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The Two Sides of Race-Relations

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posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 02:06 AM
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Since dealing with "Successful Black Prejudice", I noticed a trend developing in the discussions of race-relations on the board. Whenever these conversations come about, there is a sense of not understanding completely how one race views this subject matter in comparison to another race. In fact, sometimes key points (when discussing certain topics in this area) are either knowingly emitted or are glossed over.

It is rather surprising because one would think that people would notice the same things about race because of well-publicized happenings that have occurred in the MSM. But even there, the two different sides of race continue to be promoted because conflict makes good ratings.

However, the outcome of the Duke Rape Case and the OJ Trial (as well as the shooting of Sean Bell) point to a serious division of how race is played out in this country--especially how different races discussed the outcome.

Is it about different experiences? Or is it about prejudice?


I am curious about five things, if you all could answer them for me:

1)Do you (or do you not) see that people view race differently in America?

2)Do you think insitutional racism happens in the United States?

3)Do you think that there is a middle ground for people of all backgrounds to discuss race?

4)In a discussions about race-relations, who do you believe the most by race?

5)Is it easier to talk about class instead of race? Why/Why not is this so?



I hope that this talk can be civil, because I believe that there are a lot of insights that could be shared from one another about this aspect of race-relations. I would most certainly hope that each comment is taken with respect and dignity. Most of all, we can discuss this with a common goal of making each other understand some of the more murkier areas of this subject matter.


[edit on 4-2-2007 by ceci2006]




posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 08:02 AM
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This comes from a chapter about concerning some of the intergroup dynamics that happen when discussing race.



Talking Race and Racism

It has become more fashionable, and at times profitable, for white folks in academic environments to think and write about race. It is as though the very act of thinking about the nature of race and racism is still seen as "dirty" work best suited for black folks and other people of color or a form of privileged "acting out" for anti-racist white folks. Black folks/people of color who talk too much about race are often represented by the racist mindset as "playing the race card" (note how this very expression trivializes discussions of racism, implying it's all just a game), or as simply insane. White folks who talk race, however, are often represented as patrons, as superior civilized beings.

[...]

No wonder then that such talk can become an exercise in powerlessness because of the way it is filtered and mediated by those who hold the power to both control public speech (via editing, censorship, modes of representation, and interpretation).

While more individuals in contemporary culture talk about race and racism, the power of that talk has been diminished by racist backlash that trivializes it, more often than not representing it as mere hysteria.


[...]

Individual black people/people of color often describe moments where they challenge racist speech at meetings or in other formal settings only to witness a majority of folks rush to comfort the racist individual they have challenged, as though that person is the victim and the person who raised questions a persecutor.


Is this description accurate when it comes to discussions about race-relations?



[edit on 4-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Is it about different experiences? Or is it about prejudice?

At this point I truly think that it is a combination of both.

To answer your other questions:

Yes people view race differently in America.

I don't think that what we have at present can be considered "institutional" since there are no overtly racist laws on the books anymore (I am no lawyer though).

Yes I think there is a middle ground, unfortunately, most seem unable to find it because they can not see past their own experiences and prejudices.

In race discussions I tend to take what each race says and then try to formulate my own opinion. Admittedly, since I am not of one race, that might be a it easier for me to do since I usually can't identify with either side's perceptions, or experiences.

For me it's easier to talk about class because the race thing is just tired, and basically taking care of itself. People like me, and the recent Census data are living proof of this fact.





posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 12:13 PM
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1)Do you (or do you not) see that people view race differently in America?
2)Do you think insitutional racism happens in the United States?
3)Do you think that there is a middle ground for people of all backgrounds to discuss race?
4)In a discussions about race-relations, who do you believe the most by race?
5)Is it easier to talk about class instead of race? Why/Why not is this so?


