Author Topic: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site  (Read 12263 times)

Kris

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #100 on: July 05, 2017, 05:53:38 PM »
...everything I said in previous posts still applies: reacting as if having your behavior questioned is an assault against your identity as a good person places an unfair and illogical burden of means testing on the person or group that you hurt, and may actually end up making things harder for them.


Let me unpack this a bit.  Is that like saying people who "get called out" shouldn't feel insulted?  Being called a homophobe or a racist is insulting, even if it's just inferred or insinuated.  Isn't that like saying people from (insert demographic) shouldn't be insulted by some random comment in the first place?

I'm definitely against the board turning into some ideological "safe space" based on peoples' hurt feelings.  In nowhere is it written that other people are responsible for your feelings.  They can facilitate feelings, yes - and it's commendable when they facilitate good ones.  Sometimes they facilitate bad ones to tell necessary truths or because they're jerks (often both).  But ultimately YOUR feelings are YOUR responsibility.  If your feelings of self worth are tied to what random cock sucking shit stains* say on the internet, maybe your problems are a little deeper than social justice issues.

*Foul language is offensive to a lot of people and I'm not actually fond of it in public discourse.  Yet the mods tolerate, and in some threads, even encourage it.  That will be MY litmus test for when the forums have gone down the tubes: when the perpetually offended ban that.
But saying that someone has said something that is homophobic or racist does not equal calling that person a homophobe or racist. That's the point (I think).

THIS.

I don't consider myself racist, or homophobic. But given that our society has institutionalized certain racist and homophobic assumptions that tend to creep into our thinking, I am sure as hell capable of having the occasional racist or homophobic thought. And as uncomfortable as I might initially feel at having it pointed out that something I've just said is racist/homophobic, I sure as hell want to be told about it. Because I have friends of other races and other sexual orientations/gender identities, and I don't want to hurt them.

For me to turn it around to myself, and focus on the fact that I might be momentarily a bit embarrassed -- or worse, escalating the situation by immediately crying that I'm being called racist, when what the person is calling out is something I've SAID that's racist -- seems like a misplaced defense mechanism. To say the least.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 12:31:46 PM by Kris »
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #101 on: July 05, 2017, 06:51:51 PM »
Moonwaves is correct.

Re: swearing, I fucking love to swear, and swearing is a great example of how all offense isn't equal. Making "gay people are pedophiles" a casual unchallenged talking point in public discourse leads directly to gay people being discriminated against, closed out of certain spaces, and even legislated against. "Gay people are pedophiles" becoming a fine thing to throw around on this forum specifically might lead to gay mustachians having really bad experiences with the Mini Money Mustache board. This is measurable harm, the yardstick I generally use to judge this stuff.

Conversely, someone who's offended that I said bullshit hasn't had any measurable harm done to them aside from the rufflement. They're just mad at me. That's fine.
Someone who's offended you said bullshit hasn't had any measurable harm because you are using an entirely different yardstick to judge the effect than the "gay people are pedophiles" comment.

You're assuming anything you say has no significant negative effects, but that these specific comments that you disagree with need immediate correcting lest they result in some major institutionalized discrimination.

I don't assume you have ill will yourself, but I assume the majority of people engaged in call-out culture are. I have almost no interactions them in my real life. The few people I know who engage in this sort of thing, or who I suspect do (don't meet them much anymore, so who knows) are not known for their...."understanding." They are otherwise okay people, but their politics are pretty vile.

Lis

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #102 on: July 06, 2017, 11:26:12 AM »
(Seemingly off topic, promise it's on point) I admit I'm a fan of Buzzfeed, I think their real news stories have potential sometimes, but who doesn't love finding out what kind of potato chip they are. They also post a lot of dumb celebrity news, which I will find myself absentmindedly scrolling through occasionally, when I've been concentrating too hard at work and just want a break. They just posted an article about Andrew Garfield and a dumb thing he said in an interview regarding gay men, and my reaction was "dude, really?" On the bottom of the article, you can vote if you thought he was "way outta line." And of course, the comment section is always a delight. But there was one comment that stood out to me, and I think it's majorly applicable to our discussion here:

"As a straight woman, I can only say I thought it was stupid. If there are gay people out there saying this is offensive, I'm going to go with them. This is their life and their experience. I know I hate when I see comments that say "People love to be offended" from people who have never and will never experience what the offensive thing is. How would you know? If you're not gay, disabled, black, a woman or whatever the offended party is, all you'll ever be is the person in the shower replaying an arguement in your head coming up with comebacks you couldn't think of in the heat of the moment."

If you're straight and don't find a particular comment about gay people offensive, cool, but you're not the affected party. And yeah, there are times where two people in that affected party can disagree - one might find something offensive that the other does not. It still doesn't give anyone the right to tell either of them that their feelings aren't valid.

I think we're also very much a victim blaming society, because nobody likes the person who disrupts the facade of peace and tranquility or the status quo. Person A says something offensive, Person B says "hey, I'm offended by that" and we respond with telling B to stop because they're the one being disruptive.

freshstash

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #103 on: July 06, 2017, 01:10:38 PM »
Moonwaves is correct.

Re: swearing, I fucking love to swear, and swearing is a great example of how all offense isn't equal. Making "gay people are pedophiles" a casual unchallenged talking point in public discourse leads directly to gay people being discriminated against, closed out of certain spaces, and even legislated against. "Gay people are pedophiles" becoming a fine thing to throw around on this forum specifically might lead to gay mustachians having really bad experiences with the Mini Money Mustache board. This is measurable harm, the yardstick I generally use to judge this stuff.

Conversely, someone who's offended that I said bullshit hasn't had any measurable harm done to them aside from the rufflement. They're just mad at me. That's fine.
Someone who's offended you said bullshit hasn't had any measurable harm because you are using an entirely different yardstick to judge the effect than the "gay people are pedophiles" comment.

You're assuming anything you say has no significant negative effects, but that these specific comments that you disagree with need immediate correcting lest they result in some major institutionalized discrimination.

I don't assume you have ill will yourself, but I assume the majority of people engaged in call-out culture are. I have almost no interactions them in my real life. The few people I know who engage in this sort of thing, or who I suspect do (don't meet them much anymore, so who knows) are not known for their...."understanding." They are otherwise okay people, but their politics are pretty vile.

I apologize, I was unclear in a way that has lead to you getting cause and effect wrong here. I'm not (theoretically) calling things out when they result in major institutionalized discrimination. I would call something out when I see it reinforcing major institutionalized discrimination that already exists, and am using "measurable harm" as a way to think about "kicking someone when they're down." Hope that at least clarifies my point.

OurTown

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #104 on: July 06, 2017, 03:09:42 PM »
There are two extremes: One is blatant racism which should not be tolerated in any form. The other is over reading into a comment calling it racist when there is no racism whatsoever. The rest is in the middle where there is a line between ignorance and true racism.  Some people say things not realizing they may be insensitive with absolutely no intension of insulting anyone. Some light education can help them realize their mistake.

You are describing the difference between racism and prejudice, I think. 

