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

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posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
But, there is this lack of compassion in some of the comments that just aren't present when we are talking about the crimes against humanity done to the jews during the holocaust ...


As I investigate and analyze my inner thoughts on this (as I am wont to do) and ask myself, "Why do people feel more compassion for the Jewish ancestors of the holocaust than the black ancestors of slavery?", the following thoughts bubble to the surface...

My personal answer to that question is to default to the logical: There is no reason to have more compassion for one ancestor over another. Do I? It seems to depend on whether I know the ancestor or not. I haven't fully analyzed this but I will...

If I know a black person, I tend to feel more compassion. If I hear their stories or watch a movie, I am FULL of compassion for them. If I don't know them, I withhold any judgment, negative OR positive. Why? Because I don't know if they experience pain around slavery and I don't want to assume or condescend. I hold them as able.

With Jews, I automatically feel compassion for the whole lot of them. Their 'people' survived genocide. Black people survived ownership. You'll notice I put people in single quotes for Jews and didn't for blacks. That's because I see Jewish as a religion and black as a color. I see the Jewish people as a cohesive and similar 'people'. I see black people as individuals.

After all, (the common thought is) if a person is a Jew, their ancestors survived the holocaust. If a person is black, they may or may not have had slavery in their ancestry. That is the thought, but it is incorrect. There are Jews whose ancestors were not involved in the holocaust, just as there are blacks whose ancestors were not slaves.

I don't know any Jewish people, that I know of. I have never been close to any that I know of. I don't know Jewish physical traits or names. The only thing I know about Jewish people is the stereotypical appearance and dress of Hasidic Jews. I am distanced from the Jewish faith and they hold a bit of a mystery to me. Therefore, they're all just kind of "out there", existing as a blob of unknown, to me. They are not in my realm of existence, for the most part (that I know of).

OTOH, I'm very familiar with black people. I have known many during my life. I judge them as individuals. They are no different than me. I don't give compassion to "the lot of them" because I see them as individuals, just like white people. Some I love, some I really don't like. But I know them, I'm familiar, easy, comfortable with them. They're just like me. There is no big mystery surrounding them. This is my perception.

So, the only thing I can offer is that I can look at a black person and KNOW he's black. So I have memories (good and bad) of interactions with blacks. My life contains experiences of blacks, and therefore I see them as regular people, spanning the realm of personalities, character, honorability, respectability and so on.

I have VERY FEW memories and experiences of interactions with Jewish people. Therefore I see them as a group, rather than individuals. If anything, I am guilty of classifying all Jews as having the SAME (stereotypical) characteristics. It's easy to feel compassion for a group of people that I know little to nothing about. It's not so easy to group all black people I've known and feel something for the whole group because I know the individuals within that group.

Slavery or the holocaust? Which was worse? Who could say? It depends on what is worse to you. Slavery lasted hundreds of years. The holocaust only a few. Jews underwent (and still undergo) discrimination just like blacks. (Has anyone seen the movie Focus?- Excellent!!!)

Compassion is free. I feel it for anyone who suffers or has suffered. And that's for them to say. So I can honestly say that my compassion goes out to Jews and blacks (and others) who feel slighted, hurt, injured or disrespected.

I'm sure my ignorance is showing, but I'm trying to be as honest as possible and I mean NO disrespect to anyone.




posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
Jsobecky,

What people of color find racist is all about perception. So, maybe your intent isn't to be racist, but it was racist to the person (Ceci) that read it. She reacted to it, but she also goes a long way to explain to you guys why it is racist. Maybe it would help matters if you actually took note of what she finds offensive in your comments.

The problem is that she embellishes what was said so much that the original meaning gets lost. And she refuses to acknowledge that she does it.

Most of the stuff she accuses people of saying are outright lies.

And how much more does BH have to apologize for the percceived insult she supposedly said? ceci is playing it for all it's worth.

And ceci looks for injury in every post. For example, I said that some blacks have given up celebrating Christmas in favor of Kwanzaa. She said that was the epitome of arrogance.

And finally, how can you defend someone who refers to other members as STDs, cancer, lynchers, and Miss Scarlett? Heat of the moment? Well, maybe the first time. After that, it shows her lack of respect for ATS and the members. And if it was "heat of the moment", why doesn't she afford the same mulligan to BH?




