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

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posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 05:15 PM
JSO, like BH said I'm ready to participate and join the discussion as long as it's about the original topic, I have read the thread and appreciate the effort given to getting back on track. Some excellent points have also been raised and I'll add my input in a little bit because I'm a little tired right now (just played football for four hours.). Again, thank you all.

posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 05:55 PM
OK, I have held off long enough. Time for my 2 cents.

In my career I deal with racism daily. On both sides of the isle and in all of it's negative, dark and ugly sides. I function in that environment because I have discovered the one weapon that prevails against racism, Acceptance.

Is that not what it is all about anyway? Acceptance. I do not want to alter black people to fit my culture; I do not want them to alter me to fit theirs either. Due to our different heritage, socialization and individuality, Black People, White People, Asian People and Hispanic People etc will always have differences. Instead of that being a bad thing, can we not concentrate on the wonderful aspects of those differences? Acceptance.

I do not believe that it is really about the differences anyway. If that were true, I could possibly be opposed to people that have blond hair, or beards. It is about accepting those differences as part of their culture and moving on. Accepting that being different does not equate to being wrong. Acceptance.

That being said, I have found that Acceptance is NOT generally a universal foundation. At least not where I place my feet each day. From the cops that look around to see who is listening so they can tell their racial jokes, to the looks of hatred directed at the uniform I wear, it is all simply intolerance. We all tend to gravitate towards those things that make us feel comfortable. Our family, home and our race. They are the things we are accustomed to and offer us no surprises. We are accepting of our family, because we are comfortable with them, we are accepting of our race, because we are comfortable with them. We all must learn to be accepting with PEOPLE and become comfortable with them.

I do not have to integrate myself into the culture of another people, to be able to accept them. I do have to understand that not everyone in the world is going to be like me, walk like me, talk like me or for heavens sake listen to my music. Liking Rap does not make you a "hood," no more than liking country and western makes you a red neck. Acceptance.

Lets all just try being accepting.


posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 06:32 PM
From The Peanut Gallery

I apologize for the off-topic nature of this post, but I want to comment and share my feelings with you as a fellow member, moderator and FSME for this forum.

I know this hasn't been an easy thread, and I know there have been some hurt feelings, harsh words and recriminations. There have been complaints and U2Us, and as a moderator, I've certainly not ignored them.

But I want you to know that I am very, very proud of this thread, because what we're doing here is a showcase for what we can accomplish in Slug-Fest.

Think about it: how often can you talk about racism like this, gloves off, honestly, without wondering when the hammer was going to come down?

Racism is a taboo subject. It's so volatile that when racism comes up in most threads, the most common outcome is closing the thread or handing out warnings.

So we usually don't get to talk about it.

But we're talking about it here, and we're getting down to the nitty-gritty, too.

A Model For Mutual Understanding

This is the kind of discussion I want to see more of in Slug-Fest.

Each of you has earned my respect for being willing to tackle this subject despite your misgivings, despite the drama, despite your concerns about it.

Thank you for having the courage to talk about this, and the patience to stick to your convictions even when it would be so easy to throw up your hands and surrender.

Thank you. Thank you.

I'm topping this thread as an example of what we can achieve.

You should all be very proud.

posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 10:57 PM
Thank You Majic

Reading carefully through the posts, it is apparent that tempers flew at times, yet very mild compared to other discussions I have been privy to about Race Relations. Also very controlled.

What a great group of people you are! If you have doubts about what you have accomplished here, go back and read through carefully all the posts. There is much wisdom there and advice that needs to be broadcast to the rest of the world.

I have spent the evening reading and contemplating all of this information and I feel I am a better person for it.


posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 02:17 AM
Yes BH did insult my parents. And she does have power issues. And I do agree with what I said before. She was mean to me in the way of a head-strong, spirited woman full of drama issues is. I wish she wouldn't have brought up my personality. I would have liked it if she did focus on the issue at hand. But since she did, she'll have to deal with me. Unfortunately, she can be a controlling and occupying force on a thread of a person "who scares the crap out of her". So, if I "scare the crap out of her", she should start her own thread with her own mutual adoration society.

Believe her. I don't give a damn. It truly doesn't affect me in any way if you do.

