We're All Racist Unconsciously

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  1. Phil Perez profile image60
    Phil Perezposted 7 years ago

    Consciously, we may or may not want to admit being racist. Unconsciously though, I personally believe that there is no such thing as a race being "equal." Call me racist or whatever, that isn't the point. The point is, that there HAS to be a "best." That's why people have discussions about the best athlete or president or smartest person etc.

    I don't agree that races deserve different wages and salaries based on skin color. Biologically, we're all different. Speaking overall, one race must be the best. Taking into account: physique, intellect, genetics and so on...

    It's a socially-unacceptable topic but to question and become educated in the subject of race is important for all of humanity to understand.

    Same thing goes for sex but I won't get into who's the better sex.

    So like I said, unconsciously, we understand there is a best for everything. I don't care for what happened in the past concerning the supremacy of Whites and the slavery of Blacks and other minorities. It doesn't matter if I figure out who the better race is, I only care about explaining and/or acquiring knowledge about the topic.

    I'm Caucasian and my closest friend is African-American.

    I'd appreciate it if people do not attack and/or get too emotional with this topic. If you're able to explain why I'm wrong, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions !

    Thanks !

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The only way to determine "overall best" is to assign values to all the different attributes and abilities.  Is speed more important than the ability to jump? (smile)  Is strength of higher value than blue eyes?  Is curly hair better than straight?  Is the ability to tolerate more UV light more important than the ability to use that light better to produce vitamin D?

      And each and every one of those attributes will carry a different "score", usually based on the race and culture of the scorer.

      1. Phil Perez profile image60
        Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Right, wilderness. We must assign a value system to many attributes and skills but doing so is futile because it would take too long determining the best. We aren't at that stage of awareness to be able to know what is better than the other. But I believe there is no doubt that, we are all racist. We don't have to believe our own race is the best, but just generally be able to accept that, while we will not discriminate as a society, we can understand that one of our races is the best. I'm sorry if I sound confusing...

        1. wilderness profile image93
          wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          And I intended the post to disagree with you.

          One race can't jump; another can't run (or at least isn't as good as other races).  Which one is better?  The only possible answer is "neither" as both are "best" at one thing and "least" at another.  Apples and oranges, in other words.

          The only real answer would be whichever race lives to eliminate the others, and I do believe that eventually all races will become one.  There will be no winner in the game of survival - the only measurement that nature respects.

    2. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Genetically people of different skin tones are so similar that determining a "best" between them is impossible, the truth is there is likely as much or more genetic difference between you and your African American friend as there is between you and a randomly chosen Caucasian.

      So no there isn't a best race as the only thing that defines your race is how much skin pigment you have and that is defined by one otherwise meaningless gene path... unless not getting sunburn as easily is enough to make one race best?

    3. Don W profile image81
      Don Wposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Classifying groups of human beings as superior/inferior based on attributes they have absolutely no control over is idiotic and pointless. And there is a reason such classifications are deemed socially unacceptable. Because last time it lead to: Auschwitz, Dachau, Belsen, Treblinka  . . .

      What is your motivation for wanting to determine the 'best' race anyway? What possible use would such an exercise have, other than to divide people even more than they are already divided?

      1. Phil Perez profile image60
        Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        It's not about the division of races or race superiority, it's about the understanding that there HAS to be a best; for everything. Therefore, I am just stating that we're all racist whether we want to admit or not because there is a best race out there. We don't have to know which race that is, we just need to understand and accept our own racism.

        Being racist means believing a race is superior to others. Even if your race is not the best ( I'm not implying any race is the best ) you'd still be racist because you "know" there's the best race. Just because we don't know what that race is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. That's my whole point.  If you push your emotions to the side and that includes your ego and pride, you'll see what I'm saying makes sense. It's socially unacceptable only because people don't understand and are scared of that being true so they oppress the thought of being racist. You don't need to act on racist by putting a race on a pedestal, but only know and acknowledge that we're all racist no matter what.

        1. Don W profile image81
          Don Wposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          No Phil, it's a silly argument. What is the 'best' car? There isn't one. Why? Because some people would rate safety as more important (and therefore more desirable) than performance, others would rate performance over safety, others still would rate comfort over safety and performance. So the 'best' car can't be determined objectively, because what 'best' means in any given context, is subjective. Can you see how this might apply to what you are saying?

