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Old 11-03-2012, 06:38 PM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
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.
The only thing I can really do is disagree and repeat myself, I feel like we're not going to agree on this point.

It doesn't make me comfortable either, but unfortunately, it's a real thing --

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.
I'm sorry I just don't buy the unconscious racism. I'm fully prepared to accept that some people have cultural biases towards "their own" and that plays out as unconscious bias or discomfort around a diverse environment but to call it full-blown racism, I dont see any basis for that.

Racism is out-and-out hatred for a different racial group and discomfort from lack of knowledge based on experience is not even on the same street.

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.
It automatically shuts down a conversation.

Joe: "You wouldn't understand, you're racist."
Jack: "What? I have friends of different ethnicities, I've dated women who were of a different ethnic group, I live in a heavily ethnic neighborhood, how am I racist?"
Joe: "Its unconscious racism."

What then can you say to that? You cant deny it because its something that you apparently cant sense and your examples of how you're not racist don't do anything against it. Even if you accept it, what do you do about it? When are you NOT unconsciously racist anymore? Do you have to go back to the original diagnoser for another test or can you just ask a whole bunch of people?

I'm against the idea that someone with zero training in ANYTHING can slap a label on someone else that has some very serious social ramifications that the target then cannot dispute without digging the label in deeper nor can they do anything to "fix" the problem themselves without the approval of others. It basically turns into a tool of marginalization for someone you dislike or disagree with and I'm not cool with that.

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.
As I said before, I dont think we're going to see agreement on this point.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."
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