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Why is race such a taboo subject?

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posted on May, 29 2006 @ 05:46 PM

Originally posted by ceci2006
I am very confused. Because I basically know I haven't said that I was void of racism.

You didn't use those exact words. What's the difference?

What's the difference between saying "I am void of racism" (which I didn't even attribute to you) and saying, "I am not racist. I know I'm not" ?

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 05:48 PM
As to riley:

Originally quoted by riley
I accused you of racism because you were.

And I'm accusing you. But you claimed over and over that you aren't racist. Of course, you see it that way because you have gotten on your pedistal and proclaimed me one. All right. Burn me at the stake. But you're going down with me.

I blatently said so because that was what we were talking about. Someone asked about the 'race card' and I gave an example of something I experienced as someone who has white skin. How does that make me racist?

Saphronia did talk about the "race card". It doesn't make you racist. But your response to me was.

There are is alot of culture that depicts what africans have experienced so no it isn't true. While we're on the subject.. many aspects of christianity are derived, not only from Jewish, but from egyption culture. Egyptions were originally from Somalia.. they have had quite an influence on world politics.

But you are ignoring the larger picture of colonialism. Why do you think colonialism happened in the first place? It was the de-humanizing of races because they weren't white. Darwin even set up a system of evolution based on this theory. It's not only politics. You don't take over an entire continent of people and call it politics. You don't set up a "caste" system in which people of color are slaves and Whites aren't and call it politics. You don't make laws against people of color and call it politics.

And there's a difference between the true appreciation of a culture and its "exoticisation". Exoticisation is exactly what the British did when they were stealing artifacts from the tombs of Egypt and claiming them as their own. Some of which still reside in British Museums.

But then again, what are you to say about the aborignes? I'm sure you're fighting for their rights as well?

Besides, the Irish were slave owners in the USA.

I was explaining that if I didn't experience racism I'd be able to agree that I didn't experience racism ['had it better']. I asked you to show me where I'd been racist.. not to ignore the second half of a sentence. Nice try.

Then why say it at all if you didn't think it? I'm sure you did, just as you are supposing that I am thinking what I did about you and this thread.

We all can't have our assumptions can we?

Obviously we are not going to achieve anything by this bickering.

It's so nice and convenient to bow out when the tables are turned against you. Don't worry. You aren't the first. And you will certainly not be the last.

But for the sake of making myself clear:

My main point is racism is still very previlant today but it seems [from my own experiences] that when 'whites' are the victim it's downplayed and sometimes considered morally justifiable [an eye for an eye].

Proof? Since you tend to accuse people of color of being happy of a White person's misfortune.

Maybe I got my wires crossed and was blinded by racism or paranoia? Not sure what you meant by that but clearly you thought I had the 'wrong mindset' which ties into your earlier assumption that I'm a racist [oh the irony].

You might. But then again, it is also ironic and patronizing for you to think that I meant anything other than what I said.

This is my point.. what is wrong with my perspective on it? It is a natural one.

What deems your perspective natural--opposed to mine? You make it seem as if my experiences are entirely geared toward racism and Black people in general. But you don't even acknowledge how high and mighty you get with asserting your own superiority.

I was verifying racism happens against whites.. not justifying. Siting a personal experience of racism does not mean I have a chip on my shoulder.. neither does having an emotional reaction about it.

Perhaps not. But justifying and verifying are a question of semantics. Here again, you patronize me and my language in order to get your point across. But you never think about that, do you? Others can be patronizing to you, but not yourself.

worse still they've been condoned/justified because I'm white.

That maybe true. But you didn't bring up any examples of people of color saying it's justified. In fact, I never said in any of my posts to you that I thought you deserved it. You brought up that logic on your own. Again, you make a false assumption about me. And being horrified that I upset you with my words, I apologized over and over. And you took advantage of the situation.

[Your thread]has given me greater insight into the opinions of [about] whites and racism in general.

Only whites? Not other races? Here again you state exactly what your intentions are--only concerned with the problems of White people. I'd be more convinced that you did learn something more if you stopped accusing me of facing my racism.

