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Old 09-17-2018, 12:51 PM
bump is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,743
Originally Posted by senoy View Post
I think that the big danger of racism/sexism accusations are not that they are false, but we are coming to a point where the low-hanging fruits are mostly agreed upon. For instance, there are very few people that would say "It's OK to burn a cross on someone's lawn." or "Segregation was a good thing." Where we're at now though is looking at systemic problems and they are much harder to deal with. For instance, economic segregation. We know that schools right now are still largely segregated. Wealthier people who are overwhelmingly white live in neighborhoods with other wealthy people who are overwhelmingly white and send their kids to overwhelmingly white schools that are extremely high performing. People of color end up in far worse schools and end up with far fewer opportunities because of this. We KNOW this. It's a complete fact. If though, you call this racist, you end up in a situation where you are telling people that in order to not be racist, they should live in poorer neighborhoods and send their children to schools that are lower performing. The response then becomes, "Why is wanting what is best for my child racist?" These are not people that intentionally want to oppress people of color. They probably have no problem associating with black people and might not even care if their children date black people. They may vote for black candidates and support black organizations. They still get painted with a brush of 'racist' though because they are perpetuating a class system largely based on race. That's a hard pill to make someone swallow. The danger behind making them swallow that pill though is that they no longer respond to the term even for more egregious things. If you say "Moving to a white neighborhood with nice schools makes you racist." it's easy for them to dismiss that accusation. When you come back and say 'Police targeting people of color is racist.' it makes it easier for them to dismiss that accusation as well. It's a very difficult line to tread.
Good point; and I think maybe it's because the term is so catch-all, that it's not a one-size-fits-all way of describing all negative things dealing with race.

For example, my personal opinion is that racism has to have a certain intention to do something based on race. Without that intention, it's not racist, it's something else. So when someone moves to a white area with better schools for their children, it's not racist because there's no intent to screw anyone of any color- they're just using the means at their disposal to attempt to make things better for their children.

I also agree with Damuri Ajashiin that there are an awful lot of knee-jerk accusations of racism, sexism, etc... out there that aren't grounded in fact- they're just assumptions, but we just take them at face value and quit trying to determine if they're valid or not.

Case in point- here in Dallas, there's a huge amount of noise in the black community about the Botham Jean killing, despite any actual evidence so far that there was any sort of racial motivation whatsoever. It's just assumed that since he was black, and there was a cop involved, that there has to be a racist element involved. We don't know the full story yet- and I'm (full disclosure, middle-aged white male here) not going to jump to a conclusion that it was racially motivated yet. But that's the narrative that's being framed in the media, accurate or not.