[edit on 4-2-2007 by ceci2006]
I will chime in on this one.
In answer to the first question, the answer is yes, I do believe that people view race differently in America. If you look, those more educated or who tends to be in positions of authority tend to not see Race as an issue, as those who tend to live more on the street do.
2) I do believe insitutional racism happens in the US, but not from the points that many would believe.
3) There could be, but many would have to see beyond what is infront of them or the actions of a few.
4) Non of them.
5) Not really, the arguments are the same, just more equal across the board.
Here is what I see. Many who are racist, or even have those tendancies tend to stay in groups. You can see it in many cities across the nation, where those who are of one race will live in one part of the city and those of another live opposite. The mentality, west is west and east is east is prevliant and neither wants to meet half way. There are cases in court where the government tries to intergrate students, but their families bulk at that idea and tend to not want to do such. If you want to change the way people think, unfortunately those kinds of laws would be considered along the ways of dictatorship as you would have to bust those communities up and move alot of people around and get them to talk to their neighbor. I know where I live, it is perdominately hispanic and etheopian, and they live on opposites sides of the street, never crossing over to get to know one another, but will scream racism if one wrongs the other.

Just my thoughts.



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 08:46 PM
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Regarding the title, I’m not sure I understand what is meant by the 2 sides of race relations. I tend to think there are many different views and angles on the subject, many more than just two.

1)Do you (or do you not) see that people view race differently in America?

Yes, people view race differently in America. Just as people view homosexuality, sports or politics differently.

2)Do you think insitutional racism happens in the United States?

If we define Institutional Racism as



Those forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate to deprive certain racially identified categories equality.


I would say yes. It does exist. I can’t say how prevalent it is and I’m sure it manifests differently depending on where you are in the USA. For example, we may see more institutional racism against blacks in certain areas like the South. Or Hispanics may have the benefit over other races in the Southwest. In the Pacific Northwest (Portland and Seattle) I think there’s very little institutional racism. Likewise, I think it’s probably different in the cities than the rural areas. So I don’t think there’s one formula that we could apply to the country as a whole, except to say that institutional racism does exist.

3)Do you think that there is a middle ground for people of all backgrounds to discuss race?

I think race can be discussed, absolutely. I’m not sure what you mean by “middle ground”. But just as politics, religion and sports can be discussed, and as long as people realize that we’re all different and have different opinions and perceptions on matters, I think it can be discussed quite peacefully.

4)In a discussions about race-relations, who do you believe the most by race?

Do you mean which race do I believe? If so, my answer is none. I don’t think races speak with one voice. I respect the individuality of the people without regard to their race. If a person shows that they know what they’re talking about I will usually believe them, no matter their race.

5)Is it easier to talk about class instead of race? Why/Why not is this so?

Easier? No. Depending on the specific subject, it might be more accurate to speak of class instead of race. But if the subject is race, then it’s easy to talk about. If the subject is class, that’s easy to talk about, too.



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 09:48 PM
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Thank you for your answers. They are equally insightful and rather informative.


Three observations:

1)If people can recognize institutional racism, why is it so hard to understand the experiences of people of color when they describe incidents occurring as a result of it?

It's not so much about recognizing or defining institutional racism as it is. It is about really "seeing" institutional racism and "knowing" that it definitely happens. It is also important to reveal whether one has experienced "privileges" from institutional racism. That also helps in painting a picture of actually "seeing" and "knowing" institutional racism for what it is, compared to a definition.

In other discussions on the board about race, some posters of color point out issues that are glossed over by persons of the dominant group. When some posters of color reveal these issues, it is often written off as "whining", "crying" or "complaining". On the other hand, some posters from the dominant culture "complain" about the faults and "bad behavior" of the group of color, and their answers are not considered "whining", "crying" or "complaining".

Why is this so? It is a fascinating phenomena because both sides are bringing up issues that affect their particular race. Why is one side "minimized" in comparison to the other?

Why do some posters from the dominant culture perceive those from groups of color as having "a chip on one's shoulder" or "having a negative attitude"?

Is it hard to accept that maybe posters of color are simply discussing their views afforded to their treatment in American society?

2)It is amazing that no one would give their answer upon whether the situations described in the source ("Talking about Race and Racism") are accurate or not. The absence of this answer also reveals a lot about what will be answered and what won't be.

Do the experiences described in the source hit too close to home or not?

3)It is also relevant to discover that the answers about "believing a person because of race" are really neutral. Although it is nice to hear that no one race is believed more than another, it still doesn't point to another thing that has been observed:

When answers are pointed towards the understanding of a "majority" of posters of one race, then others outside the group are either: 1) "forced to agree" or be considered "ridiculous" in their answers; 2)the answers from members of the minority group are written off and considered "inferior" and "less than intelligent" compared to the answers of the majority.

If one race is not to be "believed" more than another, why does this occurrence happen with frequency in discussions about race-relations?