NO-WHERE have I seen you doubt stories where blacks are the victims of racism. You can't preach against something and condone it at the same time. It's a shame that despite all your calls for honesty about how people REALLY feel about 'blacks' you couldn't do the same about whites.

Where have I done that? Have I said anything to doubt your story? Probably yes, in your mind. But no, not literally have I ever said I doubted your story. But then again, superiority rules once again. You're right and I'm wrong.

....usually when the subject gets approached it soon talks about the evil whites oppressing blacks.

Have I ever talked about the "evil whites" oppressing blacks? I have talked about my experiences and insertions into race, but no I haven't. I have even said that this thread is not a "Blame Whites" thread. Not once. But many times.

So riley, I have answered you. And I have more.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:03 PM
This is Part II of my response to riley:

Originally quoted by riley
I don't really think that if someone makes a racist remark they should be branded for life or are even racist.. [unless they do it continually]some might be racist because they don't like an individual so go for the cheap shot.

You've made a couple as I've shown above. But I am willing to forgive you. Which you will not do the same for me--since this is your next quote:

No. I've now been fighting for YOU to acknowlege your OWN racism against whites to yourself.. you know this but you've just created yet another segway to call me a racist:

Thank you for being so patronizing to me. Be safe in the knowledge that we have been patronizing to each other. And why do you need to in the first place? Am I your personal mission? Btw, instead of branding me a racist against Whites, it is just better to show examples. But then again, I know that anything I say toward you will be misconstrued. And you have made quite a show about that.

You are racist. Because you do say you are "void" of racism opposed to me. You don't have to say a derogatory word to demonstrate I've been told here.

People 'of colour'.. you mean african don't you who were enslaved by rich english..? I've been fighting YOUR racism.

No, I don't mean that by "people of color". People of color represents Latinos, Asians, Blacks, Native Americans and of course in your own homeland, the indigenous peoples. But you assume I mean Africans. And again, you are being patronizing here. But I can take your statement two ways:

1)That you are fighting for racism against people of color

2)That you are fighting racism by people of color.

In a nicer mood, I'd assume the first. But still the statement is patronizing to the very least because basically there are people of color who speak of racism and fight it themselves. It would be better if you said you fought with us. That would put us all on an equal playing field. But maybe you don't see people of color on an equal playing field after all. So, it's best to assume the latter until you come back and say otherwise.

Just because they inherited the same colour skin doesn't mean they should inherit their shame.

True. I have said as much when I wrote about "White Guilt". However, would it be too much to remember history and acknowledge it as part of the growing pains of a multicultural world? Probably not. Because that seems to be attached to guilt, shame and caring as well.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:16 PM
Benevolent Heretic,

There isn't any difference. I will now adopt the tactic of learning from all of you what racism means while just acknowledging my own. Then, I ask that you help me undo my racism by helping discover where my thinking has gone wrong. And in that, I would like others to contribute more about their episodes of race and racism so that I will be educated enough to change my own attitudes.

I will value everyone's experiences. I will doubt no one. And I will still treat people with kindness and openess as I always had before. It is fair to ask me about my own racism. So, I'm not mad or disturbed by it. But, now, this exchange today just conveys that I have a lot more thinking, reading and experiencing to do in order to continue learning how to effectively treat people better and to understand their feelings.

Now with that being said, we can talk this out further or launch into new territory. Your choice. You can ask me more questions if you like or suggest some of your own.

I'll still write my essays for the thread and answer the statements from other people. But I will refrain from posing any other questions.

I will yield the inquiries to other people unless I have a specific question I would like to pose on my own.

I hope this will remedy things. I don't want anyone to walk away hurt because that is not my intention.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:41 PM
Well, ok then! Perhaps this last round of discussion illustrates why race is such a sensitive issue...

Here is a question: does it really matter if someone is a racist or bigot in how they feel or what they say?

So far (and slipping fast, but that is another topic) we are free in this country to dislike whoever we want. For whatever reason we want.

