The Misconceptions about White People

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posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
What disturbs me is the ease at which many black people seem to categorize white people as having more access to programs or more specifically as having such an advantage or being 'entitled' to the good things in life...My suspicion is that black people (speaking generally here for a moment) either have no clue about white poverty or discount it in some way.

People all over the world think that all white Americans are rich. TV, a medium largely controlled by whites, routinely depicts white Americans as comfortably middle-class or better.

Do you think that could be the reason "many black people seem to categorize white people as... being 'entitled' to the good things in life"?



It's almost like these people blame the white people for their station in life.


I know that wasn't supposed to be funny, but it was... in a very, very sad way.



Another aspect of this that I find interesting...

You are addressing another topic entirely now. I know you said you were covering a lot of topics, but I just wanted to point that out to everyone else. Conflating 'why everyone thinks white Americans are rich' and intra-ethnicity classism just confuses things.



is that usually when a black person becomes wealthy or famous or successful, many black people ‘disown’ them as being too white or selling out.

Clarification, and, BH, I know you didn't know this. As I was reading your quote, it occurred to me that you said "being too white." That's incorrect. Black people, please correct me, but I've always heard "acting too white." There's a difference. "Being white" is something outside your own control, ie, I knew a black girl who grew up in a place where her family was the only black one. She "was white." That was no act. OTOH, "acting white" is offensive, because it's a conscious disavowal of whoever you had been, before. I don't know if I explained that well, but I think this misunderstanding is at the root of your question.

Anyway, to respond to your quote, I've 'disowned' a few famous people, for "acting too white." It has nothing to do with wealth, like, simply having money turns you white. After all, this isn't Brazil. No, it has to do with a kinda mental lapse whereby black people who were formerly poor (and felt oppressed, whether true or not) make a little money and purposely forget being poor. Literally. Now, nobody's asking that they dwell in their past, but unlike you, BH, when they get out of whatever f'd-up situtation, they don't become advocates for the poor, or the black, or whatever. No, all of a sudden, they're friggin Republicans.

That's what pisses off the rest of us.

Conversely, there are plenty of sucessful black people who simply are themselves, and, yet, can manage to enter the larger, mainstream world, excel, and still identify with average black people.



They seem to equate wealth with white and that’s a misconception.

I think the phrase is older than we realize. If it's from the slavery, Reconstruction, or Jim Crow periods (most of our great country's history), it was accurate at the time. It might be slightly anachronistic, but it's still useful, linguistically, in that it conveys a well-understood concept.

PS, I responded to your other thread, BH, but the server must have been down bc I lost my post.
I didn't remember what I had written, but I have pieces of it on a word document. I'll get it together, promise.




posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 09:18 AM
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Strange. There are rich, famous people of all races who couldn't give a toss about where they come from and probably stepped on others to get there. Thats human. So why is it somehow more 'sociably acceptable' to call anyone who behaves this way 'white'?! Think it's in our nature or something?


[edit on 9-12-2006 by riley]



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie
People all over the world think that all white Americans are rich.


People all over the world think that Americans are rich.



I know that wasn't supposed to be funny, but it was... in a very, very sad way.


Mind telling me why that's funny?



As I was reading your quote, it occurred to me that you said "being too white." That's incorrect. Black people, please correct me, but I've always heard "acting too white." There's a difference. "Being white" is something outside your own control, ie, I knew a black girl who grew up in a place where her family was the only black one. She "was white."


This is my confusion. I can't help it I'm white? That's out of my control?

How can a black girl be white? Because she grew up around white people? What do you mean specifically when you say this black girl was white? White is a race, not a state of mind. That's the confusion here. If I grew up in a black neighborhood, I'd still be white. Or maybe by your terms, I'd be black???

I'm totally confused by this idea of "being white" and "acting white" WTF?




Anyway, to respond to your quote, I've 'disowned' a few famous people, for "acting too white."


So, because they forgot being poor (which I find hard to believe), they're now called "white" as if it's a nasty, horrible thing to be? Acting "white" seems to be used interchangeably with acting like an "ass hole". Thanks a lot.

Do you not even see the point here?

So, if a once-wealthy white person loses everything they have and becomes poverty-stricken and forgets what it was like to be rich, we can now say that they're "acting black"?




Conversely, there are plenty of sucessful black people who simply are themselves, and, yet, can manage to enter the larger, mainstream world, excel, and still identify with average black people.


By doing what?



It might be slightly anachronistic, but it's still useful, linguistically, in that it conveys a well-understood concept.


So is "tar baby". Equating white with wealth is wrong and it's an insult to many white people. But hey, if it works to convey a concept (no matter how outdated and painful) I guess it's ok to use it...

