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I don't think much about racial politics. I live in one of the whitest towns in the UK and I don't interact with people much anyway so for me race issues are a lot like problems with console only games. However bad they might be and upsetting it is to read about they just don't feel important for me.
This mental inactivity was broken recently when I was called a racist for saying I was happy with Peter Parker as Spiderman rather than a black guy. For what it's worth I never like it when a white male character is replaced and a black guy or a woman for the sake of diversity, and if that make me racist.... Sorry?


But this has made me think about how racial issue have or haven't affected me and it reminded me that there was a time when I didn't know racial differences existed at all.
When I was a kid I didn't "see" different colour skin. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with me but that some people had different colour skin seemed no stranger than the fact that I had blond hair while my dad's was black. And nobody ever brought it up beyond it being aware of a little visual difference in some people I didn't really know that there were any differences.
That all changed when was ten and told my teacher about a song I'd learned called Back of the Bus. She asked me if I knew about the history of the song. I didn't. As far as I knew it was just a cool song. She told me all about Racial segregation in America, Martin-Luther King, the civil rights movement and all that jazz. I think it would be fair for me to say that I've never quite seen black people (or any non white people) the same way since.


So, was I unusually for being colour blind for so long? Does everyone do through this revelation? Do some people see different races from three years old? Can racial awareness be a good thing? Should Ben Affleck Play Barack Obama even though Obama is only half white? I look forward to hearing your answers.

Thanks for reading.
I was a case very similar to yours. I'd heard of discrimination of various peoples in colonial times in history class, but I didn't really want to or care enough to know why. I think it has something to do with what you said; viz living in a place where there is little or no talk about it. If you think about it, there is actually very little of the phenomenon called racism in the majority of the world. I only found out there was such a thing after I got active on the internet. I live in an area where it is impossible to tell what race a person is; and since people are divided up on things they consider more important like politics; no one really gives a damn about it. The last time I remember anything to do with racism and hate was when someone from a northeastern state was beaten up and robbed in Delhi; which was allegedly racially motivated. Other than that, there is no discussion of race at all in the media; even social media in India.

Color blindness is bliss. Ideally, everyone shouldn't even consider themselves different from anyone else due to external factors. Its kinda ironic that both of learned of racism only because people were talking of preventing it though.
I was color blind until I first saw interracial porn.

No, it's just a bad joke. xD
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Johnmourby: This mental inactivity was broken recently when I was called a racist for saying I was happy with Peter Parker as Spiderman rather than a black guy. For what it's worth I never like it when a white male character is replaced and a black guy or a woman for the sake of diversity, and if that make me racist.... Sorry?
That has nothing to do with racism, that's just respect for the original material. I suspect that you'd be just as annoyed if a character who was black in the original book/comic was played by a white guy in the movie.
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Johnmourby: Can racial awareness be a good thing? Should Ben Affleck Play Barack Obama even though Obama is only half white?
Awareness? Certainly. Although mostly, "racial awareness" is really "cultural awareness". Race and culture are two different things.

And no, Ben Affleck should most certainly not play Barack Obama. Obama's race has been an important issue in the US (well, it's been an issue anyway), and changing it in a historical movie would be... wrong. In the preliminary elections, much was made of the fact that the final elections would see the US get either its first black president or its first female one. Both would be significant, given US history.

But it does depend on the history. As a comparison, we currently have our first ever female prime minister. When she got elected, nobody gave a shit. Not about her election you understand, but about the fact that she was a woman. It didn't matter. Nobody called it "a great victory for gender equality", nobody complained that she wasn't fit for the office because of her gender. The reason lies in Danish history. We have had female party leaders for the past 30 years, and the fact that none of them happened to get elected until now has been a coincidence. Everybody knows that the party leader gets the top post after a successful election, so Danes have been used to the possibility of female prime ministers long before it actually happened.
Hmmm when did i become aware... When i was 13...

Back in the 90's i remember my mom had a lot of older movies on cable; A number of the movies had some level of historical accuracy; So as such there were movies with black slaves and the occasional use of the the word Nigger. I didn't know what the word meant, and i didn't really watch the movies, but at some point i noticed the word was only used when referring to black people, so i didn't know it had a racial slur, i just thought it was another word for black.

So when i was at school this is when this was slapped in my face, i casually used the word not having any bad intent on my side and i got reprimanded and told what it not only meant but it was a bad word, about as bad as most 4 letter words right? It was amazing how quickly someone got offended. Yes i know now it was an intentionally offensive word, but i had no biases (and still generally don't).



Of course another kid i remember totally flipped out saying i flipped him off when my hand was flat down on a table and my middle finger was raised ever so slightly...
I was born and bred in the country,went to school with Aboriginal kids my age and never saw them as black but as mates who I played with.Non of us as kids seen any different colours,just kids having fun.
It wasn't until we moved to the city that things started to change.All of a sudden Italians and Greeks became wogs,then Vietnamese became gooks or slopeheads,and so on.It's a shame that this sort of thing goes on because I have good friends from all Nationalities whom I respect.
And that's the key word RESPECT,treat people as they treat you and you will never see their different colours or Nationality.....
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deadsushii: I was color blind until I first saw interracial porn.

No, it's just a bad joke. xD
Nonetheless, it made me think of 'The Amateurs.' Gotta have big black penises! And the follow-up conversation. Some of the best parts of that film. Talk about racial stereotyping. ;)
Several people said here that as kids they didn't 'see' different colour skins, and I can't believe it. Kids notice everything. They notice if you're tall, fat, have glasses or have a different coloured skin. They accept it though. Unless they don't and want to make something of it. And if it's something they didn't see before they'd give it more attention.

