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Prejudice in books/music/film/art that you like


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I think we've all had the experience of sitting down to something we really enjoy (book, film, music, magazine, even some person) and *BAM* racism.

The first examples that come to mind are many fiction books from pre-1960 (I know of My Antonia and The Bell Jar) where the book's barreling along, a great book, and then suddenly the author introduces a black character and does it in a totally racist way and then the black person leaves and the book's great again. Or a book like Gone with the Wind where the racism is an everpresent element.

I think this occurs almost exclusively in white-dominated media. You could argue that it's in rap to an extent, but I wouldn't, I think it's anti-establishment rather than racially prejudiced.

For me personally, I'm pretty anal about Native American stereotypes because I see many people who don't think they're racist at all like "LOL we should all play cowboys and indians all day for a senior prank", like they don't realize it was MASS GENOCIDE. "LOL, let's play Jews and Nazis! HAHAHA YOU GOT GASSED!!!!"

But the only kind of music I really like is string band bluegrass D< and they all play the folk songs (which I love *bangs head against wall*) with lyrics like

"Daniel Boone on Pinnacle Rock

He killed injuns with his old flintlock.

Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Gap

Fourteen miles to the Cumberland Gap"

Even the name (Old Crow Medicine Show) of my favorite band makes my anger senses tingle. They're white people naming their band after Native American medicine, which is strictly a within-the-religion thing anyway, they shouldn't even know about it (and they don't) much less name their band after some random Crow thing they think sounds cool. Cultural appropriation D<. And culture and tradition are basically the only thing many Native American nations have left in a nation that hardly recognizes their mass genocide less than 100 years ago.

I don't think they even realize it's racist. XD These guys toured at the Pine Ridge Reservation high schools and had no idea why everyone was like keying their cars and stuff.

And that's not the worst one, there's like "The Cheifs", etc.

How do you reconcile this? Should I stop liking this music? Is there a way to excuse racism in music and culture? Can I ethically buy their CDs? Is there a difference between recent racism and racism from pre-1960s? DISCUSS

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Of course you shouldn't stop liking the music. Of course you can ethically buy the cds. Just because there's some sort of prejudice in a piece of art doesn't make it not art. I mean, you're basically asking "can I like art that does not conform to the current culture-inclusive dominating world-view", which means you're asking "can I like art that was not made in this century," because there's very little art from before this century that was not made by a person or persons with a prejudice against almost everyone else. Prejudices, racism, all that stuff is a part of people. Art is essentially made of people. (SOYLENT GREEN JOKE okay no.) If you ignore all art made by persons with some sort of prejudice, you're ignoring a part of humanity as if that will make it go away - not to mention the fact that no one on this earth is totally without unfair prejudices against someone or something, and thus you couldn't enjoy any art at all.

Orson Scott Card is a smug anti-homosexual asshole, but that doesn't mean Ender's Game wasn't a beautiful story.

The obvious answer is to make art about your prejudices, i.e., your prejudices against prejudiced people. AHA. No really.

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Also I think you have to have a sense of humor about everything. I mean, it's horrible that genocide occurs, but sitting there shaking my head disapprovingly at the people playing cowboys and injuns isn't going to make genocide go away, nor eradicate prejudice against any group. You have to be willing to laugh. You have to be willing to actually make that joke when someone suggests playing cowboys and injuns - "Woo-hoo, yeah, then let's play nazis gassing the jews!" I mean, often a joke works so much better than serious scolding.

Like old style Jesters making fun of the king about his policies to his face.

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I know, I love people, it's so sad. T__T; But I think this is an issue of being a responsible consumer. You have the choice to support (approve of) it, or not support (disapprove of) it, with your dollars. It's not like you're ignoring it.

For example if you were born in Cleveland Ohio and your whole family gets together to watch the Cleveland Indians on TV and you grew up playing baseball with your dad and saying "oh I wanna be like (insert pitcher guy)", that's beautiful and human, but I still think it's unethical to buy the hat and tickets to a game, especially if you're aware that it is offensive. However, I don't think it's unethical to support the team in your thoughts or watch the game on television.

