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Author Topic: Obama's a <n word> but I'm not racist!  (Read 2189 times)
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hepcat
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« on: November 12, 2012, 05:46:44 PM »

That's essentially what a woman in California is saying after she posted a racially charged update about Obama's reelection recently.

My favorite part is the vehement denial on her part that she's even remotely racist.  Lady, that ship sailed. 
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 06:07:06 PM »

The one constant about racism is that those who suffer from it are (for the most part) unable to see it for themselves. They always push the bar ahead of them, and with every new racist opinion they create in their minds, the bar is pushed a little further, always keeping them in the safe zone of "I'm not racist, I'm just asking questions". It's one of the reasons it's so damn hard to get rid of.
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 06:53:40 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on November 12, 2012, 06:07:06 PM

The one constant about racism is that those who suffer from it are (for the most part) unable to see it for themselves. They always push the bar ahead of them, and with every new racist opinion they create in their minds, the bar is pushed a little further, always keeping them in the safe zone of "I'm not racist, I'm just asking questions". It's one of the reasons it's so damn hard to get rid of.

+100    An ex friend once told me that there are blacks and there are n****rs, as a rationalization for a racist rant he went on.  I asked him how he possibly could not understand that his very statement was racist.  He was offended by that question. 
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM »

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Is it not possible to hate one specific person from a race, say something racially unacceptable about them, but still not be a hater of the entire race?  Or is the fact that she applied racist language proof of racism?

Go back to epic beard video. That lady calls Epic Beard 'pinky'. Is she a racist or was she caught in the moment? Public opinion was the former.

If a rapper calls white people 'crackers' in a song, is he a racist or making a social commentary about a certain segment?

This shows more a lapse in judgment than any inherent racism unless it is defined by simply using the word.

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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 07:09:10 PM »

While I agree that sometimes racism can be used as a tool in parody, this is not the case.  

Context is always the great determiner.  In this instance, it clearly points toward racism.  Why else would his race even be referenced, let alone in a derogatory manner.
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 07:11:52 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 07:09:10 PM

While I agree that sometimes racism can be used as a tool in parody, this is not the case.  

Context is always the great determiner.  In this instance, it clearly points toward racism.  Why else would his race even be referenced, let alone in a derogatory manner.

I'm not supporting what she said, as clearly it was a racist comment. Add in the assassination bit, and we are definitely in problem territory...

Just curious as to how we define/determine who is a racist and who isn't.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 07:16:50 PM »

The confirmed intent of that facebook post was to insinuate the president was worthless and deserving of death.  Tacking on the n word was her way of showing his worthlessness by using a term she believed trivialized and insulted the man.
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 07:31:24 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 07:16:50 PM

The confirmed intent of that facebook post was to insinuate the president was worthless

This is okay

Quote
and deserving of death. 

This is not.

Quote
Tacking on the n word was her way of showing his worthlessness by using a term she believed trivialized and insulted the man.

Agreed. But does the act of tacking on the word make her a racist? Or was she just trying to insult him in a deeply offensive way?
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hepcat
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 07:44:38 PM »

If I tell a Mexican that he's lazy because he's Mexican, that's racist.  If I tell a Mexican he's lazy because his last name starts with an R, that's not.
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 07:47:23 PM »

If she's not a racist, there are no racists.

But who gives a fuck... she's just some idiot douchebag. That such people exist in the world should not surprise anyone.

When did facebook status updates from some random moron become newsworthy?
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hepcat
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 07:50:23 PM »

It's as newsworthy as any piece on viral internet items are.
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 07:50:49 PM »

When the Secret Service gets involved.
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 07:51:54 PM »

In the article, it seemed as if the secret service rep wasn't taking it seriously.  I'm guessing they get a ton of crap like this off facebook pages and other social media sites.  By now they've probably got the "asshole vs. serious threat" formula down to a T.
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 07:53:43 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Yeah it does.  Thanks for playing, please try again.
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 07:55:15 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on November 12, 2012, 07:53:43 PM

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Yeah it does.  Thanks for playing, please try again.


If it's meant as social commentary (see Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles for one of my favorite examples) I can agree.  This is not an example of such, however.
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2012, 08:35:53 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on November 12, 2012, 07:53:43 PM

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Yeah it does.  Thanks for playing, please try again.