[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
1)If people can recognize institutional racism, why is it so hard to understand the experiences of people of color when they describe incidents occurring as a result of it?


It's not hard. People do understand. I'm sure 100% of people don't understand, but most do.



It's not so much about recognizing or defining institutional racism as it is.


I disagree. I think it's important to define the terms within a discussion so we all know what we mean when we use them.



In other discussions on the board about race, some posters of color point out issues that are glossed over by persons of the dominant color.


"The dominant color"? What's that? I think we do need definitions...

And I don't believe the issues pointed out by people of color are glossed over any more than the issues pointed out by people not of color.



On the other hand, posters from the dominant culture "complain" about the faults and "bad behavior" of the group of color, and their answers are not considered "whining", "crying" or "complaining".


I disagree again. There is plenty of criticism by people of color toward the white people, if that's who you mean when you say "dominant culture". White people are told that they are the problem, that they are the reason for institutional racism, that they perpetrate it (even if they don't) and that they need to fix it, that they started it.



Why is one side "minimized" in comparison to the other?


I don't think it is, I think you may be seeing only one side of the issue. sdcigarpig's answer to you question #3 is very insightful.


Originally posted by sdcigarpig
3) There could be, but many would have to see beyond what is infront of them or the actions of a few.


You must see beyond what is in front of your face to realize that this issues isn't all one-sided as you seem to think it is.


Originally posted by ceci2006
Why do the posters from the dominant culture perceive those from groups of color as having "a chip on one's shoulder" or "having a negative attitude"?


You have to define "dominant culture". I don't think there are any people posting here who I would consider the dominant culture.

I can't speak for other people's perceptions, of course. But I don't perceive people of color as having a chip on their shoulder or a negative attitude. I do however, perceive some people as having that. But it has nothing to do with their race.



Is it hard to accept that maybe the posters of color are simply discussing their views afforded to their treatment in American society?


It's not hard for me to accept that. I'm actually curious about how you specifically have been treated in American culture. I have just never heard much about you and your personal experiences.



2)It is amazing that no one would give their answer upon whether the situations described in the source ("Talking about Race and Racism) are accurate or not. The absence of this answer also reveals a lot about what will be answered and what won't be. Do the experiences hit too close to home?


I was focused on your first set of questions. I didn't skip that on purpose. I'll answer it here.



Is this description accurate when it comes to discussions about race-relations?


No. Not in my experience. I find the article racist in how it talks as though white people all act and think a certain way. And many is the time I have challenged racist speech and nobody rushed to the bigot's aid. More often than not, they stood with me and agreed. People also have told me that I'm brave for standing up to racist speech.

I just don't think these things can be generalized. There are going to be race discussions that follow the patterns in the article and those that don't. To be fair, I have never sat around in a group with the specific purpose of talking about race.



3)It is also amazing to discover that the answers about "believe a person because of race" are really neutral.
...
If no one race is to be "believed" more than other, why does this occurrence happen with frequency in discussions about race?


I don't think 'who is believed' is based on the race of that person at all. The people who are believed are those who have proven themselves to be honest, open-minded and able to look at several aspects of any situation and reason. They're also people who have shown that they can admit when they're wrong or have been mistaken.



When answers are pointed to the understanding of a "majority" of posters of one race, then others outside the group are either: 1) "forced to agree" or be considered "insane" or "ridiculous" in their answers; 2)The answers in the minority are written off and considered "inferior" and "less than intelligent" compared to the answers of the majority.


Again, I don't believe it has anything to do with race. When talking about any subject on this board (say the war), there are those of "one side" who insult the "other side's" views as being insane, ridiculous or stupid. Both sides do this. Some people do this. It's not because of the subject or race. It's just that that's how some people "debate".



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

It's not hard. People do understand. I'm sure 100% of people don't understand, but most do.


Okay. Some people do understand and some don't. That's why there should be an effort to bring the issue of institutional racism out into the open so that all of us can understand this concept a little better. It would be fair for some to talk about how they benefitted from such a system while others discuss how they have not benefitted at all. In order to "see" and "know" about institutional racism, one has to investigating how it works on both sides.





I disagree. I think it's important to define the terms within a discussion so we all know what we mean when we use them.


Why was that such a problem with the "Successful Black prejudice" thread? After all, it was argued there that "experiences" are more important and "proof" was not. In fact, the mere mention of definitions were balked at.

