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What can we do to address race-relations and solve racism?

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posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 01:54 PM
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Two views of life in America.

That whites are content with the status quo. Whites are not infringed upon. Whites are free to do whatever they can afford to do. Free to avoid dangerous neighborhoods. Free to retire at the end of each workday into a gated community. Gated to keep out the riffraff. Ahh, it’s nice to get home to a plasma tv and a quiet, ac house. Maybe take a dip in the pool, or to relax, just sit in the hot tub. Maybe put on a John Denver cd. Not like those guys who work for me. Living in a trash dump, with rodents and roaches running from the light. How can they raise their children in such unsanitary circumstances?

These upscale whites have their world. Nobody gave it to them. They earned it the old fashioned way - they worked for it. Hey, anybody can make it in America! Work hard, save your money, have ambition. That’s the key, ambition. A lot of people just don’t have “ambition.”

That blacks face a tiring and demanding world. Rents higher than the neighborhood merits. Landlords who appear only on rent day. Junk littered about. Cars that have not moved for months. Now home to a nest of rats. Men who have not worked for so many years they forgot when it was. Men who dropped out of high school to take a penny-ante job. Then as they got older, unable to get a job at Delco-Remy. You must have a high school diploma, they said.

By now a father of a child, but not yet married. Then the man began to harass him to support the child. He wanted to, but he hardly made enough to carry his weight at his own parent’s home. Last hired, first fired, was real life for him. Then he forgot to go to court, and they put him in jail for a month. Or two. But he still had no job, but they said if he didn’t get one, he’;d go back to jail.

The man is strange. The man pays more to keep me in jail than I am supposed to pay in child support. When he asks for a job, the white boss asks if he has a record. If he says yes, then its no job. If he says no, then a records check will get him fired before his first pay check comes. How do white people know so much about me but can’t see I have no money to pay child support?

Well, this is what I have learned. The guy on top says everything looks good, the guy on bottom asks for a hand up but he is either not heard or is ignored. So you make do with what you have. You drink some Colt 45 not because you like it but because it's 20% alcohol. It’s on every billboard in his neighborhood. In the white part of town, its Johnny Walker Black on the billboards. Well, drunk is drunk. It is not much matter how you get there. Some of the real down and outers drink rubbing alcohol. After the first 3 or 4 drunks on that stuff, you get so you can drink it without stomach cramps. The human body is a wonderful thing, so adaptable.

Food? The best places for food is the back door of a KFC. They throw away biscuits, mashed potatoes and sometimes chicken livers hard enough to hurt if thrown in your direction. Or you can walk towards downtown and pass a soup kitchen. For the homeless they say. You can eat here but if you do, you can’t sleep here. The other homeless place lets you sleep there but not if you eat there. You spend half your life waking between places to eat and places to sleep. And no doubt burn up a lot of those calories you get at first one place then the other.

Clothes? The Salivation Army usually has s good selection. Hey, I’m not going to a black tie party, so anything will do. Just enough to keep me warm at night, if I forget to get to the homeless place before they shut the door at 10 PM. Then its catch as catch can. If you are lucky you can find a doorway to sleep in, hoping a mugger does not try to take your dimes and quarters you got for turning in bottles and aluminum cans. If you can get $2 you can buy a bottle of Gallo Port. One whole day unconscious. But it’s hard to get $2 together at one time.

Do those guys on tv really care about me? They talk about me a lot, but geez, I have never seen one in person. I wonder what it would be like to trade places with one, just for a day?


[edit on 8/20/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
So What Have I Learned?


Man! You must have gone to a totally different school than I did!



Free to retire at the end of each workday into a gated community. ... Ahh, it’s nice to get home to a plasma tv and a quiet, ac house. Maybe take a dip in the pool, or to relax, just sit in the hot tub. Maybe put on a John Denver cd.


And you insist this is about being white and not rich? I'm white and I don't live in a gated community. Nor do I have a plasma TV, air conditioning, a pool or a hot tub, and I prefer Christina Aguilera, thanks. Do you have all these luxuries, Mr. White?



These upscale whites have their world.


I just can't get over how you continue to make this about color instead of money. Oh, well, like I said, we went to different schools...



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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It sounds like this guy made a lot of bad personal decisions. Dropping out of high school (there are nightime GED programs), fathering children out of wedlock, not taking on the responsibility to support the kid, "forgetting" his court dates, etc., etc.

And now he wants someone to take the blame for his own personal bad behavior, and to make everything right for him.


It sounds like he needs to put down the 40's and grow up and be a man.

I know whites and hispanics that have made similar bad decisions, so it is not color-specific.



Originally posted by donwhite
That blacks face a tiring and demanding world. Rents higher than the neighborhood merits. Landlords who appear only on rent day. Junk littered about. Cars that have not moved for months. Now home to a nest of rats. Men who have not worked for so many years they forgot when it was. Men who dropped out of high school to take a penny-ante job. Then as they got older, unable to get a job at Delco-Remy. You must have a high school diploma, they said.

By now a father of a child, but not yet married. Then the man began to harass him to support the child. He wanted to, but he hardly made enough to carry his weight at his own parent’s home. Last hired, first fired, was real life for him. Then he forgot to go to court, and they put him in jail for a month. Or two. But he still had no job, but they said if he didn’t get one, he’;d go back to jail.

The man is strange. The man pays more to keep me in jail than I am supposed to pay in child support. When he asks for a job, the white boss asks if he has a record. If he says yes, then its no job. If he says no, then a records check will get him fired before his first pay check comes. How do white people know so much about me but can’t see I have no money to pay child support?



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 01:26 AM
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Originally quoted by nextguyinline
Have you experienced any situations where your black friends or community members have spoken to this effect to other black folk?


