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Old 2nd September 2019, 02:19 AM   #2345
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Not necessarily. Something can be racist if its effect is to promote racism. Motivation doesn't need to enter into it.
I think it makes much more sense to say that things that are racist are racist and things that promote racism... promote racism.

For example, when my sister announced her engagement to someone who wasn't white, my grandmother opposed the marriage and cried for days over it. She wasn't motivated by hatred of non-white people, her concern was for how people would treat my sister and her children. The effect is still racist even though her motivation wasn't.
That's not racism. It may be that she should be more concerned with defeating the problem of racism than with the potential effects on the wellbeing of her child (that you say she was worried about), but even that's not straightforward to me.

[quote[In this case if someone acknowledges Trump's racism but votes for him because he's going to stack a Supreme Court to overturn Roe V Wade (or whatever reason) they're essentially their issue, whatever it may be, is more important to them than racism.[/quote]

Yes. But that doesn't make them racist. I think racism is a very important concern. But if, for instance, we had two candidates, one who was as racist as Trump and another who wanted to start a nuclear war, I'd vote for the racist, because avoiding nuclear war is more important to me than preventing racism.

You might claim that those who care more about their issue than about racism are selfish, but racism is a different thing.

It's possible that they'd be less selfish if the people who stood to be harmed weren't people of colour, but were instead white, in which case I'd say that is racism, given that they'd be attributing more worth the people of one race than another based only on that quality (if someone values their friends or family members more than strangers, that's not racism).
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
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