Are you saying that some questions require proof and definitions while others don't?


"The dominant color"? What's that? I think we do need definitions...


I made a mistake and corrected it above. I meant to say the dominant culture. However, you are right. In a future post, there will be definitions for everyone.


And I don't believe the issues pointed out by people of color are glossed over any more than the issues pointed out by people not of color.


How are you sure? Will you elaborate on this?


I disagree again. There is plenty of criticism by people of color toward the white people, if that's who you mean when you say "dominant culture". White people are told that they are the problem, that they are the reason for institutional racism, that they perpetrate it (even if they don't) and that they need to fix it, that they started it.


Who has said that white people are the problem? Can you quote verbatim any passage where this was literally said?



I don't think it is, I think you may be seeing only one side of the issue. sdcigarpig's answer to you question #3 is very insightful.


You are correct with dscigarpig's answer.

Although it is nice to see things on multiple vantage points, the question is why do some answers from the minority group get "minimized" in comparsion to that of the majority. It does happen. There should be an answer.



You must see beyond what is in front of your face to realize that this issues isn't all one-sided as you seem to think it is.


You should follow your own advice.



You have to define "dominant culture". I don't think there are any people posting here who I would consider the dominant culture.


Again, respectfully, the entire definition does not hinge on what you think. As I said before, I will post a definition for everyone.


I can't speak for other people's perceptions, of course. But I don't perceive people of color as having a chip on their shoulder or a negative attitude. I do however, perceive some people as having that. But it has nothing to do with their race.


I disagree. It is something that is said all the time. Whenever it is said, it is most likely used in conjunction with race. Therefore, there has to be an answer out there why it does happen.

Again, who is to be believed in this case?


It's not hard for me to accept that. I'm actually curious about how you specifically have been treated in American culture. I have just never heard much about you and your personal experiences.


Personally, I've discussed my experiences. And others have ridiculed and made fun of them. That's why it is best to use sources instead.


No. Not in my experience. I find the article racist in how it talks as though white people all act and think a certain way.


And if there is another source that proves that some white people do act in that manner, would you consider it racist? Would it be considered racist if another white person validates the behavior described in the text? Would it be considered racist if another person of color validates the behavior described in the text?

Do you think the descriptions of persons of color in the text are racist?

It's not as simple as you make it out to be.


And many is the time I have challenged racist speech and nobody rushed to the bigot's aid.


In my experience, a lot of the time people do rush to the bigot's aid, pat her or him on the back, and accuse the person of color with having bad behavior (which is considered "disruptive", "whining" and "crying"). Who's right or wrong in this case?



More often than not, they stood with me and agreed. People also have told me that I'm brave for standing up to racist speech.


I'm happy for you.


I just don't think these things can be generalized. There are going to be race discussions that follow the patterns in the article and those that don't. To be fair, I have never sat around in a group with the specific purpose of talking about race.


Any sources you can find that describe other discussions of race in a different light? It would be helpful.



I don't think 'who is believed' is based on the race of that person at all. The people who are believed are those who have proven themselves to be honest, open-minded and able to look at several aspects of any situation and reason. They're also people who have shown that they can admit when they're wrong or have been mistaken.


People can say that they are honest about their experiences of race and still get ridiculed. More times often than not, there are persons from the dominant culture who accuse a person of color of lying when the person of color's experience does not register with their own. Or otherwise, they are openly ridiculed. It has happened over and over.

Again, who's right or wrong here?



Again, I don't believe it has anything to do with race. When talking about any subject on this board (say the war), there are those of "one side" who insult the "other side's" views as being insane, ridiculous or stupid. Both sides do this. Some people do this. It's not because of the subject or race. It's just that that's how some people "debate".


The thread is not concerned with what people do when discussing the war in Iraq. The subject matter has to do with conversations about race relations.

It is fair to be critical about generalizations. But in this case, we need to pinpoint the commonality of behaviors within the race-related threads in order to discuss the "division" as well as the "semantic disconnect" that occurs when relating examples (through source or experience) by race.

By finding those commonalities which occur, then it is hopeful that there might some way to find the middle ground that a lot of persons would like to reach in these conversations.

[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 01:16 AM
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All I know is that the Black Republican is rarer these days than the White Buffalo.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:13 AM
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With this exchange, I have some other questions I'd like to throw out to all of you:

1)Is it easier to answer for individual behavior than it is to discuss what members of a group do according to race?