Sometimes it is best to back up and take notice because she isn't the only black person that reacts badly to some of your positions. It isn't up to me or her for that matter to decide what you believe, but if I am offended and she is offended and HH is offended---maybe it is time for you to examine what causes the offense.

OK, given the above, what have I said that offends you so much?


Maybe this won't help at all, but I felt the need to say something after reading what you decided to post to her. If these are the things you believe at least stand up and accept the reactions you are getting to them.

You don't see me backing down, do you? Once again, tell me what I've said to offend you and I'll discuss it.


You can't tell me what is racist just like I can't tell you that you are a racist. I never would say that, but some of the things you have said in the past leaves a bitter thought in the back of my mind as well.

You have no exclusive claim as to what is racist. My thoughts are as valid as yours.

And for the last time, what have I said to leave a bitter thought in your mind?



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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Well, we had the topic back for a second there, I'm sure, but we lost it again...

*Applause in the mail for you BH*



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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My apologies for sidetracking the issue; it seems I unwittingly offended someone and I was trying to get to the reasons how.

No more sniping from me.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 01:44 PM
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First off, regarding:


Originally posted by Saphronia
I'd feel really bad if you thought what I am seeking is guilt on the part of today's white man.


No worries at all!


Here is a thought I had regarding what has been referred to as 'disgust' at the thought of reparations to black people. I am putting this out as a thought... I do not claim to subscribe to it:

It may be that some people are vehemently opposed to this idea because at their core they know how bad the whole slavery and subsequent eras were in the US. And they reject completely that they could ever have had anything to do with that. So strongly that it might almost approach denial that it happened (note: I am not saying people deny the slavery era happened). And official reparations would be an acknowledgement that it did happen.

I see a parallel between this and what I expect to see in a few years as a backlash to the current torture debate. I believe that in a while, people are going to wake up and realize what has happened. That some of them have actively endorsed torture. And I think they are going to be appalled, at themselves and at the US government. And I think talk of reparations will come up then, and be strongly opposed for much the same reason - people will reject to their cores that they ever had anything to do with it.

I hope I said that clearly... it is kind of a complicated sort of thing to put in writing... at least for me!
Anyway, a thought, if anyone is interested.

Regarding offense
Personally, I am not convinced that clear and to-the-point discussions when offense is taken are off the point (they can easily become so). One idea behind this whole thread is for people of various races to learn about each other. People have different ways of saying things, and what is a completely not-intended-to-offend remark to someone may be a serious offense to someone else.

If this is discussed cleanly, then people might learn things. Not that the person saying the 'offending' remark is necessarily expected to immediately never use that term or phrase again. But people can learn about each other. If someone is offended at something fine. Check it out. Ask what the other person meant. Communicate.

Real, effective communication is sometimes difficult, especially in writing. But it can be done. It just takes some effort and commitment by the people involved.

One thing to keep in mind, I believe, is that the words themselves do not offend. If it were the words themselves, then everybody who read/heard them would be offended. But I'd be willing to bet that the same words could be said to two people and one would be offended and the other would not. Hence, it is the perception of the hearer that gives the words power. Not the words themselves.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 03:36 PM
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Well, OMS, I did communicate. And what good did it do me? Reactions about my behavior and accusations, that I "misconstrued" their words.

There is still a perception here that some of the white folk here can do no wrong, but the black folk always have something wrong with them.

And they continue to get praised for it. That further reinforces the behavior that has been happening.

That is why people remain fixated on the behaviorial issues. And that is why, I also added that when they happen, it often means two things:

1)Some white folks avoid the more troubling issues of race and do not want to confront them.

2)That they do not have anything meaningful to contribute and turn to other things to compensate, like focusing on what I said or did.

To me, that sounds like a real problem that I don't need to work out. You folks need to work that out in order to stay on the discussion. I've told you that when you lash out about my behavior, I defend myself. I don't roll over and play dead.

And also, unfortunately, the cognitive dissonance continues to happen. I don't think anyone has read my posts about "Dissecting the notion of Black Anger", have they?

It certainly would be helpful because they shed some light on why people might think black folk are frustrated by the system.



With that being said, the only thing I can add is this exchange, first from BH and then from Saph.