I can't help it if she's tarnished her own image of being the "flower of tolerance" around here. She should have done more to preserve her attitude of being kind and open to others if she cared so much. But she doesn't. And I'm sick of having this tug of war with her daily. I apologize to our mutual friends because I care about them. But, this issue will have to be solved. And if others don't want to be mediators in this mess, then step out of the way.

Now, adios, FlyersFan and jsobecky. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I apologize, West Point, and I'm sorry to see you go, but we need people who will learn the lesson that there are some posters of color who will fight back against their aggressors. And there are many of us that do not back down to the demands of others on this board even with your threats to leave. If you must, goodbye. I did enjoy talking to you.

But you are not the only white member on this board. There are plenty of others. And there are a whole lot of people of color on this board too. And I'm waiting to speak to all of them. Just because you and your small mob rule leaves does not mean that the thread will close. It will go on without you here. And perhaps it will be better and more fulfilling because the lot of you will be finally gone for good.

You and your cohorts are not the sum and total of 60,000 members of this entire board.

You all came here with your own volition. You leave with your own volition. I will go on regardless of your petty threats. I will continue to talk about race and educate those I can. And those who don't like my style? Too damn bad.

The political can be intellectual. But the political can also be personal as well. There is room for both on this thread.

For the others who still have the guts to talk this thing out:

Educate us about anti-White racism. Teach us why it isn't good and explain to us about it.

Then, teach us something good about White culture such as people(Dr. Jonas Salk and Mother Theresa). Or explain an event (such as the abolitionist movement or the Freedom Riders) that whites have done to benefit all of us. Change our minds. Make the rest of us care.

If you keep on telling us Blacks that we receive handouts, are ignorant, cry out racism at every turn and only empathetic when we assimilate, you get exactly what you deserve: a whole lot of misunderstanding and frustration. And you'll have to stare into that same mirror.

My thread is not Iraq. I will not let you all "occupy" it so you can take it over with your own concerns. This thread is for everyone on ATS. And since this thread is for "everyone" on ATS, I am included since I am a member. I deserve to have a thread of my own and participate in it just as you do. I do not deserve to be threatened when the posters do not like something just as you don't.

But if you must....

Why concern yourself with the thread of a little Black woman like me? In the scheme of things and in the plethora of issues, you all have had the choice to go whereever you wanted. You still do. You also have the power to take on this hard mantle of trying to see things get better on your own.

You also have a right to complain. And perhaps I will get the punishment you think I truly deserve. And if I do get punished for fighting back, my punishment will be well-received as a mark of pride and triumph. I will hold my head up high for not cowering down to any of you.

You may think I'm a racist. But I don't give a damn if you do. I know I'm not. And I will always have a coterie of friends from all colors, cultures and backgrounds whether you are a part of it or not. I always have. I always will. Your judgment of whether I am racist or not does not affect me in the least bit.

In the end, naming someone a "racist" is not why these talks need to take place. This is not a place to burn people at the stake. But some people made it that way. They can only be responsible for their own behavior for that.

I'm still polite to most people. And I do my best to be pleasant. But if I'm not pleasant to you, there is a real reason behind it. And that it is up to you to find it out. And for those I've tried my best to apologize to, they've failed on their end and seem not to be sorry about it. I shrug and move on unless they demonstrate their remorse. I'd be willing to talk things over again.

Believe me. This is not for laughs. I did not expect this when I started this thread. I was only trying to explore my feelings after such a heated mess in the Mitt Romney thread. In a way, I'm not sorry I started this thread. I'm only sorry that I didn't get more of a variety of folks culturally and racially to participate who have different perceptions to think about this. I especially want our international folks to drop on by this thread and discuss it out. This issue is not only for Americans. It's for everyone. And I had hoped for more members of color to be here to help Harlem Hottie and myself tell our sides of the story. I hope they still come.

With you all gone, hopefully, the thread will attract more even-tempered, polite and gracious people instead. Or else, it might be better to let dg's words ring true: the thread will die a graceful death by ending this issue on race. The discussion will end to some posters' sighs of relief. And then, one of you will bring it up again instead of myself.

Then, I'd be free to work on my blog and discuss the Mayan Calendar or the latest politics.

But I still don't hate white people. I am not angry at them. And I do not blame them for your actions. I still love everyone. And I am willing to fight for the least of us.

And I would be the last to blame the least of us for the discrimination and the derision they get on a daily basis.You might. But I won't.

For I rather talk about this issue with people who are honest and don't readily call others racist at the drop of the hat than not talk about this issue at all.