If you mean trying to get other Black folk to be sociable to white people, yes. There has been situations in which there has been one or two white people in the room. And because Black people know how it feels to be alone in a room full of white people, some go out of their way to make the only whites feel comfortable. It's the right thing to do. And that goes beyond race. No one likes to feel like they are intruding upon a situation. But, it takes people who are truly geniune to do so.

Now, I have been in situation where I felt alone in a room filled with white people, that one or two would come over and talk to me. They take me "under their wing" as a matter of saying. They went out of their way to introduce me to other people so that I would not feel less alone. I am grateful to people who do that because they are considerate of my feelings and do not act aprehensive at all.

But not all people will do this regardless of race. They want to keep things status quo. As a result, they let their fear dictate their behavior.



It's not just being in the room, it's trying to communicate. I'll explain my experience yesterday. I was in a photographers studio picking up some photos for the magazine. There was approximately 3 or 4 whites at the counter and/or sitting. There was approximately 6 blacks sitting. I asked the first white girl next to me who was sitting if they were waiting to be helped. I then asked the black girl sitting next to her. Now before I asked, all 6 or so the black folk, who may have been friends, were having a pretty good time, talking, laughing and what have you. As soon as I addressed the girl, everyone's attitude changed to what I interepted as 'whitey, what are you doing talking to me?' ALL of them. No smiles, just pursed lips, raised eyebrows and glances at each other. I don't know, take it as it is.


Maybe that wasn't what they were thinking at all. When I'm in a group of Black folks and a white person approaches us, we're not thinking, "Whitey what are you doing here?" We're just curious to why you came over. You have to stop thinking that way and just state your intentions.

The problem with people is that they act subtly. They don't say what is on their minds. That could be regional. But, I seriously think that you let fear dictate your behavior here. You've got to just wing it. Now if they said, "Whitey, we don't want you here", then, I would say that you were not wanted. But if they didn't say it, then act normally and just treat them with respect.

Mind you, I've been in situations in which I was really unnerved (on my "racism is taboo" thread, I've talked about my adventures in my mother's little Southern town) by the townsfolk. Once, I was on a lunch run with my cousin there. We went into this small mom and pop cafe near my aunt's house. When I entered in the place, there was nothing but white folk in there from a day of hunting. As soon as my cousin and myself entered in the place, the talking stopped. Some of the white folk were coldly polite as they passed us by, but mostly they all stared at us as if they've never seen Black people in the flesh before.

In that situation, my cousin and I continued to talk as we waited to order. It took a while, but we ordered. The owners of the business were really cool. It was just the people in that place that heightened the tension.

But never once did we think they were thinking, "N--, don't you come up in here.". Not once. But then again, my cousin told me that there were places in my mother's home town where the black folks that lived there were not welcome--since the time of Jim Crow. You'd be asking for a death wish if you wanted to go there. It was near the lynching tree that had seen its share of flesh.



Sometimes. But only when the black folk walking are homeless or quite obviously ghetto. I've witnessed black folk do the same thing. I've witnessed white folk do it when other white folk walk by who quite obviously are homeless or look ghetto.


That is the truth. That tells you that there are bad and good people in all races. But, there are some white people who can't tell the difference. All Black people are bad to them. Those are the ones I mean. You could be wearing Prada and have your Pekinese in your big Chanel bag. To some white people, they still think, criminal, hooker, drug dealer. They're so blind that the dress code or the behavior of a Black person doesn't compute. As a result, they scream bloody murder to get the cops to arrest you.

I've seen black people do the same thing. But they are more subtle about "protecting themselves". They don't make it a drama situation like white folk. Some white people deserve an Oscar after they put on their "scared white person in trouble" performance. Especially in big cities.


No, it's simple. More whites can afford the homes in those gated communities. Believe me, the people in those homes live behind their gates not to protect them from the big bad black people. It's the big bad teen and pre-teens who are out experiencing the world without much understanding of respect. Have you ever met a family from one of those homes. They are all registered here on ATS. Most are just unreasonably paranoid.



I agree and disagree with you here. I agree that more whites can afford homes in "gated communities". However, I think that they do move there to shut themselves away from all that "multiculturalism" happening on the outside. They are sick of trying to be nice and accepting of other people. And they don't want to "feel guilty" anymore. So, they are moving into their own high class ghetto where they can deal with people like themselves.

And yes, I have met and know people who live in those gated communities as well as their kids. They have a particular attitude that is really obnoxious at times because they do fear the encroachment of space by those "not like them". They are pleasantly polite, but highly discriminating. And because there isn't anyone who changes their attitudes about other races, they will continue to think in the same way and pass it on to their kids while making as much money as they can. But, I always think that the people I know who live in those places are disatisfied with their lives because they are trying too hard to "keep up with the Joneses".

Gang members and other unsavory persons are child's play compared to their children. Their kids grow up with a narrow view of the world. And then out of that crop you get the Kip Kinkles, Dylan Klebolds and Eric Harrises that will commit acts of terrorism by shooting up their classmates. And those who don't create their own economy in the ghetto getting heroin and coke.

Then the judges don't prosecute them and instead put them into rehab or counseling. Or worse, they get probation because of their mothers' pleas of denial, "Johnny doesn't have a horrible bone in his body. He's not a killer." Go Figure.

Talk about bad behavior.








[edit on 21-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally quoted by donwhite

The blacks I interviewed never evaluated a person by their physical appearance, what he or she wore, where he or she lived, or by how much money he or she had. Whites, OTOH, seemed to have no other standards to measure a person’s worth. The first words, "he/she is good looking!" And it got worse from there. Never did I hear, “trustworthy,” or “reliable” or “generous.” I find that both curious and revealing.



To tell you the truth, don, I think that there is a difference here. For all the Black people I know, when we are in a business situation, we don't express trivialities. In public, not one African-American I am familiar with has ever expressed their feelings based on personality because they are too involved in getting the matter solved. And that is because we are sensitive to the fact that if we don't mean business our matters won't be solved at all. Furthermore, if we did take issues of personality into a place of professionalism, then the stereotypes against us of not being "businesslike" would be further ingrained in the mind of the person (who was conducting the matter at hand).

