Are ethnic jokes inherently wrong, racist, or offensive?

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This topic contains 163 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #37208

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    But in many cases people are responding to actual harm or inequality, and identity largely comes into focus because identity is what has been targeted, excluded, or otherwise discriminated against.

    That’s a good point.  I’ve always thought that identity can apply at a demographic level.

    she’s talking about complex things at a very broad, so there is no way she can be perfectly accurate and in depth, but there is a difference between generalization/ brevity and biased portrayal.

    But there would be no excuse for inaccuracy, in painting a picture.  If she’s inaccurate, then Pluckrose has slipped up.

    I can see some of the point in identifying people by their oppressed status.  We all know really that people are individuals.  I think, in true liberal fashion, that both kinds of “social justice” have something to contribute – but this is from within the framework of Helen Pluckrose’s description of liberal humanism, about which, I presume, she knows a lot.

     

    #37209

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    marginalised people are not the ones who created the original division.

    By “divisive”, I mean that it separates people off into groups, and appears to pit some of them against each other, which is inevitable whenever you get groups.

    I don’t mean that it’s controversial within wider society.

    #37210

    Davis
    Moderator

    I mean that it separates people off into groups, and appears to pit some of them against each other.

    Could you give a concrete example?

    #37211

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Feminists vs. trans activists.  That’s a thing.

    Straight white males vs. everybody else.  That seems to be a thing sometimes as well.

    #37212

    Davis
    Moderator

    That seems to be a thing sometimes as well.

    That is your concrete example. A bad taste joke which the person apologised for afterwards? It seems you’ve really drunken the JP coolaid. I don’t know in what alternative universe you live in where straight white males are being systemically pitted against everyone else. If anything I see the opposite. I see black people fighting for equality and expressing anger over demonstrable cases of violence against them or discrimination and a minority of white people getting taking it all terribly personal, getting ridiculously defensive and saying “I’m not the problem, don’t blame me” when the reasonable response is “Yeah…it’s terrible that this happens…what should we do about it”? The same thing goes for LGBTQ+ people pointing out lack of equity, discrimination, derision and violence. “Well I’m not a homophobe why are you attacking me”? When next to nobody is. When the press points to cases of mass rape and the enormous numbers of sexual violence against women, a very loud minority of men respond with “I’m not a rapist…why are you attacking men” when nobody accused all men of being rapists. The response should be “I’ll do my part and call out rape culture and jokes when I see and hear it and educate my children”.

    Yes Simon, there is an extreme fringe in identity politics who may seem like they are pitting people against one another or blaming straight-white-men for all their problems but this is simply a JP style hyper exaggeration. I’m not sure you realise it but it is people like JP who increase and magnify division by turning these issues into something other than what they are…a movement to bring about real equality and dignity. It gets so extreme that there is literally, a notable number of straight-white-men, who truly believe that they are the victims in society, under assault and being ruthlessly discriminated against and attacked.

    It’s slightly like an aristocrat feeling like a victim because their friends are being criticised for not paying their servants a living wage and treating them badly (even if that particular aristocrat does). “Why attack me…I treat them well”. Perhaps the better response is “That’s too bad. My friends should treat their servants with dignity”. Better than getting angry at the protesting servants for “creating division and pitting the haves against the have-nots”. It’s a ridiculous way to look at things. It doesn’t cost me a thing to recognise that my whiteness, maleness, Westerness, educatedness and middle-class wealth has afforded me opportunity and fewer difficulties in life and that I should do my part to bring about real equality and dignity for those who lack what I get simply for being born in a privileged position.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  Davis.
    #37214

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s a bit annoying being branded evil by definition, that’s all.  I don’t feel much about it beyond that.  Like you say, there’s no harm in recognising one’s own privileged position as part of an elite (at least in days gone by: less so in 2021), just for the sake of recognising facts.  But I’m not sure what to do about it.

    Actually, to shortcut to the final desired outcome, what we all want is for all human beings to be seen as people, by every other.  Where nobody is beyond the pale, non-human, without rights, etc.  There are many different ways to bring this about.  One is to see all kinds of people portrayed in the media, advertising, etc., as normal everyday representatives of the human race.

