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

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posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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Why do you think missionaries were so important?


IMO Missionaries are some of the worst breed of folk you can find.
I know that will upset....REALLY upset alot of folk, but you asked and it's
my opinion of them and hear me out. I don't think the folks themselves
are necessarily bad, just there reasoning for missioning in the first place.

The premise of missioning is to better a group of peoples that the missionary
believes, needs to be bettered. IMO it's nothing more than making oneself
feel better about themselves in the guise of bettering someone else. It's a gross
disservice and injustice to mission. It reaks of arrogance, pomposity and pride.

I've read somewhere where pride is a big no no to one of the largest groups
missioning right now.




posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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posted by nextguyinline

IMO Missionaries are some of the worst breed of folk you can find. it’s my opinion and hear me out. I don't think the folks themselves are necessarily bad, it’s just their reason for missioning in the first place. IMO it's nothing more than making oneself feel better about themselves. It reeks of arrogance, pomposity and pride. : [Edited by Don W]


Missionaries stole Hawaii. Missionaries attempted to destroy the culture of Native Americans. Missionaries stole the silk worm from China. Missionaries stole the secret of Madeira cotton printing from India. Missionaries spread syphilis and other undesirable diseases amongst the natives the claimed to be serving. And etc. Offhand, I cannot think of any good thing missionaries have done. Hmm?



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 03:57 PM
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I agree that we can't hold on to the past. But I think the trend is not on slavery anymore. I think it's better to find closure in dealing with the racial animus that happened during the 20th century, especially after 1940. No sense of bringing up centuries and centuries of racism before that time. People are desensitized toward earlier eras.

It's time to deal with the recent past and the present day. Those are times which are both representative of the modern aspects of racism against people of color.

Closer to the Civil Rights era, it is harder not to argue that one or one's relatives have not willingly aided and abetted the system of segregation. In fact, it was a system that a lot of people participated in, some almost willingly. But when arguing about equality, these very same people try to put the recent past out of their minds as "nothing".

Unfortunately, the scars are still there from those eras. There are people who are still living that have had racial violence occur against them during that time. And living victims of this animus still talk of the prejudices they have had to endure in order to have dignity and purpose in their lives within that era. When thinking about racism and its modern construct, this is not living in the past; it is telling others of their experiences so no one else will ever have to endure the same treatment again.

Some of those participating in the violence to preserve Jim Crow are still alive and living without prosecution. Their ideas are still influencing people today. Some have become our Representatives and Senators in Congress. So, there isn't any closure for people still living who have been terrorized and intimidated by these segregationist and civil rights-era individuals.

But I always wonder if people will ever understand the depth of racism and violence that occurred during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. That time is more visceral and real to than slavery is. Instead, it comes to acknowledging that these things during the modern era occurred.

But people won't even give a simple apology for what has happened. And that is what makes me sad.

That is why I thank people like don white for reminding us that this history should be remembered and pondered upon, especially between the 1940's to the modern day. Understanding it is the pathway to creating a better society based on justice.



[edit on 10-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I agree that we can't hold on to the past.


Just the recent past, which we are still just as hopeless to change.



I think it's better to find closure in dealing with the racial animus that happened during the 20th century, especially after 1940.


How do you propose you get this closure?



Those are times which are both representative of the modern aspects of racism against people of color.


If it is only the racism "against people of color" that you are interested in solving, then I'm not sure how many people will jump in to help out. To me, unless you're committed to solving racism against ALL people, then you're not really serious about solving it.



Closer to the Civil Rights era, it is harder not to argue that one or one's relatives have not willingly aided and abetted the system of segregation. In fact, it was a system that a lot of people participated in, some almost willingly.


I am just as helpless to change the past of 40 - 60 years ago as I am to change what happened 200 years ago or yesterday. And I am just as exempt from my parents' actions as I am of my time-distant ancestors.

The past is the past. Yes, we can learn from it. It's important. Nobody wants to put it out of their minds as "nothing", it's just that there's nothing that we can do about it now.



But when arguing about equality, these very same people try to put the recent past out of their minds as "nothing".


They do? I haven't seen this. There's a difference between calling the past "nothing" and realizing that nothing can be done to change it. Ya know?



Unfortunately, the scars are still there from those eras. There are people who are still living that have had racial violence occur against them.


And what would you have us do about this? That's a real question. I'm curious.



But people won't even give a simple apology for what has happened. And that is what makes me sad.


Who do you think should apologize? White people? Me? And to whom would I apoligize? You?

I have always wondered what you want in these racial discussions. Specifically. And I see you have yet to answer my question about what you've given up...



