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BS: Extreme prejudice and friends

Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 04:46 AM
CarolC 15 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM
mooman 15 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:06 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 05:20 AM
Lyndi-loo 15 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:27 AM
Brian Hoskin 15 Jun 01 - 05:36 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 AM
Skipjack K8 15 Jun 01 - 06:07 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM
Linda Kelly 15 Jun 01 - 06:28 AM
Bagpuss 15 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM
KingBrilliant 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM
gnu 15 Jun 01 - 06:43 AM
Bagpuss 15 Jun 01 - 06:44 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM
Brian Hoskin 15 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM
gnu 15 Jun 01 - 07:56 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM
CET 15 Jun 01 - 08:19 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM
Fibula Mattock 15 Jun 01 - 08:29 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 09:02 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,jaze 15 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:38 AM
Micca 15 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM
mooman 15 Jun 01 - 09:54 AM
SDShad 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM
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Subject: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:46 AM

I am looking for some advice, so where better to ask.
I have found out recently that some of my friends are infact racist. I tried to put a different point of view, but was so shocked that I made a crap job of it. I then made an excuse and left. I am not quite sure what I do next when I see them. I am not comfortable with having friends like that. Do just mark it up to experience and avoid them - which then means I have to change almost all of my social life(such as it is)I would be interested to know your thoughts on this.

PS These friends have nothing to do with mudcat


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM

I had a similar experience not too long ago. It was very unpleasant and didn't end well at all. I don't think there is any good way to handle things like that except to follow your conscience and hope for the best.

Good luck with it, and PM me if you want to talk about it privately.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mooman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM

Same goes for me or Lady McMoo Patrish, just PM us if you need to chat. We've encountered similar problems over the years and as Carol says it's sometimes not easy.

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:06 AM

It kind of depends what you mean by "racist" - do they just make rude jokes about foreigners, are are they KKK horsewhipping burning-paper-bag-with-a-turd-in-it-through-the-letterbox style gun-toting loonies?

either way, their prejudices will be based on ignorance - if you can make them see that racial stereotypes aren't actually true, maybe you can save the friendships. Personally I think I'd run quite fast.

Best of luck, and try not to let it get you down. Sympathies,

English Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:20 AM

They are regulars at my local pub, I have known them for years - they did not voice there opinions till yesterday. They started off by talking about immigration and finished off by more or less saying we should bring back the empire! There comments on asians was send them back. They vote BNP!
I think trying to change there ideas is not possible, although I did try.
Thanks for all the PM offers, I am having lunch in the local in about an hour and a half, they are bound to be in there, I think I will just see what happens, I might bring my brazilian friend in (very dark skin and the biggest smile you ever saw!)
Let you know what happens
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM

A Difficult one. My father-in-law (now deceased) was a racist and a bigot and no amount of reasoned argument, quiet discussion or downright quarrelling could make him change his views. Maybe it was because he was from a previous generation when Britain still had colonies. Thankfully his son sees things differently! I'm afraid I can't really offer any constructive advice, but it would be a pity to lose an otherwise good friendship because of a difference of opinion. Peopple do have differing views on all sorts of things from abortion, religion, death penalty and so on. Racism is just another opinion, albeit (in our view) a wrong one


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:27 AM

I hate to have to say this, but F*** 'em. You do not need Nazis in your life. If I were you I would steer well clear. They may be very nice in many other respects, but this kind of attitude is going to make you feel very uncomfortable to say the least.

The BNP are not very nice people.

Also PM offer if needed.

Cheers,

Jon Loomes


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:36 AM

I have to say I'm with Jon on this, you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends and with friends like that . . .We're clearly not just talking about minor differences of opinion here, people who support the BNP are fundamentally nasty individuals and you'd be better off away from them.

This is not a pleasant or easy situation to be in and we'll all be behind you however you resolve this.

Best wishes, Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 AM

Lyndi, these people are average age of about 70 - a different generation. I was always brought up to be polite and respect your elders - I think this is why we all got on so well.
One of them is quite elderly and seemingly very intelligent, I wonder if I spoke to him about how uncomfortable his views are for me, that he would understand. But then after yesterday he surely knows already.
I am not good at confrontations, but perhaps I am about to learn
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 AM

They still try old nazis for war crimes.

Sorry, but I had to say it.

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:07 AM

Seems to be the theme for the day, Pat. I had a pretty ugly spat in the office this morning after one of my female colleagues (you met her at the Jug last summer) showed me what she thought was a hilarious racist joke.

Like you say, it's insidious, and it's only when the penny drops that you realise that you have to entirely re-evaluate the uncovered racist.

It is easier to cross the road, and talk about the weather. I chose not to, and now we have a hateful atmosphere in the office.

I have had a lifetime beleiving that everything anyone ever said made a difference, but on this issue alone, it seems that normally rational, loving, even religious people are immovable, and age is usually the defining factor. I can only seek to guide my children as they pick up influences in school.

I thought I was the dodgiest creature you hung out with!

Love

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM

Dont confront, it only polarizes the two positions. Ask uncomfortable questions, such as, "What have the---- ever done to you, personally?" One of my brothers is/was a classic homophobe until he got aquainted with a gay bass player at a bluegrass thing. Now, everytime I see him enjoying this guys company, I just grin! The basis of all hatred, is fear. If we drag that fear into the sunlight, it dies. That is, assuming the person involved has more working for him/her than just the reptilian brain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:28 AM

Its a difficult one Pat, I never cease to be amazed at the levels of racism that exist in this country, but much of it tends to be very subtle and always based on ignorance. As a personal rule, I believe it should always be challenged either personally or professionally, and sometimes you may lose a friend or client and othertimes it may get someone to reassess their position. Most importantly, if they are not challenged then they will be past on to the next generation, and whole families are tainted by this view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM

Your Racist Friend

By They Might Be Giants

This is where the party ends
I can't stand here listening to you
And your racist friend
I know politics bore you
but I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
You and your racist friend
It was the loveliest party I've ever attended
If anything was broken
I'm sure it can be mended
My head is tired from bobbing and pretending
Listen to some bullet-head
and the madness that he's saying
This is where the party ends
I'll just sit here wondering how you
can stand by your racist friend
Out from the kitchen
to the bedroom to the hallway
Your friend apologizes, he could see it my way
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking
Can't shake the devil's hand
and say you're only kidding


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM

Well said Bagpuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM

There are a lot of racists about, and there will be a lot of different reasons why they are that way. For some its just a default position that makes them part of a 'club' - they don't actually think about it properly, its just a point of view they subscribe to.
My dad is pretty racist at times (he's 70 too) - and there's no defensible reason for it, and he's an intelligent man so I'm amazed at him - but its such a fundamental part of his world-view that I know he'll never change his mind. The most he will do is to admit that 'well, the ones I've actually met have been very pleasant people, yes'. (!!!!!!!)
As Kendall says - confrontation will polarize - they'll just dig their heels in. Whether you can educate them is another matter. When these people were young (and forming their characters) Britain was much, much less multi-cultural. They will have been fed all the Empire propaganda about 'primitive darkies' etc etc.
Rationality doesn't come into it.
I don't think you should make a hasty decision to cut off from these people. They need to mix with people like you. Otherwise, if they only get to mix with like-minded people then they will just reinforce eachothers prejudices. My advice would be to carry on seeing them, and just to quietly and calmly disagree with them - or show your disapproval by walking away when they start in with that stuff. If you find that over time it drives a wedge between you then you will probably drift away from them anyway. A hasty breaking-off might just cut off your own nose to spite your face - there is presumably a side to them that you do like? Don't forget there's good and bad in everybody.
Also - is there any possibility that this was mainly just beer talking? Might they have been winding you up a bit? - sounds unlikely, but possible.
I hope you can sort it out & remain friends with them, and that they'll learn a bit of sense off of you!!!

