Is it possible to be a Racist and a good person?

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wheelbarrow-man
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Is racism so bad that all positive attributes in a person's character are cancelled out?
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rgj02
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I don't believe that someone can be racist and a good person. Those two words are basically antonyms. Being racist means a person must have seriously flawed morals. If a person's morals are flawed to the point where they look down on someone simply because of the colour of their skin, I can't see how they have many 'good' character traits. If they have so many positive attributes as you say, they should be able to get a grip and lose the backwards racist mindset.

The fact that you've even asked this question, especially at this time, is stupid.
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Napp
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Probably easier to view on a case by case basis but in general i wouldnt say so. Unless you're prepared to label every past generation as filth and morally bankrupt.
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ThuggerThugger
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No sorry OP
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wheelbarrow-man
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(Original post by rgj02)
I don't believe that someone can be racist and a good person. Those two words are basically antonyms. Being racist means a person must have seriously flawed morals. If a person's morals are flawed to the point where they look down on someone simply because of the colour of their skin, I can't see how they have many 'good' character traits. If they have so many positive attributes as you say, they should be able to get a grip and lose the backwards racist mindset.

The fact that you've even asked this question, especially at this time, is stupid.
I don't think it is a stupid question.

I think that many people are dishonest with themselves regarding their own position on (let's call it) the racism spectrum. And I think that most people present a facade to fit in with accepted public conventions - they say they aren't racist but they do not confront (or are happy to gloss over) some of their own inner impulses.

I can be honest with myself, and I can be honest with you because of the anonymity of the internet: I have lived in a number of countries, I have friends from all around the world, I wouldn't dream of being rude to someone because of their race, and I would be very likely to step in if I saw someone being abused for their race or their sexuality in a public place. Nevertheless, I KNOW I am guilty of some relatively "light" racism - for example, making snap judgements about people owing to their nationality or their appearance - but I simply cover it up.

I often wonder, can someone who covers up their light (or more extreme) racism be a good person? Is the action of not "presenting" as racist good enough to qualify as "good". I would argue that it is your inner self that needs to be judged, not your ability to present a facade - and so perhaps I am a bad person.
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--Student
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I mean what's considered racism is very subjective and depends wholly on how it's interpreted.
Think back to the Salem witch trials, people were called witches, hunted and then burned alive for simply practising herbal remedies.

These days you're called racist for saying anything bad about a race, no matter if it's scientifically proven to be true. Some people go as far to say that western science is in itself racist. Every race on earth is racist to some smaller degree, biologically you're programmed to be wary of the unfamiliar, be it a stranger or a different skin colour.

In the case you're talking about, if the person is undeniably racist and has unfounded hatred towards a race then no, they're not a good person.
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BlueIndigoViolet
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No
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Moonbow
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No because you are being mean to others 🤨
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MidgetFever
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No.

You're treating a person badly purely based on skin colour, something that they can't even control. That alone speaks volumes of the individual's moral compass.
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Rakas21
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An interesting question but i probably have to disagree with the crowd here.

I suspect that there are probably many people that give to charity, that engage in the community, that are otherwise good people and simply don't like 'others'.

Is racism so important that it would outweigh somebody willing to give the homeless man a meal or a roof over their head, probably not.

Heck from a political point of view Marx believed that Africans were ape like and sub-human, Bevan believed in social eugenics and that the poor should be steralised and Attlee believed that unmarried mothers were feckless and should be left to the church. If we believe the left, all three of these people should be worshiped as heroes of the nation.
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Napp
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(Original post by MidgetFever)
No.

You're treating a person badly purely based on skin colour, something that they can't even control. That alone speaks volumes of the individual's moral compass.
But does that one facet speak to the entire person?
I mean, we're going to end up in the squalid realm of ranking deeds on how good they are but, for example, if someone simply disliked (insert relevent race here) but did nothing on it and indeed was an outstanding philanthropist, member of the community etc. does said persons dislike really nullify everything good they have done?
To take the logic train to its inevitable end, should we view anyone who isnt a racist as inherently good?
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MidgetFever
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(Original post by Napp)
But does that one facet speak to the entire person?
I mean, we're going to end up in the squalid realm of ranking deeds on how good they are but, for example, if someone simply disliked (insert relevent race here) but did nothing on it and indeed was an outstanding philanthropist, member of the community etc. does said persons dislike really nullify everything good they have done?
To take the logic train to its inevitable end, should we view anyone who isnt a racist as inherently good?
As you've said, this sort of thinking does lead to 'good' and 'bad' being judged upon some sort of scale - To say the other side, someone that isn't racist if they are to be judged as inherently good, they could also do other bad deeds that ultimately leave them to be judged as a bad person.