They both said something that was truly profound about the cognitive dissonance that is going on about this entire thread:


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
Ceci, when people say something to you, many times, you take offense when it isn’t intended. And you have a habit of deciding what people mean, even if they didn’t say it. You add meaning and import to people’s words and then repeat them as if they actually said them. Many times this is the basis of your whole argument. Therefore, many times, your whole argument is based on something that never happened. That is the case here with both of these supposed “insults”. Hang on to them if you must, but just know that the meaning YOU gave to them is much more sinister than my intent.


BH--

It's a habit? It never happened because you said it didn't?


And thanks, but no thanks, I don't hang on to them. It seems that you do.

It is not up to you to tell me what I should take from your comments. If I found offense to them, I did. Just like you found offense with my words (Miss Scarlett, the Lyncher). But FYI: Usually I use allusions like that to get people to see the type of dynamics that are going on in a discussion. I'm sorry I had to say them, but it seems that sometimes no other way works.

When I patiently try to explain my offense from what was said, you still "didn't get it". I think the only other question that needs to be asked, is what will make you and others "get it"?

Because if you would simply communicate this notion, maybe you might see that what I have been saying reflect a little more substantially than what your perception of them might be.

And despite all that, you didn't even take note that I gave you my apology and asked for us to bury the hatchet. That tells me a lot there too.

But please pay attention to what Saph said (which I thank her highly for defending what I was trying to say) to jsobecky. I hope that might shed light on what we are trying to say:


Originally quoted by Saphronia

What people of color find racist is all about perception. So, maybe your intent isn't to be racist, but it was racist to the person (Ceci) that read it. She reacted to it, but she also goes a long way to explain to you guys why it is racist. Maybe it would help matters if you actually took note of what she finds offensive in your comments. Everyone is so intent on "defending themselves". Sheesh! Sometimes it is best to back up and take notice because she isn't the only black person that reacts badly to some of your positions. It isn't up to me or her for that matter to decide what you believe, but if I am offended and she is offended and HH is offended---maybe it is time for you to examine what causes the offense. The same goes for FF, in this case. Maybe this won't help at all, but I felt the need to say something after reading what you decided to post to her. If these are the things you believe at least stand up and accept the reactions you are getting to them. You can't tell me what is racist just like I can't tell you that you are a racist. I never would say that, but some of the things you have said in the past leaves a bitter thought in the back of my mind as well. Yeah, it is completely up to me how I react to it--but if you truly reject racism you should want to know why you are getting that reaction. Either way, you have my attention.


BH, You asked me why and said that you would "try to understand" my offense from your comments.

I've stated clearly why I was offended. Why won't you understand what I've said instead of focusing on my behavior? Is it a waste of time trying to explain these things to you because of the cognitive dissonance that is happening?

Please, tell me, what is it that you don't understand about what Saph, HH, myself, Rasobasi and others have been trying to say?

Right now, I think it would be helpful to look over the test posted a few pages back. Those statements are really helpful in gauging how much we actually know about racism. And then, we can work with those statements to propose how to re-write that thinking into something we can both understand.

And all I can say about jsobecky's comments, is that he has a long way to go about "getting it" than the rest of you. I pity him more than others.

[edit on 19-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Personally, I am not convinced that clear and to-the-point discussions when offense is taken are off the point (they can easily become so).


I would have to agree with this. For example, the phrase "get a job" might be particularly offensive to black people because of some of the more stereotypical media-represented black people described by Saphronia:


Originally posted by Saphronia
"Oh, there go dem lazy black folk always looking for a hand out."


and Rasobasi420:


Originally posted by Rasobasi420
I just sit on my stoop drinkin' 40s with my crew, hustlin' and drug dealin' to get by. Then I take my drug money and buy gold chains and grillz so people know I'm a muthaufckin' P-I-M-P.


Since this stereotype is alive and well, the "get a job" comment might be particularly insulting (and painful) to most black people. The "get over it" camp might very well be a specific thorn in the side of the majority of black people and therefore IS very on topic.

How can we address race relations and solve racism? Well, we can be more understanding and sensitive to how our words are received and we can be more aware of how meaningful certain insults are as they relate to the black experience in the US.

It's one thing to say that I am against reparations (which I am) but quite another to say, "Get a job, implied>> you lazy drug-dealer." It's also another issue altogether to say "Get a job" to someone of any color who IS in fact lazy and living off the government, thinking the world owes them a living. It's a harsh thing to say, for sure, but it's being said because of specific circumstances and if they are offended, it's probably because it rings true.