Maybe it is because most Black people have been jerked around by businesspeople. So, when there are such matters at hand, they don't beat around the bush. They want things done down the line without any pussyfooting around.

Perhaps white people are more relaxed when they do business. That is why they can say the things that they do. This doesn't describe all whites, of course. But, since whites don't have to worry about the prejudice of color when dealing with matters at hand, they can speak about those things, because they expect to be treated with the utmost respect.

The difference is, Black people expect to be treated with respect as well. But, in some circumstances, they aren't. And if they were like my relatives, they all have stories in which white people have lied to them and cheated them out of service and money. So, they're watching to see whether the white person who is giving them the service is doing so or not.



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 02:51 AM
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Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
You can discuss it all you want, but I am not going to feel guilty because I haven't done anything. I treat black people (and people of all races) with respect. I treat them no differently than I treat white people. I'm sorry if that's not good enough for you. You have not convinced me that I am guilty, nor have you convinced me that I should feel guilty for something I have not done.


Fine. Don't feel guilty. That's your perrogative. But I was not aware that I supposed to make you feel guilty in the first place. After all, we are all having a conversation here, aren't we? We are all giving our perceptions about race. This is not a trial. But unfortunately, you think that I am trying to persecute you. Let me reassure you that I am not doing that. I am merely expressing my opinion. I don't know how many times I have to say this to convince you, but if I have to, I'll say it over and over.



I don't have any interest in proving these to you or telling you the story. I don't care if you believe me. I don't lie.


I'm glad that you don't. I am happy that you are a honest person who is forthright in their expression. Believe me, we need more people like you in the world.


I'm 48 years old. I have lived on the streets, I have been raped, I have stood by my mother as she died, I have lost a baby, I have been beaten. I have experienced things I hope you will never know about or experience yourself and I don't need your belief or validation about my experiences.


I'm sorry that you have had to experience these things. I am especially saddened that you have had a hard life. And you're right. You don't need my validation for these things.

But, the good thing is that you are a wonderful and compassionate person. You are kind, intelligent and rather wise when you express yourself. That is more important when dealing with matters concerning the plight of people from all walks of life.

However, my point is that people from different races experience the same thing in various manners. Just because you say that "everyone experiences them", does not mean that the outcome is similar. There are racial overtones to the things that I listed. It occurs whether you think so or not. So, I don't need your validation whether these things are true in your conception.


I have NOT ONCE doubted your experiences or indicated in any way that I thought you were lying.


But, you have raked me over the coals for my experiences. And then, you misconstrued my experiences. Isn't that just as bad?

I do know you've probably had similar experiences. But, I don't think you understand how these experiences are played out against Black people. It's not separating the races. It is the fact that people are quite severe when it comes to African-Americans in these situations--especially when it comes to attitudes. And you have not let me off the hook about my attitude. Not once. I'm sure you'd think differently about my list if you were black and experienced it the way I have.


This just shows how your mind works. You think all white people are treated a certain way and I've been trying to tell you for 13 pages that you're mistaken and you refuse to believe me. My 'whiteness' does not guarantee respect.


I do believe you that white people from all walks of life are treated differently. But you're severely mistaken about my beliefs or how my mind works. White people are not treated a certain way. I've seen how white people of different classes treat each other. But the "disrespect" between white people is more about class than it is about skin color. Skin color plays into the disrespect of Black people and other people of color.

There are just some people who disrespect people according to skin color whether you believe it or not. And Black people are treated badly because of their skin color. Class has nothing to do with it--unless the Black person in question is richer than the white person. Then class and skin color truly plays into it. That's what the burning down of Rosewood was all about.


Exactly. It's a fact of life, not race. That was my point.


I am very glad that we agree. But where we don't is that there are posters who are willing to put down Black people just because they can. The problem is that when people don't see prejudice according to color, they miss these examples of racism.


I'm sorry. My very best girlfriend of 25 years died last year because of improper and unattentive treatment. My young niece died 2 years ago, 4 days after giving birth to her baby because she got a staph infection in the hospital. They were both white.


I am saddened and sorry that your friend and relative had to die because of the hospital's mistakes. Our experiences do show that the medical industry does not discriminate when causing malpractice on ourselves and our loved ones. But, unfortunately, I still think that prejudice is here as well. It doesn't have to do with the separation of races, but it's reality.

In the times of segregation (and even now in some places), Blacks could not go to the "good hospital". They had to go get the best health care they could find. Because of insurance and the high cost of medical bills, they still in this day have to do the same. And still, the fear is there because of the fact that some white doctors display the same attitudes about Black people that some other whites have. If white doctors think that Black people are expendable, they are not going to treat them aggressively as they would anybody else.

That goes beyond the Hippocratic oath.



If you don't want people to talk back, maybe you should write a book instead of enter into a discussion where there may be interaction, response and feedback, especially if you don't want an argument or dissent.


That is not true. However, you think that way. And if you do, I can't stop you. It's the same as you not wanting to feel guilty.

I'll just engage in discourse with others, if you feel silenced by me.


I'm not trying to disprove or deny your experience, I'm just saying that many times (not always) it's not a uniquely black experience. I'm trying to prove that these things happen more widely and not just for reasons of race. And I'm trying to say that racism happens. Classism happens. It's a part of life. You can get hung up on it and be a victim of it (as can I) or you can move through it.


I'm not hung up on it, but yes it is something that others can keep on mentioning to stick a stigma on me. I'm just speaking my mind as you are speaking yours.

And yes, these things happen to all people in different degrees. But, again, I might add that you have to measure these experiences by frequency and virulence. It would be one thing if it happened onlly once. But repeatedly? And by different whites over the years? There's a pattern there.

