Is Racism Natural?

Is racism natural to human behaviour?

  • F* off you bigot

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • mmm?

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • it might be

    Votes: 13 38.2%
  • Def

    Votes: 11 32.4%

  • Total voters
    34
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tablariddim

forexU2
Valued Senior Member
In a previous thread (Imagine) I gave a few reasons why I don't think pacifism is a workable concept, which led to another insight which I have harboured for a number of years now, I warn you it's a sensitive subject and look forward to some interesting replies.

Pacifism is a great ideal, perhaps it's right for some of the people, some of the time, in certain contexts, but it's probably something that actually goes against fundamental human nature; survival of the fittest and all that. Which leads me to another concept. And that is, 1) that racism is indeed fundamental to human nature and that it is a ploy for survival, maybe even genetic.
2) Probably everybody, is, or has been, racist or ethnically prejudiced at some point.
 
tablariddim,

Hello. Have you ever had the opportunity to observe young children at play? It seems apparent to me that, when one year old children are left with their own devices, the color of another child's skin does not affect the social interaction of the play. It seems like a learned behavior to me, for sure.
 
maybe.....

I can agree to a certain point with that.

I watched a special on TLC about the Neanderthals and Homo Sapians interacting with eachother in Europe.....basically Homo Sapian killing-off the Neanderthal for reasons beyond just race, granted, but the underlying theme of fear and misunderstanding are the new frontiers of a smarter and more close-minded culture aware in the present day.
 
Primates are, it seems, racist. It has been observed in chimpanzees attacking and killing clans of other monkeys.

I look at present day societies and I see a myriad of prejudices afflicting probably everybody. From hair-styles to music, from the cars they drive to the roads they live in, from the food they eat to their choice of magazine, it just doesn't stop. People living in cities--even small ones--feel prejudice towards certain regions of that city and the type of people that they perceive as living in them. Regions beyond that city are usually treated with light-hearted contempt, as are their inhabitants, their dialects, their apparent lack of sophistication and quaint customs. Beyond shores, this built in prejudice becomes even stronger and as we go beyond neighbouring friendly countries, to cultures which are fundamentally different to the West (for example), the prejudices become virulent.

Racism begins, when people of these distant cultures--who may stand out more because of their colour or language--decide to go to another country in search for a better standard of living, or even a holiday.
Why?
A simple answer might be, fear. Fear for their job, their house value, their childrens safety/influences; fear of change or of anything radically different to what they're already familiar with.

Whether the fears are justified or not, the fact remains.

Another reason for the fear, contempt and loathing of another race, is history! Wars! Political wars and religious wars. Previous subjugations and enslavements. Previous colonisations and exploitations. It's all recorded and each race remembers its own grievances from a baest and prejudiced viewpoint.

Racism is handed down from generation to generation
and racism begets racism.
An irony is, that 2nd generation immigrants and beyond may become just as racist as the indigenous bigots. After adopting the political styles, fashions and attitudes of their (usually more humble) parents land of choice.

Mac and Mirror---thanks for your input.
 
As much as I'd rather not, I couldn't agree more

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<i>Originally posted by tablariddim</i>
I look at present day societies and I see a myriad of prejudices afflicting probably everybody. From hair-styles to music, from the cars they drive to the roads they live in, from the food they eat to their choice of magazine, it just doesn't stop.
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This is very true. Case in point: I was out playing basketball last night (ironically, inside a local church) with my brother and a couple friends. As I type this, my hair is somewhat long on top and I have a goatee trying to fill in which graces my features. I noticed, however, that some of the other guys playing would take a hard line towards me or not look or speak to me for quite a while. Since I can usually adapt to others, I opened up and eventually they were "okay" with me. Do I fault them? Of course not. Nothing was said in a belligerent manner and it was just basketball after all. But the point is that <i>difference</i> is initially very unpalatable to a homogenous culture. It could be that they were prejudice against my hair and goatee (since no one else, save my brother, had facial hair or even long hair), or it could be that they didn't care one way or the other. But, it was easy to tell that I made them uncomfortable at first, until they realized that my mind was in the game and not according to their stereotypes.

