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Thread: Internalized Racism

  1. #1
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Internalized Racism

    What does it mean to you? How do you think it is created? Is it more of a product of personal upbringing or societal belief? Can people recover from it? Who experiences it most?

    What do you think?
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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    ANGRY, YOUNG, POOR Eagleheart's Avatar
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    Difference cannot alone account for the phenomenon of racism - that is for sure...Rather I hold that when certain differences, which do not serve the interests of those who can be designated as racists occur, the phenomenon spreads itself...In my state for example the minority of turks is subjected to quiet racism and the rise of this tide of racistic attitude has been only recently engendered when the state enhanced its social policy toward the turks...Ethnic differences were always evident, but these differences started to provoke racism only when the interests of our majority were hindered by these differences.
    More or less racism is intensified when preached at home, it could have domestic as well as social encouragement, but its basis is nevertheless the same...
    The truth is that differences are qualified as negative and positive and according to the qualification we feel hostility or friedliness toward ethnicities...And it is not compulsory for the ordinary person to believe he/she is with harmed interests, he/she may only hate because of his/her careful upbringing, but those responsible for the conditions provoking hate have their motivation exactly in this...
    Se puede matar el hombre
    Pero no mataran la forma
    En que se alegraba su alma
    Cuando souaba ser libre
    ......
    They can kill a man/but they cannot kill the way /his soul rejoices/when it dreams/that it is free
    ....
    A folklore song from Venecuela

  3. #3
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Very good points eagle! But i'm afraid you misunderstood my questions, i was reffering to internalized racism specifically. Internalized racism is racism thats internalized within the victims, so they believe and often act out on the prejudices of others about their group. But you do bring up some interesting points about racism that are also relevant to internalized racism, such as that racism is promoted and manipulated by those of power and is highly influenced by racism experienced by those close to you. I agree that racism is not always the true belief of others, but that they are swayed and influenced by racism portrayed in the media and by others around them. Kinda like catching a deadly conceptual flu, huh?
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    Internalized racism is racism thats internalized within the victims, so they believe and often act out on the prejudices of others about their group.
    Can you clarify further? Do you mean, for example, if a black woman is the victim of racism by a white man that she would begin to be racist against all white men? Is this your definition of "internalized racism"? Your original post is confusing. When I read "internalized racism", what I interpret is: racist tendencies that we all have but keep supressed inside us- don't act on those thoughts & feelings; yet, nevertheless, they exist. Please do clarify what you mean; I am curious.
    "I have so often dreamed of you that you become unreal." ~ Robert Desnos

  5. #5
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Oh no, thats not what i meant at all genoveva. It's when one is bombarded with racist things about them like if everyone said to them "you are this race so you are stupid" , that eventually theyll believe it themselves and consider themselves stupid.
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  6. #6
    A human form Divine Poetess's Avatar
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    What is Internalized Racism precisely?
    I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death. - Robert Fulghum
    Je Chante Une Chanson Sombre
    The Lady of Mine - Opinion please
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    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    *sigh*
    Alright, if you are told things many times over you just might start to believe them. sort of like conditioning.
    So if someone continually is attacked about their race, maybe they will start believing the racist things people say about them. So they will start feeling racist against themselves. External racism is racism thrust at you from other people, internal is when you feel racist about your own race.
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  8. #8
    Okay, I think I see what you mean by this "internal racism", for example it can be compared to what Hitler did to the Jews during the Holocaust- right? He and many other Germans undermined Jews about their race so much that pretty soon they all began to feel as if though Jewish people are worthless.

  9. #9
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Yup, exactly right bright tears. Thank you. Ill repeat my questions now:
    What does it mean to you? How do you think it is created? Is it more of a product of personal upbringing or societal belief? Can people recover from it? Who experiences it most?
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  10. #10
    amor vincit omnia livelaughlove's Avatar
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    Oh, I definitely think that internalized racism is a product of society. Even when comments made about your race are clearly jokes, they still affect you profoundly, which leads to you starting to make jokes about yourself until you realize that hey! they're not really jokes I'm making, they're true. Does that make sense?

    There's no real way to recover from it, but immersing yourself in positive, non-racist people may divert those thoughts.

  11. #11
    Registered waster IamMissingaLink's Avatar
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    ive experienced internalized racism about being an Australian . Our external racism, as you call it, mainly comes from the British, and it were thier beliefs about Australians which caused me to be believe the negitive stereotype. I no longer feel this way - it was irrational considering what a culturally and racially diverse nation we are.
    I'm a tourist

  12. #12

    Your theory is sadly true in many respects.

