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

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posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 04:27 PM
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I am curious. When I asked:


Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
what do you guys want, specifically from other people on this thread?


and:



what would you guys like from me, OMS, that you do not have right now?


I got responses like:


Originally posted by ceci2006
this thread has nothing to do about "our demands". I cannot speak for HH; nor do I intend to.

But, I think it's a little bit offensive to think that this entire discussion is a way to "make demands".




So, maybe you should try to re-frame your questions. This thread is not a hostage situation. And no one needs to play hostage-negotiator. Just a helpful suggestion.


and:


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
When I first read your question, I must admit, I was a little:
This is why. Ceci and I are two different people. We don't have a list of demands. (That's why she used that word.) ... We are not one monolithic group. My concerns could very well be different than hers, and I bet they are.



Yet, when Byrd asked:


Originally posted by Byrd
What we have to know is "what do the folks complaining feel is a proper way to solve this?"




So the real question is "what issues are other races telling us still need to be fixed and what suggestions do they have for fixing them."


The responses were:


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
Finally! The pattern thus far has been, Ceci or I introduce a point of contention, and instead of asking the insightful question you just posed, people argue the validity of the point.


emphasis mine


Originally posted by ceci2006
And I thank Byrd from the bottom of my heart for coming on here and lending her opinion on this subject matter.


I was trashed for asking a question that was interpreted as being addressed to a 'monolithic group' of people that may very well have different issues. Byrd's question was explicitly directed to such 'monolithic groups'.


[edit on 16-9-2006 by Open_Minded Skeptic]




posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I won't answer the question with the attitude you're taking with me.


So you refuse to answer Byrd's question because of my attitude? OK. If you don't have an answer that's fine. If you can't formulate an answer to Byrd's question, don't blame it on me.




I think, you missed Byrd's point about attacking others about their personality,heritage, etc.


No. I understood her point perfectly. I certainly have not attacked anyone since Byrd's posts, so I didn't miss the point.




By the way, my answers were a couple of pages ago about what "I wanted". It would behoove you to go back and read them. I am tired of repeating myself again and again.


You answered what you wanted from others in this thread. Not what you want in general from the white race. What you would like to happen, how you would like to proceed. What needs to be fixed and what suggestions do you have for fixing them. You didn't answer that. Nobody has...



They are able to hash out the problems and talk about it without applying labels to anyone.


Oh, please! Labels like Miss Scarlett? Labels like The Lyncher? I won't list them all here, but you have little room to talk about people applying labels, Ceci, really.



Actual stuff by scholars ...


"Actual Stuff", huh? Sounds scholarly.




They can take this issue and break it down to its minute parts and bring forth ideas.


I believe that's what's being asked of you. Bring forth some ideas, why don't you?



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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I have answered Byrd's questions--many times in fact. But somehow, there is a communication failure somewhere. It is part of the cognitive dissonance that has been happening. I posted articles exploring that concept. One of which was, "Jim Crow Ettiquette". I happen to believe that it is still happening as late as this day and age.

And about those names: when being pushed into a corner by aggressors, one has to take the gloves off and fight as dirty as they can. Nobody ever said things were fair.


[edit on 16-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I have. But somehow, there is a communication failure somewhere.


Could you post a link to where you have said what needs to be fixed and what suggestions you have for fixing it?

Thank you.



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 05:33 PM
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Read the pages where I talked about diversity in response to True American. That is in the earlier part of the thread. That is where I discussed what needs to be done.




[edit on 16-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
Karby. Your thread fits perfectly. To say well done on your accomplishments as well as your parents would be to understate it. But I'll say it anyway: Well Done.

Immigrants of any sort can have it hard...that you overcame is testiment to you and your family.
Karby I want to agree with Seagull very strongly Well Done. He told me about your post and your experiences in Catholic schools and it struck a chord with me. My daughter also attended Catholic school where she was treated with the same type of disrespect only in her case it was based on our income level. She also read your story and said "Mom, that sounds familiar". Your response was outstanding and very timely and I enjoy reading your responses. Once again Congratulations on all your accomplishments and I look forward to reading more from you.



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Read the pages where I talked about diversity in response to True American. That is in the earlier part of the thread. That is where I discussed what needs to be done.


If you're not willing to say (repeat) the answer to this very important question, for those of us 40 pages later, that's fine. I'm not all that keen on the idea of searching through your posts to pick out what you think needs to be done.

If it's not that important to you, it sure as hell isn't that important to me.

So, never mind.



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 07:28 PM
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Well, you're the one who asked the question. I didn't. I directed you where to look. If you cared, you would look.

