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Real Talk about White Privilege

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posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 09:41 AM
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Benevolent Heretic I have to say that post makes more sense than any other two posts on this thread. I have just used my last WATS vote on you.




posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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Several excellent points in that last post of yours, BH.



You have voted Benevolent Heretic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

It's too bad, but not surprising, that they will remain unaddressed.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 10:06 AM
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Thanks to both of you!


It's ok that they aren't addressed. They're out there for people to read, and that's what's important.

I was talking with my husband about American Culture and how "out-of-touch" even we are with the classic American culture, even though we're as white as can be. We don't have new cars, or cell phones, we rarely watch TV, we have no kids, we don't celebrate ANY holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. We both loathe sports. The government does not speak for us in any way. We grow our own food and buy organic. We support local business instead of big business. We're not in debt; we pay off our credit cards every time we use them, which is rarely.

I know NOTHING about my heritage (but I could if I wanted to). I have more access to information at my fingertips than I could ever hope to need. I have the choice to live and breathe in this country the way I want, as does everyone else. It's hard for me to believe that not everyone feels they have that same choice. Because they do! But to reject it and then protest is a sad affair, indeed.

Diversity in America



The United States of America thrives on diversity. A synthesis of the world’s plentiful and varied races, religions, and cultures, America is a home to all, such that no one group can call itself more “American” than another. And the fusion of cultures here is so unique and so exceptional that citizens can be just as proud of their original cultural heritage as they are to be an American.

Our Diversity in America collection takes a good look at what it means to be “American” and examines the rich heritages that make up our country. Each culture provides its own special and irreplaceable contribution to our understanding of America today, and The World & I Online showcases this here. From Asia to Europe to Africa to Latin America, some 128 articles trace each nationality’s broad history and important contributions to the American way of life.


I don't ascribe to te "melting pot" theory, because I think it's important for people to celebrate the heritage and culture they choose and to still be accepted. I believe in the "salad bowl" theory, where everyone keeps who they are and adds to the beautiful blend and flavor that is the US.

Maybe I'm lucky, living in the Southwest, I see other cultures every day. Our town celebrates many cultural events, so there isn't one that stands out as "the right one" any more than there's a "right religion".



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
People are not denying your reality. They are just questioning how much of it is real, and how much of it is self-inflicted.


How much of it is real? How much of it is self-inflicted?


I know that another poster will probably create another post misconstruing my words, but believe me after all the sources myself and truthseeka have posted, it is not self-inflicted and white privilege is definitely real. You admitted it yourself.

And it is true. The opposite of empathy, not having a conscience and not identifying with people who suffer is psychopathy. There's a reason why there have been studies that noted that there are people (who not only share some of the aspects of psychopathy, but aren't "psychopaths" in the classic definition) as well as "true psychopaths" (those that are undeniably ones who have the cluster of symptoms which describe what it is) among us in American society. There is a definite problem with empathy. It has nothing to do with how myself might perceive this, compared to others. And it doesn't matter whether anyone agrees with me or not. The facts are the facts.

There is a lack of empathy here associated with people suffering. Not to mention, an effort to deride those those who suffer. It's incredbly sad. And those who have studied this attribute it to narcissism.

But, even in this topic when it is easy for those not to even have the empathy to identify with what people of color go through, let alone to react with phrases like yours and other members, then, there is a problem.

And what is worse, is the fact that personalization and not analysis is still the way that race-related talks are done. And as a result, there are nothing but accusations flying around--compared to the real work of dealing with the issue in an academic light.

I think that in discussing this, that respondents must have the wisdom enough to know that in the discussions of this kind require people who are willing to discuss this intelligently without attributing every response to them. People really have to stop personalizing this. I think that's the only way that the blinders and the denial will stop.

But I doubt it.




[edit on 17-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:20 AM
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regretably certain things become closed loops as it were...stereotyping is one example... one side becomes stereotyped... in this case for example white people's opinion of blacks, reinforces black people's opinion of whites and both groups ending up possibly seeing things that are not there..... a woman's nervousness on an elevator alone with a black man may be because of her stereotyping of the black man, but it could also be a reaction from being on an elevator alone with a man period. Not unheard of for sure. Anyway that black man, could assume that her nervousness is due to him being black because he is stereotyping her, completely overlooking the possiblity that she might be afraid of him as a man.

Am I making myself clear?

In reaction to white bias against blacks many blacks become bias against whites and they end up seeing in each other their assumed stereotypes. The thing is both are wrong and in essence sin against each other's essential humanity and it has to stop somewhere and ultimately that place is in the heart of each and every human.