And thank you Duzey, for your comments. I find your honesty refreshing in a sea of heated comments about this issue. I owe you my gratitude and reverence for just simply dealing with the issue and even answering my questions even though they might seem strange sometimes. You seem to understand more than most that I have questions and comments that deserve the benefit of the doubt just like everyone else.

As I said before, you are truly my hero.

I still hope that you, donwhite, 2manyquestions, nextguyinline, HarlemHottie, Semper and others stay through this drama. I'm sorry you all have to read this. But with all of your intellect and kindness we can truly converse about this issue and have the thread it was meant to be. Let us discuss it.

[edit on 10-9-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 03:43 AM

from ceci
Now, adios, FlyersFan and jsobecky. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

What purpose is served by a comment such as this? I've been trying very hard to ignore your insults.

So why did you feel it necessary to say that?

Btw, I never said I was leaving the thread.
You'd miss me too much.

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 04:10 AM
I mean it the way I said it. And no, I wouldn't.

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 04:14 AM
Yes you would.
I know that I miss the old ceci I once knew....

I must add a second line to satisfy the line-count bots.

Edit to correct BB codes

[edit on 10-9-2006 by jsobecky]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 04:53 AM
I've thought about your proposition for a while.

And if you truly want to work things out, please do u2u me. I have always been willing to receive them from you. I am willing to reconcile things in order to keep the peace and build back the friendship we once had.

I'll be waiting for your u2u if this is the case.

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 08:08 AM
As I read your response, this leaf fell onto my desk from an overhead plant....
an omen?

A dove didn't drop it, btw. The plant just needs watering.

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 11:32 AM
Majic has posted a thread in BQ&B about denying bigotry. And along with this thread, that one has made me think more about not only denying bigotry and racism, but DEALING with bigotry and racism on a day-to-day basis, as it exists in the world today.

By “dealing with” it, I don’t mean accepting or taking it or resigning to it. I mean how do people deal with and respond to racism in the world? The times when I’ve been a ‘victim’ (I hate to use that word because it sounds so powerless) of racism, I have felt somewhat stumped as to what to do. I want to speak out against it. I want to yell at the people! I want to say, “HEY! You’re being racist”!!! But I don’t. Not in real life. I just stand there with my mouth open, looking like an idiot, I’m sure. Looking sad and sorry and dumfounded.

What is the right way to respond to racism? What would be the most effective way to get a message out there? I think of Niteboy’s experience he shared and riley’s and Ceci’s and HH’s. All of the experiences we’ve shared here. And I wonder what do you all think is the right and effective thing to do?

Do we have an obligation to call it when we see it? Should we just walk away shaking our heads, knowing that racism exists? Should we try to engage in conversation? What do you all think?

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 12:34 PM
I'll say it once again. Just because you think that the rest of us has a different opinion of racism and bigotry does not mean that it is "lesser than" your conception.

If you truly believe in equality, take our words and try to understand them. And don't play dumb.Please do not call them an illusion or a fantasy.

The best thing is to stop the arrogance in its tracks. It would be nice for those like you who think that their concepts are "better than" to be more humble toward the ideas of others and stop pretending that "fighting for a people" solves the problem. "Fighting for a people" does not a struggle make. "Fighting with a people" does.

The second suggestion is quite more controversial but effective. If you agree with Majic and his more "real" concept of bigotry, please go to his thread. You agree and obviously his words do not disturb you. That probably has to do with more similar cultural experiences. Perhaps, you will be best served there if you can't handle the "deepness" of exploring race to the point that it gets more honest and emotional.

You don't like to play the student and learn because you do not like to be taught. This thread is a learning experience. So, you need to be somewhere you can retain your autonomy in terms of not being a student and learning from others. The concept is plain as daylight to me.

You need to be around people who don't scare the crap out of you. Really.

[edit on 10-9-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 12:38 PM
BH. It would depend upon how you call attention to it, charging into the situation with all guns blazing might not be the best solution, than again it might be. It's up to us as individuals to decide how to deal with it...I must admit I am much like you in that I am usually caught off guard by bigotry, and may not react as quickly as I might like...and when the moments past...a reaction might just make the problem worse. Does this make sense?

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 01:32 PM

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What is the right way to respond to racism? What would be the most effective way to get a message out there? I think of Niteboy’s experience he shared and riley’s and Ceci’s and HH’s. All of the experiences we’ve shared here. And I wonder what do you all think is the right and effective thing to do?

