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Episode 342 — Teaching Racist Stereotypes


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:55 PM

On today’s episode, Andrew and Tze Chun talk about whether teaching people racist stereotypes so they won’t be racist is indeed racist or not. Don’t forget to keep leaving us messages by calling (323) 389-RACE.

#2 Aliiias

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:54 AM

It's not racist at all to teach people about racist words or stereotypes, nor should we try to "forget" these words and stereotypes exist. We can try to move past the history of these things, but we should never forget. People can only be free when they know the truth, and that goes for everyone of every race.

Also, got a great laugh out of the "well, technically," bit.

#3 Inner G'

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:04 AM

View PostAliiias, on 21 February 2014 - 04:54 AM, said:

It's not racist at all to teach people about racist words or stereotypes, nor should we try to "forget" these words and stereotypes exist. We can try to move past the history of these things, but we should never forget. People can only be free when they know the truth, and that goes for everyone of every race.

Also, got a great laugh out of the "well, technically," bit.



And what function would it serve to never forget these words and stereotypes? To keep people upset with one another for no real reason?
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#4 Aliiias

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

View PosthugLife, on 21 February 2014 - 10:04 AM, said:



And what function would it serve to never forget these words and stereotypes? To keep people upset with one another for no real reason?


The purpose isn't to get people upset "for no real reason," it's to keep people informed. As I said, we can work towards moving past the history of hate behind these words and stereotypes, but of course this can only happen after society learns to be self-loving enough to correct all the injustices that are still happening today. But to completely forget that these words and stereotypes existed, is to essentially pretend an important part of history of how some people have hurt and oppressed others never happened.

#5 Inner G'

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:52 AM

I agree with what you are saying, except the part about stereotypes being an important part of history. Oppression, prejudice, discrimination, and racism are something that people need to learn about to prevent injustices from happening again, but stereotypes were kind of just a form of bad observational humor. They are founded in generalization, and are most frequently used as malicious jokes. I feel that bringing them up and pointing all of them out only allows certain people to laugh and think, "hey, that is kind of true," which will never be helpful in eliminating them in the end.
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#6 Aliiias

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:04 PM

I don't know if I agree with stereotypes being used mostly as humor. I kinda feel like a lot of stereotypes are used by groups in power to "justify" their terrible attitudes and behaviors, and I think this can leak into wider ways of hurting and oppressing others outside of bad jokes, e.g. harassment. And of course stereotypes aren't the only reason why horrible things like this happen, but they're not an insignificant factor, so I feel like learning the kinds of "justifications" people use at the time to defend themselves is an important angle to look at.

I can't think of a great specific example of this without opening a whole other can of worms, though, so I'm not entirely sure I should go into it.

You may be right, though. Maybe learning/teaching about stereotypes is still an overall negative thing regardless. I'm kind of going back and forth on this in my head at the moment and I don't feel entirely convinced one way or the other.

#7 Inner G'

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:25 AM

Well, for what I said about stereotypes being used for humor are all of the jokes about Polish people, Jewish people, Mexican people, the "white people do this, black people do this" jokes. Those are all based on stereotypes and people think that all jokes are based on some truth, so they are like, "Black people really do seem to like chicken a lot" while they are laughing at a joke.

A lot of the less noble comedians have made careers off of these "observations" such as Carlos Mencia and recently Daniel Tosh. Some people did this type of comedy well, like Dave Chappelle, who would try to deconstruct a stereotype in a joke. But there are a lot of crude people who try to entertain their friends with horrible jokes that are pretty mean. When I think of stereotypes, I think of people trying to use a joke that is a repackaged stereotype.

I personally feel like anything that is outside of the context of "jokes and observations" are not stereotypes as much as they are racist comments. In the example in the podcast of the kid being called a monkey, that wasn't a stereotype, but something that was used as a slur, which should not be forgotten about. Slurs are something that people should know the history of, so I agree with you on that.
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#8 Aliiias

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:12 AM

Ah, alright. Then I think it's mostly a semantics issue, because I'm with you about the stupid jokes. I don't think I mind these kinds of jokes in some specific contexts, as long as the joke is done well and it's not at the expense of the targeted demographic.

I suppose some terrible people can still read the joke the wrong way and see it as a justification to treat others in a certain way, but society has a long way to go until that's not a problem anymore.