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #105 on: July 07, 2017, 05:21:00 PM »
Thank you SimpleCycle for bringing up this thread and wow what a great discussion. I'm glad you came out as a a gay person, I'm a gay man myself. The more of us that come out of the closet the easier it will be for others to empathize with gay people. The more of us that are open about being gay the less difficult it will be for the rest to watch two gay men kiss each other in a movie. There's clearly been pushback against calling out homophobia,  the picture of Michael Jackson eating popcorn, while another likes to use the phrase cocksucker - the homophobic gestures aren't going away. I'm not sure they should totally go away, but I do wish that people weren't allowed to make these remarks anonymously. Posters that make these remarks should not be allowed to hide like cowards. I basically don't like the anonymity of the Internet.

Regarding calling out prejudice, a few months back, someone on here posted that he agreed with Trump's assessment that he'd want to hire a Jew to be his accountant. This blatant stereotyping, I tried to explain to the poster, seems positive on a facile level, but if one examines this remark in the context of the darker history of dehumanizing of Jewish people in cartoonishly broad strokes, it's unacceptable. I admit I might not have been very nice to the poster, because I said to him, how did he like being stereotyped when he was part of the moron/nerd group in high school. I realize that I might have done the same kind of thing he did, but I wanted him to know what it could feel like if someone took his comment personally and felt hurt by it.

I really like FreshStash's point that if one is going to be in a forum where one can gladly receive critical feedback for financial mistakes, then how can one then complain about receiving criticism for making heedless/insensitive/stereotypical remarks about traditionally marginalized groups of people.

Fireball

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #106 on: July 07, 2017, 08:18:21 PM »
Quote
because I said to him, how did he like being stereotyped when he was part of the moron/nerd group in high school.

For me, it was a realization similar to this statement years ago that really sunk in how terrible some have it in our society. I remember what it felt like back in school to be bullied, made fun of or demeaned over something out of my control or just over a simple mistake. The feeling when a group of people does this to you is one of a kind and is f'n awful. Thankfully, that stopped as I got a little older. For some, that feeling has not & may never go away in their lifetime due to prejudices, racism, classism, etc. And that is truly, truly sad. We humans can be a rough lot.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 10:04:03 PM by Fireball »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #107 on: July 08, 2017, 06:43:22 AM »
Quote
because I said to him, how did he like being stereotyped when he was part of the moron/nerd group in high school.

For me, it was a realization similar to this statement years ago that really sunk in how terrible some have it in our society. I remember what it felt like back in school to be bullied, made fun of or demeaned over something out of my control or just over a simple mistake. The feeling when a group of people does this to you is one of a kind and is f'n awful. Thankfully, that stopped as I got a little older. For some, that feeling has not & may never go away in their lifetime due to prejudices, racism, classism, etc. And that is truly, truly sad. We humans can be a rough lot.

Yeah I really agree that everyone feels like an outsider at some point in his/her life and I think we can all relate to each other on this level.

Sarah Saverdink

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #108 on: July 08, 2017, 10:47:43 AM »
(Seemingly off topic, promise it's on point) I admit I'm a fan of Buzzfeed, I think their real news stories have potential sometimes, but who doesn't love finding out what kind of potato chip they are. They also post a lot of dumb celebrity news, which I will find myself absentmindedly scrolling through occasionally, when I've been concentrating too hard at work and just want a break. They just posted an article about Andrew Garfield and a dumb thing he said in an interview regarding gay men, and my reaction was "dude, really?" On the bottom of the article, you can vote if you thought he was "way outta line." And of course, the comment section is always a delight. But there was one comment that stood out to me, and I think it's majorly applicable to our discussion here:

"As a straight woman, I can only say I thought it was stupid. If there are gay people out there saying this is offensive, I'm going to go with them. This is their life and their experience. I know I hate when I see comments that say "People love to be offended" from people who have never and will never experience what the offensive thing is. How would you know? If you're not gay, disabled, black, a woman or whatever the offended party is, all you'll ever be is the person in the shower replaying an arguement in your head coming up with comebacks you couldn't think of in the heat of the moment."

If you're straight and don't find a particular comment about gay people offensive, cool, but you're not the affected party. And yeah, there are times where two people in that affected party can disagree - one might find something offensive that the other does not. It still doesn't give anyone the right to tell either of them that their feelings aren't valid.

I think we're also very much a victim blaming society, because nobody likes the person who disrupts the facade of peace and tranquility or the status quo. Person A says something offensive, Person B says "hey, I'm offended by that" and we respond with telling B to stop because they're the one being disruptive.

+1. If a member of a marginalized group says that something is offensive, listen and reflect. The comment may have been unintentional, but the impact was still there.
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #109 on: July 08, 2017, 01:34:36 PM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?

Gin1984

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #110 on: July 08, 2017, 01:58:32 PM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?
Well, I think you'd adjust depending on who you are talking to.  In the US, use Asian (which means Chinese, Japanese etc) or the actual country, in your country, use what is non-offensive there, aka oriental or again, use the actual country.  And many areas of the US do use Black instead of African American and it is not seen as offensive (though in some areas it is seen as lower class) so you can use that or "of African descent". 
Though honestly, I am not sure why you would be upset, being told that another culture has different phrasings of things and different phrases that are polite vs rude, and you inadvertently used one of them, what is the big deal.  A huh, well that is the phrasing used in my country and some googling and done.  Were people flipping out or something?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #111 on: July 08, 2017, 02:49:32 PM »
I imagine it was a failure to read tone on my part, but it felt pretty harsh. Not the gentle PM that others have suggested upthread. I think I also felt embarrassed, that I'd made a mistake in front of everybody. I recall trying to explain the UK/US difference on the thread (partly in genuine pre-Googling confusion) and whoever it was basically said it didn't matter and I should still never ever say it ever.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #112 on: July 08, 2017, 04:08:20 PM »
Sucks if someone came on hard, shelivesthedream :(      I think yours is a great example of why we'd want to start gentle in a response, consider the speaker's culture too, etc.

I agree with Gin1984 that we'd listen to self-description and regional norms and use those (in that order), but sometimes those aren't available... Or the person next to you (like the shop in your example) uses a given word... Or you're a person in the UK talking online with people from all over the world, with a high proportion from the US. Then what?

In Canada, it can get tricky to know which word to use for the people who were first here. It has changed so much, even in my relatively short lifetime. When I was a kid, the word we [including the high ratio of first peoples in the city I grew up in] used was Indian. Our community also had a lot of people from India*, though, so then a bunch of us wondered how to navigate this. We generally said East Indian for people from India, but a friend pointed out she was from South India. The word for first peoples shifted to native, then First Nations...More recently I've noted a shift to Indigenous. I just keep aiming to go with the flow, while listening carefully for self-identification.

I like to be sensitive to such things, but am often unsure what words to use and not use.

*The many I knew did not match the description presented on the thread referenced.

mjr

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #113 on: July 08, 2017, 04:21:51 PM »
I imagine it was a failure to read tone on my part, but it felt pretty harsh. Not the gentle PM that others have suggested upthread. I think I also felt embarrassed, that I'd made a mistake in front of everybody. I recall trying to explain the UK/US difference on the thread (partly in genuine pre-Googling confusion) and whoever it was basically said it didn't matter and I should still never ever say it ever.

