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Why is race such a taboo subject?

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posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:03 AM
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This is yet another issue that is rather hard to talk about but needs to be discussed by not only between African-Americans, but also other races too.

No one can deny that Dr. Condoleezza Rice and General Colin Powell have reached the corridors of power. And for African-Americans, their simple act is finally changing the concept of achievement and power within American society. However in a previous post, I posed the question about "being able to turn a mirror on your own race". This is one of those times.

Both Rice and Powell are problematic figures in the African-American community. First of all, they are Republican, contrary to how most Blacks vote. They both have suffered the brunt of racism in their lives. And they both have struggled from insurmountable odds to achieve the positions they have worked for in their careers. However, one has to ask are they being used for their race by the Republican party to show that the GOP is not "racist"? Or are they there because the Republican party truly wants them to be there without all the racial baggage?

The problem with both dignitaries is the fact that they represent political ideals larger than themselves. Of course, one could praise Dr. Rice's "pull yourself by your bootstraps" and "not let racism be a crutch" attitude. And while she continually faces acts of discrimination (such as being used in a University question about holding "watermelon" or being called "Aunt Jemima" by a talk show host), the Secretary of State is seen as waving it off and not being bothered with it.

General Powell could be seen in the same way. He has the most far-rightist friends. And he still is tight-lipped when it comes to revealing his mistakes about the Iraq War. Yet, like Dr. Rice, he also supports the same types of philosophies.

And of course, there are those which say, "That's a gal without a chip on her shoulder. Why can't all Black people act that way?"

Yes. Dr. Rice is part of the Black Community (despite the fact she shopped for Feragamo shoes as her brethren suffered on rooftops in Louisiana). General Powell is also part of the Black Community. They are voices within the community. But they are not the community. They do not answer for the rest of us, as we do not answer for them. With that being said, even within the expanse of African-Americans, we can agree with their philosophies. Or, we can disagree with what they espouse.

But what is interesting about both of them is that they do not really engage civil rights issues going on in society. They both, in their own way, tend to "dismiss" them by not challenging their colleagues in their party. Instead, they would rather play along and pretend that racism doesn't happen anymore. They, in essence, are transformed into "figureheads" that project the feeling that no one should complain about race, nor talk about it. In their attitude, we should just sweep race right under the rug and continue to be stoic.

I don't know if that is the right attitude to be. A lot of lip service has been paid to Cynthia McKinney the past days due to her "altercation" with the cop. Now, she has gotten a lot of flack for using the "race card". And as sad as it is, just because she felt she was being discriminated against, she is perceived as being a "race-baiter" and a "whiner". But, for Ms. McKinney's part, she has participated in the front lines of fighting for justice--whether you like her or hate her. And she has spoken out about her feelings--much to the chagrin of the other party. After all, she just can't flick it off like Dr. Rice can.

In the end, Dr. Rice and General Powell are not militants. And they're not marching or speaking in public for anyone's rights. They are the paragons in the eyes of conservative society that no one should feel guilty anymore about racial injustice. They represent the simple fact that it should be forgotten and dismissed, just like the entire Civil Rights era representing a bad dream. For both of them, is it too much to ask to remember who it was fighting on those front lines for the freedom they now enjoy?

What do people think about this? And especially for Black folks out there, I know you have an opinion about them. This is only mine. I want to hear what you have to say about them.




[edit on 12-5-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on May, 12 2006 @ 05:31 AM
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Been unable to post for a few days. That nasty thing called life again.

My thoughts on the term "race-baiting" are these.

It's a catch-all phrase that describes any attempt to discuss, or even start discussions, racism in any context, pro or con; that the reader or listener disagrees with. It is a negative term that is used to try to stop that particular discussion.

It seems fairly unique in that very few phrases can and will be used by both sides of a particular racial issue, no matter how small or large the issue. Talk about affirmative action in a positive context, and one will get accused of "racebaiting". Take the same issue, with a negative context, and wham!, same thing only from the other side of the spectrum. I don't know of many phrases that do that.

I suppose the emotional tone of the article, or speech, would affect whether or not it is perceived as "race baiting".



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally quoted by seagull
Been unable to post for a few days. That nasty thing called life again.

My thoughts on the term "race-baiting" are these.

It's a catch-all phrase that describes any attempt to discuss, or even start discussions, racism in any context, pro or con; that the reader or listener disagrees with. It is a negative term that is used to try to stop that particular discussion.

It seems fairly unique in that very few phrases can and will be used by both sides of a particular racial issue, no matter how small or large the issue. Talk about affirmative action in a positive context, and one will get accused of "racebaiting". Take the same issue, with a negative context, and wham!, same thing only from the other side of the spectrum. I don't know of many phrases that do that.

I suppose the emotional tone of the article, or speech, would affect whether or not it is perceived as "race baiting".



And I apologize to you, seagull. I haven't had the time to give you an answer as much as I like because I have unfortunately been wrapped up in battling it out on other threads.


But when considering what you said, I think that "race-baiting" is a emotionally-laden term. And it is used indiscriminately because of the intent is to demean or invalidate the claims of the person who asks about race. It falls into the same camp as the "race card". As you probably already know, when I bring up the issue of race on other threads, I always get pegged for "screaming about race". It is true that you can't look for race in every subject. But just because a topic needs to be analyzed in a racial context (i.e., immigration), it doesn't mean that when people bring up these concerns they should be ignored.

