Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby SisterRayVU » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:25 pm

Was talking with a buddy in school about privilege, how Western Culture values light skin, etc., and he didn't really get it beyond 'maybe people just like light skinned' which is a valid comment but beside the point about how it implicitly makes darker people feel bad. Kind of got angry but decided fuck it. I realized that I probably have a really hard time being friends with someone like that. I just think he's ignorant, but he's also really optimistic and doesn't get that coerced confessions are fairly common or that a black kid would admit to doing something he didn't do if the police arrested him and accused him of it. idk

those are my thoughts
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby hooplah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:39 pm

the other day i got in a huge debate with two of my friends, one who is white and one who is not. white friend kept saying "words only have the power you give them." other friend told me straight up that it wasn't racist that people demanded Obama's birth certificate. felt pretty disgusted
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby charybdis » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:22 am

I feel like schools do such a good job of educating people that "racism = bad" but they associate it with strong actions like cross burning and lynching so people get super upset when you indicate that something more subtle might also be considered racist.

Also, this summer my grandma vaguely told me that while it's okay to be friends with black people, I shouldn't date a black boy because of cultural differences. I love my grandma, so it was weird to get mad, but I don't think she really knows that I probably share more of a cultural with any black boy in america than I do with mainland chinese boys.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby schiaparelli » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:34 am

i think another component is that many people identify themselves as enlightened liberals, good people, socially aware people, sensitive people, &c…and it leads to this degree of complacency with everyday behavior. like guys who think they're nice guys so it's not really sexist or objectifying if they frequently comment on a girl's boobs in this weird way. this is where hipster racists come from. people think that they can't possibly be doing racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever things because bad people do those things, and they are not bad people. super not cool when the person who says they're totally down with gay people and marriage or whatever keeps on making jokes about being gay and having AIDs.

the problem is that people are more used to immediate vilification and b&w thinking. i kind of operate under the assumption "everyone is racist/sexist/negatively reactionary towards something unusual due to latent social conditioning".

what dwindles is mentioning about asian grandparents and racism…oh man. it's so strong in a lot of asians and asian cultures, and i definitely think i picked up on some racism and antisemitism as a kid. i think it's something i've had to work on for a while.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby SisterRayVU » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:51 am

That was part of his argument, that it's a social condition that's absent judgment and when I pressed him on where the judgment came from, he didn't get it. I even tried to argue that if it is natural to like light skin features, that wouldn't justify making others feel bad. But then he just said that he thinks darker girls are hot because of the contrast and it was like trying to speak to a wall. He's very much Jewish and I tried to explain that twenty years ago, Seinfeld was getting shit on for being too 'Jewish' and that back in the fifties, those characters wouldn't be allowed into mainstream America. I thought it'd be a good analogy to show how cultural dominance works, even for people who ostensibly look the same as the dominant culture.

I dunno. This stuff really upsets me. So does the whole 'Israel is just' shit. It takes a lot to bite my tongue about that since I know that if I was Lebanese or Middle Eastern, I'd feel uncomfortable in class.

Schia, I work on it too. Racism is something everyone has to work on. Being conscious of it is good because it forces you to correct yourself which is the only way to move the culture towards a less judgmental standard.

And hooplah, at least he acknowledges that bad words are bad :/
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby starfox64 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:58 am

i don't think racist grandparents are limited to asian cultures. maybe they are more upfront about it, but my grandparents have said some stuff that ranges from odd to offensive.

also re: the above, i think this is why kanye gets so much shit on (the primarily white middle-class male-dominated) reddit and whatnot. he says some pretty dumb shit and he isn't super articulate in his interviews (also being interviewed on the fly is pretty difficult), but a lot of the stuff he says i think kind of scares people. not in the sense of 'oh shit a black guy with money and power now they are coming for us' but in the sense that maybe society is actually way more racist than we have been trained think. he raises some uncomfortable positions about race and social standing that people try to rub away by saying 'well he is rich so why is he complaining?'

