Tuesday, November 29, 2005

BLOG AGAINST RACISM

Everywhere I go in my city I see people. Everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of people. All of them unknown to me. I travel on overcrowded buses and trains. I shop in busy supermarkets. I go to cafes, to bars, to offices. Everywhere I go I see more people. Most of my life outside my house is spent mingling  with strangers. I see multitudes of faces. Young and old and the in-betweens. I see expressions of sadness and worry and bitterness etched on some; Joy and laughter written on others. I hear hundreds of voices meeting and mixing in foreign languages and native tongues. I see colours of skin that challenge any simple categories of black and white and yellow. I see clothes that reflect multitudes of personalities, religious beliefs and musical tastes. I smell food being prepared with herbs and spices that make my mouth water. Coriander, oregano, frying onions and garlic mixed with the scent of jasmine that grows everywhere. What I don't see is invading hordes of mud people, savages and rats. I do not see villains and murderers and terrorists on every street corner. I do not feel sick when I smell curry or wonton soup. I do not see chinks and pakis and niggers and fags and greedy jews. I do not see uppity women and lesbos out to get me. I do not see marauding arabs and dirty muslims. I do not see spics and gypos  and darkies and abos and half castes. I do not see threats and violations in the eyes of every stranger. My world is vastly different to many. I live in a world where my heritage and upbringing has given me an insight into difference. I can look into someone else's eyes and see myself because I know who I am. I am free to make friendships with people different to me because I trust that people have good intentions. I am able to speak about my own experiences without insulting entire races/religions because I see people and not categories. I am able to live in a way most people would want to because I do not judge on the basis of arbitrary details  like height or weight or colour. I can try and walk a mile in someone else's shoes because I feel safe in my own. I write this for Blog against Racism Day (December 1st) and to counter  some of the hateful words that have been written about me and  others who don't happen to fit into the white male mould. We "others" cannot stop racism alone. We can shout about it, scream about it, fight it, kick it, ignore it or lie down and let it run us down. Stamping out racism is going to take  a commitment from each and everyone of us, and that means everyone; especially those who DON"T have to think about it everyday. This blog day is brought to you by Creek Running North

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At 11/29/2005 08:01:00 AM, Anonymous Doug Dangur (A Gay Man and a Gay Journalist) said...

DD, I agree with you 100% my dear. Sometimes, I get so mad, I could just rip a paper napkin in half! I also love the smells of curry, and other spices, and what I truly miss so far (in Greece) and away from the US, is a good Mongolian BBQ restaurant. I'm sure that there are some that would comment on the horrors of those smells eminating, but to me, there's nothing better than Mongolian BBQ. Dearest Diva, Do know of Mongolian BBQ place in Kastri or the greater Athens area?

 
At 11/29/2005 01:41:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi there, gmgj. I don't know any Mongolian BBQ joints but would love to try it out if there was one. Actually, all of my Greek friends are adventurous and have loved my spicy curries, my Iranian chicken and dill dish (I get requests for that one)and couldn't get enough of my good old British shepherds pie followed by sherry trifle. My kid takes interesting concoctions to school for his lunch and he tells me his mates beg him for a taste.

Once though, he came home and told me that he heard that Albanians eat rotten eggs! I asked who told him that.
He said "oh that's what everyone says" So I said "Why would anyone eat rotten eggs?"
He stopped and stared at me.
"Er, I don't know?"
A bit later he said to me,
" Actually, I don't think I've ever eaten Albanian food so how would I know what they eat?"
I said "Exactly".
Then we had a whole long conversation about all the different food we had tried and what we liked. We decided spicy chicken wings were the best and that nobody would eat rotten eggs. Racism and food? There's a thought...

 
At 11/29/2005 05:41:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

I can try and walk a mile in someone else's shoes because I feel safe in my own.

I believe the root of racism is fear...fear of the unknown, fear of losing your job, fear of not having your own identity. Your understanding and appreciation of different cultures is because you know that you're not less of a person just because your next door neighbour is Guatemalan or that you will lose your job because there's a Syrian in the next cubicle to you.

I remember getting in a heated argument with a woman on a radio show back in Canada during a segment on immigration. She claimed that she lost her job at a factory because her boss had hired some immigrants who thought they were better than her because they had a "piece of paper" (aka uni degree) and that's why she would never trust an immigrant. I told her that the only reason she lost her job was because she was a high school dropout, had learned no new skills in the years she worked at the company and she had made no attempt to get trained on the new machinery. (During her 5 minute tirade on air, she had volunteered the information herself but in such a manner where she believed she was a victim because her boss dared to expect that she should have to learn something new.) Her boss was a businessman, if he wanted to be around in the new millennium, he couldn't afford to keep employing deadweights.

If she had an education, upgraded her skills and learned the new machinery, I'm positive she would have still been employed. It's not good business sense to let good workers go. She wouldn't have to fear immigrants if she had been like you..."safe in her own shoes."