Thank you for your response and I know I'm being a little edgy, but I have an important point here and I want you to understand it. And riley makes the point beautifully. Thanks riley.



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 12:30 PM
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posted by HarlemHottie



posted by Benevolent Heretic

It's almost like black people blame the white people for their station in life.


I know that wasn't supposed to be funny, but it was . . in a very, very sad way.



“ . . when a black person becomes wealthy or famous, many black people ‘disown’ them as being too white or selling out.


Clarification . . you said "being too white." That's incorrect. I've always heard it "acting too white." There's a difference. "Being white" is something outside your own control, OTOH, "acting white" is offensive because it's a disavowal of whoever you had been. I don't know if I explained that well, but I think this misunderstanding is at the root of your question. I've 'disowned' a few famous people, for "acting too white." It has to do with a mental lapse whereby black people who were formerly poor make a little money and purposely forget being poor. Literally. Nobody's asking that they dwell in their past, but when they get out of whatever f'd-up situation, they don't become advocates for the poor, or the black. Now, all of a sudden, they're friggin’ Republicans. That's what pees off the rest of us.



They seem to equate wealth with white and that’s a misconception.

I think the phrase is older than we realize. If it's from slavery, Reconstruction, or Jim Crow periods (most of our great country's history), it was accurate at the time. [1619 to 1965] It might be slightly anachronistic today, but it's still useful, linguistically, in that it conveys a well-understood concept. [Edited by (Bowdlerized by) Don W]



The intended thrust of my postings is to arouse people out of their comfortable lethargy regarding the incalculable and continuously harmful consequences of America’s particular form of racism. Part of America's endemic racism I attribute to pure chance. And not due to some wicked all-seeing cabal in New York, Philadelphia, Washington or Charleston.

I’ve looked at recent history around America to states with differing ratios of whites to blacks. In states with less than 5% black population, there are no visible signs of racism. In states with over 5% but not over 15% the forms are more subtle. Blacks experience difficulty in renting, or in buying houses in “white” neighborhoods but not in mixed neighborhoods. Realtors and bankers are the main culprits here. Schools may be segregated, by neighborhoods which pleases the whites. Last hired, first fired may best describe employment opportunities. And an indifferent white majority population comfortable in their “unknowing.”

Then there are those states where historically black populations exceeded 15%, up to the high of 50-52% found in Mississippi. Those states practiced overt and shamefully, until 1954 and 1965, perfectly legal restraints on blacks. Not allowed to vote. Home loans were unavailable outside the designated black neighborhoods. No business loans. Not allowed to sit on juries. Frequently beaten and abused by police when in custody. Gratuitous maltreatment by the legal system. Unsympathetic white judges who enforce these very oppressive rules that were socially approved by whites, both rich and poor.

Although not so designated, the Jim Crow America of the 19th and 20th centuries must surely have been the guidebook model for South Africa’s rigid and harsh Apartheid laws adopted in the mid 1940s. And which Nelson Mandela managed to outlive! But not Steve Biko. And so many others. I do not know if SA killed more blacks than were killed in the US. The number 3,000 is generally given as the number killed in America. If anyone know the number attributed to the SA government, please post it.

It seems to be the great misfortune of America’s blacks to number about 13% of the general population, a number too large to ignore and too small to gain its proper places in the governmental structure.

Look at the US Senate today. After 1876, the end of Reconstruction in the Old South, there have been only 2 blacks elected to sit there. Barack Obama, #2, and guess who? Republican Senator Edward Brooke, of Massachusetts. 1966 to 1978. If we had racial proportional representation, there would be 13 black senators! Wow! Is race really that consequential?

In the US House, it is much closer to reflecting the reality of populations with 41 members of the Black Caucus in 2006. OTOH, again, if there was proportional representation, blacks would have 57 members. The current high number of blacks is in part due to a judicial decision permitting purpose drawn districts - gerrymandering - favoring specific minorities. A bad idea meant to achieve a good outcome. It’s a beautiful example of the American way! Address the symptom, ignore the cause. See en.wikipedia.org...

Special To B/H. I’m sorry you were ever a homeless person. There is no excuse for homelessness in America. At any given moment, there must be a half million vacant and nearly abandoned houses in the United States. Chronically unemployed persons would be happy to engage in either rehab-ing or replacing those dwellings for occupancy by the destitute. They could learn a skill, earn honorable wages, and keep themselves constructively occupied. What we call a win win case.