I think people ought to be more sympathetic when discussing racial issues and try not to invalidate the other side. But, I think with the word "race-baiting", is thrown around as rhetoric especially by those who don't want to listen. It is easier to say that someone is "whining" about race, instead of being honest and talking it out.

And I hope that this attitude changes. Because as I look in the context of current events, we sorely need to talk about these issues frankly and sincerely.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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I see the thread dying and I don't want that to happen, so I'll just jump in with a question.

Now, Ceci, I know you and I stand on different sides of the illegal immigrant debate, and I'd like to agree to disagree on that before I even get started.


The activists who put forward the claim that this current debacle is anything like the Civil Rights Movement are offensive to me. However, they do bring up an interesting point, which is that, this being America, the sentiment behind a lot of the 'anti-illegal' fervor is, in fact, racism. While I would argue that, at least in my case, my stance is based more on nationalism than anything else, I'm surprised that when Mexicans 'race-bait', or 'play the race card,' no one dismisses their concerns. We discuss them civilly and then, our otherwise thoughtless President admonishes us to please, be sensitive to other people's feelings.

Remember Katrina? When actual American citizens were drowning, and dying, on CNN for all the world to see? Barbara Bush wasn't very sensitive when she remarked that the hurricane- displaced were probably better off in the Houston whatever- Dome. When people felt that the root cause of such pervasive governmental inertia was the fact that "George Bush doesn't like black people," and said so, their concerns were promptly pooh-poohed, and then came the next news cycle.

So, here's my question: Why are the illegal immigrant activists actually taken seriously when they cry "Racism!", while blacks are usually ridiculed for doing the same?

Sorry for the run-ons.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 10:13 PM
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Harlem Hottie, thank you for your question. And yes, I have tried to keep the thread up despite the other news that hit the wires. And no problem!


Your questions do give me a lot of thought. And I would like to take the time to answer them in full.

But now, I'll give you the short response for one:

I understand and respect that we see the illegal immigration issue differently. In fact, I think we can both agree that illegal immigrants, legally, are breaking the law. However, there are problems that need to be addressed between Latinos and Blacks. It still bothers me that Vicente Fox did not apologize for the stamp with a derogatory image of a Black person. It still bothers me that there is a color bar in South America in which says that the "lighter the skin, the better". And this is especially practiced in Brazil.

And it also bothers me that in all of the illegal immigration debate that Black people get the short end of the stick any which way around. Although, I do not like racist actions against any people, I especially feel that some Whites are using the illegal immigration issue to divide people of color. The Minutemen--with their so-called "inclusion" of people of color have done it. And the issue of jobs have also caused a division within the Black community about the problem because it is true. African-Americans' jobs are being taken because Blacks are part of unions and undocumented workers are not.

However, I even experience on this board the effects of people turning a "deaf ear" to what I am saying. Because like Cynthia McKinney, it is taken that I am "crying wolf" as well. And I believe that when people throw out such rhetoric as "race baiting" and "crying about racism", you just have to keep on talking no matter what. Someone is always bound to listen. As for the activists who campaign in terms of racial issues of illegal immigrants, yes, they are equating this with the Civil Rights struggle. And...I don't know whether they should. Because in essence, they are breaking the law and until they have the rights of American Citizens through the terms of naturalization, I think that their platform for rights is faulty.

That doesn't mean that they are any less of a human being or that they do not deserve the dignity afforded anyone else.

But, I honestly believe that for Black people, this is a critical time for us as well. And in this debate, our focus is to find our voice, debate these issues amongst us and then make our feelings known to those who represent us in government. We have to have these dialogues with Latinos. And we also have to make our feelings known to others concerning regarding this issue. Here too, I understand the anger. But, I also think that this anger between all people of color on the issue of illegal immigration is because of the government. And that is the bigger villain in all this mess.

I will talk more about this later. And thank you very much for not forgetting my thread. I appreciate it. And also, feel free to comment what you think about Dr. Rice and Gen. Powell. That's a question I've wanted to discuss with other Black people too.








[edit on 17-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I especially feel that Whites are using the illegal immigration issue to divide people of color.


*shakes head*...And this is my real reason for not standing with the illegals in their fight: when black Americans fought for our rights, not to say we did it alone, but when our voices were finally heard, we weren't selfish. We also opened the doors for people of color from all over the world to come into this country in significant numbers. When they got here, however, they 'believed the hype' and looked down on us. Then they realized that here, in America, they were considered, by the white majority, to be as low on the totem pole as we were. Instead of realizing the error of their ways and bonding with us to wield some political power, they re-established the faulty precept that they were better than us. Further, they moved into our communities (because that's all they could afford) and undercut our stores, thereby running them out of business, establishing monopolies, and are lauded by the majority for having climbed to prosperity (on our backs).

I admit this was a bit of a rant, and thank you everyone for reading it, but I still stand by what I wrote.

BTW, when I say 'they,' I'm referring to all the immigrant groups of color that weren't here in overwhelming numbers prior to 1975. IMO, when it comes to Mexicans specifically, they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite what the talking heads are saying, the economy is headed for a terrible downward turn. People can feel it, unchecked inflation and illegal, unregulated labor artificially lowering wages... its a bad combination. I think a responsible president would come up with a diplomatic way to say, party over, we have some business of our own to take care of, like our wars, and our economy. Instead, it seems like Bush is encouraging them to come. Maybe its like I always said, his plan is to bankrupt the country and run. If he's not careful, we could have a civil war of our own.

