The Race Relations/Diversity/Equality Thread

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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:03 am

*facepalm*

Hallmark shouldn't have pulled the card. Some idiocy should not be indulged.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:44 am

I couldn't help but laugh as the woman held up a "You're Graduating!" card at the end of the video and said "And we do not want to see this ever, ever again." I'm not too sure she'd ever seen one before that.
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Postby Luet » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:26 am

I love hoops & yoyo!* How could they accuse them of such things?!

*I have a h&y keychain and named my cat yoyo. :)
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Postby Psudo » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:33 am

I'm here late, so it'll be a big post while I catch up.
I know a number of black mothers (and it's always mothers. Fathers don't seem to care) who encourage their children to marry a white person. Why? I can sum it up with one quote that I've heard pass through the lips of many black mothers, sometimes in jest and sometimes not: "I don't want no nappy-headed grandchildren".
I can second the "It's always mothers" part, but from the other side of the issue. I come from a very white-bread family, but we have as close family friends an interracial couple; a white guy who married a black African girl (she was born and raised in rural South Africa). My mom is at the age where she treats everyone's kids are her own grandkids, but those two youngin's get her special attention because they're her only black grandbabies.

It's probably motivated by the same force that drives Angelina Jolie to adopt kids from every populated continent. Perhaps something maternal revels in racial diversity.
Now, a question to pose to all of you: Do you identify as any particular race [in terms of your own perceived cultural identity]?
Interesting question. My being white, while technically true, is not part of my conscious decision-making. If I had to pick a group to identify with in that sense, I'd say "American."

I might self-identify by state, too, but I'm just as likely to want to distance myself from my state culture. It's rather a mixed bag.
I identify as a New Yorker. (City, not state.)
I study the American Revolution as a hobby, and that was common even back then. New York City was uniquely loyalist among the colonies until the British blew it all to bits, then they focused more on getting both sides to leave them out of it.

Incidentally, I should talk to you about immigration policy sometime.
As for special racial schools: bad idea. Religious schools, okay. Southern Baptists can have all the schools they want...
So Southern Baptists can reject creationism, Catholics can teach that birth control is a sin, Mennonites can demonize modern technology, Muslims can teach Shira Law, and Scientologists can demonize psychiatry in their schools, but it's wrong for blacks to teach Afrocentric history to blacks? That seems hypocritical.

Either everyone needs to learn the same standardized curriculum approved by the same bureaucratic drones or everyone needs the same leeway to screw their kids up in their own culturally unique way. Anything else is inequality under the law, and that would be wrong.
Does any one else hate the melting pot analogy? Because I do. I always preferred the salad analogy. Where the individual parts still have their own identity even though they are part of a greater whole.
The "melting pot" refers to crucibles used for making metal alloys. The atoms in an alloy retain their elemental identities, but the alloy itself (ideally) has all the strengths of all of it's constituent metals. I tend to think of titanium or surgical steel when people mention the melting pot.
Does a multi-ethnic movie really bring in fewer viewers?
Prince of Persia got a lot of criticism for NOT including any Persian-looking people. However, I think it's easier to cast white people in Hollywood since they're the largest pool of potential actors available. To me it looks like cost-cutting rather than racism (or response to perceived racism).
That sounds like the opposite of the Marriage Squeeze phenomenon. It's supposed to be black women who are insecure about getting black men.
In love, everyone's insecure for any reason they can get. Or so I believe because I was a nervous wreck when I was single. Married for life, guaranteed.
There is only the Human Race. Period.
There are three distinct races distinguishable by anthropologists from bone structure and genetics: mongoloid, caucasoid, and negroid. Every specific individual is some mixture of those three (no "purity" exists). Any further classification is technically ethnicity (cultural) rather than race (physiological).

The Nazi "scientists" that pushed racial superiority were wrong, factually and morally. But so are people who claim there is no such thing as race. People are equal, not identical.
I've been thinking about moving to Austin, TX recently, and being black, I thought it would be worth asking about race-relations in that area and Texas in general.
I don't actually know anything about race relations in Texas, but I have an amusing (to me, anyway) comparison to make. I had a math teacher in High School who told the class he was moving away that summer. At first he wouldn't say why, but we pushed until he relented. He passed around a picture of the girl he was going to marry, and she was black. She was from the south and wanted to move back because (as I mentioned earlier) this is a very white-bread place. She hadn't actually been treated badly (at least not that he was willing to admit to us that she was willing to admit to him), but she didn't like the feeling of being singular and alone in that sense. Like a fly in milk, to steal a phrase from Blind Side.