2)In terms of race-related discussions, are people more "self-oriented" than "group-oriented"--especially when giving race attributed answers?

3)Is correctness defined by privilege?

4)Why are generalizations perceived as wrong when there is accurate evidence to back them up and there is an accounting for individual differences?

5)Is acknowledging institutional racism for what it is and the power relationships it possesses a form of blame?

6)If one racial group is proven to be above all others in a system of institutional racism, is it considered blame to simply acknowledge this fact (that is with sources proving this aspect with a recognition of individual differences)?




[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 02:27 AM
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By request, here are some definitions to help with this discussion:


Glossary

Assimilation =The process whereby an individual or group is absorbed into the social structures and cultural life of another person, group, or society.

Assimilationist model =The practices by which children were socialized into the culture and worldview of the dominant Anglo society in the United States.

Dominant culture = Culture of the social or political group that holds the most power and influence in a society.

Empathy= A psychological sense of understanding and "feeling for" another person's situation.

Generalization =The tendency of a majority of people in a cultural group to hold certain values and beliefs and to engage in certain patterns of behavior. This information can be supported by research and can be applied to a large percentage of a population or group.

Marginalization= The practice of excluding a social group from the mainstream of the society, placing that group-legally or socially-on the "margins" of the society.

Minority group =A social group that occupies a subordinate position in a society, that often experiences discrimination, and that may be separated by physical or cultural traits disapproved of by the dominant group.

Normative = The fact that the norms of a society influence and regulate an individual's beliefs and behavior.

Norms = Accepted ways of agreed-upon behavior that enable similar groups of people to function in a similar manner.

Stereotypes = Beliefs about the personal attributes of a group based on the inaccurate generalizations that are used to describe all members of the group and that thus ignore individual differences.




[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 06:06 AM
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The other thing that needs to be mentioned (concerning institutional racism and its effects when discussing race-related subject matter) is the issue of power.

Whenever there are discussions of race, the issue of power is quite central to the discussion. Power comes to the fore when:

1)Who is to be believed and promoted as correct;

2)Who is deemed credible in terms of "experience" vs. "proof";

3)the experiences and sources of one race (opposed to another) is deemed "the truth".

With that being said, there are a couple of sources to clarify this notion:

The first comes from Dr. Camara Jones. She discusses institutionalized racism, power relationships and public policy. However, the excerpt here deals with identifying the systemic power relationships due to institutional racism. Sometimes words are used to derive inequality in such a structure:


Confronting Institutionalized Racism

The myth of meritocracy, the myth that we live with an equal playing field and that all you have to do is work hard and you’ll make it, which is the same thing as the denial of racism. The denial of racism is saying that there is not an unfair system going on. And yet a lot of people who are thinking that racism is a thing of the past, they’re denying that racism is actively impacting people’s life chances today. That myth and that denial are part of the norm or a policy or a norm that favors the differential valuation of human life. Because if you think that there is an equal opportunity, and those people are suffering or poor, they must be lazy or stupid or something.


This source produces a second way to help define these power relationships within the system of institutional racism:


NAEYC

Members of the dominant group readily assume that their ascendancy is a sign of their innate superiority and/or a product of their hard work. Many deny or ignore the systemic inequities of racial discrimination that provide them with advantages in their individual life prospects and choices from birth. An assumption of superiority justifies the continued economic exploitation of people of color, and the cycle of inequity continues.


These sources are only there to widen the dialogue concerning the power dynamics in institutional racism. Although this terminology has yet to be fully defined, these sources are one way to approach the territory of discussing "who tells the truth", "who is deemed credible" and "who is to be believed" in conversations about race-relations. Other sources are highly welcome to open the conversation up for other insights into this part of the discussion.


[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:11 AM
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OK, jumping in here from the start:


Originally posted by ceci2006
1)Do you (or do you not) see that people view race differently in America?


Yes. I see that at the level of the individual, different people view race differently.



2)Do you think insitutional racism happens in the United States?


I believe definition of terms is vital to these kinds of discussions. So, using BH's submission for the definition of the term 'institutional racism' (the only such definition provided so far), I say Yes, this does happen in the US. It is relatively subtle these days, since the laws can no longer make it explicit. But Yes. However, I believe Institutional Classism predominates over Institutional Racism.



