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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Stuff White People Like (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Stuff White People Like
Tatiana
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According to the list, I'm not white, which completely bears out my own feelings. I've been checking "mixed" on race questions for years. My friend who's black, however, IS white.

(I think everyone is actually mixed. And scientifically, I don't think race has any meaning at all. I think it's purely a social construct, in fact. If it weren't for how differently people perceived to be different races are treated in public places, the question wouldn't even exist as a discussion point. I'll be so glad when we finally put it behind us.)

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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I share the same perspective, Tatiana. We shouldn't make prejudices based on what people look like, because it really doesn't matter if people decide not to make it matter to them.
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The Rabbit
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I'm only white in between the freckles.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
... I've been checking "mixed" on race questions for years. My friend who's black, however, IS white. ... I don't think race has any meaning at all. I think it's purely a social construct, in fact.

quote:

Lander is gently making fun of the many progressive, educated, upper-middle-class whites who think they are beyond ethnicity or collectively shared tastes, styles or outlook. He's essentially reminding them that they too are part of a group.

You also fit *at least* one of the features in that list, "#14 Having Black Friends" [Wink]

But seriously, as long as people think its relevant, it may be a social construct (I don't necessarily agree, but we can for the sake of discussion) but its still a very important one to be aware of. I'll note that right after you mentioned that you always checked "mixed" you referred to a "black friend," which is a racial categorization.

I also find myself thinking about and will gently echo Tom thoughts here.
link

I've come across the idea that race is just a social construct and it will go away if everyone just treats each other *who looks* the same. I still don't buy it. However, this is probably easier when you're some variety of white in a majority-white country. If you're not of the majority skin colour, I think you'll find that race is still very relevant.
The other problem is that often people *aren't* just talking about how people look like when they mention race. They often refer to an ill-defined grab-bag of ethnicity, culture, language, and reasoning. As long as these things exist, there will always be *some* term that will be needed to help us distinguish between them, and I do not anticipate that changing for at least hundreds of years.

Consider the illegal immigrant issue and the "we don't want our children to speak Spanish" sentiment and the Obama issue with "we don't want prayer mats in the White House" sentiment. Now you can break that out into language, cultural, and religious issues but most people do not think that way. When people do racial profiling, they "know" what a Muslim looks like and the "Muslim" group is loosely associated with the "Arab" group because let's face it, they are highly correlated. Consider also the rise of the term "islamophobia" and accusations of "racism." The two should be different issues, but many people confuse the two.

No, the race concept *may* be a social construct, but its not going away. It doesn't go away when the majority of the country is white and you only have to "tolerate" scattered in-offensive assimilated minority groups around the country. It doesn't go away when the country has to deal with a large number of immigrants who refuse to assimilate.

It may go away when the number of real "mixed" people grow to a majority of the population, but given the cultural, language, social-economic factors that are often conflated with race and the sheer number of people in countries such as China and India who show little signs of interbreeding, I don't think the ideas behind the terms "race", "ethnicity", "waiguo ren", "gwei lo" whatever you want to call it, are going to go away for hundreds of years at least.

quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
I share the same perspective, Tatiana. We shouldn't make prejudices based on what people look like, because it really doesn't matter if people decide not to make it matter to them.

jokes != prejudices
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pooka
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yeet hay
It's like it will reverse the polarity of your accupuncture meridians in a non-beneficial way, or something.

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scholarette
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While in some ways race as a social construct is true, there are some genes that are more predominant in groups from certain locations. For example, Ashkenazi Jewish may not be as concerned about sickle cell, but should be concerned about Tay-Sachs disease.
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MightyCow
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I like to think of myself as a Black Man who completely breaks stereotypes by acting white and also by having no dark pigmentation.

It's quite liberating, especially since I only get the benefits of my Blackness, with none of the negative stereotypes. This year I might try thinking of myself as the good things about Chinese too, in honor of the Olympics. Not the oppressing Tibet part though.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
yeet hay
It's like it will reverse the polarity of your accupuncture meridians in a non-beneficial way, or something.

