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Why is race such a taboo subject?

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posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 09:02 AM
PO339' question is a difficult one to answer because on one hand we want a society where everyone is just a "person". It sounds nice, but racism is an individual thing. That is why I believe it will always exist in some form or another. I know black people that are always on the white man and I'm sure the situation is the same for white people. I see it leaking into this community sometimes. But, the situation isn't as bleak as it sounds because as long as there are folk that are willing to confront racist attitudes then we are going to be okay. As far as institutional racism I believe we have tackled most of those problems in this country. It still exist in the justice system though and we have to be vigilant about confronting and changing the racist drug laws and the incarceration of drug addicts white black brown yellow whatever...what's

I think there is a way of accepting each other including our race without the hating. I don't like the term "color blind" personally it makes me think of a bland colorless world. Different cultures, races, and national identities makes this world an interesting and beautiful place. Let's not be blind to our differences or mistake preserving culture as separatism or racism. I can't help but to love being black and love seeing black people do what we do so it's hard for me to envision a world without color or race or different cultures.

I love being American and I love seeing Americans do what we do as well. I think the sentiment of wanting to only be seen as a person is lovely but the reality for me is that we need to see what is there and accept it because it doesn't matter. We are all built the same brain to the tip of our toe nails.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 09:14 AM
As regards racism and immigration. No wonder I was confused. In my mind, they have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. My concern with immigration isn't in regards to a particular race. It's to do with the law and jobs. I don't care who is immigrating, as long as it's done legally. And I live in New Mexico. I'm surrounded by Mexican people and I'm comfortable with it. I certainly don't look at them and think "illegals!"
I have no clue who is here legally or otherwise.

And in fact, before I was aware of the extent of the illegal immigration issue, I may have hired an illegal immigrant myself, not knowing or caring whether he was here legally.

Cici, you make some wonderful points about how many black people came to be here in the first place. There is the difference that they didn't have much choice about it. They were 'brought' as property by people who lived here. But I'm not sure how much difference that point makes.

I think with immigration, the lawmakers have to do something now. The government sitting around talking about it - and the media making a circus of it - isn't helping. If they really care, they need to close the borders and define a way to deal with the illegal immigrants that are here now and put that into practice. Period. They need to either allow those who are here to stay and become citizens or deport them. At this point, I really don't care which, but they need to check the borders to STOP it from growing.

But there I go again, expecting common sense and logic from my current government.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 09:59 AM
Saphronia, you understand the difference between race and culture. How people look makes Life colorful, how we act makes Life interesting. America is a multicultural nation. Fear makes people do crazy things sometimes; fear of losing one's identity makes some become anti-multicultural. Let us teach the Best about each other to each other. Benevelant Heretic, New Mexico is a beautiful land of many cultures, and I have always been impressed by cultural and racial acceptance there.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:42 AM

Now thats what we should all be thinking..
Yes sadly the Judicial side of the triangle does contain many prejudices and trust me when I say that I have seen them.
Yet we are all working toward enlightenment and perhaps...maybe....someday....acceptance.
thank you

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:00 AM
Ceci. Thanks for condencing the conversation from the day before. That's what I get for skipping a day

My take on the "word" is that it is derogatory. Yes, I have heard used by others in a freindly way, but it just has too many bad vibes for me. It's an uncomfortable word, along with redneck, trailertrash, etc..., all used to diminish others in the users eyes. But different strokes, for different folks.

I am so enjoying this post. But I gotta quit missing whole days, or I fall waaay behind in my reading
. Real life intrudes from time to time, however much we may wish otherwise.

Acceptence of the "other" is slowly coming to our country and to others with the same problem. It's only a matter of time. In the meantime, there will undoubtably be hatred, but less than yesterday, and there will be even less tommorrow. There will always be misunderstandings because none of live in the others head or heart, all we can do is try. The greatest enemy of acceptance of differences is fear, and fear is almost always rooted deeply in ignorance. That's why conversations like this one are so important.

[edit on 25-4-2006 by seagull]

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 10:39 PM
Knowing that there is a character count now, I've got to do my best to not go into War and Peace mode again. However, I would like to take the time to answer some of the issues brought up today.

