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Speaking up on racism

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My wife and I attend a local trivia night and we have a regular group on our team. There is one person in particular who has quite often made uninformed comments on politics, religion, etc. We were discussing about the housing commission area we have here, with both aboriginal and other nationalities, and the bad reputation it has got through a very few incidents. 

This person made a comment about aboriginals and the problems that they cause and said it’s a pity we didn’t get rid of them all.

After a deep breath, I responded with, that was very unfair to say that and they were making a generalisation based on what they had heard. The discussion stopped, but I feel not only disappointed in them but also disappointed in myself for not giving them more of a rebuke for his comments.

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

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Even if you made a 100% perfect response, they wouldn’t change their opinion.  What you said was enough.   
 

Racism is the same as trying to argue with a gun loving yank that guns are stupid.  

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4 hours ago, fiftyplus said:

My wife and I attend a local trivia night and we have a regular group on our team. There is one person in particular who has quite often made uninformed comments on politics, religion, etc. We were discussing about the housing commission area we have here, with both aboriginal and other nationalities, and the bad reputation it has got through a very few incidents. 

This person made a comment about aboriginals and the problems that they cause and said it’s a pity we didn’t get rid of them all.

After a deep breath, I responded with, that was very unfair to say that and they were making a generalisation based on what they had heard. The discussion stopped, but I feel not only disappointed in them but also disappointed in myself for not giving them more of a rebuke for his comments.

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

Depends if the comments were racist or it was racial stereotyping, similar, yet very different. People that racially stereotype often get accused, unfairly, of being racist and the term "racist" gets bandied around willy nilly these days, so to some extent it's lost it's significance and its meaning. People don''t understand what it is. 

Regarding your associates comments, it depends on how what he was basing it on. Facts, stats, his experiences, what he read in the media, a mates comments down the pub? Our neighbouring suburb has recently had a lot of new public housing, crime has rocketed. The majority of public housing residents are aboriginal. The local police and the local residents association post CCTV photos and videos of people captured whilst committing crimes in the area and the majority are aboriginal. So if all someone sees is these Facebook and news articles detailing aborigines committing crimes in their area, it is easy to see why they might make a generalised statement in a similar fashion to your mate. That is not racism. That is racial sterotyping. Same, same, but different.

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Sometimes it hard not to have a negative opinion when all those you've been exposed to are thieves, vandals, bludgers or had a chip on their shoulder the size of Tasmania.   I'm certain there are fine upstanding individuals of aboriginal descent out there...I just personally havn't come across them.

AJ

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There's thieves & low-life of all varieties. There have been numerous B&Es in our area, where a group has smashed there way into homes, trashed the place quickly grabbing anything obvious, then taking a set of car keys on the way out use a stolen car to get to the next place they're going to rob. These are all young white teenagers.

I worked for a few weeks in Eidsvold when I was travelling. The only pub in the town had the public bar split in 2, with whites on 1 side & aboriginals on the other (and it wasn't the whites that forced this to happen or maintained the rules). The only exception were the only 3 full bloods left in town. They sat on the white side because they couldn't stand the attitude of the young blokes on the other side. 

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6 hours ago, fiftyplus said:

My wife and I attend a local trivia night and we have a regular group on our team. There is one person in particular who has quite often made uninformed comments on politics, religion, etc. We were discussing about the housing commission area we have here, with both aboriginal and other nationalities, and the bad reputation it has got through a very few incidents. 

This person made a comment about aboriginals and the problems that they cause and said it’s a pity we didn’t get rid of them all.

After a deep breath, I responded with, that was very unfair to say that and they were making a generalisation based on what they had heard. The discussion stopped, but I feel not only disappointed in them but also disappointed in myself for not giving them more of a rebuke for his comments.

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

Good on you for speaking up.

 

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19 hours ago, fiftyplus said:

This person made a comment about aboriginals and the problems that they cause and said it’s a pity we didn’t get rid of them all.

