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People of colour/minorities cannot be racist?

172 replies

sundayrose10 · 11/05/2011 10:44

Do you agree with this statement? I was on a different forum where they discussed black people cannot be racist. Many said blacks/minorities could NOT be racist but there were an equal number also arguing that it was impossible. The reason they gave for the impossibility was that whites have the political and economic power to supress minorities.

Do you agree with that statement or disagree?

I know some people have a problem with the term 'people of colour' but I use it to include anyone who is not white. If it is relevant, I am black myself.

OP posts:
Gooseberrybushes · 12/05/2011 09:24

I thought "coloured" was offensive because of its historical use, based in racism. I can understand that. It was used as a racist grouping, stereotype, I mean in South Africa it was used as a grouping that was part and parcel of oppression. I don't think it's particularly sensitive to dislike "coloured". I think this is where "straight" talk falls down. You might not mean anything by it but you ought to be aware it carries a world of inference that is extremely unpleasant.

xstitch · 12/05/2011 11:18

To say that white people having been guilty of racism makes all white people racist in itself racist imo.

Also imo anyone can be racist. Racism is prejudice based on someone's race.

archieleach · 12/05/2011 13:37

What I think is just as pernicious as treating people differently based on their colour/race, is the oppressive fascism of liberals who say that any comment is racist if it simply mentions another race/nationality/group etc - whether it is positive or negative. Eg "Thais are difficult to work with. I don't understand a lot of what they say because they drop the consonants at the ends of their words" "I like Greeks as they are emotionally honest"
Duh, as human beings we create stereotypes all the time to survive and navigate through life eg "driving fast is dangerous" "don't jump off high walls"
"don't go to Soweto at night"

xstitch · 12/05/2011 14:19

Some people's experience of racism is being spat at in the street, having food chucked over you and having 6 youths follow you shouting swearing and threatening to teach you a lesson for being the 'wrong' race. It is certainly mine

confuddledDOTcom · 12/05/2011 14:44

At secondary school I used to be friends with a group of Indian girls who were the most racist people and proud of it I've met! They didn't like Pakistanis, blacks or whites. I was the only white person they were friends with because they said I wasn't like other white people. They were lovely girls and I didn't realise until I was friends with them what they were like to others. I remember one of them said something to a Pakistani girl one day and I looked at her and said "If I said that I'd be in trouble for racism" she very dryly said "What are you talking about? That was racism." I was always careful not to join in with them or show approval (which I totally didn't approve of).

The school was mostly Asian and black pupils and I've seen racism from all angles there.

LuckyWeKeptTheCot · 12/05/2011 16:31

In the end, aren't we all 'coloured' or 'people of colour' anyway? Unless there are any transparent races.

MrSpoc · 12/05/2011 16:37

but then the transparent race will also be coloured - god i hate them transparent race people. alaways walking around like they are better than everyone else.

LuckyWeKeptTheCot · 12/05/2011 16:55

That's true but they could have fun standing in front of different backgrounds to match their outfits.

MrSpoc · 12/05/2011 16:59

see thats why i hate them. Always camoflaged tov thier surroundings. you never know when they are about listening.

archieleach · 12/05/2011 20:06

And transparencies creep up behind liberals and lefties and whisper in their ears, "go on tell that person they are racist" and the liberal does say this thing and other such things such as "go forth and multiply you fascist" without knowing howsoever such a thing has happened. And Lo these hearing of voices sendeth said liberals and lefties into the bedlam from whence they had sprung. As had their fathers, and their fathers fathers and...

SpeedyGonzalez · 12/05/2011 20:27

Bluepaws: don't call black and Asian people "coloured". Just don't.

Birdsgottafly · 13/05/2011 11:35

bluepaws-its not about being PC its just plain basic respect to not use certain terminology. Its lucky that we have PC in the workplace so no-one has to suffer because someone wants to use a expression that there is just no need for.

babybarrister · 13/05/2011 12:51

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shirl2010 · 13/05/2011 13:56

this statement presumes

  1. non coloured ie. white people have the most power

2. only those with power can subject others to racism
3. people who are not white cannot subject each other to racist behaviours

of course racism occurs across all spectrums. the difficulty these days is identifying it because it is very submiliminal. however it definately exists.

i think the best thing to do when thinking/ dealing with racism is base your thoughts on your own personal experience. not hearsay. not what you have seen on TV.

it is 2011 afterall, not 1911
veronicadoll · 13/05/2011 14:16

Did anyone read about that recent court case where pakistani? or afghani (not sure) men sought out white girls because they were easy meat At least thats what the judge concluded. Due to the muslim culture/ marrying customs and staying pure these men sought white, lower class and vulnerable girls to prey on. The story was very shocking considering it was real life and was full of details about how different ethnic groups see each other (racial prejudices). I dont believe a person needs to hold power to be racist. Power of what sort? Everyday people have the power to upset/ destroy other peoples lives with flippant remarks, power doesnt have to be economic or financial.

giveitago · 13/05/2011 14:21

Anyone who is of a different ethncity of race from another human being can be racist.

That's pretty basic. But the difference is that some groups have more power than others so their racism can have a more profound affect.

Birdsgottafly · 13/05/2011 14:23

shirl- what you are bringing up is the different forms of discrimination.
Personal; Cultural and Structual inpart a concept developed by Neil Thompson.

It obviously applies to any discrimination including racism.

onagar · 13/05/2011 14:25

Imagine an empty street. There are 6 of us and only one of you. We hate you for being the wrong color. It doesn't make any difference which of us is black or white or what the rest of the country/society thinks.

The whole power thing is nonsense. Inspired by an irrational need to make out all minorities are perfect human beings. Which doesn't allow for some to be guilty of racism. Some kind of guilt reaction to historical abuse I suppose, but it's time to get over that. None of us kept slaves and most countries have atrocities in their histories.

Birdsgottafly · 13/05/2011 14:31

Onagar- that is a perfect example of the personal, as quoted in my last post.

It doesn't stop us working on the cultural or structural but that applies to anyone of any colour.

onagar · 13/05/2011 15:07

I think personal racism is all that is left in this country. We don't have any laws treating people differently because of race. Anyone can sit in the front of the bus if they want.

We do have people who are racist. Also a number of older people who may be unconsciously racist out of habit/upbringing. That is a problem that will be solved by time. The remaining active racists can be dealt with under current law.

I'm a bit concerned that new communities are appearing that are grouped/ defined by race. We want less of that and not more.

Birdsgottafly · 13/05/2011 18:09

Onagar - have a look at the 'count me in' survey, you will find there is still a massive disparagement in the numbers of people sectioned according to ethnic background. The same figures exsist across employment, the removal of children and the justice system, unfortunatly. There is still a way to go in some areas but this can be said of other 'isms', sexism for instance.

It is policy makers that can cause the grouping as you describe. But in truth this has always happened. Every city has a 'china town' or an area were the jewish population tended to live, its nothing new just more visable because of colour and dress.

giveitago · 13/05/2011 18:37

Agree with birdsgottafly.

My parents of different races - my father experienced quite a bit more racism with his inlaws (ethnic minority in this country) than my mother did with hers.

However, any racism my mother did experience in society was more profound as it affected work chances etc.

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