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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Ashton Kutcher Scandal - Racism (explicit content) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Ashton Kutcher Scandal - Racism (explicit content)
Jeff C.
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OK, before you continue reading this post (noted: explicit content), read this and watch the associated video.

All done? Good. Now let's talk about something that doesn't seem to be getting talked about.

Ashton Kutcher's little video is certainly racist, but I don't care about that. What I want you all to think about is the video response that was posted from the actual Indian comedian above the article. He is fairly angry about the whole ordeal (and rightly so, I'd imagine), and how goes on to say something like "White guy in brown face?!" and then proceeds to rant about how this potato chip company (or whatever they are) is furthering the "black/asian face" problem, and therefor racism.

I don't disagree with any particular point the man makes, but what strikes me as interesting is that he seems to think that this only pertains to minorities. This is completely untrue. White people get made fun of all the time by non-whites. Look at Dave Chapelle, who constantly dresses in white face and mimics the stereotype of what a white person acts like. Or look at Carlos Mencia. Or Chris Rock. Three major comedians who all take jabs at white people (and other races, too), but no one says a word about it. Why? Because apparently it is OK for a black man to make fun of a white person, but it's totally racist to make fun of a black person. Or an Indian. Or an Asian. Or anyone else who isn't white. Seriously, do I even need to bring up White Chicks?

This is where America's head is right now. If you're a minority and you want to make fun of white people, that's totally fine, but if you're white, you'd better not even think about doing the same thing to them, because that's racist.

I mean, come on, am I the only one who's noticed this?

[ May 11, 2012, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: Jeff C. ]

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Dan_Frank
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There's no such thing as reverse racism, Jeff.

Some people who say that mean this: Because society systematically oppresses minorities, and the important part of racism is oppression, white people cannot be oppressed and therefore it's not possible to be racist against white people.

What I mean when I say it is this: The important part of racism is generalized criticisms based on physiological ethnicity instead of criticizing recognized specific traits of an individual. So whether you're doing this to a black person or a white person or any other ethnicity, it's still just plain racism. Nothing reverse about it.

The only conceivable logical definition I can think of for "reverse" racism might be things like affirmative action: generalized benefits for people based on race, instead of generalized punishments. It's still racism, but I suppose you could describe it as "inverted," a.k.a. "reverse."

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Jeff C.
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Dan, I only used that as the title because I couldn't think of anything else to use. The main points I wanted to discuss are in the first post.


Also edited the title.

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Strider
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Louis C. K. would seem to be a counter example to your points Jeff. He makes fun of other races pretty regularly.
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MattP
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You also don't see people making fun of whites in commercials. It seems to be OK for edgy standup in either direction, though it's riskier for the white guy, for what I think are obvious reasons.
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Dan_Frank
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I know, Jeff. But, as is almost always the case, I was more interested in the tangential derail that popped into my head than in actually discussing the OP. Sorry!

I think Strider has a good point about Louis C.K. He's not the only one, either. But it is certainly, as Matt said, "riskier."

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TomDavidson
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It's riskier because we allow -- even encourage -- underdogs to take the piss out of the big dogs, but consider it gauche for people in power to taunt the little guys.
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Bokonon
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Dan, you are repeating a common misconception of Affirmative Action. All it requires is that a company is appropriately recruiting from the area in which it operates, which it proves by documenting it's efforts/

Affirmative Action isn't quotas. Quotas are what happen when you can't show you aren't discriminating.

I learned this at a mandatory two day "Sensitivity training" course back at IBM almost 15 years ago.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It's riskier because we allow -- even encourage -- underdogs to take the piss out of the big dogs, but consider it gauche for people in power to taunt the little guys.

Yep, and white people, inherently, are all "big dogs," while minorities are all "the little guys." [Roll Eyes]
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TomDavidson
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Yes. Yes, they are. Before we get into this, though, I'd like you to think about it a bit and understand why. And even what it means to be a "big dog" in this context, and whether that's a semi-permanent position. Will, for example, it always be the case that it's considered sporting to depict all sitcom husbands as lazy doofuses? Or is that a specific reaction to something?