It's like being told that the NAACP is like the KKK over and over by different whites on this board. Now that is what I mean by frequency and virulence.

I have dealt with racist things happening to me. I've participated in diversity fairs and mentorships. I've also participated in discussions with other races in the "real world". This thread is also another way that I deal with it. I share my experiences with others so they can know what a Black person like myself goes through.

But, like in the "real world", I have to deal with people who claim I'm "screaming about race" because they don't want to feel anything about the experiences of people of color.

This goes past not feeling guilty for what others have done. You shouldn't feel that way on that accord. But, to have a little sympathy and emotion about the suffering of others is more important here.

And that's why I say that it is hard for people to give a damn. Some simply don't want to feel anything about the hurts of others.

If that's what "not feeling guilty" is all about, then we're lost as a human race.



I didn't say your parents were evil or anything. I just know that I picked up racism from my parents and I remember the moment I realized that they were wrong about black people. I assumed that you picked up at least part of how you feel about white people from your parents. I apologize if this assumption is incorrect.


Apology accepted.



My mother was a very generous and loving person also, she was just ignorant about race and therefore held some beliefs and attitudes that I disagree with. Just because a person is racist doesn't mean they're evil. They're usually just ignorant or afraid.


I know that. I tend to think that people who are truly racist are simply fearful of other people and the unknown. That is why they intimidate and fight against others in the name of self-preservation. Self-preservation and keeping of the status quo is a powerful motivator for people who don't want to lose what they've got.

Part II is in the next post. 10,000 characters are not enough!






[edit on 21-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 03:20 AM
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Originally by Benevolent Heretic
I'm not denying the experiences! I know they happen. I've seen them happen. I have experienced some of the very things you listed, not because of who I was but because I was with a black person. (I didn't list those as my personal experiences). I'm trying to put things in perspective. That doesn't mean I'm denying your experiences.


I know that you're not denying the experiences. You are the least of my worries. The people that are worrisome exhibit no feeling whatsoever about the experiences of racism in general. They are the ones who don't want to talk about it and says it doesn't happen. Those are the ones that need to be fretted over because they are part of the problem, not the solution.


Just because I don't fall down in guilt doesn't mean I don't believe you. I do. I have eyes. I'm a sensitive, loving, caring person. Why would I have been fighting racism for 30 years if I didn't believe and SEE these things happen???


I know you do. And again, you are not to blame. All I am saying is that there are others besides yourself that do not give a damn about the plight of people who experience racism. They say so. Especially if it has to do with Black people.

For those who don't give a damn, they continue to mention the horrible things about Black people and believe these things to be gospel. They believe that Black people do not have any redeeming qualities at all. To them, we are not intelligent, do not possess any morals and of course are lazy. They say so in almost every thing that has to do with African-Americans.

But it's not only with Blacks, they feel this way. They say the same for other races of color as well. No matter how much you say to them, they are not going to believe it.

Unfortunately, for them, they don't "see" the disparities in treatment anyway. And they miss the point about expressing these things out in the open. And they don't care.


I'm not responding the way you would like. I'm not taking on responsibility for your experience. I'm not guilty for how you are treated in your life. But that doesn't mean I think you're lying!


I care about this discussion. But your response doesn't hinge upon what I think about it or not. I am glad that you are one of the ones that respond at all. A lot of people won't. They are the ones who are "tired about race" and try to derail a discussion like this so it can stop. And if it does, who will be the most happiest?

In the scheme of things, this is not a discussion of how we view each other. We both have our own points of view regarding this subject matter. But what should be of import is the fact that we have others who are willing to share their insights along with us.

It has never been a personal thing with me. This thread is not to blame anyone. It's just to express views of race and race-relations. I honestly don't know where you got the idea that this was simply my way to make people feel guilty about how I've been treated.

I will be treated by people in various ways regardless of what happens in this thread.


I am responsible for how I treat people and that's it! And I treat people equally, without regard to race, class, gender or sexual orientation.


I'm glad you do. You deserve kudos.


I'm not responsible for how all white people act any more than I am responsible for how all brown-eyed people act, any more than you are responsible for how all black people act. You want me to take on guilt for 'whitey' and I refuse.


Who said that I was making you responsible? I never said such a thing. And this is not taking on guilt for being "whitey". That is the last thing I care about. The thing I do care about is that people can take some meaning away from this thread into the "real world" and treat people better. It would be nice that someone could learn from what we have said and stop racism from happening by speaking up about it. And maybe we can encourage others through our experiences to be more aware and empathetic about how people from different walks of life are being treated.

Then perhaps, all of our discussions would be worthwhile if they can learn something from us instead of this pettiness about "what I said" and "what you said".


[edit on 21-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 21 2006 @ 03:39 AM
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Thanks to donwhite's insertion about the disparity of treatment by race, I thought that I would introduce another thing to take with us on our conversation: institutional racism.

Institutional racism is a factor of life for a lot of people. And it is best that we know what this means in order to discuss the matters of race-relations a bit better.


Institutional Racism
Institutional racism (or structural racism or systemic racism) is a form of racism that occurs in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. The term was coined by black nationalist, pan-Africanist and honorary prime minister of the Black Panther Party Stokely Carmichael. In the late 1960s, he defined the term as "the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin".

In the UK, the inquiry following the murder of Stephen Lawrence accused the police force of being institutionally racist, an accusation that has subsequently been levelled at the media by Sir Ian Blair.

Institutional racism is distinguished from the bigotry or racial bias of individuals by the existence of systematic yet covert policies and practices that have the effect of disadvantaging certain racial or ethnic groups. Race-based discrimination in housing (see restrictive covenants) and bank lending (see redlining), for example, are forms of institutional racism.



