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Old 07-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
Jeanox
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Default Damn My White Privilege

Today I posted a series of pictures of myself online that I had run through a generator. The result was that I was called racist. I am not trying to argue or dispute any such claims; I just want a bit of clarity. I am swimming--no, drowning in ignorance with that stuff. So prepare for questions. I apologize for coming off as potentially douchy, I am trying to be tactful, but clearly I am unaware of certain concepts.

THE GENERATOR
The generator begins by having you select your gender, approximate age, and one of 4 racial backgrounds (caucasian, east asian, west asian, or afro/caribbean). It then has you identify your eyes and mouth, then the generator is set up to run.

The site can generate your face in any of the 4 race categories, both genders, 4 different age groups, as well as about 4-5 different art stylings.
In this case, I made the faces I usually do when in front of a camera. Bizarre and totally relative to my own sense of stupidity.

THE PHOTOS
http://i.imgur.com/rXYdXhV.png
http://i.imgur.com/ioIeBfY.png
http://i.imgur.com/qPMaw1b.png

What, precisely is the racist component of running your face through the generator?

Is it the labels used to describe racial backgrounds? Is it the fact that racism is a larger systemic problem in modern culture and that things like this somehow feed into larger harmful stereotypes? Is it the fact that the generator yields results that could be considered visually unsophisticated (a trait, that is shared by anyone swapping race or any other characteristic, mind you; in fact, the only result that is consistently terrible compared to the others is trying to revert your fact to that of a child. It never even works).

I want to know what part of this is the most racist, or if there is some other component that is racist that I've failed to take into account?

Lastly, how does the racism of changing my own face via filter relate to that of, say, a color/attribute slider in a video game?

Many games have options to change your facial features in prefabbed ways that include color and face proportion just like this generator. The difference is, you're not working with an actual photo, but avatars (and depending on the actual game, there will be different degrees of abstraction from reality as a result).


I'd love to hear your thoughts. This is gnawing my brain to pieces. I want to be as sensitive as I can be and I dropped the ball today. I don't want it to happen again, so I want to learn as big of a lesson from this as possible.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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Everyone is a racist. At least initially. Stereotyping is fast and cheap on the brain activity, so why would we try to eliminate it?

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What, precisely is the racist component of running your face through the generator?
More than racist it seems like harmless fun. But on the other hand, we have a history of white people dressing up and mocking the minorities, so this may be considered similar.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:52 AM   #3
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It's not racist, and even if it is a little racist that's OK because it hurts nobody, perpetuates no stereotypes, and is all in good faith.

You just know too many babies. Don't bend and oversensitive yourself because other people are irrational. Shying away from anything to do with other cultures/races/sexes because other people are hysterical about it is no way to go through life, and isn't helping the race debate.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:55 AM   #4
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I see no racism here. The generator is clearly not a gag machine, so it's no joke.
The reality is that along with racists out there in the world, there are also people looking as hard as they can to find racism, the false whistle blowers. They (I assume) hate racism yet they make it their job to see it in everything possible. Ironically these people find issue with the color of a subjects skin, their appearance, and mannerisms... just like a racist
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:06 AM   #5
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If this was me... i'd argue it into the ground before forcing them to quit internet and life itself.

Not racist at all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=9EcUyuQXh4I
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:11 AM   #6
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Whoever said that must be ******* dumb. Tell them to tackle REAL issues of racism with their time. Seriously, "The Face Transformer is a fun toy only".

Maybe because it's assuming that a certain race has certain physical features, which is true to an extent, but really....don't worry about it, and tell the guy to piss off. And call him a cracker.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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Honestly people are pretty damn sensitive.

I see no racism here. like said it's all for a little experimentation lol aka fun.
again like mentioned people like to find racism in anything and everything. I'm from australia and I was told that in the US I might be seen as a racist if I asked for black or white tea lol. if that is the case I would probably laugh in their face.

personally I like to think I'm more of a brown colour lol, but aye that's just me lol.