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:43 AM

Yeah, it is kind of odd that this comes up just now... I had a similar experience with a relative a few days ago, over her use of the term "darkies". She actually meant no disrespect. It was a term she learned from her father from England, years ago. Whether or not he was racist, I have no idea. I let it slide because I knew she meant no disrespect.

As for your situation, it's much more complex. I would be inclined to matter-of-factly tell them that I am uncomfortable with such views, wished that they would refrain from talking in this manner in my presence, and offer to leave their conversation if my views bothered them. Teach tolerance with tolerance.

Of course, if they give you a rough time, you can choose other friends. I've always said that I can get along with anyone or I can get along without them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:44 AM

Mr Bagpuss's uncle is quite racist. The first time I met him, he said some pretty racist things and I was stunned into silence. Luckily, his daughter argued with him, so it wasn't so difficult for me to argue with him too.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM

If a friend had an accident that left him in a wheelchair, would you have nothing to do with him because it was embarrassing to be around cripples?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM

Peter, that is an awful analogy. This is not about being embarrased to be seen with someone, it is about finding their views abhorrent.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:56 AM

Crippled physically or mentally are a far cry from crippled philosophically. I assume you are not embarrassed to be around the former but are equating the former with the latter. To wit, I would agree somewhat.

However, I WOULD be concerned that others may equate friendship with racists as condoning their views, which is totally different than tolerating their right to their own views. It is a difficult situation to deal with and can't be generalized... each situation on it's own merits, really.

Anyway, keep us posted on this interesting situation, Patrish. Your actions and the results may help us all deal with similar situations until we can all live on the Starship Enterprise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM

If enough people became racist, would that make it alright? I've got a recipe for Zyclon gas somewhere.

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CET
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:19 AM

Actually from Charmion who is too lazy to re-set the cookie.

My maternal grandmother (born in the English midlands in 1902) could not bring herself to say the word "Jew" until I was seventeen and brought home a Jewish boyfriend who happened to be the son of her lawyer; her preferred word was "Hebrew." My paternal grandmother (born in Beauport, Quebec in the 1880s) spoke of my cousin Leila's very black Guyanese husband and her Guyanese-English children as "darkies." What I found particularly interesting about both these ladies' attitudes was the apparent chasm they drew between those who are and are not "like us" in appearance or culture. The fact that members of the family had decided that those people were enough like us to draw them into the family circle did not induce them to change their mental labels.

It's so hard to be brave and stand up for a principle when you run the risk of spoiling the relaxed, fun atmosphere of a social centre like the neighbourhood pub. By doing so, you declare yourself a kind of watch-dog who notices when others fail to live up to a standard of behaviour. It's kind of like being a cop -- and they tend to socialize only with other cops because "civvies" won't relax when they're around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM

Peter, that is an awful analogy. This is not about being embarrased to be seen with someone, it is about finding their views abhorrent.

Actually, the very first post asked "...do I...avoid them...?"

If you're talking about someone started with an open mind, considered the matter carefully, and made a rational decision to be racist, you're right, it is an awful analogy. If you're talking about someone who was brought up in an atmosphere where racist attitudes were a given, and soaked them up at an early age, before he was ready to question them, I think it's a fairly apt analogy.

And I think most racists belong to the second group. Granted, they're wrong. But that doesn't make them necessarily evil. Ideas and beliefs are never good or evil, only right or wrong. Actions are good or evil.

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate - and quickly.

- "Lazarus Long" (R. A. Heinlein)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:29 AM

"The fact that members of the family had decided that those people were enough like us to draw them into the family circle did not induce them to change their mental labels". How true that can be. There was, to say the least, some hassle when my parents (one a Catholic, one a Protestant) decided to get married in N. Ireland in the early 1970s. You would think that nearly 30 years later such attitudes would have diminished. Not so. One of my uncles does not approve at all that a cousin of mine is dating a Protestant. I find it bizarre. Ludicrous. I encountered a similar problem myself when I didn't fit the religious requirements imposed by a boyfriend's mother. She made it quite clear she didn't like me, and for a while I actually cared. Now I'm well away from her and her son ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM

It is tricky. On balance, I'd say that if they persist in their racist views even after you've made your feelings on the subject quite clear, then they're not worth having as friends. Particularly if they support the BNP.
It can be tough, though. My only surviving relative on my father's side is an appalling racist, and will brook no argument on the subject. As a result I've completely cut myself off from him and will probably next meet him at his funeral. Which is sad, but some attitudes can't be condoned or swept under the carpet.
You have my sympathies, but be strong, be prepared to stand your ground - politely and with good humour but firmly - and if you can't get them to see reason, then you have a painful decision to make.
Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:02 AM

I have just had lunch and spoken to one of the racist group. I have told them that I am on a mission to change their attitudes, which I said with a smile on my face. I also informed them that I was a card carrying liberal democrat! They were more upset about that, than the fact that I did not share their view on race. I am feeling that these people are so stuck in there own memories of what they think of as the good old days that my mission will never be accomplished - but I know they like me, and perhaps in time I can wear them down. I don't know if I have done the right thing, but time will tell.

BTW Greg, I thought I was the dodgiest creature you hung out with!
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM

Well, good luck. Seems like you've made a good case for your views - I hope it all works out alright for you.

Best wishes,

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM

I must say I realize stupidity and predjudice can be found everywhere, but I actually thought it was predominantly an American failing. I thought England and most of Europe were much more enlightened and tolerant regarding racism. By the way, what's BNP?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM

The British National Party - an extreme right-wing party that believes in forcible repatriation and with long links to racist and anti-semitic violence; it's leaders have links with neo-Nazi groups around the world.
Of late the BNP has being trying to put on a more acceptable public face, and has been active in organsing some of the protests against petrol price increases in the UK. It remains an odious fascist organisation, however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:38 AM

Bastard Nazi Party. Blacks Not Permitted. Britain Needs Purging.

etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM

Pat, Much support from here too, This is a problem many of us have faced, and it is ,unforunately the difficult side of the "free speech" issue. They too have the right to hold views, and maybe even to express them, that are nasty and down right wrong. But the alternative, supression of unpleasent views or attitudes is even worse. The way forward ,I feel is well expressed above, engage with them, in a pleasent non-controversial way, and if it gets uncomfortable , walk, for a while, If you do not engage with them they only get reinforcement from each other and their ilk.
I have had to deal with this as the Boss in the work place..and it was difficult not to come down very heavy on the predjudiced person , and thus alienate them from any chance of reform, but by setting out clear ground rules the persons attitude and interaction with co-workers from other ethnic backgrounds improved beyond recognition in 2 years..
So I would say interact with them if you can stomach it and avoid when you can't, and your reasonableness, and personality will gradually (maybe) make them look at their postions and views..
and as you we are here if you need us.
I thought I was the dodgiest character that you and Greg know!!! Micca(the keeper of the Grail and the Gail)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mooman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:54 AM

Dear Patrish,

It can be difficult but I always confront these situations. Diplomatically at first, which tends to be my style and which you appear to have done Patrish, but more forcibly where necessary.