    Racism unfortunately often stems from human psychological nature and then misunderstanding and misconception.
    Human beings form when left to themselves form families and social groups, and then from onwards societies and nations, etc. The unfortunate part about it is, is that humans within set groups consider will always consider someone outside that group with some air of suspicion. (This can happen to anyone one, from moving somewhere new and getting to know your neighbors, to a new guy or woman in the office. You get to know them, but until then you are cautious.)
    This is the psychological effect of friend or foe thinking, you want to establish if that person outside of your normal zone of comfort is friendly or hostile. This is of course natural, and effects everyone.
    This is where the use of misunderstanding or misconception then comes into play. Those who are willing to sound out their objections about something, might find a favourable ear amongst those who are unsure.
    This often happens when the normal rules of society don't apply, due to heightened tensions. (Hitler's Germany found a ready scapegoat in the German Jewry, as did much of the Klu Klux Klan in Negroes.) Other times it comes from a position that has subjected the other into a form of domination and therefore sees them as something less than themselves. (Britain, India, and South Africa. The Belgian Congo.) Or religious reasons. (Brahmins Hindus versus Pakistani Moslems, Christians vs Christians, Christians vs Moslems, holy wars, Jihads and crusades.) Hence those in a position of power, preaching these radical misconceptions because of some reason or another are often in a position of influence, those under them to accept their views as the common truth and promote their form of racism.
    As for the question, does it effect people. Of course it does, but on many different levels. Some people believe what they are told and thus never even try to make a difference. Others are so incenced that they turn to violence and form other racisms, against those whom they feel have oppressed them. Other are indignant, but instead of seeking violent action actually target those theories which are spread about their race and seek to disprove them by example. Other believe what they hear, beleive that they are stuck in that system and can't break out of it, so they pursue that stereotype because its the only thing they know.

    Personally I don't have time for Rascists, you get the good and the bad in any society and in any race. I believe that if you want to work, raise a family, and practice what you believe peaceably go ahead and do it.
    The only time I will ever object is when people seek special treatment, or contribute to the degrasion of society, not the enhancement. (IE Criminal involvement, etc.)

    "I may be a white boy, but I know I can jump!"
    Shizz.

  13. #13
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    I am so glad that there is finally a discussion about this topic. IMHO it is the internalization of oppression that is the key factor in keeping oppressed groups in their place. Looking at internalized racism specifically, I would say that the psyche of blacks in America(I will only focus on that since that is the place I live)have been adequately manipulated, conditioned and distorted that any collective response to the racism that the group faces has not, yet, occured. The centuries of raicst messages that saturate this society have, inevitably, been deeply internalized in the african-american community and it is this that is responsible for the rampant drug use, inner-city violence, high rates of suicide, and on and on.
    I remember reading The Auto-Biography of Malcom X and learning that when Malcom was in grade school he told his teacher that he hoped to grow up and be a lawyer. Ofcourse his teacher told him that was very unrealistic and that he should really focus on being some type of trade worker/laborer. This is only one example but this kind of daily assault on the minds of young people of color happens everywhere all the time in very big and very small ways.
    I just finished reading Middle Passage by Charles Johnson. The protagonist in the novel is an ex-slave and he tells the story of his father being a slave and hating being a slave so much that he ran away, escaped. The son has hated his father for many years and still struggles with feelings of having his father abandon him, his brother and his mother.
    But it also gave me insight into one of the key issues in the black community today and that is the difficulty many men of color have in terms of their role in the family. I am not black and will not write too much since I am obviously ignorant of many details. But this has everything to do with internalized racism. The psyche of the black man today in 2006 still reflects the historical legacy of black men a hundred years ago.
    We are all so much more powerful then we feel and I think it is our unexpressed awareness of this fact that causes all sorts of depression and feelings of rage across the board.
    nuf said,
    big subject for me
    has been for years
    Ghideon
    "Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
    Can else inflict, do I repent or change"


    Milton, Paradise Lost
    Book 1 Line 95-96

    "There is only one plot-things are not as they seem."
    Jim Thompson

  14. #14
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    ANGRY, YOUNG, POOR Eagleheart's Avatar
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    As it stands, Drame/ I could not link the two words of the topic correctly in Bulgarian/...I entertain that perhaps this internalized racism does not differ much from any other undervaluation...I am inclined to treat the subject as the old psychological oppression in which self-evaluation is directly dependent on foreign evaluation...In severe cases only the degree is the different factor...In internalized racism this self-evaluation is only too obssessively rejecting objectivity...This alone is not sufficient to account for internalized racism however...For example a turk is much more vulnerable to this condition than a Bulgarian and I suspect / correct me if I am wrong / that Black Americans in your country would be far more vulnerable than White Americans...So what is evident in almost every person - the self-evaluation debacle - combines with a historical or social tradition, which has developed vulnerability in this race for example to produce internalized racism...However, as I am with the impression that internalized racism exists as purely isolated phenomenon, I would attribute it more seriously to obssessively dependent self-evaluation/because no whole races appear to be subjects to it/...In this respect it makes it only a manifestation of a quite another deeply rooted problem...
    Se puede matar el hombre
    Pero no mataran la forma
    En que se alegraba su alma
    Cuando souaba ser libre
    ......
    They can kill a man/but they cannot kill the way /his soul rejoices/when it dreams/that it is free
    ....
    A folklore song from Venecuela

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