I'm all for open racism with friends anyway it's funny and lets people have a little fun. I know others may not feel the same but to me I think it's important.

there's a difference in being straight up racist and just having a little fun. Kramer was on some bullshit but Louis CK is a genius. (im prob so off topic but ehh)

with that said I would still be weary of some people and some things that may be said or done out of good fun but may not be taken as such. it's not until after you really think of it does it really sink in.

I hate actual racism. I have been called a N***er out of hate once (luckily) and it wasn't cool. I have also been pulled over by police and in their words "I have nothing to do right now, it's been a slow morning" lol. whether that was racially motivated or not it was still shit being stopped randomly with my mum in the car in the middle of a busy street for no reason.

Check this out from Louis CK. Prob one of my favourite comedians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF1NUposXVQ
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:14 AM   #8
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ah come on, who hasn't thought about what they might look like if they were a different ethnicity? lmao I know I did, mostly because of michael jackson but still xD

This is all good fun in my mind, people get overly dramatic and easily offended for the dumbest things, I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were you.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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I find this entertaining.
From experience, I'll say that it's a pesky thing in the real world. Usually, jerks rise to the top of the cash/authority mountain with their me-first attitude, while the nice common-sense populace settle and negotiates with promises that will get broken. (pensions, cities filing bankruptcy thus taking your pensions, companies restructuring to avoid paying pensions, ect) The rule of thumb here is that sheep only have power when in droves, but wolves can always go solo. Sheep hardly go in droves.

What ends up happening is that the jerks end up in positions of influence and delegate their subordinates' lives. I.E: Go to any big business/operation, and see where managers relegate/decide which positions their employees are placed and you'll get a pretty good idea of their mindset. Thing is, most of the employees tend to have the same qualifications, so it has basically nothing to do with qualifications.

In public, it always looks like a myth (and spoken of as terms of "sensitivity"), but where money is involved is where this stuff still and has always gone on.

As for the race debate, there is none. Businesses are never democracies unless you're a shareholder, so if the head's a (fill-in-the-blanks)-ist, then that's what happens there until the shareholders and customers get wind of it. You beg someone for a job, and one person decides weather to give you the job or not based on maybe which side of his/her face the cat licked first. ~or something similarly nonsensical.

Moral of the story: They're just pics. In other words: bullets are just metal. Just depends on how they're used.

Real moral: I find this entertaining. haha. They're just pics, J.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:19 AM   #10
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I agree this thing is a bit of a stretch, but I also find a lot of people that complain about others being oversensitive tend to be rather insensitive. I don't think there's anything wrong with people being mindful of how they think of and treat other people. You're not a "baby" for being a considerate human being. Racism isn't all KKK and Nazis, it's usually more subtle than that. Same goes for other types of prejudices.

Regardless of whether the pic thing is racist or not, it doesn't mean you are a racist. People can do dumb or insensitive things and learn from them. I'll err on the side of being oversensitive rather than an unapologetic dick any day.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input, guys. I suppose it's a situation that's more complex than a singular answer. First off, Tumblr is very on top of being politically correct. Sensitivities are quite high there. Secondly, if there weren't a history of racism/cultural appropriation waged by privileged in society *coughwhitepeople*, then nothing about this would have struck a nerve. And yet it did.

I think that I agree with Al, that I'd rather lean toward being cautiously sensitive to help be more inclusive in general than brashly self affirming at the expense of others. Just because a problem isn't MY problem doesn't mean that the problem doesn't exist at all. The world is bigger than just me and my experiences.

After cooling down and thinking about it for a few days, I can empathize to a degree with their reactions. When I hear blatantly sexist things that are "just for fun" at my expense, I mean yeah, those statements in isolation are benign and pretty harmless. However, they contribute to a much wider trend of sexism that flies under the radar that makes sexist behavior not only permissible but something to be venerated. It's hard to explain to people how that sort of thing has deeply impacted me in a negative way over my life. And when you have those deep hurts brushed aside because some self-centered asshole isn't interested in looking at reality more complexly, well, that's just salt in the wound.

