Is this racist?

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Is this racist?

Postby chocolatefudgecake » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:59 pm

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Racism-claim-sparks-fury-as.5107221.jp

Apparently saying travellers (as in gypsy type travellers) create expense (by leaving their rubbish behind) is racist, even though they do. I can see where they are coming from, but you very rearly hear about travellers who don't create expense, and, if there is any, they should blame those who leave litter for the reputation, as the couple were only stating what happens.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby parnassus » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:08 pm

chocolatefudgecake wrote:http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Racism-claim-sparks-fury-as.5107221.jp

Apparently saying travellers (as in gypsy type travellers) create expense (by leaving their rubbish behind) is racist, even though they do. I can see where they are coming from, but you very rearly hear about travellers who don't create expense, and, if there is any, they should blame those who leave litter for the reputation, as the couple were only stating what happens.


Yes, I think it's racist for several reasons.

Firstly, everybody who drops litter creates expense. That's undeniable. But just how many of the people whom I've seen dropping their rubbish in the street or the park this past week were Gypsies? There are an awful lot of people out there who seem to think that the world is their personal dustbin, but no one suggests that their ethnicity has anything to do with their bad habits...unless they're a Gypsy, that is. And it is both untrue and highly offensive to suggest that a person's ethnicity causes negative behaviour.

The reason why you don't hear much about Gypsies who don't drop litter is because of the dangerous and deeply ingrained stereotypes that exist about Gypsy people. According to popular myth and prejudice, they're lazy, thieving, lying, and...dirty. Consequently, whenever a story about Gypsies is reported in the press, it is invariably about laziness, theft, lies, or...dirt.

My cousin married a Romani (Gypsy) man. They had quite some difficulty in finding a landlord willing to take them on because of her husband's ethnicity - it was assumed that he would always be behindhand on the rent. One landlord gave him a very condescending lecture on the importance of taking good care of a property, especially if it's not your own. The only reason that the landlord had for suspecting that he would be a negligent tenant was the fact that he was Romani.

His family still travels - I met a few dozen of his relatives when his mother died and they arrived for her funeral in their caravans. There was no dirt to be seen anywhere. After they had left the campsite you wouldn't have known that anybody had been there. These are people who will never make it into the newspapers, but who have to put up with the racist stereotypes every day of their lives.

As for Gypsies who do drop litter being responsible for the stereotyping, that's like saying that those of us with dyspraxia shouldn't complain when people accuse us of cheating in exams because we get extra time and other concessions - after all, some people do claim to have dyspraxia in order to cheat. This doesn't mean that the unfair accusations levelled against the rest of us should be treated as legitimate. We are all responsible for our own prejudices, and other people's behaviour (however bad) cannot be used as a justification for them.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby chocolatefudgecake » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:35 pm

Sorry if i've offended you're cousin & their husband. I wish their group would come round here instead of the one's we get. The problem is That the sites around here get left covered in litter, which the council then has to clean up - not just small amounts of litter, it lots. Not that i agree with small amounts either - i think they should stamp down on anyone dropping litter too.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Brian » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:03 pm

No its not, its saying what they do and the havoc they cause
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Qasim » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:04 pm

I don't believe it's racist.

Firstly, because they were telling the undeniable truth, that travellers create expense because of the cost of clearing up after them. Ask yourself, where is the negativity in that? Do you know this couple well enough to be able to say outright that they are Gypsy-haters? No-one has the right to judge people's intentions, especially if nothing they say is directly racist or harmful. The fact that 'something could be construed' as racist has nothing to do with it. These are tax-payers views, the same tax-payers who pay every year for the councils to clear up the mess, you can't discount 10% of the community because they don't like the mess Gypsies leave behind in certain areas, or the fact that they think gypsies don't give anything back to communities. They are effectively shunning these views, the perfectly legitimate concerns of good citizens, and making people lose faith in democracy.

