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Real Talk about White Privilege

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posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 09:21 PM
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I think that the easiest way to sum up our differences seeka is this:

You say we still have to focus on the inequities in order to deal with them.

I say screw all that crap, we have to move beyond them entirely and that to continue to focus on them is to continue to hold onto them.




posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Look, grover...

I agree with your premise; I'm not saying that's wrong. What I AM saying is that is NOT the total solution. We can't just ignore the unfair aspects of American society. We just can't.

We NEED to address these issues WHILE teaching the next generation the right way to look at others. You seem to want to ignore the disparities in the system; why you want to do that is beyond me...



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 09:47 PM
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Although I've been mighty busy today, I wanted to thank you Truthseeka for defending me. However, I also wanted to tell you my thoughts briefly about what else we can do.

(And sorry about the 'Horns today.
Gawd, the Trojans shouldn't have won. )

1)Continue to discuss this issue publicly. People need to be aware that white privilege happens so that people can stop the denial in its tracks.

2)White people have to discuss issues of white privilege amongst themselves, along with the notion of "color" and their "position" in society. White people have to have these conversations to understand themselves as well as those who are non-white. The only reason why I think we aren't seeing progress on eradicating white privilege is because we have a whole bunch of white people who don't believe that it happens. Furthermore, they ridicule us for bringing it up. So, white people have to make their white privilege visible--to the point of dissecting and analyzing how they benefit from society.

White people have to dissect and analyze what dominant culture means instead of trying to deny it or fight against it. They should also try to deal with why non-white people might view the issue of the dominant culture differently, instead of writing our thoughts off with frustration or arrogance.

It would stop the attacks on AA, as well as the derogatory language that goes with attacking non-white people on bringing up race.

They must "see" their skin color and learn to deal with it like non-white people have to.

In this vein, white people also have to stop being uncomfortable with race. They have to get over the fear and take responsibility for their benefits in society as well as historically. They also have to take the responsibility to identify with non-white people, their lives, their ideas. And, most of all "respect" the idea of color through its analysis and exploration of what it signifies in society.

I expect another person to misconstrue my words as usual. But for the sake of the higher cause of getting white privilege out there, I can endure it.



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

ShooterBrody, I will answer you back a little later. Thank you for being paitient with me. I appreciate it.



[edit on 19-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 09:58 PM
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No I do not ignore the dipairities I have addressed them several times but I stand by my statement that the solution is education. I am never going to change my parents or peers, but I can influence my children to see the world differently.



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 10:06 PM
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So...

You say education will solve it all, and I say education is only part of the solution.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 10:30 PM
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grover, I just had to say this:

You aren't the problem. You have participated in this discussion with the intent of acknowledging the problem as well as trying to find solutions. That is far different from others who have ignored our sources and derided our efforts, only to complain about what we're doing.

You have never attacked us. You have never ridiculed what we were saying. You have been very polite. That says quite a lot, when putting this issue out publicly so that people will know about it.

Unfortunately, there are some people from the dominant culture who will simply react to what we're saying with anger and disbelief because they have never had to entertain this type of thinking before. Or, they turn their anger toward the non-white people discussing this. You cannot imagine some of the things said to myself and truthseeka as a result of our stances. They continue to come without stoppage. And since they are so guarded about protecting their interests, they will do anything in their power to put this issue to rest so they won't feel uncomfortable about this.

Sadly, people from the dominant culture exist in this vein. In essence they opt for the easier solutions instead of being a little bit uncomfortable and trying to broaden their horizons.

As for those who opt for the easy road by not engaging in "real talk", I think that some might be experiencing another privilege which stems back to "Jim Crow Ettiquette":


Racial Etiquette: The Racial Customs and Rules of Racial Behavior in Jim Crow America

White women allowed black servants and acquaintances to call them by their first names but with the word "Miss" attached as a modifier: "Miss Ann," "Miss Julie" or "Miss Scarlett," for example.

This practice of addressing blacks by words that denoted disrespect or inferiority reduced the black person to a non-person, especially in newspaper accounts.

[...]

Almost always, however, the rules of racial etiquette required blacks to be agreeable and non-challenging, even when the white person was mistaken about something. Usually it was expected that blacks would step off the sidewalk when meeting whites or else walk on the outer street side of the walk thereby "giving whites the wall." Under no circumstances could a black person assume an air of equality with whites.


