Social Question

josie's avatar

When is a black person racist?

Asked by josie (28368points) September 10th, 2010

In a philosophy class in school, I was taught that a racist is a person who renders negative moral judgement against another person based on the color of their skin. Since skin color is not a matter of choice, this was regarded as an irrational basis for moral judgement and thus, well, immoral.
In the service, as a trainee, I was taught that skin color was not relevent, since we were all equally stupid, unmotivated, soft, lazy and worthless.
In combat, nothing matters as long as somebody follows orders, can shoot sort of straight and keep their shit together.
I liked thinking that I did not give a shit about race.
But I have noticed that when I bitch about the current president, some people accuse me, a white guy, of being racist.
Especially on Fluther.
How, exactly, does that make me a racist?
Is a black skinned person who bitches about a white president also a racist? (It seems that it does not).
I have noticed that when, on occasion, an attempt is made to hang the damaging label “racist” on a person with black skin, most blacks and some whites sort of act like the premise is ridiculous.
At what point can a person with black skin be a racist?
If there is a double standard, when does it kick in?
If I dislike the president, but love my non white girlfriend, am I a racist, or a hypocrite?
What label do we hang on black people who like white presidents? Will they always be stuck with being called porch monkeys or Uncle Toms?
Are those labels racist?
Am I talking about racism, or is it something else?

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33 Answers

cockswain's avatar

Wow, this is kind of a revelation but based on your avatar I always thought you were black.

Ron_C's avatar

Racists come in all colors. When you, “judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character”, like Martin Luther King said, you’re a racist.

I notice that a lot of the reporting on Fox is coded because the can’t use racist language and get away with it. Every time they talk about social programs, or crime, of the President’s birth place, their audience understands, black and or Muslim and Muslims in their definition, cannot be white Americans.

You are certainly free to disagree with Obama’s policies and actions. I disagreed with almost all of Bush’s policies, statements, and the fact that he was ever born but I don’t consider it racist either.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Anybody who diparages another race because of their race is being racist. It’s called reverse or positive discrimination when it’s not a white guy being racist.

TexasDude's avatar

You are a racist if you:

1) Hold the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races.

2) Act discriminatory or abusive towards members of another race.

It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, green, purple, whatever. If you fit one or both of the above criteria, you are probably a racist.

That said, the term does get thrown around an awful lot these days to the point of where it is starting to lose its meaning. It has the potential to become the ultimate ad hominem because it instantly dismantles your entire validity as an arguer.

josie's avatar

@cockswain Dude, which avatar are we looking at? This is not @Blackberry we are talking about (although he seems to be a pretty good guy).

cockswain's avatar

You look like a black dude. I just clicked on the photo to enlarge it. Must be the tinting. Maybe there should be a poll to see what others think.

josie's avatar

@cockswain What if I lose the poll? Will I stop taking shit for disliking the current president? Maybe it does not make any difference. Nobody gives me points for disliking the last one as well.

josie's avatar

@cockswain At the risk of being called racist… Winning means they vote that I am what I am-white.
Losing means that they get it wrong-that I am something else. Doesn’t matter to me-my girlfriend’s friends call me the “white man”. The worst thing in the world would be that they would think I was “one of them”.

Blackberry's avatar

I agree there are many people, black and white, that overuse the race card. Some blacks hate whites for various things in the past and present and some whites hate blacks for labelling them evil for stuff other whites have done in the past and present etc etc etc. I feel that mature, intelligent people should simply disregard all of these people. I stopped looking at race long ago and just decided to separate people by intelligence, character, and manners.

I have been questioned unfairly by blacks for not being “black enough”, and I have been questioned unfairly by whites about blacks not being whatever they want them to be. I got tired of it and just decided to ignore it all lol.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, are you bitching about the mixed race President because he’s half Black, specifically? If not, you’re not racist. A black person is racist when they’re racist.

josie's avatar

@Blackberry I figure from your profile that you are in the service. So was I. I thought that the Armed Forces seemed to be a terrific race equalizer. Everybody had the same mission and everybody was judged by the same standard-accomplishing the mission. I am not surprised that you have the point of view that you have. One more reason that I think think that everybody should volunteer for service. Everybody wins in that deal. Good for you BTW.

wilma's avatar

Yes, what @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard said.
Anyone person of any color can be a racist.
Not every person, no matter the color, is racist.