Do we have an obligation to call it when we see it? Should we just walk away shaking our heads, knowing that racism exists? Should we try to engage in conversation? What do you all think?

I don't think there is a universal 'obligation' that may be leveled. Some people's path is to actively fight racism, others' perhaps not.

I do think each situation must be approached on its own merits. Niteboy's experience, for instance was probably best handled the way he did... by walking away (in spite of my earlier hearty laugh suggestion).

One of my personal experiences in fighting both racism and sexism in the workplace:

I was working for a company that had a need for some engineers. The owner of the company told me that we had to interview some people, but he wasn't very interested in hiring them because they were women, "and women don't make good engineers", and one of them was Asian, and he self-admitedly did not like Asians (ironic, since he was full-blooded Korean, and in fact was from Korea).

I told him that it was not my experience that women did not make good engineers. Anyway, we interviewed several, and ended up hiring two women, one of whom was Asian. And they both turned out to be excellent engineers who were with the company for several years, doing high quality, productive work. I didn't rub the owner's face in it, but I didn't have to. The real results were right there in front of him.

Bottom line, I don't think a blanket rule can be created for this. Sometimes the interaction is with a moron who is willfully ignorant and will remain a bigot no matter what, and sometimes it is just with someone who hasn't thought things through, or has not had experience with other races/cultures/religions etc.

The former are not worth any energy or attention; the latter may be.

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 01:52 PM

Originally posted by seagull
Does this make sense?

It makes sense to me.
There have been times in my life when I spoke out against racism (usually perpetrated against another race, not myself) and it has caused very uncomfortable feelings. Unfortunately, sometimes, I have also said nothing.

People don't like to be told, especially by someone of their own race, that what they're doing or saying is racist. It's almost like there's an unspoken understanding that because we share a race, when one behaves in a racist manner, it should be allowed or accepted. To me, this is BS. It allows the continuance of what I call 'fellowship' racism.

In other words, it's the idea that because we're all white in a room, it's ok to make an Asian slur. Or because we're all black here, it's ok to rag on the Hispanics. In my experience, fellowship racism is the hardest kind to break down. Because if I do something that someone of my own race deems 'racist' and SAYS so, I feel a little betrayed (even though they may be right).

Does anyone know what I'm saying?

Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Bottom line, I don't think a blanket rule can be created for this.

I think this is very true. Once again, a blanket rule isn't the most effective way to deal with a situation. I do think it's important to do something, though, when we can. Hopefully an impact can be made. There are people who make huge impacts and gains against racism through their lives and then there are others like myself, who do what we can.

Great story, OMS. I would bet that experience had a lasting effect on the owner. If we all did just so much as speaking out as you did, we might really be able to make a difference.

[edit on 10-9-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 05:24 PM

Originally posted by ceci2006
There are just other times you have to shout, by all means necessary.

Malcolm X. ''by all means necessary".

Spoken during the time he racistly preached that white people were 'white devils'. Spoken during the time he racistly preached that black America should turn the streets bloody - presumably with the blood of white people - in order to gain power OVER them. Spoken during the time that he ridiculed Dr. Martin Luther King for his 'I have a dream' speech and ridiculed Dr. Kings calls for all people to live in peace together.

Then the man matured. After his pilgrimage to Mecca he came to the understanding that all people are Allah's children. He denounced his previous racist views, remarks, and preachings. Some racism still lingered in his speeches, but consdiering where his head had been previously, it was a remarkable turnaround.

So everyone - what caused a man to go from being a street thug with a heart full of hate and racism violently demanding 'by all means necessary' (including bloodly slaughter of non-black people) ... to being a man who denounced those things saying that ALL people are Allah's children ... to being a man who actually DID something to help people rather than spew racist and destructive blood filled rhetoric?

There is a key to addressing race relations in there.

Edited for fixing the paragraph margins.

[edit on 9/10/2006 by FlyersFan]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 07:22 PM
That's a very interesting question, FF. I don't know the history of Malcolm X so I certainly don't know the answer, other than some sort of personal revelation, I suppose. Maybe somene else here knows more about him and is willing to speculate or enlighten?

I wonder if anyone can recommend a good book that would expand on his teachings and life... I would be interested in reading more about him. I'm off now to see what I can find on the Internet.

Edited to add:

Wow! What an incredible story!