          Without determining what 'best' means in a given context, there is no meaningful answer the question 'what is the best . . .?' And even if your view of what is 'best' is the same as someone else's, and you agree who the 'best' athlete is, it doesn't mean that athlete actually is the best. It just means that athlete meets whatever criteria you and your friend think constitutes the 'best'. Someone else could have a completely different (and equally valid) view on what constitutes the 'best' in relation to athletes.

          In the case of race, there is no agreement about what 'best' means because 1) human attributes are valued differently depending on lots of different factors; and 2) the key concepts at the heart of your argument, (race, intelligence etc.) have not been objectively defined (this is an inherent problem within the field of social sciences due to the nature of its subject matter);

          Is it a problem that it's not possible to objectively determine what 'best' means in relation to cars? No. Because we know what 'best' means for us and that's all that matters when we go into a car showroom. It matters very much that we are clear in our understanding that we cannot objectively determine what 'best' means in relation to race though, because ideas to the contrary can have far reaching social consequences.

          It is unhelpful (and inadvisable) to suggest that people raising ethical concerns about your line of thinking are being 'too emotional'. In light of historical events, reason dictates that we be cautious and challenge the types of assertions you are making. It is historical fact that scientific racism (the use of science to justify racism) in the late 19th and early 20th century lead directly to eugenics, which in turn led to nazi concentration camps.

          Read the first paragraph describing the phrase Life unworthy of life and have a serious think about exactly what you are hoping to achieve with this line of thinking. Then, if you don't mind, answer the question: what use does this line of thinking have, other than to divide people even more than they are already divided?

          1. Phil Perez profile image60
            Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            This is just a philosophical argument. I'm not trying to use science to find my answer. I disagree with the entirety of your first paragraph. I do believe it can be objective, but we, as humans are still and remain ignorant. It is therefore impossible to objectify it, so we use the easy path and say it's subjective.

            It doesn't matter what others agree or disagree with what's best, what matters is how we determine that. Why do we try to determine the smartest people or the richest but something like race is disregarded? Because it's more difficult to factor the possibilities? Why isn't it offensive to know the richest and smartest people while knowing the best race or sex or anything else that brings up ethical issues? How does knowledge affect people negatively?

            I'm not saying I have all the answers, that I could determine who is a better race than the next, I'm just saying it's not subjective.

            For the World Cup, in soccer (or football whichever you prefer to call it) there have been countless fights amongst fans after games. Why? Fear. It's ego and pride that get filled up and irrational decisions are made. Because they feel they haven't been properly assessed and strongly believe they must prove themselves physically.

            When people think of race, people think in negative ways, but did anyone think why? When people insult, it's a reflection of them, not anyone else. People believe racists in power will do evil and cruel things to the world. Yes, based on history, that's what has happened. But a smart, sophisticated, experienced person wouldn't let that happen. That's why I used the analogy of the World Cup. Because the fans' team that lost assumes that the other team has power, is in control and will take advantage of them.

            Take veganism for example, Vegans express a respect for all living organisms. As well as their understanding that humans are the ‘best’ living organisms compared to animals and plants. They try to live in a world where humans can co-exist with other organisms without any means of eradication. People have the power and option to do whatever against another organism because that organism is ‘weaker.’ Do we always take advantage? No, we do not. Take a domestic pet. We treat them as less than humans but welcome them into our homes. Why? Because we’re trying to co-exist not, fatten them up and then eat them. Obviously, we don’t treat all animals as if they were all domesticated, but to some degree we do the ‘right’ thing.

            Now, like I previously mentioned from the last comments, my point was not to find the best race but just be able to confidently admit that, overall one race is the worst and one is the best. Maybe racism doesn’t go into that category, but there is definitely a better and more worse race here. That’s all I’m saying.

            1. Don W profile image81
              Don Wposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              "This is just a philosophical argument. I'm not trying to use science to find my answer. . . I do believe it can be objective . . . " Therein lies the problem Phil. The fact that you think it is not a scientific argument, but at the same time think it can be objectively determined. That's a contradiction in terms. Even if you are not looking to find the answer, you still need to consider the nature of the question, because that will tell you whether it's a meaningful question or not.