Secondly, you have to differentiate between ethnic groups and travellers. The majority of ethnic groups in this country are not travellers, therefore I don't see why you make similarities, Vicky. If you change 'ethnicities' to 'cultures' then you may have a valid point. I live in a small town called Solihull. I go into Birmingham and see Asian's drop litter all the time. (I won't say from which country but areas of the city are heavily populated by people of one country) These people constantly treat the ground as their dustbin. But people of other cultures, and ofcourse ethnicities, don't. I know, I see it all the time. Would someone discount my true and proven views because they are seen as 'negative' in favour of an airy-fairy lie? Would someone dare to call me racist to a culture which I am supposed to relate to, being half Asian myself? They would be stupid to. But this is what's happening.

As for stereotyping, why even pay attention to it? I like to think I am above caring about people who talk with their mouths and not their brains. It's when the government does it, when they call views like this couple's 'negative', when they feel they have the power to create negative sentiment when there is none that something is seriously wrong.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby k9ruby » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:42 pm

I know alot of people will disagree, but unfortunatly my families experiences of Gyspys have only been negative.

They have mugged my little brother, tried to nick his bike on two seperate occassions, started having a go at my neighbour for no particular reason, parked in a forbbidan place near us, and left oodles of mess after them, including beer cans, remains of bins and broken glass. On another occasion they were the ones that left a abandoned dog by the side of a motorway where we live, thankfully a friend of mine and myself managed to help save it by taking it to the vets, going into tesco and buying 2 large roast chickens (it was completely emaciated).

Lets have a look at this statement:

travellers create expense because of the cost of clearing up after them

Yes, this is true. THESE travellers create expense because of cleaning up after THEM.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby chocolatefudgecake » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:43 pm

Qasim wrote:Secondly, you have to differentiate between ethnic groups and travellers. The majority of ethnic groups in this country are not travellers, therefore I don't see why you make similarities, Vicky. If you change 'ethnicities' to 'cultures' then you may have a valid point.


actually:
'Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised ethnic groups.


don't get me wrong, i get what Vicky is saying, I'm sure there are plenty of groups that don't litter and steal and stuff, but i think in this case what the couple is saying isn't racist.

However, This:
parnassus wrote:My cousin married a Romani (Gypsy) man. They had quite some difficulty in finding a landlord willing to take them on because of her husband's ethnicity - it was assumed that he would always be behindhand on the rent. One landlord gave him a very condescending lecture on the importance of taking good care of a property, especially if it's not your own. The only reason that the landlord had for suspecting that he would be a negligent tenant was the fact that he was Romani.

is definatly racist.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Qasim » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:40 am

'Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised ethnic groups.


Yes and their also travellers, which is my point. People's problems aren't their ethnicity (I'd like to think as a society most of us are past those age old fables) its what some groups of travellers leave for others to clean up that is the concern. I knew a gypsy once too, he passed away unfortunately a few years ago. He was a great man. But ofcourse, Catriona Riddell doesn't know this does she, yet she still makes judgements which allude to me harbouring negative vibes against Gypsies. It's an insult.

Coinciding with this topic, I wrote a short article this term for some work, on freedom of speech and how it is slowly being taken away from us:

I believe this country is turning into a place where soon you won't be able to state your own opinion without being wrist-slapped and gagged for doing so. Where to say something even remotely offending to a group of people , no matter whether it was intended or not motions an accusation of hate crime. Where society is so hushed and afraid to speak its mind that our nation will turn into a coop of blind chickens, and where in the end the government will be the only voice heard or followed.

The wheels are already in motion. An opinion is stated and people flock in their tens of thousands protesting against this or that. Because of what one person has said, or what somebody else has drawn. And for what? So that they can have a two minute expose on the news? Our laws and principles on freedom of speech remain practically the same, the only thing changing is our perception of how those principles should be practised. Our rights are being sacrificed by our fear that the flag being burned on the street could be our house, or that our bosses might not agree with us and fire us because we were brave enough to talk.

The root of the problem is anger, and the decadent belief that you're either 'with us or against us'. Instead of replying with intelligent, coherent answers, these days it is more fashionable to brand people racist and spit on them. Traditionally the biggest victims of this unruly behaviour are race and religion, and the statistic still holds. The anger, brought about by people who do not know how to hold democratic debate (let alone live in a democratic society) breeds the fear which stifles our voices. The saddest thing to note is that along with our voices, our freedom of speech is being stifled by these same people who spout fire out of their tongues.

