Social Question

cutiepi92's avatar

Do you think racism will ever go away?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2219 points ) January 15th, 2013

I keep thinking that maybe society is moving forward…..but then i see s*** like this: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=139678703&page=1

and it just makes me wonder. Why do people still think like this? Why are people so stupid to believe that a certain race is superior to another and not think they are racist? Or worse, claim that “all people of this race smell” or some type of negative stereotype when it’s something different than what they are used to and they don’t know anything about it. Will this ever go away? I am one of those that thinks people in general are stupid but individuals can be quite intelligent. Is it possible for racism to be weeded out of the masses instead of individuals? How long will it take? I’m just so tired of it, especially since (no offense to anyone that is white) many who experience “white privilege” stupidly think that they either aren’t racist when they are or think that racism doesn’t exist anymore.

I apologize in advance for this rant and topic, but I’m taking a class on Science, Technology, and Racism and it’s just frustrated me even more on topics I’ve already been frustrated about. And I’m tired lol

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34 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s interesting you are ranting against people who generalize about race but then you go on to say you think “People in general are stupid.” That may not be technically racist but it is certainly a similar thought process. I do think racism still exists and it is not just white people who are racist which it seems you are implying. I do hope that at some point in time there is no racism but it doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. You can’t legislate against it, that causes more resentment. I guess it is simply that we must all live our lives honorably and hopefully in the process gain respect and acceptance into the greater community. That goes for everyone regardless of their race.

Shippy's avatar

We cant change everybody, but everybody can make a change.

suzooz's avatar

@cutiepi92

It seems like you’re hoping for the day to come when we all stop using our senses to evaluate the world. We shouldn’t judge something by its shape, color, sound, texture, or smell because that would make us facile racists? Nothing is more/less intelligent or more/less strong? There is no difference between chocolate and mud? Unite all the species? No distinctions or differences?

Or perhaps I should ask in what way is it different when you judge a shoe from its external attributes and when you judge another from his or hers external attributes?

How do humans distinguish animals from humans?
How do they distinguish different species of types of animals?
How do they judge these differences and how do they use them?
Are the differences actual or imaginary, or are the differences irrelevant and a matter of interpretation?
Do the differences expose a nature, an essence?

Feelings are reactions to what senses provide. Feelings are survival mechanisms. Senses provide information which is used to make value judgments and decide which is ‘good’ and which is ‘bad’ or what is desirable and what is not or what is different and what is not or what is superior and what is inferior. Your senses access the real phenomena, called the world. Senses serve the mind in trying to perceive patterns and construct viable strategies of survival and empowerment. How this information is analyzed is up to your brain. A successful brain comes to accurate or near-accurate conclusions using external, superficial clues. The essence is extrapolated from the general or from details.

Or is it only color that means nothing and is insignificant and superficial when judging a person but not shape, sound, texture or smell? Why does a red apple mean that it is ripe? Is it just a superficial aesthetic cue with no real meaning, just like skin color? Why does color in one context means something and in another it does not? What do scientists use to determine if a body in space is moving away or towards the earth? How do scientists deduce if a body contains water or other elements? Color. What we do is take the end product and extrapolate the rest. How accurate the deduction is, is a matter of individual acuity and intelligence.

What if you had no knowledge what mud and chocolate was? How would you determine its value and quality and substance? How do you determine which is which? You use your senses. One tastes, smells, feels, looks at the chocolate and judges its contents. Are you not discriminating between mud and chocolate using your senses? In the same manner, we smell, look, touch, taste, and listen to the other and judge them. Why wouldn’t color be important to judge a person? How do you determine your relationship with this otherness when you haven’t first judged it superficially or sensually? How do you know that it’s shoes and that other thing is a person if you haven’t visually judged it?

It’s true that knowing the color of an object doesn’t tell you how big it is, what shape it is, how intelligent it is, but race evaluations are based on more than just color. Furthermore to deduce the unknown, or invisible, requires an eye for detail and the incorporation of said details into a complete model and then to test the model using its behavior (actions, activity).

Why do people find it normal and not prejudice to judge a chimpanzee as inferior intellectually, judging it visually, but the same people are conditioned socially to feel ashamed to do the same with human beings that look different than them; their judgment is restricted by cultural and social norms, which are ingrained in them morally. If it was immoral or socially reprehensible to judge a chimp as inferior they would be inclined to consider that species as their equal as well.

They would say: “It looks like us, it moves and eats like us; it uses tools and has a rudimentary form of language and a family, why then should I think it inferior by using its external appearance? Are we not from the same place, descendants from a common ancestor?”

In this case, the moral law would deny the value of the sensual information we perceive, whereas it would not for any other animal.

The opinion that color means nothing in this context has been culturally conditioned because it serves a purpose, whereas nature has evolved one to consider anything which looks, smells, tastes or sounds different as something other than you, not the same as you. One is taught to feel ashamed or uncivil or not normal or prejudiced if they do not follow the norm, which is concerned with creating social stability and incorporating as many individuals within its fold.

