Mercury Thing 05/09/16

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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Tuitsuro » Sun May 15, 2016 10:10 am

Oh, believe me I had an hard time understanding the concept, because it seems counter intuitive at first. It's simple logic; racism is one race viewing itself superior to another race. So by that logic, any person can be racist. But maybe that's a failure of the language. See, racism, particularly institutionalized or societal racism, creates a self re-enforcing effect. It becomes normal. So much so, that a person whos not affected by that effect can have a hard time comprehending that there's an effect at all. Because, of course, you're not racist; and therein lies the dilemma in that even if you yourself are not racist, you still benefit from the effects of it. I'm white, I have privilege in society; it's history, it's rules, it's culture are all designed to meet my needs as a white individual. I maybe be fully supportive of other races but that's relatively easy for me given my societal position.

Something you have to realize is that realizing this is not a bad thing. Knowing you have privilege in society means you are better able to help fix those problems. It's also something you can't simply ignore as a decent human being; but it's a complicated issue and takes time to learn and understand properly. Listening and talking to people in communities other than your own helps to give you a broader worldview into these problems.

The other concept that's complicated is the idea that racism can only come from a position of power, and that the idea is not simply a corruption of the definition. A lot of people use slavery as an example of why this doesn't work; slaves cannot be racist against their owners if only because their relationship naturally leads to one of dislike; but the slave has a very limited ability to rectify the problem. They don't have a powerful society and culture that is able to completely overwhelm the owner's and force them to conform to the slave's ideals. They can rise up and fight, as any one individual is able to do with their own ability; but again, without that societal backing; their power is limited and fleeting.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Campor » Sun May 15, 2016 3:37 pm

Again though, it's the modifiers that take effect. In the case of slaves, that's not so much racism as it is general dislike because of a given situation. In the modern day though, that's not the same situation any more- A black individual might cite those events as why they dislike white people, but not all white people had slave owners in their past. If that's the given reason, it's racism because it assumes that a given person's ancestors are responsible for something in their past. It is not institutionalized racism, which is far more damaging, but it is still racism because it is prejudice based on race.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Warrl » Sun May 15, 2016 4:06 pm

Campor wrote:but not all white people had slave owners in their past

If you're human, then the odds are very high that:
* you have ancestors who owned slaves; and
* you have ancestors who were slaves.

The only serious question is how long ago.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Campor » Sun May 15, 2016 4:15 pm

Likely =/= certain. Assuming every white individual has had slave owners in their past is racist. And even then, holding prejudice against white people in general because of the actions of their ancestors is also racist. Literally all it takes for something to count as racist is prejudice against someone due to their race. Racism doesn't even have to be a negative connotation- The whole 'asians are good at math' thing is racism.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Tuitsuro » Sun May 15, 2016 4:19 pm

Its not that all white people have slave owners in their past; its that all white people benefited from that racial segregation, and continue to do so. It's not just that it's something that was done in the past, it's that it continues to have an effect now and into the forseeable future. To be clear, I'm not assigning blame, but merely addressing the reality of the issue as it presents itself.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Campor » Sun May 15, 2016 4:53 pm

And I agree, but that is systemic and institutionalized racism. That doesn't mean people can't be racist against a white person.

Going back to the slave/slave owner dynamic as an example- A slave would most likely hate the slave owner because they have to live in horrific conditions under the control of someone who sees them as property. That is an opinion and feeling based on events taking place, the personality of the individual they hate, etc. That isn't racism, that's logical progression of feeling. The slave owner's attitude toward the slave is most likely racism, systemic and otherwise.

However, if the slave saw a white person walking down the street without knowing anything about them and hated them because they were white, that is still racism no matter how out of balance the power dynamic is, because it is an opinion and feeling based on race, not anything to do with the individual. It wouldn't matter if the white person in particular were some sort of civil rights leader or the worst slave owner in existence, the opinion and prejudice is based on skin colour making it a racist idea.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby LadyObvious23 » Sun May 15, 2016 5:58 pm

And you just dug yourself a giant hole. You're wrong. Stop trying. -____-
'As long as you cater to my every whim, fullfill my every wish, obey my every command and never argue with what I say I shall be your slave forever.'
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Warrl » Sun May 15, 2016 8:20 pm

LadyObvious23 wrote:And you just dug yourself a giant hole. You're wrong. Stop trying. -____-

Dictionary.com:
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Note that neither definition 1 nor definition 3 says anything about "power", ability to act on one's opinion, or ability to enforce one's opinion upon others.