Now, as mentioned above, I consider not liking someone due to their race or any other 'surface' thing to be tripe. Not even that, as some people like tripe, but anyway...

Clearly, we are not free to DO anything (burning crosses, throwing rocks), but if somebody is boneheaded enough to put energy into hating because of skin color for crying out loud, are they really worth any effort?

I have that tendancy. I am not proud of it, but not really ashamed either, because it was what I was taught when I didn't know any different. And I feel that the awareness I gain from that tendancy makes me a better person. Because I am aware. Actions taken in unawareness are the most destructive.

Since I am aware, for the most part, I see things. I see when other people, of whatever color, do or say things that are racist. And they often do it at unawares. I've been a by-stander and I've been on the receiving end. And it's all just words. If it ever goes beyond words, then the motive very quickly becomes irrelevant, and action is taken.

I guess what I'm saying here, not too well, is this - language is imprecise. Internet language more so (the whole body language/tone of voice thing). And who cares?

Maybe ceci is a flaming racist. Maybe not. Maybe I am. Maybe not. We can pick each others' flesh ad naseum over words and the nuances, and all it does is detract from the fabric of good will in the world. What there is of it left.

There is NO DOUBT that there has been a ton of oppression throughout history. Much of it race based. Much religion based. Economic based. Weight based. And it is all crap. It is all (I believe) born out of fear and encouraged by those who are better off that the distraction exists.

I think this is a great thread. My hat is off to you, ceci (if I had one) for starting it. I think it proves that bigotry is a sensitive issue. It demonstrates how easy it is for people to lose track of what is relevant - moving from that bigoted mindset and accepting people for who they are - and descend into the very kind of fragmentary fighting that does no one any good at all.

But whudda I know?

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:49 PM
Open_Minded Skeptic,

I would like to address your thoughts after I have had time to think about it. I'm not a flaming racist. I do make it a practice to treat everyone kindly.

The argument above, however, is good because it helps me realize that I do have racist tendencies that I probably I wasn't aware of. And to recognize that fact, helps me re-frame my answers and thinking that I will be more understanding of other people and treat them with the respect that they deserve.

This is a topic that deserves to be talked about. However, you will realize that everyone has their own experiences regarding race and racism.

So, I welcome you to the thread and I thank you for your comments. And I will do my best to treat you kindly and civily when voicing your opinions.

One of the most remarkable things about this thread--except for the last three pages--is the fact that we did not argue. We contributed our feelings about race and racism.

I promise this thread will not descend into mayhem. I will do whatever it is in my power to keep this discussion civil.

So don't be dismayed from what you read above. It is only my answer to another poster who questioned my attitudes about race.

That is bound to happen. And it will happen again. But, I will try to be more thoughtful the next time.

So kick back and relax. Continue to contribute. And thank you very much for reading the thread.

Word to the wise: sometimes look at Skippy.


[edit on 29-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:57 PM
Ceci - I did not intend to imply you are a racist. I picked two people here out of the air, and you were one of them. Could just as easily been BH and riley.

My point is, does it really matter if someone has racist thoughts and feelings? As opposed to acting on them, of course.

what is Skippy? To me, that means System Kernel Process, but that is in another galaxy, far far away...

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 07:04 PM

Originally posted by ceci2006
... And in that, I would like others to contribute more about their episodes of race and racism so that I will be educated enough to change my own attitudes.

Do you want to change your attitude? This is not meant as an attack, but is a real question. I am clearly in no position to give you advice, and I do not intend to do so.

And really, nobody is. You are the one that gets to make that decision for you.

I probably could not even state what your attitude is. I'm just curious.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by Open_Minded Skeptic]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 07:15 PM
You are a new member. Okay. Kano, one of the super mods on the ATS board, had devised a system to kill what he calls "instant board rage" (This is found on the Board Questions and Answers Forum as "Kano's Instant Board Rage Solution"). Skippy is a kangaroo. He says that if you get so steamed up at another poster, take a step back and stare at the picture.

In essence, he means that on the board we have to take a breather before answering another poster in rage.

That's what Skippy is about.

