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

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posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 12:30 PM
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And unfortunately, I think that both of you are missing the entire point of HH's article. She is trying to describe to you what it means to have the Good/Bad Black dichotomy in the workplace.

But that's all right. I appreciate what you can understand. That's better than nothing.




posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 12:38 PM
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But we aren't missing it. We're acknowledging it. And pointing out other dichotomies as well. That would lend to the total idea of understanding, would it not? I have seen and experienced the "good female employee/bad female employee" dichotomy in action. Doesn't expressing my understanding of that and acknowledgement of the concept of good/bad whatever lend credence to the idea that I accept and believe that the good/bad/ black dichotomy exists?

How many times do I have to repeat and bold I believe it before you get it?



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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I believe what you are saying. But, the good/bad Black dichotomy has been around a long time. And it is not only in the workplace. I believe it can be used for other groups because perhaps this is played up in the MSM.

But sometimes, the good/bad Black dichotomy is consciously used as a way of determining acceptance in a lot of circles. It is used as a way to reprimand blacks for "not acting the way they should". And it also is used as a way to place blacks in a conundrum everywhere they are to push them towards assimilating to "American culture" or "dominant culture".

It is also used as a way to refer to one's culture or race as superior over another. And furthermore, it is used as a way to determine who is accepted in the "superior culture" and who isn't.

It it filtered in all walks of life and can try to frustrate the attempts of expression in terms of speech and mannerisms. It also is simply used as a derogatory comment in terms of "Acting Black" or "speaking Black". Blacks sometimes have to "police themselves" in terms of that dichotomy to not upset the sensibilities of some whites who are used to equating the rest of us to Gen. Powell or Dr. Rice.

There is no better example of this than Dr. Rice and how the GOP appropriated her to build her up into the "good black". Nothing she says is wrong. And everyone adores her. Because she buys and is complicit with being the "good black", she will be assured of her social mobility. And she would even get extra kudos if she placed a finger on those "bad blacks" who are not like her.

By consistently placing "national culture and ideals" ahead of her own opinions and thoughts, she pretty much tries to negate her own existence as a black woman--until the Republican party uses her life story and image as a way to "threaten" other blacks to deny their feelings about society, politics and the legal system. It's not the fact that she is any smarter, more successful or polished than others. It is the fact that she has been fully assimilated into the dominant culture's ideologies and used as a prop to show that racial problems do not exist anymore.

That is why she is a problematic figure. Use Dr. Rice and there is no racism--despite the fact that other of her brethren are systematically treated badly every day of the year.

Her brethren are dying on rooftops in Louisiana. She is buying Ferragamo shoes and seeing "Spamalot". Yet, she is forgiven as being the "good black". If she's not paying attention to the suffering and dying in Hurricane Katrina, why should some whites who play into this system do the same thing. If she does not speak about what happened to other black people in terms of treatment and "flick it off", some whites will think that other blacks have to quiet their dissent and not express themselves about racial issues anymore.

She represents the epitome of people who want to "stop talking about race". Because of her, the rest of the issues of racial treatment in the country will not be addressed because everyone is lulled into thinking that now everything is all right. And if they do, they will be pushed by pundits who shout down those who "denigrate" Dr. Rice while at the same time spreading their own biases about black people. And those who listen to them take this as gospel.

However, if she sounded like Malcolm tomorrow, those very same adherents would not give her the benefit of the doubt and probably write her off. She'd be damaged goods if she truly spoke her mind.

That is why I believe that she doesn't do or say anything that might be harmful to "white sensibilites" especially when she is placed as a figure-head of "good blackdom" in a high position.

Criticize her and you almost have a riot on your hands.

I honestly think that it is double-speak that is firmly rooted in history, society and politics. And furthermore, the legal system also uses this "good black/bad black" mentality in terms of determining sentencing and other matters which could pretty much set the fate of those in a trial.

I also concur that it might to a degree be used as a way to streamline who is viable in terms of acceptance and treatment. However, treatment and acceptance is not guaranteed.

You could be a "good black" all your life, following the rules, not trying to upset the dominant culture and being a "credit to your race". But, in the end, the system still denies one the basic respect and treatment in subtle, but insidous ways. You can still be discriminated against.

That is why the good black/bad black issue is so important on many levels.




