Calling someone a "racist" is the fastest way to end the conversation and not change a single mind


This election season has once again shone a light on race and racism, but the more it gets discussed, the more the problem seems intractable - and I think that's because of the language we use and the way the issue is framed.

Presumption #1: nobody (aside from the actual members of supremacist groups) thinks they're a racist.

Presumption #2: calling someone a racist is almost guaranteed to elicit a negative, defensive remark and not engage in any meaningful conversation.

Presumption #3: saying / believing / doing a thing doesn't automatically change a persona. (I.E. a smart person can do a stupid thing and that doesn't change that they're smart; I go swimming a few times per summer but would hardly call myself a "swimmer")

The point of all of this is that I feel we would be much better off if we stopped calling people racists, and instead focus on their racist words, actions, and beliefs as being racist. In other words, separate the people from the problem.

Imagine Uncle Jerry is at Thanksgiving and makes a racist remark. Are you more likely to get Uncle Jerry to think twice about doing this if you call him a racist, or if you tell him "you know Uncle Jerry, I know you're not a racist, but that remark you just made was pretty racist, and here's why ..."

If anyone can change my view, and convince me that calling people racists is the best way to get them to stop from saying and doing racist things or holding racist beliefs, I'm all ears (or eyes, as it were). Thanks!


  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    If anyone can change my view, and convince me that calling people racists is the best way to get them to stop from saying and doing racist things or holding racist beliefs, I'm all ears (or eyes, as it were).

    Perhaps you've heard the joke:

    How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

    One, but the light bulb has to want to change.

    Similarly, I don't think that it's an individual person's job to change the point of view of a racist. First, to truly change a racist person's mind requires for them to be introspective and reflect on their own life, and that's not something you can force on somebody in an argument, or even civil discussion most times. Second, from the perspective of a person-of-color, suggesting I spend some effort in an attempt to engage someone in a civil discussion of why-that-thing-you-said-is-racist opens up the door for a "victim blaming" experience, and an opportunity to cause further pain to me, with accusations of "you're too sensitive," and "that's all in the past though." Why would I want to put myself through that? ;-)

    I've seen a couple people in this thread make a comparison of calling someone a racist as analogous to "fat shaming" people to get them to change their behavior. I don't particularly think that's effective or a good comparison, so, let me go one better:

    Calling Uncle Jerry at Thanksgiving a racist is closer to calling Uncle Jerry an alcoholic.

    I think you need to name what it is that he is, and not just describe the behaviors. Not "Uncle Jerry, I know you don't have an alcohol problem, but you did just drink a fifth of Wild Turkey, and that could be considered dysfunctional, because..."

    You (and the family who care about Uncle Jerry) call it what it is. "Uncle Jerry, you're an alcoholic, and you need help." You don't have to be the treating therapist, or the Alcoholics Anonymous support group to Uncle Jerry, because he needs to figure that shit out on his own, and own up to his own problems. (If he comes to you later asking for help, then that's a different deal). Similarly, with Uncle Jerry being a racist, there is something about that that he needs to come to on his own, before you can hit him with the logic and reasoning to fix his racist tendencies.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Sorry it took me awhile to get to this, but this is the most reasoned argument I've read for calling someone a racist. Now obviously tone and relationships matter - it's easier for Uncle Jerry's family to call him an alcoholic, and some tact needs to be employed in bringing it up, but the frankness does have merit in certain situations.

      I still think people are way too quick to toss out accusations of racism and attack the character of otherwise well-meaning people who just don't understand the errors of their ways (and have been made to feel slighted), but your comment has changed my view

      I'm on my phone so I don't know how to award a delta from here with the code thing, but as soon as I get to a computer you're getting a little triangle.

      Edit: think I figured it out

    • 3 years ago

      Thank you.

      I'm of mixed feelings about how quickly we toss out accusations of racism. I think that, even when it is true that people are being racist, calling them racist obscures other important issues about their behavior. At the same time, certain people with wealth, privilege, and a lack of self-awareness, don't get called out as being racist often enough. It continues to be a complicated issue, and one we will continue to wrestle with for generations.