Originally quoted by desert
We have come a long way in America, but we can do better. We have forgotten what it truly takes to be a great nation--coming together for our mutual benefit. You and others here are trying to be your best, each day as you go out and face the world. That is what we must do, as an example to others. If MLK had known that he would never see his dream realized, he still would have dreamed and hoped and acted. So each of us must dream, hope, and act. I think we are doing that right now on the internet.

desert, I thank you for your thoughtful words about the progress of race-relations in America. We do have to come together. I, for my part, am devoted to doing my best every day. And like Saphronia mentioned in her post, I too am proud of my Blackness. I am also proud of being an American. But, what I do appreciate the most is the caring and imaginative nature of people willing to connect with others on a daily basis.

It could be a smile or a simple hello. It could be a few words. But that contact is there. And sometimes, it doesn't work out. But, the ability to still try and be considerate to each other does a lot more than apathy. That is why we share different instances of history and culture to enlighten one another. Another reason is to talk about our differences and exchange a dialogue.

Heck. It beats calling each other epipthets and fighting. I would much rather have this exchange about race than reading posts that negatively degrade people. All of us here in the thread are trying to make an effort. And that's what I appreciate the most.

And that is the one of the things that will make our endeavors to relate to people out in the real world better.

Thank you very much for your contribution. It shows your insight and wisdom. Please continue. Be sure to ask questions too!

[edit on 25-4-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:12 PM

Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
Cici, you make some wonderful points about how many black people came to be here in the first place. There is the difference that they didn't have much choice about it. They were 'brought' as property by people who lived here. But I'm not sure how much difference that point makes.

I think with immigration, the lawmakers have to do something now. The government sitting around talking about it - and the media making a circus of it - isn't helping. If they really care, they need to close the borders and define a way to deal with the illegal immigrants that are here now and put that into practice. Period. They need to either allow those who are here to stay and become citizens or deport them.

Thank you very much for your words, Benevolent Heretic. This is yet another issue that I agonize over because of the historical and the current significance. Yes, the lawmakers have to do something to deal with this problem. And they also have to discuss ways to heal the racial divide caused by the outcry against undocumented workers. In California, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamonte and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villagrosa have received death threats because of this matter.

And if they are being threatened--being in high positions within the state, the same thing is happening amongst the rest of us as well in everyday life.

Just like the times during Civil Rights when Blacks were threatened with lynching and other forms of violence, I also believe it is so that there are problems that exist with undocumented workers and American citizens, most notably Latinos and Latinas. If not them, then people from the Middle East are also being treated badly because of the residue of 9/11.

So, I would certainly hope that our politicians would do something to stop this new wave of violence. And Mr. Schwartzenegger did issue a statement today deploring the wave of threats against Latinos and Latinas in California. He also said that racial violence would not be tolerated.

However, I do agree with desert in that the lack of jobs are causing this wave of anger in the American population. And as a result, the work situation has to be healed as well in order for things to be settled down.

But, it needs to be discussed amongst those who are violently opposed to undocumented workers, why they feel so. And instead of using attacks upon race, they have to work on their issues and resolve their hatred before it gets out of control.

posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 11:28 PM

Originally quoted by seagull
Ceci. Thanks for condencing the conversation from the day before. That's what I get for skipping a day

You're very welcome. And I'm glad that you are enjoying this thread. After all, you helped push it along. And I am very grateful for that. Your help made the thread last this long.

I also agree with you that conversations like this one has to happen. As I mentioned above, we as Americans and international citizens, have to resolve these issues in order to come together. So much time is being wasted on the things that divide us. Instead, we have to focus on our commonalities. That is not to say that we forget our culture, heritage and racial composition. We must celebrate each other's differences and learn more about each other. With learning about what the "other" side says, can only come with more understanding about why things occur the way they are.


I must say again how much I value your posts. I thank you for what you said above. Your thoughts and words demonstrate the issues that we need to think about in terms of dealing with one another as citizens of different races. That is why I respect what you have to say. And again, you have not disappointed me.

You hit the nail on the head in answering police_officer339's question. And like desert said again, I also think that you are generous as a person. I would also add that you are rather insightful and compelling as a writer.

Benevolent Heretic,

About using derogatory words about White people: I think that such terms are the same in my book as the "N-word". I find that these words are signs of disrespect on so many levels. And when people use them, they (like Imaginary Reality 1984 said) are used "with emotion and intent." But like Saphronia said, I think that these words too have to be in the "eye of the beholder". People too can joke about these words. But I don't. Here too, I have to err on social mindfulness. I would not want to insult anyone like that, even if I am angry. The same thing with women. But then again, during my life I had to learn quite a deal about conflict resolution.