I apologize for my pessimism, but I've learned that the optimistic hope that things will improve are foolish with Bush in office. If you consider the worst possibility, at least you'll have a plan if it happens.



Here too, I understand the anger. But, I also think that this anger between all people of color on the issue of illegal immigration is because of the government. And that is the bigger villain in all this mess.


I, respectfully, have to disagree. I would also like to reframe the argument. I'm an American citizen. They are not. This has less to do with race, for me, than the fact that social services are crying broke trying to feed them, house them, and give them healthcare. They cause the social services budget to balloon, while not contributing to the pot. And, in the end, they'll give "small government Republicans" the ammunition they've been waiting for, to cut social programs altogether. The only welfare this administration likes is the corporate kind.



I will talk more about this later. And thank you very much for not forgetting my thread. I appreciate it. And also, feel free to comment what you think about Dr. Rice and Gen. Powell. That's a question I've wanted to discuss with other Black people too.



I'll have to respond later to your Rice/Powell inquiry. I can't wait to tell you what I think of them. As you can probably tell, I don't hold back much.
And no problem on "not forgetting your thread." If I had the stamina, and patience, I might have tried to start a similar one.

For right now, though, these are my 'gaming hours,' and I really need to get back to my Simmies!



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 11:44 PM
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Thanks for your reply. And I am also gratified for your frankness in this matter. Your concerns address partly the reason why I am so conflicted about this issue.

And you like THE SIMS????? I do too. And yes, I have an entire community to play with...whenever I have the time.


(Hey, this is another convo that we have to have at a later date.)

But seriously, I will take the time to answer you back.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 09:49 AM
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On Race Baiting:

I wasn't familiar with this term. I have never used it. I had to look it up.

Wikipedia says:



Race baiting is the act of using racially derisive language, actions or other forms of communication to anger or intimidate a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests.


To put down a race in hopes of angering them and making them act in a way that can be used against the race.


Originally posted by ceci2006
Does it mean that by mentioning race as part of a topic, that the writer is trying to inflame the passions of the reader?


Yes, that's what I get, anyway. The writer is trying to inflame the passions of the reader in an attempt to make the reader act negatively while representing his race.



Or does it mean that when race is noted as part of subject matter, it is to be dismissed because it is considered a "weak" form of an argument?


No. I would call that accusation of using the "race card". When someone tries to dismiss race as part of the issue, it's because they don't think race IS relevant to the issue.


Originally posted by ceci2006
I especially feel that some Whites are using the illegal immigration issue to divide people of color.


That’s race baiting. You have derided the White race for having the motivation of racism… It is a fully racist statement. Being White has nothing to do with it. Some people use immigration to validate their racism, but being white has nothing to do with it. Racists come in all colors. And black people want to divide people of color, too.

ceci ~ Regarding the immigration issue, I’d just like to say that when you bring up race as a motivation, people (like me) to whom race isn’t even an issue take offense because you have just called ANYONE who is against illegal immigration for ANY reason, a racist. And while I’m sure there is a racist element involved to some illegal-immigration opponents, when you bring up race, it’s an accusation against us all. It’s really not a surprise to me that you get met with charges of “crying about race”. Because truly, everything isn’t about race and for the most part, illegal-immigrant opponents aren’t interested in race. I'm not. And when you make it about race, it's like it's out of left field. Honestly.


On Rice and Powell:

I don’t judge Rice and Powell on the color of their skin. I do have some suspicions that Rice anyway, is in her position as a token black person and woman. Her third attribute is that she supports Bush in whatever he says and does. She lies through her teeth to stand behind him and support him in his corruption. I don’t care what color she is, she’s not ‘representing’ anyone but Bush, including herself. She doesn’t represent black people, she doesn’t represent women, and she doesn’t represent Republicans. She stands by her man. She is passing for a white ‘yes man’. That’s my take on Rice. I have respect for her intelligence and it stops there.

Powell… I can see that the man has some integrity. I have some respect for him. I do think he represents black people… at least somewhat. If he would take the opportunity, I think he could be a great man. I think he has spoken out for black kids and encouraged the civil rights movement, but not nearly like he could in his position. So, while I have some negative feelings about him, I have some positive also. At least he got out.

Dr. Rice and Gen. Powell are not militants, but there’s no obligation for them to be. I don’t hold it against them that they have risen above the racial constraints. I don’t fault them for not doing more for the movement; their mere presence in their positions is indication of what black people can achieve and they do not ‘owe’ the rest of the race to ‘stay down’ until the entire black population can rise above. They may very well have left racism behind and I actually commend them for that. I guess I have a Bill Cosby attitude about it all.

On Racial Pride:

I would like to draw attention to the idea of ‘black’ being not only a skin color and culture, but also a political position. You said that most black people vote Democrat. And that is probably true. But when being black gets associated with Democrat, then it becomes more than a race. It becomes a political position. I think it’s important to realize that.

And I get the impression that many think black people should be Democrats just because they're black. And that the race should 'stick together' and help each other up. Stand together against whitey. And all those opinions, ideas and assumptions, to me, seem to nurture racism instead of truly work toward breaking out of a racist society.

I believe that a strong attachment or association to one's race actually nurtures racism. I don't have an association to being white. I am a person, a strong woman, a great wife, a dog-owner, a politically active debater, a loner... so many things. White honestly doesn't even make the list. I don't have white pride. I don't understand racial pride only in that it cultivates continuing racism.

