It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

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

page: 19
2
<< 16  17  18    20  21  22 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 07:38 AM
link   
Note that this post is not directed to any individual. It is an attempt to answer the questions posed.


Originally posted by ceci2006
1)What can be used as "effective" communication in terms of understanding racial issues so that everything is clear (thanks to Blarney63 for bringing this up)?


Careful and thoughtful use of language. Use words with real meaning. Avoid terms with high emotional impact but vague denotation. For example, 'racism' is a word with a strong denotation. It's meaning is clear:



racism
One entry found for racism.
Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
Function: noun
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Source


Eliminate (as much as possible) 'ego' in discussions. Recognize that no one person has a monopoly on Truth, but everyone has their own 'truth', shaped by their life experiences (as has been stated earlier).



Originally posted by ceci2006
2)What would make a difference in understanding the different sides of the race-relations debate? Since there is a clash of values, what can end it so that we can get to the middle ground?


Recognize that racism can be practiced by anybody, of any color. Likewise, bigotry can be practiced by anybody of any color/religion/philosophy.


bigot
One entry found for bigot.
Main Entry: big·ot
Pronunciation: 'bi-g&t
Function: noun
Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance


Source


Recognize that, while we as a culture (speaking of US culture, here) still have a LONG way to go, progress HAS been made (again, as has been stated). And this progress, while sometimes only of form, does include aspects of substance.

Recognize that, while progress has been, and is being made, the journey is sometimes not in the most effective direction, and is sometimes largely form, with little substance. And that sometimes cultural movement is in the 'wrong' direction (i.e. that of increasing tensions based on race/religion/philosophy).

Recognize that, while some members of any race/religion/philosophy are racists/bigots, (my belief is) the vast majority are not. Or at least, do not wish to be.

Approach such discussions with an attitude of real curiosity; recognize that you (the generic you) might learn something, and that that 'something' might be in contradiction of long-held beliefs.

Adopt the posture that other people in the discussion are approaching it from the same philosophy - honest curiosity.




posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 09:53 AM
link   

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
One group thinks that racism is dead and that, by talking about it here, or anywhere, we're just stirring up old drama.
...
For the purposes of this thread, the first group should leave.


I don't recall seeing that anyone claimed racism doesn't exist. I guess if I read that, I would just skip over it anyway because I know it isn't true. This group, though, if they do exist in this thread, have every right to their opinion and have every right to express it. They should not just leave as you have suggested. This is not a classroom or a closed discussion. "This first group" has every right to argue with the premise of the thread, although, like I said, I don't remember anyone claiming that racism is dead.



Another group thinks that racism still exists, but that its not as bad as it once was. According to this belief, people of color should be happy with the advancements made thus far, but shouldnt really push the issue. Little by little, they think, progress is being made.


I agree with everything in this paragraph except for the "shouldn't push the issue" statement. I say push the issue if you feel it's appropriate. I push it. There are effective and ineffective ways to push the issue, however, and the way it's being pushed here is highly ineffective.

I have never thought and felt so negatively about black people as I do now, after having it pushed so rudely down my throat and being attacked and called names, lied about, misunderstood, misquoted and verbally assaulted by a person in the name of furthering race relations.

When a person pushes an issue, there's going to be 'push back'. That's just reality. But the effectiveness of their message depends on how they deal with the people they're trying to 'recruit', convince, educate or enlighten.

So, yes,
- Racism still exists.
- It's not as bad as it once was.
- People of [ALL] color should be happy with the advancements made thus far (Not content or satisfied, but encouraged, optimistic)
- Little by little, progress is being made.
And to add one more:
- Talking about racism in the style that is seen here (complaining, demanding, accusing, attacking) FEEDS racism and does a grave disservice to the cause of equality and healthy race-relations.



The last group thinks that racism affects every facet of our lives and wonders where the other two groups have been for the last forty years. They cite academic papers, news reports, and other "proof." This group may also believe that there is a conspiracy to "keep blacks down."


And my feeling about this group is that they're so focused on race that they actually feed racism. As has been demonstrated here, racism has grown with this thread.

What I see right here is that it's ok for a black woman to lash out at me and call me "Miss Scarlett", "The Lyncher", say I have no balls because I hit below the belt (without showing proof of this - it's just an overall feeling, a baseless accusation that I have attacked her somehow, but no one can show me where.) However her attacks on me are blatant and numerous.

She has said that feces runs out of my mouth. Where? I ask... She has attacked me time and time again, yet she is given no visible warning, I guess because this is Slug Fest. But it occurs to me to wonder if it's because she is black and the staff is a little apprehensive about warning her, lest they be called racist...

She has flogged me for not feeling "guilty" for something I didn't do. Yet, she says:


Originally posted by ceci2006
1)To have guilt for something is to acknowledge wrongdoing.
...
No one, unless they have done an actual offense against another human being should have to say that they are guilty.
...
We've got to take terms like "White Guilt" and throw it out the window, imho. It is as bad as the N-word in my point of view.
Thread


But my point is - You, HH, have told me that many black people feel the same way that Ceci does. This is not hopeful for race relations. It puts fear and doubt into my mind. See, I thought we had come further than that. Now, knowing that many black people feel about white people the way Ceci does about me... That scares the crap out of me and does absolutely nothing for the advancement of race relations. To know that they might refer to white people as "Miss Scarlett" and think that's not a racist thing to do? Yeah, that's a scary thing indeed.