The amusing part is that she wanted to move to Texas because she was black, and you worry about moving to Texas because you're black. It's amusing that Texas has two mutually exclusive reputations.

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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:05 am

The amusing part is that she wanted to move to Texas because she was black, and you worry about moving to Texas because you're black. It's amusing that Texas has two mutually exclusive reputations.
Someone once raised the question in a group of friends of mine as to what the worst thing to happen to black people since the Civil Rights Movement was. Answers like "Souljaboy", "Katrina", and "Al Sharpton" all came up, but I answered "BET". I was joking at the time, but as I thought on it, I realized I wasn't far off the mark.

The actual worst thing is "The Black Community". Now I'm not saying that black people trying to help other black people is a bad thing - certainly not the worst thing to happen to black people. But, the continued isolation of the culture as a result is about the worst thing that's happened. What was the point of ensuring black people are free to engage in all the same areas of society as white people if we then turn around and create a separate little enclave for ourselves, and then shun people who don't fit that mold? Even Barack Obama had to face the question - is he "black enough"?

BET's just a glaring example of that - sure, MTV's more than happy to feature music by black artists, but how much further along do you think race relations would be if all the money and effort that goes into separating BET from MTV went into trying to integrate the two instead? Would Eminem be a "White Rapper"? Would there be black rock bands? (I'm sure there are a few more of both of these, but can you name five off the top of your head?)

Frankly, since most of the actual masterminding and decision making in the Hip-Hop Community isn't actually made by black people, or by people with an eye to promote black culture, I can't help but feel that the culture is being directed toward this and this in the extreme. (But not as extreme as I wish it was - seriously, just click through a few of the comments)

So the black community in Texas I'm sure exists and is thriving, but it's not where I'd want to spend my time there.
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Postby CezeN » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:29 am

There are also cases where the idiocy and racism are in the side of the minority. Yeah, minorities being racist against themselves :shock:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badas ... black-hole
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Did you see this one as well?
http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/arch ... ns-ra.html

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Postby CezeN » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:36 am

I can't help but feel that the culture is being directed toward this and this in the extreme. (But not as extreme as I wish it was - seriously, just click through a few of the comments)

So the black community in Texas I'm sure exists and is thriving, but it's not where I'd want to spend my time there.
I agree with your whole post, and LOLD hard at those vids.
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Postby Eddie Pinz » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:37 am

Does any one else hate the melting pot analogy? Because I do. I always preferred the salad analogy. Where the individual parts still have their own identity even though they are part of a greater whole.
The "melting pot" refers to crucibles used for making metal alloys. The atoms in an alloy retain their elemental identities, but the alloy itself (ideally) has all the strengths of all of it's constituent metals. I tend to think of titanium or surgical steel when people mention the melting pot.
I know what the melting pot refers to. I'm saying it doesn't fit. There is no alloy. The cultures are always going to be separate. Sure there are places where they have overlapped, but you can also stick a fork into a salad and get both lettuce and tomato. But people will for the most part identify with their ethnicity over being American.

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Postby Psudo » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:21 pm

I know what the melting pot refers to. I'm saying it doesn't fit. There is no alloy. The cultures are always going to be separate.
The different metals are still indestructibly there in the alloy. It's not like the atoms become different elements. An alloy is a sum, not a blend. I don't see where the metaphor fails.

Also, I mentioned alloys because someone else said the melting pot was like melting crayons together.

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Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:28 pm

The atoms in an alloy retain their elemental identities, but the alloy itself (ideally) has all the strengths of all of it's constituent metals. I tend to think of titanium or surgical steel when people mention the melting pot.
How are you translating the elemental identity retention to the population? Because my understanding of the actuality of the melting pot metaphor is assimilation; not that all cultures in the so-called pot get to add their varying strengths and retain their unique identities on some base but easily recognizable level but rather significantly shed their cultures (typically by third generation), to include but not be limited to language, in order to fit in with the broader accepted culture around them. This varies somewhat by region, of course.

