Racism

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Luís
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Re: Racism

Postby Luís » 2017-10-08, 20:52

There might be some very ethnically homogenous regions in Portugal, but Lisbon is definitely not one of them.

Resident foreigners constitute 10.6% of the population of the city (2016)*. Number of tourists visiting the city (2016): 21 million.

So yeah, it's virtually impossible not to see foreigners everyday.**

*Top 5 countries: Brazil, Cape Verde, Ukraine, Romania, China
** Also, most Blacks and South Asians don't actually count as foreigners, since they have Portuguese nationality. Plus, there's the Roma, which are also well represented in some sections of the city
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 21:45

I thought Prowler wasn't from Lisbon, though, so I'm afraid I don't see what that has to do with anything. Never mind, he said he was in the capital city.
Prowler wrote:Why would I talk to random tourists and immigrants out of the blue?

I never said anything about either "random" or "out of the blue." In a place where you see foreigners every day, it's not impossible that you will also have to interact with some of them on some level at a university or other educational institution (if you're studying at one) or at work (if you have a job). So I'm asking whether you do.

Again, my point is: If you don't interact with people in the first place, they're probably not going to care who you are. Even if they did, you wouldn't know anyway! Right? So of course no one will tell you that you look just like your brother or anything.
Luís wrote:Also, most Blacks and South Asians don't actually count as foreigners, since they have Portuguese nationality. Plus, there's the Roma, which are also well represented in some sections of the city

Okay, in light of this information (which is new to me because I'm not Portuguese and am no authority on how Portuguese people think), I'll additionally ask Prowler how often he interacts with Blacks, South Asians, or Roma.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2017-10-08, 21:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Prowler
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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-08, 21:49

vijayjohn wrote:I thought Prowler wasn't from Lisbon, though, so I'm afraid I don't see what that has to do with anything.
Prowler wrote:Why would I talk to random tourists and immigrants out of the blue?

I never said anything about either "random" or "out of the blue." In a place where you see foreigners every day, it's not impossible that you will also have to interact with some of them on some level at a university or other educational institution (if you're studying at one) or at work (if you have a job). So I'm asking whether you do.

Again, my point is: If you don't interact with people in the first place, they're probably not going to care who you are. Even if they did, you wouldn't know anyway! Right? So of course no one will tell you that you look just like your brother or anything.
Luís wrote:Also, most Blacks and South Asians don't actually count as foreigners, since they have Portuguese nationality. Plus, there's the Roma, which are also well represented in some sections of the city

Okay, in light of this information (which is new to me because I'm not Portuguese and am no authority on how Portuguese people think), I'll additionally ask Prowler how often he interacts with Blacks, South Asians, or Roma.

I don't keep track really.

I don't really interact with Gypsies afaik. last time I've talked to one was when I was in 9th grade I guess?

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-08, 22:06

Okay, I'm going to try putting my question bluntly: Why would anyone give a fuck who you were if you don't interact with them???

That's why my whole point is: If you don't interact with them, of course they're not going to confuse you with anyone.

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-30, 9:14

Two days ago (Tuesday), a white guy from the Pittsburgh metro area, clearly emboldened by the last presidential election, pled guilty to beating an Indian guy at a crowded restaurant under the assumption that the victim was Arab. The manager called the cops. No one did anything else. The attacker is out on bail.

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Re: Racism

Postby Babbsagg » 2018-01-13, 23:07

vijayjohn wrote:Okay, I'm going to try putting my question bluntly: Why would anyone give a fuck who you were if you don't interact with them???

Not interacting with them makes it easier to fantasise, and so easier to reinforce yourself.

If I've never met any dark-skinned people, I can easily throw all my stereotypes at them with little danger of refusal. The idea of whites being superior to blacks isn't put to the test, and damn it feels good to be superior/different in some way.

If I know dark-skinned people and know they're just the same as everyone else, I don't have that luxury. I have to accept that my "race" doesn't make me special, let alone inferior or superior to anyone else.
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-01-13, 23:21

Yes, but I was asking Prowler that specifically in the context of his question:
That being said, FWIW, I don't recall people of other races ever taking me for someone else. Has this ever happened to anyone here?

My point was that of course he isn't going to notice anyone of another race taking him for someone else if he doesn't interact with them in the first place (which he apparently doesn't).

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Re: Racism

Postby Johanna » 2018-03-18, 7:47

This was fun... I was told that white Europeans have never experienced racism ever.

This person was deranged enough that I never really engaged, but someone else mentioned the Sami and what was done to them, and this person for real claimed that Indians today are treated worse in their own country than the Sami ever were in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
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Re: Racism

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-18, 13:49

Depending on who you ask, Sami aren't actually considered white...

And plenty of Indians are treated very badly in their own country now (as in child slavery bad). But the wrong that has been / is being done to one group doesn't diminish the wrong that has been / is being done to a different group. There's no need to compare and decide who has been treated "worst". Both are / have been treated in ways they shouldn't be / shouldn't have been.