What if they think it?
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hepcat
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2012, 08:45:23 PM »

What if they use semaphore flags to communicate it? 



"YOU HEARD ME!"
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2012, 08:50:23 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 08:45:23 PM

Pointless nonsense


Your distractions aside it's a valid question. If someone says one thing one time they are racist (according to Blackadar).

What if someone calls a woman a bitch are they sexist?

If a guy calls his friend a fag. Is he a homophobe?

if someone says someone from israel is a stupid Jew are they antisemetic?

Broad brushes.
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2012, 09:02:56 PM »

Have a good friend who explained it pretty well in my mind:

Quote
Certain terms can only realistically be deployed in a way that defines the use of that term as racist. Nigger is one of those terms.  Does a person who uses the term nigger publicly and in such a derogatory way mean anything other than a racist remark? I don't think they do. Whether at their core they are genuinely racist, I don't know. But the fact that they say such a thing in such a way- given that it predominantly only has a singular meaning- is, at the least, an indicator that in some ways they definitely are.
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2012, 09:04:47 PM »

The only pointless nonsense here is your inability to see any post by any human being anywhere and not immediately feel the urgent desire to become a contrarian.  

I usually address you seriously for the first few posts.  Then I hit the point where I realize you're either incapable of or (most likely) unwilling to grasp the point being made (example: creating a thread that exists solely due to your bias against a politician you don't agree with, in which you take the stance that wrong doing is a foregoing conclusion...then asking why folks are disagreeing with that stance).  At that point, I give you the respect you deserve.

By the way, you answered your own question two posts back.  Whether you realize that or not, I do not care.
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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2012, 09:08:04 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 09:04:47 PM

The only pointless nonsense here is your inability to see any post by any human being anywhere and not immediately feel the urgent desire to become a contrarian.  

I usually address you seriously for the first few posts.  Then I hit the point where I realize you're either incapable of or (most likely) unwilling to grasp the point being made (example:  not understanding that creating a thread that exists solely due to your bias against a politician you don't agree with, in which you take the stance that wrong doing is a foregoing conclusion...then asking why folks are disagreeing with that stance).

By the way, you answered your own question two posts back.  Whether you realize that or not, I do not care.

I made no position whatsoever. I asked a question.  Show me where I made any claim contrary to what you posted.  Try to see what is going on, not what you think is going on.  Be open minded for a change.
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« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2012, 09:09:07 PM »

How can you possibly ask that question and NOT expect me to lol at you?   icon_lol
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2012, 09:09:48 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 09:09:07 PM

How can you possibly ask that question and NOT expect me to lol at you?   icon_lol

Because you're not close minded?
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hepcat
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2012, 09:10:52 PM »

Being obtuse equals being open minded these days?
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2012, 09:13:18 PM »

You tell me.

I'll zero this out so it's easier to ascertain the intent of my question: What criteria determines whether someone is a racist?
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« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2012, 09:16:44 PM »

Sigh...let's drop the pretense that you're interested in a sincere discussion about this.  

As a matter of fact, why don't you just put me on the same list with pr0ner you have and just ignore my posts from now on?  I would love to be on that list.  I would kill to be on that list.  Please, put me on that list.
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« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2012, 09:20:04 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 09:16:44 PM

Sigh...let's drop the pretense that you're interested in a sincere discussion about this.  

You first.  Hypocrite.

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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2012, 09:23:09 PM »

Just because you think I'm a hypocrite doesn't mean I AM a hypocrite. 

I'll zero this out so it's easier to ascertain the intent of my reasoning: What criteria determines whether someone is a hypocrite?
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2012, 09:25:29 PM »

Also, if you hadn't verbalized that belief, would it still have been a valid belief only as an unexpressed thought? 
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2012, 09:26:10 PM »

And what's going on with that Llama? 
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2012, 09:27:02 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 12, 2012, 09:23:09 PM

I'll zero this out so it's easier to ascertain the intent of my reasoning: What criteria determines whether someone is a hypocrite?

Their degree of Hepcatness.

Quote
Also, if you hadn't verbalized that belief, would it still have been a valid belief only as an unexpressed thought?
I believe the answer is yes. But sadly, you won't answer the question as posed, so thus there's no dialogue and once again we're in a pissing contest.


