I don't see color...

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by orangetea, Jun 8, 2013.

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  1. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2013

    :thumb:

    I have a bit of a rainbow in my room... I know I have a few Asian students in my classroom...I'd have to stop and think if you asked me how many...same with Indian heritage students, white kids, and other backgrounds...I have no idea about the numbers of different religions in my room, but I know it's mostly Christian denominations, Jewish, Hindu and maybe a Muslim...again I don't know for sure...so yeah, while I know there is a beautiful rainbow in my room, I pretty much see them as 'my kids'...:2cents:
     
  2. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    Were you telling your friends not to come to your area because it's a racist area--and thus should be avoided by PoC?
    If so, yes--I would be offended. You are implying that minorities should just ignore the parts of the country that discriminate against them and be ok with that.
    Either way, I have a lot to say about this discussion, but I don't want to say too much. Every time I end up discussing race with white people, I get labelled as "overly sensitive" and my concerns get ignored. It's not worth it to me anymore. I would just request that people who are worried about discussing race--educate yourselves. If you truly want to educate yourself on race and how to discuss race without being racist, read. There are plenty of resources available online--learn about white privilege, read blogs written by minorities, etc. You are looking at a situation through a lens of privilege. If you do not take the time to educate yourselves, do not complain about someone calling you racist.

    EDIT: This is a good article to read.
    http://diannaeanderson.net/blog/2013/5/everybodys-a-little-bit-racist-why-being-called-racist-is-not-the-issue
     
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think it's absurd to say white people should shut up about being called racist without basis. Absurd.
     
  4. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Holy cow... :rolleyes: it (the pretense) is getting thick in here.
     
  5. Sweet_P

    Sweet_P Rookie

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    You're clearly not getting it. That's okay though, I'm not surprised. When you get over your defensiveness hopefully you will come to a place where you're willing to learn. If/when you want to read more on this stuff than you can do the Google search I suggested in my previous post.

    No hard feelings and best of luck to you.
     
  6. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    No one was saying that they don't see their students are "their kids". I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2013

    You complain about whites being automatically dismissive of your view, all while being equally dismissive of theirs. Insisting your view is the only "right one" just exhibits your own bias, but that's alright, since we are racist to some degree, whether it be conscious or unconscious, so there is no shame in recognizing your own racism just as you expect others to recognize theirs....or does that only apply to whites admitting they are racist?

    If you really find someone claiming they are "colorblind" to be offensive, even though that isn't the way it's meant, then that's your choice. AdamnJakesMommy(?) explained the meaning behind the phrase very well. You can either accept that explanation or continue to reject it. Again, the choice is yours.

    If you expect others to understand why you feel it is offensive, you must be equally willing to understand why they feel it is not offensive. But if you just insist the other side see your POV and declare theirs is wrong, there can't be any meeting of the minds and the conversation will never truly begin.
     
  8. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Like several others, I feel I treat my students (and all others) the same, regardless of their color. I look at the quality of the person, not the color of their skin.

    According to the test, I have no measurable preference between European and African/American.

    Ironic that the test actually supports my claim, since I've been called "racist" by members here in the past.
     
  9. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I can't deal with a debate right now for medical reasons, but I'll say this: if the minority feels something is offensive, then it's offensive. The majority has NO right to "explain" why it's not offensive. How would you know? Are you the minority? Do you have those minority experiences? No, you don't, so you don't have a say.

    Again, if a minority says it's offensive, then it's offensive. End of story.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    You're being ridiculous. That's okay, though. I'm not surprised. You continue to assume I've never studied this personally or professionally, and you continue to hold the belief that I haven't the right to hold certain beliefs or opinions, that if we don't agree then I'm simply defensive, that only your point of view is valid...and so on.

    :wow:
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I have a question: how does 'white privilege' work with white immigrants, for example Europeans? Because they can 'enjoy' some of the white privilege, but at the same time mistreated as immigrants.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I understand exactly what you are saying. As a lifelong Southerner, I would assume your comment was directed at other Southerners making disparaging remarks about living up North (correct me if I'm wrong).