But since you don't want to do the leg-work, you simply don't care about the answer. And since you don't, I don't feel obligated to repeat it over. I'm tired of repeating things at this point.

Even if I did post what I said, my comments would be subjected to your ridicule and laughing. I don't need that now. I'm tired of it .

This time, I defer to HH's answer. When she does, I will respond with some additions of my own.




[edit on 16-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 07:43 PM
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I'm beginning to side with HH about these issues more and more. Might does make right. You do have to fight for what you want. What good does preaching, praying, singing and diplomacy do?

It does nothing because people do not want to really understand the issue at all. They simply want to (by Byrd's assessment) march in with their "colonialist thinking and tell people how to fix the problem".

The reason why I responded well to Byrd's questions and comments, is because she knew how to re-frame the issue. I asked OMS to reframe his questions. He flatly said he didn't need to. I accept his way of seeing it. But, I think that Byrd's comments state exactly what needs to be done.

People need to stop with the "armchair psychology" and the "accusations". They need to stop pussy-footing around. They need to think about these issues proactively. I've stated as such in between the times I was attacked for my heritage, personality, demeanor, and opinions.

I suggest that people stop focusing on the petty matters and delve into the important ones.

But since everyone responded so well to karby, by all means, ask her your questions. I would be very interested to read what she has in mind. She has an intelligent and insightful way of explaining things the way they are. And we need a fresh voice to discuss these issues with a point of view that might breathe new life into the discussion surrounding this matter.




[edit on 16-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
... I was attacked for my heritage, personality, demeanor, and opinions.


I'm sure whoever attacked you just felt pushed into a corner by aggressors and they had to take the gloves off and fight as dirty as they could. Nobody ever said things were fair.



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 08:08 PM
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I'm sure they did. And they gave as good as they got. I fought for myself by any means necessary. Few people defended me and I thank them for doing so. Most of the time, I had to defend myself--even from you.



[edit on 16-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 03:37 AM
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After thinking about this awhile I came across a North Dakota State Univeristy journal which interviewed a white science professor who had trained as a "anti-racism" instructor. I am going to post some excerpts from his article because I find what he says really interesting. However, if it proves to be fascinating, it might be nice to read the entire article.

The story of his experience regarding his "anti-racism" training is very profound:


Privileged

It was during this three-day training session that I first heard many of the concepts that we use today in our anti-racism training. I found out that talking about racism is very difficult for white people. We find all sorts of ways to try to direct the conversation in other directions: for example, "what about sexism, heterosexism, ableism?" "I'm not a racist, I just see a person." We might get angry, defensive, sad, and we might feel guilty, but we will always be uncomfortable if we are really open to hearing what is being said. I experienced all of those feelings. At times I still do - this is very challenging work. But the lesson we learned, I learned, was that we worked together much better after this experience, we were open to each other's ideas whether we agreed or not, and we were able to move beyond typical meeting behavior and really interact with each other.

A major piece of this training, and the training we do today, was to start to talk about and examine the concept of white privilege. This is one of those concepts that is especially difficult for white people to talk about, think about, and even "see." I had never felt privileged. I worked relatively hard to do well in school and get my degrees. I worked hard to be successful as a faculty member at NDSU. Nobody was suggesting otherwise, but when confronted with the concept that white people in America have unearned privilege in our system and institutions ... well at first that was very difficult to hear and see.

We then extended the conversation to talk about how white privilege plays out in our institutions. As we talked about more, and as I have continued to examine white privilege over the last few years, it makes a lot of sense. Virtually all of our institutions were designed by and for whom? Who maintains virtually all of our institutions? The answer to both questions is white men, usually rich white men. For most of our country's history racism was legal; it is only in the last 40 years it has been illegal. Did all of our institutions immediately stop being racist when the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1965? That seems highly unlikely.


Professor Mary Childers discussed racism and its effects in an Online News Hour Forum for PBS in 2000. She was among other dignitaries asked what was the state of racism in 2000. This was done in conjunction with a New York Times article series:



Regarding Race

Because so many causes can incite racist attitudes, as a nation we have to make a concerted effort to face the issue of inequality. Forty-six percent of the white people surveyed recently by the Times favored programs to help blacks. Despite all the backlash, politicians must protect efforts to level the playing field. Racism will decline even further when white people are in contact with more other people who have had adequate opportunities to flourish individually and to sustain families and communities that defy racist stereotypes. Racism and inequality are connected to each other in a circular way. White people have to challenge racism among themselves.All of us have to fight for the opportunities that protect people from the effects of racism and self-destructive adaptations to poverty and hopelessness. Our energy and resolve to work for change depend in part on recognizing where progress has been made, on honoring anti-racism and multicultural work, and on admitting that we still have a lot of work to do as a nation to reverse the effects of discrimination.


