Author Topic: Racism false positives  (Read 483 times)

Online Hydra009

Racism false positives
« on: May 12, 2021, 08:32:06 PM »
This is kind of a weird topic, so buckle up.

I was watching a TV show and a character had a German flag hanging up in his dorm room.  Didn't think anything of it.  Naturally, there's a thread about this, with some people assuming that he's some sort of stealth racist.  White character + german flag, clearly a racist lol.  Maybe he has German relatives or German ancestry?  Maybe he visited Germany and wanted a keepsake?  Maybe he just really likes Germany?  Who knows.  The point is, jumping to conclusions, especially about such a very serious thing as racism is not a good thing.

There was a little tempest-in-a-teacup about someone flying the Norway flag because it was incorrectly assumed to be the Confederate flag.  And there was a little thing recently about someone offended by the name of the country Montenegro (literally, "Black Mountain").  Hopefully, that reaction was just an aberration, but unfortunately, I've noticed a lot of hair-trigger reactions in that vein.

Personally, I have to go to pains sometimes to dig myself out of the automatic racism hole due to my interests.  I really like metal music (statistically, the whitest music there is), european history (apparently, that's super popular among alt-Right types), Norse mythology/neopaganism (which unfortunately has a white supremacist faction), science fiction (historically, extremely white but has opened up somewhat over the years)  I've even jokingly claimed to support fictional scifi empires with a history of xenophobia (towards aliens, not humans).  Oh, by the way, big Lovecraft fan.  These are not red flags for racism, but I can definitely see someone considering them to be a whole lot of yellow flags.

I definitely can see how someone could get the wrong impression.  In my defense, I also like some non-metal music, non-european history, don't condone Lovecraft's bad-even-for-the-time racism, and I like all sorts of "pagan" religions, including those in the Middle East and Asia.  And if I were a neopagan, it would surely be the non-racist variety.  I'm not with those racist guys.

Even so, I feel like I have to walk on eggshells about this stuff and actively combat any sort of false impression before it blossoms.  And it even seeps into fiction.  Are enough of my characters people of color?  Is anything problematic (feeds into a racial stereotype)?  Left unchecked, I can get neurotic about it and over-scrutinize fiction for racial messaging that was almost certainly never the intent.

Do any of you guys struggle with giving off a vibe that could be misinterpreted as worse than it actually is?  Is there any way to "prove" you aren't a racist?  Because it seems like those sorts of accusations are inherently difficult to defend against.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 08:37:52 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 09:04:24 PM »
It is good you still care. I am at a strange convergence when just this past year I am finally 'woke' to the extent of racism in the US because of BLM....just as I started not giving damn about what almost everybody thinks of me after seeing how they reacted during the election and pandemic.

Online Hydra009

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 09:23:02 PM »
It is good you still care. I am at a strange convergence when just this past year I am finally 'woke' to the extent of racism in the US because of BLM
Same.  I mean, I knew it was bad, but I had no idea it was *that* bad.

In addition to reading the dreadful history of policing black communities (same old story, Ricks killing Mortys), I read about the Tulsa massacre (the single worst event of racial violence in the US) and the destruction of the Negro Fort (US forces under Andrew Jackson bombarded the fort and a shot ignited its magazine, instantly killing mostly freemen and escaped slaves), neither incident made it to my high school curriculum.  Definitely paints things in a different light.  Not just prejudice and discrimination, but deliberate mass slaughter.

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 09:34:28 PM »
Yeah, Hydra, I'm more aware of racist 'appearance' than ever.  And like Cassia, the orange monster's reign made me much more aware of the systematic extent of racism--much, much more than I had thought.  At this stage of my life I simply do not go out much.  And I don't engage in social media very much.  But I'm still aware on a much higher plane, of what I say and how I say it.  As a country, we have a long, long way to go..................
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 01:34:13 AM »
Do any of you guys struggle with giving off a vibe that could be misinterpreted as worse than it actually is?  Is there any way to "prove" you aren't a racist?  Because it seems like those sorts of accusations are inherently difficult to defend against.

I am a work in progress when it comes to cultural diversity and racism and if someone said I exhibited racist attitudes or behaviors I would seriously consider that feedback. I try to culturally sensitive, listen, educate myself, and attempt to see things from the other person's perspective but I don't always succeed. Sometimes I do understand and simply disagree.

Online Hydra009

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 02:24:48 AM »
I am a work in progress when it comes to cultural diversity and racism and if someone said I exhibited racist attitudes or behaviors I would seriously consider that feedback.
Normally, I would, but this guy wasn't particularly credible.  It was a coworker who was rude to customers - I saw that firsthand - and then if they were rude back, he said it was due to racism.  This went on for quite a while before it stopped being credible.  I found out later that I was suspected of being a racist because I had befriended a white coworker.  (I had befriended other coworkers as well, a fairly diverse group, but I doubt he knew that)  Quite the stretch, but apparently this was a very stretchy guy.  Not sure what I could have possibly done to avoid that accusation.  Sometimes, people have preset conclusions and afterwards try to justify them, which is ironic because that's how racism works.

Online Hydra009

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 02:58:16 AM »
Honestly, I kinda resent living in a society with ongoing racial tensions and being a party - no matter how peripheral - to these sorts of squabbles.   I would love nothing more than to go into cryosleep and wake up to a futuristic Star Trek-like society where skin color is treated like eye color.  Can you imagine being upset about someone's eye color?

