View Poll Results: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

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26. You may not vote on this poll
  • Society should mention race other than the human race because its proably a use of the race card.

    2 7.69%
  • If racism exists in 2013, expose it in order to correct it seeking to make society better.

    19 73.08%
  • Sorry, I don't have a dog in that fight. No position either way.

    5 19.23%
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Thread: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

  1. #11
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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    First, let me say this is a wonderful post. Thanks for a level headed and well reasoned opening statement.

    I think this is a difficult issue, in part because I think BOTH things have legitimate potential to damage race relations, ferment racial divides, and protect racism.

    When it comes to the accusation of people "Playing the race card" there are definite issues that can occur from that. It creates a defacto defensive stance whenever anything relating to a charge of racism occurs; moving the individual away from objectively viewing the incident and instead placing them at a vantage point seeking to find a way to excuse it. It also creates a clear dissentive for people to call out or admonish racist behavior for fear of being declared a "race baiter" or of playing a "race card". It is often used so wantonly, and so quickly, that its application becomes broad which both diminishes it's intended message AND at times protects overt racist actions. This actually becomes a defense mechnism to ALLOW for racism to occur when it's used as a knee jerk and routine reaction.

    On the flip side...

    The notion of "expose racism wherever it is" can also lead to a number of problems. This mindset too leads many to function from a defensive state; parsing every action and statement for potential racial connotations and assuming them to be legitimate fact based on a mere possability. It creates an environment where racism is seen in every corner, and attributed to almost any action that one side may deem unacceptable. This creates a draining effect on the every day individual where they become numb to the notion. When minor instances that are typically highly speculative in nature occur and cause a major reaction, then it weakens the likely outrage that will occur or the reaction to that outrage when/if a major and/or blatant incident does happen. Essentially the "boy who cried wolf" phenominon.

    Where the "Race Card" folks take any possible explanation that leads to "not racist" as evidence that an action was factually "not racist", the "expose racism at all times" folks will take any possible explanation that leads to "racist" as evidence that an action was fuctually "racist".

    What is MORE damaging? I honestly don't know. I think both are severely damaging when done to an irresponsable degree. Those who say "RACE CARD" immedietely, with no seeming deeper analysis of the situation or what's being said what so ever, regardless of the situation are definitely damaging. Those who cry "RACISTS" immedietely, with no seeming deeper analysis outside of their own bigoted assumptions and stereotypes what so ever, to every situation are ALSO damaging.

    In theory, the situation that would be most beneficial would be to reliably point out, admonish, and combat legitimate or blatant instances of racism and to deride and dismiss attempts to speciously apply the term to question situations based on stereotyping, bigoted assumptions, and mind reading. For those instances in the middle, the possability is reasonable to be acknowledged but not placed forward as a singular reasoning, fact, or focus.

    The problem is, that's unlikely to ever happen. The reality is that there's a myriad of factors playing into the issue of racial relations, such to the point that there's a reason that "racial politics" is even a relatively common term. Both sides of this equation ROUTINELY over use their general argument and belief, which does nothing but enflame the other side and embolden them to continue to act in a more illogical and extreme fashion regarding their arguments.

    So to answer your question, I think flat out dismissing legitimate racism is "worse" than the act of "using the race card". But when it comes to which is worse between "using the race card" and "accusing people of using the race card", I don't think one is necessarily "worse" than the other. Both, when done to ridiculous and illogical extremes, create situations where legitimate racism is more likely to be dismissed and where more questionable forms of racism are more likely to be fomented.
    This is so similar to my own thoughts and so well stated that I can think of no additionally worthwhile statement.

    Well done Zyphlin.

    Thom Paine

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    I don't think one excuses the other. In other words, the dismissal of legitimate racism doesn't excuse playing the race card, nor does playing the race card excuse the dismissal of legitimate racism.

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Nice try at bait and switch. What you've done here is create a false and unreasonable choice (See your title) in order to force people to vote against overuse of the race card. Well I'm calling BULL****!
    Get out of the woodpile.

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    I've been black my whole life. For almost my entire adult life I'm been a registered republican, drawn to the GOP because of a perception I had of the Republicans being the party that stood for doing the right things; God, family and country. I have almost always voted Republican in every election with a handful of exceptions prior to 2012 where I saw my role as making a statement of protest over things like holding the President to ridiculous double standards, voter suppression and other troubling problems I see with the current GOP culture. Up until recently I've thought of myself as a conservative in good standing. I say all that to lay a foundation on who I am and where I stand.