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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2012, 09:31:04 PM »

And Pr0ner's too good for you!  mad
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2012, 09:34:01 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 08:35:53 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on November 12, 2012, 07:53:43 PM

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Yeah it does.  Thanks for playing, please try again.


What if they think it?

What if a man has sexual fantasies about other men, but never acts upon them? Does that make him any less gay?

Hint: The answer is no.

The true indicator that you are not racist is that, even in anger, you don't even consider the possibility of tossing out racist remarks. If you call someone a nigger, or chink, (we're all adults here. I see no reason for self-censoring words we all know anyway) or whatever the hell kind of racially loaded thing you want to say, that most likely should at least be looked at as a warning sign that you may be racist, particularly if you're not immediately filled with deep regret over what you said. I guess that's a more complicated way of answering your question.

I guess I should also point out that some of this may be cultural. For example, in Norway we often use a word quite similar to "negro" in order to describe people of African descent, though it doesn't carry the same negative associations as the American word, not even casually. Some people have started to argue that the word should be abolished, but that would be quite pointless since neither whites nor blacks in Norway seem to consider it racist, and it would never be used in as a racial slur anyway (it would be replaced by "nigger", which is a word we have here as well. Any use of it would probably be met with fisticuffs, regardless of colors present). So I guess things can be a little complex.
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2012, 10:11:22 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on November 12, 2012, 09:34:01 PM

The true indicator that you are not racist is that, even in anger, you don't even consider the possibility of tossing out racist remarks. If you call someone a nigger, or chink, (we're all adults here. I see no reason for self-censoring words we all know anyway) or whatever the hell kind of racially loaded thing you want to say, that most likely should at least be looked at as a warning sign that you may be racist, particularly if you're not immediately filled with deep regret over what you said. I guess that's a more complicated way of answering your question.

Thanks, Tilt, that's what I'm looking for here.

I don't think that actions in a moment of anger define a person.  Is it a potential indicator of bias, yes.  But an isolated  use of a 'racially loaded' term does not make a racist in my mind.

Unless I'm not clear on what exactly is the societal term of what racist means these days.  I tend to think of it in extremes.

And everyone will make fun of this, but I don't know how better to ask the question.  Can someone who is racist, still have good friends of the race that they're prejudiced against?   Wouldn't the prejudice in the first place prevent that relationship from happening?

How could a black man who is racist against latinos have good friends who are latinos?  Make sense?

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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2012, 11:01:21 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on November 12, 2012, 07:53:43 PM

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 07:03:49 PM

Because someone says a racist thing does not make them a racist.

Yeah it does.  Thanks for playing, please try again.


So does that make someone like Joe Biden a racist for saying racist things more then once?
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2012, 11:48:19 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 10:11:22 PM

I don't think that actions in a moment of anger define a person. 

It may not define a person, but it sure as hell gives you a better insight into their thought processes when their inner filters are down.  Using a racial epithet in anger either means that you believe that it's an accurate and acceptable term for that person or the group to which they belong, or you are deliberately trying to offend them. 

Posting about a politician online, I will go with the belief that you are a racist for using the term in the context in which it is used. 

Big rules of life: 1) Know your audience; 2) Perception is usually more important than reality; 3) First impressions tend to stick around

This individual showed no appreciation for the fact that Twitter posts are available to anyone, or on how anyone might interpret them.  I don't care at this point if she's a Sunday school teacher who donates blood and reads to seniors.  She's shown that she is either a racist or completely oblivious to how she sounds to those around her.
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2012, 03:20:01 AM »

Honest language question: Why is "nigga" OK? My little (white) nephew calls his little (white) FB friends that all the time and nobody seems bent out of shape over it. I understand that it's used in a friendly, camaraderie way, so is it context that makes it OK? I don't understand the rules governing that word.
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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2012, 05:53:22 AM »

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 10:11:22 PM

And everyone will make fun of this, but I don't know how better to ask the question.  Can someone who is racist, still have good friends of the race that they're prejudiced against?   Wouldn't the prejudice in the first place prevent that relationship from happening?

How could a black man who is racist against latinos have good friends who are latinos?  Make sense?

I'm surprised you aren't already aware of these things. Yes, you can have colored friends and still be utterly racist. Most likely your racist beliefs are shaping your friendship with that person, maybe without you knowing it. It's probably an unhealthy friendship to begin with, or is there merely so the racist can feel good about himself (mostly to avoid confronting the reality about being a racist). Maybe the other person would even be surprised at you (not you you, I mean in the general sense) calling him a friend, as he certainly doesn't see it that way.

