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Forums > Social Discussion > Racism - a potentially good thing???

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:yepp that's for a title, hey? rolleyes



After last years EJC in Ptui I was headed "home" to Munich in my camper and there was this bloke standing aside the road (a juggler from Netherlands apparently)... Usually I have no prob in taking a hitchhiker, but with this one I sort of had some strange feelig upfront... shrug



He was in his early 20s, studying music in Amsterdam and basically a sympathic one, with Kaukasian/ western european background, juggling clubs and balls. After a few hours ride our conversation drifted to racism and I was very confused hearing his statement (In the following I post it not literally, as it was about 5 months ago):



Written by: The nameless Hitchhiker
"Well I consider it a good thing. In the Netherlands most crimes are committed by Blacks and therefore it's a good thing that the cops would predominantly stop a Black, or ethnic looking person - for say when riding a big expensive car. I mean hey, what's the point? How could he afford this car, except for three reasons: Stealing it, being a pimp or dealing in drugs?



Shoplifting and many other minor crimes are also very common to Blacks. To get awareness about the likelyhood that someone does or does not do something gives me an opportunity to tell something about the very human being that is standing right in front of me. Our government is not doing enough to protect the citizens from these people."





I had a hard time not to pull over and kick his a55 out of my camper - just to show him what I personally think about "judgement" by race, faith, nationality or opinion. But this is not in my programming rolleyes yet... devil



Instead I tried to argue about a variety of viewpoints to the subject, which was totally pointless and got even worse... eek



I was just so amazed that someone about the age of 20 - a JUGGLER - studying MUSIC... a traveller/ hitchhiker could ever state something like that!!!!!! eek



What do you think? Is "racism" something good, bad, or are you ambivalent to the subject?



Do you look at someone with a certain background and all the stereotypes to the heritage of that person spool down like in a matrix, hence you are able to look beyond those and treat this person "neutral", as a neutral human being, a blank sheet... ???



Maybe you go past your "political correctness" and just express the feeling you have in your gut, without re-reading and filing around so it suits Santa... wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:Just having not much money seems to be enough to get you stereotyped.. I know when my parents had our old wreck of a car, they used to get stopped all the time, and no, not for traffic violations, just because.. Most of the time, the police would look at them, look at the kids squabbling in the back, and wave them on their way.

I think the record was four times in a one hour drive through Chester.

As soon as we got a new (ish) car, we were taken out of the local 'troublemaker' category, it seems. I've yet to be stopped driving, in five years, and if we *do* get stopped for some minor issue (rear light broken, or something similar) they seem to be almost apologetic for stopping us..

I'm sure it is natural in some ways- which do you notice, the 500 shiny new basically similar vehicles, or the one old wreck?
Just standing out in some way, whether it's because of your skin colour, what you drive, what you're wearing is *bound* to get you more noticed. You just can't change your skin colour, unlike all the other options.

To take a more annoying example, a friend of my Dad's, who was black, was a keen birdwatcher, and had no car. So, he used to walk to places where you could see interesting birds, occasionally in camouflage gear, then often have to walk back along the roads at night.
He would get pulled in every single time any crime was committed within about a 40 mile radius if there was any suggestion at all that whoever had done it may have been black/'foriegn looking' or anything similar.. The more it happened, the more determined the police got to 'get' him for *something*- after all, if he's been pulled up 20 times on suspicion, he's got to be doing something illegal, right?

If you look hard enough for statistical correlations for anything you already believe is true, it's always very easy to find them.


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Renface
SILVER Member since Nov 2005

Renface

member
Location: Oklahoma (from New York...), U...

Total posts: 36
Posted:well, im not the police, im not the government... im just me, and EVERY one is at 0 no matter who they are to me. and once they start talking... how they interact with me... with other people... that will determin if i think the person is worth being around. that is, male, female, black, white, asian, mexican, so on and so forth. i have met all variations of all races and ethnic background; from somewhat stereotypical, to completely obnoxious, to orrigional and interesting and everything in between.

but no matter where you go, or who you talk to, there will always be stereotypes... and unfortunately racism.

and when these flaws are at their worst, and there is pure hate involved, i am ashamed of people...
but which ironically forms a hate of my own;
those of the closed mind.

i guess i can only really fix myself.
beerchug


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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Regardless of social issues leading to higher crime rates, that is not the police's job. I'm sorry, but the social issues involved that lead to the crime are a moot point for profiling. *IF* the crime rate is REALLY THERE then it is the police's job to POLICE the populace and try and punish those COMMITING CRIMES.

Hey, poor people (and a lot of those tend to be ethnic minorities) have a crappy life and so compensate by drinking a lot (DUIs), doing drugs, stealing, etc. Possibly, of course, but you get where I'm going here... if a group is more likely to commit crime, then its more likely they will also get caught. If it is more likely that a drug addict will drive a crappy car, and poor minorities ALSO tend to drive crappy cars, then this explains the correlation as well.