Failing that source of shelter, we proved in WW2, the greatest enterprise of all time, that in less than a year, we could build from scratch, Oak Ridge, Hanford and Los Alamos. Done when unemployment did not exist. We did that during a war when materials were in short supply. We housed over 100,000 people. Almost overnight. We have the technology. We have the materials . We have the available manpower. We apparently have the money because we spend money as if there was no tomorrow. $2 b. a week in Iraq, $10 b. on Katrina, and etc. And a $38 b. tax cut for the R&Fs just yesterday. Sweet Jesus! We must be awash in money!

So what is it we don’t have to give every human being born in the US of A, or residing herein, a decent place to live? That is the apathy and indifference my posts usually tackle.


Foot Note: Bowdlerize bowd?ler?ized, bowd?ler?iz?ing, bowd?ler?iz?es
1. To expurgate (a book, for example) prudishly.
2. To modify, as by shortening or simplifying or by skewing the content in a certain manner. See: www.thefreedictionary.com...



[edit on 12/9/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Acting "white" seems to be used interchangeably with acting like an "ass hole". Thanks a lot.

No, it's used interchangeably with acting superior. You're welcome.



I know I'm being a little edgy

You certainly are.

[edit on 9-12-2006 by HarlemHottie]



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 04:19 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Acting "white" seems to be used interchangeably with acting like an "ass hole". Thanks a lot.

No, it's used interchangeably with acting superior. You're welcome.


With your diplomacy despite all the drama on previous threads I didn't think you were racist. Now I do.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie
No, it's used interchangeably with acting superior.


Well, what's the difference?

And wouldn't you (and aren't you) a little pissed that people equate your race with negative stereotypes? Like white = acting superior. Should I not have feelings about this? Should I just take it because of all the terrible things I've done to black people over the years?

And maybe you didn't have time but I sure would like answers from you to the other questions I posed. Believe it or not, I really do want to understand this thing.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And wouldn't you (and aren't you) a little pissed that people equate your race with negative stereotypes?

It's one of many results of colonialism and slavery. On the scale of stereotypes, I'd say "rich" is pretty good. Much better than "criminal."

I noticed that you completely ignored the part about this actually being the fault of a few people in Hollywood, most of whom are white. Tell them to stop lying. While you're at it, please ask them to stop lying about black Americans too. If there are aliens, and they get t.v., they probably think all white Americans are rich too.

Anyway, what do you want me to do about it?


You know, I'm starting to see why other people of color don't respond to these threads. Even you, someone who is normally able to debate without getting emotional, are totally flipping out. I understand that this personally applies to you, and these thing can get heated, but when "other members" did the same exact thing (shooting the messenger), you got pissed. Please treat me with the same respect that you felt you deserved then.



And maybe you didn't have time...

No, I did write a response, and then thought better of posting it. I really don't want to get any more involved in this thread. I can see where it's going.



Believe it or not, I really do want to understand this thing.

That's not the impression I'm getting. You seemed like it at first, but once I answered, you went ape#. (I don't know if that's "allowable") This doesn't feel like a potentially productive conversation...maybe later, once you 'get it out.' I'll keep lurking, though.

Good luck with the thread, really... no hard feelings.

edit to add: Looking back, I was a little harsh here, but I didn't want to 'renege' on my post. I'm not in my most sympathetic mood right now, so it's probably best that I bow out for a bit.

[edit on 10-12-2006 by HarlemHottie]



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by HarlemHottie
On the scale of stereotypes, I'd say "rich" is pretty good. Much better than "criminal."


But "superior" isn't that much 'better'. Not in my mind anyway.



I noticed that you completely ignored the part about this actually being the fault of a few people in Hollywood, most of whom are white.


I didn't ignore this. I agree actually that the stereotype is perpetuated by them. So are the black stereotypes. I'm just asking that people (like you and me) refuse to buy it.



Anyway, what do you want me to do about it?



All I want from you is an understanding of some of the feelings you (as a black person) have. I really want to understand how a black girl can be considered white. When I have asked these questions, it's because I don't understand what you mean by what you have said and I'm asking for you to explain it to me.

That's all.



You know, I'm starting to see why other people of color don't respond to these threads. Even you, someone who is normally able to debate without getting emotional, are totally flipping out.


I don't see where I have 'flipped out' or gone ape#. I swear to you I don't see it. Yes, I have emotions around this. Don't you? Anytime race is discussed people have emotions. But I'm not disrespecting you, calling you names, making it personal, putting you down or anything like that. I'm asking questions. HARD questions, yes. But where in my posts have I 'flipped out'?



Please treat me with the same respect that you felt you deserved then.


I am.



I really don't want to get any more involved in this thread. I can see where it's going.


