Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby elasto » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:12 am UTC

More downloaders than tv viewers, apparently

Interesting how the tone is shifting slightly on piracy also. Can't imagine some of these statements being made even 5 years ago:

- Game of Thrones director David Petrarca said the show thrives on “cultural buzz” in part generated by pirates;
- Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that Game of Thrones’ status as the most pirated show was “better than an Emmy;”
- Netflix stated that it uses piracy statistics to determine what types of shows to produce or license;
- Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said piracy "helped... in terms of brand awareness."

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby K-R » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:14 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Elementary has a bigger audience even when you add in torrents of Game of Thrones, though.

Yes, but that takes effort. I wouldn't have ever bothered torrenting Elementary, but I flicked over because it was on and there wasn't much else to watch. Presumably, there are people who would watch Game of Thrones if all it took was changing the channel, but wouldn't go to the effort of subscribing to HBO/torrenting/buying the DVDs/whatever.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:45 am UTC

It's not really important whether, all things being equal, Elementary or Game of Thrones would have more viewers. The point was simply that Elementary is very successful. I only brought up the GoT comparison at all because it had been made previously.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:29 am UTC

I guess that the success of elementary shows that money can be made - so more will be made, but I'm not convinced.

I do wonder though, whether the perceived "white washing" of american culture is more driven by "white viewers" or by simply providing the most widely enjoyed actors. I wonder whether the relative "whiteness" of irrelevent coloured characters is just a manifestation of that racial attractiveness survey (which also alongside the obvious financial incentives for "oriental", sorry I'm british, characters actually plays very well to the male viewer...)

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:38 am UTC

If white actors are significantly more enjoyed than PoC, that's still racism. I know you'll come up with any excuse you can so the people running corporations don't turn out to be the racists, but none of those excuses eliminate racism from the picture entirely, they just move it around.

But it's also simply not true, as I pointed out previously with the top-grossing actors and movies. If people just enjoy white actors more, why is Will Smith in more of the top-grossing movies than anyone else?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:15 pm UTC

It could still be racism to enjoy non-white actors. "Ha! Look at that boy Sammy Jackson, look how dangerous the average N***** is! Good thing he isn't in OUR neighborhood!" One of the early chapters of Invisible Man was in part about how the rich old white guys would be entertained by the speeches of equality.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:24 pm UTC

Well sure. My point was that it's definitely racist to only enjoy white actors, not that that's the only way to be racist.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:25 pm UTC

leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:29 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?

leady wrote:coloured characters

Looks like.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:34 pm UTC

What if you don't enjoy the nonwhite actors that Hollywood puts out, or they way they are used? I mean, Marlon Wayans was great in Requiem for a Dream, he's obviously a capable actor, but except for that him being in a movie is a massive warning that it's going to suuuck.

And from a while back, when we were discussing how only white women can be thought of as powerful actresses, isn't that mainly because, aside from there being few serious female roles to begin with, the serious roles there are are not given to black women? I wonder exactly what the reasons for that are. I sincerely hope the answer isn't because black people would rather watch Tyler fucking Perry.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You're begging the question by assuming it's risky in the first place.
No, I'm stating a possibility. Providing an alternative theme to your racist theme. I have no way of knowing if HP is racist or not. I state though, that the relative makeup of that cast is a poor indicator. And that the race breakdown of the cast is what you might expect from a casting director trying to balance the cast with an eye on the makeup of society overall.
gmalivuk wrote:Yes, that might be how producers and publishers and bookstores rationalize their racism, but it doesn't mean it's true.
Your default is that what you see indicates racism. My default view is that if what you see is racist, or sexist, speaks more to what happens off camera and to the demographic you chase than what you see happening before your eyes.
gmalivuk wrote:Edit: If it is such a risk, why haven't other shows with PoC characters in interracial relationships failed? If TOS wasn't successful because of Uhura, why didn't I Love Lucy fail? Why is Elementary so successful, beating out even Game of Thrones, if audiences are really put off by a WoC main character? It's too bad no one watched the Last Airbender with all its canonically nonwhite characters, so the movie version had to be all Caucasion to be so much more well received...
TOS didn't fail just because of one black cast member however in the years when it was made, you can be sure some members of a captive audience didn't watch it because of it. Desi Arnez looked white, nuff said. Had he been of Mayan descent you may have see a less successful run. Lucy Liu brought an established brand to the table. An consider that they chose the safe course, what if Holmes had been a blond female and Watson had been a Chinese male? And the show is more popular than Thrones simply because it is more accessible. I suspect if Thones was to air as is on commercial TV it would blow Elementary out, assuming that mommies and daddies allowed the babies to watch.(disclosure, I watch neither, I have seen more than enough pablum)
gmalivuk wrote:I'm not talking about tokenism, either, and you can't change that just by declaring otherwise.
Then I'm not sure what your point is. We have long since passed the point where we need to count heads, race wise(although I bet that casting directors do so) for background characters.