Erm, AFAIK (and not contradicted by that link) "yeet hay" has very little to do with accupuncture and meridians, aside from the fact that both come from Chinese traditions.

(What follows may sound silly, but I will gently remind the audience that one person's silly supersition is another person's truth. i.e. people in glass houses shouldn't throw Bibles)

"yeet hay" is at its core just an mixture of ideas such as balance (ex: yin/yang), the proverb "you are what you eat", and Chinese herbal medicine.

Briefly, if you eat spicy foods (yeet hay) or certain foods containing spices your system will go out of balance and you will need to eat some non-spicy foods to balance that out. Go too far and you have the reverse problem.

Personally, most of it probably is the placebo effect. But with the great variety of Chinese herbs that can be used, I have no doubts that some may have been picked that have active ingredients of some sort and that by sheer trial and error, they happen to be used in an effective manner. The problem is without scientific rigour, there is no way to tell which is which.

No, the reason that I was amused was not the idea, but the high probability that that item in the list immediately raised my probability estimate of the author either being a Cantonese FOB or CBC/ABC. I think Mandarin people have an analogous term, it may even sound similar, but they usually place less emphasis on concepts such as "yeet hay", "feng shui", etc.

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pooka
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They seem related to me, but maybe I'm playing fast and loose with the Zang Fu. "reversing the polarity" was tongue in cheek, though. Somewhat. I mean, that would kill you.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I'm not so quick to dismiss a social contruct as merely a social construct. Marriage, art, justice, and beauty either are or are parasitic upon social constructs. America is a social construct, and I think a rich experience of life is more than what gives itself to the sort of empiricism that brands cultural identity and political disposition with regard to race, a mere social construct.
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Zalmoxis
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quote:
What is the point of putting the adjective "white" in the sentence if it is not to imply that the sentence pertains to at least most people who are white and that it is more likely to apply to people who are white than those who are not.
Because it is using white not as a racial/genetic background category but rather as an ethnic category. It is a play on the whole idea of ethnic studies (and white studies has recently become a growing topic of interest in that field).

It's similar to when someone says "I'm so white" or "I'm such a white guy" when confessing to liking a particular thing and/or acknowledging the lack of understanding or capability with a certain thing.

It also comes out of the use of the word "white" by American stand up comics (especially but not limited to African American comics).

But of course the irony of such essentializing of making such admissions of whiteness (as Lander seems also to understand) is that it's a way to both participate in and invalidate ethnic constructs, to be both ironic and sincere and dismissive and to assert power through self-deprecation.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Because it is using white not as a racial/genetic background category but rather as an ethnic category. It is a play on the whole idea of ethnic studies (and white studies has recently become a growing topic of interest in that field).
Your begging the question, why identify that ethnic group as "white"?


My original question was in response to the claim that its a "leap" from saying "things white people like" to saying "things all white people like". I categorically disagree. If this site had identified this ethnic group in some other way, the site might be funny but it wouldn't be edgy or new worthy.

The thing that makes this site both humorous and offensive is the conflagration of a racial feature (white skin) with cultural features which are neither exclusively white nor shared by the majority of white people.

Most everything said on this site is tongue in cheek. It pokes fun not just at the ethnic group in question but at racial stereotypes in general. Its a joke that is nonetheless trying to make a some serious social commentary. None of that is in question.

What is in question is whether one is making a leap the authors did not intend when they used the phrase "white people".

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katharina
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The authors of the site are white, I think. That makes me a little uncomfortable - the mocking congratulation is a little too close to real self-congratulation.
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scifibum
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quote:
What is in question is whether one is making a leap the authors did not intend when they used the phrase "white people".
Since you were initially responding to me, let me clarify (again) that I think the author(s) absolutely DID intend for people to make the leap. I don't think that's in question.
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MightyCow
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People on Hatrack like to find things to be offended about [Wink]
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The Rabbit
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scifibum, I just disagree that "leap" is even the right word. Perhaps "all white" people is stretching the point but it isn't a stretch at all when one says "white people like X", to understand that to mean the overwhelming majority of white people.