Don't be embarrassed and don't apologise.  This thread is a great example of how small people can be, looking to be offended at an innocuous phrase and looking to control your language to what they consider acceptable in their little group at this point in time.

kayvent

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #114 on: July 08, 2017, 08:33:23 PM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?
Well, I think you'd adjust depending on who you are talking to.  In the US, use Asian (which means Chinese, Japanese etc) or the actual country, in your country, use what is non-offensive there, aka oriental or again, use the actual country.  And many areas of the US do use Black instead of African American and it is not seen as offensive (though in some areas it is seen as lower class) so you can use that or "of African descent". 
Though honestly, I am not sure why you would be upset, being told that another culture has different phrasings of things and different phrases that are polite vs rude, and you inadvertently used one of them, what is the big deal.  A huh, well that is the phrasing used in my country and some googling and done.  Were people flipping out or something?

African American is the more technically correct term because if their ancestors were from only north Africa, they'd be classified as white.

nnls

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #115 on: July 08, 2017, 11:23:41 PM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?
Well, I think you'd adjust depending on who you are talking to.  In the US, use Asian (which means Chinese, Japanese etc) or the actual country, in your country, use what is non-offensive there, aka oriental or again, use the actual country.  And many areas of the US do use Black instead of African American and it is not seen as offensive (though in some areas it is seen as lower class) so you can use that or "of African descent". 
Though honestly, I am not sure why you would be upset, being told that another culture has different phrasings of things and different phrases that are polite vs rude, and you inadvertently used one of them, what is the big deal.  A huh, well that is the phrasing used in my country and some googling and done.  Were people flipping out or something?

I think they were upset about being called racist.  Not about being told about difference phrasing.


shelivesthedream

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #116 on: July 09, 2017, 01:39:59 AM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?
Well, I think you'd adjust depending on who you are talking to.  In the US, use Asian (which means Chinese, Japanese etc) or the actual country, in your country, use what is non-offensive there, aka oriental or again, use the actual country.  And many areas of the US do use Black instead of African American and it is not seen as offensive (though in some areas it is seen as lower class) so you can use that or "of African descent". 
Though honestly, I am not sure why you would be upset, being told that another culture has different phrasings of things and different phrases that are polite vs rude, and you inadvertently used one of them, what is the big deal.  A huh, well that is the phrasing used in my country and some googling and done.  Were people flipping out or something?

African American is the more technically correct term because if their ancestors were from only north Africa, they'd be classified as white.

But... What about all the black people who aren't from Africa? Like West Indians? And why do black people have to be "of African descent" (I.e. all about their ancestry) whereas white people just get to be white (I.e. All about who they are now) rather than "of European descent"? We don't call people "of Saxon descent" or "of Norman descent" in the UK. How many generations before someone gets their own identity?

I don't want to make a massive hoo ha about this, but it's just always struck me as unpleasant. I heard Stephen K Amos (black British comedian) do a good joke the other day: "People always ask me if I wouldn't like to go on a nice Caribbean holiday. You know, go back to Jamaica. And I say yeah, sounds great! The endless sun, the didgeridoos, all the pickled herring you can eat... What? I don't know what it's like! I've never been there! I'm from Balham!" (Further joke is that his parents are Nigerian.)

marty998

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #117 on: July 09, 2017, 01:48:52 AM »
I’ve been “called out” for being racist on this site. I was asking if anyone knew about a good Japanese recipe blog, or one for the general geographical area/culinary tradition in which Japan resides. I asked for an “oriental” food blog.

Yeah, I was kind of hurt. Apparently I should have said “Asian” but to me “Asian” means Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi… and I’m pretty sure that’s common to all British people. The food store run by Chinese people that I used to live near was literally called on its sign “Oriental Food Store”. But, having been prompted to do a bit of Googling, apparently “oriental” is an offensive thing to say in America (exoticising the Orient, ‘othering’ the people from there…). But not in Britain. To me it’s a factual descriptor, and one that doesn’t have a good substitute available.

So… what do I do with this information? I still don’t know. I don’t want to be a racist. I don’t want to offend people. But what I said is not remotely offensive in my country. “Asian” is not what I mean. I mean “oriental”.

On the other hand, “African-American” seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies. I think it’s an incredibly offensive way to describe someone, implying that they’re not a “real” American, even if their family have lived there for centuries. How do I deal with it being a common term on the (largely American) internet?
Well, I think you'd adjust depending on who you are talking to.  In the US, use Asian (which means Chinese, Japanese etc) or the actual country, in your country, use what is non-offensive there, aka oriental or again, use the actual country.  And many areas of the US do use Black instead of African American and it is not seen as offensive (though in some areas it is seen as lower class) so you can use that or "of African descent". 
Though honestly, I am not sure why you would be upset, being told that another culture has different phrasings of things and different phrases that are polite vs rude, and you inadvertently used one of them, what is the big deal.  A huh, well that is the phrasing used in my country and some googling and done.  Were people flipping out or something?

African American is the more technically correct term because if their ancestors were from only north Africa, they'd be classified as white.

But... What about all the black people who aren't from Africa? Like West Indians? And why do black people have to be "of African descent" (I.e. all about their ancestry) whereas white people just get to be white (I.e. All about who they are now) rather than "of European descent"? We don't call people "of Saxon descent" or "of Norman descent" in the UK. How many generations before someone gets their own identity?

I don't want to make a massive hoo ha about this, but it's just always struck me as unpleasant. I heard Stephen K Amos (black British comedian) do a good joke the other day: "People always ask me if I wouldn't like to go on a nice Caribbean holiday. You know, go back to Jamaica. And I say yeah, sounds great! The endless sun, the didgeridoos, all the pickled herring you can eat... What? I don't know what it's like! I've never been there! I'm from Balham!" (Further joke is that his parents are Nigerian.)

I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

nnls

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #118 on: July 09, 2017, 01:57:57 AM »

But... What about all the black people who aren't from Africa? Like West Indians? And why do black people have to be "of African descent" (I.e. all about their ancestry) whereas white people just get to be white (I.e. All about who they are now) rather than "of European descent"? We don't call people "of Saxon descent" or "of Norman descent" in the UK. How many generations before someone gets their own identity?

I don't want to make a massive hoo ha about this, but it's just always struck me as unpleasant. I heard Stephen K Amos (black British comedian) do a good joke the other day: "People always ask me if I wouldn't like to go on a nice Caribbean holiday. You know, go back to Jamaica. And I say yeah, sounds great! The endless sun, the didgeridoos, all the pickled herring you can eat... What? I don't know what it's like! I've never been there! I'm from Balham!" (Further joke is that his parents are Nigerian.)

I agree with this, I am Australian and not "white" so always get asked where I am from, then get things added in my case "Aboriginal / Japanese Australian" though I have friends who get "Vietnamese Australian" or "Indian Australian" when I try to point out that my ancestor who immigrated most recently would be a great grandfather  from the UK and I am of British descent more than anything else 50% so  if anything I should be "British Australian" they look at me like I am crazy.  . It seems minorities have to be something else but white people get to be just white.

Though I think the people from the West Indies (well the really dark ones) would have originally come from Africa, as a lot of Indigenous people would have been killed either by disease or being killed by colonisers


nnls

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #119 on: July 09, 2017, 02:02:51 AM »
I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

It annoys me a lot as well Marty998, and I will call people out on it. A person from work asked me over drinks one night and they tried to cover it by saying they were just interested in Australia's diversity so I basically made them ask everyone else who was at the bar with us, as well as other work colleagues over the next few weeks especially when we had new starters.