I really admire the kind of people with the brain power to think of jokes like that!! I wish I could. I get really awkward and uncomfortable so I wouldn't be able to think of a joke, I would just sit there.

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I know, I love people, it's so sad. T__T; But I think this is an issue of being a responsible consumer. You have the choice to support (approve of) it, or not support (disapprove of) it, with your dollars. It's not like you're ignoring it.

You're not supporting racism, unless the artist is in some way deliberately racist, like he's a member of the KKK or something crazy. I mean that's like saying that buying chicken from the store down the street owned by a guy who doesn't much care for black people, but doesn't go out beating black people up or anything crazy like that, is supporting racism.

And besides, racist people need to eat too. Just because they're wrong doesn't mean they're worthless.

I really admire the kind of people with the brain power to think of jokes like that!! I wish I could. I get really awkward and uncomfortable so I wouldn't be able to think of a joke, I would just sit there.

BUT AMY, YOU JUST DID. I DIDN'T MAKE THE JOKE UP, YOU DID, IN YOUR ORIGINAL POST. :blink:

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You're not supporting racism, unless the artist is in some way deliberately racist, like he's a member of the KKK or something crazy. I mean that's like saying that buying chicken from the store down the street owned by a guy who doesn't much care for black people, but doesn't go out beating black people up or anything crazy like that, is supporting racism.

And besides, racist people need to eat too. Just because they're wrong doesn't mean they're worthless.

BUT AMY, YOU JUST DID. I DIDN'T MAKE THE JOKE UP, YOU DID, IN YOUR ORIGINAL POST. :blink:

In your example, the chicken itself is not prejudiced. But in my example, the music is the vehicle of "prejudice" (here, it's more like ignorance.) If Old Crow Medicine Show was selling beans, I wouldn't mind buying them, because beans have nothing to do with racism. My question is if you have an ignorant chicken that tastes really good, do you buy it? It's still tainted. And don't say anything like "all chicken is ignorant." You can't say classical music and Go-Hitler music are on the same ignorance level.

I guess what I'm saying is it's not a question of supporting the creators, it's a question of supporting the art. And by supporting the art you send a message to the creators that it's okay to sing that song, or have that name.

I wouldn't be able to think of that in real life before people were talking about something else! Conversation goes so fast. @_@;

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Bobby Fischer, the US Chess Champion, is a racist asshole who denies that the holocaust happened. I didn't know that until recently, and it's quite sad, especially since he was someone I admired growing up. :sad:

From Wikipedia:

"[Fischer] has denied the 'Holocaust of the Jews,' has announced his desire to make 'expos[ing] the Jews for the criminals they are [...] the murderers they are' his lifework, and has argued that the United States is 'a farce controlled by dirty, hook-nosed, circumcised Jew bastards.'"

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In your example, the chicken itself is not prejudiced. But in my example, the music is the vehicle of "prejudice" (here, it's more like ignorance.) If Old Crow Medicine Show was selling beans, I wouldn't mind buying them, because beans have nothing to do with racism. My question is if you have an ignorant chicken that tastes really good, do you buy it? It's still tainted. And don't say anything like "all chicken is ignorant." You can't say classical music and Go-Hitler music are on the same ignorance level.

Wagner hated the Jews and Hitler loved his music! So in that example, some of the greatest classical music is go-Hitler music (albeit it was written sometime before Hitler showed up).

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Well, I think of it like this...

I listen to bands that are sexist, I listen to bands that support drug use, violence, rape, and I just don't give a shit because I'm above it.

If it really bothers you and you really don't think they realize it, you ought to write them a letter. As long as you say you really like their music they ought to be nice about it.

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No offense, amy, 'cause you rock, but your definition of racism seems a bit overbearing to me.

good point =O, it's not exactly racism, but still it offends me.

I would change the title but think I'll get like kick-booted out of the internet if I make a thread called "Offensive Material Located In Modern Media which you Esteem"

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Well, I think of it like this...

I listen to bands that are sexist, I listen to bands that support drug use, violence, rape, and I just don't give a shit because I'm above it.

If it really bothers you and you really don't think they realize it, you ought to write them a letter. As long as you say you really like their music they ought to be nice about it.