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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Ceci, it is obvious this touches you on a deep personal level and I applaud you for your efforts.

I feel sorrowful that these things have happened, because I am human, and knowing
others suffer, makes me suffer; so allow me to say I'm sorry, but it's obvious IMO that you are young black woman and what you really are wanting to discuss is white descrimination against black folk, not racism in general. Which is fine, and I'm open for trying to help ease your sadness. So if I'm right please acknowledge it and lets discuss it openly.

Some things to keep in mind are:
- everyone is discriminated against at one time or another, for one reason or another so we all know what a belittling, emasculating and vacant feeling that leaves one with.
- we should all be aware that others are subject to this more often and more severely.

Most of us are on your side.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
But people won't even give a simple apology for what has happened. And that is what makes me sad.


Yes I also would like to know who should apologize and to whom? Making one segment of the population who may have had nothing to do with any past civil rights violations apologize will only further increase animosity.

[edit on 10-8-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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It seems once again my goals are being questioned. So, I'll just have to repeat myself again.

I do want race-relations to be better for everyone. But you all are wrong if this thread is only to discuss White on Black Racism.

(I don't know how you got that idea anyway since I started out with Immigration and the crisis in the Middle East.)


This thread has two goals:

1)To better race-relations

2)To solve racism.

Nothing more. There's no axe to grind. No one is to blame. No hidden agenda.

I would like to know what people would do. That's all.

However, my contribution is to discuss what happened during the Civil Rights era since it is nearer to our time frame. We shouldn't sweep it under the rug, or just pretend that it ended with "equality" for all. Seriously, we all know that things are still not fair.

So, it is an event in time that people cannot pretend didn't happen or dismiss, like slavery. And it's true. Some of the people who did unspeakable violence and intimidation during the Jim Crow era are still alive. They know people and are related to someone.

The knowledge of this brings no animosity, but a recognition that it happened. People would have notice that victims of racial animus suffered horribly. How hard is it for people to do even that? Very.

How much harder is it for anyone to care? Incredibly.

And when even people who had not participated in these acts refuse to acknowledge or show empathy for what had happened, it is very sad because of the self-centeredness involved.



[edit on 10-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 06:53 PM
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posted by Benevolent Heretic

“ . . to say "We whites" as if we all think with one mind and move with one purpose is, in itself, a race-orientated statement. [Edited by Don W]


I believe racism is pervasive in America. It is too hard to discuss that issue without making what others may see at first as ‘race-oriented’ statements. I hope closer review will bring support for my thesis.



But living today because of what happened in the past is what's keeping racism alive, IMO. Imagine if we all waked up one day completely ignorant of past racial sins committed by people we don't even know. We wouldn't be carrying around anger or guilt about what people did a long time ago. [Edited by Don W]


I think the beneficiaries - say inheritors - of the sins of the past need to be constantly reminded of their “guilt by association” such as what in another venue is called “original sin.” The sins of the father are visited on the sons to the fourth generation. I think that is a quote.

I think ‘racism’ manifests itself in the general population today most frequently by misunderstanding the impact cultural deprivation over a long period has on the people of the present. On both sides of the divide. No overt action is needed by any contemporary actor to perpetuate the racial climate’s inequities. For example, consider networking.

Many white people in good labor unions - well, that is arguable too, but lets save that for another thread - like union plumbers or other skilled crafts use networking for jobs. Government inspections mandate their performance must meet specific standards an untrained person is unlikely to know. it is now unlawful to deny an African American membership in such a union.

OTOH, current job practices put the lead plumber on a large job into the role of foreman who can pick and choose who works with him. The legal requirement is selection is on a non-discriminatory basis. The union requirement is to give preference to seniority when choosing between equally qualified men. 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.

Perhaps we will finally go to a random selecting program on a computer to pick and choose anytime a few have to be chosen from many who are qualified. Then providing those who have been chosen are ineligible until everyone gets a turn. Hmm?

This same criticism applies equally to college tenure, law firm partnerships and so on. If we can’t be assured it is done on a race-neutral basis, then the system must be replaced with a computer driven random selection process. Maybe we can sunset those laws to expire in 2099.



[edit on 8/10/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I don't know how you got that idea anyway ...


We get that idea from the things you say:


Originally posted by ceci2006
Do you think that people would be building a wall to keep out White immigrants?



Originally posted by ceci2006
It's time to deal with the recent past and the present day. Those are times which are both representative of the modern aspects of racism against people of color.


It's clear that your concern is about racism by whites against people of color. Dare I suggest that you sweep racism against whites under the rug?