Government, in their valiant attempts to address the situation have tried to put a moral lid on how public opinion should be expressed. It is this situation which has brought to popular use the term 'political correctness'. A battlefield of mines, spiked fences and loopholes where subtle hints are favoured in place of bare facts.This unhealthy form of democracy will take our country to a place where no one wants to be. To a place where social unrest will fester and expand until it finally reaches boiling point. Just who is it that judges what is politically correct? Does a rule get added to the list every time someone holds a grievance? I find it hard to believe our society has really reached the point where its inhabitants need somebody to tell them how to behave properly, and in parallel how the offended allow themselves to get so worked up over someone's opinion. This era needs to end. Laws shouldn't be made to appease angry people, because eventually everyone will find a cause to be angry.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby parnassus » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:13 am

Qasim wrote:I don't believe it's racist.

Firstly, because they were telling the undeniable truth, that travellers create expense because of the cost of clearing up after them.


It's not an undeniable truth, though.

Some Gypsies do drop litter (in the same way that some Scottish people drop litter, and some French people drop litter, and so on). But because of the actions of some members of the Gypsy community, residents of this town have attempted to block the establishment of a permanent camping site - which means that Gypsies across the country are going to be penalised for something that they didn't do. There are hardly any officially sanctioned camping grounds where Gypsies can stay for longer than a few days at a time, so their traditional way of life is already severely hampered. This is a form of collective punishment, and it is racist to defend it by suggesting that all Gypsies are basically the same. That is the underlying assumption at work here. It doesn't necessarily mean that the featured couple are Gypsy-haters, and I never claimed that it did. It's quite possible to hold racist attitudes without hating or even disliking people. In the case of Gypsies, the racist-but-nice line of thinking tends to go like this, "I'm sure they're lovely people, and I haven't got anything against them personally, but I just can't cope with their mess" - as if being a Gypsy and being dirty are one and the same thing.

Secondly, the few Gypsy sites that do have official recognition are often lacking in basic facilities, such as effective rubbish disposal and sanitation systems, which means that not all litter that is accrued on the site is actually the fault of the residents. To be given a dustbin by the council and to get bin men to come and collect your litter, you have to have a permanent address. You actually have to ring up and request a specially numbered bin. Because of the restrictions on where travelling Gypsies can live for prolonged periods, many of them don't qualify for their own bins. This is a problem that the Gypsy Council is trying to address, and it's not something that you will regularly hear discussed in the popular press.

These are tax-payers views, the same tax-payers who pay every year for the councils to clear up the mess, you can't discount 10% of the community because they don't like the mess Gypsies leave behind in certain areas, or the fact that they think gypsies don't give anything back to communities.


You're falling into the same trap yourself here. Phrases like 'They don't like the mess Gypsies leave behind' suggest that all Gypsies (or at least most of them) are dirty. That's what I won't accept, because assumptions like this cause an awful lot of difficulties and damage for Gypsy people. People have a right to their views, but they don't have the right to make other people suffer for their views - such as through denying the entire Gypsy community in the UK a long-term camping area because some other Gypsies have been leaving mess. Gypsy litter louts should be treated in the exact same way as the litter louts I see in this village. They should receive penalties on an individual basis. But it isn't right or fair to stigmatise and punish the entire community, no matter how much you pay in tax. That isn't democracy at all.

I live in a small town called Solihull. I go into Birmingham and see Asian's drop litter all the time. (I won't say from which country but areas of the city are heavily populated by people of one country) These people constantly treat the ground as their dustbin. But people of other cultures, and ofcourse ethnicities, don't. I know, I see it all the time. Would someone discount my true and proven views because they are seen as 'negative' in favour of an airy-fairy lie?


