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All races can be racist

(68 Posts)
babybarrister Colombia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:07:10

Ok thread about a thread in the light of suggestions that only white people can be racist - I am not quite sure who is 'white' anyway - Irish Catholics, Jews, Greeks ?!

I would have thought that it should be uncontentious that anyone is capable of being racist - I know various pejorative terms in other languages to describe 'outsiders'. Isn't it more the case that the effect of the raise can depend on whether a particular group has the 'upper hand' and carries more power within a particular society?

Bunraku Mon 22-Jul-13 18:10:43

Anyone can be racist IMO. However I feel that claims

Bunraku Mon 22-Jul-13 18:11:28

Pressed enter too soon.

I feel that claims of racism are taken with differing seriousness depending on who is reporting it.

Yes.

Yes, everyone can be racist though people from minorities have less effect as they have less power.

In the same way women can be sexist against men individually but they have limited power and less effect in a patriarchal society.

It's all about the effect you can have. And the power you carry.

I don't think 'power' or standing comes into it - I just think that it just gives more leverage to the label 'racist '

Anyone can be racist or hold racist attitudes ...

Reiltin Mon 22-Jul-13 18:14:25

sings everyone's a little bit racist . . . Sometiiiiiiiimmmmeeeessss ;-)

WineNot Mon 22-Jul-13 18:15:27

Yes, everyone can be racist though people from minorities have less effect as they have less power.

Eh?

babybarrister Colombia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:16:45

Should say the effect of the racism ....

Who's more racist- my (minority indigenous) SIL who tells me in jest I'm "such a honky", or my late (white) grandmother, who used to knit the sweetest little toys she called "golliwogs"? Who's the more powerful?

I find this subject tedious.

In my country, expressing a distaste for tattoos is now considered evidence of racism.

lottieandmia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:20:01

Which thread is this about please?

WineNot Mon 22-Jul-13 18:20:05

I don't think any victim of racism measures the 'intensity' by how much power the racist has, do they?

Genuine question as I'm fortunate enough to never have experienced racism, but I can't imagine the upset is any less at the time?

Or have I missed the point you're trying to make?

What didn't you get Wine?

In the uk if you've a name from a different culture/race and you go for a job you're less likely to get it than if your name is Geoff Smith.

So a guy called Abdul can walk down the street and think Geoffs a white twat but he has less power, less jobs and less money.

So less effect.

quesadilla Mon 22-Jul-13 18:22:28

What Laurie said: yes all races are capable of being racist (and some of the black or Asian on white or vlabk on Asian/vice versa racism that goes on can be as prejudiced and poisonous as white on non-white.

But in a white majority society where whites control most of the power structures white on non white racism has the potential to disempower and disadvantage people in a much more significant way.

To be honest though race isn't the only factor which shuts people out of the British establishment. Gender/education/class/cultural norms are just as potent. More so in certain cases.

But it isn't about degrees of racism. The examples given are still racist - said in jest or in ignorance .... The point is that racism is easier to prove (if needed) if the more powerful party use it to better themselves at the cost of those discriminated against ...

Golliwogs are a really touchstone on this site .... They ARE racist even when knitted by friendly grannies

lottieandmia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:27:12

The Stephen Lawrence case shows very clearly that even the law is against you when you are from a relative minority group because even the police are racist. And this came to light only very recently. It's disgusting.

My daughter has an (inherited) golly. She is white. Is she a racist? She is three. I doubt she is going to grow up to be a slave-owner because her favourite doll is black.

I'm being argumentative, though- I don't really disagree about golliwogs (nasty term).

But I think the OP's apparent premise that someone "powerful" ie. white is more harmful if they are racist a bit simplistic. So, if I call my Emirati friend "an Arab cunt" it's less bad than if he called me "a white bitch," just because my (fictitious) Emirati friend had more power, money and influence than me... or not? If he is brown and I am white, am I still more powerful intrinsically and therefore a mightier great racist? I don't think the argument makes much sense.

Seeing things in a simplistic "white = privileged" manner smacks of a rubbish Western liberal arts education to me. The world really doesn't work quite as simply as all that.

Solari Mon 22-Jul-13 18:33:46

Racism can happen both ways, but it does not carry equal power both ways, because we live in the context of a society that is already unequally set up.

zoraqueenofzeep Mon 22-Jul-13 18:34:34

I think people are too quick to call everything racist. People are naturally more sympathetic to those they identify with, that could be a religious group, ethnic, racial, local, political, social, class or a combination of any of those. We all do it whether we realise it or not. There is a huge difference between subconscious identification with another because of perceived connection and hating someone because they are different which is what racism is.

All races have people who hate others and are capable of any prejudice that humans have but most people aren't hateful.

Britain does work like that. It is that simple.

The study I'm talking about is recent - cv's sent with the same qualifications but with different names. All the traditional British Caucasian names get interviewed more.

zoraqueenofzeep I think that's probably true.

lottieandmia Mon 22-Jul-13 18:36:05

It's not Western liberal rubbish - there is a prevailing, poisonous view that goes way way back that white people are superior to anyone else who isn't white!

Personally I wouldn't allow my children to play with a Golliwog or anything else like it. It's the parent's responsibility to ensure their children are not exposed to stuff like that.

DoItTooJulia England Mon 22-Jul-13 18:38:18

This notion of power and prejudice = racism is an old one. When I was at University (degree in a subject that this was very relevant to) we often had the debate about this. Racism was considered a white only issue, based in a Eurocentric view of the world. Black people couldn't be racist because they had been subjugated by an Imperial system that ensured that they were rendered powerless. Therefore black on white racism was simply hatred.

I never bought it, but the argument still goes on.

Being pedantic - the law isn't racist, just those appointed to administer the law and how the job is performed.

Laurie that's interesting. I wonder how my French surname (Norman invader-tastic) would fare? Or my daughter's Slavic Christian name?

I suspect you don't really mean Caucasian, unless the surnames are Ananidze or Krikorian. smile

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