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People living in cities--even small ones--feel prejudice towards certain regions of that city and the type of people that they perceive as living in them...
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Even as I write this, I'm resorting to stereotypes ... But, has anyone ever met a born-and-bred Texan that <i>wasn't</i> obnoxious about their home state? If someone puts down California, I don't get all riled up, because I just think they had a bad experience there or something. But other Californians will, or Texans, or Australians. "Better not say anything about [fill in your homeland here], or I'll ..." They'll what? Get offended? Why? Because they don't want others to stereotype <i>them</i> based on where they come from. The mindset becomes the Me vs. You (<i>cf <b>tiassa</b></i>). Get a group of people together and, pretty much no matter what they thought about each other in the beginning, ask which country so-and-so is from and, more likely than not, you'll get people from the same location. Thus, these same people will, in turn, congregate and discuss their respective common denominator. Moreover, the mob mentality comes into play and turns them against the other groups, especially those that are solitary. It's a known fact that Provo-ites (where I'm from) and Salt Lake City-ites (about sixty miles away) are viewed quite differently. Provo is considered to be extremely conservative, while Salt Lake is considered to be extremely liberal. It's easy to see the Provo girl's expression change when confronted with a Salt Lake City-ite. As <b>tablariddim</b> pointed out, this is quite rampant.

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Racism begins, when people of these distant cultures--who may stand out more because of their colour or language--decide to go to another country in search for a better standard of living, or even a holiday.
Why?
A simple answer might be, fear. Fear for their job, their house value, their childrens safety/influences; fear of change or of anything radically different to what they're already familiar with.
<hr>
</blockquote>

When I was in Japan, I noticed that the Japanese were extremely weary of blacks. They considered them to be either sex gods or untrustworthy. In fact, I met a black man in Japan and spoke a bit with him. I found him to be quite sociable, very modest, and an overall cheerful attitude. Unfortunately for him, he had married into that religion where a Reverend Moon performs a mass wedding ceremony and links together different cultures regardless of any knowledge of the cultures. In this man's case, he was married to a Japanese woman who spoke no English (and his Japanese was rudimentary at best), whose parents despised him (and sometimes hit him with their canes), and he could not find a job due to his skin color. He had expected things to be different. Unfortunately, he was a "different" variable thrust into a homogenous culture. Another thing about Japan is that, sometimes people will look at different cultures and say, "They all look the same to me." This is a statement which tries to automatically distance the speaker from understanding a different culture. The Japanese look as diverse to me as Americans.

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Another reason for the fear, contempt and loathing of another race, is history! Wars! Political wars and religious wars. Previous subjugations and enslavements. Previous colonisations and exploitations. It's all recorded and each race remembers its own grievances from a baest and prejudiced viewpoint.
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When I was in junior high school in California, I had one of my first memorable encounters with blatant racism. Without naming names, a group of friends of mine (self-described geeks) were out walking around the grounds. Another cultural group came up and basically coerced one of my friends to kiss his shoe in front of everyone (it was lunch). Thankfully, I didn't have to do anything. Despite this experience, I still maintain that the only thing I'm severely prejudiced against is stupidity.

So, whether we want to or not, chances are very good in our favour that we'll tend towards others like ourself. People seek to be different, but eventually even being different becomes the norm. I would say the point to consider is to try to judge and group others based on one specific system. For me, I like to hang around with people that aren't afraid to question or to ramble or to study or to read. People that are stagnant in life earn my eternal intolerance.

Not exactly cheery, but it does get the point across.

yoroshiku (regards),

prag
 
hmm..

:rolleyes:
I think racism comes from two sources. One, which pertains to blacks, is more of a case-sensitive type scenario. It seems to me that when the Europeans came to africa, they saw the color of the africans skin, which was also the color of dirt and fecses and the color of their skin when they were dirty, and drew some inapropriate conclusions. It just kind of eveolved from there.

next is religion. i think the mindset of religion, which is that you should stay within your own group because it is surperior, contributes to unneccessary hostility to outward forces. People just didnt understand that other people felt the same as them about their surperiority, and became arrogant. Racism, always, is mutual. Blacks have never liked whites as whites have never liked blacks. (sorry 4 the stereotype)
 
Originally posted by mirror
tablariddim,

Hello. Have you ever had the opportunity to observe young children at play? It seems apparent to me that, when one year old children are left with their own devices, the color of another child's skin does not affect the social interaction of the play. It seems like a learned behavior to me, for sure.