Make all the justifications and rationalizations about the term "Miss Scarlett" and try to have it come off as some sort of compliment about being a strong woman, and imply that I'm just taking it wrong, but when it gets right down to the truth of the matter, if a white person called a black person "Kunta Kinte" on this board, they'd probably be banned, even though he was a strong, brave man.

So, yeah, there are different groups of thought in this thread. So what? That's what happens here. In my opinion, they are all welcome and they all have valid opinions. If you (in group #3) want to discuss racism, only as it affects people of color, with only like-minded people, then it's up to you and the others in your group to IGNORE those who disagree with you, not ATTACK them. (Not saying you, HH, do this)

I rather see all groups speaking together as the most enlightening of situations, and it certainly has been enlightening to me. But I'm hoping to go on and actually not believe you when you say that many blacks feel the same way that Ceci does. Because it hurts my heart to think that. I want to go back to where I was - before I got into race discussions with Ceci. I want to continue to think that she is somewhat of an anomoly. And if I'm wrong, I will still do what I know is right, which is to fight for equality and good relations between all people, regardless of color.

I have to do this, because I don't like who I have become as regards race recently.

[edit on 29-8-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:49 AM
link   
I'd actually written a long response but decided it wasn't warrented so pressed delete. For instance.. I said that the price of kareoke went from 20$-20$ despite the price being listed and I was asked whether or not the price was listed as sometimes bar prices go up.
Apparently I might of 'misunderstood' again.. why is my word not good enough!? As for the rest.. sorry but I'm not going to keep repeating myself to prove I've been a victim of racism. I'm starting to think that reports of whites suffering from racism can cause disapointment for some.


Originally posted by ceci2006

Originally quoted by riley

Which words are they? Looking.. no. I haven't said anything biggoted. Looking again.. nope. Nice try.


Yes. I guess we all have a good hand at denial, don't we? Nice try in the effort of artful dodging. After all, we all can't have a clean slate, can we? This is an effort to be honest--instead of trying to play "root out the black racist".

"Root out the black racist"?!
Are you going for drama or just desperation with that line? It's getting hard to tell.

My issue with you is your OWN racism.. you know this.. you can try crying victim but it won't work on me. Go through all my posts and you'll see that I have NOT been criticising you for your colour.. but for your charactor. Given your passion for the subject matter one would think you would appreciate that.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 01:13 PM
link   
Hi, BH! Nice talking to you again.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
This group, though, if they do exist in this thread, have every right to their opinion and have every right to express it. They should not just leave as you have suggested. This is not a classroom or a closed discussion.


Of course they have the right to express an opinion. However, if we started a thread about what we can do to stall global warming, and somebody started mucking it up with all this it's just natural warming cycles stuff, the participants of that thread would (rightfully) say, start your own thread discussing the validity of the global warming theory- this is about solutions to a problem we think actually exists. I thought that was how it worked here.


A lot of what you said to me was actually addressed to Ceci, but let me say this: I disagree with Ceci a lot of the time. I am not her spokesperson. I can only give my own opinion. That said, I do think that she uses a tiny bit of hyperbole when responding to personal attacks. I might not have handled it that way, but I'm a different person. I'm too excitable in real-life to bring it to the internet.
I've told you this before, and I'll say it again, you two have a personal thing going on. I agree with both of you, most of the time. From reading your posts, I believe that you are a good person, overall, and when it comes to race. This thing with you two is counter-productive, and before you agree with me, I find both of you at fault.
You seem to goad each other, even when its clear that you could find a middle ground. This is definitely an issue to work out over U2U. Like the "Miss Scarlett" thing, which I think was personal. Don't attribute her having said that to her race. That, BH, would be racist, and I know you're not.



But my point is - You, HH, have told me that many black people feel the same way that Ceci does. This is not hopeful for race relations. It puts fear and doubt into my mind. See, I thought we had come further than that. Now, knowing that many black people feel about white people the way Ceci does about me... That scares the crap out of me and does absolutely nothing for the advancement of race relations.


Let me explain. Black people, I think, have given up the fight. I mean the average black person, not, like Jesse Jackson (
to him, btw). Most black people don't even care anymore. Not because racism doesn't affect them, but because fighting it is a losing battle. According to every slave narrative I read, there have always been some white people who accorded to blacks the same respect they would give a white person, and some who didn't. What I see when I look at the landscape of post-Civil Rights Era race relations, I see not much has changed. There are still some 'good' and some 'bad.' I, and maybe many others, have resigned myself to the fact that some things never change. Most of us are tired of fighting because there was a concerted effort in our recent past that failed. In fact, it failed so miserably so as to leave us worse off, in a lot of ways, than when we started. What looked like a victory at the time has been so thoroughly undermined that a lot of us figure, why bother? You could call it 'disillusionment.' Cornell West calls it 'nihilism.' (I can't look it up now, but tell me if you would like more information about that.)

