Social Question

josie's avatar

Under these circumstances, how can the issues of race be resolved?

Asked by josie (30926points) June 11th, 2015

As a general statement;

If I say that a black man is an asshole because he has black skin then I am (certainly) a racist.

If I say that a man is an asshole, and it so happens that he happens to have black skin, then these days I am also regarded as a racist.

You can’t have it both ways. So there is no way to reconcile that. So who is surprised that there are increasing tensions on the so called Racial Front?

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21 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Under those circumstances it won’t be resolved.

I think the problem is when someone mentions race when it is completely unnecessary or doesn’t clarify anything.

talljasperman's avatar

~Pluck out everyone’s eyes.. then it would be fair.~

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@josie Assholes are assholes, regardless of color. Black, white, yellow, it doesn’t matter. You’re a schmooh, color doesn’t matter. But you have to be true to that.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m not sure on the spelling. A schmuck?

stanleybmanly's avatar

No. No one here believes that it is impossible for a black man to be an asshole. And there are a few that spring to mind. It’s when one is defined as an asshole BECAUSE he is black that the charges should ensue. Considering the history of racial events in this country, it should come as no surprise that black folks are suspicious of any slur leveled by white folks at a person of color.

josie's avatar

That’s what I said

JLeslie's avatar

^^It is what you said.

I used to think talking about race would help resolve things. Now, I wonder a lot if ignoring it and acting like it completely doesn’t exist is better.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

“If I say that a man is an asshole, and it so happens that he happens to have black skin, then these days I am also regarded as a racist.”

This bit is absolutely not true.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie but it DOES exist, and all of us can remember when it was not only tolerated and permitted, but EXPECTED and even REQUIRED by law. Sure there are instances when the charge of racism is leveled without justification. The hoopla over current events may give some the impression that the racism hot potato is being slung around with loose justification. That isn’t the way I see it.

flutherother's avatar

Treating people with contempt because of the colour of their skin or treating them as beyond reproach are both forms of racism.

zenvelo's avatar

It may be the way you say it, in which your racism is implicit If I say “He’s an asshole” without expressing why, it may be perceived that I am making a racist statement because I am not explaining my opinion. But I say “Bill is such an asshole every tim ehe gets on the freeway”, I ma describing the circumstances in which he becomes an asshole.

And really, calling someone an ass hole is not racist in itself, as assholeness is not considered a racial trait. But if you call a black or Latino lazy, then it can be argued you are reinforcing a stereotype.

whitenoise's avatar

If you call people assholes you’re rude, not racist.

If you call them ‘black assholes’, as if their color is of any relevance to that, then you’re a rude racist.

I don’t recognize your statement that in nowadays US black people are held above others and one is not allowed to call them assholes if they are.

It is, I feel, foremost the other way around. Black people need to be a lot more careful in their interactions with whites than vice versa. If not just to prevent being shot or molested by the police.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Sure it exists. How do you suggest we make it better?

Does plastering unfair and even criminal events against black people across the news and talk shows help the cause? Or, does it heighten tensions? Maybe the answer is it does both. Maybe that’s ok and how to move the issue forward. Maybe not. I really don’t know anymore.

There is no denying that some (SOME) black people are raised in an environment where they are constantly being told they have to work harder, do better, than their white peers for a fair shake. They are on the defense from practically the age of nothing, and so they are more reactive and less tolerant in some very normal situations where they are not being picked out because they are black, but it feels that way to them, or they are suspicious of it. There certainly are still racist events happening in America, but sometimes racism isn’t there and people are still accused of it.

I know it was the law of the land, although I grew up in the north and I would say even my parents who are in their 70’s have never seen a sign in person that said whites only in a restaurant or on a water fountain. All colors and races had always been sitting everywhere in my world. I always had multiple languages, skin colors, and religions around me side by side and it was just normal.

Racism was something I learned about, not witnessed, for a very long time. Now, I see it more. Partly, simply, because I am an adult. Also, partly because I moved to the south. I think the vast majority of people are not racist. I would say there is more xenophobia than racism around. I might be guilty of some of that; I really have a struggle with thinking and analyzing it. Sometimes I think xenophobia is labelled as racism. I have always felt confirming to a certain extent is a good thing. That can come off as racist to some people, but I would say it to everyone including white people, and I do.

kritiper's avatar

Issues of race will never be completely resolved. Like my grandfather said, “The white man was over the black man for so long, and now the black man wants his time in that spot.” No matter if color is involved or not, people have and want superiority over others, be it real or perceived.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If you describe someone as an asshole and that person happens to be black, who is saying that you are a racist?

There is a way to reconcile it. If you know who is calling you a racist, explain to that person why you believe what you said. Better yet, don’t describe someone as an asshole to others. Use specific and objective reasons for feeling that way. In the best scenario, if you have an issue with someone, either talk to them privately about it or build a bridge and get over it.

There is more risk to the reputation of the person speaking than the target of a negative statement, especially when it is not specific.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie There is one thing of which I am certain, and that is that as with any chronic disease, nothing will improve through ignoring it. Considering the origins and principles of this country, it is sadly astonishing that it took close to 200 years to arrive at a consensus that racism is an intolerable evil. There is little question that the reason for this is that good people who know better were allowed and encouraged to ignore it. The dedicated racists amongst us are ignorant of the realities around their convictions and the rest of us are ignorant of just how pervasive racism is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.

Racism at heart is Xenophobia, a word about which I have a question for fluther.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanlybmanly I certainly don’t want it ignored. I only want it to get better and better. I just question more and more what will make it better.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The fact that it grows increasingly tougher to get away with it pretty much assures it will diminish to obscurity.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know if it’s that, or just that with each generation we change culturally. Plus, now we have more migration from state to state and the more mix the less racism in my experience. Communities are less and less isolated. We also are more and more educated which I think helps for a multitude of reasons including conforming.

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