 
At 11/29/2005 07:09:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Boy, do I have a lot to say to all involved. It will have to wait for later when time permits. In the meanwhile, let me ask this simple question since this post is directed at the "white male mould". Are there other racists out there aside from white males, or is that it and if we get rid of white males, the world would suddenly turn into Eden?

 
At 11/29/2005 07:42:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Wow, what a super post! Ethnocentist: I'm sure you do have a lot to say but let's hope we can keep it on track and not get hijacked off to a side issue. Without a doubt (IMO), there are female, non-white, blah, blah, blah... racists, nationalists, whatever, and that would be a good topic too - how about we pursue that at your blog?

I'm with dd - have a positive attitude and be prepared to see people for what they are as people.

 
At 11/29/2005 08:41:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Beautiful post, DD. I am planning my own post for the "cause" on December 1st. Don't ever count me early for anything. =p

 
At 11/29/2005 08:47:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Thanks for the advice Mike. Thanks also for letting me know HOW to answer. Also again, thanks for inquiring again about my blog. When I decide to open it up for all, you'll be the first to know. Until then, no need to ask repeatedly, like a spoiled child "are we there yet"?

Imagine my surprise on your glossing over other racists on the planet and we should "see people for what they are" and focus on whites. Now I know where you stand, as if I didn't before.

 
At 11/29/2005 08:54:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Please could I ask you not to get sidetracked (again) into attacking each other here on this post. If you have comments on the post please feel free. Otherwise, please take your fights elsewhere. Thank you.

 
At 11/29/2005 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Apologies, dd. I'm all for continuing with Ethnocentrist elsewhere, where I will continue to be polite, even if I don't agree with all he says. I look forward to reading other peoples' posts along the topic of 'blogs AGAINST racism'.

 
At 11/29/2005 11:57:00 PM, Anonymous sha said...

perhaps I should open my blog for this.. great post DD..blogs against racism.

 
At 11/30/2005 12:17:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Thank you to doug, seawitch, mel, mike and sha for your positive comments to this post. Please feel free to make a contribution to the next post up (although, I know most of you have your own blogs so maybe slip a copy there with a link to your own place?) It would be great to have a big noise on that day.

 
At 11/30/2005 04:00:00 AM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

What I don't see is invading hordes of mud people, savages and rats. I do not see villains and murderers and terrorists on every street corner. I do not feel sick when I smell curry or wonton soup. I do not see chinks and pakis and niggers and fags and greedy jews. I do not see uppity women and lesbos out to get me. I do not see marauding arabs and dirty muslims. I do not see spics and gypos and darkies and abos and half castes. I do not see threats and violations in the eyes of every stranger. - Diva

While I understand the gist of your post, where it is a soliloquy against "racism", and I will grant you that your post is quite good overall and if its intent was to fight against ALL racism, general or specific, then on that basis it is worthy. However, I cannot help but see that there are some misconceptions to it as well as a couple of points left out.

What I do see is a biased finger pointed at a single racist, that being the white man. Not even white women, but more specifically men. I fail to see in the quote above, you NOT seeing "white trash" or "crackers" or "ghosts" or "white devils" or "wet dog smellin' bastards". You see, racism abounds for all and there is no group that escapes its wrath. I am disappointed, yet not surprised that you decided to direct your post in this way. You have experienced racism at the hands of whites, and men in particular apparently. That is why you see racism FROM them only. That is why you have some sort of "connection" with all the other slurred groups you mention above.

Just to be clear, even I do not see that in your quote above. I, and I believe most, treat people as individuals. Yet one cannot ignore the fact that groups behave in a series of verifiable and stereotypical ways. That does not mean one should treat individuals as the average of their racial or ethnic group. It means that one needs to be cognizant of that fact that groups are a real identity and that individuals within that group behave more towards the mean of their group when in large enough numbers, in close proximity, and over time. These are well studied facts. Stating these facts is not racism. Acting upon these stereotypes is racism. Yet one needs a large helping of common sense as well in order to prevent potential catastrophes. One need not treat every black person as a potential mugger, rapist, or murder, however nonchalantly walking into all black neighborhoods increases one's chance of being mugged, raped, or murdered for all racial groups, but ESPECIALLY if white. These crime statistics are available to all from the FBI and DOJ websites. They are also available from the CIA website that tracks national demographics worldwide and tabulates these numbers across the globe. One has less of chance of being harassed in all white neighborhoods and even less so in all Chinese neighborhoods. These are facts and are not racism.

Now, getting to the fact of why people throw out slurs. People do it for a variety of reasons and the biggest is due to some degree of ignorance and vitriol in order to repel the person or group it is directed towards. I do not buy the "fear" angle because it is a politically correct concoction. Most people ARE aware of racial differences and the racial prevalences mentioned above. Not everyone may be aware of all the intricacies in the data and statistics yet are aware, especially if many live within a close proximity of different groups. Any of the groups mentioned by Diva above. The average person may think of "chink" instead of ethnic Chinese who are extremely competitive, racially homogenous, ethnocentric and in actuality racist, who behave as a monolith politically in order to advance their interests. The average person may think of "Paki" instead of South Asians who are extremely ethnocentric and yes, racist, that compete with unfair practices that revolve around extreme nepotism. They live as little communes in single family dwellings and pool their collective income in order to gain financial success which begets "respect" from their ethnic community all the while ignoring the community of their hosts. So on and so forth with all groups.