    I do get your point, though. There are certain hand gestures that are social courtesy in one culture, but are considered severe insults in a different culture. If someone from the first culture is visiting the second and doesn't know their usual hand gesture is insulting, are they being "racist"? No. Ignorant, perhaps (as in "lack of knowledge"), but certainly not intentionally offensive...and the term "racism" does carry the connotation of being deliberately offensive.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    In other words, "I'm right and you're wrong - period." Not much room for discussion there. :unsure:

    But I'm ok with that, as long as the same rule applies both ways; if a member of a majority says it is offensive, then it is offensive. End of story. Stop trying to explain why it isn't offensive because you haven't had the experiences that person has. :cool:
     
  14. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Being an immigrant does not negate white privilege. However,a European immigrant would just not have the privilege of being a natural born citizen. Being in an oppressed group (female, LGBTQ, etc.) does not negate white privilege. Not for one second.

    An example of white privilege is not having to worry about people of your racial group being attacked in the case of an event like the Boston Marathon bombing if the terrorist is not white. (And in the case of the Boston bombing, the terrorist was white, but South Asians and Arabs were still attacked because he was Muslim. As a white person, you do not need to consider race in events like this. The media will never paint all white people as terrorists.

    And Cerek, no. Racism is not always intentional. In fact, most of it is unintentional due to biases we hold. Have you been reading any of my posts? You have no idea what unintentional racism is because you have never done any research and racism has never affected you at a personal level. And, no, it is not just white people that need to rid themselves of biases--it's everyone. Minorities can be racist against their own racial group as well as other minorities. Just because you took an online test it does not mean that you have no racial biases.

    And Cerek: Your minority/majority truly bugs me. I am not going to say that I find it offensive, because then you will dismiss my claims. Please do not pretend that living in the majority is the same thing as living in the minority. I will just say--comments directed at majorities do not d as much harm as comments directed towards minorities.

    If someone insults me for being straight--that might annoy me, I migh feel bad, etc. Sure-it could be 'offensive to the majority.' But that does not do as much harm as someone insulting a gay person for being gay. Most definitely not.

    Similarly, someone calling a white woman ugly for being white is 'offensive to the majority.' But calling a Chinese woman ugly for being Asian does much more harm because the beauty industry is very, very white.

    In addition, if something is offensive to the majority, I doubt there will be any discussions about whether it is offensive or not--since everyone would insist that it is offensive. Imagine if all of the white people on this forum found something offensive. Then, imagine if I dismissed all of your views and told you that it is not offensive. It is my right to do so, but would anyone actually listen to me? My views would be shut down. If people will not listen to me about something that concerns me and something that I have experience with, then why would they listen to me if I talk about a group that is not my own?

    Several minorities discussed why they found the term coloOrblind offensive. Instead of checking your privilege and understanding why that may be, you continue to argue. Look up colorblind racism online. Many minorities have denounced colorblindness for various reasons. Yet, you will ignore this and continue to be 'colorblind' since you have the privilege to do so.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2013


    You clearly don't know me or the kind of teacher I am.


    I'm saying what I 'see'. How is that any less valid than what anyone else says? This is a conversation.
     
  16. Accountable

    Accountable Companion

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    Jun 11, 2013

    I see the definition of 'racism' has expanded to "anything that offends me," and that people who search out reasons to be offended are not overly sensitive, but rather just more aware of subtle racism (see updated definition) than others.
     
  17. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    this is exactly what I'm talking about. Many people are completely unwilling to accept another perspective. It makes it impossible to talk about race, privilege, or any other real or perceived benefits/prejudices.


    To elaborate on my story, the group was giving me a hard time about where I live (I am a block away from a few strip clubs... The area used to be really popular in the 70s!). My comment had zero to do with race. It was literally "if you don't like where I live, don't go there." Now, I know there are more racial sensitivities where I am, but that doesn't mean that I personally will be in tune with that stuff just because I moved here. Anyway, that happened where I work, and I am a young professional there, so after that I was told to steer clear of talking to hourly people. Instead of someone taking me aside, that blew up and effectively destroyed the working relationship. Interestingly, people were talking about religion vs science with me, and were asking everyone how God made women. Most people gave the "Adam's rib" answer, but this same guy said "by mistake." I am one of two women working back there, should that not be offensive, too? I guess is not so easy to see someone else's perspective, but not everyone has to, apparently.
     