There are some members of dominant culture who still expect this from us, especially to easily agree with what they are saying instead of truly listening to what we're trying to convey. And if we don't reply in a manner that is acceptable to the world view of some--especially when it has to do with topics like this--anger and condemnation is the only thing some can turn to.

Say that this is in the past, but its residue still rears its ugly head today.

But, I thank you for being polite and kind in the face of this. I am grateful that your voice is here in this thread despite the fact that we might disagree sometimes. Your participation shows that people can discuss this civily without finger-wagging or deflection by venting frustration and anger without reason. It shows a mark of character to do so.



[edit on 19-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 07:48 AM
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Of course education is the answer... not only that, it is the only answer.

It is fear and ignorance, resentment and prejudice (on all sides); in other words, ideas, that keep us apart and legislation will never be able to address what goes on in the human mind and soul. So yes, you can legislate (and enforce) until you are blue in the face but until you address matters from an educational and spiritual prespective, nothing will change.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
White people have to ...
White people have to ...
we have a whole bunch of white people who don't ...
white people have ...
White people have to ...
They should also try to ...
They must "see" their skin color ...
white people also have to ...
They have to get over the fear and take responsibility ...
They also have to take the responsibility ...


mis·con·strue: To mistake the meaning of; misinterpret.

I may be misinterpreting or mistaking the meaning of your words, but I don't think so. They ARE your words. Accuse me of misinterpreting if you like, but if you don't correct me and tell me what you really meant, then all we have to go on is what you SAID.


It's clear that you see the answer to this problem as falling totally in the hands of other people. White people to be exact. That's certainly your prerogative and I support your right to express your opinion.

But as long as you see the answers to this problem as being totally in the hands of other people (the "them" in your equation), I doubt the problem will be resolved to your satisfaction. As long as you put the responsibility on others instead of being accountable and taking the responsibility yourself, regardless what others do about the problem, I'm afraid you'll be very disappointed. And it's clear that you are.

You can attribute this to Jim Crow etiquette if you must, but I see no indication that anyone here besides you wishes to live in that past. Even your source said:



Most southern white Americans who grew up prior to 1954 expected black Americans to conduct themselves according to well-understood rituals of behavior.


Expected. Past tense. People don't expect this anymore. You claim that they do, but I see no indication of that.


Originally posted by ceci2006
There are some members of dominant culture who still expect this from us, especially to easily agree with what they are saying instead of truly listening to what we're trying to convey. And if we don't reply in a manner that is acceptable to the world view of some--especially when it has to do with topics like this--anger and condemnation is the only thing some can turn to.


You seem to want to believe that there's this large group of non-assuming white people (dominant culture) out there who still abide by the Jim Crow crap. Aside from the "white power" groups, I don't think this group exists. And most regular white people view the "white power" groups as ignorant, fearful and irrelevant. So, if that's who you're talking about, I agree. But I'm not sure too many members of those groups are ATS members.

But I'm no more going to approach a KKK meeting to tell them what they "have to do" to address white privilege than you are. And if you expect regular white people like myself to try to change the views of the "white power" groups simply because we share a skin pigment with them (and NOTHING else), you're going to be very disappointed. That's like expecting all Muslims to take responsibility for and fix the terrorist situation. It's not our responsibility to change people any more than it is yours.

I don't know why you continue to bring up this historic Jim Crow era as if you're living in it now. It's almost as if the time is negatively "romanticized" in your mind to the point that you feel it's still going on today and you're the heroine of the story. The only person who has brought up the "Miss Scarlett" thing is you, because you mistakenly think people want that from you because of your skin color. That's ALL generated by you. It's not true (outside of the radical groups mentioned, perhaps - and I certainly can't speak for them).

Where are these people who want blacks to abide by Jim Crow etiquette? Have you seen them? Heard them? Are they here on ATS? And even if they do exist, so what if they want that? People want all sorts of crazy things in this world. How can you expect to stop people from wanting what they want?