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #120 on: July 09, 2017, 02:11:25 AM »
But we're all from Africa originally, right? :)

Reminds me of the time I was accused of being Korean by an actual Korean man. He kept asking me where I was from and I was like "London?" and he kept saying "No, where are you *from*?" It eventually transpired he thought I was Korean too - whether he meant had maybe one Korean parent or was born and brought up in Korea I never figured out. (To give you an idea of what I look like, I am so so white. And so so English. Like, Anglo-Saxon meets Norman conquest white. But for some reason lots of people think I'm foreign - but usually French!)  Gave me a small insight into the weird situation of second generation plus immigrants.

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #121 on: July 09, 2017, 02:21:38 AM »
But we're all from Africa originally, right? :)


Maybe not haha but yes and I will sometimes answer with Africa when people ask me where my ancestors were from.

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #122 on: July 09, 2017, 06:40:57 AM »
African American is the more technically correct term because if their ancestors were from only north Africa, they'd be classified as white.

.....
And why do black people have to be "of African descent" (I.e. all about their ancestry) whereas white people just get to be white (I.e. All about who they are now) rather than "of European descent"?

A slight correction, the US Census Bureau defines white as people descended from Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Americans This is a bit too exclusive of a definition but I'll get to that later.

To answer your question, I think the reason why we do this is because all black people have some lineage to Africa whereas the map for "white" people spans five continents. I think this is all bloody aside though and I prefer if we dropped the adjective/modifier in front of nationalities.

Quote
We don't call people "of Saxon descent" or "of Norman descent" in the UK. How many generations before someone gets their own identity?

Pretty much when people stop caring. It is all abitrary. The various statistic departments of countries adapt these terms to fit with what culture has subsumed into various categories. Cameras used to not be considered white for instance but that by and large has vanished. Native Americans used to be considered white but now only a minority are. Slavs and Greeks, like Cameras, used to not be considered white but eventually were.

Some people can't discern someone Idaho from someone from Bangkok. I presume eventually, and by this I mean a few generations, Asians will be considered white. Some already are. I think we are a coin flip away from all people being considered white too. Take former president Omaha. Had he chosen to call himself white only the most bone headed people would have objected; his mother was white so he had equal claim to say he was white as black (ignoring that this is all arbitrary for a second). And if this sounds crazy, I will remind you that Caucasians from India or black skinned people from Iran or North Africa are already considered white.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 06:44:44 AM by kayvent »

Father Dougal

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #123 on: July 09, 2017, 08:06:46 AM »
"Cameras?" What are they?

Also, Algerians are white?

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #124 on: July 09, 2017, 09:14:43 AM »
I really like FreshStash's point that if one is going to be in a forum where one can gladly receive critical feedback for financial mistakes, then how can one then complain about receiving criticism for making heedless/insensitive/stereotypical remarks about traditionally marginalized groups of people.

An important point for the sake of clarity should be made here. There is a very distinct difference between public advice given when it is explicitly solicited versus when it is not solicited. People ask for financial advice correction, they are not explicitly asking for psycho-social criticisms of their worldview.

There's a useful quote from Harvey Mackay that should be internalized:
"There is a time to provide advice and offer an opinion, and there is a time not to. Don't be too quick to offer unsolicited advice. It certainly will not endear you to people."

Stop and think about this for a moment. When was the last time someone offered unsolicited advice to you in real life regarding parenting/your job/politics/[fill in the blank]? How did you feel about that person and their advice?

Heck, think about how some of you reacted to my own advice and opinion on taking these things privately instead of publicly as a first step in this very thread. My message was near identical to Joon's beautifully suggested path of interaction, but I was the one who got pushback and criticism for it. Why? Because I deliberately offered critical, unsolicited public advice challenging the foregone conclusion in a thread claiming that responding to social slights and offenses with minorities should always be done through critical, unsolicited public advice. A few of you even doubled down on your position and started to use words that could be easily misread as threat English by others in response to justify your actions.

People love offering unsolicited advice on the internet, they act like it's the norm. They treat the medium like interaction on it is somehow magically different from face-to-face communications. People are quick to judge and condemn absolute strangers. For all this stuff, we forget basic manners and feelings, even those who have been wronged. The defense is always, "Well, the internet is somehow different, so the response should be in line with the medium."

The internet may be "different", but you are talking to someone who is just as human and fallible as you are. Treat them poorly and they'll never fail to fulfill your worst expectations, but treat them with dignity and they'll often pleasantly surprise you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

All the more reason to not take offense so quickly, to not assume malice by default, to choose your battles wisely, and to take any true offenses to people first in private and do so calmly and with dignity. Teachers are held to far higher standards, like it or not. If you choose to take that path in correcting others - especially when it is unsolicited, that means that you have to be the bigger person and do so in a way that doesn't diminish those you desire to educate. Otherwise, you risk fanning the flames of hostility and only further hurt those you most desire to help with your actions.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 09:16:27 AM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #125 on: July 09, 2017, 09:57:42 AM »
I fail to see what your are talking about in either of the posts you mentioned. I guess in this day and age of safe spaces and over reaching PC, everything seems racist or homophobic to some people.
Agreed

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Gross; and here we go again with the narrative that marginalized people should just sit down, shut up and not make waves about their experiences. Ugh. Low effort comment.

Without making too many assumptions... Is there a possibility that you fail to see what the person is talking about.... because... you're not... in one of those marginalized groups? Possibly? Maybe?

PizzaSteve

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #126 on: July 09, 2017, 09:58:22 AM »
Left community - deleted attempt at humor
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 10:33:00 PM by PizzaSteve »
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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #127 on: July 09, 2017, 11:42:22 AM »
I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

It annoys me a lot as well Marty998, and I will call people out on it. A person from work asked me over drinks one night and they tried to cover it by saying they were just interested in Australia's diversity so I basically made them ask everyone else who was at the bar with us, as well as other work colleagues over the next few weeks especially when we had new starters.

I (rather perversely, I'm sure) really enjoyed that story, nnls.  Thank you.
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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #128 on: July 09, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »
I really like FreshStash's point that if one is going to be in a forum where one can gladly receive critical feedback for financial mistakes, then how can one then complain about receiving criticism for making heedless/insensitive/stereotypical remarks about traditionally marginalized groups of people.

An important point for the sake of clarity should be made here. There is a very distinct difference between public advice given when it is explicitly solicited versus when it is not solicited. People ask for financial advice correction, they are not explicitly asking for psycho-social criticisms of their worldview.

There's a useful quote from Harvey Mackay that should be internalized:
"There is a time to provide advice and offer an opinion, and there is a time not to. Don't be too quick to offer unsolicited advice. It certainly will not endear you to people."

Stop and think about this for a moment. When was the last time someone offered unsolicited advice to you in real life regarding parenting/your job/politics/[fill in the blank]? How did you feel about that person and their advice?

