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Old 01-11-2012, 10:09 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: LOL

So there's a lot here...
Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post

I see "racism" as a fear or animosity toward some racially (or often ethnically) different group. (Although it can also be an emotional affection for one's own group at the expense of others.) In that regard it is firstly (and essentially) an emotional reaction - and therefore can cause behavior. By observing someone's behavior you can get clues as to their underlying emotions - be they racist or not.

But it's not so clear cut. Every situation in our life causes several emotions to appear and some of those will compete. Behavior always follow the predominant emotional signals at any moment. That means . .

Someone could have some racist emotions toward certain groups but they could have a stronger emotional fear of being seen as a racist. And so any noticeably "racist" behavior or statements would be suppressed in most cases. Likewise if they had a strong emotional commitment simply to treating others charitable unless they show themselves to have animosity toward you.
My dad slapped me in the face one time when I was on the fronts step with friends chosing 'it' for tag by using eeeny meeeny miney moe. I didn't even know what a ****** was. But later when I was an adult, he told me he didn't particularly like the colored.

In a forum like this we can only state our "views" about our own or others' supposed racism. For that reason such discussions are really about what we want others to see and believe about our views - and what they want us to believe about their views on the topic. This has almost nothing to do with any actual racism (or lack of racism) on the part of those discussing it - which are emotional reactions that they may or may not suppress in any real-life instance - or in their forum comments.
I wonder if part of it may be wanting to see oneself in one way or another or convince oneself that one is some way or another.

Long story short - there is a belief being expressed in most of these comments that a persons' supposed "racism" is something that can be known by what they say about it to others. The only thing that can be known by such statements is what the person wishes others to believe about them in that regard - which can be a very different thing.
Except that in days past when it was honorable to be racist certainly what one said about being racist was probably true. So maybe there's a different dynamic when some behavior or view isn't socially acceptable. But how would it have been for some guy in the south who had friendly feelings towards blacks but had to pretend that he did not?

Finally, we are all racists. Our brains are designed to notice any patterns in our environment that could affect our survival. For a few million years now other humans have been one of the greatest threats to human lives generally. And so we are especially sensitive to recognizing other humans (in identifiable groups of any kind) as either possible allies or enemies. Whenever we notice any human in an identifiable category our brain automatically tries to put them in the friend or enemy group. Knowing if they are a potential friend or an enemy makes us feel more secure than if we don't.
Have you ever heard of HADD? hyperactive agency detection device? Not exactly what you describe above but maybe part of the phenomenon?

For example, if we have noticed - even say on TV shows - that black guys in gangs are often depicted in situations as dangerous to white guys in their hood - then if you were a white guy and found yourself by accident walking alone along a street in a black hood - you would experience a "racist" emotional reaction. You would experience some level of fear and your body would prepare to make a fight or flight decision. And no amount of thinking or "views" that you held about racism would be able to overcome those emotions.
I have an actual experience. I was at a bar with some friends on the South side of Chicago. It came time to go and I realized I was going to have to take the bus home. No problem. I got on the bus and we were passing through some of the black neighborhoods that were so prevalent (and probably still are) back then. I had been drinking beer and really needed to debark...which I did, at a gas station. The bathroom was locked. I went to the office and the man there looked very surprised to see me walk in out of nowhere asking for the key. He said "no", but deep down I knew he was just kidding me. So I put on my very best frantic female face (with a touch of irony so he knew I knew where he was coming from) and he gave me the key and minutes later I was back on the bus.

I can remember feeling quite proud that I had pulled that off. And I also remember that I was never really afraid. But then I suppose it would be different if I had been a guy. And I was very aware that the guy was black and that I was white as I'm sure he was.

I reserve racist to mean someone who acts in a way to hurt others in a different racial group - simply because of their race [B]and with no reasonable (defensive) justification[/B
This sounds like a good practice.
"By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." Adam Smith

Last edited by badhatharry; 01-11-2012 at 12:01 PM..
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