NAMBLA wants to make it legal to have sex with children. PETA wants to make it illegal to own pets. The right wants to outlaw abortion. There may be someone out there who wants you to call them "Miss Scarlett". There are people out there who want me to shut up. There are men who want to rule over women. So what? People can want things and they can be vocal about it. We can't stop them from wanting things, regardless how ridiculous their desires are. And the more Jim Crow is thrown in their faces, the stronger their convictions will be.

I just can't help but think that immersing one's self into that era to explain the problems of today is detrimental to finding the real solution to the current problems of racism and race relations. Constantly throwing Jim Crow in white people's faces does nothing to help resolve the issues around race. In fact, I believe it does just the opposite.

Just to be absolutely clear, I feel extremely comfortable discussing race, as do (I believe) the other people who are posting here (else why would they be posting?) I am not angry in the least and I have no interest to protect. I have everything I want in life (or more accurately, I want everything I have in life) and I don't have to protect it from anyone. After all, I have acknowledged white privilege and I think it's wrong. I support equality. And I support gaining that by working towards it with love and compassion, education and understanding.


[edit on 19-3-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by grover
Of course education is the answer... not only that, it is the only answer.

It is fear and ignorance, resentment and prejudice (on all sides); in other words, ideas, that keep us apart and legislation will never be able to address what goes on in the human mind and soul. So yes, you can legislate (and enforce) until you are blue in the face but until you address matters from an educational and spiritual prespective, nothing will change.


I agree.


But, imho, there needs to be a way to get rid of the resentment. And one of the ways is to continue to discuss topics like these and exchange information. I think that change starts with us. And if we're the ones who wallow in self-denial and react with anger, how will our children react?

On the spiritual perspective, I think that it has to do with our souls. I've talked a lot about conscience on the boards, because it is the key toward making understanding a reality. I also think that with conscience, one can look past the anger and truly listen to the words being exchanged with the presence of mind to make things better.

I don't kid you that this is a very contentious topic in which people have felt frustrated and angry because it brings up aspects of society that they have kept "invisible" for a long time. But, even they have to realize that when non-white people are affected by this, the "invisibility" and disparate views of dominant culture come to the surface.

The only thing to do is to look at history and society in order to pinpoint where we need to make changes. If we don't, we will continue to make the mistakes of our ancestors. Sad as that seems, we have to muddle through the good and the bad in order to get a better perspective how as people we can relate to each other.

And the simple act of relating without anger, resentment and frustration is the key here. I believe that true race-related talks would begin when people listen calmly without resorting to the proposed "catch phrases" and when they develop a conscience to identify with others unlike themselves in the guise of diversity.

But, it is sad to note that not all of us can get to this point. There are some persons who continue to repeat the same aspects of their frustration over and over because there is no insight or sophistication to look past their anger to see the subtle ideas that come to the forefront.

The only thing to do is to be patient. I believe that in multiculturalism, comes growing pains. And here too, it is a mark of character to face those growing pains with wisdom and grace.

[edit on 19-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 03:49 PM
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I keep saying that it is a slow process and one that was started either before you and I were born (actually in my case as a child) and will continue after we are gone. Our grandchildren will reap the benefits of what we teach our children today. We are educated to be prejudiced and to be racist (sexist, xenophobic, homophobic etc)... it is only by education can we heal the wounds from it. As I look back over the past 51 years of my life it is obvious to me (but may not be to young men like seeka) that we have made huge strides in race relations, and it by and large was a result of education... a handful of laws were passed for sure, but it has been by education that the changes have been made.

I stand by this... by and large when you as in Ceci or Seeka (or nayone else) throw up white privilege to a white person you are not making them see you differently or eliminating their prejudice and you are certainly not educating them... you are putting them on the defensive, and once you do that, you have blown your case... no matter how valid your argument is (and it certainly is) once a person is on the defensive all they know is that they are being attacked and all their defenses go up.

THAT is why I say you have to put it behind you and focus on education, our children, your friends, your enemies, each other, then and only then can we make the change that really we should all desire.



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 08:23 PM
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That's why I proposed that white people converse among themselves about these issues. Sometimes, it's the only way for white people to understand what the stakes are, especially if it from their peers. White people who care about diversity have to start these conversations with their families, friends, neighbors and co-workers, so that the defensiveness, resentment, uncomfortability and anger stops.