Heck, think about how some of you reacted to my own advice and opinion on taking these things privately instead of publicly as a first step in this very thread. My message was near identical to Joon's beautifully suggested path of interaction, but I was the one who got pushback and criticism for it. Why? Because I deliberately offered critical, unsolicited public advice challenging the foregone conclusion in a thread claiming that responding to social slights and offenses with minorities should always be done through critical, unsolicited public advice. A few of you even doubled down on your position and started to use words that could be easily misread as threat English by others in response to justify your actions.

People love offering unsolicited advice on the internet, they act like it's the norm. They treat the medium like interaction on it is somehow magically different from face-to-face communications. People are quick to judge and condemn absolute strangers. For all this stuff, we forget basic manners and feelings, even those who have been wronged. The defense is always, "Well, the internet is somehow different, so the response should be in line with the medium."

The internet may be "different", but you are talking to someone who is just as human and fallible as you are. Treat them poorly and they'll never fail to fulfill your worst expectations, but treat them with dignity and they'll often pleasantly surprise you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

All the more reason to not take offense so quickly, to not assume malice by default, to choose your battles wisely, and to take any true offenses to people first in private and do so calmly and with dignity. Teachers are held to far higher standards, like it or not. If you choose to take that path in correcting others - especially when it is unsolicited, that means that you have to be the bigger person and do so in a way that doesn't diminish those you desire to educate. Otherwise, you risk fanning the flames of hostility and only further hurt those you most desire to help with your actions.

I would like to point out two things.

1. Not everyone reacted that way to your post.  I didn't, for one.  I think that's point the that some people in this thread were trying to make.  Reacting defensively like that is a choice.
2. You never answered my question about the potential problem with simply going private first.  Some people want to show solidarity with the people potentially being hurt by offensive comments and addressing the comments in private doesn't do that.  After thinking about it over the past few days I've come to the conclusion that the optimal solution is actually to address it in public but in a compassionate way.  Assume that it's unintentional and make sure that your not unintentionally implying that the person is racist/homophobic/etc. rather than the comment, but still address it in public so that anyone hurt by those comments still see's that it's being addressed.  Do you see any problems with this approach?

okits

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #129 on: July 09, 2017, 11:58:23 AM »
I want to start a discussion of what seems to me like an emerging issue of tolerating racism and homophobia on this site.  I personally would like to make it clear that this sort of behavior should not be tolerated in this community by users of this forum, and that we should be shutting this behavior down as members of the community rather than counting on mods to take care of it.

For example, this homophobic comment has been posted for almost 24 hours with the only response coming from me.
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/what's-your-bmi/msg1608883/#msg1608883

Another example is this thread, which went on for three days until a mod eventually shut it down:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/our-new-indian-overlords/

I personally value this community and want it to be welcoming for all members.  Threads and comments like these make our community less welcoming and reflect poorly on all of us for tolerating them.

In response to the OP,  I think it's fair to urge all community members to do something if they see comments they find offensive or inappropriate (at their discretion whether it's sending a PM, a gentle or aggressive comment in the thread, or just reporting to the moderators).  This discussion has been had elsewhere and we all have a hand in making this the kind of community we would like it to be.

TBH, I don't remember the Indian Overlords thread and I didn't actually understand what kayvent was trying to joke/say/imply in the BMI thread.  Lots of reasons why someone might not speak up, not all uncaring or malicious.
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Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #130 on: July 09, 2017, 12:28:47 PM »
I don't really understand this "eye for an eye" or "two wrongs don't make a right" argument in defence of letting ignorant or offensive comments go unchallenged. It's not like the person doing the calling out is mindlessly offending the original commenter's sexuality, race, or gender as a rebuttal. As I said above, it's about setting boundaries about what behaviour is appropriate in a public, multicultural, international setting. I am surprised at the backlash against people asking for some basic civility and fair treatment.

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #131 on: July 09, 2017, 12:36:27 PM »
I fail to see what your are talking about in either of the posts you mentioned. I guess in this day and age of safe spaces and over reaching PC, everything seems racist or homophobic to some people.
Agreed

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Gross; and here we go again with the narrative that marginalized people should just sit down, shut up and not make waves about their experiences. Ugh. Low effort comment.

Without making too many assumptions... Is there a possibility that you fail to see what the person is talking about.... because... you're not... in one of those marginalized groups? Possibly? Maybe?

Well said.  I was about to post something much less eloquent in reply.

To add on a tiny bit: If you don't find something offensive, whether you're in a group or not, but plenty of other people do, maybe instead of blaming it on "PC culture" you could have some empathy, see that they DO find it offensive, and try to avoid whatever talk was offensive and support others in doing the same?

What I mean to say is that even if it isn't offensive to you, why does it offend your sensibilities to not use something that others find offensive?  Is it damaging you not to say something others consider racist or homophobic or sexist or whatever, even if you don't?  The easy solution seems to be "well, I don't think it's offensive, but others clearly do, so I'll stay away from that sort of language" even if you DON'T understand why they find it offensive (likely because of not being in the marginalized group, as privatevoid points out).
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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #132 on: July 09, 2017, 03:22:16 PM »
Without making too many assumptions... Is there a possibility that you fail to see what the person is talking about.... because... you're not... in one of those marginalized groups? Possibly? Maybe?
Or: they see it, but don't deem it important enough.

kayvent

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #133 on: July 09, 2017, 06:19:36 PM »
"Cameras?" What are they?

Also, Algerians are white?

Q: What are Cameras?:
A: People from the Iberian Penisula (or descended).

Q: Algerians are white?:
A: It is all BS but yeah. From my understanding, since Algeria is north African country, they are considered white by various government agencies. Classifying them as white is arguably the better mapping since they don't face the systemic oppression that face native born Americans with the same complexion.

nnls

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #134 on: July 09, 2017, 06:32:41 PM »
I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

It annoys me a lot as well Marty998, and I will call people out on it. A person from work asked me over drinks one night and they tried to cover it by saying they were just interested in Australia's diversity so I basically made them ask everyone else who was at the bar with us, as well as other work colleagues over the next few weeks especially when we had new starters.

I (rather perversely, I'm sure) really enjoyed that story, nnls.  Thank you.

No worries, I am glad you enjoyed it

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #135 on: July 10, 2017, 09:23:25 AM »
I fail to see what your are talking about in either of the posts you mentioned. I guess in this day and age of safe spaces and over reaching PC, everything seems racist or homophobic to some people.
Agreed

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Gross; and here we go again with the narrative that marginalized people should just sit down, shut up and not make waves about their experiences. Ugh. Low effort comment.

Without making too many assumptions... Is there a possibility that you fail to see what the person is talking about.... because... you're not... in one of those marginalized groups? Possibly? Maybe?

Well said.  I was about to post something much less eloquent in reply.

To add on a tiny bit: If you don't find something offensive, whether you're in a group or not, but plenty of other people do, maybe instead of blaming it on "PC culture" you could have some empathy, see that they DO find it offensive, and try to avoid whatever talk was offensive and support others in doing the same?

What I mean to say is that even if it isn't offensive to you, why does it offend your sensibilities to not use something that others find offensive?  Is it damaging you not to say something others consider racist or homophobic or sexist or whatever, even if you don't?  The easy solution seems to be "well, I don't think it's offensive, but others clearly do, so I'll stay away from that sort of language" even if you DON'T understand why they find it offensive (likely because of not being in the marginalized group, as privatevoid points out).

