Sunday, 2 March 2008

What's in a Word (A Man of Integrity)

"Yes, I'm pro-aggressive war, the use of torture, the defiling of human dignity by a culture of vile idiocy and brain-washing, the shameless union of government and big business, the surrender of personal moral integrity to patriotic faith in the state, but- and I'd like to be very clear about this- I'm no racist."
"Thank fuck for that. For a while there I thought you were on morally dubious ground."

Alternative vision: our patriotically idealistic non-racist being cast into the fires of abomination, screaming as he falls towards the flaming abyss..."There's been a terrible mistake. I'm no racist!!!"
A voice of thunder permeates every atom of space: "Who gives a shit."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even God is a racist.....that is why he created different races and cultures. Of course the word racist and racism has been hijacked to mean "hateful racist", I am more than sure God is against hateful racism, but he is a racist nonetheless. The use of the word racist, in the hateful sense, is another tool of the establishment to push the world ever closer to a one-world government, with the cultures of different races being diluted and in many cases destroyed. When cultures, countries and races lose their identity more and more, it becomes much easier to push them towards a united one-world government, for many obvious reasons.

Andrew K said...

There's probably a fair amount of truth in that latter part, but I think you're confusing the nature of the word 'racist', when you describe God as a racist, though it'd help if I got a definition of it:TheFreeDictionary

"The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others."

Race I'm sure does account for differences, but that's human variety... if it necessarily means the superiority of one race, then I wouldn't say God or truth equates with racism.
The point of the post is how loads of weight is leant to this idea of not being hateful based on raec, whereas a whole load of other negative characteristics, every bit as vile, are almost glossed over. I'd also question the notion of people declaring themselves not to be racist. I wonder, for example, how people consider the importance of 1 million Iraqi deaths compared to 3,000 Americans, or Europeans. The idea that the ubiquitous intellectual racism inherent in European imperialism and an integral part of the educated white person's psyche...that this has vanished with the movement of hisory is a ridiculously naive notion.

Anonymous said...

i think you confuse the nature of the word racist, and I don't accept the free dictionary as the authority on what races and racism means, and I never said anything about one race being superior, but different races were created

Andrew K said...

A word is only whatever meaning is ascribed to it; it's nothing sacred. If that's the meaning of racism & it's certainly the standard use of it, then who cares. Perhaps there's a different word meaning what you want to mean by it, but the general meaning of racism is negative differentiation based on race. That different races have different attributes is so obviously true that it's hard to see what would be the point in having a word to mean believing this to be true. The same as you wouldn't expect a word to mean the belief that dogs tend to have 4 legs.
To say I'm a racist wouldn't mean I believe races are different, but that I think a certain race is superior to other inferior ones.

andrew said...

This from Dictionary.com

a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Merriam Webster:
"a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"

Anonymous said...

again you quote the dictionary. Racism is more than merely awknowledging that different races exist, but also means holding a view that the races shouldn't mix-marraige. The superiority doesn't come into it, that depends on how you measure "superiority". But in modern day speak, the word racism is taken to mean hateful racism, and seeing people as superior/inferior. It is somewhat similar to the word anti-semitic meaning anti-jew, even though only a small percentage of semites are jews, the majority of semites are arabs, so anti-semitic means anti-arab more than it means anti-jew.

Andrew K said...

I quote a dictionary to give the common view of what the word means. You can't just decide for yourself the meaning of a word contrary to the common view. You'd just end up with your own private language.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, I have already used antisemtic as an example, the commonly held view is that antisemitic means antijew, which it doesn't. Just because it is a mistaken commonly held view doesn't make it correct.

Andrew K said...

What do you specifically think 'a racist' means?

Anonymous said...

what do you think God meant by creating different races?

Andrew K said...

I asked a simple question which you're evading by bringing in an infinitely more awkward question like why different races exist, and why a divine being created different races.
The question is simply what is the meaning of a racist, or racism.

Anonymous said...

elberry's post was very far from civil, and was total bullshit and a clear indication that he has understood very little and makes a foolish pathetic and very lame "shoot-the-messenger" style attack, something even more lame than toast or mintern has posted here, and if you are consistent you would remove his comment,

Andrew K said...

I was agreeing about his post not being civil & should have just refused it.

elberry said...

It was the cheap brandy speaking. If i'd bought Calvados this never would have happened.

Andrew K said...

It's not called the demon booze for nothing.

elberry said...

i can't even remember what i wrote! That is rather worrying, and apologies for being offensive, i'm sure i was!

Anonymous said...

<<"I quote a dictionary to give the common view of what the word means. You can't just decide for yourself the meaning of a word contrary to the common view">>

The common view of the word is often incorrect. The common view of antisemitic is wrong, there are many examples where commonly held views are wrong (not just in language but in politics, everyday life etc). The existance or creation of different races is relevant to the words racist or racism. If someone feels different races should have their own government or territory, they will often be branded racists, with the word racist meaning hateful racist when it may not be the case. In the bible we know the story of one race struggling for freedom from another, and wanting their own "promised land", and people holding such views today are branded racist, and often such politics today have been carried out with a hateful racist, or superior/inferior racist agenda, such as in Israel today, or the apartheid regime in SA, or the system they had in USA, which was/is clearly set up with one race being treated as inferiors/slaves/servants to the other. That is hateful racism. But equally, believing in having a society for a particular race, with their own government and avoiding mix-marraiges etc would also be considered racism, but it can be done with respect towards other races. And historically we all know that God created different races and dispersed them through the world with the races having their own lands. If someone was to rearrange the world today, the way that God had arranged it, he would be considered a racist. God created different races, with different cultures, and believing in the preservation of certain cultures and nations specific to certain races would be considered racism, but not necessarily hateful racism. Just because the dictionary describes the word racist as being hateful racist or superior/inferior, doesn't make it correct. There was a time when the Oxford dictionary described "antisemitic" as "one who is hostile to jews", even though that is an incorrect meaning of the word semite, yet it is the commonly held view...an incorrect use of the word.

Andrew K said...

On what basis do you believe all the above to be the meaning of the word 'racist' or 'racism'? That to say I am a racist, means I don't believe different races should inter-marry, etc.

"And historically we all know that God created different races and dispersed them through the world with the races having their own lands. If someone was to rearrange the world today, the way that God had arranged it, he would be considered a racist."

You presumably must know we don't all know that God...etc. Vast numbers of people would dispute this idea of historical reality, and any knowledge of the complexity of history is far from a simple one race one land idea. The movement of peoples through different lands, like the Celts ending up mostly in Ireland, having moved/been pushed ever more westward by the movement of other peoples is far too complex for this simple idea of God placing peoples neatly here & there.
At what point would we decide a people were placed in their allotted space?