I'd really like you to go outside your comfort zone in analyzing this, Dan, and not just rely on kneejerk assumptions.

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Dan_Frank
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Bok: I'm aware Affirmative Action isn't the same thing as quotas, but I'm under the impression that it does require special considerations be given to minorities. I.E. If there are two identically qualified applicants to a school, pick the minority.

Maybe that's not the case in the letter of the law, but it definitely has held true in different places as far as implementation is concerned.

Which isn't really that surprising. The line between "don't discriminate against X" and "give X special treatment" can be really gray, I think.

What I mean is, any instance of one can be misrepresented to be the other. In close calls, like two equally-qualified-on-paper applicants, it would be hard to defend against accusations of racism if you picked the white applicant.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
... Three major comedians who all take jabs at white people (and other races, too), but no one says a word about it ...

Seems to me that you said 316 words about it [Wink]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Yes. Yes, they are. Before we get into this, though, I'd like you to think about it a bit and understand why. And even what it means to be a "big dog" in this context, and whether that's a semi-permanent position. Will, for example, it always be the case that it's considered sporting to depict all sitcom husbands as lazy doofuses? Or is that a specific reaction to something?

I'd really like you to go outside your comfort zone in analyzing this, Dan, and not just rely on kneejerk assumptions.

I don't know, man, that's a tall order. I'm pretty comfortable. [Wink]

My "knee-jerk assumption" is this:

"Big dog" in this context refers to a group that has historically been privileged, vs. "the little guys," who have historically been oppressed or marginalized. More specifically, white guys have gotten away with portraying women and minorities as awful (and offensive) stereotypes for generations, and it's only been in the last 40 years or so that the shoe has been shifting to the other foot.

If you want me to rely on something other than that knee-jerk assumption, y'gotta give me more to work with. What part of it did I misunderstand?

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Rakeesh
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Clearly what Tom meant is that as a group, us whites are the big dogs with others being substantially smaller.

Some people-almost always white, surprise surprise, like to pretend that's not the reality of the situation in this advanced year of our lord 2012, but a scandal of black--->white racism is, say, Sherrod getting a hack reporting job taking shots at whites. A scandal of white----->black racism is when, say, some black guy gets shot a few dozen times picking up a wallet or gets tasered when the cops know he's got a heart condition and shouldn't be banging on his door anyway.

We're still the damn big dogs. It doesn't speak well to our collective character as a group, insofar as we can possibly be one, that the take from the civil rights movement seems to be it's as important and difficult for whites to not chafe at blacks taking shots at them, as it is for blacks to get over having lots of living relatives, or be themselves, victims of a centuries-long campaign of contempt, disenfranchisement, and oppression.

A comic on comedy central ain't gonna give me demonstrably worse chances in a job interview if my name is Shaquille or Quantavius than if my name were Steve or Carl. We're still on top of the damn world, guys, and not by a little.

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Juxtapose
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Black people make roughly 60% of the money white people do. That disparity has increased in the last 30 years, incidentally. How many white people would be willing to trade that for the ability to make fun of other races with social impunity?

Actually, for the low, low price of 5% of your income, I'll give any white person (making more money than me) written permission to to mock Japanese people. For no additional fee, I'll also compile a master list of those who opt in and post it at the next meeting so everyone's on the same page.

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Lyrhawn
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Affirmative Action is an umbrella term that has come to mean a lot of different things, but I don't really object to any of them. Black people have been systematically oppressed in America since they first got here, and that oppression continues today in ways both subtle and overt. Giving some of them preferential treatment in hiring and education is the absolutely least we can do to erase a tiny fraction of the debt that's owed.

On the other hand, I have mixed feelings on racial jokes. Personally I think comedians should go ahead and make fun of whatever they can get away with without being hateful. So if all the races want to make fun of each other, I'm fine with that, because so long as the stereotypes we lampoon aren't made to induce hatred, I think they can actually serve to bind us closer together as multi-racial, multi-cultural society.

But I thought the ad was horribly offensive. Kutcher should have said no.

quote:
There's no such thing as reverse racism, Jeff.
thank you. Had I gotten here sooner, that would have been my first comment.
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manji
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I mean, come on, am I the only one who's noticed this?