Race itself isn't something you see unless it's drilled in, but as people we always generalise, we learn to classify 'dog' as a certain kind of animal, and if we associate certain types of dogs with certain experiences, our mind creates rules regarding that. We look at other people the same way. If we see a group of people which can be identified by a certain look and we notice that people of that group behave in certain ways which are different than people of other groups, then we'll build an image in our minds of that group.
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ET3D: Kids notice everything. They notice if you're tall, fat, have glasses or have a different coloured skin. They accept it though.
Yeah i noticed cute girls, some overweight kids and black boys, and other things. But it didn't mean anything. Why you should judge someone by something like the color of their skin, or if they shave their head, or decide to wear a blue shirt that day is just stupid.


Most of the time as a kid, you're more interested in just playing and avoiding homework, so race gender age and body type is thrown out the window. Worse perhaps is that racial opinions are taught and passed down from generation to generation much like an unwanted heirloom. Much like Religion by forcing kids to go to church and telling them over and over again that unless they believe they will go to hell, rinse and repeat... :(
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ET3D: They accept it though.
Hah. Kids are assholes. They don't accept it, they just hardly differenciate between traits they can mock.
My mum still tells the story of my comments in the post office queue. I would have been about 2 (so this would have been around 1980) and was sat in the push chair waiting for our turn, when I noticed something - and loudly piped up 'Mummy look! That man is BLACK!'
I was aware of racial differences, as in people are different, pretty much as long as I can remember. Some people come from different parts of the world and look different. That's just how it is. I myself was from a foreign country (but still European), so that was nothing special to me.

I remember how at school there was a play with puppets against racial hatred or xenophobia. The puppets were aliens, but the message was still clear: it was not OK to be mean to someone just because they are different, which to me was like "duh, of course". But then again, the play was not aimed at me, it was aimed at the other kids.

Racial awareness campaigns are BS though. It's like a pendulum that keeps swinging back and forth. First it was OK to repress black people, and now white people have to flagellate themselves for their privilege? That's the sort of shit that will just spur hatred of black people all over again. Spiderman / Peter Parker is already an established character, why on earth would you want to mess with him? If you want a black super hero, then just make a new black super hero. But I guess it's much easier to just ride the success of an established brand than to make your own.

Here is the deal: activists, of all kinds, are not interested in solving the problem. They are like warlords who need to keep the conflict up to maintain power. So what they do is spur the tension so they can sell the solution to the problem they themselves created. I'm sure many activist groups did start with good intentions, but over time they attracted people who are just in it for the money.

Ask yourself: who is really keeping women out of STEM fields? It's the feminists, they cry about how there are not enough women in STEM and take money for all sorts of campaigns, scholarships or special committees and seats. At the same time however they tell women how horrible the work environments are, how all the people hate women, how one out of four women get raped and other such lies. What normal woman would want to work in such an environment? It is no coincidence that the bigger the influence of feminism in a country is, the lower the percentage of women in STEM is.
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Crispy78: My mum still tells the story of my comments in the post office queue. I would have been about 2 (so this would have been around 1980) and was sat in the push chair waiting for our turn, when I noticed something - and loudly piped up 'Mummy look! That man is BLACK!'
Something similar happened with my sister when she was similarly aged, she was on the bus with my aunt when she told her "That man hasn't washed" :D.

For a long while I just understood racism to be something that happened in the US that was fixed in the 70s. I had seen and experienced subtle racism before that, probably, but didn't associate it as such.

I guess one point I remember tripping myself up was around 13...I had a lot of african friends, and some would call me "my nigger", so I'd use it back, but then I realised that some of them felt weird about it, so I felt weird about it, then. Also, when drawing a black friend (I enjoyed sketching a lot...should get back into that at some point), I just drew the outline and then showed it to him, and he said "But that guy's white". So I shaded the sketch in, but then he just got annoyed and stuck a scrap of paper with glue on one side over my drawing...

Pakistan has a lot of racism, but the different groups are all almost equally placed overall (some maybe be stronger in one place or in one field, but the other makes up for it in another), so no one group really can be considered to be in a superior position to the other, leaving racism mostly at the level of jokes playing up on stereotypes- there's no "normalised white race" vs "all the coloured races".

I often think about making an overtly race-incorporating city RPG which uses all the stereotypes about different races and cultures and religions as character traits and bonuses- like how a black character would have +1 athleticism or a jewish character would have +1 mercantile or a muslim character would have the blood rage trait, etc.
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rtcvb32: Yeah i noticed cute girls, some overweight kids and black boys, and other things. But it didn't mean anything. Why you should judge someone by something like the color of their skin, or if they shave their head, or decide to wear a blue shirt that day is just stupid.
The younger you are, the less it matters, but as I said, you'd build an image. If kids with blue shirts tend to group together and talk sometimes a language you don't understand, you may be less likely to be part of that. If the kids on your class that get the best math grades wear blue shirts, your mind might form that connection. If you then see that kind of thought in the media or in other people (hey, that math whiz in that TV show is always wearing a blue shirt; uncle Larry says blue shirt wearers are great at finances, so beware that they don't pull one over you if you're dealing with them), that will reinforce the image.

That doesn't mean you'll notice 'race' at any point, but it could colour what you think of other people.
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When I was a small child watching Seasame Street, they kept on bangin' on about it. Right now the so called main stream media and governments are always trying to divide and conquer but more and more peeps are realizing this and just getting on with getting along with each other - in the future race will be less of an issue. Peace and love siblings :-)