I have read most of this thread and regretably I don't see any attempts at resolution but each side is reinforcing the bias of the other. Instead of railing against white privilege or trying to deny it perhaps it would be wiser and more humane to try and find common ground instead.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Hey Ceci, it doesn't really matter.

They just want us to use personal experiences because it's easier for them to say what "really" happened than for them to offer rebuttals to our sources. Shooter is the only one who tries the latter; for most of the others, it's "Dee dee dee!"


And, had they addresses the sources, they could say what "really" happened with personal experiences of other people. But of course, they don't want to say "the cop pulled the guy over because he farted," because that's not as easy an excuse for these cases.


Ironically, a guy who supports white privilege gets mad because I point out white privilege.
Truly amazing, isn't it?



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:28 AM
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I would suggest reading what I just posted seeka... it is relevant to your last post.

Personal experinces are all we have... objectivity is a false premise, it does not exist.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by grover
regretably certain things become closed loops as it were...stereotyping is one example... one side becomes stereotyped... in this case for example white people's opinion of blacks, reinforces black people's opinion of whites and both groups ending up possibly seeing things that are not there..... a woman's nervousness on an elevator alone with a black man may be because of her stereotyping of the black man, but it could also be a reaction from being on an elevator alone with a man period. Not unheard of for sure. Anyway that black man, could assume that her nervousness is due to him being black because he is stereotyping her, completely overlooking the possiblity that she might be afraid of him as a man.

Am I making myself clear?

In reaction to white bias against blacks many blacks become bias against whites and they end up seeing in each other their assumed stereotypes. The thing is both are wrong and in essence sin against each other's essential humanity and it has to stop somewhere and ultimately that place is in the heart of each and every human.

I have read most of this thread and regretably I don't see any attempts at resolution but each side is reinforcing the bias of the other. Instead of railing against white privilege or trying to deny it perhaps it would be wiser and more humane to try and find common ground instead.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]


Excellent post, grover.


You are absolutely right with the closed loop phenomenon. That undoubtedly occurs, for sure. But for me, I jus't CAN'T help but notice that stereotypical/racist behavior comes from SOME whites, whereas OTHER whites don't do this at all. And, I NEVER notice this behavior from non-whites.

What else am I supposed to think? After noticing this trend for over a decade, what other conclusion am I to come to? I don't assume every white person I encounter is racist, but when I encounter racist white people, am I supposed to pretend that they're not racist?

And, with the elevator example, you're right that it could be the male presence that makes some women uncomfortable. But, when it's only my black friends who tell me the same thing happens to them, as opposed to my non-black friends, what else are we to conclude?

Hell, look at the first few pages of this thread. IMMEDIATELY, the racists came out of the woodwork. Others came blasting me with stereotypes.

What else am I to conclude, grover?



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
The opposite of empathy, not having a conscience and not identifying with people who suffer is psychopathy.


You're right. That is the correct definition. But just because you say that people here don't have empathy or conscience doesn't make it true.
You're wrong. To disagree with you does not display a lack of empathy or lack of conscience. It just means we disagree.




There is a lack of empathy here associated with people suffering.


No there isn't. Are you suffering? Tell me. You've been asked many times. You have to tell me (us) about your suffering for me (us) to know about it. And I honestly do think we have empathy for people who are truly suffering. I KNOW I do. But I also know you don't believe that.



And those who have studied this attribute it to narcissism.


So, now we're narcissistic, too?



But, even in this topic it is easy for those not to even have the empathy to identify with what people of color go through


I know this isn't about me, but I can only speak for myself.

I genuinely have empathy for people who are suffering. When people have told me what they go through, I feel genuine empathy and compassion. I have shown this many times. And I KNOW and ACKNOWLEDGE that people of color have issues to deal with that I don't. And I feel for them. I feel for you! I'm sorry for what you go through as a member of a minority in the US. I'm sorry you have to deal with racism. I'm sorry you feel you don't have the same access and opportunity as everyone else in this country.

I know you think you know what I'm feeling better than I do, but you're wrong. I DO have empathy. You just don't believe me. And there's nothing I can do about that. That's your choice.



And what is worse, is the fact that personalization and not analysis is still the way that race-related talks are done.


You haven't convinced me (and maybe others?) that analysis is, in fact, the best way to talk about race here. Frankly, the sources you post and the particular points you emphasize appear to be very accusitory, reproachful and hateful of "white people" and the dominant culture. I'm not convinced that's the best way to talk to a bunch of white people about race-relations.




People really have to stop personalizing this. I think that's the only way that the blinders and the denial will stop.