However, my contribution is to discuss what happened during the Civil Rights era since it is nearer to our time frame.


Then discuss it please. I'd love to hear what you have to say.



We shouldn't sweep it under the rug, or just pretend that it ended with "equality" for all. Seriously, we all know that things are still not fair.


I don't think anyone is sweeping anything under the rug. I'm just saying we can't change it and we can't do anything to make it right. Especially as far as you seem to be concerned. BUT... That doesn't equate to denial in any way. No one is pretending it didn't happen or dismissing it. OR slavery. Nobody is doing what you accuse them of as far as I can see.



The knowledge of this brings no animosity, but a recognition that it happened. People would have notice that victims of racial animus suffered horribly. How hard is it for people to do even that? Very.

How much harder is it for anyone to care? Incredibly.


I disagree. People DO recognize these things happened and people DO care! I think it's an insult to accuse people of being self-centered and non-empathetic because we don't hold onto it and feel guilty about something we didn't do. Because we don't walk around apologizing to black people for something we had no control over or knowledge of. I don't apologize to Jews either for what happened to them in the past. I was no more part of that than I was of slavery ownership.

I honestly think you're misinterpreting what some of us are saying. We're saying, "What do you want us to do"? and you're answering with "You can't just sweep it under the rug." Well, ok, but what SHOULD we do?


Originally posted by ceci2006
However, questions are always welcomed.


Not, however always answered.


nextguyinline- What a wonderful post!

donwhite - Not a problem.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
I think the beneficiaries - say inheritors - of the sins of the past need to be constantly reminded of their “guilt by association” such as what in another venue is called “original sin.” The sins of the father are visited on the sons to the fourth generation. I think that is a quote.

To what end, donwhite? To effect change? I guarantee you that it will have the opposite effect.

And your understanding of the terms "the sins of the father" and "original sin" are incorrect. And most people soundly reject the "guilt by association" notion, because it also does not apply; you have an incorrect understanding of that term also. If guilt by association were accepted, then a mother should be held responsible for the deeds of her law-breaking son, correct? No matter what the color of her skin.


OTOH, current job practices put the lead plumber on a large job into the role of foreman who can pick and choose who works with him.

No, this is the role of the job foreman or general contractor.


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.

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.


This same criticism applies equally to college tenure, law firm partnerships and so on. If we can’t be assured it is done on a race-neutral basis, then the system must be replaced with a computer driven random selection process. Maybe we can sunset those laws to expire in 2099.

College tenure is very color-blind. So are most professional fields. I know black lawyers, doctors, engineers, and agents, and I can tell you, they are not discriminated against because of the color of their skin.

A computer-generated list of job recipients is a lottery.
Whatever happened to the rewards of individual effort and achievement? Any other force-fed criteria is arbitrary and fosters mediocrity.

You mentioned the percentage of black men in prison, and implied that it was somehow tied into racism. Are you as concerned about the percentage of unwed black mothers? In some cities, Philadelphia, for example, that rate is currently 80%. Eighty percent! That signals a much deeper problem, one that is very serious, imo, and one where concerned people should apply their efforts to resolving.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
I think the beneficiaries - say inheritors - of the sins of the past need to be constantly reminded of their “guilt by association” such as what in another venue is called “original sin.”


I don't benefit from the 'sins' of my ancestors and therefore am not a beneficiary. I do not inherit the 'sins' of my ancestors any more than they inherit my sins. And I am not guilty by association of the color of my skin or the blood in my veins.

To imply that I'm somehow guilty of slavery because I'm white (which, if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, is what you're doing) is just silly to me. I hold no responsibility for what happened before I was born!

None of that makes a bit of sense to me. I think it's terrible that people were enslaved. I can't imagine how that was for them. But for me to apologize would be an empty gesture. How can I be sorry for something I didn't do? I'm sorry it happened, certainly. That goes without saying. I don't like to see anyone suffer.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 01:06 AM
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BH, I will try to answer your questions. I don't ever want to leave you hanging.


Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
It's clear that your concern is about racism by whites against people of color.


No it isn't.You are misconstruing my words. I explained this already many times. I posted my goals twice now. I do want to see race relations get better. And I would like to hear some practical solutions by everyone to solve racism.



Dare I suggest that you sweep racism against whites under the rug?


No. Just because I highlight something about white immigrants doesn't mean racism against whites. However, I did that to make people notice that the treatment is different between various races of immigrants, historically and legally. It's amazing which immigrants had quotas against them and which didn't.

I also mentioned other types of immigrants in my post.

Above all, I was talking about immigration during the 19th and 20th century.



