A possie in Aussie

November 5, 2009

Would you intervene? Easy to say yes….

Filed under: race relations,racism — Nayano @ 9:38 am
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This is a sociological experiment to see if people will intervene when an African American woman is treated unfairly.

While most people are unaffected by the discrimination they observe, others are completely offended on behalf of the victim.

It would be better, however, if the same experiment was attempted using a white shopper to determine more accurately if people are discriminating on the basis of race, or just don’t want to get involved in general.

Watch what happens when one woman, at the end of the video, stands up for the shopper loudly and clearly.

Kevin Rudd: learn how most people will behave about issues from this clip – and speak out against asylum seeker hate!


August 24, 2009

Truth in t shirts: “Everyone’s a racist”

Filed under: Integration,race relations,racism — Nayano @ 8:29 am
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No one is a racist. At least, nearly everyone, if asked, would say ‘No, I am not racist’. But everyone suffers from what Kellie Tranter, of Online Opinion, calls Cultural blindness

Kellie was in the US recently when she saw a Native American selling T-shirts which read “Homeland Security: fighting terrorism since 1492”.

Kellie asks “What would Indigenous Australians print on their T- shirts?

“Repelling illegal immigrants since 1788” or

“60,000 years of paradise … then the white fella shows up”?

I mystified by the vociferous opposition by some Americans to health care reforms, fuelled by my own blindness to race relations in the Sates.

In Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy Gilens shows how racial stereotypes, not white self-interest or anti-statism, lie at the root of opposition to welfare programs- that is, he argues, ‘welfare’ = ‘handouts to blacks’

This CNN clip shows white people arguing against health care reform – and claiming that race is not a factor, and then Tim Wise’s excellent commentary about their ‘cultural blindness’. (Are you blind to your own prejudices?  Read this. Not a racist? You are a fool or a liar)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Are you ‘culturally blind’? Need a t …“, posted with vodpod

May 9, 2009

Facebook a racist-book?

Filed under: anti-Semitism,race relations — Nayano @ 9:16 am
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Cyber-bullying has been in the news this week (Elite school’s horrific cyber-bullying case). And it seems that Facebook thinks that laws against homosexuality are equivalent to laws against racial vilification and Holocaust denial. Facebook turns a blind eye to racist rants

Facebook has refused to ban controversial groups that deny the Holocaust, and instead will ‘attempt to block the groups from being viewed by users in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal’.

“For example, homosexual content is illegal in some countries, but that does not mean it should be removed from Facebook,” it said.

Facebook’s argument is that they should not ban homosexual references from their site just because some counties make homosexuality illegal. Fair enough.

Homosexuality does not, however, in and of itself harm others.

Sites based on “Jews are snakes and they are liars, they are the biggest disease this planet has ever endured” on the other hand do cause harm: that’s why Australia and many other countries have anti racial vilification laws. Have a read of Immigration minister brings rats to Australia.

Holocaust denial is, because of the overwhelming, factual evidence of the Holocaust, a form of racial vilification (see Ahmadinejad: an old-fashioned Jew hater).

February 28, 2009

Pride or prejudice

Filed under: race relations — Nayano @ 7:51 am
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I often refer to the Harvard Implicit Project online test to detect unconscious preferences/isms/prejudice in these pages. Clearly, I am impressed by it. (Also see Not a racist? You are a fool or a liar.

Pete Jones, however, has recently sent comments that I thought I should post on the front page here, since I doubt if many of you go through the archives much!

Here is the conversation so far:

Pete Jones
Harvard should be more careful in pointing out that their ‘scores’ mean absolutely nothing the in the real world ( See Blanton and Jaccard 2005, 2006). A ‘strong’ or ‘moderate’ preference is just that, a preference, and there is no evidence that even strong scores make you ‘racist’;. People make this assumption despite the warnings on the site.

Thanks for your comment, Pete – and it’s a good point.
I am about to have a look at Blanton and Jaccard 2005, 2006!
I still think the test is worthwhile as a wakeup call’.

Pete Jones
Hart Blanton has the papers on his web site; http://blanton.socialpsychology.org/

I think that in the desire/rush to get data for their test Harvard have allowed it to become a ‘fairground attraction’. If you look at an article in the European Review of Social Psychology (2008, 19, 285-338) you will see that there are over 20 potential contaminants just in the way different people approach the test which this large scale testing cannot control for. So, when you get a result it should be taken with a large pinch of salt and remember that they are not saying you are racist. In fact research suggests that only a few % of people are strongly racist and about 20% have a more controlled racism which generally they manage and don’t consciously let impinge on others. And that is the rub (as Shakespeare said?), as almost half of people leave the Harvard site believing they are ‘racist’ when in fact that is a gross over estimation IMHO.

Thanks for all the information, Pete.
I haven’t had time to read it all yet – is that true that almost half the users leave the site ‘believing they are racist’?
People I have spoken to who have done the test are often shocked by their results, but don’t say that therefore they are racist. Instead they have something profound to think about. But of course all that is just anecdotal.
As I think that I have already said, (sorry if I am repeating myself): I think that all sorts of ‘ism’s are endemic, and most happen ‘under the radar’, and so I welcomed a means to at least become more self-aware.

Pete Jones
That is exactly right Nayano, but I monitor the web chat on the test and most people start the post with some expression that they have discovered they are racist.

The bottom line is the test raises awareness and then people can think about what they might want to do about it? My concern is that the measurement isn’t probably isn’t suitable to be used with 14 million people (as it has been since 1998) if numbers are leaving thinking it says they are racists/sexist etc.