These are two different pieces to think about as we renew ourselves and proceed towards our discussion.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 03:55 AM
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One other article comes from a newsletter called "The Banner". I think it has a very good description of what the concept of racism might be and how it comes about. This is also written by a white author. However, I must present a warning. This comes from a Christian newspaper. It isn't less erudite, but it does not come out of an academic journal. Knowing that people are from different faiths here, I apologize profusely. I do not like to use religious sources because of the uncomfortability in this area as well. I respect all faiths of everyone. Everybody has a right to believe in what they want. For this case only, this source described exactly what needed to be said about racism.


Are We Wrong About Racism

I’ve also noticed that while many people will include the concept of “group” when asked to come up with a formal definition of racism, the very same people generally talk about racism as the disconnected acts of individuals, of which they are not a part.

Racism then becomes associated only with cross burnings, lynchings, demeaning jokes, and other easily identifiable hate that is racial and intentional in nature.[...]Such a definition prevents us from seeing ourselves as accountable, responsible, or complicit when it comes to racism. Worse, this understanding of racism tends to blame people of color for current predicaments that have, at their root, many factors over which they have no control.

[...]

The truth is that on a large scale the most devastating form of racism is not what some call “personally mediated racism” (person-to-person), but what social scientists call “institutionalized
racism.”It is racial prejudice or bias that is reinforced and backed by formal law (pre-1964 and the Civil Rights acts) and/or a prevailing cultural system (namely, white and middle-class). Here is where white people start to feel uncomfortable, for these root factors have often been under the control and management of the dominant, majority power structure—a structure that creates laws, policies, and systems that have historically benefited those attached to the structure by virtue of their perceived “race.”


The article especially had a great test for its readers. For the risk of including too much of the text, I ask that this time might be an exception so that all of our posters and participants can see the test to see how curious is one about racism and the degrees that apply in a lack of understanding about the issue:

(And folks, ask yourselves if some of these same things have been said in some of the posts)


Test Yourself
Though I do not have enough space in this article to go into further detail, I hope my words have caused you to be less certain and more curious about racism. I leave you with some of the many comments that signal to me an inadequate understanding of the issue:

“I don’t see color; I just see individuals. Can’t we just live in a color-blind society?”

“People just need to work hard and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

“It’s 2006, why do we have to continue to talk about racism? That happened long ago, and I wasn’t a part of it.”

“I just live by the Golden Rule. I treat others as I would want to be treated.”

“My best friend is a person of color.”

“I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. I judge people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.”

“We don’t have a problem because we don’t have any people of color here.”


If you hear yourself in some of these comments, I challenge you to learn more about racism. Read some books, attend a workshop, and engage in true dialogue and relationship with people who aren’t like you.




[edit on 17-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 05:37 AM
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I've heard every one of those statements, except for the last one, said in one form or another in this thread. But what does it mean?



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 05:49 AM
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The author of the article says that there is an inadequate knowledge of racism. Furthermore, he says depending on how frequently one uses the above comments:



If you hear yourself in some of these comments, I challenge you to learn more about racism. Read some books, attend a workshop, and engage in true dialogue and relationship with people who aren’t like you.


That's exactly what he said.

But personally, I think that if these comments are frequent, I agree with the author: not a lot of people actually know about racism. They should do a lot more research about it to understand what the stakes truly are.


[edit on 17-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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I have just taken a fascinating test from Harvard called the Implicit Association test. I strongly advise EVERYONE participating in or reading this thread to take it.


Roots of Racism

The link is at the bottom of the page. Then choose
-Demonstration
-Go to the Demonstration Tests
-I wish to proceed
-Race IAT
-Click Here To Begin

Of course, read everything and Follow instructions...


Just wanted to add that I don't think this is necessarily an indication of racism as much as preference and environment.

[edit on 17-9-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 12:43 PM
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BH. Just finished taking a couple of those tests, the results were interesting. I am going back later to finish them off...interesting.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
BH. Just finished taking a couple of those tests, the results were interesting.


I know. Aren't they fascinating? I learned some things about myself.


And on another subject:

One of the statements from the Are We Wrong About Racism? article:

“I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. I judge people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.”

This statement (among others) is troubling to me. Because while I have said 1/2 of it, I haven't said the entirety it, and I'm not convinced one half of it relates at all to the other half.
For example, I have said I judge people by who they are, not their skin color, but I've never claimed to not have a prejudiced bone in my body or that I don't have some learned racist tendencies to deal with.

