Denmark: Killing itself with kindness?

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #40938

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, as you may recall i have a little bit of a visceral reaction when Nonwhites are referred to as People Of Color!

    It is amazing to me that it is ok with most Non Whites to have their skin color be the central point of their identity…well that along with not being White!

    #40939

    Unseen
    Participant

    It is amazing to me that it is ok with most Non Whites to have their skin color be the central point of their identity…well that along with not being White!

    So, “it is ok with most Non Whites to have their skin color be the central point of their identity”? When did that happen?

     

    #40940

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, it happened when the linguistic baggage of racism past was adopted by the masses.

    If we had left well enough alone Blacks and Whites would have chromatic characteristics of equal import. When Whites (who are no less colored than other peoples) got excluded from the label the emphasis was directed to skin color and its juxtaposition against the dominant group’s.

    #40941

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, it happened when the linguistic baggage of racism past was adopted by the masses. If we had left well enough alone Blacks and Whites would have chromatic characteristics of equal import. When Whites (who are no less colored than other peoples) got excluded from the label the emphasis was directed to skin color and its juxtaposition against the dominant group’s.

    a) Whites are certainly generally LESS colored in terms of melanin and presumably other body chemistry as well, which should not mean anything only, b) regrettably, it DOES. It does and I can’t change that until the world changes.

    I heard a geneticist once say “Race is a social fiction. There can be more genetic difference between individuals IN the so-called race than between the same individuals and members of other so-called racial groups.”

    I take his point, but he’s wrong in that race is a social fact, effectively, in addition to being a fiction.

    Luckily, my sense is that today’s young people are frustrated with the whole race thing, so when we oldies die out, there will be more accepting generations behind us. Progress is visible and the difference between the world of my early years in the 1950’s and today is monumental. A black President, a black Supreme Court justice (the second, BTW), and likely a female black justice coming soon as well.

    Anyway, I don’t know if you were trying to scold me, but I was just pointing out that racism is a fact in our world. I wasn’t celebrating it. Yes, some Europeans had a hard time being accepted by the English-speaking majority and were called krauts, spics, wops, micks, greasers, etc. However as time went by, they had the undeserved advantage of being Caucasian, if that term is better to your mind than “white.” This us and them thing is so hard to shake that maybe it’s built in.

    And then, what is one to do with racial stereotypes which are generally true?

    #40946

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, i was not scolding you…just explaining my take.

    Yeah race is a loaded term but i fear there is a scientific reality even if it is true that some Blacks are more distantly related to some Blacks than they are to some Whites. I know that Japanese and Jews have some distinct DNA and that is just a part of it. But the notion that race is a construct is a fiction i am happy to tolerate. No doubt the social darwinists and permutations of racist ideologues prefer to conceive a clear demarcation between races to justify their kingpin group(s) at the apex of the hierarchy.

    Hopefully young’ns are fed up with what should be an anachronism. On the other hand as right wing groups gain power the historic grip of racism continues powerfully. I acknowledge your point that the Blacks who have attained high office is an indication of progress. But i am not happy with the idea that Biden will look for a Black woman. I prefer a meritocracy.

    Whether there is much truth to racial and ethnic stereotypes i can’t say…

    #40947

    Unseen
    Participant

    I acknowledge your point that the Blacks who have attained high office is an indication of progress. But i am not happy with the idea that Biden will look for a Black woman. I prefer a meritocracy. Whether there is much truth to racial and ethnic stereotypes i can’t say…

    It’s not just high office. They (mostly) live where they want. Any business that doesn’t reward the better employee without consideration of their race is incompetent and foolish.

    Stereotypes often have a basis in fact. What percentage of a pro basketball team is white? Probably less than the percentage of whites, and not by a small margin. It’s rare for any kid to win the national spelling bee who doesn’t come from a family with roots in India or Pakistan.

    Biden shouldn’t have promised basically an affirmative action choice for the Supreme Court. He could have simply vowed to begin to restore balance on the court and then nominated a black woman. Me? I secretly wanted him to nominate Merrick Garland to poke Sen. McConnell in the eye.

    #40948

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, it seems Blacks also have a great shot at good jobs now. That may be true even if it is a right wing talking point. Blacks dominate pro basketball. It is genetic more than environmental. I say that because the degree of consanguinity in the NBA is astonishing. Cousins, brothers, sons..

