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Whose hue?

  1. Nov 9, 2009 #1
    Besides medical concerns, what would be the outcome of interchanging people's light complexions with those dark? What effect do you think it would have on racism?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2009 #2
    Black would be the new white.
  4. Nov 9, 2009 #3


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    This is just a roundabout way of asking everyone how racist they think the populace is. There is nothing objective or quantitative that can come from this, it will simply be opinions and refutations of opinions.
  5. Nov 9, 2009 #4
    This is a system with too many unknown variables to consider, it's like predicting the weather where slight perturbations in the model can result in completely different outcomes. That leaves you with making an approximation, or an educated guess, in case of racism - a prejudice - unless you can prove all facts about people.
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #5
    It seems to me that one of the main drivers of human beings is to stand apart from others. Some choose hard work, education, and other positive ways, while others do so by tearing down others based on the differences between them and the other. The easiest way to point out differences is through race or the color of their skin. If you just change everyones color to be the same, some people will just look for less obvious differences and use those the same way they are using the color of skin now. So imo if we spend billions(or more) to change everyones skin color we would only accumulate a big debt and wouldnt succeed at what the OP seems to be implying would happen. Besides that, I believe doing so kind of validates the racists since you are basically saying that we cant be equal until we are all the same color. Its not the color of skin that causes racism, it is the belief that a person that is different is less of a person because of those differences and since differences would still remain changing color wouldnt solve a thing,imo.
  7. Nov 9, 2009 #6
    Extremely well said:approve:
  8. Nov 9, 2009 #7


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    Quite true. And I do think this is getting at what Loren was hoping for in the way of discussion.

    Your argument (thesis) is that racism is objective - an independent entity that would exist regardless of details. The antithesis is that racism is inextricably linked to its historical source - the way things happen to have played out. Say, instead, if Caucasians had been enslaved and brought by ship from Europe to Africa.

    In short: is bias biased. :smile:
  9. Nov 10, 2009 #8
    Indeed, you all are feeding my mind. I am reminded of the original Star Trek episode faced with two races: one black on the right half and white on the left - the other reversed - and both hating one another.
  10. Nov 10, 2009 #9
    Could it be possible that culture is part of the reason. Self perpetuated by history. What if at the event of racism occurred was shunned? Because even now things are different. There is a level of acceptance different from before, Things that were common place are becoming unacceptable. We are changing the perception by every generation. Music, morals evolves, ideas change. Sure it moves on to something else but there is no not enough evidence to conclude That will stop changing eventually. That's impossible to conclude.

    Events that can't be raced, but we have the ability to forget them, to create a society that doesn't remember racism, or understand the meaning of it. Make it as archaic as a typewriter. Maybe not tomorrow but 1000 years from now.

    What if it was one incident that allow the the concept of seeing other humans with skin colour didn't ever happen? What if racism was seen as horrific as murder.

    I know this isnt the most scientific look at it but, its hard for me to accept that I and probably most if not all people here instinctively have to fight of racist tendency. I don't think hatred or bigotry is deep in our genes.

    I can also see as being created for us just by having a past of it. simply knowing that slavery, violence, sexism, racism, are a part of our culture. Look at a global scale. Are all those things the same no matter where you go?

    If you could erase everyone memory and implant that human beings are all the same, Every single one, would racism still strive?

    I am maybe that is the point you are trying to say that humans are vulnerable to information by design, then at least I would say that there is reason to believe possibly that it won't stay like forever. I know proving an negative is impossible, but so is trying to predict something that hasn't had a chance to happen. We haven't had the chance to escape it.

    I could be totally wrong, but at least have optimism
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  11. Nov 10, 2009 #10
    I was trying to make the point that differences are objective and that racism or colorism is just a superficial manifestation and not the core problem. Imo even if the world only had one race we would still find prejudice, it would just come from a different route. I believe that until we as a human beings start to celebrate our differences, since that is what makes each of us us, and quit trying to make everybody the same the problems will continue. Your antithesis is missing a key component imo, the caucasians would have been enslaved by a different tribe of caucasians making tribalism not racism the original cause then sold as property to a group of imperialistic africans that were in europe expanding their empire to be shipped from europe to africa then centuries later the last africans would be blamed by the imperialistic africans as well as the caucasians who had done the original enslavement of being racist even though race wasnt the original mover tribes were. Each step was legal, horribly immoral and wrong but legal.
  12. Nov 10, 2009 #11
    I have yet to discover an ethnic group that does not possess some members that are racist so I highly doubt that melanin has much of an effect on this. I'm also fairly certain that back when blacks had few if any rights here in the US, and there was not much to worry about from them as a group, white people tended to complain more about other white people such as Jews, Italians, Irish, ect.
  13. Nov 10, 2009 #12
    Maybe the core of the problem is that Homo sapiens is a social species with a herd instinct. Together in the herd individuals feel stronger and they can go for the next step on the [URL [Broken] hierarchy[/url], esteem, and the more the better. It helps building esteem if one has opponents (real or virtual) outside of the herd, outgroups, to challenge them and demonstrate braveness to the others in the group.