3)Do you think that there is a middle ground for people of all backgrounds to discuss race?


Not sure what is meant by 'middle ground', but I think my answer here is No. If we define 'middle ground' as a common move toward the 'center' of a subject by all parties in order to discuss it, then No. It is perfectly possible for people of very passionately held, diametrically opposed positions to discuss a subject without moving towards a center.



4)In a discussions about race-relations, who do you believe the most by race?


As has been said, none. To place higher or lower credibility in a speaker based soley on race merely strengthens racist attitudes.



5)Is it easier to talk about class instead of race? Why/Why not is this so?


For me personally, No. But I have observed that in discussions about class, tempers and passions tend to not run as high as quickly. So I'm thinking that for some people, 'class' discussions are easier.


Regarding the definitions post... Thanks, Ceci... as mentioned above, I believe clear definitions are vital for these kinds of discussions. However, I have some disagreement with some:



Assimilationist model =The practices by which children were socialized into the culture and worldview of the dominant Anglo society in the United States.


I do not believe the term 'Assimilationist model' can be confined to the Anglo society in the US. I will accept this definition if the word Anglo is removed, and the phrase 'in the United States' is removed. Assimilation happens in all cultures, not just the Anglo culture of the US.



Minority group =A social group that occupies a subordinate position in a society, that often experiences discrimination, and that may be separated by physical or cultural traits disapproved of by the dominant group.


I believe this definition is not quite precise. A minority group is simply a group wherein the number of people in the group is less than the number in a majority group. Members of minority groups do experience the discrimination noted, and may have physical characteristics that distinguish them, but I do not believe these points should be in the definition of the term.



Stereotypes = Beliefs about the personal attributes of a group based on the inaccurate generalizations that are used to describe all members of the group and that thus ignore individual differences.



I would accept this definition as modified here. Part of this is just different phraseology. The important change is the removal of the phrase 'the inaccurate'. The power of stereotypes comes from accurate depictions of individuals of a group being inappropriately applied to the group as a whole.

Stereotypes = Beliefs about the personal attributes of individuals of a group based on generalizations that are used to describe all members of the group.

Next set of questions and answers:


Originally posted by ceci2006
1)Is it easier to answer for individual behavior than it is to discuss what members of a group do according to race?


I believe it is actually harder, but it is the only approach that really makes any sense. Generalizations have their place, but are dangerous.



2)In terms of race-related discussions, are people more "self-oriented" than "group-oriented"--especially when giving race attributed answers?


Not sure I understand this one... I believe 'group oriented' thinking can be very dangerous.



3)Is correctness defined by privilege?


No. The ability to engage in incorrect behavior without consequence is, however.



4)Why are generalizations perceived as wrong when there is accurate evidence to back them up and there is an accounting for individual differences?


Because generalizations are lazy thinking, and obscure the truth. If there is an accounting of individual differences made, then that right there removes the validity of the generalization. Example: "White trash rednecks sleep with their sisters." Some do. Some don't. The generalization is inaccurate.



5)Is acknowledging institutional racism for what it is and the power relationships it possesses a form of blame?


I would say No. Using the only defn. of IR provided so far.



6)If one racial group is proven to be above all others in a system of institutional racism, is it considered blame to simply acknowledge this fact (that is with sources proving this aspect with a recognition of individual differences)?


I want to be careful, here. Within the very strict, tight bounds of this question, I would say No. HOWEVER. I do not believe that the opening proposition of the question has been proven, nor do I believe it is true in the US at the present time. So, in the current situation in the US, if someone were to say for example that 'white people' are above all others in a system of IR, I would have to disagree. As I said above, I think in the US today it is more economic class based than race based.

[edit on 5-2-2007 by Open_Minded Skeptic]

[edit on 5-2-2007 by Open_Minded Skeptic]

[edit on 5-2-2007 by Open_Minded Skeptic]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:17 AM
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OK, pardon me, but I've tried twice now to fix the bolding in my post above, and while it shows as OK in Preview, the final post does not.


Third time is the charm... somebody just told me about "don't preview an edit... it gets lost if you do".

[edit on 5-2-2007 by Open_Minded Skeptic]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
It would be fair for some to talk about how they benefitted from such a system while others discuss how they have not benefitted at all.