I suppose you are. Or you're the only one who gives a crap.

What I've noticed is that very few major studios will back a film that doesn't have a white protagonist. Major roles that were written for a specific minority get cast as white. Asians get consistently cast in roles that fit into a few specific stereotypes and very little else. The martial artist, comedic sidekick, and nerdy, socially awkward IT specialist.

Maybe white people get made fun of from time to time, but so what?

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by manji:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I mean, come on, am I the only one who's noticed this?

I suppose you are. Or you're the only one who gives a crap.

What I've noticed is that very few major studios will back a film that doesn't have a white protagonist. Major roles that were written for a specific minority get cast as white. Asians get consistently cast in roles that fit into a few specific stereotypes and very little else. The martial artist, comedic sidekick, and nerdy, socially awkward IT specialist.

Maybe white people get made fun of from time to time, but so what?

The point that the guy was trying to make is that only minorities seem to be getting made fun of and it is only furthering stereotypes. However, if you know your pop-culture, you know that's not true. Everyone gets made fun of all the time. Undercover Brother took a lot of jabs at white people and nobody cared. Had that been a film about a white guy poking fun at blacks, you can see how there would be a problem.

Nobody notices the white jokes because nobody cares that they exist. I don't think they are a big deal, either, and I honestly find them funny. However, my point is that you can't make these kinds of jokes and then not expect someone else to do the same thing about your race. It's like one-sided racism, where that person is wrong, but you're always right.

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Stephan
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What is a minority?

1/7 of all humans are Indian, right?

The county I teach in is predominantly African American. It also has the most wealthy African Americans than anywhere else in the country (maybe the world). (There is a fair amount of poverty in certain areas to, like my specific school.) My students have asked me on several occasions why Obama is the first black president. In their minds, African Americans are the majority.

It is all just a matter of perspective.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
My students have asked me on several occasions why Obama is the first black president.
What do you tell them?
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
My students have asked me on several occasions why Obama is the first black president.
What do you tell them?
I stopped class, pulled up Google, and began going over census and electoral college data.
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TomDavidson
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So your answer was "there are more 'minorities' now?" *blink*
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manji
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
The point that the guy was trying to make is that only minorities seem to be getting made fun of and it is only furthering stereotypes. However, if you know your pop-culture, you know that's not true. Everyone gets made fun of all the time. Undercover Brother took a lot of jabs at white people and nobody cared. Had that been a film about a white guy poking fun at blacks, you can see how there would be a problem.

No, that was not his point. Mr. Minhaj's point is that the stereotype Mr. Kutcher was poking at was both stupid and wrong. That it was perpetuating a stereotype in an environment where it is already accepted that Asians = that stereotype, where they find it very difficult to climb out of that stereotype.

When people make fun of white people, no one is pigeonholing white people, preventing them from getting film roles. They're not saying, "No, you can't be the romantic lead, you can't be the hero, unless you know a little kung fu." White people can be anyone in film. They can even be people who were written as minorities! Minorities? Stereotyped.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
My students have asked me on several occasions why Obama is the first black president.
What do you tell them?
I stopped class, pulled up Google, and began going over census and electoral college data.
Heh, no.

Showing them the data that in the United States as a whole they are a minority. But then I showed them the data on Maryland (when even the whites in public schools have dropped to below 50% state wide), and their own county.

Many of my students have never left this county, and don't quite comprehend how large and diverse our country is. They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.

Heh. Me, too. Though most of them are white.
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MattP
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quote:
Adam, a Native American, and George, an American of European descent, encounter each other on the street. Adam sees that George is carrying a shiny new Ipad 3. So Adam clubs George over the head with a stick and takes it.

George: “Ow! Give that back!”

Adam: “No.”

George: “But that’s mine! You just took it from me.”

Adam: “Look. A lot of stuff has happened in the past. I took your Ipad. Your ancestors took my ancestors’ land. My ancestors took somebody else’s ancestors’ land. It’s all terribly complicated.”

George: “But you took my Ipad. Just now.”

