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Hopefully a real discussion about race.

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by hockeybeat, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I just experienced a shocking and depressing moment; one that makes me think that as a society we're not as evolved as we believe ourselves to be.

    While running errands this afternoon, I walked past four teenage girls. As we passed, one girl turned to me and asked, "What do you think of (a racial slur about black people)?" while giggling.

    The question and the way it was asked stopped me in my tracks. She asked it with a "Do-you-think-my-friend's-hot?" tone. The girl and her friends kept on walking and laughing.

    I am not naive enough to think that race isn't an issue in America. But it seems like ethnic slurs are being used for laughs;used as punchlines instead of the hateful words they are.

    Will we eventually evolve to the point where race isn't used as a joke? Where people aren't seen as what ethnicity they are?
  2. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I had a similar experience a few years ago. I wasn't sure if I was more disappointed or pissed.

    I had just bought something at a BP gas station/convenience store. I was walking out when the cashier, who I would guess was 17 or 18, called me back and said, "Here, I Jewed you out of your change."

    I was stunned, then pissed. I informed her, none to quietly, that I was Jewish and she should be much more careful about what she says to people and stormed out.

    At the time we had high school students answering phones in my office. I retold the story to a couple of my co-workers in front of one of the high school kids, who suggested that the cashier didn't mean anything by it. Kids in her school had been saying things like that more often since they started watching South Park.

    She was probably right. Thinking back, that poor, clueless kid at the cash register probably had no idea why I was angry. I doubt she even knew any Jewish people, given the town we were in. The ignorance of the comment still bothers me, but I doubt there was any real malice behind it.

    That is part of the questions I have in any discussion of race and ethnicity. Do you treat it differently if the person is thoughtless and ignorant, but not hateful?
  3. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    1970: Bridge Over Troubled Water.

    2006: My Humps.

    Evolving . . . we are not.
  4. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    In HB’s case, I think it is a situation of kids trying to say something outlandish to get a rise out of someone that is older; a quick hit of sorts. I haven’t had this happen to me before. I can definitely see how it happened, but there is no way those girls say that to a black guy. I would also be willing to wager that they aren’t all that racist. I would guess that it was probably on a dare and with the desensitization of that type of language wanted to see the reaction.

    In OOP’s case, I think it was a situation of simple ignorance. A phrase such as that could come out of someone that has no historical knowledge of even why it is a phrase to begin with. As such, the kid didn’t really know what was happening, he just was ignorant to the whole thing.

    Part of this may deal with the shock culture that seems to be going around. The more shocking, crazier, over the top the “funnier” it is to them.
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Pastor, agreed for the most part. I guess what I'm wondering is if it is more or less disturbing to see the level of ignorance in either of those stories. Obviously, the people who truly hate those different from themselves are worse and potentially more dangerous, but the complete ignorance of these issues is also troubling.
  6. BBJones

    BBJones Guest

    Whatcha gonna do with all that ass?
  7. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I think you're dead on.
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