Okay. As far as I know, I have never benefited from institutional racism. That is, I have never knowingly been hired over an equally qualified person of color, been seated in a restaurant before someone of color who arrived before me, been paid more than a person of color with equal job duties, been given a loan when a person of color with the same credit was denied, gotten better grades in school because of my race or benefited in any way over a person of color because of my race.




I disagree. I think it's important to define the terms within a discussion so we all know what we mean when we use them.


Why was that such a problem with the "Successful Black prejudice" thread? After all, it was argued there that "experiences" are more important and "proof" was not.


Experience and proof have absolutely nothing to do with defining the terms of the discussion.



Are you saying that some questions require proof and definitions while others don't?


I said nothing about proof at all. So, no, that’s not at all what I said. I said we need to define the terms within a discussion so we all know what we mean when we use them.



How are you sure? Will you elaborate on this?


I said nothing about being sure. I said I believe. I just know there are plenty of times what I said was glossed over. And no, I will not elaborate or provide proof. If you really care, go read the threads and see how many times what I said or asked was completely ignored.

Let me be clear, I'm not complaining about it, just making an observation in response to your question.



Who has said that white people are the problem? Can you quote verbatim any passage where this was literally said?


I have already answered this. You have never given me the courtesy of proving your accusations against me. You ask for proof, citing how important it is over experience, but when asked to prove specific words you’ve charged me of, you refuse (because I didn’t say them).

So, no, I will not search through all the posts of the various threads and find those specific words. Let me just say that even if it wasn't said verbatim, there’s a very strong implication that white people are the problem here.



the question is why do some answers from the minority group get "minimized" in comparsion to that of the majority.


As I've said, I don’t think this happens any more with the minority group than any other.



Again, respectfully, the entire definition does not hinge on what you think.


I never said or implied that it did. In fact, I politely asked you for YOUR definition so we could work with that.



I can't speak for other people's perceptions, of course. I don't perceive people of color as having a chip on their shoulder or a negative attitude. I do however, perceive some people as having that. But it has nothing to do with their race.


Whenever it is said, it is most likely used in conjunction with race.


I have answered this in entirety. See my quote above. Believe it or don’t. But to answer it again is just a waste of bandwidth.



Again, who is to be believed in this case?


I’m sure people will believe whoever they believe. I’m not that invested in who believes whom. I know I’m telling the truth. I don’t say people have a chip on their shoulder because of their race. That’s ridiculous.



And if there is another source that proves that some white people do act in that manner, would you consider it racist?


You don’t need to prove it. I have said a zillion times that racism exists. I’m already sure that some white people do act in that manner and I’m sure some black, 'red' and 'yellow' people act in that manner as well. Racism exists.



In my experience, a lot of the time people do rush to the bigot's aid, pat her or him on the back, and accuse the person of color with having bad behavior (which is considered "disruptive", "whining" and "crying"). Who's right or wrong in this case?


I couldn’t possibly give you my judgment on that unless I was there and saw what happened. My judgment doesn’t really matter, anyway. It’s just my opinion.



Any sources you can find that describe other discussions of race in a different light? It would be helpful.


I have nothing to prove.



Again, who's right or wrong here?


Again, I couldn’t possibly say without a specific example. And even then, it would just be my opinion. I don’t see myself being anybody’s judge.



But in this case, we need to pinpoint the commonality of behaviors within the race-related threads in order to discuss the "division" as well as the "semantic disconnect" that occurs when relating examples (through source or experience) by race.


I wish you luck in pinpointing that if it’s what you want to do. I’m not sure I can help.


Originally posted by ceci2006
Some Other Observations
1)Is it easier to answer for individual behavior than it is to discuss what members of a group do according to race?


Absolutely! Not only is it easier, it's all I can do. I can no more answer for my race than I can for women or dog-lovers or homeowners. If I could get one point across, it would be that I only speak for myself and no one else.



2)In terms of race-related discussions, are people more "self-oriented" than "group-oriented"--especially when giving race attributed answers?


When there are “race-attributed answers”, I always try to be clear that I can only speak for myself. I might then go on to say, “But if I were to generalize about white people, I believe many white people feel…”

But generally, I am only speaking for myself and my experiences. I’m not a mouthpiece for my race.



3)Is correctness defined by privilege?


I have no clue what that means.



4)Why are generalizations perceived as wrong when there is accurate evidence to back them up and there is an accounting for individual differences?