Ceci, I think, is a lot more optimistic than a lot of us in that, she thinks things can change, so she still tries. She's here, debating, being yelled at by almost everyone on the thread, yet she comes back to fight again. I certainly don't post here everyday, it would wear me out. And, I also haven't noticed any of the other black posters in this thread, so maybe they feel the same way I feel, but of course, I couldn't know for sure.


Anyway, that was what I meant when I said a lot of blacks express the same opinions. The actual content of she says has been repeated among us for generations, probably, it's just that no one ever thought it would help matters to say it to white people, but I believe she thinks that honesty will work. It's her style that you object to. IMHO, Ceci is just extremely frustrated by some of the comments about race, especially blacks, made on the board. I know I am.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 02:46 PM
link   
Thank you all for continuing the discussion. I especially thank those who decided to stay on task and answer my questions on the last page. I appreciate you very much for your efforts. Right now, I have a few answers to give back to posters who have asked of me and my replies:

jsobecky: I don't feel like answering your questions. It is not dodging. I really don't feel like answering them. I don't know what you do not comprehend about this, but please try your best to understand what I said. I don't know if I can make it more clear.

And about whether you say you're staying: I could care less right now.

That's what I mean by indifference.

riley: Unfortunately, this thread is not about my "charactor". This thread is about two specific things:

1)How do we go about getting race relations better?

2)How do we go about solving racism?


And I don't appreciate your patronizing, insulting comments about my "charator" from you. If you like, answer the questions. If not, please take the previous advice and open a thread about me and my "charactor" as a form of your tackling racism. I'm sure that people will have lots to say.

This thread has a specific angle. If you can't answer the questions, not one of us can help you.


BH: All I can say is that if you're afraid that a lot of Black people "think like me", I would just say that you don't really know African-Americans at all.

Of course, we all do not think alike. But a lot of us do speak on these issues. We have feelings. And we do have our thoughts apart from being stigmaticized from the likes of the dominant culture for how we think, feel or act.

And yes, I am appreciative of the mods' efforts yesterday, but I did ask for them to punish me and close the thread. It's happened before to other posters. It's not about thinking that they wouldn't do it because they would be thought of being "racists". But that is a typical answer.

And I'm not surprised you would say it.

And yes, I have hated what I have become as well. But, in case you didn't read my previous posts before, I'll just have to say it to you again so that you will understand:

1)Diplomacy does not work.

2)Politeness does not work.

3)Kindness does not work.

4)Honesty does work.

And yes, I still think I'm right. Anything could fly out of your mouth and people could believe it. That is because you have a cultivated image here on the boards. Any one who challenges you is obviously seen as the bad person. And they showed me this yesterday as they defended you.

This is not "misconstruing" their words. This is not a lie. This is my opinion. And it is not manufactured. Definitely, it is not delusional.


HarlemHottie: I thank you for your comments, calmness and committment to the thread. Your comments hit on the head of this very important subject matter. I appreciate your candor and continued attempts to steer this discussion on an even keel. And yes, a lot of us do express frustration at the replies of "not talking about race so it will die".

I find amazement that people do not realize the dichotomy that is taking place here:

1)They get outraged if something like the Holocaust or 9/11 happens.

2)But they don't see how offensive their comments are about "not talking about racism". Erasing the Holocaust or 9/11 would be like a cardinal sin to most people . But forgetting about what Black people experienced at the hands of legality, society and education and not feeling guilt about it is considered by some as part and parcel of the course.

It is frustrating and I wish that other voices of color would chime in about what had happened here no matter where they stand. But they could have been scared off. Because, what happened to me, could easily happen to them because their behaviors, thoughts and actions are constantly scrutinized instead of keeping on the issue.

That is why I admire and respect your bravery by coming back repeatedly. I know you get tired. But I am especially very gratified of your presence and support in the face of difficult and hard discussions as this one. I don't know how many times I could thank you, but please know that I am grateful to you very much so for your honesty and forthrightness.

And yes, what BH and myself are doing is counter-productive. But it didn't start with me. I've tried for a long time with continued respect and candor. But you can only take so much--especially when you been called "controlling", having your parents insulted, and being told that your thoughts are pessimistically thought of as breaking down race relations.

I have continually said over and over that it is an issue of power. I have not deviated from this thought one bit.

Furthermore, I'm still open to u2u's from BH. But unfortunately, I was told not to send my u2u's to her of apology anymore. So, the ball is in her court. Not mine. I've made my peace with this and I am going on.








[edit on 29-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 03:04 PM
link   
Hi HH, it's good to see you, too.
And yes, you're right about the thread content. It's always best if we can stay on topic and not be derailed. I just tend to ignore it when people say something as ridiculous (to me) as racism doesn't exist. That's just SO 'out there' that it's easy for me to ignore and skip over.

BUT in the interest of opening my mind and seeing your point, I have skimmed this entire thread looking for people who deny that racism exists or even imply that it's 'dead' and I cannot find ONE such claim.