this isn't really a fully-formed argument, but yeah, i think pretty much everyone identifies and knows that racism through the lens of like the holocaust or jim crow is terrible, but a lot of the more subtle and pernicious racism that goes on is mostly glossed over or ignored, and it's hard to take a closer look at things and maybe admit that you are part of a fundamentally racist society and that not everything that you have done with your life has been by dint of hard work but also because of your social position. i'm a upper-middle class white guy and while obviously i always knew that i was in an advantageous position because i can like go to the south and not be afraid of being lynched or called 'boy' or whatever, it took moving to another country to sort out a lot of the other smaller advantages that i have. the first time i was turned down from going to a club for being white was pretty jarring, but it was almost certainly easier for me to brush off because i know this isn't my home and i know i am an outsider; i can't really imagine what that would feel like if i had been born and raised here. and even then, being white still carries a lot of privilege in asia, so i can't really complain.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:26 am

Woo upper middle class white guys! Systemic advantages!

It's always been a weird position for me because I know a lot of great art comes from conflict and entire genres of music have arisen from systematic oppression, but it'd be way fucked up for me to say I wish I was born into poverty so I had more flintstone. Obviously the advantages conferred outweigh any other possible benefits.

As far as the racism stuff goes, I've had my eyes opened to a lot of subversive racism since dating my (black) SO. The amount of times I've had to explain why "jungle fever" is an inappropriate phrase, the amount of people who've implied that I'm basically half black now... And of course the ever present "Oh but she's not really black". I've had the same people claim racism didn't exist anymore.

And schiaparelli you're definitely right in that a lot of the people who claim to be the most liberal can also be the most intolerant/bigoted.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby odradek » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:41 am

this is always a difficult conversation to have because, in the vein of what schiaparelli was saying, people have been taught that racism is bad and that as not bad people, they must necessarily not be racist. the double cut of this is that while some people take this to mean 'nothing i do is racist,' others take it to mean 'everything racist is not to be done.' forgive my upper middle class white dude, but it's a simple fact that it is easy and useful to draw lines at racial and sexual boundaries and it is easy for the particular reason that the differences are pretty fucking obvious. white people didn't all of a sudden convene a meeting and say "let's normalize whiteness," that's just the way shit happened with social power structures and allowed for the phrases like "let's marginalize non-whites" (as opposed to non-somethingelse).

i guess what i'm saying is that some things basically ARE racist in a strict sense and they'll never go away. we are, after all, having a conversation about black people and white people. just the delineation of this conversation is racist and you can't throw that away and still have this conversation. is there a benign aspect to this whole thing? probably not. are people often confusing race and class? probably. are racist jokes bad for society? i'd say not necessarily. this is a conversation whose limits are explicitly racial. any value judgments made within those bounds will necessarily be racist.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby spahdfgo » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:31 am

On a completely unrelated note, I'm just realizing now how toxic a workplace can get. Up until now, the jobs I had weren't very important to me, it was mostly a way to pay for my holidays. But now, I have a job to keep me busy until next year and fund a long travel so I can't really act like it's not important.

Since Chloé subcontracts my position, when I arrive i'm supposed to make a call to tell the company for which I work for that I'm here. I arrived a bit late today, so I directly went to make my phone call. One of my colleague asked me why i didn't say hello when I came in like it was the worst I could have done. Not only did I say hello after my call, I also apologized. It's not the first time she flips her shit for something trivial like this and she also has some weird preconceived notions about me. Fortunately, I don't see her a lot but it's like whatever I do, I do it wrong. I don't know if it's because I'm much younger than her.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby hooplah » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:24 pm

if i can expound a little upon my previous post, "words only have the power you give them" is one of the most irritating examples of racism, or at least complacency about racism, that i can think of. "words only have the power you give them" is essentially saying "your offense is your problem." it's shirking the responsibility of caring about or rectifying racism onto the person experiencing it. "the word 'nigger' offends you? lighten up. don't let it bother you." essentially, "not my problem, get over it. you're being oversensitive." or "because it isn't offensive to me, it should not be offensive to you."