Perhaps. But as long as I feel attacked because of my race, I'm going to feel somewhat "personal" about it. So would you. That's human nature. I'm pretty amazed that you don't seem to understand this particular aspect of this discussion.

I mean, think of how you'd respond if there were thread after thread of page after page of post after post written by one or two white people enumerating what black people and the submissive culture were doing that was totally screwing up the lives of white people.

Would you be open to discussing it intelligently and without personalizing it? Would you be denying anything? Would you just agree with everything? Even if there were sources? (Which there are) And if you did disagree and "fight back" on behalf of yourself and your race, would you be open to being called non-empathetic, apathetic, psychopathic and narcissistic by people who were asking you not to personalize it???



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by grover




I have read most of this thread and regretably I don't see any attempts at resolution but each side is reinforcing the bias of the other. Instead of railing against white privilege or trying to deny it perhaps it would be wiser and more humane to try and find common ground instead.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]


that is a good point of view in my opinion.

now this is a question, not a statement, but if someone could correct my view i would apreciate it.

when it comes to the modern world, i have always seen it as a white world. in fact, all through out the history books that were shown to me in school, it was taught that it is a white world. It's not that anyone said that directly, it was an impression permantently burned into my mind.

Nearly all inventions that i can think of through out history have been produced by white people. obviously not everything, but i would like to hear some examples of life changing inventions brought forth by other races.

Ok so what im saying is i believe white people are pretty smart, probably due to our education system compared to other races, but it seems to me white people are the brains on this earth.

But lets face it, white people are prunes. they have no connection to one another and they are constantly self concious. if it wasn't for other cultures and their artistic atributes, white people would have nothing to rip their fasions from, or would have no idea how to act human.

Im mix so i might be bias when i say this. Mix races for one look better than pure races (on average), they are just as self concious as white people but they also have better connections towards others.

People love and hate white people. They created the world we live in, so no one can help but wonder what they are going to say or do next. If everyone hated white people and their world, why do so many imagrate leagal or illegaly to america every year.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:48 AM
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grover, you made sense with your posts. I agree that they are excellent. But the middle ground will never be reached until people understand that white privilege happens and that it affects the lives of everyone. Only then will the deriding, ridicule and the denial stops.

Unfortunately, there are going to be some things that reinforce bias on both sides. That is expected.

But I agree with Truthseeka. I don't go out expecting every white person is racist. In fact, in RL, I get along with white people, especially those who are very close to my family.

But, you cannot gloss over the answers here in this thread. And, you cannot deny that there is a serious "semantic disconnect" happening once again when it comes to issues of race.

(This has nothing to do with whether anyone agrees with me, truthseeka or anyone else. Nor, does it have to do with any answer being right)

There are only a few instances of people who are willing to have a true conversation with us based on the issue, not on the personalization of the subject matter. And it is even more rare that you find the person who is able to weigh these things in an analytical fashion instead of subscribing to emotionalism all the time.

Sometimes, one just has to take a step back and see the issue as it is, instead trying to hide from it or deflecting it with accusations.




[edit on 17-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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Yes there is racism of that there is no doubt. But it goes beyond blacks and whites. Blacks and Asians and Blacks and Jews have problems with each other as well. As for the elevator example... I am not exactly a little man (oh for the days when I was young and slim and beautiful again
) but if I find myself in an elevator (or on the street) and I am being approached by a rough looking person, I am going to be nervous around them and that goes for white, Asian or black, Italian, it doesn't matter. And I think that is a common reaction, especially if you are someone like me and not a fighter, or are a female or generally smaller. That is not to justify people who are unimphatically racist by any stretch of the imagination. Still to discuss the issue endlessly is akin to picking a scab. Somewhere and somehow healing has to begin before we can become fully realized human beings and that in part comes from realizing that you can only be responsible for your own soul, that what other people think is besides the point... if you object to racism, all anyone can do is not to be racist themselves.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by tom goose
that is a good point of view in my opinion.

now this is a question, not a statement, but if someone could correct my view i would apreciate it.

when it comes to the modern world, i have always seen it as a white world. in fact, all through out the history books that were shown to me in school, it was taught that it is a white world. It's not that anyone said that directly, it was an impression permantently burned into my mind.

Nearly all inventions that i can think of through out history have been produced by white people. obviously not everything, but i would like to hear some examples of life changing inventions brought forth by other races.


I'm not bashing you for this view, tom, but this is precisely my point.