I was going to ask you to Google the phrase "some of my best friends are black", which has become infamous because it, just like "I'm not racist, but", almost always appears in the context of deep racism. However, it seems someone wrote a book with that exact name, so Google hits are now mostly about that. Let's just put it like this: Almost every goddamn single time someone is confronted with being a racist in public, they'll reply with some variation of "some of my best friends are black". It means nothing, neither to the racist or to the people he's trying to convince.
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« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2012, 01:36:43 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on November 13, 2012, 05:53:22 AM

Quote from: ATB on November 12, 2012, 10:11:22 PM

And everyone will make fun of this, but I don't know how better to ask the question.  Can someone who is racist, still have good friends of the race that they're prejudiced against?   Wouldn't the prejudice in the first place prevent that relationship from happening?

How could a black man who is racist against latinos have good friends who are latinos?  Make sense?

I'm surprised you aren't already aware of these things.

I'm aware of it that's why I asked the question.  To get your perspective.

Quote
Yes, you can have colored friends and still be utterly racist. Most likely your racist beliefs are shaping your friendship with that person, maybe without you knowing it. It's probably an unhealthy friendship to begin with, or is there merely so the racist can feel good about himself (mostly to avoid confronting the reality about being a racist). Maybe the other person would even be surprised at you (not you you, I mean in the general sense) calling him a friend, as he certainly doesn't see it that way.

This goes back to my question about my perspective of extremes. It seems to me that if someone is racist they would not bother to spend any time beyond what is required (work environment for example) with the race they are prejudiced against...let alone take the time to be friends with them.  (PS. Culture divide in action: In the US, saying 'colored', while not necessarily racist is not a semantically appropriate descriptor anymore.)

Quote
I was going to ask you to Google the phrase "some of my best friends are black", which has become infamous because it, just like "I'm not racist, but", almost always appears in the context of deep racism. However, it seems someone wrote a book with that exact name, so Google hits are now mostly about that. Let's just put it like this: Almost every goddamn single time someone is confronted with being a racist in public, they'll reply with some variation of "some of my best friends are black". It means nothing, neither to the racist or to the people he's trying to convince.

Right. Agreed. But here's what I'm trying to get at at the core.  If someone has good friends of all races and has an unguarded moment of using a racist phrase are they a racist?

I think the answer is clearly no.  But the majority opinion here is that in fact they are.  (I'm not speaking about the woman at the center of the thread as I know nothing about her).  So it seems that the use of the a racist term indicates racism rather than being racist results in the term being uttered.

I think we're missing the divide between prejudiced and racist.

Can someone be prejudiced (mexican's are lazy based on my experiences) and not be racist (i hate mexicans)?


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« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2012, 01:57:28 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 13, 2012, 01:36:43 PM

If someone has good friends of all races and has an unguarded moment of using a racist phrase are they a racist?

Most likely yes. Also, having friends of mixed races does not make someone less racist. It may give them more perspective, but that's about it.

See, the problem you're having in this discussion is that it seems you don't know what racism actually is. You're pushing the proverbial bar, though for what reason I won't speculate upon. Very, very few people are what you seem to define as racist. A racist extremist is someone who identifies himself as racist. The vast majority don't, and will refuse being classified as such. Racism is not a situation of "either you're a racist, or you're not". It's a sliding scale, from the casual racist who, without even being aware of it himself, thinks lower of his local convenience store when they hire a black cashier, to the less casual racist who'll readily admit that he doesn't approve when his white daughter comes home with an Asian boyfriend. I'll venture that most people have some degree of racism in them, but for most people it will be very little, and they'll be smart enough to keep it to themselves. Racism, like a rodent infestation, is an invisible problem that can cause an endless amount of problems. It's the kind of situation where the easy solution is to pretend that it's someone else's problem, which solves nothing and will just make everything worse in the end.

Simply put, if you can't listen to what a person says, even in the heat of the moment, and then declare him a racist, there's very little you can do to define that condition. On the other hand, calling someone a racist also solves nothing. It's the misconceptions and faulty arguments being spouted by racists that need to be dealt with in a constructive and thoughtful way.
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