So I see the melting pot not as an embracing of different cultures that makes us all stronger but rather as a means of justifying the removal of the distinctions that make cultures so wonderful and interesting in the first place under the guise of creating, I don't know, equality. Truly, people should be afforded the same rights (assuming they haven't done anything to lose them), should all be treated with respect, given the same opportunities, etc. and in that way, I believe in equality and erasing distinctions. I do not, however, think we need to blur the lines so heavily that you end up with an entire culture of English-only, blue jeans, Christian, whatever else can be considered mainstream. Sadly, I think that white, English-only, Christian way is more the reality of the melting pot. Am I wrong or racist or resentful for thinking that? I hope so, I hope not, and I hope not, respectively.

The US hasn't discovered the magical place where we celebrate those differences without giving special treatment to some and screwing over others. I'm not sure it can be done. But no thanks to what I've seen of the melting pot. Salad sounds good. I can tell the difference between the tomato and lettuce, the crouton and dressing, but they're all necessary and important to the entirety and can be those things without losing who they are in the process.
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Postby Rei » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:33 pm

To add to what Alea has said, the melting-pot analogy is generally counted the foil of the mosaic analogy. If you envision it as bits of coloured glass instead of metals, the idea behind the analogies becomes clearer.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:20 pm

I don't like either the melting pot or the salad analogy - they both seem to imply that America IS the salad, or... whatever's supposed to come out of the melting pot. That there is a single culture that might be composed of different parts, blended or still notably distinct, but I just don't think that's the case. A tomato, a head of lettuce, an onion, and a cucumber do not a salad make, but in some ways, I think it's a more apt metaphor.

Maybe the best way I can explain it is that America is like a box of Crayolas sitting on a shelf. A big box. It's only during election cycles and wars that someone comes along and picks out a drawing America did two hundred years ago, or fifty years ago, or ten and says "This drawing is the essence of the American spirit! It contains all the important crayons (Usually it's lots of reds and blues because there are a lot of shades of these two) and they were used masterfully to convey something meaningful." And this makes a lot of sense, and since all the reds and blues are both told they define America, they're happy, and some of the other colors say "Well I'm a hot color, so I like the reds (Or I'm a cool color so I'll like the blues) but my color is unique, so I'll just keep to myself and only make a mark or two in the drawings." Still others insist, "Well, I'm green, and I don't quite like either of these guys, but what I did on that last drawing was cool, and if I get these guys to let me draw some more stuff on the next one, it'll be great."

And so most everyone is happy whenever someone brings up something we did in the past to give us an idea of what we should be in the present. But, ultimately, we're still a box of crayons on the shelf until we actually draw it, and until then none of us has any idea what it'll look like. But we are yet still America.

It isn't the result of our coming together that defines the American spirit, it's not the salad we made last week, or last year. A tomato, a cucumber, some lettuce and an onion can make a fine salad, but they go great on a hamburger too. American culture isn't about the blending of the cultures, it's about keeping them close enough together that when something new pops up, whatever ingredient you need is right there to make it delicious.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:48 pm

Does a multi-ethnic movie really bring in fewer viewers?
Prince of Persia got a lot of criticism for NOT including any Persian-looking people. However, I think it's easier to cast white people in Hollywood since they're the largest pool of potential actors available. To me it looks like cost-cutting rather than racism (or response to perceived racism).
Just saw this (that's what I get for skimming). Are they the largest pool of potential actors because more white people than any other group of people try to break into acting or are they the largest pool because they're the only ones really given a break in the first place?

