A thought on racism

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SolarpunkFan
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A thought on racism

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2018-05-09 12:47pm

I know racism is bad, but I sometimes wonder if other people and I might have succumbed to a subtle form of it.

I'm a fan of what I might call "off-color" jokes. One example being the stereotypical "rapidfire pseudo-Chinese" that might be offensive, but am unable to find it anything but funny. And then I enjoyed a recent film that some had accused of cultural appropriation. And I realize that I'm not alone with finding such things funny and/or enjoyable, plenty of other people do as well.

I guess in short is that I wonder if I and others are guilty of a pernicious kind of racism. Not the "I hate black people" kind, but more of an insensitivity towards other peoples and cultures I guess.

Sorry for the rambling and sparse post, I just thought I'd write it down.

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TheFeniX
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Re: A thought on racism

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-09 01:16pm

This isn't even really a question. Look at the popularity of "off-color" jokes. The Dave Chapelle Show was massively popular among all races. Many comedians made entire careers out of racial humor. 30 Rock took shots at everyone and it's just one of many. Probably only Seinfeld (IIRC) really AVOIDED taking shots based on this, with the exception of mocking a few Jewish stereotypes. It mostly made fun of people for WHO they were (mostly shitty people) not what they were. Great show.

The problem really becomes "why are you laughing?" Like, the "Black White Supremecist" skit. I'm laughing for multiple reasons, mostly because I like seeing racists BTFO. Like that one Nazi guy who found out he had sub-saharan African DNA. That shit's hilarious. Or even the rants from black comedians about the difference between "Black folks" and "N-words."

But then you ask "Why is THAT GUY over there laughing?" Because he likes poking fun of stereotypes or is it because those jokes are reinforcing his bias and making him think it's ok to continue his racism because "well, that guy gets it: black people are terrible AND HE'S BLACK!"

The problem with racism is "bad" (and I'm not really arguing against it) is that it's pretty well hardwired into humans. It's like with the whole "sexualization" deal. Yes, it's a problem. But it's also a problem that isn't going to end. The best you can really do is minimize it to the point where the negative impacts are mostly dead and gone.

Racism is a can't win for losing deal. The more you make light of it, the more exposure it gets, the more the people who just don't get it CONTINUE to not get it. Like "Well, Chapelle talks about N-words, so they must not mind the word anymore." If you just try to ignore it, make it not matter, then less-overt racism starts to creep back in: "Sure yea, I don't mind black people, but I'd rather hire nothing but white workers because they are more like me." That kind of thing.

Or more to the point: the idea that millenials, while less racist, don't UNDERSTAND race issues because race isn't important to them. So they think they are competing on an even racial playing field. Shit sucks, welcome to the human race. NOTE: from some other readings, many middle-class+ minorities also believe they are on a even playing field. They are all trying to not make race an issue, but reality keeps smacking the idea down.

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Elheru Aran
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Re: A thought on racism

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-05-09 05:01pm

Chappelle's Show was fun and provocative... but it hasn't always aged well. Mostly because, if anything, racism is more open and toxic nowadays than it was in the early 2000s. Back then, the Nazis just hid out on online forums and the President was just a dumbass. Now, well...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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TheFeniX
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Re: A thought on racism

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-05-09 05:33pm

The Internet has always been a hive of (racist, sexist, nationalist, pick your -ist) scum and villainy. There's just more people on it now and with the advent of web 2.0 you don't exactly have to go looking for too many places to get people to read your shit.

You're in Georgia? (like, the U.S. state of Georgia?) Did you really notice anything all that different, race relations-wise, over the past 15 years? I didn't. There was about the same amount of general racist undercurrent (or just current) rolling around here. Sure, ONLINE people like to act like they don't have an "ist" bone in their body, but out on the world? Pfft. Even minorities I'm friends/friendly with (a white guy) will rant at length about the state of race relations and how a guy like Obama did nothing for them. I'm not taking a shot at their feelings, I'm just saying.

Let's face it, the narrative of GW's presidency wasn't about racism, or at least racism against U.S. minorities. This is in stark contrast to the presidency and U.S. culture leading up to it. We had a new enemy after 9/11. We forgot how much we hated each other because we had something exterior to hate..... we still hated liberals though. Racism was still alive and kicking, it just wasn't news worthy. And Obama's victory gave everyone the "we won, time to pack up and go home" while Nazis and their types made gains in the areas they need to, or at least got the exposure they had been trying to get for years.

And then all the normal people ended up using the platform said Nazis had been banished to so many years ago.

By the same token, stories of fantasitic racism (think of the Jasper, TX dragging death) had to be pushed word of mouth and also the MSM via the "Holy SHIT, that actually happened" reaction of media outlets across the country (and world). Now? EVERY instance of something like this can be brought to light so easily. Something like the Chicago Torture Center bullshit. It really did take the Internet to blow the lid off something like that going on for decades.

My gut says "nothings really changed" but all the reading I've done basically says things ARE getting better. Fundies are just doubling down because the (actually quite small considering) gains they made in extolling their racist bullshit are being combated. And 1 person can be LOUD on the Internet, which is a hilarious juxtaposition to real life. (NOTE: is that even the right term? Basically, you would expect one voice to not matter on the Internet, but it can be made to matter more than anything else).

It's why you see SO MUCH vitriolic lies and slander against AntiFa types. It's one of the few recourse they have: to slander the competition to try and put them both on equal footing so there's a "decision" to be made. Notice how the focus is on "they're all gay commie transexuals!" and shit like that? Remember all the slander thrown at the Occupy Wall Street movement by Fox News and even other MSM sources? Like that, but with more swastikas.

Or, just a recent example: all those gun nuts who showed up to protest NRA-something-something ACROSS THE COUNTRY! There were what? 200 of them TOTAL? And the majority weren't even armed? Shakin' in mah boots here. The Internet man, should have just stayed the bastion of where we went to download porn and pirate music.

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Civil War Man
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Re: A thought on racism

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-05-10 12:33pm

People have different lines they are not willing to cross in terms of humor. Mel Brooks, for all people talk about how "You could never get Blazing Saddles made today", had a personal rule to never make jokes about certain things, including anything involving concentration camps or (since I mentioned Blazing Saddles) a black person being lynched. Werner Klemperer only agreed to play Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes on the stipulation that Klink is never portrayed as anything but an incompetent fool who fails at everything. Others, like Dave Chappelle with some of his Chappelle's Show skits and Chris Rock with his "Black vs N-word" bit, have later expressed regret for some of the jokes they made because it made racist people feel like they had "permission" to be racist.

A lot of it has to do with the target of the joke, and the difference between punching up and punching down when making them.

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Elheru Aran
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Re: A thought on racism

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-05-10 03:37pm

I'm not particularly tuned into stuff around me, so no, I haven't noticed much of anything along the lines of changes in overt racism. But like... there's dudes with guns going to protests, okay. Seems like that didn't used to happen. We had a mosque proposal-- not even a building site, just a proposal submitted-- to a nearby city, and the next day a bunch of 3-Percenters showed up.

So yeah, I think the Internet has a lot to do with the current prominence of racism, mostly in that it makes it easier to express both openly and anonymously, and in that it can bring together like-minded people. Those 3-Percenters probably heard about the mosque proposal due to some busybody posting on Facebook, and some asshole sending a group message later, they've got a plan to PROTECT WHITE CHRISTIAN FREEDOMERICA.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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