and then my friend had the gall to say "i'm not offended when people call me cracker, so why should other people be offended by the n-word? they're just words." except one word is laden with historical connotations and has a history of being used to systematically dehumanize people based on the color of their skin, while the other doesn't (hint, "cracker" doesn't). why is black face more offensive than white face? same reason. white people who cry about anti-white 'racism' when they're called cracker or see something like white face crack me the fuck up, pun intended. you're in the position of power. cry me a fucking river.

so then i have to explain the difference between a white person complaining about white racism vs a black person complaining about black racism. or the difference between a man complaining about men's rights and a woman complaining about a woman's rights.

in the end i'd like to think i opened my friend's eyes a little. he agreed with me, especially when i talked about how privilege can be wielded as a weapon for good--a white person saying something when they see racism, a man pointing out sexism. shirking the responsibility off onto the minority group by expecting them to only stand up for themselves is an easy way for power groups to be dismissive about the social inequalities they themselves perpetuate.

also, the word "privilege" reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally pisses of some white people lol

and lastly, i always say i'd rather be "oversensitive" about racism, sexism, etc. than undersensitive.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby kyung » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:35 pm

been studying this in sociology recently and it's actually pretty fascinating. discussing "white privilege" in a recitation full of white students was pretty interesting, and i was fortunate enough to not witness any sort of friction between them with this idea. this all came after some crazy events on campus where the house devoted to "diversity" (i use this term loosely after seeing the university's response to this act) was vandalized with eggs and spray paint

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i think these acts made the idea of racism very real for these students (myself included) who grew up in these cookie cutter suburbs and made us all a bit more self aware
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby Catfush » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:02 pm

For a long time I've wondered why people cling so tightly to the idea of "light-hearted" racism; these people view racism as wrong and will be the first to berate corporations or politicians for doing something sexist/racist, yet they will fight tooth and nail if someone points out the inherent racism of their "jokes". I like that Schia brought up the hipster racists because these people are perhaps the most lost and inauthentic people in regards to this topic. Though their acts are despicable, at least the neo-nazis, klansmen, casual racists, etc. have chosen a side and don't try to cover up their racism. But these racist hipsters will profess their commitment to equalizing racial disparities and then turn around and make a joke that carries oppressive implications. I'm sure they don't mean to do this, and they're intentions are probably good, but I just get slightly peeved by these people.

As someone brought up, I think it has a lot to do with the disconnect that people have with these issues. Many people acknowledge the history of racism, but I don't think many have actually seen images or videos that have made it a full reality. It wasn't until I took a political theory class at my community college and I was shown video clips and images of these terrible events, that I was fully able to comprehend the reality and magnitude of them. Also, my school has a lot of minorities, women, and lower SES people that attend it. In many of my classes, I'm one of two-three white males. It is a really eye-opening experience to hear the stories of these people and I have gained a much greater perspective because of it.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby SteevMike » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:14 pm

Not sure I buy "at least these people with awful views really BELIEVE in what they're saying" as a point in their favour.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby Renalan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:30 pm

Interesting read on this subject. Had a series of classes revolving around subject matter like this my first year of college. Needless to say many of the white males didn't buy into it.

http://www.amazon.com/Possessive-Invest ... 1566396352
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:41 pm

catfush, I dealt with that a lot in the last presidential race regarding Rick Santorum. Don't get me wrong, I hate the man for what he believes and how he tries to influence national law to reflect his own fucked up beliefs, but it was refreshing to have someone just come out and say "I believe all this shit. No matter what you ask me or do, this is the shit I will believe". I have respect for him as a politician for being willing to be outspoken and honest about his beliefs (even if they are right fucked).
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby odradek » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:41 pm

wish i had a better picture and apologies if this sounds snide, but is there any deep insight in that book that goes beyond something as simple as
Image
I don't need to be convinced of the thesis, it seems pretty apparent, but if there's really in depth research or something is it worth picking up?
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby Renalan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:45 pm