Their actual comment was (it’s a pity we didn’t shoot them all). I think that is a pretty extreme statement to make. I don’t know whether they have had personal experience or are basing their opinion on what they’ve heard. 

They have made similar comments about Muslims and yet admits to not watching TV or the news, so not sure where their source of hate comes from.

I agree, some aboriginals are trouble and have a bad attitude as are some other nationalities including white people but I might be naive in my thinking but I don’t condemn a whole race because of the actions and attitudes of some.

Edited by fiftyplus
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8 hours ago, fiftyplus said:

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

I've had a bloke tell me that I'm mentally ill and don't care about innocent people being shot because I disagreed with him about the effectiveness of certain gun control policies 

I thought it said more about him than it did about me

Edited by IronJimbo
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I find myself conflicted with my values soooooo often here in Perth. People are so racist it's terrible. And they always seem to have a "reason" why they can do it.... Sad. 

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20 hours ago, fiftyplus said:

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

Yes.  Nearly every time I spend time with my step MIL (yes, I have the joy of having 2 of 'em).  I once gave her a public rebuke by replying to all on a "fake news" / "fake article" group email she had sent out.  All I said was that it was fake and pointed to why this was the case.  The next time I saw her, she totally laid into me.

I now find that the easiest way of keeping the peace is to ask / insist that we change the topic whenever anything politcal or racial comes up.  She knows I have opposing views, but still likes to shove her views down my throat

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You can't not factor in people's experiences and simply dismiss them as racists. Someone who has had multiple crimes perpetrated against them by a specific group, whether that be ethnic, gang affiliated or whatever, is naturally going to form a negative opinion of that group and is obviously going to stereotype. It's human nature. It's ridiculous that you would expect them to not develop some form of prejudice and remain completely impartial. 

 

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4 hours ago, Jim Shortz said:

I find myself conflicted with my values soooooo often here in Perth. People are so racist it's terrible. And they always seem to have a "reason" why they can do it.... Sad. 

I think we all have our values tested at times.

3 hours ago, SomeTri said:

Yes.  Nearly every time I spend time with my step MIL (yes, I have the joy of having 2 of 'em).  I once gave her a public rebuke by replying to all on a "fake news" / "fake article" group email she had sent out.  All I said was that it was fake and pointed to why this was the case.  The next time I saw her, she totally laid into me.

I now find that the easiest way of keeping the peace is to ask / insist that we change the topic whenever anything politcal or racial comes up.  She knows I have opposing views, but still likes to shove her views down my throat

Yep, as they say, you can’t pick your relatives.

28 minutes ago, zed said:

You can't not factor in people's experiences and simply dismiss them as racists. Someone who has had multiple crimes perpetrated against them by a specific group, whether that be ethnic, gang affiliated or whatever, is naturally going to form a negative opinion of that group and is obviously going to stereotype. It's human nature. It's ridiculous that you would expect them to not develop some form of prejudice and remain completely impartial. 

 

I understand that, but as I’ve said, I don’t think this person has had anything happen to them that would warrant some of his comments, maybe I should ask them or as Peter said I think it’s a case that your not going to change them no matter what you say.

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3 hours ago, zed said:

You can't not factor in people's experiences and simply dismiss them as racists. Someone who has had multiple crimes perpetrated against them by a specific group, whether that be ethnic, gang affiliated or whatever, is naturally going to form a negative opinion of that group and is obviously going to stereotype. It's human nature. It's ridiculous that you would expect them to not develop some form of prejudice and remain completely impartial. 

 

That doesn't mean they're not being racist.  It provides a reason and context for their racism.  But its still racism.

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7 hours ago, Jim Shortz said:

I find myself conflicted with my values soooooo often here in Perth. People are so racist it's terrible. And they always seem to have a "reason" why they can do it.... Sad. 

I found Sydney to be extremely racist towards minorities.