It seems to me that when someone disagrees with any premise held by the black people who ARE posting on this thread (you and Ceci, as far as I know), they're accused of "denying racism" or "wanting to sweep it under the rug." That's your assessment of people who disagree with the plight of the black person as regards racism, as you see it. Nobody's denying it and no one is trying to sweep it under the rug, yet these phrases come up time and time again to accuse people who simply disagree about something.

It's like there's an unspoken understanding that you have to be black to know something about racism. And I don't buy that. I've experienced racism. And other prejudice. I know what it's about. Being white does not invalidate my point of view.

It seems as if the only way to avoid these accusations and the attacks I and others have dealt with here is to roll over and give up all our opinions and just go along with Ceci and whatever she says. As long as we agree that black people today are owed something, and we agree that we (as white people) should feel badly and guilt about slavery and as long as we find racism in every commercial that contains a black person, we're accepted and acknowledged. But if we disagree, all of a sudden, we're trying to sweep something under the rug.

That's why I suggested she write a book. I have said she has a great message and could inspire people, but she can't handle dissent. After all, when asked "What can we do to Address Racism"? some said to stop talking about it. That's what they think. That's their answer to the question this thread asks. They responded to the question and they get reprimanded for it. That's no way to have an open discussion!

If people didn't want to talk about racism or wanted to sweep it under the rug, they wouldn't be posting here.



Originally posted by HarlemHottie
I've told you this before, and I'll say it again, you two have a personal thing going on.


Everything's personal with her. I totally agree that it has become personal (duh!)
And I have said it in public and private that she and I are very much alike.
But there's one big difference. When people disagree with me I don't get mad and take it personally and attack them with all the venom I can muster.



And, I also haven't noticed any of the other black posters in this thread, so maybe they feel the same way I feel, but of course, I couldn't know for sure.



I noticed that, too. I don't know who all is black or white here on ATS, but I really wish more people would share their opinions, views and ideas here...



It's her style that you object to.


That's only partially true. I object to a lot of the content, too. I disagree and that's ok and I'm outspoken enough to say so. And we see where that gets us.
I'm afraid that for this 'thing' between us to be over, one of is going to have to shut up.




IMHO, Ceci is just extremely frustrated by some of the comments about race, especially blacks, made on the board. I know I am.


There are insensitive comments made about any one group here. Blacks, Muslims, gays, Republicans, Mexicans, women, Jews, fat people, immigrants. Is it reasonable to expect that all comments about ALL of these groups be stopped? (That's rhetorical)


And yes, a lot of my post is directed at Ceci. But I simply cannot bring myself to talk to the woman. There's been too much nastiness.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 03:10 PM
link   
I can handle dissent. If you read any of my posts, I've told people that they have a right to their opinion. I think you can't handle it. And that is especially conveyed by a marked departure off of the subject matter and on to attacks about my personality.

And I think you and other posters on this board can't handle it that I actually fight back. You're used to Black people rolling over, playing dead and being simply accomodating.

Well, no more.

And about the "nastiness": If you can't handle me, you're not as tough as I think you are. One of things I admire about you is your tough-mindedness. But, the difference between you and me is the fact that I can still talk to people despite what they've done to me. And I'm not afraid to work it out. I've tried and it has been rebuked again repeatedly.

You said that one of us would have to shut up to end this "counter-productiveness". Well, I guess it would be you.

Take this not as an insult. But a kernel of honesty in a "thread full of manufacturing and lies".




[edit on 29-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 04:38 PM
link   
I'm curious about the notion of white guilt, because it's been mentioned a few times in this thread. Is it really so much a matter of wanting all white people to feel guilty because of what has happened, or is it the acknowledgement that black people were subject to legally sanctioned racism and that while the laws may have changed, racism is still alive and well?

I know this thread is mainly about the problem that you have in the US. We have racism in Canada too, but the main groups that get it are the Chinese and the First Nations. When we built our railway way back when, the labour was done by the Chinese and they were esentially slave labour. After our railroad was built, we slapped a special $500 entrance fee on Chinese people and then stopped letting them in altogether.

The families of these Chinese people wanted an apology too and they finally got one, from the Government of Canada. While I wasn't alive when the railroad was built and have never personally collected a head tax on Chinese people, I have no problem with the fact that an apology was issued and small stipends will be paid. The Chinese were treated horribly by Canada and I know that. If this apology makes them feel more a part of our society, great. I call that a win-win. By acknowledging that there was a horrendous wrong done, perhaps it allows people to make some peace with the past?

I'm curious to hear what people think of this kind of action. Is this something that is completely unacceptable to America? Is this the kind of apology that is being sought or is it something more? Here's part of our apology (apologies for the Yay Canada tone, but it was given by our Prime Minister and we expect him to talk nice about us).



We also recognize that our failure to truly acknowledge these historical injustices has led many in the community from seeing themselves as fully Canadian.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Canadians and the Government of Canada, we offer a full apology to Chinese Canadians for the head tax and express our deepest sorrow for the subsequent exclusion of Chinese immigrants.
...

And while Canadian courts have ruled that the head tax, and immigration prohibition, were legally authorized, we fully accept the moral responsibility to acknowledge these shameful policies of our past.
....

And even though the head tax – a product of a profoundly different time -- lies far in our past, we feel compelled to right this historic wrong for the simple reason that it is the decent thing to do, a characteristic to be found at the core of the Canadian soul.
....