A black executive might be offended to hear "Get a job" because she relates to the pain of the black experience and ugly stereotypes in the US, whereas a white executive would just think it was a weird thing to say. He has a job. What are they talking about?

I'm not suggesting that we (white people) NEVER say anything that could be construed as insulting to black people. I'm saying it might help race relations in general if we were more aware of how painful our specific insults might be to them and why.

And I'd also like to say that many times these black-specific insults might be leveled, not because someone is black, but because the 'insulter' is angry at the black person and wants to cut deep. And that's what I think happened in this thread. And I honestly don't think it should be 'off limits' to ever utter a black specific insult to a black person simply because they're black. There is no such protection for anyone in this country.

An insult hurled at one black person doesn't necessarily mean to insult them all. And if it does, well, there's no right or guarantee that people won't be offended in life. We all are.

I just think it helps if we (all of us) are more aware of the collateral damage our words might cause. An insult hurled at one black person meaning to insult ONLY them, might hurt others, with which we have no beef.

The other side of this is that all of us might benefit from not taking offense so quickly when the others do not mean an insult at all. It's difficult enough to talk about this subject openly and honestly without being hyper-sensitive and taking offense to everything that's said or taking offense in the name of your entire race.
Especially when the insult is leveled at one person for a specific, unrelated reason (anger or personal conflict) and not leveled at the entire race.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
There is still a perception here that some of the white folk here can do no wrong, but the black folk always have something wrong with them.

I disagree. That perception may live in your mind, but there has been nothing said in this thread to support it.


That is why people remain fixated on the behaviorial issues. And that is why, I also added that when they happen, it often means two things:

1)Some white folks avoid the more troubling issues of race and do not want to confront them.

2)That they do not have anything meaningful to contribute and turn to other things to compensate, like focusing on what I said or did.

It actually means a third thing. And attempting to place blame on whites for your inability to control your own temper is incongruous.


To me, that sounds like a real problem that I don't need to work out.

You're trying to shift the focus away from your problem onto whites. Not totally unlike the thinking that accompanies "She deserved to get raped" or "She deserved to get beaten by her husband".



It is not up to you to tell me what I should take from your comments. If I found offense to them, I did. Just like you found offense with my words (Miss Scarlett, the Lyncher). But FYI: Usually I use allusions like that to get people to see the type of dynamics that are going on in a discussion. I'm sorry I had to say them, but it seems that sometimes no other way works.

Nobody is buying the "experiment" ruse, ceci.


And despite all that, you didn't even take note that I gave you my apology and asked for us to bury the hatchet. That tells me a lot there too.

But you won't accept her apology, will you?


But please pay attention to what Saph said (which I thank her highly for defending what I was trying to say) to jsobecky. I hope that might shed light on what we are trying to say:

And I am anxiously awaiting her response.



And all I can say about jsobecky's comments, is that he has a long way to go about "getting it" than the rest of you. I pity him more than others.

Your pity is about as worthless as your apologies.

And you're damn right - I don't get it. Because to you, "getting it" means agreeing with anything you say. And that will never happen.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
It may be that some people are vehemently opposed to this idea because at their core they know how bad the whole slavery and subsequent eras were in the US. And they reject completely that they could ever have had anything to do with that. So strongly that it might almost approach denial that it happened (note: I am not saying people deny the slavery era happened). And official reparations would be an acknowledgement that it did happen.

Well, many people here are first, second, or third generation Americans, so they didn't have anything to do with slavery. It's like being hit with a tax for a bill that came due on land they don't own.


I see a parallel between this and what I expect to see in a few years as a backlash to the current torture debate. I believe that in a while, people are going to wake up and realize what has happened. That some of them have actively endorsed torture. And I think they are going to be appalled, at themselves and at the US government. And I think talk of reparations will come up then, and be strongly opposed for much the same reason - people will reject to their cores that they ever had anything to do with it.

Our people that have been kidnapped have been beheaded on videotape. Our own troops have been forced to fight a PC-correct war with one hand tied behind their back. Our troops have been put on trial by their own gov't. So, I will never support reparations for the terrorists or condemn our gov't for their relatively mild interrogation methods.