The below linked article about SAG's statistics isn't quite what I was looking for but if I'm reading it correctly (I may be wrong in my interpretation, I have a way of misunderstanding pretty simple stuff), it does mention that they're primarily handing the roles to Caucasians, which does seem to suggest others are trying and just not getting them or the roles are being created as white characters, giving the others no shot to begin with. How much of their not getting hired is to do with skill, who can say. I'm also not entirely sure about that Census data mentioned in the article and what it represents. As far as I can remember, you can claim Latino/Hispanic as an ethnicity but it pretty clearly also makes you choose Caucasian as your official race. Something like that. Too bad I don't have the form in front of me to verify that.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR111801 ... =1055&cs=1
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:30 pm

The breakdown seems to indicate that, by and large, the breakdown of roles by race reflects the breakdown of the nation by race.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:11 am

I guess I was questioning the validity of using said numbers when the Census separates Latinos/Hispanics as "origins" and not as race, meaning they're technically Caucasian by race.

I'll also note that while I recognize we're still in the middle of collecting more accurate data, it would make more sense (to me) to use more up to date info.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html shows that as of 2008
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2008 (b) 15.4%
White persons not Hispanic, percent definition and source info White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2008 65.6%
The Hispanic population is still growing, rather rapidly I believe. It's not a huge difference now - ~5 and ~7% respectively- if we're looking at percentages stated in the article, from the 2000 Census, and the above quick facts, but what does that mean in terms of real numbers? It's certainly a bigger disparity than the article would have you believe and non-Hispanic Caucasians are currently overrepresented.


Anywho. I can live with that if they're sticking kind of close to the actual breakdown of the nation.
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Postby jotabe » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:54 am

Yeah Cenez, i saw that and i wanted to cry... or laugh, or both at the same time. As Archimedes would say "Nolli tangere circulos meos"... or "Nolli tangere cavos nicros meos" XD

Btw, i don't think that you can racially really classify hispanic or latinos as an ethnic group (beyond the fact that such classification is totally pseudoscience), because in any case you'd have among them caucasian, native american, native american+caucasian (majority), caucasian+black (another large group, mostly among those of cuban origin) and native american+black. There would be a large black element if it wasn't for the habit of the creolle slavemasters to impregnate the female slaves (eventually emancipating the children).
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:00 am

As far as the Caucasian/Hispanic thing goes, the census doesn't list "Caucasian," anyway, does it? It's "white," right? And because the total from the census numbers adds up to 100%, and it would be about 6% over if they were counting Hispanics as both "Caucasian" and "Hispanic," they're probably just listing "White, Non-Hispanic" as "Caucasian."

But I hadn't realized how big a change from 2000 there had been, though I should have, I suppose, as about half of the yearly population growth comes from the Hispanic population. (Though I'm a bit wary of using annual estimates, as they tend to be off from the actual numbers by +/- 3 percentage points or so for race-breakdown in their pre-census estimate and the post-census numbers.)
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Postby Luet » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:41 am

Since I have been working for the Census, I thought I would clarify what the 2010 Census asks.

There is one question that asks if a person identifies themselves as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish. They can say yes to one of those or to another type of Hispanic and write it in (like Nicaraguan, etc.).

THEN, there is a separate race question which specifically says in the instruction "For the purposes of the Census, Hispanic is NOT considered a race. Please choose from the following options." It then lists White, African American, American Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, or Some other race. We were told to have them pick from the list but if they insisted on putting Hispanic as their race, then to write it in under the "other race" category as Hispanic.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:51 am

It seems it doesn't matter what ethnicity you are. You're 110% American just so long as you're buying Chrysler Group products.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:38 am

Dude... everyone knows Washington drove a Ford F-150.
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Postby Jayelle » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:27 pm

It seems it doesn't matter what ethnicity you are. You're 110% American just so long as you're buying Chrysler Group products.
Wow. The first one is just... ridiculous. The second made me laugh because the riff they're using throughout that whole commercial? I'm pretty sure it's the beginning of the Johnny Cash Song God's Gonna Cut you Down - seems fitting.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:58 pm

The lulziest part of that Grand Cherokee commercial? It's still built off the same platform they were built off of when Chrysler was DaimlerChrysler.

It's a German car.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:07 pm

Also, this is completely unrelated to the last bit, so I felt it merited its own post.

Are there any PWebbers from Europe? It was mentioned in passing in Satya's topic about the holocaust, but the issue of Islamic immigration isn't that big in the US, or at least it's overshadowed by Mexican immigrants, but it seems it's quite the phenomenon in Europe.