Race, Racism and the Law

"Racist" and "racism" are provocative words in American society. To some, these words have reached the level of curse words in their offensiveness. Yet, "racist" and "racism" are descriptive words of a reality that cannot be denied. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans (people-of-color) live daily with the effects of both institutional and individual racism.

Race issues are so fundamental in American society that they seem almost an integral component. Some Americans believe that race is the primary determinant of human abilities and capacities. Some Americans behave as if racial differences produce inherent superiority in European Americans (whites). In fact, such individuals respond to people-of-color and whites differently merely because of race (or ethnicity). As a consequence, people of color are injured by judgments or actions that are directly or indirectly racist.

Much of the attention of the last 20 years has focused on individual racist behavior. However, just as individuals can act in racist ways, so can institutions. Institutions can behave in ways that are overtly racist (i.e., specifically excluding people-of-color from services) or inherently racist (i.e., adopting policies that while not specifically directed at excluding people-of-color, nevertheless result in their exclusion).



What is Institutional Racism?

"The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people."



Institutional Racism

Institutional discrimination is that discrimination that occurs simply because the rules and expectations were set when some privileged group was in control. Those not belonging to the privileged group find that they are harmed by the rules and expectations, but that it is "not personal," in the sense that no person is discriminating against them as individuals. The discrimination of the past simply led to rules that now do the same discriminating, but without a perpetrator. (Institutional racism is institutional discrimination based on race.)
[...]
Institutional discrimination is far more complex and more difficult to combat than overt discrimination where there is a perpetrator. In law, we used to refer to "de facto" discrimination, as opposed to "de jure" discrimination. Covaleskie discusses power as consisting of two major types: sovereign and disciplinary. Sovereign power goes with titles and overt authority to dictate rules and regulations. Disciplinary power resides in the rules, norms, and expectations for traditional performance. Institutional discrimination relies on disciplinary power. Since disciplinary power seems to apply the same rules to everyone, there seems to be little discrimination. But when the rules grew from contexts in which there was discrimination, the unstated assumptions carry those discriminatory contexts right along with the rules in present contexts.





[edit on 21-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 01:23 PM
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theres nothing anyone can do about racism it has always been , and it will always be. deal with it



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:02 PM
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to reply to "black privilege" all those things mentioned except a few i have expirienced myself and i am white



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:50 PM
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Yes, these are situations that probably a lot of people have experienced.The sad thing about your answer, is that you couldn't possibly have experienced those "black privileges" to a degree as any black person has--unless you went around in "Black Face" for a day.

Such as, did any female think of you as a "rapist" being a Black male? Or, did anyone clutch their purse and cross the street as you walked by? Or did a white clerk look down on you because of your purchase of an expensive item? Or did the cops stop you because they thought you resembled someone else and you were unlawfully incarcerated? (Some Black people have even experienced beatings and severe abuse over this fact.) Or maybe it is the fact that when people look at you they instantly think you are a hooker?

Unfortunately, there is a serious disconnect with people when they try to reply about these situations I mentioned on the last page. No one seems to notice that these situations go beyond the fact that "everyone experiences them".

Sadly enough, the cognitive dissonance continues with your responses.

But thank you for your contribution.








[edit on 22-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 06:57 AM
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Racism - whew - what a weighty problem. I'll add my two cents.

I think it would help if the different races communicated more and used the same definitions when doing so. What I mean by this is that different races often perceive the same event differently due to having different life experiences or, perhaps, perceive events the same but describe them differently.

For example, after Hurricane Katrina, I spoke to many African Americans who believed that the after effects of the catastrophe were racist. They opined that the reason the victims were in such dire straights was because of racism.

I spoke to many Caucasians about the same event and most were perplexed at the opinion that racism had anything to do with the hurricane; that the people of color were just complaining again. When they watched T.V., they saw white rescue workers rescuing black victims - how could this be racism?

Upon further questioning, I discovered that many (not all) African Americans were referring to the history of the area - that racism caused people in the area to start out unfairly in an impoverished state that was extremely difficult to escape and that a straight line of causation can be traced back from the present day to days of old. In other words, but for slavery and centuries of racism, an entire group of people were stuck, financially poor, in the area where Katrina hit as opposed to a naturally racially diverse population being afflicted. I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across.

The concept is hard for Caucasians to get their hands around, I think, and impossible to grasp if there is not more effective communication. When many Caucasians summarily and honestly dismiss claims of racism due to not fully understanding what is being claimed, many people of color see just more racism in the response.

Another positive thing to do would be for those in hiring positions to hire the best qualified for jobs. We are in a unique position in American history. African Americans, and other minorities, are getting to a point where they have access to education and have so much to offer (I am not implying that racism has been eliminated).

I managed a fairly large restaurant in an area where the population was about 90-95% African American. One day, a customer took me aside and asked me why he could see only one black employee working amongst approximately thirty employees. I could not answer him. After I got over my pride, I realized that much of our hiring practices involved hiring friends or family members of already existing employees which ultimately led to the makeup of our workforce. From that point forward, I consciously made the effort to hire people by pouring over tens of applications and pulling out the the best 4 or 5. Thereafter, I interviewed those 4 or 5 people. Thereafter, after checking references, I hired the one I thought best suited to the job. After a while, our workforce started more accurately reflected the racial makeup of the area and in a natural way.

Some would say I was a racist in my previous hiring practices - my natural response to that charge would have been to take offense because I had no malice nor ill will in my previous hiring practices.

The more minorities are naturally placed in positions of employment and authority, the less racism will be a problem (imo).