That's all for now.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:10 PM
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I also have less respect for Dr. Rice than I once had. I wish she would speak her mind and say what SHE is thinking, rather than parroting. Although that IS her job as Secretary of State, but still...

Colin Powell. I have nothing but respect for him...though I would like to know more about his involvement in the possible attempts to cover up the events that occured during the My Lei Massacre in Vietnam. Not saying he was involved in the events themselves, but in the investigation afterwards his name does appear a number of times. If Kerry and McCain should answer questions regarding their actions during wartime, so too should Gen. Powell. He was only a junior officer at the time, so his involvement was only periferal, but still...

But for the most part, both of these people should be held up as examples for all Americans, not just blacks. They achieved positions of power and influence by sheer talent and drive. Powell faced institutional racism in the Army, the Army hadn't been desegrigated for long during the 60's. Dr. Rice faced similar issues in the academic world, not only as a black, but as a black woman. I forsee a bright future for both of them in politics.

I am not sure why people insist on coloring the illegal immigration issue as a race issue, it's not...it's a law issue. These folks are quite simply breaking the law by crossing the border illegally. I wouldn't care if they were white, brown, green, blue, or pink with little green pockadots, they are in violation of immigration law, and should be treated as criminals. Yes, most are fleeing harsh, even unlivable, conditions in their home countries. Yes, for the most part they are decent hard working people who only want a fair shake...nothing wrong with that. However, they need to come here via the legal way. The border, and not so border, states and counties are going broke trying to deal with the influx.

Immigration, or rather illegal immigration, needs to be addressed. To call those of us, who speak out against, rascist is, quite frankly, insulting; and makes me quite angry. On this I side firmly with Benevolent Heretic. Except for the strong woman part, and wife
. Race is never an issue with me, and I resent the hell out of being told that it is.

(what would skippy do?) (what would skippy do?). There... I'm better now
.


The name calling that goes on does nothing to address the issue, solve the issue, or make the issue go away

[edit on 17-5-2006 by seagull]

[edit on 17-5-2006 by seagull]

[edit on 17-5-2006 by seagull]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:04 PM
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No, I'm just kidding... partially.

In fact, I kinda like Colin Powell. He reminds me of my uncles in the army. From what I've been able to glean, from my admittedly small sample, it would appear that black men, currently in the age range of 50-60, who made a career of the military, share certain characteristics.

1. Motivation. They would have reached the age of enlistment sometime between 1964 and 1974, AKA the Vietnam Era, and most likely were drafted. We already know that a lot of Vietnam vets, black, white, and whatever, came back disillusioned by the whole thing. For some black men, that led to drug abuse; for others, that sentiment was used to (re-)invigorate the Civil Rights Movement. But men like Powell decided to stay. Why? Well, the Civil Rights Movement didn't attract everyone. It was mostly an urban-based thing and, if you were rural, maybe you figured, these white people won't ever change, and this is a waste of time. In that case, the military would be a pretty good option, to feed your family. A realistic plan, to be sure, but built on the logic that 'white people won't ever change.' That attitude leads to not speaking up for yourself.

2. Personality From the sample I mentionned above, I noticed that they're generally easy- going guys, not at all the kind you would expect to be career men. They try to avoid conflict. They just want to be left alone. These are things I've noticed at home, with their wives. I, of course, have never been present at their workplaces. In general, though, these are traits that I think would serve them well in the military of a government that has always seen black men as a problem.

And that's my take on Colin Powell. Overall, I think he's honorable, but he made the (completely human) decision to look out for himself, to the exclusion of others. That's never good. Whether its 'good' or 'bad' that he reached such a high level of government, I don't know. What I do know, however, is that he has the exact personality 'They' look for when they pick a 'token.'

Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice just makes me sick. She is completely bought and paid for. How can she be so lacksidaisical about racism when, I believe, she was friends with one of the Four Little Girls? I just don't get her, and that's probably because I don't want to.

I may write more on her later if I think of anything, but that's pretty much all I have to say on her. Plus, I kinda wore myself out with Colin Powell.

And, yes Ceci, I was referring to The Sims!!! I have been a fan since The Sims (1), but The Sims 2- wow! I just got Open for Business and that, along with opening an internet business of my own, has really used up my ATS time. Once the 'new' wears off, I think I'll be back here on a more regular basis.

Oh, and seagull and Benevolent Heretic, it's not racism, you're right. But don't be mad at Ceci for bringing it up. IMHO, in this country, most things are racist. I personally cannot watch the local news for more than, maybe, 30 min at a time, because I'm so disgusted at the bias of the newscast.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:16 PM
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Harlem Hottie. Please, don't misunderstand me, I was in no way refering to Ceci when I wrote my post. I was refering to the generalizations by the pro-illegal crowd who refer to those of us who argue against as racist.

Ceci. If I inadvertently seemed as if I was refering to you, I apologize. I was in no way refering to you. Having reread my post, I should have made my point a little more general perhaps. Again, my apologies.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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I'm not at all mad at Ceci! How could I be? She's everything I respect. Honesty, openness, strength, love... I could go on. I didn't mean to give the impression at all that I'm upset in any way.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Thank you Harlem Hottie, Benevolent Heretic and Seagull for all of your comments. I am looking at them during a small break that I have from my work and I appreciate your answers.

I have one thing to say and then later on tonight I will answer in detail:

About the race issue: I'm sorry that you guys feel as if I called all anti-illegal immigration proponents "racist". I am not. There are people who are simply supporting this because of the legality of the issue. My advocation is for the legality of the issue.