Other than that, grover, I agree with truthseeka on the point that we have to continue these conversations--so that a light continues to shine on white privilege and things start to change. If we forget it, then we're still in the same system in which one group benefits while being in denial about it.

With that being said, we'll have to agree to disagree.

But I have a question: what makes you think Truthseeka and myself are "throwing up white privilege"? After all, we both had presented sources which explained it, analyzed it and surveyed it.

What about all of the things that white people have "thrown up" to us? Should white people forget about history as well--especially when they constantly use it to push the notion of inferiority in the faces of those who are non-white? Should only white people have their opinions about history and society remembered while non-white people forget about theirs? Should non-white people be in denial about how society treats them, especially if they participate in mixed race conversations about race-relations?

This isn't to put you on the spot, but it's only fair to ask.



[edit on 19-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
riley, I rarely if never answer you anymore because it's the same old argument without any deviation, right down to the posts in this thread.

What.. the argument that you can't preach against racism while practicing it? It may be an old one but it still applies. Hypocricey is never credible.

I will not be answering your posts again after this one because it isn't any use.

But for the record, I have never said that whites were racist.

Indeed you have and BH has provided some more examples.. and you did in the very next "Whites have to\always\need to.. etc" post. Do you want me to post more? I can if you want.. it's just going to be a really long post..

I have never said that whites were to blame.

When you tell whites that they are soley responsible.. yes you are.

have said that it was okay that people disagreed with me.

Except for the fact that you've now accused and continue to accuse ats members of demeaning you for your colour when they've just disagreed with your arguments. That slur needs to be backed up or retracted imo.

And, I have always backed up what I brought up in race-related talks. I am not racist.

All evidence continues to prove the contrary.

I have repeatedly written that I don't care if someone disagrees with me. It's been that way since I've joined.

If you don't care.. why have you attacked people for disagreeing in the past?

With that being said, I'm moving on and I am deciding to enjoy myself on ATS because that's how I view my participation in discussions here.

Good for you. I hope you are able to reconcile your negative feelings regarding whites so you can discuss things with us rather than at us.


Originally posted by truthseeka

Looks like you're learning from BH. I didn't know she was teaching linguistic gymnastics; I thought she was just using them.

Actually I pointed out a REALLY obvious contradiction. In it Ceci has basically said that the personal experiences of coloured people are admissable yet those of whites are not. There was no need to taking her out of context or to miscontrue.. to call my and BH's manner of posting 'linguistic gymnastics'
is clearly something you just say when you want avoid valid points. Neither of us twisted your words.. we've got no reason to.

quote: Like 'dominant culture'? Or 'lack of conscience'? 'Lack of empathy'? I could list others but everyones already read them.


She was talking to me.

Do you REALLY want me to point out the thirty or so times she's accused white members here of these things? Regardless.. it doesn't matter if it was directed at us or not. They are derogatory generalisations in reference to whites.

That's why you don't know what phrases she's actually referencing. But, feel free to have a sip of the Kool-Aid; just don't ask what flavor it is.

Don't think we have cool aid in Aus so not sure what you're talking about.

You like that Kool-Aid, huh? This term references America, NOT whites around the world. Still trying to drag this to Australia, huh?

1. 'White priviege'' is a universal term/concept.
2. You've accused me of trying to derail your thread a few times now. This from page three:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Originally posted by 12m8keall2c
NOTE...

The title and topic of discussion IS


Real Talk about White Privilege » Post Reply

... with NO stated restriction as to geographic location nor circumstance.



PLEASE avoid the personal attacks or character associations, and perhaps just stick to the Actual topic of discussion.



Real Talk about White Privilege » Post Reply


Do carry on
... in accordance with the T&C, mind you.

[emphasis mine]
Perhaps you will now stop accusing me of derailing the thread.




quote: It's hard to see someone as a victim when they constantly attack anyone that merely disagrees with a point of view. I have seen NO-ONE demean you for being a woman 'of colour'. Thats complete bs and I and others resent being accused of such things. To me that would be a disgusting thing to do but whats even more digusting is thowing around false accusations like poka chips hoping to get lucky. The threat of calling us racists does not work anymore.



Please see posts from Dock6, Deus, or Landis.

So you think we're all the same.. is that right? She has falsey accused ALL WHITES here. not just a handful.

Originally posted by Ceci
That's why I proposed that white people converse among themselves about these issues.