In 1968 a movie called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ran. It was about an interracial couple, black male and young blond. Great movie. Made lots of money. Look at the awards it won, 2 Oscars, 9 nominations, nominated for a bunch of Golden Globes, and won two BAFTA's. Sidney Poitier might as well have been invisible(he was the guess who). King was assassinated that year. That is racism.

gmalivuk wrote:But it's also simply not true, as I pointed out previously with the top-grossing actors and movies. If people just enjoy white actors more, why is Will Smith in more of the top-grossing movies than anyone else?
Because he has good numbers. They would put a rutting Billy Goat in the lead if they thought that they could make money. But no movie is representative of anything other than the demographic it is targeted at. Was Star Wars racist?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:38 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If white actors are significantly more enjoyed than PoC, that's still racism. I know you'll come up with any excuse you can so the people running corporations don't turn out to be the racists, but none of those excuses eliminate racism from the picture entirely, they just move it around.

But it's also simply not true, as I pointed out previously with the top-grossing actors and movies. If people just enjoy white actors more, why is Will Smith in more of the top-grossing movies than anyone else?


Surely there comes a stage were you have to acknowledge that "preference" is not equal to "racism" otherwise the term is meaningless.

On the second point, these preferences are likely to pretty minor in western countries but enough so that they shift the mean and variance enough to result in a perceived underrepresentation. Ergo Will Smith is a reality a rarer outlier (although I think the stats earlier showed almost a spot on match anyway) in a crowd of outliers. Couple this will the probable reality that in order to become an actor you have to take a life risk that really needs middle class parents and you can probably explain away all the gap without needing individually racist movie makers.

And aged 50+?
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?


only in grouchiness - Asian just has a completely different geographic dimension to it in the UK. East asian I guess is the accepted term these days? I'll add it to my list...

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:40 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?

leady wrote:coloured characters

Looks like.


Lol, I'll give you that out of context quote because it made me laugh :)

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:25 pm UTC

leady wrote:East asian I guess is the accepted term these days? I'll add it to my list...
Please do.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:59 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:What if you don't enjoy the nonwhite actors that Hollywood puts out, or they way they are used? I mean, Marlon Wayans was great in Requiem for a Dream, he's obviously a capable actor, but except for that him being in a movie is a massive warning that it's going to suuuck.

And from a while back, when we were discussing how only white women can be thought of as powerful actresses, isn't that mainly because, aside from there being few serious female roles to begin with, the serious roles there are are not given to black women? I wonder exactly what the reasons for that are. I sincerely hope the answer isn't because black people would rather watch Tyler fucking Perry.


My hypothesis is that lowbrow shit sells. See also, Adam Sandler. Or, any number of other stuff. In fact, look at what's in your theatre right now. At least SOME of it is likely garbage. Usually a pretty good proportion.

I mean, yes...I hate the crap out of the Transformers series, and Michael Bay is not know for intellectualism...but his stuff sells. Hell, I'm probably going to go watch TMNT, because nostalgia, and hate myself afterward. Quality is not the only way to make money. Asylum Films turns profits on it's films more regularly than any big hollywood studio does.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

leady wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?
leady wrote:coloured characters
Looks like.
Lol, I'll give you that out of context quote because it made me laugh :)
Which part of the context would make the phrase, "coloured characters," less racist?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:06 pm UTC

This post had objectionable content.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:17 pm UTC

Really stupid films exist because people will pay to see them.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby speising » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:25 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
leady wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?
leady wrote:coloured characters
Looks like.
Lol, I'll give you that out of context quote because it made me laugh :)
Which part of the context would make the phrase, "coloured characters," less racist?

wait, is "coloured characters" more racist than your "PoC"? if so, why?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:39 pm UTC

Because that's what the speech community (and in particular the PoC community) has decided, same with the meanings and connotations of literally all words ever.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby speising » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:49 pm UTC

to my ears, both expressions perpetuate the same false dichotomy between "white" and "everything else". like "men" and "animals". you can't fight racism as long as you insist of lumping all groups together like that.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:04 pm UTC

leady wrote: East asian I guess is the accepted term these days?


We've always been at war with them.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:14 pm UTC

speising wrote:to my ears, both expressions perpetuate the same false dichotomy between "white" and "everything else".
Sure, but that just means that dichotomy isn't the reason "colored" is seen as racist, so it's kind of irrelevant.