I am Irish by nationality but London born and bred so I don't sound the slightest bit Irish (except a couple of trained linguists have picked up my Sligo roots from the way I say "any" or "anybody", etc. but I digress). To all intents and purposes I sound English.

This has put me in many situations where I have encountered "institutional racism" in the workplace, people not realizing my roots, and I have found it necessary to confront these situations, not necessarily always to my professional benefit but at least to satisfying my personal values.

I have also been in situations here in Belgium where I have ended up playing music with individuals who I know are strong supporters of the VlaamsBlok (a bit like the BNP). I have always felt a little uncomfortable but since the first occasion of overt racism, when I walked pointedly out of a session following an anti-African comment from one of them, the subject of politics or race has never surfaced again. I hope it was because I made my feelings clear.

Maybe or maybe not this might help but I think you have to be YOU and express your opinions where necessary even though this might be a little uncomfortale.

All the best

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

Good luck in your efforts, Patrish. You're braver and perhaps kinder than I'd be under similar circumstances. I don't know if I could reach out in the way you are.

Being an ignorant Yank and thus knowing very little (okay, nothing) about the BNP, I went to their website to learn more from the horse's mouth. Vile little place, that. Not quite so bad as, say, a White Aryan Resistance site, but very similar in theme. And these people are getting a lot of votes these days, are they? *shudder*

Interesting how the FAQ file is at least half defensive replies to negative questions (is BNP racist? are you antisemitic? and such). Funny too how they claim not to be antisemitic, but use the usual "international financier" euphemistic language we all know and love. I was especially thrilled with the following gem in response to "Why are you against mixed-race relationships?"

We are against mixed-raced relationships because we believe that all species and races of life on this planet are beautiful and must be preserved. When whites take partners from other ethnic groups, a white family line that stretches back into deep pre-history is destroyed. And, of course, the same is true of the non-white side. We want generations that spring from us to be the same as us, look like us, and be moved by the same things as us. We feel that to preserve the rich tapestry of mankind, we must preserve ethnic differences, not 'mish-mash' them together.

Being the great-grandson of a mixed-race woman--white (primarily Dutch and Scots-Irish) and Native American (Baxoje or "Ioway"), this paragraph fills me with a revulsion and frankly, a rage, that is hard to put into words. My Hoover "White family line" that people like the BNC would seek to preserve and protect by having people like me not exist did just fine after this woman, Sarah Bailey, married into it. Indeed, as her husband was the grandson of a Wesleyan Underground Railroader, it was entirely in keeping with that family line's strengths and convictions for him to marry an outcast halfbreed woman without it even being a big deal. He had to shield her against racism from the community--and from her own family--but never from his.

Mind you, given all that, I've no illusions; I'm still primarily a white boy. But were I British, the BNC wouldn't speak for me in any way. The BNC can kiss my multiracial ass.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:20 AM

Oops. BNP, not BNC. The BNP can kiss my multiracial ass.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: LR Mole
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:28 AM

Oh, the answer is simple: you just


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:00 AM

Well thank you LR, I'll keep on justing :-)
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:52 AM

When you offer someone friendship, is that conditional? What are the conditions?

That one takes a long time to sort out.

I always thought the answer to the first should be, NO. I found out living my life didn't make sense though, that way.

My conditions (for now) have to do with whether the other person can respect (adhere to) certain boundaries that I believe are sovereignly mine to lay out, and whether they have an essentially positive and strong set of communications principles. Without these, I can't maintain a mutually healthy relationship with someone, because they can't hold up their end and I am doing all the work while having my selfhood chipped away at. And that's a hard one for me, still.

I may love and keep knowing them... but they have ceased to be a friend and become, if there is room at that time, somewhat of a client. They have a need. Maybe I can fill it, or be part of it being filled. My beliefs about service kick in there, and I have good tools to use, and that's a different set of boundaries altogether.

I try to spot these sorts of energy-absorbing people up front, and relate to them accordingly, but once in awhile I misestimate someone.

But someone who can fulfill those conditions (by tending to and trying to, not by being perfect), it may turn out, has this or that dirty little secret. (I have a theory that we all tend to show each other what complete a**holes we are, just as soon as there is enough closeness and safety to do it. So loving someone well will tend to bring up their "Inner Weasel." *G*) If it is a strong friendship, this becomes something to talk about. That's one way change can happen.

Sometimes it's been me who had the dirty little secret, the character flaw or issue to confess or resolve. I thank God for friends whose conditions have not then made me a pariah to them-- who have hung in with me when it was I who needed to change.

I believe racism and other "isms" are installed early and when we aren't looking, when we are too powerless to know otherwise or act otherwise. By the time we are adults and have better information and personal strength, we are so enmeshed, in the grip of the hurtful things that carried in the racism, that we don't really see that we could let it go and see people more clearly and humanly. (I have good theoretical bases for this, as well as long practice as a counselor about it.)

People acting out the oppressor role in prejudice are caught up in something that hurts them terribly. There are few safe places or ways to work on it. The ugly face it wears looks like one intentionally and powerfully chosen... but truly, that's not so. The choice to harm another by prejudice is an unaware and distress-driven one.

Try to keep in mind that whatever you decide about this is up to you and not necessarily the final answer on such matters that your life will ask of you. Trust yourself enough to make a decision, and then act on it strongly. If you pay attention to the things that follow as a result, you will know what you might do differently the next time around. You can only be as smart as you are right now, right now. But you will learn from this, no matter what course you take.

There is some good theory about "isms" HERE. Look in the sections having to do with internalized oppression-- and you will learn about racsim and all the isms. There are also good videos about working on racism there, as well as articles, and I'll have the videos soon, to lend.

~Susan

--- Link fixed. ---


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:57 AM

Oops, cross-posting and broken link.

HERE.

E-mail me if I can help.

~Susan

motormice@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM

Looks like most of the good points have been covered. This is an important issue that many of us face at various times. Just wanted to say that I hope some combination of representing your view & avoiding the parties will work for you, Patrish. This is Mudcat at its best--support & worthwhile thoughts. I really appreciate that.

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:29 PM

BNC - that's Brasenose College, Oxford University. Not quite the same thing.

The BNP got a fair few votes in two constituencies in the North of England where there's been trouble on the streets recently, though nowhere near winning or coming second even. But generally they do pretty dismally, significantly fewer votes than the Greens.

That's no reason to relax about them. But the real racism to worry about tends to be among people who wouldn't dream of voting nazi. In some ways the worst effect of the BNP is it enables people who are in fact very racist to think they aren't just because they'd never vote that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM

Or, if you're a geek, BNC is the cylindrical coaxial connector for thin Ethernet cabling.

Which, I guess, means I'm a geek.

Shad "Multiracial Geek" O'Spawn


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:55 PM

I'm reminded that there are 3 things not to be discussed at the pub...

Sex

Religion

Politics

Safer that way... talk about the beer... talk aobut the game... talk about the music...

When I discover someone in my life is this kind of bigot, they quickly end up on the 'ignore' list... Life's too short to put up with assholes and idiots!