    And the Kenyans are the great marathoners. I suspect that the domination by Indians in spelling bees is equal parts genetic and environmental mas o menos.

    But for stereotypes i was thinking more along the lines of characteristics or personality traits ascribed to an individual because he or she is from that group. Lets see. Scots are cheap. Jews are money grubbers. Blacks are dangerous thugs. Germans are orderly. Irish are drunks. Etc..

    #40949

    Unseen
    Participant

    But for stereotypes i was thinking more along the lines of characteristics or personality traits ascribed to an individual because he or she is from that group. Lets see. Scots are cheap. Jews are money grubbers. Blacks are dangerous thugs. Germans are orderly. Irish are drunks. Etc..

    There are stereotypes and there are stereotypes. Some harmful, some harmless. Both kinds are ways of categorizing people. Sometimes, there’s little distinction between a stereotype and a concept. Certain concepts almost have to be limiting. I’m used to the idea of male nurses, but male nuns?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #40951

    Davis
    Moderator

    Marginalised people make the qualities that lead to their marginalisation such a great part of their identity, because it is thrust upon them.

    If I didn’t hear phrases like “don’t be such a fag” on a regular basis, didn’t have such strong reactions when I frequently have to say to people I meet “…my boyfriend did this” or even “actually I have a boyfriend”, the relentless homophobia in sports groups and some workplaces including police, construction, financial trading etc… hear about hate crimes against LGTBQ+ people, or even worse treatment to transpeople (within the larger sphere of LGTBQ+ people). the current campaign by religious groups to curtail my rights, questioning myself if I should hold my partners hand while I walk through some neighbourhoods, watching not ONE SIGNLE top tier football player brave enough to come out of the closet, hearing stories of police not investigating crimes against LGTBQ+ people (or ignoring rape cases) and a minority of people saying we aren’t even human all while hearing people say “what more do you people want…you have your equality now”…then I wouldn’t give my sexuality a second thought as part of my identity. It would be as important as the colour of my hair. Even positive actions like a city hall putting up a rainbow flag (an absolute good thing) is still a reminder that gestures like that have to be made to fight a phenomena that need not exist.

    Then yeah, you basically have little choice but to see it as a part of your identity. You literally cannot escape how you are differentiated by people. In order to fight this, you MUST group together and stand up for yourself and in that process show no fear or shame of the common qualities you share (even if you don’t personally share them all).

    Think about it this way…if suddenly there became a relentless hate against people who have blue eyes (which I have), an irrational endless hatred making some people get brown contacts or wear sunglasses, that affected you on a near daily basis, instilling fear, hate speech, visible disapproval or disgust, discrimination, barriers to employment and campaigns by hateful people to curtail your rights…suddenyl your blue-eyeness…something you never gave a second thought about…would be VERY VERY VERY central to your identity. And it would not be because you made it that way, but because it was thrust upon you by pointless endless irrational hatred, which manifests itself even by considerate allies through the words they use, and even their kind natured avoiding phrases and topics and showing you their support. Most marginalised people want to be left alone to live their lives, just as most people don’t want their height or the size of their genitals to define them, it would be ideal if we did NOT have to make our gender, race, sexuality a central part of our identity. If the hatred went away, this phenomena would mostly go away.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Davis.
    #40956

    _Robert_
    Participant

    If the hatred went away, this phenomena would mostly go away.

    I think the hatred is indoctrinated just like religion. When I was a little kid, we went to a tiki bar down in Key West and there was a table of gay men. Sometimes they would kiss and hold hands (this is the 60’s mind you). I pointed and said, “look mommy, what is happening?”. No malice, just curious. Anyways my mom explained sometimes men like men, it’s normal and then my father got mad at her, said they were fags and it is wrong and then they had a big fight in the car. The next week he said that I looked like a girl and he didn’t want me to be a fag with my long hair and took me for a buzz cut. Of course, he didn’t like “smokeys” or “spics” much either. He learned all that from his father, I am sure.

     

     

    #40957

    Even positive actions like a city hall putting up a rainbow flag (an absolute good thing) is still a reminder that gestures like that have to be made to fight a phenomena that need not exist.

