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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi BS: Schoolyard bullying (85* d) RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying 31 Oct 09


When I wrote that post, I didn't mean to imply that it would be a racist act for a White child to use a taunt that included a racial term against a Person of Color but that it wouldn't be a racist taunt if-for instance-a Black child used a taunt that included the same, similar, or another racial term against a person of his or her same race.

I was thinking about whether a taunt that included a racial slur met any of these definitions of racism:

Racism:
-the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races

-discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=racism

and

-The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.

-The belief that one race is superior to all others.

-Prejudice or discrimination based upon race

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/racism

-snip-

With regard to taunts, I think that the question of intentions has to be considered, but that absolutely doesn't mean that just because a person didn't intend to cause harm, harm didn't occur.

I believe that when children taunt other children, they do indeed mean to hurt them. People who taunt lash onto that which they think will hurt-in the case of "racial taunts" that means talking negatively about another person's race or ethnicity. Notice I wrote racial taunts and not racist taunts. I think this distinction is important. And I definitely believe that every mention of race or ethnicity isn't racist.

It seems to me that adults are already tip-toeing around any mention of race/ethnicity. Is that approach what we really want for our children?

I believe that one reason why adults are reluctant to mention race or ethnicity (using the American meaning of "Latino/Hispanic" and perhaps also other meanings of "etnnicity") is that they are afraid of causing offense by either using a term that isn't current, or by someone interpreting their use of a racial term to mean that they don't believe that all races are equal.

I believe that this so-called "color blind" approach is absolutely the wrong goal. Instead of a goal of "color blindness", it seems to much better goal would be working for a time when race/ethnicity are just descriptors that would have no positive or negative valuations.


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