Adam: “Do you really want to go back to the beginning of time and sort out all the injustices of history? That’s impossible.”

George: “I just want my Ipad back. And an icepack.”

Adam: “So you want to correct the injustices that have happened in the last five minutes, but ignore the ones that happened prior to that? That’s arbitrary. The only non-arbitrary approach is to start fresh from where we are. I’m sorry I took your Ipad. I see now that respect for property rights is important. So let’s try to be better about enforcing them. Life, liberty, and property…starting now!”

George, stepping toward Adam: “Look, buddy. Just give me the damn Ipad.”

Adam: “Ack! Help! I’m being aggressed against!”

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/03/libertarianism-starting-now/
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Destineer
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Anyone who doesn't think it's OK in our culture for white people to make jokes at the expense of black people needs to watch more Family Guy.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Many of my students have never left this county, and don't quite comprehend how large and diverse our country is. They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.
None of them were offended by your implied claim that people voted for Obama because they shared his skin color?
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I suppose you are. Or you're the only one who gives a crap.
Or possibly the only one who thinks this is a conversation worth having.
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vegimo
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...or that white people voted for McCain because he wasn't black?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.

Heh. Me, too. Though most of them are white.
Me three. Though most of them are educated.
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Samprimary
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihzp55Cuo7M
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.

Heh. Me, too. Though most of them are white.
Me three. Though most of them are educated.
Did I mention that I work at a University?
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Many of my students have never left this county, and don't quite comprehend how large and diverse our country is. They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.
None of them were offended by your implied claim that people voted for Obama because they shared his skin color?
I don't think they implied that from what I said. Though I could definitely see how some could take it that way.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Some people-almost always white, surprise surprise, like to pretend that's not the reality of the situation in this advanced year of our lord 2012, but a scandal of black--->white racism is, say, Sherrod getting a hack reporting job taking shots at whites. A scandal of white----->black racism is when, say, some black guy gets shot a few dozen times picking up a wallet or gets tasered when the cops know he's got a heart condition and shouldn't be banging on his door anyway.

Huh, I would've thought a scandal of black->white racist might've been, like, some black people setting a white person on fire or something. But even so, I agree with you that more of the crimes still occur in the opposite direction.

I wasn't in any way trying to assert that racism doesn't exist, Rakeesh. Sure it does! And it's common enough to cause some trends, too! But I categorically disagree that it's systematic (more on that later), and I think that to simply call white people "Big Dogs" and minorities "the little guy" is... misguided.

Anyway, Juxtapose talks about the trends too:
quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
Black people make roughly 60% of the money white people do. That disparity has increased in the last 30 years, incidentally. How many white people would be willing to trade that for the ability to make fun of other races with social impunity?

White people make more money. To hear Juxtapose tell it, of course, every white guy makes 40% more than every black guy, but he's simplifying a trend. Lots of black guys make more money than lots of white guys, just not enough to counterbalance the trend.

Of course, seeing the existence of such trends does not actually dictate causality. We have to explain causality ourselves. And there are lots of other things that cause trends.

Going by trends, whether or not your parents are together, and whether or not they have college degrees, are both huge indicators of your likely future. Just like being black can be. Are we prejudiced against people with single parents, and against people with parents who lack college degrees?

Hatrack's a smart place, I'd bet that most of you have college degrees. I don't. Therefore (going by trends), regardless of race, your kids are more likely to also have degrees and therefore more likely to succeed than mine. Are me and my theoretical kids being oppressed by you and your unjust system?

My problem is mainly in the way that people use these trends.

For these trends to have the... let's say "oomph"... that people like Juxtapose think they have, you need to view society through a deeply collectivist lens. Black people, collectively, are doing badly, so the best explanation is that another, more successful collective (white people), are pushing them down.

It is that collectivism that I'm rejecting. Not the existence of racism.

This is also basically the reason I say the problem isn't "systematic." It's not because I don't think it's a serious problem. It's because the system, the only system in society with real, cohesive, collective power... that is, the government... isn't enforcing racist policies. Both sides can quibble over what they see as exceptions (righties might say affirmative action, lefties might say voter ID)... but the deep problems, like income inequity, aren't being forced on the populace by "the system."