However, I haven't made myself clear.

What I do not like about this issue is the potential for racism that could be caused. Hey. I have no problem if people advocated anti-illegal immigration across the board for all illegal immigrants who broke the law--from all stripes.

However, why I bring up race is the fact that I believe that some people are using the anti-illegal immigration movement to validate their views of racism. And judging from some of the comments on the board, I believe that they are not really advocating "anti-illegal immigration" at all; instead, it is a convenient excuse to say all the racist things they can about Latinos or any other race of color. And because illegal immigration is a issue that is an "acceptable topic", they can easily forget their manners and throw around any racist term they please.

Do you not wince when people talk of the "Mexican invasion"? Or that they are "garbage" and "filth"? Or how about the claims that they "bring the crime rate up"? Or the fact that they "dirty up the street" and "clog up the traffic". Or the fact that they just simply "have insurmountable babies and pollute the American way of life"?

Come on now. That has nothing to do with the issue.

No one at that point is debating the legality of the issue.

By that point, they are spewing the hate-filled rhetoric attached to racism.

That's what I mean.


Benevolent Heretic: I am sorry if you think I am race baiting if I said that "some Whites have used this issue to divide people of color". It's another one of "open mouth, insert foot" moments.

But, yet, indeed, there are people who want to captialize on the fact that Blacks and Latinos are fighting against one another over this issue, but for many things. And that's one of the reasons why I think the Minutemen aren't as "patriotic" and "selfless" as others would think. Believe me; a man from Orange County--where there is wealth, superficiality, manicured lawns and gated communities--isn't going to start an organization unless he had paranoid thoughts about the influx of a changing landscape of people in California.

Chris Simcox did. And he has repeatedly spoke about them. And the illegal immigration issue is a convenient way to shoot them off.

And the politicians also know how to divide people of color by having them to choose sides in the issue: a) be an American first; b) or be a person of color.

By using jobs as a "wedge issue", then it inflames people of color and pits them against each other. And the corporations and the government--which is using "race-relations" as a superficial excuse without doing anything real about the situation in America--just watches the show. They sit there as people of color fight each other instead of showing unity.

So, I think that the illegal immigration issue is a little bit more complicated that what people try to make out.

I will have more to say about this, but I've got to get back to work.


BTW, you guys know I respect all of your views, like you and admire you. There are no hard feelings here.






[edit on 17-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
However, why I bring up race is the fact that I believe that some people are using the anti-illegal immigration to validate their views of racism.


I agree 100%! People are using the situation to validate their bigotry and it's wrong.



Do you not wince when people call of the "Mexican invasion"? Or that they are "garbage" and "filth"? Or how about the claims that they "bring the crime rate up"? Or the fact that they "dirty up the street" and "clog up the traffic". Or the fact that they just simply "have insurmountable babies and pollute the American way of life"?


Totally agree. Those people were obviously racist before immigration was the big story in the news.

Thanks for the explanation and I knew what you meant because I feel that I know your heart to a certain degree. I was speaking to how others are perceiving you and your comments.



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 03:34 AM
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Now that I have a little time to write my thoughts about what we discussed today (and with a little bit more character points), I'll take the time to reply now.

But first off, I'd like to say thank you to everyone for their lovely words and their committment to the thread. It touched me. I enjoy your frankness and your candor when talking about this issues. And now that I am coming out of my shell a bit more, I am gratified that all of you have had a part of that.

I've learned quite a lot from all of you. And I am thankful for your responses more than you ever know. And from the remarks of others that come and go on this thread, they have learned quite a deal too. So, I humbly give you my warmest regards and deepest thanks for your participation.

For a quiet, shy person like myself, this is a milestone of sorts. I've learned--as you probably read on other threads--to be more outspoken than I've ever been (and probably there are people on this board who are thinking, "God will this lady shut up?"). But, this is very good. And I certainly do hope--even though we might go on to other threads from time to time--to continue bringing up issues and hashing them out here.


Orignially quoted by Seagull
Ceci. If I inadvertently seemed as if I was refering to you, I apologize. I was in no way refering to you. Having reread my post, I should have made my point a little more general perhaps. Again, my apologies.


No problem. I know what you're talking about and again, I have to say that sometimes that's the perception people get when I do bring the race issue up on immigration threads. Yes, the illegality is wrong from the point of being an American. But, I draw the line when anyone starts to denegrate a person's dignity. Heck. I'd fight for you too if someone did the same.

However, if you or other people have read the immigration threads I have participated on, there are people who do not take into consideration how they denigrate another race. But I do not just simply go and blatantly say, "You're all racists!" on every thread--despite some of the remarks that I get. I do have a reason. And I try to spell it out. But people tend to think, like one poster called me, that I'm a "one-trick pony".


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm not at all mad at Ceci! How could I be? She's everything I respect. Honesty, openness, strength, love... I could go on. I didn't mean to give the impression at all that I'm upset in any way.

No hard feelings at all on my end. Just talking as openly as I can. Aside from not being mad, I also adore Ceci.


Thank you very much, Benevolent Heretic. I also adore you too. And you also embody those same qualities in your manner, compassion and geniune nature that you carry yourself with on the board. I admire you for your caring nature. And you demonstrate the gentility and the strength that I try to aspire to. And yes, you also have love radiating from your heart and speech which shows me your fervent aspiration to make this a better world. And this is something that I wish to emulate as well.


