city 70% illegitimacy rate, the Nation of Islam, the Klu Klux Klan, and Neo-Nazi's all equaly repugnant finds itself trapped.

    It's unfortunate, and segments of the population that might be encouraged to change thier ways, suffer for it.
     
  18. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Do you honestly think James Inhoff, Rick Santorum or even Nancy Pelosi, as examples, would have responded in this way? I think not.

    The woman is a loon and an embarrassment. If you're asked to stop, you stop, period. The cop was doing his job, hell he asked her three times. It makes no mention of "grabbing her", the article says he placed a hand on her, likely her shoulder. I doubt he took a handful of breast. :rolleyes: This by no means gives her the right to hit the cop. She is a black woman with an attitude that everyone owes her something therefore putting her above the law and empowering her to act as an idiot without reprisal. People are sick of this attitude coming from minorities. They're sick of being labeled as racist at the whim of a minority. They're sick of walking on eggshells because of it. They're sick of putting up with a racist attitude from the people that are doing the accusing. I hope they throw he in jail for a few days. like that would ever happen. :rolleyes:
     
  19. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Racism defined ina governmeat organization. Hispanic and black officers in my Dept can call me a cracker with impunity, but woe betide any non minority staff who use any term offensive to them be it wetback, the notorious "n" word, (when I grew up, it was not identified as a "letter" word, just a term you didn't use), or anything else they deem instantly "wrong".
    I think I am going to start demanding my equal rights as a Norweigan-American, the placing of lutefisk and lefsa on the meal rotation, recognition of "uffda" as a trademarked phrase, the right to fly the Norweigan flag anywhere I want, Oleg and Sven jokes to be banned, and tellers thereof subject to charges, etc.
    If I make this ridiculous enough, I wonder how far I can take it???:cool:
     
  20. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    AJ Dual=> You raise some interesting points, but your characterization of above of "some cultures being bad" I take exception to. Which cultures are you saying are bad? Can you specify?

    A few related thoughts:

    White children in American public schools, in my opinion, are being daily reminded that minorities are preferable; we have Asian Awareness Month, Black History Month, and Latin-American Month, we emphasize and honor one minority with a special day; i.e., MLK, and we continually regurgitate civil rights wrongs and paint these wrongs upon the white children of society. Is it any wonder they feel affronted? Is the white culture the one to which you refer as "bad"? What "culturalisim" are we offering to the youth of tomorrow in our public schools? That of minorityism?

    I am tired of the schism of American society, where ethnic divisions are maintained via hypenated designations; i.e., Latin-Americans, Black-Americans, and Asian-Americans. This is my opinion is fundamentally wrong and perpetuates unnecessary stereo-types, racism, and division. We are all Americans! If you are born here you are American. Period. No more claims to cultural heritage. Your culture is American. And please no more emphasis of minorityism which leads others to feel affronted which leads to racism.

    We are all Americans. No more racism and distinction of culturalism. If you were born in this land your culture is American. That's it. No hyphenated ethnic division.
     
  21. cz75bdneos22

    cz75bdneos22 Member

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    racist is just another label used to ascribe meaning to a selective group of human beings with certain negative (voiced) thoughts or who perpetrate negative, sometime criminal behaviors (actions). the word racist itself is neither good nor bad..its the act of voicing negative thoughts towards fellow human beings to denigrate, humiliate and abuse psychologically, emotionally and spiritually other human beings. More importantly, negative physical, often criminal behavior (actions) is the crux of the problem...afterall, if a person/s kept their racist POV inside their hearts and minds. Managed somehow to keep their mouth shut and in addition, never took action to hurt even a fly,..well, then truly thehighroad would open up to two-way traffic since it's been closed temporarily due to repairs to the tarmac....
     
  22. JesseJames

    JesseJames Member

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    Just watch the movie "Blazing Saddles".:neener:
     
  23. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    The Irish have.

    Frankly, until blacks do just "move on" (that is if you define "move on" as; stop blaming currently alive white people for the current problems in the black community) we'll never see harmony between the races (which of course is the point of groups like the NAACP ... if you keep people divided they are easy to control).



    At any rate, the actual dictionary definition of racism is not the issue ... the issue is that "progressives" have realized that calling white people racist is a good easy way to dodge debate on the real issues between various political groups.


    "Racism" is about political tactics, not race.
     
  24. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I think there's something to that. It seems that in some cases, some minorities cling to their vicitimized status more tightly than those who cling to the practice of victimizing them.

    Sometimes, people cling to their psychic pain, (as in heartbreak or anger for legitimate offenses) way beyond that pain's usefullness, and they sabotage themselves in the process.

    Initially, clinging to pain has a point and purpose. It tells the person they've taken some damage, and that they need to take some steps to correct it. Beyond that, there is a legitimate reason to hold on for a time, until the mourning process is complete. After that, clinging to the pain is self destructive.

    People do this because it gets them something that they value.

    Providing societal and legal support for claims of racism beyond its actual merits is dangerous. It does no real justice to the aggrieved, retards the healing process, and unbalances society.


    That we are having this discussion is, I think, a good thing. A society that is ready to discuss where racism ends and its subtleties is over the hump, and has done much to solve the issues of where racism starts and its gross forms.
     
  25. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Hmmm, a few come to mind:

    1) Taliban (as AJD pointed out)
    2) Nazi - that "untermenschen" / "herrenvolk" thing, "scorched earth"
    3) a few primitive ones indulging in human sacrifice and cannibalism
    4) Bolsheviks / commies - lots of killing of the "counterrevolutionary elements" and "bourgeoisie parasytes", GULag concentration camps, collectivization, corruption, torture

    No, not all cultures are created equal. Thankfully, America proves that culture is not genetic.
     
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