By that same line of reasoning I should probably not admit to being an atheist when around other people in my day to day life as I'm in the American south and many people here find being an atheist highly offensive based on their deeply held religious convictions.

Someone else's offensive is not my problem if they misconstrue or read something in to what i say that I didn't intend. Also there is a lot of calling someone out for being racist by people not part of the "offended" group speaking for others rather than themselves. I have little respect for being offended by words, I have even less for being offended on behalf of someone else by words. It comes off as more of a way to say look at how good I am, not only do I speak the way I'm supposed to but I also try to pressure others to do the same.

As I.P. Daley mentioned, if changing someone's mind or behavior was the first and foremost concern then reaching out through private message and having a reasoned conversation trying to convince them or at least come to an understanding would be far more effective. However I feel many would rather flaunt what good little boys and girls they are rather than actually make a real difference.

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dividendman

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #136 on: July 10, 2017, 09:47:15 AM »
To add on a tiny bit: If you don't find something offensive, whether you're in a group or not, but plenty of other people do, maybe instead of blaming it on "PC culture" you could have some empathy, see that they DO find it offensive, and try to avoid whatever talk was offensive and support others in doing the same?

I understand what you're saying. However, why are some topics protected by this code and others not?

In fact, MMM has several articles in which he purposely tries to agitate and be offensive (like Clown Car habit). He didn't have to say clown car, he could have been much more polite. Telling people they can live on half their income offends plenty of folks too.

Now, the above is kind of the point of this site, so maybe that's why it's OK to be offensive on those issues.

Many people find standing up for abortion rights as offensive (i.e. they think it's supporting murder), however in the abortion threads it seems fine to offend in this manner. Why is this OK?

Now, this isn't my house, so I'm fine with cherry picking the topics for which we can be offensive (whatever that means), I just don't think there is any logic behind it.

Finally, I agree with much of prognastat posted (he did so while I was posting). I'm an atheist too, I guess I should shut up about it since it offends many. Some group of people are always going to be offended at anything, so it's tough define when the offensiveness bar is high enough for enough people that it becomes a problem that needs to be censored.

dividendman

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #137 on: July 10, 2017, 09:55:53 AM »
I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

It annoys me a lot as well Marty998, and I will call people out on it. A person from work asked me over drinks one night and they tried to cover it by saying they were just interested in Australia's diversity so I basically made them ask everyone else who was at the bar with us, as well as other work colleagues over the next few weeks especially when we had new starters.

I (rather perversely, I'm sure) really enjoyed that story, nnls.  Thank you.

No worries, I am glad you enjoyed it

I agree this is annoying, but I have fun with it now. I'm 3rd generation Canadian and my lineage is from India. People invariably ask me where I'm from. So I say "Canada". Then they ask what's my background. Then I say "Canadian". Then they get flustered and I enjoy it.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #138 on: July 10, 2017, 10:04:10 AM »
I think one of the places we can draw a line is where it's untrue. So if we say "men are...", "women think...", "gay people love...", "Muslims push..." we're already inaccurate, and that inaccuracy is naturally irritating. It puts people in boxes, perpetuates myths, places an unnecessary barrier between humans getting to know each other, increases the chance of unfounded reactions to a perfectly innocent person, etc. So, I think stereotyping is a great place to draw a line.

I don't think it's really about not triggering angst in anyone. As dividendman noted, this site intends to trigger angst on certain subjects. And, plenty of (albeit not by any means all) atheists are angsty about some people being religious, but we don't ask people not to self-identify as Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist, etc.

Sure, some people get angsty about stuff, but I think here we're talking about reducing oppression and the myths (stereotypes, etc) that lead to oppression.

re: Speaking up for others. I'm not offended or angsty when people do that. From my experience, I recognize that as helpful and necessary, where a group or individual has been marginalized to the point of voicelessness. But, I maintain that we can do this kindly and effectively vs aggressively (until aggression proves necessary).

Psychstache

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #139 on: July 10, 2017, 10:10:44 AM »
I can't tell you how many times I get innocently asked "where are you from?" I have been living in Australia for 28 years. If I had blond hair and blue eyes, no one would think to ask such a question.

It grates on me more than it should, but I feel strongly about it.

There is so much crap out there about immigrants allegedly not integrating and being against "our way of life". When one immigrant does integrate, and sees themselves as nothing but a local, he still has to explain that "where you're from" is a ridiculous question to ask.

It annoys me a lot as well Marty998, and I will call people out on it. A person from work asked me over drinks one night and they tried to cover it by saying they were just interested in Australia's diversity so I basically made them ask everyone else who was at the bar with us, as well as other work colleagues over the next few weeks especially when we had new starters.

I (rather perversely, I'm sure) really enjoyed that story, nnls.  Thank you.

No worries, I am glad you enjoyed it

I agree this is annoying, but I have fun with it now. I'm 3rd generation Canadian and my lineage is from India. People invariably ask me where I'm from. So I say "Canada". Then they ask what's my background. Then I say "Canadian". Then they get flustered and I enjoy it.
I have a similar move for this situation.

My mother is white and my father is from the middle East, and his genes won out in a land slide. Combined with an atypical for America name, I get a lot of "where are you from" questions, so I answer using my mom's side of the family to see how far they want to go:

Typical example:

Them: So, where are you from?
Me: I grew up in Houston
Them: no, like where is your family from?
Me: they still mostly love in Houston, some in Austin.
Them: no, like where did they come from?
Me: Oh, Tennessee. I think New York before that.
Them:...I mean... Like where are they ORIGINALLY from?
Me: OOOHHHH... mostly Germany and Scotland.
Them:......

:D


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dividendman

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #140 on: July 10, 2017, 10:20:25 AM »

I agree this is annoying, but I have fun with it now. I'm 3rd generation Canadian and my lineage is from India. People invariably ask me where I'm from. So I say "Canada". Then they ask what's my background. Then I say "Canadian". Then they get flustered and I enjoy it.
I have a similar move for this situation.

My mother is white and my father is from the middle East, and his genes won out in a land slide. Combined with an atypical for America name, I get a lot of "where are you from" questions, so I answer using my mom's side of the family to see how far they want to go:

Typical example:

Them: So, where are you from?
Me: I grew up in Houston
Them: no, like where is your family from?
Me: they still mostly love in Houston, some in Austin.
Them: no, like where did they come from?
Me: Oh, Tennessee. I think New York before that.
Them:...I mean... Like where are they ORIGINALLY from?
Me: OOOHHHH... mostly Germany and Scotland.
Them:......

:D


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Haha, I love it. I guess if someone asks where I'm ORIGINALLY from I'll start to answer "Same as you, Africa".

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #141 on: July 10, 2017, 12:18:27 PM »
'Where are you from' is one of my go to conversation starters (as an awkward conversationalist). I hope no one takes it the wrong way, although I could see how they might after this thread. I don't care if they say Oklahoma, Canada, or Sudan, I usually follow it up with what high school did you attend, or I've always wanted to visit there etc etc...is that wrong? Should I take that question out of the rotation entirely? Or does it only get offensive when you press to get a nationality out of them (which I would never do - gah!)?