Jaxk's avatar

There seems to be an intrinsic belief among liberals that there ideology is not only right but so obviously right that anyone that disagrees has some ulterior motive. You can’t really believe he is wrong because he is so obviously right, therefor there must be some other reason. Probably because he’s Black. There’s simply no other explanation. That’s why the race card is played so often these days.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jaxk Who knew we were making this into a lib v. conservative debate – is that like a hobby for some people? I’m a die hard liberal, can’t get any more leftist than me, I voted for Obama and I have criticized him plenty and stood against many of his decisions.

Michael's avatar

Let’s be clear. Disagreeing with the president, criticizing the president, disliking the president: none of these makes you a racist.

But let’s also acknowledge that there are some people out there in the country who do, in fact, do all of those things because they are racists. See, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The trouble is that it really seems like lots of people in the former group don’t seem to mind hanging around with those in the latter.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir So the way I see it, YOU can criticize the president because if you proclaim that you are a liberal it is sort of like holding up a crucifix to a vampire. You are immune. If you have the label “liberal” you can criticize the pres and be absolved. But if you are a conservative and you criticize the pres, you just may be called a racist. So it really IS a lib vs conservative debate and you know it. You simply approach it from the stand point that you are “clean” because you are a liberal. I suspect, that if you criticized the pres and were called a racist, you would feel indignant at best, and play your liberal card at worst, assuming that you would be forgiven. I also suspect that If I criticize the pres, that you would label me as both a conservative AND a racist even though I am neither. Can’t prove it, but I have some evidence from your postings to formulate the hypothesis.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie I don’t get how you got that from my comments – I never said you can’t criticize him…I was asking whether you were criticizing him because of his race. I wouldn’t call anyone a racist if they simply disagree with what the President was doing. You’re getting a little out there with your extrapolations and forgetting to actually read what I’m saying. You can suspect all you want but if you want actual proof, then you can ask me directly whether I’d label you as either and I wouldn’t – but congratulations on your clearly astute usage of the scientific method.

Jaxk's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

It’s hard not to make it liberal vs conservative, since it’s the liberals calling the conservatives racist. It’s almost humorous to see the NAACP putting a bounty out for anyone finding a racist poster or statement from the Tea Parties. Or Janeane Garofalo saying that the protest against Health Care is racism straight out. So many examples, so little time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jaxk Wait, when was any liberal on this thread calling a conservative a racist simply because they were a conservative? Oh, you mean in the media out there where for every little example you mention, @Michael up there has actual examples of racism. There are racists among the Tea Party but that’s not their point (they don’t actually have a point, to me, just disjointed rambling) and I don’t Garofalo speaks for me (though I loved her in The Truth About Cats and Dogs) nor is she an important political figure of any sort. Celebrities can say whatever they want, it’s up to us to not care.

Jaxk's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Frankly I don’t think the question was about this thread, since it was asked to start the thread. Nonetheless, Garofalo is a prominent liberal talk show host and her comments were made on CNN. As for the Tea Parties, they stand for smaller government, lower taxes, and adherence to the constitution. Doesn’t seem that radical to me and nothing to do with racism. The seek and destroy mission mounted by liberals to discredit the Tea Parties has not been very successful but there are isolated individuals that show up that could have questionable motives. Trying to blame the Tea Parties for those isolated instances is beyond reason. If I recall, Hamas Supported Obama during the last election. Does that then make Obama a terrorist? Or even a supporter of terrorism? Liberals want to hold others to a standard they won’t apply to themselves nor could anyone meet. It’s simply name calling and it has lost it’s impact. The boy that cried wolf comes to mind.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jaxk I didn’t know she was a talk show host and having her speak on CNN doesn’t mean much, does it really? I didn’t say Tea Partiers stand for racism, did I? Again, it doesn’t matter whether you like the label of liberal or conservative, each person should have enough brains to disagree with what they consider is wrong. And that’s what I do, whether it has to do with the President or CNN or Sarah Palin.

zen_'s avatar

Only colour? So Anti-Semitism isn’t racism? Blacks hating Jews (of all colours – there are Ethiopian Jews, too) simply because they are Jewish isn’t racism?