Whereas Melbourne, not nearly as much.

Then again here in Melbourne the white aussie male is the minority. 

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On 12/02/2020 at 3:15 PM, -- AJ -- said:

Sometimes it hard not to have a negative opinion when all those you've been exposed to are thieves, vandals, bludgers or had a chip on their shoulder the size of Tasmania.   I'm certain there are fine upstanding individuals of aboriginal descent out there...I just personally havn't come across them.

AJ

Perpetuating negative racial stereotypes is racist. Keep your racist comments to yourself.

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On 12/02/2020 at 5:15 PM, -- AJ -- said:

Sometimes it hard not to have a negative opinion when all those you've been exposed to are thieves, vandals, bludgers or had a chip on their shoulder the size of Tasmania.   I'm certain there are fine upstanding individuals of aboriginal descent out there...I just personally havn't come across them.

AJ

Have you been exposed to the deeds of any of these?  Cathy Freeman, Yvonne Goolagong Cawley, Ash Barty, Samatha Riley, Graham Polly Farmer,  Arthur Beetson, Johnathon Thurston, Steve Renouf, the Ella bros, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach, Dan Saltan, Deborah Mailman, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Albert Namatjira, Troy Cassa-Daley, Kath Walker

Edited by Mike Del
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11 hours ago, Fitness Buddy said:

Can you be racist against white people

Of course.  

it isn’t a white  think against every other colour.  
its one race against another.  
 

do you think an asian has never been racist against a white person?
 

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8 minutes ago, Peter said:

Of course.  

it isn’t a white  think against every other colour.  
its one race against another.  
 

do you think an asian has never been racist against a white person?
 

Yeah they are racist all the time but you never see it being called racist 

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11 hours ago, Fitness Buddy said:

Can you be racist against white people

Yes. Most definitely.

30 minutes ago, Fitness Buddy said:

Yeah they are racist all the time but you never see it being called racist 

Yes you do. I've seen it and felt it on my travels and I have called it out as racist. I've lived in regions of the World and have been expected to work for free or volunteer my time because I'm a foreigner and my time wasn't seen as being worthy of pay - like I should have been grateful to be allowed to live in that country. I've had my achievements ignored because I wasn't of the local race.

Edited by The Customer
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32 minutes ago, Fitness Buddy said:

Yeah they are racist all the time but you never see it being called racist 

That's different...

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I think you can sometimes feel uncomfortable in our own country. We were in Sydney and went to the Boxing Day Sales in town and we were completely overwhelmed by the amount of Asians pushing and queuing to get into shops like Myers and DJs but also shops that had all there signs and prices printed in Chinese only. We did not feel threatened but we weren’t comfortable with the crowds and definitely felt like a minority, I suppose a bit like how the indigenous must feel.

Edited by fiftyplus

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On 12/02/2020 at 11:54 AM, fiftyplus said:

My wife and I attend a local trivia night and we have a regular group on our team. There is one person in particular who has quite often made uninformed comments on politics, religion, etc. We were discussing about the housing commission area we have here, with both aboriginal and other nationalities, and the bad reputation it has got through a very few incidents. 

This person made a comment about aboriginals and the problems that they cause and said it’s a pity we didn’t get rid of them all.

After a deep breath, I responded with, that was very unfair to say that and they were making a generalisation based on what they had heard. The discussion stopped, but I feel not only disappointed in them but also disappointed in myself for not giving them more of a rebuke for his comments.

Has anybody on here had to refrain from commenting to keep the peace or really given someone a serious rebuke for their politically incorrect  comments.

It's offensive to call them Aboriginals.

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Worked on a aboriginal mission during the mid 90's. A prominent politician found his vehicle on blocks after an overnighter. Didn't have to be black to be offended by the ensuing language.

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20 hours ago, Abby said:

That doesn't mean they're not being racist.  It provides a reason and context for their racism.  But its still racism.