Our deep sorrow over the racist actions of our past will nourish our unwavering commitment to build a better future for all Canadians.

www.pm.gc.ca...



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 07:37 PM
link   
Chinese virtual slaves were used here to build railroads, as well. I don't know if there has been an apology to their descendents or not. There was, I believe, an official government apology to the Japanese imprisoned in the US during WWII. I don't know if there was money involved.

There is a special factor related to racism against black people in the US, as opposed to all the other kinds of racism here. That is the fact that at one time in the US, black people were property. They were not considered human, and in fact even had less legal protections than animals at the time. I'm not fully educated on the subject, but as far as I know, no other slavery system in history has had this attitude. There have been lots of cultures based on slavery, but (again, to the best of my understanding) the slaves in those cultures were acknowledged as human, and had some degree of legal protections. Black slaves in the US had none of this.

Now on the the guilt factor. The actions of the Canadian gov't you describe are what might be termed 'institutional' guilt. And the US gov't has that in spades regarding the slavery era. I think it is not unreasonable to believe that the complete lack of decency demonstrated then was so extreme that people - as in government people - have trouble accepting it. I am not aware of any apology to black people for that era, and the horror of what the slave holders did may be why. I believe the government should own up to what happened, and an apology would not, I think, be unreasonable.

Then there is the matter of the general, personal guilt termed White Guilt. Guilt that is supposed to be felt by all white people now, for what some white people, and government, did then. That is what I have nothing to do with.

As I've stated in other threads here, I was raised in a racist environment. I do not feel guilty for my attitudes as a child, because that was the environment I was raised in, and I had no alternate experience. As soon as I got out into the world enough, and had additional experience, it became obvious to me that disliking somebody because of what color they are is an exceptionally stupid use of energy.

So I personally do not buy into the White Guilt attitude. I have not engaged in racist activity, and my ancestors were dirt-poor farmers who did not own slaves. So, as with others here, I oppose racism where I see it and do not feel guilty for where it exists.

So -
Guilt felt by a government who happens to have been white during the slavery era - reasonable imo.

Guilt felt by white people in general for how black people have been treated throughout US history - nope. Not me.

Not sure this answers your question, but maybe?



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 09:33 PM
link   
To the question of White Guilt, let me add my thoughts.

White Guilt, as defined by Wikipedia:


White guilt refers to feelings of guilt said to be experienced by some people of European descent when they consider present or past wrongs committed by their ancestors against natives of conquered and colonised lands. It is usually used with regard to White Americans and Black Americans

en.wikipedia.org...


Two important things to consider here are the fact that White Guilt is self-imposed, and the fact that the wrongs were committed by their ancestors.

So, accepting that you are guilty is an enormously personal decision. Not everyone buys into that notion, because of the fact that they did not personally commit any wrongs even though their ancestors might have, and the fact that White Guilt is applied to even first and second generation Americans.

The next factor to consider is what to do to relieve these feelings of guilt, once you have accepted them. Common remedies include reparations, apologies, and the “leveling of the playing field”.

Reparations refer to payment of some cash amount to alleviate the economic disadvantage that is currently being experienced because of ancestral wrongs. Apologies are self-explanatory, and the “leveling of the playing field” opens up a whole new can of worms.

I am against reparations for several reasons:

It does absolutely nothing to solve racism. Reparations to Jews did not eliminate anti-Semitism.

How much is fair?

How do you identify true victims from recent immigrants from other sections of the world, such as Jamaica or Haiti?

Apologies are the easiest, least expensive, quickest solution. But if I were black, an apology would not suffice. Any “I’m sorry” can easily be interpreted as having a trailing “Now go away” behind it. And you can’t spend or eat an apology.

“Leveling the playing field” is troublesome. Should we give blacks preferential treatment in educational and occupational opportunities? We have, through Affirmative Action. Has it worked? Somewhat. Has it harmed whites? Arguably, yes, but more importantly, has it harmed blacks? The answer is also yes. It has generated feelings of resentment, and in some cases placed a black into a position where he/she is over his/her head. Which then causes blacks to lash out and blame the white man for tricking him and plotting for his failure.

Finally, do we have the duty, or the right, to change people’s minds? If my neighbor doesn’t care about racism, who am I to insist that he must?



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:02 PM
link   
Well said.



Originally posted by jsobecky
“Leveling the playing field” is troublesome. Should we give blacks preferential treatment in educational and occupational opportunities? ...


However, giving blacks (or any color) preferential treatment is not "leveling the playing field". Preferential treatment is preferential treatment. I'm thinking that a true leveling of the 'playing field' might not be a bad thing.


Originally posted by jsobecky
Finally, do we have the duty, or the right, to change people’s minds? If my neighbor doesn’t care about racism, who am I to insist that he must?


I guess my answer to this depends on what is meant by "change people's minds". We still so far in this country have the right to discuss matters with people... even people with whom we disagree. And we have the right to present viewpoints and arguments that may in fact change someone else's mind. I have experienced that from both sides, as I am sure most have.

But to insist that someone change their mind, no. To use force or coercion of any kind to affect a change of mind, no.