One concept does not automatically associate with the other, in my mind, at least.


So I was a little put off by some of the implications there and in the other statements, most of which I haven't personally said.

And I'd like to point out that just because someone isn't knowledgeable about racism, doesn't mean they are racist. I know nobody said that, but I get a little implication from these articles of that association. Different people are interested in different subjects. And I don't think there's anything wrong with not having or desiring an in-depth education about racism, or any other subject, for that matter.


Originally posted by jsobecky
I've heard every one of those statements, except for the last one, said in one form or another in this thread. But what does it mean?


I think it means simply that there's room for an education about racism. Duh. And unless a person takes courses on it and studies it out of a genuine interest in the subject, there's always room to learn more. Right?

It's like if someone says "I think the world is flat", they have some room for education. I'm not sure the education is necessary to live a good, productive life and even build a greenhouse that benefits from the earth's movement, it's just that they don't know some things. Other people who are well-educated and interested in science, know that the world is in fact, kind of round.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic



Originally posted by jsobecky
I've heard every one of those statements, except for the last one, said in one form or another in this thread. But what does it mean?


I think it means simply that there's room for an education about racism. Duh.

You making fun of me, BH?



And unless a person takes courses on it and studies it out of a genuine interest in the subject, there's always room to learn more. Right?

I just don't extrapolate that from those statements. I mean, if someone said that they live by the Golden Rule, I wouldn't automatically think they need to learn more about racism.


It's like if someone says "I think the world is flat", they have some room for education.

No, not the same, because that's factually incorrect.


I'm not sure the education is necessary to live a good, productive life and even build a greenhouse that benefits from the earth's movement, it's just that they don't know some things. Other people who are well-educated and interested in science, know that the world is in fact, kind of round.

I don't think anyone needs to have attended school to not be racist. They might not know everything there is to know about racism, but so what? That's the difference between "scholarly research" and "critical thinking skills". The latter is usually gained long after the books of academia have been closed. Many people that are well-educated cannot think critically.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 03:11 PM
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To tell you the truth after reading this thread I really don't know if I have much to add. It's just that sometimes being black in america is prolly like being american in the rest of the world. Black people have some views that people of other races just can't understand because they don't have the true life experience. It becomes kin to beating yourself in the head with a stick to even try to explain. Still, I'm not the type to sit around wondering how to answer some of the questions posed to black folk on this thread. I don't want anything from white folk, not for me and not for some idealistic image of black america.

So when BH asked Ceci around page 43 of this thread...


what [do] you want in general from the white race. What you would like to happen, how you would like to proceed. What needs to be fixed and what suggestions do you have for fixing them. You didn't answer that. Nobody has...


my eyes bucked...I don't think anyone can answer that question, and I know only a fool would try. We (meaning black folk) have to come to terms with the past in ways that white folk, quite simply, don't. While for some, studying race relations in america maybe considered a passing "interest", for black folk, it's a necessessity especially if you want to have some success and prosperity. Many seem to misunderstand Ceci's fixation on the topic, and her demands that we examine it deeper just because these experiences divide us so completely from prolly most of white america. That is why when we are told that slavery ended get over it--we instantly complain about the Jews and the holocaust. Black folk see slavery and jim crow just as the jews see the holocaust and many tend to feel slighted when black people are told to just get over it by white people--while Jews have a sort of protection. It is completely unacceptable to tell a jew to get "just get over" the holocaust. While, for white people slavery doesn't effect them because it is part of a distant past. It is very much a part of MY current past, present, and future. And, I make the same demands of myself that Ceci is trying to make on this community.

I don't think that is fair for her to demand this, and I see why it makes many uncomfortable but just think of that uncomfortable feeling it gives you and multiply it by a life time, then you would have some realization of what black folk feel from the moment they find out people that looked just like them were once consider to be three fifths of a human being by the US government. I won't lie, I have shed tears for that past...my god...I sat in the theater watching Amistad just bawling uncontrollably. I was obsessed with trying to understand it in my teen years and I even went through a phase of hating white people. I feel like I've come full circle. I love everything about this country. I love that we were strong enough to take a wound like slavery and try to heal it...and AMERICANS BE PROUD OF THAT! Be proud of how far we have come black and white folk together. And, at least we are trying to understand each other...at least we care enough to read and participate in these threads.

If the question put to me as a black person is...how would I like to proceed...my answer would be it is enough that we just proceed.

Peace.




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