Good luck eh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:06 PM

That's a recipe for a boring evening. And if you're trying to avoid trouble, talking about the game is just as likely to involve significant controversy. (You might find someone you thought was a friend supports Arsenal for example.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:37 PM

Dear Patrish:
One thing that hasn't been said, but I would add, is be careful about bringing your Brazilian friend there. Although the intention is right, she is the one who must face the deepest hostility, and unlike you, she is her complextion every day. For many minorities, there is enough battles to be fought living every day, not to add ones when the domentant community discovers there is a problem close to home. I must say my expericence in this come from my involvement in intigrating rowing in boston. Members of my crew who were Black, were of two minds about racing there. Some felt they wanted to work for inclusion, others felt, why bother racing with the racists (no pun intended.)
But, don't give up on the bastards yourself, hold them to the light and use love and intelect to do the job.
A jewish fellow in the US was being daily harrassed by the local head of the KKK, in his town. The guy would call him and say terrible things to which the fellow would respond, "Well, if that is how you feel, but I love you."
Finally the KKK guy began to ask why he didn't get angrey, and the fellow began to tell him about being jewish. The remarkable end of this (it made the evening news) the KKK guy CONVERTED and is now a practicing jew.
There is no limit on what love can do...
However, at times, well, NO PASARAN!
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM

Great story, Larry! I mean about the Jewish guy. What a gutsy --and inspiring-- man.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

Unconditional freindship is changed when one loses respect for the friend. I put more time and distance between friends with unresolved predjudice but still keep tabs.

When it comes to my racist, jew hating, Catholic* brother in law , I will always have a warm feeling of antipathy for him. He would not advocate a holocaust himself but I would bet he would join crowd screaming for blood in a heartbeat if the situation ever arose.

*I never understood how people who worship a Jew could hate them. If they wanted to hate "his" killers they should rail against the Romans. I guess it is hard to hate an extinct Empire.

{now for somthing entirely different}

John Cleese: "After all what did the Roman Empire ever do for us." "Well, there is the roads , medicine , water systems , eduction and general well being of citizens ."

Cleese: Well besides the roads , medicine , water ,education and well being , what has the Roman empire done for us ."

"Yeah , your'e right, nothin."


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM

My daughter recently dealt with a similar situation, She was over at her friends house.where they all hang out after work and on the weekend. Her friend lives with and helps support his parents, who are both disabled.

The parents are both very kind people, feed the whole group when they've no extra really to go round, any kid can come to them in need, no matter. One night the dad said something about how races should (sorry, left out the NOT)intermarry.

The mother knew that my daughter has twin nephews whose father is from Antigua and a very dark mahagony. She shussed him right up, reminding him. So my daughter took the opportunity to show around the babies' pictures, talk about her brother-in-law, and try to educate them a bit. It surprised me because she is generally hot-tempered about such things, so I think she must relaly value their friendship and also felt she could reach them. I hope they continue to be open to learning and perhaps changing their minds.

SD, it's odd they don't seem to make the distinction with Amerindian blood, at least not that family. They know my daughter is part Cherokee and Mohawk, she's even got the colouring and gorgeous dark long hair to prove it, but they just don't see her as anything but white.

My mom and dad were of the older generations which found racism so common. Dad used to use the "n" word once in awhile until he heard of what a good man my son-in-law is and saw the pics of his great-grandsons; and I've never considered him racist at all. The only prejudice I ever learned from him was against sheepherders!

My mom was concerned when she heard about my oldest daughter planning to marry a black man. She worried for their safety and for that of any children they might have. She learned to not worry and accept.

Good luck, Patrish. Good for you for having the courage to speak up; that's what more people need to do.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM

Here's my approach, developed from trying to get my Mom to see that even though she's a Serb doesn't make what Milosevic did OK.

Don't YOU ignore/avoid THEM. Just every time you see them, try to change their attitude (I like the idea of presenting them with counterevidence, like your Brazilian friend, who should of course be forewarned). Every time you hear a bigoted comment, pounce. If they get tired of it, they'll start ignoring or avoiding YOU, and you won't have a conscience problem any more. But you just avoiding them, or bowing out of the friendship entirely, is (to my mind) less ethical, it would be I'll ignore the problem and maybe it would go away. Not that I'd blame you if that was what you did! But there would be less bigotry in the world, I firmly believe, if so many people who KNOW BETTER would stop just letting it go, not make waves, etc. If you see what I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:50 PM

I pointed out a beautiful black singer on t.v. to my neighbor who was visiting. He said, "She's just a n----r" I had such a feeling of rage rise in an instant it took me a moment to reply. D


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:52 PM

What did you say, Mickey?

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:02 PM

I pointed out a beautiful black singer on t.v. to my neighbor who was visiting. He said, "She's just a n----r" I had such a feeling of rage. It took me a moment to reply. " Didn't you learn anything in WW II?" He came to America as a 4 yr. old child-(fleeing Germany) My house is 35yrs. old and that word has never been said in it." Whereupon he made a hasty retreat. No loss to me. I couldn't get it out of my mind for weeks. You never know what some people are hiding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:54 PM

Oops...

my racist, jew hating, Catholic* brother in law You don't mention whether he's bald or left or right handed or whether he's black or white, or ...

I don't like seeing the name of my religion used as a sectarian insult on the Mudcat or anywhere else. And in the context of this thread I don't think I should just shrug it off as I often do.

Yes, there are some racist Catholics, just as there are some racist Jews and Protestants and atheists, or any other category, but...

Last Sunday Father Pat our parish priest, who is Irish, went sick, and we had a stranger turn up instead to say Mass. He was a West African, and the congregation loved him. Including the Vietnamese and the Filipinos, and the Chinese and Italians and West Indians as well as the Irish and Italians. Just by chance there was a little boy making his First Communion that Mass, because he'd been sick the day the rest of the kids did a couple of weeks back. Black father, white mother, standing proudly beside him in the front pew.

Maybe we sang a bit better than we normally do - we didn't want to let Father Pat down, and we've all seen those pictures on the telly of churches in Africa where they really sing out at Mass. Anyway, the visiting priest said we sounded good. And afterwards everyone lined up to shake hands and wish him well.

duplicate postings deleted by
a joeclone


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:54 PM

I haven't known Catholics to be any more or less racist than any other category of people. Some of my best friends are Catholic (literally!). None of them are racist.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:06 PM

Sometimes when the older generation shows its prejudice, all you can do is wait for them to die off, and take comfort in the fact that it will be soon.

It's a lot more frightening to me when young people are racist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Shields Folk
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:06 PM

On BBC's Question time last night an American journalist pointed out that American presidential candidates had to adopt a pro death penalty stance as the majority of the population supported the death penalty. This brings me to English Jon's point. If enough people became racist, would that make it alright?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Robin2
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:30 PM

I think there is two types of racism; that born of hate, and that born of ignorance. Many of our parents are racists born out of ignorance, they never knew "those others" and so fear them. This doesn't make them "bad" people, just uninformed. I had a friend drop something off to my mother in law (she's 75). She called me later and said
"Your friend came by"
I say "yes?"
Mom whispers "she's black!"
(forgive me, I had to say it to her) "GASP! Do you think she knows?"
Mom says "she seemed nice!" Note of surprise in her voice.
This is racism due to fear of the unknown other. Racism that takes that fear and turns it into hate should be NEVER be tolerated. This type of racism crosses all ethnic boundaries, and I think has done more harm in this world than any other thing.
Sorry for the long post, but as a grandmother of mixed children, and having friends with that number tattoo on their arm, hearing their first hand stories of hate unleashed on them, makes me realize the amount of hurt done in this world.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:18 PM

I was talking lately with another mother in our schoolground. She's German married to a Canadian, very nice and very quick. She'd been watching a program where german immigrants to Canada who had lost most of their accent in their middle years slowly regained it as they hit their older years. Also on the radio a while ago there was discussion about the difficulties faced by nurses and volunteers in nursing homes when dealing with patients who used outrageously rascist language. The language we learn as children stays with us all our lives and when we get older and slip backward into memory its harder to remember the intervening language even if there has been a sincere desire to change it. We need to be careful of what we say to our kids and what messages they are picking up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Midchuck
Date: 16 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

She'd been watching a program where german immigrants to Canada who had lost most of their accent in their middle years slowly regained it as they hit their older years.

I knew a German guy who was the chair of the German language department of a prominent US college. He'd had most of his education in England. When he was calm, he spoke perfect colloquial English with a generic "educated American" accent. If he got excited, he developed a British accent. When he got more excited, he developed a German accent. It was fascinating. We'd go to his house hoping his kids would misbehave so we could watch the regression.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 04:10 AM

I am really glad I started this thread, what a wealth of opinion.
Re: Accents changing - my mum who was scots, lived in England for 35 years and her accent became anglisised. She had a stroke and regained her broad scottish accent - it was weird

I have already taken my Brazilian friend in (in fact he's known to go there quite a lot)and he gets on so well with them - -its scary(and he knows there views)

I shall keep bashing away at them and if there are any interesting updates I will let you know
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 01:52 PM

My dearest and oldest friend is a bit of a racist. Not knowingly - he'd do anything for anyone - but does use the "N" word on accasion. He used it in my home many years ago and I told him that he had a right to his views but I didn't share them. I pointed out that of the five Black Marines in Vietnam that received the Medal of Honor all of them earned it by rolling/jumping on hand grenades to save Marines of all colors. He has never used the word in my home since then. Occasionally he will use it when I am at his place - but he has a right to say whatever he wants in his home.

I, personally, am ready to go at it with anyone that carries a racist/bigoted mentality. I don't always enlighten, but I always speak my mind. It is that ideology that facilitates young men and women killing each other in wars. If it is just a "insert detested word here" it dehumanizes and allows the hate to begin. Always easier to pull a trigger if hate is driving it. Real people are much harder to kill.

If my friend were driven by racism I probably would not be part of his life. He isn't - just spent his life with words that don't always express what he means. And I credit him with saving my life one dark night.

One must follows his/her belief and takes each as they come. What is that Country & Western tune? You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything?

The above is only my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 02:23 PM

I wonder if to some extent this is an older generation version of the bragging about sexual experience that went on their teens? i do think you might find that some of the group could be reasoned with if their expressed opinions were not simply given to be one of the gang


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 02:42 PM

Racism, prejudice. bigotry, sexism, homophobia,and all the rest of it, has to to be taught, and it is taught, not by the ignorant and brutish, as we are encouraged to believe, but rather by the powerful, the enfranchised, and others in the small minority who really control our society, not because they believe it, but because it is useful to divide the working classes up and turn them against each other--

The working classes are inclined to work together, to cooperate, and to support one another, and if this was carried to it's logical extension, they would soon completely overwhelm the ruling class--the ruling classes long ago recognized this, and systematically divide and play "the people" against one another to assure their own survival and continued control.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 03:07 PM

Well said, M. Ted. And I would add one further element... the promotion of the illusion of an upper class who will do as they're told and help the powerful and enfranchised to control our society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 03:20 PM

M.Ted - That is correct. Political parties and our modern election process are a similar divide and conquer tactic. Even the presently fashionable forms of anti-racist rhetoric (as well as the pro-racist garbage) that we are constantly exposed to in the entertainment media, and which frequently exacerbates the current racial divisions in society is a similar divide and conquer tactic...because it causes more fear and paranoia, additonal hatred, and extreme polarization of different groups against each other, and it ends up driving those groups farther apart than ever.

The O.J. Simpson trial was a classic case of that, an utter travesty of racist knee-jerk nonsense, posing as anti-racism, and overturning justice and sanity in the process.

The only leaders I've seen who have thrown much useful light on the matter are some spiritual teachers (like Gandhi, for example, or Jesus, or Buddha) who played no favourites, encouraged no "victim" psychology in people, and meet everyone on a completely level basis.

You either see the whole human race as one united family, and refuse to be sucked into playing favorites, or you contribute to the problem.

Moving back to the origins of this thread, I have had some friends who were either moderate or extreme bigots at one time or another. They were not bigoted because they were bad people, but rather because they were working with partial information, or faulty information. They got that information (or didn't get it) from: their parents, their peer group, the media, books, and various life experiences along the way.

It didn't necessarily stop me from being friends with them, as long as it wasn't the only thing they ever talked about. If someone is a 24-hour bigot, I will avoid him, because that is just too abrasive for me. If he is a mostly okay person, who occasionally shows a bigoted side over some issue...well, I can live with that.

If I was already "perfect", of course...or thought I was...then maybe I couldn't...

The world can get pretty narrow when one is perfect.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 04:52 PM

Ah M. Ted and Little Hawk - Your words make my Heart soar!!

If you aren't part of the solution then you are certainly part of the problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,peter
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 09:16 PM

theres an assumption above that racism is limited to mostly american - or europeans of white descent. And yet when I lived in Japan, on occassion I was refused service (gaijin dame! no- foreigners) sorry Japanese only. I had a Japanese girlfriend who moved here for a while and before coming to Canada she asked me if there was racism in Canada. While she lived here she worked in a Japanese grocery store here and one day as we were driving she pointed out a man and said "thats one of my customers" Hes quite nice for a Korean". I tried to explain that she was making a racist comment, she had certain views about Chinese people as well. She never realized that even though she was concerned about racism (from the whites) that she was doing the same thing. ANother point. When we happened to watch the movie TORA TORA TORA on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, halfway through the movie she said "you mean Japan started the war?" I guess they dont teach that at school. She was a lovely person and yet she was completely unaware that she was making sweeping assumptions on whole groups of people. I sometimes wonder if I do that and try to catch myself. In my line of business I deal with people of different ethnic backgrounds and have personally experienced that difficulty with people of East Indian or South Asian background. This not to say that its always the case but almost always when I am dealing with someone of that background they haggle and want you to do more than you quoted often after the job is in production and at the end they seek a further discount by trying to find flaws etc. This has happened enough times that I have red flags when such a customer comes in. I often add something to the quote to allow for the haggling etc. Some designers I know actually refuse to deal with them because of similar problems in the past. Of course Ive had many customers of East Indian background who were completely honest and easy to deal with although they were in a minority. And the number of deadbeat or difficult customers is certainly not limited to any race or background. Yet I still feel that its cultural, their way of doing business is different than ours. any thoughts or am I just trying to rationalize my own racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 10:01 PM

Different people, in different cultures do things differently. It isn't racist to understand that, or to make allowances for it, but it is racist to judge people who do things differently than you as wrong--

Racist isn't actually quite the right word--"prejudiced" or "bigotted" are probably batter words--If you find those words a bit harsh, "small minded" is a good one, and you might want to remember the old observation about "Big heads with small minds"


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 10:11 PM

That is a very perceptive and interesting post, peter.

Yet if you were a politician or a public figure, and you demonstrated such candor, you would be quoted out of context on the media and attacked immediately from many quarters for making "racist" statements, when all you have done is simply tell the truth! Such is the sickness of our times.

The truth is, in fact, totally unacceptable to many people nowadays if it does not fit within certain carefully delineated guidelines. That's Orwellian if anything is...

I am not surprised that many Japanese are unaware they started the war. Typical.

There was plenty of virulent racism practiced by the Japanese before and during WWII, against the Chinese, the Koreans, and pretty well anyone else they came up against. Likewise, the Chinese and Koreans were thoroughly prejudiced against the Japanese (not surprisingly, under the circumstances, but they would have been even without those circumstances, I suspect). As for the Americans, British, etc., they generally regarded the Japanese as vermin to be exterminated without mercy, and routinely machined-gunned survivors of sunken ships in the water...as did the Japanese to Allied survivors.

No nation can claim a clean slate in this regard.

We must try to do better than we did in the past, and be more aware of the prejudices we are taught to take for granted.

And we must not let other people cow us into silence because we don't fit their particular political agenda.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,peter
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:38 PM

thanks for your comment mted. your earlier comments about working class and ruling class seem a bit naive and idealistic if not with a hint of redspeak. however, the roots of racism stem more from ignorance.

Do you believe that its in the vested interest of some power elite to instill racism between the Hutus and Tutsi say, or perhaps Serbs & Croats, etc. and whites and minorities in europe and north america. or as they say he who likes to generalize, generally lies. (but Im doing that too, of course)

I would say that we all do it to an extent. We constantly make assumptions without thinking based on appearance, and it may be about people who are overweight, or dressed a certain way .

And while different cultures do things differently there really are cultural values common to different nations and people (say in america self reliance and independence and in japan living in harmony and belonging to a group etc.) but not everyone in that group may share them. I think it just happens to be easier to lump people into categories.

Its not that one is racist/bigotted/ etc or isnt, not many would own up to it. and yet we do it.

The most interesting observation on the OJ trial was that most african americans felt he was innocent and most white americans felt he was guilty. and yet none of them really knew.

we should examine our own response and be vigilant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:03 PM

There are real differences between different cultures - it's just that the things we have in common are much more important. Both the differences and the similarities should be enjoyed.

I'm not sure which is worse - people who exaggerate the importance of the differences, or people who deny they exist or try to stamp them out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 12:45 AM

Hmmmmm.....

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:37 AM

I had an acquaintance who was racist - don't see him much now but mainly due to his bigotry in ALL areas rather than just race. Made him the most self opinionated b!"£$%d you could ever meet and I had enough. But I digress...

We were chatting in a pub when I first heard his comments about 'F!"£ing Pakis taking over all our shops'. I was completely horrified. I tried reason. I told him that many years ago in a Bavarian beirhalle (sp?) there was a group of people complaining about 'F!"£ing Jews taking over all our shops' and everyone knew where that led! Right over his head. I am reluctant to say you can never reason with people like that because then I am as guilty as them. What are 'people like that'? Are they all the same? I hope there are not many more like him but I suspect they lurk in dark corners all over the world.

Anyhow - to Patrishes question. Just keep trying reason, Pat. If after a while it hasn't worked dis-associate yourself as I did.

I heard a quote the other day - bit corny but quite good. People are like crayons. Some sharp. Some blunt. Some short. Some long. Some tatty round the edges and all sorts of different colours. The thing is they all have to live in the same box:-)

On the religious side. Our local PP (Fr. John Williams -doesn't play guitar but was a mean soccer player in his day!) caught a couple of local youngsters vandalising the school. "I'm taking you to see your Dad" he said as he was frogmarching them round to their houses. "That's not very Christian" cried on of the lads.

"I'm not a Christian" says Father John, "I'm a Catholic..."

True story he tells from the pulpit. And would a priest lie...:-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:59 AM

I cannot stand by and listen to comments like "Pakis" anymore. My good friend who sits opposite me in this office made a comment yesterday and she was quickly taken to task by me. I don't think it will stop her using derogatory expressions full stop, but I don't think she will say things like that in front of me.

I am not a "goody two shoes" without a prejudiced bone in her body - I have terrible problems coming to terms with some of the aspects of other cultures and then find it hard to be tolerant, but knowledge, I think is the answer - find out more about the culture.....to be honest even that doesn't work sometimes

I'm rambling - sorry
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,Wavestar
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

On a much lesser scale, I've encountered this recently in friends of mine. These are young people my age, who have biases that I suspected they didn't even eralise was there. One of them had a problem with West Africans - he said, "When a person who looks like that (really dark black skin) walks into the room, I just get very tense, nervous and uncomfortable." He knew there was a problem with this feeling, but he kept on with it anyway. I gently pointed out to him that this wasn't open-minded, and it wasn't the way he wanted to be- and he knew it. I didn't say, "You're a bad person," I said, "You have some flawed beliefs." I took the same approach with friends who don't THINK they are homophobes, but have incomplete or flawed assuptions on the subject. I didn't want to rag them about it, or come down hard enough to make them defensive, just to point out that their opinions weren't quite (in terms of bias) what they thought they were, and that they were in fact saying things that were racist or homophobic whether or not they realised it. If it continues, I'll come down harder, but I started out just trying to make them think. These are people who honestly thought of themselves are not biased at all - but they are in ways they can't recognise. I tried to point the way for that recognition.

BNP members, on the other hand, are quite clear on whether or not they have biases, I'm quite sure. There are some political disagreements with my friends that I just don't touch- the abortion issue, for instance. But I'm not sure I could handle racism of that caliber being discussed around me. At the very least I would ask them not to use those terms around me, or to say derogatory things, just as I ask people not to use the word 'slut' around me. I hate the word, I don't want to hear it. It's not solving the problem, but eventually they'll start wondering, if it makes you so uncomfortable and unhappy to hear these things, if there might be something wrong with them.

Well, one can hope.

-J


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:26 PM

Guest Peter,

This is the first time in many years that I have been earnestly accused of being a red, and I thank you for it, most sincerely.

In defense of my view, it comes not from my own deduction, but is, instead, a dreary theme that is repeated over and over again in my readings in history and politics. If you did a bit of reading on either the Serbs and the Croats, or the Hutsu and the Tutsi, you would learn that the the fears and hatreds were carefully taught to the common folk through their social institutions, and were deliberately and systematically exploited by cynical leaders--

If one is inclined to read the writings of histories emperors, kings, popes and other villains, these principles are often layed out, using concrete and verifiable examples--The notorious Machievelli, the Borgias, and the French King Louis the Spider(he was either nine or eleven, I think) come to mind.

The medieval Church systematically layed the foundations for anti-semitism in tracts, texts, and teachings that can be read today. Some one once showed me a translation from a Hindu text from about the 2nd Century with a title that, roughly, was "How to Control People" which explained the principles or the "divide" and conquor" system, which, one cannot dispute, was enduringly utilized in the caste system--

At any rate, if someone is a bit naive about the genesis of all this, I think it isn't me--


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:50 PM

Right on, M. Ted! And the same divide and conquer tactics have been employed many times by the elite few in Communist societies as well, so one is hardly a "red" when one points out the mechanism. The Communists have their privileged ruling classes as well, they just pretend not to in their phony rhetoric....much the same way as the Redemocrapublicant Parties do in the USA...only we get more toys to play with here, which helps keep us pacified, although slowly losing touch with reality, as we much our cheeseburgers and drink our Pepsi. But wait! They've got McDonalds in Beijing and Moscow now. I could just McVomit thinking about it...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:07 PM

I was about to comment on Ted M.'s comments, Kim C's affirmation of his comments, and Little Hawk's Amen, but after reading the last two posts, there doesn't seem to be much point to it. It's really a gigantic conspiracy by the ruling class that promotes prejudice? Wow. That's pretty far out I think.