I had pretty much the same view you had until I got to college. It was then that I started realizing how Eurocentric my grade school education was. This was when I learned that Africa indeed had kingdoms and civilizations, for example. But, this was a mere stepping stone; what I've learned in my personal research CLEARLY shows me that I was taught a scripted, biased view of history. For example, I've learned that not only did Africans have a presence in Europe before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but they had an influence as well. Hell, Africans (Egyptians) were quite influential in the Greco-Roman civilizations.

That you say this image is burned into your mind shows one of the effects of white privilege. Hell, McIntosh mentioned this one in her article, that you get to see how your people contributed to history and civilization.



Ok so what im saying is i believe white people are pretty smart, probably due to our education system compared to other races, but it seems to me white people are the brains on this earth.


Again, this is an example of Eurocentric education/white privilege.



But lets face it, white people are prunes. they have no connection to one another and they are constantly self concious. if it wasn't for other cultures and their artistic atributes, white people would have nothing to rip their fasions from, or would have no idea how to act human.


...Not quite sure what to say to that.



Im mix so i might be bias when i say this. Mix races for one look better than pure races (on average), they are just as self concious as white people but they also have better connections towards others.


FYI, there's no such thing as a "pure" race.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by grover
Yes there is racism of that there is no doubt. But it goes beyond blacks and whites. Blacks and Asians and Blacks and Jews have problems with each other as well. As for the elevator example... I am not exactly a little man (oh for the days when I was young and slim and beautiful again
) but if I find myself in an elevator (or on the street) and I am being approached by a rough looking person, I am going to be nervous around them and that goes for white, Asian or black, Italian, it doesn't matter. And I think that is a common reaction, especially if you are someone like me and not a fighter, or are a female or generally smaller. That is not to justify people who are unimphatically racist by any stretch of the imagination. Still to discuss the issue endlessly is akin to picking a scab. Somewhere and somehow healing has to begin before we can become fully realized human beings and that in part comes from realizing that you can only be responsible for your own soul, that what other people think is besides the point... if you object to racism, all anyone can do is not to be racist themselves.


More good points, grover.

You are right in that what happens in an elevator does not exactly affect your life significantly. So, let's step away from this. Let's consider something that does; being paid less than equally-qualified whites.

You have the one article I sourced, which shows that, on average, black men in upper level positions in society make 20-30% less than white men in the same jobs. This article also noted that the higher up black men go as far as status of occupation, the more this gap grows.

Clearly, this is MUCH more significant than someone cramming themselves against the elevator wall. Yet, if we go the personal experience route, this trend will NOT be addressed. But, in all fairness, when I mentioned something like this happening to me, it was also ignored.

But, say this HADN'T happened to me before. With y'all wanting to talk about personal experience, this trend would be ignored, because I couldn't speak on it. Quite the clever way to avoid an issue, if you ask me.

Same thing with DWB. In another thread, it was insinuated that people who have experiences like this with the law are often hiding something they did wrong. The personal experience has once again been nullified. The focus on personal experience also allows for the avoidance of this problem. Score another point for skirting the issue.

THIS is why I believe these examples hold more weight than personal experiences, based on this thread.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:19 PM
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FYI, I'm not saying you are doing this, grover. Just want you to be clear on that.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:30 PM
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You have the one article I sourced, which shows that, on average, black men in upper level positions in society make 20-30% less than white men in the same jobs. This article also noted that the higher up black men go as far as status of occupation, the more this gap grows.

What upper level positions? Black senators and congressmen make the same as other senators and congressmen. Black professional atheletes make alot more than non blacks. Look I am not implying it does not happen, but you can't use blanket statements like "upper level positions in society". The only source I remember that you used ,Truth, that was specific was the salesman. I think he sued. I would bet he won. Without the personal experience of that one guy all you have is a blanket statement. Blanket statements aren't even going to get anyones attention let alone change their opinions. People today don't care about issues until the issues directly affect them. Imho it is best to use research and personal experiences(yours or others).



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:32 PM
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In the long run racism is a spiritual ailment coupled with ignorance and it simply cannot be looked at any other way. In the old days (aka the classical world) slavery was something that happened to a soul... either they had to resolve a debt or they were captured in war. Slaves were often released upon the death of the original owner or could buy their freedom, they were not treated as livestock. That is not to suggest that slavery was okay, it of course is not, what I am saying is that the whole attitude was different. The west, with the rise of Christianity adopted the notion that because it was Christian it was superior to those who weren't and since most of the people who were not Christian, were also darker the two were merged together. With the reconquest of Spain and the subsequent spread of European imperialism this attitude was reinforced. After all Spain treated almost all of its new subjects in Mexico, the Caribbean and Peru as slaves. As European diseases killed off the native populations, especially in the Caribbean, they began purchasing of war captives from African states and so the deliberate hunting and capturing of other Africans to be sold as slaves became a lucrative business. With the rise of slavery in the south and especially after the importation of slaves was outlawed in the 1820's blacks began to be bred specifically to produce more slaves and that more than anything was America's great moral sin, to view other souls as less than human and to consider them as livestock to be put out to stud and fold.