To everyone else: Ask those questions! Bring up those issues! Let's continue to talk!

BTW, here is a question: How do you think the media is feeding the frenzy of racism?

[edit on 25-4-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:34 AM
ceci, I think the media feeds racism exactly the same way they feed everything else that is being gobbled up by the public. SENSATIONALISM!!! If the New York Times believes they can shock the public by reporting a story with a certain slant, well to them it's a no brainer. They are in business to sell newspapers and good news does not sell. (Iraq for example)
The idea of protests, meetings and political forums where one race plays against another causes us to grab up newspapers, turn on Fox news and search the internet like little children in a candy store. SO to them it is simply good business. To me it is just shameful.
Until more people begin to think and truly believe as you do ceci, this is going to get a lot worse. (at least before it gets better)
Still I feel you are one voice in the wilderness crying out for understanding and moderation and I applaude you for that.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:48 AM

Still I feel you are one voice in the wilderness crying out for understanding and moderation and I applaude you for that.

I also applaude you but lets not get carried away saying ceci is the only voice lol.

The point you made about newspapers is true. I mean how many times do you see loads of good news in papers? How many times have you seen the headline "Man hugs women in park, nice guy". It doesn't really happen does it and it is as you said simply because people don't want to hear good news. I think it is because people want to see others in trouble so that they can look at their own lives and think "hey it's not so bad here". It's a selfish attitude but hey that's humanity.

As for the race thing, in the end i fear we will always have racists. People will have kids and indoctrinate them from birth to look at others with different morals and values in suspicion and maybe hatred. I hope these people will become the minority but i really don't know if that will happen.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:54 AM
Well your right of course...I'll add your name to the list of voices...LOL
And I agree totally. It is so sad to see Skinhead, Black Power, Radical Islamofascism rallies where the childeren are there holding onto their parents hands becomeing indoctronated with hate.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 11:07 AM
PO339. That is precisely why the hate will, unfortunately, never completely die out. There will always be those who's hatred, for the "other", is so strong, actually vile is a better word, that they will indoctrinate the young to carry on the "struggle". It's a pessimistic outlook, I know, but one based on the reality I see, and read, every day.

These people who hate can not, infact dare not, see the wonder that is the very thing they hate most. That wonder is our differences. For if they were to see that it would invalidate everything they profess to believe, and that they will NOT do. That, of course, is their loss. Unfortunately, they don't only hurt themselves with their self delusions, they maim and injure those around them, both physically and spiritually.

We will continue to talk about, and explore our differences, as we're doing here. Hoping against hope that our faith in humanity's humanity will be realized one day. Yeah, I'm generally a pessimist, but I can't help myself. Maybe it's faith, or just plain old fashioned stubborn refusal to admit defeat. I'll keep on chatting, learning, and exploring our differences. Most assurredly, disagreeing occaisionally with others, but enjoying the journey.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 05:06 PM
Seagull:, That is why I am on here. Intelligent, Informative and Differing points of view.
I would vote you "way above" but I'm out for the month.

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 07:30 PM
Again, I appreciate police_officer339's compliments regarding my words. But, I have to agree with Imaginary Reality1984's assessment that there are other voices in the wilderness. I would certainly like for other people to join me in speaking their minds about race because it is lonely when one voice has the courage to speak. But when others get together, they become formidable in trying to stop the inequities that occur in society.

On the aspect of the media:

I could tell you tales about how the media willingly exploits race-relations and racism. Most notably, the Charles Stuart and Susan Smith cases in the 1990's. However, knowing that we are on a character count here, I am going to cut to the chase and explain how I feel.

The media is slowly changing their views about race. However, this progress is at a small pace. Instead, I agree with police_officer339 that the news, movies and more often than not television shows constantly display examples of pitting races against each other. And after reading the reports from, there are pundits that are still willing to use racial epipthets in order to get their point across how they feel regarding certain dignitaries and groups of people.

It almost seems that the media wants us to fight against each other. That is why sometimes the audience has to be proactive in demanding more from what they see. Although we are used to seeing certain groups as being the watchdog, it only compells us to also be active viewers. When there are injustices portrayed on television, send e-mails and write letters to the network.

Believe it or not, the Television Industry cares more about their audience than you are willing to think. And if you talk about various aspects in which they pit races against each other as well as degrade one race, they also care enough to look into it.