Regarding offense
One thing to keep in mind, I believe, is that the words themselves do not offend. If it were the words themselves, then everybody who read/heard them would be offended. But I'd be willing to bet that the same words could be said to two people and one would be offended and the other would not. Hence, it is the perception of the hearer that gives the words power. Not the words themselves.

Some of the insults have been directed at specific people, with names named, and with the intent to injure that person. So it is the intent and not the words that do the damage, imo.

Good points, OMS. Worth thinking about. And the responses I gave are my interpretation only.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic

An insult hurled at one black person doesn't necessarily mean to insult them all. And if it does, well, there's no right or guarantee that people won't be offended in life. We all are.



Unfortunately, you are wrong on the first part. There is no way of knowing what the poster has intentions of doing--unless you truly know this is a fact. I think such insults were meant as a sense of intimidation for all of us of color to stop talking about reparations.

As for the second part of your comments, there's no guarantee. But some people have more manners and respect than other people. And it is unfortunate, that sometimes respect and manners are "race-specific" as well.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:36 PM
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Hi, everybody! I had to take a break from posting. I was taken aback by the amount of ignorance in this thread. I expect more from ATS'ers, really. I've said this before, in some shape or form, but, to allow your silly prejudices to cloud your examination of facts... well, I expect more.

Fortunately, my faith in ATS has been restored. A lot of people have made some excellent posts, so I'm hoping we can get back to business. And thank you, karby, Rasobasi, and Saphronia, for adding your perspectives. Ceci has taken quite the metaphorical beating thus far.


Originally posted by Rasobasi420
There is plenty of good, realistic, non-MTV-BET music being put out by black artists, but you'll never see it on TV because it empowers the black community, and I don't think that would do well for corperate america.

I said this exact thing, like, 30 pages ago, and ended up mired in a fruitless discussion on who really runs the music industry. Please, everybody, believe him. We all recognize that, yes, a criminal with a platinum record, is still a criminal. I'm quoting another poster whose name I can't recall, but, "50 Cent is not my ambassador."


Originally posted by Saphronia
But, I'm sorry, I don't hear anyone telling the Jews that collected their checks and apologies to "get over it" or "get a job".

Saphronia, a few pages back, I asked why Jews seemingly wallow in the 'special treatment' that America is so loathe to bestow upon black Americans, and I think only BH gave an answer. I might have missed someone, but it appears that no one wants to touch that one.


Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Personally, I am not convinced that clear and to-the-point discussions when offense is taken are off the point (they can easily become so).

I've come to this conclusion myself. In the spirit, I would like to point out a disturbing trend I noticed in the thread a while back. I can find quotes if necessary, but I'm not going to name anyone. I want to discuss this conceptually, I don't think who said it really matters so much.

When we were talking about Malcolm X, I defended him. Two posters, both of whom I consider 'ATS acquaintances' with the potential to become 'ATS friends,' both of whom are white, I think, expressed disappointment with my stance.

I didn't address it at the time, because I didn't really care, but I did find it interesting that they both were disappointed. They could have just said they disagreed, but they both, very specifically, said that they were disappointed with me. I wondered why.

I have a few ideas, but I would prefer to hear what other people think. Please discuss.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally quoted by jsobecky
I disagree. That perception may live in your mind, but there has been nothing said in this thread to support it.


That perception may live in your mind. I'm sorry that you can't be moved because of your own need to be right.



It actually means a third thing. And attempting to place blame on whites for your inability to control your own temper is incongruous.


What temper is this? Who said I had a temper? You? Now, that is in your mind. And you're playing into the stereotype that Black people are always "violent" and "bellicose". It shows me that you do need a lot of work with your own issues.

And if you can't discuss the topic without focusing on my behavior, you do have a definite problem. Talking about race troubles you more than any of us. Using the behavior of myself and others is the only way you can articulate yourself. Unless, you do have actual issues to focus on.


You're trying to shift the focus away from your problem onto whites. Not totally unlike the thinking that accompanies "She deserved to get raped" or "She deserved to get beaten by her husband".


No. I really believe that some white folks need to work these issues out. Several white authors had said that their own race has a problem in facing the more disturbing aspects of race. Heck, you don't need to believe me. Believe them. They're talking about the white condition when learning about and dealing with racism. And yes, I think you have some definite issues learning about racism that go far beyond believing what I have to say.



Nobody is buying the "experiment" ruse, ceci.