[edit on 13-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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I agree with Cece. By turning into the "good black" one will most likely make more money (unless thye play pro sports
) and have nicer things in life. One of the stipulations is often that you must give up any indication that you were once "bad black".

When I first started working for my company, I was the only black person in the entire office (not counting the security guards, but they don't work for us.) One of the top guys asked me how I liked working for the company, and I said that they were a bunch of slave drivers...
at least I thought it was funny. I'm usually pretty good about judging emotions based on facial expresions, and I'll never forget this one.

It started off as a look of confusion, followed by concern, next came annoyance, finished off with a handshake, and he walked away. That reaction showed me more about what my position was than anything else to date. I saw in that expression him holding back the barage of "How dare you"s and "you should be happy"s and the "do you know who I am"s. Had I said something that wasn't so closely related to the black/white history thing, then I'm sure I would have gotten a smile (probably fake). They just didn't want to be reminded of the truth, no matter how innocuously

I know why I got the job. And I know that I'm keeping it based on my skill. But there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about how with one months salery, the top execs could pay for an underpriveledged student to go to college (probably community, but it's something).

I need to make a correction however. I'm not the only black person in the company. Michael Powell is one of our Senior Advisors. Another example of the "good black".



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:17 PM
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Do you guys disagree that this good/bad dichotomy could be applied to most any other group of people?

Be a "good" female employee: do what the boss asks, smile, don't 'bitch', be accommodating and you'll be successful. As a secretary, anyway.

Be a "bad" female employee: Ask questions, challenge men, be assertive (which gets called "bitchy" or "aggressive"), hold people responsible, and you'll get knocked outta there so fast!

And, like the good/bad black dichotomy, there are several ways to be a good or bad female employee. In other words, act like a man and you'll be successful, but be feminine and you won't make it.

Are you saying that the "good/bad" black dichotomy is the only one that exists?

Remember no one is arguing that it exists...



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:27 PM
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Of course other dichotomies exist in the corperate world. But then we must figure that the "professional white male" is the mold that one must fit into in order to be successful in the corperate environment. Then one must come to the conclusion that it's the professional white male who makes these rules, whether conciously or otherwise.

Let's face it, a room full of uppity white dudes can really only hang with other uppity white dudes.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Do you guys disagree that this good/bad dichotomy could be applied to most any other group of people?

Be a "good" female employee: do what the boss asks, smile, don't 'bitch', be accommodating and you'll be successful. As a secretary, anyway.

Be a "bad" female employee: Ask questions, challenge men, be assertive (which gets called "bitchy" or "aggressive"), hold people responsible, and you'll get knocked outta there so fast!

And, like the good/bad black dichotomy, there are several ways to be a good or bad female employee. In other words, act like a man and you'll be successful, but be feminine and you won't make it.

Are you saying that the "good/bad" black dichotomy is the only one that exists?

Remember no one is arguing that it exists...



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
But then we must figure that the "professional white male" is the mold that one must fit into in order to be successful in the corperate environment. Then one must come to the conclusion that it's the professional white male who makes these rules, whether conciously or otherwise.


Granted. But what does it mean, then? That the professional white male is the 'bad guy'?



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Be a "bad" female employee: Ask questions, challenge men, be assertive (which gets called "bitchy" or "aggressive"), hold people responsible, and you'll get knocked outta there so fast!

And, like the good/bad black dichotomy, there are several ways to be a good or bad female employee. In other words, act like a man and you'll be successful, but be feminine and you won't make it.

Your bad female employee describes me pretty accurately.
That is why my boss likes me, because I stand up for myself and don't need anyone to hold my hand.

I agree that there are different expectations for women in the workplace, but I don't think they are quite want you have posted. Most of the female executives I know would fall into your 'bad' category.

In my experience, the only time 'good' (in the sense that you have posted) women seem to get ahead with that behaviour is when they work for women. In a sweeping generalization, the 'good' women hold grudges in the workplace, and the 'bad' women and men get over it and move on.

But that's a whole other thread.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
She represents the epitome of people who want to "stop talking about race". Because of her, the rest of the issues of racial treatment in the country will not be addressed because everyone is lulled into thinking that now everything is all right.


So she is to blame, right? She, a black woman, has bought into this racism and betrayed her race (and gender, btw) and sold herself out to become who she is, right?

I totally agree.