Lis

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #142 on: July 10, 2017, 12:41:05 PM »
To add on a tiny bit: If you don't find something offensive, whether you're in a group or not, but plenty of other people do, maybe instead of blaming it on "PC culture" you could have some empathy, see that they DO find it offensive, and try to avoid whatever talk was offensive and support others in doing the same?

I understand what you're saying. However, why are some topics protected by this code and others not?

In fact, MMM has several articles in which he purposely tries to agitate and be offensive (like Clown Car habit). He didn't have to say clown car, he could have been much more polite. Telling people they can live on half their income offends plenty of folks too.

Now, the above is kind of the point of this site, so maybe that's why it's OK to be offensive on those issues.

Many people find standing up for abortion rights as offensive (i.e. they think it's supporting murder), however in the abortion threads it seems fine to offend in this manner. Why is this OK?

Now, this isn't my house, so I'm fine with cherry picking the topics for which we can be offensive (whatever that means), I just don't think there is any logic behind it.

Finally, I agree with much of prognastat posted (he did so while I was posting). I'm an atheist too, I guess I should shut up about it since it offends many. Some group of people are always going to be offended at anything, so it's tough define when the offensiveness bar is high enough for enough people that it becomes a problem that needs to be censored.

I like that you're bringing the discussion here, because I think your questions are valid and should be discussed.

Regarding MMM and his blog posts, as well as the similar messages of "facepunches," "clown car," etc., - I view this as a bully mentality that raises the poster above "others," and those who agree with them become more dedicated to the idea, because they have more to lose if they disagree. It's an effective method to get an idea across, though usually not peacefully. MMM could have easily started a blog that said "here are the scientific and mathematical reasons why spending less is better." And his viewership would have been drastically less. With this tactic, not only is an idea being shared, but it's creating a hierarchy between two or more groups of people. The meanness behind these posts isn't just to get a point across, but they're essentially an invitation to join an exclusive club. "You drive a clown car and need to get rid of it" and "You deserve a facepunch for that spending" isn't just saying "Your financial choices are ineffective," but also "change your ways and we'll accept you." To be honest, it's why I haven't read an MMM blog post in a long time and tend to avoid the forum posts where the poster is either asking for facepunches or commentators pile on with the sentiment.

The difference here too is between choice and non choice. You can choose to buy an expensive car, or choose to bike to work. You choose to buy a six figure house or fix up a smaller property. You don't choose the color of your skin, or your sexuality, or where you were born, etc. So it's more acceptable to be "ridiculed" for the choices you make, but it's not fair at all for something you have no control over. (Like I implied above, I don't particularly care for the ridicule for anything, I just think that's why it's deemed more acceptable than others.)

Regarding abortion rights and other similar topics - obviously this is much more tricky. I think it goes back to intent behind the beliefs - "abortion is murder" vs. "women's choice." I'm very much on one side of this particular argument, and while I'm not sure I would label the other side's argument as "offensive," I think it's a term that's used extremely broadly, almost to the point where it loses its value. Assuming the other side is saying "I believe X because Y," even if I don't agree with it, I wouldn't find that offensive. Of course, if the argument is "you're an idiot for believing that," yeah, that's offensive and unnecessary. Mature debating isn't offensive, but with sensitive topics, especially on an anonymous forum, these have a tendency to fall from maturity.

The last point that you and prognastat regarding religion and atheism (another sensitive topic) - as an atheist/agnostic, I've been fortunate enough to never personally encounter someone who was offended by my mere existence (religious friends and acquaintances have been tolerant of *most* religions, including the nonreligious). So the question is, "if someone is offended by my mere existence, should I do anything to change that?" And to that, my answer is no. I think a lot of the time, offensiveness goes hand in hand with a lack of tolerance.

I'm struggling with wording my opinion on the last one, because I don't think the rules are the same across the board. For example, saying "I believe in God" or "I don't believe in God" aren't offensive statements - they're religious beliefs that should be tolerated and respected. But a statement like "I believe all black/gay/women are..." probably is offensive.

Psychstache

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #143 on: July 10, 2017, 12:47:25 PM »
'Where are you from' is one of my go to conversation starters (as an awkward conversationalist). I hope no one takes it the wrong way, although I could see how they might after this thread. I don't care if they say Oklahoma, Canada, or Sudan, I usually follow it up with what high school did you attend, or I've always wanted to visit there etc etc...is that wrong? Should I take that question out of the rotation entirely? Or does it only get offensive when you press to get a nationality out of them (which I would never do - gah!)?
I would say there is a difference in what you are doing. I would imagine when I responded Houston, you would have used that to push the conversation forward and I wouldn't give it a second thought.  It's when someone continues to press that it becomes a problem in my opinion and experience.

If you wanted to play it safe, you could switch it up to "where did you grow up?" or "did you grow up around here?" instead. In my experience that is a genuine inquiry to learn more about who I am and start a conversation vs "where are you from?" seems to usually be designed to determine why I have brown skin and a funny sounding name.

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prognastat

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #144 on: July 10, 2017, 12:58:07 PM »
To add on a tiny bit: If you don't find something offensive, whether you're in a group or not, but plenty of other people do, maybe instead of blaming it on "PC culture" you could have some empathy, see that they DO find it offensive, and try to avoid whatever talk was offensive and support others in doing the same?

I understand what you're saying. However, why are some topics protected by this code and others not?

In fact, MMM has several articles in which he purposely tries to agitate and be offensive (like Clown Car habit). He didn't have to say clown car, he could have been much more polite. Telling people they can live on half their income offends plenty of folks too.

Now, the above is kind of the point of this site, so maybe that's why it's OK to be offensive on those issues.

Many people find standing up for abortion rights as offensive (i.e. they think it's supporting murder), however in the abortion threads it seems fine to offend in this manner. Why is this OK?

Now, this isn't my house, so I'm fine with cherry picking the topics for which we can be offensive (whatever that means), I just don't think there is any logic behind it.

Finally, I agree with much of prognastat posted (he did so while I was posting). I'm an atheist too, I guess I should shut up about it since it offends many. Some group of people are always going to be offended at anything, so it's tough define when the offensiveness bar is high enough for enough people that it becomes a problem that needs to be censored.

I like that you're bringing the discussion here, because I think your questions are valid and should be discussed.

Regarding MMM and his blog posts, as well as the similar messages of "facepunches," "clown car," etc., - I view this as a bully mentality that raises the poster above "others," and those who agree with them become more dedicated to the idea, because they have more to lose if they disagree. It's an effective method to get an idea across, though usually not peacefully. MMM could have easily started a blog that said "here are the scientific and mathematical reasons why spending less is better." And his viewership would have been drastically less. With this tactic, not only is an idea being shared, but it's creating a hierarchy between two or more groups of people. The meanness behind these posts isn't just to get a point across, but they're essentially an invitation to join an exclusive club. "You drive a clown car and need to get rid of it" and "You deserve a facepunch for that spending" isn't just saying "Your financial choices are ineffective," but also "change your ways and we'll accept you." To be honest, it's why I haven't read an MMM blog post in a long time and tend to avoid the forum posts where the poster is either asking for facepunches or commentators pile on with the sentiment.

