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Thread: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

  1. #41
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    Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Why is it easier for you to see it when it's a stereotype of a nationality than a race?



    Put who in the what now?
    You brought up Mexicans so I acknowledged your reference to a nationality. Had you said Hispanic, then I would have made reference to race. Had you made reference to someone on a wheelchair then I would have said handicap.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I would agree that people of a certain age, who haven't been living in a cave, have heard of or are aware of the use of language and common phrases that have racist undertones. I would argue, however, that unless there is a desire to perpetuate them, it is a very good thing that your children, and young people in general, remain oblivious to them. Young people can teach us lots in the way to behave towards "others", such as their general acceptance of gay people. There's no need to poison them with our generation's bigotry.
    Good point. Children being oblivious to racist stereotypes and such is almost certainly a good thing.

    At the same time, an adult cannot combat the "evils" of society if they are oblivious to them.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    You brought up Mexicans so I acknowledged your reference to a nationality.
    I also brought up that same stereotype about Mexicans in the OP. What changed for you since then that made it easier for you to see that stereotype when it is about nationality (as compared to the fried chicken stereotype about black people, which you have said you have trouble seeing due to your love of fried chicken)?
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Which begs the question. do stereotypes need to be combated, or simply ingnored?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Good point. Children being oblivious to racist stereotypes and such is almost certainly a good thing.

    At the same time, an adult cannot combat the "evils" of society if they are oblivious to them.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Good point. Children being oblivious to racist stereotypes and such is almost certainly a good thing.

    At the same time, an adult cannot combat the "evils" of society if they are oblivious to them.
    True, but they will always be evils if you continue to identify them as such. Perhaps there will be a day when a black person can love watermelon and fried chicken just like hundreds of millions of white people do and no one will think anything of it. That won't happen, however, if we keep spreading the stereotype and joking about it.

    I will admit, however, that I was oblivious to the stereotype I mention above until I became more attuned and connected to American culture. Perhaps, because I wasn't exposed to it until I'd basically already been formed as a person, it didn't become part of my "experience" that I would consider and fall back on.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    Which begs the question. do stereotypes need to be combated, or simply ingnored?
    Very interesting question. I have to think about it a bit before I can answer it.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I was reading through this thread: http://www.debatepolitics.com/off-to...-intended.html and it occurred to me that many people are actually oblivious to some racial stereotypes which exist in this country and are often used to disparage others.

    I was then curious as to whether or not people feel that being oblivious to these racial stereotypes is a good thing or a bad thing.

    On one hand, a person who is truly oblivious to such stereotypes has probably not directly exposed to much racism in their lives. Which is good. On the other hand, they might be oblivious to the racism because they have not have been exposed to it because they have not had much exposure to people who belong to the stereotyped groups, which is a bad thing.

    There's also the possibility that they aren't really oblivious to the stereotypes, but are simply doing the poor victimized white person routine to pretend that the poor victimized white person cannot say anything anymore without being accused of racism".

    I'm leaning toward the idea that the obliviousness is feigned, because it is mind-boggling to me that someone can live and interact with other people in our society without ever being exposed to the most common racial stereotypes that exist in our society. I'd be just as shocked if a black person said "Wait, white people being bad dancers is a racial stereotype?!?!?!?!" Unless someone is living under a rock, in a cave, hidden beneath the unabombers shack, I would assume they've encountered some of the most common stereotypes that exist in our society.

    Examples: White people can't dance, black people eat fried chicken, asian women can't drive, Italian men are mama's boys, Irish people drink, Polish people are stupid, WASPS have old money, Mexicans mow lawns etc. etc.

    So the poll question is: Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be oblivious to the very real stereotypes which exist in the world?
    I'd say it's a bad thing. If you are oblivious to racial stereotypes, you may slip up and make a racially charged comment without intending to do so - which in some situations / neighborhoods / convenience stores, could get you beaten or worse.

    Also, if you don't know common racial stereotypes, your range of humorous jokes is severely limited

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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    True, but they will always be evils if you continue to identify them as such. Perhaps there will be a day when a black person can love watermelon and fried chicken just like hundreds of millions of white people do and no one will think anything of it. That won't happen, however, if we keep spreading the stereotype and joking about it.
    You're making a similar point to what mak2 just made, and it's a good, interesting one. As I said to him, I have to think on it more before I can say anything in any direction on it.

    I will admit, however, that I was oblivious to the stereotype I mention above until I became more attuned and connected to American culture. Perhaps, because I wasn't exposed to it until I'd basically already been formed as a person, it didn't become part of my "experience" that I would consider and fall back on.
    Yeah, I wouldn't really expect a non-American to be well versed in American stereotypes. In fact, when I heard about Sergio Garcia's comments, my first thought was "How much would a Spaniard really understand the racial implications of this comment?"

    This brings up another mistake I made in my OP (as I noted earlier, I'm in idiot mode today). I should have made it clear that this is fairly amero-centric. I would not expect people outside of the US to be familiar with our stereotypes or racial issues.
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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Very interesting question. I have to think about it a bit before I can answer it.
    'Stereotype' is a word used to make people feel badly about making a generalization. Generalizing is an adaptation of the human species for survival, which, when applied to the modern social environment, can misfire. Stereotypes exist for a reason - and that, my friend, is the gnarled, hideous truth.

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    Re: Is it a good thing to be oblivious of racial stereotypes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I also brought up that same stereotype about Mexicans in the OP. What changed for you since then that made it easier for you to see that stereotype when it is about nationality (as compared to the fried chicken stereotype about black people, which you have said you have trouble seeing due to your love of fried chicken)?
    If the stereotype has to be fully referenced, is it really a stereotype?

    Saying that one likes fried chicken is not a stereotype, but saying something like: "I'm all over fried chicken like a black person" is playing off a negative stereotype, which is inappropriate, at least. Making reference to an object or characteristic, and the group is what makes it a stereotype, so it is the context which makes it wrong.

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