I already wrote them a letter but I don't have enough money for a stamp lol xD;;

I know I am over-example-ing this, but it's not that their music bothers me.

It's more like, imagine you're Hindu, and your weird hermit uncle made you a GIANT SWASTIKA STATUE. In Hinduism the swastika symbolizes peace. You really admire your uncle, and ey's a brilliant craftsman, and fervently committed to community activism, and you think of em like a father. Two months later ey dies and you fall in love with a Jewish woman.

What do you do with the giant swastika!?!?

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In your example, the chicken itself is not prejudiced. But in my example, the music is the vehicle of "prejudice" (here, it's more like ignorance.) If Old Crow Medicine Show was selling beans, I wouldn't mind buying them, because beans have nothing to do with racism. My question is if you have an ignorant chicken that tastes really good, do you buy it? It's still tainted. And don't say anything like "all chicken is ignorant." You can't say classical music and Go-Hitler music are on the same ignorance level.

I guess what I'm saying is it's not a question of supporting the creators, it's a question of supporting the art. And by supporting the art you send a message to the creators that it's okay to sing that song, or have that name.

I wouldn't be able to think of that in real life before people were talking about something else! Conversation goes so fast. @_@;

But it *IS* okay to sing that song. It's okay to sing whatever song you have to sing. That's what singing's all about. If you don't like something someone sings, that means that YOU have a song to sing denouncing it.

And I don't know anything about Old Crow Medicine Show, but to me it just sounds like a witty reference to traveling medicine shows from way back in the day.

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it is and it's wonderful but they're a reference to an appropriated custom and eh, i guess it is all very removed and I need to remove my anal probe

I don't want to sing a song about how I don't like other people, what good does that do, just makes more hate.

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Honestly, most of the art I really like has a lot of sexism and racism in it. But I'm not really bothered by it. When I read the Narnia books when I was like 8 years old I really, really bothered by all this "women shouldn't fight in battle" stuff that Aslan said, and how the black Calormenes were seen as inferior the white Narnians, but now I realize, "well it was written in the 1940s, so whatever." To be honest I don't like most of the artwork made in the 1800s that was profeminist or problack or whatever because I don't think art should be about struggling as a woman/black to be accepted in society, I think art should rise above that. I hated "The Awakening" so much.

As for your Old Crow Medicine Show thing I don't know. I guess I feel bad because I didn't really even think about the predijuce native americans face until you started talking about it. In my US history class I get upset because my textbook/teacher plays down the genocide.

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Actually, I stopped reading his stuff when I learned of this. Oh, and homosexual is not a race.

Amy's question is about prejudice in general, Mr. genius-head. And like I said before, do you refuse to read anything written before 1900? Because there's almost nothing before that time that didn't exhibit a fairly strong prejudice against some group.

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Amy's question is about prejudice in general, Mr. genius-head. And like I said before, do you refuse to read anything written before 1900? Because there's almost nothing before that time that didn't exhibit a fairly strong prejudice against some group.

You are argue that most that is written after 1900 that has a message is prejudice against some group.

Take Fahrenheit 451, that is putting down a group of people that exists today. Censors.

Prejudice exists for a reason most of the time, sometimes for a very good reason.

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Um, no. That's speaking against an ideology, not prejudice toward an identity. Obviously. "Prejudice" means to be automatically inclined to think certain characteristics belong to a certain group of people. It has nothing to do with decrying the act of censorship as wrong. Don't be stupid.

Yes, yes, yes

However, if you were to apply that to a normal society. If a society without books is ignorant and damned to it's own foolishness.... than a person who is illiterate or not well-read is....

Besides, some prejudice is positive to us. Keeping those ideas which are harmful out of the public mind as positive. Communism and Religion are among the winners in that category.

What I do when I hate a band but love their music is just never buy anything that has to do with them, but download song song after song off of the interbutt.

You're question is somewhat insane. How can you hate a band but love their music? You hate the way they look? What clothes they wear? Insane, impossible, amazing.

A musical group should ONLY be judged on their music. To judge any other way is a poison invented by popular culture.

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