And do we have the 'duty' to attempt to change someone's mind? I'd say No, we do not have that duty.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 11:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Well said.


However, giving blacks (or any color) preferential treatment is not "leveling the playing field". Preferential treatment is preferential treatment. I'm thinking that a true leveling of the 'playing field' might not be a bad thing.

It would be a good thing. A great thing. I'd like to see the playing field levelled for everyone, including women, who have their own set of discriminatory problems to deal with.

But the question is, how? Aside from passing laws making it illegal to discriminate, what can be done?

Keeping in mind the question: do I have the right to hire whomever I want to?


Originally posted by jsobecky
Finally, do we have the duty, or the right, to change people’s minds? If my neighbor doesn’t care about racism, who am I to insist that he must?



I guess my answer to this depends on what is meant by "change people's minds". We still so far in this country have the right to discuss matters with people... even people with whom we disagree. And we have the right to present viewpoints and arguments that may in fact change someone else's mind. I have experienced that from both sides, as I am sure most have.

Good point. From a First Amendment standpoint, there is no question that you are correct.


But to insist that someone change their mind, no. To use force or coercion of any kind to affect a change of mind, no.

And do we have the 'duty' to attempt to change someone's mind? I'd say No, we do not have that duty.

That's where many (not I) would disagree with you. There is field of thought that everyone has the obligation to right every instance of real or perceived racism. If you don't, you are seen as implicitly condoning racism.

That is where the White Guilt card is played. And that is a manufactured tactic. If you buy into it, you give up all sovereignty over your own feelings. It really isn't that different from religious indoctrination, if you think about it.

Please - before anyone jumps on that - I respect everyone's religious beliefs, so don't misinterpret me. I was refering to group-think tactics, not specific religious beliefs.



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 11:18 PM
link   
Thank you for such thought-provoking posts about the concept of white guilt. I was wondering if perhaps I suffered from it or not and if it was good or bad if I was/wasn't suffering from it. I'm not from the US, and I usually make a habit of avoiding the topic of racism on ATS and Slugfest. I don't usually do well here. I always want everyone to get along even if they don't agree.


I don't even know where to start, so I'll jump right in. Obviously I can understand that people do not want to accept responsibility for something they had no involvement in and I can see how that would quickly generate some resentment. I don't know anyone who likes to be told how they should feel about something.

I'll use the example of Canada and First Nations, since they made up a lot of our slave population and were hideously mistreated by the government until fairly recent, but before I was born, history. I do think it was awful how they have been and continue to be treated and really, really want them to become a part of society without having to give up their culture. Do I think our government has some responsibility to apologize for this? I think it would be the least they could do. I do agree that an apology is in no way enough to make everything better, but perhaps it is a start?

Am I personally responsible for the way First Nations were treated in Canada? No. Do I feel badly for First Nations people and the struggles they have to go through and feel that the government owes them some sort of assistance? I think so. But for me, it's not about white guilt, it's about wanting a healthy society and bringing things to that 'level playing field'.

I can see how reparations would be problematic. For some it wouldn't be enough, for others it would be too much and yet another group would probably say that now that reparations have been made everything is hunky-dory. It's possible that it could be even more divisive. While I'm sure something could be worked out if there was enough political will, it could never undo the damage that has already been done and I can definitely see how it might give that 'now go away' impression to some people.

Back to the level playing field - I'm not sure how I feel about affirmative action. On one side, it pretty well opposes my idea of all people are equal because some get their resumes looked at first. On the other, I do feel that black or First Nations people need some help. I think that there is a point where an individual or group of people can have been done so much harm that they can't see a way out without some kind of help and I do believe that as a society, it is our responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than us. I'm so undecided on that one.

That may just be because of where I was brought up though. I believe that I do have a duty to help those who have not been as fortunate as I or offered the same opportunities. I guess that sort of leads to whether or not we have a duty to change people's minds.

I don't think it is possible to change someone's mind unless they are ready and willing to have it changed. I bet we can all think of one time or another that has happened to us on ATS.
That doesn't mean we give up on our ideas entirely. I don't believe it is my duty to quiz each and every person I know about racism. I do believe that if I see racism in action, it is my duty to speak out. I'm kind of obnoxious that way in real life, but that's by personal choice and I wouldn't force it on anyone else.

Thank you for not killing me so far.




edited because I can't spell properly




[edit on 30-8-2006 by Duzey]



posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 11:44 PM
link   
Duzey, that was a great reply
I want to respond to it more fully, but first, a question: this "First Nation" that you speak of, who comprises it? Do they live on reservations? I confess my ignorance of Canadian history, but I have heard of some people being exploited to work in mines up near the Great Slave or Great Bear lakes, I can't remember which.



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 12:15 AM
link   
First Nations is what we call Native Americans. Actually, I think it's what they call themselves but we all use it. Each nation is a different tribe and the first comes from them being here before we were. There are reserves in Canada, but we have also settled land claims with some of the nations. We still have lots of land claims to settle before we get rid of the reservations, but we'll get there someday.

