Political Interest wrote:
I am a European man and through my life there have been incidents where accusations of perceived racism caused problems. The first time it nearly led to me getting my head kicked in. There was no guilt on my part, it did not pertain at all to race but it was perceived that way. It was a Chinese and Malay gang.
The second time was when a Chinese land lady and Chinese real estate agent were speaking in Cantonese during intense negotiations. When they were asked to speak in English so that we could all understand each other they claimed the request was racist.
Another incident occurred when I walked into a movie theatre two Chinese men sat in the back said, "Hey look, ang moh!"
When I was visiting Korea a local friend told me that the people were making offensive stereotypes about my race. When I asked him what they were he refused to tell me. I pressed him on it and he still refused. Clearly they must have been very offensive.
An Indian was once talking about how white men go to Asia for sex tourism and said, "You're part of it." By this I do not know whether he meant me personally or my nationality or what he meant. And this person also called my country's alliance with the USA and Australia an axis of evil.
Not long after moving to England a Pakistani man once told me that he thought white women were more sexually adventurous, to paraphrase it politely.
I once went into a live talk voice chat room of black nationalists. I was very interested in their ideas and the history. I had the pleasant experience of hearing a woman say how she thought all white men were homosexuals and pederasts.
And then there was the wonderful experience where two Russian who knew I was from an English speaking country said, "American boy. Hey, can I f***k your mother?"
In the past I never wanted to talk about these experiences because I was scared they could be used by the far right. But I think that in an intellectual setting like this it is important to share them. They did happen and I think there are some people who I trust to share them with.
So, I have had some experience. This has all led me to hate racial prejudice with all my heart. Good people will never be racist but there will always be some lower elements who like to indulge in it. But it has led me to think that the Western multicultural experiment was probably not the best or feasible idea. I don't really fit in anywhere into these discussions. I don't fit into the middle class sheltered liberal types who talked in the video Tainari posted but I also dont belong with the far right or racists. Most people are good people. There is no racism as sociological problem because it is not a question of whites or blacks. It's only good and bad people.
PI, if I may, I'd like to point out that there's been an *international history* of *oppression* of these ethnic backgrounds, in the persons of the vignettes of experience that you've described.
It's unfortunate if you've had some less-than-civil experiences regarding your own (arbitrary) cultural background, but you obviously should not be taking such incidents *personally* because it sounds like all of them, except for the Russians, were *strangers* to you and weren't commenting on you as an individual.
If this is the *worst* that you experience, due to rising consciousness of the imperialism and systematic oppression of these people's families and cultures, then that's certainly a small price to pay for what *your* ethnic predecessors have done to people of color from the 1500s onward.
I'm not saying that it's necessarily *appropriate*, since you are your own person, but it's certainly *understandable* when racism, sexism, and xenophobia *still* exist, and you happen to be of a culturally *hegemonic* demographic.
I'll also go so far as to say that your experience is even *regrettable*, politically speaking, because I don't think that there's anything to be 'gained' by members of historically-oppressed cultures 'venting' their cultural frustrations onto someone of your demographic, but the reality is that there isn't much else *out there* for them, either. If you were to trade places with some people from oppressed backgrounds, you might see how much *harder* everyday life is, relative to *your* relatively-privileged experience of it in this world.
What can people from historically-oppressed backgrounds *do* about their consciousness of their oppressed cultures and increased continued closeness to poverty and powerlessness, into the present-day? Can they *sue*? Can they lobby representatives in the corridors of power to alter government policy? Can they get *reparations*? (Can people *currently* furloughed by the coronavirus get reparations? Many of the checks just haven't arrived yet, if ever.)
If *you* want to go so far as to say that society is *fracturing* and that we may even be heading towards a *civil war*, I would *agree*, and it also might be entirely *appropriate*, at this stage of things. Whites have enjoyed unimaginable levels of social *privilege*, while experientially it just feels like being a fish swimming through water, to those who have benefitted from the status quo. The 'water', to extend the metaphor, has been *polluted*, with garbage at the bottom, and has caused life-experiences of *collisions* with garbage along the way, for those who *haven't* been socially privileged.
This society of inequality did *not* end after the '60s and '70s were over -- it *continues* to this day, and the *causes* of this festering caste system of social inequalities have *not* been significantly addressed or changed -- but they *can't* be, either, because it's *this* system, capitalism, that is the *cause* of all social ills, due to its inherent 'income inequality' / class division.
The way to *prove* that you're politically and really *not* around the far-right is to demonstrate *social consciousness* / global consciousness, particularly of the histories that would bring otherwise sane and intelligent people (of color) to *ridicule* you based on your outward appearance alone. I doubt that *anyone* would *want* to behave this way, but, again, there are real *frustrations*, from without, that box-people-in, in *their* experiences, resulting in the experiences that you've described.
Will you be able to *transcend* your own individuality, and personal experiences, PI?