The point of this little dissertation is to point out the spiritual roots of racism. It is not something that can be uprooted with laws... hell the bloodiest war in U.S. did little to change attitudes... the elimination of racism must begin with the individual heart and with the education of our children. So long as we pass on attitudes (on both sides) that reinforce racism... nothing will change. IT MUST begin with the soul.

It might be noticed that I keep changing the subject from white privilege to racism and there is a good reason why. Besides the fact that the two are connected.... I personally feel that the subject white privilege is kind of like beating a dead horse. It is totally counter-productive because the subject inevitably pissed one group off and puts the other on the defensive and with that type of divide going on you get what is exactly happening on this thread, a going back and forth blame game, accusation and denial. It doesn't solve anything and ossifies opinions in place. Better to discuss what can be done and that is of course on the individual level.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka

And, had they addresses the sources, they could say what "really" happened with personal experiences of other people. But of course, they don't want to say "the cop pulled the guy over because he farted," because that's not as easy an excuse for these cases.


You're right with your post, but I just wanted to address this aspect of it. There is a difference between people who can use critical thinking with other sources opposed to just relying on personal experiences. It's not to say whether one way is better than the other. However, the difference is presented in the posts as well as the outlook of the subject matter.

The problem is that when people solely rely on personal experiences (without using anything else to broaden their thinking), that is the true narcissism here. And perhaps, the narcissism comes from privilege as well. When one is constantly told in society that their thinking is superior to others and that their race displays the best aspects of society opposed to another, then, it is natural that narcissism occurs. It also lends a hand toward aspects of superiority.

It's as if those who solely rely on personalization ignore the key and subtle points that are being made, and arrogantly thinking that their opinion alone demonstrates the case. Not everything can be solved by opinion alone. There's a reason why people study these aspects in society. And to utterly ignore the sources without giving account to their ideas solely means that the arrogance attributed to "superiority" and "lack of identification" still occurs.

This is another thing that needs to be addressed. It's sad that people can't treat this adequately without relying solely on personal experiences. But, when people do, they solely want drama and discord on a topic that deserves more than that. There's a reason why people skip over the posts that are personalizing--opposed to others. They're too prone to drama and wanting to create a mountain out of a molehill.

They lack the simple respect and consideration to take a step back and look at the issue you've proposed seriously and academically without relying on aspects of it being directed solely at them. Furthermore, when you don't have a foundation for the problem through research and study, then you are solely left with experiences without any demonstration of critical thinking skills.

Just my .02 cents.

---------------------------------------------

grover, I will answer your latest post a little bit later. You've got a lot of ideas for food for thought.



[edit on 17-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006

The problem is that when people solely rely on personal experiences (without using anything else to broaden their thinking), that is the true narcissism here. And perhaps, the narcissism comes from privilege as well. When one is constantly told in society that their thinking is superior to others and that their race displays the best aspects of society opposed to another, then, it is natural that narcissism occurs. It also lends a hand toward aspects of superiority.



WRONG. Personal experience is all that we have... black or white. And it could just as easily be said that focusing solely on the black experience is narcissism as well. The thing is that none of us, black or white, are taught how to put ourselves in another's shoes and to try and see things from another's perspective. To claim that it is only whites who don't use anything else to broaden their thinking is just plain absurd, and deeply insulting to those of us who do. That is just as much stereotyping as anything else.

To reach a middle ground BOTH sides have to move towards the middle.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by grover]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 01:08 PM
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grover,

I'm not talking about "white experiences" opposed to "black experiences" in my last post. I'm speaking in general about how people approach subjects like these without devoting the rigor of thought and researching to them. You really can tell in their answers. And I'm sorry that this is the case.

Personal experiences, are important, don't get me wrong. But there has to be a medium between the rigors of research to help the person weigh their experiences instead of solely relying on them.

It's important because it does focus on narcissism when one does not truly go outside themselves to find out a little bit more on the topic instead of just relying on what they know.

I'm sorry that we disagree, but it's okay.
I respect your thoughts on this matter, anyway.

And yes, I agree that it starts with the soul. But it also starts with learning about the issue and having the natural curiosity to research it without letting your own experience form the sole view.

[edit on 17-3-2007 by ceci2006]



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