T Nation

Is the Term Racism Used too Freely

Im probably going to get flamed for this thread, but so be it… especially if I learn something.

Anyway, I was thinking about the real meaning of racism. I believe if you are discriminated against for your race, for example you miss out on a job because of your race, then one may call it racism. This type of discrimination will probably always exist, some people don’t like bald people, some don’t like females and some don’t like people who who wear white shoes etc etc.

However I think the term “racism” is used too often and freely, especially on sporting fields, for example as players are exchanging insults. Consider the following scenario;

Player A: Your a stupid green skinned loser
Player B: Oh! Thats racism!

If player B is proud of his own heritage, then why would he be insulted by the remark of player A? Wouldn’t it be more of a compliment than anything?

Discuss.

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In your scenario, I would argue that the term “green skinned” is inherently being added to be a negative adjective due to the fact it is preceded by a negative adjective and describing a negative noun. Thus, if they are indeed proud of their heritage, lumping it in as a negative with these other terms will further inflame their passions, as it is tearing not only them down as an individual but also their heritage as a whole.

As far as in a more general context, I cannot say-my life experience IMO does not leave me qualified to honestly comment. If I had to choose a side, I would say that while there are times where the term is thrown around and should not be, there are other times when it is not considered a factor and is.

[quote]CornSprint wrote:
If I had to choose a side, I would say that while there are times where the term is thrown around and should not be, there are other times when it is not considered a factor and is. [/quote]

Good post.

“Subconscious racism” or “natural racism” does not exist.
Racism is an ideology. A political theory.
Racism affirm that :
-different human races exist and are an essential factor to our existences
-there is a hierarchy of races
-there is some kind of race warfare (quite similar to the marxist concept of class warfare)
-rights should be granted (or not granted) accordingly

Anything else, anything less is discrimination, bigotry, chauvinism, xenophobia, stupidity. Whatever, but not racism.

You guys sure like to bring out the big words!

Ok, so consider “scenario 2” on a sporting field:

Player “JT” says to “F”: “you are a black c**t”.

Is this racism?

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[quote]theBird wrote:
You guys sure like to bring out the big words!

Ok, so consider “scenario 2” on a sporting field:

Player “JT” says to “F”: “you are a black c**t”.

Is this racism?

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Could also be sexism.

Now if he had something like, you are a n*er ct, then yes, but in your example I think the onus is almost entirely on the cunt bit, with the black being more or less a filler.

Oh, and fap

[quote]kamui wrote:
“Subconscious racism” or “natural racism” does not exist.
Racism is an ideology. A political theory.
Racism affirm that :
-different human races exist and are an essential factor to our existences
-there is a hierarchy of races
-there is some kind of race warfare (quite similar to the marxist concept of class warfare)
-rights should be granted (or not granted) accordingly

Anything else, anything less is discrimination, bigotry, chauvinism, xenophobia, stupidity. Whatever, but not racism. [/quote]

This, and therefore yes.

considering what racism actually is:

“a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” Merriem Webster

yes.

Bird,

I been called plenty of names under the sun, “wop, dego, pasta-eating mother fucker, etc…” but I was ONLY called these names when I WON on the field.

I have witnessed that racism becomes apparent when one feels threatened, in the scenarios you provide, perhaps a player is a better player (so you cannot tease them for their playing skills) and are left with insulting them about something they have no control over (their ethnicity).

I know you play alot of sports, so when someone calls you a name, just point to the scoreboard, it should get real quiet real quick.

Indicative, but not necessarily. A guy who calls an opponent a tub of lard may not actually give a crap the guy is chunky. His dear father might even be obese.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
I have witnessed that racism becomes apparent when one feels threatened… [/quote]

Excellent point that applies on and off the field of play.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Bird,

I been called plenty of names under the sun, “wop, dego, pasta-eating mother fucker, etc…” but I was ONLY called these names when I WON on the field.

I have witnessed that racism becomes apparent when one feels threatened, in the scenarios you provide, perhaps a player is a better player (so you cannot tease them for their playing skills) and are left with insulting them about something they have no control over (their ethnicity).

I know you play alot of sports, so when someone calls you a name, just point to the scoreboard, it should get real quiet real quick. [/quote]

How did they know you were Italian??

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Bird,

I been called plenty of names under the sun, “wop, dego, pasta-eating mother fucker, etc…” but I was ONLY called these names when I WON on the field.
[/quote]

Greaseball, you make a good point.

So in your case were you offended by been called a “dego”, or did you just perceive it as more of a compliment, as in “Im proud to have Italian heritage”, and also proud that you have beaten your opponent that he has to resort to silly name calling.

My point is that to someone who is proud of their race/heritage, then a racist taunt may actually be a compliment rather than an insult. Hence some cases of racism in sport is not really racism??

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I think it’s pretty clear that if you string a list of insults together and among them is a reference to the skin color of the person you intend to insult, that is racism. The word “black,” for example: not inherently racist by any measure.

Perfectly normal in the company of other simple descriptors: “black, talented, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, tall, short, etc.” But in the company of insults: “black, lazy, stupid, bitch,” it is reasonable to assume that the speaker considers the adjective “black” an appropriate companion of other derogatory terms, which means that the speaker considers the adjective “black” to be derogatory, which makes him/her a racist, if not categorically then at the very least in that moment.

Yeah definitely.

I don’t think many people are racist, just use the word for offense.

The mass media ENORMOUSLY over-use/mis-use such terms.

In normal everyday life however, I’d actually say the ‘R’ word is arguably under-used.

Also, with regards the ‘green skinned’ example, I’d say the offensiveness of such a statement is dictated mostly by the the tone & context in which it was uttered.

I’ll post this again. It’s easy to tell if someone is racist.

[quote]GorillaMon wrote:
Also, with regards the ‘green skinned’ example, I’d say the offensiveness of such a statement is dictated mostly by the the tone & context in which it was uttered.[/quote]

However, what if the “victim” was proud to have green skin. What about if he loved his green skin, wished only to have green skin and was proud of the heritage and culture of those that have green skin.

Would/should calling him a green skinned c**t, have any impact on such individual?

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[quote]Jewbacca wrote:
I’ll post this again. It’s easy to tell if someone is racist.

Haha! In the last debate Barry was almost falling over himself trying to be painted as a friend of Israel, even waxing on about Yad Vashem.

…so if you don’t vote for him you’re also an anti semitic, holocaust-denier

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]GorillaMon wrote:
Also, with regards the ‘green skinned’ example, I’d say the offensiveness of such a statement is dictated mostly by the the tone & context in which it was uttered.[/quote]

However, what if the “victim” was proud to have green skin. What about if he loved his green skin, wished only to have green skin and was proud of the heritage and culture of those that have green skin.

Would/should calling him a green skinned c**t, have any impact on such individual?

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The word ‘cunt’ unless it’s said between two people who share a similarly abrasive vernacular is almost certainly going to make the ‘green skinned’ comment seem racist. Why? Because it changes the overall tone & likely perceived intent of the statement.

Just because a person can rise above racism & choose to ignore it’s doesn’t negate it’s existence.