              When you start looking for qualitative differences between human beings, it becomes partly a scientific matter, because it involves measuring things. Obviously those measurements are not the subjective part. We can objectively determine attributes like height, weight, skin color, eye color etc. no problem.

              The problem is determining how much value (in terms of desirability) should be attached to the attributes that make up a human. That is the subjective part. It's relative to the person who is assigning the values. You may think being tall is more desirable than being short, and therefore give greater weight to tallness as an attribute. I may think the opposite. So what 'best race' means to you will be different to what 'best race' means to me. That is, by definition, subjective.

              That means there is no such thing as 'best' race, because 'best' exists only in the mind of the observer. Therefore any race, and every race, can be deemed to be the 'best' and 'worst' by any given person, in any given place, at any given time. So suggesting there is a 'best' race in the world, is as meaningless as suggesting there is a 'best' painting in the world. We are able to confidently say that neither a 'best' painting or a 'best' race exist as objective things in the world, and more importantly, they don't need to.

              And why on earth would you think that vegans consider human beings to be the 'best' living organism? Ethical vegans are opposed to the idea that one species is 'better' than another, i.e speciesism. That's the whole point of ethical veganism. Are you sure this is not part of a psychology experiment to see how people react to obviously false statements on the internet?

              1. Phil Perez profile image60
                Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                You actually make a good argument, Don. You're right, I made a huge contradiction.

                Logically, you're right. what you believe is the best and what I believe is the best is two different things. But who are we to say what makes the best? But then again, who is anyone to say what makes the best? How do we determine a person to determine the best? It's get way too complicated for no reason like you mentioned in the past.

                Ethics, unfortunately leads to feelings like pity. When you feel bad, in actuality you're showing your superiority in a indirect manner. This is because you're implying you know better than the other and will help or protect it.  So even if they don't believe that they're the best, they unconsciously believe it.

                And no, Don. I wouldn't create a thread to test how ridiculous people seem reacting to what I think. I'm not self-centered..

    4. HollieT profile image85
      HollieTposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Kinda think this is your stumbling block:

      "So like I said, unconsciously, we understand there is a best for everything. I don't care for what happened in the past concerning the supremacy of Whites and the slavery of Blacks and other minorities. It doesn't matter if I figure out who the better race is, I only care about explaining and/or acquiring knowledge about the topic."

      If you only care about acquiring knowledge about the subject  then you should also care about the history; slavery and white supremacy, for example. IMHO, there isn't a better race or creed, just those with the most advantage and opportunity, and those without.  Irrespective of race, colour whatever you want to call it, when the most disadvantaged are offered equal opportunity they are able to achieve at least the same as their oppressors.

      So what do you think about that then?  How on earth will you unpick the brain fart that leads you to believe that one race is the 'best'?

      1. MonkeyShine75 profile image60
        MonkeyShine75posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Slavery was a long time ago, and none of us today are guilty.
        This thread is not about slavery
        People who advance are those who are able, white or black
        This thread is about all races, not just white, and black
        This thread is not white vs black

        Are those things in your own mind?  Why would you bring them up if they're not?

        The races are red, yellow, black, and white: Native Americans, Asians, Africans, and Europeans, so let's all stop pretending there are only two

        1. HollieT profile image85
          HollieTposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I think perhaps you need to re-read my post. I was quoting the OP who mentioned slavery, white supremacy and other minorities.  The quotation marks around the paragraph offer a clue.  I talked about race and creed, the absence of quotation marks offer yet another.

          1. MonkeyShine75 profile image60
            MonkeyShine75posted 7 years agoin reply to this

            He wasn't saying he didn't care that it happened, just not for this thread

            1. HollieT profile image85
              HollieTposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Again, re-read, that's exactly what he said.  And my response was that if he desired knowledge then he should look to history.

    5. Credence2 profile image77
      Credence2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      We all have a tendency to favor our own tribe over others,and there are the concepts of beauty and ugliness that is as individual as a fingerprint. It is only through an evolved civility that it should be  recognized that for interaction with others we consciously must work to put those thoughts aside and treat others as we would want to be treated.

      It was interesting to note that 'the problem' manifested itself in different ways depending upon where you find yourself.