I don't think anyone is sweeping anything under the rug. I'm just saying we can't change it and we can't do anything to make it right. Especially as far as you seem to be concerned. BUT... That doesn't equate to denial in any way. No one is pretending it didn't happen or dismissing it. OR slavery. Nobody is doing what you accuse them of as far as I can see.


It's all right that you don't see this denial taking place. But, it's not the big things like the really heinous acts of racism committed. People tend to ignore the smaller things. And I think that has to do with cultural experience. People see things differently. What may not be offensive to you, might be offensive to another.

The difference is that there are some people in the world that have the sensitivity to know what is offensive to others. They don't make jokes about it. They don't laugh about it. They don't brush it off. They acknowledge it.

But, of course,it is apathetic when you say you can't do anything to make it right. You can make a difference by being understanding of other people and their experiences.

But you're right. Most people won't do anything because they share that same apathy to care about the plight of others.



I disagree. People DO recognize these things happened and people DO care! I think it's an insult to accuse people of being self-centered and non-empathetic because we don't hold onto it and feel guilty about something we didn't do.


I don't see it as an insult. There are a lot people in America who are not as enlightened as you are about the issue of race-relations. And some make it a point to show that they don't care in their manner and their speech. Anything flies out of their mouth. They don't consider what they say is even hurtful because they are desensitized to the plight of others.

I used to be hurt over this. But now, I'm not anymore. There are just some people who don't give a damn. And they don't mince words to tell you so. Nothing will convince them to have empathy.

And then, as they laugh at you and demonstrate that your experiences don't matter, they tell you all in one breath that they don't want to pay reparations, they are tired of others "screaming about race" and that you're causing "reverse racism". If I had to count how many people have screamed at me about these three things, I would have been a billonaire right now.

Effectively, people like that demonstrate they don't care if they stereotype Blacks as wanting "handouts", "screaming about race" or "blaming others that they are racist". It has even happened in this thread.

You'd be pulling out your hair if this happened to you over and over.



Because we don't walk around apologizing to black people for something we had no control over or knowledge of. I don't apologize to Jews either for what happened to them in the past. I was no more part of that than I was of slavery ownership.


Of course, not. Neither was I. But I know about the history of the Holocaust and slavery. And I am sensitive to the suffering of the past. I also ask questions and make observances. And I know enough that I would not want anyone to suffer that way again. Because of that, I work toward trying to help in any way I can to get people to deal with each other.

That's different than pinning this on whether you did it or not. In the scheme of things, who cares?

And, this thread is something that I can do to get people to talk about making society better than being afraid and throwing out stereotypes about other people. Also, I am tired of the tension and anger that occurs when there are discussions of race. It's best to have an outlet for people to ask questions and make observances.



I honestly think you're misinterpreting what some of us are saying. We're saying, "What do you want us to do"? and you're answering with "You can't just sweep it under the rug." Well, ok, but what SHOULD we do?


You can think what you want. I simply want to talk this out by sharing observances and opinions. And like yours, mine should be counted too.



I have always wondered what you want in these racial discussions.

I've told you many times what I wanted. I would like to see people get along. And I would also like people be more thoughtful of others. I am trying to be the student here while making contributions here and there.

I am not perfect. I know I haven't been thoughtful of others. But I've tried to the best of my ability. I am not the authority on race relations or racism. But I'd like to contribute what I can just as you are. But when I contribute something like this, it is always a crap shoot. That is neither here or there, however.

I would like to learn what others have to say. This time, I am being laissez faire in approach. I am letting others talk. That is why I am not answering as extensively as I did in the past. I am trying to listen.


Specifically. And I see you have yet to answer my question about what you've given up...


The funny thing is I never said that I've given up anything. I was talking about the example of assimilation. The habits of the missionaries was given as an example.

Missionaries and other opinion leaders in society dictate that there is one "right" way to act. They especially make this point known among minority populations. People of color have always been told that their culture and social practices are wrong. And then, forceful measures are taken (in the past, beatings and torture; in the present social ridicule and isolation) to give up our culture in order to be more acceptable to the dominant culture.

You might not do this, but a lot of people do. They say this in their manner and speech that they think your heritage and your culture doesn't matter. They do this by making fun of it and laughing about it. Then, the only way to get these people to listen is to forget your past and adopt theirs.

Or else, you get what HH and myself has gotten when we told you both that we wanted to be accepted for who we are: we get called racists.

By the very accusation of racism, it is subtly convincing others like us that our culture is not okay. In order to be fully accepted in society, we have to be more like the dominant culture--lest we want to promote "divisiveness."