Anyway, all things said, I'm glad I took it down, but privately, I still enjoy the photos on a personal level. :b
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:56 PM   #12
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Being cautious is fine, but keep things in perspective. A race generator that makes you look like the race does in real life isn't racist, it's realistic (I've seen many black people who looked like that, I'm' sure you all have too, minus the crazy-psycho eyes of course, haha). Racism requires that one race be placed ahead of another, or that a race be denigrated, and this generator doesn't do that. I agree with you Al, sensitivity isn't bad, or being a "baby", but baseless sensitivity is exactly the hallmark of being a baby. It's what babies do; they take something meaningless and make it the end of the world. It's immature, it shuts down proper discourse, and shows a lack of objectivity.

This is like people who get bent out of shape at phrases like "white on rice". They're not sensitive, they're tools.

Also, Jean, you're male version looks a LOT like Ryan Reynolds.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:23 PM   #13
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I guess it's just a matter of where you post some things, unfortunately, since the line between vicious mockery/appropriation and plain curiosity is blurred for some. I wish there were better ways of stating opinions on the matter than calling people racist, but there's not much to do about that. Besides, it's not like you wore a fake afro and said you fully understand what it's like to be black, a la "Before and Afro".


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Also, Jean, you're male version looks a LOT like Ryan Reynolds.
I'm glad I wasn't the only person who thought this.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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I'm not saying this generator is racist, but some of the replies in here struck me as a bit defensive in regards to people bringing up racial issues. I'm not saying that people in here are necessarily this way, but I often see people get super dismissive any time racist, sexist, etc things are brought up, as if the people directly affected by those issues are just over sensitive. It's pretty obnoxious, particularly coming from people who have don't face those issues.

There's some stuff going on for me that these issues are kind of on my mind more at the moment, and I just recently moved back to the south, where I've noticed a lot of apathetic attitudes towards discrimination (the more subtle kind). Your second post cleared up some things, and I think we mostly agree.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard1515
There's some stuff going on for me that these issues are kind of on my mind more at the moment, and I just recently moved back to the south, where I've noticed a lot of apathetic attitudes towards discrimination (the more subtle kind).
My condolences. :P

The South is a bit of a different story. More along the lines of "Hey, lets throw a slavery themed frat party and tie up the black girls! What!? Racist!? Nooo!"
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:33 AM   #16
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I'd never mean to imply that racism isn't an issue. I just wanted to say along the lines of what dfacto said. There are people out there that just love to find ways to see an issue where there isn't one, to make their real issues look bigger. I'll take the issue of racism seriously, but you're not getting anywhere if in your fight for equality you show time and time again that you have no idea where that goal line of equality actually rests.
So call me a bit dismissive, but only toward those not approaching the problem in a mature way.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:06 PM   #17
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Some people get butthurt over anything, especially on the Internet. Them is Trolls, and we are reminded to never feed the trolls. As long as being racist was not your intent, who gives a flying fark what they think?

This doesn't look like being racist to me. It was funny as hell, but that's because I've known you for years, and you've also done goofy shit to pics of yourself for years here at PK. You is weird, and that's why we all accept you here. We is weird, too.

Once you go to a public site like Tumblr, then you open yourself up to Trolls and their bullshit opinions. They do it to get a rise out of you, and to make themselves feel important while hiding behind their little computer screens. If they hurt your feelings with their hatred, then the trolls have already won.

I know for a fact that they wouldn't spew their hate in person. Most of them are cowards.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Most of them are cowards.
I know this for a fact as I've seen our Professor beat up more than a couple with a definite uppercut and kick to the neck when they refused to fight.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:03 PM   #19
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Racism and sexism doesn't roll in one direction. It's all messy and stupid.

Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.

Have a care. Be thoughtful and considerate. We ALL have feelings (even white people).
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