    #37215

    jakelafort
    Participant

    We have here a microcosm of the free market place of ideas.

    I dare say our members are above average in brainyosity. (my neologism, my spelling) And yet in spite of vigorous debate neither side has much impact on the other. I don’t know a great deal about JP. But i instantly despised him and no doubt that influences my disposition in evaluating new information. But from my perspective Autumn, Davis and Reg have ripped him a new one. Try and talk down Simon on the virtue of JC and JP. Good luck with that. Try and reason with Enco in his fixation with libertarian and free market ideals. Good luck with that. And good luck to them in influencing us.

    From a broader perspective we continue to have the chimerical notion that free market place of ideas is essential to the progression of intellectual growth of civilization and necessary for a free society. If we look at this sort of bromide superficially it is appealing. I am gonna stop right there cuz my shit aint gonna influence anybody either! Back to da ponies.

    #37216

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    That’s not true – I’ve changed my point of view somewhat, and learned some things.

    #37217

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Simon, how have you changed in your perception of JP? And from prior conversations here how have you changed on JC? I see what looks like intransigence. But i am not picking on you. I am saying that is how we humans are to a greater and lesser degree. We become so damn glued to our positions that it is not easy to move the needle. The notion of free thinker is another myth.

    #37220

    Davis
    Moderator

    We become so damn glued to our positions that it is not easy to move the needle.

    Indeed Jake. Any good philosophy program or institute will try to instil deep into the student the urge to challenge their own ideas and be willing to change them when your premises or the soundness of your argument is reasonably challenged or when new evidence presents itself. It is of course insanely difficult to do this in practice but good philosophers (or intellectuals) do their best. There was a professor in my institute who after 15 years of research, admitted his approach was wrong and he retracted a paper which he actually became notable for. Instead of being derided and ridiculed he was greatly admired for doing this.

    The best philosophers/intellectuals also don’t make hasty claims before working them out. This should apply to all of academia. And it should apply equally to an academic who speaks on issues outside of their speciality (which JP does as he is a psychologist and not a sociologist/political-scientist/philosopher). He is intellectually dysfunctional because he continues to stand by arguments he knows (or even tacitly admits) are wrong. It is all the more intellectually revolting when such people have an adoring fan base who lap up everything they say.

    #37222

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If the thinking is based on evidence and facts, then it’s easier to be open-minded.  In studying mathematics, if someone points out a mistake to the lecturer, they are grateful for it (hopefully).

    #37223

    _Robert_
    Participant

    If a person is casually informed, it is often fairly easy to pull them strongly. The great volume of ideological pleading is overwhelming and concentrated on twitter, youtube and facebook. You are working 9 to 10 hours and doing chores and working out for a few more. You are pretty tired and pull up youtube and there is JP on the sidebar. You have been targeted by a supercomputer. For the next 45 minutes everything makes sense, it all adds up. You ‘smash the subscribe button’. Cultural Marxism, huh? Yeah OK. That’s why things are so f’cked up. Are you gonna check-up on the veracity? Probably not.

    That is the deal these days. Targeted massive ideological pleading, just a mouse click away.

     

    #37224

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Would most white people even begin to fathom the “mental calculus” a black male must employ to just get through a day…? Certainly it IS a matter of ‘wokeness’, as caustic as that term may seem to some.

    Opinion | Being Black in America is exhausting – The Washington Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/17/being-black-america-is-exhausting/

    #37225

    jakelafort
    Participant

    It is not a simple matter to navigate the world given our biology and the luck of the draw in our environment. If i were emperor i would change the curriculum in public schools in an effort to assist.

    I betya 95 percent of the victims of AI directed social media programming are unaware of confirmation bias. It is hard enough when one has received a good education and consciously questions everything including themselves.

    #37226

    It is hard enough when one has received a good education and consciously questions everything including themselves.

    That is a very good point. We have to be trained in how to think critically and how to spot fallacies. It should be a core subject in schools. And then we have continue it throughout our lives.

    When people tell me that they are a practicing Muslim or Catholic or Protestant or Hindu or Mormon or JW or Buddhist or Born Again Christian, I tell them that I am a practicing Rationalist and like you, I also talk to myself 🙂

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