Sew's Spot

"Sit up, join up, stir it up, get online, get in touch, find out who's raising hell and join them." Molly Ivins

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Racism

OH dearie, dearie me... I've been called "RACIST" (yes, in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!) by Ubergirl87. Since the topic was "profiling" - I thought it was an interesting topic to explore.

I do not deny that something called "Racism" exists. But the definition of "Racism" does not include simply categorizing someone. Let's be honest here - we can't describe someone without making SOME distinction between that individual and other individuals. Calling someone "Blonde" doesn't mean that anyone who is NOT blonde is lesser or greater of a person - they just have a different hair color.

Imagine the conversations if we were NEVER allowed to identify anyone without giving offense:

"Hey Sally - see that ... um... individual over there? Give them this envelope"

"Ken? Which individual?"

"Sally, I'm not a racist!! I would NEVER stoop to mentioning someone's PHYSICAL description!"

"Ken, just tell me - is this person tall or short?"

"That's HEIGHTIST Racism, Sally! For shame!"

"Ok, just - does the person have dark or light hair?"

"Sally! That's STYLEism Racism! Let us just say that it is the individual approximately 2 meters SSW of the doorknob of the door leading to the anti-racist envelope delivery depot"

There are now, and always have been, people who will judge the moral/intellectual/financial worth of other people based solely upon physical characteristics. This is what Racism means. This is what is bad - measuring the HUMAN WORTH of an individual based only on their color/height/weight/eyes/hair or other purely PHYSICAL characteristics.

Now, we all make some judgements of folks based on looks. In fact, we do this every day, consciously or sub-consciously. What constitutes a "Hottie" or a "Hot Babe"? What male, given the choice, would choose a date with Rosie O'Donnel over the "A" squad of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders? Personal dating preferences are inbred - whether someone looks "hot" or not is in the eyes of the beholder, and I do believe that SOME of it is "nurture" - we are conditioned by our environment to prefer certain physical "types" - but some just seems to be "nature" as well. I know that thin, pale, blonde men just never appeal to me. *shrug*

Primarily what Ubergirl87 was complaining about, however, was being asked to remove her shoes before being allowed to board an aircraft in Austria. She seems to indicate that she was singled out for this indignity because she is a Saudi, which would not have been the case here in the US. Here we ALL have to take off our shoes, our jackets, and make sure we have no metal on us, and aren't carrying such deadly weapons as a small pair of nail clippers, a tube of toothpaste, or *gasp* a bottle of Evian.

Now, it is possible that in Austria, the only people being asked to submit to this are in fact, those of Arab nationalities or appearance, and considering that the so-called "terrorist groups" are now said to be attempting to recruit disenfranchised "Prep School" looking white kids to do their suicide bombing thing, this may backfire in their faces.

So how is it that *I* - Sewmouse - She Who Doesn't Give A Damn What ANYBODY Looks Like - was called a "racist"? Well, I had the audacity to remind her that while a very, very tiny minority of Saudis have committed terrorist acts in or against America, the mastermind of 9/11/01 was, in fact, Saudi. She can thank him for the indignities that she endures as a result of HIS decisions.

While it is true that not 100% of all Saudi's are mindless terrorists, it is also true that almost 100% of all mindless terrorists who have flown commercial airliners into high-rise buildings were, in fact, SAUDIS, and absolutely 100% considered themselves Muslims.

If someone robs my house, and I catch a glimpse of him leaving, and I tell the police "He was about 6'5" tall, 320 lbs., white male with dark hair wearing a green shirt, black pants, boots and with a tattoo of a gorilla on his left hand..."

Do you really think it is likely that they will get their best possible results by pulling in short black women with dyed-blonde hair wearing spandex muu-muus and 12 inch platform wedgies?

[italicized parts are edited.]

6 Comments:

  • At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Sam said…

    True...it's hard describing people the 'long' way. But regarding profiling, I must agree with her; it's simply wrong. Terrorists these days come in all colors, and their methods of only searching Arabs will soon backfire on them.

    And as for the 9/11 hijackers...not all 100% were Saudis...

     
  • At 2:20 AM, Blogger Sewmouse said…

    Welcome, Sam.

    You didn't really read my post, did you? You just read that I didn't agree with something and decided to run to her defense, since she's Arab and I'm not, eh?

    11 Saudi
    1 egyptian
    1 lebanese
    6 "unknown" - probably Saudi.\

    I'm gonna call that "ALMOST 100%"


    So far as I'm concerned, profiling works. Profiling can and will lead to successful prosecution of guilty individuals. You don't arrest 80 year old crippled black grandmothers for something that is reported as being done by healthy 20 year old Islamic Arab men.

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Leandra said…

    I agree with you. They are probably not going to catch predominately Arab Muslim men by searching white, fat, grandmothers wearing Birkenstocks, or as they did a few times early on in the process, children.

    Regardless of how little people like it, today anyway terrorists are predominately young Arab males. This is changing and I would expect our methodology to change with it.

    Also, I would like to add that one of the groups thet errorists are recruiting quite actively these days are young Arab women. That could be why the woman, who had her panties in a wad over having to remove her shoes, was searched.

    Just as police won't stop short black women if the suspect they have been led to believe committed the crime is a tall, white, man, the airport people shouldn't be stopping people who do not fit the profile unless they are acting suspiciously.

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger Nuri said…

    Yes, I agree mostly with your analysis but I was thinking... had the terrorist been French (or Swedish) would all French be searched? Or would we just assume that those were only crazy French but most are not? In the States maybe everyone is searched in the same fashion but in Europe... I don't know. Maybe we (Europeans) are more racist than Americans??
    Just a thought

     
  • At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "So far as I'm concerned, profiling works."

    Sorry, but skin color does not determine who is a terrorist or not.

    According to your logic, I could consider all white males potential rapists because the majority of men who commit this crime are white.

    Sorry, but we don't live in a country where you are automatically guilty by associate.

    White people never understand the injustices suffered by people of color. It must be nice.

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Sewmouse said…

    Feeling sorry for yourself, "Anonymous"? No balls - no willingness to put a name to yourself? Too much a coward?

    I understand damn well what it feels like to be discriminated against due to purely physical characteristics.

    You, however, are obviously just a "victim" type - unable to stand up for yourself and make something of yourself. You choose instead to wallow in self-pity and blame others for your own inadequacies.

    I don't care if you are farking PURPLE - you're a coward. You're an idiot. You're nothing more than an ignorant troll.
    *puffs gently*

    Buh-bye, Ignorant Troll.

     

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