The thing about a lot of aspects of natural language, and especially connotations, is that you can't just logic yourself to the correct answer. There's no logical reason why "colored person" is more racist than "person of color", just like there's no logical reason "old" is more negative than "elderly", or why "childish" is bad while "childlike" is good.

(Though with terms for minorities, it's in part a consequence of the euphemism treadmill, where because racism still exists, words for a particular group of people eventually take on negative connotations because they're used pejoratively by racists (or during a more racist time period), so new terms come into play. Like all words they are essentially arbitrary, and are mostly preferred simply because they haven't yet acquired the negative connotations of their predecessors.)
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:29 pm UTC

Might be getting off topic, but how do we combat the euphemism treadmill? I mean, I cringe whenever someone tries to use "handicapable" or worse, "differently abled". We are all "differently abled", now what is wrong with your son? I would suggest sticking with whatever was originally in place, but calling people "cripples" seems wrong, and even that was a euphemism for "lame".

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:33 pm UTC

The only way the treadmill could stop is if the underlying stigma does, really.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?

As far as I'm aware "Oriental" has never been a pejorative in the UK and is still a widely accepted term for East Asians (in contrast to "Asian", which in the UK refers to people from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh). But I don't know, perhaps some of the American stigma associated with the word has drifted over there.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The only way the treadmill could stop is if the underlying stigma does, really.


We could stop trying to enforce euphemism use, though.

Being crippled(or whichever the appropriate word is now), is...not desirable. It probably never will be desirable. We can mitigate some of that with tech, sure, but it'll probably always be seen as something to be avoided if possible. Same, same, mental handicaps or what not.

But we could avoid castigating someone merely for using a dated term when the statement is not otherwise objectionable(especially given that the treadmill does not inherently move at the same pace in all places).

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:08 pm UTC

Except dated terminology often corresponds to other dated ideas, which in the case of social change means generally more racist or sexist or ableist or whatever.

(And as in this case, what often happens is you can tell for a variety of other reasons that someone is hella racist, and lack of concern for what a group of people actually want to be called is just one easy-to-point-out example of that.)
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:19 pm UTC

Language does affect how we perceive the world. Removing inherent biases from our language, such as replacing "policeman" with "officer", is indeed a good thing. It also serves the purpose of enabling communication, which is the entire point of language. Changing "handicapped" to "person with disabilities" does nothing to remove biases and merely makes communication more difficult.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

If the people a word refers to feel hurt by the word, for whatever reason, then continuing to use that word after learning this fact means you are intentionally making those people feel hurt.

PC language may not magically remove bias, but it does seek to avoid hurting people who already face a great deal of marginalization as it is.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:55 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Except dated terminology often corresponds to other dated ideas, which in the case of social change means generally more racist or sexist or ableist or whatever.

(And as in this case, what often happens is you can tell for a variety of other reasons that someone is hella racist, and lack of concern for what a group of people actually want to be called is just one easy-to-point-out example of that.)


Being old often corresponds to having dated ideas too(and age, too, corresponds to viewpoints on social change), but we probably shouldn't make people feel bad for being old.

Mere correlation seems to be a poor metric here.

As for the rest, I have already specified "when the statement is not otherwise objectionable".

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
leady wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:
leady wrote:"oriental", sorry I'm british
And aged 50+?
leady wrote:coloured characters
Looks like.
Lol, I'll give you that out of context quote because it made me laugh :)
Which part of the context would make the phrase, "coloured characters," less racist?

...That he posts from a time machine?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:37 pm UTC

christ folks you're killing me here, but for the avoidance of doubt

I wonder whether the relative "whiteness" of irrelevant coloured characters is just a manifestation of that racial attractiveness survey


is referring to the frequency of a character being white were the ethnicity is an irrelevance to the character nothing more. It is not using the descriptor in the way that PoC is used.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:09 pm UTC

Ah, so the missing context was your use of "irrelevant" where "irrelevantly" would have made your intended meaning clear.

Damn Brits destroying our language.
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In any case, whether or not you want to continue the stupid argument about whether people preferring white actors over everyone else is really racist, the thread started out about "dominance". So even if you remain in denial that consistently preferring white people is racist, it most definitely contributes to and is an example of the underlying topic of white dominance.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

