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Define White

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
If someone says they're white what does it mean? (or just give a good definition)

If someone says they're black I assume they mean they're of African origin .. so what does being white mean? Are Jews white? or Southern Italians with their olive skin ..

Starting to get me confused now these days what White actually is ..
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whites are generally considered Caucasian i.e. Caucasian relates to a broad division of people origonating from and covering Europe and western Asia.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's difficult.

    To include all the groups whose members for the most part consider themselves White, and are generally considered by others to be White, and not include those groups which [do not/are not], you end up with a somewhat unwieldy construction like:

    a member or descendant of a native European ethny with a predominantly Christian heritage.

    This would exclude peoples like the Sami, or Albanians, which I think is generally acceptable, but would also exclude the Ashkenazi Jews, some of whom say they are White, and are accepted as such by most other Whites.

    It has always been, and remains today, a contentious political decision, precisely who is White? Historically, the label has been quite fluid, and mainly a colonial/empire/offshoot question. In the old days qualifying as White afforded privilege, these days the opposite.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Non black, asian, hispanic etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You cant, its a stupid term, but then all racial theory is total rubbish.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Non black, asian, hispanic etc.

    Ah but then if say one parent is white and one Asian what is the child?

    you'd think the BNP would have a good definition


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    You cant, its a stupid term, but then all racial theory is total rubbish.

    It does have some biological basis though.

    White to me suggests someone from Europe or a direct descendant from European settlers/colonists/emmigrants.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah but then if say one parent is white and one Asian what is the child?

    Half white/half Asian? :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah but then if say one parent is white and one Asian what is the child?

    I guess then, strictly speaking, the child would not be considered either White or Asian but may claim ancestry of both. I would suppose that anyone who is at least 45% of one race would be regarded as a member of the race of their major gene.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    It does have some biological basis though.

    White to me suggests someone from Europe or a direct descendant from European settlers/colonists/emmigrants.

    In that peoples skins are different shades, yes, there is a biological basis to that but anything else is just rubbish.

    I suppose you could set certain shade boundaries like a colour sample from a paint company, but thats just pointless.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Who gives a toss at the end of the day?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Who gives a toss at the end of the day?

    Tragically lots of people do, though why I've never understood. No one is pure anything, we are all strange mixes of all sorts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Who gives a toss at the end of the day?

    It should make no difference in how we interact with each other but at the end of the day, it IS where I (for instance) come from. I have a real interest in history, for instance, and having an idea of my roots is kinda fascinating. Just as, I am sure, it is for people of other races.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    It should make no difference in how we interact with each other but at the end of the day, it IS where I (for instance) come from. I have a real interest in history, for instance, and having an idea of my roots is kinda fascinating. Just as, I am sure, it is for people of other races.

    But that is your nationality, not your 'race'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    In that peoples skins are different shades, yes, there is a biological basis to that but anything else is just rubbish.

    I suppose you could set certain shade boundaries like a colour sample from a paint company, but thats just pointless.

    Well it's a bit more than colour, they're not substantial but there are other phsiological differences between races. It's stupid to just say that we're all just humans and that's that. Although it is true it's like saying there's no such things as Poodles or Pitbulls, just dogs. It's science, of course race is a social construct also and has unfortunately proven to be the death and misfortune of millions but that still doesn't mean we have to put the whole issue to the back of our minds and deny it doesn't exist.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Who gives a toss at the end of the day?

    Hmm, with that attitude you're just looking for another Hitler type of person to come along.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    But that is your nationality, not your 'race'.

    I think race has history as much as nationality. Race transcends nationality, in my opinion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah but has fuck all to do with a term like 'race' - I've got welsh roots and probably some Briton or celtish way back - those are races - White isn't a race, it's just a pretty simplistic term that doesn't define anything. Hence the difficulty in defining it. Just the same as it's as difficult to define anything realisitc based on any other colour definition.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Yeah but has fuck all to do with a term like 'race' - I've got welsh roots and probably some Briton or celtish way back - those are races - White isn't a race, it's just a pretty simplistic term that doesn't define anything. Hence the difficulty in defining it. Just the same as it's as difficult to define anything realisitc based on any other colour definition.

