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7-04-2010 @ 4:47PM
Very much agree with Srobart on the race issue, until he got to the point where he said racism is blown out of proportion in other countries. In the US, yes, I agree that racism is often blown out of proportion. I live in the southeast, the heart of past slavery and blatant racism, but to say that racism is still rampant here would be nothing more than hyperbole. I'm not saying that racism is nonexistent. It is still alive and well, and will be for ages, but it is indeed often blown way out of proportion. The same, however, cannot be said to be true of other countries; and this is where I disagree with Srobart. Outside of the US, racism is still a problem that must be dealt with on a daily basis. As somebody born and raised in Eastern Europe, Ukraine to be exact, I can vouch for that. The vast majority of the population still harbors racism to this day. This racism is not out of hatred, but rather out of ignorance. For example, I knew, and still know, numerous individuals that legitimately believe that blacks have a lesser capacity for intelligence than whites. This racism is not indigenous to only Eastern Europe either. It thrives in the developed countries of Western Europe also; and you can bet it lives in Asia, Africa, and South America as well.The point is, we in the US here have it good concerning racism. I completely agree with Srobart on his stance of racism in this country. But as for the rest of the world? No, it’s still a problem that must be dealt with.
7-04-2010 @ 5:26PM
Well said. I'd add, though, that not all racism consists of the obvious slur-flinging that is easy to spot. There are other, more subtle forms that do indeed exist world-wide -- including here in the U.S. This can often be unconscious, too, manifested in such fashions as similar crimes being punished more harshly for one group, or funding for education being distributed in racially unbalanced ways. The people involved likely aren't intentionally treating one group different than another, but their own feelings are still influencing their decisions.These types of examples are much more difficult to spot, but no less damaging. Or at least I would argue so.
7-04-2010 @ 5:38PM
And I very much disagree that racism is something that's "blown out of proportion" in the US.It's become more difficult to see. Minorities are protected against hate crimes under the law. It's socially unacceptable in civil society to use racial slurs. It's no longer illegal for people of different races to use the same facilities. But we still mostly only make movies with white actors, and then we argue that it shouldn't matter. Publishing companies will still only take a certain number of novels in a year that have main characters of color, because they think white people (the desirable audience) won't buy them. People still spout racist crap where they think they can get away with it, and refuse to learn about other people's cultures and difficulties because it doesn't matter to them. In fact, it being so much harder to see in some cases makes things worse, because if you don't look any closer, it's very easy to pat ourselves on the back and pretend it's gone away. There's still massive amounts of oil under the water from the Exxon Valdez spill, but right now there are people arguing that BP's Deepwater Horizon mess can't be that bad because the Exxon spill -looks- clean. If anything's guaranteed to actually "drive a wedge" between people of different races, it's someone saying, "There's racism here, and I'm angry and hurt about it," and someone else who doesn't have to deal with it on a daily basis coming back with, "Well, -I- can't see it. You must be totally blowing things out of proportion!"
7-04-2010 @ 6:27PM
It's not "racism" that's the problem, because racism is a REAL problem, no matter where in the world you are (though it obviously takes different forms in different places). It's the growing use of "political correctness" in speech that causes the problem. It's the sanitization of language to avoid insult when you only make the connection to the insult when you protest the word. It's the feeling I had when I was a kid that when I called my best friend at the time "black" (because he was), I was told that it was a bad term to use.
7-04-2010 @ 7:11PM
'The same, however, cannot be said to be true of other countries; and this is where I disagree with Srobart. Outside of the US, racism is still a problem that must be dealt with on a daily basis. 'Yep. And not only is it an issue, it is literally -life and death- in several regions of the world. Tustis and Hutus and the Rwandan Genocides leap to mind, followed by people in the middle east blowing each other up, the continued unrest in South Africa between whites and blacks, the same sort of issues that Rwanda had still plaguing other African countries. Darfur anyone? Look up 'Genocide' and the history of and see that it still exists, in this 'enlightened' day and age. The political correctness of words and linguistics is a problem in the US, and I think so called 'equality' laws foster more anger and distrust than they do to help in a lot of ways, especially when there's a downturn in the economy. Does it excuse the slurrs or the people who use them? No, when it's a legitimate, harsh and hateful expression, used in such a way, that is wrong, and needs to be addressed. But examples like the aforementioned 'black hole', sometimes people need to draw back from the seriousness a little.
