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

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

    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.
    Last edited by Smeagol; 10-22-13 at 11:09 AM.
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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 American 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?
    Great post.

    I think it's important that all of us learn "the difference." Over and over again on this board I've seen racism allegations bandied about with casual abandon. I've come to understand a few things:

    • When you can't discredit the message, some people discredit the messenger.
    • Some people revel in Gotcha Games and look in woodpiles for the opportunity to play them.

    When we 'play the race card' unnecessarily, we diminish the real thing. Like the boy who cried wolf. And those who play it consistently are eventually marginalized by a society as they come to understand their end game.

    To specifically answer your question:

    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?
    Your second option is definitely more damaging.
    Last edited by MaggieD; 10-22-13 at 11:26 AM.

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

    Why is it either-or?
    Shouldn't we both reject cynical "race card" manipulations and resist racism whenever it rears its ugly head?

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

    While there are times where people definitely play "the race card"....I agree with you that more of than not....those crying "race card" are almost always doing it to cover up legitimate examples of racism. The term "race card" is simply one in the deck of the extreme right-wing who have decided that they should take an "aggressive approach" and cry "racist" to cover up their own racist positions (In the same way they call "intolerant" when people expose their intolerance - i.e., "Tolerance doesn't require one to be tolerant of the intolerant").
    <font size=5><b>Its been several weeks since the Vegas shooting.  Its it still "Too Early" or can we start having the conversation about finally doing something about these mass shootings???​</b></font>

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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.
    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".

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Great post.

    I think it's important that all of us learn "the difference." Over and over again on this board I've seen racism allegations bandied about with casual abandon. I've come to understand a few things:

    • When you can't discredit the message, some people discredit the messenger.
    • Some people revel in Gotcha Games and look in woodpiles for the opportunity to play them.

    When we 'play the race card' unnecessarily, we diminish the real thing. Like the boy who cried wolf. And those who play it consistently are eventually marginalized by a society as they come to understand their end game.

    To specifically answer your question:



    Your second option is definitely more damaging.
    Well put.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    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?
    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.

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

    Racism, and the other six great sins , does not just go away.
    Its most persuasive, its omnipresent...give it another 1000 years and it may.....evoparate.
    Then why to people deny racism ?
    Human nature ?

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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.
    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****!
    "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)
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    Re: What's worse: using the race card or dismissing legitimate racism?

    I want to pick choice 2, because if real racism exists, it should always be addressed.
    No one can effect who their parents are, or what throw they received from the genetic dice.
    To judge someone based on factors they have no control over, is wrong on so many levels,
    it would take a philosophy major to find them all.
    That said, the racism observed in my youth (early 60's south) has all but disappeared.
    The long shadows cast by past racism, are still visible, but are thinning fast.

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