Originally quoted by HarlemHottie
And, yes Ceci, I was referring to The Sims!!! I have been a fan since The Sims (1), but The Sims 2- wow! I just got Open for Business and that, along with opening an internet business of my own, has really used up my ATS time. Once the 'new' wears off, I think I'll be back here on a more regular basis.

Oh, and seagull and Benevolent Heretic, it's not racism, you're right. But don't be mad at Ceci for bringing it up. IMHO, in this country, most things are racist. I personally cannot watch the local news for more than, maybe, 30 min at a time, because I'm so disgusted at the bias of the newscast.


Before I get into the Sims, I would like to extend my thanks to you as well Harlem Hottie for caring about the thread and recognizing its strength. I want you also to know that I find your words spirited, thoughtful and important. And, never feel that you can't bring up anything here. You can. And we'll talk about it. The thing I like about New Yorkers is that they say what's on their minds. That is something we need to learn on the West Coast.

Thank you also for sticking up for me. I too get disgusted about the bias in the media. And it bothers me. That is why I always ask questions about the media. And I scrutinize it. As for bringing up race in general, I am probably growing a reputation amongst others as the "lady who cried wolf". But, racism is important. And I do know the difference when to bring it up or not. But, there are just times on this board that when people say something derogatory about any race that you can't stand it anymore. You have to take a stand and use it as a learning experience.

And sometimes, people might think that I am being obstinate, aloof, weird, cold or petty, but when I do take a stand, there is a reason. I simply just don't pull race out of the air. I feel it is better to ask the question than let it be unspoken. As seagull said before, you have to say what you have to say and apologize later.

And sometimes, I've had to apologize. But I am glad that I asked the question.

As for the Sims: I have Sims (1) all the way to Superstar. I also have Sims (2). I just bought Nightlife (Yes, I have a Mac) so I am trying to build downtown. And I always have time for my Simmies. Gawd. I love making skins and wallpaper! I'd have to agree with you, Sims2 is cool. I'm up to about four generations now and it's kind of interesting to see the communities change. After a tough day of work, it's nice to be *the goddess* sometimes over the *little people*.




[edit on 18-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 04:40 AM
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This is a critical time in American society. Not just because we are questioning our government and leader, but also we have hit a juncture in inquiring about who are are as a people. The question of Americanism is especially important because this is a time in which our soul as a country is being weighed on how we are to move the United States forward.

Illegal Immigration is one of those important issues. This is a subject that tears at the emotions and hearts of everyone in the country. No matter who you ask, they have an opinion about it. And it is a topic in which instills bitterness, heartbreak, resentment and hope all in the same light. Despite the trials and tribulations that I have participated within in many threads of this nature, I have learned quite a deal about Americanism and legality. And this issue sits at the heart of it more than most.

I respect the law. And for that reason, I believe that illegal immigrants should also respect the laws of the country and apply for naturalization. I am concerned because even though they have to earn money for their families, the more important thing is that they have to go through the proper channels in order to work here. And, it bothers me at a time when so many Americans need jobs, that they too are at the fault lines in society. What makes me even more angry is that the government and Big Business (the corporations) are standing by and letting this country get torn apart.

I was lucky to see the last parts of the debate on Immigration in the Senate on C-SPAN. I saw Mr. Kennedy speak his mind on agreeing with Mr. Obama about a provision dealing with the guest worker program. This provision would allow, if passed, that in urban areas with more than eleven percent unemployment, that guest workers (I believe) would not be allowed to be employed (I have to check the provisions to be accurate). I think by the debate in the Senate, that hashing out the issues of illegal immigration is complicated and emotional. You can see in their debate that our politicians too have to struggle with the issue that so many of us have discussed in our homes, with friends and of course here.

My insertion into the issue is the regard for dignity and respect of the persons involved. And with Harlem Hottie, I feel her anger when she talks about how Blacks had to fight on the front lines in the Civil Rights era. The appropriation of the Civil Rights era by those who support illegal immigrants may seem like the right thing to do. But, I think as an American, it is too premature to ask for rights when this segment of people have "jumped the lines" ahead of others who have waited paitently and diligently to be naturalized. And using the Civil Rights Era for inspiration might be discounting the sacrifices that Blacks and others who stood beside them made during that trying time.

With that being said, I also believe that when people honestly talk about illegal immigration, they are not being racist. For most people, it is a matter of legality. And that legality has to do with being American.

However, the problematic issue of being against undocumented workers splinters into several issues. One, as I mentioned above, is the way that some people who are against illegal immigration use racism to justify their feelings. This bothers me the most. I do not like it when people can throw around any derogatory thing they feel and find justification with others. And this is not relegated to one race of people. It happens amongst everyone. Since I care about the dignity of others, it hurts me when I see the downtrodden--illegal or not--get mercilessly treated by people who openly find that this is "high season" to act out their racist fantasies without any remorse. Those are the type of people that I find fault with. Not the people who honestly are fair across the board and will debate the legality of the issue.

I do not like words like "Mexican invasion" or "dirt" or "trash" or "filth". No one is like that. And no one ought to be treated like that, because I know that from the stories of my mother and father, people in the South said those things about Black folk. And some still do. And that is why I fight for the dignity of the undocumented workers despite their illegality. No one should be treated badly.

However, the other main contention of the issue has to do with how some immigrants treat Black people. What Harlem Hottie said is true. There is such a striving to be part of the American Dream, that when some immigrants make it, they appropriate the same racist characteristics as those espouse in the dominant culture. And the first to get the brunt of this racism are Black people. And because of that reason, Black people and their struggle are used and abused again.