In a nutshell: If your senses tell you something actual about your environment, about the world, and they generalize and helps you extrapolate reality which in turn helps you survive and navigate within your environment, why does it fail in this context? Why is the color of the phenomenon, in this case, irrelevant, when it is relevant in every other case?

If color is a superficial way of judging the essence and quality of the other or of another, then why is not form or any other sensual information similarly so?

The correct answer is: One chooses not to judge the other in this manner because…

(1) They have been raised to think that this is shameful,
(2) They fear that if they do this, they will be judged accordingly or that they will not appear moral or deep
(3) They’re hypocrites because they always do so but never admit it – not even to themselves
(4) They choose to do so to create a harmonious society within which they can feel safe and comfortable
(5) They’re someone who simply believes whatever was taught to them or whatever is popularly believed
(6) All of the above.

tedd's avatar

Yes.

As soon as we find aliens… Then we can come together and hate them instead.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Not until certain groups stop “playing the race card” all the damn time, and certain other groups escape the mental leftovers of their upbringing.

bookish1's avatar

Sooooo…. just how many non white people are there on Fluther, anyway? Maybe this question would have been better off in General.

@suzooz: If you’re going to go the “evolutionary biology” route, why don’t you also pontificate upon how rape is natural while you’re justifying racism?

I fear that racism is merely a modern variant of deep human tendencies that might go as far back as our lizard brains… I think that progress can be made, but it will be very hard to eradicate “once and for all.”

cutiepi92's avatar

@suzooz I will first admit that I quickly breezed through what you typed, but I will say this. It has been studied and PROVEN that humans are biologically the same. We are not biologically the same as chimpanzees so you cannot make that comparison. The thing is, you are making it seem as though people of different ethnicity are completely different. I do believe that race IS just the color of someone’s skin, but we as society put other things into like behaviors and such. We assign heuristics to these things, and though they can help us make assumptions, they are not facts. Yet people tend to forget this, take this as fact, and assign these heuristics as actual traits of all people with that skin color. It is NOT natural I do not think to automatically judge. I believe that this fear of mixing and assumptions of certain people is something that is taught by society and media. Those who think along the reasoning you give (while I appreciate you actually responding to my question) I think are some of the main reasons why it won’t go away soon. I do not see how anyone can justify placing judgement on someone based on pure assumption. We are not animals, we are not “different” in that sense. I pretty sure a dog for example won’t be afraid of another dog just because the other one is a different color than it. Yet we do it and consider it to be civilizied behavior.

@tedd pretty much. Lol it is only until aliens come when we realize that we are all human and work together. It’s a shame that it takes the destruction of the human race in order to see that we are all one people

@WillWorkForChocolate I disagree to a certain extent. I think those who aren’t a minority experience a type of “privilege” and therefore turn a blind eye to racism. I have experienced racism myself. It wasn’t me playing a “card”, it was a fact. Of course, those committing the act won’t admit to being racist but sometimes prejudice is obvious. Some people DO overuse the race card sometimes, but other times it’s ignored by those who are in a position to never experience it. I almost take what you are saying is that racism is not alive and well, but people are just using it as an excuse. I’m sorry to tell you this if you already don’t know, but racism is definitely still around

@rooeytoo I can see your point and you are right. I did make a generalization. But at least I feel like I judge everyone equally regardless of skintone lol. I suppose that would make me racist of humankind? lol I feel that everyone has equal capacity to be smart or stupid, not one race more than another. No, I don’t think that only white people are racist. I DO think that white people however experience what is known as “white privilege” and therefore turn more of a blind eye towards racism whereas I think minorities notice it because of actual experience

@bookish1 I put it in social because I wasn’t sure if my question format was “general” worthy :/

rojo's avatar

I do not believe it will disappear. We will always harbor some prejudices both individually and in groups.

phaedryx's avatar

Every US census, more and more people are identifying as “mixed race”. I expect this trend to continue nationally and globally. I think eventually “race” will disappear and “racism” with it.
(My inner cynic thinks we’ll come up with other ways to marginalize/exclude groups of people).

burntbonez's avatar

@suzooz suggests that because we use color as a way to judge an apple (it’s a stupid way to judge one, but so be it), we should use color to judge humans (even more stupid). If we use furriness as a way to judge a mink, should we use that to judge humans? If we use smell as a way to judge a spice, should we use spiciness as a way to judge humans?

I could go on and on with false analogies. But while we use single attributes as proxies to judge various things, that does not mean those proxies are very accurate or useful. Color is clearly a pretty stupid way to judge humans. It doesn’t tell you anything about a person’s intelligence or strength or education or experience.

The website referenced in the OP referred to a question about whether white people are the most beautiful. In face, this is probably a pretty bad example to use for racism, because beauty is notoriously in the eye of the beholder, and one can have a preference for white people without being racist overall. It is not an opinion that I, personally hold. I find my idea of beauty covers all races. I am attracted to women of all skin hues. But I can see that some people might have preferences. I don’t think that if you have a preference for one skin hue in terms of beauty—that doesn’t make you racist.

