The New Face of Racism.

I put the following up for discussion:

1)The face of racism now is as likely to be black as white.

2)I would also put forward that a racist may not be practicing ‘malice of forethought’; (as was common historically) that a well intentioned, well meaning person (of any race) may, consciously or sub-consciously, practice racism.

  1. That there are those who profit from racism, and have a vested interest in not only not seeing an ‘end’ to racism, (as a practical matter, as it is impossible to fully ‘end’ racism) but have in interest in promoting it.

  2. “Institutional racism” does not exist as a practical matter, and to the extent a it can be found (in rare, and subjective circumstances), those examples are used as examples to impute racism where it doesn’t exist, or can’t be known.

  3. That the popular media is largely racist; that every time an African American behaves in an inherently racist manner, and the media gives a free pass, it is a form of racism. (and ironically, the closest form of “institional racism” we have)In effect, holding a race to a lower standard of behavior or performance, without a compelling reason to do so, is both paternalistic and racist. (and should be universally objectionable to people of every race)

  4. That those who seek to perpetuate the myth that racism, and racists, can be found in every nook and cranny of American society have been so effective that a whole generation of people—white and black—have been convinced that racism is a pervasive force in the work place, schools, popular culture, inter-racial relationships of every sort, the criminal justice system and more.

Among AAs, this has bread a whole class of hapless victims; largely unaware of specific acts of racism they’ve experienced, but convinced nonetheless that it’s out there. In the most pernicious aspects of this campaign, AAs are taught that virtually any behavior (or non-behavior!) gets a free pass because the real reason for their reprenhesible behavior is racism.

Among the White Feeling Class (and it would appear that feeling requires one to not think) it has spawned all kinds of feel good lapel pins, buttons, bumperstickers and candlelight vigils. (which are almost always completely pointless)

Toward that end, It is my view that many of those well intentioned posters in the “Are White People in Denial” are the rankest form of racist.

Seems to be a bit of a contradiction between your points 4 & 5.

  1. is certainly true.

  2. is certainly true.

  3. is only true in extremely limited applications (although those who have some sort of need to play the “majority as victim” card will play up those events as though they were predominant).

  4. is silly and not true.

  5. is an extenmsion of 3.

  6. is simply blaming the messenger. (It is very true that some people overstate the existence and reality of racism, but the people who most want to pretend that it is some rare and overblown event have their own agendas.)

Alternatively, the thread was not much of a debate, based on the fact that the initial premise was simply that the huge number of whites who saw no issues of racism despite such examples as the poor reporting regarding the Superdome (with back page corrections, weeks later) indicate that some large number of whites are simply clueless (rather than in denial) regarding racism in the U.S. However, once the thread was posted, any number of posters rushed in to condemn the question as though some terrible libel was being lodged against the whites of the U.S.

From there, of course, the partisan offenderati of both sides waded in, continuing even up the the creation of this thread.

Let us not confuse racism with prejudice. Let us also not operate as if this country was founded 20 years ago. When I read the statements of the OP it’s clear to me that the OP is not seeing the total picture but also suffers from a lack of empathy because of being(and I’m assuming this) white. Racism is about the notion of one or more “race” or “races” being superior to another but also about having the power to act on the premise i.e. Slavery, Jim Crow, etc.

BTW: There is only one race, and that race is human.

Prejudice is about making divisions and oversimplifying life so it can be swallowed more easily.

I have the biggest problem with #1, in which you inherently state that it’s a black and white issue. There are plenty more people in the world than ‘blacks’ and ‘whites,’ whatever the hell either of them are. If you impose, I’m sure you’re right. Now let’s all join hands, sit down and watch Who’s Your Caddy so we can kill off some more brain cells.

The problem is we’re categorizing people as Us and Them and not bothering to think.

I think your reasoning is flawed. First of all, you shouldn’t infer that I am white, for there are many AAs who would share my views.

It’s equally [terminally, in my view] fallacious to suggest that only a black person could see “the total picture.” (and therfore a white person must lack empathy)

But I also think your last statement is profound, and fits perfectly with tomndebb’s comment [that point 4 in the OP was] “is silly and not true.”

It’s simply not enough to have “the power to act on the premise” [of institional racism]. The institutions must act on this power.

Apparently, in your world, and tomndebb’s, not only does the Third Reich still exist, but we can never call an end to WWII as long as I can scare up some Nazis somewhere.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.

The war is over. The Good Guys Won.


We’re discussing racism, right? (and implicitly in a historical American context)

It’s inherently a Us and Them paridigm!

I think you’re missing the point of the OP.

The definition was superiority based on race. Now it is visual cues about someones culture. The definition quoted by the OP included culture. The poeple who you idenitify with defines you and defines your culture in my book. Call me racest then, but I don’t associate with people who will tattoo their names on their necks. I think less of them.

You’ve spun an awful lot of meaning into a simple denial of your claim. I do not actually link institutional racism to Jim Crow (or Bull Connors). Institutional racism is more likely to appear in issues such as Driving While Black or whites being (unconsciously?) selected over blacks with the same or better credentials because the person doing the hiring is motre “comfortable” hiring whites. (It occurs in other ways, as well, but I react most strongly against simple, unsupportable, declarations that it does not exist.)