I suppose because people disagree. Many people have strong opinions about groups and no matter how much proof is provided; they will not believe anything differently. That’s just human nature. Rarely do 100% of people go along with an idea or concept, even with proof.

For example, some people believe democrats are bad people, no matter what anyone else says. That’s just the nature of people.



5)Is acknowledging institutional racism for what it is and the power relationships it possesses a form of blame?


I don’t see it as blame. Unless of course the entirety of one race is seen as the perpetrator and benefactor -- and the entirety of another race is seen as the victim and sufferer. In that case, I see it as blame.



6)If one racial group is proven to be above all others in a system of institutional racism, is it considered blame to simply acknowledge this fact (that is with sources proving this aspect with a recognition of individual differences)?


No. I don’t think so. If one racial group is proven to be above all others. But that hasn’t been proven. At least not to me. As I said in my earlier post, depending on where you live in the US, different races have the power. Where I live, Hispanics or Latinos are the majority. Not only that, many of our political power-holders, including our police officers, sheriff, legislators, judges and governor are Hispanic.

Definitions
I share OMS’s exact concerns about the definitions given.


Originally posted by ceci2006
The Issue of Power
Although this terminology has yet to be fully defined, these sources are one way to approach the territory of discussing "who tells the truth", "who is deemed credible" and "who is to be believed" in conversations about race-relations. Other sources are highly welcome to open the conversation up for other insights into this part of the discussion.


I have no further input as regards "who tells the truth", "who is deemed credible" and "who is to be believed". I have no interest in proving who is ‘right’. So I leave it to my able and intelligent fellow human beings and board members to decide for themselves who they believe is credible.

I know this is an important part of this discussion to you, but I just don’t have any input, but don't want to gloss over it.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:46 AM
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It's quite okay, OMS.

Thank you for you comments above. I appreciate your answers.


I am going to go away and think about them for a bit. Then, I will come back and reply. Your comments put the idea of the semantic disconnect to another level.

In short, I still think that race is more apparent in institutional racism than class, but again, let me think about this aspect too.



Edited to add: I didn't see your comments there, BH. I'll answer your comments as well much later.

In the meantime, if anyone else has more to add, please do. We need as many answers on this topic as possible. The more the merrier!


[edit on 5-2-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
In short, I still think that race is more apparent in institutional racism than class, but again, let me think about this aspect too.



Well, that reminds me of something I wish I'd said earlier... I don't think the situation of "institutional X-ism" is as simple as racism OR classism. I think both are at work.

Here is how I see it, briefly:

In the US today, it is best to be rich and white.
Next is rich and black (or any non-Caucasion).
Next is middle class and any color.
Next is poor and white.
Next is poor and black (or other).

I think this, while of course not complete, is reasonably true. And clearly race is a factor, as is economic class. The two are inter-twined. And to further complicate matters, there is a gender factor, I believe. In the US today, it is really best to be rich, white and male. And there is a religious factor as well: rich, white, male, Christian. So the real list of who is on top and the following layers gets very complicated very quickly.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 11:17 AM
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Before I answer the second set of questions I am curious as to how anyone can say that IR still exists, when the "institutional" part has been completely removed?

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say that there are not many lingering aspects of IR that still affect many, but, to say that what we have now in the U.S is "institutional", is completely false. IMO



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Phoenix... again, this points out the importance of clear definitions. What is your definition of the term?



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
Before I answer the second set of questions I am curious as to how anyone can say that IR still exists, when the "institutional" part has been completely removed?


Here's my explanation. I'm going by the definition I gave earlier that I got from "Social Policy":

Those forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate to deprive certain racially identified categories equality.

See the bolded words above. I believe there are forces, social policies, structures, precedents and systems in place that deny equality based on race. I could give examples of each one, but I've got some stuff to do.


I'll give an example of "social policies"...

I believe there are "social policies" at work in some organizations and companies, etc., "unwritten rules" if you will, that are understood to deny equality to everyone based on race.

The Black Caucus is a perfect example.



"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. ... It's time to move on," the younger Clay said. "It's an unwritten rule. It's understood. It's clear."

The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership


Here's a case where there's nothing written down, it's just "understood" that only black people are allowed in this caucus, even though many white representatives have many blacks in their district who would likely benefit from their rep's participation. It just isn't done. Because of race.




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