Racism, though unpleasant because my family even experienced it, is to a degree a sort of natural selection. It is a characteristic that has been in us for eons. Racism, possibly not per se, though discrimination in the form of discriminating against those "like us" and those "unlike us". That is the reason humans have been able to survive through these tens to hundreds of thousands of years. All the non-discriminating humanoids all vanished long ago as they ended up as something's lunch. We cannot undo in a matter of a few decades, with some bullshit leftist feel goodism, what has been ingrained ever since our inception. It is natural to be with like kind and to protect the tribe. It is UNnatural to give up entire countries to a multitude of tribal ethnicities. It is UNnatural to placate races with favouritism at the detriment of the more deserving candidates. None of us are equal. Not individually nor as groups. As Aristotle once said..."The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal". The left has tried to do this for decades now with miserable results. THAT sort or ideology IS the nidus FOR racism.

 
At 11/30/2005 09:26:00 AM, Anonymous Just a Black Man said...

I see some on this post are always trying to keep the brother down. I thought I left all that nonsense in South Africa when Mandela took over, but I see it's still alive.

 
At 11/30/2005 12:58:00 PM, Blogger FLUX said...

Well done ethnocentrist. What brilliance. Astute doesn't cover it. "It is a characteristic that has been in us for eons". Come to think of it so has Veneral Disease.

 
At 11/30/2005 01:41:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

ethnocentrist. I am deeply disgusted by the conclusion of your latest comment and I see flux has already responded. You write that "racism...is to a degree a sort of natural selection". I had realised, a long time ago, that we do not even agree that racism is wrong, regardless of who is being racist. You have summed yourself up completely with this latest statement and I think that all of us who are trying to fight against racism can see exactly what kind of a person you are from this one sentence.

You "granted" me a "quite good overall" for this post. I have news for you. Your opinion of my writing has no value to me whatsoever.

You have shouted at me in the past to write about the french riots, because I am black (don't bother to come back on that one again) and you expect me to speak for all black people. Now you ask me to write about all forms of racism from all groups of people. You are asking me to speak for the entire world.

If you think that you could write such a post. That is perfect in every way, that speaks to and for all people, that is vast and historical and based on ALL the facts, and is totally unbiased, fair, genuine, objective and brilliant; Get on and write it.

To just a black man, welcome to my blog. I hope you will contribute to "Blog against Racism Day" and not feel put off by this long standing argument between myself and ethnocentrist (and a few others)

To flux and scruffy american, thank you for your contributions to Blog against Racism Day.

 
At 11/30/2005 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

Moral indignation cannot change these facts. The left has taught both of you that just to be offended is enough in this day and age. Let's ignore decades of science, for if one's offended, then that takes precedence because no one is allowed to be offended. Sorry guys, there ARE legitimate and well researched reasons people are the way they are and it ain't due to what they see or what they hear. It is the way they are wired. You have as much chance of ridding the planet of "racism" as you do of venereal diseases. The latter isn't even genetically driven. But do carry on.

Oh yes, the nerve of Flux coming and criticizing when his contribution to this "Racism Day" is bringing back, YET AGAIN, the tired Nazi/Jew angle. Took a lot of thought there. It didn't cross his bald little head to write about Muslim atrocities against Christians with an overabundance of examples to choose from, did it? Two for two. Two non-whites focusing on ONLY white racism. We know for whom this "Racism Day" is meant to be directed, don't we?

 
At 11/30/2005 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Ethnocentrist said...

South Africa, where the blacks are yearning for the days of colonialism and apartheid where they lived better, prospered, and were safer than under Mandela. Another success story of black rule.

 
At 11/30/2005 10:23:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Diva,

Way to kick some butt in that other "nameless" blog. I was so proud of you! I wish you could comment on it here.

 
At 11/30/2005 10:36:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Thank you. Had to think long and hard but I couldn't stand to see how these people were all getting away with that vile venom and you were being dissed out of hand. We may not agree on all things but I did feel you made a valid point on the offensivness of the language over there.

I do not want to bring that stuff over , that is why I don't post about them over here. I have my own battles to fight.

We all have to choose our fights don't we? See you around. Don't give up... unless it hurts too much.

 
At 12/01/2005 10:14:00 AM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

I wonder if the owner of that "nameless" blog was speaking of me when he was talking about folks raiding his fridge, or about the others. I'm not quite good at reading cryptic messages. Any ideas? I believe in the direct approach.

 
At 12/15/2005 01:15:00 PM, Blogger Eff said...

Check Decemeber 5th and down

 

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