Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Are you ever worried about being called a racist?

Asked by Demosthenes (14985points) September 21st, 2020

Is it ever a concern that if you share a certain opinion or belief that you will be branded a racist? Have you ever been called a racist?

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40 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. I mean it could happen, but I don’t worry about it. If it happened I guess I’d shrug my shoulders and move on.

cookieman's avatar

Not in the slightest.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t really worry about it, but I do try to be careful with how I word things. I don’t want to hurt anyone.

When someone perceives something I’ve said as racist I sometimes am surprised and feel the need to explain myself. Sometimes I understand why they had a problem with what I said and sometimes I think they are so narrow minded and easily offended it’s impossible to have a discussion with them.

Yellowdog's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie—but being interested in race and culture and ethnicity along with language, I am far more likely than her to overstep boundaries some people have.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

No, I am not worried about being called racist. But I am worried about being so blinded by ego that I refuse to consider the possibility that I’ve absorbed and repeated unfounded ideas about entire groups of people. So if someone trustworthy told me that an opinion I had expressed was racist or had racist underpinnings, I hope that I would take time to research and reflect rather than immediately putting up a defensive wall.

filmfann's avatar

Ya, on Fluther a few weeks back.
BTW, it was a ridiculous accusation.

jca2's avatar

Yes, it’s a concern because now it’s just about the worst thing someone can brand you with. Now people will even post your photo and address on the internet and it will be hard for you to get a job.

Words and intent can be twisted as they are often on Social Media. I am careful with what I say and careful with what I like or comment on, on Facebook and elsewhere. If I disagree with something I may even just keep scrolling, rather than say I disagree, even if it’s factually inaccurate.

hmmmmmm's avatar

No, I’m not worried about it, because I understand that racism isn’t something that lives in only bad people. And it isn’t just some deeply held belief. Racism can play out in supporting policies that harm populations disproportionately. Racism can be silence. Racism isn’t something you overcome and them sit there and feel smug about it. We need to be anti-racist.

@Demosthenes: “Have you ever been called a racist?”

Yes, and some cases those people were correct, and have since changed my position. I am suspect of people who have lived their whole lives and claim to have had it all figured out since they were 5 years old.

canidmajor's avatar

I am a middle-aged white lady of some privilege, I was raised in a bigoted household, so I have spent a lifetime overcoming childhood conditioning to be consciously aware of my beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. I am still learning.

I am not ”worried” about being accused of being a racist, I am sure that my very existence begs the question.

gondwanalon's avatar

No because I’m not a racist. Ask any of my many dark skinned friends.
People have called me a racist because I don’t support BLM. I don’t support people who hate cops and cause destruction.
Just because someone calls me a racist doesn’t make it so.

kritiper's avatar

A lot of people might be thought of as racist simply because they fear the other person’s (possible) reaction to something they might say or do innocently that might piss that other person off. I don’t want to be labeled a racist just because I said or did something that the other person misunderstood.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s offensive to me, as like @canid, I have also known many truly ugly racists, and dealt with more professionally.
I truly believe people who agree with @hmmmm on silence or inaction being racist, are alienating a lot of good people by the casual use of the word.
If many of us were having a group discussion on race and ideology with WS, the difference would be glaringly obvious.
I find it hurtful and unproductive to equate someone like me or @gondwanalon, with a hate group, yes. But I am not ‘worried’, as far as being mislabelled. That’s the person doing the label who is wrong, not me.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “I truly believe people who agree with @hmmmm on silence or inaction being racist, are alienating a lot of good people by the casual use of the word.”

I’m not describing racism in terms of strategy. So, it may be that some people are alienated by the term. But if it’s accurate, then we need some way of describing it.

When I talk about silence, what I mean is the vast majority of people who consider themselves to be good people, would certainly never consider themselves “racist”, yet are complicit in racist systems that happen to benefit them (or at least not target them). They may even take positions on policy that have a disproportionately negative effects on black communities, but consider those stances non-racist because they have “other reasons” for supporting the policy.

Part of what I feel is important is that “racism” isn’t a simple belief system. It’s not just the most extreme hood-wearing Nazis that are racist, and it’s not simply their beliefs. It’s their actions. Racism is a complicated subject for sure. And of course there is a wide spectrum of racism – from lynching people to supporting racist drug laws or opposing efforts to diminish economic inequality.

@KNOWITALL: “I find it hurtful and unproductive to equate someone like me or @gondwanalon, with a hate group, yes.”

Then feel comforted by the fact that I do not equate you with someone in the KKK. I’m not sure why you would feel that I do. However, I do feel that we all have a responsibility to be anti-racist. If we’re not actively anti-racist, we’re certainly part of the problem. If you’d like to choose a different name for this type of racism, go ahead.

I wouldn’t get hung up on the label. I’d rather people see the concrete ways in which race, gender, and class – together – play a role in determining peoples’ lives. Issues of justice aren’t something we can have a conversation about, feel we’ve “won”, and then declare that we’re “not racist”. How we live, how we vote, and how we speak out defines our level of racism far more than any belief we think we may have.