Honestly I can't remember, been like 8 years.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby teck » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:04 pm

jesus what a thread.

i could talk about structural racism all day, but i find its hard to do so on the internet.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby can- » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:16 pm

don't forget that racism is taught and learned and people generally have no control over what they're exposed to in the early critical years. this is not to say people do not deserve their anger when they encounter racism, but that getting personal and insulting with people who have certain beliefs is probably unproductive.

if everyone knew racism was wrong, everyone would know racism is wrong. as with all social issues, I consider the best solution has to do with addressing education and health issues on a global level. getting angry at your friends, or on Facebook, or on the internet is really unproductive and only widens the gulf between opinions. (not to say I haven't done this more than once :-)

it's when you can resolve your anger productively and start to look at racism mechanically that you really put yourself in a position to change things.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby schiaparelli » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:44 pm

agreed, ben. i think that's a very good point—i get so frustrated with like feminist/social justice spaces that are highly reactionary, who jump on you the minute you fuck up a pronoun or a small turn of phrase or express something not in the party line, even if you show yourself to be someone thoughtful and open and willing to learn

the amount of pretty cool dudes who get a ton of shit in feminist communities is pretty ridiculous. there was one dude in a forum i (used to) frequent that mentioned that he really wanted to talk about some issues specific to men with more socially enlightened/thoughtful people (many of whom collect in feminist circles) and he was roundly vilified. "why are you trying to bring this discussion here men have discussion spaces everywhere" &c, and when he tried to explain he'd found other communities to discuss certain issues for men but they were quite misogynist, he then got a ton of flack for participating in communities that were known to be misogynist.

dude could not get a break

anyways, compassionate education > righteous vilification
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby hirokinakamura » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:48 am

I'm gonna be honest right now so don't crucify me. Reading all of this stuff sounds so, idk there's just something that galls me about the way you all talk about this.

Maybe it was the way I was raised or the neighborhood I grew up in or the people I grew up around but idk when I read this stuff I feel like there's something that makes me angry, not in like "you guys are overreacting" or "this is some real armchair overanalysing here" but in some other way. I don't think you're all wrong but there's something you're missing. Especially when you preface stuff with like "upper middle-class white guy....". How can you understand the plight of poor/marginalised people from just textbooks and lectures and "videos"? Have you experienced what it's like? I want to be supportive of common understanding but at the same time something inside me cringes and gets angry when I see stuff like this.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:58 am

hirokinakamura wrote: How can you understand the plight of poor/marginalised people from just textbooks and lectures and "videos"? Have you experienced what it's like? I want to be supportive of common understanding but at the same time something inside me cringes and gets angry when I see stuff like this.


That's really the essence of it, isn't it? I know that I'll never be able to understand that kind of perspective on life, so it's pointless to try to outside of actually speaking to them, and even then it'll always be from an outsider's perspective looking in. It's the ally dilemma - a lot of times misguided attempts to help or empathize can be damaging in their own way.

I know I can't speak for them. I just do my best to speak out against those speaking against them, and help where I can.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby hirokinakamura » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:21 am

I appreciate your candidness Adam, it's refreshing.

It's the old part of me I guess. The kid whose friends were on food stamps and whose single mom drowned herself in work and debt to put a roof over my head and food on my plate (thanks mom!).

But look at me now. In the words of Aubrey: "started from the bottom now we here"
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby soundclip989 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:45 am

Met up with a friend for a second, and as I was walking back to my car, there was a shooting a couple houses away. It was so loud, I almost can't believe it.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby SisterRayVU » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:01 am

"I don't think you're all wrong but there's something you're missing."