Now, that's why I feel so conflicted about this issue. I have been accused on many fronts by other posters that I "cry for the poor illegal immigrants while they suck up the system" or that I support the "criminal nature" of their enterprise. Maybe I do cry, because I care for their treatment and dignity as human beings. But no, I do not like the criminality of it. And, when people need care, they need to be helped. If someone is hurt, I would find it unconscioniable of any doctor, clinician or nurse to turn anyone away no matter how long they have to wait.

But the fiscal and legal nature of illegal immigration do weigh heavily on me. And in my encounters with those who are undocumented, I find that they are the most nicest, honest people. They treat me kindly. They try to do their job. And we talk from time to time.

And in those moments, I have to struggle with my conscience when this issue is brought up. Because, in a sense, I know about their struggle to make a better life. But I also know they could have implemented the legal channels to do it.

[edit on 18-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 05:28 AM
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Yes, Colin Powell is quite different than Condoleeza Rice. I have to agree with Harlem Hottie that Colin Powell reminds me very much of my male relatives who have served in the military, most namely, my Uncle (for those reading SO's thread on "liberty", not the same one). Like my Uncle, Colin Powell is very devoted to country and proud to be a patriot. He is proud that fought for the country and lets everyone know it.

And like Gen. Powell, my Uncle is very conservative in nature. He watches FOX. He believes in the President. And, he supports the government. He believes that Iraq is a good thing. And he stands by the decisions that have been made. And despite his politics, my family--strongly Democratic--love him and his family to death. He's a gentleman. And my Aunt was a very gentlewomanly military wife (And of course, Harlem Hottie, he grew up in a rural setting as my mother did. But, how my mother and her brother became so different is another story for another time.). However, she was a feisty woman that spoke her mind. And my cousins were typical military brats. He is very devoted to family and will work to see everyone comfortable. These are honorable things indeed.

My Uncle like Gen. Powell is soft-spoken, attends church every Sunday and keeps everything in meticulous order. And yes, he can make some mean pancakes too. The only difference is that he does speak up for himself and articulate his reasons. He knows about the racism rampant in the military. But, you will never hear him speak about the Korean or Vietnam War. And knowing history through words and pictures, I know why.

Gen. Powell for me also, has my respect because he had to work his way up from the bottom to get where he was. And because of that, he had to sacrifice a lot. In essence, it is hard not to be proud of his achievements even though I disagree with his politics. However, I respectfully, have to disagree with Harlem Hottie when saying he's basically honorable. Yes, he did look out for himself. And that is actually to be commended.

I find fault with him because he lied to the U.N. about Iraq. And still, in many ways he is complicit with the "Bush Doctrine". He could have spoken up about the true intentions of the second Iraqi War. But in the sake for self-preservation and his allegiances, he did not. And in my book, I think that is wrong. He also did not say anything about the torture going on in Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. And, he continues--to his credit, perhaps--to lay low while the chickens come home to roost.

That is why I cannot completely support Colin Powell. I know that no one is a saint. But Gen. Powell needs to take a hard look in the mirror about his participation in the Bush Administration. In a way I think he at first did. This initial look made him get out of his office as Secretary of State. But, he needs to really think about the soul of the country and what is right for it instead of sitting back and seeing others profit from misfortune.

As for Dr. Rice

I do have more to say about her as well. But in the short of it (it's getting late), I think that if GWB is akin to Hitler, she's his Eva Braun.

About Hurricane Katrina and Barbara Bush

I would like to discuss this too. Her comments infuriated me. And I would like to think about this issue and articulate it better.

And yes, Harlem Hottie, she said this while the Katrina survivors (not "refugees" or "evacuees") were in the Astrodome right next to Reliant Stadium--after they suffered in the Convention Center and the Superdome.


So that is my "look at Skippy" moment. And I will and continue (hopefully with shorter texts) with my replies to your posts.

[edit on 18-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And these questions are opened up to everyone else:

1)What are some stereotypes that are most prevelent when you think about another race?

When I think of people I don't really think of what stereotype goes with their race.. I don't mind the 'hot gangster with nice abs' image though.



2)Do you think it is hard to discuss issues about race-relations when you are in a situation in which you are the only one of your race amongst other people of another race?

(This has happened to me many times, but I would like to hear this from other people)


That would depend on why it's being discussed.. if I'm the only race and my race comes up.. chances are it might not be in the most positive way or to make 'relations better'. I do remember though aphgan sisters were asking why I don't drive and if it was because a man told me not to [fact is petrol and insurence costs way too much].. but that made me uncomfortable more because they were being nosey and in their household gets 'segregated' into male/female when I visit [even though I get along with the brothers more- I think their folks are careful not to let the 'aussie girl' too close to their 'promised' sons.
] I have to admit we've had some fantastic discussions about race. I keep telling the youngest boy that if he doesn't stop thrashing his car I'll tell his mum to marry him off early.



3)Do you think that justice is truly colorblind?


No. OJ. I'd say Micheal Jackson but it's doesn't really matter if he's black or white.. not sure what happened there.. of course that is american politics.. aussie is more how much green you've got.


4)Do you find it hard to talk about race-relations with others of your own race?


No.


As for my own answers to these questions, I will think about them and then try to answer in future posts.


Looking forward to reading them.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 04:48 AM
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riley, welcome back and thank you very much for your comments. From your comments, I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

1)What are some stereotypes that are most prevelent when you think about another race?