PLEASE – leave your comments on the test

February 24, 2009

Not a racist? You are a fool or a liar

Filed under: race relations — Nayano @ 6:29 am
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It is easy to be horrified by overt racism. But there is much racism of which we are unconscious. (Test your unconscious prejudices)

Michael Shaw of the Huffington Post says

“Show me any person who says he does not consider race in his words, actions or deeds, and I will show you  either a fool or a liar”. In Defense of Racism

Michael gives a heartbreaking quote from Jesse Jackson:

“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery-then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Tara Sena-Becker, tongue in cheek, says that it is a universally recognised truth that kidnappers prefer blondes. Kidnappers prefer blondes

She is referring to the awful oddity that, in the US, disappearances of white girls such as Jon-Benet Ramsey obsess the media for years, but South American, African and Asian girls are given barely a passing glance.

Sena-Becker  says:

“When viewing such images, it soon becomes apparent that not just any young woman is qualified to be a victim. There are specific criteria that must be met before she can even plausibly be considered.”

Are non-white victims of crime invisible in Australia too?
Share your views in the Comments.

February 12, 2009

Colour bar or chocolate bars?

Filed under: humour,race relations — Nayano @ 8:01 am
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In celebration of the birthday of Charles Darwin, and in memory of the many many millions who have suffered because of the mistaken ideology of the natural superiority of colour over another, we are having a MIDWEEK FUNDAY!

The following is from the No real Topic blog:

M&M Natural Selection: Survival of the fittest M&Ms
(from someone who definitely has too much time on their hands)
Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the “loser,” and I eat the inferior one
immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive
long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3×5 card reading, “Please use this M&M for breeding purposes.”

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this “grant money.” I have set aside the weekend for a grand
tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

Do you need to take a tablet for your bigotry?
Or test your prejudices?

February 6, 2009

Take a Tablet for your bigotry

Filed under: human rights — Nayano @ 1:28 pm
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‘Ten Commandments for fighting bigotry’ appeared in a recent essay by Dr Dvir Abramovich on Online Opinion.

I have selected the two I like the best to reprint here (Check the original article and see if you agree with my choice):

Look in the mirror

What assumptions do you carry? Are you quick to label people? What is your unresolved prejudice?

Get help with this by clicking here

Stand up

Don’t be indifferent when you witness racism or any kind of prejudice. Apathy may be viewed as acceptance.

The Australian government is giving us a chance to ‘stand up’ with the National Human Rights Consultation, offering everyone a chance to speak out on human rights in Australia.

I reckon that using the Internet is a great tool for many things, including fighting our own and others’ bigotry.  I found this quote about the power of the free press (and no press is freer and more equal than the web) on the Kakuma refugee camp blog

“One way to begin to address the evils of [refugee] camps is to create feedback mechanisms…If a free press spreads among the hundreds of camps in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and appears on the World Wide Web, indeed a feedback mechanism will have been established.”

-Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond, refugee rights advocate and founder of the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre / “Speaking for Refugees or Refugees Speaking for Themselves”

January 15, 2009

Are you politically incorrect?

Filed under: race relations — Nayano @ 3:37 pm
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How do you formulate your opinions?

How do you formulate your opinions?

Does 12 noon mean 12 noon, and not one minute different?

Does 12 noon mean 12 noon, and not one minute different?

traveling1I found these politically incorrect (and funny) images at Sociological images: seeing is believing (thanks for the tip, Henrik!)

Cultural stereotyping is based on reality. Geert Hofstede has conducted large scale research across cultures, and found distinct differences which he describes under five dimensions:

Power distance

Individualism & collectivism

Masculinity & femininity

Uncertainty avoidance

Short term & long-term orientation

You can compare your home culture with others on these dimensions at Geert Hofsted Cultural Dimensions

Acknowledging difference can lead to stereotyping and prejudice. Pretending difference does not exist, however, is political correctness of the most destructive sort.

January 9, 2009

Are you prejudiced or just nihilist?

Filed under: Integration,race relations — Nayano @ 11:24 am
Tags: ,

The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington in the early 1990s (you can have a browse inside the book at Amazon) has had a lot of airplay and influence because of its controversial stance and because of its broad sweep of world cultures. Huntington says, in brief, that future conflicts would likely be fought over cultural or religious differences, not  between states or for political or economic reasons. “The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” (For an article about his ideas go to Online Opinion)

Barak Obama, in Dreams From My Father, doesn’t see terrorists as representing any religious culture, and instead he sees nihilism “the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still”. Nihilism is found in every religious and cultural group.

The ‘clash’ as Obama sees it, is between “those who embrace our teeming, colliding, irksome diversity, while still insisting on a set of values that binds us together, and those who would seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, a certainty and simplification that justifies cruelty towards those not like us”.

Perhaps we need a test of unconscious nihilism?

January 7, 2009

Test your (!) prejudices

Filed under: race relations — Nayano @ 7:55 am
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Nick Haslam writes a diatribe What’s wrong with Islamophobia against the idea that calling prejudices ‘phobias’, as in ‘Don’t like gays? – must be homophobic’; ‘Hate foreigners? Must be suffering from xenophobia’. Nick says that these prejudices are just that, and have nothing to do with ‘phobia’. (In an recent article, our state newspaper, the Adelaide Advertiser, intentionally or unintentionally induced phobic reactions to the young Sudanese in our city by publishing an article that implied that most, if not all knife violence is perpetrated by them)

He says that ‘prejudice towards gays, immigrants, asylum-seekers and Muslims is coloured by complex moral emotions, not simple fears’.

Do you want to test your own, complex, unconscious prejudices?
WARNING: you may be shocked by the results of these tests devised by Project Implicit of Harvard University.

They take no more than 10 minutes and are impossible to cheat. (But perhaps you are not racist, just nihilist?)

Share your results in the comments.
Guess mine!

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