About the racism: I know you didn't mean it. But today was a discussion questioning the fact whether I did harbor racist tendencies. BH and riley pointed out that I have. So that was what the bickering was about.

However, when reading the definition of racism, how can anyone say they aren't? People have preferences and biases. And of course, those things need to change. I am not immune.

So yes, I do want to change. But one has to be careful about throwing around terminology as racism. Racism in itself is an inflammatory word. And I wouldn't sleep at night knowing that someone called me a racist because I know that I treat people as kindly as I can from all walks of life. However, it is fair to ask me because I started the thread. And some posters feel slighted by my comments as a African-American female.

However, you can't ignore what other people say about your attitudes and behavior--especially when it comes to taking positions in different threads. And especially this one, you have to try and be considerate of everyone's feelings.

So, I do have attitudes to change. And that is why I want to learn from other people in order to be a more understanding person.

About asking whether it does matter about having racist feelings and thoughts: At the outset no. But when they become increasingly prevalent in one's language to the point of using derogatory language in a hurtful attempt to demean other races, then it does. And when those thoughts escalate into violent action, also this is yes.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 10:14 PM
Today gave me a lot of insight about myself and others when it comes to race. Sadly enough, I know that my conscience does not sit well with knowing that others called me a racist. And it doesn't make me happy that I have said things to upset others with my writing. It looks like I have to gaze in that mirror more than most.

Others, of course, probably don't stare in that mirror. In the scheme of things, this act does not weigh heavily on others at all. And that is what I am fascinated by. What about other people? Do other people even get to ask themselves these questions? Do other people suffer from time to time about how they feel towards other people? And yes, like using the word "tar baby", they probably sleep well at night and not give their words or actions a lot of thought.

The question comes down to whether I feel safe in my own convictions regarding race-relations. That I do know. I realize now that I don't have to be confused by what others say. But I will listen to their experiences. I can still express sympathy for other people. But, I don't have to worry whether people see my actions as sincere or not. And of course, I realize I have the right to inquire others and put them under the microscope as they have done myself. And of course, I reserve the right to act in ways that I feel comfortable whether or not people tell me so. However, if they ask me to change, I will re-evaluate my feelings and make my decisions.

But most of all, I don't have to prove my intentions to anyone. After thinking about it, I know I have compassion. I know that I do care about the dignity of others. And I will still fight for the dignity of other people. And that is unwavering in my spirit and character. And yes, other people can ask questions of my actions, perhaps even to criticize what I have to say.

But I know who I am. And I know how I act. I know how I view race. I have self-respect and respect for others. And because I do have compassion and caring, I am not sorry for starting this thread no matter what the semantics may prove otherwise. I am glad that people have a place where they can discuss their feelings no matter how subtle or caustic it may be.

I expect my views to be treated equally as others. I expect my experiences to be treated with respect by other people. And I will treat the experiences and knowledge of others in the same light.

And when I must, I have the right to speak my mind whether it is what people want to hear or not. It is not a hissy fit. It is not a tandrum. It is, however, my expressed opinion. And people have the right to question me about my opinion or my ideas.

I find that I can define all of these things and feel saddened by what happened today. There is no victory in knowing that one harbors racist tendencies. But with that recognition, comes the ability to change and work toward understanding other people. I will continue to do that and work on changing what others have pointed out. Because I do show empathy, I will try to do that to the utmost of my ability. I will even apologize when I have wronged someone. But that is up to the person whether they accept or not. But, I will feel safe in knowing that I tried to make everything right in the particular situation.

I just ask the others who ask of me to act on these things do the very same with the same committment and fervor.

As for the rest, personality flaws are personality flaws. Everyone has them. And of course, some people are more polite than others when pointing them out. But personality flaws do not equate to the very notion of racism.

Racism is another ball of wax that needs to still be hashed out in order to have a better world. And when I think about the higher goal of achieving more understanding between people, I can withstand criticism and questions.

But I pose that challenge to everyone else. Are they willing to undergo the hardest struggle of their lives when engaging the racist tendencies in themselves? Are they willing to question themselves and other people when seeking a more enlightened society? Or are they willing to give up the struggle and find it easier to point out the flaws in others instead of facing their own attitudes? After all, most people do give up the struggle before it starts.