And unfortunately, the vast majority of white people in America aren't in the ethnic group they are describing.

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MightyCow
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To see how true it is, you have to remember that there are many subsets of White People, and those who don't fit in the first category may fall under one of the denominations:

Redneck White People

Ghetto White People

Jewish Redneck White People

Irish White People

Etc.

Of course, I take no responsibility for the offensiveness of any of those sites. This is Hatrack after all [Smile]

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
I share the same perspective, Tatiana. We shouldn't make prejudices based on what people look like, because it really doesn't matter if people decide not to make it matter to them.

jokes != prejudices
Unless the jokes are about non-white people. Then they are bigoted. [Roll Eyes]

-pH

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Mucus
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?
I actually was the one that brought up the link to "Stuff Asian People Like" and found it amusing, same with the 88 (rather pooka brought that one up and found it amusing).

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steven
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"I like to think of myself as a Black Man who completely breaks stereotypes by acting white and also by having no dark pigmentation.

It's quite liberating, especially since I only get the benefits of my Blackness, with none of the negative stereotypes. This year I might try thinking of myself as the good things about Chinese too, in honor of the Olympics. Not the oppressing Tibet part though.?



My very pale, totally Caucasian friend Trevor used to pretend to be the "Albino Aborigine: Black Man in Disguise" when he was little. I only found out about this recently.

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Zalmoxis
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quote:
Your begging the question, why identify that ethnic group as "white"?
Because they are the antithesis of "black" (and that's black in quotes because what that really means is a certain stereotypical type of African-American culture).

Mind you, I'm not begging the question as I have major qualms about the use of the category, but in my experience there is an undeniably cultural aspect to it. To put it bluntly -- the other types of white people don't really matter in this type of cultural posturing.

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Samprimary
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quote:
social construct
you keep using that word.

i do not think it means what you think it means.

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pooka
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OK, white people of Hatrack, we've installed a new hood/vent thing over our stove and my husband wants to leave the protective film on, which is blue, to show that it is new. Does this reasonate with anyone or is this hill worth dying on?
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maui babe
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This seems like a strange thread for that question, but since you asked...

I think leaving the protective film on would be tacky. It looks new because it is new. If he wanted to leave the film on to protect the hood (and thus keep it looking new longer???), I could maybe understand it, but just to show that it's new? That seems odd to me.

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Orincoro
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The pre-amble of these discussions always seem to be where people feel so free to share their ignorance and intolerance with a "who me?" shrug. I was glad that got nowhere.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
OK, white people of Hatrack, we've installed a new hood/vent thing over our stove and my husband wants to leave the protective film on, which is blue, to show that it is new. Does this reasonate with anyone or is this hill worth dying on?

I'm only borderline white, but I'd leave it on. My reasoning would be something like: "if I leave this on it will last longer, and the hood will less likely need to be replaced when/if I sell the house." I would not leave it on to showcase that it is new.
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pooka
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He took it off while I was away doing something else... but he still thought he was right. [Razz]
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Orincoro
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Protective film, in white culture, is associated with age and infirmity. Also, it is generally considered trashy. My grandparents would cover their TV remotes in plastic wrap. The idea was that the wrap could be changed, and the remotes didn't need cleaning. The reality was that they never changed the wrapping, and so the faustian bargain of plastic protection payed off with a greezy, disgusting thing you had to hold in your hand. The suggestion that one might do better with cleaning the thing when it needed it was met with open derision. They were, in their minds, quite innovative.

They were the kind of poor that inflicts harm on itself in an attempt to be sensible. They also watched Jerry Faldwell. That may be a white thing.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Protective film, in white culture, is associated with age and infirmity.
I would .sig this, had we .sigs here. You people are loons.
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BlueWizard
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Going back to an earlier post, I once had a list of ways to know if you are from Minnesota. One of the ways to know was whether you had worn shorts and a parka at the same time.

I see that all the time in Minnesota.

steve/bluewizard

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