That video comes across a little paranoid and xenophobic, but it's not the only source I've heard bringing up the changing demographics of Europe. Like this article from a few years ago when sharia courts got official recognition in Britain. The only US sources on the matter I've found seem to either be like that first video - mostly fueled by a xenophobic reaction, and most of the UK and other European sources I've found seem to skirt wide around the issue, seemingly for fear of seeming like the first set.

Anyone care to share their honest opinion about it?
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Postby jotabe » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:21 am

It's just scaremongering. The only law recognised is each country's law.
In Spain we have had problems in the past with gypsy minority attempting to withhold their communities from spanish law, saying they deal with their own using their laws. But law enforcement goes against it, and same happens whenever a case appears where a "sharia tribunal" attempts to enforce one of their "sentences".

There is apparently a problem of integration... but it only happens to youth, usually to the children or grandchildren of immigrants (the immigrants are too busy making a living to care about it). They are within a society that doesn't completely accept them, so the reply with violence, both mental (purpousefully adopting ways of thinking that offend the host society, like fundamentalistic religion) and physical. But all youth is violent, increasingly violent, and that's the real problem: immigrant descendants just have their own patterns to outlet that violence.

Muslim youth become fundamentalists, latin american youth get into newly created maras, and spaniard youth is less structurated, but no less violent, using drugs, rejecting work and resurfacing gender-based violence. It's still a minority in each group, but it's not reassuring.
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Postby Psudo » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:34 am

Looks like I have lots to answer to.
Because my understanding of the actuality of the melting pot metaphor is assimilation
That's how it's commonly used, yes. But the use of the metaphor doesn't match the physical event it actually describes. I like the metaphor as said better than as intended.
I do not, however, think we need to blur the lines so heavily that you end up with an entire culture of English-only, blue jeans, Christian, whatever else can be considered mainstream.
I'm with you there. Equality, not uniformity.
Sadly, I think that white, English-only, Christian way is more the reality of the melting pot.
There is a cultural force seeking that, but it is not really the force that has been driving American history. There was a recent book entitled "The History of White People" that traces how the term "white" has expanded to cover more and more ethnicities, even among those who want to preserve the USA as a "white" nation. Thankfully, they're losing out to the more relentless and stronger American tradition of inclusion and tolerance applied to progressively more and more people. The Declaration says "All men are created equal." The way Americans treat each other eternally inches towards that ideal.
the melting-pot analogy is generally counted the foil of the mosaic analogy.
I believe this is largely the view of advocates of the mosaic analogy, not advocates of the melting-pot analogy. It's interesting, by the way, that your signature quotes Churchill in favor of English as the core cultural language; doesn't that make you one of the assimilation advocates?

I suppose I am for assimilation in a way; if you don't accept that people of other races, creeds, and cultures are equal, I advocate that you assimilate to the cultural precept that says they are. Beyond that, I'm not terribly picky.
Are they the largest pool of potential actors because more white people than any other group of people try to break into acting or are they the largest pool because they're the only ones really given a break in the first place?
I don't live or work in Hollywood, so this is only speculation. But my speculation is that 1) there are still more white people in America than any other race, and the pool of people moving to Hollywood and waiting tables with dreams of becoming actors reflects that somewhat, and 2) people who watch Friends will, if white, be encouraged and, if not, feel discouraged about their chances of being a star regardless of the reasons behind the racial uniformity on Friends.

Incidentally, in the case of Friends specifically, the creators are a gay man and a Jewish woman; the characters are predominantly white -- and straight -- because they were afraid of alienating their potential audience by being too alien to be relatable. I'll call that motivation 3) playing to a straw audience.

Those reasons seem like they would explain your casting statistics. You tell me; is that racism? If it is, that means there should be a great pool of talented, underappreciated minority child actors just waiting to populate an Ender's Game movie. There's your silver lining. =]

Edit: *innocent whistle*
Last edited by Psudo on Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:43 am

The Constitution says "All men are created equal."
No. It doesn't.
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Postby jotabe » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:18 am

Well, the declaration of indepence says it. :P
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:21 am

Well that was written by a bunch of Brits, so I don't think we'll be putting much stock into it.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:17 am

Well, the declaration of indepence says it.
Indeed it does. And the Declaration of Independence is also incorporated into the U.S. Code as part of the organic laws of the U.S.

