Tangled Metal wrote:Isn't that more to do with freedom of speech in USA than the level of racism? You can say it over there but over here you have to be circumspect. You can't call someone a dirty Jew but dirty Zionist is acceptable to some in UK politics apparently. If you doubt that then look to n the phrase "dog whistle". It has been used a fair bit in the UK about racism in the UK. I haven't really read much in US press about that phrase wrt racism and speech.
As someone who grew up in the US, racism has always been there. Even though I have a very diverse family, and have always had diverse groups of friends, I learned racist things as part of the culture. Some, I learned better because of friends and family. Other things, I learned better by other means, such as political activism. 20 years ago, I thought that things were getting better, at least in northern cities, it seemed urban areas were becoming more integrated, I saw more interracial couples, more diverse groups of friends together, etc. My diverse groups of friends got fewer comments in public places, etc. I hadn't had anyone call me a 'nigger lover' since the late 80s. I honestly thought that when people made racist comments about the area where I lived, that they were a tiny minority of folks who didn't yet understand.
Now, I know better. Now I know that they were just hiding and biding their time.
p.s. if you haven't seen 'dog whistle' in American media, I suggest you try some other sources. I've certainly seen the term.
Not at all, my point of dog whistle is that in the UK that's needed because UK is less tolerant of overt racist comments. The USA, with freedom of speech, has less need of dog whistle because there's more freedom to be openly racist. It's about being open or masking it.
For example, my American family had overt racism towards native Americans. The members visiting here had no qualms talking openly about their views even though kids were present (myself) and to UK ears it's not on. My grandad who's lived longer in the UK I had no idea shared their racist views over native Americans.
You see it's not that the dog whistle or racism isn't there, just that it's more ok to give your personal views even if it offends.
I hope I've made things clearer. I'm possibly wide of the mark but it's my impression based on my experience and my relatives.
PS my grandad looked a bit like a Tribal chief in old westerns that actually used native Americans. Someone pointed that out and it's the first time I saw him very angry. A big offence to him based on his experience growing up in an area with tribal groups.