Maybe if humanity encountered alien monsters, we'd finally unite against a common threat and this measles of the mind would fall by the wayside.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 03:02:05 AM by Hydra009 »

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 06:46:38 AM »
Honestly, I kinda resent living in a society with ongoing racial tensions and being a party - no matter how peripheral - to these sorts of squabbles.   I would love nothing more than to go into cryosleep and wake up to a futuristic Star Trek-like society where skin color is treated like eye color.  Can you imagine being upset about someone's eye color?

I agree, however some people see White people calling for a colorblind society as a means of avoiding the discussion of racism and discrimination and as a way to undermine the hardships of minority groups, as it is often used to argue that the United States is a meritocracy, in which people succeed only because they work hard and not because of their privilege. In Star Trek, some would argue, a colorblind society is achievable because no one has to work.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 07:53:17 AM by GSOgymrat »

Offline aitm

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 08:29:29 AM »
I would think the ultimate goal would indeed be for everyone to be “colorblind”.  The obvious is not so much that people of color dislike hearing someone saying “I don’t see color”, because I truly believe that they want that as well, but that so...so many whites firmly believe racism is over and people of color need to be reminded of that. They have no reason to learn about “the past” because to them it legitimizes the claims of systemic racism. Pure denial on the part of those who claim they are not racist while refusing to admit, even to themselves how racist they really are.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 09:42:47 AM »
Obviously, skin color is no measure of a person. I do find the world has moved on without me sometimes. A glass of wine or some sippin' whisky and, yeah my filter lets go a bit. I blurted to someone "wow, you got fat" and I was called a 'concentration camp victim' in return, LOL.

Saying anything negative could get one in trouble nowadays. Even at work, it was becoming more difficult to criticize a bad design without getting labeled as a 'glass half empty' type. My first electronic designs were attacked 'live' on overhead projectors in public meetings by the senior engineers. Talk about a learning experience for all. Now it is all done with online comments and is kind of secretive to avoid bad feelings.

Online Hydra009

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 10:00:57 AM »
I agree, however some people see White people calling for a colorblind society as a means of avoiding the discussion of racism and discrimination and as a way to undermine the hardships of minority groups,
Imo, it should absolutely be addressed and then put behind us.  Before 2016 I would've said that people with seriously racist views are a tiny minority - predominately older generations and a few holdouts who can't get with the program of multiethnic societies/countries.  Most people are fine and shouldn't be made to feel guilty for views they don't hold or transgressions they never participated in.  Nowadays, I'm not so sure that argument is watertight.

Quote
as it is often used to argue that the United States is a meritocracy, in which people succeed only because they work hard and not because of their privilege.
I wish it was a meritocracy.  It's not, by any stretch of the imagination.  And imo, the most powerful form of privilege is wealth.  Wealth blows any other considerations out of the water and it's the sole difference between a lunatic raving in the streets and a "smart businessman" President.

People wonder why Congress doesn't support what they support.  The answer is simple: wealth.  By and large, people in that tax bracket have different priorities than people in your tax bracket.  Change that, and you instantly made progress on a thousand fronts on issues that people actually care about, including racial justice.

Quote
In Star Trek, some would argue, a colorblind society is achievable because no one has to work.
That's the beauty of it.  Everyone is free - unshackled from the need to sell their time for money to survive, free to pursue their own interests.  So long as society needs mass labor, it'll want the cheapest possible mass labor, and thus create an exploited underclass, often along racial lines.  Imho, political/economic injustice is the main driver of racial injustice.  Gene Roddenberry nailed that on the head.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 10:23:45 AM by Hydra009 »

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 03:02:55 PM »
I would think the ultimate goal would indeed be for everyone to be “colorblind”.
Unfortunately we're way past the point where "colorblind" is a viable option. Racists have succeeded in forcing people of color into forming sub-cultures that are as much a part of their identity as any other culture. To ignore that now is just a transition from racism to xenophobia, essentially. And I hope it's obvious why you can't solve a problem by trading it for another.

The most viable solution right now is to just be conscious of race issues and try to act appropriately on a case-by-case basis.
Black lives matter, feminism is good, religion is bullshit, and if you disagree with me on any of these points you are a fucking moron.

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Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2021, 08:58:08 PM »
There is a certain woke faction that claims everyone is racist, and failing to admit your internal racism is proof that you are racist.  By their logic, it is impossible to have a false positive.
White privilege is being a lifelong racist, then being sent to the White House twice because your running mate is a minority.

No Biden, no KKK, no Fascist USA!

Offline Mermaid

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2021, 02:07:26 PM »
There is a certain woke faction that claims everyone is racist, and failing to admit your internal racism is proof that you are racist.  By their logic, it is impossible to have a false positive.
Way to completely miss the point.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

John F. Kennedy

Offline Mermaid

Re: Racism false positives
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2021, 02:07:55 PM »
Unfortunately we're way past the point where "colorblind" is a viable option. Racists have succeeded in forcing people of color into forming sub-cultures that are as much a part of their identity as any other culture. To ignore that now is just a transition from racism to xenophobia, essentially. And I hope it's obvious why you can't solve a problem by trading it for another.

The most viable solution right now is to just be conscious of race issues and try to act appropriately on a case-by-case basis.
Seconded.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

John F. Kennedy