Originally Posted by History Chick
Well, I disagree. I think his point is that there's a double standard on prejudice, and it's not a completely unreasonable point to make.
I really don't think you get it, and, honestly, your own interpretation of his comments seems like a "positive" spin on a statement which was essentially nonsense. I will elaborate below, just because I have the time today.
This is the relevant set of posts:
Originally Posted by Belgarion
Imagine if the OP had said he was a black person.....
Originally Posted by robto
What would be the reaction necessarily?
Originally Posted by Belgarion
If the OP had said that he was black person who hated his race, hated everything from the way they looked to the way they talked he would be accused of being a toady to the white man and generally castigated for not embracing his 'blackness'. However an English person doing the same is seen as normal.
There are multiple things that are wrong with this. Let me point out the ones that come to mind most readily.
First, given the demographics of this forum, the chances that the responses from posters would be to accuse the black person who started a thread complaining about how much he dislikes black people of being a "toady to the white man" are slim to none.
You seem to have assumed he was talking about how black people would react, whereas he never said that was talking only about how black people would react. You seem to have missed this, but Belgarion didn't even say that it would be the (very few) black posters on the forum who would accuse that person of being a "toady to the white man". He made it seem like it would be a general sentiment on the forum, which would require posters of various racial backgrounds to hold that view, since there's almost no thread anywhere on this forum where the majority of responders will be black.
If he were actually claiming specifically that all the black posters on here would call that person a toady etc. that would be a be a pretty big assumption on his part without some sort of evidence to go on and would just be a case of making assumptions about the behavior of the black posters on the forum based solely on flimsy assumptions and racial generalizations.
And if it actually were the case that he was talking specifically about how the black posters would react, then he would be saying that only a very small handful of people on the forum would call the poster a toady (since there are only a very small number of black posters on this forum), which pretty much defeats the purpose of his claim (which was to make it seem like calling the black person a "toady to the white man" would be the "normal" response of most posters who commented).
To understand my objection to his scenario, consider another example which is basically the same as his own but with some details switched. Belgarion's scenario would be like a scenario where a white person started a thread complaining about the unpleasant behavior and tendencies that he believes are common among whites, and in response, blacks, Asians, and middle easterners all started accusing him of being a "traitor" to his race and a "toady to the non-white races". If that sounds bizarre it is because that scenario really is bizarre. It would be unlikely for multiple people to start condemning a person from a different race as being a toady to other races because that person holds negative views about their own race. A few might do this, but I don't see how it would be the majority response.
In truth, most people of other races would just ignore such complaining as being irrelevant and unrelated to them and not even comment. Or, some of these blacks or Asians or middle easterners would agree with the white person that started that thread and also condemn all those alleged behaviors, because they hold the same negative views about whites that the white person who started the thread does. Or some of these blacks, Asians, middle easterners could disagree with the negative stereotyping or say such unpleasant behavior is found among all groups etc. without accusing him of being a "toady trying to win the favor or acceptance non-whites".
Can you imagine if (in some hypothetical scenario) some white person who dislikes most things about whites, and "even the way they look", walks into a room filled with mostly non-white people and starts complaining about how insufferable he finds white people, and instead of minding their own business and continuing to do whatever they were already doing, the non-white people in there start viciously condemning him for being a sellout, traitor to the white race and start telling him to "embrace his whiteness", when this white man's problems with whites don't even really concern them or have any direct relevance to their lives? The whole scenario makes no sense.
Second, how does one know that there aren't people who are literally "toadies" to other groups, and really hold negative views about their own group specifically because
they are infatuated with some other group? I believe that people who are biased against their own group because it is different from the group that they are infatuated with or view as their ideal actually exist.
Just because it might be wrong to assume that a black person who started a thread like the one Belgarion described is a "toady" to some other group, it does not mean that the person could not, in fact, be someone who has very negative views of their own group specifically because it is not the group that they idealize. If someone makes an accusation when they don't have clear and definite evidence to justify an accusation, but the accusation is actually completely true, then so what? A possibly unjustified accusation was made, but it wasn't a false one.
Just because people can be accused of something on the basis of only the flimsiest evidence, it does not mean that they can't actually be exactly what they are accused of being.
Third, the notion of the existence of "racial behavior" is obviously underlying the scenario he proposed. I can see cultural behaviors, mannerisms, inclinations, etc. occurring, or differences in behavior due to class, social status, education, worldliness, etc. but I don't buy the racial behavior narrative. I don't buy this whole "the way they talked" idea because there is too much difference and distinctiveness among cultural groups to be talking about a racial way of talking.
Of course, racialists believe quite strongly in racial behavior ideas, and pretty much without fail they have some idealized image of how most members of their particular racial group behaves, in contrast to how they believe most of the members of other racial groups behave.