I hope that answers your questions.








[edit on 11-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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nextguyinline,

Thank you for your sensitivity in acknowledging the suffering that went on during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. Yes, I am a Black woman. And yes, these events are important to me. But no, I truly don't want this to be a discussion solely based on Black-White relations. This thread is for everyone. And I want it to be inclusive of everyone's thoughts.

Not everyone has to agree with me. I don't expect them to. But, I meant what I said about contributing my part to the discussion. I feel that some of the problems we have today stem back from the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era.

It's useless to describe slavery because the first thing that comes out of everyone else's mouth is, "You want a handout. You want reparations". As derogatory as that is, I think that we would do best to modernize the impact and meaning of race-relations by focusing it on the plight of immigration and the struggles that have happened since the 1940's.

It is also helpful to note the orgins (like it is being done in the "Why do people hate the Jews?" thread) of racism as a way to guide us in this modern interpretation of how we deal with each other.

But, no, I don't solely want it to be a place where my contributions are mistaken for victimization or complaining. I want my contributions to be treated the same as other people's comments. Nothing more.

I appreciate your candor and contributions. Keep them coming. We need more sensitive people like you to express your feelings and try to help get the healing started. Maybe you have some suggestions to get rid of the tension? I would love to hear them.

Take care,

Ceci




[edit on 11-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 02:20 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
As for the neighbors? Who do you think were the ones beating me up? I really had no positive interactions with minorities until freshman year of high school. Also, growing up I had to see past the racism of my parents.

First off, let me just apologize for taking so long to respond to some of the stuff you said. I can't possibly post everyday, so I have to play catch up.

Now, to what I quoted, I want to say, wow, that sucks. Seriously. So, let me get all this straight, since I had it so wrong in the first place. Answer yes or no (if you don't mind me prying into your life :lol
. You're white? You lived around minorities? But you went to private school, so they didn't know you? And your parents are/were racist? Just for clarification, cuz I don't totally get it.


Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
It's funny that you automatically singled this [reparations] out to "black Americans." Where in my posts have I singled out any race?

I recognize the Southern Strategy when I see it.


Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
Now, as for a way to deal with racism?...One thing that continues though are the reparations, the special colleges, funds, etc that cater only to one or a group of minorities. Now, if there was a college that only admitted white people it would be deemed racist, while colleges such as Morehouse are not...

As far as I know, and I checked, no other current minority group has colleges. There's no one else for you to be talking about. See here. And, uh, you actually mentioned Morehouse by name.



Get rid of any form of reparations, affirmitive action, welfare, etc .

I googled those three words/phrases together and everyone who had used them was referring to black Americans.

I hope I don't get in trouble for excessive quoting, but I just needed to illustrate the point to those who don't have the patience to read, and re-read, the entire thread. cmd, you used every catch-phrase that always means black Americans except bussing which, I guess, would be a little out of date.



But you ignored my question of what if there was a university that accepted predominantly whites? Would that still be racist?

The Ivies?
Sorry, I didn't think you really expected an answer.


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
Unfortunately, I fear that once all the protections (or, as you called them, "special treatments") have been lifted, white people will lose incentive to 'play fair,' which is why the protections were needed in the first place. The way I see it, and I could be wrong, white people no longer have any NEED for blacks.


Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
So all white people are evil and will just take advantage of the minorities? I need to let you know that I take offense to that racist statement.

Have you missed the last 500 years? Just catch up on the last 50, then.

(*sigh...*)

The Civil Rights Movement as, we know it, began because blacks had been discriminated against. It wasn't from boredom, it was because their fellow countrymen were mistreating them. Some people in our goverment agreed and decided to enforce justice, since Americans couldn't manage to play fair. That's why minorities need those protections.


Originally posted by HarlemHottie
...honestly, I don't want to assimiliate. I want to be accepted for who I am.


Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
And that there, folks, is the attitude that keeps racism alive today! (My emboldening)

Wow. How did you get something negative from that? It's sad you feel that way. I am quite happy with myself.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
IMO, many blacks - perhaps most - have given up on the race issue. They have made their peace, their accommodation to the American reality. Better to go along to get along. Why get heart-burn two ways when you are helpless to stop injustice?


You are so right. And what an excellent turn of phrase, "their accomodation to the American reality."
I may have to borrow it, but I'll be sure to give you the credit.

To be successful and black in the United States requires a lot of willpower. One really has to hone the willingness to let those little off-the-cuff racist comments/slights/representations slide.