The difference here too is between choice and non choice. You can choose to buy an expensive car, or choose to bike to work. You choose to buy a six figure house or fix up a smaller property. You don't choose the color of your skin, or your sexuality, or where you were born, etc. So it's more acceptable to be "ridiculed" for the choices you make, but it's not fair at all for something you have no control over. (Like I implied above, I don't particularly care for the ridicule for anything, I just think that's why it's deemed more acceptable than others.)

Regarding abortion rights and other similar topics - obviously this is much more tricky. I think it goes back to intent behind the beliefs - "abortion is murder" vs. "women's choice." I'm very much on one side of this particular argument, and while I'm not sure I would label the other side's argument as "offensive," I think it's a term that's used extremely broadly, almost to the point where it loses its value. Assuming the other side is saying "I believe X because Y," even if I don't agree with it, I wouldn't find that offensive. Of course, if the argument is "you're an idiot for believing that," yeah, that's offensive and unnecessary. Mature debating isn't offensive, but with sensitive topics, especially on an anonymous forum, these have a tendency to fall from maturity.

The last point that you and prognastat regarding religion and atheism (another sensitive topic) - as an atheist/agnostic, I've been fortunate enough to never personally encounter someone who was offended by my mere existence (religious friends and acquaintances have been tolerant of *most* religions, including the nonreligious). So the question is, "if someone is offended by my mere existence, should I do anything to change that?" And to that, my answer is no. I think a lot of the time, offensiveness goes hand in hand with a lack of tolerance.

I'm struggling with wording my opinion on the last one, because I don't think the rules are the same across the board. For example, saying "I believe in God" or "I don't believe in God" aren't offensive statements - they're religious beliefs that should be tolerated and respected. But a statement like "I believe all black/gay/women are..." probably is offensive.

Before I moved to the American south I never actually experienced any prejudice for being an atheist. Since I was younger then it may just have been an age thing, but I suspect it is mostly a religiosity thing. I would not restrict their freedom to say these things though as I would rather they speak them and allow me the opportunity to argue their opinions than silence them and have them hold them in private without me knowing.

However, I feel people's beliefs and opinions should be tolerated, but none have any innate right to be respected. As I believe free speech is integral to a free and open society I will tolerate almost any speech so long as it isn't a call to violence, and not in some roundabout way where someone somewhere might construe something as a call to violence, or defamation that maliciously results in damages either to a person or business.

rockstache

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #145 on: July 10, 2017, 01:09:34 PM »
'Where are you from' is one of my go to conversation starters (as an awkward conversationalist). I hope no one takes it the wrong way, although I could see how they might after this thread. I don't care if they say Oklahoma, Canada, or Sudan, I usually follow it up with what high school did you attend, or I've always wanted to visit there etc etc...is that wrong? Should I take that question out of the rotation entirely? Or does it only get offensive when you press to get a nationality out of them (which I would never do - gah!)?
I would say there is a difference in what you are doing. I would imagine when I responded Houston, you would have used that to push the conversation forward and I wouldn't give it a second thought.  It's when someone continues to press that it becomes a problem in my opinion and experience.

If you wanted to play it safe, you could switch it up to "where did you grow up?" or "did you grow up around here?" instead. In my experience that is a genuine inquiry to learn more about who I am and start a conversation vs "where are you from?" seems to usually be designed to determine why I have brown skin and a funny sounding name.

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Thanks for your thoughts. I actually ran into this in an awkward way this weekend. I met a woman who was introduced to me as currently living in Hawaii (but visiting my state), and I sort of naturally said, oh did you grow up there, and she gave me a funny look and said "no, I'm from here (my state)." So then I did ask her what town/high school, and the conversation went on normally after that, and we ended up getting along really well and chatting. Later, I wondered if she might have (initially) thought I asked her if she was from/grew up in Hawaii because she was Asian, and I really hoped she didn't think I was meaning to imply anything. It just seemed like a question to keep conversation moving. Yikes. The perils of conversation. This is why I prefer to hide at home.

zoltani

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #146 on: July 10, 2017, 02:35:13 PM »
When it comes to this issue I like this quote by my favorite philosopher.

"In any foreseeable future there are going to be thousands and thousands of people who detest and abominate Negroes, communists, Russians, Chinese, Jews, Catholics, beatniks, homosexuals, and "dope-fiends." These hatreds are not going to be healed, but only inflamed, by insulting those who feel them, and the abusive labels with which we plaster them—squares, fascists, rightists, know-nothings—may well become the proud badges and symbols around which they will rally and consolidate themselves. Nor will it do to confront the opposition in public with polite and nonviolent sit-ins and demonstrations, while boosting our collective ego by insulting them in private. If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or non-human, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the "external" world—especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside. For want of this awareness, no one can be more belligerent than a pacifist on the rampage, or more militantly nationalistic than an anti-imperialist."

Alan Watts
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

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PizzaSteve

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #147 on: July 10, 2017, 02:42:14 PM »
When it comes to this issue I like this quote by my favorite philosopher.

"In any foreseeable future there are going to be thousands and thousands of people who detest and abominate Negroes, communists, Russians, Chinese, Jews, Catholics, beatniks, homosexuals, and "dope-fiends." These hatreds are not going to be healed, but only inflamed, by insulting those who feel them, and the abusive labels with which we plaster them—squares, fascists, rightists, know-nothings—may well become the proud badges and symbols around which they will rally and consolidate themselves. Nor will it do to confront the opposition in public with polite and nonviolent sit-ins and demonstrations, while boosting our collective ego by insulting them in private. If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or non-human, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the "external" world—especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside. For want of this awareness, no one can be more belligerent than a pacifist on the rampage, or more militantly nationalistic than an anti-imperialist."

Alan Watts
What wisdom! 

I am tempted to quote this in the thread dedicated to not paying one's morgage off.  Certain active forum members have labeled me and i feel the need for community support to not react and derail the thread.
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Johnez

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #148 on: July 10, 2017, 03:02:02 PM »
'Where are you from' is one of my go to conversation starters (as an awkward conversationalist). I hope no one takes it the wrong way, although I could see how they might after this thread. I don't care if they say Oklahoma, Canada, or Sudan, I usually follow it up with what high school did you attend, or I've always wanted to visit there etc etc...is that wrong? Should I take that question out of the rotation entirely? Or does it only get offensive when you press to get a nationality out of them (which I would never do - gah!)?

Wow, thanks- I thought I was the only one lol!

One of the reason I ask "Where are you from?" is because I've been asked so many times myself. I'm used to it,and it seems like a normal question to me. Another reason, and the reason I'm asked is pure curiosity. I can see how it might put the person on the spot with regards to race, especially if they've experienced racism in the past. In all honesty though, without these kind of questions how exactly are people supposed to get to know one another? Maybe if the questions are couched in a "get to know you" way with a bunch of other questions, it's less awkward and more obvious that a person is genuinely curious as opposed to harboring some sort of hidden prejudice.

zoltani

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Re: Tolerance of racism and homophobia on this site
« Reply #149 on: July 10, 2017, 03:24:21 PM »
What wisdom! 

I am tempted to quote this in the thread dedicated to not paying one's morgage off.  Certain active forum members have labeled me and i feel the need for community support to not react and derail the thread.

The quote is about looking within yourself, not convincing others or gaining support. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you cling so tightly to your ideas and that thread, and then let it go.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard