Racism

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Smudger105e

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I had quite a legthy discussion about racism with my lovely wife last night, and we agreed to disagree that one of the big problems with identifying whether a comment etc. is racist is based largely on your own position (e.g are you on the recieving end) and also the definition of racism.

My wife has the view that racism is the opression of an ethnic minority group by members of the majority group. My view is that by even accepting that there is an issue because of someone's skin colour makes us all racist, but not necessarily in a negative way. Does that make sense?

I further read in this morning's paper that apparently:

Dutch players were outraged last night after being racially abused during training.

The Dutch are based in Krakow, close to England’s headquarters, and chants rained down on them at Wisla Krakow’s stadium as they prepared for Saturday's opening group game against Denmark.

Roy Hodgson’s side will hold a training session at their Polish base, in front of 3,500 invited spectators, on Friday.

Dutch skipper Mark Van Bommel has threatened to walk off the pitch if his side suffer a repeat of the abuse that his black team-mates endured during their open session.

On the squad's first lap of the pitch, around 500 Polish fans started a chorus of monkey chants, which became even louder at the end of the second circuit.

Van Bommel led the squad to the other end of the stadium to escape the abuse, then launched a furious verbal assault accusing UEFA officials of trying to sweep the problem under the carpet.

The former Bayern Munich and AC Milan midfielder, now back with first club PSV Eindhoven, said: “What happened is a real disgrace, especially after getting back from Auschwitz, that we were confronted with this.

“We will take it up with UEFA and if it happens on the pitch during a match we will talk to the referee and ask to leave the field.”

UEFA officials and Dutch FA chiefs attempted to play down the incident but an infuriated Van Bommel added: “If people say they didn’t hear it, then they need to open their ears.

“If they did hear it and didn’t want to hear it, then that’s even worse.”

The Wisla ground, the largest in Krakow, is around three miles from England’s training base at the Stadion Suche Stawy.

FA chiefs have been determined to demonstrate their role as “good tourists” during their stay in Krakow.

Skipper Steven Gerrard led Hodgson’s squad as they attended a reception given by the Mayor of Krakow at the 19th Century Polish Art Gallery, close to their city centre hotel.

The England players will also visit Auschwitz and the Schindler Museum to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.


source http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/hollands-black-players-racially-abused-867125

Now I believe that the action of these abusers is entirely unacceptable, but what action could and should be taken, and by who?

Discuss
 
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Schnellzug

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One thing that's absolutely playing into their hands is threatening to "walk off the pitch" or other such childishness. That's like saying "i'm not playing any more" and stomping off in a tantrum, isn't it? The dignified thing would be to rise above it and respond with dignity, wouldn't it?

* In a way, isn't it rather racist, if we extend 'racism' not to just mean skin colour, to assume that everyone in Poland, Ukraine etc is recist?
 

Smudger105e

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One thing that's absolutely playing into their hands is threatening to "walk off the pitch" or other such childishness. That's like saying "i'm not playing any more" and stomping off in a tantrum, isn't it? The dignified thing would be to rise above it and respond with dignity, wouldn't it?

* In a way, isn't it rather racist, if we extend 'racism' not to just mean skin colour, to assume that everyone in Poland, Ukraine etc is recist?
Schnellzug, I tend to agree that walking off the putch would be playing into the chanters' hands somewhat, I did think that when Mario Balotelli said he would do that if subjected to racist abuse, but it must be difficult to concentrate on playing football while having bananas thrown at you (for example).

I am not sure how I would react to racist abuse if I was on the recieving end. I am not particularly happy with the way we are treated by the rest of Europe sometimes, take Eurovision as an example. And continuing with generalities, a section of the Scots seem to bear a grudge against the English because of the Battle of Bannockburn, which was fought 700 years ago!! My Boss (a Scot) at the last world cup, made the comment that as Scotland had not qualified, it still gave him 31 other teams to support. Is that racist?
 

Butts

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When I was a child most jokes used to be about......

There was an Englishman , Scotsman , Welshman and Irishman with the latter being the butt of the tale regarding their apparent stupidity.

Sometimes the Scotsman was the target (tightness) or the Welsh (relations with sheep) or the English ( toff etc).

Were these rascist ?

The fact Golly was always naughty in Noddy Books made him a hero and no one associated his colour with his deeds. His appearance on Robertsons Jams and the subsequent collecting of pin badges reflected his popularity. Apparently even Big Ears has been excised from Noddy Books today.

I suppose it is a sign of a developed society that we have the time to make such associations however tenuous they may seem to the majority of us.
 

Lampshade

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My wife has the view that racism is the opression of an ethnic minority group by members of the majority group. My view is that by even accepting that there is an issue because of someone's skin colour makes us all racist, but not necessarily in a negative way. Does that make sense?
This definition is being used regularly to excuse racially motivated attacks committed by ethnic minorities, almost as if it can't be racist if it's not committed by the majority group.

In my view ANY form of discrimination on the grounds of race is racism, whether perpetrated by the majority group or not. Racism is the belief that a race is superior, you don't have to be a member of the majority to hold beliefs such as that.
 

Smudger105e

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Racism is the belief that a race is superior,
Or inferior?

And this is exactly why I don't agree with my wife's preferred definition of racism.

She works in the Social Services/Probation sector, and apparently this is the definition to which they work...

.. almost as if it can't be racist if it's not committed by the majority group.
I agree, and I also think that it doesn't have to be a negative, does us discussing this issue here make us racist? I think it possibly does, merely recognising that race is an issue in society..

Furthermore, some words have been taken to be racist these days, even though they were originally not, or a shortening of other terms. Words such as 'wog' are now entirely unacceptable, and rightly so, but I understand that originally this meant Western Oriental Gentleman (although I might well be wrong on this). Paki is obviously meant for people of Pakistani origin, but again is not acceptable in a modern educated society like ours.

Ever seem the film Coach Carter? He has a go at the Black lads on the Basketball team for calling each other 'nigga', saying that they would object if someone white called them that...

Finally (for now) one of my colleagues said yesterday that all Muslims should go home. Is this racist? It is a dig at religion, and I did point out that a large proportion of UK Muslims are in fact British, so they are home.
 
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swj99

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This definition is being used regularly to excuse racially motivated attacks committed by ethnic minorities, almost as if it can't be racist if it's not committed by the majority group.
Isn't the question of just who is the majority group a relative one ? In a workplace situation one ethnicity might be the majority group, and in a different workplace a different ethnicity might be the majority group, whereas in general in British society, a different group again might be the majority group. Who decides which one counts overall as the majority ?
What I'm trying to say is that the whole thing is absurd because British society is made up of minority groups.

The bottom line is the fact that most people know what's ok and what isn't, but all this pc nonsense just ties everyone up in knots for months trying to work it out with a limited list of words (ie the ones they haven't banned yet). Whereas throwing a banana at a footballer, or making animal noises is blatantly abusive and is obvious to almost anyone.
 

NY Yankee

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Ever seem the film Coach Carter? He has a go at the Black lads on the Basketball team for calling each other 'nigga', saying that they would object if someone white called them that...
Samuel L. Jackson starred in that movie. He's one of my favorite actors. The n-word is a hateful word that emanated from the time of slavery in America. Many inner city blacks in America use that disgusting word as a term of endearment, but that's wrong. They believe that it's ok for blacks to use it, but not whites. I believe that NO ONE should use the n-word.

If you want to see racism, move to America. Blacks live in the poorest neighborhoods and have the lowest paying jobs. (Some) whites look at them suspiciously. Many blacks do not attend college. You see how President Obama is treated. America is one of the most racist countries.
 

WestCoast

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If you want to see racism, move to America. Blacks live in the poorest neighborhoods and have the lowest paying jobs. (Some) whites look at them suspiciously. Many blacks do not attend college. You see how President Obama is treated. America is one of the most racist countries.
South Africa is far worse, there's a gulf between the black majority and white minority, even almost 20 years after apartheid.

Things aren't so equal in many parts of Britain either, one only has to look at the segregated communities of people with ethnic backgrounds in towns and cities across the country.

In my view, there's a large difference between racial inequality (which is what you have described and I have followed up) and racism.
 
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NY Yankee

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I couldn't care less about soccer (football), but I'm glad England is defending its black players. England is clearly the most progressive country in the world. Too bad bigotry still exists in America and some countries in Europe.

England captain Steven Gerrard admitted he would consider staging a dramatic mid-game boycott of Euro 2012 if any of his players suffer racist abuse.

Gerrard and his team have been urged to show no tolerance of discriminatory behavior during the tournament, with both host nations (Poland and Ukraine) blighted by reports of severe racism in soccer.

Some of the black players in the Netherlands squad were targeted with monkey chants and jeers during a training session ahead of their opening game, while accusations sprang up on Saturday that the Czech Republic's only black player, Theodor Gebre Selaisse, was targeted during his side's opening night defeat to Russia.

The problem is a concern to England, as it contains eight black players among its 23-man squad, and the families of several stars stayed home due to reports of racially motivated incidents in the host countries.

England takes on France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday night in its first Group D match and while Gerrard would prefer to focus on its play, he revealed the team had discussed how to combat any racist behavior on the field.

"We have talked about it," Gerrard said, when asked if he would consider walking out of a game. "And if anything like that does take place the first thing we would do would be to stop and talk to the referee straight away."

Gerrard's comments came in response to strong words from leading figures, both in sports and politics, urging the squad to make a powerful statement that such antics would not be accepted.

"Players should not just keep quiet and play on like in my day," said Ruud Gullit, the legendary Dutch midfielder who won the Euros in 1988 and spent half a season as coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2008. "If a player is racially insulted, he should have the right to leave the field."

That right appeared to be called into question in the days leading up to the tournament, when Michel Platini, president of European governing body UEFA, claimed that the correct response to any player leaving the field after being abused would be for the referee to issue them with a yellow card.

Platini has since backtracked and UEFA has attempted to take a stronger stance on racism, saving itself from another wave of international criticism.

Meanwhile, senior British politician Douglas Alexander urged Gerrard and his colleagues to not be afraid to take the step of halting a match, regardless of what Platini said. "If … the England players felt justified in walking off, they should be supported," Alexander wrote in the Daily Mail.

It is feared, however, that the most likely instance of racism could occur in the final group game between England and Ukraine, one that may well decide who advances from Group D to the knockout stage.

England players have been warned to prepare themselves for the worst and the English Football Association sent an additional team of security experts to safeguard the squad.

"When you come to countries where there are certain issues, you have to be ready for it," said England coach Roy Hodgson. "Unfortunate as it may be, we will be ready."
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/soccer--walking-out-mid-game-an-option-for-england-if-its-players-are-targets-of-racist-abuse-from-fans.html

England, thank you.
 

Butts

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South Africa is far worse, there's a gulf between the black majority and white minority, even almost 20 years after apartheid.

Things aren't so equal in many parts of Britain either, one only has to look at the segregated communities of people with ethnic backgrounds in towns and cities across the country.

In my view, there's a large difference between racial inequality (which is what you have described and I have followed up) and racism.
In Britain its not a matter of race with regard to poverty more one of class.

Who do middle-class blacks relate to poor blacks or those they have more in common with ie middle-class whites. Have they pulled the ladder up behind them like their white counterparts?

The same can be said in South Africa where a corrupt black regime has replaced a white racist one. Are poor blacks any better off than they were under apartheid ?

In the USA what about the poor whites "trailer trash" they possibly have more in common with poor blacks than the Washington Black elite.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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With the mention of both Poland and the Ukraine as co-hosts of the Euro 2012 football tournament, do not forget that when the Warsaw Pact countries were under the USSR supremacy, racism was not officially part of their agenda of the Communist parties of these nations, as the USSR actively encouraged students from post-colonial African countries to come to the USSR, where the USSR saw that its influence in making this supposedly generous decision for these young students to come there to further their educational studies, where it was hoped by the USSR that, in return for this supposed generosity, that these students would then help to foster Communism in their own countries on their return home with their degree qualifications.

Since the fall of Communism, all such restrictions on outright racism have disappeared and events since then have reflected the open growth of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist organisations in the former Warsaw Pact countries, despite the historical truth of what the Nazi party in the 1930's/1940's period did in all the states of Europe that were under its rule, which shows how even the most vile ideology perpetrated upon people has not taken too long to be forgotten. Do not forget that it was in Poland where a large majority of the now-known concentration camps run by the Nazis were constructed and ran by them.
 
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Butts

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With the mention of both Poland and the Ukraine as co-hosts of the Euro 2012 football tournament, do not forget that when the Warsaw Pact countries were under the USSR supremacy, racism was not officially part of their agenda of the Communist parties of these nations, as the USSR actively encouraged students from post-colonial African countries to come to the USSR, where the USSR saw that its influence in making this supposedly generous decision for these young students to come there to further their educational studies, where it was hoped by the USSR that, in return for this supposed generosity, that these students would then help to foster Communism in their own countries on their return home with their degree qualifications.

Since the fall of Communism, all such restrictions on outright racism have disappeared and events since then have reflected the open growth of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist organisations in the former Warsaw Pact countries, despite the historical truth of what the Nazi party in the 1930's/1940's period did in all the states of Europe that were under its rule, which shows how even the most vile ideology perpetrated upon people has not taken too long to be forgotten. Do not forget that it was in Poland where a large majority of the now-known concentration camps run by the Nazis were constructed and ran by them.
Another thing to remember is that Poland has along history of anti-semitism as do a lot of other ex-eastern block countries, which was prevalent long before the Nazis or Russians arrived on the scene.

Indeed Romania and Hungary both allies of the Nazis at the start of WWII committed some of the worst atrocities against Jews and other minorities. Check out the Finns and Lithuanians as well for well documented persecution of other groups. :p
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Another thing to remember is that Poland has along history of anti-semitism as do a lot of other ex-eastern block countries, which was prevalent long before the Nazis or Russians arrived on the scene.
Indeed, there were many 18th and 19th century pogroms in the days of the Russian monarchy, as you so rightly say. My point was to make the connection to the cynical use of African students by the USSR in its higher educational establishments as a method of fostering the spread of Communism in post-colonial African states, when the possible racial backlash from the Warsaw Block population at large was well and truly subjugated by the Communist authorities.
 

WestCoast

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In Britain its not a matter of race with regard to poverty more one of class.
Possibly, although where you are in the country does alter what you see slightly. I do agree that Britain, in general, appears to be a less racially focused country than America.
 

SS4

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There is a slightly racist undercurrent which I think would be destroyed in an instant if there was the will to discuss exactly what racism is and the effect it can have. In this country especially racism is too closely linked to immigration to the extent where it's suddenly racist to talk about immigrants!

It still seems very backward that one can insult based on hair colour, eye colour, spectacles, height, weight, gender (to a degree) and nationality but skin colour and religion are out of bounds (especially the latter)

We also have black areas and white areas for want of a better description, there are parts of Brum I'd be an ethnic minority and would feel very anxious about going through
 

Butts

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There is a slightly racist undercurrent which I think would be destroyed in an instant if there was the will to discuss exactly what racism is and the effect it can have. In this country especially racism is too closely linked to immigration to the extent where it's suddenly racist to talk about immigrants!

It still seems very backward that one can insult based on hair colour, eye colour, spectacles, height, weight, gender (to a degree) and nationality but skin colour and religion are out of bounds (especially the latter)

We also have black areas and white areas for want of a better description, there are parts of Brum I'd be an ethnic minority and would feel very anxious about going through
Alum Rocks not that bad :p

Wonder if the reverse would be true ?
 

WestCoast

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In Britain, there are segregated communities in many cities and towns where people of a certain background do tend to cluster together and have somewhat limited interaction with the wider community. This often tends to be based on religious background and people can feel quite alienated. It links to the debate about 'multiculturalism' and what that actually means. I don't think it should be racist to talk about. It's not an issue unique to Britain, far from it, it seems to have occurred in some way right across Western Europe. The USA is a country of immigrants, in modern times European states have not been.

On a positive note, in Burnley, I believe they did something rather sensible; they merged the predominantly White background and the predominantly South Asian background secondary schools together. Good decision if you ask me, it would be challenging, but I reckon that would have a good chance of reducing prejudice on all sides and improving community relations. It's not going to work in 100% of cases, but it could help.
 
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LE Greys

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There is a slightly racist undercurrent which I think would be destroyed in an instant if there was the will to discuss exactly what racism is and the effect it can have. In this country especially racism is too closely linked to immigration to the extent where it's suddenly racist to talk about immigrants!

It still seems very backward that one can insult based on hair colour, eye colour, spectacles, height, weight, gender (to a degree) and nationality but skin colour and religion are out of bounds (especially the latter)

We also have black areas and white areas for want of a better description, there are parts of Brum I'd be an ethnic minority and would feel very anxious about going through
It's possibly linked to the fact that some people seem to see each as separate issues. We have laws against incitement to racial hatred, incitement to religious hatred and incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality. Why not 'incitement to hatred' or 'incitement to hatred on any grounds'?
 

the sniper

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We also have black areas and white areas for want of a better description, there are parts of Brum I'd be an ethnic minority and would feel very anxious about going through
I'm white, but I'd feel as 'wary' walking though Kingstanding, parts of Ward End and the Castle Vale at night as I would Winson Green or Sparkbrook, probably more so in the case of the latter.