However, if she sounded like Malcolm tomorrow, those very same adherents would not give her the benefit of the doubt and probably write her off. She'd be damaged goods if she truly spoke her mind.


By 'adherants' do you mean regular black people (like you) or regular white people (like me)? Because I would give her the benefit of the doubt. People change. If she started working toward the cause of equality tomorrow and reached out to all people, made a visible change, you bet your ass I'd give her another chance.

Don't get me wrong. I clearly see that Condoleeza Rice is a "White Man", not to mention her political leanings, but if she came to her senses, I'd give her another chance. In my mind she has betrayed her race and her gender, which I share, but I don't understand NOT giving her a second chance. That's just unforgiving.



You could be a "good black" all your life, following the rules, not trying to upset the dominant culture and being a "credit to your race". But, in the end, the system still denies one the basic respect and treatment in subtle, but insidous ways. You can still be discriminated against.


Yup. Just as "good gays" and "good Muslims" can (and are).



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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But there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about how with one months salery, the top execs could pay for an underpriveledged student to go to college (probably community, but it's something).

Sad but true, at most companies. Unless you work for Ben and Jerrys.


Originally posted by Rasobasi420
Of course other dichotomies exist in the corperate world. But then we must figure that the "professional white male" is the mold that one must fit into in order to be successful in the corperate environment. Then one must come to the conclusion that it's the professional white male who makes these rules, whether conciously or otherwise.


It may be due to the fact that the white dude worked hard, took the risks, secured the financing, put his own house up as collateral, worked long hours, etc., to succeed. So the fact that he gets to set the rules is justified.

As for hanging, a lot of that still goes on, even in white circles. Italians mix with their own, as Irish do. You know that, being from the Boston area. Whitey Bulger didn't play with Gerry Angiulo unless it came down to business.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
Your bad female employee describes me pretty accurately.
That is why my boss likes me...


And yes, there are exceptions to the rule. You're lucky. It describes me, too. What hell I paid for it! My boss DIDN'T like it.


Do you work for an American Corporation? I generally think that Corporate America is a pretty unique animal.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:28 PM
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from ceci
And unfortunately, I think that both of you are missing the entire point of HH's article. She is trying to describe to you what it means to have the Good/Bad Black dichotomy in the workplace.

But that's all right. I appreciate what you can understand. That's better than nothing.

Hey Zedd, I thought you were going to put an end to these petty insults???



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But we aren't missing it. We're acknowledging it. And pointing out other dichotomies as well. That would lend to the total idea of understanding, would it not? I have seen and experienced the "good female employee/bad female employee" dichotomy in action.


There is also a "Good White/Bad White" dichotomy at play here in this very thread. If you read through the entire thread, you would conclude that donwhite is a "Good White", and jsobecky is a "Bad White", because of what and who we agree with.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 04:41 PM
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No, I work for Canadians and you might have something there about Corporate America. The US is a very different country than Canada in many respects, this could be one of them.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally quoted by jsobecky

There is also a "Good White/Bad White" dichotomy at play here in this very thread. If you read through the entire thread, you would conclude that donwhite is a "Good White", and jsobecky is a "Bad White", because of what and who we agree with.


Please read my post on page 37. It explains my position on this. Unless, I would constitute this as a personal attack of the kind Majic wants to eliminate.

Otherwise, I will continue to have a wonderful day. Whitney Houston just filed for divorce from Bobby Brown. Finally.


[edit on 13-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 07:21 PM
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BH, you asked a question regarding Dr. Rice in my post.


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic

By 'adherants' do you mean regular black people (like you) or regular white people (like me)? Because I would give her the benefit of the doubt. People change. If she started working toward the cause of equality tomorrow and reached out to all people, made a visible change, you bet your ass I'd give her another chance.


When I said "adherents", I meant people who believe and participate in the system of the "dominant culture" (or if you like, the system most endorsed by the power elite). If we stretch this further, those who singlehandedly believe in a unilateral "national culture" with no deviation of the differences that might exist in the country between ethnicity, race, culture, etc.

I'm sure you would give her the benefit of the doubt. Many people would.

But you have to think about what Rasobasi and myself are saying.

Being a "good black" does not give one the guarantee of safe passage. The woman is being used. She probably knows it, too. And while she is placed into a position of power, she is going to "play ball" as much as she can to keep her reputation and her job.

Otherwise, if she didn't tomorrow, people would turn their back on her.