As to Patrish's problem, if the folks she refers to are in their 70's, they have held their beliefs for a long time, and though you might be able to change their minds, I really doubt it. The fact that they accept your friend from Brazil is, I think, telling. I don't know, but maybe they haven't really been exposed to minorities on a one-on-one basis very much. Unless you feel a real need to champion the cause, it might be better in this instance to avoid the subject unless one of them brings it up. If they do, you can very nicely register your disagreement with them, and the ball is back in their court.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:10 PM

Oops, Kim C., sorry. It was Carol C. Also M. Ted instead of Ted M. A senior moment, after all, I am in my 70's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CarolC
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:29 PM

*grin*

Yeah, Doug R. I was just thinking Kim C wouldn't appreciate being put in the same political category as a pinko like me ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:34 PM

Doug - It's not so far out if most of if just happens kind of automatically, given the value systems that are pushed in this society. The vast majority of rich people are certainly not consciously engaging in any kind of conspiracy...they are just doing what comes naturally, as is everybody else, and they're doing it under a lot of pressure, as is everybody else.

But there is a level of people at the very top who do know what they are doing, and those people are not just rich, they are collosally rich. They have the logistical problem of figuring out how to maintain a system that is presently self-destructing by stages, as it destroys traditional community life, wrecks the environment, and brings all of society closer and closer to a collapse that will make the fall of Rome look puny in comparison.

Like the very few who ran ancient Rome....the Emperor and a few rich cronies, and a few generals, these people are trying to determine just how long they can maintain a status quo which is horribly dysfunctional...because they figure that status quo is the key to them continuing to hoard vast amounts of money and power, and to continue controlling the marketplace.

It's very sick, very unholy, and it is not leading to anything you or I are going to enjoy one bit.

On that VERY highest level, it is a conscious conspiracy...and like the rest of us, they are probably getting scared at this point. I know I am.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:38 PM

Well, LH, you're a bit more pessimistic abut this than I am, I guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Angie
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:48 PM

my brother in law is asian and my caucasian twin sister has to put up with racist abuse from both sides as she is a 'paki lover' on the one hand and a 'goria' (white trash) on the other depending on which side of the camp your on. we are all different and have different cultures/ beliefs but we can always strive to find common ground......there is always, without exception common ground with fellow humans regardless of ethnic origin


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 07:25 PM

I only wish people wouldn't either take or refute my words, but would spend time studying history, instead. It is often said that one should avoid looking to closely at the process of making sausage and the political process--but that is intended to be taken rhetorically rather than actually--Orwell said something to the effect that, if you wanted to sumarize history, imagine a boot, stepping on the face of humanity--it doesn't have to always be like that, but one is hardpressed to deny that it has been like that--


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 07:44 PM

M. Ted: I'm not sure your request is very realistic. People who post opinions, whether based on history or just expressing an opinion, should expect to receive comments from others. There is no assurance that "spending time studying history" would provide the same information you base your opinion on. Unfortunately, there is no definitive "history" book that I, at least, know of. You can buy a history book that presents one P.O.V. on almost any subject, and purchase a history book on the same shelf that refutes the information presented in the first book.

I would be happy to take a look at the history books that you base your opinion on that prejudice is promulgated, and promoted by the "controlling class," though, if you would refer one or more to me.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:18 PM

There is no question that in many circumstances people seeking to establish and hold on to power and privilege encourage and exploit divisions between people.

But there has to be something to encourage and exploit for that to happen. Human beings have a tendency to think in terms of "them" and "us" - how these terms are actually apportioned, and what actually follows from that is dependent on all kinds of things. It can be colour or acent or religion or length of hair or even the kind of music people like, or the football team they support.

The divisions aren't invented in some conspiracy - but they are used. They can be a great way of diverting attention, and dividing people who could be a threat if they were united. While people are attacking the Jews or the Blacks, or the Papists or whatever, maybe they won't be attacking other more relevant targets.

There are certainly fireraisers with sinister motives. But they can only start a fire if there is something to catch fire. However once a fire is started pretty soon it's not under anybody's control.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:22 PM

Doug - I suggest you read some books by Noam Chomsky (hope I spelled his name properly). Also, I suggest you read any book by Neale Donald Walsh, for some refreshingly positive alternatives to the present social attitudes. Any large bookstore has his books. Don't worry about the title! Just read it, and then think about it. - LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,peter
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:36 PM

I prefer to think that Im not an automaton thinking what Im told. I grant that certainly in history the divide and conquer method has been used by the ruling power too many times (for instances its easier to kill an enemy if you call him a "red" or "hun" or whatever rather than a human being, certainly Hitler singled out the Jews but there is also intolerance borne of ignorance. I dont really think the people mentioned as the subject of this thread developed their racist tendencies as a result of some insidious govt plan I think they learned it themselves probably having grown up in a relatively homogeneous culture that experienced large inmigration of ethnic groups in the past 30-40yrs. Certainly the Japanese would never consider themselves racist and yet 3rd generation Japanese born Koreans have to carry alien cards, are not allowed to take on Japanese names. etc. because they are also a homogeneous culture.

The point is that rather than seeking some outside blame we should be aware of what we assume and do ourselves. Its just like the problems with the environment, its not just the large corporations doing the polluting its also us as individuals. eg. since the fall of communism in Mongolia more and more unemployed became shepherders and because they are trying to make more money by selling cashmere wool and cutting back on costs (ie not moving around pastures as they did traditionally) they are putting a strain on the grasslands and inadvertently creating a dessert. This is not to say it would be great to return to communism as they were the worst polluters in the world.

the problem is more complex than that, this is what I mean by naivete. sure Ive read the history books but who are they written by, How many books are there on the Hussite revolution and yet it is considered by some historians as one of the first revolutions of the people. In the 15th century people fought for truth, equality imagine that it didnt matter to them how high one was born.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:19 AM

LH, I think I know who you mean (the first name) and I don't think it is spelled correctly. However, I'll check it out.

I think we are a product of our birth. I was born in a small Texas town where the Black population and the White population were separated by railroad tracks. There was predjudice and that was readily illustrated by the geographic location in which people lived. But no one, that I ever knew, mistreated the folks that "lived across the tracks." That was just the way it was. There was no corporate conspiracy, because there were no corporations. It was just a way of life. The folks that lived on the less fortunate side of the railroad tracks may not have liked it there. But several of them were friends of mine, and I never heard any of them complain. We went to separate schools. They may not have liked that either, but if they didn't, I never heard about that either. It was a way of life, that if you didn't live it, you would never understand. There was no racial strife, whatsoever, in those days.

That little town is fully intergrated today, and it was done with no problems at all. It probably could have been done when I was a youngster over fifty years ago, but I'm not sure either "side" was ready for it at that time.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:49 AM

...they are putting a strain on the grasslands and inadvertently creating a dessert...

Now that is what I call a life-enhancing typo, GUEST,peter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

Hi Doug,

Your description of that little town is indeed just the way it used to be. There was prejudice, but as you say it was just a way of life, and no one thought much about it, and most people treated each other quite decently (because they knew each other all their lives.

What has changed since then is...

1. The automobile has made people very mobile, and that has had a very destructive effect on the cohesiveness of traditional communities. People move around a lot more, and they are a lot more isolated from one another. There is much more anonymity these days, and much less feeling of continuity in neighborhood life.