I actually find this attitude pretty off-putting. You're right; I don't know what it is to be black. But the harms are pretty objective and I'm not speaking 'for' black people. I think there is a line where you have doe-eyed and dumb liberals who talk in a condescending manner and have this air of charity or whatever, and I think a lot of it is prevalent in #privilege discussions or on campuses, but the idea that just because I'm privileged in some regards precludes me from discussing feminism or whatever is wrongheaded. Where I'm from or where I am should have no impact on the value of my words or the arguments I put forth.

Look at it this way: You really have no way of knowing whether any of us are or were on food stamps, how we grew up, or what we've dealt with.

This is even more removed from the idea of rich white kids from NYU and Columbia doing OWS which I had conflicting feelings about. I do agree that there are aspects of this discussion and the people promulgating the debate that are unsettling. I disagree that as a whole it's a negative or really matters.

To be more forthright: What do you want; what can I do; and how can I make it better? I honestly don't know the alternative considering that I didn't find the discussion here to have that layer of cultural elites waxing philosophical on the poor unwashed masses. Like Schia said, shouldn't we welcome allies from all walks of life? I'm a dude but can I not argue for feminism when the topic comes up? I'm almost always going to defer to the woman in the conversation for obvious reasons but absent that, what should I do? Isn't this how we sort of become a better society, by having the powerful mitigate the harm caused?

I think it can become a dangerous line and I know what you mean. Like I said, all the kids doing SDS on campus and the people at OWS, there IS something weird about the fact that the people who have the time and resources to do that are largely middle-class+ white people. But I'd rather have them raise the issue than not, and the decent people who were part of those groups were well aware of this problem.

Also holy shit soundclip, that's terrifying and kind of a haunting description. "It was so loud." Happy you're alright.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby odradek » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:30 am

zach, that preface is to explicitly to indicate the "there's really very little i can say on this topic with any experience." it's a caveat for the exact reasons you describe: "started from the top, still here" type thing. generally i try to avoid this conversation because the language used to describe it is pretty off-putting and i think the two directions people come at it tend to shoot right past each other (also that i'm really pessimistic about 'solutions') but that doesn't mean i don't think it's good to talk about it when people can really locate the position of their socioeconomic status and speak from there.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby hirokinakamura » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:27 am

I wasn't saying that you guys were being condescending or elitist (speaking from upon golden perches, so to speak). I was just talking about my feelings when I read discussions like these. I think they're good. I think all the reasoning and logic is sound and I think you all raised good points. I DON'T think you're all wrong, I just think something is wrong because why can't the people who are being affected be the ones to bring up these discussions? That's what's missing I think. That makes me angry because I know a lot of those people, I grew up with those people. But that's the crux of my issue isn't it, because how can marginalised people properly join discussions about themselves from the margins?

They can't, so they need to rely on proxies of sort to do it for them. I think that's what makes me angry, especially because a lot of those people are just like ray described "doe-eyed and dumb liberals who talk in a condescending manner and have this air of charity or whatever".

Anyway I'm probably just as pessimistic about solutions as dan is so idk why i keep writing about this (I'm sure Adam can attest to that, we've had some similar discussions before). Keep talking and learning, don't let me get you down.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby teck » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:15 pm

" why can't the people who are being affected be the ones to bring up these discussions?


youve hit the nail on the head. this is a concern a lot of social justice movements have. its the reason why there are many groups that strive to have home-grown, grass-roots organizations. its also a demonstration of how the power system works -- these groups, working within the confines of the larger power system, find they have a huge disadvantage versus, say, if Gwyneth Paltrow started lobbying for minority interests.

keep fighting that good fight.
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby thug » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:50 pm

so many users rn!
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Re: Ramdom Not-Fashion Thoughts

Postby BobbyZamora » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:53 pm

Oh god what happened to my account. I feel so confused and violated right now what is going on.

EDIT: WHAT

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