      I believe the process to award a Delta is to edit your post, and add a #&8710; (switch the & and the # to get the ∆ symbol) to the beginning, which should cause a delta to appear, summoning the CMV bot.

      Thanks again.

      Edit: multiple edits to get the symbol to show up.

  • 3 years ago

    I think it's important to separate racism from racist remarks made unintentionally by well meaning people.

    Your 92 year old grandfather is watching television and sees an African American get in the water and yells, out of genuine concern and ignorance, "Oh no, get out of there, black people can't swim!" This is a racist remark and the perfect time to deploy "I know you're not a racist grandpa, but that remark is not ok and premised in a prejudiced and racist understanding..."

    Your grandfather doesn't think less of African Americans, nor does he think there's anything about African Americans that makes them inferior or incapable of learning to swim. He was just led to believe they can't. You can correct him and he'll accept it. Problem solved, lesson learned.

    This is not at all the same as Uncle Joe who rants at you over thanksgiving dinner about the "Kenyan born monkey running the country between shots of grape-drank." This is not ignorance, or an opening for an exchange. This is racism.

    To engage with it, to even dignify that discussion by parsing it is to classify it in the same vein as the hypothetical comment by your grandfather. That's more than it deserves.

    Obvious counter argument: "Yes, but then you're not going to change your Uncle's mind."

    That's probably true, but your Uncle isn't interested in a debate. He's looking to either shock or elicit comments of support. Either way, calmly and definitively labelling him as what he is in that moment is the only course of action that makes sense.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Fair enough, and you're right that Uncle Joe isn't interested in a debate. But I would argue there are other courses of action that could make sense other than calling Uncle Joe a racist. Calling him a racist just feeds the trolls. And maybe he is incapable of changing his mind, in which case he's a lost cause and not really the point of this post. I would argue there are way more Grandpas out there than Uncle Joes, but maybe I'm wrong. But I still think there are more productive ways to deal with the Uncle Joes than calling them a racist and walking away.

  • 3 years ago

    Presumption #1: nobody (aside from the actual members of supremacist groups) thinks they're a racist.

    Not true. Especially on the intellectual left, it's pretty common to find people who acknowledge that they have racist attitudes and that they're only working on, not yet done, overcoming them.

    Presumption #2: calling someone a racist is almost guaranteed to elicit a negative, defensive remark and not engage in any meaningful conversation.

    Again, not true. I very frequently call my girlfriend a racist. Mostly, it leads to groans and then a barely-interrupted continuation of her monologue, because I was calling her something ridiculous like a racist against black pepper, but at other times it leads her to seriously reconsider her prejudicial attitudes. Yesterday, she actually complimented me on how consistently I do this.

    Presumption #3: saying / believing / doing a thing doesn't automatically change a persona. (I.E. a smart person can do a stupid thing and that doesn't change that they're smart; I go swimming a few times per summer but would hardly call myself a "swimmer")

    This is an "all or nothing" fallacy. You're not a swimmer like michael phelps, but a kid from a small town in the middle of America without a pool might say you're more a swimmer than he is. You might be a "strong swimmer" or a "weak swimmer" or an "occasional swimmer".

    Similarly, I'm not dating a neonazi. There are zero jews who have died at my girlfriend's hands. I know that, she knows that I know that, but she also knows that she's totally being a racist when she assumes an area with a lot of black people in it has a high crime rate.


    On the flip side, let me also say that I think you're underestimating how effective being mean and thoughtless can be, especially among the youth. If I'm a thirteen year old who mostly hangs out with other thirteen year olds (as I typically assume is true of all people on the internet) then derisively calling people racist is probably one of the greatest things I can do to combat racism. Just like calling someone names for dressing a certain way is one of the greatest things I can do to combat minority fashion styles. Name calling is totally capable of changing the way that kids choose to express themselves.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Yeah but is that how we want to change an institutional problem? By shaming people into keeping their beliefs and preferences private and only among certain groups? Or do we want to shine a light on it and get them to understand WHY it's racist and therefore wrong.