Great Slave Lake is actually named after the tribe, the Slavey Nation. I am sure that at some point in time, they were screwed over by Canada too and our government probably tried to convert them to Christianity by force. And when I say convert by force, I'm talking about the time frame from the early 1600's to the early 1980's.

I look forward to reading your reply.


*Edited to say I guess I was already alive when we were sending First Nations children to residential schools where an extremely high number of them were subject to abuse, both physical and sexual, on a regular basis. They passed the law in the 60's to stop sending the kids there, but they weren't all phased out until the 80's.


How can you even begin to make up for that?




[edit on 30-8-2006 by Duzey]



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 12:39 AM
link   
I'm going to write a longer reply, probably a little later, but I just wanted to thank Duzey, JSO, and OpenMinded for re-invigorating the discussion. You all bring up some excellent points, and I want to respond. I'm just so excited that we're actually discussing racism, and not just the people who bring it up. Together, we might actually get somewhere.




posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 01:15 AM
link   
First off, I look at the situation you described about the First Nations. It is a horrible example of racism. And it makes me modify some of my thinking about certain things, such as reparations.

Imo, these people are definitely entitled to government help. Partly because these instances happened in the recent past.

You put it very succintly when you said

Do I feel badly for First Nations people and the struggles they have to go through and feel that the government owes them some sort of assistance? I think so. But for me, it's not about white guilt, it's about wanting a healthy society and bringing things to that 'level playing field'.

That is exactly the right reason for reparations: making someone "whole", to use a legal term. The people that have been wronged are currently alive, not some distant memory. That fact alone makes people more prone to consider their case as valid and not merely opportunistic. And your underlying motive, wanting a healthy society, is what all of us should want.

You also have other opportunities that make your goal more reachable than ours. For example, you mentioned land claims. That's almost an impossibile thing to consider here in the US, because the available land is remote and undeveloped, and if someone were to give a city, such as Atlanta or Las Vegas as reparations, the backfire would make the Mideast crisis seem like a game of golf.

Apologies, well we all have our opinions on that. To me, they are just words, and I have seen people lie through their teeth, so to me an apology is nice for those who need it. Many times the person demanding the apology just wants to see the other person squirm. And that's too petty for me to deal with.

Leveling the playing field. Once again, I think you have advantages we don't have down here. More like opportunities. Build universities and housing. Give low or no interest loans and grants for businesses.

I don't mean to sound like your job is easier than ours. Just that you have some unique opportunities to do a lot at this point in time. I envy you - collective you, meaning Canada.

Finally,

Thank you for such thought-provoking posts about the concept of white guilt. I was wondering if perhaps I suffered from it or not and if it was good or bad if I was/wasn't suffering from it. I'm not from the US, and I usually make a habit of avoiding the topic of racism on ATS and Slugfest. I don't usually do well here. I always want everyone to get along even if they don't agree.
:
Thank you for not killing me so far.


Don't be shy. You'll do fine on ATS; you've got an open mind. And we don't kill anyone until at least 3 warnings have been given. Just kidding!



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 03:27 AM
link   
Hi, Open Minded. I wanted to respond to you because you seemed like you were really trying to understand the problem, which is good. There are still some parts of the actual mechanics of racism that I'm unclear about, but I'm learning everyday. And I'm happy to share the little I know.


I had to chop up your message a little bit to comment on everything you wrote. I wasn't trying to change your original meaning, and if I did, I apologize. Please correct me if, by my response, I seem like I took something you said out of context.


Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
There was, I believe, an official government apology to the Japanese imprisoned in the US during WWII. I don't know if there was money involved.

There was. According to wiki, the sum was $20,000, paid to suriviors in 1988.



There is a special factor related to racism against black people in the US, as opposed to all the other kinds of racism here. That is the fact that at one time in the US, black people were property. They were not considered human...

That is referred to as 'chattel slavery.' Its still going on in some places.



Now on the the guilt factor. The actions of the Canadian gov't you describe are what might be termed 'institutional' guilt. And the US gov't has that in spades regarding the slavery era... Then there is the matter of the general, personal guilt termed White Guilt. Guilt that is supposed to be felt by all white people now, for what some white people, and government, did then. That is what I have nothing to do with.

Now that I'm really thinking about it, I suspect that part of the 'reasoning' for white guilt is that a lot of us may think that, since you all reaped the benefits of our enslavement, all of you are, therefore, guilty. I think that's wrong, but I'm sure that you can see how the assumption could be made. I agree with you that it's not fair to hold modern-day whites accountable for things that took place before they were born. Its the responsibility of the US government to right those historical wrongs.

But can anybody admit that racism isn't all in the past?

Racism today is insidious, but it's there. It's no longer legal, it's societal. Social scientists have termed it 'white privilege,' but I see it more as the expected result of centuries of stereotyping. Historically, those stereotypes were invented to justify our enslavement and pursuant degradation. So, when they called us puerile and ignorant, it was to justify our enslavement. When they called us sexually promiscuous, it was to justify the rape of our women and the castration of our men.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have forgotten why the stereotypes were originally constructed. They actually believe that crap, and use it to inform their opinions of blacks today. Their opinions are reflected in their actions, and their children. For example, that issue going on now with the black kids who were forced to sit in the back of the school bus, with other (black) children sitting on their laps. There's a thread about it on ATS somewhere.