And no one is buying your sarcasm ruse masked as a wannabe moderator, either. In fact, HH already told you about that, didn't she?


But you won't accept her apology, will you?


I did. The ball is in her court. And we do not need your intervention, thank you.


And I am anxiously awaiting her response.


I bet you are.


Your pity is about as worthless as your apologies.

And you're damn right - I don't get it. Because to you, "getting it" means agreeing with anything you say. And that will never happen.


I don't give a damn what you think about how I feel. I do pity you because forty pages later you still do the same things that you always do. There is no proof that you actually learned anything from what the posters of colors said except to harrass, make condescending remarks or buy off their comments and find them as nonsense. There is no sense of awareness at all, except for the small one after the "test" a few pages back. And then, the glimmer of hope died out.

You do have a long way to go.

"Getting it" does not mean agreeing with me. I don't care if you agree with me or not. Truly understanding and making sense of the issues at stake at all sides without nullifying them is something that needs to be recognized. That is "getting it" to me.

Now, I suggest you are at a fork in the road: whether you really want to entertain the more disturbing aspects of race or whether you just want to head down that road buried with your own misconceptions.

Only you can make the choice. It doesn't mean squat to me which way you go.




[edit on 20-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:43 PM
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If the world were simple, I quite say this to be the solution:

Sit everyone in a dark room... no light what so ever. And let them all talk. No one will actually be able to truly distinguish the differences, this I know for a fact.

: Problem is that this isn't a simple world, thus the solution isn't simple and probably never exist. Facing facts, there will always be at least one person who will have the nerve to try and find something wrong with someone who is not like them.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by The Black Widow
Sit everyone in a dark room... no light what so ever. And let them all talk.


I think this is a great idea.
It's so much better to relate to people as just people instead of _____ people (fill in the blank).

HH - Hi. So glad you came back
You are missed when you are gone, trust me!


I'm interested to hear more about the 'disappointment' in your support of Malcolm X. I don't believe I expressed that so I can't speak to it and I'm a bit confused why someone would use that word (almost as a disapproval) of your support of him. I think that's probably what it was though: Disapproval.



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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Welcome back, HH.


I am glad that your calmness and even-temper is back in the fold. I surely missed you from the bottom of my heart. We need you greatly. I also think that it is important with what you said.

I think, though, what you said is a way to deal with perception. There is still the perception that Malcolm X is very bad. Nothing could be redeeming about him. And since you brought up the possibility that rewrites these notions, it is hard to accept. That is why I thought people expressed disappointment with your posts.

Black Widow:

I wish we could turn off the light and discuss these issues. But attitudes continue to come out. And until people face what is at stake here, it will be the blind leading the blind.

All I could hope for is that people can learn to "get it" on both sides.


[edit on 20-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
No. I really believe that white folks need to work these issues out. Several white authors had said that their own race has a problem in facing the more disturbing aspects of race. Heck, you don't need to believe me. Believe them. They're talking about the white condition when dealing with racism.

So you are using books written by white authors to prove your assertion that people with this "white condition" are inherently racist?




posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:12 PM
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No. I'm using articles from white authors because they probably can do a better job of articulating the problems that white people have about race than I could. Read what they have to say.

And then, you can understand through their perception what is at stake. If not, nothing can be done. You believe what you believe.





[edit on 20-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by riley
So you are using books written by white authors to prove your assertion that people with this "white condition" are inherently racist?



While I can certainly see the irony, I believe she made that choice anticipating the response, "Of course Author X feels that way, he's black!"




posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 01:10 AM
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OMS, I've reread your latest post and thought really long about it. It says some insightful things that could help us get over the stalemate that is happening. Always know that I read your comments and see what you are trying to say. I think that you represent the middle ground in this issue. I think you do understand what is at stake and the problem of cognitive dissonance does not lie with you.

You truly ask questions and make insights. And that is all I really want for people to do in this issue. This is not about me "driving away people" or "my temper". Let alone the fact that I did take, what HH said, a "metaphorical beating". This is about trying to get towards solving the issues of racism and discussing race-relations. When I proposed that question, I worded it as such so that it wasn't race specific. And furthermore, the questions were purposely generalized so that no one race would feel attacked.