Based on that.. do you think that whites should not participate in this thread and other anti-white threads? That we should just talk about it amongst ourselves instead so we don't get offended?
All that would do is give you free reign to slander whites without protest.

[edit on 20-3-2007 by riley]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 05:40 AM
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riley, whatever you say. You said what you said. However, for the rest of us, we're dealing with white privilege. White privilege is being discussed as a concept, what it means in American society, who benefits and why it is done.

As far as I know, white privilege does not deal with the personalities of myself and truthseeka. And it doesn't deal with your personality as well.

Think what you want.

But I'll just have to ask one thing. Has the people who threw rocks at yourself and your friend ever paid any restitution or apology to you?

[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 06:06 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
riley, whatever you say. You said what you said. However, for the rest of us, we're dealing with white privilege. White privilege is being discussed as a concept, what it means in American society, who benefits and why it is done.

Please refer to my last post. It's not exclusively an american subject.

As far as I know, white privilege does not deal with the personalities of myself and truthseeka. And it doesn't deal with your personality as well.

It does when racial generalisations are made.

Think what you want.

But I'll just have to ask one thing? Has the people who threw rocks at yourself and your friend ever paid any restitution or apology to you?

No.
I appreciate that you are trying to find common ground here though Ceci [seriously]. Why do you ask the question?



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 06:11 AM
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Originally posted by riley
I appreciate that you are trying to find common ground here though Ceci [seriously]. Why do you ask the question?



Because I care, riley. I have thought about what had happened to you and how it wasn't right. And I am sorry that it did happen to you and that you have had to suffer because of it.


I also wanted to ask you, how have you demonstrated anything positive about white people that non-white people like myself can see?

[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Because I care, riley. I have thought about what had happened to you and how it wasn't right. And I am sorry that it did happen to you and that you have had to suffer because of it.

Thankyou Ceci.. I thought you were perhaps illustrating it as an example of something [which would've been okay as well]. Now.. I know I have been fairly direct with you but you seem to be very passionate and intelligent woman ..you really do yourself a disservice by not seeing the broader scheme of things. You seem to be 'stuck' on one perspective and I'd like to understand where it comes from so I have some questions. Whats the worst experience in RL you've had with racism? Did you have many white peers at school? What were they like [as individuals]? What are some personal experiences that have re-enforced your negative views of whites? Basically I'd like to be able to empathise with you but need to get a better idea of where you are coming from.

I also wanted to ask you, how have you demonstrated anything positive about white people that non-white people like myself can see?

Isn't that for you to answer?

hmm.. I don't really think many people would see me as representative of whites in general and I have difficulty grouping myself and others as 'white' and 'non white' as race isn't a big issue when dealing with people day in day out [unless the subject itself is brought up or they have issue with it]. I will however try answer your question with an objective mind.
I'm very complicated and contradictory.. people who meet me quickly learn that my skin colour and gender aren't really relevent. Both whites and non whites are taken aback anyway. Those kids with the rocks.. I guess the positive thing they learnt was that some white women have tempers and aren't going to put up with bs from thugs [a common stereotype is that white women are weak and feeble who scare easily]. A South African girl in primary school might remember that I threatened to beat this kid up for picking on her for being black [which meant of course I got picked on even more but thats beside the point]. I taught her some good culturally apt insults.
I have afghan friends.. I speak either politics, philosphy or art with the brothers.. the sisters drag me in for cups of tea to ask me about my culture [they seem to be big on the 'western woman' myth]. Basically I try just speak from an individual standpoint rather than the stereotype I fit into.. and I like getting to know who people are on the inside rather than let cultural barriers get in the way. A close friend of mine is indian but I never really thought that her being indian meant she was something completely alien from myself. I tend to embrace differences and attract outcasts of all backgrounds. It's us against the normals.. much like this place.


[edit on 20-3-2007 by riley]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by riley
You seem to be 'stuck' on one perspective and I'd like to understand where it comes from so I have some questions. Whats the worst experience in RL you've had with racism? Did you have many white peers at school?


Yeah, I agree, and wonder the same thing.