You say that these areas are heavily populated by people of a certain ethnicity and culture, which logically suggests that the vast majority of litter louts in this area will be of that ethnicity and belong to that culture - but only because they make up the bulk of the population. In this village, the majority of people whom I see dropping litter are white English people. This isn't because people of other ethnicities and cultures have a predilection for tidiness. It's because the area is predominantly white. It would be illogical for me to conclude that Iranians don't drop litter just because I've never seen any of the (comparatively few) Iranians in this area doing so.

As for stereotyping, why even pay attention to it?


Because stereotyping causes serious problems for people. Since the incident with my cousin and his landlord, I've spoken to several young men of Caribbean origin who were unable to rent flats in the area of their choice because the landlord was worried about drugs. I have two friends with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder respectively who were slowly pushed out of their jobs when they disclosed their illness to their employers, because their employers both believed that people with mental illness are prone to violence. (A survey conducted by the mental health charity Rethink found that 90% of employers would definitely not consider someone with schizophrenia as a potential employee.) My old college chaplain was once deeply hurt by the behaviour of a young mother on a train, who nervously moved her children away from him and asked him rather hysterically to keep his distance when he so much as ventured an inch in her direction. It was because of his clerical collar. She assumed that he might be a paedophile. While talk of stereotyping is presented as 'political correctness gone mad' in the pages of the Daily Mail and its ilk, it's still a serious problem for the people who have to endure it. It's not just hurtful words. It can have a significant impact on their lives.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Creative » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:10 pm

When I was very anxious and depressed my neighbour asked my Mum if I ever got voilent. That wasn't a symptom of my illness and it upset me that he thought that it might be.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby hortonsheardawho » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:05 am

My goodness, travllers droppingrubbish,ahhhh
lockup our daughters,bolt our doors god bless the queen
"RULE BRITANIA"
*runs to shed to hide from litter folk
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Katielauren2001 » Sat May 16, 2009 12:55 pm

I think that it is racist. People who judge people by the ethnical stereotypes they have heard are wrong as not everyone from the same ethnical background is the same or has the same beliefs. We shouldn't judge people on their color, their beliefs or how they live their lifes. Yes when we saw an increase of foreigners in my small town, bad things begun to happen but i didnt assume that another person of the same ethnicity or nationality would be capable of the same thing. We should respect each other, if we want the same respect back. Until stereotyeps stop, racial discrimination wont.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Alice » Thu May 21, 2009 4:59 pm

This may sound odd, but do we really want to take away pepoles right to say racist things?

I mean, just because as a culture we have certain veiws doesn't mean everyone has to have and experess those veiws. Free speach meens allowing pepole to express veiws which other pepole are uncomfortable with. I'm not going to debate the pros and cons of free speach on this thread, but as a country that has a policy of free speach we aught to respect pepoles right to their opinions.

We should not respect their right to their actions. Racist behaviour and discrimination is different.
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:09 pm

I agree that people should be allowed to make racist statements. However, it does make me angry when people ake racist statements and then say "but you're not allowed to say that because it's not P.C". Examples:
http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/ ... racist.php (warning, this link contains swearing)
http://www.mixedmediawatch.com/2006/09/ ... cist-yeah/
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Re: Is this racist?

Postby Cynamon » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:32 am

We get a lot of Irish travellers here. Some cause a lot of mess, some don't. They're all treated badly though.

There is a park where I used to play when I was younger that has a pub opposite it. A few years ago some travellers set up camp there and were using the pub. The landlord, not being able to find a reason to bar them from the pub shut the pub for the 2 weeks they were there. He claimed it was because they would get violent and cause trouble in his pub, and that they would leave the park in a mess.

There wasn't one bit of mess when they left.

I have Romany in my family on both sides, quite far back. (although I'd love to be able to find if I still have relatives that travel and meet them, no idea how to trace them though) When I spoke about this once in History (the Romany people were mentioned when we were learning about concentration camps) I got teased about it for weeks, because "gypsies are dirty travellers" so I believe those sort of comments and stereotypes cause do a lot of problems. I was bullied even more than usual, because I have "gypsy blood". I've seen the children of the travellers out to play and seen adults spit at them when they walk past, for the same reasons.

Eh... sorry for the rant... I think I made my point so I'll stop there. Sorry >.<
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