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Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist?


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pbrauer

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Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist?


Yes


No


I Don't Know
 

Black Dog

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Yes absolutely.
 

ttwtt78640

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Only if they are an oreo and acting white. ;)
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

The original story...behind the name, Uncle Tom was a hero of sorts, but the story was changed to make him a sell out to whites for his own gain. He became a traitor of sorts to blacks in general.

So obviously it takes little imagination to see how that might be used in a derogatory way.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Yes it is, along with such terms as "sell-out" and "token". Pretty much anything that suggests that people are wrong or stupid to think a certain way if they're a certain race.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

NO WAY MAAAAN....

There is no "institutional backing" behind the use of such a term, and thus, it cannot be racist.


Besides, whitey doesn't say it... so it can't be racist if its not coming from whitey.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

NO WAY MAAAAN....

There is no "institutional backing" behind the use of such a term, and thus, it cannot be racist.


Besides, whitey doesn't say it... so it can't be racist if its not coming from whitey.

Actually, it is racist unless a liberal says it about a conservative, then it's totally ok. :mrgreen:
 

specklebang

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Uncle Tom was a good guy so I suppose that racism (in this case) is in the eye of the beholder.

The book was written to humanize black people who were pretty much viewed as less than human in that era. They've only been allowed in the human club for 50 years. It's unfortunate that a well-intentioned act should have been bastardized into a "racist term" but I suppose that as usual, perception is reality.

When I read that book, America still had white and colored restrooms.
 

shlunka

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

But I have an uncle named Tom...
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Generally the term Uncle Tom is used amongst black people to describe others whom we view as sell-outs and traitors to the race, who have lined up with groups that want to oppress and harm blacks as a whole. Given that context, I do find it offensive when non-black people use the term to describe blacks as it really is something that is mainly kept within the black community.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

no, it's not.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

It was inappropriate in the example that has recently come up, but because the guy who was talking about Clarence Thomas was white. It is not an inherently racist term. It does not degrade the person it is used on merely for their race. It is meant to be a criticism of one's actions from a member of the same group, be it race, religion, gender, whatever. A pro choice woman could certainly call an anti abortion woman an Uncle Tom. That it refers to a black character does not make it racist. But the point is that it criticizes a person for their actions, for their betrayal. It is not exclusive to blacks, despite the origin.

This is just faux conservative outrage by people who have never experienced actual discrimination and don't know how to recognize it when it happens.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Generally the term Uncle Tom is used amongst black people to describe others whom we view as sell-outs and traitors to the race, who have lined up with groups that want to oppress and harm blacks as a whole. Given that context, I do find it offensive when non-black people use the term to describe blacks as it really is something that is mainly kept within the black community.

That seems to be an unfortunate result of the racial divide in our country. I've heard it used simply because a black man or woman has chosen to dress conservatively in both casual and professional attire, discard the use of slang and perjoratives (like "nigger") in conversation, maintain normal speaking tones without the need to express loud behaviors, avoid and/or express dislike of rap and similar music, all of which simply generates the presumption they are acting "white." Why must someone display the most radical behaviors in order to be accepted in ones own "racial" group?

An uncle (by marriage) was a member of the Nation of Islam during the 60's and 70's, and always spoke politely and dressed conservatively. Today, based solely on his appearance and behavior he would as likely be labeled an "Uncle Tom."
 
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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist?

Yes

No

I Don't Know

In so much as other derogatory slurs based largely around race are inherently "racist".

Personally I would say it, and other slurs, are not inherently racist but rather the primary way in which they're used is racist.
 

pbrauer

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

In so much as other derogatory slurs based largely around race are inherently "racist".

Personally I would say it, and other slurs, are not inherently racist but rather the primary way in which they're used is racist.

It's definitely a derogatory term, but since its typically directed at a single person and not toward the whole race I don't see it as racist.

Uncle tom - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

If a White calls a Black an "Uncle Tom" or a "Tom" it is racist, if a Black calls a Black it is not.

The double standard is justified because the term means different things to different users.

To a white it is a racial slur just like the n-word: the target's race is what is wrong with him.
To a Black it is a character slur: it is not the target's race that is wrong with him, but his attitude.

The following clip from an old Gerardo Rivera show is illustrative:

Punches fly, chairs fly, strangulation attempted and Gerardo's nose gets broken
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

That seems to be an unfortunate result of the racial divide in our country. I've heard it used simply because a black man or woman has chosen to dress conservatively in both casual and professional attire, discard the use of slang and perjoratives (like "nigger") in conversation, maintain normal speaking tones without the need to express loud behaviors, avoid and/or express dislike of rap and similar music, all of which simply generates the presumption they are acting "white." Why must someone display the most radical behaviors in order to be accepted in ones own "racial" group?