The problem is, this is a catch 22 situation. Does the policing cause the stats, or do the stats reflect reality. You can't really measure this, because you aren't going to get real answers if you go out and conduct surveys on "Hey, do you say you commit X crime a lot?". There is an argument to made for both sides. Personally, I think its a mixture of both, so those who start railing against everything because of "racial issues" I tend to chuckle at. We have this tendancy to try and oversimplify everything, and when it comes to things like this your not looking at a SIMPLE issue, your looking at a plethora of interconnected and related issues. For reasons I've already stated, I DON'T think profiling is wrong. On the SOLE basis of race to the point of discrimination, yes, but not in general, in fact I believe it is an important part of how we make decisions. Police aren't robots, and they often go with their gut instincts, and a lot of crimes are taken care of in that way. Would you WANT police to be robots? I doubt it. This is why so many people get upset about traffic cameras issuing tickets: there is no discretion involved.

I have no problem with profiling because its a necessary tool. Does racial DISCRIMINATION happen in profiling: sure, for the same reasons. A cop is human, and they are going to make decisions based on gut feelings sometimes. But to try and equate everything down to racial profiling just seems WAY to oversimplific. Do YOU only look at one thing when YOU make a decision? No, and I highly doubt that cops do that either.

The fact of the matter is, if I'm a cop, and I see a crappy car driving down the road at 2 AM filled with teen - early 20's people, smoking cigarettes playing Snoop Dog, I would probably investigate. And I'm saying this as someone who used drugs and didn't like cops because they did just that: but that's their job.

I got pulled over three times in 3 miles once because I left a friends house at 2 AM, and I have long hair and drive a semi-nice car. I was polite and sober and the cops all let me go. Another time some friends picked up a car that was left at our workplace until 2AM and got pulled over. There were a bunch of kids in the car, and it was a beat up crappy car with tons of trash in it. Drug users tend to be lazy and messy (in my experience). Is it any surprise they were all pulled out and the car searched?

Now in that case the cops were pricks and piled ALL the trash in the driver side footwell because they didn't find anything and were pissed they dug through it all for nothing, and Im sure my friends were being smartasses and so probably deserved it a bit. But I suppose hey, everyone's a prick once in a while. We just hate to admit it that our authority figures might be.

Similarly, my buddy got pulled over. White, wearing a cap backwards, black car, tinted windows, black outs on the head lights. You bet the cops searched his car. With a dog. Is that profiling? Sure. Is it right? If your goal is to stop crime, then yes. Is it justified? Well now that's a whole nother argument.

Social issues aside, it is a cops JOB to stop crime. Profiling is going to happen because that is a big part of how we make decisions: this is not normal, and so I will investigate further to be sure. To be honest, Im surprised I'M not pulled over more often because I have long hair and look scrubby and drive a nice car. But then I'm well spoken and can be a good actor when I need to be (read: around cops), so when I do get pulled over, nothing seems out of the ordinary.

#1 rule if your committing a crime: DON'T call attention to yourself. Be Joe Shmo and you'll likely get away. Gonna transport drugs? Get someone with a nice car to drive. I've seen it happen too many times to be stupid about it: the dirty, beat up car almost ALWAYS gets searched and nailed for a dimebag or a seed in the seat, while the nice, clean new car gets off with the kilo of pot in the trunk.

#2 obey all traffic laws (or subrule 1a) because then you can make a strong case about being profiled instead of doing something wrong. If you pull someone over for nothing where I live, any decent lawer can get you off, DESPITE the fact that you were committing a crime. I think that's knitpicking and stupid, but obviously is it is also an important safe-guard to try and keep everything nice and PC in case something shady on the cops part really does go down. (police harrasment)


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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:i8beef2 thanks for the tips tongue

i would say 'rascism' does help occasionally, if only to keep you out of trouble. often late at night my home town has a lot of chavs about - some of them i know most of them i dont - but in general i avoid all of them because regardless of skin colour they tend to be loud and regularly fight.

one on one im not too bothered by chavs but it is this instant aprasal of a situation that stops be getting attacked for wandering through town looking non chav and being alone.

while yes many of them will be nice people even as a group and it may be me being paranoid i have also seen the number of fights that start

rascism is a deep seated reaction in humans that has evolved from pack mentality. it is often bad and the world would probably be better with out it but its there and its how we deal/use it that counts.

this probably counts as profiling of corse but nevermind tongue

i think the largest cause of x minority doing y a lot is probably the community that the minority is part of - just being poor is not a reason and neither is having money and exemption. often its pre-concieved ideas of what you should be.

eg lots of chavs are really clever but they often act stupid because they think its funny, unfortunatly they just look stupid as a result and are type cast as such so re-enforcing the notion.

humans are very superficial and it is true most people will form an opinion of you before you ever open your mouth.