      I know that in my travels through Central America and Europe light skin always trumps dark skin. I found it irritating that this attitude was so pervasive and held true from one society to the other. Was it an outgrowth of European colonization,conquest and psychological  control of subjected groups? I met people in Panama that were as dark as night, who were just as determined to convince me that they were not Black.

      It is all a mind game folks, the direct result of cultural brainwash. You just have to be keen in discernment to recognize what is behind it.

  2. Phil Perez profile image60
    Phil Perezposted 7 years ago

    Well we as humans aren't smart enough to know which is more valuable. "Neither" is really just deciding on your indecision to come up with a choice. Just like you mentioned,"apples and oranges" it even literally applies to fruits as well...

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Well, one day (if we don't migrate to another solar system) mankind will go extinct.  At that point we can let nature decide - whichever is the last race to go will be the "overall best".  At least if we haven't evolved into something unrecognizable from ANY of the current races by then...

      1. Phil Perez profile image60
        Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        That's one theory. I don't know enough about how well the Earth is doing to be able to determine what will happen to us. It might be simple to let nature decide, but that's the "easy" way!

        I'm talking about understanding the different measures of skill/attribute to find the worst to best! But I guess I have to conclude that humans aren't ready to decide that, yet.

  3. Zeph1 profile image89
    Zeph1posted 7 years ago

    You're going to start a real 'storm' with this topic big_smile

  4. Phil Perez profile image60
    Phil Perezposted 7 years ago

    I don't agree that we need to eliminate to find the best race because that would imply that physical strength is the best power to have. I do firmly agree that coexistence is essential.

  5. Phil Perez profile image60
    Phil Perezposted 7 years ago

    I'm trying my best not to, Zeph1.

  6. LongTimeMother profile image91
    LongTimeMotherposted 7 years ago

    Speak for yourself, Phil Perez. Your title that begins "We are all racist ..." annoys me. In future please take ownership of your own thoughts without embracing the rest of us.

    Generally I wouldn't bother commenting on a thread I disagree with, however it feels as though saying nothing could somehow be interpreted as passive agreement. (Even if just by me.)

    I don't believe I am racist on any level, and I don't understand why you posted this thread.

    1. Phil Perez profile image60
      Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, LongTimeMother for the convincing argument that we aren't racist.

      You're getting emotionally involved for no reason. I'm glad you were compelled to comment on this thread to show how much you care about who you are as a person but you still haven't shown me how we aren't all racist. I'm speaking on a philosophical and logical level.

      That's the problem though, like you said, you don't understand. Once you do, you'll know what I'm talking about.

      1. LongTimeMother profile image91
        LongTimeMotherposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Phil, you say on your profile page that you're a psychology student with an interest in philosophy.

        When you're a graduate with some real experience behind you, you'll have a greater understanding of many things, including that nobody gets 'emotionally involved' in anything 'for no reason'. There's always a reason.

        You think you're speaking on a 'philosophical and logical level' ... and clearly you think you are right. But I suggest you copy and paste this thread somewhere - or print it out and put it in your filing cabinet - and then revisit it in 10 years time.

        This thread is entirely inappropriate on this type of forum. It is a discussion you should be having with your peers in one of your classes, not on an open forum like this one.

        One thing I do understand is the arrogance of youth. smile

        1. Phil Perez profile image60
          Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          The last comment you made, made my morning ! I loved it ! Although, I apologize for me being haughty. I hadn't realized until you pointed it out actually (no sarcasm intended).

          I do understand that there is a reason for everything ! Of course that's true.

          If you don't see it in a derogatory term, then I don't understand the problem.

          I'm not saying everyone is racist so Caucasians should revolt against any other "minority" race, all I'm saying is that we should know, we're racist because our minds tell us unconsciously that we are; specifically because there is no such thing as every race is equal. Every race has its own strengths and weaknesses but one race is definitely the best.

          I'm not saying we should look for the best race or even concern ourselves with it, I made this thread with the intent of expressing an idea that is delicate but "different" to talk about.

          We shouldn't be afraid to talk about what is socially unacceptable. We should figure out why and help others understand the real meaning behind words to help us be more knowledgeable. Knowledge is bliss; not ignorance. I'm not implying you're ignorant, by the way. However, fear is one of the main driving forces in humans and in every other living organism.

