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Colourblind racism

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Colourblind racism

Post  nullnvoid on Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:27 pm

Apparently Cuduggan2k2 was just given "a day off" on the other forum for stating that they don't accept that "I disagree that race matters any more than hair colour or whether your secodn [sic] toe is longer or shorter than your big toe."

http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2641&start=25

I accept that there ARE systemic forms of racism that exist within society and these do need to be addressed by targeting aid to the victims of racism (say through affirmative action, additional tax breaks or welfare). HOWEVER, Cuduggan was actually responding to someone that stated that race would matter even if all forms of racism are eliminated.

For disagreeing, Cuduggan was given a day ban. They appear to be completely uninterested in discussion on their forum.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  uncrystal on Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:39 pm

I very much do not want to be disrespectful of Cuduggan, but I don't know why someone would participate in a forum in which you're banned for simply voicing your opinion. It's ridiculous and I'll honestly be disheartened if Cuduggan comes here and tries to defend a+safe.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  nullnvoid on Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:18 pm

I'm not participating over there, but I find myself wanting to respond when I lurk - so I can understand it.

But, beyond the situation on the other site - what do people think of the concept of "Colourblind Racism"?

Submor posted these links over on the other thread:

When the rug is pulled
Colour blindness – not a virtue
When the goggles come off

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Zampano on Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:16 pm

Speaking as someone who is fundamentally a liberal, I don't understand the desire to preserve "race" as a non-optional social construct (i.e. you are stuck with the one you're born with). I understand the desire to allow a variety of cultures to coexist (I want that too), but I think if we're utopianising (as we already are with the idea of eliminating racism) we should also want to permit people to choose the kind of culture they want to live in.

This thread is a good example of the problems you run into here:
http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2614

Setar wants to listen to the music that black people are into because that really tells you what it's like to be a black person, not like those other white people who just listen to popular hip hop because that only pretends to inform you what life is really like for black people. And if you're a black person that only likes the hip hop that white people tend to like...

That's the culture/race divide... it is not utopian, it already exists. There are black people who grow up in middle-class white culture but experience prejudice (which should be eliminated), and white people who grow up in black ghettos.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Skavau on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:58 am

"Colourblind Racism"

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

EDIT:

This Gem:

"I hate the notion that race shouldn't matter, because it erases race. it basically says that you can't be anything but just like white people. that is what a society where race doesn't matter looks like - it forces all the brown people to adopt the cultural practices and beliefs of the dominant race, and reduces the culture of brown people down to their visually appealing sartorial choices, utterly stripped of all meaning and context - see half naked white girls in plains indian war bonnets - and their exotic food." - Ceepolk

I get the distinct impression that many people in A+ assume that people's specific culture can only be identified by their race and feel that being entirely anti-racist to the point of ignoring ethnic differences somehow stultifies and removes those unique differences.

At least that's the only way I can attempt to explain that comment.
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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Westprog on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:27 pm

Zampano wrote:Speaking as someone who is fundamentally a liberal, I don't understand the desire to preserve "race" as a non-optional social construct (i.e. you are stuck with the one you're born with). I understand the desire to allow a variety of cultures to coexist (I want that too), but I think if we're utopianising (as we already are with the idea of eliminating racism) we should also want to permit people to choose the kind of culture they want to live in.

This thread is a good example of the problems you run into here:
http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2614

Setar wants to listen to the music that black people are into because that really tells you what it's like to be a black person, not like those other white people who just listen to popular hip hop because that only pretends to inform you what life is really like for black people. And if you're a black person that only likes the hip hop that white people tend to like...

That's the culture/race divide... it is not utopian, it already exists. There are black people who grow up in middle-class white culture but experience prejudice (which should be eliminated), and white people who grow up in black ghettos.

I find these arguments endlessly depressing because the people involved are so obviously interested and knowledgeable, but the straightjacket of the accepted way to discuss things is all-embracing. Make one slip and offend against the orthodoxy, and you get closed down.

For example, it's very true that white popular music borrowed/stole/exploited black music to a huge extent. Dionne Warwick is very amusing (if bitter) when she describes how the songs and arrangements that she created were lifted by British singers to make them more racially acceptable.

However, it should also be noted that this borrowing went both ways. Robert Johnson developed the blues on a guitar - an instrument that originated in Spain. What did it originate from? Probably a moorish instrument from North Africa. So it goes, back and forth.

Yes, black musicians were ruthlessly exploited and discarded by the music industry, but their lot was no better when dealing with black-owned companies like Motown. James Jamerson was possibly the most influential bass player who ever lived, but a few years after leaving Motown he had to pay for his own ticket into an anniversary concert.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:34 am

"Good artists copy, great artists steal" - Picasso

I'm not responsible and don't have ownership over the actions of something that my ancestors did. I have more of a problem when artists get ripped off directly - a la what happened to several of the african musicians involved in Paul Simon's Graceland album - than I do when a genre is taken and revamped for a new audience. So I can look at the influence of black music on rock and be grateful to the prior work for inspiring some of my favorite songs.