      Too often the argument becomes one about the character of the person, and not about the damaging and dangerous things they say, do, and believe. When you screw up at work, do you want your boss to have an adult conversation with you about it, or call you a no-good shit-for-brains in front of the whole office? Which approach is going to leave you more resentful and perhaps even cause you to dig your heels in further to defend yourself instead of acknowledging you made a mistake?

    • 3 years ago

      Yeah but is that how we want to change an institutional problem? By shaming people into keeping their beliefs and preferences private and only among certain groups? Or do we want to shine a light on it and get them to understand WHY it's racist and therefore wrong.

      In children? Yeah, I think it's part of the solution. Just like it is for all problematic or outdated behaviors. Glam rock's death was hastened by name calling, and problems like violence and distraction in class are usually directly addressed with a first step of direct condemnation. That can't be the whole program, kids should, e.g. learn black history in school, but it works as part of the problem. And remember, when you hear a bunch of this hyer-PC sounding SJW nonsense coming out of places like tumblr... it's often 13 year olds that we're talking about here. Sure, it wouldn't change any adult's mind and won't fix any adult institutions, but a vapid argument repeated intensely and frequently enough can absolutely revolutionize childhood institutions and influence the next generation.

      In adults? Yeah, adults have control over private lives they can retreat into. I'd generally recommend against talking at street rando's in general. That's a big category of people where I agree that calling them racist, or saying they walk too slowly, or insulting their favorite band will have zero effect. You can only really change the minds of people who care about you and want you in their life and are open to change, and I think that goes for everything, not just racism.

  • 3 years ago

    The thing is, in a lot of situations, shutting down the (racist) conversation is the only productive thing that can be done in the situation. Racist remarks actually hurt people, and if you can get racists to shut the fuck up (even just for a minute), that's actually a valuable thing to do in many situations.

    No, it might not change their minds, but it can discourage others nearby from hearing them and thinking that their words and attitudes are acceptable in polite society, which they aren't.

    Does it treat people unjustly as "lost causes"? Sometimes, sure. But you're not including the benefits of treating racists as lost causes publicly. Social stigma really does change the minds (or at least behaviors, which is valuable itself) of people who are not yet hardened racists.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Yeah but can't you accomplish the same thing by saying "that was a really racist remark!" Instead of saying "you're a racist!"?

    • 3 years ago

      I don't know, can you? In my experience, that just leads to justifications about why the comment isn't racist, leading to more and more repetitions of the specific racist remark.

      Either that... or you're wrong, and "you're a racist" isn't the fastest way to end the conversation...

  • 3 years ago

    I'm going to come at your topic obliquely. To be clear then, the issue I am addressing is a tacit assumption of your topic sentence. You say that "calling someone racist [will not] change a single mind;" I contend that it will, just not the mind of the person you're arguing with.

    Indeed, I would posit that nearly any political/social argument you're likely to get into is one in which neither of the participants are going to change their minds. Only a very scant number of people believe something firmly enough to defend it it heated exchange but weakly enough as to be swayed from their position by argument.

    So when you argue, the mind you seek to change is not, or should not be, that of the person you are arguing with. It should be the minds of the silent audience - be they the rest of the family around the Thanksgiving table or the folks reading an exchange (like this on) on the internet.

    When Uncle Jerry says something hateful at Thanksgiving he's doing two things. First, Jerry is espousing some idea that he's probably not going to change. Either he doesn't care about his racist remarks or they're so normalized to him that he doesn't know they're racist. In either case, you're simply unlikely to stage a successful intervention over the sweet potato casserole.

    But he didn't just say that to you. Jerry said that in front of your five year old niece, your ten year old cousin, and his thirty five year old brother. Jerry's comments normalize racism and they communicate that such statements and such prejudices are ok... or they do if they go unchallenged and unremarked.

