Ask the person openly bearing various prejudices.

“Cognitive dissonance”, that’s great. Seriously, I just learned that phrase a couple of days ago, and I see how it could be pertinent to this issue. I’m going to mull that one over for awhile.

Yeah, there was a little bit of obvious racism taught to me in my youth (mostly dirty “eenie-meenie miney-mo” type rhymes, and a little bit of “they’re moving in and ruining the neighborhood”), and none rubbed off on me. I was beginning to think this was becoming a thing of the past.

So, basically you’re saying you’ve had bad experiences with African-Americans in the past, so now you dislike the whole lot of them? I think with a little knowledge of statistics, combined with the high ratio of assholes in the general population (across color lines) and your probable lack of experience with African-Americans, you could see how your experience is completely statistically – not only probable, but likely? I mean, I only met one Samoan in my life and he was nice and jolly and fun to be around. But I obviously don’t think every Samoan is like that. I’m sure there are asshole Samoans, too.

(Speaking of which, does this ever happen the other way? Does anybody ever stereotype an entire race of people as great and wonderful, etc.? Why does it always have to be negative?)

Do you know what “driving while black” means?

In your eyes, to what degree do you think you are racist, in terms of Crash?

The Matt Dillon kind, who is outspoken with his racism, makes racist jokes, etc.?

Or the Ryan Phillippe, who goes into each encounter (with black people) with optimism, giving them the benefit of the doubt; but when his life is on the line, he lets his prejudices win out…?

Do you think it’s better to be a closet racist or an honest-with-oneself racist?

You mention that it is more African-Americans you find unfavorable than blacks from other countries. So then to you is it more a matter of dissatisfaction with the culture of American blacks, rather than a matter of race in your view?


Yes, actually, though not with regard to an ethnic group. I was quite homophobic in high school, whereas now I feel favorably toward gays. (This probably could be phrased better :stuck_out_tongue: )

And please do not insinuate that I do not understand statistics.



Randy Seltzer

Haven’t seen the movie. I like to think that I’m honest with myself about it, although I have never felt the inclination to pull a Michael Richards. Mentally calling the object of my ire a blissoming fewmet licker (credit rests with Cecil) works just fine.

No life-and-death situations in customer service so far, either.

I am aware of the history of blacks in the US. I’ve read Richard Wright’s beefier works (admittedly with a then poor level of English when going through Native Son) and the autobiographies of Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass, among other things, some for school, some out of personal interest. I have great respect for the latter two, and wish I could write half as well as Wright.

That said, yes.

Are you sure your issue is with African Americans? Could it be with poor African Americans instead? I have found that most people who share your disregard to African Americas end up being more classist than racist.

That is interesting, are you Hispanic or Asian - USA (I guess) with ESL ?

Personally I reckon that you are just enjoying the pleasures of ‘political incorrectness’, which is a perfectly rational response to hypocrisy.

In my view, there is nothing wrong with being a bigot, provided you make exceptions.

Do you harbor any guilt for your prejudices?

Do you try to compensate for your prejudices?

Do you think you’re prejudiced enough so that it would be manifested in your behavior? In making hiring decisions? Or in deciding where to live or who you would want your children to socialize with?

Would you raise your children to share your prejudices?

And provided you keep your negative views to yourself and keep them from affecting your behavior.

I don’t think this is as easy to do as people seem to think.

How would not doing so be wrong? It may be impolite or ill-advised, but I’m disinclined to label it “wrong” per se.

Out of curiosity, were you born in America, or are you the son of immigrant parents?

What about Asians stereotyped as smart?

I also believe that, in itself, theres nothing wrong with being a bigot, because in a sense, we are all racist to some degree. I think it is a human nature to prejudge others in some sort of fashion in a practical world.

However, the overwhelming popular opinion about racism is that it is wrong and evil. It would be most advised to keep your thoughts to yourself, because there are many people who will never take your side and believe you.

Why did you initiate this thread?
For your benefit, or someone elses?

I believe it is morally wrong to publically besmirch an entire group based on limited, anecdotal or heresay evidence.

Just like it is morally wrong to be mean to someone who’s a perfect stranger and hasn’t done anything wrong to you.

I’m not insinuating that. Or not trying to at least. You may have the knowledge, but just may not be using it in this case. Sometimes you have to put two and two together. I mean, I’m sure there are a few statisticians out there who play the lottery, too.

Are you saying you know your views are statistically wrong, and choose to be racist anyway? Or do you actually believe basing assumptions about an entire population on the actions of a statistically insignificant, non-representative sample is valid?

I’m not trying to be an asshole, here. I’m trying to understand why you are a racist/bigot. I don’t think your reasoning has been adequately explained here. If you could tell us why, then we could tell you why you’re wrong and have an actual debate. While it is nice learning about which particular flavor of racist you are, and what you think about this, that and the other thing, I’m mostly interested in why you are one, and how you justify it.

I don’t agree with that first sentence at all, unless we are working from two different definitions of bigotry and racism here. It may be human nature to prejudge people, but are you are aware of the difference between racism and prejudice? Prejudice is inevitable in my opinion, but we should at least prejudge people based on qualities that actually matter. For example, if you are wearing old, torn, dirty clothes, I might be somewhat justified in prejudging you as a poor person; even though there are a few rich people who dress like that, it makes sense in a broad way that poor people couldn’t afford nice clothes. But judging somebody based on skin color has very little legitimate justification. Skin color just does not make too much of a difference. You might be justified in thinking that somebody who has dark skin might need special hair-care products, or has been the victim of racism in the past. But to say all dark skinned people are assholes is not right, practical, or justified in any way. And we are definitely not “all racist to some degree”.

Unless for a good chunk of us that degree is zero, of course.

I agree with you that it may be human nature to prejudge others to some extent.

I don’t agree that prejudice being part of human nature makes it good or acceptable. It’s one of those unfortunate things in the hunk of meat that is our brain that we as reasonable people should try to overcome.

I susspect the prejudging is pretty much hard wired. The brain developed whilst humans were in small groups, in those ancient days it was quite possible to know everyone you were ever likely to interact with. Prejudging is just a coping strategy for the current state where most people you meet are unknown to you. It is more advantageous to the individual to equate certain characteristics of an unknown person with general behaviour expectations from some ‘ideal’ person of that type. It only becomes unfair, prejudiced, or racist when a person beleives these expectations even after an individual of the type prejudged has shown signs that the expectation is wrong.
Simplest form, we expect a person who looks like a woman to act feminine, we expect a child to act childlike. This is simple expediency, and only becomes wrong if we continue the expectation after the woman has shown masculin traits, or the child has shown adult wisdom.

Do you think it’s okay? (Driving-while-black-syndrome.)