So, anyway, there's my knee jerk assumption that stayed within my comfort zone and in no way involved any serious thought, just operating on autopilot mouthing platitudes I heard from Rush Limbaugh. [Wink]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Many of my students have never left this county, and don't quite comprehend how large and diverse our country is. They took for granted that Obama was guaranteed a victory, because that was who all the adults around them were voting for.
None of them were offended by your implied claim that people voted for Obama because they shared his skin color?
Or by the implication that a racial group is empowered by being in the majority. Didn't work that way in South Africa for quite a while. Seems odd.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Nobody notices the white jokes because nobody cares that they exist.
I think this is the crux of the issue.

Why doesn't anyone care about jokes about white stereotypes, but a lot of people do care about jokes about minority stereotypes? Why do white people care so little about them that they laugh along with the joke and will recommend the comic/movie/etc. to other white people?

I think it's because the jokes are not at all dangerous. We are completely secure in our paramount position of power in this society. These jokes don't threaten that power. We're still going to wake up the next day with the world explicitly set up to cater to our desires.

The same is not true for minorities. Negative stereotypes and attitudes, which are often propagated and maintained through jokes, are dangerous to them. They don't sit in an unassailably secure position and these jokes or rather the underlying ideas behind them can serve chip away at what power they do have in society.

And it's not like that's the result of some masterful analysis on my part. If you just listen, that's pretty much what people complain about with these jokes. Even when this question is sincere, in a way it confirms the very marginalization of these voices that is central to the complaints.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
But I categorically disagree that it's systematic...
When people dared to assert that a black person in a hoodie might not be particularly threatening, an entire arm of the news media spun up to claim otherwise.

------------

quote:
I think it's because the jokes are not at all dangerous. We are completely secure in our paramount position of power in this society. These jokes don't threaten that power.
As you acknowledge in your post, Squicky, that's precisely why you now hear conservatives muttering about "double standards" in jokes and "reverse racism" and "the portrayal of men as doofuses" in comedies: because they believe that power structure is at risk. As they slip farther and farther from their peak, those complaints will get more and more strident.
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Orincoro
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Well, if you want to get really deep into the point, white people *should* be offended by stereotyping, because we shouldn't be raised to think of minorities as the only people capable of being truly victimized by society. Our complacency also reinforces the status-quo: brown people are victims, and can't be dealt with on an even basis, and white people are strong and impervious to satire.

But then, we're just not. Whereas I do think anti-male stereotyping is starting to actually erode our youth culture at this point, I think anti-white stereotyping continues to have virtually no effect.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
But I categorically disagree that it's systematic...
When people dared to assert that a black person in a hoodie might not be particularly threatening, an entire arm of the news media spun up to claim otherwise.

I think that's a pretty bold characterization of events! But I'll assume it's 100% accurate for now.

Several other arms of the media did the opposite. So what? What about Fox News makes it "the system" in your mind, Tom?

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TomDavidson
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I didn't say "Fox News." I meant television news. Empty heads flapping meat-flanges at each other in defense of the status quo.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Well, if you want to get really deep into the point, white people *should* be offended by stereotyping, because we shouldn't be raised to think of minorities as the only people capable of being truly victimized by society. Our complacency also reinforces the status-quo: brown people are victims, and can't be dealt with on an even basis, and white people are strong and impervious to satire.

But then, we're just not. Whereas I do think anti-male stereotyping is starting to actually erode our youth culture at this point, I think anti-white stereotyping continues to have virtually no effect.

Yeah I think I pretty much agree with this entire post, Orincoro.

I might go further than you, too. I think that what I'll call for lack of a better word "pity-racism" is really prevalent amongst well-meaning social justice types.

Sort of in the same vein as (though less bad than) radical feminists trying to tell women that they are being oppressed and raped by their husbands and just don't realize it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I didn't say "Fox News." I meant television news. Empty heads flapping meat-flanges at each other in defense of the status quo.

Yeah, that really was a knee jerk assumption on my part. [Wink]

So, the rest of them picked up that narrative? Seriously? All of them? CNN? MSNBC? I'll admit I'm pretty skeptical of this claim. But I'll admit I don't really watch TV news of any sort, beyond clips I catch online from blogs and forums.