    So when someone calls Jerry on his hate-speech, even though Jerry is going to be upset and probably not consider anything you have to say, the effect on the kids and other adults can't be dismissed. Those kids see that racism and hate speech don't pass unchallenged. The teenagers see that there are members of their family that will accept them should they choose to cast off Jerry's racist legacy. Even Jerry's adult brother may think twice about his own internal biases when it comes time to interview a black guy or a hispanic woman or whomever for the VP of Sales Operations position.

    And that has an effect, not just on those people but on Jerry as well. Changing the opinions of a community is like steering an oil tanker1 - allowing Jerry's remark to pass uncommented pushes the family/community more towards the toleration of racism. Challenging it pushes them towards rejecting it. In time, if the community comes around, Jerry will be forced to examine his own beliefs or face ostracization.

    It's one thing when there is a small social price to pay for being a racist. It's another when it's an overwhelming burden.

    So, in a sense, challenging racism will, in the short term change minds, just not those spouting racism in the first place. In the long term, even racists may come around if you succeed in convincing those around them that they're wrong.

    1. Side note - there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when fossil fuels are a thing of the past and kids don't know what an oil tanker is or why they're such a bitch to maneuver. When that day comes this expression won't make any sense and that's kinda weird to thing about.
    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I agree with everything you've said, but I feel like the very same result can be accomplished by focusing on Jerry's comment as being racist instead of Jerry's character. You can firmly and harshly call out racist remarks, ideas, or statements without attacking the person individually. You can make it clear to the family that Jerry is ok, but what he said is not under any circumstances.

      And to clarify for lots of people, I'm not saying being a racist is ok, or that we should treat racists with kid-gloves. I'm saying by focusing on the behavior and not personally attacking the person, you're at least more likely to engage in a discussion. Attacking the person is more likely to end in defensiveness and resentment. And even if you shame someone into not behaving a certain way, you haven't necessarily corrected the core problem.

  • 3 years ago

    What exactly is the argument here? To me it seems you're saying that explaining a situation with its nuances is better than flat out generalizing? Who exactly disagrees with that?

    It seems like an unfair comparison between a single word and a whole phrase

    I would argue there's no situation bar some exception that confirms the rule in which using a single word is better than articulating your thoughts to change someone's mind

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I'm arguing that if we want to change people's minds and make them really understand racism and how they contribute to it, we could start with not calling the person a racist and instead focus on the racist behavior.

      It makes them less instantly defensive. It allows an escape hatch. It enables a conversation when it becomes a discussion in the abstract instead of an accusation.

      I'm in no way saying there is no such thing as racists. There are. And people who don't think of themselves as racist can still be plenty racist. But if we're going to change hearts and minds, it needs to be less about the person and more about the actions, words, and beliefs.

    • 3 years ago

      Yeah, then I understood what you meant, which makes me repeat the question: who disagrees with it?

      Of course explaining something clearly is better than using a single word

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Who disagrees with it seems to be a whole buncha people who are out there calling people racists.

    • 3 years ago

      I don't think that's the case. When someone calls another person racist the first isn't interested in changing the second's mind. They are just calling names.

      Do you have any real examples of someone called another racist with the expectation of actually changing minds?

  • 3 years ago

    Here's the problem: racists have zero interest in having their mind changed, and violently reject the very concept that they should consider doing so. There is no rational, logical, data or fact based argument that will cause them to revise their opinions, because their opinions are none of those things in the first place. It's like trying to describe to a three year old what purple smells like. So while your view isn't exactly wrong, it stems from a faulty premise - if you honestly believe you can simply talk someone out of their racism your belief is flawed. Either an accumulation of life experience will gradually move them towards actual humanity or it won't.

    TLDR: words are wind, and racists gonna keep racisting.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I would say stupid people have zero interest in having their minds changed and violently reject the concept that they should consider it. But if we stop insulting people and start educating them, the winds of words can blow into a hurricane - maybe create a critical mass to stop the racisting.

