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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think that summary of the author's point is this:

    "If white people find this restriction on their vocabulary unreasonable they need only bring forward the day when racism is eradicated - a day all black people look forward to - after which they can say what they like."

    I think for white people to not respect the fact that black people don't like to hear white people say it is just fucked up. Just because a black person says something or acts in a certain way does _not_ mean that it's okay for a white p
    • I understood his argument, but I found it fundamentally irrational, or at least irrationally expressed. It was not "the word is bad because..." but instead "this upsets us (or really, some of us), although you wouldn't really understand it".

      Moreover, it's founded on a basically flawed theory of meaning -- the idea that you get to judge words based not on their intended meaning (because that would really be "context"), but on however listeners or passersby want to willfully misconstrue [uiowa.edu] them.

      I run into a s

      • That's all very nice but...

        As a white person its not really your position to be telling black people what they can or cannot be upset over.

        Honestly, it sounds irrational to me too, but I suspect that this comes from the racism of being white. More importantly, I realize that if I made the argument you're making, black people would interpret it as racism. At which point you'd say something about how irrational that is. Except the fact is, that given the average black person's experience, assuming raci
        • As a white person its not really your position to be telling black people what they can or cannot be upset over.

          Isn't that perpetuating segregation? I thought we were all human beings.
          • No, its not perpetuating segregation. The "we're all human beings" argument sounds like your average "color blindness" argument. IOW, something like this:

            We all need to treat each other as individuals, not as white or black. We should ignore each other's skin color and deal with people one on one.

            This is a particularly common argument among geeks, who tend to be strongly individualistic and get really upset at being lumped into a group (like "white people").

            But the fact is, _only_ white people have
            • But the fact is, _only_ white people have the privilege of being able to ignore race

              It's not a fact, I'm sorry I won't accept it as such. As an example, my wife did her A levels as a mature student at Uxbridge College in London - a predominantly asian community, and suffered what would be known as racial abuse. Ergo, your statement is untrue.

              I can't accept that desiring integration, which you call ignoring race, is going to hinder progress towards racial equality. I just can't accept that, it goes again
              • Did that so-called abuse significantly restrict her access to wealth and power in England? I doubt it. It might have been personally painful, and I think that sucks. But its not the same as the institutional oppression that affects people of color.

                And my statement was obviously not 100% true. There are times when white people cannot ignore race. And there are times when people of color can. But by and large, it just isn't like that.

                I'm all for integration and ignoring race, but not until after sys
                • OK, then forget the rest of the discussion, what do you want to *do* about it?
                  • Well, I try to do stuff about it all the time. I consider educating others (white people, in particular) the best thing that can be done right now since white people are the ones that are the problem and because they also have the power to fix things.

                    I consider the Perl community a good target for this effort because I know people here already (soft targets) and I consider many of them intelligent enough and open-minded enough to be willing to have these discussions.

                    Its certainly a better use of my tim
                    • You didn't say what should be done to fix things. You just reiterated that white people are to blame.
                    • Some things I'd like to see off the top of my head:

                      - civilian police review boards for all police forces. These boards should include a racial mix representative of the communities they serve.

                      - reparations for native americans and black people for genocide and slavery. Note, I am not talking about giving money to people, but rather taking that money and using it to support communities of color, provide scholarships, provide low-interest loans for homes/businesses, etc.

                      - more positive media represent
                    • by pudge (1) on 2002.01.09 18:37 (#2968) Homepage Journal
                      1. Civilan review boards, fine. They should include not a racial mix representative of the communities they serve, but a social mix. That could be racial, it could be economic, it could be religious, etc.

                      2. Those are separate issues. Native Americans are a different story; we made and broke treaties, and we should honor the treaties or settle them in various ways. However, I have no problem with helping communities that need help; I just see no need to limit that to communities of certain races. As I said, America as a nation bears some responsibility for the plight of poor blacks, so yes, they should be helped, but I think it should be one focus of a larger effort to provide better education and business help to economically depressed areas.

                      3. The media is what the audience wants it to be. I personally don't see any problem with how blacks are represented in the media, as compared to how any other group is represented. They are mostly represented a lot better than conservative Christians are ... in any event, I agree we should have an overhaul of much of the media, especially on television and in popular music, but that can only happen when the audience wants it to change.

                      4. Affirmative action as you describe it is racism. It is immoral and wrong. It is offensive on every level, to everyone involved. It is offensive to the people who are excluded because they are of a certain color, and offensive to the people who are included for similar reason. You cannot solve racism by perpetuating it, and this is, by definition, institutionalized racism. [Also, it is not affirmative action, it is quotas; affirmative action was designed to go out and find job candidates in depressed areas, not to hire them based on race.]

                      5. I don't want schools teaching racism, because as this discussion proves, racism is much like politics and religion. A teacher who tells my child that she is a racist will lose her job immediately.