  18. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Immigrants who have experienced, and continue to experience, prejudice against them may disagree with that assessment. But obviously you arbitrarily dismiss that because they are white, so the prejudice they experience apparently doesn't count as much as what you feel you've experienced.

    Once again, you seem to insist everyone accept your POV while arbitrarily dismissing theirs.

    You have no idea what research I have done, what life experiences I have had and what experiences and interactions I've had with minorities, yet you make a blanket statement about my experience (which you have no knowledge of) and use that statement to justify dismissing my POV.

    As expected, the online test is listed as a good example of illustrating unconscious bias....until the results don't support that. Then the results of the test are declared irrelevant.

    So it's alright to make statements that offend majority members because such statement don't do as much harm to them as they do to minorities??? :rolleyes:

    To clarify, I was not addressing (nor dismissing) the amount of "harm" done to each side by offensive statements. What I took exception too was Mike's assertion that "If a minority says something is offensive, then it is offensive. End of story." I said I'm OK with that, as long as the same rule applies to members of a majority. If we are going to say the only "test" for offensiveness is whether a person feels it is offensive or not, then that applies both ways. The fact that you react to that by claiming it isn't as offensive to call a white woman "ugly" as it is to call an Asian woman "ugly" illustrates your own bias and defensiveness - the same qualities you insist others acknowledge.

    I never claimed the hurt done to one person was more or less than that done to another.

    Yes, several people discussed why they find that term offensive. I understand their reasoning, even though I don't agree with it.

    But several others have discussed why they feel the term is not offensive. Instead of extending the same courtesy of understanding that perspective that you insist others make of yours, you dismiss their comments as "arguing". So, apparently, "discussion" seems to mean "we agree you're right and we're wrong". Sorry, but when either side continues to arbitrarily dismiss the views of the other side, that is not a true discussion.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2013

    So it would seem.
     
  20. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2013

    .
     
  21. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This has been an extremely enlightening "discussion". I don't think there has ever been one here at A to Z in which it was made so perfectly clear by a few that, despite not knowing posters, others are 100% in the wrong. Based soley on the color of their skin. Interesting. Despite not knowing me at all, I am: wrong, someone who has never studied this topic, defensive, incapable of determining if something happened to substantiate a racist claim, forbidden from classiyfing something has horribly racist, and naturally racist (using a definition I'm not entitled to discuss). Because I was born white, I'm guilty. Period. Again, interesting.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    And for someone to say as though it's fact (because they said so, darn it) that a white person has never experienced racism? Really?
     
  24. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 11, 2013

  25. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    Yes, I do believe that a white person has never experienced racism. Reverse racism does not exist. If someone is bullied for being white, that is discrimination, not racism. The definition of racism is not just discrimination based upon one's skin color, it is power plus privilege. People of color do not have the power to oppress white people. I do not wish to further discuss why racism against white people does not exist, but there are plenty of explanations online if you just google "reverse racism" or "why racism against white people does not exist."
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, an interesting read.

    I am certainly not claiming that I don't benefit from white privilege. Someting that always bothers me that was mentioned in the article is thag it's usually missing (PRETTY) white girls getting news coverage. I do get this. What I am disagreeing with--well, one of a few things--is the attitude that I should essentially repent for being born white.
     
  27. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    No, you should not repent for being born white. We ALL have different types of privilege. I should, thus, repent for being born straight, cisgender, into a financially stable family with supportive parents, etc. I do believe that I was born privileged even though I am not white.