Fourth, in real life, when a black person does happen to be a racialist, and they see behavior in racial terms instead of culture or class or upbringing, and they start to complain about something like a supposed "way of talking" of blacks or a way of doing anything else of black people, it doesn't follow that other black people who criticize him or her will automatically start talking about that person being a "toady to the white man." In many cases they will just say that this person is exaggerating, or is brainwashed by the media, or is self hating, or just ignore the person outright. In some cases, some other black people will agree with this person. But to know this, one would have probably have to either be black or actually interact regularly with some black people.
Fifth, in real life, black people who "hate the way they (blacks) look" bleach their skin or get specific types of cosmetic surgery done, but they aren't accused of being a "toady to the white man" by other blacks (or non-blacks), but rather they are accused of being "brainwashed" or having "internalized" the negative depictions of some blacks in local or global media to the point where they have "self hate." Some black person saying that they hate everything about blacks and "even the way they look" would be much more likely to be accused of "self hate" or "internalized hatred" by other black people, given that this is what often occurs in real life, rather than being called a "toady to white people". And in this case, if it was actually suggested (without castigating them) that they try and "embrace their blackness" with respect to their appearance, instead of condemning it, I don't even see what would be wrong with that.
To sum up what I'm saying, I don't think you really get it. You believe the point is to drive home the idea that there is a "double standard on prejudice". I think there are some double standards in the world, but this isn't even one of them, and the "point" he attempted to make was made so poorly that it's not an argument in favor of what he's claiming at all, but just a clear indication that he isn't especially knowledgeable about certain things.
He really claimed (without hard evidence or proof of any kind) that a British person disliking the British because he believes there are widespread negative behaviors and attitudes among British people has become seen as a normal thing, whereas a black person disliking black people and complaining about black people would be opposed so strongly by most people to the point where they accuse that person of being a "toady to whites", even on a forum which is overwhelmingly non-black and is probably majority white. This whole scenario where a bunch of mostly white, Asian, and middle eastern posters on a forum start viciously condemning a black poster for making such a thread and start calling him a toady to whites is some sort of goofy fantasy. There isn't even any guarantee that the majority of the few black posters on here would immediately start attacking that person as a "toady to whites" or a "sellout" or start typing "EMBRACE YOUR BLACKNESS!!!" at him in all caps. It's possible that some might (though I can't think of any poster who I think would do this), but others might just disagree and simply explain why they disagree without accusing the person of being a "toady".
It's much more likely that posters would either a) ignore him and not comment or b) agree with him and state that they also believe in all those negative views he has of his group c) disagree politely, without accusing him of being a "toady" to some other group d) not take him seriously and make some sort of humorous comment.
I don't agree he could have used any other group - most other groups aren't as well known for reacting the way some black people might if one of their own said anything negative about their race.
The problem here is your claim of "aren't as well known for. . ."
Known by who?
Who are these people who "know" these things you think that they know about how black people react if a black person said anything negative about their race and how could they possibly know these things when there are hundreds of millions of black people on the planet. . .? They could not possibly have interacted with, or heard the opinions of, more than a few (relative to the black population) black people anywhere. These people most likely don't even know much about whatever local black groups are in their countries.
It might be a narrative among some non-blacks in certain specific countries that "black people are more known for reacting that way" compared to. . .whoever. But that is likely a narrow-minded narrative from countries that have exactly the sort of poisonous racial climate which can make at least some of the black people there seem "defensive". Perhaps you are thinking specifically of America, where these sorts of generalizations about racial groups are seen as a normal.
In real life, certain black people who have adopted a racialist way of viewing the world and who do talk in terms where they racialize behavior, do make negative statements about black people, including negative statements about how they think black people talk or dress or how they do business, and so many other things big and small, and they do this without other black people who disagree with them accusing them of being a "toady to whites" or simply shouting back at them to "embrace their blackness". Some other blacks even agree with their negative comments (especially in discussions about things like business or building wealth) and I'm speaking from years of real life experience here, not speculating.
And I don't mean that in a negative way at all, before you jump all over me too.
No intention to "jump all over you." Honestly, I don't think you really understood the implications of what was being said, and even if you did, this whole issue is not even anything I'm passionate about.
As for not meaning that in a negative way, regardless of what your actual intentions are, it is basically impossible for it not to be a generalization about an entire racial group for which you don't have any real evidence. Even if you actually had been talking only about the black people in your country (which wouldn't even square up with Belgarion's original posts, which were about any black person), it is still a generalization. And honestly, when I do consider America, I can't see the evidence of the black people there being somehow exceptional (when compared to various other groups) in the practice of condemning members of their group for speaking negatively about their group, so I see things quite differently.