    So it's bit against that herd instinct when there is talk about disregarding and ignoring the differences the herds and tearing down the borders between the territoriums.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Nov 10, 2009 #13


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    Rwanda. Hutus (the majority) were visibly darker skinned than the Tutsis. Hutus killed nearly 10,000 Tutsis a day from April 1994 to July 1994 (somewhere between 800,000 to 1,000,000 total).

    The actual color of a person's skin has little to do with racial or ethnic biases. The skin color just makes it easier to identify those from a different culture.

    The bigger issue is how different small groups can live in a larger combined society without losing their small group traits (or being belittled for them).

    Those differences always create stress that exist regardless of skin color. In fact, that was one of the concerns Arab countries had about Iraq. Sunnis and Shiites live together peacefully in most countries, but there's always some underlying tension. Igniting an ethnic civil war in Iraq raises the magnitude of the ethnic tensions in neighboring Arab states.

    Skin color just makes things tougher for the individual. He can't move seamlessly from one group to another. A white hick from the backwoods of Appalachia could adopt a more sophisticated lifestyle and people wouldn't know he used to be a hick. A black tends to be classified as being raised in the ghetto even if they were raised in middle class suburbia. In fact, adopting a middle class "white" lifestyle gets him belittled by both whites and blacks. That's an issue of whether an individual can choose their own culture (and is a valid issue). It doesn't address how different cultures can live in the same society.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  15. Nov 10, 2009 #14
    Hmm I've always noticed people from other countries talk about racism as one huge big problem but here around Toronto it's definitely not something you live with every day. I have family from New Brunswick though and many people out there are definitely racist.
  16. Nov 12, 2009 #15


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    Here's an example where the majority are dark skinned, but light skin is considered better: Skin whitener advertisements labeled racist.

    The theoretical explanation is that India has been invaded and ruled by outsiders for most of its history. Native Indians were usually dark skinned while the invaders were usually light skinned, creating an association between light skin and power. Whatever the origin of the unofficial tradition, there are more light skinned people among the Brahmin and other higher castes than there are among the lowest castes. The distribution isn't high enough to say lighter skin is necessary to belong to the higher castes, but high enough to affect perceptions?

    Even beyond differences in race, lighter skin is seen as a sign of power and affluence. Rich people don't have to work in the fields under a blazing sun and don't develop deep tans.

    While Western media has to have some affect on younger Indians, the preference for lighter skin goes back further than can be explained just by modern media.
  17. Nov 12, 2009 #16
    With white people it's the opposite; we want to be darker.

    Speaking of lightning skin, anyone seen Sammy Sosa lately? Holy cow.
  18. Nov 12, 2009 #17


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    This has only been in the last few decades. Before that, alabaster skin was the rage. Centuries ago, women used to soak in vinegar to get a pale complexion.

    A pale complexion was a sign of someone who was successful enough to not have to work out in the sun. Dark skin was the sign of a manual labourer.

    This has only changed recently when tans became fashionable. I'm not sure why tans are fashionable now. I suspect that it is linked to the fitness craze driving people outdoors. A tanned person gives the impression of an outdoorsy, sportsy person, thus someone who is taking care of their health. Additionally a tan gives the impression of increased leisure time with which to go to tropical locales.
  19. Nov 12, 2009 #18


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    Perhaps because manual laborers work indoors on assembly lines while rich people lounge around on the beach? Same idea as always, but our work environment and our leisure environment have changed.
  20. Nov 12, 2009 #19


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    Yeah, you're right. The Industrial Revolution has done that.
  21. Nov 12, 2009 #20
    Fat people were also more attractive back then.
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