That doesn't make it any less sad that our citizens (and, indeed, our own representatives in Congress -- e.g. Rep. Phil Hare) aren't educated enough about the government to know that there's a difference.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:16 pm

I officially hate black people.

Seriously... Cleopatra was a greek ruling over Arabs. Why would a black actress get the role?
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Postby jotabe » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:35 am

Nitpick: Well, not over arabs. They were, ethnically, a different people than those of the levant, those of the arabian desert and those of the land between rivers. As the egyptian people spread to the south, black population began to mix. Linguistically, though, they were probably the first semitic people, spreading the proto-semitic throughout all the middle east.

Egypt had black pharaos, and while the greek Ptolemies became rulers of Egypt after the collapse of Alexander's empire, it isn't farfetched to think that they would consort with politically powerful families in egypt, probably black families too. After a few generations (and we are talking here about 250 years, ie roughly 10 generations), the greek facial traits would simply evaporate. On the other hand, they adopted Egyptian traditions like royal incest, so that might help conserve the "greekness".

In any case, descriptions of Cleopatra don't really fit well with facial standard characteristics of black people. It's hard to conceive her as light skinned, and precisely being dark skinned would help her gain physical allure over the roman triumvirii despite her not-too-graceful face.

Also, Janus, don't generalize :P it's racist people you hate.
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Postby neo-dragon » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:14 pm

Things just keep getting better in Arizona!

I won't be surprised if the next headline is about giant illegal immigrant hunting robot sentinels.
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Postby neo-dragon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:02 pm

Dr. Laura’s Racist N-Word Rant

I've never listened to Dr. Laura before so I don't know if she's always this abrasive, but I can't help but notice that she was way too busy ranting about her right to use the word 'nigger' to actually help the poor woman with a valid relationship problem. At the very least that's pretty unprofessional.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:51 pm

The four minute introduction to Dr. Laura is that she's the woman this video is having a go at.

And yes, her rant was insensitive, off-topic, and unprofessional, but... she's not wholly wrong. Yes, a husband whose friends tell racist jokes with no regard to his wife's feelings is clearly fucking up. But as uncomfortable as it is to say it, the word nigger has lost a lot of it's power. It's only power is to invoke the idea that black people are subhuman solely on the basis of their race. If that idea has any sway with you, it's not going to be just because someone suggested it. It'd be like saying short people, or bald people, or any other characteristic made someone subhuman. It's laughable.

And making the word itself taboo only reinforces the concept. You're essentially saying "You shouldn't say the word nigger because black people still feel like there's reason for them to think they're subhuman, even if those reasons are based on bits of history that are at best more than half a century out of date."

People used to think being left handed made you demon spawn. But if I called someone a "Dirty Leftie" today, and there was a huge uproar the way there is when a white person says nigger, I'd probably start to wonder exactly why people thought lefties were so detestable.
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Postby neo-dragon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:57 pm

It's not so much Dr. Laura's point about the use of the word that I think is off, even though I do think that she's oversimplifying the issue. It's more the way she dismissed the woman as being hypersensitive. Believe me, I am the first person to call someone on being overly sensitive, but that's not even the issue here. The caller is faced with a very real problem inherent to many interracial relationships. Her husband's friends are making her uncomfortable by making racial remarks. Maybe they're just joking and they think that she's okay with it. Lord knows my friends and I toss around racist jokes with each other, but she's not okay with it, and evidently the husband isn't doing anything about it. This is a relationship issue, not a political correctness issue. Rather than do her job and address that Dr. Laura decided to get out her soap box.

And as I said, she oversimplifies it. I don't think that it's as straightforward as 'black guys say nigger so white people should be able to say it too'. While I agree with what you're saying in theory, Janus, I don't think that we're quite there yet. How long as it been since anyone in this part of the world considered lefties as evil? The word "nigger" was widely used to dehumanize black people as recently as a generation or two ago. It's stupid for a word to have as much negative power as it does but over time it won't. I think it's natural that the people who used the word to oppress are going to be the last ones to be able to use it freely. Even then, context will always matter.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
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