Before anyone asks, I'll give an example, a small, almost insignificant affront. Today, I saw the commercial for a certain multinational carbonated beverage company. There were two boys, one black, one white. Their thoughtfulness pleased me, although I would have been just as happy if the line-up had included a white boy and a hispanic boy. The point for me is diversity, not blackness. However, as the commercial progressed, I realized the black boy didn't have a single line. That disturbed me because, knowing a little about the entertainment industry, I know he was paid less for the commercial. I doubt it was based on skill because there were only, like, two lines. Once, just once, I would like to see it work out the other way. And rappers don't count, because they're enlisted for the specific purpose of lending their celebrity to the product. I mean, out of two anonymous people.

Now, all of these thoughts occurred to me almost simultaneously. I say that to demonstrate that race is at the forefront of my mind, and I'm actually pretty discerning about what I call "racist."

To a few of the other posters, I just want to defend Ceci a little bit, not that she can't handle that herself. She is not an anomaly. She's honest. A lot of black people, like donwhite said, have decided to go along to get along. Ceci stands out in that she has not. She may seem shrill and unrelenting, but she does, in fact, represent a sizable portion of the black community's opinions on racism. It's always difficult to be the lone voice, especially on ATS.

So, if I may, I would like to gently encourage people to hear her out. Disagree (of course, this is PTS!, and who am i, anyway?), but hear her out. Even if the stuff she says is completely off the wall, crazy, you don't even understand how anyone could think that- just read it, and process it. Remember, it takes all kinds in this world, and even if it sounds crazy, you very likely know someone who thinks the same way she does. Feel free to ask her why on earth she would think such a thing, I'm sure she would answer, but don't just dismiss her out of hand.

And, Grady, thank you for clearing that up way back on page 2.
btw, hi BH!



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And I would like to hear some practical solutions by everyone to solve racism.


Fair enough. I answered this in my first post. Do you have any practical solutions? I'd like to hear yours, too.



The difference is that there are some people in the world that have the sensitivity to know what is offensive to others. ... They acknowledge it.


I agree. Some people are more sympathetic, empathetic, sensitive than others. And some are apathetic. You apparently think people should be more sympathetic. I accept that all people aren't. Just as people have different personalities, wants, needs, religions, beliefs and levels of understanding, they also have different capacities for sympathy and compassion. Some simply don't give a crap about others' feelings. And that's ok with me because that's who they are. I truly accept this diversity, just as I accept people of different nationality, race, gender and lifestyle.



Effectively, people like that demonstrate they don't care if they stereotype Blacks as wanting "handouts", "screaming about race" or "blaming others that they are racist". It has even happened in this thread.

You'd be pulling out your hair if this happened to you over and over.


No I wouldn't! Because it has happened and it DOES happen! That's one point I'm trying to get across to you. It's not about race in my life, but about other things. I'm a woman for one thing and there are things you don't know about me that cause me to experience the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that you experience.

Yes, it's awful and it sucks, but to fight against the way people are or to think that they should behave differently is just a major frustration! Demanding that other people be different so I can be comfortable is just self-centered and self-important. I rather accept that people are the way they are and ask myself what I can do to make the world a better place.

One thing I can do is give them reason to question their preconceived ideas. The fact that people consistantly question your motives or accuse you of wanting a handout or screaming about race should make you question your strategy in these threads, I would think. If people are getting the same idea then maybe it's your approach. Because without page after page of difficult discussion with you I would (and did) think the same thing. And I'm not sure I've changed my mind. I'm just really trying to have an open mind here.

Just entertain the possibility that the reason people accuse you of wanting "handouts", "screaming about race" or "blaming others that they are racist" over and over is because that's exactly how you're coming across. Granted, that may not be your intention, but it can't all be them. If it happens time after time with different people who are really trying to listen and care enough to be involved in the threads, then perhaps you need to rethink the manner in which you discuss this subject.

You don't have to change your approach, but if you want different results, you might consider it. I always ask myself, "What do I want? Do I want certain results or do I want to be right"? Because you can continue the way you are and blame people and attribute their misunderstanding on the fact that they don't "get it" because they're white and unsympathetic, or you can talk to them in a way that they will understand. Or you can simply show them who you are without regard to race and shatter their stereotypes.

It's not a matter of you being "right" or "wrong" in your approach, it's that your approach doesn't seem to be effective in getting your real point and true intention across. I think you have an important message, but it's getting lost in the process.



And I am sensitive to the suffering of the past. I also ask questions and make observances. And I know enough that I would not want anyone to suffer that way again. Because of that, I work toward trying to help in any way I can to get people to deal with each other.