But don't you think that context is relevant and important? I have quite a few South African friends and I find their prejudicial comments about black South Africans disturbing. But then you chat to them, one mate was shot 5 times in a car jacking (they ran out of bullets) his Mum was raped, his sister was attacked in another carjacking. All by black South Africans. Do you really expect them to remain objective and impartial?  You need to know someone's story before you label them a red-neck racist. 

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The context is relevant as to WHY the person is being racist, but it is still racist!

You would all do well to read the link fiftyplus posted. I found it quite was informative 

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10 minutes ago, SomeTri said:

The context is relevant as to WHY the person is being racist, but it is still racist!

You would all do well to read the link fiftyplus posted. I found it quite was informative 

So then what is racial stereotyping? Are you saying it doesn't exist? It's no different to racism if we are going by your definition.

In theory racial stereotyping is a form of racism, but if that is the case then it creates a bit of a problem. We are all guilty of racial stereotyping, so we're all racists?

Edited by zed

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Is it racist to point out that a white man will never again win Olympic gold in the 100m?

Is it sexist to point out that young men are more likely to crash their cars?

Maybe it's just easy to be offended if you try hard enough 

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36 minutes ago, zed said:

In theory racial stereotyping is a form of racism, but if that is the case then it creates a bit of a problem. We are all guilty of racial stereotyping, so we're all racists?

My opinion to this is yes.  We are all, well most of us are, guilty of racism.  The trick is to note it, learn from it and try not to do it again.  Check your opinions often...

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5 hours ago, zed said:

But don't you think that context is relevant and important? I have quite a few South African friends and I find their prejudicial comments about black South Africans disturbing. But then you chat to them, one mate was shot 5 times in a car jacking (they ran out of bullets) his Mum was raped, his sister was attacked in another carjacking. All by black South Africans. Do you really expect them to remain objective and impartial?  You need to know someone's story before you label them a red-neck racist. 

Your friend has justification against some individuals but not a whole race.

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18 hours ago, Mike Del said:

Have you been exposed to the deeds of any of these?  Cathy Freeman, Yvonne Goolagong Cawley, Ash Barty, Samatha Riley, Graham Polly Farmer,  Arthur Beetson, Johnathon Thurston, Steve Renouf, the Ella bros, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach, Dan Saltan, Deborah Mailman, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Albert Namatjira, Troy Cassa-Daley, Kath Walker

Have I personally been involved with any of those...no.    And I'm sure they are all upstanding individuals.   But I've learnt not to base my opinions on how the media portrays a person.  

Perfect example is an interaction I had with a well known person of aboriginal descent (who's not on your list and wasn't Mundine) who's on screen persona is completely different to what I was personally exposed to.   Up till then I'd been a big admirer of this particular person based on what I'd seen and read...but not after that exchange.  Maybe I got them at a bad time  but it was a public event and they were there to meet and greet the public while promoting their particular project.  

Personally, I don't care where you're from, what colour your skin is, what language you speak, which religion you practice or how much you earn, if you're a decent person who treats others with respect then you'll get treated with respect in return.  But its a case by case scenario.  I'm not going to discriminate or not discriminate a whole demographic based on interactions with individuals.  

But as I said, its hard to have a positive opinion if you've personally only had negative interactions.  And unfortunately, when it comes to  aboriginals, that's all I've been exposed to over the past 50 years.  By the same token, its fairly understandable why some (but not all) people of aboriginal descent have such a negative opinion of white people....thats all they've been exposed to.

AJ

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5 hours ago, -- AJ -- said:

Have I personally been involved with any of those...no.    And I'm sure they are all upstanding individuals.   But I've learnt not to base my opinions on how the media portrays a person.  

Perfect example is an interaction I had with a well known person of aboriginal descent (who's not on your list and wasn't Mundine) who's on screen persona is completely different to what I was personally exposed to.   Up till then I'd been a big admirer of this particular person based on what I'd seen and read...but not after that exchange.  Maybe I got them at a bad time  but it was a public event and they were there to meet and greet the public while promoting their particular project.  