Websters's dictionary offers both "simple" and "full" definitions.

The simple definition:
: poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race

: the belief that some races of people are better than others

Again, no statement about relative power, systemic support, or anything else. An ACTION or a BELIEF, based on race, is racism.

And the full definition:
1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2: racial prejudice or discrimination

Still they managed to not mention any association with relative power levels.

Nor do any of these definitions restrict what races may hold the views in question, or what races may be referenced by those views.

Conclusion: in English, the definition of racism does not depend on these factors. It is possible for even a black slave in the 1850s, let alone a black who has never met a slave and whose parents and grandparents never met a slave, to be racist against whites.

LadyO is on slightly firmer ground regarding sexism. From Webster's simple definition:
unfair treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women

However, even there, there is a substantial difference between "especially" and "exclusively".
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Tuitsuro » Sun May 15, 2016 9:42 pm

To be quite honest, I find it somewhat more telling that both your sources have definitions for 'reverse discrimination' when there's really no obvious reason for the definition to exist. I mean, surely if you're right and racism happens on either side of the aisle, then reverse racism would simply be a redundant definition, and yet there it is, plain as day! Let's see what it is!

Discrimination against whites or males (as in employment or education)


Imagine if you will, a person saying that in an argument with a completely straight face. It's not just that we're making this about some mysterious majority, no, it literally says whites. How do you even par that with your current argument Warrl? Is there then no such thing as reverse discrimination in any other societal makeup other than a white dominated one? This is literally Merriam-Webster's we are talking about here. The apparent bible for the definition of words! Or, could it possibly, maybe be that dictionary definitions are not nearly so perfect, and as it's a *dictionary*, far too simplistic for the topic we're debating?

Incidentally, anyone look up the etymology of racism? Oxford's attributes it to a man named 'Richard Henry Pratt' in 1902; and I'll just let you read the rest.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby BenjaminT » Sun May 15, 2016 10:14 pm

I see these kinds of debates a lot when it comes to specialized versus layman's speech. In psychology there is a very specific meaning for the term 'introvert' and 'extrovert' that doesn't really match up with a typical dictionary definition. It's not that one is right and the other is wrong, it's just that in certain contexts it takes on a certain meaning that it might not to the average joe. You'll see the same type of frustration and arguing over the definition of 'hacker' in nerd forums. 'Hacker' and 'cracker' mean very specific things in that subculture but in movies and in journalism in general you'll see the term hacker used left and right where others insist it doesn't apply. It may be that the term was largely used with one meaning but it's long since been used with a larger meaning and for right or wrong, when people read it or hear it now it takes on that context. Some religions have a very specific meaning for the term 'cult' and throw it around at other faiths pretty readily. And yet, despite the narrow meaning they may claim was intended, in our culture the term cult has a lot of baggage that goes along with it. It's helpful to understand how most people hear and understand words even if you in your studies learned a different definition.

Maybe we could go back to the original arguments and focus on the intent instead of getting hung up on whether a different word or word phrase would be more appropriate we could come to a better understanding of one another.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Campor » Mon May 16, 2016 1:17 am

Tuitsuro wrote:To be quite honest, I find it somewhat more telling that both your sources have definitions for 'reverse discrimination' when there's really no obvious reason for the definition to exist.


We have a lot of words that are essentially unnecessary or redundant. It doesn't negate the facts behind anything else.

Systemic/Institutionalized racism is what people tend to refer to when they just use the word racism and claim it can't be used for [insert minority] on white prejudice. The fact is that while shortening systemic/institutionalized racism to just racism is perfectly fine and understandable (given that it can be regarded as short-hand and in context it's easy to understand what is meant), claiming that just the word racism can not apply to anything but minorities is factually and etymologically incorrect. There is already a term for what is being referred to in this case, and it isn't simple barebones racism.

[Edit: More particularly, your own quote states 'As in employment or education.' That is by definition institutionalized racism, not 'normal' racism. That's why it exists, to specify systemic racism against those normally in a power position.]

