Racism the Ultimate Evil?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Hobbit, May 24, 2006.

  1. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Ok, I've noticed a trend among lots of public speakers. Basically, it supposedly only takes proof of racism to completely discredit somebody, or even association with a known racist, whether their association had anything to do with racism or not. I've seen it on both sides of the aisle, as J. William Fulbright, former Arkansas Senator, has been cannon fodder for conservatives looking to discredit everyone he ever knew, most notably Bill Clinton and Robert "Sheets" Byrd. On the other side, Trent Lott was demonized for 'comments' he made at Strom Thurmond's retirement party. When I heard this story broke, it was never mentioned what he said, just that it was grossly racist and showed how evil a person he was. His comment was telling Strom Thurmond that the country would be better off if he had been president. It was probably an empty compliment telling an old friend how admired he was, and Lott probably didn't even mean it. However, Thurmond ran as a Segregationist, which makes Lott irrevocably evil for even pretending to think he'd make a good president.

    The question I have to ask is why? Is association with racism, in any form, an automatic qualifier for evil? I guess the base question is this: Is it possible to be both a racist and a good person?

    Ok, back up for a second before you answer. Racism is the belief that one race is superior, period. Now, most people who are or were racists were raised that way, and while it is possible to buck the trend, most people raised racist will be racists and can no more think of other races as equal than we could think of, say, a gorilla as equal to a human. Now, this is an ultimately negative view and acting on it is immoral, highly unethical, and often illegal. There's no denying that. However, if someone helps his community, is kind to his neighbors, even ones he believes 'inferior' (though his attitude may be more of a condescending pity), and otherwise displays 'good' qualities, is he still evil for being a racist?

    Now, J. William Fulbright was racist. He opposed desegregation, claiming that it would be detrimental to both white and black students (and he was somewhat right, though not for the same reasons he thought he was). He also ran the University of Arkansas, one of the first integrated universities, gave selflessly to his community and many charities, fought for his constituents, and was an all around good guy. Therefore, for all his faults, I don't think Bill Clinton should be demonized for looking up to him. I mean, my grandparents are very racist, but they're some of the kindest, most moral people I know.

    So, once again, the question: Can a person be both a racist and a good person? The media and PC crowd, especially the NAACP, seems to think no.
     
  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Have you visited Stormfront? Seriously, have you read the posts there? A quick reading should answer your questions for you, if you can stomach some of the stuff being written there.
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Never heard of it.
     
  4. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Well now you know. If you have a look (don't stay long, your computer might freak out) you'll see the real meaning of "racism". I agree that too many people on the left throw the accusation around to silence critics. Any decent person is mightily offended if someone calls them a "racist" so it works, but real racists wouldn't miss a beat.
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Racist, incompetant, pandering, partisan, flag waver, bible thumper, etc etc. All words of the muckrakers to attempt to portray a political foe in an unfavoravable light. If you use one of the catch words against an opponent to have no need to say more. You say it a lot and hope it sticks,becomes synonomous, with your opponent so you don't have to go to the actual trouble of dealing with entire persons' character. A lazy mans' tool but infortunately effective in these days of men who are too lazy to think.
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    It's also handy when one is stuck for a rebuttal. But you left one out - "liberal" :thup:
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Hobbit, I think the most interesting part of racism is at the core it's cause by feelings of fear/insecurity. I grant you that racism is learned, usually by our parents. My dad was raised on the westside of Chicago, when it was mostly Irish and Italian. 'Blacks' were gangs from the southside; the 'non-Irish part'. ;)

    He learned that blacks were 'inferior.' He bought it, well except for those he served with in the war, worked with later in the steel industry, later yet, belonged in clubs with. He was a perfect example of, "Well some of my best friends are...." He dropped the prejudice thing with MLK's assassination. I wasn't raised to be racist, since my 'Uncle Hirum' was black and we loved him.

    My mom, well she was a big believer in equality of opportunity, regardless of whatever. At the same time, she was way ahead of the game in saying 'extra rights' were wrong. She was 'open' to races, religions, etc. Even when I chose to marry outside the religion, to a non-Christian, she was fine with that. Considering how close she was with my uncle, 'the priest' that's saying quite a lot. (He did marry us btw, which goes to show...)

    9/11 though, was an event that changed me. I won't say 'I hate' Arabs, but my initial reaction is not positive. I don't know if more women in the US are wearing hajibs, but it seems like it. I know where the Islamic schools are now, I didn't before and if I had, I probably would have thought it cool. I'm aware of it, but I can't say I blame myself for feeling that way. At the same time, I'd never just act badly to an Arab without cause. A couple were parents of kids at my kids school in and after 2001. They felt terrible after 9/11, they are nice, but still I feel uncomfortable. I don't know any of them well, though we cheered on the cross country team together. I don't think they knew of my reticience, then again I wouldn't know.

    The protest marches for illegal immigrants have also changed me. I never thought that illegals were ok, but now believe that it's an extremely pressing problem, beyond even the terrorism components. I am not prejudiced against Mexicans, if they are here legally I think, 'Great.' So maybe that isn't racism, though now one does wonder if they are legal or not.

    I think I'm a nice enough person, yet I am admitting to some degree, at least, of racism. :dunno:
     
  8. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    No side is innocent regarding this one. Politics as usual. I didn't realize liberals actually didn't like being called liberal.
     
  9. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    C'Mon now .... what's the FIRST thing a lib says when you call them one? Their very next post is political self-denial.
     
  10. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Heck anything can be made to sound like a pejorative. When Rush Limbaugh sprays out the word "liberal" you can be sure he doesn't mean it in its economic sense or in its philosophical sense, it's a meant to be an insult. His dittoheads mumble the word and in their minds are visions of Bill Clinton killing babies on the White House lawn. When I say "liberal" (in the American sense of the word) I think of people with a range of views on various things, some of which I may agree with, some of which I may disagree with.

    But I take your point about slogans. It's easier to throw a slogan than argue a point - and on that the left and right are equally at fault.
     

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