Obviously the solution to the problem is complex. A good start would be, I believe, for minorities to try and refrain from the urge of claiming racism. Simultaneously, Caucasians could try and not summarily dismiss claims of racism as being a ploy to get some type of advantage. Perhaps, then, a helpful dialogue can ensue leading to real solutions.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 07:44 AM
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posted by Blarney63

Racism - whew - what a weighty problem. Some would say I was a racist in my previous hiring practices - my natural response to that charge would have been to take offense because I had no malice nor ill will in my previous hiring practices. [Edited by Don W]


I was not born “aware.” I am the person who said any white person born before 1954 is a racist. I know that is painting with too broad a brush, but it was and is done to get the attention of otherwise wistful people. I was 20 years old when Brown v. Board of Ed. was handed down. I recall thinking the Supreme Court had exceeded its constitutional grant of authority. I was already 2 years into the USAF. My basic training flight of 72 men included only 3 African Americans. They were nice enough guys but I did not associate with them outside my military duties. But that was cultural, not racial. Or so I told myself.

In case you did not recognize them as being black, the following was typed behind each of their names every time an official document was generated: A/B John Doe (N). There was no (W) typed behind my name. I’m talking 1954 when Pres. Truman issued the Executive Order desegregating the Armed Forces in 1948. I lived in Louisville, Ky. I was born there. Kentucky has the ignoble distinction of being referred to as the only state to join the Confederacy after the Civil War.

Every kind of delaying tactic was employed by Louisville's public school board, with the full approval of the majority of white citizens. After 8 years of delay - 1962 - local blacks brought a suit in Federal court for relief. That suit took 2 years to wind its way up the judicial ladder before the judge’s court ordered busing began. Because the black school system - separate it was but equal it was not - served fewer students, the distances between schools was greater. Whereas I walked to my elementary school, black kids living a couple blocks away from me had to ride street cars then buses now to get to their schools. Whites cried and moaned and fought and resisted to have their children bussed. But blacks have been bused in Louisville forever. Hmm? Do I perceive crocodile tears here?



Obviously the solution to the problem is complex.


That’s where I disagree. Anyone smart enough to send a man to the moon and back can fix this problem - legally - in one afternoon if he or she has serious intent. “Liking me” will come later, say blacks, “but I’ve got to get there first!” We’re not talking about “liking” each other. I’m a Waylon Jennings fan, do you think I’d ever enjoy rap? No way. We are talking about undoing the disadvantages heaped upon a race of people over time - since 1619 - and that is not done easily or quickly.



A good start would be, I believe, for minorities to try and refrain from the urge of claiming racism. Simultaneously, Caucasians could try and not summarily dismiss claims of racism as being a ploy to get some type of advantage. Perhaps, then, a helpful dialogue can ensue leading to real solutions.


One Q. Why do minorities have to “refrain” from claiming racism? Dialogue is fine, but we’ve been ‘dialoguing’ since 1954. Isn’t it time we took affirmative action to right the wrongs of the past? Just a little bit?



[edit on 8/23/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite

We are talking about undoing the disadvantages heaped upon a race of people over time - since 1619 - and that is not done easily or quickly.


The problem is complex because undoing the disadvantages heaped upon a race of people over so much time cannot be done easily or quickly.



One Q. Why do minorities have to “refrain” from claiming racism? Dialogue is fine, but we’ve been ‘dialoguing’ since 1954. Isn’t it time we took affirmative action to right the wrongs of the past? Just a little bit?


I do not believe minorities "have" to refrain from claiming racism. I believe it would be helpful and wise to resist the urge to claim racism; simultaneously, claims of racism should not be summarily dismissed by the other side but be considered seriously and respectfully - this too would be helpful and wise.

I do not believe, respectfully, that affirmative action should be used to right the wrongs of the past. I believe it would breed resentment, especially in younger caucasian generations, who would inevitably claim reverse "racism" despite there being no ill nor malice. I also believe the notion is patently unfair and cannot be used to correct unfairness.

The answer, I'm afraid, will be less than optimum but will necessarily entail a solution that is most fair for all.

I believe boycotting businesses engaged in disriminatory hiring practices (whether intentional or subconsciously) can be effective, and vigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination statutes through criminal and civil actions can go far. Maybe this is where your "little bit" question can be answered. Perhaps businesses found guilty of discrimination in criminal and civil actions could be subject to affirmative action? Its more than we've got now.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:55 AM
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posted by Blarney63

I do not believe, respectfully, that affirmative action should be used to right the wrongs of the past. I believe it would breed resentment, especially in younger Caucasian generations, who would inevitably claim reverse "racism" . . I also believe the notion [AA] is patently unfair and cannot be used to correct unfairness. The answer will be less than optimum but will necessarily entail a solution that is most fair for all.
[Edited by Don W]


I agree with you in principle, B63, but if I was down and looking up instead of up and looking down, I think I’d be growing impatient. Continuing with the up-down metaphor, I’d want to see things happen in my lifetime. And, resistance dies hard. Are you familiar with the re-segregation by race in so many of our public schools?

The anti people persuaded the courts to judge compliance by the total number of students in a school. By using “tracks” the anti’s have re-segregated the classrooms. Now a lot of schools that have the “proper” racial ratio overall, have X number of white classrooms and Y number of black classroom. Old habits die hard.



I believe boycotting businesses engaged in discriminatory hiring practices (whether intentional or subconsciously) can be effective . . “


This approach puts the burden where it does not belong. Why should the people who want racial justice be the ones who have to take action? Why not turn the tables on those who resist compliance? It’s not as if it was something new. To me it looks too much like one more delaying tactic.



“ , . vigorous enforcement of anti discrimination statutes through criminal and civil actions can go far. Perhaps businesses found guilty of discrimination in criminal and civil actions could be subject to affirmative action? Its more than we've got now.


Regrettably, racism in America serves both of our political parties well. Blacks - about 13% - are too few to make a national impact, yet too many to ignore unless you are appealing primarily to the anti-black white base. For blacks it poses a real dilemma. Support the party that advocates your cause but has done little lately, or test the waters by supporting the party opposing that has smacked you in the face since 1932. It’s called being between the devil and the deep blue sea.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Blarney63
I believe boycotting businesses engaged in disriminatory hiring practices (whether intentional or subconsciously) can be effective, and vigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination statutes through criminal and civil actions can go far. Maybe this is where your "little bit" question can be answered. Perhaps businesses found guilty of discrimination in criminal and civil actions could be subject to affirmative action? Its more than we've got now.