    • 3 years ago

      There are essentially two sorts of racists - overt white supremacist types who will not change their minds and those who don't wish to admit that they're racists, because they know racism is a bad thing. These people cannot change their minds through argument and evidence because they refuse to acknowledge their own racist attitudes. Either way, argument and evidence won't sway them. And I personally don't think it's an insult if it's the truth. The best way to avoid being called a racist is to stop being a fucking racist.

  • 3 years ago

    Calling someone a "racist" is the fastest way to end the conversation and not change a single mind

    If anyone can change my view, and convince me that calling people racists is the best way to get them to stop from saying and doing racist things or holding racist beliefs

    Your CMV statement seems quite different from the rest of your post. Are you willing to also categorically say that calling out racists will never change a single mind of e.g. members of an audience, readership etc. over time?

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I'm not willing to categorically say much, and I admit that was some sloppy draftsmanship. But I think you get my gist - the "R" word has become so loaded and fraught that it's entirely unproductive to call out racist words, actions, and beliefs by calling the person "a racist." I suppose it may change other people's minds, but not the person at issue.

    • 3 years ago

      OK fair enough, on that I probably agree.

      Even though someone might be a fully-fledged racist under any definition, it might not be productive to say it out loud.

  • 3 years ago

    Why should we give racism a pass?

    If someone is making racist statements in public they are being racist.

    I shouldn't have to make the racists comfortable. They can and should be confronted. If someone was to make a niger joke at my dinner table I would ask them to leave.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Who said give racism a pass? It's one of the most insidious, disgusting features of human culture. I'm saying if we want to get serious about ending it, we need to re-frame how racism is identified, called out, and corrected.

      And I believe that calling someone a racist, instead of focusing on their racist words, actions, or behaviors, does noting to change anything.

    • 3 years ago

      Because I don't have to have this long discussion with every racist I encounter.

      If a person comes into my house and makes an Obama is a nigger joke at poker night I can ask them to leave. Sadly, I know this from experience.

      On this sub, I have talked with racists. We focused on their racist actions, behaviors and words.

      A hundred plus back and forths were made. The only thing that happens was the OP in that case simply doubled down on their racism.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I get it. And I'm not saying it will work instantly or in every case. Im just saying it's preferable to the name-calling, which doesn't seem to be helping anything and is instead making the problem worse, imho.

  • 3 years ago

    There is a quite compelling case to be made about P.C. culture: that it hides ideas like racist ones but fails to make them go away. For example, a politician like John McCain would loath to be caught saying a racist remark. If he was he would apologize and back track it. McCain wouldn't dare behave as a racist. However none of that P.C. censorship actually leads McCain to support legislation that helps undo the legacy of white supremacy in America.

    OP, your point should be this: calling people racist is the easiest way to discount ones own responsibility for a culture of white supremacy and colonization. Just because you uncle spews hate at Thanksgiving and you don't does not mean you don't perpetuate the legacy of slavery every day. It doesn't somehow make your livelihood less indebted to the exploitation of others. Your uncle spewing hate is probably the least racist thing he does. Wearing sweatshop clothes, gentrifying, watching blockbuster movies, are all more consequential racist acts. And you do them too, "racist".

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Powerful post and made me think a lot. So does everyone who calls someone racist, shop at large retailers, and watch Terminator movies discount their own responsibility for our culture of white supremacy?

      In other words, does participating in our culture and economy make someone a racist? If so we're all racists, which becomes a circular argument.

    • 3 years ago

      Thanks for reading. And in a certain sense, yes, that's what's going on. It's kind of like "slacktivism" and, if we take a psychological reading, maybe the same thing is going on. So I go on Facebook and post about how wretched slavery in Mauritania is or something and I get a bunch of likes. This feels good. It's rewarding. And I feel a little less bad about Mauritania. Likewise, if I call out my "racist" uncle, and my family rewards me by siding with me (even if they don't but I thing they're "just as bad") I get to feel good. I get to have that sense of being better than the other. It doesn't matter that I go watch the movies that only cast white actors in leading roles. It doesn't matter that I wear clothes made in Bangladesh where people literally don't have thumbs because the british cut them off. The real racism, the stuff that really hurts people, and the stuff I participate in, can be swept away by my victory over my uncle. "I, the victor, am not racist. He, the vanquished is."