    That is something I was thinking about recently. One of my running routes takes me past a local junior (middle) school which has a rainbow flag flying over the entrance. But is that not telling kids who are LGTBQ+ that they are different when kids don’t see a difference in the first place? Or only see the difference because of what they have been taught by adults? Of course, the intention is good but the flag is not flying for the children. It shouldn’t be because they are not homophobic. Having to explain the flag to them is creating distinctions between people for them. It should be flying for their parents, some of whom might be homophobic. Hopefully in the near future all the labeling can be done away with. People are just people. Our differences are are not distinct enough that they should count so much. Categorizing them, especially when they are still young is not necessarily helpful even when the intention is good. I am not sure if I have conveyed my thoughts clearly and maybe I am completely wrong here and I am open to being told where I might be wrong.

    I often hear parents say they are raising their child as a Catholic so I ask them if their child prefers monetarist or Keynesian economics policies when it comes to pocket money. (Dawkins wrote something similar to this).

    #40961

    Unseen
    Participant

    Phobias are fears. I’m sure some people fear something about LGBTQ+. I’m looking for the corresponding technical descriptor for, not a fear but a hatred. I suspect a lot of what is wrongly described as homophobia (taken broadly to encompass all of LGBTQ+) is actually a hatred of or bigotry toward them.

    The Greek word for hatred is misia, so that hatred of gays would then be “homomisia.” I think homomisia may be far more common than actual homophobia. I know we’re kind of used to lumping it all together under homophobia, but there are benefits to be gained by making relevant distinctions.

    Where does much of it stem from? In the Christian- and Muslim-dominated part of the world, The Bible and Q’ran fosters hatred of gays for being hated by God. And since humans love the insider/friend vs. outsider/enemy dichotomy, the religious texts tell believers who it’s okay to hate, or whom they should actively hate.

    #40962

    Autumn
    Participant

    Phobias are fears. I’m sure some people fear something about LGBTQ+. I’m looking for the corresponding technical descriptor for, not a fear but a hatred.

    Homophobia does not mean fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. Despite use of the term ‘phobia’ in the suffix, it is not a phobia in the the psychological/ psychiatric sense.

    In the 19th (and perhaps early 20th) century, the -phobia suffix was used to describe societal attitudes of hatred, contempt, or aversion of certain groups. Terms like negrophobia, sinophobia, and Judeophobia eventually fell out of favour, perhaps eclipsed by terms like racism and antisemitism.  The term ‘xenophobia’, however, survived to this day and is generally used in this sociological sense of the word rather than its antiquated psychiatric meaning.

    Terms like Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia (etc.) are almost certainly patterned off the sociological sense of the suffix, not the psychiatric sense.

    #40963

    Autumn
    Participant

    But is that not telling kids who are LGTBQ+ that they are different when kids don’t see a difference in the first place? Or only see the difference because of what they have been taught by adults? Of course, the intention is good but the flag is not flying for the children. It shouldn’t be because they are not homophobic. Having to explain the flag to them is creating distinctions between people for them.

    A lot of kids will experience prejudice either directly or indirectly from a young age. It could come from their peers, or from older kids or adults. It may be directed at them for failing to fit norms, or perhaps at loved ones such as a kid with two dads who are married to one another. Like adults, kids can be cruel toward perceived outliers though their sense of otherness may not always align with the prejudices of adults. They can also be refreshingly indifferent or even accepting of difference not having many preconceived notions of what a person should be.

    But we do possess differences. When it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, we develop a sense of that over a very long period of time starting at very different ages. The overwhelming majority will have a roughly similar experience of developing into predominately heterosexual, cisgender identity (which is not to suggest all straight and cisgender people have a singular experience of navigating sexual orientation and gender identity). A much smaller number will likely realize they are different. We don’t have to ignore difference or hide the fact that some experiences are less typical than others. But perhaps we do need to learn to navigate social interactions without so much reliance on assumptions of sameness or the need for normalization.

    I agree with the sentiment that it would be better if we didn’t need the flag. And I can appreciate we might not want to prejudice children with understanding why that flag is even being flown in the first place. But I think to some degree the subject will always be unavoidable to some degree.

    #40965

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I have a few friends who are very pro LGTBQ+ now…who still use the term “gay” in a derogatory manner, going on decades now. “That’s so gay”.  I used to call them out on it, but I know them, and it is just a shite habit. I actually said “thank gawd” a few days ago, but I am pretty good about minding that.

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