But as you can see, that did not happen. But, I would like to highlight some of the things you said:



Originally quoted by OMS
It may be that some people are vehemently opposed to this idea because at their core they know how bad the whole slavery and subsequent eras were in the US. And they reject completely that they could ever have had anything to do with that. So strongly that it might almost approach denial that it happened (note: I am not saying people deny the slavery era happened). And official reparations would be an acknowledgement that it did happen.


I also would like to add, that I think that sometimes the denial occurs because some do not want to come to grips that a country like this one could do something so inhumane and cruel to a part of its citizens. Sometimes, people want to hide away from these realizations because they don't want or have the capacity to feel. If there was a true acknowledgement that it did happen, a whole lot of people would have to reexamine how they feel about race. And some just don't want to do that. They would rather think that slavery is in the past and it is over, when in fact the residue of slavery still occurs today.


I see a parallel between this and what I expect to see in a few years as a backlash to the current torture debate. I believe that in a while, people are going to wake up and realize what has happened. That some of them have actively endorsed torture. And I think they are going to be appalled, at themselves and at the US government. And I think talk of reparations will come up then, and be strongly opposed for much the same reason - people will reject to their cores that they ever had anything to do with it.


I do too. To most, torture happens in "other" countries, not ours. And that is why some vehemently try to fight against the realization that it has happened. In fact, they use their reasoning as a way to say that "this is a time of war". Because of that simple phrase, some can justify the most heinous of crimes and not feel anything more about it.

That is why I feel that this era in time after 9/11 has introduced a society that lacks any sort of empathy. And the reason why is that there is not any closure in regards to what had happened that fateful day. If there was some sort of introduction in terms of closure, then people would be able to start work on how they feel.

The parallel is very much with slavery. There isn't any closure about slavery, Jim Crow or what happened in the Civil Rights Era. People just don't want to think about it, let alone begrudgingly accept it. Because "emotion" is always tied to "race", to discuss these issues is to allow feelings in. And when you are in a society that lacks empathy, emotions show vunerability beyond measure.


Personally, I am not convinced that clear and to-the-point discussions when offense is taken are off the point (they can easily become so). One idea behind this whole thread is for people of various races to learn about each other. People have different ways of saying things, and what is a completely not-intended-to-offend remark to someone may be a serious offense to someone else.


I agree with this whole-heartedly. If people don't ask, then the offense will be committed over and over again. But again, it has to do with respect, manners and the true ability to treat people equally. Treat us like equals. Just don't say it.


If this is discussed cleanly, then people might learn things. Not that the person saying the 'offending' remark is necessarily expected to immediately never use that term or phrase again. But people can learn about each other. If someone is offended at something fine. Check it out. Ask what the other person meant. Communicate.


Believe me, I've tried despite what others might say. I've tried to understand what others are trying to say. I've tried to thoughtfully write down and post everything that might help bridge the gap toward understanding. Instead of entertaining these issues, you get people who won't ask questions and put you on trial.

I'm sure that no one would want to be in my position. I seriously doubt that others would want to try communicating about this issue because it is too caught up on behavior and not on the issue. If people stop trying to "punish the messenger", then we'd get somewhere. Believe me.


Real, effective communication is sometimes difficult, especially in writing. But it can be done. It just takes some effort and commitment by the people involved.


I agree. But some do not have the commitment. They would rather take the easy road out of this by doing all they can to disrupt matters so race-relations and racism cannot be discussed. It is, what a friend told me, "as if some have something to lose". There is "something to lose" when people deliberately decide to stop discussions like this one. They will use intimidation and other sorts of communication-ending fare to make sure it doesn't go on.

I find that very sad. But of course, everyone has something they want to hold on dearly. And for some, it is a vested interest in continuing what they think about other races. This is done so much so that they will throw everything except the kitchen sink to make sure that their ideas are perceived as right while other ideas are wrong.

That is no way to hold a conversation. And myself, as well as others, must learn how to effectively communicate a lot better. In fact, it was one of the first subjects I had brought up in this thread. Back then, I questioned the cognitive dissonance in this thread. And I hardly got an answer for it. I ask again, and still no one has an answer.

The funny thing is that I asked others to leave this conversation if they could not handle it. Some have left. That was not the right thing to do, but I did it at the time. But the majority kept on coming back regardless. To me, that demonstrates a need to communicate. Furthermore, it demonstrates to me that no one has driven anyone away with what has been said.