  • 3 years ago

    I agree with everything you have said with two exceptions:

    1. Speed; and

    2. Changing minds.

    On point 1 the fastest way to end a conversation is to call someone a slur such as faggot, the N-word, etc. There might be a few token words of defence offered by someone trying to defend themselves against a claim of racism, but if you drop a slur on someone conversation over (fists flying maybe).

    On point 2 changing minds, some hypotethical person might be convinced by a claim of racist, or else why would they bother saying it. It isn't as useful as other approaches, as you pointed out, but there are a lot of stupid people out there who will be convinced by minor things.

    • 3 years ago

      It works well for people embedded within a social group where it's unacceptable. If Uncle Jerry knows that if he doesn't work hard to prevent himself being seen as racist he will be kicked out of church, not be invited to parties, not get to see his children and all because he is racist then he'll have a strong incentive to quickly change his ways.

      Many members of the democrat party, people who compose a lot of those groups, disagree with your presumptions. They believe many people have innate racism they need to overcome and strongly encourage people to check their privilege.

      • 3 years ago

        I don't have much to say, but have you ever been on the internet? Whenever someone gets called racist, that seems to ignite a massive amount of argument. The idea that this stops a conversation seems so far from reality.

        • 3 years ago

          heres the problem as i see it. People aren't interested in listening to opposing views anymore. Social media has made it remarkably easy to find people who share your viewpoints. this has the effect of reinforcing in your own mind, your beliefs while simultaneously shielding you from hearing opposing views. This echo chamber not only reinforces your viewpoint but it also serves to turn anyone who does not share your view into an enemy.

          Studies have shown that in group bias causes people to associate their own actions as being motivated out of love or caring while simultaneously attributing the very same behaviours as motivated by hate or anger when performed by members of the out group.

          Going further, having established and had reinforced the idea that anyone who does not share your view is an enemy, your motivations are no longer that of civil discussion and an exchange of ideas but rather ending the "hateful rhetoric" of the "bad guys". Shouts of Racist! Sexist! BIGOT!, none of these are meant to convey openness. they are designed to silence opposition and to signal to others who may share your view to join you. It doesn't matter if what you say is true. To your allies, the alarm has been sounded; the enemy identified.

          Simply put, shouting racist! at your opponent is nothing but a means of silencing opposition and virtue signalling. It is a means to force them into a Kafka-trap where even denial of the accusation is seen as proof and a way to enlist allies in your attempts to silence opposition.

          • 3 years ago

            Calling someone a "racist" is very rarely about changing anyone's mind. It's VERY often about creating, or reinforcing an "in-group" and an "out-group".

            • 3 years ago

              I personally think that calling someone racist is more of a way to publicly announce that you disagree with their statement rather than a way to appeal to their opinions, but I don't think that it's meaningless in that way either.

              Everyone is different and is persuaded differently. To call someone out for their racism can make them aware of it. I have had times where I had to simply tell my white peers I cared about that they see me and my people as lesser humans. This usually isn't an assumption. They would make comments like "you're black, how can you know/do this?" As if my brain was clogged with melanin.

              I've been told that I was too pretty to be black.

              Some people result don't notice their habits unless someone tells them. I've seen people almost cry because they felt bad about what they said and that they even said it at all.

              • 3 years ago

                The real problem is separation of a person who is racist and a person who says racist things.

                It is almost impossible to change a racist person's mind by having a debate. It usually takes them getting to know someone in the group they are prejudice against and realizing through personal experience that they are wrong to hate them.

                You can and should explain to someone who is not racist that something they did is. Because they will be willing to modify their behaviour from a simple debate.

                • 3 years ago

                  It does shut down arguments but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be brought up.

                  A lot of it is simply picking and choosing your battles. If someone says they don't like rap music, is it really worth your energy to argue why they are or are not racist?

                  However, if someone wants to go on a diatribe why black people should stay in their own neighborhoods, that is more appropriate as that is a directly racist statement.

