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4

dele_ted wrote

Since so many people that i respect are disagreeing with me on this, I must be going wrong somewhere - but I can't see where. Here's how I'm interpreting all of this:

/u/c0mrade called for the systematic killing of all white people. I told them to get out, that we should stop grouping people based on something they're born with and not in control of altogether. T_W came to defend c0mrade, saying that i was wrong to not want the systematic slaughter of people based on their skin colour. A few hours later, c0mrade said their original comment was all just a joke, but T_W keeps defending it.

Why is it that everyone thinks i am in the wrong for not letting characteristics that you are born with, that are out of your control, have any say in who you are or how you should be treated?

7

md_ wrote

It was mentioned by others to, but really the point here is that "it is okay to make fun of those in power". There are power imbalances out there, that change how we react to a joke. Me making a joke about some person or group of people (or a characteristic robustly associated with said person/people) who are subjugated, is problematic. Me making fun of a person, people, or societal structure that has power over me, is the least I can do to resist. That's how we tease apart bad-taste jokes, from actually problematic jokes. Do they punch down, or do they punch up?

Of course that's assuming that the comment was indeed a joke, but trying to tell jokes and sincere opinions apart online is increasingly a frustrating task. To me it looked like very transparent trolling, but you can hardly now any more.

In short though, of course, if it's not a joke and someone sincerely holds the opinion that white genocide is a valid political program, of course that's problematic bullshit and clearly authoritarian. But it will get us nowhere to try and guess if they were joking all along, because of the medium. But find me a political group that claims to be anti-authoritarian and be pro-genocide, and of course things there will be pretty clear-cut.

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dele_ted wrote

As i said in the original thread, and multiple times in this thread, I didn't think c0mrade was joking. I also explained why in my response to Dumai.

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md_ wrote

Fair enough, it is frustratingly hard to tell, especially because claiming "it was a joke bro" has been used, with surprising success, by a lot of authoritarians online when they were punching down.

Incidentally, this is why I do not want to seize the "memes" of production. So many products of internet culture (including the "it was a joke" after-the-fact defence) are authoritarian by design, and we only taint ourselves by trying to use them.

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Dumai wrote

because it was a joke

the only reason to object to jokes like this are if they are genuinely offensive to marginalised groups

c0mrade's comment was just a silly joke about white people

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dele_ted wrote

I explained in the same thread that I didn't catch it as a joke. I've seen stuff like that thrown around here every now and then, and didn't get the sarcasm. Sarcasm isn't easy to get when it's in written form, mild aspergers makes it that much harder.

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Dumai wrote

yeah that's understandable but i don't get why you kept arguing the point after it was explained to you and i also don't understand why you called it racist

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dele_ted wrote

I replied to T_W from the inbox, and didn't see c0mrade's comment saying that they were joking until now.

I called it racism because that is what it is (if it's not interpreted as a joke). Racism means nothing more than discrimination or prejudice based on race. Of course racism against white people is practically non-existent, but it is nonetheless the definition of the word.

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md_ wrote (edited )

Racism means nothing more than discrimination or prejudice based on race. Of course racism against white people is practically non-existent, but it is nonetheless the definition of the word.

This is the part where a lot of people criticise you for.

First, appeals to the dictionary are not by themselves enough to establish something. The dictionary, even if it's the most descriptive (and they often aren't), and the most up-to-date with current usage (again, they mostly aren't), it's still not going to include nuanced analysis of political concepts. It's not a dictionary's job to do that.

Racism, in the sense most of us here seem to understand it, is not "discrimination against a person or a group of people, based on race". It's a system that uses discrimination and biases, to benefit another group, the privileged group in a given context. (For a similar example, see "patriarchy". It's not a refutation of the critique of patriarchy to point out that there are women prime-ministers and CEOs).

Just bias and discrimination are not racism. You also need the power to turn that discrimination in a benefit for your own "group". It's pretty clear how colonialism used "race science" to extract value from most places of the world that weren't Western Europe.

Now, for what it's worth, I want to share a point-of-view from my region, which is at a grey zone between the West and "the rest of the world". Racism truly doesn't have to use the abstraction of "race" to do its job - it does so in the West and its settler-colonies like the US of course. But where I live, there's systematic exploitation of undeniably white-skinned blue-eyed people (from the post-USSR countries) by a clearly non-white masters. And there's no Nazi Germany like "Slavs are not actually white" justification at play, it's just that a different abstraction is used as a justification. Etymologically the word racism might be confusing, but words don't mean what their parts mean (see butterfly).

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dele_ted wrote

That's a simple matter of definitions. Words have different meanings in different parts of the world and in different communities, and in the case of "racism", as all of this proves, the differences can be pretty vast.

To me, the example you're giving is very clearly racism. I've never known anyone (IRL, that is) who understood the word racism as what you're describing. If that's what the word means to most people here, then I see why they're pissed at me - I would be, too. But please remember that we are not all the same, to me racism has always meant just what i described above. We are not some uniform mass, and I'm fucking glad we aren't.

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md_ wrote

If in a conversation we do not agree on the definitions of our terms, we will never get anywhere. And if you insist on not accepting the definition of the people you are conversing with, you will never understand their arguments.

We can call that system of exploitation "Jonathanism" if you want though (although I don't know what have Jonathans done to deserve this), if it helps us actually have the discussion we want to have ("is making fun on white/straight people in a Western context problematic?").

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dele_ted wrote

I'm not insisting on disagreeing on a simple word, it's just never occured to me that racism means something completely different in this community. I'll gladly adopt your definitions if it helps me communicate with other people here.

Thanks for taking your time to explain it, I've rewritten my definition of racism.

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Dumai wrote

i am staunchly anti-jonathan and i am willing to die on this fucking hill

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Pop wrote

Your profile is six months old

how in that time you have maintained your racist definition of racism is something i'd b quite interested to learn

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Dumai wrote

so you have never spoken to a radical irl

or like almost any poc

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dele_ted wrote

Of course i have. Some words have different meanings in different regions.

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Fossidarity wrote

Let's disregard if you actually said or meant those things for now, do you see the problems inherent in these movements (#AllLivesMatter, etc.)?

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dele_ted wrote

Of course I do. #AllLivesMatter has appeared in respsonse to #BlackLivesMatter, which is problematic because there is very clear evidence that black lives seem to matter less in the face of law enforcement, government and a good deal of ordinary people. White people do not need to fight for their lives to matter, they already do; the #AllLivesMatter movement is absolutely meaningless, and i never defended it (quite the opposite).

My comment was in response to someone calling for the systematic killing of a people based on their skin color. Yeah, it was apparently a joke, but I didn't catch that (I explained why in my response to Dumai).

2

Pop wrote

you know you can google why #alllivesmatter is shit, right?

why when people say #notallmen they are missing the point?

instead of acting dumfounded you can actually just go find out

it's like you're expecting people to spoonfeed you

There's probably a stack of articles on raddle about both...