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The Forum > General Discussion > Racism - what does it really mean?

Racism - what does it really mean?

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I think people are really confused as to what being racist is. I have been called racist by many on other threads and I dont agree. I believe that being racist is believing that your culture is superior and should rule others, regardless of what country you are in, and actively trying to change things so as to achieve that goal without concern or regard to how it impacts on others and how it makes them feel.

If I went to a Muslim country I would respect their religion, tradition and ways. If a Muslim goes to a Western Country they should do the same. The fact that they donít means that they are racists.

When a member of our family fell in love with a Muslim and decided to marry the pressure from the elders of the family to turn their back and cut them out of the family was extreme. I refused as did my husband. We are not racist. Not only did we refuse to cut them out, when we had functions we invited everybody. At first none of the family turned up because we had invited this member of the family and Muslim partner. It didnít deter us, function after function we invited all our family, regardless of religion, those who choose not to come, then it was their choice. My husband and I did not want to teach our children to be racists and we will not discriminate against somebody solely because of their religious beliefs. Eventually our stubbornness won and now we all get together as a family.

Do I sound racist to you? On the weekend my daughter had a birthday party, three of her friends slept over, two Asians and one Australian. I cared for them, fed them and they slept with my children in their beds. Is that what racists do?

Just because I donít agree with racists coming to this country in order to change our culture and ways so that they can obtain power and rule doesnít mean that I am the racist.
Posted by Jolanda, Sunday, 4 March 2007 11:00:35 AM
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Interesting point Jolanda and worth exploring.

Proposition 1. My culture is superior therefore it should 'rule'.
This attitude could be held by any people or ethnic group. If it is, then it is the seed for eventual destruction.

Proposition 2. My Culture is the prevailing one, our country and institutions are built on it. Therefore it should rule.

Holding to propositon 2, (as I do) does not mean a rejection of all that is noble in other cultures. But it does mean a pecking order, it does mean that the national fabric is woven in threads of that dominant/prevailing culture, and it also means that changes to that fabric should be by small threads of a different color, not HUGE SWATHES of contrary thread.
The concept of a 'prevailing' or dominant culture means just that. Pretty much the whole of life will be flavored by it. This important message should be communicated clearly to any would be immigrant and especially assylum seekers.

NOTE CAREFULLY !
We offer 'assylum' IN TERMS OF OUR CULTURE not the one you bring with you.

So, I'm quite comfortable in saying that "Anglo/Celt" culture is the prevailing one, and should be, with minor tinkering on the edges as we benefit from the strengths of immigrant culture.
Over time, the whole culture will probably gradually morph more and more into something uniquely "Australian" and this is as it should be.

We will know when we have arrived there when people stop referring to themselves as 'Italian Australians' and 'Greek Australians' etc.. they will simply be 'Aussies'.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Monday, 5 March 2007 12:04:25 PM
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The Japanese and the French stand out as cultures that have a sense of superiority but I do not think that is racism. The Serbian treatment of Muslims in Bosnia and the treatment of black Africans by the Muslim Sudanese is racism as was the Nazi treatment of Jews. I donít think there is much serious racism in Australia and to be labelled a racist here carries connotation of an attempted insult by some marginalised group that does not fit in. We have our share of these groups who cling to cultural or religious baggage they brought with them to Australia.

IF THEY ARE GOING TO BE AUSTRALIANS THEY NEED TO CAST OFF THIS BAGGAGE AND NOT BECOME AN UNEMPLOYABLE, NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING UNDERCLASS WHO CLING TO CENTRE LINK DEPENDANCY WHILE MOOLIGHTING IN CRIME AND INSURANCE FRAUD.
Posted by SILLE, Monday, 5 March 2007 2:24:07 PM
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Racism to me means defining people in terms of the arbritary groups they belong to, instead of as individuals. It is the failure to recognise that there is more variation WITHIN any of these groups than there is between any of them.

It is when we stop seeing people as individuals (see: above) that we're in trouble.
Posted by spendocrat, Monday, 5 March 2007 2:29:45 PM
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Racism is when you unfairly discriminate against a person based on race, ethnicity, religion, culture etc. It does not apply to those who criticise cultures for the actions or beliefs that are part of that culture. It does apply to those who make assumptions about a person's beliefs based on sterotypes of their culture.

http://ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1172737650
Posted by freediver, Monday, 5 March 2007 6:45:23 PM
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Freediver, the interesting thing about your point is that when a minority group discriminates against the majority on those very grounds, and the majority seeks to address this 'racist' behaviour, the Left trots out its 'Your a pack of racists' against the majority.

It happens as predictably as day following night.
cheers
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 6 March 2007 6:12:09 AM
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