And as a side note – “I don’t support BLM” can’t even be defined as “silence” in any way. This is direct opposition, and explicitly racist.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hmmmm I’ll respectfully disagree, but I do understand your pov.
Being complicit by simply existing in and participating in society makes an awful lot of people racist by your definition.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “Being complicit by simply existing in and participating in society makes an awful lot of people racist by your definition.”

Yes – this is a pretty racist country.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hmmmmm Always has been. If a black president for eight years doesn’t show some progress, I don’t know what it will take.
One black friend is a Trump supporter who chooses to work very hard, along with his white wife, to raise their children and not protest. I know he’s well-respected here. Does he have to wear a BLM hat instead of MAGA to be respected by you? Just curious.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “to be respected by you?”

It’s not about me.

But if you’re friend is a Trump supporter, doesn’t support anti-racist action, and wears a MAGA hat, this guy is complicit and is racist. He’s also a piece of shit.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hmmmm Okay, I figured. Thanks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gondwanalon…. I have never associated BLM with “hating cops and causing destruction.” Why do you associate it with hating cops? And there are people who spread rumors that BLM is the cause of riots, but there is no proof of that. They accuse antifa of the same thing. Again, no proof that this is true.
Don’t let yourself be manipulated.

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Demosthenes's avatar

I think some of these answers illustrate precisely why I’m not concerned about being called a “racist”, because the term has been so diluted that virtually anyone can be considered a racist if they’re not part of the “anti-racist” religion movement. I agree that “racist” doesn’t just refer to people in white hoods waving Nazi flags, but there’s such a thing as going too far in the other direction. It’s become that many are only seeing two types of people: racists and anti-racists. If you’re not actively “anti-racist” (which covers a whole range of behaviors and political criteria), then you’re a racist. I have a problem with that.

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seawulf575's avatar

Nah. It’s been done so many times, it is just tiresome. People that know me know I am not a racist. It is only people that don’t know me at all and want to try shutting me up that tote out the “racist” card to throw at me. It actually tells me more about them than they realize.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

One black friend is a Trump supporter who chooses to work very hard

And he’s clean and well-spoken!

Mimishu1995's avatar

Several months ago the website AO3 was banned in China because some butthurt fans of a certain Chinese actor were offended that there were fanfics written on the website about the guy and false flagged the website to the government. The website were completely inaccessible to everyone with a Chinese IP, even people who had nothing to do with the actor. On a forum there was a thread detailing the incident. The situation of an offended mob cancelling something is a pretty common thing in both China and my country as I have witnessed this happening several time in the past, so I came on the thread to offer a bit of my opinion. Basically I said that the Chinese fandoms were full of people who would jump onto whatever trending bandwagon on the Internet without thinking it through, and the reason why the website was shut down so fast was because so many people flagged it that the government thought it was a problem.

Someone then jumped on me saying that I was racist because this was a problem of all fandoms and it was racist to single out a nation.

Well, I still don’t know what to make of it…

seawulf575's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Did you make your comments because you hate the Chinese? Do you view them,. as a people, to be inferior to you? Or did you make the comment because that was the discussion at the time? I ask these things to put things into perspective. As I mentioned, the race card is thrown out to shut down people that might be saying things that someone doesn’t want to hear. Think about it. The person that wrote that to you could just as easily have made the comment that it was a problem with all fandoms and was not unique to just Chinese…period. That is more conversational. To add the part that you are a racist is confrontational. That person doesn’t know you, didn’t bother to dig into your statement to see if you actually had a racist view of things, but just threw it at you to shut you up.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@CallMe I never thought a black man would be called names here for supporting Trump by random white people. I’m already disgusted. Just stop.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m sure your close personal black friend appreciates your compliments for being so unusually hard-working. I can imagine the gratitude he feels when you tell him he’s one of the good ones and not like those others.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Why do you assume that’s what she meant?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@Demosthenes “My black friend” is a decades-old cliche that’s been a staple of people who think they aren’t racists, because they are personally polite to people’s faces.

As I’ve written many times, conservatives believe they aren’t racist because they aren’t in the Klan and lynching anybody. At the same time, they cheerlead for racists policies and candidates.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Choking here!

I hope I’m not racist. But, you know, like one time I was at a gas station. This young black man, wearing a doo rag and walking the gangsta walk and scowling the gangsta scowl, came out and got in his car. I hollered, “Hey! There is a giant hole in the cement right in front of your car!”
He flashed me the most beautiful grin and said, “Thank you! I saw it!” His voice was so nice. I felt bad for being surprised at the kindness in his voice.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Desmosthenes He’s being condescending presumably at the thought of minorities voting for Trump, if they choose. Good ol liberal thought process.

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Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Pretending that criticism of your words is an attack on minorities is dishonest. It’s the same deceit we heard from conservatives when opposing the Iraq war was called “not supporting the troops.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Call_Me No sir, I accept anyones personal vote as their right. No character assasinations needed. Minorities and immigrants both like Trump, at least some. Just fact.

It seems that @Dutchess is at least willing to stand by her original post. Sad but honest.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I never criticized anyone’s vote.

Keep it up. Double down. I know not to expect better.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Call_Me Hey you ask for a Trump bumper sticker I’ll get you one, too, bruh.

Yellowdog's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay You DO realize you are quoting Joe Biden, about Obama, don’t you? “A black candidate who’s clean, articulate, this is storybook, man”

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