Ceci, if you dont mind answering that would be greatly appreciated. Also, I would like to know if you would describe your life experience as similar to Semper, meaning, are these concepts ( white privilege, ethnocentrism) fairly new to you? Did you grow up learning these concepts and disregard them like Semper because of what you were being taught in school?

Thanks in advance.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by riley

Thankyou Ceci..


You're very welcome.

First, let me apologize to Truthseeka for going off topic with this post.


Now.. I know I have been fairly direct with you but you seem to be very passionate and intelligent woman ..you really do yourself a disservice by not seeing the broader scheme of things.


How? What would a broader scheme of things entail?


You seem to be 'stuck' on one perspective and I'd like to understand where it comes from so I have some questions.


That I am discussing my experiences and sources about race and racial identity? By all due respect, it's not something that I'm stuck with. My skin color is something that others can see. My skin color is something that is also used by others as a way to determine how I think, my behavior as well as how I am received in society.


Whats the worst experience in RL you've had with racism?

There are many aspects of racism that I've had to deal with. I've dealt with white persons openly calling me names and shouting about my inferiority; I've been followed and watched by police; during an academic competition in which I was in the "Honors section" (i.e. the highest section in the competition), I was told by the white judges that I didn't "belong there" and I had to go through dealing with showing them my qualifications to confirm I belonged in that section of the competition; I've been laughed at and harassed by some meanspirited white classmates; I've been blamed for poor behavior by whites in power while watching them joke with the white people who have said and done racist things to me and witnessing a lack of punitive measures.

There are so many more, but it would fill this entire post.


Did you have many white peers at school?


Many.


What were they like [as individuals]?


For the most part, the white people I met in my educational life were very kind to me and were my friends (with the exception of my racist experiences). And I thank my white friends for their involvement in my life. Some of them are still my friends today. We openly discuss race for the most part. We ask each other questions. And their parents were very kind as well. My friends' parents were friends with mine.


What are some personal experiences that have re-enforced your negative views of whites?


Despite what you think, I don't have a negative view about white people. On the whole, I have gotten along with white people with the exception of the subtle aspects of bias that I might experience individually and institutionally. And my parents' friends consist of not only different non-white races, but of white people. In fact, they and myself have friends internationally. I've mentioned this in my other threads.


Basically I'd like to be able to empathise with you but need to get a better idea of where you are coming from.


Thank you for saying that.




Isn't that for you to answer?


Specifically, I wanted your answer for this, because I was interested in how you promote the good qualities of white people to others who are non-white. I also felt that it needs to be more positive on this stance.


hmm.. I don't really think many people would see me as representative of whites in general


Why?



I have difficulty grouping myself and others as 'white' and 'non white' as race isn't a big issue when dealing with people day in day out [unless the subject itself is brought up or they have issue with it]. I will however try answer your question with an objective mind.


You practice the "colorblind" theory in which you don't "see" race. Duly noted.


I'm very complicated and contradictory.. people who meet me quickly learn that my skin colour and gender aren't really relevent. Both whites and non whites are taken aback anyway.


So, by saying this, your use of "color-blindness" shocks people because you openly promote that you don't see your skin-color or your gender when you meet people. With that being said, why do you bother with talking about racism (I have never read any of your statements on sexism)? I hope you don't take offense with these questions. I am curious.


Those kids with the rocks.. I guess the positive thing they learnt was that some white women have tempers and aren't going to put up with bs from thugs [a common stereotype is that white women are weak and feeble who scare easily].


Here too, I have a question. Why did the notion of color and gender mean something to you here, opposed to before when you said that people were taken aback before? I understand that you defied the stereotypical white woman by fighting back, though. I think that all women have to stand up for ourselves in the same way.


A South African girl in primary school might remember that I threatened to beat this kid up for picking on her for being black [which meant of course I got picked on even more but thats beside the point]. I taught her some good culturally apt insults.


Well, you taught her to stand up for herself. That's a good thing.



I have afghan friends.. I speak either politics, philosphy or art with the brothers.. the sisters drag me in for cups of tea to ask me about my culture [they seem to be big on the 'western woman' myth].


See, that is good, because there is a cultural exchange going on. However, can you clarify what you meant by how they are big on the "western woman" myth?



Basically I try just speak from an individual standpoint rather than the stereotype I fit into.. and I like getting to know who people are on the inside rather than let cultural barriers get in the way.