BenjaminT wrote:Maybe we could go back to the original arguments and focus on the intent instead of getting hung up on whether a different word or word phrase would be more appropriate we could come to a better understanding of one another.


The issue is that this is important to establish, or we won't have a proper understanding. Language is how we communicate, and if we're not playing by the same rules then we're not going to get the same context and points. Particularly on the internet where tone doesn't exist besides italicizing and bolding words, it's direly important that we're all on the same page when it comes to word usage.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Prestwick » Mon May 16, 2016 9:56 am

I love the fact that the only things people here seem to be debating on here at the moment are either sexism/misandry, homophobia and racism yet the huge elephant in the room - which is how awful/sh*te Further Education is on Campuses around the world by the way - is seemingly ignored.

Like I said, I'd be fuming if I were working on my dissertation or thesis, etc, went to find help and found...that idiot raindancing around her table as my councillor. I'd certainly be asking for a refund from the University. Thousands of dollars on University education just to get told "well if this candle goes out first you'll get x result..." seriously?! Nobody else picked up on this because I feel I'm the only one who has so far...
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby BenjaminT » Mon May 16, 2016 10:53 am

Prestwick wrote:I love the fact that the only things people here seem to be debating on here at the moment are either sexism/misandry, homophobia and racism yet the huge elephant in the room - which is how awful/sh*te Further Education is on Campuses around the world by the way - is seemingly ignored.

Like I said, I'd be fuming if I were working on my dissertation or thesis, etc, went to find help and found...that idiot raindancing around her table as my councillor. I'd certainly be asking for a refund from the University. Thousands of dollars on University education just to get told "well if this candle goes out first you'll get x result..." seriously?! Nobody else picked up on this because I feel I'm the only one who has so far...


People have picked up on that but it's basically been discussed already in previous threads. This comic didn't really introduce anything particularly new in that regard beyond some additional details. The last comic already mentioned how important the candles were to her. Previous days' comics talked about the Mercury thing. This is the first comic that's shown her drawing attention to her cleavage and standing in close to Fitz in a flirtatious manner so of course that's going to lead the direction of the comic more on this particular thread more than the old news of her needing to be fired yesterday. Is Fitz going to be swayed by her flirtations? The assumption that they are going to have hatesex is what led to alternative hypotheses which led to me being accused of homophobia and LadyObvious being accused of sexism. But ultimately this all revolves around what is going on or could eventually go on between Fitz and this lady. The sad thing is that the branching off discussions continue even after Starline jumped in to tell us point blank that, yes, Fitz is attracted to Ellen but doesn't want to be.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Starline » Mon May 16, 2016 10:55 am

Warrl wrote:
::Dictionary Stuff::




Racism is WAY more complicated than dictionary definitions. You're using semantics to avoid the actual real world consequences that occur because of systematic racism (particularly in the United States). No one is denying that most people experience some forms for racial prejudice, and that it's a shitty experience. But you have to go deeper than what the dictionary says.

As explained in this video that I linked that I'm pretty sure no one watched (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eTWZ80z9EE), if your car breaks down, you don't look up the word car in the dictionary to get more information, you go to a mechanic. So when it comes to understanding how racism works you don't get stop at the dictionary, you refer to sociologists because they study how institutions, organizations and how people work. It's their job.

The International Sociological Association defines Racism = Prejudice + Institutional Power. That IS the definition of the word by people who's job it is to study and know it.

When people claim that reverse racism is a thing, all that does it downplays the actual consequences of the real thing. It makes it seem like "oh everyone experiences racism/sexism" so "it's not a big deal" when it happens. And that's just not true.
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Re: Mercury Thing 05/09/16

Postby Warrl » Mon May 16, 2016 11:05 am

Starline wrote:When people claim that reverse racism is a thing, all that does it downplays the actual consequences of the real thing. It makes it seem like "oh everyone experiences racism/sexism" so "it's not a big deal" when it happens.

Perhaps some people are using that technique to try to say that racism isn't a big deal.

I say it happens in ALL directions and IS a big deal in ALL directions. And that pretending it doesn't happen in certain directions is downplaying it.
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