Driving I don't really feel concerned at all anywhere, having driven around all those areas at every hour of the day and night while working and never having encountered any problems.
 

Badger

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My wife has the view that racism is the opression of an ethnic minority group by members of the majority group. My view is that by even accepting that there is an issue because of someone's skin colour makes us all racist, but not necessarily in a negative way. Does that make sense?
Sorry but I disagree entirely with your wife.

Racism is bad, yes. But splitting people into minority groups is in itself racism.

If society looks at a group of people and says: there are two black people and six not-black people in this group, black people are the minority and so cannot be racist, that is incredibly racist!

How do we decide who is a minority? In the world as a whole, Maori is a minority group. But if we find ourselves in a situation where in a room there are twenty Maori people, two Indian people, and the former attack the latter for being different, we can't say this isn't a racist attack just because Maori is the minority (because in this case Indian would be the minority...). If two caucasian people attack a slavic person the caucasian people are the majority; if the slavic person attacked them for being different that would still be racist regardless of the sudden change in who's the minority.

Racism is treating persons differently based on presumed race, it's as simple as that. If, as in my school, "black people" got preferential treatment and got to take part in Black History Month and not "everyone else", that is racist discrimination, regardless of there being less black people than "everyone else" in the school.

There is no such thing as positive discrimination, just discrimination, because any "positive" has to have a "negative" (to badly take Newton out of context, every action has an equal and opposite reaction). If you treat white people with respect because they are white, you are by doing so treating non-white people with disrespect. If you impose a lower class status on one ethnic group you are in doing so raising another (or raising a lack-of-that-ethnic-group).

(Apologise for using "you" there, not aimed at anybody in particular).
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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On a positive note, in Burnley, I believe they did something rather sensible; they merged the predominantly White background and the predominantly South Asian background secondary schools together. Good decision if you ask me, it would be challenging, but I reckon that would have a good chance of reducing prejudice on all sides and improving community relations. It's not going to work in 100% of cases, but it could help.
Oldham and Rochdale are two towns to the north of the Greater Manchester region with specific community problems, which have also seen attempts to do something similar to what you describe.
 

Badger

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Unfortunately some are trying to "solve" minority issues by introducing minority-only schools etc and that just cannot work as it further ostracises them from the community.
 

jon0844

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Unfortunately some are trying to "solve" minority issues by introducing minority-only schools etc and that just cannot work as it further ostracises them from the community.
Not only that, but create hatred or distrust of others from within the minority schools - which could spark problems in the wider community.
 
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Nowadays there is such an obsession with race people have actually confused racism with nationalism.
People from what we were taught was the Indian sub-continent in the 1950s and 60s are nowadays referred to as the all encompassing "Asians". So where does that leave the Chinese and Japanese? They're also Asians but of a different race. If I insult a German I could be accused of racism yet I'm actually the same race as he, but a different nationality. This if course is where the right-on Islington set falls on it's anti-racist face.
 

150222

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I assume WestCoast was refering to Hameldon community colledge in Burnley. I don't go to school there, but I do nearby. As far as I can tell it has had a mostly positive impact however that school is still struggling.
 

NY Yankee

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Based on the posts I've read, I see that Britain isn't exactly the utopia that I envisioned. Still, it can't be as bad as America. In New York City, cops have stopped black and Hispanic males on the street who look "suspicious" (google stop and frisk nyc). If you ever walk by Penn Station or Grand Central, most of the homeless people begging for money are black. Most of the people in American prisons are black. I would be naive if I said that there's no racism in the UK, but it can't be as bad as my home country. The only racial incident I heard of in the UK was after the July 7, 2005 terrorist attack when there was a spread of Islamophobia.
 

WestCoast

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Still, it can't be as bad as America. In New York City, cops have stopped black and Hispanic males on the street who look "suspicious" (google stop and frisk nyc)..
That's very familiar. It's called "Stop and Search" with the Met Police (London), it's actually a formal "crime reduction strategy", see news report clip about it. It's alleged that London's black youth are targeted more than other racial groups.
 
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