Franchesca Ramsey explains what makes some stereotypes racist

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So, the million dollar question:

Is there a harmless cultural stereotype which pertains to a minority, or is it immediately no longer harmless once it does?

It’s fine, if they’re a dominant minority. I know a couple of cute white people jokes. But when they’re an underclass, no, that’s not harmless.


Punching up, not down.


I think Franchesca handles this quite ably when she talks about white girls and Starbucks: “That joke isn’t keeping anyone from having equal rights.”

When a group is oppressed, it’s pretty mean to then take a shit on them by telling jokes about all their wacky stereotypes because those stereotypes are used as an excuse to keep them oppressed.


Really? I read on this site called bOINGbOING that women do not have equal rights.

I didn’t care for Ms. Ramsey’s explanation or comparisons, but I enjoyed her presentation and thoroughly agreed with her conclusion. And isn’t that what really matters?

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Yeah, you could probably make a case that men making fun of women for liking Starbucks is subtly misogynist, too, for much the same reason that white people making fun of black people for liking fried chicken and watermelon is hella racist. But it’s a more nuanced case to make (something about needing soft comforts because weakness or whatever), and really it is a stereotype about white women as opposed to black women, not about about women vs. men. Her real point was just that if you make fun of someone in a marginalized group, it’s not the same as making fun of someone in a non-marginalized group.

What really matters is your actions, so go do stuff that helps the world and be awesome.


problems ≠ problems
problems = problems + systemic oppression


And that’s my inspirational quote for the day! You rule. I am literally signing off, skipping out of work, and going to go do something awesome now.


Intersectionality: the equal rights pertain to race in that instance, not sex/gender.


I thought the test for racism was “was there hatred in your heart when you said it”?


Wuh? White people (at least in the West) are not a minority. They’re a majority.

And please do share the cute white people jokes!

Um, no. That is what a lot of white people think, but no – effects matter, not intentions. (Sorry if I missed sarcasm in your comment…)


No sarcasm, sorry. Genuinely asking since that’s what Reginald D. Hunter said in one of his dvd’s.

PS: As a joke, but still… At least from him, I’ve gotten the impression context and such means more than the actual words or actions.

Well, context, words and actions all go together, right?

Anyway, there’s a lot out there that explains why it’s effects that matter, not intentions. I think white people focus more on intentions because they’re more concerned with not being pegged as “a racist” than they are with when and where racism actually harms people of color.

Is there a stereotype of people on YouTube constantly bobbing their heads around, gazing into the camera, and editing their silent moments out?

I have always hated that people on television news do this, but I think people on YouTube are actually worse. Maybe they should have a button for muting the video as well as one for the audio.

Report back when you’re done!

(For serious.)


I know “ignorance of the law does not make you immune to the law” applies, I’m just slightly confused. Does this mean the deciding factor of racism/sexism is solely the victim? In a “I’m offended, therefore you are racist/sexist” -sense? Just that I imagine quite a lot of things can be considered such if viewed in a certain way.

Sorry if I’m asking questions that have been asked/answered countless times. I was genuinely using the old intent-over-effect before. I haven’t minded a lot of things that have been said around me f.ex. because I’ve known there has been no ill will behind it.


I thought we crossed over the 50% line? I’m not sure.

How many white people does it take to screw in a light builb? One to mix the martinis; one to call the electrician.



Yes, these are Racism 101 questions, but I’m glad to be distracted at the moment.

I think it means that the deciding concern should be solely the potential victim. Caring about whether YOU are racist (or sexist or classist etc.) is not caring about the right person.

As for racist/sexist/etc. things said or done without “ill will,” well, a lot of bias is unconscious, right? So, in a work context, if a white person compliments a black person for how well he speaks, rather than focusing on what he actually said, or if a man compliments a woman for her appearance rather than focusing on what she’s actually saying, the complimenters might have no ill will at all – they think they’re doing a good thing, not a bad thing. But the effect is to yet again take the person less seriously (with all attendant, accumulated consequences) than a white person or a man. And more often than not, the “deciding factor” in such situations is, yes, solely the victim (and, maybe, other people who also see the unconscious bias in action yet again).

Not in the U.S., where’s it’s not project to happen until something like 2040. Don’t know about elsewhere.