Understanding racism when you don't understand it
I was given a two week vacation for a racist comment. I think I was left on the ban list a 'little' over 2 weeks but I'm sure the mods are pretty busy, glad they remembered me (thanks)
Now I'm not looking to question the mod's decision however I would like some help in understanding how what I said *is* infact racist. I'm not arguing that it isn't, but I don't understand how it is -does tha make sense?
Just a bit of backround. In my immediate group of coworkers there is a lot of diversity. White and Black. Chinese, Fillipino, and Native American. Scottish, Ukranian, Italian and British.
Giving it some thought, we make some pretty harsh comments to each other. Outside of our organization and probably at any work place it would be grounds for harassment. Here however it's not said with spite or malice, it's kinda just what happens. We make fun of each others backrounds but are closer than many people probably are to their family. I Do realize that it's still a VERY bad practice.
Still, because of this environment my views are probably somewhat different on racisim and racist comments.
So back to the comment I made. We were talking about children in Afghanistan being sexually abused. I suggested that it was in their culture and was given a short ban for it. Fai enough, I appreciated the warning knowing full well how much some people might prefr I just piss off and stay away
I made that comment not out of an attempted place of superiority or disrespect but because I really believed it was a part of their culture in a sense . Let me explain.
On the records I guess you can say the practice of men using other men (and especially young guys/kids) is illegal In Afghanistan.
You can ask some locals about it and they will say no no it doesn't happen. But it does. Especially outside of the city the practice of it is common. VERY common. Often they won't even hide it. Why should they? They have been doing it for a long long time.
One day a week you see young teenagers show up at Aghan police compounds or with Afghan army soldiers and they get led away. Sometimes you can even hear it-disturbing. In speaking with an interputer about it he said that it's just the way things have always been. It was like that before the Taliban. When the Taliban were in power they punished that behavior with death so it was kept more discreet. With the Taliban gone it's resurfaced. The inturputer agreed that it's a part of the Afghan culture. It's something that's "t just accepted."
Hence why I made my comment that it is a 'part of their culture.'
It is how many of them were raised and what they do, it doesn't have the same social shock as it does here.
Does that not constitute as being able to be considered a part of their culture? Where in my comment do I come acoss as racist?
I fully agree that young boy abuse isn't somethig that only Afghan men commit.I didn't think I came across that way. I know the Catholic church has a horrible horrible history of it. Abuse against Native American children by the church and many many other examples.
I would almost even say that sex abuse could be considered a part of the churchs culture couldn't it? Not a positive one but it's been happening a long time.
It seems rampat enough. Now what I meant with my comment was that it's a common practice that seems accepted in Afghanistan. In Canada sex ause does happen, but do we see young boys showing up at a police station and passed around to 3 or 4 police officers during their break? Even if that did happen it's safe to say reactions would differ.
So after all that is the comment still racist? And if so how come? Because I've thought about it and don't understand. I'm working on broading my level of understanding of racisim. Some comments such as all white people are racist I'll never agree with or understand. However, somethings do kinda make sense. Like the difference between coloured people and people of colour. The latter sounding if anything more polite and respectful. At first I discounted it as semantics but it kinda does feel different when I say it, I just can't put it into words yet. It's like a subtle difference.
So I'm looking for honest non-hostile feed back in hopes of understanding something (racisim) that I've been somewhat blind to (for lack of a better phrase)