Even assuming you're right, let me amend my earlier question and repeat it: What about TV news makes it "the system" to your mind?

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Hobbes
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quote:
But then, we're just not. Whereas I do think anti-male stereotyping is starting to actually erode our youth culture at this point, I think anti-white stereotyping continues to have virtually no effect.
I don't know if that's true or not, but it certainly sounds true to me.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Scott R
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quote:
that's precisely why you now hear conservatives muttering about "double standards" in jokes and "reverse racism" and "the portrayal of men as doofuses" in comedies: because they believe that power structure is at risk.
quote:
I do think anti-male stereotyping is starting to actually erode our youth culture at this point, I think anti-white stereotyping continues to have virtually no effect.
The anti-male stereotyping is harmful because the specific type of message being transmitted is that not only are males buffoons, they are entitled to be buffoons.
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Orincoro
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I could agree with that. I could definitely see it that way.
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TomDavidson
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Television news -- television in general, really, but especially news -- is the voice of corporate America, Dan. It is the mechanism by which "the system" reinforces its desired social standards and taboos. It's not necessarily always part of some deliberate conspiracy, but it is never excessively subversive; it exists to profit from the status quo, and as a result is motivated solely to reinforce it.

But let's talk more about what you're calling "the system," and why that definition doesn't fit neatly with the "system" implied by "systematic racism." You say this:
quote:
This is also basically the reason I say the problem isn't "systematic." It's not because I don't think it's a serious problem. It's because the system, the only system in society with real, cohesive, collective power... that is, the government... isn't enforcing racist policies.
I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what "systematic" means in this context. Can you explain why you think a) a "systematic" process requires the application of cohesive, collective power; and b) only the government wields cohesive, collective power in American society?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The anti-male stereotyping is harmful because the specific type of message being transmitted is that not only are males buffoons, they are entitled to be buffoons.
Interestingly, Scott, I think that subtext is inserted into those portrayals precisely to make them more palatable to the men that are otherwise being mocked; it's meant to suggest to the viewing men that real men actually want to sit around the house with their hand down their pants, watching sports and hiding from the kids. It's like what aggressive people do when they make a joke they know -- perhaps too late -- is a little too obnoxious; they dig an elbow into your ribs and wink and say, "Get it? It's funny 'cause it's true, ain't it? I'm just telling it like it is."
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Orincoro
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I always recommend The Gulag Archipelago to any of my friends, conservative or liberal, who start talking about systematic processes needing or by their fundamental natures *having* a specific will or a specific intent. Those books are, if they are anything, an extremely comprehensive argument in favor of the notion that societies are capable of carrying out enormously complicated processes that they neither understand the need for, or the probable outcomes of. As "Perpetual Motion," repeats a number of times: a process no one could design, no one could carry out, and the purpose of which no one could fully understand.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Television news -- television in general, really, but especially news -- is the voice of corporate America, Dan. It is the mechanism by which "the system" reinforces its desired social standards and taboos. It's not necessarily always part of some deliberate conspiracy, but it is never excessively subversive; it exists to profit from the status quo, and as a result is motivated solely to reinforce it.

This attitude really baffles me, and only seems true insofar as "the status quo" is code for "what polls as appealing to most viewers" and nothing else.

And those qualifiers "not necessarily always" are huge red flags.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
But let's talk more about what you're calling "the system," and why that definition doesn't fit neatly with the "system" implied by "systematic racism." You say this:
quote:
This is also basically the reason I say the problem isn't "systematic." It's not because I don't think it's a serious problem. It's because the system, the only system in society with real, cohesive, collective power... that is, the government... isn't enforcing racist policies.
I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what "systematic" means in this context. Can you explain why you think a) a "systematic" process requires the application of cohesive, collective power; and b) only the government wields cohesive, collective power in American society?
Because society is made up of individuals who self-select into groups that they like (that approximately match their views). Such organizations are so numerous and shifting as to almost be infinite, and the only one that actually wields perpetual, irresistible power is the government.
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