2. The television has had a catastrophic effect in the same general respects, and has increased people's isolation from one another even within the family, while also increasing social homogeneity and mass conformity. On Indian reserves, for instance, the traditional languages and way of life were sustaining themselves much more effectively, until TV came along. Now the kids grow up learning English off the TV and forget about their Native languages. They want the junk foods they see advertised on the TV and forget about their traditional foods. And so on...

3. The consumer marketing system has flooded into every area of community, through TV, radio, and the activities of major corporations...so that everyone gets exposed to the very same stuff and buys the very same stuff and eats at the same 7 or 8 junk food chains (instead of unique traditional family run cafes and diners, which have mostly vanished).

4. In other words...to put it briefly...Big Money organizations (corporations) have used every means possible to increase their sales, and in so doing have pretty destroyed the traditional community life that you describe, which wasn't perfect, but it was healthier than what we have now.

5. This is mainly why you see bizarre crimes being committed by alienated teenagers that were almost unimaginable when you and I were kids...it arises out of the unease and despair that results from being psychologically utterly isolated from your fellow human beings. Those kids oughta shoot the TV instead of their fellow classmates...it's the number one thing that got them in the hole they're in.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM

DougR,

Here are two books that I think you'd enjoy--Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States", and Norman Cohen's "In Purusit of the Millenium"--the Zinn book is easy to find, and it is very well written--it is a must for folkies, since he writes about many of the events and conflicts that we know about mostly through songs--

The Cohen book may be hard to find, since it is about millenialists and religious cults that attempted to overthrown the social order in the middle ages(not a hot topic with most readers)--but, if you are interested in this sort of thing, it is worth the effort in finding it. GUEST,peter, if you are interested in the Hussites, this book is for you! The main thrust of the book is to uncover the ideological roots of the Nazism and Communism--

For those of you who haven't got the time or inclination to read (a sad situation, I must say), I refer you to Rogers and Hammerstein, who said. "You've got to be taught to hate and fear...you've got to be carefully taught"--


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:23 AM

Also, Marianne Williamson has written some extremely good books about ways of transforming the current society. Try out those...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,peter
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:37 AM

thanks McGrath for pointing that out I guess I was hungry... thanks M Ted, Ill check those books out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:34 PM

SDShad
'a white family line that stretches back into deep pre-history is destroyed'
So presumably the BNP rejects the 'out of Africa' theory?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:45 PM

Hi Guys, lets see was it Doug who wanted an example of constructed rasim by institutions? Let me give you two:
In the colonies, slaves from Africa were more valuble than indentured servants who - it was profitable to work to death, as they did not get their land after their sentence was finished. The land they got was on the fronteer so they were a buffer between the Vergina planters and the rather miffed Natives. Well, at first there were no laws against intermarrige between Slaves and Servants and it was common. UNTIL, Nathanial Bacon, a freed servant, led a revolt of servants and slaves which nearly overthrough the Verinia colonial government.
In the aftermath, the roll of the servant was raised, and they became the inforcers of slavery, not owning slaves but keeping them in line with extrodinary violence. Part of the creation of a sence of difference to devide the "working class" comoniality of servant and slave was to make the poor white guy think of himself or herself as a "better" so they outlawed intermarrige.
In Ireland, with the criminalization policies of Britain in the north, Irish schools underwent a change in the way they taught Irish history, in that support for Catholic civil rights in the north was destablizing of the politic in the Republic, so they created a sence of difference between Irish Catholic in the occupied counties and the other 26 counties, and by the mid 1980's there was more prejudice against Northern Catholics from Southern Catholics than there was towards northern Catholics from Northern Pritestants! A sence of difference was created by the state through the schools for the most part, which is why the the children of republican's in the republic thought so differently from their parents.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:52 PM

A few of the worst misspellings translated...
overthrough the Verinia = overthrew the Verginia
from Northern Pritestants = Northern Protestants...
Whoops - Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:27 PM

Thanks, M. Ted, for the book recommendations, and Larry, I thing we all knew what you meant. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mooman
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:55 PM

Dear Patrish,

Having met you a couple of time, don't be worried thinking you're rambling, you're not!. Like you, I will always face these bigotry and racist issues head on. Diplomatically if possible, with more direct language if necessary. I admire your values and your determination to stand by them.

Richard


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: 8_Pints
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:26 PM

I believe the differences in cultures give rise to tribalistic attitudes that provide a bond within each group, against its perceived enemies.

False logic, possibly through sloppy thinking, then compounds the argument by basing views on stereotypes.

Diversification of species is what has allowed single cell organisms to evolve into human beings I think.

So when an argument is promoted concerning purity of "blood lines", etc a fear of change and its consequences is being demonstrated.

As Voltaire once said "I may disagree with you, but I shall fight to the death for your right to proclaim your beliefs" (paraphrased perhaps).

The dilemma arises when hate is exploited to incite unjustifiable acts. It is this dividing line that should be used recognise where attitudes are intolerable.

"Evil happens when good men/women do nothing"

However, knowing what I should do and actually doing it requires moral courage and is the greatest form of bravery in my book.

Take heart! I think you have done what I know I should do also, Trish.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:48 PM

That Voltaire quote first seems to have cropped up in 1907, Voltaire having died in 1778. I think there's some question as to whether he would actually have agreed with the sentiments.

I can't remember who said that the right to exercise free speech shouldn't include the right to shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: 8_Pints
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 08:40 AM

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." verbatim as reported on the Qutations Homepage : http://www.geocities.com/~spanoudi/quote.html

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:31 AM

I think institutional racism is getting worse. Some time ago I filled in an application for a job. Part of the process was to fill in details about sexual preferences, colour, creed, disabilities etc. They said this was because they operated an equal opportunities policy. I wrote straight across it that if they applied true equality non of those questions would matter.

Needless to say I didn't get the job. I think I was glad!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: 8_Pints
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:08 PM

Was it Tom Lehrer who included the line in his song about the American Army as one that "not only discriminated on the grounds of race, creed and colour ... but also ability!"

I think Dave, you must have come under the last category!

*BG*

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM

It is actually illegal to ask any of those questions hereabouts, DtG--and imprudent too, since any person who is qualified for a job and is passed over, after having answered those questions, has grounds for a law suit--


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:20 PM

Dave the gnome - HOORAY FOR YOU! You are dead right...that is institutionalized racism masquerading as "equal opportunity". It is anything but equal, if you don't happen to be in one of the favoured categories (and we all know what they are...).

A society that actually gave a damn about people on an equal basis would ensure that everyone who wanted and needed a job had one...at a decent level of pay...as long as they showed up and did the job to at least an adequate level of performance. (Star Trek Next Generation) Ditto for access to higher education.

No more poverty. No more ghettos. No more homelessness.

That's democratic socialism, folks.

Go ahead and say it's not possible. It is. And it is NOT Communism!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 01:57 AM

Dream on LH. :>) DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Wel, DougR, LH may be dreaming, but if we don't so something to change the basic exchange ritual of society, which is costing us all more waist than production, well, this tired old world wont support life anymore, so if we don't start working with the dreamers, all this is just going to have been a bad dream.
Cheers, Larry
PS this is drifting towards the global warming thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 01:07 PM

That's right, Larry. I know all my dreams won't be realized before I depart this world, but that will not stop me from dreaming.

I regard our present competitive money and war-based system as an aberration, worthy of cave men, not real human beings.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:54 PM

Hey check out the global warming thread, LH, I am trying to organise the first Geordi sweat lodge, want in? Larry


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