But for others, not giving up unleashes a plethora of new experiences and discoveries that open their world more. That builds character.

Which path will you choose?

P.S. I will get back to answering comments expressed in the thread a little later. But for now, my vow sticks: I will not pose any more questions for the time being. However, you can ask questions all you like!

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:23 AM
I ain't got time to read over this entire thread, but I skimmed a few pages.

One thing I noticed is that people object to the use of the race card. Granted, I don't like when people use it as a crutch either, but to say every black person who claims racism is doing so is taurus feces.

Then, I notice that no one has a problem with the Zionist race card. I swear, ANYTIME you say anything critical of Israel, you are an anti-Semite (
, it still kills me). If you point out that a number of rich Jews control parts of the media, you are an anti-Semite

Then, the white guilt thing. The Zionists use their own guilt trip to constantly remind everyone about the Holocaust. I see no complaints when they do this. My point here is that people have a problem with what they perceive as blacks playing race cards and such, while other groups can do this with impunity.

But, regardless, stop calling each other racist on this thread. The only thing I'm seeing is biased viewpoints, not racist posts (though there may be some that I missed). You wanna talk about truly racist members? That guy Spliff4020 comes to mind. That dude does NOT like black people. His comments had me ready to knock his bitch ass out; the fact that a certain former mod (who shall remain nameless
) seemed to be enjoying this didn't help either.

My point is, certain comments are just idiotic, biased, or ignorant, but not necessarily racist.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:34 AM
donwhite, I am still anxiously awaiting your "proof" that the Willie Horton incident was somehow a racist issue. Do you need more time to "research it" and "collect your thoughts"?

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:57 AM

Originally posted by truthseeka
My point is, certain comments are just idiotic, biased, or ignorant, but not necessarily racist.

I must agree.
I was using the term 'racist' to cover all these points of view and that was my bad. That's why I put in my definitions of what I meant by 'racist'. I thought there might be some misunderstanding. I don't know if anyone saw those or paid them any mind.

I don't think I realized how much energy the term 'racist' carries. It doesn't bother me. It doesn't seem to carry a bunch of negativity for me. It's less calling someone a 'bad name' and more stating a fact. But it's clear that to some it means KKK.
Not to me. Maybe that's why my sister-in-law got so damned upset when I told her she was racist. But she was leaning more toward the KKK variety of racist...

That's why I have said that we're all racist, it's a matter of degree. But like I said, it all depends on definitions.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 12:16 PM

Jsobecky posted
donwhite, I am still anxiously awaiting your "proof" that the Willie Horton incident was somehow a racist issue. Do you need more time to "research it" and "collect your thoughts"?

We’re talking 1988. Maybe you forgot the ad. You have already stated you opinion, which I disagree with.

posted by truthseeka

I ain't got time to read this thread . . I noticed people object to the race card. . the white guilt thing . . Zionists use their guilt trip to constantly remind everyone about the Holocaust. I see no complaints when they do this . . people have a problem with what they perceive as blacks playing race cards, while other groups can do this with impunity. My point is, certain comments are just idiotic, biased, or ignorant, but not necessarily racist. [Edited by Don W]

I could not have said it better, T/S

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 12:46 PM
Oh, I remember the ad, donwhite. It was a political ad, designed to paint Mike Dukakis as being soft on crime.

Here's a pointer to the ad, so you can review it.

And more importantly, I remember the incident. I don't think you do, though. In your quest to see racism in everything in America, you are blind to the facts.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 05:36 PM

posted by jsobecky

Oh, I remember the ad, donwhite. It was a political ad . . “

[Edited by Don W]

OK, I do not blame Republicans for being embarrassed by the ad, even ashamed. Ever since Richard Nixon invented what he called his Southern Strategy for the 1968 election - using anti-busing code words to give aid and comfort to red-necks - the GOP has exploited the unfounded fears of whites by using race loaded ads and slogans.