That's good. But, you've got to understand for some people, culture and heritage is very important. Therefore, they do not see it as a barrier. In fact, some enjoy talking about their culture and often invite one to share in it. This corresponds to the comfortability with identity that some have opposed to others. And when they are comfortable with dealing with all aspects of culture, race and ethnicity, these topics in their eyes are not viewed negatively.



A close friend of mine is indian but I never really thought that her being indian meant she was something completely alien from myself. I tend to embrace differences and attract outcasts of all backgrounds. It's us against the normals.. much like this place.


Pretty much that is the case.
But, has your (East?) Indian friend ever discussed issues with you about her culture and the concept of how she views herself in the midst of society? I hope that you don't take offense, but I am curious about this.



[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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Ug, I hate these topics, they seem to bring out the worst in people, including me.

Those with privilage, and those who gripe that they dont have any, has nothing to do with color, race, religion, etc. It has everything to do with how a person was brought up. Moses is a great example of that.

I am white, though I have no idea what they call us whites, instead of colored folk. After all I can turn brown, red, green, yellow, grey. I should be called the "person of color" darn it, its not fair. Seriously though, I am white, was brought up in a middle class world. Not because of white privilage I assure you, but because I had a dad who worked his ars off in a steel mill - even after being electricuted by 13,800 volts that left scar tissue on over 80% of his body - 6, 16 hour days a week. My sister got a teaching degree because my mother worked partime jobs saving - quite literaly - every dime she made to put her through school.

My dad was extreamily prejudice. To the point the only tv we could watch that had a black person on it was the cosby's (when he was home that is
) I am glad he was, because I have absolutly no stomach for prejudicism of any sort now.

I moved out when i was 17 for a few months (rebellious period). Either lived with friends or in my car. Its amazing what I learned out there. Everywhere I looked there were people who were very capable of working, or going to school, hell they could have even gone for free. Instead, they did the same thing their parents did. Spent their time in hand out lines because they were "owed", or stomping their feet like little children, blaming anyone they could, because they didnt have what they wanted. Well, boo freeking hoo.

I went from living in the gutter only being able to afford 2 meals a week, to being a proud woman in a nice house with a nice car, with things my husband and I want. We dont get the things we want for free, and it sure as hell wasnt because we were privilaged. We have what we have because instead of sitting around bitching about what we wanted and where we wanted to be, we worked our asses off and got it. Like our parents taught us.

Dont even try to convince me how dilusional I am, because I dont admit to being privilaged due to my color, or where I live.



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 09:39 AM
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Sorry again, Truthseeka, for going off-topic


Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
Also, I would like to know if you would describe your life experience as similar to Semper, meaning, are these concepts ( white privilege, ethnocentrism) fairly new to you?


No. Because, I've dealt with this not only in my studies, but in discussions with others of different races. These concepts at first were introduced to me early on especially when trying to describe the different experiences of race. My parents and their friends would discuss these issues all the time. They were very open about race, its disparities and their treatment in society. Their friends were also very honest as well about race.

I was very lucky to grow up in a multi-cultural setting in which people talked about identity issues. I am finding out now, though, that not all people have the same amount of diversity in their lives.


Did you grow up learning these concepts and disregard them like Semper because of what you were being taught in school?


I don't really know what you mean, but I'll try to answer this as much as I can. I had an inkling about these concepts from the talks between my parents and their friends. And as I grew older, I found that I could not disregard the terminology because each aspect affected my life in intimate ways. And as I learned more about them, I was able to articulate those experiences through the proper language afforded to cultural studies.

I was lucky to have a family that enjoyed learning. I grew up with a well-rounded education about people and things in society, good and bad. Because my parents were bent on myself having the best education possible, they, their friends and their surroundings were always used as a teaching experience. And when it came to culture, their friends openly discussed these aspects. But, I think it might have been because of the times, because it was recently after the Civil Rights Era and people were much more open than they are now.

I think now kids are being indoctrinated with the "color-blind" theory so that they will grow up denying that "race" exists. And when children of color experience racism, then, there might be a possibility that they will not be able to confront the subtle aspects of race unless they had someone honestly break it down for them.

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

However, I have a question for you both: what does this have to do with the topic?


[edit on 20-3-2007 by ceci2006]



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