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Re: Black vs white racism - December 16th 2015, 10:17 PM

P.S. Mods: don't merge posts pls. Two very different issues here addressed to two different people.

Originally Posted by Coffee. View Post
Racism is only the systematic oppression of people who are not in power. In American and British culture, White people are the "people in power" and therefore, you cannot be racist towards whites. You can discriminate against them, but it's technically not called "racism." That's where a lot of people may shatter these arguments.
I want to take you up on that anyway, despite my earlier "rant". My posts are often long, but I hope you're patient enough and I didn't put you off earlier. Ask yourself what "power" really is (in this context). It is far more complex than just "money", or "governmental position".

Power is influence. If you look at the bigger picture, yes, white people have more "power". But to take that and assume that "all white people have more power" is an extremely general approach to take, and is comparable to saying that "all black people are poor", and other less appropriate generalisations.

My point? The definition (in so far as you've quoted it), doesn't appear to differentiate contexts. Contexts such as whether we're talking about an entire country, or just a small community, or even just a group of 2 or 3 people.

Power is influence. If one person, or even a group, has influence over another, he has "power". This could be a store manager, a policeman, a teacher. Or a political party. Anyone. If you're the only white resident in a predominantely black community, who has "power" and "influence" when it comes to a neighbour dispute, and finding witnesses to stand up in court? Certainly not the white guy, although I'm not exploring in depth here whatever bias might exist in court itself (that's a whole other dimension, and there are hundreds of other dimensions).

I hope you see my point.

Anyone can have power, and it can come and go in a matter of seconds. You have power if everyone in the room is listening to you, but then the school bell rings and no one cares anymore. You have power if you point a gun at someones face. Power can be physical, or intellectual, and probably many other things which I'm too tired to think of right now.

Anyone can have power, anyone can be racist. The argument you presented, can only be taken as far as saying that white people have in total more power than black people, and therefore can be, or are, in total more racist than black people. And I could agree with that, although it is only a theory, albeit based on logic (and corresponds to my observations). If you could statistically "quantify" degrees of racism, and add it all up across the population, obviously the racial majority will have a larger total. But that still doesn't make racism exclusively one-sided, and doesn't consider that someone who has "power", may not necessarily be "racist". It's what they chose to do with that power. But seeing that I believe that deep down blacks whites and everybody else is no different, I'm prepared to assume that whites and blacks have equal capacity for racism as a function of power, which cancels out the effect of "choice" because both groups are capable of being equaly evil or good. I hope that's not over your head (no offence, I'm not sure I get it myself. It's very difficult to word it when bringing together philosophy, ethics, and cold logic/maths together. If you get the idea of it, that's good enough). My bottom line is that on a macro-scale (not individually), racism is a function of population numbers and institutional power, and not choices which people make. But it's a function of those things, and a
variable quantity... not that one is racist and the other isn't.

Still, like I said about the definitions earlier... racism... eugh. My brain shortcircuits at the thought of trying establish boundaries for the meaning of the word.
I'm not even joking, you could feel my forehead getting hot.

"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.

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