If I don't know you I use Sir or Mam(sorry I'm Southern). In other words I am polite and I try to be colorblind. Normally acronyms like PoC come up only in these types of contexts. If a person says I wish you refer to me as whatever, I acquiesce. Again I am polite, it is the cheapest thing I can do to show respect for the other person. I so get amused that people who will sweat bullets over what to call someone so as not to offend, have a problem with the simple concept of politeness, no matter who is on the other end. Particularly when they don't have to look them in the eye. It just seems inconsistent.
gmalivuk wrote:In any case, whether or not you want to continue the stupid argument about whether people preferring white actors over everyone else is really racist, the thread started out about "dominance". So even if you remain in denial that consistently preferring white people is racist, it most definitely contributes to and is an example of the underlying topic of white dominance.
How quaint. Then Chinese people preferring to see other Chinese people on the screen is racist? Is people of the Congo preferring to see other people of the Congo on the screen racist? And did you determine that white dominance is a fact, or is it something more complex than that.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:41 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:If I don't know you I use Sir or Mam(sorry I'm Southern). In other words I am polite and I try to be colorblind. Normally acronyms like PoC come up only in these types of contexts. If a person says I wish you refer to me as whatever, I acquiesce. Again I am polite, it is the cheapest thing I can do to show respect for the other person. I so get amused that people who will sweat bullets over what to call someone so as not to offend, have a problem with the simple concept of politeness, no matter who is on the other end. Particularly when they don't have to look them in the eye. It just seems inconsistent.
Who are you responding to with this? About what?

Making sure to call someone a word that won't offend them is polite.

gmalivuk wrote:In any case, whether or not you want to continue the stupid argument about whether people preferring white actors over everyone else is really racist, the thread started out about "dominance". So even if you remain in denial that consistently preferring white people is racist, it most definitely contributes to and is an example of the underlying topic of white dominance.
How quaint. Then Chinese people preferring to see other Chinese people on the screen is racist? Is people of the Congo preferring to see other people of the Congo on the screen racist? And did you determine that white dominance is a fact, or is it something more complex than that.
If they prefer to see people who look like them to the exclusion of people who don't, then yes, it's racist or at least xenophobic (depending on whether there's structural power to back it up, or whether you believe that's necessary for something to be racist).

If, on the other hand, it's because those people have the misfortune of living in the US where the majority of movies are about white men, so they leap at the refreshing chance to see the rare movie that isn't, then it's not racist or xenophobic, it's just wanting a bit of goddamn representation in one's entertainment.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:54 pm UTC

Actually Chinese people (in China) prefer white actors. They consider them prettier.

Just because you aren't white doesn't mean you can't be a white supremacist. Celebrate diversity...

Tyndmyr
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:59 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Actually Chinese people (in China) prefer white actors. They consider them prettier.


Which still sounds racist, granted.

But whatever. It's not that big a deal. It might be interesting to delve into why, and figure out, for instance, how much of that is connected to perceptions of quality film(Hollywood perhaps enjoying a better reputation than local moviemakers), or to some other source...but, in the end, while odd, it's probably not a huge concern. Just because two things are both racist doesn't mean they're equally large problems or whatever. I fear people sometimes treat "that's racist" as some sort of final judgement on something, rather than as an interesting data point to further explore.

morriswalters
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:39 pm UTC

@gmalivuk
To no one in particular.
gmalivuk wrote:If they prefer to see people who look like them to the exclusion of people who don't, then yes, it's racist or at least xenophobic (depending on whether there's structural power to back it up, or whether you believe that's necessary for something to be racist).
In a local sense if you exist as the majority ethnic group then you have at least local structural power. And given all the examples I have read about(not much of a world traveler), pretty much all the world is racist by any definition that you want to put out. You can wrap this around any number of closely related things. The dominant group wants things their way. I think it will cause an end to the human race eventually, but hell what do I know.
gmalivuk wrote:If, on the other hand, it's because those people have the misfortune of living in the US where the majority of movies are about white men, so they leap at the refreshing chance to see the rare movie that isn't, then it's not racist or xenophobic, it's just wanting a bit of goddamn representation in one's entertainment.
I wish them all the luck in the world. and if they can entertain me, I will donate some money to them for that particular privilege. If on the other hand that comes off as preachy or just doesn't reach me, than too bad. You can mandate anything except my right to be entertained in the way I enjoy. The thing is this, in the long term what might reduce white dominance is the niches that technology creates. Which creates opportunity for those movies to be made. Video on demand and movies released to DVD as two examples. Those books in book stores that you fussed about are another.

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bigglesworth
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:51 pm UTC

Derek wrote:As far as I'm aware "Oriental" has never been a pejorative in the UK and is still a widely accepted term for East Asians (in contrast to "Asian", which in the UK refers to people from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh). But I don't know, perhaps some of the American stigma associated with the word has drifted over there.
I've literally never heard the word used to describe a person in conversation (a vase or a jade sculpture, yes). Maybe it's present in the north, maybe it's present in white working class registers of English. But I've not encountered it. Since learning to talk around 1994, people haven't used it in my presence. I've only ever heard East Asian (or admittedly, 'Chinese' for anyone from anywhere in East Asia. But that has a habit of being correct for the vast majority of East Asians in the UK).
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.


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