People want to talk about this issue because it sits in the back of their minds. I agree with you that it ought to be discussed cleanly. It depends on those who have a vested interest to disrupt these momentous talks want to do the same.


One thing to keep in mind, I believe, is that the words themselves do not offend. If it were the words themselves, then everybody who read/heard them would be offended. But I'd be willing to bet that the same words could be said to two people and one would be offended and the other would not. Hence, it is the perception of the hearer that gives the words power. Not the words themselves.


Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. But, I think that some do not think about the implications of what they are saying. That means that they let anything fly out of their mouth without any respect or manners afforded to the receiver of the message.

If they did have respect and manners, a whole lot of good could be done. But when some do not even exercise a sense of politeness in their words, manners or speech, then these things happen. Without having any manners or respect, they even miss the bad behaviors of others of their ilk.

That I also find truly sad as well.



[edit on 20-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:00 AM
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I've decided to post some theories that might help in trying to dissect the issue of racism and race-relations. Read these over and give them some thought:




dominant ideology Politics Marxist account of control through ideas.

In any society the dominant ideas are those of the dominant class. In capitalist societies, dominant ideology is thus a powerful means of maintaining the system.

[Nicholas Abercrombie, Shephen Hill and Bryan S. Turner. The Dominant Ideology Thesis (London, 1980).]

Bothamley, Jennifer., Ed. Dictionary of Theories. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2002: 157.




perception Psychology Not attributable to any one orginiator, this term refers to the way we see the world around us.

Psychologists are interested in understanding how organisms, especially humans, detect and interpret stimuli about the world. The two main theories on perception are the classical approach and that contained within Gestalt theory.

[P.J. Barber and D. Legge. Perception and Information (London, 1976)]

Bothamley, Jennifer., Ed. Dictionary of Theories. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2002: 404.



This leans toward what Michel Foucault discussed in his books, Discipline and Punish and Madness and Civilization. Although he discusses the issue of power in many of his works, I think that these two talk more about it than others (Foucault scholars out there, please try and correct me with your thoughts on this.
)



power Politics/Sociology Theory of individuals' and groups' abiity to achieve their ends.

In social relations, power is exercised by persons or institutions acting in such a way that their interests or wishes prevail over those of others. They are thus responsible for the consequences. There is dispute, however, over the extent to which they need to be aware of these consequences for it to be usefully said that power is being exercised.

[David Miller et al., eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought Oxford, 1987)]

Bothamley, Jennifer., Ed. Dictionary of Theories. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2002: 425.



The definition of "racial memory" plays back to my post on the last page regarding the "unconscious" and social groups. However, I forgot to label it in the Jungian fashion of the "collective unconscious" when dealing with "Jim Crow Ettiquette". But the term of "racial memory" will provide a better understanding of what I was trying to say:



racial memory Psychology Proposed by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961).

Most often associated with Jung's analytic psychology, racial memory consists of thoughts, feelings and inferences which are believed to be passed on from generation to generation and which influence the behavior of the individual. According to Jung racial memory is a part of the collective unconscious. Freud also believed in racial memory, but focused on a different aspect of it.

[C.G. Jung. Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice (New York, 1968)]

Bothamley, Jennifer., Ed. Dictionary of Theories. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2002: 444.


I put the theory of racism here so that people can see another definition of it. This theory is quite questionable on many accounts, because I believe that a "type" of racism was discredited, but the theory of racism continues in another form. And, of course, it might have developed as a concept since the 19th Century, but it has existed in many ways before then. A couple of examples I can readily think of is the Age of Colonialism and the Crusades (which was religious and racial in many ways).



racism Politics/Sociology Theory of the biologically determined basis of human social character. The term 'racism' is used critically of those emplyoing such theory, rather than as a term of self description.

Humans are divided into biologically distinct groups whose characteristics are passed on by inheritance. Differences in ability, taste, aptitude and culture are thus explained by race. The theory of race, which developed in the 19th century was widey discredited after its employment by the Nazi regime as justification for the mass murder of Jews, gypsies and others deemed inferior. It has been re-employed in the second half of the 20th century by some conservative and right wing thinkers.


[David Miller et al., eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought Oxford, 1987)]

Bothamley, Jennifer., Ed. Dictionary of Theories. Detroit: Visible Ink, 2002: 444.








[edit on 20-9-2006 by ceci2006]




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