Malcolm's faith was dealt a crushing blow at the height of the civil rights movement in 1963. He learned that his mentor and leader, Elijah Muhammad, was secretly having relations with as many as six women within the Nation of Islam organization.
That same year, Malcolm went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The trip proved life altering. For the first time, Malcolm shared his thoughts and beliefs with different cultures, and found the response to be overwhelmingly positive. When he returned, Malcolm said he had met "blonde-haired, blued-eyed men I could call my brothers." He returned to the United States with a new outlook on integration and a new hope for the future. This time when Malcolm spoke, instead of just preaching to African-Americans, he had a message for all races.
Malcolm's assassins ... were all members of the Nation of Islam.

Such a sad and inspiring story! Has anyone seen the movie by Spike Lee? I soon will.

[edit on 10-9-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 08:26 PM

Originally posted by FlyersFan
what caused a man to go from (1) being a street thug with a heart full of hate and racism (2)violently demanding 'by all means necessary' ... to being a man who (3)denounced those things saying that ALL people are Allah's children ... to being a man who actually DID something to help people rather than (4)spew racist and destructive blood filled rhetoric?

1. The better question might be, what caused him to become "a street thug with a heart full of hate and racism" in the first place? A quick sketch of his family might be helpful here. His mother, a very light-skinned black woman, was the result of her own mother's rape by a white man. His father, a dark-skinned man, was a preacher who fought for the rights of blacks. Before young Malcolm's teens, his father had been 'suicided' (presumably by white men who disagreed with his work) and the state (at the time, also white) had taken custody of him and all his siblings.

Malcolm became a street thug because, hey, what do most wards of the state become when they grow up? He hated whites because he felt they had ruined his entire life. That may seem unreasonable, but remember, everytime he saw a white person, they were threatening his parents and, yes, ruining his life, so you can't really expect warm and fuzzies.

2. Um, what is wrong with violence? It's as American as apple pie. That's how we got here, that's how they kept us here, and that's how they kept us in line once they were done with us. Tell that anti-violence stuff to the KKK. That was the reality of race relations at the time.

3. I suspect that the hajj to Mecca opened his eyes to the fact that American whites of the time were a specific breed. For the first time, he encountered whites who didn't automatically look down at him, who respected him and his opinion, and who welcomed him. That's what changed his mind. If you will recall, upon his return, he made a speech syaing that racism in this country could be eradicated if we all embraced Islam. So, it wasn't like, all of a sudden, he loved all white people. He saw that all of them weren't racist, especially the Muslims, so he had hope that the rest of them could change.

4. That may be how it looked to you, but not to blacks, the people he had set out to help. If you look back at the period, you'll realize that it was actually whites spewing hatred, and Malcolm stepped up to defend his people.

Here's where I got my info:

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 08:35 PM
Hey BH!

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Malcolm's assassins ... were all members of the Nation of Islam.

Just so you know, this is still open to debate. Many believe that the CIA had infiltrated the Nation, as they were so wont to do during COINTELPRO, so while the triggermen may have, nominally, been Muslim, they could have been plants.

Such a sad and inspiring story! Has anyone seen the movie by Spike Lee? I soon will.

I have. I saw it when it came out, with my 6th grade class, and I watch it every once in a while to remind me of our past in this country. It's such a well-done film... Spike is really a genius.

A scene was actually filmed on my bestfriend's porch and I'm sure that I do not have to tell you how pissed I was that she didn't call me and let me know that Denzel was on her steps! Yes, I was at school, but so what?

posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 09:36 PM
I don't often do this, but...

You have voted HarlemHottie for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

for your post on Malcolm X. I sat here and read it aloud as my husband listened and we both really enjoyed it! I can't wait to see the film now. And thanks for filling in some details.

The most impactful passage to me:

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
3. I suspect that the hajj to Mecca opened his eyes to the fact that American whites of the time were a specific breed.

It's so true! The mindset of American whites at that time was something very dark and ignorant. I can't believe people were like that. And I do know that some number greater than zero still exist and that makes me sick to my stomach to think about.

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
1. The better question might be, what caused him to become "a street thug with a heart full of hate and racism" in the first place?

The source I read said he wanted to be a lawyer, but his teacher told him not to even pursue it. (I won't give the exact quote I read) What an incredible shame! Most black children at that time were probably told not to have high hopes.

And yeah, who couldn't use a little Denzel?

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