    One thing that's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me is when I hear people, almost always conservative in my experience, complain that someone is "using the race car." I happen to believe America does have a racist history and holdovers from that unfortunate aspect of history still occasionally can be seen today. But I think I'm fair about it. I defended and supported President Bush when he was accused of having less concern for Katrina victims because of race, which was a complete untruth. I stood up for Don Imus, realizing all he did was tell a joke that hurt no one but himself. I stood up for Paula Deen reasoning she has quite an imagination, wanted to create an early south ambiance at an event then apologized once she realized she'd offended people she loves.

    That all said I do think racism exists today and think it needs to be called out as such, especially what I call institutional racism so that it can be discussed and hopefully corrected. Institutional racism isn't some guy making a joke somebody got offended by or a 5 second sound bite from a speech that's magnified to try to define a person's entire life or the characters of his friends. Institutional racism is an assumption that any black person who achieves something in life probably got it through racial preferences unless unlike his white counterparts has figured out how to do his job 1000 times better than anybody else leaving no question in anybody's mind he's not just good, he's the best ever. Institutional racism is assuming anybody who looks Hispanic should be suspected of illegal immigration and unlike other Americans should give himself an extra 30 minutes travel time in case he's spotted and interrogated to make sure he's legit and maybe carry his birth certificate and a utility bill along with his driver's license at all times.

    I take exception to the politically correct culture that some seek to create by immediately demonizing any complaint of possible racism often even before investigating the facts. It seems they'll acknowledge racism if its blatantly obvious...sometimes... but then probably define it as an isolated case. However, less severe cases of racism should never be spoken of or the speaker will be vilified as "using the race card." The net result is since only major cases of racism end up being addressed while less serious cases are overlooked under political correctness pressures, then society is perpetually slightly racist because is non-PC to talk about the "slightly racist" stuff.

    My question is what's worse: running the risk of someone using the race card where in essence false assertions of racism are made or creating a culture where all assertions of racism are dismissed including legitimate racism?

    .
    An impressively considered posting, sir. see my response to Zyphlin

    Have a terrific day

    Thom Paine

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    That is an interesting comment on society.

    As most "-isms" are, racism tends to be rather destructive. This is true, where it applies to color but equally when it is focused on religion or some other attribute like nationality. That such generalizations and prejudices are also usually stupid is as true as their being very human. They are also insulting and can hurt people emotionally or by effectively excluding them from society and development.

    Having said that, it seems rather silly to call a spade "a usually metal tool with which humans can excavate dirt more easily than with their hands".
    Probably the biggest lesson I've learned from the election of Barack Obama to the White House is people have an innate tendency toward tribalism. People can claim the issues are the issues all they want but I cannot see it when factoring the level of passion and emotion coupled with all the double standards. IMHO he's disliked more than any other reason because "he's not one of us," however that's defined; politically, possibly Kenyan despite being the grandson of a WWII US Army Vet on his mother's side, possibly a closet Muslim and yes race could be a tribal determinant to some. I use to think America was unique in the world due to so much that we've overcome but an innate trait is something that is built into people as the trait that tells geese to fly south for the winter.

    America is not alone in the world with respect to the innate tendency toward tribalism, just look around the world and look at history. People gravitate toward groups. They then subconsciously define their group as the good guys, the superior guys or the entitled guys. The potentially dangerous part is then assigning others whom they see as outsiders to opposing groups that can then lead to various degrees of conflict. It doesn't have to be race-based tribalism, it can be anything. With Obama's opposition I think there are those who honestly have policy differences but in my opinion the most vocal and emotional are opposed to him based on a range of factors that possibly includes but is not limited to just race. For them its not his policies, its him.

    At the same time, he got elected because the majority don't see him as different. They went to school and sat in class next to people like him. They work with people like him. Their TV news reporters are people like him. Their college sweethearts were people like him. Their neighbors are people like him. Their favorite celebrities are people like him. Their fellow military servicemen including commanders are people like him. I've also noticed, the younger a person is, the less tribal divisions they grew up with and that tends to help seeing all Americans as part of the same tribe.
    Last edited by Smeagol; 10-22-13 at 01:32 PM.
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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Get out of the woodpile.
    Sure, words mean things, and how things are said are important. The real answer is that neither is good the way he puts it, but he wants a choice to be made. Watch the poll.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    True racism is more like the wolf actually showing up. It gets dismissed because most claims are fraudulent.

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Some people seem to think you have to literally say out loud "(race) people are inferior to (other race) people." to be a racist.

    A favorite quote of mine (from Freep), "Call me a racist, but every time I see a black person in a high-power position (doctor, lawyer, etc) I immediately think they got there because of affirmative action."

    Yes, ****bird, that does make you a racist!