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-03-18, 16:25

I'm not sure what exactly y'all are talking about (what are the relevant definitions of "white" and "racism"?), but FWIW differences of degree surely do matter on some level. Isn't that the whole reason why people have reservations on what can or cannot be called a genocide, for example?

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Re: Racism

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-25, 16:31

I suppose news of last week's incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks has made it around the world by now[*]. Recently a friend of mine shared a blog post about it. For him, the meat of the post was a discussion by the author (a women of colour) about implicit bias and how it distorts law enforcement priorities. However, the first part of the article was a defence of the officers, saying (in so many words) that they had no choice but to arrest the men after being called by management.

Several people responded with criticisms of the author's defence, pointing out that in fact officers have a fair bit of discretion in these matters and can even issue a citation to the person who called them if they think it was done maliciously or illegally. I pointed out that even the chief of police, who had defended the officers' actions, later issued an apology and said his department would be changing their policies as a result.

In response, this friend made another post clarifying why he had chosen that article and admitting that he should have found one that expressed his point more clearly. It would have been fine if he'd just stopped there, but he went on to condemn "those who attacked me with venom" for not recognising that they were "on the same side". I didn't see anyone attack him, with or without "venom" (and I said as much). Yes, we critiqued the article and some people questioned the wisdom of posting it, but this was all done quite civilly and not at all ad hominem.

This is hardly the first time I've seen this happen. Predictably, most of the responses to his second post were from other white men offering sympathy and condemnations of those who "attack" their "allies" instead of the "common enemy". This is exactly what makes it so hard to have conversations about race in the USA: So many white people want full credit just for attempting to be anti-racist while not wanting to hear any feedback on how they could do better. I sent him an encouraging note, saying it's better to be misunderstood than not try to speak on these matters at all, but really I kind of wanted to slap him and say, "Stop being so fragile!"


[*] Briefly: Two Black men were waiting to meet a friend and the manager called police to arrest them for trespassing, which they did. The entire incident was caught on video and went viral.
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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-08, 6:37

Dinesh D'Souza is such an embarrassment to me as an Indian American. I remember my dad telling me that a black taxi driver once asked my uncle, "Why don't Indians think they're black?" and my dad pointed out that it's a good question (especially because a lot of Indians think they're white). But apparently, some of us think it's totally okay to treat black people like this.

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Re: Racism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-06-09, 10:21

vijayjohn wrote:Dinesh D'Souza is such an embarrassment to me as an Indian American. I remember my dad telling me that a black taxi driver once asked my uncle, "Why don't Indians think they're black?" and my dad pointed out that it's a good question (especially because a lot of Indians think they're white). But apparently, some of us think it's totally okay to treat black people like this.
Dinesh D'Souza is an embarrassment in general. He's like an "American conservative blowhard" starter pack: Ivy League, persecution complex, Christian apologist, antifeminism, Obama conspiracism, Godwin's Law, sexual indiscretions and criminal record which are conveniently ignored by his fanbase.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2018-06-18, 1:36

Working in the tourism industry or in a place that gets lots of tourists and observing how certain nationalities act can make people a bit prejudiced, I notice. I remember being annoyed at some Africans I've served before. They just came across as rude to me. Just like I know people who are prejudiced against Chinese based on horror stories they've experienced with Chinese tourists, who apparently can be really bad. And this guy I know told me he can't stand wealthy Arab tourists as well.

It sucks and I wish it wasn't that way, but sometimes racist thoughts just pop in people's heads and I'm not above that. Does anyone go through this issue at times? Or maybe this is what in English is called "confirmation bias" to some degree.

I try to be understanding and all, but when I read or watch stuff about let's say China or India their societies just seem rather messed up, especially casteism in India. And that kinda makes racist thoughts rise to my head. I also think Japanese people, as awesome as their stuff is, they seem kinda crazy lol

vijayjohn wrote:Dinesh D'Souza is such an embarrassment to me as an Indian American. I remember my dad telling me that a black taxi driver once asked my uncle, "Why don't Indians think they're black?" and my dad pointed out that it's a good question (especially because a lot of Indians think they're white). But apparently, some of us think it's totally okay to treat black people like this.

What? Why would Indians think they're "black" or "white"? Am I missing something here?

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-18, 3:33

Prowler wrote:It sucks and I wish it wasn't that way, but sometimes racist thoughts just pop in people's heads and I'm not above that. Does anyone go through this issue at times?

Of course. We all go through that issue sometimes (yes, including non-white people like myself).
I try to be understanding and all, but when I read or watch stuff about let's say China or India their societies just seem rather messed up, especially casteism in India. And that kinda makes racist thoughts rise to my head. I also think Japanese people, as awesome as their stuff is, they seem kinda crazy lol

Every society is rather messed up, just in its own way(s). India has casteism, the US has racism, and Portugal apparently has (post)colonial shit like this.
What? Why would Indians think they're "black" or "white"? Am I missing something here?

Yes.

