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Old 11-02-2012, 03:33 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
The basic question is is it prejudiced to refuse to date a specific group of people based on something about that group of people, real or imagined? Couch it in race, hair color, eye color, sexuality, gender, or whatever provided you dont have an issue with that group in daily life; you dont consider them inferior or treat them worse than you would a member of your own group.
Actually, I think this is a complex enough issue that you can't boil it down to such a basic question. I continue to disagree that it makes any sense to conflate hair and eye color with race, just to stick with that example. Within living memory, in our country, it was ILLEGAL for people of different races to marry. It has never been illegal for people of different eye colors to marry. Several generations ago, many white people in America considered the idea of one of their children getting involved with a black person to be, not just illegal and immoral, but distasteful, cause for *violence*. We are still struggling, as a society, with those hateful prejudices -- we've come a very, very long way, but there's too much history there, too much racism that still exists, to say that we're over it as a society. Eye color and skin color, when it comes to who we consider acceptable mates, are not the same in our societal context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
I'm uncomfortable with the idea that racism can be unconscious because it takes responsibility away from the individual and is completely indefensible from a personal stance.
It doesn't make me comfortable either, but unfortunately, it's a real thing -- http://www.livescience.com/16339-culture-racism.html

Where personal responsibility comes into it, is that you can choose to face this uncomfortable fact about what it means to have been raised in our society, work to understand it, identify where it might exist in your own life or the lives of those around you, and attempt to confront it, break it down, change it. We can make a better society by taking personal responsibility, even for the things that we didn't ask for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
You (not you specifically) can accuse someone of being racist (or just prejudiced in general) and when they deny it, you can say its unconscious and there really isnt anything you can say against that. It basically turns the idea of racism into a "finishing move" to which there is nothing the person its leveled against can say without being accused of further prejudice.
One could choose to use it as an accusation to shut down conversation, sure. But that wouldn't be fair or cool, and you would deserve to be called out for it. I don't think that just because we acknowledge that unconscious racism is real, it means that people must automatically get away with using it as a brickbat to shut down others. I don't see how that follows at all, actually. Any time you make an argument, you need to back it up with why you think it is the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
I disagree and I think we can make that comparison in this instance.

I dont think I'm going too far out on a limb by assuming we both agree that neither sexuality nor race are plastic concepts within a person; you cant forcibly change either one, they are inherent and inborn characteristics of us all.

So why then can we not level the charge of sexism at the gay community for refusing to sleep with someone of the opposite gender just as we have been talking about leveling the charge of sexism at someone who refuses to sleep with a certain ethnic group provided they dont have a problem with that racial group in daily life or act any different towards them?

As I said, I think we're stretching the definition of racism to cover something that it doesn't actually refer to and as a result we get caught up in a possible double standard.
Skin and hair color are superficial characteristics that denote no real difference between people beyond exceedingly minor things, like, say, susceptibility to a particular genetic disease. There are infinite permutations of race when different ethnic groups blend, there is no clear dividing line. Sex (while it can be a broad and fluid spectrum with many exceptions and variations), in general, represents two distinct, real categories with physical, hormonal, pheremonal differences. Your parts fit together differently, depending on your sex. Your pheremones fit into each other's brains differently depending on your sex. Of COURSE those things are going to fundamentally affect attraction! Color, on the other hand, is cosmetic.

It's not comparable.
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