Personally, I don't care where you're from, what colour your skin is, what language you speak, which religion you practice or how much you earn, if you're a decent person who treats others with respect then you'll get treated with respect in return.  But its a case by case scenario.  I'm not going to discriminate or not discriminate a whole demographic based on interactions with individuals.  

But as I said, its hard to have a positive opinion if you've personally only had negative interactions.  And unfortunately, when it comes to  aboriginals, that's all I've been exposed to over the past 50 years.  By the same token, its fairly understandable why some (but not all) people of aboriginal descent have such a negative opinion of white people....thats all they've been exposed to.

AJ

I asked you have you been exposed to the deeds of these people not if you’d been involved with them them. I don’t know any Aussie that wasn’t filled with pride when Kathy Freeman won the 400 final at the Sydney Olympics.... I’m assuming you’re an Aussie AJ as I don’t know you, sorry if I’m wrong.

 

IMO What you are doing AJ is making excuses for and legitimising racism. Unless you live alone on an island its rediculous to think that every single interaction someone might have with an aboriginal over 50 years has been negative. I would guesstimate I had close to half a dozen positive and no negative interactions with aboriginal people today and with tomorrow being parkrun and lunch in town day I will probably triple that number.

 

Edited by Mike Del

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18 hours ago, IronJimbo said:

Is it racist to point out that a white man will never again win Olympic gold in the 100m?

Is it sexist to point out that young men are more likely to crash their cars?

Maybe it's just easy to be offended if you try hard enough 

Difference between racism, sexism and offensiveness. 

Taking offence is a personal thing. 

Sexism exists regardless of personal beliefs. As is true with racism. 

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On 14/02/2020 at 12:02 AM, Mike Del said:

Have you been exposed to the deeds of any of these?  Cathy Freeman, Yvonne Goolagong Cawley, Ash Barty, Samatha Riley, Graham Polly Farmer,  Arthur Beetson, Johnathon Thurston, Steve Renouf, the Ella bros, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach, Dan Saltan, Deborah Mailman, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Albert Namatjira, Troy Cassa-Daley, Kath Walker

I went to school with Troy Cassamartas now Troy cassa Daley.  
 

well when he turned up which was rare.  He was a total shit head that used to smoke dope and steal kids lunch money.  
 

but it seems he has turned his life around now. 

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On 14/02/2020 at 11:52 PM, Mike Del said:

I asked you have you been exposed to the deeds of these people not if you’d been involved with them them. I don’t know any Aussie that wasn’t filled with pride when Kathy Freeman won the 400 final at the Sydney Olympics.... I’m assuming you’re an Aussie AJ as I don’t know you, sorry if I’m wrong.

Well at least 2 of them have been arrested.  One for supplying illegal alcohol to aboriginal people and one for being a public nuisance.  

 

Quote

IMO What you are doing AJ is making excuses for and legitimising racism. Unless you live alone on an island its rediculous to think that every single interaction someone might have with an aboriginal over 50 years has been negative. I would guesstimate I had close to half a dozen positive and no negative interactions with aboriginal people today and with tomorrow being parkrun and lunch in town day I will probably triple that number.

Aww gees Sorry if my life hasn't been filled with such positives as your own wonderful and happy existence.

Whether you like it or not, Perception IS Reality.  My reality is that I've only ever come across thieves, vandals, arsonists, drunks and people with massive chips on their shoulders.  I've been the victim of theft. I've seen what they do to public housing. I've travelled through western and central Australia. I've seen aboriginals coming out of a pub is a tiny one horse town in Western NSW at 8am on Good Friday morning struggling to stand upright.  I've been to places where the caravan parks have security guards and coils of razor wire on the top their 3m high fences to keep the aboriginals out of the park to stop them stealing from the campers.  I was intimidated by a group of men while entering a shopping centre in Alice Springs (they were  moved on by police just after we entered).    