The "war’ is not over, at all.

Now, I would very much agree that significant battles have been won, and that things, today, have improved immensely over the situation even twenty years ago, not to mention forty years ago. I will also agree that some “race” problems are overblown responses by whomever feels they are suffering abuse. However, the fact that a few people scream “racism” when they should be screaming “I am incompetent!” does not mean that no one suffers from racism.

In the last election, the Republicans ran a loon for the office of Ohio governor. That said, it was still remarkable the very large number of people who announced that they wre going to vote against him because he was black and who could not even tell what his stands on any issues were.

I don’t agree with this sentiment.

I think it’s more accurate to say “Black people aren’t free from racism”. Or, “A randomly drawn black person is more likely to be harboring racist feelings than not”.

But I don’t agree that black people are just as racist as white people. It has nothing to do with the “racism=power” definition. I simply believe that our society has inculcated all of us with notions of black inferiority and white superiority. To pretend that we’re all equally racist against each other is to ignore history and the effects it has had on all of our psyches. I believe that a white person is more likely to think of themselves as better than a black person than that black person is towards white people. I also think a black person is more likely to be racist against their own people than a white person is for their people. You’d have to produce a lot of cites for me to change my mind on this point.

I think the main difference is that a racist black person may be more likely to openly express their views, because anti-white speech is not as censored as anti-black. A racist white person is more likely to harbor subconscious prejudice and be unaware of it.

And does this also apply to people who have a vested interested in perpetuating racism? Surely the two exist on both sides of the equation to balance each other out, no?

I’ve got to go to work. Hopefully the thread will still be active when I get home.

Or perhaps, like most other whites, he’s just tired of being called racist all the time, he’s tired of constantly having to censor every thing he says for fear of being called racist, and he resents his accusers’ arrogant assumption of moral superiority.

I disagree, if only because in this country there are a lot more whites than blacks. So even if both groups were 100% racist against each other, the “face of racism” would be more white than black.

And also what monstro said.

I agree with this.

Yeah, but there’s always someone who wants to profit something. I actually think there are more people who profit from pretending that racism is a thing of the past and that everyone is on a equal playing field when that is not at all the case.


I’d be interested in seeing examples of this.

Well obviously this “myth perpetuation” hasn’t been successful since so many whites, like yourself, do not believe it exists and lash out at anyone who says otherwise.

Expand on this, what is “he” (let “he” be your “most other whites”) self censoring.
What exactly is it that you can’t say “fear of being called racist”?

CMC fnord!
BTW I’m white, and I’ve never felt a need to censor anything I say for fear of being called racist.
I wonder why that is?

It seems to me that this has always been the case and it applies to every group we tend to call a race.


I don’t feel the need to censor what I say lest I appear racist.

I think most of those who do probably don’t know many people of other races and have created a large gap of understanding between themselves and the exotic other.

Most other whites? Dang, did I miss a meeting? I’ve been tired of, and resenting, the wrong things again, haven’t I? I’d better go ask the Grand Dragon for a copy of the Plan.


There are inherent differences among populations of humans and these inherent differences do account for some of the observed differences in cultures and among populations in those cultures which have various levels of achievement. For as long as we deny this, we will argue endlessly over solutions based on a false premise, with no hope of resolution.

Whether there is one race or many races is a definitional issue, unrelated to the core issue.

When we can create a culture in which all peoples can come together and learn to ignore what population of peoples an individual has come from, we will create a non-racist society. It is so ridiculous to care or focus on race/population instead of the individual. Moreover with any given individual the concept of an average population difference is meaningless.

Every thread that furthers arguing about race and racism is divisive, except those which seek to promote the elimination of the concept in all but scientific and anthropologic curiosity.

Where does this persecution complex come from? I’m white, and not only do I not feel like I have to censor everything I say, I don’t think anybody is implicitly or explicity calling me racist. I think there are a goodly number of white people who are paranoid about having that happen, however, and that that paranoia ends up converting into arguments like some of the ones we’re seeing here.

As to the OP:
#1: if the argument is that anybody can be racist, the answer is yes.
#2: Yes, well-meaning people can definitely exhibit biased thinking, not only with regard to race but in any other subject as well. The phrase is ‘malice aforethought,’ by the way.
#3: Probably true.
#4: I don’t believe that for a second. If anything, I think instutitional racism is a more significant influence on society than the individual kind. Institutions sometimes change more slowly than the popular consciousness does.
#5: Media ignores black racism and condemns white racism. Heard it a million times before, never seen real evidence.
#6: This is the opposite of the other thread you mention. For that to be true, the racism has to be a myth.

I’m interested in seeing who you had in mind when you wrote this. That thread is pretty damn mild compared to some other race-related threads, so if their views represents the “rankest form of racism” in your eyes, perhaps you might want to go see an optometrist.

Like ywtf said, I’d be interested in knowing which of the “well intentioned posters” are racist.