          I argue not to show how right I am, I argue to look for a better answer than my own. That's what arguing really means. If we were confident in our reasons for seeming right, then we'd never argue. Since we lack the confidence in what we believe, we argue.

          Thanks for showing your care/concern in a topic this meaningful to you. I'm grateful you came to share your opinion and thoughts with myself and everyone else on this thread !

          1. LongTimeMother profile image91
            LongTimeMotherposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Thank you for making more of an effort to explain yourself this time, Phil.

            Here's what I have learned from your reply ... You argue because you lack confidence in what you believe, and you are looking for a better answer than your own.  (As you explained in your second-last paragraph.)

            I think it is a shame you didn't realize that before you created your original post. You could have posted a carefully-considered question, instead of appearing to issue a challenge ... and positioning yourself to defend your beliefs.  (In my experience, there's generally a lot more to be learned from a lengthy discussion than an abrupt argument.)

            Now because you consider knowledge to be bliss, I will take the time to help you understand a point you raised. You wrote:

            "I do understand that there is a reason for everything! Of course that's true. If you don't see it in a derogatory term, then I don't understand the problem."

            Let me explain the problem so you can understand. The problem with you stating "You're getting emotionally involved for no reason" was that you were wrong. Simple. Whether or not someone considers it to be derogatory, it was still wrong. But you have already graciously acknowledged that. (I think you were wrong on other points as well. Perhaps you might choose to read every word you've written on this thread, and see if you can spot them for yourself. smile )

            In my life and professional career I have discussed and explored many topics considered socially unacceptable ... and even raised them as topics in public broadcast. I'm pleased to have contributed to a number of social changes over the years.

            If you want to express ideas that are 'delicate but different', you really should give consideration to where those ideas are best expressed ... and how to most effectively 'express' them.

            Experience is a great teacher, Phil. Will you be one of the people who learns from it?

  7. ReNatya profile image59
    ReNatyaposted 7 years ago

    There's a genocide happening in Portugal. Sorry if it is a bit of an aside comment. But the biggest racism is never mentioned.

  8. ReNatya profile image59
    ReNatyaposted 7 years ago

    I said it wrong: there's a genocide happening TO Portugal. To the whole country, culture and people, from the outside. Now THAT is real hidden racism.

  9. MonkeyShine75 profile image60
    MonkeyShine75posted 7 years ago

    First I don't think everyone is a racist
    I think most people like, and dislike others by the way they perceive they are treated by them, and not the color of their skin. Some people only think they are being treated badly by others, like a sort of social paranoia
    Although President Obama is equally white, and black, and raised as white, he chose to identify himself as black, and African-American, probably because of the way he was treated by biased whites outside his family.

    But If you need to assign scores it would be for:

    Intelligence-the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, with wisdom

    Health, and longevity-the state of being free from illness or injury, and the length of life

    Adaptability to, and tolerance of others-the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with

    Personality and social class-how they get along with others, even when they dislike certain people, and the division of a society based on social and economic status, and the ability to climb corporate ladders

    Social conscience-a sense of responsibility or concern for the problems and injustices of society as a whole, and not just of their own race

    Beauty-Pleasing to the sight

    1. Phil Perez profile image60
      Phil Perezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, MonkeyShine75! I appreciate you trying to determine factors to know what makes a race better. It's not about calling people names and/or dehumanizing other races, it's knowing that a race can be better or worse than others and we have to accept that, support them, work together to help them and vice-versa!

      I'm glad you understand! Thanks for the comment !

      1. MonkeyShine75 profile image60
        MonkeyShine75posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Of course all races have some of these attributes, and none have all of them

  10. MonkeyShine75 profile image60
    MonkeyShine75posted 7 years ago

    When you honestly think about it, who's really the racists, and who are just accused of it?
    Is it really the color of skin, or is it attitude we dislike in others?

    1. rhamson profile image71
      rhamsonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The real question should be is it inherent or learned? If it is learned then what can be done to quell it?

      1. psycheskinner profile image81
        psycheskinnerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Research suggests there are elements of both, and mindfulness/inherent bias training is widely available to help minimize the negative effects.

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