Moderate muslims are expected to denounce the radicals. 'Good blacks' (middle class, professional blacks) are expected to denounce the thugs. Why shouldn't whites be expected to denounce the dissidents in their communities? When they don't, and not even an official apology for slavery (admittedly wrong) seem forthcoming, it appears that the white community condones their actions. And that's why people feel that some contemporary 'white guilt' is in order.



I am not aware of any apology to black people for that era, and the horror of what the slave holders did may be why. I believe the government should own up to what happened, and an apology would not, I think, be unreasonable.

The only official apology ever issued to African-Americans by the US gov't was in reference, not to slavery, but to the survivors of the Tuskegee Experiment, which took place well after slavery. Tuskegee, btw, serves as a good example of how racism persisted way after the initial crime was committed.



I think it is not unreasonable to believe that the complete lack of decency demonstrated then was so extreme that people - as in government people - have trouble accepting it.

I'm sorry, maybe I'm a little slow on the draw tonight, but did you mean that, if they were to fully acknowledge the wrong, they would feel too bad, and so they avoid it altogether?

Anyway, nice meeting you, Open Minded.


[edit on 30-8-2006 by HarlemHottie]



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 04:32 AM
link   
As for White guilt, it can go. To acknowledge the racism that occurs now and in the past has nothing to do with the feelings associated with it. I do not know what else I can say except that to discuss these issues requires a sort of caring and empathy. And for those who are truly passionate for the sake of social justice can be aware of these occurrences and work to change them without having to justify it as "white guilt".

But as I said before, there are just some people who don't give a darn in any way. They will tell you to your face how much they hate you and your people. And then, sleep well at night. That is what I think about in terms of people not wanting to discuss racism in order to let it die. It doesn't solve anything by burying it in the ground and trying to forget it. People continue to suffer from racism.

And all white guilt does is muddy the issue. Instead, the issue should really be about white privilege. That is where things are at stake. Here too, by pretending "it doesn't exist", lets it continue indefinitely without any social, political or legal recourse. If you don't feel any guilt here about having "white privilege" or try to justify it as something else apart from acknowledging "what it is", there is a definite problem afoot.

And some people clearly use "white privilege" as an underhanded way to gain control over other populations. It comes out in their manner, speech and ettiquette towards others of a different race. And it lets them continue their abilities to lord over others even when the day of the slave Masters are over.

Yes. "White privilege" is the problem because it allows one of that persuasion to objectify, typify, manipulate and dominate a situation which clearly amounts to socialized and instutional racism.

The problem here is that "White guilt" could be used as yet another foil to stop the discussion of race in its tracks because people don't want to deal with it and it sounds exceptionally offensive.



HarlemHottie, imho, the Tuskeegee experiment was a horrific action taken against Black males over a number of years. And scientists used such an study as a way to equate blacks to "lab rats", so to speak. The insiduous nature of this action shows how institutionalized racism and private racism meet and intersect within the confines of academics, society and politics. It also shows the dichotomy of feeling here as well about who to care for "in terms of suffering" and who not.

I'm sure that the entire nation would be up in arms if the 9/11 survivors would have been put under such conditions under a number of years. It takes a segment of a society in which an entire nation to feel something about before these acts of unjustification will end.

So, the question should truly be asked in terms of such experiments and the ranking of "those who suffered", is whether people truly care about Blacks enough to acknowledge their suffering in comparison to other groups of people who have endured genocide and enslavement?

Or, better yet, it would be helpful to just rank the sufferers in the world in terms of who most deserves our sympathy and time. That would be an eye-opening survey to say the least.

[edit on 30-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 07:01 AM
link   
Ceci,

I think the purpose of 'white guilt,' if there is such a thing, is to be the first step toward correcting our current problems. You know, the first step is admitting you have the problem, school of thought. The guilt of having unfair advantages is suppposed to then weigh on the person's mind until they decide to act, publically, or in their personal lives.

IMO, and I hate quoting our dear President, I would have to say the jury's still out on whether 'white guilt' is actually effective. As far as strategy goes, I can't say with any certainty if it has served to open more people's eyes, or totally turn them off. However, I suspect the former and that's why, for the most part, I've tried not to point too many fingers during this conversation. I'm not perfect, but I did try.

I can't see anyone changing his/her mind about black people because one of us has made them feel bad.


Originally posted by ceci2006
So, the question should truly be asked in terms of such experiments and the ranking of "those who suffered", is whether people truly care about Blacks enough to acknowledge their suffering in comparison to other groups of people who have endured genocide and enslavement?

Good question. It seems like we Americans have a difficult time recognizing our own faults. After WWII, the international community couldn't understand how the US could fight to restore equality for Europe, while forcing Americans of color, their own
citizens, to live under Jim Crow.



Or, better yet, it would be helpful to just rank the sufferers in the world in terms of who most deserves our sympathy and time. That would be an eye-opening survey to say the least.

I'm not sure how helpful it would be, but the results would definitely be interesting, to say the least.



new topics

top topics



 
2
<< 16  17  18    20  21  22 >>

log in

join