And she would try to make amends with the Black community, when it is too little, too late.

But while she is enjoying the privilege of being the "good black", she is called "intelligent", "elegant", "polished" and "refined".

There are other smart blacks out there who have accomplished as much. But the difference between herself and them is the fact that they are not held up to this lofty position. Because they might participate in dissent against the system, they are virtually deemed persona non grata because of their "bad black" stigma.

Think what you want about Cynthia McKinney. I still think she is a smart, accomplished woman who has taken hard stands that almost no one likes. As a result, the MSM called her "loony", "nuts", "blunt", having a "bad attitude", "rude", "idiotic" and "crazy". And because of the right wing blogs that continually repeat this, this stigma continues to occur despite what positions she takes.

However, Hank Johnson because of his support by Republicans who crossed over to vote for him, is deemed "respectable", "smart", and "sane", no matter what his position is. His position means nothing for the Republicans who poured the money into his campaign. In his campaign, he pretty much used the same language as the right wing blogs to describe her and her policies. And it worked. He was put there to unseat Cynthia McKinney because she wanted to call for impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.

Now watch as people try to put Cynthia Mckinney down in the next posts. I'd bet you it will happen. Watch closely as she is being equated with the "bad black" pretty much in the same way as Malcolm X was in previous pages.

After all, the perception of Malcolm's sincerity in "hating whites" went uncontested. I was right. No one ever tried to dispell this notion one way or another.




[edit on 13-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
karby, now I can write you the questions I was thinking of. I apologize before, the last question I asked you was very nicely answered in your previous posts.

So, I would like to ask:

1)How you how you see race-relations as progressing from your own experience? Your perspective must be different knowing that your parents and relatives are from Nigeria. What do you think about the struggles of Black people in America and Africa?


sorry for taking so long to answer. busy busy busy

anyhoo,
1.) as far as this goes, on a personal level between myself and other americans, black AND white, it's to a point now where nobody can tell where i'm from unless they see my name. then and ONLY then will they begin to ask questions. it kinda blows me out a little bit that people will actualy look for a difference when one isn't so readily available. and then as soon as they try (and almost all fail :roll
to pronounce my name, the first question i'm usually asked is "Have you to Africa?" i don't take it offensively. really the only thing i can do is try to educate bit by bit. and that's fine with me.


What do you think about the struggles of Black people in America and Africa?

in my eyes, african struggles are a lot more complicated than black American ones. many africans from other countries that i have met usually blame the struggles of their respective countries on three things: colonialism, the corrupt leaders in power, and the lack of an oppurtunity to a decent education. i think that black americans have it a little bit eaiser, because many things are available to them. not readily, but available in the country. back in high school, the amount of quarterly honor roll students could literally be counted on one hand. unless you are able to obtain a private education or tutor, DC public schools don't give a damn about you as a student. kids in the DC public school system MUST have have an ample amount of self motivation, else they are destined to a lifetime of failure. DC public schools dont care. the reason i'm bringing this up is because my parents believed whole heartedly that education was the key out of poverty. many africans believe this too. at the time, my parents could not afford to send me to private schools like Meret or Carrol. but there wasnt a day that i would come home, and my dad wouldn't ask to see my homework or make me study. the teachers didn't care, but the materials were available. so i used them. most africans don't have that choice, in that there are neither teachers OR materials. black americans do have the choice, in that the materials are there but it takes a lot of self motivation, especially for inner city kids. and it just gets to a point where it's so complicated that not even i can figure it out. the only thing i can say is that i will take myself one day at a time. and anyone who i can help or educate along the way, i'll be more than willing to do so.


2)What social reformer or civil rights leaders do you look up to for a source of inspiration?
(a few pages ago, we were having a debate between Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X)

hmm. i'd have to say Ghengis Khan.
ok, i'm kidding

definitely Mandela. this guy got locked up for years and still they couldn't silence him. that strikes a chord with me. i like that




3)How do you read the issue of immigration in America, especially with the debate about an immigration bill being discussed in Congress? How do you perceive the different issues of immigration related to race and the national perception of it?