I understand that's how YOU are and what's important to YOU. Many people share your concern. I also accept and acknowledge that not everyone has the same priorities, and that doesn't make them bad people or wrong. Expecting something different from them only leads to frustration. You can't pull sympathy out of people. It's something they have to freely give when inspired to do so, not "preached" into it.

But I'm convinced that you can inspire people, ceci! You have the passion! Your methods need some tweaking, is all. My concern is that your current methods turn people away instead of what you really want to do.



Missionaries and other opinion leaders in society dictate that there is one "right" way to act.


Yeah, and isn't that a pain in the ass?



People of color have always been told that their culture and social practices are wrong.


And so have non-religious people and so have Jews and so have women and so have wiccans and so have hippies and so have just about every group you can name. People of color have a special plight, no doubt, but what I try to get across here is that EVERYONE has a special plight. The more you try to separate "people of color" as having a more special plight than everyone else, the more people are likely to make the accusations stated earlier or turn away from your cause altogether. That's just the way people are.



They say this in their manner and speech that they think your heritage and your culture doesn't matter. They do this by making fun of it and laughing about it. Then, the only way to get these people to listen is to forget your past and adopt theirs.


I think this is another misunderstanding. The truth is that I don't care about your heritage and your culture. But I don't care about mine either. What's important to me is our present and to a lesser extent, our future. Because that's the only thing I have any control over. That doesn't mean I'm cold or hard or apathetic, I just have my opinions about what's important.

I care about you as a person, not the color of your skin or the suffering of your ancestors. I mean it was a bad thing for sure, but it's past. I don't want to have to respect you because of your skin color. I want to feel inspired to respect you because of who you are as a person.

I don't want to have to think of you as a BLACK woman person. I want to think of your personhood first. Then your womanhood, your ability to love, your goals, your life, WHO YOU ARE. I don't want being black to be my experience of you. Not because I'm sweeping it under the rug. It's just not important to me. It simply doesn't matter that you're black. Why should it? I don't care how tall you are either.

I know, however, that being black IS important to you, much as being a woman is important to me. So, I continue to engage you about it. Not because I'm a jerk, but because I do care. But as it is, when I think of Ceci, I think militant black and I hate that. Not because there's anything wrong with it, but because it really has so little to do with the person that you are. And I'd much rather know YOU apart from that. I hardly know anything else about you.




In order to be fully accepted in society, we have to be more like the dominant culture--lest we want to promote "divisiveness."


In my book, that is called an "unworkable position". It's contains some truth, but as long as you hold that as your stance on things, you won't get what you want. As long as you hold that up as fully true, it will stand between you and what you say you want. The only way to get past it is to release it as your official stance and move on. You can choose to stop believing that if you want. You can put it aside. Because while there is some truth to it, it also contains some untruth. And as long as you keep telling yourself that it's fully true, you're not going to get the results you say you want.

I don't know if you understood what I just said, but I thought I'd give it a shot.


Hey, HH.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 07:35 PM
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Maybe you have some suggestions to get rid of the tension? I would love to hear them.


I used to think alot about it. Especially in anticipation of having children some day.

My earliest memory of noticing a difference in people not my race, was pre-preschool. Me and my sister spent our days in some kind of day-care school. I remember two boys who also attended, and they were black kids. I had an argument with the older of the two because he kept saying he was black and I kept arguing that he was brown not black.
Of course I didn't realise what he wastalking about, I was taking it literally. In the end we forgot what we were arguing about and went back to building our fort wall with those huge paper bricks. Remember them?


My mother told me once when I was really little, like 3 or 4 I asked her why a man
in the store didn't wash 'cuz he was dirty. I think she said it was a black man, but I
don't remember. It could have been anyone of darker complexion. She said she
did her best to explain to me in terms I could understand. I was just too young to
remember any of it.

When I was 12 or so, we were on vacation visiting the Amana Colonies in Iowa.
On the way home we stopped in a town we always do when headed back from
that direction to have lunch. Anyways, I went next door to buy a rubber-band gun
or something and was standing in line. In front of me were probably 7-10 people, if
my memory serves me. Directly in front of me was a black couple. This dumb bitch
who was in front of them, got out of line, grabbed my arm and pulled me in front
of the couple. I was appalled even at 12 or so, 'cuz I knew exactly why she had
done that. I ran out of the store back to my parents in the restaurant.

Anyways, my point is that as parents my folks didn't speak any ill-will towards
anyone about anything in front of me or my siblings. I was allowed to experience
life and come to my own conclusions, about many things. Different peoples was
one of them. Fortunately I came to most of the right ones.