I felt safer on the streets and subways of New York and the Bronx than I did on the streets of Katherine or Alice Springs.

So yeah my interactions arn't very positive which ever way you look at it. 

Thats my life.  Maybe if things had turned out differently then I'd probably have a different outlook.  It didn't...so I dont

 

Aj

 

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33 minutes ago, -- AJ -- said:

My reality is that I've only ever come across thieves, vandals, arsonists, drunks and people with massive chips on their shoulders.  I've been the victim of theft. I've seen what they do to public housing. I've travelled through western and central Australia. I've seen aboriginals coming out of a pub is a tiny one horse town in Western NSW at 8am on Good Friday morning struggling to stand upright.  I've been to places where the caravan parks have security guards and coils of razor wire on the top their 3m high fences to keep the aboriginals out of the park to stop them stealing from the campers.  I was intimidated by a group of men while entering a shopping centre in Alice Springs (they were  moved on by police just after we entered).    

I felt safer on the streets and subways of New York and the Bronx than I did on the streets of Katherine or Alice Springs.

All of that is our fault 

So check your white privilege and apologise 

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I think a lot of situations like AJ expressed are a mix of stereotyping and confirmation bias. I don’t doubt everything you say AJ but I reckon I could also see all these things in some of the “bogan” areas of Sydney or surrounds. It’s a bit like the Asian driver stereotype, if a driver cuts you off or gets in your way you call them names and get on with your life. If that person happens to be a Asian, you call them names roll your eyes, say “bloody Asian drivers” then get to work and tell everyone about the crappy Asian driver that nearly killed you. 
Growing up my best mate was indigenous. We started our apprenticeships together, he’s never been unemployed a day in his life is a bloody hard worker, and a great bloke. We are working together again now and he is one of our best. Doesn’t play the race card, never taken a govt handout in his life. 
Coincidentally my daughter just brought home her new boyfriend tonight and he is also indigenous. Seems like a very nice, polite lad. Thankfully I’ve had both good and bad experiences with most races so I won’t prejudge a single person on that. 

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On 15/02/2020 at 12:31 PM, Peter said:

I went to school with Troy Cassamartas now Troy cassa Daley.  
 

well when he turned up which was rare.  He was a total shit head that used to smoke dope and steal kids lunch money.  
 

but it seems he has turned his life around now. 

I wasnt my best self at school, I didnt steal but I did a lot of stuff Im not proud of & I did get punished by the school & my mum.  Have I turned my life around or grown up?  I would say the latter & theres a lot like me that werent perfect kids but are ok as adults. 

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I've resisted commenting on this thread several times so far on both sides of the (sometimes ridiculous) argument.

Every incident of an "ism" needs to be taken in context, if you will pardon the pun there is no black and white.  Often these days racism/sexism/ageism/whateverism is simply used as a cheap way to disagree with an opinion we don't like without having to justify our position.  The stupidity of it all is that the same reasoning is selectively applied depending on the outcome you favour.

Some women feel scared being in certain situations because they believe the are vulnerable to attack from men they don't know.  This is reasonable as some women are victims of male attackers and society/men must take steps to ensure their safety no matter their personal choices and reassure them that they will be protected from the actions of a very, very small minority.  Under no circumstances is it fair to point out that the odds are ridiculously low and they should really just get over it.

Some people feel scared about being in certain situations because they believe they are vulnerable to attack from group of indigenous people or maybe African gangs.  This is unreasonable in spite of the fact that some people are victims of both of these groups and the people with these fears are redneck racists just using the actions of a minority to defend their evil beliefs.  They need to get over themselves and accept that their views are wrong.

The logic for both of those is the same.  The perception is completely different.  Why is one fine to do and not the other?  Or are both reasonable reactions in certain circumstances?

 

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