Blackberry's avatar

@josie I have heard a few stories from people that have been in the navy longer than me. They essentially said they grew up in places where they were the only race (one was from Newark, the other was from a small town in New Hampshire). It was common for the people they grew up with to have some aversion towards other races.

Once they had been in the navy for so long they realized what you said: Color does not matter because everyone needed to get along. They also stated how they went back home after so long and saw the ignorance of the same people they grew up with still abundant.

mammal's avatar

Well, liberals get called all kinds of things, wannabe Stalins, Pol Pots. you name it, people pick out disreputable historical figures and try to smear you and your opinions with their reputations, that’s because people normally associated with the political right, are intellectually lazy, they don’t know any better. i am disappointed that people who identify more with the left resort to similar, low grade tactics, they should know better. But i would like to say that some of the Anti Muslim sentiment swilling round the pig trough is odious. That’s as distasteful as Racism. Of course anti-semitism particularly in Hitler’s Germany was completely insane, however the behaviour of the modern Israeli state has not done the beleaguered Jew any favours whatsoever, which is a tragedy.

zen_'s avatar

^ Yeah, you would make it about Israel.

wilma's avatar

I happen to know personally, a person who went to a Tea Party Rally with a racist sign. This person is a die hard liberal Democrat.
His face was painted up red white and blue and he wore a big hat and a Sarah Palin T-shirt. He was virtually unrecognizable as himself. He got his picture in the paper, just as he had hoped to. I think a good share of the “racist” crap that we see at those Tea Party rallies are just that sort of thing.

cockswain's avatar

@wilma Are you implying “a good share” is the majority? I think those doing it as a joke are in the vast minority, but I’m saying this just as a hunch, no data. Like you are too.

wilma's avatar

@cockswain It wasn’t done as a “joke” by this person. It was done to make the Tea Party rally look like a bunch of racists. It was effective and had the outcome that he intended.
“A good share” is more than a few to me. I don’t believe that this was an isolated indecent. He told me himself, that he was a member of a web site that promoted this kind of activity. I’m sorry I can’t give you a link or anything. I didn’t ever try to find out where he got his inspiration.
Do I think that every racist sign and person was a plant by these kind of people, no I don’t. I do think that enough are, that we can’t conclude that the Tea party is a bunch of racists.

Ron_C's avatar

@wilma is it your opinion that the majority of racists signs at the Tea Party rallies are Liberal operatives? I that case, why weren’t they ejected?

Personally, I don’t think that they are racist. I think that in their inception, they became active because Obama is too things, the inventors of the movement can’t stand, progressive, and not republican. The fact that he is of mixed race just helped motivate the neocon base and old people that distrust non-white people.

wilma's avatar

@Ron_C I can’t say that the majority of the racist signs are Liberal operatives, because I don’t know that. I only know personally about this one guy and what he told me about others doing the same thing.
They were not ejected because the other people at the rally didn’t know that he was a “liberal operative”. I suppose they just thought he was some wing-nut jerk. I wasn’t at the rally so I couldn’t “out” him.

Ron_C's avatar

@wilma oh, I get it, they didn’t know he was a liberal operative, just an ordinary racist, so that is probably o.k. with them.

I guess you can see from my statements that I have little respect for the T.P. movement.

wilma's avatar

I do know that it wasn’t OK with most of them. He told me later that they were “giving him a hard time” and to “get lost, that isn’t who we are.”
He of course thought that this was hilarious.
I don’t have much respect for the Tea party movement as it is portrayed now. I don’t believe that is what it started out being. I think it has been hijacked by wing-nuts.

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