I'm really sorry to hear this. I thought it was going in a good direction. Maybe if you read over my posts with the idea that I'm really wanting to know instead of some flipping out, ape#, emotionally-charged person, you'll get a different view.

And if I have disrespected you, I'd really like to know where you see that. Because that was not my intent.

We're talking about white stereotypes here. The shoe's on the other foot, so to speak. I'm quite comfortable talking frankly about it. But if I have disrespected you in the process, it was totally unintentional and I apologize.



edit to add: Looking back, I was a little harsh here, but I didn't want to 'renege' on my post. I'm not in my most sympathetic mood right now, so it's probably best that I bow out for a bit.


OK. I totally understand that. Anytime you want to rejoin... I'll be here. I can't learn this stuff from white people, HH. And you seem to be the only black person with guts enough to tackle it. Nobody owes me this information. I don't 'deserve' to understand it all. I just want to.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
On the scale of stereotypes, I'd say "rich" is pretty good. Much better than "criminal."


But "superior" isn't that much 'better'. Not in my mind anyway.

It implies that all whites act superior and are therefore [yet again] racist and consider everyone else their inferior. How could we possible consider that an attack on our charactor?
American history may be riddled with white on black racism but that is no justification for stooping to the same thing in the present day.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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Poverty statistics are always grossly under-represented by government studies.

Well said, donwhite - the historical precedents underlying class divisions are totally rascist.

As far as dancing for white people: His boss probably isn't Quincy Jones.

With rascism still very much an internalized phenomena among whites, even to the point of reverse rascism taking hold as a kind of mental gymnastic expurgation of guilt, 'white toast', 'vanilla face' and 'trailer park trash' are just not as toxic as the n word. Simply because there's still a social advantage to being white.

People of color comprise the majority of the world's population, why do we call them the minority?



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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On Tuesday night, CNN's Paula Zahn is doing a show about racism, at her regular time, 8pm ET and 5pm PT. I'm not sure what, exactly, she'll be talking about, like her angle, but I'll watch it.



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 02:36 AM
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I'm calling Shananigans


A bit off topic


These days, all of America's youth have the same opputunities to excel, get a good job, higher eduaction, go to school, whatever. Yeah some students have to work a little bit harder, but don't let the little bit be a friggin' excuse for not hackin' it out in the world.

Here is the race distribution for the high school I graduated from:

Asian: 2%
Black: 89%
Hispanic: 2%
Native American: 1%
White/Other: 6%

Most of the people I graduated with are still in the same place, making minimum wage, many are doing drugs, boozin' away their lives and blaming it all on "whitey" and how the education system is made to fail blacks (I've actually been told that).

Nevermind the fact that most of the students (including me, I'm white) have been together since grade school, have had the same oppurtunities, same teachers, same social upbringing, enviorment, etc. and some of them have the nerve to tell me that they are the way they are because of the "system" and whatever success I have is because I'm white







[edit on 11/12/2006 by SportyMB]



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 10:14 PM
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Chappelle makes fun of blacks more than whites and some the stuff he says is true there is a bar or gun shop in many black neighborhoods were there not in white towns as for drugs black or white their everywhere....



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 07:55 AM
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I don't think affirmative action will help your Blacks. Affirmative action isn't helping Malaysia's Malays. It's only making us lazier and more uncompetitive....

Edit: I was responding to thoughts on affirmative action from page one of the thread.... didn't realize it's already up to page two...

[edit on 12-12-2006 by Beachcoma]



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I didn't ignore this. I agree actually that the stereotype is perpetuated by them.

Well, you didn't address it in your reply. I'm stressing the point because it just doesn't make sense to leave Hollywood out of a conversation about stereotypes and false perceptions.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I really want to understand how a black girl can be considered white.

Culturally. The same way the white boys who wear baggy pants and say "Yo" a lot are considered to be "acting black."

Did that explain it?

In my own observation, people of all colors use the two phrases in a way that suggests discomfort, like they would prefer to phrase it differently, but couldn't think of another way to convey the idea. The word 'urban' has been used differently in the past 5-10 years in an attempt to replace "(acting) black," but there isn't yet an equivalent for "acting white."


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But where in my posts have I 'flipped out'?

BH, you yourself admitted that you were "being a little edgy." If even you noticed it, how did you expect me to react?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Maybe if you read over my posts with the idea that I'm really wanting to know instead of some flipping out, ape#, emotionally-charged person, you'll get a different view.

I did and maybe 'ape#' was exaggerating, but you definitely weren't being your normal, thoughtful self.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm quite comfortable talking frankly about it.

As well you should be. These conversations about race are always a bit one-sided, don't you think?





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