    Funny part is, some of the righties here will rant and rave about being called racist "for criticizing Obama" and then immediately turn around and call someone sexist for criticizing Palin. Now whose being PC?
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    I've been black my whole life. For almost my entire adult life I'm been a registered republican, drawn to the GOP because of a perception I had of the Republicans being the party that stood for doing the right things; God, family and country. I have almost always voted Republican in every election with a handful of exceptions prior to 2012 where I saw my role as making a statement of protest over things like holding the President to ridiculous double standards, voter suppression and other troubling problems I see with the current GOP culture. Up until recently I've thought of myself as a conservative in good standing. I say all that to lay a foundation on who I am and where I stand.

    One thing that's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me is when I hear people, almost always conservative in my experience, complain that someone is "using the race car." I happen to believe America does have a racist history and holdovers from that unfortunate aspect of history still occasionally can be seen today. But I think I'm fair about it. I defended and supported President Bush when he was accused of having less concern for Katrina victims because of race, which was a complete untruth. I stood up for Don Imus, realizing all he did was tell a joke that hurt no one but himself. I stood up for Paula Deen reasoning she has quite an imagination, wanted to create an early south ambiance at an event then apologized once she realized she'd offended people she loves.

    That all said I do think racism exists today and think it needs to be called out as such, especially what I call institutional racism so that it can be discussed and hopefully corrected. Institutional racism isn't some guy making a joke somebody got offended by or a 5 second sound bite from a speech that's magnified to try to define a person's entire life or the characters of his friends. Institutional racism is an assumption that any black person who achieves something in life probably got it through racial preferences unless unlike his white counterparts has figured out how to do his job 1000 times better than anybody else leaving no question in anybody's mind he's not just good, he's the best ever. Institutional racism is assuming anybody who looks Hispanic should be suspected of illegal immigration and unlike other Americans should give himself an extra 30 minutes travel time in case he's spotted and interrogated to make sure he's legit and maybe carry his birth certificate and a utility bill along with his driver's license at all times.

    I take exception to the politically correct culture that some seek to create by immediately demonizing any complaint of possible racism often even before investigating the facts. It seems they'll acknowledge racism if its blatantly obvious...sometimes... but then probably define it as an isolated case. However, less severe cases of racism should never be spoken of or the speaker will be vilified as "using the race card." The net result is since only major cases of racism end up being addressed while less serious cases are overlooked under political correctness pressures, then society is perpetually slightly racist because is non-PC to talk about the "slightly racist" stuff.

    My question is what's worse: running the risk of someone using the race card where in essence false assertions of racism are made or creating a culture where all assertions of racism are dismissed including legitimate racism?

    The first poll option should be "Society should NOT mention race..." Sorry.
    Excellent post. I am not a black women and can't pretend to understand, in any real way, what that experience is like. I have experienced prejudice and magnified that in order to empathize but must admit it is something I can not know. I can however know that it is wrong whether it be subtle or overt. I am consistently passionate about behaviors that impose value judgments on others (whether it be women, children, poor etc) , especially when those judgments benefit the ones who refuse to let them go and they do not realize that they are placing preservation of their position or authority over others for no real reason other then they want to hold onto their position.

    On this issue I suppose, like any other social evolution, some have to make noise about it's presence even in the most subtle of cases or we will not continue to evolve. I happen to be a noise maker because the injustice of such attitudes pushes my buttons.

    The interesting thing that I have experienced on this site is that I get the impression, from responses to my posts, the racism has to be overt ( I'm talking burning crosses and white hoodies) or it is vehemently denied and your are shat upon for suggesting it may be present. That is a red flag in my opinion. Why would someone not take a moment and apply a little self reflection about whether or not, in a country with our history especially, it may in fact be present. Until that changes, I think those who recognize it have an obligation to point it out.

    One last point, I don't think that someone who has racist undertones in their thinking is immediately an ass. I think if you are open and own it proudly then, yes you are an ignorant ass. But for many I sincerely believe it is present but is so deeply embedded, generationally, in their thinking that they don't recognize it anymore not even in themselves. I also believe that if most people could let their guard down for a minute and look honestly at their attitudes and see them for what they are, they would make an effort to abandon them. But let's face it, if we stop saying "look at this, consider this" we stay stuck.
    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers" - Voltaire
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self" -Hemingway

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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    ....

    ..... With Obama's opposition I think there are those who honestly have policy differences but in my opinion the most vocal and emotional are opposed to him based on a range of factors that possibly includes but is not limited to just race. For them its not his policies, its him.
    ....
    I can only speak for myself and hope I belong to belong to the first category of critics.

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