But in no way does this disadvantage anyone!


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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Westprog on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:23 pm

nullnvoid wrote:"Good artists copy, great artists steal" - Picasso

I'm not responsible and don't have ownership over the actions of something that my ancestors did. I have more of a problem when artists get ripped off directly - a la what happened to several of the african musicians involved in Paul Simon's Graceland album - than I do when a genre is taken and revamped for a new audience. So I can look at the influence of black music on rock and be grateful to the prior work for inspiring some of my favorite songs.

But in no way does this disadvantage anyone!


Graceland? I know there was considerable political controversy associated with the album, but in the recent BBC documentary I saw, none of the African artists interviewed considered themselves exploited, and the album appeared to be a genuine collaboration.

There may well be issues, in a general sense, with a white artist choosing talented black musicians for an album released under his own name, but what's the alternative? For white artists to only record using white musicians?

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:37 pm

Yeah - it looks like I was wrong there. I was looking for an example of specific plagiarism but it doesn't look like Paul Simon was accused of stealing music from african musicians. The band Los Lobos (a chicano band) accused him of stealing their music: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceland_(album)#Songwriting_credit_dispute_with_Los_Lobos

The African controversy involved Paul Simon breaking the cultural and economic sanctions being imposed on South Africa during apartheid. You can make the argument that his album actually helped draw attention to the plight of people in that country. But the ANC didn't seem to appreciate his actions.

In any case - I mis-remembered that controversy as a plagiarism issue.


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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Westprog on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:03 pm

nullnvoid wrote:Yeah - it looks like I was wrong there. I was looking for an example of specific plagiarism but it doesn't look like Paul Simon was accused of stealing music from african musicians. The band Los Lobos (a chicano band) accused him of stealing their music: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceland_(album)#Songwriting_credit_dispute_with_Los_Lobos

The African controversy involved Paul Simon breaking the cultural and economic sanctions being imposed on South Africa during apartheid. You can make the argument that his album actually helped draw attention to the plight of people in that country. But the ANC didn't seem to appreciate his actions.

In any case - I mis-remembered that controversy as a plagiarism issue.


If you get to see the documentary, I recommend it. It's got a lot to say about music and race, music and politics, race and politics and the accordion. Simon goes back to South Africa and meets the same musicians again - and also the ANC officials who opposed the album and tour. The ability to look for and find common ground in spite of disagreement is something well worth seeing. It's in sharp contrast to... something or other.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:28 pm

Westprog wrote:
If you get to see the documentary, I recommend it. It's got a lot to say about music and race, music and politics, race and politics and the accordion. Simon goes back to South Africa and meets the same musicians again - and also the ANC officials who opposed the album and tour. The ability to look for and find common ground in spite of disagreement is something well worth seeing. It's in sharp contrast to... something or other.

I'll look out for it. Smile

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Westprog on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:19 am

nullnvoid wrote:
Westprog wrote:
If you get to see the documentary, I recommend it. It's got a lot to say about music and race, music and politics, race and politics and the accordion. Simon goes back to South Africa and meets the same musicians again - and also the ANC officials who opposed the album and tour. The ability to look for and find common ground in spite of disagreement is something well worth seeing. It's in sharp contrast to... something or other.

I'll look out for it. Smile

Though the practice of getting a band together, jamming, and then claiming a songwriting credit is very far from uncommon in the music industry. Levon Helm was astonished to find that when the Band's first album came out, most of the songs were Robbie Robertson compositions. Mick Taylor spent weeks working on songs with Mick Jagger, only to find that they were all credited Jagger/Richards. It's something to which black musicians may be more vulnerable, but it seems extremely common.

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Re: Colourblind racism

Post  Thought Criminal on Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:32 am

Skavau wrote:"Colourblind Racism"

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

EDIT:

This Gem:

"I hate the notion that race shouldn't matter, because it erases race. it basically says that you can't be anything but just like white people. that is what a society where race doesn't matter looks like - it forces all the brown people to adopt the cultural practices and beliefs of the dominant race, and reduces the culture of brown people down to their visually appealing sartorial choices, utterly stripped of all meaning and context - see half naked white girls in plains indian war bonnets - and their exotic food." - Ceepolk

I get the distinct impression that many people in A+ assume that people's specific culture can only be identified by their race and feel that being entirely anti-racist to the point of ignoring ethnic differences somehow stultifies and removes those unique differences.

At least that's the only way I can attempt to explain that comment.

I was piled on at the "safe" forum for suggesting that we should consider ethnicity, race, and so on as part of a person's background, a fun fact about where they came from, not something that defines who they are today, much less an excuse to judge them positively or negatively. If I hadn't been silenced, I would probably have gone on to suggest that there is active harm in trying to turn the background into the foreground, as when people cease to be, say, merely Irish by ancestry and choose to become Irish as a profession, going so far as to take classes in "their" language and otherwise attempting to recreate that aspect of their past. Such regression into ethnic identity shouldn't be forbidden, but it shouldn't be considered a virtue, either.

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