There is a lot of pressure in South Asia (and to some extent even in Southeast Asia), especially (though by no means exclusively) among women, to look as fair-skinned as possible, as a direct result of which lots of us consider ourselves white (even though we're clearly not...), consider being called 'white' a compliment, and consider being called 'black' or 'dark-skinned' as some kind of insult that implies we're ugly or undeserving or something. My understanding is that fairness creams, pressure to look whiter, etc. also are a thing to some extent elsewhere, including in Europe, but not really in a way that's comparable to South(east) Asia. People in India spend a lot of money every year on fairness creams, and it is common/traditional practice all over India for a woman, especially one who's about to get married, to smear turmeric powder (and then rinse it off) or products made of turmeric all over her skin. This is (in part) because turmeric powder dyes anything it touches yellow, so if we wear it on our skin, it will dye our skin yellow, too, making it look less dark.

People from North India (and Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.) tend to be lighter-skinned than those of us who are from South India, in part because South Indians are largely descended from Dravidians whereas North Indians are descended from Indo-Aryans (this is very much an oversimplification of the reality, but this Aryan vs. Dravidian, North vs. South divide is still pretty relevant to this whole idea of whiteness in a South Asian context). In Hindu mythology, the gods are often associated with Indo-Aryans whereas the demons are often associated with Dravidians. In pictures, demons are almost always dark-skinned; I have seen them being portrayed as having all kinds of skin colors but never white or carnation pink. Gods and goddesses by contrast are almost never dark-skinned; instead, they either have fair skin or they have blue or silver skin (my dad has suggested to me that blue/silver skin is used for gods that in fact did have darker skin, but since they're gods, they couldn't be portrayed with brown or black skin, so they're portrayed with blue/silver skin instead). Deities involved in death and/or destruction are a partial exception; however, even they are rarely portrayed as having brown skin whereas demons do have skin of this color fairly often.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2018-06-18, 5:12

Colourism is a thing in Asia yes. Even in Japan and Korea... it's kinda odd since A LOT of Japanese people are rather tanned. Not as tanned on average as South East Asians, but many do have tanned skin. I've seen just as many more tanned Japanese people as I've seen whiter ones. Same goes for Chinese. Koreans do seem to be very pale, though, but as you mentioned, maybe they use a lot of whitening creams?

I don't think colourism is a big deal in Europe nowadays or a thing in most of the continent. It used to be until the early 20th century where people even avoided getting tanned because having a tan meant being poor/a farmer. But that mentality is long gone, afaik. Europeans wouldn't all hit the the beach during the summer to get tanned if that was the case.

If anything, being super pale in the West nowadays might make people mock and people might view you as a shut in. The stereotype of nerdy white people is that they're fat or super thin and pasty white skinned. It's also associated with emos, I think.

At most being a tanner white person, and depending also on your facial features, could make you pass for a Gypsy or an Arab/Middle Easterner in the eyes of some more prejudiced people and that could lead into potential trouble, I'm guessing. I've never personally asked any more naturally tanned people about this, though. Although I can't recall any I know personally facing any worse treatment, not even this former classmate of mine who even jokes about being able to pass for a Gypsy if he wanted to. For one thing, he doesn't dress anything like most Gypsies I see out there.

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-18, 5:54

That's a pretty big problem for actual Roma in Europe, though (and probably for some other minorities). And yes, there are cultural preferences for white skin in East Asia as well, although my understanding is that this is in addition to various other things and in South Korea in particular, not fitting all the ideals of beauty is enough of an issue to be considered grounds for suicide, so facial surgery and such is extremely popular despite its riskiness. In India, white skin is a big deal in and of itself to the point where it seems nothing else matters. If you're white, you can't possibly be ugly; if you're black, you can't possibly be beautiful. (But of course, since Indian society is also highly patriarchal/male-dominated, to a large extent, you can afford to be "ugly" if you're a man).

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2018-06-19, 1:44

vijayjohn wrote:Of course. We all go through that issue sometimes (yes, including non-white people like myself).

I never assumed otherwise. If anything, I think Asia has a lot of racism.

vijayjohn wrote:That's a pretty big problem for actual Roma in Europe, though (and probably for some other minorities). And yes, there are cultural preferences for white skin in East Asia as well, although my understanding is that this is in addition to various other things and in South Korea in particular, not fitting all the ideals of beauty is enough of an issue to be considered grounds for suicide, so facial surgery and such is extremely popular despite its riskiness. In India, white skin is a big deal in and of itself to the point where it seems nothing else matters. If you're white, you can't possibly be ugly; if you're black, you can't possibly be beautiful. (But of course, since Indian society is also highly patriarchal/male-dominated, to a large extent, you can afford to be "ugly" if you're a man).


I don't think I even know what natural looking South Korean people look like. Most of the ones I see in videos and photos seem to have done some surgery on their faces.

I think surgery in China and Japan is also more common than one thinks but not as common as in Korea and probably less blatant.

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Re: Racism

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-06-19, 2:38

Prowler wrote:I think surgery in China and Japan is also more common than one thinks but not as common as in Korea and probably less blatant.

Yeah, probably.

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Re: Racism

Postby Prowler » 2018-06-19, 5:18

Doing some quick google search, Brazil and USA are above South Korea in plastic surgery. And countries like Mexico, Colombia and Japan also have a lot of people who get it.


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