I have to disagree here, Blarney63. Look at your own case - was it necessary to boycott your restaurant before you decided to change things?

Boycotts are unnecessary in larger corps.; minorities are protected by EEOC laws. So the effect is to target the small mom and pop businesses.

I personally don't believe that it is anybody's business to tell me who I must hire in my small business. Not unless they are willing to pick up the tab for the wages and benefits that I must pay to their choices.


Originally posted by donwhite
That’s where I disagree. Anyone smart enough to send a man to the moon and back can fix this problem - legally - in one afternoon if he or she has serious intent. “Liking me” will come later, say blacks, “but I’ve got to get there first!” We’re not talking about “liking” each other. I’m a Waylon Jennings fan, do you think I’d ever enjoy rap? No way. We are talking about undoing the disadvantages heaped upon a race of people over time - since 1619 - and that is not done easily or quickly.

Opening the wallet and pushing possibly less-qualified people to the front of the line will not solve the problem. One thing you cannot do in an afternoon - or a lifetime - is to change attitudes.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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What makes jsobecky think that people of color and women are "less qualified"? That is a problematic statement in itself. He won't admit it. But he doesn't see the apparent bias in his words.

But unfortunately, that is part of the serious disconnect that people have when trying to discuss this issue at large.



[edit on 23-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 01:23 AM
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Thank you, Blarney63 for contributing your two cents on this subject matter. It is always nice to hear new voices give their opinions on this important issue. However, I have a few bones of contention to pick with you.


Originally quoted by Blarney63
I think it would help if the different races communicated more and used the same definitions when doing so. What I mean by this is that different races often perceive the same event differently due to having different life experiences or, perhaps, perceive events the same but describe them differently.


We have. I've posted definitions to think about, for starters. I especially contributed several things that talked about the events Blacks have gone through. Have you seen my list of "so-called" privileges? However, there were a few posters that could not understand how many times I've explained it over and over that these "privileges" were experienced differently.

I'm sorry you ignored it. I guess there has to be a new type of language to communicate the issues of race. Will Esperanto do?

So, I guess, I'll just have to repeat it over and over until someone gets it.


Upon further questioning, I discovered that many (not all) African Americans were referring to the history of the area - that racism caused people in the area to start out unfairly in an impoverished state that was extremely difficult to escape and that a straight line of causation can be traced back from the present day to days of old. In other words, but for slavery and centuries of racism, an entire group of people were stuck, financially poor, in the area where Katrina hit as opposed to a naturally racially diverse population being afflicted. I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across.


It is admirable that you did try to get both sides of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A lot of people would not take the time to do that. Instead, they would rely on their own biases instead of being curious about how this event affected different races.

You are getting your point across. However, you uncovered deeper issues here. Would FEMA and DHS be there faster if white people were suffering on top of their houses in West Palm Beach?

When the fires burned in Malibu, believe me, the people were quickly rushed away from the area. They got dinner and breakfast by the restaurants in town. Not to mention tons of water. The police and the firefighters made sure that they were all safe. Places were already set up for the "refugees" to stay while the fires were being put out.

However, between you and me, the press didn't call the people of Malibu "refugees". They called those displaced "evacuees". Not so with Hurricane Katrina. I wonder why.

Funny, how disaster brings out the worst of biases--in treatment and in words.


The concept is hard for Caucasians to get their hands around, I think, and impossible to grasp if there is not more effective communication. When many Caucasians summarily and honestly dismiss claims of racism due to not fully understanding what is being claimed, many people of color see just more racism in the response.


Thank you for hitting the nail on the head. But I don't know what more effective communication can be employed--other than telling it like it is. Instead, I think it is because there is a serious disconnect because of "white privilege". Some people cannot comprehend that these things happen because they have never experienced such slights against their person and character in their entire life.


Another positive thing to do would be for those in hiring positions to hire the best qualified for jobs. We are in a unique position in American history. African Americans, and other minorities, are getting to a point where they have access to education and have so much to offer (I am not implying that racism has been eliminated).


How do you suppose that might happen if there are many people out there--including some posters here--who think that "minorities" are less qualified despite the evidence? There are Blacks that I know that are Fullbright scholars. But that would not make any difference to some whites who are mired with their thinking that people of color are not "qualified" and "do not have the merits".

Maybe whites do have to re-examine their association with privilege and the biases that come with it.


Some would say I was a racist in my previous hiring practices - my natural response to that charge would have been to take offense because I had no malice nor ill will in my previous hiring practices.


How do we know? Have you demonstrated that you aren't racist in your hiring practices? Or better yet, were you only trying to serve a particular type of clientele? And until someone of color brought up the fact that your employees did not reflect the population of your business, you would have went right on in the same way without coming to this conclusion by yourself.

Not racist, of course. But rather culturally insensitive to say the least.



The problem is complex because undoing the disadvantages heaped upon a race of people over so much time cannot be done easily or quickly.


Tell me about it. Just talking about it ruffles the feathers of people on this board. Just wait until actually something gets done.


Obviously the solution to the problem is complex. A good start would be, I believe, for minorities to try and refrain from the urge of claiming racism.


Funny that you would say that. Sweeping racist behavior under the rug is what a lot of people of your ilk says....along with not feeling any guilt. As long as white people tend to "forget" what has happened, then they don't have to be confronted by the "sins" of the past and the racism that keeps on happening.

To solve racism, we just have to stick our head in the sand. That is what you really want, is it not?


Simultaneously, Caucasians could try and not summarily dismiss claims of racism as being a ploy to get some type of advantage. Perhaps, then, a helpful dialogue can ensue leading to real solutions.