Sadly enough after participating in the Cynthia McKinney thread, I find that the racism inherent in that thread speaks alone to what some voices in the media have done to defame her. And it frustrated me when people used her to "parrot" their disgust for her policies by turning it into race issues. And when there are people who easily adopt the stereotypes of race to attack a congresswoman, it is reflective of their attitudes as a whole.

The same goes for the immigration question. When immigration is played out in the media, the same racial overtones are added to the stories. And of course, the steretypes that are depicted within the broadcasts are slanted toward a "brown race", the reaction against illegal immigration is definitely what they asked for. If pundits and reporters don't report objectively about a news story without common decency toward a specific race, that same disrepect is going to filter to the audience. And voila! Instant pressure cooker.

That is why I wish there were two things that consumers of the media would do: 1)Critically think about what you are seeing and weigh the racial intent of the broadcast against your own views of race; 2)Discuss the stories with others and get another point of view about the story before going half-cocked and racially insulting a race in particular. We have to use our thinking caps when it comes to viewing the small screen.

What do other people have to say about this! And of course, keep asking those questions and talking out the issues!

[edit on 26-4-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 07:49 PM
seagull, I have to praise your wise words about the nature of race relations. It is exactly what we need to hear during these times. And even though police_officer339 ran out of WATS to give you, I will. You deserve it more than you will ever know. Your committment to seeing this thread take off, deserves my thanks, respect and acknowledgement.

You have voted seagull for the Way Above Top Secret award.


[edit on 26-4-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 11:39 AM
Thanks. Blushing at my age is painful, I didn't know that blushing could hurt.

Ceci. It's your thread, and your thinking behind it. If I helped in some small way to make it succussful cool, but it's you who deserves the lions share of the credit, and cudos to everyone else as well.

PO339. Your compliments are appreciated and returned in kind.

It's remarks like these and others that give us all hope for a better tommorrow, with more to follow. With folks like you all working on it, how can race relations not improve. Even a pessimistic person such as I can't help but be a bit more hopeful.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 12:57 PM
You're very welcome, seagull. But, you helped very much and gave it that "much needed boost". And I need to compliment you on it.

With that being said, I just heard a report that the Hurricane Katrina Report will be released to the public next week. And I know that this issue has been a point of a lot of contention.

How do you guys feel about the handling of race in the Hurricane Katrina issue? Do you think that it was fair? Less fair? Deplorable? Good?

Was Hurricane Katrina a factor of race? Or not?

Do you truly think that a difference of emergancy service would have been made between a (poor,middle-class, rich) Black neighborhood and a (poor, middle-class, rich) White one?

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 01:13 PM
Regarding Katrina, and its aftermath, I've heard and read a great deal of words both prooving, and disproveing, racial bias in New Orleans and surrounding areas. I wasn't there, didn't experiance it. If you are asking if I think there was government racial bias present on a large scale, I would have to give you a conditional no. Were there individual instances of racial bias? Oh, hell yes, there were. To say otherwise, is to call far too many people who say otherwise, liars. I won't do that. No government plot to kill minorities. I just have not seen any convincing evidence to lead me down that path.

In the aftermath, FEMA had things so screwed up, what looked to be racism, might simply have been the gargantuan clusterbeep that was FEMA's mismanagement.

But as I said above, I really don't know enough to make anysort of well thought out judgement. I know what my guts tell me, but guts are sometimes mistaken, so I will reserve judgement 'til I know more.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 02:19 PM
I don't think race was a factor in Katrina, but I sure could be wrong. I think econimic standing was. I do think the government dropped the ball about 12 times and are still dropping it. And maybe things would have been different if the poor people were white, but I doubt it. They're poor and not valued as much as rich people by this government.

And here's where I could be wrong. The fact that they were black, in the eyes of this government, might have made it easier yet to let them go without help.

As regards the media, I think they're pretty much a tool of the government these days, so whatever agenda needs pushing, they'll push it. And the agenda of the day is that the brown people are taking over so you better be afraid of them. First it was the Arab brown people but that's getting old, so let's move over to the Mexican brown people.

Fear as a motivator works wonders to control the people and keep their minds and eyes distracted while other happenings are... happening.

posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 02:36 PM
Benevolent Heretic. Your point about the economic standing of the victims playing more of a role than race is, I think, a good one. The race of the victims was more an accident of location, than any nefarious intent as some have implied. At least at the governmental level.

Oviously, since I wasn't there, and have no first hand experiance, I freely admit I could be badly mistaken. I hope not. The Katrina disaster was bad enough without having the lingering effects of racism tossed into it as well.

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