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Racism

Posted: 2014-12-23, 21:21
by vijayjohn
I just searched through all 11 pages of the Politics and Religion forum. Strangely enough, there is not even one thread on racism, so I decided to start one. Considering that we have threads on such broad issues as feminism, sexism, and international affairs (and that we have other threads talking about specific kinds of racism), I figure it makes sense to have a thread on racism as well.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-25, 18:29
by Varislintu
vijayjohn wrote:I just searched through all 11 pages of the Politics and Religion forum. Strangely enough, there is not even one thread on racism, so I decided to start one. Considering that we have threads on such broad issues as feminism, sexism, and international affairs (and that we have other threads talking about specific kinds of racism), I figure it makes sense to have a thread on racism as well.


Ludwig should have a lot to contribute on this subject. :mrgreen: :wink:

I think the thread is a great idea!

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-25, 19:02
by vijayjohn
Thanks! :)

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-25, 19:28
by Levike
One thing that I'm not sure about: Is racism only about skin colour?

For example if Croats hate Serbs and vice-versa, is that racism?

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-25, 19:40
by vijayjohn
Levike wrote:One thing that I'm not sure about: Is racism only about skin colour?

No, not at all! After all, anti-Semitism and antigypsyism/antiziganism/whatever you want to call it are racism and don't necessarily have anything to do with skin color.
For example if Croats hate Serbs and vice-versa, is that racism?

Yes, at least as far as I know.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-25, 22:36
by IpseDixit
vijayjohn wrote:
For example if Croats hate Serbs and vice-versa, is that racism?

Yes, at least as far as I know.


I'm not so sure :hmm: . I mean, isn't racism driven (or motivated) by "biological" reasons? That is the idea that certain races are ineherently inferior to others because of their genes and "biological traits".

AFAIK the case of Croats and Serbs is just a case of historical and political resentment. I'm not sure I would call it racism... (however it's not hard to imagine that a conflict started because of political reasons can also become a racial one after a while...)

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 1:39
by vijayjohn
IpseDixit wrote:AFAIK the case of Croats and Serbs is just a case of historical and political resentment. I'm not sure I would call it racism... (however it's not hard to imagine that a conflict started because of political reasons can also become a racial one after a while...)

Nope. Already in the 19th century, Ante Starčević, the leader of a Croatian political party in Austria-Hungary, wrote that Serbs were an "unclean race" and that "there could be no Slovene or Serb people in Croatia."

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 6:23
by Dormouse559
IpseDixit wrote:I'm not so sure :hmm: . I mean, isn't racism driven (or motivated) by "biological" reasons? That is the idea that certain races are ineherently inferior to others because of their genes and "biological traits".
That gets into the question of what constitutes a race. And ideas about that vary across just about any dimension you can conceive of (time, geography, culture, age, race …). There's no particular reason why we couldn't call Croats and Serbs separate races, based on "biological" factors.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 14:52
by Levike
I don't think the definition of a "race" matters anymore.

Racism has already been used to describe the hate
between people who differ for example in only the languages they speak.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 21:40
by mōdgethanc
Levike wrote:I don't think the definition of a "race" matters anymore.

Racism has already been used to describe the hate
between people who differ for example in only the languages they speak.
If you lived in a country that wasn't 97% white, you wouldn't say that. Racial issues are huge in the United States. They aren't so much here, but racism certainly does exist (especially where Aboriginals are concerned) and it's a far bigger problem than linguistic discrimination (sorry Quebec) which is not racism.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 21:50
by Levike
What I wanted to say is that the term racism has been extended to mean a lot of things.

Maybe originally it was used for the white-black thing,
but now we're using it for religion and languages too.

For example a while ago at the Hungary-Romania football match
there was a quite big fight amongst the supporters and at the end both teams got a fee:
the Romanians for violance and the Hungarians for racism.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 21:58
by mōdgethanc
Nope, that's not racism. Racism is discrimination based on made-up social categories that have to do with physical appearance (and imaginary genetics). Discrimination based on religion and language is just that: discrimination. Racism is a form of discrimination, but you can't say that all discrimination is racism, even if some people do. These people are what I like to call "wrong".

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 22:10
by Levike
Would you call the hate towards Gypsies racism?

Since some of them do have browner skin than the rest of us.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 22:21
by IpseDixit
Dormouse559 wrote:There's no particular reason why we couldn't call Croats and Serbs separate races, based on "biological" factors.