An uncle (by marriage) was a member of the Nation of Islam during the 60's and 70's, and always spoke politely and dressed conservatively. Today, based solely on his appearance and behavior he would as likely be labeled an "Uncle Tom."

Actually no. What you are describing are the differences in behavior that come from one's socioeconomic background. One can be a middle or upper-class back person and not be an Uncle Tom. The main behavior of an Uncle Tom is that they adamantly are willing to sell out black people or betray the race for their own personal gains or to look better in the eyes of whites. For an example of this, all one need to do is look at the character Uncle Ruckus from the tv series The Boondocks, although they obviously aren't that extreme in real life.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Generally the term Uncle Tom is used amongst black people to describe others whom we view as sell-outs and traitors to the race, who have lined up with groups that want to oppress and harm blacks as a whole. Given that context, I do find it offensive when non-black people use the term to describe blacks as it really is something that is mainly kept within the black community.

So all minorities are expected to believe one particular way and if they don't they're sell outs? Who are these groups that want to "oppress and harm blacks", that black people are aligning with that you feel justified in calling them traitors and sell outs?
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

It was inappropriate in the example that has recently come up, but because the guy who was talking about Clarence Thomas was white. It is not an inherently racist term. It does not degrade the person it is used on merely for their race. It is meant to be a criticism of one's actions from a member of the same group, be it race, religion, gender, whatever. A pro choice woman could certainly call an anti abortion woman an Uncle Tom. That it refers to a black character does not make it racist. But the point is that it criticizes a person for their actions, for their betrayal. It is not exclusive to blacks, despite the origin.

This is just faux conservative outrage by people who have never experienced actual discrimination and don't know how to recognize it when it happens.

What a bunch of bull**** justification. You're just ok with it because it's mainly said about black conservatives. Trying to claim it has nothing to do with race is also bull****. And a pro-life woman is a traitor to women? Wow, that's a lot of ridiculous crap for one post.
 
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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist?


Yes


No


I Don't Know
No, not inherently. It is a racially charged term and perhaps racially insensitive, particularly when used by white people. However, because it inherently describes a particular black person - usually considered to be the exception and not the rule - it isn't innately racist.
 
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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

So all minorities are expected to believe one particular way and if they don't they're sell outs? Who are these groups that want to "oppress and harm blacks", that black people are aligning with that you feel justified in calling them traitors and sell outs?

What a bunch of bull**** justification. You're just ok with it because it's mainly said about black conservatives. Trying to claim it has nothing to do with race is also bull****. And a pro-life woman is a traitor to women? Wow, that's a lot of ridiculous crap for one post.
I would like to note that the only thing these posts consist of is putting words in the mouths of the people being responded to.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

I would like to note that the only thing these posts consist of is putting words in the mouths of the people being responded to.

Just cutting to the chase and in the case of Mr. I, I asked a question I'd really like an answer to. It's never occurred to me to call some one else who's white a traitor becasue they disagree politically with me.
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

So all minorities are expected to believe one particular way and if they don't they're sell outs? Who are these groups that want to "oppress and harm blacks", that black people are aligning with that you feel justified in calling them traitors and sell outs?

No, all black people are not expected to act the same way, but blacks are expected to not be sellouts and bootlickers. For example, some would Clarence Thomas to be an Uncle Tom, seeing as how he didn't back a stay on the execution of Troy Davis when several witnesses had admitted that their testimonies had been false. (Clarence Thomas under fire for Troy Davis decision | theGrio) \\

There can also be criticism of rap artists. "Sharpton also pointed to rap artists, arguing that many of them are paid by white owned record labels to perform lyrics that degrade themselves and black women. He refers to them as closeted Toms." (Do black people really know their 'Uncle Tom'? | theGrio)
 

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re: Is the term "Uncle Tom" racist? [W:56]

Generally the term Uncle Tom is used amongst black people to describe others whom we view as sell-outs and traitors to the race, who have lined up with groups that want to oppress and harm blacks as a whole. Given that context, I do find it offensive when non-black people use the term to describe blacks as it really is something that is mainly kept within the black community.

I appreciate your point - I'd just ask, if the term is used by one black person against another black person for essentially not being black enough, isn't that then proof that the term is race related and used to imply, explicitly or implicitly, that the black person is white, at least in their thinking?
 
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