Are the British Naturally Racist?
Seoirse - 1352nd post - 9 Nov 2004 09:19 BBC Today board.
Given the history of the British are they 'naturally' racist, arrogant or just self protective and greedy? [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Little Richardjohn - 307th post - 9 Nov 2004 11:14
How could they be anything else, strictly speaking. 'Given the history'.
An Empire built on slavery combined with the belief that we had the right to relieve anyone of their property if they were of an inferior race, plus the popularly accepted scientific wisdom of the time that black people were nearer to apes than humans, and you get a society with certain attitudes.
Add to that the divisive pressure of the labour market, which relentlessly sets each new group of workers in a country against each other by forcing them to compete for the lowest wages, and of course you breed racism into the culture.
Racism is one of the cogs of a competitive economic system. It is now apparent in attitudes to Eastern Europeans in London. People seeking a better standard of living are prepared to work for less money and put up with inferior living conditions while they work their way up. This puts them in direct competition with the resident working class, which has wider and more expensive family and property commitments, and frightens the classes with any property at all because they see the potential for more crime in a new input of hungry people with no real emotional attachments (yet) in their new country.
The people with lots of property watch the rest of us squabble amongst ourselves and laugh all the way to the bank as we try to undercut one another's wages.
Economic pressures work to create a stigma around difference, and if you're black at all, this is a great help to the process of alienation.
Until this is generally understood, we will all, black or white, and from whatever country, be prone to racism.
The British however have more historical and cultural damage to repair. The role of racism in creating the country is inescapable, and must have had deep effects when passed on from generation to generation.
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re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Man Thursday - 53rd post - 9 Nov 2004 12:50
Beat your pigeon-breast by all means I am happy to be English.
I say give England back to English so we can repair the cultural damage done to us! Give us what you would give them.
Remember these racists freed Europe, surely decent racists would have helped Hitler enslave the world, Europe was his price.
"What exactly is liberty? First and foremost, surely, it is the power of a thing to be itself."
Let us be ourselves, for surely that is why other races come to us?
PS: The Empire was built on TRADE, so under slaves include the English agricultural worker and factory hand and don't just think black. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Little Richardjohn - 320th post - 9 Nov 2004 14:19
The Empire was built on exploitation. Until you stop defending it as some kind of Charity for the rest of the world you will never understand what racism is.
Many of the soldiers who fought Hitler were racist. Read up on that for yourself. Are you trying to say that the soldiers who had been lynching blacks in Alabama and Tennessee became cleansed of their condition because of Hitler?
But this was about Britain. And I know that my Father, who fought in the war and was at D-Day was racist to his bones. It was inevitable given his upbringing.
He tried to fight it, tempered it (partly because it was seen as not respectable to flaunt it in the 50's with Colin Jordan and his mob still swanking about) but it was always there.
Not only that, but 30 years after his death, it is still there. We're talking about regional Britain here. The good old backbone of the nation. Small town Britain. Which, once you get under the surface, is as racist and bigoted as small-town America. Anyone who denies this lives in a riverside apartment in Chelsea or a Georgian terrace in Islington.
As for slavery. I do include my grandfather, who didn't see daylight for ten months of the year in order to fuel the Steamships and railways of the Glorious British Empire. And all of his contemporaries. It doesn't alter the innate racism of the capitalist labour market. And worse, pretending to sympathise with the treatment of the working class as a cheap distraction from the real issue does nothing for your case.
'Give England back to the English' - what IS it supposed to mean? As reactionary gobbledegook goes, that is unusually lame. You throw out who, exactly? The Normans?
The reality is that every country on the planet is now part of the same market. The computer has been invented. So the market for labour is also global. And until the oil runs out and transport becomes more expensive, that's the way it's going to be. Polish landscape gardeners and bus drivers, Hungarian check-out girls and barstaff, the works.
Get used to it.
It's what the robber barons of the fabulous English Victorian Golden Age would have wanted: the cheapest labour available. And of course, they got exactly that by stealing India. That was the British Empire.
So what's your problem? You can't object to business trying to maximise its profits by cutting its labour costs surely? That's communism! You're nothing but a closet communist. A wolf in sheep's clothing. That or very confused. But then anyone who claims that the English have a collective identity at all is obviously confused.
You want 'liberty' and 'freedom' and for the state to get off your back and then you turn round and demand that it intervenes at a drastic level in the labour market and commits mass ethnic cleansing. Some free society.
A society is not a queue. And 'We were here first.' is a pointless and sterile motto for one. [reply] [Complain about this post
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Pixellated Bunny - 181st post - 11 Nov 2004 12:47
*Does little Jerry Springer-style hand movements*
"Go Littlejohn! Go Littlejohn! Go Littlejohn!" [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? FIFA Baghdad - 425th post - 9 Nov 2004 13:39
"and if you're black at all, this is a great help to the process of alienation."
Utter nonsense, you are living in the past; show you are different and don't try to integrate like muslims, that will get you (quite rightly) alienated, but then that is your goal. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Seoirse - 1369th post - 9 Nov 2004 14:38
Little Richardjohn: This is the way this question should be approached, not deviating into world war statistics etc. Eventually the British will reticfy their problems instead of looking back all the time. Looking Back Holds Them Back. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Milton Crofts - 187th post - 9 Nov 2004 12:52
Nobody is naturally racist. Poeple aren't born racist and neither do they wake up one day to find themselves disliking somebody with different colour skin.
Racial prejudice has probably existed for thousands of years but racism is a political category that is particular to the era of the nation state. The nation state is, by definition, exclusive. Those who rule a nation state put the interests of those within its boundaries before the interests of those from outside. This assumption of superiority is what lies at the root of racism. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Little Richardjohn - 344th post - 11 Nov 2004 12:41
Wouldn't 'chauvinism' be the key word here?
Isn't that what we're really talking about?
I don't really believe that even the people who say they are racist REALLY believe in racial superiority, they just hate the sight of black people, for all sorts of reasons.
To call it racism.. it's something about the ism.. is to make it seem more intellectual than it is. We're not dealing with weirdos in white coats pawing skulls in a cellar in Bavaria.
It's just good old fashioned bigotry spread wide. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Milton Crofts - 192nd post - 11 Nov 2004 13:15
Unfortunately prejudice, bigotry and chauvanism all exist in society and should be challenged. But these are very different to racism (no I don't ilke "isms" either but you've got to call it something!)
Racism occurs when a particular prejudice is used systematically to deny democratic rights to certain sections of the population. And this comes from the top down. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Are the British Naturally Racist? Little Richardjohn - 346th post - 11 Nov 2004 14:14
It's just that the prejudices take the same form against Poles and Africans.
In practice (practise?) it doesn't seem to have much to do with race.
Any outsider is branded dirty, ignorant, and a threat to the fabric of society. Unless they're rich, and then they're steadfast, hard working and respectable pillars of entrepreneurialism.
I think it is a little imprecise to use the word to describe what's wrong with Britain.
According to the particular economic explanantion of racism which I agree with, 'racism' isn't about race, but about competition.
Race is just a useful blind alley which distracts debate from the economic issues which really effect the way we treat each other. [reply] [Complain about this post