How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
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23-01-2014, 06:24 PM
How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
1 or 2 weeks ago on my way to the train station I had to take the tram as I do almoust on a daily basis. On a specific day a group of 3 Arab men got into the tram at one station carrying a large canister that was obviously filled with either petrol or diesel.
I became suspicious of these people to the extent that I left the tram and almoust called the police, which I didn`t do in the end.

Now this "incident" kept floating arround in my head for quite a while. I am part of the generation which heard the words Arab and Islam for the first time on 9/11.

As a result of that, when confronted with Arab people the thoughts going through my mind are always "Antisemites! Fanatics! Backwards! Mysogenists! Potential Terrorists!"

And due to the fact that almoust the entire Arab world is ruled by dictators and that almoust the entire Islamic world is underdeveloped and ruled by backwards laws I often find it justified to think in that way.

I think in similar ways of various other people. As someone who grew up in the extremly conservative countryside amongst religious abusive right winger, I see most country folk as stupid, racist and backwards. And when meeting people from there who are conservative or meeting muslims that hold backwards views, I often refer to them as "Savages".

I keep doing this in with confidence, believing that I am a civilised citizen of a republic and firm believer in my societies democratic values, and as such I have every right to be abuseive with everything and everyone who threatens these democratic values.


But I have these phases like right now, where I think of my great grandmother who was nazi anf firm believer in the fascist ideology, who kept telling me when I was a child "Never trust a Russian or a Jew."

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23-01-2014, 07:00 PM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
So... Did the train burn?
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23-01-2014, 07:01 PM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
You should have informed the police. it's better safe than sorry.

I've experienced it from the other side. I am Irish, and in the 1980's me and my friends would visit London for a weekend every now and then. This was during the troubles, and if an IRA bomb went off, it was best to keep your head down and not let the locals hear your accent. I was always stopped and searched etc.... on the underground we would be talking, people around us would hear our accent and watch us, hoping we wouldn't get off and leave our bag behind :-)

Times have changed. Now people live in fear of Muslim fanatics, with some justification since 7/7. Of course we must not tar everyone with the same brush, but I can understand that people can be paranoid and fearful. Of course that is the whole point of terrorism.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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24-01-2014, 04:32 PM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
I utter some sterotypical stuff at times and some reactions are quite shocking. I mean, I am Italian and don't take offense to stereotypical comments or ideas. I don't find stereotyping in certain ways to be as horrible as it is made out to be. You don't have to like or feel safe around anybody - that is your choice. Without these judgements we may not be able to remove ouselves from a situation. I think you reacted within means of keeping safe. In my mind this is different than outright discrimination based on ethnicity

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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25-01-2014, 02:51 AM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
(23-01-2014 06:24 PM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  1 or 2 weeks ago on my way to the train station I had to take the tram as I do almoust on a daily basis ... "Never trust a Russian or a Jew."

I can't tell whether you are asking for advice or offering it.
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25-01-2014, 06:16 AM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
Doesn't the train prohibit flammable liquids, weapons and in some instances, food?

The Train in NYC doesn't ban food or drink but the train in DC does.

If that's the case, report the violation, not the person to the police. In NYC, there are signs all over the place that encourage you to "if you see something, say something."

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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25-01-2014, 06:48 AM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
Theres a reason 'stereotypes' come to be, because they usually apply to the vast majority of said group.

It cant be said that it applies to all, or to even individuales in a group, but that the overall picture of the stereotype is pretty spot on.

Its the generalisation that seems to upset the ones it doesnt apply to.

I feel no slight when I get it myself, 1) I'm a German, and most of the stereotypes shit applies to me, 2) I'm a biker and most of that also applied to me, tho I've gotten out of the "lifestye" and just ride now.

People just need to harden the fuck up and not take things to seriously.
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25-01-2014, 07:16 AM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
You are asking for advice on how to deal with stereotyping when you recognise it in yourself or within others?

Either way, you are looking at thousands of years of evolution. For efficiency, our pattern-seeking brains categorise and compartmentalise.

German brains, doubly so Dodgy

When you see it in others... call it (after a quick risk assessment).

And within yourself, well, you've already won that battle... you are recognising it and not reacting.

Of course, genuine security breaches need to be reported, regardless of the category of the perpetrator.

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25-01-2014, 10:36 AM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
Well I did report it to railway security yesterday after reading some posts here.

I guess I would have to agree most with War Horse.

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26-01-2014, 10:38 PM
RE: How to deal with stereotyps and bias based on ethnicity
(25-01-2014 06:48 AM)War Horse Wrote:  Theres a reason 'stereotypes' come to be, because they usually apply to the vast majority of said group.

So basically women really are inferior to men and should stay at home, because they are emotional and can't act rationally and do not have the necessary brain capacity for higher education?

Blacks are just slave material afterall and not exactly human beings?

Must be true because these views were held for hundreds or thousands of years as stereotypes of these groups and stereotypes come to be because they usually apply to the vast majority of said group.
Makes you wonder why these deep insights aren't applied any longer, since they must still be true to a high degree (or are black people suddenly not black anymore? Oo)


@Topic
I'm not saying you shouldn't have left the tram, but I think you should frequently question these stereotypes. Down here we have (percentage-wise) more muslims than germany but they are overall normal citizens.
And Germany has mainly turkish muslims. Let's not forget that turkey in fact is a democratic country and not that backwards - at least large parts aren't.

The ones I would be wary about are the conservative political parties with actual political power not some average people with their own struggles in life and no influence whatsoever.

It's human perception that makes extremes more memorable. Traffic accidents kill a thousand times more people than terrorists yet you probably aren't walking around reporting every slightly suspicious driver, but you reported 3 guys with a liquid-canister for looking arabic.
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