Ronnie Reagan chimed in, and re-told the Welfare Cadillac story more times than anyone could count. Along with the cow farts causing global warming and trees causing acid rain. Hey, RR never claimed to be a genius. Finally, Reagan invited the Southern Democrats - so-called Boll Weevils - of the old Jim Crow, George Wallace, Strom Thurmond variety to “Come On Over” into the GOP ranks where they have resided ever since. Good riddance, I said.

Jesse Helms ran twice against the black mayor of Charlotte and barely beat him in the first run. Republican Helms brought out the “pink slip” ad showing a white man getting fired from his job and a black man standing in the background waiting to take it, while the voice-over condemned affirmative action.

In 1988, the US prison system, and 28 of the 50 states used furloughs to help acclimate the soon to be released prisoners back into civil society. It was a program recommended by penologist and not by politicians. Predicably some prisoners went bad while on furlough. But the Republicans choose black Willie Horton out of 100s of white prisoners who also went sour, to demagogue the jail release program. There was no issue for the GOP but the race issue.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

[edit on 5/30/2006 by donwhite]

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 06:49 PM

Originally posted by donwhite
OK, I do not blame Republicans for being embarrassed by the ad, even ashamed. Ever since Richard Nixon invented what he called his Southern Strategy for the 1968 election - using anti-busing code words to give aid and comfort to red-necks - the GOP has exploited the unfounded fears of whites by using race loaded ads and slogans.

What is there to be ashamed about? What was "race loaded" about the ad?

Did you see the racism in your own statement, donwhite, when you used the term "rednecks"?

You are a hypocrite, sir.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

You, sir, are most certainly part of the problem when you use racist terminology and attempt to make incidents racial when they are not. You should be embarassed.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 09:06 PM
Before I make my comments to others, I would like to pose a couple of questions to jsobecky:

1)Don't you find it highly ironic on a thread about race, that you are accusing donwhite of highlighting the racist insinuations of the Willie Horton ad?

2)What is real racism in your point of view?

I just want to know since you have said that there is a difference between what myself and others are mentioning as acts of racism opposed to the "real racism" that is going around. Why don't you write on your opinion regarding real racism so that we will know and recognize it? After all, you need to present criteria about how you recognize and determine real racism in your experience.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 09:28 PM
Sorry but this thread is to long for me to read. If anyone has already said this please ignore this post. one of my teachers at uni is a anthropologist, i was discussing the issue of race with her a few weeks ago, what she told me is that in modern anthropology that the idea of race is not existent. She didnt exactly go into it hugely but said that they view it as that all humans are of the same race, but just of different sub branches. This comes from the whole darwin idea of evolution, we all are the same yet mirco-evolution has caused differences between people. So the old idea of race is not evident, it is a primitive concept. So it is like talking about Nazi Eugenics.

posted on May, 30 2006 @ 09:58 PM
First, I would like to say, welcome wang. And I thank you for making a contribution to this board.

Your comment about race is a very legitimate argument. In fact, there has been past opinion about this concept earlier in the thread. Unfortunately, people are still caught up on the antiquated concepts of race. If they didn't, this topic would not be so long. In fact, in laws and government, there are still laws that still hinge upon the old view of race.

So, I respectfully disagree with you. Diversity is a wonderful thing. It gives us our identity, culture and history. Even more so, we can share all these things with other people not only for the process of validation but for appreciation as well. So, yes we are all alike as humans, but there are differences that have made us distinct. And this recognization of distinctness in history has been used for good and for ill. And you bringing up Nazi eugenics is an example of "ethnicity" and "race" being used for nefarious purposes.

Something must be done to increase our knowledge about each other and the instances of culture in order to get along in this world.

And about the thread: it is long, but from time to time read a few pages here or there. I think that this is a thread that some people can read all at once, while others can read a few pages, think about them for a while, and read some more. The main point is to keep reading one way or another.

Btw, I hope you come back with more comments. Don't be a stranger. And please, elaborate on more of your experiences with race and race-relations.

[edit on 30-5-2006 by ceci2006]

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