I agree with this wholeheartedly, having grown up in racially & ethnically diverse neighborhoods. And seeing kids of all backgrounds play together. I do feel though, that racists ideas & ideals may spring from our 'bonding' response to our parents (who are exactly like us), and then gets aggravated in our teen years, by our wanting to 'belong' to a group (usually like us and not like 'them').
 
Originally posted by mirror
tablariddim,

Hello. Have you ever had the opportunity to observe young children at play? It seems apparent to me that, when one year old children are left with their own devices, the color of another child's skin does not affect the social interaction of the play. It seems like a learned behavior to me, for sure.

To draw upon my own childhood...
I remember playing with others, who were of different racial makeup. I look back today and remember that there wasn't a problem as to who was what. Wasn't important.

I am now adult, and to me it still isn't a problem, (in the sense that it isn't an issue). The problem comes usually that someone else has a beef and will want to draw you in for support to their side. Many of my co-workers aren't of my race. So what? They get the job done, I can depend on them, they can depend on me. Their points of view are valid and their concerns are very often my concerns. So what is the issue? So they are different...yet they are not.
 
I will take your word for it That has not been an area I have studied much in. ...and you are right it is interesting.
 
Corp.Hudson

Don't agree that
Children aren't able to make racial distinctions until age 3.
If what you meant was that children don't associate racial stereotypes, that's one thing; but children are quite capable noticing difference, even as infants, and skin color, the most obvious 'racial difference' is something that they are quite aware of. Unlike adults they just don't associate a whole bunch of garbage to the difference - but they soon learn to.
 
....

Actually, children arent even aware of their own appearance for the most part until around age 3.

Having no self image, children are unable to impose racial distinctions on other, not knowing what they themselves look like.
 
Survival Mode...

Racism WAS a very important quality to human evolution. This will be a long reply to just brace yourselves. First, humans are an intresting species. Being a concious, and intelligent species we are able to identify ourselves, and recongnize that even there are others of race that they are still belonging to the human race. Coming out of Africa, we were one race, then we spread to all corners of the globe, affected by different enviroments, we begain to look different, as well as develope different customs and languages.

In the early days of humanity, racism was a good thing because we were tribal animals. If you saw something, or someone to be more exact different than you, they weren't part of the pack, and proved to be a threat to you and your family. Thats where racism began, so we hated other sub-divisons of humanity.

I noticed posts on that it couldn't be a natural thing to humans. Half right and wrong. It was an evolutionary program inside us, but now with hundreds of years of society intermingiling with other races the evolutionary process is gone, replaced with an intellecutal one. (I don't like using the word intellecutal with anything concerning racism). Young children supposidly don't care about race when they are young. Which is true. Most racism is now inherited by older members of society, which teach children the wrong thing.

To conclude, racism was natural millions of years ago, but now that we depend and live with other racial groups, I think we've replaced the evolutionary fear, with an conscious one. Both shouldn't exist in the new century. I'll be starting another spin-off thread on this. Please respond.

DIDN'T SPELL CHECK, DON'T CARE.
 
What??????

Corp.Hudson,

Have you ever had any kids? And if so, were you around to watch them grow up?

Had to ask after reading your last post.
 
chagur

No, I dont have kids.

I have been around to watch 2 sisters and a brother (all of which are over 10 years younger then I am), and I have observed this.

Also, a study came out a while back showing the same thing...damn, I wish that I could remember who published it...I will look.
 
thecurly1
mental illnes takes many forms!
sometimes we call it rascism
sometimes we call it a work-a-holic
sometimes we call it communism/capitalism
sometimes we just want to not care anymore!(some people)

and very, very occasionaly we do something that is for the major benefit of someone other than our selfs, to attempt to cure ....
our mental illnes.

:D
groove on all :)
 
Pacifism is workable on an individual level, but for it to truly work everyone would obviously have to adopt to that philosophy. I think we would truly evolve to the next step together as a race if that could happen. We would become wiser and peaceful and have a great understanding in how to deal with each other much better :)
 
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