The whole question alone is quite a subjective one; which is what perhaps led me to say that racists are inherently bad, the stigma of being racist, to some, is enough to outweigh everything else purely because it's a strong stigma. It does seem somewhat illogical if it's flipped to the other side, but I suppose that's just flawed thinking.
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Legomenon
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It depends how you define 'good person'. I think it's at least theoretically possible for someone to be racist but 'good' in every other way, even if it's very unlikely in reality. I'm not sure if that would be enough to qualify as a good person though. Generally speaking I would not call racists good people, especially if they're very vocal/active in their beliefs.
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JWatch
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Yes I think it is. These days we seem to like labelling people as either being good or bad but the reality is it's never that simple. Nobody is completely good, and very few people are completely bad to the point of having literally no redeeming qualities. Everyone has prejudices whether conscious or unconscious and sometimes those prejudices may be more pronounced. I think it's possible for someone to be racist while at the same time being a generally "good" person in all other aspects.
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BlueIndigoViolet
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(Original post by Rakas21)
An interesting question but i probably have to disagree with the crowd here.

I suspect that there are probably many people that give to charity, that engage in the community, that are otherwise good people and simply don't like 'others'.

Is racism so important that it would outweigh somebody willing to give the homeless man a meal or a roof over their head, probably not.

Heck from a political point of view Marx believed that Africans were ape like and sub-human, Bevan believed in social eugenics and that the poor should be steralised and Attlee believed that unmarried mothers were feckless and should be left to the church. If we believe the left, all three of these people should be worshiped as heroes of the nation.
Where on earth are these facts from? :confused:

"Bevan believed in social eugenics and that the poor should be steralised" - do you have any sources for this?

The man was from a working class family in the Welsh Valleys and the son of coal miner, no records as far as I can find, looks like alternative facts to further a point.

Or for Atlee for that matter, considering his government brought forward the National Assistance Act of 1948 which looked to help the elderly, unmarried women etc..
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Picnicl
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(Original post by rgj02)
I don't believe that someone can be racist and a good person. Those two words are basically antonyms. Being racist means a person must have seriously flawed morals. If a person's morals are flawed to the point where they look down on someone simply because of the colour of their skin, I can't see how they have many 'good' character traits. If they have so many positive attributes as you say, they should be able to get a grip and lose the backwards racist mindset.

The fact that you've even asked this question, especially at this time, is stupid.
Let's break down your post:

You start off by saying that you 'believe' so you acknowledge that your conclusion given in your very first sentence is not something that you are saying is necessarily true.

An antonym must be an opposite e.g. heavy versus light.
The opposite of 'racist' is, well, just 'not racist'. You might think that you know what racism means and the full implications of how people of ALL races can do it for whatever reasons but it's actually a 'big' word because it incorporates milleniums of cultural history and relationships between countries. The opposite of 'good' is just 'bad'.
Any other opposites that you care to propose must be proven to be opposites. Even to be 'basically' an opposite, you'd have to prove that.

You said 'Being racist means a person must have seriously flawed morals'. However, you've supplied no argument for that. Most racism is not like murder where someone is physically harmed. In practical, modern, terms, it might be more akin to not liking people who have brightly coloured hair or not liking goths. Where it goes beyond that, the person who did it is a murderer. But racism is unlikely to have caused them to be a murderer. If it had, then there'd be a lot more murderers, including some intelligent people.

You said 'If a person's morals are flawed to the point where they look down on someone simply because of the colour of their skin, I can't see how they have many 'good' character traits'. Racism doesn't necessarily have to be about hating people with brown skin. There is racism towards certain white groups too, e.g. Jews. There are physical and language characteristics that tend to identify some races more than others other than skin colour.

'If they have so many positive attributes as you say, they should be able to get a grip and lose the backwards racist mindset'.

Can you prove that being racist is backwards? Any more than being discriminatory torwards people of a perceived other 'class' (both snobbery and inverse snobbery)? Even if being racist is necessarily backwards, then lots of aspects of the world (including or especially in the 'civilised' world) are extremely backwards. For instance, despite being an art form that adds greatly to the UK economy and to the informal education of children and adults, videogaming is near universally looked down upon by great swathes of the self appointedly 'intelligentsia' and general public alike. A very backwards world turns people backwards! Racism is just one small piece of a greater harmful neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is perhaps a large reason why racism remains.

'The fact that you've even asked this question, especially at this time, is stupid'.

Questions about truth are universal. The fact that you wouldn't ask 'awkward' questions at the moment suggests that you are not in frame of mind to fairly debate it right now.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by rgj02)
I don't believe that someone can be racist and a good person. Those two words are basically antonyms.
Humans aren't binary. At least, there is more than value that can be either 1 or 0.

I think you should watch 'Gran Torino' with Clint Eastwood.
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Synergy_
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Depends on your definition of good, I guess.
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Varasano
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Yes because what racism is has been so warped by Leftists than most in history would be considered racist by todays standard. Including their own idols..


Also here's one thing to think about. What if group A was extremely racist towards group X, yet group X the "victims" themselves were very racist towards not only group A but other groups.

Not everything is Black and White.
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Gary S
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First you need to ask yourself if racism is bad, its a harder question than you think when you look at history properly without the current society blurring your view.
Racists aren't just one thing, its a spectrum, from extreme to humble. Marking someone as a "racist" is just vague and avoids the conversation that needs to be had.
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