    We should recognize aspects of our life that we are privileged. We do not need to repent for them, but we do need to educate ourselves. Often times, we do not have the experience that an oppressed group has when dealing with issues because we are looking through a lens of privilege. I do not repent for my privilege--but I recognize that if someone was talking about their difficulties paying for college, for example, (which is something I have never had to struggle with)--I do not have much to say. It is not in my place to say "Oh, just take out a loan, no big deal" or "Just go to a state school." I do not have the life experience to tell this person what to do or how to feel. If a poor person talks to me about the struggles of being poor, I do not believe that my point of view has much value in comparison to his/hers. I need to understand the limits of my point of view. I am privileged.

    We should notice aspects of our life where this privilege makes a difference and listen to members of the oppressed group as we continue to educate ourselves.
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    That makes sense...but that is NOT the attitude that I'm sensing in this discussion at all.
     
  29. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Orangetea, I wanted to reply with quoting you, but I couldn't include your comments, since you put them in another quote.

    Anyways, I agree with you about white immigrants still having privilege. I haven't thought about it like that before. I can only base my thoughts on my experiences, and on one of my friends. Being white, I do feel that I'm being treated better. This is apparent in the fact that I don't get pulled over just for little stuff, how people in general treat me, etc. When people treat me differently, that is discrimination, not racism, for example my accent, or even being blonde + accent.
    And you're right, white people never ave to worry about being targeted, because a mass murderer is white.

    One thing I found interesting: I think when people say 'white', they usually mean 'White American'. I don't think white Europeans are included. And Arabs, at least certain ethnicities like Chaldeans are white, but I really don't think people would categorize them that way.
    I've noticed that my students were always confused and didn't know whether to categorize me as white or not. /these students were Latino, Black or White, it didn't matter, that's when I realized that at least for them, white must mean White American, someone privileged. Maybe to them I wasn't privileged, or not 'as much' since they knew I wasn't into 'all this' (this is their perspective)
     
  30. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    When I was growing up, my family used "I'm sorry" to mean both "I am at fault" and "I feel for you". One of my closest friends in grad school found that indigestible: when I said "I'm sorry", she heard "I am at fault", and it upset her. When she finally told me what the issue was, I was surprised but relieved. It would have been possible to insist on my right to speak as I always had, I suppose - but that would have meant that I was arrogating to myself the right to determine whose sensibilities mattered most, and in my own favor; since she was a peer and a competent and careful user of English, that would have been rude. After some discussion (and Kleenex, and a bottle or two of Port) we agreed that when I meant 'I feel for you', I'd say it in German. (The choice of German, among the languages that we both knew, was fairly deliberate: the phrase Es tut mir Leid translates word for word as 'It does me sorrow', which conveys the sense I intended without sounding contrived in her ears. It has just occurred to me that she may have been all too familiar with a third "I'm sorry": the one with the lengthened, stressed first vowel that means 'I'm not actually sorry for what I did and I don't mean to change anything, but I expect you to believe that I am and I did'. Ouch.)

    I have been astonished, over the years, to discover that a number of other people feel the same way.

    Human beings are quite reliably and quite properly born as "me-ists": we begin by assuming that words and symbols and experiences mean exactly the same to us, both denotatively and connotatively, as they do to anyone else. They don't and can't, in fact, but there IS a good deal of overlap, and it is the overlap plus the assumption that makes communication possible.

    The conclusion to which this leads me is that, if I mean to use a term after being advised that it gives offense, it is incumbent on me to have a reason that is more compelling than that I happen not to find it offensive.
     
  31. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    No problem. :)

    And I do want to clarify that I do not think only white people can be racist. I think minorities can also be racist towards other minorities and towards their own racial or ethnic group.
     
  32. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    I'm a white immigrant and my boyfriend is a non-white immigrant. Who do you think gets stopped at customs and has to show proof upon proof of who he is and where he is coming from and where he is going?

    Both of us have two passports (one foreign, one US) and no one cares which I show. The assumption is that I am probably a citizen and not dangerous. He has to show his US passport to "prove" he is a citizen and has to answer questions to prove his isn't a terrorist.
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Some people will always find reasons, no matter how ridiculous, to hate.
     
  34. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    My esposo is not a US citizen but last time we came into the USA he got grilled super hard. We got taken into a secondary questioning room and everything.
     
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