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Racism vs prejudice

Posted by Word Camel on January 22, 2004

In Reply to: Xenophobic racist honkey white trash! posted by Lewis on January 22, 2004

: : im also from aussie and read what he or she had to say, I have a good number of pacific island friends because I used to live in nz, I often would say whats up [word removed in order to comply with Google's Publisher Policy] because I knew them and was on friendly terms,they, being from nz call me an aussie and I take no offence to it what so ever. whereas if I said to a black person, even in the day of when negro was acceptable, if I shortened the name to nig it would be incredibly racist, same as paki, seems to be racist. it seems that the blacks and gooks are the racist ones. any of them would get offended no matter what you called them, there is another word wich started off being used as a normal term but some blacks with a grudge on thier shoulder would turn it around. in muslim there is a word for a person who is a non muselim believer wich is called a kafir. that was origanally used as the same would bro, cuz, or sis. but for some reason there are racist blacks out there that dont like to have a nick name or be called what someone else wants to call them. the same thing is happening in new zealand, the natives are maori, wich apparently means "normal" because some missionarys said "we are european what are you?".
: : anyway, now you get some other maori with a grude saying its racist to be called maori and they now want to be tangta whenua, people of the land.
: : its all a heap of s h i t. people get too offended over crap that isnt such a big deal.
: : finnishing this off, all of you probably think im a racist bastard, wich im not saying that im not racist, I have lots of friends that are indian, maori(tangta whenua), pacific islanders, and mexican. I have no problem with any races except for chinese and french, they are both arrogant and the way they look just pisses me off.
: : why cant more people be honest and say thier likes and dislikes?
: : I like burgers but not hotdogs. why is this not discriminating?
: : any hatemail can go to [email protected]

: - thought I ought to even up the abuse terms according to colour.

: Not liking the French? that's very "English" of you, or should that be "Algerian"?
: Funny thing is that even people who are racist, often exempt all the people they know from their prejudices. We had the National Front trying to stir up hatred when I was a kid. Funny thing was, the only fight I had with a black kid was simply because we both liked the same girl (who was Irish). What undermined the NF was that most people didn't find that the people they knew fitted the prejudiced stereotypes and excepted them from general prejudices even if they partly bought into the idea of 'England for the English'.

: I know a bloke in the pub who is racist/xenophobic and spouts complete bollocks - weird thing is, he's married a Thai woman and now disagrees with it being difficult to get wives in through immigration.

: That makes me realise - there's an under-use of "xenophobic" which in many cases is more accurate than 'racist'. I also think that there should be a distinction between 'racial abuse', 'cultural consciousness' and 'racism'. I know some people who still see anybody different as not being 'one of us' yet would not be rude or treat somebody differently or less favourably than somebody they saw as being the same. they would consider it 'bad manners' to allow their perception of difference express itself in behaviour. I know one can lead from the other, but there is a big difference between somebody from the Borders or West Country who just doesn't meet hardly anybody from Afro-Carribean stock or of Asian background (it can happen, I've met them)and consequently sees them as 'different' as opposed to somebody who grew up with kids from other backgrounds and still calls them 'wogs' 'pakis' 'slopes' and '[word removed in order to comply with Google's Publisher Policy]s' when they know that they are the almost exactly the same as them.

: Back in the 70s when 'Love thy neighbour' was still acceptable tv, in "Porridge" Fletch listens to the programme's only black guy (half Glaswegian/half-afro) moan about prejudice and then tells him it's not because he's black - it's because he's Scottish! That was typical of the series which had a strong English/Scottish racist element because the chief warder is an Highlander, but it was even-handed and nobody complained that it was offensive.

: It is true that other groups can be racist - and more so than the white mainstream population when they are because nobody is allowed to comment on their racism because that would be racist!
: Often their is an historical reason for the prejudice: Indians can be very prejudiced against Pakistanis (Muslim/Hindu problem & Kashmir), Pakistanis about Indians (same)& Afro-Carribbeans/Americans (Islam and anti-laziness), Afro-Carribeans against Asians/whites (money-grabbers/imperialists) but even when there is such ingrained cultural prejudice, at the end of the day people going about their daily business together usually strips away prejudice from people who know each other.

: After all - the particular Romans who enslaved my forebears and the actual Normans who stole our land have been dead many generations. I mean even the Spanish of the Inquisition and the French of the Republican era who threatened our country have been dead for a long time, as have most of the Nazis who threatened my parent's generation.

: Hopefully, the evil that (groups of men) men do (often) dies with them.

: I do wonder if we need some better vocabulary to better deal with the whole racism issue - we need to be able to discuss matters without being labelled 'racist' for trying.

My understanding of racism, as opposed to ordinary prejudice is that racism is systematic and holds forth regardless of what the people involved do or don't think. So it seems to me that the bloke down the pub is prejudice while the immigration authorities (and the Labour Party who first floated the idea of 'virginity tests' for prospective immigrant brides) are racist. All this stuff about name calling really trivialises what is a serious problem, and diverts efforts that could be better applied elsewhere. We can root out all the offensive names but as long as we accept that it's okay to treat people unequally, new terms will be invented.