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Author Topic: Tracing racism in Toronto
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 13 November 2003 07:46 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Racism, it seems, is a subject that many of us have great difficulty talking about. Certainly, those who perpetrate racism are usually incapable of either recognizing or admitting their culpability. Likewise, many people who suffer from racism - which can be defined as the discrimination which stems from prejudice due to skin colour - are unwilling to blow the whistle. This is usually due to a complex set of reasons which include feelings of intense humiliation, rejection and alienation. Such people are also unwilling to chance hearing the tired refrain of "acting like a victim" or "playing the race card". Ironically, this lends to a bizarre union between the racist and the victim which I term the "the twin denial of racism".

Truthforce


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
julie_eliot
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4634

posted 13 November 2003 10:05 PM      Profile for julie_eliot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Nobody wants to talk about it?! We could take up the "Looks like a Mayor" issue without having to deal with "the airport" now that that's settled.

I found it disconcerting to see the number of ways in which Miller supporters were able to justify this ad, toss it off as "bad judgement" and even recognize the racism in it but support him anyway. As the Miller supporter below articulates. To me the issue of the physical bridge is secondary to the bridging of communities within the city.

"That being said, I reacted poorly when I first saw Miller's ad -- I thought, what the hell does that mean? I agree it was probably intended to play up how he actually "talks like a neighbour", but frankly, the ad actually is racist. It shows little consciousness of what racism is, likewise, the defense that "it was intended that way". Our intentions are not a reliable guide to whether or not we are racist, when we are living in a society whose language, culture, institutions, and basic assumptions are racist. Can anyone seriously imagine that text running if Miller were a black woman? I think it highly unlikely. The assumptions behind the ad are, in fact, racist and sexist. They are invisible because that's how racism and sexism work. The dominant group is normal in every respect, and its entitlements are also normal.

That being said, we have to look at the overall context of living in a racist society, and where we find allies. On balance, Miller is a very progressive guy, although he and his campaign are clearly in need of some consciousness-raising."

Yes change is in the air . . . and the whole bypassing of this issue makes me feels very uncomfortable about what this really means.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 13 November 2003 10:34 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Julie, is there anything else in Miller's background or record, anything else in his campaign, that suggests Miller is racist or insensitive? If not then it looks like the leaflet is an anomoly.
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
julie_eliot
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4634

posted 14 November 2003 04:31 PM      Profile for julie_eliot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft:
Julie, is there anything else in Miller's background or record, anything else in his campaign, that suggests Miller is racist or insensitive? If not then it looks like the leaflet is an anomoly.

. . . and you don't think the Miller camp would have taken John Tory to town if it had been his ad. That's what troubles me.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2077

posted 14 November 2003 07:10 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by julie_eliot:

Can anyone seriously imagine that text running if Miller were a black woman?


Sure, why not?
quote:

The assumptions behind the ad are, in fact, racist and sexist.


Bull. The ad had nothing to do with race.
It was a play on the "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's probably a duck" saying.

This is oversensitive politically-correct witch hunting. Next someone will say that Miller's "great hair" ads were discriminatory against bald people. Or maybe they're racist too, because he has wavy blonde hair.

[ 14 November 2003: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 15 November 2003 12:37 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Julie, is there anything else in Miller's background or record, anything else in his campaign, that suggests Miller is racist or insensitive? If not then it looks like the leaflet is an anomoly.

. . . and you don't think the Miller camp would have taken John Tory to town if it had been his ad. That's what troubles me.


So your answer is no then.

[ 15 November 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 15 November 2003 09:34 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I find it interesting that Julie is telling us how the that Miller campaign ad made her feel as a woman of colour, and people seem to be getting really hyper-defensive about it. I'm sure Miller didn't MEAN to say, or even ASSUMES that, a mayor has to be a white man.

But if that's the perception his ad has created for people who are not white or not men (don't forget, Wilfred Day was saying that his wife felt the same way when she read it, and frankly, I see her point), then we should be listening to that perception instead of shutting down the people who are saying it.

I DON'T think that was the intent of the ad. But as Rasmus said in another thread, the reason the ad works so well is because "older white male in a suit" fits people's perception of an authority figure, and someone who can run organizations well - because that's who mostly DOES run things.

I don't think it's hyper-political correctness to point this out.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3278

posted 15 November 2003 11:03 AM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My sentiments too Michelle. Julie_Eliot raises some very good points points. Those who slagged her as "Dini-reborn" ought to apologize.
quote:
On balance, Miller is a very progressive guy, although he and his campaign are clearly in need of some consciousness-raising."

I think that sums up Miller quite well and the state of the left in general. Concsciousness raising is not a one time deal either. It's a life-long pursuit because the flip side of racism is white privilege which whether we want to admit it or not is always in play in Canada.

Racism is not a matter of opinion although it can be very complex like the legal clinic issues being discussed elsewhere.

Even the NDP is not immune. The thought that they would do business with the likes of Bill Murdoch in order to get party status makes my skin crawl.
Murdoch leads march against Native woman selling fish
More details

[ 15 November 2003: Message edited by: Non-partisan partisan ]


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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