The funny thing here is that by not "talking about race", nothing gets solved. How can you get whites to believe anything if they don't want to hear it in the first place? Or is it the sensitivity that happens when being accused of being racist?

That is the true problem here. No one wants to be called racist. Yet, they are very quick to cry race whenever they please because of a few words or concepts they don't understand. It is amazing to me that a dialogue could have with all this "false honesty" being prescribed by what you are saying.

In the end, the situation always has to benefit the tenets of white privilege. It can never be balanced. It has to tip over to the majority. That's no solution at all.



I do not believe, respectfully, that affirmative action should be used to right the wrongs of the past. I believe it would breed resentment, especially in younger caucasian generations, who would inevitably claim reverse "racism" despite there being no ill nor malice. I also believe the notion is patently unfair and cannot be used to correct unfairness.


The resentment that is being bred here is the fact that some whites have not owned up to the past. And they are teaching their children to do the same. As a result, history is being repeated over and over. As long as the lesson of "not feeling guilt" is taught over and over, you and your ilk are breeding a generation of kids who can say and do anything derogatory to a person of color without feeling a sense of shame or remorse. While that happens, racism will continue to go on whether or not any person of color "screams about race" or not.

Affirmative action is not unfair. It is helping make a playing field more level. If there wasn't any legal stipulations in place, we would have more bosses like you--ignoring the racial make up of your employees until someone points it out to you.

Thank goodness you acted upon it, though. But think how many other white males like yourself who would unwittingly let it go on with the belief that "minorities" are less qualified? Do you think they would be moved to hire anyone of color because there is no legal or historical precedent to do so?

That's what sweeping it all under the rug does.







[edit on 24-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I'm sorry you ignored it. I guess there has to be a new type of language to communicate the issues of race. Will Esperanto do?


I'm sorry, I did not mean to ignore your list. I've only been a member for 3 days or so. I scanned through this site rather quickly before I got so interested in this subject and started posting. I think the list is helpful to read.

You asked whether FEMA and DHS would have reacted faster if white people were suffering on top of their houses in West Palm Beach. I truly do not know the answer to that. I suspect they would not have had to (at least as much). The people of West Palm Beach generally have the werewithal and resources to have more effectively dealt with the disaster - this may be part of the point you're making.


Some people cannot comprehend that these things happen because they have never experienced such slights against their person and character in their entire life.


I agree. But I think to assert people never experienced similar slights "in their entire life" may be a bit much. Perhaps they experience it rarely and sporadically, not all the time on a consistent basis. It is hard, I think, for caucasians to fully understand how it feels to be a member of a minority class and experience slights all the time. Likewise, minorities may not understand how it feels to be part of the majority and understand they too experience slights - but not generally every day where it is pervasive.

I live in the L.A. area. There is an interesting phenomenon around here. In an area like South Central L.A., which is predominantly African American, the cost of auto insurance is 3-4 times (or more) the cost of comparable insurance in other outlying suburbs. A person living in this area is faced with working in the immediate area where higher paying jobs are more scarce, driving farther away but taking home less pay because of the cost of insurance, or taking a bus to get to work to avoid paying the exorbitant premiums. The only other alternative is to break the law and drive without insurance. The crime rate is high in this area and it is extremely hard to move up or move out. Because of the crime rate, it is difficult to attract major corporations to the area, including shopping chains, etc., which would increase jobs and commerce in the immediate area and help alleviate the problem. There is graffiti and the neighborhood does not look like a place a middle class family would choose to live. But it is difficult to see the area unless one drives directly through it - which I have done many times (because I hate freeways). There is a freeway that runs through Los Angeles from the south (the 110) that anybody working in downtown L.A. takes from southern outlying areas. The freeway has huge sound walls built up along the sides so that one cannot see major parts of the City when driving downtown - out of sight, out of mind.

I'm not sure why I bring this up. Perhaps to make your point about understanding other people's plight. Most people I know, do not know what South Central L.A. looks like, do not know people there, do not know about the costs of insurance, and do not know that good people are trying their best but feel stuck.

As for my restaurant days, it makes little difference if I was racist or insensitive. The results are the same and our old hiring practices shut out qualified applicants. It took an intelligent and thoughtful individual to confront me - but not be confrontational - if that makes sense. I am not special, the same technique can and will work with others. I, for one, continually attempt to point these things out to people in positions of authority and hiring. I am hopeful that I am doing so in an intelligent and thoughtful way like another man once did with me.

One correction if I gave the impression I am Caucasian - I am half Caucasian.



posted on Aug, 24 2006 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by Blarney63
I believe boycotting businesses engaged in disriminatory hiring practices (whether intentional or subconsciously) can be effective, and vigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination statutes through criminal and civil actions can go far. Maybe this is where your "little bit" question can be answered. Perhaps businesses found guilty of discrimination in criminal and civil actions could be subject to affirmative action? Its more than we've got now.

I have to disagree here, Blarney63. Look at your own case - was it necessary to boycott your restaurant before you decided to change things?

Boycotts are unnecessary in larger corps.; minorities are protected by EEOC laws. So the effect is to target the small mom and pop businesses.

I personally don't believe that it is anybody's business to tell me who I must hire in my small business. Not unless they are willing to pick up the tab for the wages and benefits that I must pay to their choices.


My understanding is that the EEOC and companion state statutes exempt small businesses. My proposal was to consider affirmative action being implemented in businesses already found guilty under antidiscrimination statutes that we agree do not target small businesses.

The restaurant I worked in was not boycotted - but we changed the hiring practices. You make a compelling argument that as a small business owner the state should not be allowed to come into your business and tell you who you can or cannot hire. Likewise, a small business cannot tell the public what small business they must or must not patronize. A boycott is not the state telling a business what they must or must not do - it is private citizens choosing where they want to conduct business.



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