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Author Topic: Can African-Americans actually be racist?  (Read 1519 times)

Paper Chaser

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Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« on: September 04, 2006, 08:36:58 PM »
I was under the impression that a person can be biased, but not a racist unless they can actually discriminate agaisnt you or withhold something from you due to your race. For instance, a black person in a lower income area can say that he hates whites all day. However he has no way to affect their income, lifestyle, or community at large. However, at least in Charlotte, NC, we routinely see whites gentrify our neighborhoods, allocate the best resources to whatever schools they attend, and so on. I guess I am wondering whether the word racist can actually define those who for the most part have no power to enforce a particular influence on the discriminated person's life?

I have one more thing I am wondering about, and that is, why has african-american music and culture(more popularly hip-hop) become so prevalent in commericial mainstream (white) society, but still we cannot get any respect on a widespread level?

These are thoughts of an independent thinker. Feel free to criticize. 

RockyMarciano

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2006, 08:48:28 PM »
Anyone can be racist. My girlfriend is African-American and didn't want to present me as her boyfriend to her friends because I was Mexican-American. I called her a racist and she couldn't grasp what she told me. I said that she was no different from any other racist because she made that comment based on my culture, skin color, or etc. She finally understood the harm her comment made. In other words, you don't have to use economics to be racist toward a group.

As for music, I think it is a shame that 50 Cent and other rappers talking about shooting up clubs and fighting get more air time than Common or other singers that talk about social issues.   
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J D

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2006, 09:03:31 PM »
I always was under the impression that a person can be biased, but not a racist unless they can actually discriminate agaisnt you or withhold something from you due to your race. For instance, a black person in a lower income area can say that he hates whites all day. However he has no way to affect their income, lifestyle, or community at large. However, at least in Charlotte, NC, we routinely see whites gentrify our neighborhoods, allocate the best resources to whatever schools they attend, and so on. I guess I am wondering whether the word racist can actually define those who for the most part have no power to enforce a particular influence on the discriminated person's life?

I have one more thing I am wondering about, and that is, why has african-american music and culture(more popularly hip-hop) become so prevalent in commericial mainstream (white) society, but still we cannot get any respect on a widespread level?

These are thoughts of an independent thinker. Feel free to criticize. 

It might help to first agree on a definition of what "racist" and "racism" are.  The overall import of your post (I may be misinterpreting you, and if so, I apologize) seems to suggest that you consider "racism" to consist of certain actions taken, rather than or in addition to certain beliefs that one holds.  I'm not sure I agree with this definition, and I think others may find it controversial as well: for me and for them, racism is primarily a set of beliefs about one's race and other races, rather than something one does with respect to other races.  I'm not saying your definition is necessarily wrong, but it's probably more than a little controversial. 

I think one can be racist without taking any adverse actions against members of another race; they can even be racist and still act polite towards members of other races of which they disapprove (they may despise the people they're acting nice to, and the niceness may be completely fake, but they will still be acting nice, by any objective measure, even if no one knows what they're really thinking).  So, to give the floor to you, or anyone else: do you think one can still be racist and yet take no adverse actions (political, economic, social, etc.) against members of other races (or conversely, without showing preference to members of their own race while excluding others from preference)?  Is racism mainly a set of certain actions, a set of certain beliefs, or some combination of the two?

This looks like it has potential to be an interesting discussion; I just hope the flames lie low for the time being.  :)
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Statistic

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2006, 09:17:09 PM »
yah, we can. it doesn't really mean anything though. it's not going to affect anyone's life really; we don't own *&^%. you'll just have to find somewhere else to get your chicken and waffles. you'd survive.
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Paper Chaser

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 09:21:23 PM »
  Is racism mainly a set of certain actions, a set of certain beliefs, or some combination of the two?

I believe that racism is a set of beliefs that are acted upon. I dont think racism can actually take place without some act whether it be a conscious decision or unconscious one. How could it exist if people did not set a product of their beliefs before the feet of others through actions?

Once again...feel free to criticize away.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2006, 11:31:15 PM »
Do people really need chicken and waffles to live a normal, happy lifestyle? No. Do you need more education, more money, etc... Yes. I guess I feel that something or someone can only be racist when it affects your survival, and riding the back of what Opoto said blacks can't affect a white person's survival in America, so how can we be racist?

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 08:17:22 AM »
YES, anyone can be racist.  Racism is a mindset, a set of beliefs.  You can go your whole life smiling at white people while calling them crackers at home.  You are just as racist as the white man who acts pc at work but calls his minority coworkers niggers and spics at home.  There's a thin line between ignorant and racist and it doesn't require actions to cross it.  You may be racist and nobody else knows it, because your actions don't show it but you believe that white people are superior. 

Racism plus power creates institutionalised racism, which is almost impossible for whites to experience, other than certain ethnicities/cultures such as Jewish and Italian people (at certain points in history).  White women also experience institutionalised discrimination, to a certain extent.  In conclusion, racism is a mindset, not an action.  Racist actions are the product of a racist mind.

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Paper Chaser

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 09:25:45 AM »
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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2006, 09:37:59 AM »
We actually talked about this in UG.  racism v. prejudice.  I forgot which but one of them has an element of "power", like someone mentioned on this thread earlier. Since black people do not have the power in this country, the negative feelings about another race that a black person may have is different than lets say a white person's. {Don't get me wrong- I'm not condoning either}. So I think black people could be one or the other but not both (sorry i forgot which one).     

These may shed some light  :) :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism   
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

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Re: Can African-Americans actually be racist?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2006, 10:06:01 AM »
We actually talked about this in UG.  racism v. prejudice.  I forgot which but one of them has an element of "power", like someone mentioned on this thread earlier. Since black people do not have the power in this country, the negative feelings about another race that a black person may have is different than lets say a white person's. {Don't get me wrong- I'm not condoning either}. So I think black people could be one or the other but not both (sorry i forgot which one).     

These may shed some light  :) :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism   


That's pretty much correct.  The idea is that to be racist requires a position of power in society.  To be racist, you need to be able to disenfranchise an entire group on an institutional level.  To be prejudiced, all that is required is that you judge someone based on a preconceived notion that you have about their race, color, sex, gender, etc.  So, based on this definition, you can be prejudiced but not racist.

That's all based on definitions put out there by multicultural movements.  Keep in mind, though, that these definitions are socially constructed, as are ideas of race and gender.  So, they are by no means the infallible truth of race relations.