immigration, i think, is a sticky issue for me. i'm not against immigration, being a child of immigrants myself. at the same time though, (and i'm sorry to keep raising the same ol' tired issue with mom and dad, but that's really the only direct perspective of immigration that i have immediate access to.) both my parents came here almost before the close of the major civil rights era, in 1968 as teens. and the attitudes against black people were practically no different than they were at the beginning of the decade, according to my dad. so imagine being black, almost penniless, with absolutely no possesions but the clothes on your back in a foreign country, with the majority of the people looking down on you as scum. and they had to do it the hard way. and not just them either. plenty of others. for me it's a double edged sword. on one hand i recognize the poverty and misery that many hope immigration can help them escape. and on the other hand, i have to realize that other people have had it worse, yet didn't resort to the "illegal" process. yes, they are suffering. but so are many others. why have special provisions only because they immigrated by way of land/walking/driving/etc? why not try your hand at legal immigration like everone else? if someone in dire need came to my front door, i wouldn't turn them away. but don't try to sneak through the back door and then get upset when i refuse to feed you when there are plenty of others who are willing to work just as hard going through the front. i'd be more than willing to give what i have if you'd just ask. but of course that's just the simple minded way of looking at it, and even then, in the "me me consumerist" culture, many don't see it that way. they'd rather just have them not come at all.



4)How do you see yourself within the Black community? You could either go by being a
"Nigerian-American" (by your ethnicity, parents' country of national orgin), or you could go by being an "African-American" (which is what some blacks use here as a way to describe yourself) or like you said before, you could be a "Black American". Would you use your "ethnicity" in trying to describe yourself (like some people I know would use "Jamaican American") as a black person? Or do you go with all three explainations?

these days, in the black community, i just see myself as black. i don't attach anything or hyphenate anything. it's just black. "Nigerian-American" is probably a term i'd use when travelling abroad. i don't use "African-American". i never have. actually, that's not true. i used to use it to describe myself but i stopped. it's too long a story and i'm running out of characters for this post.
but if you wanna hear it, i'd love to continue



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 07:58 PM
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karby, why do you consider yourself an "African black" when you were born in the USA? Because your parents immigrated? Wouldn't that make any black an "African black"?



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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because of the way i grew up. i put up with a lot of racism when i was a child, from both kids and adults. some of it from whites, but 90% of the racism i experienced when i was young came from other black people. when i wanted to identify with that group, i was literally told "You're not one of 'us'. " i didn't want to be identified as 'African" because 'Africans' were "dirty, ugly and disgusting". i couldn't be "African-American" because "you're from Africa, so you're not American", according to one of my teachers. i didn't understand it. so i could never identify with that group. i wasn't born in Nigeria, so i wasn't Nigerian, i didn't wan to be African, and couldn't be "African-American" no matter how hard i tried.
i consider myself an "African Black" because after all i've experienced, these were the only people that would accept me. my parents, my relatives, their relatives, etc. alll accepted me. and the deeprer i dug, the more i saw that i had more in tune with them than i had with my own peers. so i distanced myself from my peers even more. i stated in an earlier post that i had rejected hip-hop/"cool" culture because of the way that they portray different shades of black women. well, it had actually gotten to a point where i had just cut mainstream out all together. i still don't watch tv. i'd rather sit outside in the middle of nature than go shopping. i'm an avid video gamer. i love math. my music tastes just fly all over the place. i'd much rather be associated with africans because they seemed to be more accepting of me to lend me their culture. it took me a while, but i accepted them back. and by the time it had gotten to a point where i could actually have another black person not give me a dirty look or mean words because of my ethnicity, i guess it was already too late, as i had already made up my mind.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
My argument is that It is irrelevant whether the lead man chooses a (proper) proportional number of blacks, it is a system highly vulnerable to abuse. The mechanism is susceptible to favoritism. The cost and effort required to ascertain that it has not been abused is time consuming and counter-productive. I argue it is that system that must be changed. We just can’t have unrestrained discretion any longer.

Originally posted by jsobecky
Not to mention just plain silly. I have known many union workers, and some of the most sought-after were men of color, because of their skills. It had nothing to do with skin color. Any other criteria used to choose your crew is bound to cost more money, and that's not why people are in business.

On page 6, donwhite argued that "the mechanism [of choosing employees] is susceptible to favoritism" and you replied that he was wrong, because "some of the most sought-after [union workers] were men of color, because of their skills."

But now that you've been presented with more than someone's personal opinion, your response is:

Originally posted by jsobecky
...subjectivity exists in many decisions made in this world. I won't even address it.

So, which one is it?



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