                  • 3 years ago

                    Calling people racists is probably not a very effective way to change minds, but not talking about race at all is not productive either.

                    Luckily for anyone who is interested in answering the question, "what could I truly do to be less racist?" there was some research done and a paper written by people who tried to approach the question not necessarily from history and narrative, but from more cognitive means.

                    • 3 years ago

                      I think there is a good argument for both views.

                      Calling a meat eater a murderer doesn't win any ground for the vegan because the meat eater is in the majority and doesn't mind being seen as a meat eater.

                      Calling a person making a racist comment a racist is different, racists are in the minority and they do mind others thinking they are a racist.

                      • 3 years ago

                        I have never seen a conversation ended by calling someone racist. Usually all it does is create an angry and defensive overreaction by someone incapable of accepting that what they believe is wrong and harmful.

                        Imagine Uncle Jerry is at Thanksgiving and makes a racist remark. Are you more likely to get Uncle Jerry to think twice about doing this if you call him a racist, or if you tell him "you know Uncle Jerry, I know you're not a racist, but that remark you just made was pretty racist, and here's why ..."

                        Do you realize you're advocating a form of political correctness here?

                        • 3 years ago

                          Disagree. While it's up there, sometimes being called a racist can force someone to think, even if it's not the most effective way to do so.

                          A worse way that people immediately end conversations is by saying that "it's just what I believe" to a certain ideology or doctrine.

                          • 3 years ago

                            Premise: There are some individuals who will not change their racist views. No matter how you convince them.

                            Why you should call them racist: The best thing to do is to stigmatize their racist views. If they know that their view is unpopular and a stigma (even if they don't think it's wrong) then they will hesitate to raise it. If enough people are constantly calling you racist when you bring up a view, at some point you won't bring it up anymore.

                            • 3 years ago

                              Yes, a lot of the time. But a counter-situation, I feel I have a valid and extreme but reasonable point about race, by calling me a racist you shock me into questioning the extremeness of my comments.

                              • 3 years ago

                                I dont disagree, but generally if someone IS actually a racist, no amount of conversation will change their mind. A position not arrived at rationally cannot be defeated by logic.

                                • 3 years ago

                                  Is "race" even a thing?

                                  I know people come from different places, and all our skin colors are different, so what is "race"?

                                  Is it the country you are from or where your residence is?

                                  No doubt there is racism.

                                  Doesn't the possibility that race isn't even a real thing undermine any logic being put for by racists?

                                  • 3 years ago

                                    racism is inherently illogical. It is rife with unsound and invalid logical arguments. Calling someone a racist may be synonymous to saying their argument is unsound/invalid. Is saying their argument is unsound any better?

                                    • 3 years ago

                                      I would dispute point number one. I don't think everyone one in a supremacist group understands that they are in a supremacist group. This extends beyond racism.

                                      • 3 years ago

                                        Making racist the comments in the first place is a faster way to end conversations.

                                        • 3 years ago

                                          You're making an assumption that anyone believes that calling someone racist is the best way to change their mind. It's not. It's just calling it like it is.

                                          These days people think being called racist is the worst insult, and it kind of makes me laugh. As if they have so few problems that they have time to complain about how offended they are that someone else thinks they're a bigot. I mean honestly, is that not a ridiculous thing to be offended by? If someone told me I was ableist because I went around calling people "retards" I couldn't imagine being mad about that. And if I was mad I'd fix the problem by not calling people that word and be done.

                                          People who are open to changing their minds don't care if they get called "racist." They'd just take it as potentially valid criticism and adjust. If you've already decided you're not racist and you ain't changing for nobody, well... Being called racist is a terrible insult and you'll just stop listening.

                                          • 3 years ago

                                            The race card is used very effectively in politics to change the minds of voters. Once people call a politician a racist, everyone starts to believe it and will ignore and critizise that politician. The mainstream media does it to Donald Trump to help Clinton. And the DNC does it to the GOP to get minority votes. Im not saying that the strategy is moral or productive, but it's definitely effective.