    Think you might be confusing race with ethnicity there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Regardless - the idea that a term like white has an value seems pointless to me. It only seems to hold a value to me for those that want to exclude themselves from others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Well it's a bit more than colour, they're not substantial but there are other phsiological differences between races. It's stupid to just say that we're all just humans and that's that. Although it is true it's like saying there's no such things as Poodles or Pitbulls, just dogs. It's science, of course race is a social construct also and has unfortunately proven to be the death and misfortune of millions but that still doesn't mean we have to put the whole issue to the back of our minds and deny it doesn't exist.

    Yes, various human groups from various parts of the world are different, but that isnt really 'race'. One group of 'black' people may well be completely different from another, same as 'whites' from one part of the world are different from another.

    In the terms it is used 'race' is totally a social contract because it is about power.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Regardless - the idea that a term like white has an value seems pointless to me. It only seems to hold a value to me for those that want to exclude themselves from others.


    So you are .. erm .. what? What do you use to explain your (I presume) fair skin. I don't see why considering myself is White means that there is racist connotations. Some people might be like that but there are arseholes in every aspect of humanity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    Yes, various human groups from various parts of the world are different, but that isnt really 'race'. One group of 'black' people may well be completely different from another, same as 'whites' from one part of the world are different from another.

    In the terms it is used 'race' is totally a social contract because it is about power.

    Who says they have to think the same?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    So you are .. erm .. what? What do you use to explain your (I presume) fair skin. I don't see why considering myself is White means that there is racist connotations. Some people might be like that but there are arseholes in every aspect of humanity.

    I'm fine with people describing themselves as white or black or whatever, its when they form their identity from a pure accident of birth it irritates me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    I'm fine with people describing themselves as white or black or whatever, its when they form their identity from a pure accident of birth it irritates me.

    So you have a problem with people being proud of their nationality/gender/sexuality also?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    So you have a problem with people being proud of their nationality/gender/sexuality also?

    Largely yes, its an accident of birth, I find it very odd when people make such a big deal of it. Your country of birth, your choice of genitals, your sex really doesnt mean anything really. Why would you make it your defining feature?

    Why not be proud of having brown hair, or two feet or anything you were born to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    Why would you make it your defining feature?

    Because it shapes you as a person. Look, people just didn't start growing out of the ground, they got here some how. I've always been interested in the history of the people of my land, how they got here, what they did, how they managed to survive etc etc. It's interesting stuff, I'm proud of it, I'm proud of my people's feats and I'm proud to be Irish. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that.
    budda wrote: »
    Why not be proud of having brown hair, or two feet or anything you were born to?

    Sure why not? I'm not going to jump on them if they are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Because it shapes you as a person. Look, people just didn't start growing out of the ground, they got here some how. I've always been interested in the history of the people of my land, how they got here, what they did, how they managed to survive etc etc. It's interesting stuff, I'm proud of it, I'm proud of my people's feats and I'm proud to be Irish. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that.

    Fair enough, but would you be that drastically different if you were gay for example? Would it really change who you were that much?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    Fair enough, but would you be that drastically different if you were gay for example? Would it really change who you were that much?

    Probably. Certainly concerning the people I interact with, my attitude towards sexuality and sexual oppression etc etc. Make me more interested in these issues.
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Who gives a toss at the end of the day?

    Too many people.

    TBH, there are a few things that need to notice race - I.E a historical film/program - you can hardly have a black man playing Winston Churchill. It'd be historically incorrect.

    Other than that, meh.

    But for definition - People of European ancestory with a skin pigment that makes them white. Also, thier is nothing wrong with being proud of this. As long as you don't use it as an excuse to be hateful of other races, or get a superiority complex about it. No race is more important than another one. Although the mix of races making up America appear to have been the most useless people of each race sent there to be stupid with each other, meaning that the rest of the world was left the good stuff. :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Hmm, with that attitude you're just looking for another Hitler type of person to come along.
    On the contrary. The more people who obsess with races and colours, the bigger chance there is of another Hitler arising.

    Whereas I'm sure the OP did not have ulterior motives it always worries me that when a thread like this arises sooner or later some people start to emerge who appear to attach a lot of importance to who exactly qualifies as a member of which race and so on. Some of those take more than just an academic interest in the subject, and for reasons that have nothing to do with anthropology.

    We're all the same. We all came from Africa anyway. I really couldn't care less about who qualifies as 'pure' white and who is of mixed or non pure white backgrounds. It's all down to pigmentation, nothing more.
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