[/ramble] sorry if that makes no sence - i may be back later to change it or respond:p


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:that makes total sense linden, although i thought chavs were of mixed race? therefore it wouldnt really be racism, which is what this thread is about wink i totally agree with you thought, acting in that way is logical for your own protection.

and yeah i8beefy2, it is the polices job to do what they do, and racial profiling and profiling in general is a great aid in that job. still, judging by the hundreds of years profiling has been used i dont think its really helpful in reducing crime, although on a grand scale few things really do work out i suppose


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:@triskaidekia : you're already stereotyped and profiled JUST if you're young... eek

As a teen and twen I got checked upon by the cops ALL the time. Sitting in an old, or new car - no matter. Once I passed the "magick" 30s it declined and nowadays I hardly get harrassed on borders, customs, immigrations, roadblocks anymore... smile

At least something to look forward to when you fade away... wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:A cops job is NOT to fight crime (although this is what most people think they do). The buisness of the police is primarily social control and protection of private property.

If the job of the police was simply to prevent people from breaking the law there would be busts backstage at every gig, film set, fashion shoot, and festival to arrest all those law breaking drug takers and sellers.

These criminals however do not concern the police... that they flout the law does not matter, they pose no threat to the social order and are unlikely to resort to theft to finance their habit.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Partially right dream. The police have no duty or responsibility to protect either your person, nor your property. They do not have to get into a gunfight to save you, and they will not rush into a dangerous situation to play hero.

Personally I cut the police a *lot* of slack with things. That is mostly because I know a lot of deputies and officers, and I know how things work. While there are some that can be assholes, the majority of them are very normal, very good guys. You just have to remember that their #1 priority every time they go to work is to come home at the end of their shift. Most people don't understand the bad parts of their community because most people don't have to deal with them. Cops deal with the worst 10% of society 90% of the time.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:I'm always slightly irritated by the attitude dream describes. Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers (great band) or Ozzy Osborne (not so great wink). Everyone knows they do/did stupid amounts of drugs. Why didn't they ever get busted and jailed for 10 years or whatever? Tabloid photos of celebrities (e.g. Kate Moss) simply provoke public disapproval rather than leading to an arrest and conviction. After all, they've got photographic evidence that the person has been doing crack. Why aren't they convicting?

If you're famous you're immune to the law, it would seem. Sucks to be average John... shrug


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:more to the point, if you're famous you more than likely already have financial wealth, and considering the police are controlled by the famous and the rich it makes sense you wont get in trouble (which also relates to why corprate cheats get light sentences)

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well it's not always like that - there are (a few) examples that you get busted even if you're a celeb...

But in general it's a proven fact, yes. One doesn't necessarily have to be a rockstar... being a politician sometimes is good enough...

So what's the moral of this? Become a rockstar and join the club? Or is it so the Av.Joe gets more and more pi55ed off about the fact? I mean by merely buying their CD's, watching their movies, etc. this behaviour is supported, no? And their habits are part of the projection: Look at this cool dude, he can sniff lots of coke, get on stage and (*playback*) ... then walk off stage (just having made 500 grands) and there are flocks of groupies waiting for him, dreaming of and screaming to jump the sheets with him... (dunno how this is with female celebs - maybe a little less enthusiastic wink ?)

Crazy world? rolleyes tell me about it...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:I just want to say something about racism in Australia, or at least in my town and the schools I went to etc. I was watching a program about racism TV tonight and it showed a clip which had the word "nergo" written on it.

I don't know what people know about reading, but most of your reading is recognition. You only actually "read" a word with it is unfamilliar to you. And guess what? I had to actually read the word "nergo". It took me 3 tries to actually figure out what it was.

And based on that, I feel that racism in Australia has either increased rapidly. Or it's mostly a load of crap.

I know this is a generalisation to one word, but itsn't racism just generalisations anyway.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Rouge Dragon

I just want to say something about racism in Australia, or at least in my town and the schools I went to etc. I was watching a program about racism TV tonight and it showed a clip which had the word "nergo" written on it.

I don't know what people know about reading, but most of your reading is recognition. You only actually "read" a word with it is unfamilliar to you. And guess what? I had to actually read the word "nergo". It took me 3 tries to actually figure out what it was.

And based on that, I feel that racism in Australia has either increased rapidly. Or it's mostly a load of crap.

I know this is a generalisation to one word, but itsn't racism just generalisations anyway.

I'm guessing you meant 'negro' here. confused
I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say but my understanding is that the word negro isn't in any way offensive. It's an innaccurate anachranism, yes, based on the prejidices of European anthropologists of the past. But it is still an inoffensive word.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:yeah, thats what i meant. i just can't type wink

Over here we are taught it's an offensive word. Unused. But offensive.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Rouge Dragon
yeah, thats what i meant. i just can't type wink

Over here we are taught it's an offensive word. Unused. But offensive.

What?! It's a scientific term! No more offensive than 'penis' or 'caucasian'. I gather race is a very touchy subject at the moment over there but that's just silly.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:well it depends on how you use it... both of your examples can also be turned into an insult - depending... shrug

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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