Originally quoted by riley
When I think of people I don't really think of what stereotype goes with their race.. I don't mind the 'hot gangster with nice abs' image though.


Well, the "hot gansta with the nice abs" is a rather attractive image to dwell upon. But, you know, it depends with me. Since I know a lot of different types of people some of my stereotypes are kind of dispelled. However, one that has always eluded me over the years has been the "model minority", even though I have friends who happen to be Asian. I've never really completely understood who started the term. But I know how it's been implemented. And it's been detrimental I think to both Asians and other people of color because it pits us against each other.

(Asian folks, feel free to refute me here. I would like your answer to this.)

2)Do you think it is hard to discuss issues about race-relations when you are in a situation in which you are the only one of your race amongst other people of another race?



That would depend on why it's being discussed.. if I'm the only race and my race comes up.. chances are it might not be in the most positive way or to make 'relations better'. I do remember though aphgan sisters were asking why I don't drive and if it was because a man told me not to [fact is petrol and insurence costs way too much].. but that made me uncomfortable more because they were being nosey and in their household gets 'segregated' into male/female when I visit [even though I get along with the brothers more- I think their folks are careful not to let the 'aussie girl' too close to their 'promised' sons. ] I have to admit we've had some fantastic discussions about race. I keep telling the youngest boy that if he doesn't stop thrashing his car I'll tell his mum to marry him off early.


Here too, I have been in many situations in which I've been the only Black person in the room. And with people I am comfortable with, I can discuss race-relations with them. However, I've been in many uncomfortable situations (for example, the Mc Donalds in Nebraska) in which I am like a deer in the headlights because I don't know how people are going to react.

However, when I was taking a class on Japanese Culture, I was the only Black in the room. The rest were Asians--Chinese and Japanese. And that was an interesting situation. I got to hear about all sorts of customs, words and actions that I would have never heard otherwise. And I understood things that I would never have--whenever I go into markets, restaurants or neighborhoods. So, that class taught me a lot about Asians in general, if not the Japanese culture.
In that situation, I was treated like anyone else in the room. And there wasn't any animosity. So, I was comfortable there.

My family grew up around Whites, Blacks, Asians, Jews and Latinos. Especially, we were regularly invited into their homes. My sister learned Spanish in school and speaks it fluently. I partly know Spanish, but like I mentioned on another thread, it is faulty. But, especially in our Latino friends' homes, we would converse with them in English and Spanish. The same thing would happen when we would go into our Filipino friends homes. Except there, they would also speak Spanish, English and Tagalog. So, over the years, we would pick up a few things here and there. However, the funny thing is--especially with our Latino friends, their kids only speak English and hardly know any Spanish. Our White neighbors were also very respectful and kind. There were only a few instances in which there was racial tension....but that is another story for another time.

My Dad's occupation allowed him to be surrounded by international people, though. So, we would have people from many countries come by our house. So, I've been able to meet Middle Easterners, Nigerians, Kenyans, Ethiopians, Chinese, Taiwanese, British, German, French, Canadians, etc. So, we've been able to be surrounded by interesting and fascinating people. All were kind and very respectful of us.

However, if you read the stories of my adventures in my mother's home town...that's another side of the issue...where race-relations go awry.


3)Do you think that justice is truly colorblind?



No. OJ. I'd say Micheal Jackson but it's doesn't really matter if he's black or white.. not sure what happened there.. of course that is american politics.. aussie is more how much green you've got.


Well, in America that is partly true. It is about money. But you have witnessed on the "Rush Limbaugh thread" people still bicker about race. Race and justice is a complicated thing in America.

4)Do you find it hard to talk about race-relations with others of your own race?

Nope. Not with me either. In fact, Black people, from time to time commiserate with each other about their experiences in the work place, in their towns and about politics. And especially with some of my black women friends and with my sister, we just sit down and say, "Girl........"




P.S. Ask some questions of your own, if you like. And like I said before, you are free to participate here whenever you feel like it. I appreciate your wonderful comments.







[edit on 19-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 05:39 AM
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IMO race isn't really a taboo subject. I myself am mixed race (three quarters white) and have LOTS of different "raced" friends. Now, when I am with my friends we don't all stand around speaking in a way which was politically correct, we all make loads of "racist" jokes about each other!

We understand that the actual word "race" is just a way of keeping different people alienated from each other, no matter how close you all are. I believe that no one really cares about race anymore, but because we are supposed to be considerate of other cultures and races we walk on eggshells around the topic.

This is pointless. Members of one "race" don't walk around making sure not to offend each other, so why should we treat other people differently? The actual concept of being politically correct around other races is in fact racist in itself. It promotes the use of terms which may be offensive to people.

***These examples may be considered offensive to some. They ARE true accounts and I mean no offense to ANYBODY
***
For example, one time me and some of my friends were being questioned by the police because we witnessed a car crash and the policeman taking our details called one of my Asian friends 'coloured'. My Asian friend then proceeded to (unpolitely) demand that he call him a Paki in his report as that is what he was, and to call him something else was extremely offensive to him.
Yesterday, three black boys in my school almost got into a fight with a black boy and two white boys. The opposing black boy said that he didn't want any trouble with them and that (in his words) "he was a 'n-word'". One of my friends then went to his face and said "You ain't no 'n-word'. We don't start on each other" and walked off.

Racial terms are the only unique thing each of us has nowadays, what with everything being merged into one massive multiculture, and to remove them is demeaning.



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