7-04-2010 @ 7:18PM
Danterius said: (shortened) We know right from wrong, it's those foreigners that are stupid.People are stupid and uninformed everywhere. There's not one person alive who don't believe in some falsehood, even if it's sometimes just some minor thing.(and yes, my shortening of your comment made it look worse than you ever intended it. my apologies)
7-04-2010 @ 9:47PM
Americans are not necessarily more righteous than foreigners. They are, however, further along in the battle against racism than some other countries. This is not to say that racism is not a problem or does not exist in this country; without question it does. Racism exists worldwide, and it always will. Like Hanak says, there are "stupid and uninformed" people everywhere, and we will never be rid of them. The point is that Americans are currently less "stupid and uninformed" regarding racism than other countries. And no this is not American bias; I still don't consider myself a genuine American. I will forever be a foreigner.
7-05-2010 @ 4:21AM
America is no further ahead in the matter of handling racism than Europe; America has just had more practice at it. Scandinavia, up until about 20 years ago, didn't have much interaction with other cultures and races. It was a very homogenised population, so when the trickle of foreigners suddenly became a flood, it was quite the wake-up call. Which isn't aided by the primary immigration being refugees from unindustrialised warzones. (and whatever war America happens to be fighting. There are currently more Iraqi refugees in Sweden than there are in all of USA and Canada combined)America's black people are still born and raised in the same cultural environment, whereas the new people arriving in Scandinavia bring with them new languages, customs and religions, and know next to nothing about the country they're arriving in. It's actually a tribute to a resilient society that the problems aren't larger than they are.
7-05-2010 @ 9:27AM
@ DanteriusI believe you are deluding yourself, and ironically indulging in another form of racism yourself.Having lived around the globe all my life, I think you may have fallen into the trap of viewing the US with rose-tinted spectacles. Racism is definately rife - more so than througout much of the world.In my time I have lived and worked in Asia (India to be precise), the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and Dubai), France, United Kingdom, United States (TX) and Venezuela.Texas in particular stood out amongst the others as a hotbed of rascist thought and (in)action. The others are hardly innoncent - not by a long shot, but the ingrained culture of Texas was definately hostile towards ethnicities other than caucasian. The truth of the matter, and you touched upon it when you mention Eastern Europe being more culpable than, say, Western Europe, is wealth.Those in "poorer" regions, or deprived regions are far more likely to foster racist tendencies - regardless of thier own race. When faced with deprivation, many lash out at scape goats - just as when faced with deprivation or loss people find solace in religion (**I AM NOT SAYING THE TWO ARE LINKED**). Taking an unescapable situation (or one that seems that way), and placing the "control"/"responsibility" of it in another hands (be that God's Will, or blaming a certain ethnicity for keeping you down/taking your opportunities). Texas (and much of the US) has a large wealth gap between the rich and poor - as such the Wealthy are often some of the most liberal in the world, whilst conversely the poor are often the most conservative and prejudiced. I experienced similar situations during my time in India - in the wealthy Ex-Pat areas liberal thought flourished, but even travelling a few miles out into the more impoverished areas led to a drastic swing in politics. The north of the United Kingdom (relatively the most impoverished area of the country) is considerably more conservative and likely to harbour racist ideology than the south - similarly the North East US (centre of much of the wealth) is perhaps the most liberal region there-in (exception being California - again has areas of concentrated wealth). At the same time, alot of California is extremely rural and relatively impoverished, where again racist ideology thrives.Any country with large gaps between the rich and poor fosters racism, the steeper the divide, the stronger the sentiment. The United States, Russia and most of Eastern Europe have massive divides - with Oligarchs (in Eastern Europe/Russia) sporting multi-billion dollar estates, whilst most people survive on less than $100. In the US, it doesn't **seem** that extreme, you have the multi-billion dollar "hieress" club, the debutants and the like, buying thier status and throwing around money by the fistfull, whilst other people struggle to scrape by with the bare necessities. It is no surprise then that these areas have some of the strongest racist ideologies.Invoking Godwin's Law on myself: How do you think the National Socialist Party found so much support? The wide-spread poverty brought on by the Depression and harsh penalties imposed by the WWI allied forces.
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