But if you are using skin color as a way of judging pretty much anything besides beauty, then it seems to me that is probably racist.

suzooz's avatar

@cutiepi92 “I will first admit that I quickly breezed through what you typed

@cutiepi92 ”(while I appreciate you actually responding to my question)”

You’re obviously not and now you’re on my ignore list. I don’t waste my time with people who aren’t genuine about their inquires.

@burntbonez

It’s pretty stupid to reference someone’s username & content without actually reading or comprehending it. If you actually read what I wrote, you would have noticed this paragraph….

“It’s true that knowing the color of an object doesn’t tell you how big it is, what shape it is, how intelligent it is, but race evaluations are based on more than just color. Furthermore to deduce the unknown, or invisible, requires an eye for detail and the incorporation of said details into a complete model and then to test the model using its behavior (actions, activity).”

And now for your disingenuous and misrepresentation of my content, you’re going to join @cutiepi92 on my ignore list.

Akua's avatar

“Be the Change you want to See” Ghandi

burntbonez's avatar

@suzooz, I’m sorry if I missed part of your comment. I tried to read it, but my puny brain is clearly incapable of understanding your wisdom. I know you won’t give a shit about an apology, either, but what more can it do. It sounds to me like you can’t take agreement for an answer. You just have to be the only one who says something.

Or you could take a look at how you express yourself and try to make your points more clearly and succinctly. But only if you care whether others understand you. Of course, you don’t, since you blame others for misunderstanding. It obviously can’t be your problem, since you are what? Too smart and clever to be misunderstood? Do tell? I bow before your greater perfection, and will never talk to you again. Just remember that next time I say something you just said.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@suzooz You’re really getting off to a rocky start here. Maybe you should back up and try a different approach.

rojo's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Good, I thought it was just me who thought @suzooz was being kind of pissy.

suzooz's avatar

Sure thing guys. How’s this approach?

We are all equal.
We are all the same.
We are all worth the same.
We are all deserving of respect.
We are all smart.

Stupidity is a product of a dysfunctional environment.

Genetics? Nature’s practical joke.

Let’s all hug.

rojo's avatar

Nope, still being pissy. Try again.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If I keep having to bang my head on my desk, I’m gonna get a permanent dent in my forehead…

cutiepi92's avatar

@rojo agreed.

@suzooz I did first breeze through it, that isn’t a lie. But to further address things you said (which I feel could’ve been inferred from my response but I guess not) I did have to go back and read it again. I think I accurately addressed some of the things you talked about. I DO appreciate anyone who takes the time to respond to my posts on here, but it seems that if someone doesn’t 100% agree with you, they are automatically not worth your time. Like I said, I would think that people who have the same attitude that you have shown on here are why we can’t move forward. Everything, even disagreements, can be discussed civilly. But feel free to “ignore” me, I welcome it actually. Saves me from having to type more :)

cutiepi92's avatar

@burntbonez I used the website as an example not for its initial purpose, but for where the conversation lead later in the thread, listing white people as essentially superior. I understand though how you could get that from just clicking on the link

emilianate's avatar

@cutiepi92 “It has been studied and PROVEN that humans are biologically the same.”

Is this a joke? What exactly have you been reading? I mean seriously, I can disprove this statement with two words, recessive gene. Even identical twins are not genetically alike.

cutiepi92's avatar

I got my information from a specific article in the book “Race After the Internet” which I am currently reading for a class. No, stop playing semantics. Of course no one is 100% exactly the same as someone else. What I’m saying is that the difference between them is so miniscule that to compare humans to other humans of a different race and then compare humans to a chimpanzee and say it’s like the same thing is crazy. The whole point is that there is nothing that has been found genetically to differentiate humans of different races intellectually. We just look a little different from one another and are predisposed to certain diseases more than others, etc. I’m sorry if you were focused on just my exact words and could not understand my point. My initial focus when I posted the question was my irritation as the fact that people assume that “this race is dirty, that race has a certain smell, this race is stupid, this race is full of criminals” and things along those lines. Those are things that AREN’T biologically proven or related and are based upon assumptions people make based on heuristics.

tedd's avatar

@cutiepi92 @emilianate As a forensic scientist who has studied this subject at length, and can tell you that the only differences between the different “races” of humans (and that word would get you laughed out of a forensics meeting btw) are genetic differences no more vital than having a different hair color or eye color.

It is no joke @emilianate, humans are 100% biologically the same.

rojo's avatar

I was taught that there is more variation within a “race” than between them.

tedd's avatar

@rojo You are correct. I am a white man; if I took a black man and another white man and compared their DNA to my own, it is entirely possible (and not at all less likely) that I would find my DNA to be closer to the black mans than the white mans.

cutiepi92's avatar

@tedd thank you :)

burntbonez's avatar

@cutiepi92, I read a long way down. In fact, I think I reached the bottom. Maybe I didn’t interpret the conversation the same as you did. I found it to be silly at the top, but to get more serious as things went alone, and people were providing pictures of all kinds of races as beautiful.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
tedd's avatar

lol, I shoulda got on last night so I could’ve seen them flaming :(

Response moderated
augustlan's avatar

The flamers have left the building.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, for the same reason that blue or brown eyes are no longer a reason for discrimination. And when the Vulcans come visit us, all humans will have the same ears.

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