So what's wrong with the word exotic exactly
randomnity:"Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard this, and I was definitely Officially Unpretty in high school. Maybe this is region-specific? I would never think twice about saying this or hearing it."
billyfleetwood:"What is "the norm" and how do we determine what looks are inside it, and what looks are outside of it?"
divabat:"Why is it so important for you to point out that I am different from you?"
zeoslap: If a person who is honestly absent of prejudice or malice is accused of racism you better believe that's going to be taken as indicating you think they are indeed mean/bad, to think otherwise is nuts.
Fine if you want to be pedantic.
If a person whose actions are honestly absent of prejudice or malice is accused of racism you better believe that's going to be taken as indicating you think they are indeed mean/bad, to think otherwise is nuts.
Being perceived as exotic does not mean that the person who thinks such a thing is classifying you as a representative sample group. - thinking that the person doing a Thai traditional dance looks exotic is not a racist act.
posted by zeoslap at 2:54 PM
So, yeah, again, you want racists to be honest but everyone else to be tactful and not to tell them that they're being racists because it has the terrible effect of cutting down the amount of racism that people deal with. I don't identify as a person of color — just somebody who thinks racism is bullshit, thanks — but I'd imagine that, much like sexism, people who are actually victimized by it would rather it stop hurting them than making white people feel comfortable expressing their racism and having it be a person of color's chore to absolve them of it.
If you don't like it, too bad. Not everything in the 21st Century is going to be based on the white man's comfort. Getting used to that will help you in the future.
posted by klangklangston at 7:27 PM
Without realizing it, I put myself in the psychological position of defending myself as I defend the white person in the situation. Not so subtly to the person of color, I engage in a battle to make sure that any discriminatory act experienced be provable . . . Regardless of intent, these two combined characteristics -- the devil's advocate position and the psychological defense of myself -- create an infuriating experience for the people of color trying to share their story . . . We can better recognize the problem with this if we take an example from our own experience.
"Whenever I start speaking about our need to work against racism, I invariably find a white person just itching to tell me the story of the one time when he or she was subject to a prejudicial act. . . . Not to diminish the pain of this individual [because it] is understandably distressing. Many of us might be able to reflect on some moments where our whiteness was used against us in some way. But we would do well to think about how often this has happened and the degree to which the impacts did or did not alter our life paths. . . . Imagine enduring consistent racist acts over a lifetime and throughout one's family history. . . .
"If we . . . continue to deny the experiences of people of color, dangerously pouring salt in already painful wounds . . . we will remain resistant to a fuller investigation, one that undertaken might just allow us to more consciously witness and name racism when it erupts."
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