As a possible future parent, I intend to (and this is to directly answer the question
you posed to me) periodically take my children to the parks and swing sets and play areas, in the parts of town, that are predominantly not my race.
To enroll them in sports and activities that have a variety of children participating.
I also intend to lobby the school system for extra-curricular activities and events specificaly designed to get children interacting with children of other ethnicities.
(if I was as big a man as I contend to be I would be doing that now, but alas I am not) These are just a couple things but they are IMO very important for starting a child off right, to makeing his/her own conclusions. When I hear some of the crap that comes from peoples mouths I am able to say to myself. "I'm sorry, but in my experience your wrong, and I know otherwise". And that is what I would love
to instill in my children.


I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.
Teach them all the beauty they posess inside.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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Very nice post, nextguyinline.
I think your kids are going to be just fine with a parental attitude like that.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:53 PM
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posted by HarlemHottie

[DonW] You are so right. And what an excellent turn of phrase, "their accommodation to the American reality." I may have to borrow it, but I'll be sure to give you the credit. To be successful and black in the United States requires a lot of willpower. One really has to hone the willingness to let those little off-the-cuff racist comments slights r presentations slide.


Currently there are 2 especially atrocious ads on tv. One has a black man commenting on the questions of a white woman. That's ok, but when you see and hear the "black face" type responses, it is oh so racist! Pure and simple. I think it is a GEICO ad. Right now I'm forgetting the other one. Back to you later if I remember before ATS shuts off my edit privilege.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
Fair enough. I answered this in my first post. Do you have any practical solutions? I'd like to hear yours, too.


With all due respect, but I think you missed my post on the last page about diversity. I contributed my thoughts on that post.



Just entertain the possibility that the reason people accuse you of wanting "handouts", "screaming about race" or "blaming others that they are racist" over and over is because that's exactly how you're coming across.


I know that you might perceive me that way, but that is not the way I am coming across. It is not my problem that people continue to spew their stereotypes. The people who say these things are programmed by others who sponsor and perpetuate their own bias.

I find it sad and offensive that whenever people accuse me of this that they think it's my problem. It's not my problem to point these things out. It's the problem of the receiver of the information to process what I've said and make some sense of it. But chalk this up to cultural experiences as well.


It's not a matter of you being "right" or "wrong" in your approach, it's that your approach doesn't seem to be effective in getting your real point and true intention across. I think you have an important message, but it's getting lost in the process.


Thank you for saying so, but the reason why my message is getting lost in the process is because people refuse to be culturally sensitive enough to understand it.

I am not forcing people to be sensitive. In the scheme of things I know that I could never convince people to change their mind. But I also believe in reason and open-mindedness to entertain these ideas.

And some people are not open-minded enough.

Nevertheless, it is offensive to take my comments and put them under the microscope.

It flies in the face of this equality that everyone seems to purport around here.


You can't pull sympathy out of people. It's something they have to freely give when inspired to do so, not "preached" into it.


By all due respect, I am not trying to. I am merely expressing my opinion. I don't know how many times I've got to repeat this. But, I will keep on doing it since there is a cultural barrier in understanding what I've been trying to say.


But I'm convinced that you can inspire people, ceci! You have the passion! Your methods need some tweaking, is all. My concern is that your current methods turn people away instead of what you really want to do.


Thank you very much for your reply, but I doubt my comments turn people way. There are many people who respond to me regardless of what you think. But I'm beginning to understand that this is more or less a power issue here. And that power issue is the problem that those beholden to privilege have to deal with. Not me.




In my book, that is called an "unworkable position". It's contains some truth, but as long as you hold that as your stance on things, you won't get what you want. As long as you hold that up as fully true, it will stand between you and what you say you want. The only way to get past it is to release it as your official stance and move on. You can choose to stop believing that if you want. You can put it aside. Because while there is some truth to it, it also contains some untruth. And as long as you keep telling yourself that it's fully true, you're not going to get the results you say you want.


I am glad that you see me as a person and not a color. Believe me, I see you in the same way. I know you don't believe me, but I really do. In fact, race is really not a factor to me, despite what is discussed here. I love people, I really do.

However, what you propose is not an "unworkable position". It is really "workable". It just requires people to shift their thinking and truly accept diversity as it is.

But separating people of color by whether they subscribe to the dominant culture has nothing to do with what I or others believe as true. It happens. And it occurred all through history to the present day. This type of blatant bias hinges upon whether people recognize it or not.

But let me put this on the record: this topic is not about me. I didn't make this issue about me and I am not purporting it as such.

But, sigh, I'll just have repeat myself again and again.




[edit on 11-8-2006 by ceci2006]




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