Yeah but that's not my point. Even if we assume that Serbs and Croats are two different races, we have to understand what the reason of their hatred is. If it were for historical / political / cultural reasons (as I thought), then I wouldn't use the word racism.

Nope. Already in the 19th century, Ante Starčević, the leader of a Croatian political party in Austria-Hungary, wrote that Serbs were an "unclean race" and that "there could be no Slovene or Serb people in Croatia."


I'm not saying that you couldn't be right (I'm no expert on this issue), but you haven't offered a very strong piece of evidence. Can we prove that this guy's opinion was really shared by at least a good chunk of the Croatian people?

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 22:28
by Dormouse559
It's short-sighted to assume that racism can't stem from historical/political/cultural disputes. Saying that someone is from another, inferior race is just one more way to dehumanize them, make them easier to hate.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 22:46
by IpseDixit
Dormouse559 wrote:It's short-sighted to assume that racism can't stem from historical/political/cultural disputes.


Erm... indeed I wrote this:

(however it's not hard to imagine that a conflict started because of political reasons can also become a racial one after a while...)


But I would also say that this is not something that has to happen necessarily.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 22:50
by vijayjohn
Levike wrote:Would you call the hate towards Gypsies racism?

Since some of them do have browner skin than the rest of us.

vijayjohn wrote:anti-Semitism and antigypsyism/antiziganism/whatever you want to call it are racism and don't necessarily have anything to do with skin color.

IpseDixit wrote:I'm not saying that you couldn't be right (I'm no expert on this issue), but you haven't offered a very strong piece of evidence. Can we prove that this guy's opinion was really shared by at least a good chunk of the Croatian people?

Okay then, does this help?

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 23:09
by mōdgethanc
Levike wrote:Would you call the hate towards Gypsies racism?
Yes.
vijayjohn wrote:anti-Semitism and antigypsyism/antiziganism/whatever you want to call it are racism and don't necessarily have anything to do with skin color.
They do have to do with imagined differences between white people and those groups that assume their gene pools are unrelated and therefore they have different traits which make them inferior. Racism is based on the delusional belief that different social groups have different genetic lineages (partly true) and that these differences give certain groups advantages over others (again, a grain of truth in that, but vastly overstated and abused). The fact that all humans come from a common ancestor and have always mixed with other in-groups is conveniently ignored.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-26, 23:17
by Dormouse559
IpseDixit wrote:Erm... indeed I wrote this:

(however it's not hard to imagine that a conflict started because of political reasons can also become a racial one after a while...)


But I would also say that this is not something that has to happen necessarily.
I'm sorry, I didn't see that you'd written that. I would say that while it's not necessary for such a change to occur, it is very easy, especially if the parties involved are thought of as historically distinct anyway. It's just a matter of extending the separation from culture, politics or what-have-you into race, which has happened countless times before and which vijay's link indicates happened between Croats and Serbs.

Re: Racism

Posted: 2014-12-27, 15:56
by Ludwig Whitby
In my opinion the Serbian hatred of Croats is not racist, whereas the Croatian hatred of Serbs can be racist, although it's usually not.

For Serbs, most Croats are Serbs who've betrayed their people and converted to Catholicism only to become the greatest enemy of their own people.

Croats on ther hand tend to think of Serbs as Orthodox Croats and have during WWII had the plan to forcibly convert Serbs to Catholicism and thus make them Croats in their famous final solution where they planned to deport one third of the Serbs, kill another third and forcibly convert the remaining third. Yet, there have been theories about the different origins of Serbs and Croats which always made Croats somehow genetically superior, including one of a Germanic, Gothic i.e. Aryan origin of Croats. That is racist, but I'm not sure how widespread these ideas are nowadays.

My impression is that the reason for the hatred is primarily cultural (or civilizational as in Huntington's Clash of Civilizations) because the Croats think of themselves as a part of the superior Western Catholic civilization and that they have even advanced culturally as a result of their history of subjugation by the civilized Hungarians, Austrians and Italians, whereas Serbs are a part of the Eastern, Eurasian Orthodox civilization and have been culturally degraded even further by the barbaric Muslim Turkish dominance.

And I'd like to end this post on a funny and typically Balkanic absurdist note. The Croatian Party of Rights that was founded by Ante Starčević and that is extremely nationalistic and serbophobic is currently lead by a person called Daniel Srb.